Volume 1 February 19, 1887
The Great Strike
Declared Closed By D. A. 49, But Not Actually At An End
The Arbitration with Austin Corbin—The Withdrawal of the Moneymen Brewers from D. A. 49—A [text missing] Steamship Companies and the [text missing]
The situation when this paper [text missing] last week was, in brief, that non-union [text missing] handlers were on the railroad piers performing the work with much less satisfaction to the superintendents than the old hands had done it, that the steamship companies were accomplishing with some delay the task of loading their vessels with green 'longshoremen, and that Austin Corbin was arbitrating with representatives of D. A. 49 the differences existing between the coal handlers and the Reading railroad company at Port Elizabeth.
After several conferences had been held in the latter part of last week between officers of D. A. 49 and Mr. Corbin, it was announced by D. A. 49 that an agreement had been entered into by which the Heading company would pay its coal handlers at Port Elizabeth and Perth Amboy 22½ cents an hour. This was the scale for which the men struck on Jan. 1. Work was begun on Tuesday by union men at the places named. The effect of this movement will be, as D. A. 49 sees it. to give the New York market for coal mainly to the Reading company, as union coal will be called for by all labor organizations and the use of non-union coal be avoided by the masses of the people, There will be a disruption of the coal pool, as the managers of the other railroads will not stand by and see their trade go to pieces. Thus they will be forced to come to terms. This is the line on which D. A. 49 proposes to carry the light to the bitter end. The purpose of the original strike having been attained, in so far as the men at the Reading company's docks are concerned, D. A. 49 makes the claim that the strike was successful. In relation to the sympathetic strikes of the longshoremen and freight handlers, leaders of D. A. 49 assert that these will soon be adjusted, and that the final result must be a victory for their organization. The assemblies which went on strike to support the coal shovelers ind the Old Dominion boycott were not officially directed to do so. In the language of one of the officers of D. A. 49, “these men knew their duties and there was no necessity for an order to bring them out on strike.” The position taken by D. A. 49 is, therefore, that the task it took upon itself in undertaking to manage the strike has been accomplished and that its methods have been equal to the occasion.
On Friday of last week it was expected by D. A. 49 that the organizations of the stationary engineers, the journeymen lager beer brewers, and the ale and porter brewers would strike, as the coal which some of the members handled had passed through the hands of nonunion men. The district did not officially order a strike of these assemblies. but unofficial; communication was held with them. The engineers, however, declined to come out unless an official order to do so was received by them. The journeymen brewers had made a written agreement with their employers on April 15, l886, for one year, and they decided that they had no justifiable reason for striking. The brewers sent a letter to the Central labor union on Sunday saying that they had concluded to sever their connection with D. A. 40. The beer drivers' union took similar action. These organizations will either form a national trade district of the Knights of Labor or enter the American Federation of Trades. An officer of D. A. 49 informed the writer, however, that the brewers had been discussing a withdrawal from 49 for some time with the purpose of forming a trade district, and that their action was not attributable entirely to the developments of the strike. D. A. 49, he said, entertained no ill-feeling to ward the brewers, and could not in reason blame them for not striking, a s no order had been given them to do so.
There are fourteen organizations of the Ocean association in New York and vicinity made up of 'longshoremen. About 5,000 members went on strike with the intention of giving aid to their fellow laborers through a cessation of all work in and around the harbor. Of this number a large proportion is still out. The association has determined to carry on its strike, although 49 declared the strike off, and to demand 40 cents an hour for day work and 60 cents for night work for transatlantic steamship companies, and 30 and 60 cents for coastwise steamers. Members of the association are allowed to accept work at this scale only, but they are permitted to take employment as individuals. The association has raised the initiation fee to $100 for three months to prevent a rush into the organization; its leaders are prepared for a long fight with the employers, and they predict a final victory. They say that the season for the arrival of southern vegetables and perishable goods will soon be at hand, and that their skill is necessary to handle the enormous amount of such freight arriving at the docks here. They are also confident that they may rely upon a pressure being put upon the companies by merchants, the traveling public and the board of underwriters, who will demand that life and property shall not be put in jeopardy through the employment of unskilled and blundering workmen. An officer of Ocean Association No. 1 said yesterday that their organization was now as loyal to D. A. 49 as it was before the fight. The district had not ordered the 'longshoremen out, but they struck for the sake of united labor.
There is another opinion of the result and another view as to the salient facts of the strike held alike by many men prominent in the labor unions of the city and by some well-known men of D. A. 49. They say that the agreement with Austin Corbin by no means ends the original strike satisfactorily, that the places of most of the longshoremen and freight handlers have been filled by non-union men who will retain them, and that the permission given by the Ocean association to its members to accept employment as individuals and work with non-union men is a confession of defeat. They declare, also, that the methods of the leaders of D. A. 49, though displaying characteristic audacity and assurance, have failed of their objects and have resulted in a weakening of D. A. 49 that will tell against other labor organizations. They believe that the striking freight handlers and 'longshoremen have been made the victims of their loyalty to their bonds of fraternity; that the leaders of 49 have sacrificed them in order to justify claims to an empty victory, and that the statement of the leaders that no official orders were given to the assemblies to strike are unworthy of men of ordinary candor or sagacity. They also say that, as a matter of fact, the strongest pressure was brought to bear upon other local districts of the knights—such as those of the street-ear men and the printers—to go on strike to the great detriment of large bodies of workingmen. The charge, in brief, against D. A. 49 is that, though its are wily, they are pursuing a course [text missing] to that which must be followed by an organization in order to win the support of the masses. Where, it is asked, is the victory, when thousands of men who struck are on the street while their places on the piers are occupied by non-union men? And where is the merit of a sympathetic strike which is declared off without any regard for the welfare of the majority of the strikers? Was it not a blunder to allow many of the men to strike against employers who had for a long period paid union wages in order to avoid strikes; Must not labor organizations maintain good faith with those capitalists who stand by their agreement? Can sensible organized workingmen be expected to strike against fair employers on an order or under the pressure exerted by an executive board in consequence of the grievances of men who have only the remotest fraternal connection with them? Was it not evident early in the fight that the “solidarity” of all labor sought by D. A. 49 was incomplete? Even the fact of a victory at the Reading coal docks is denied. It was rumored on Wednesday that J. R. Maxwell, the representative of Austin Corbin, had said that the agreement was that the questions at issue between the Reading company and its coal handlers were to be decided by arbitration, and that the men had concluded to go to work pending a decision.
Police officers are still on the piers in large numbers. Committees of the striking boatmen's, 'longshoremen's and freight handlers' organizations are calling on superintendents of the steamship and railroad docks and endeavoring to put the strikers back at work at union rates. The boatmen of the Delaware and Hudson coal company have returned on the old terms. The freight handlers of the West Shore and the New Jersey Central piers have also returned. The striking 'longshoremen have been taken back at the Old Anchor pier, No. 53, North river, where tramp steamers lie up, and at the Hill line, pier 445. The Monarch line took back its men. At other piers some of the old men were taken back, just as they were needed, without regard to their being union men. A determination not to employ any men except on their own terms has been shown, however, by many companies. The Old Dominion company insists that its old men shall sever their connection with labor organizations, that they shall deposit $2 weekly to secure that engagement, and that they agree not to leave without giving a week's notice. The Wilson line will pay men $15 per week and 45 cents per hour for overtime The Morgan line agent says that there is no strike at his pier. The Erie railroad agent has decided that he will have nothing to do with the strikers collectively or individually. The Pennsylvania's agents in New York and Jersey city and the Metropolitan steamship line to Boston will not take back their old men. The maritime trade has passed a resolution that stevedores shall be licensed by it, the intention being to blacklist those stevedores who showed sympathy with the strikers. The transatlantic steamship companies have requested the pilot commissioners to give them the names and numbers of the boats of the pilots who are not Knights of Labor.
Land Speculation in New Communities
Medicine Lodge, Kan., Dec. 13.—There are as yet few in this section who have adopted the principles of tax reform, but even here the leaven is working. It is but a barren field for inculcating the doctrine that land is the gift of the Maker to the whole human race. The country is new and nearly every one is a speculator. Real estate and the increase in land values absorb half the day and night meditations of the population, and constitute the staple of conversation; vet nowhere, it seems to me, can the glaring evils of land monopoly be seen more clearly than in this far western country. Here towns spring up like mushrooms; lucky land-holders become rich without having produced anything, and the towns instead of being compactly built are scattered over three or four times the ground required. with great patches of vacant lots interspersed between the buildings. If the town grows rapidly on account of some local advantage, its growth is checked by the rapacity of landlords who demand exorbitant prices for lots and high rents for houses. I do not think I exaggerate when I say that hundreds have come to the town in which I now am, for the purpose of settling and engaging in business, and have gone away on account of the prices asked for land and house room.
A German Paper on the Coal Strikes
National Reformer, Milwaukee, Wis.
The so-called anthracite or hard coal is found in the United States only in live counties of Pennsylvania. Now, in order to create a monopoly, it is necessary to buy up or lease all coal lands. From the coal fields run live railroads, which railroads own much coal land, and have pooled with other owners in order to stop competition. But in order to buy or control much land, much money is needed, and while a company does and is forced to control 100,000 acres, it is only able to work say 1,000. Such a company then must buy one hundred times as much land as it can work, and must out of the amount of coal taken from the 1,000 acres make enough profits to pay interest, dividends, etc., on the money used in buying 100,000 acres. To strike against such conditions as these is absolute nonsense. Just lawmaking is the only remedy, and this we can only attain through the ballot.
The Party that is to Be
Pittsfield, Mass., Feb. 14.—I look upon the inauguration of the crusade against land monopoly and corporate power as phenomenal and of greater moment to the future good of this country and of all nations than is generally comprehended. That the land should be the possession of all and pay the taxes of all is a startling innovation in political economy, and is attracting the attention of the civilized world. If these propositions are based upon eternal justice and “natural right,” as is apparently demonstrated, a new party will rise—an American party, made up of the best elements of all other parties— to enforce laws bearing equally and justly upon all classes. Thousands all over the land proclaim this party.
C. H. Waugh.
Free Libraries in New Jersey
Some years ago the New Jersey legislature passed a law permitting every city in the state to decide by popular vote at its next municipal election the question whether it would establish a free public library or not. If the people decided favorably, a tax of one-tenth of a mill was to be added to the levy and devoted to this purpose. Paterson was the only city where the question was voted on, and as the result it has in practical operation a successful free library. The labor organizations in New Jersey have applied to the legislature to amend the law so that the other cities can have until their next municipal election to take the matter up, and they have the co-operation of a strong public sentiment in favor of the idea.
Noting a Convert
Newburg Daily News
A well–known Newburg gentleman, who is a property owner and taxpayer, has become a convert to Henry George's land theories by reading and studying over the latter's book.
But A Few Days Left To The Forty-Ninth Congress
Thousands of Measures Not Acted On—The Appropriation Bills Still Pending—Retiring Congressmen Seeking Office—The Railway Commissioners
Washington, Feb. 17.—In two weeks the forty-ninth congress will expire by limitation. Committees, except the few charged with the care of appropriation bills, have ceased to meet, and, for all practical purposes, they might have ceased to consider further measures some time ago. Thousands of measures load the calendars without the faintest prospect that they will be reached, and some ten or twelve thousand bills and an infinite number of petitions, in all stages of preparation and neglect, fill committee drawers, languish in pigeon holes, are hopelessly lost among the “pub. Does.” and the heterogeneous baggage of skurrying members, or are doomed to political dry rot in document rooms.
What has been done it is quite possible to state. Early in December Mr. Randall inaugurated the short session with a deceptive and spasmodic effort at promptitude. The two bills that are usually kept to the close of the session are the general deficiency and sundry civil bills. The latter is the great omnibus measure into which are piled all the miscellaneous, contingent and incidental expenditures. This sturdy political camel has grown and strengthened until the only wonder is that it has not swallowed up all other legislation. Why the river and harbor bill has not become one of its numerous and variegated chapters cannot be. explained on any philosophical hypothesis. Among many other things the sundry civil bill includes the annual appropriations for all public buildings, post-offices, courthouses, etc., that dot and ornament, the diversified landscape of these United States. The scientific and other surveys are here provided for. “Old probabilities” draws from this considerate and miscellaneous mother a support more certain than the predictions that baffle and bewilder an unsophisticated public. Besides the many other spooks that find a home in this bill, there is a series of chapters in it devoted to the wants of each department. These really include what could not be got in any other bill, or what may have been incontinently kicked out of others; hence, the necessity that this omnibus should come in last and pick up the halt and the wounded. With malice aforethought and before the departments had time to send in all the estimates for their expenditures, Mr. Randall and his committee made a skeleton on which it was designed that this annual bill should be built and rushed it through the house, leaving the responsibility of its inevitable increase to the senate and its fate to the conference committees. It will probably become a law about the time it usually does, just before twelve o'clock on the 4th of March next.
As an offset to this, the great bill of the session, the legislative, executive and judicial bill, has not yet been considered in the house. This, among other things, involves every salary from that of the president down to a petty clerkship. It would naturally be expected that this broad field for the labor or the political reformer would have been opened up to the gaze of expectant congressmen before the holidays, so that they could digest its proportions with their annual turkey and plum pudding. We find it, however, coming in during the last few days of the session to be rushed through amidst the general hurry-skurry.
It is greatly to be regretted that an intelligent system of land reform should not be molded into law before this congress adjourns. It is not to be. It is true that both houses have passed a measure to repeal the preemption law, the timber culture and desert land act. These are but lame, shiftless measures, not half rising to the great necessities of the occasion; but still they would have checked the serious and wasteful abuse by which great tracts of the public domain are made to pass through the hands of fraudulent claimants to those of land speculators. The land speculating interest is yet much too potent, and these bills will die in conference. It is indeed of vital importance that measures shall be at once passed to secure every foot of the remaining public domain to actual cultivators, not only that small farms should be thus easily obtained, but that the tenure should be so guarded as to secure the future occupancy only to occupying cultivators. If any expectation had ever been entertained of tariff changes it is doomed to disappointment. It is extremely doubtful if any measure for material modification of the internal revenue system will be adopted. There certainly is not time, after passing the necessary appropriation bills, to give any judicious consideration to propositions on which the members so radically differ.
Something will probably be done for coast defense, although at this stage it would be hard to say just what that something will be. While there has been an effort to stir up excitement on the subject lately, there is nothing in the general aspects of the case that was not equally patent when the members of the forty-ninth congress were sworn in. A large number of the members of this congress retire to private life on the 4th of March. Among the outgoing democratic brethren many are applicants for positions at the hands of President Cleveland. This has, in the past few weeks, given him an increase of- power with the lawmaking body. Among the coveted places are the new commissionships, at $7,500 a year and expenses, under the interstate commerce bill. While a few of the members of the present congress would doubtless make fair commissioners, it is obnoxious to the genius of our government that any man instrumental in creating an office should be immediately selected to fill it. There seems to be sufficient tendency in congress to multiply the number and increase the enrollments of office without adding such an inducement. It also seems that recommendations of persons to be commissioners have been pouring in from mercantile exchanges, and the representatives of great corporations. These places should all be filled by practical business men from the ranks of the labor interest. Among these, intelligent, brave and thoroughly competent men may be found. It certainly was not expected that this new machinery should add to the powers or crystallize the strength of great corporations. If Mr. Cleveland would prove himself the friend of reform and the champion of the people this is his opportunity. These appointments will be carefully watched, and the laboring classes will ponder over them, and read in the answer the president gives whether this is really a democratic administration.
W. A. P.
A Priest Who “Dashed” The Standard
Mr. Henry George, New York—Sir: I herewith return the sample copy you have sent me. Please do not insult me again by sending me your —— sheet. Peter J. Desmedt. Sheboygan, Mich., Feb. 14.
Joe Cook's Job
The Rev. Joe Cook is once more shoveling brimstone against the wind in Boston.
How Strikers In The Legislature Bleed The Corporations
The Varying Price of Votes—Senators More Costly than Assemblymen—The Better the Bill the More it Costs to Kill It—A Rascal Who Would Not Divide
Albany, Feb. 10.— So far this session about 800 bills-and resolutions have been introduced. Perhaps 100 will pass. The others will either slumber in committee, be killed in the house in which their originated, or stick in the other house. An unsophisticated man of ordinary honesty would suppose that all bills arose from the sincere conviction of the legislature that they were a good thing for the state, and that each assemblyman and senator would take personal pride in getting his bill passed. The truth is that half the bills introduced are not intended to be passed. Their object is to increase the private income of the member offering them at the expense of the corporation or individual whom the bill would affect did it pass. To illustrate, Assemblyman Brennan, the savior of society who represents the Fifth New York district, is annually in the habit of introducing a bill to compel the elevated road to put drip pans under its tracks to prevent oil and dirt from falling on the people below. This is a good bill, and one would wonder why it was not passed long ago. He might suspect that votes were bought to defeat it. Such is not the case. That way of defeating a bill is too costly for a corporation to resort to, except when the usual methods have failed. The bil1 is regularly killed by Mr. Michael Brennan, its author. He never intended it to pass. The bill is presented, referred to its appropriate committee, and if Mr. Brennan is able it will go to committee of the whole. Up to this point Mr. Brennan is for the bill. He beseeches his friends to help him and to vote to progress it. All he wants is to give the bill a likelihood of passing. When it gets so far that it has a good place on the calendar Mr. Brennan will be affected by some of the influences that pervade Albany, and nothing more will be heard of the bill until next session, when the same process of influencing Mr. Brennan will again have to be gone through with.
New York city has twenty-four assemblymen and seven senators. Of the assemblymen one-third are honest; that is, they would not accept a bribe; so are three of the senators. The rest are here to make money, the quantity they make and the way they make it varying according to their education, brains and necessities. Some brag of their booty; others, though notorious, are not so open. They demand slightly higher prices, wear better clothes and talk better English. The grade ascends up to men who have brains, are shrewd, and are never caught doing wrong. The senators are necessarily men of higher standing, and they come higher because there are fewer of them. Traphagen was sent to the senate to represent the cable road. He was one of the cable commissioners, and he did so well there that the money and influence of the cable road sent him to the senate, where he has earned his wages so far by offering live bills to aid the cable round. Senator Cullen is as unscrupulous as a modern senator can come. He doesn't expect to be re-elected, and he constantly grumbles because he is not making more money. Snowball Plunkitt as he is known to the car drivers, who he said should live on snow if they would not vote for Hewitt, stands like a toll-gate keeper at the passage of every bill from which money can be extracted. He fears he can't be elected next fall, and he has offered a bill to build a police court in his district, with two new $8,000 police justices, to hold office for ten years. Snowball Plunkitt wants to be one of these justices. There are already more police justices than there are judges of the court of appeals, and the salary of a police justice is the larger. Senator Murphy is one of the shrewd men of the senate. He keeps his record pretty straight, and is a good parliamentarian. Senators Daly, Dunham and Reilly are honest men; and if New York city had seven Dalys or seven Dunhums, instead of its present delegation, it would be fortunate for the state. The proportion of honesty is higher in the senate than in the assembly, owing to the union of Tammany hall with the county democracy last fall, which brought a great many bad men on top, whom the leaders would have hesitated to nominate had the people any choice.
Strikes, which is the legislative expression for a bill like Brennan's drip-pan bill, have been plenty this year. Mr. Finn of the First district, Mr. Kunzenman of the Fourteenth district, Mr. Kenny of the Sixteenth district, and Mr. Brennan of the Fifth are the most frequent offerers of these bills that are never passed. The evil of strikes is not so much the direct dishonesty of the strikers as if is that good measures are retarded and defeated. Bills have been introduced to compel the street-car companies to replace their axle breaking, high rails with flat rails, like those used in Philadelphia: to limit the interest that pawnbrokers may charge; to compel the East river ferry companies to reduce their fares, and to provide gates at each end of their boats to prevent passengers from being pushed overboard; compelling the presence of a flagman at grade railroad crossings over streets; to provide for drippans under elevated roads; to prevent food adulterations, and scores of other bills to accomplish like good objects. There is no doubt that it would be a good thing to pass and enforce these bills; but that very fact raises the price. Good bills are just what the strikers want. People see it is a good bill, and every line of newspaper praise enables the man in charge of the bill to get higher prices from the companies or individuals affected. Fear of being likened to these thieving saviors of society deters honest members from offering needed bills. The people of the city of New York are the losers.
It is seldom that any reference to the maneuvers of legislators comes into print. The daily New York papers, which have correspondents here, do not care to touch it because the papers are partisan, and as thieves know no party lines some body might be hurt who was a friend of a stockholder. Last week a circular came to each member of the assembly that contained some pretty direct charges against one New York assemblyman. It said that he went into a combine with another assemblyman last year to strike the elevated railroad, and $2,500 was obtained, which he kept and refused to divide. This was a blow at the peculiar kind of honor traditionally prevailing among legislators, and though the defrauded assemblyman could not very well compel a division by an action at law, he objected vehemently. Some friend of his sent a circular to the members to warn them against entering into any transactions with the man who struck but refused to divide. The accused assemblyman got up in the assembly and said the charges were a lie. The new members were shocked, but some cf the old members grinned. This man was one of those who bragged of having shared in the $200,000 that the gas company sent up here two years ago to defeat the passage of the bill reducing the price of gas.
Although the coal strike investigation committee has not finished its labors, it is plain that the committee will not agree and that there will be two reports. The majority, led by Chairman Hogeboom, an agent for the Delaware and Hudson coal company, in the coal pool, will report that the men were to blame and that their grievances were insufficient to justify a strike. There will also be a minority report that will not have much chance in the assembly, because the leading politicians are against it.
The Land Transfer Job
An Elaborate Scheme That Will Cost an Enormous Sum of Money
As the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, those who are paying the price and getting a very poor quality of the article should have a watchful eye, not only for opportunities to establish beneficent laws, but also to see that robbery and trickery do not, under the guise of reform, procure laws in opposition to the interests of the people. One of these ways is just as important as the other. A little heedfulness will detect danger in a series of bills now before our legislature. Assembly bills Nos. 30, 31, 32 and 40 contemplate a new system of recording titles to land which it is claimed is a “reform” upon the system we have been perfecting so long. They provide for an undertaking which will involve unlimited and incalculable expense, to be be borne by those who pay the taxes. This expense is to be met by an issue of bonds redeemable within thirty years. The magnitude of this expense may be realized when some of the items are shown. 1. A host of clerks adequate to the en tire re-indexing not only of the records now in our register's office, but of all the liens, except judgments (note the exception) now on tile in our county clerk's office. 2. Sets of books sufficient to contain a record of title of every lot in the city, allowing a sufficient number of pages for each lot. There being about 100,000 lots in the city, it would be necessary to commence with as many books as there are now in our register's office. 3. This set of books to be prepared in triplicate. 4. Entire new and elaborate sets of maps, also in triplicate, and new tax maps. 2. Printing ad libitum. 6. The purchase of slips and memoranda of the searchers. No limit as to price. This is a sop to the searchers, and buys their acquiescence. Their accumulated work, for which they have already been paid, will be use-less under the new system. The searchers would only change their methods; the new plan would not abolish their functions. 7. The erection of new offices to be filled by appointment by the governor and by the judges, involving an annual outlay for salaries of upward of $50,000. But, perhaps, the most remarkable provision of all is the practical exemption of real estate from the lien of judgments and the increased difficulties that will oppose the mechanic in his endeavor to fix his lien. The advantage of this system comes to the few and not to the many, and it lies in the fact that new complications and new embarrassments are so woven into the plan that special knowledge is more than ever requisite to unravel them. The passage of these bills will be one more turn of the screw which will force the tenant class within the domination of the landlord class. If that government is best whose laws are fewest and least complicated, and if it is wise to make new laws to serve good ends, then it is certainly more wise to defeat bad laws that are proposed only to serve the purposes of individuals. To the defeat of these bills, therefore, our vigilance should address itself.
E. W. Chamberlain.
Swedes, Think of Engelbrecht!
Whitmore, Mass., Feb. 12.—In The Standardof Feb. 5, J. D. Warwick, Rockford, Ill., says that the Swedes are warned by the Lutheran pastor to leave the Knights of Labor. This is unfortunate. The Swedes are a considerable part of the good workmen and farmers of several western states. They ought to be advised of the righteousness of these movements of labor against oppression, and their similarity to those that moved Sweden 450 years ago under Engelbrecht, a man true. Upright, religious, clear-headed and just, with unbounded love of the race. He could not be swerved from duty and justice, and was filled with compassion and unselfishness, for which he is today idealized by every Swede. I say it would be a misfortune if this truth cannot be conveyed to the Swedes in America—that they, as well as all other laboring men, must stand up now to crush out these selfish monopolies that menace the welfare of society—monopolies which will, if not checked, cause a catastrophe more horrible than that which, with the murdering of Engelbrecht and the victory of the oppressors, happened to the Calmar union of Scandinavia.
E. B. Bolin.
New York, Feb. 13.—Some time ago I was seriously debating whether I had not- better move inland. Danger of bombardment seemed immediate. The cries of the Herald for coast defenses so worked on my fears that the hissing of English shells sung in my ears and would not let me rest at night, and when, in the morning, the breakfast bell woke me I thought its sound was the explosion of Spanish bombs. In another mood a patriotic spirit would descend and visions of glory arise. I saw the Stars and Stripes waving triumphantly over Rideau hall and Mexico paying us another fine, when lo, The Standard appeared! My fears were assuaged, the pomp and circumstance of war vanished, and I saw that the whole thing was—a job. I hope you will keep up your fight against this gigantic scheme.
Alfred H. Henderson.
Stock Raisers to be Butchers
At the International range convention held last week in Denver, Mr. J. J. McGillan of Cleveland read a short address on monopolies among stock yard concerns and middlemen, in which he laid the trouble of cattle growers in not receiving just prices for their cattle at the doors of the middlemen. His plan for treating these monopolies was the organization of an immense corporation with a capital of one hundred millions, to be participated in by the stock raisers of the United States, which should market and butcher all the stock raised in the United States and conduct the selling of all beef direct to consumers. The explanation of his scheme was listened to with marked attention, and when Mr. McGillan concluded he was warmly applauded.
A City in Business
Philadelphia owns and operates its gas and water works. A proposition to sell or lease one or both to private parties has recently, after long debate, been rejected. One of the candidates for may or, in response to a query, declared that the city's two most important functions are the supply of gas and water, and that under no circumstances would he consent to the sale or lease of the works. This is the prevailing opinion in Philadelphia. Men holding this opinion, after years of experience, are shocked at any suggestion that the city should own and operate street railways.
The Boodle Capital
A Senatorship At Auction In New Jersey
Review of the Political Situation in Trenton—Corruption Open and Shameless—Labor Members Hold the Balance of Power—Sewell, Abbett, Bedle and Phelps
Trenton, N. J., Feb. 17.—The political atmosphere is charged with corruption. A seat in the United States senate is for sale, and bidding is brisk. South Carolina, in the worst days of carpet-bag rule, knew no such open and shameless dickering. It is as brazen as the lewdness of the harlots' ball of Monday night, and, like that-, viler though it was than any thing of the kind that would be tolerated in New York without bribing the police, is taken quite as a matter of course.
General Sewell, the present incumbent, is the republican candidate. It was by his management and money that the legislature was so nearly balanced between the two parties. But for the prohibition vote in some districts he would have secured a clean majority. To accomplish this, Howey, the candidate for governor, was mercilessly sacrificed at the late election. Sewell is also one of the counsel and a trusted representative of the Pennsylvania railroad, which has a fight with the Baltimore and Ohio that must be waged in congress. The importance to that road of his re-election is, therefore, apparent, and the road will hesitate at nothing reasonable to send him back. But some republican members re fuse to vote for him, and his case is hopeless, unless, in the general demoralization and corruption that prevails, substitutes for the bolters can be drawn from the democrats.
The bolt from Sewell is supposed to have been inspired by William Walter Phelps, although there is every appearance of friendship between the two men. It is said that Sewell has offered to withdraw in favor of Phelps if the latter will make good Sewell's election expenses. This story is doubted, but it is quite certain that no such cordiality exists between them as they profess. Phelps makes no other. pretensions as a candidate than as second choice; but Sewell is not blind to the fact that Phelps earnestly prays for the circumstances that will make a second choice necessary, and, like the man of practical piety that he is, does not trust to prayer alone.
Ex-Gov. Abbett, the democratic caucus candidate, is in a plight as well as Sewell. The democratic speaker openly asserts that he will not vote for him, and some other democrats are, to say the least, very lukewarm. Nevertheless, Abbett's friends are exceedinglyconfident, though why they should be is inexplicable, except on the theory that everything is possible in such a moral atmosphere as this. To the simple-minded observer, Abbet's chances are as hopeless as Sewell's, but investigation leads to Carroll, one of the labor representatives, as the source of Abbetfa hope. He is regarded by Abbet's supporters as more approachable than Donohue, the other labor member, and it is believed that he can be relied on when the occasion arrives. But there is no reasonable ground for this expectation. Carroll and Donohue have acted together intelligently and squarely, and there is nothing to justify a supposition that either would be dishonorable, except the common notion among society saviors that workingmen are for sale. That the temptation will be severe, however, should Carroll's aid be necessary. no one questions.
But influences are at work against Abbett which are likely to raise an insuperable barrier to his election. The movement begun in the legislature a few years ago by Thomas V. Cator to compel railroad corporations to pay taxes the same as individuals was actively encouraged and promoted by Abbett, while he was governor. This policy earned for him the ill will of all such corporations, and they are now conscientiously liquidating the dent. In doing so they are materially aided by the unsavory record Abbett made in the legislature when he was serving them. The Pennsylvania road naturally prefers Sewell. By electing him it serves a double purpose—revenge for Abbett's treason to its interests and the placing of an able agent where he can serve his clients best. All the roads would, no doubt, be satisfied with this result. But the Morris and Essex throws an anchor to windward in the person of its counsel, Ex-Gov. Bedle. It is supposed that when it become a apparent that both Sewell and Abbett must retire, the democrats will concentrate on Bedle, and railroad interests will be strong enough to make his election sure. There is a ti element of danger here, for though Bedle is behind up in railroad interests, the public know him only as an ex-judge and an ex-governor. He is therefore the best kind of material for a corporation candidate. A republican might justify a bolt- from his party, in these pal my days of the mugwump, if he voted for a patriot and Christian so high-toned and respectable as Judge Bedle. It might even commend him to his mugwump constituents as a pure and holy non-partisan.
In all this turmoil the labor representative a have maintained a dignified silence, attending to their duties and awaiting their opportunity. Nominally, they hold the balance of power, as they would in fact but- for the cloud of corruption that envelops the state house. When they came here they were ignored by both parties: but when they organized the house in their own way, their importance was appreciated. They support Erastus E. Potter for senator. Poller is a Yankee schoolmaster in Morris county. He is an old time greenbacker, having stumped and voted for Weaver in 1882 and Butler in l884. His election is impossible. Either of the old parties would make a coalition with the other rather than support him: but the withdrawal of Sewell and. Abbett might open the way for the election of an independent democrat or republican acceptable to the labor members and their constituents. Sewell, after receiving the caucus nomination, cannot but regard any republican candidate as an interloper, and a similar feeling on the part of Abbett must be even stronger. Scwell's loyalty to his railroad might make him tractable if a railroad republican were named, but Abbett is no longer under any such influence. His disposition would be strong lo defeat another straight out party nominee, and he might well join forces with the labor members to elect an anti-railroad democrat like Edward McDonald. But in the break-up consequent on the withdrawal of Sewell and Abbett, a corrupt combination in the interest of the railroads is much more probable titan a compromise between either of the old parties and the labor members on a man acceptance to the latter.
From A “Christian
At the request of another Catholic priest a copy of The Standard was recently sent to the Rev. N. Charland of Waterville, Maine. Here is his acknowledgment:
Sir: You must have a demon's cheek to dare send to a Christian your ridiculous and filthy sheet. Better keep it for yourself and the notorious Dr. McGlynn, whom the country spurns and condemns. I feel greatly insulted by your sending me a sample copy of The Standard.
Waterville, Me., Feb. 14, 1887.
The Good, Great Man
How seldom, friend, a good, great man inherits
Honor and wealth, with all his worth and pains!
It seems a story from the world of spirits
When any man obtains that which he merits,
Or any merits that which he obtains.
For shame, my friend! Renounce this idle strain!
What wouldst thou have a good, great man obtain?
Wealth, title, dignity, a golden chain?
Or heaps of corses which his sword hath slain ?
Goodness and greatness are not means, but ends.
Hath not he always treasures, always friends,
The good, great man? Three treasures—love, and light.
And calm thoughts, equable as infant's breath;
And three fast friends—more sure than day or night—
Himself, his Maker, and the angel Death.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
St. Stephen's Parishioners
Mass Meeting Last Sunday—Letter from Dr. McGlynn—All Catholics Invited to Protest
As many of the parishioners of St. Stephen's as could manage to crowd it, probably one thousand, gathered at the International assembly rooms on East Twenty-seventh Street, last Sunday evening, while probably twice as many wore turned away. The hall was decorated with evergreens, and pictures of Father McGlynn hung on the wall.
Chairman Feeney. Secretary Ryan, Dr. Carey, Mr. Martin and other prominent members of the committee of thirty-five occupied seats on the plat form. In opening the meeting Mr. Feeney briefly reviewed the work Accomplished by the committee since its organization. and stated the object of the meeting thus:
“Rumors have been circulated that the committee had exhausted itself, that as a nine-days wonder it had passed out of sight and hearing, that things in St. Stephen's parish would now go on in their old way as though Dr, McGlynn had never been pastor of it or had been entirely forgotten. But, ladies and gentlemen, this is not the case. Our intention is to fight on and ever until we get our pastor back again. [Cheers.] Nothing less than that will ever satisfy the people of St. Stephen’s. [Applause.] Dr. McGlynn must be brought back to the sacred altars of our church. Why doesn't he go to Rome, some ask. including the archbishop. Why, my friends. Dr. McGlynn has been punished before he was judged. He has been treated in the way an English magistrate used to treat Irish rebels—hang them first and pass judgment upon them the next day. [Laughter and cheers.] Reinstate him, we say, and then we’ll send him to Rome, and, mark my words, he’ll ‘make Rome bowl.’ [Loud cheers,] He'll convince the world of the righteousness of his,cause and shake the balls of the Vatican with his eloquence.”
The closing remarks of Mr. Feeney were drowned in the applause of the people. Then Sir. Ryan reported that Messrs. Stein way had given back the money paid for the hall for Sunday night and proffered it to the committee at any time. They were given a vote of thanks.
Dr. Carey was the next speaker. In reviewing his attempts to induce Archbishop Corrigan to act differently toward Dr. McGlynn he referred to the prelate as Gen. Corrigan, since, he explained, the archbishop expressed a liking for military definition.
“Oh, the archbishop is no good!” some one shouted.
“Back to Jersey with him!” another added. Dr. Carey continued:
“Preston, Donnelly & Co. are his zealous advisers, and they work finely together. My friends, you see that the receipt you got for the money you paid t o build and sustain St. Stephen's was to be kicked out of it by the police.”
A demonstration that followed show how bitterly the people still resent the brutal treatment they received at the hands of Father Donnelly and the Tammany police captain who acted as his chief of staff. When the speaker alluded to the parochial school that Father Donnelly was going to build cries of “We don't want any” were heard. Dr. McGlynn, he added, wanted more churches and priests, but was satisfied with the public schools.
At this point some one attempted to interrupt the speaker, but was cried down in a way that shook the building. Dr. Carey then eulogized Dr. McGlynn and was loudly cheered.
Dr. Carey was followed by James Nolan, a thin, pale-faced young man, who asked permission to speak as a friend of Dr. McGlynn, but began at once to exhort the parishioners to abandon further protest and accept Father Colton. A scene of intense excitement followed. Men cried “Put him out!” and women indignantly hissed him. For a time the young fellow appeared t o think that he would pay dearly for advising the St. Stephen's people to so abandon the soggarth aroon.
At the suggestion of Mr. Marlin it was decided to draw up petitions and distribute them through the city, to be signed by Catholics who are in favor of Dr. McGlynn's reinstatement.
When signed they will be sent to Rome. For the present these petitions will be found at Dr. Carey's, Mr. Martin's, No. 455 Third avenue; George Maughan's, No. 389 Third avenue; Mrs. Kelly's, Twenty-ninth street and Third avenue, and James Foley's, No. 241 East Twenty-ninth street. The resolution pledging the parishioners to leave their pocket hooks at home was re-endorsed. It was decided to prepare a roll book, to be signed by the parishioners who will pledge themselves to refuse to contribute anything more to the church until Dr. McGlynn is reinstated.
The following letter from Dr. McGlynn was read by Secretary Ryan and loudly cheered:
New York, Feb. 11, 1887.
To the Parishioners of St. Stephen's Church—
My Dear Friends: I can no longer defer sending you some reply to your letter and some acknowledgment of your gifts, which I would have done much sooner if ill-health and grave cares had not prevented. I duly received your letter of Jan. 31 , and I have learned also from other sources of your many expressions and acts of sympathy for me in my present position. I have been deeply moved by your manifestation of love and devotion to me as your priest and friend during my pastorship of twenty-one years, and I assure you that I most cordially reciprocate them. I have received through your treasurer, Dr. Henry Carey, the generous offering which you have sent me in your solicitude lest, deprived as I have been of my home and ordinary support, I should suffer anxiety as to my immediate wants. Your gift and the motive which prompted it touch me all the more because I know it is made up chiefly of the offerings of the bard-working poor, who are themselves but little removed from actual want. My first impulse would have been to refuse the generous offering and to depend upon the kindness of one or two friends till, by my own labor, I should be able to repay them. But I reflected that our act was purely one of love that it was a pleasure for you to give, and it would have wounded you keenly if I had refused to accept it. But, as I informed your treasurer, I cannot with justice to my own feelings permit your generosity further to drain your resources. I think that I owe it to you, my dear people, to say some word, in addition to what you have heard in other ways, concerning my present position and its causes. But the statement that I should like to make to you on this subject would require more time and strength than I have to give to it today, and I must reserve it for another communication. Your devoted friend and servant in our Lord,
At St. Stephen's
Failure of the Attempt to Make it Appear That All Goes Well
St. Stephen's church was poorly filled last Sunday. The services began at o'clock in the morning, which mass was celebrated by Father Colton, the new temporary pastor. High mass was celebrated at 11 o'clock. A number of altar boys have been procured, but the great organ choir has not been reconstructed, and the singing, once so great a feature in services at St. Stephen's, is no longer an attraction.
An attempt was made to collect charges of from ten to fifteen cents for seats, but the people whose money built the church and who have been driven out of it by policemen, refused to pay. And occupied many seats beside the three hundred recently “set aside for the poor.” Despite the ostentatious contributions of Tammany healers and other sympathizers with Father Donnelly's attempt to uphold ecclesiastical discipline by policemen's clubs, the collections were smaller than ever before, and the resolution of the congregation to leave their pocketbooks at home is adhered to with substantial unanimity.
Both of Dr. McGlynn's confession boxes had been redecorated for last Sunday with unusual care, particularly that on the main floor. Smilax was entwined around it, while the woodwork was entirely concealed with immortelles, roses and forget-me-nots. Under the framed photograph of Dr. McGlynn were floral devices representing an anchor, a heart and a cross, and on the latter appeared the words, “Rev. Dr. McGlynn” in immortelles. Beneath was a massive horseshoe bearing the words, “Remembered ever.”
Father Colton's conciliatory policy has put an end to the scandals that characterized the brief and violent reign of Father Donnelly and Police Captain Ryan, but it has not had any effect whatever in weakening the determination of the congregation to stand by Dr. McGlynn and cut off supplies from the church until their beloved pastor is restored to the pastorate of St. Stephen's.
A Vigorous Protest
Dr. O'Reilly of St. Louis on the McGlynn Case
The following correspondence explains itself. Dr. Thomas O'Reilly is a prominent and highly respected physician of St. Louis, known all over the country for his ardent and liberal support of the Irish national cause. No man in the country stands higher in the opinion of Irish-Americans, and no one can be better relied on to voice their well considered judgment in such a matter:
Irish National League of America,
Lincoln, Neb., Feb. 9. 1887.
Dr. Thomas O'Reilly, State Delegate, St. Louis, Mo.— Dear Sir: I notice in the public press that, at a meeting of a branch of the Irish national league in St. Louis, resolutions were offered and seconded by you purporting to condemn the action of the ecclesiastical authorities of the Roman Catholic church in the case of the Rev. Dr. McGlynn. I have to inform you that the executive cannot approve of your action in permitting, much less seconding, the resolutions in question. The Irish national league of America, as a non-sectarian organization. has nothing to do with the theology or discipline of any religious body, as, non-sectarian and non-political, the league would not be justified in interfering with the internal administration of any church, nor with the movements of any of the great political parties of America.
The executive does not pretend to interfere with any citizen in the exercise of his individual privileges, but members of the league as such should act in accordance with its constitution. Yours, faithfully,
St. Louis, Feb. 12, 1887.
Dear Sir : Your letter of the 9th inst. is at hand and contents noted. It however leads me to suppose you had not a correct copy of the resolution read at the meeting of the branch of the Irish national league held in this city on the 6th inst. I therefore respectfully enclose you a copy cut from a morning paper of the 7th inst., to wit:
Whereas, We, the Irish-American citizens of St. Louis, have learned with sincere regret, that the Rev. Dr. McGlynn of New York has been silenced for advocating the regeneration of our native country, and for no other fault than a sincere desire to elevate its political condition; and
Whereas, Such an act, if allowed to pass uncondemned, is dangerous alike to our civil and religious liberties, therefore,
Resolved, That we extent to Father McGlynn our heartfelt sympathy for what we consider a great injustice done to him, and deprecate any interference on the part of the Italian priesthood with the political views of the Irish priests, who have blood by their people in their past centuries of misery.
There is nothing in the resolution condemning the action of the Roman Catholic church—as a church—in its treatment of Rev. Dr. McGlynn, but there is a strong protest against the conduct of certain Italian priests who have made themselves conspicuous in thwarting the Irish people in their efforts toward social and political advancement.
For advocating this policy the general opinion is that Dr. McGlynn has been sacrificed: but, if a doubt existed on this point, the letter of Cardinal Simeoni of Sept. 10, 1882, dispels it. In this letter he orders “that the priest, Edward McGlynn, be suspended for his violent speeches in defense of the Irish land league.”
There is nothing further in the resolution than an expression of heartfelt sympathy with Dr. McGlynn. who is looked upon as undergoing the most extreme punishment, rarely inflicted on a just priest like him, and whose only offense was that he loved his native country sincerely and loved humanity more. Even this Cardinal Simeoni. in the letter referred to above. considered the punishment excessive and left it discretionary with the late Cardinal McCloskey to execute. This prelate, most likely, regained it in the same way, for, during his lifetime, he did not interfere with Rev. Dr. McGlynn, but his successor felt that it was his duty to carry it into effect. It is not always an indication of good judgment or humanity, even though we have the power of a giant, that we should use it as a giant; but Archbishop Corrigan, in dealing with Dr. McGlynn, was not guided by the humane moral maxim.
In the resolution there is nothing sectarian, or nothing to interfere with American parties; and in no way does it violate the constitution of the Irish national league of America. While seconding the resolution, I simply exercised the privileges of a member of the league, strictly acting within its laws and actuated by the justness of its purport. It was this same Cardinal Simeoni, under the advice of Mr. Errington, the English minister at the Vatican, who attempted to stop the collections for the Parnell fund. Such being the case, I, as an individual Irish Roman Catholic, will not regret how soon they learn at Rome that some Irishmen protest against this interference, I am, dear sir, with sentiments of respect, your obedient servant,
Thomas O'Reilly, M. D.
To John Fitzgerald, President Irish National League of America, Lincoln, Neb.
New York, Feb. 14.—I am a Catholic and as such am very much opposed to the manner in which Archbishop Corrigan has treated Father McGlynn. I think it would be well for Archbishop Corrigan to remember two sayings of his divine Master; one, that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. He evidently meant Jay Gould and such. Such selfish monsters can hold millions and go before Almighty God, while the poor cannot have one advocate. But all shall say of the rich man, “Lord, Lord, he was a hard master and did shamefully use us!” The other saying is where the wealthy young lawyer appeared before Christ to know what he should do to be saved, and Christ told him to sell all that he had and give it to the poor. But some of our church dignitaries are entirely too much set up with their high position; the devil has got them on top of the mountain and is making them tempting offers, and the red hat of some blinds them with it glare. They are as those set up in high places, about to fall. Christ was humble—had not where to lay his head; Archbishop Corrigan has bis palace. Christ was poorly clad; Archbishop Corrigan wears fine raiment. Christ sympathized and mingled with the poor and lowly; does his lordship? Christ had no palace, no lordship, and I never heard that he denounced one of his apostles for taking the part of the poor and needy, or for teaching that the earth was the Lord's and the fullness thereof, and not Vanderbilt's, Jay Gould's, or any heartless monopolists.
That is the Question
Cleveland, O.—Dr. McGlynn has my cordial right hand of fellowship as a worthy, farseeing, progressive American citizen, who has “done his duty” under dreadful lire. Will the pope of Rome now show forth that wisdom which we are willing to apothesize and call “divine,” and come over like a man and stand with Dr. McGlynn in his thought of the use of all God's land for all his creatures in common, as against the man-made theory of much of it for some, a little for more, and none for most of his creatures, or will the pope stay by the slavery of vested property right to land till revolution eats this fair province from his spiritual realm.
L. A. Russell.
Away with Cant and Hypocrisy
Philadelphia, Pa. Feb. 14.—As an Irishman by birth and education, an American citizen by adoption, and a practical Catholic, I feel humiliated and chagrined at the action of the archbishop of New York in his ill-treatment of the Rev. Dr. McGlynn, who has been a star in the church, an ornament to society, and one of humanity's best friends. It does seem strange that in this nineteenth century civilization, with thought in secular matters untrammeled and action in political matters free, that a martyr should be created in order to advance truth—in order that Christ's teaching should not be controverted! It is, to say the least, a barren apology, and the most absurd effort that has been made for a long period by the powers that be to bolster up a tottering cause.
Away with cant, hypocrisy and superstition that props up the “sacred rights” of robbers who plunder the people, and that anathematize in the name of religion, any attempt to champion the cause of the people. Away with them!
J. L. H.
Dr. McGlynn Should Lecture
Philadelphia, Pa., Feb. 1.—I believe that Dr. McGlynn, as a lecturer, could be of far more use to suffering humanity than he could possibly be as pastor of St. Stephen's. Let him accept the situation that the arbitrary and intolerant action of his superior in office has forced upon him, and consecrate himself to the work of preaching the gospel of the “Land for the people” throughout the country. At this time it is most likely he could do more than any other one man to familiarize and popularize the ideas for the expression of which he has been made to suffer. He would talk to great audiences, and would have the satisfaction of knowing that he was true to his highest convictions of right and duty. The toiling musses are ready, willing and anxious to hear one who has endeared himself to all, irrespective of religious belief, for his staunch adherence to principle and his able advocacy of their rights and interests. Let him “strike while the iron is hot.”
J. R. Barry.
Several of the ultra Protestant papers have made an amusing exhibition of themselves as volunteer champions of the right of the Roman cardinals to control the votes of American Catholics. These papers put their foot in it whenever they risk a definite statement. They are attempting to discuss the attitude of a church whose decrees they have never read, a doctrine that they do not understand. The Tribune, for instance, recently spoke of Dr. McGlynn as a man who has been teaching “doctrines which the church whose orders he has taken distinctly holds to be pernicious and false, and against public morals.” Michael Clarke, an intelligent Catholic, at once wrote to the editor, saying: “Will you be good enough to inform your readers when, where and in what words any council of the Catholic church, or any pope, has ever condemned as pernicious and false, or has ever in any form declared against the doctrine that private ownership in land is unjust and that the land of every country belongs to the people of that country?” To this the Tribune replied by a silly denunciation of the doctrine referred to as “dishonest,” and added: “The tribunal which 'condemned it as pernicious and false,' was that tribunal at Mount Sinai which commanded 'Thou shalt not steal'—and there has been no council and no pope that did not profess obedience to the mandate.” It is entirely possible that the Tribune does not know that it was ridiculously routed in this brief encounter.
Dr. McGlynn Has Done Well
South Boston, Feb. 15.—I rejoice that Dr. McGlynn has had the courage of his convictions, that he has been brave enough to breast the tide of obloquy and prejudice, in denying to bishop, propaganda or pope the right of dictating to him in matters purely social or political, so long as he keeps within orthodox limits.
Henry Ward Beecher's Tribute
In the course of his sermon last Sunday evening, Henry Ward Beecher spoke thus glowingly of Dr. McGlynn:
A man of inner sweetness of life, a man of large imagination, a mun of active sympathies with humanity, has taken on himself to declare certain doctrines in New York. The doctrines I don't agree with; they are quite aside, I believe, from the truth. But I love the man that he was ready to extend them, supposing them to be necessary for the welfare of the common, the poor and the needy. It is not so much that he is to be admired for having found a new system, as that, even being mistaken in the thing that he supposed would be good for the world, he was ready to sacrifice himself for that belief. And there is more moral heroism in that than to be accounted the chief priest of any organization on the earth. It is the fidelity of a man to himself when he believes the way of God among the common people will be advanced by his testimony.
The Chaplain of a Little Lord Writes to Dr. McGlynn
Dr. McGlynn has handed us the following letter, which he has received from England. The priest who writes is a chaplain in a noble Catholic family. Swift, who had also drunk the dregs of degradation as a domestic chaplain, never wrote anything more tersely and bitterly sarcastic:
Rev. Father: I have the honor to be chaplain and tutor to a little lord aged fourteen, who owns eighty thousand acres and has from all sources £50,000 a year income. Dear little fellow! I wish you could see the lovely bedroom he sleeps in. Such a bed (hundreds of his tenants' children lie on the ground); he has a silver bath (hundreds of his tenants' children never wash); he has real lace on his under linen and thirty two suits of clothes (hundreds of his tenants' children are bare-footed and in rugs); he has such good living (hundreds of his tenants' children starve), but he eats enough for two or three. And he never did or will do any work, not even lessons. He is very idle, but I don't punish him. Oh no! His aunts think him delicate, and he is allowed to idle or do anything else he likes. I should punish a poor boy, but I love to fondle and pet his little lordship. I read to him. I tell him stories. I love to have him sit on me; to feel the pressure of his fat little body is a joy and an honor. He is aware that it is an honor to come near him. The other day a vagrant girl on stilts came round. He thought of giving her wine to see her fall, so we bribed the gypsy man who had her; we plied her with wine, and the girl was made to get on her stilts and fall again and again to make his little lordship laugh. How I liked it! He already has the woods strictly done up to prevent the poor from getting in and even picking up wood. Being sure of a confessor at the hour of death, he is sure to be saved. Since many masses will be said for his soul, be will be sure to have little purgatory.
The Press on Dr. McGlynn
So long as Dr. McGlynn was on the same side of the political fence as the archbishop—so long as he was carrying out his ecclesiastical superior's political schemes, his interference in politics was deemed laudable. It is only when he differs from my lord archbishop that he becomes guilty of “pernicious activity.”—[Washington National Tribune.]
Henry George merely attacks Archbishop Corrigan's course in the Dr. McGlynn matter, and in so doing speaks highly of the Catholic church as an ecclesiastical body. The democratic press throughout the country are trying to make capital out if the Corrigan-George discussion, against the latter.—[Riverside, Cal.. Enterprise.]
The action of Father McGlynn in relation to the demands of the Roman Catholic church shows him to be a man of honor. He believesin the justice of the nationalization of land. Rather than stultify himself he has given up all hope of preferment in the church and the probability of securing at no distant day the hat of a cardinal. By his withdrawal the church of Rome has received a blow the effects of which will be far-reaching, for Dr. McGlynn has many followers throughout the entire world.—[Portland, Ore., Avant Courier.]
If Dr. McGlynn wants an instance of meddling with polities on the part of the high dignitaries of the Roman Catholic church he has only to east his eye toward Germany. . . . Dr. McGlynn can also recite the reply of Dr. Windthorst as similar in some respects to his own—that it is impossible for him and his party to comply with the pope's wishes. This reply indicates that the Catholics of Germany resent the pope's interference in German politics, much as Dr. McGlynn resented the efforts of his superiors to control his political utterances.—[Pittsburgh Chronicle-Telegraph.]
It is such fellowship with Protestants in good causes, and generally the extraordinary liberalism of his public service as a citizen that have made Dr. McGlynn a marked man among the Roman Catholic priesthood, and that have brought. down upon him the relentless pursuit of certain men in authority. For this it was that Rome was called upon to interfere and did interfere with his laboring and speaking for Irish rights.—[Springfield Republican.]
Why a priest should be debarred from performing his clerical duties for pronouncing his belief in a certain system of taxation is beyond comprehension. Dr. McGlynn is head and shoulders above Archbishop Corrigan intellectually and as a Catholic theologian. Therefore the assertion by the latter that Henry George's land theories, of which Dr. McGlynn is an ardent exponent, are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic church is ridiculous.—[Ludington, Mich., Democrat.]
A Defender of the Catholic Church Asks if it has Heretofore Been Mistaken
Rockland, Me., Opinion.
What Dr. McGlynn says of the limitation of the ecclesiastical power of the church authorities to spiritual matters, and of the absolute freedom and independence of Catholics, both clergy and laymen, politically and as citizens, is only what all intelligent Catholics have always claimed. It has been the enemies of the Catholic church that have assorted the contrary. The old know nothings alleged, and they gained their great power by making the people believe, that in connecting himself with the Catholic church one renounced his independence as a citizen; that he put himself under the control of the priest, and through him of a body of foreigners in Rome who were antagonistic to free institutions and to a republican form of government. The know nothings believed that there were no limitations to the power of the church authorities over the Catholic priests and people, and they reasoned—and correctly enough if their premises were right—that it was not-safe to allow a people subject to such control by a foreign power to hold office or exercise any political rights. In reply to these assertions of the know nothings, the Catholics, and those who opposed the proscription of Catholics, declared precisely what Dr. McGlynn now declares—that the authority of the church was purely spiritual; that it assumed and could properly assume no authority whatever over its priests or people as Citizens or politically.
The Catholic church could never have got any standing in this country at all, much less attained the strength and power it has, had it left any doubt on that point. Had our people been made to believe that Catholics were obliged to vote as the propaganda at Rome dictated, and accept no theories of political economy not approved by that body, surely men so controlled by a body of foreign politicians, would never have been allowed to acquire political power here, if indeed they were allowed the rights of citizenship at all. And not only in this country has it always been held that the authority of the church is limited strictly to spiritual matters, and does not extend at all to political ones, but in the Catholic countries of Europe, that is the view that prevails.
The church is denied the least vestige of temporal power by Catholic Italy and Catholic Spain. The entire people of those countries are devotedly and unchangeably Catholic, but they pay no more regard to priests, bishops, propaganda and pope, outside of religious matters, and in polities, than our people pay to Daniel Pratt, the great American traveler. Bold as Father McGlynn's language may seem, it only declares what every intelligent Catholic knows to be sound Catholic doctrine; it only declares what Catholics hold the world over; at least, it is what Catholics have ostensibly put forth as their doctrine. If it is not correct, if Father McGlynn is wrong, if Catholics, clergy and laymen are the abject, unquestioning, unreasoning intellectual slaves of the Vatican, having no political independence, the American people want to know it, so as to treat them accordingly.
We have often defended the Catholic church from the charge that it is the enemy of political and intellectual freedom and a menace to free institutions and a republican form of government. If we have been wrong we want to know our mistake. But we do not believe that we have made any mistake. We feel sure that the brave and noble words of Dr. McGlynn will find an echo in every true Catholic heart, and that he will receive an endorsement from the Catholics of America that will show the Corrigans and Suneonis that they are going too far when they undertake to make of the holy Catholic church a political machine, and use its authority to persecute those who do not obey their political commands.
They have made one serious mistake in dealing with Dr. McGlynn, even from their own standpoint. They have left themselves no means of punishing him for his outspoken opposition to them and his pitiless exposure of their contemptible actions. They have already done their worst. They have turned him out of the church that was built up largely by his personal efforts, in a lifetime of earnest and self-sacrificing toil; they have turned him out of his home when sick and almost helpless physically, and have put upon him every indignity and insult that malevolence can invent. And all this was simply for supporting Henry George for mayor of New York against the corrupt political ring there, whose paid creature Archbishop Corrigan is. And now, for the broader and more offensive defiance which he hurls at them. they have no disciplinary weapons left, and they see with chagrin that the entire Catholic people of New York city are against them and sustain Father McGlynn. And there is good reason to believe that when the actual facts are fairly communicated to the church authorities at Rome, Father McGlynn will be restored to his church and Archbishop Corrigan will get some sound discipline himself.
The Controversy Not Ended
While there is a pause in the controversy, outside of the church, between Rev. Father McGlynn and his superiors, there is evidence that it is going on as sharply as ever within the church between the party which supports the silenced priest and that which supports the power that silenced him. No extraneous evidence of that was needed. If McGlynn could be silenced on the ground not merely that it was wrong in him as a priest to countenance the new theory of land tenure, but wrong to recognize that theory, as it is contrary to the teachings of the church, airy other man, clerical or lay, becomes liable to like penalties for countenancing it. Practically there is no difference between the Irish doctrine of the nationalization of land and the George doctrine of state ownership. Here is the point of conflict between the church and the people in the McGlynn case, and it cannot be avoided. The conditions under which the controversy a rose and the American ideas of individual right and freedom which have been injected into it at once and to its incisiveness and widen its scope. It is in one sense, at least. A national question. It is, therefore, one of the most difficult with which the church ever had to deal. Like all such questions, it is of perennial interest to those concerned in it, and that interest is in its very nature one provocation of constant controversy.
The Whole Country to be Agitated
The committee appointed at the great Cooper Union meeting in sympathy with Dr. McGlynn is not slumbering. It met Wednesday evening in Sweeney's hotel, and prepared plans for spreading the agitation throughout the country. A ringing address to the workingmen of the United States and Canada will shortly be issued calling upon them to hold mass meetings in their localities, and to take a firm stand for Dr. McGlynn. They will be asked to subscribe to the doctrine that God made the land for all of his creatures, and will appeal to them for subscriptions to the McGlynn fund. A series of meetings will at the same time be held here in the metropolis. Michael Clark, the secretary, says, “We intend to make this land blaze, and will light an agitation from sea to sea and from beyond the lakes to the gulf.”
A book to contain the signatures of those sympathizing with the reverend doctor has been prepared, having engrossed on the title-page in water colors: Resolved, That we, the undersigned, pledge ourselves to refuse to contribute to the maintenance of the church of St. Stephen's while we are deprived of the ministration of the Rev. Dr. Edward McGlynn.
Common Sense From a Catholic Journal
We have shown that, if Archbishop Corrigan's premises be true, us we do not doubt that they are, the only logical conclusion is that taxes should be levied only on the increasing value of land, because every other form of taxation robs the producer of something he has earned, and the only thing left to tax is that constantly increasing value produced by the community in general and which belongs to the community.
Our position has been acknowledged to be correct by more than one Catholic theologian of eminence, and, we regret to say, by some who refuse to state Mr. George's doctrine as Mr. George understands it, but continue to harp on “the preposterous idea of destroying private property in land,” as though Mr. George taught that any man might squat on any other man's land and reap what the owner had sowed. We wish that Catholic editors would be truer to their religion and to the principles of common honesty and not be fog the issue by refusing to clearly state both sides. We can tell them plainly that they are not in any way advancing the cause of religion by sneering at what deserves careful thought or by endeavoring to distant the facts or hiding any of them.
The Pope Appealed To
On Monday Dr. Henry Carey, in behalf of the St. Stephen's parishioners' committee and also for the Catholics of the United States, sent to the pope at Rome a cablegram asking that the case of Dr. McGlynn be given the most careful consideration. The message asks for the immediate restoration of Dr. McGlynn “to his home and to his parish, where he has so well-served the holy Catholic church for twenty-two years.” Continuing, it says: “His priestly zeal, his charities and his patriotism are the theme of this country. Like many another good man, he has enemies. They have calumniated him. Cardinal Gibbons thoroughly understands the situation here. Dr. McGlynn's suspension, brought about by politicians. has scandalized all true Catholics. The cruel manner of his suspension from his rectory has been noted by the press as an outrage. His restitution to the functions of the priesthood will alone satisfy American Catholics.”
Catholic Workingmen and Rome
William O. McDowell, in an article in the February number of the Homilette Monthly, says:
In the Roman Catholic church, I think, so far as the American priests are concerned, they recognize the evils from which the workingmen suffer. So far as the Italian government of the church is concerned, I should say no. American Catholic workmen are arriving at the point where they realize that the foreign or Romish government, of the Catholic church is organized in a way that is in direct conflict with every principle and theory of democracy, and I expect to see the day, and that soon. When there will be a Roman Catholic church and a democratic Catholic church, rox populi, rox dei; when the pope, selected by the voice or ballot of the Catholic people, will be accepted as the most legitimate heir of St. Peter.
Such a movement, when once started, will be spread over the United States, Ireland and England: would have a large following in Canada, Franco and Germany; smaller in Spain, Italy, South America and Mexico; but would steadily extend and grow, and would become one of the most powerful factors in spreading Jeffersonian democratic ideas throughout the world. There is a natural conflict between democracy and aristocracy that will continue until the world is ruled both in church and state by the few or the many.
The Pope and Dr. Windthorst
New York Volks-zeitung, Feb. 10.
Our readers will not be surprised that the pope has exhorted the center to give in, nor will they be surprised that Dr. Windthorst and other leaders refuse to take any more part in this papal game of chess than does Dr. McGlynn in reference to American polities. Dr. Windthorst, in his Cologne speech, boldler accused the pope a n d curia of making demands on German Catholics before examining the grounds which these German Catholics had for their action. If the pope did accede to the demands of his Irish people in so far that he appointed a nationalist archbishop, he did it only because otherwise he would have made three-quarters of the Irish people his enemies. Under all circumstances the curia stands on the side of “might” until it is endangered by the temper of the people. When a strong government gets into a conflict with its people the curia works with the government as long as possible. If the Catholic people are also on its side then it (curia) of its own accord incites revolutions, as for instance in Belgium and Poland in 1830. But, does a revolution threaten to endanger the Roman curia, as at present in Germany where the Catholics are joining the social democracy, then it takes sides with the government.
The Ugly Struggle
Will the Rich Stop and Consider Before it is Too Late?
Lousville, Ky. Feb. 11.—Your editorial of the 5th on “A Fight in the Dark” ought to cause rich men to pause and think. Instead of the bitterness when many of them feel toward those who struggle for elevation and betterment of conditions if they were wise they would seek to promote harmony and kindness among all classes of the people, instead of urging on their creatures. the soulless corporations, in the warfare against the poor. or putting forward their mercenary Pinkertons to crush or kill human beings who oppose them. It would be wise to call ,I halt before the outbreak of a storm which might. As you say, “give cities to the flames and destroy our very civilization itself.” History shows that like cause a have produced like effects. And yet this generation will learn nothing from the lesson. As men of sense. it might be thought that those who had acquired such vast wealth and power and luxury in our day would be content to keep safe what they held, without creating new distress, new burdens, new hatreds and new dangers. But sense is lacking, and the tendency is toward the concentration of power in the hands of the few, who rely upon force and absolution to keep in subjection the many. The gravitation is daily are and more toward a strong government, upheld by bayonets—a plutocracy, with the imperial stars shining around the diadem which then will crown the ruler.
Candidly answering the question of How can this be prevented? what can the truthful speaker say? Two classes of people to-day are in bitter antagonism—the opulent and their creatures and tools and paid employees—the one controlling the money. property and legislation of these states; the other, the poor, destitute and struggling, burdened with debt, out of employment, desperately striking out in unknown paths for a haven of rest, which they do not find.
In all ages money and power have often controlled in the hard fought battles of classes. Today they can buy everything except health and happiness. Virtue becomes a myth when starvation intrudes its ghastly visage into the household, and manhood no longer exists. The millions have to eat, and the chuckling Shylock knows it, and bides his time to exact more degrading terms than before. How can a true lover of his country and of his fellow man look upon the present condition of affairs without foreseeing just the causes which will produce the storm?
Strikes and boycotts are only temporary expedients, which do not effect permanent results. The remedy lies deeper. And if the people still slumber on for a few years longer the shackles will be riveted, which never wit be shaken off. Under the protection of their mercenaries, the Roman patricians had their courts and all seemed lovely. The American patricians think that nectar flows for them: Pinkertons are unlawfully enrolled, and class legislation upholds them in fancied security. As Rome and other great oligarchic monarchies were blotted out. so may we even in this generation witness the coming of a wild Samson to overthrow our temple and bury in its ruins our wealth, our civilization, our science and our nation, making another lesson to posterity of the folly of the rich and the madness of the desperate. What can we look forward to' Solomon said: “The rich man is wise in his own conceit.”
P. M. McC. of New York—The arguments in proof of the in justice of private ownership in land are, to my mind, thoroughly convincing and indisputable, It needs no study of political economy or any science other than that of common sense: no extraordinary faculty of comprehension or superior intellectual ability to plainly discern the simple, natural truth, and this truth will make head way and prevail at last, through the political action of workingmen, who view with alarm the steady decline in the social condition.
Edward Homer Bailey, Vincennes, Ind.—It occurs to me that the name of the new party should be the “Jeffersonian.” It is expressive and conveys a great meaning.
N. B. Dresser, editor of Independent, Rock Springs, Wyo.—I am a convert to the theory that land is intended for the use of all men, and that a land tax is the only way this universal right can be secured. I believe that land monopoly is the primary cause of that keenness of competition among workmen which makes them accept the lowest living wages.
Kenneth B. Martin, New York.—If one-tenth of the unanimity evinced in the recent strike were exercised in another direction there would speedily be an end to the wrongs of labor. In the rightful use of the ballot box is the truly true remedy, and the sooner the working men realize this fact the better for them.
What Cardinal Manning Would Do
London Cable Letter to the Philadelphia Times.
Not only is Cardinal Manning not a tory himself, but he refused to assume a cherished prerogative of prelates in these islands, whither tory or liberal. He refused to seek to influence the political conduct of any priest or layman under his jurisdiction.
It is strange enough that in Ireland the English government has been able to procure an exercise of ecclesiastical authority in its behalf, directly or indirectly promoted from Rome, while neither Cardinal Manning nor Cardinal Newman has ever been induced to speak one word in sympathy with such a course. It is more singular still that certain officials at. the Vatican have personally meddled with polities in Ireland, seeking to solidify the church influence there against the popular cause, while this English archbishop could not be induced by any pressure to speak even the lightest syllable that might seem to be the application of official weight in the determination of the political conduct of any of his clergy or people.
If an order or request should come to Cardinal Manning to instruct his clergy to speak in certain tones in polities, or to be silent, or to procure the casting of votes for or against a political program, those who know him well have no doubt what his reply would be. In the letter he sent to Peter Paul McSwiney, mayor of Dublin, at the time of the O'Connell century, regretting that he could not attend, he generously recalled the debt of the English Catholics to the Irishman who had procured for them the abolition of the penal laws. He would perhaps answer a political instruction from Rome with O'Connell's words: “We take our religion from Rome, not our polities.”
True Solution of the Land Question
Reynolds' Newspaper, London, Eng.
There is but one true solution of the land question, whether in Ireland or else w here. The land belongs to the whole people, and not to any section, however numerous. It therefore follows that the soil of a country ought neither to he bought, sold nor mortgaged; and we entirely agree with Mr. Henry George and Father McGlynn that, no compensation is due to any pretended land owner whatsoever. The pope has summoned Dr. McGlynn to Rome to explain his teachings of this important point: but we shall be surprised indeed if Leo should pronounce as heretical the views of this distinguished New York ecclesiastic. Leo is as much bound by the doctrines of holy writ, and unambiguous deliverances of the greatest of his predecessors, as the humblest priest in the Catholic world. “Let them know,” wrote St. Gregory the Great, “that the earth from which they were created is the common property of all men. Those that make private property of the gift of God pretend in vain to be innocent, for by thus retaining the subsistence of the poor they are the murderers of those who die daily for want of it.” This is a noble oracle, which pierces to the very root of the whole question. The individual may become a tenant of the state for such portion of the soil as he can advantageously cultivate; but every other relation is immoral.
Mr. Pentecost's Church
How His Land Reform Theories Were Received By His Congregation
Well-to-Do People Seriously Studying the Great Question—Numerous Workingmen Listen to the Sermons—Newark a Good Field for Radical Reform
Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost, pastor of the Belleville avenue Congregational church of Newark, those sermon on the land question appeared in the last issue of The Standard, was seen by a reporter of this paper at his residence in Newark on Wednesday. His congregation is the largest in Newark. It is for the most, part what would be characterized as a “middle-class” congregation, supplemented by a good many working people. The latter attend especially the Sunday evening sermons. Notwithstanding the fact that Newark is one of the largest manufacturing cities and busiest centers in the country, and is, moreover, rapidly growing, most of the churches are confined in the very conservative methods of half a century or so age, so that when Mr. Pentecost adopted what is and has been the regular practice in the large churches of other cities—that is, delivering on Sunday evening a discourse which touches more or less on the current social or governmental problems—he was regarded by the other clergymen of Newark as introducing a somewhat unnecessary novelty. It is perhaps only reasonable to suppose that the last two sermons of Mr. Pentecost are looked on as something more than novelties. However, the Belleville avenue church is a Congregational church, and, as is well known, a Congregational clergyman is responsible to none but the people of his own congregation for the opinions he may utter. Each church is a law unto itself in all matters of faith and practice.
Mr. Pentecost began the present series of sermons three weeks ago. He preached first on “The social condition as it was,” next on “The remedy,” next on “The distribution of wealth—society as it is,” and will preach on Sunday the 20th on “Society as it ought to be.” His views are in the main those expressed in the platform on which the labor party of New York conducted its last campaign, and he determined to express them in these sermons. He had no absolute means of judging how such views would be received in his church. A very large number of the congregation own their homes or places of business and the land these stand on, and many of them do not understand the land-tax theory in all its bearings, and it was not certain that they would listen to its advocacy with pleasure. But since the sermon, Mr. Pentecost says, not a single person has expressed the slightest disapprobation. Many of the most influential are with him, and numbers of others have begun to study the question of the distribution of wealth and social organization.
Many of the land holders with whom he has spoken, who were at first bewildered with the idea that their homes would, under the land tax regime, be wrested from them, have, on hearing and reading the full explanation of the subject, become believers in the reform he advocates. The Newark papers have been almost entirely silent, editorially, in regard to the matter.
As has been previously stated, large numbers of the so-called working classes have attended Mr. Pentecost's evening sermons, and certainly there are enough of such people in Newark to fill many such buildings as the Belleville avenue church. Clark's O. N. T. factory, for instance, which could be seen on the other side of the gully from Mr. Pentecost's house, has some 3,000 employees; and although Newark has many handsome residence streets where Newark and New York merchants and factory owners live, she has also her tenement house district, where the factory hands live. Mr. Pentecost thinks the field for active propaganda of radical ideas is a good one, and says the time is ripe for the formation of a strong labor party.
That a prominent preacher could preach these ideas before a more or less well-to-do congregation, and excite no violent opposition, is one of the most convincing proofs of that leaning of the popular mind now everywhere apparent in favor of just principles of government and new and better social organization.
Society As It Now Is
Mr. Pentecost took for his text last Sunday evening James ii.6. “But ye have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you?”
He said: “If poor men are dishonored among us and oppressed by the rich, it is not because of individual differences. If conditions could be suddenly changed, so that those who are now rich should become poor, and those who are now poor should become rich, the same thing would still be true, simply because men are, as a rule, selfish beings, and because society, as at present organized, is highly favorable to the play of selfishness. No man ought to denounce a man because he is too rich, if he himself would be just as rich if he could. No man ought to denounce another for oppressing the poor if he himself would oppress the poor under the same circumstances. This ought to be clear to every person capable of thought.
“Two facts must be borne in mind in considering the language of my text: The selfishness of man, the play of that selfishness. Poor people are just as selfish as rich people. It is unjust, therefore, for them to denounce the selfishness of the rich. It will be a very long time before human beings will cease to act from selfish motives. Attempting to bring about a reform based upon the abolition of human selfishness would indeed be a great undertaking. It is more hopeful to attempt to so change the organization of society that selfishness under full operation cannot possibly work such dire consequences as it now does under the present favorable condition.
“What I wish to get fairly before your minds is that the evils under which all society is at present laboring are not attributable to any class of persons, but to our present social system, which inevitably permits and assists some persons to be too rich and compels others to be too poor. As long as workingmen feel that they can remedy their condition by fighting rich men they will be blind to the patent fact that the rich man as well as themselves is but a creature of present social conditions. Let us take Christian New York as a social specimen and examine its conditions.
“Come with me into Central park and watch the stream of 'blooded' horses and carriages and people who, in their impious folly, think of themselves as 'blooded' too. Here is a man driving a thin- egged trotter to a narrow road wagon; that is a comfortable family coach, drawn by sleek, fat horses, who move along with a stately trot, as if maintaining the family dignity were the main business of life; by the side of the plainly liveried coachman the footman sits bolt upright, with folded arms, the chain which dangles at the horses' necks makes a pleasant sound. The world is quite a proper place, with a soothing jingle, to the people in that coach. Yonder comes a more dashing equipage, which contains a dreamy-looking woman in fluffy garments lying far back on the reclining seat; a smart coachman in front, a smart footman behind, a lap dog with his eyes full of hair in her lap. A woman is an admirable being; so is a dog; but, very often, the combination is not, and the dog is not the unpleasant element in the combination. Here is a trimly-habited young lady on horseback with a uniformed lacquey, riding at a reasonable distance behind her; and there is a young 'blood' also on horseback, holding an English riding stick in the middle, rising and falling in his saddle in English fashion, who bows to her in passing. All this makes a pretty panorama, and shows one of the worlds within worlds in New York.
“If you will come now to other parks a little later on a summer evening I will show you young couples sitting on benches with arms entwined about each other under the full glare of electric lights, because in their two-roomed homes there is no room nor privacy for courting; and I will show you hundreds of men who have no places to sleep, and who will be hustled out of the parks at midnight, to start on a weary, all-night tramp, unless they find some hogshead or nook in a lumber pile unguarded by barbed wire, in which to crawl. There are magnificent churches which cost more than a million dollars, and into which Christ himself could not enter until the substantial citizens who owned the pews had been all seated. And there are mission chapels provided by these great churches for the 'lower classes.' Why need I dwell upon these contrasts. 'Well,' says your disciple of Malthus, 'nobody is to blame for such a state of things. It is brought about by there being too many people. Nature permits more people to live than she can provide for.' I do not believe that. If that is so, then God is not a beneficent Father nor a wise Creator. If a man should sell more tickets to an entertainment than he could possibly redeem in seats or standing room we should call him a fool or a knave.
“If a man should give a dinner and not provide enough food for his guests, we should call him a botch or a skinflint who ought not invite people to his house.
“Men are largely the creatures of circumstance. Would not you be ignorant if you had no time to study and were so worn out with work that you could hardly keep awake long enough to read your paper after supper? Might not you be lazy if you should finally discover that, do what you might, you could never do more than get a bare living? Might not you become a criminal if your earliest associations were of the street and your highest hero was some unprincipled alderman who owns the whole ward when an election comes around?
“How do you know but that you would take to the saloon for sociability, and to drink for stimulant, if you lived in a noisy tenement and had not sufficient food? Poverty causes drunkenness just as surely as drunkenness causes poverty.
“Do you tell me that a brainless dude could ever become a millionaire, while an intelligent mechanic spent his life on starvation wages, if they both had a fair chance in a fair field?” [“No!” came in stentorian tones from one of the listeners.]
Mr. Pentecost finished by saying:
“I consider it a holy calling to awaken in your hearts religious enthusiasm for the righting of the wrongs of our fellows by pointing out to you the way in which it may be done.”
A Boulevard at Detroit
Detroit has a grand boulevard improvement scheme. The mayor has recommended an issue of city bonds to raise the capital to push it. The city council committee on street openings is holding sessions, in order to let the Citizens express their opinions of it.
Capt. J. M. McGregor, representing the Knights of Labor, told the committee at a recent session that there are 103,000 building lots in Detroit and 46,000 of them are not built upon. “Make an artificial improvement beyond the line of these lots,” he said, “and up goes a prospective value on them; up goes the price of rent which the poorer classes have to pay, and just to that extent will the cost of the boulevard fall upon a class who will never have any enjoyment out of it.”
Dr. Bethune Duffield said that scores of the heaviest tax payers in this city were heartily in favor of completing the improvements. Mr. C. E. Bressler protested against the expenditure of public money for an unnecessary improvement. The scheme was antagonistic to the welfare of the poorer classes, for the reason that it placed an artificial value on suburban property and made it just so much more difficult to procure homes. Detroit had hundreds of miles of unpaved streets, and the city needed better sidewalks and sewers.
Mr. Randall said he was in the boulevard movement for speculative purposes; he was talking for his financial interests and he wanted to see the improvements go ahead. The Detroit Evening News prints an account of this session of the committee and heads it, “Masses vs. Classes.” It believes the committee will bring in two reports on the subject.
And men every where who know a better way of dealing with the land question may well look on and marvel.
Fighting Off Political Action
The following is from a letter in the Cincinnati Commercial Gazette, written by A. D. Fassett, labor commissioner of Ohio. Fassett, being an officeholder, thinks that labor leaders ought to labor, and leave officeholding to officeholders who have had experience in the business. So he warns workingmen against political independence. Their activities may “take any shape but that:”
The labor leaders have been drifting into politics, and the remedy proposed is political action. This is natural, because those who hold to that view are assisted by the politicians with small information upon the labor question. The lawmakers who are not unduly prejudiced by some foolish things the workingmen have done, all want to do the best that can be done to help labor. Political action is not needed so much as the evolving of a sensible solution to the great problem. Eight hours is a legal day's work by the laws of Ohio, and yet men are working upon the street car lines of Columbus sixteen hours a day, and but in very few places is the law respected. Much has been said by workingmen to legislate shorter hours of labor. But shorter hours of labor will never come by any political movement. It can only come by the voluntary reduction of the workingmen. If they desire the hours reduced to eight, instead of frittering away the time in politics, the effort should be to bring workingmen to a state of mind where they would be willing to work for six months or a year but eight hours a day, and at the wages per hour that they are now getting for from ten to twelve. The increased wages would come when the law of supply and demand is given an opportunity to be executed. Arbitration laws have been asked for, and men who have opposed them have been rated enemies of labor, and have been assaulted by workingmen at the polls in the elections. But arbitration can be brought about better by organization and intelligent action than by legislation.
Landlordism in Canada
Sir John Lister Kaye, a wealthy Englishman, has organized a syndicate with the object of carrying on farming and cattle raising in the northwest on a large scale. It is stated that he has procured the land for ten large farms of 10,000 acres each, located at different points along the Central Pacific railroad. He has organized a joint stock company, putting the stock at £1,300,000, and is about to sail for England to bring out a number of tenants and laborers, whom he will locate on his northwestern estate to work for the company.
This is the introduction of old country landlordism in its worst form. The company, compromised of old countrymen, will hold these large tracts of Canadian soil, let it out to tenants and draw the rents, or work it by men in their employment and take the profits of the crops or cattle raised. Instead of becoming the homesteads of independent farmers, working for themselves, it will be run, like an English estate, for the profit of the absentees. The British people are struggling to get rid of this abomination, which renders the toilers a virtual slave to the great landed proprietor. Canadians should never allow it to get a foothold in the dominion.
Three Glimpses Of An Irish Eviction
Behind The Scenes
Chambers, 69 Lower Sackville Street,
Dublin, 8th November 188—.
Pauncefort v. Byrne
Sin—I beg to inform you that my client, Mr. Evie Llewellyn Pauncefort, having recovered a writ of possession in an action of ejectment brought by him in the Queens bench division against Francis Byrne and others, defendants, has sued out a writ of habere, which I have duly lodged for execution with the sheriff of the county of Wicklow, who has fixed Monday week, the l8th November inst., for me or some one from my office to attend on the lands of Tomdarragh,. adjacent to Roundwood, and receive possession. I have now to request that you will have the usual and proper steps taken for an armed escort of sufficient force to accompany my clerk, Mr. Alfred Millen, on the occasion in question. I remain, sir. your obedient servant,
Henry G. Nelson,
The Inspector-General of Constabulary, Dublin Castle.
Chambers, 69 Lower Sackville Street.
Dublin, 8th November 188—
Pauncefort v. Byrne and others
My Dear Luke: Enclosed is a writ of “hiberia”—excuse the jocularity—on such a woful—oh, dear, yes, such a woful subject, also your fee of £2.6.2 per my cheek in your favor. My managing clerk, Millen, will meet 3*011 at Rathdrum police barracks on the arrival of the 9 o'clock morning mail from Harcourt street, and as I have written the castle people to have a big escort you won't fail to be punctual. Mr. Pauncefort wants to get up the land, as he says the tenants are a refractory crew, and that he docs not so much grumble at them for being back ward in their rents (not much in appears I am bound to say, and he's well off to boot), as because the people are not as deferential to him as they formerly were. He complains that during the mild spell of w eat her, while he was driving with some English friends along the road on a picnic to the Seven Churches, three of the tenants who hold farms from him actually passed him by without removing their hats, and that he will make an example of them by turning out the entire townland. All this, he says, comes of Parnell and his gang. Of course I haven't discouraged him. Business is very brisk hero in the ejectment line. I hope you have a similar experience. Do you never run up to town? I'd like to have a snifter with you in t he “Ship.” Old Turbill has dropped off the hooks. I suppose you heard—cut up badly. Kindest regards to Mrs. Torney.
I forgot to tell you that I have kept back the levying of this execution till I learned from my bailiff that the tenants had put in seed for the winter growth. Yours, as ever,
H. G. Nelson.
Luke Torney, esq., Sub-Sheriff, Wicklow.
F. J . 3,160. Dublin Castle,
R. I. Constabulary Department,
10th Nov., 188—.
Pauncefort v. Byrne.
Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 8th inst., and have been instructed by the inspector-general to acquaint you that instructions have been forwarded to the sub-inspector of constabulary at Rathdrum barracks to have in readiness a sufficient force of available police to await the arrival of .your clerk at half-past 11 a. m. on Monday, the 18th inst. I am also to apprise you that, by way of additional precaution, a detachment of H. M. regiment of 8th hussars will accompany the force belonging to this department. I have the honor to remain, sir, your very obedt. servt.,
A. Reade. Chief Clerk.
Henry G. Nelson, esq., Solicitor, 09 Lower
Roundwood Post Office,
13 Nov., 188—.
Mr. Nelson—Sir: Sooner than we should all be turned out of house and home, we and the other tenants have scraped together half a year's rent, and hard it was to do that same after buying seed and manure and paying the shopkeepers something. Now, Mr. Nelson, I want to know will you take this and give us till next Lady day for the balance. Don't be too hard on poor people that farms the land at a rack rent and has to depend on the crops? Sure, if the land docs not pay us, how can the landlord expect to make? Father Dunne holds the money, and his reverence will send it up to you true the bank. There's many another thing I might say about the bad times we have had and the wet seasons and sickness, God help us! but I won't trubble you, sir. Now do this and you'll have a blessing from your faithful servant to command,
Francis Myles Byrne.
Telegram from Nelson, Dublin, to Sub-Sheriff, Wicklow:
“Execute habere, surely; Pauncefort against Byrne and several. They offer half rent on account, but I won't repair to letter.”
Before The Scenes
The time is evening. The weather has been exceptionally fine, but the sky, flecked here and there with sprays of opal-tinted clouds, is rapidly giving place to a leaden dullness and murkiness advancing from the western horizon, the almost certain precursors of harsh and rainy weather in this district of the Green Isle—Wicklow county, misnamed “The Garden of Ireland” by tourists and lovers of the merely picturesque in all that is wild, sterile and unprofitable in nature.
Near the summit of the hill of Tomdarragh a young lad of about sixteen summers is standing at the door of a trim white-washed cottage, with open hand laid against his bro w, to shade his eyes as he watched apparently for the approach of some visitor who is expected from the direction of the village of Roundwood.
“Patsy is not in sight yet, mother,” says the lad, in a disappointed tone, as he passes the doorway and re-enters the cottage, gazing fondly, yet anxiously, on his parent. “I suppose Father Dunue must have been out on some other sick call. However, mother, dear, here's your medicine. I think it's about time you took it again.” This he says coaxingly and tenderly.
These words are addressed to a woman of about fifty, clad in mourning, and who lies in an armchair near the fire-place.
“Sure, God bless him, Mike, he has hard work to do, thraipain these hills from mornin' till night in all weathers, but he'll come in good time, alanna, in good time.”
The sick woman is evidently in a far advanced stage of consumption; her high color, wasted form and hacking cough are, alas! Too sure premonitions of approaching dissolution. After the lapse of half an hour the woman's eldest son, Patsy Doyle, arrives at the humble abode in company with the clergyman. Patrick is a strapping young fellow of one and twenty, a true specimen of the Irish peasant, broad-shouldered, tall, erect and athletic. It is plain from the sad expression upon his face that he realizes to the full the condition of his mother. Beckoniug to his younger brother, they both retire outside the cottage, leaving the good priest to administer in private the consolations of religion to their departing parent.
“Do you know what I heard down in the town?” Patsy inquires, hurriedly addressing Mike. “They say the bailiffs is to be here tomorrow, and that the peelers there is to be reinforced by a lot more from Rathdrum; and Jim in the bakery says there's news that the army also is coming.”
Mike clenches his fist and tears course down his checks as, more with a wail than in his usual tone, the stripling half sobs:
“And what's to become of poor mother inside, and she so near her end? They might at least have let her die in peace.”
The two youths grasp hands and regard each other in silence, while a resolute expression steals over the countenance of each.
“If they turn out mother,” exclaims Patsy fiercely, “and she in the state she is, they may take my life, for I'll hinder them as long as there's breath in my body!”
“And I'll do the same!” adds his younger brother with determination.
After some fifteen minutes or so Father Dunne leaves the cottage, and addressing the elder of the youths outside the doorway speaks in kindly accents:
“Now, Patsy, your mother is reconciled and has made her peace. She forgives all her enemies. Why, boy,” observing Patsy's stern aspect, and placing his hand on his shoulder as the young man held down his head to hide the fast flowing tears, “you surely will take my advice over what you were telling me about. You know, my poor fellow, resistance would be worse than useless. We must only contrive, if the landlord is so brutal as to turn your mother out in her present condition, to have her removed to some friend's. I'll just step over to Lawrence Dwyer's of Balriland. I have only, you know, to go a few perches on the next townland, and he'll be sure to do what I ask and give your mother house room. Do you, Patsy. Go in and sit with her,” continued the clergyman, who calculated upon the softening influence of his mother's presence upon the irate youth. “And you, Mike, come along with me and bring back word from Dwyer's.”
The tidings of the intended evictions have ere this sped like wildfire to every dwelling on Tomdarragh, bringing consternation to main a heart, especially considering the fair and reasonable other made under all the circumstances. A hurried gathering is had of the tenants; but prudential counsels prevail when it is urged that the overawing force of armed constabulary and military would be more than a match for the peasantry, many of them infirm old men.
“I'd thrait old Fosther to his own buckshot if he was here now, concludes Bernard Whelan, who has been counseling pacific measures; “but sure, boys, the odds is again' us, and the best we can do is to laive him Lo God. Maybe on his own deathbed the hardhearted old kinnat that got the Dublin people bludgeoned by the horneys, he'll see his own villany before it!s too late, and begorra sure that mayn't be so far off aither,” adds the speaker with unconscious vatiemation. “There's a God in heaven!”
Upon The Scene
Monday, the 18th of November, is ushered in with a violent storm and rainfall over Wicklow county. The tempest howls as it has rarely howled before on the almost barren mountain sides near Roundwood. The brooks and dikes are swollen into muddy torrents, which brawl and tear along in quest of egress for their surging volumes of water. The cold is intense, so bitter that the inmates of the humble dwellings—not too humble though to escape the avarice or the tyranny of the “landlord,” who, like Ahab of old, pincing for sturdy Nabob's little plot of vineyard —are fain to resort to every imaginable expedient, such as piling their wearing clothes on them for coverlids to procure a warm sleep if practicable.
the rain pours pitilessly down on Mr. Pauncefort's estate of Tomdarragh, pelting in every direction, according to the caprice of the cutting wind, which at times rises into a very hurricane, now sweeping due east, now tearing along in some other quarter, until the stunted bushes on the hillside a r e doubled and bent earthward by the blast, like so many trampled bullrushes. The denizens of each cottage and cabin are compelled to keep within doors.
But the weather is not the only inclement element at war against the tenantry of the high and mighty “owner” of the soil. For through the blinding rain, and arrayed in long somber overcoats, helmeted, and with fixed bayonets, like a Russian column, may be seen two and twenty of the Rathdrum constabulary, augmented by some others from Round wood barrack, toiling in double file and with quick and stated march, by way of one of the boreens, up the hillside. In the center of the moving mass of constabulary an outside jaunting car jogs along, its occupants—the sub-sheriff, the lawyer's clerk and the relieving officer from Aughrim union—sheltered from the driving rain and the fierce blast by a huge umbrella, which occasionally turns inside out and threatens every moment to fly into ribbons.
Some fifty paces behind the police—seemingly ashamed of the fell office thrust on them, and as if dreading defilement by nearer contact—ride half a troop of hussars, whose discontented looks are in contrast to the stolid and business-like faces of the members of the organization founded by Sir Robert Peel. Forward the two bodies move like mute Erinnys of destruction. No Waterloo, no Gwalior, no Alma beckons this menacing host onward; their ultimate destination is the topmost ridge of the almost sterile hill of Tomdarragh, their mission is—eviction.
“I should loike, clum.” says one of the troopers, a Lancashire man, to his comrade riding beside him, “that we were at some other kind o' game.”
“My heyes, lad! but it's gammy work to take the shillin' fur,” responds the disgusted soldier addressed, who is a true bred Cockney.
“This job,” half mused a truculent-looking sergeant of the Royal Irish constabulary, a native of Kilbeggan and eldest son of a tufthunting, supple-necked, therefore “warm” farmer in high favor with his landlord, “ought to rise the character of the force. I wondher will I ever be head constable. However, it's mostly by days like this I won my stripes, and sure, more power to an occasion like it for that same if I mount higher. The Express report this day's work. Egad! I'll Lake care it docs, and Mr. French of the Castle can't pass over our loyal efforts.”
To the men of the loyal Irish constabulary is assigned the van, or post of honor, in the foul work of extirpating Mr. Pauncefort's rack-rented tenantry from their wretched holdings, for no other actual crime than that of poverty, brought on principally by “impossible” rents during the long past and by adverse seasons in the near present—to which, however, may be added the real and immediate graxamen of offense in the present instance, namely, that three of their number had not doffed their hats and addressed as “Your honor,” with a “God bless you!” his high mightiness, Mr. E. L. Pauncefort of Cheapside, London, with a suburban villa of the banks of the Thames.
And now the despoilers business commences in real earnest. Writs, intricate legal proceedings, executions, all have been meant to culminate in the one act of dispossession. The first abode visited by the officers of “the law” is the cottage of the widow Byrne. True to his post of duty the Catholic priest, who has been by the sick bed from fully an hour before daybreak, when peaceable admission was demanded, opens the door. He appeals, but appeals in vain to the myrmidons of justice to postpone the expulsion of the doing creature, and in such increment weather too. He begs them for the sake of religion and charity to make an exception in her case. The reply of the inexorable head constable is brief, stern, and to the point:
“If you hendher the law, sir, I'll have to arrest ye on the spot for intimidation. Now, don't you say another word.”
Mrs. Byrne is borne out of the cottage, in a dying state by her two sons as best they are able, aided by the clergyman. The relieving officer, the functionary of a beneficent and paternal government, stands by and proffers his services to have the hapless female conveyed to “the Union”—great God! the poor-house!—from which the soul of every Irish peasant, however lowly, revolts instinctively as from a lazar house! Need it be told that the striplings repelled the insulting invitation with indignation and disdain. Tenderly is the dying woman conveyed in loving arms in the direction of Balriland, but ere they can reach the friendly shelter of Lawrence Dwyer's roof her spirit has departed.
The work of eviction is continued: no time for parley this. Each cottage and cabin, to the number of six-and-twenty, is evacuated perforce by its humble inmates at the command of the sheriff, regard being had to neither age, sex nor condition. On the bleak hillside, under the scowling elements, not more ferocious than the law which countenances such an outrage, men, women and children, old and young, stalwart and helpless a like, are hurled out ruthlessly and stand for a while huddled in timid groups, deprived of home and shelter. The same farce is gone through at each abode by the relieving officer, but in every instance his invitation is rejected with bitter scorn. The various articles of domestic furniture are next brought out by the sheriff and constabulary and placed along with the scanty farming stock outside each garden lot; the fire on each hearth is quenched: the door of each humble edifice is secured by a new padlock brought for the purpose; the dishoused people, whose ancestry for centuries have been rooted to the mountain soil of Tomdarragh, take their departure thence with their humble belongings in various directions in search of friendly shelter, temporary at the best: the constabulary and military remain in the locality tilt the last loiterer, “sublime in the dignity which misfortune lends,” has bestowed a lingering, despairing fare well glance on the loved spot, cradle of anticipations and of blighted hopes, from which he is exiled forever: and so doses one more mournful scene in an Irish eviction.
LL.D., M.A. (University Dublin).
Our whole social system is undergoing a change which must, in the end, bring about the improvement of every class of intelligent wage-earners.—[Boston Herald.]
The mayor expresses the opinion that the labor question in Boston will never be settled permanently except by legislation.—[Gath’s Boston letter to the Cincinnati Enquirer.]
The protective tariff organs are loud in their advocacy of the old maxim, “In time of peace prepare for war.” Wouldn't it be a good idea in the first place to get rid of the taxes of the last unpleasantness before we arrange for another war?—[Nashville American.]
The labor vote is an important unknown quantity which both political parties fear in '88. Prohibition has broken its own back, the rag baby has squoke its last squawk, and women's suffrage never has and never will cut much of a figure; but the labor party may yet cause the old parties to tremble unless it can be coaxed into one fold or the other.—[Lusk, Wyo., Herald]
If employing manufacturers knew more about the actual condition and needs of their workmen it would be better. If employees knew more concerning the financial straits and the burden of worry and responsibility which employers frequently carry it would be better.—[Chicago Mail.]
Just how much the country and the tariff will need to be saved at the coming elections has not yet been determined.—[Johnstown, Pa., Democrat.]
The majority of voters in old parties are unthinking men. They vote more or less as automatons. They are not alive to the issues of the day, and generally accepts the actions of their representatives, whatever they may be, without protest. A new party must be raised up to give expression to the sentiments of the people. Let the standard of the industrial party be raised in every county and town in the state. Let its watchword be justice, equality, fraternity.—[Omaha Truth.]
But one thing can save that great historic body, the senate of the United States, its speedy and complete purification of every taint of monopoly.—[Richmond State.]
Tax dodging is a grievous wrong, and should be stamped out of existence.—[New York World.]
The action of the coal companies since the first of last January has added a million, perhaps two million, votes to the labor party.—[Real Estate Record and Guide.]
New York wants more improvements. It is deficient in school buildings, and the health department should be permitted to spend more money than it now docs. Then we certainly do want a municipal building for the use of the city departments which now pay extravagant rents to private owners.—[Real Estate Record and Guide.]
In Europe the state controls the liquor traffic: in America the traffic controls the state.—[The Issue.]
The question of protection is a second my and subordinate one at best. With industry fully employed, protection is not needed.—[Boston Globe.]
The Manchester Union (democratic) says that “it will be a cold day when any congress consents that the town shall select its postmaster at the ballot box,” and it goes on to say that “we haven't reached the point yet where it is safe to run the governmental train without brakes.” Which is to say that the people cannot be trusted to elect their postmasters and that democracy is a failure.—[Boston Journal.]
Everybody concedes now that there is to be no tariff reduction at this session of congress.—[Cincinnati Times-Star.]
Congressman George D. Tilman of the second district of South Carolina, is profoundly impressed with Henry George and his movement. In an interview he says: “I consider that Mr. George is preaching a gospel of labor which he got from Ireland; just as Ireland once taught the Christian faith to pagan nations. Mr. George is doing more to rally the laboring men of the whole world than any other reformer. He is becoming an important element in the next presidency, and may be the deciding issue. Men who ignore him make a great mistake.—[Wilmington, N. C., Index.]
The people who want contracts for supplying the steel armor to line 4,000 miles of coast are trying to alarm the country with a pretended danger of bombardment by some positive foreign enemy. But the country does not appear to be in the least disturbed by their clamors, except through the apprehension that congress may assent to their I scheme. Destruction by earthquake is about as probable as the dangers conjured up by the coast fortification mongers.—[Philadelphia Record.]
They Ask for Simple Comforts
New York, Feb. 12.—I do not understand the doctrine- of the land for the people. Yet if it be anything that can remedy the evil of the extremes of wealth and want which are felt in this metropolis of the republic. God prosper and speed the work. Could you raise the wages of the working man so that he may have a little more comforts of life—say, a little sitting room, where he might with his pipe and his newspaper, spend his evenings. instead of going to the liquor store to be out of the way while his wife is washing the dishes and putting the screaming children to bed, you will be doing a blessed work, and the liquor store would give place to the clothing store, and some of our orphan asylums and state prisons would be turned into free reading libraries. theaters, concert halls and art galleries.
Real Estate Near The Cities
Speculation in it as Reported From Various Cities—The Poor the Losers By It
Many of our exchanges are just now commenting on the activity of real estate in and near the cities in which they are published.
The Kansas City Journal tells about an investment company securing 20,000 acres of land in Clay county. Mo., “right a cross the river from Kansas City and extending northward for fourteen miles in the shape of a V.” The manager of the company said to a Journal reporter: “We have been watching this land for two years, and sometimes have become very nervous, fearing that somebody else would get in ahead of us. For the past four months we have been working at it.”
The San Francisco Call says: “The steady improvement in the real estate market docs not seem to have been checked by the reports of drouth in the interior.” Over a million dollars' worth of real property changed hands in this city in January. Large amounts of more are seeking investments in real estate and finding none.
The Nashville American says that “real estate agents tell the story of the advance in lots in West Nashville, from week to week until it's monotonous. Thirty lots sold in December were sold again last week at an advance of nearly 75 per cent. The same issue of the American gives the number of charitable ladies in the Nashville women's relief society as three hundred.
The Nashville American uplifts its voice in praise of “the beneficent triumph which the goodness of the God of mercy has placed within the reach of the people of Tennessee”—the prohibition measure before the legislature—and says the passage of the bill will “enhance the value of every acre of land in the state.”
The Rochester Post-Express speaks of “lively times in real estate this spring. The outskirts are building up rapidly and in the matter of choice of locality it is difficult to reach a decision, though I think that at present the greatest activity is shown at East Rochester. So many railroad men desire homes near their work in that quarter that that portion of the city has become particularly attractive to speculators.”
Public Opinion of San Francisco notes “booms in real estate all over our state, the finest climate in the world.”
The Memphis Avalance thinks that “the real obstacle in the way of the growth of many of the cities and towns of the county is that the prices demanded for lots are too high. They are waiting until they can grow up to the real estate. Memphis, in common with other places, suffers from this cause. With vacant lots in the heart of the city, there is no necessity for crowding those who are anxious to secure homes or business houses out into the suburbs. The policy pursued by some of those who hold large bodies of real estate, advantageously located, for a speculative value is a narrow one, and cannot fail to react to their detriment in the end.”
The New York Real Estate Record and Guide of last week contains an article on the region north of the Harlem, which is full of significance to those who know any-thing about unearned increment. It says: “So strong does the drift toward this district appear that real estate is rapidly mounting in price. A large block of lots on Eagle and Third avenues, between 161 stand 163d streets, was sold for $135,000 last October. Less than a month later it was divided into lots, and thus divided, sold for $135,000. As a rule the conveyances of land in this district and the adjacent ward during the last few years have not been due to speculation. The extensive purchase of the Astor family is probably the only notable exception.”
The first lessons in the scientific game of real estate speculation are taught in these quotations. The laboring population can take little or no snare in this game. Capitalists can play it with more safety than they could engage in a lottery, for the title ticket holds the value it has bought. even if it does not draw a prize. Large capital, like that of the investment company mentioned by the Kansas City Journal, holds a winning hand, provided its agents are honest. The Astor estate can en large the enormous tribute it draws from the people with no more mental effort than is required by adding two and two. The whole game is betting on how badly your neighbor wants something, and society honors you the more you win at it.
How Labor is Protected
Meriden, Conn., Feb. 8.—If that magic cry “protection,” which has been dinned into our ears with such stentorian vigor, was ever shouted for any public reason at all, it was to convince us that the best thing we could do would be to at once. force large numbers of our workers into certain industries, chiefly manufacturing. It was raised to establish old fashioned industries, in spite of the fact that our genius led us to establish new industries or improvements on the old; in spite of the fact that healthy industries of the protected kind can and will only arise when the existence of unprotected industries demands them; in spite of the fact that it is the swift skilled labor and the inventive genius which will win in the world's markets, provided material is untaxed, and not the pauper labor which we are told to dread. The results of protection are well shown in the following figures taken from the World's Almanac: In 1850 the total amount paid in wages in the manufacturing industries was $578,090,986; number of hands employed 1,704,333, or number of days' work in the year 622,03l.545. The total wages divided by the total day's work gives the daily average wage ninety cents.
This is the showing after we have added plate after plate to our protective suit of mail; what will it be when we have finished the suit “What fools these mortals be!” (not, however, the owners of protected mines.)
The Cause of Loving Sacrifice
New Orleans, La., Feb. 12.—Those who see in the great movement for social reform in which we are engaged—and whose far off thunder, like an approaching storm, can be distinctive heard—only a question of bread and butter, are mistaken. To the thinker it means a great awakening of the spirit of fair play. It is public conscience realizing the mistaken road of progress. It is the religions spirit, ever present in man, everywhere repulsed and repressed by narrow sectarianism, in search of new fields where to exercise its devotions. Clergymen complain of empty churches; religion is dying out,” they say. But they are mistaken. This enlightened nineteenth century is more religious than was the previous century.
It is because I witness every day the sacrifice the better remunerated toiler is willing to make in beha1f of his less fortunate fellow man that I see in this social movement something more than a mere question of dollars and cents. It is the spirit of sacrifice arising—the only true spirit of religion. There is room in the ranks for all truly religious men. In the dawn of the breaking day may be perceived the three signs: Faith, Hope, and Justice—fail in in humanity, hope in the future and justice to all.
For us, whatever undergone,
Thou knowest, willest, what is done.
Grief may be joy be misunderstood;
Only the good discerns the good.
I trust while my days go on;
I praise their while my days go on;
I love thee while my days go on;
Through dark and dearth, through fire and frost,
With empty arms and treasure lost,
I thank while my days go on.
The Cure of Intemperance
That an undue use of intoxicating liquors is an evil so great and so flagrant that we ought to attempt to prevent, or at least to check, it by legislation, is a proposition which the majority of the American people undoubtedly believe. But perplexity arises when the question comes. What shall the legislation be? On this question of method the ranks of the active temperance reformed are divided into two parties, one urging absolute prohibition and the other contending for high license.
Prohibition has been tried in many of our suites, and in some of them it has been made a crime not only to sell but even to give liquor, save upon prescription of a physician. Yet the most that its friends can anywhere claim for prohibition is that it has lessened the evil of intemperance. In smaller towns and villages it has done away with the open saloons: but, on the other hand, it has increased the clandestine side of liquor and added to the inducement to drink that temptation which attaches to stolen fruit. And which hover way the balance of good or evil may incline in small communities. where the prohibitory law is backed by a strong public sentiment, prohibition is certainly a failure in larger cities. In Iowa, for instance, prohibition has driven the liquor saloon out of many villages; but even in such a town as Burlington saloons flourish as openly as in New York. That in such a city as New York no prohibitive law could possibly be enforced, no prohibitionist, we fancy, will deny. The most they could contend for is that it would put a formal public condemnation upon an evil habit and a demoralizing business.
Realizing the inability of prohibition to deal with the drink evil, at least in large cities, the high license section of the temperance party propose to lessen what they cannot cure, and, by making it more costly to keep a saloon, to diminish the number of places in which drink is sold. To this the prohibitionists object, not only that it is wrong to give by a license public sanction to what is in itself evil, but that the lessoning of the number of saloons by means of a high license tax does not lessen the incentive to drink. On the contrary, they contend that the concentration of business thus caused enables the saloon keeper to entice people to drink by making his place more attractive.
In view of the destructive criticism which each section of the temperance party is able to make upon the method proposed by the other is it not worth while for the friends of temperance to ask themselves whether it is not possible that there may be a better way of dealing with the evil of intemperance than by other prohibition or high license? Since they are admittedly so many evils attending any form of restriction, might it not be worth while at least to consider what would be the effect of abolishing restrictions.
In the first place—and this is a fact which the temperance people are apt to forget—all restrictive legislation is likely to have other effects than those for which it is imposed: and these incidental effects in the case of legislation by which we have attempted to restrain the liquor traffic are unquestionably evil. Whatever may be its results upon habits of drinking, there can be no question that prohibition does produce open law-breaking or quiet law-evading; that it does foster hypocrisy, and does lend to destroy the moral sanctions of law.
On the other hand, evil effects of a like nature are incident to all the attempts to restrain the liquor traffic by taxing it. The high tax imposed upon liquor during; our civil war produced monstrous corruption. And the reduced internal revenue tax which we still levy continuous lo produce evil effects of the same kind. The officials it requires, the espionage it makes necessary, the temptation it offers to bribery and fraud, the large moneyed interests it concerns in politics, all lend powerfully to demoralize and corrupt government, while in some sections of the country it so completely divorces the idea of law from the idea of justice that an excise officer is regarded by public opinion very much as is a slave trader by the natives of the Sudan. And in like manner the import duties which we levy upon foreign wines and spirits, are part of a system which has cramped and distiled American industry, driven American commerce off the sea, made perjury and bribery customary, turned our national legislation in to a scramble of corrupt rings, and filled the public mind with pernicious fallacies.
But this is not all; the taxes upon liquor, by putting a premium upon adulteration, are responsible for the fact that the greater part of what the people of the United States drink under the names of wines and liquors is in reality manufactured poisons which destroy the digestion, shatter the nerves and produce a craving for more drink that honest liquor would not do. In very large degree, at least, the attempt to diminish the evils of intemperance by making intoxicants more costly has only added to those evils.
When a man becomes a victim to the drink habit he will have it, no matter what the cost, if it is possible for him to got it Although by our repressive laws we have increased the cost of liquor many hundred per cent, drink seems to be the one thing- that the poorest and most degraded can get, even when they can get nothing else. Clearly it is futile to attempt to lessen the drinking of those who have become addicted to drinking by making the cost of liquor high. the only result, so far as this class is concerned, is to force them to drink adulterated instead of pure- liquor. .
If the taxes which so greatly increase the cost of liquor have any effect in diminishing intemperance, it must, therefore, be in lessening the temptation to the formation of habits of intemperance. It is probable that they do have an effect, and perhaps a very powerful effect, especially in the case of the lighter wines, in preventing them from being kept in the house and placed upon the family table. But it may well be doubted whether this is promotive of temperance. For not only are men far more likely to fall into intemperate habits in saloons than they are at home, but the artificial cost given to liquor tends to promote the pernicious custom of “treating” and the custom of offering liquor on occasions of rejoicing or display. What men can easily get they are apt to take only when they want it. What they do not easily got they are apt to take whenever it is offered.
Adam Smith, one of the most acute Observers who ever lived, writing over a Century ago, before adulteration had reached such a frightful extreme as it has now, objected to taxes which increase the cost of liquor as being promotive of intemperance. He says, in the “Wealth of Nations:”
If we consult experience, the cheapness of wino seems to be a cause, not of drunkenness, but of sobriety. The inhabitants of the wine countries are in general the soberest people in Europe. Witness the Spaniards, the Italians, and the inhabitants of the southern provinces of Franco. People are seldom guilty of excess in what is their daily fare. Nobody affects the character of liberality and good fellowship by lying profuse of a liquor which is as cheap as small beer. On the contrary, in the countries which, either from excessive heat or cold, produce no grapes. and where wine consequently is dear and a rarity, drunkenness is a common vice, as among the northern nations, and all those who live between the tropics—the negroes, for example, on the coast of Guinea. When a French regiment comes from some of the northern provinces of France, where wine is somewhat dear, to be quartered in the southern, where it is very cheap, the soldiers, I have frequently heard it observed, are at first debauched by the cheapness and novelty of good wine; but after a few months' residence, the greater part of them become as sober as the rest of the inhabitants. Were the duties upon foreign wines and the excises upon malt, beer and ale to be taken away all at once it might, in the same manner, occasion in Great Britain a pretty general and temporary drunkenness among the middling and inferior ranks of people, which would probably be soon followed by a permanent and almost universal sobriety. At present drunkenness is by no means the vice of people of fashion, or of those who can easily afford the most expensive liquors. A gentleman drunk with ale has scarce ever been seen among us. The restraints upon the wine trade in Great Britain, besides. do not so much seem calculated to hinder the people from going, if I may say so, to the alehouse, as from going where they can find the best and cheapest liquor.
This opinion of Adam Smith's is that of many thoughtful men of our time, as, for instance. That veteran reformer Thomas Briggs of London, who has written much to show that the British excise and license taxes have but increased the evils of intemperance.
The Evening Post prints a map of the Second assembly district of this city, one of a series prepared by Robert Graham, secretary of the Church Temperance society. In this district there is one licensed saloon to every ninety-six inhabitants, a larger proportion than in any other district of the city, with the exception of the First district, which, embracing a much larger part of the water front, has a greater transient saloon custom. This map, on which the licensed saloons are marked by black spots, looks as though it had the smallpox, and it is well calculated to excite the reflection that the facilities for drinking could not practically be much greater if every house were turned into a saloon.
What, however, is the significant thing about this rum-mill-speckled map is that it is the map of what was in the last election Mr. Hewitt's banner district, the district which “Fatty” Walsh, the ex-prize lighter and gambler, has been rewarded for carrying by being made warden of the Tombs. It was Mr. Hewitt's banner district partly because its inhabitants largely consist of that poor and degraded class whose votes were bought by the “saviors of society” at rates ranging from a couple of drinks to a couple of dollars, and partly because, of the pressure exerted upon the keepers of saloons and dives through the machinery and the penalties of the excise law.
Whoever knows anything of the practical politics of New York knows that the mainstay of the corrupt gang who govern the metropolis is their “pull” on the saloons and dives. The thousand unlicensed saloon keepers of New York are, of course, at the mercy of the police, and their influence can be controlled on election day by the politicians who control the police. The district attorney's office is said to be worth 15,000 votes, by reason of its ability to prosecute or to pigeon-hole complaints for violation of the excise laws, and since, save in the business parts of the city, almost every saloon keeper is a violator of the excise law in some way or other, the saloon interest, as a whole, must keep on the side of the gang that controls the municipal offices. Thus an enormous political power is created and maintained.
Now considering the fact that we have already in New York at least one thousand unlicensed saloons, what would be the effect of an increase in the license to one thousand dollars, as is proposed by the excise commissioners? It might have a very large effect m reducing the number of saloons without putting any practical difficulty in the way of the getting of liquor by those who wanted it. But as a matter of fact, while it would greatly reduce the number of licensed saloons, it would greatly increase the number of places where liquor is sold without a license. The licensed beer seller would keep the unlicensed whiskey bottle under the counter. How greatly this would increase the power of the political machine which controls New York elections is obvious, and we suggest to such well- intentioned gentlemen as the Rev. Dr. Howard Crosby that this may in some measure explain the ardor in favor of high license of excise commissioners who have been blind as bats to the most flagrant violations of the present law.
What, on the other hand, would be the effect of abolishing all taxes upon the sale of liquor? It would, doubtless, be to multiply the places where liquor is sold. But while this would hardly make it easier to find liquor in New York than it now is, or than it would be (except to a stranger or suspected informer) under a system of higher licenses, the very fact that everyone would be free to sell liquor would to a very large degree make it unprofitable to maintain the attractions of the expensively fitted saloon, and the political influence exerted through the saloon would be gone. Whatever the temperance people may be inclined at first blush to think of such a proposition, it is certain that if loft to the saloon keepers and ring politicians it would be voted down by an enormous majority.
The temperance movement has done and is yet doing much good, in enlisting public opinion against the needless use of intoxicating liquors; but the failure of repressive legislation and the extreme difficulties and grave evils incident to the schemes at present urged, surely make it worth while to consider whether freedom might not be better than restriction. It is certainly a safe general principle, which will appear the stronger the more it is examined, that the evils that men are apt to seek to cure by direct restraint really have their source in previous restraints of liberty, and that their real cure is to be found not in restriction, but in the abolition of restrictions.
It is a mistake to consider the temperance question as something which stands by itself. It is in reality but part of a much larger question. The prevalence of intemperance is not so much a cause as an effect. It springs from undernourished bodies, from over-wrought nerves, from poor and cheerless homes, from the absence of more rational gratification of the powerful social instincts, from the strain and the habits engendered by the strain which the terrible struggle of our devil-take-the-hindmost civilization puts upon so many people. However it may be mitigated, it cannot be cured until poverty is cured.
Now, the cure for poverty does not lie in the direction of protection and restriction and the turning of government into a paternal machine for making every body good by law and managing everybody's business by rule. It lies in the sweeping away of restrictions, in the giving of room and play to individual industry and talent and enterprise. It lies, above all, in the doing away with that most important and most wrongful restriction upon human liberty and natural rights which permits some men to treat as their own private, and exclusive property the natural element on which all men must live, and from which alone human labor can support life and produce wealth.
And the obvious way to abolish this restriction upon the liberty to work, which breeds poverty in the midst of wealth and makes the struggle for existence the more bitter and intense, just as invention increases the power of producing all that is necessary to maintain existence, is to abolish all other taxes and concentrate taxation on land values. Perhaps, if the temperance people think of it, they may see that the taxes we now levy upon liquor and liquor selling are not exceptions.
It was a source of regret to me in reading a late issue of The Standard to notice that at a recent meeting, the plank in the otherwise commendable platform of the united labor party advocating “the enfranchisement of our female fellow-citizens”' received unanimous approval. I could not conscientiously support any movement whose object is the granting to women the political rights which men enjoy. Do the men of this country wish to rest under the imputation that they are incapable of framing proper laws ? The granting to women of such a right would be a virtual acknowledgment of incapacity on the part of our citizens. The tendencies of men in election times are to congregate and discuss political questions. What scenes are frequently the outcome of such discussions ! Are women supposed to be exempt from this tendency? If not, the inevitable result of granting to women the right to vote will be that we shall see women standing on the corners indulging in acrimonious and boisterous language, and neglecting their homes; or should there be a difference of opinion respecting certain questions or candidates between husband and wife, though it be trilling at first, who can tell what the consequences will be? Surely, peace and happiness could not be expected to find a place in any household where such disagreements exist.
If woman suffrage advocates really seek the betterment of the social condition of the sex, I would advise them to use their influence with their male friends to get them to join the ranks of the united labor party, whose success they can readily see from a perusal of a few clauses in its platform would eradicate all existing social evils from which the women of to-day are made to suffer; it would secure to man just compensation for his labor, which would obviate the necessity of his being compelled to have his daughter seek employment in order to assist in the proper maintenance of a home, and it would also naturally lead those who would otherwise be destined to lead the life of a celibate, to cherish the idea of matrimony.
Thousands of men are idle in this country today for no other reason than that work which properly belongs to the sphere of man is performed by an army of poor, ill-paid and half-starved women, whose homos are cheerless and uninviting; and those who are burdened with children are unable, through force of circumstances, to give them proper care, and, in a majority of cases, they are permitted to grow up in ignorance.
I believe that the proper place for women is at home, which they should seek to make as cheerful and pleasant as possible, devoting their time to the education of their children. I think most of the intelligent women of this country share this belief. As I see it, it would be the greatest panacea for intemperance. It may be an indulgence of puerile fears on my part, but it is my honest conviction that the passage of a woman suffrage law would have a demoralizing effect upon our legislative bodies.
I trust you will pardon me for writing you thus at length on this subject, but, as my first vote will be east at the next election (which will be for the candidates of the united labor party), I desire to understand this question thoroughly.
Will you kindly inform me if it is the intention of the new party to make the above a prominent issue in their campaign. The goal of my ambition is to become a leader of the united labor party, and thus I am solicitous in regard to their treatment of this question.
Henry A. Kramer.
We do not think it is the mention of the new party to make the question of woman suffrage a distinctive issue, nor do we think it would be advisable to do so. Effort should be concentrated on bringing the land question to the front, since that is the key to the labor problem.
But we think our correspondents fears are idle, and that as he grows older (especially if he secures the companionship of some good and sensible woman), he will have a far higher opinion of woman's capacity and judgment. The reasons which he assigns for denying the right of suffrage to women would apply as logically to a denial of the right of going to church or of walking the streets without the guardianship of a man, or of doing pretty much anything else that men do. And just as experience proves that the results of conceding to the female sex a liberty at which the Persian or the Turk would stand aghast, are not evil, but good, so, too, we believe it would be with woman suffrage.
The natural right of a woman to vote is just as clear as that of a man, and rests on the same ground. Since she is called on to obey the laws she ought to have a voice in making them; and the assumption that she is not lit to vote, is no better reason for denying her that right than was the similar assumption which has been urged against every extension of the franchise to unfranchised men. And whether men like or do not like the imputation that they are incapable of framing proper laws without the aid of women, their success in making laws has certainly not been so great as to give them a reason for disdaining women's aid. In fact the botch that men have made of the business of making laws ought, it seems to us, to lead them to ask whether the finer and quicker intuitions and more delicate sensibilities of women are not as much needed in the management of public affairs as they are in the affairs of a family. Not only are women superior to men in what our correspondent considers women's sphere, but they often bring to affairs regarded as peculiarly belonging to men an insight and a judgment which render them most valuable counselors of men. The man who scorns the advice of women is anything but a wise man. And seeing that mankind is composed of men and women, and that the two sexes are the natural complements of each other, is not the leaving of what concerns both entirely to one sex very much like the attempt of an individual to use only one. leg in walking?
Mr. Kramer is wrong in thinking that thousands of men are idle because work which belongs to the sphere of man is performed by women. Both phenomena are results of one cause, and that cause is the monopoly of land. Men who would like to be at. work are unable to find work because they are forbidden to employ their labor on the elements which nature furnishes for such employment and natural breadwinners being thus prevented from using their powers, women and children are compelled to unsuitable toil. Give men a chance to make themselves homes by destroying the monopoly that now prevents it. and they will be ready enough to seek women to occupy them.
To ask women to use their influence to this end is not enough. Women have today a very great influence in politics, but that influence is for the most part an evil influence, for the reason that women do not think much about political or social questions, regarding them as out of their sphere, and so have very little conscience as to public matters. And this fact, no doubt, largely accounts for the flippancy of general thought on social questions. Men as a rule will not become fully interested in any subject that does not also interest women. It may well be doubted if giving women a vote would much increase their own direct influence in politics; but it cannot be questioned that it would lead them to take such an interest in public affairs as would powerfully react upon men themselves.
We do not think that anybody ought to be driven out of the land and labor ranks because he is not in favor of woman suffrage but we do think that the quiet influence of the new movement ought to be and will be given in favor of woman suffrage. And we should like to see, as far as possible, the influence of women made use of in the propaganda of our movement. Even if she does not vote, a woman can help at least as much as a man.
The New Party Is Non-Sectional
The Norfolk Virginian declares that Henry George recently said, “The best carpenters, painters and machinists in the South today are colored men.” The Virginian is mistaken. A correspondent of The Standard used that expression in an article over his own signature. but. The editor of this paper does not necessarily endorse the sentiments and opinions of every writer admitted to its columns.
The negro question at the south is a serious one. We are glad to have it discussed by those most familiar with it, and our only regret is that so many writers are inclined to inject undue passion into the argument. What we want is the exact truth, unobscured by self-interest or prejudice.
The colored man is a voter, and the only question is as to how he may be taught to vote for the good instead of for the evil side. When there is a sharp division of opinion among, southern white men on some live issue the colored vote will not only be east and counted, but it will be courted. Shall this power be on the side of monopoly and oppression, or shall it be on the side of all workers, white or black. In considering this question we must know all that can be learned as to the present condition and intelligence of the colored men of the south and of the influences to which they are subjected. Candid and unprejudiced southern men ought to be able to make the most valuable contribution to this discussion. They cannot do so, however, if they imagine that they are, somehow, on trial before a prejudiced court instead of witnesses before impartial people who only seek to know the truth.
The south has had cause during the past few years to protest against the wicked appeals of northern politicians to sectional prejudices and to the animosities left by civil war. Its newspapers and people should, then, welcome a new issue that will soon make such appeals obviously absurd and irrelevant. The question is no longer whether states calling themselves “free” shall overthrow slavery in other states, but whether a form of slavery involving all working people shall be overthrown in all of the states. There can be no question of north or south, east or west, about such an effort, and if our southern friends wish to see sectionalism disappear they should not seek to throw sectional feeling and ante-bellum prejudices into the discussion of the policy of the new party.
That party asks no questions as to what any man did or thought twenty-five years ago. It simply asks, How does he stand on the burning issue of to-day? If he is right on that it invites him to enter its ranks and assist the workers in fighting for their right to that which they produce. Why should such a party be suspected of bitterness of feeling toward the southern people on account of a system of negro servitude, now abolish ed, when it is fighting against a more general and pernicious form of slavery that includes both whites and blacks? There is no ground for such a supposition. The slavery now attacked has no more strenuous defenders than some of those most conspicuous as assailants of the southern people for maintaining a system that they inherited from their fathers. The old abolitionists are, some of them, the persecutors of the new, and the latter have no reason to share the prejudices of those who despitefully use them.
Let southerners take sides as they will in this contest, but they ought not to attempt to infuse into it the bitterness and passion of a lesser contest concluded more than twenty years ago.
President Cleveland has done well in vetoing the dependent pension bill. The only pity is that he has not done more of this kind of work.
If congress shall be compelled to adjourn without plussing any of the fortification and cruiser bills a great danger to the republic will, for the time, have been escaped. These are, without exception, the worst and most dangerous bills before congress. They mean not merely the utterly useless expenditure of great sums of money, they : mean the institution of “a strong government,” the beginning of a policy which aims at bridling the American people with forts and standing armies like those of Europe. There is no pension bill, no subsidy bill, no possible waste of the public money, which would be so injurious as the. spending of it on forts and ships. It would be far better to throw twenty millions into the sea than to spend it on preparations for war in time of pro found peace. Let American workingmen remember what universal history attests, that it is by war and preparations for war that the masses have been everywhere enslaved.
How purely nominal is the distinction between so-called democrats and so-called republicans, how completely both old parties are now dominated by the power of aggregated wealth, is shown by the fact that bills to expend twenty-one millions on cruisers and fortifications passed the senate without division, and that in the house the only opposition based on anything like democratic principle which has yet been developed comes from Mr. Holman of Indiana. Mr. Randall, to be sure, is the most efficient barrier in their way, but that seems to be because the bills do not involve as big a share of the spoils for the Pennsylvania iron ring as he thinks they ought to have.
Dispatches from Europe show that although every effort is being made in the name of the pope to coerce the Catholics of Germany into voting as Bismarck wishes, Dr. Windthorst and his patriotic co-religionists maintain their firm stand, denying the right of cardinal or pope to dictate their course in politics. The World's Berlin dispatch says: “It is the case of Dr. McGlynn on a larger scale, and it is remarkable that two incidents of such similar character should occur in such close conjunction.”
The Post's Berlin dispatch says: “The belief is that the pope wishes the subjection of the German Catholics and also to subdue the American Catholics.”
The Tribune, which. in the case of Dr. McGlynn. has been almost as strong a supporter of papal infallibility in American politics as has the ultramontane Sun says, as to the papal interference in German politics:
The pope's infallibility in questions of politics has never been claimed, even by the sturdiest champions of ultramontanism. German Catholics are at liberty, therefore, without rebelling against ecclesiastical authorities to condemn the Vatican for what appears to be a most unwarrantable intervention in national politics.
Why not, then, American Catholics?
Five hundred hungry men, “many of whom,” says the Inquirer, “had been or. the streets all night, and shivered as well as starved,” were fed in Philadelphia last Sunday morning by the Sunday break fast association, and were then addressed by ex-Governor Pattison. who told them that “what they wanted above all things was peace of mind and contentment,” and that those they must get from the Great Giver who has created you all his children.”
In New York, Mayor Hewitt has vetoed the ordinance giving a benevolent lady permission to erect stands on the streets from which to sell meals for a cent, on the, ground that such charity is demoralizing.
On the whole we prefer Mayor Hewitt's position. Cynical indifference and blank atheism are not so repulsive as the blasphemous attempt to make men contented with the denial to them of any right in this world by telling them they have a “Father in Heaven.”
The Evening Post has made a legal discovery. It boldly assorts that “nobody disputes the right of the strikers to strike and to persuade other men in the same calling to strike along with them.” But an examination of the legal history of strikes shows that this right has been acquired it spite of the opposition of such people as the Evening Post represents. In this city, early in the Century, workingmen were convicted of crime for merely agreeing to a scale of wages without striking at all: in this state, as late as 1835, workingmen were convicted of crime for striking, and convictions for striking have been common in England. In these cases there was no violence; the men were punished for doing what the Evening Post now says nobody disputes their rights to do. How curious it is, whenever men secure a right against the opposition of press, pulpits. courts and the ragtag and bobtail of society saviors in general, that press, pulpit, court and ragtag and bobtai1, all agree that the right is indisputable in a tone that suggests it was never disputed. It is only popular rights still withheld that are wrong—popular rights that have been secured never were wrong in the eve of the savior of society. So it seems saviors of society are not altogether unprogressive. They move forward, like the pegs on a cribbage board, after the contest.
The Irish Wold states that copies of its paper are evidently intercepted by the English postal authorities, as in many cases they do not reach their destination in Ireland. This is doubtless true. The whole landlord and official class in Ireland hate the Irish World with a bitter hatred, and regard it as the most dangerous sheet that can be circulated in that country, not, as they some times allege, because it has advocated dynamite, but because it advocates the great truth of “the land for the people.” Money could not be spent more effectually in aiding the Irish cause than in circulating the Irish World broadcast through Ireland. the people are cager to get it, and it spreads among them that dynamite of ideas which is more dangerous to tyranny than any material explosive can be.
One of the letter writers on labor, to whom the Herald opens its columns, gives excellent advice to the strikers. He tells them to make themselves so useful to their employers that employers will be loath to part with them, and urges them to save money, little by little, until they can secure a piece of land and get a cottage on it. What a delightful world this is to some people! Here is a man who really believes that the remedy for low wages and lack of work is for the workingmen to make themselves useful to their employers, as if the employer would not substitute one set of good men for another at lower wages, and as if good men at lower wages could not be had when laborers are plenty and work scarce. Such innocence must be amusing to corporation officers; but it is sound philosophy compared with the advice about saving money and buying land. If a 'longshoreman worked ten hours a day six days in the week and fifty-two weeks in the year his wages at the rate proposed by the corporations, would be $624. While accumulating enough to buy his land and build cottage he would be obliged to eat, wear clothes, pay rent and support a family, consisting, according to the average, of a wife and three children. Putting his rent at $15 a month, food at the poor house rate of eleven cents per capita a day, clothing at $100, and sundries at twenty-five cents a day for the whole family, the total would be $372.75 a year, leaving him, if he did not lose an hour, either by sickness or slack work, and if none of his family fell sick, the magnificent balance of $51.25. At this rate he would be able to get his land and a cottage within convenient access to his work in about fifty years. But if in any one year he lost 250 hours' work, incurred doctors' bills, or in any other way was subjected to increased expense or loss in wages he would have no balance at all. Does the Herald really think that the printing of such advice as this will help settle the labor question?
In a letter sent to the annual dinner of the stationers' board of trade, and which Chauncey M. Depew declared was the most important communication yet made on the present industrial conditions,” Mayor Hewitt said:
Least of all is it to be conceded that one set of men shall deprive other sets of men of the right to labor. Such doctrine simply induce free labor to a condition of serfage more intolerable even than that which prevailed in the middle age.
This is true, and Mr. Hewitt is one of the sort of men who, by monopolizing great tracts of land, deprive other sots of men of the right to labor. This it. is which induces so-called “free labor” to that condition of serfage from which it vainly tries to free itself by strikes.
Rev. James Boyd Brady of the Hedding Methodist Episcopal church of Jersey City preached a sermon last Sunday night on “Progress and Poverty,” in the course of which he is reported as saying:
Henry George and company want the government to confiscate all the land and rent it out.
Either Rev. James Boyd Brady has never read the book he preached about or he deliberately misrepresents it.
Wants Permanent Headquarters
The Twenty-third district association of the united labor party of New York city has engaged permanent headquarters at 1897 Third avenue corner of l03th street, and is soliciting subscriptions toward the rent. The room is to be open every evening, and a number of papers, besides a small library, will be placed at the disposal of the members.
Gov. Hill is to review Brooklyn's crack regiment (the Twenty-third) on Monday, and the democrats there will give him a banquet. It is thought that he will take this opportunity to restate his position on the labor question. Referring to this the New York correspondent of the Philadelphia Ledger says: “There are a good many so-called 'capitalists' in the democratic party, especially in this city, and, as it now turns out, that portion of the message was not in harmony with their views of things. They say it went too far. The problem the governor has now to solve, then, is how to rectify this mistake without repelling the knights, whose good opinion he desires to return. But, no doubt, his ingenuity will be equal lo the occasion.” A contemptuous opinion of the laboring men characteristics all of this correspondent's references to them.
A syndicate of New York and Philadelphia capitalists has just purchased a vast tract of coal land in the Monongahela valley in Pennsylvania. These lands have hitherto been controlled by individuals, and numerous agents were employed to purchase them quietly, so that the former owners would not know that a syndicate was buying until the transaction was completed.
The managers of the produce exchange in this city have prohibited dealings in “puts” and “calls” on the ground that these bets on quotations are mere gambling. This sounds virtuous, but it is simply a device on the part of the large speculators to crush the little fellows. The feeling animating the movement is that which causes the stock exchange to look with detestation on the “bucket shops,” which are simply smaller and less responsible gambling shops than the stock exchange itself.
Mr. Daly has introduced three bills in the State senate to provide for the burying of electric wires in this city. The bills require all that has already been done. The pretext is that the present company has fallen into the hands of Jay Gould. which is true. The real object is supposed to be further delay in the interest of Gould. So long as the existing parties control it New York will always thus be “between the devil and the deep seal” in efforts at reform.
The prolonged struggle in the New Jersey legislature over the senatorship continues. A boisterous meeting of the joint convention was held on Wednesday evening, and a ballot was taken that resulted in 35 votes for Sewell, 35 for Abbett, 3 for Bedle, 2 for Potter, 2 for Kays, and 5 scattering. The two labor men, Donohue and Carroll, voted for Erastus E. Potter, greenbacker. Three republicans refused to vote for Sewell, and six democrats declined to vote for Abbett. There are some signs of a break, which possibly means a purchase, and the contest may be ended before this issue of The Standard reaches its readers.
The gallant fight against the Standard Oil boodler in West Virginia has been kept up, and Senator Camden has left the field in distrust and gone to Washington. This probably will make no difference, as his fight has been fought with his check book, and can be carried on at long range as well as at close quarters. A twenty-first ineffectual ballot took place on Wednesday, 89 votes being cast. Pierrepont (republican) received 39, Camden (democrat) 37, and Davis (democrat) 10, the remainder being scattered. A serious attempt was made last week to carry out a scheme to deliver a portion of the republican vote to Camden, but it failed on account of the partisan hostility of the rural press to such a movement. The anti-Camden democrats, who are backed by the anti-monopoly governor of the state, show increased firmness, and declare that under no circumstance would they ever vote for Camden. Though they are not numerous the fact that they represent democratic counties without whose votes the state would give a 10,000 republican majority lends emphasis to their opposition.
The Dakota house of representatives is apparently opposed to telegraphs, as it has just passed a law taxing the first, wire sixty cents a mile. the second thirty cents, and each additional wire twenty cents.
The senate of Missouri has just refused to pass a bill prohibiting the acceptance of railway passes by state officials. The senators find passes very nice things to have.
A project to create a railway commission is under consideration in the Pennsylvania legislature, and it is expected that if the bill passes the notorious Chris Magee will become railroad commissioner. The question as to its passage is simply one of patriotism, as the word is understood in Pennsylvania. The members can make more money for themselves by defeating the bill, but they can do a better thing for the republican party by passing it, and thus providing an annual campaign fund by the levying of blackmail.
By a vote of 38 to 36 the Alabama house of representatives has asked congress to pass the Blair educational bill. The old states' rights idea seems to be losing strength in the south.
There is some prospect that a constitutional convention will be called by the Delaware legislature. It was supposed that a generation long since dead had so securely bound the hands of all succeeding generations that constitutional reform was practically impossible in the state.
The Philadelphia board of health has declared that the dirty streets of that city area nuisance. Whether this will have any effect remains to be seen. A similar declaration by the New York board of health might provoke from those in charge of our filthy streets the just retort, “You're another.”
The universal peace union is sending out memorials to branch societies in Europe, advising kings and other important personages over there not to go to war. It might find more profitable employment at home in exposing the folly of the war preparations pending in congress.
At the beginning of the present year there were 200,000 cattle and 25,000 sheep on ranges within a radius of 100 miles from Fort Keogh, Montana. Since that time it is believed that thousands of the animals have perished for want of food and shelter further south stock has wintered well. Such a disaster as that in Dakota would send up the price of meat in the east.
The coal exchange at Chicago has resolved to levy blackmail on the whole population,of Chicago by raising the price of coal 50 cents A ton, so that stove coal will hereafter sell there at $8.25 a ton.
Congress has shown some disposition recently to relieve the people of Washington from monopoly oppression. A committee has been appointed to investigate the gas extortion, but pending investigation the company is authorized to charge enough to earn seven per cent on $2,000,000, which is fourteen per cent $1,000,000—all the capital that the secretary of the company will swear to, and twenty-eight per cent on $500,000, all the money that is known to have been paid in. This is very mild reform.
A bill has also been introduced in the senate repealing the charters of the Washington and Georgetown and the Metropolitan street railways and providing that their franchises shall be offered at public competition to the highest bidder. The bill also prohibits the granting of like franchises in the district hereafter without similar provision for compensation to the public. Whether this is in the interest of the public or for the benefit of the cable roads, whose charter was hurried through congress with such indecent haste, does not yet appear.
The house of representatives continues its interest in the fisheries matter. Last week it passed a bill to prevent anyone from scaring mackerel off their nests while they are laying their eggs. The committee on shipping reported favorably a bill to prevent foreigners from fishing within three miles of the United States shores, and the fishery retaliation bill was progressed.
Fearing, however, that the ferocious cod and the fecund mackerel cannot be utilized to create a war scare, Mr. Lawler of Illinois, in the house, has instituted an inquiry as to whether the treaty of Ghent has been well observed during the past sixty-two years; while in the senate Mr. Gibson of Louisiana has undertaken to recall the fragrant Cutting to memory by asking for the correspondence in regard to that peculiar individual.
But weak as are all attempts to create a war scare, the extravagant business of war preparation goes on. In the senate, Hale of Maine, and Cameron of Pennsylvania, are engaged in friendly rivalry as to which can frame the more extravagant bill for increasing the navy, while Stanford of California wants mortars and heavy guns strung all along the coast.
Meanwhile the bills passed by our house of lords proposing the expenditure of $21,000,000 on useless armaments, still repose in the pockets of Mr. Randall, chairman of the house committee on appropriations, to the horror of the Herald, and the chagrin of the Sun, There is a reasonable hope that they will stay in Mr. Randall's pocket during the remaining ten days of this congress.
On Monday an effort was made to take the Mrs. Logan pension bill, the Blair education bill and the tariff bill of last session out of the hands of the respective committees to which they had been referred and put them on their passage. The speaker took the matter under advisement, but he has since rendered a decision on the Logan bill which indicates that the whole effort will fail.
A bill granting subsidies to American built ships engaged in the foreign trade has passed the senate by a vote of 33 to 14. Nothing could induce the same body to abolish the restrictions that would prevent us from having any foreign trade if ships carried freight for nothing.
The senate's bill providing for the retirement of the trade dollar by its recoinage into standard dollars is likely to become a law before this issue of The Standard reaches its readers. This idea is to increase the value of the trade dollars by reducing their weight. As they are entirely out of circulation the measure can benefit only the speculators who have bought them up.
A new conference committee has been appointed to consider the disagreement between the two houses on the bill to repeal the existing timber preemption and desert land laws. No agreement is likely, as the existing laws encourage land grabbing and timber stealing, and the senate prefers to continue them.
Mr. Buchanan has introduced in the house a bill requiring government contractors to pay wages weekly. Mr. Blair, in the senate, has had a resolution adopted authorizing his committee during the recess to “continue and complete the investigation of the relations between labor and capital.” This appears to be something of a task, but Mr. Voorhees, delegate from Washington territory, has apparently accomplished it already, for he introduced on Monday a bill “to relieve the laboring classes and to improve their condition permanently.”
The conferees on the Edmunds-Tucker anti-polygamy bill have agreed upon a measure that repeals the charter of the Mormon church, and instructs the attorney general to institute proceedings to recover property not acquired by that corporation in accord with the laws of the United States. It leaves the election laws substantially as they are, except that it authorizes the president to appoint the new elective probate judges. The elimination of polygamists from the registration is also included. It is in effect a measure designed to enable the “gentile” minority to govern the Mormon majority by excluding their votes, and to try them for offenses before packed juries from which Mormons are excluded. The system it establishes differs but slightly from that in vogue in Ireland, and it offers a most dangerous precedent. Polygamy is bad enough, but the weapons forged to crush it are just such as have ever been used to overthrow civil liberty on other pretexts.
Mr. Van Wyck in the senate and Mr. Little of Ohio in the house are still trying to secure the passage of a law proposing a constitutional amendment to authorize the election of United States senators by popular vote instead of by state legislatures. The first amendment of the constitution affecting senators likely to pass is one abolishing them altogether.
On Tuesday Mr. Mitchell of Oregon offered a resolution in the senate reciting a provision of the Thurman funding bill to the effect that if either of the Pacific railroad companies fails for the six months to perform its requirements, such. failure shall operate as a forfeiture, and directing the attorney general to advise the senate whether the Union or Central Pacific company has, for the period of six months or longer, failed to perform its duty under that law, and, if so, whether any proceedings have been instituted by the attorney general for the purpose of judicially enforcing the forfeiture of all rights, privileges, grants and franchises. This was referred to the judiciary committee, and is probably the last we shall hear of it, but the people will expect that the administration shall give a little attention to this matter without regard to the monopolistic sympathies of the American house of lords.
On Friday last week the president vetoed the dependent pension bill on the ground that so sweeping a measure, practically giving a pension to everybody engaged in the late war, is uncalled for while so large a proportion of the beneficiaries are still in the prime of life. The message was referred to the house committee on invalid pensions, and it is not believed that the bill can be passed over the veto.
Commander-in-Chief Fairchild of the Grand Anny of the Republic has issued a circular urging the members of that organization to promptly write to members of congress expressing their opinion for or against the bill.
Representative Weaver of Iowa still insists that he received word from the president that he has directed Secretary Manning to obey the law concerning one and two dollar notes. The president refused to say anything about the matter, but Mr. Manning declared that nothing had been said or sent to him on the subject.
Secretary Manning called at the White house on Monday and placed his resignation in the hands of the president. The Times of this city, which is fond of claiming a private telephone connection with Mr. Cleveland, says: “We venture to predict that they will contain some very interesting and edifying reading, and that the 'Old-Veteran-Jeffersonian- Jacksonian-Observer-Democrat' who writes letters to himself from Washington in the Sun office, will find his mind shrouded in the deepest gloom by their perusal.” We suppose that this means, if it means anything, that Mr. Manning and the president are in entire accord in their admiration of national banks, civil service reform, and so on. The correspondence, as published, failed to justify the Times assumption of inside knowledge.
Last week the commissioner of pensions started requisitions for $18,7800,000 with which to pay pensions due March 4th. This is the largest payment ever made for one quarter.
The president has allowed the act increasing the militia appropriation to $400,000 a year to become a law without his signature. Before he is two years older he will wish that he had vetoed it.
Mr. Gladstone, in a recent letter, says: “For the last twelve months I have been telling the English and the Scotch and the Welsh that their parliament will continue paralyzed and its business be neglected until it settles the Irish question. The Scotch and Welsh believe that: but the southern English did not believe it, and they stopped the way. They will pay heavily for the delay.”
Mr. Chamberlain, Sir George O. Trevelyan, Baron Herschel, Sir William Vernon Harcourt and Mr. Morley held another “Round Table” conference concerning Irish affairs on Tuesday. Mr. Chamberlain proposed a scheme for two Irish parliaments—one at Belfast for Ulster, and the other at Dublin for the remaining nine-tenths of Ireland, both lo be subordinate to the imperial parliament. Mr. Morley declared emphatically that neither the Parnellites nor the bulk of Gladstonian liberals would ever consent to such a scheme.
In order to put India into a mood for rejoicing over the queen's jubilee 75,000 prisoners have been released from jail.
Nationalist meetings have been proclaimed in Ireland. At Loughrea Michael Davitt refused to accept a copy of the government proclamation forbidding the meeting. He addressed the people behind barricaded doors in the morning and made another speech at Woodford in the evening. At Loughrea the police were refused food and shelter.
The trial of Dillon, Redmond, O'Brien, Crilly and others for conspiracy in connection with the plan of campaign was formally opened in Dublin on Monday. Mr. Redmond was absent on account of illness, but the others pleaded “Not guilty.” The prosecution therefore proceeded to pack a jury by “shunting aside” all Catholics. O'Brien declared that he would rather go to jail at once than stand a trial before a jury composed so unfairly, and Crilly denounced the conduct of the prosecution as ruffianly. After a long contest a mixed jury of Protestants and Catholics was sworn in, and a disagreement is anticipated.
Germany and France continue to prepare for that war which both say will never come off, but which is certain to begin whenever either feels ready to offer the other necessary preliminary insult. Austria-Hungary and Russia are like wise professing peace and keeping their powder dry for an expected emergency.
The political campaign in Germany grows in excitement, and Bismarck expects to make a serious break in the party of the center through his dicker with the pope, to whom he appears to have promised the repeal of the May anti-Catholic laws in return for the support his holiness is giving to the septennate scheme. The government papers are telling tall stories about the great financial aid that is flowing into the treasury of the social-democrats from socialists in this country. If the socialists here were richer the sums would doubtless be larger.
Cardinals Gibbons and Taschereau have been cordially received in Home, and they appear to be having a good time. A banquet will be given them after the consistory. Cardinal Gibbons is in excellent health and spirits and has rooms at the American college.
Is This The Best You Can Do?
This is the Herald's only reply to The Standard'S article last week. Comment is superfluous:
Very Bad Advice
Mr. Henry George is of opinion that when a number of workingmen “strike” they have the right not only to quit work themselves, but to prevent other workingmen from taking the places they have vacated.
That is to say, according to Mr. George, a workingman has no right to work unless other workingmen choose to let him. He is not a free man, therefore, but the slave, to that extent, of other men.
Mr. George's idea that workingmen ought to be subject to some sort of compulsion and “regulation” is not new with him. When some years ago the telegraph operators struck. there were people and journals in this country, the Evening Post among them, who asserted that telegraph and railroad operators ought not to be permitted to strike or stop work. They were, it was held, so necessary to the comfort of society that they ought to be like soldiers in a “regular” army; a strike should be counted as a mutiny, and they should be dealt with not as freemen, but as bondmen.
We do not believe the workingmen of this country are donkeys enough to suffer their liberties to be abridged by such nonsense as Mr. Henry George's or the Evening Post's. They would be extraordinary fools if they did. The right of a man to work where, when and as much or as little as he pl cases, to make his own agreement with an employer, to stop work if he wants to, to strike if he pleases—all these rights are fundamental. They go together. Deny to A the right to go to work, and you instantly and fatally attack the right of B, C and D to stop work or strike. We judge that Mr. George is a little “off his head.”
Gloversville, N. Y., Feb. 14.—I am ready to work, vote and talk for the grand doctrine that the land belongs to the people. I have gained a convert to this doctrine this last week, one who will immediately begin the work of spreading it.
If every one who believes in the right of each man to the land will try to take some friend and stick to him till he has persuaded that friend to thoroughly investigate the subject of private property in land and the causes of industrial depression the 68,000 votes for labor emancipation will in another year become 680,000.
I believe, sir, that you and I will live to see the day when the laborer, be it by brain or muscle, will receive his full share of what he produces; when capital engaged in producing will be fairly paid and the land shall belong to the people to whom God gave it.
I believe that the Rev. Father McGlynn will live to sec himself vindicated by the voice of the people and the sanction of his church, while those who have sought his overthrow—not because they believed him wrong, but because they feared his growing popularity and strength with the people, because they knew that their puny intellects were no match for his mighty brain—will find their opposition recoil upon their own heads; that enough like the prophet of old, they have ascended the hills at the bidding of Dives to curse those who were doing God's will, like the prophet, their cursings, in spite of themselves, will be turned into blessings. and the shame of the attempt is all that will be left to recommend them to the memory of mankind.
The Case of John Jones
Being the Story of His Life, His Crimes and His Punishment
Forty-three years ago, in this city of New York. John Jones came into the world, a Citizen of the United States, born free—born the equal of any man upon the planet, and with an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. With these, his birth rights and privileges, John Jones became acquainted at a very early age. He heard them proclaimed in Fourth of July orations by political lenders of known patriotism and of immense energy and fluency of diction. He stud led them in his school books: he read them in the glorious Declaration of Independence, and, more than all, he learned them by tradition, hearing how his great-grandfather had fought to gain them in the Revolution, and his grandsire had borne arms to maintain them in the war of 1812.
John Jones' father was a poor man. In those days this was not considered disgraceful. But an American citizen may be inconvenienced by poverty as well as a German grand duke, and John Jones' father found poverty very inconvenient indeed. But he comforted himself with the assurance that his son John Jones would certainly rise in the world and provide carefully for his (Jones senior's) old age. Wasn't John an American, equal before the law to anybody else, with equal opportunity and an equal certainty of gaining independence and wealth by honest industry? Jones senior knew nothing of political economy, and had never heard of the wages fund or the pressure of population upon subsistence. He didn't understand that in begetting John Jones he had committed a crime against the Malthusian doctrine and flown in the face of Providence. On the contrary, he thought that in bringing a sturdy, healthy, intelligent boy into the world he had really done something deserving of credit, and he fully believed that John Jones would get ahead. He is dead now, poor old Jones senior, and he knows at last that when God bade man to increase and multiply and replenish the earth, He meant to say, “Replenish it as far as it can be done without inconvenience to the upper classes.” It is a pity that Jones senior had to die to find this out. So John Jones, having his way to make, in the world, and having confidence in his father's theories of equal rights and opportunities, betook himself to the serious business of life at a very early age. He swept out a store and ran errands and carried parcels and strove to do his duty manfully by his employers, and at night he read and studied, trying to improve his mind; for he had read the life of Franklin, and couldn't see any reason why, if Franklin, the American, became great, famous and wealthy by industry and study, he, John Jones, also an American, shouldn't do likewise. And by and by he became a salesman, and felt that his foot was on the first rung of the ladder of success.
And then, when he was seventeen years old, came the war for the Union.
John Jones did not hesitate for a moment. His sires had fought for freedom, and he was willing to light for it, too, and, if need were, to die for it. His bosom swelled with pride at the thought that he was no hireling of despotism, dragged into the ranks to war upon liberty, but a free born citizen of the great Republic, going joyously to danger, and perchance to death, in defense of those noble principles of freedom and equality which were his birthright. So John Jones enlisted and marched away with his fathers blessing ringing in his ears, and his lips yet dewy with his mother's loving, farewell kiss. Marched to hunger, marched to sickness, marched to wounds, and marched to prison, sustained through all by his ardent love of freedom, by his confidence in American institutions, by his deep, abiding sense that for a country which had done so much for man, man could not do too much. And somehow, while he was marching and suffering, the voice of the political economist was less loud in the land, and the great Malthusian doctrine wasn't heard of quite so of ten. and the better classes were willing to acknowledge that John Jones was not without his uses, though he did increase the pressure upon subsistence and help to diminish the wages fund.
And when the war was over John Jones came home and commenced bis struggle with the world again. He became a salesman in a retail dry goods store, and took his little share of the wages fund. He was diligent and successful. He asked for more salary and got it, and he felt that health being spared him, his success in life was assured.
Then John Jones did a very wicked thing, and committed a grievous sin against political economy. He got married. He didn't really mean to do anything wrong; he was rather foolish than absolutely base; his trouble was that he took things too literally. He had been taught in Sunday school and in church that the Lord would provide, and he really didn't realize that the Lord couldn't possibly provide beyond the limit of the wages fund. He had been taught that God created the earth for man to dwell in, and he didn't understand that this saying applied only to men who were lucky enough to own some of the earth. He had been taught that every man had an equal chance in free America, and he didn't understand that the equal chance referred to was an equal chance of getting nothing. He had been taught that there was nothing holier or more sacred than a marriage founded on true I affection and esteem, and he didn't understand that this sort of thing was only meant for the well to do. He loved the girl and the girl loved him. and the poor, blinded, ignorant, besotted pair of fools went and got married. And to crown their infamy. they had a baby within a year, and blasphemously thanked God for it. It was, altogether, a sad and wicked piece of work.
John Jones' employer made money—made it rapidly and continuously. Commercial panics didn't hurt him. He bought goods low from bankrupt manufacturers, and increased his trade by offering bargains, and throve exceedingly. But the panic did hurt John Jones; for one day his employer informed him that he could get a man to do his work for half his salary now that so many thousands were out of place, and that he must submit to a reduction. John Jones couldn't understand it at all. He felt that he had helped to make the money his employer possessed, and he couldn't comprehend why he should be punished for having done so. So he “kicked,” and his employer kicked back. and poor Jones was in the street. He had an equal right with his employer to the pursuit of happiness, but a mighty unequal chance of catching up with it. An American freeman, who had fought and bled for freedom, he had the incredible insolence to venture to argue with the man who bought his labor, and he found himself in the street.
Hard, indeed. was poor John Jones' lot now! Bitter was the penalty exacted for his sins! Strong, intelligent, of good moral character, willing and anxious to work, he asked but to be allowed to work, and he was refused. His loved wifes cheeks grew thin, his children cried aloud for food and shivered with the cold. He wandered through long streets of palaces, asking, not for alms, but for the boon of work, and he was refused. The wages fund had been exhausted, the pressure of population upon subsistence had become too great, and for him there was no work. The profit fund was all right; the men who made a business of buying labor knew no want. The pressure of population upon luxury hadn't made itself felt to any alarming extent, and balls and dinner parties and theaters and operas went on as usual. But John Jones and John Jones' wife and John Jones' children were surplus population, whom a beneficent and all-wise. Providence intended to squeeze out of existence, in confirmation of the great Malthusian doctrine. Rough on the Jones family, certainly, but. “those people have no business to get married and have children.”
So at last he begged: From door to door John Jones, citizen by birth, freeman by inheritance, made in the image of God, and created equal to every other man on earth, begged, for the clear Lord's sake, for bread to keen his family alive. He got it—oh, yes, he got it!—by abasing his manhood. in the dust, by submitting without a word to reproaches for his idleness, to curious cross-questionings about his family, to insinuations that made his cheek redden and his blood boil. He couldn't find a: master to employ him, but, like the other dogs. he was allowed to eat of the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. Fortunate John Jones, to illustrate in his own proper person that comfortable doctrine, “The poor ye have always with you!”
Well, he saved them. He barely did it, but somehow he did do it. And as times improved he was granted the inestimable privilege of work, and, by the grace of God, he still enjoys it. Not absolutely steady work; that were too sweet a boon. In busy seasons he labors hard and long: in the dull months of summer he takes, a vacation at his own expense. He trembles at his employer's frown, and dreads the day,which he knows must come, when he shall be discharged. If he is sick a day he loses that day's pay; if he is late five minutes in the morning,'he pays roundly for his tardiness. The house that buys his labor waxes rich apace, but John Jones never dares to hint at any increase of his meager salary. He knows now just what the wages fund means; he understands the pressure of population upon subsistence. His youth's ambition is quenched within him, and like a dumb, senseless beast of burden he makes his daily round of toil, knowing full well that when his capacity for work is past he will be, beyond doubt or per adventure, turned out to die.
And now, in the name of God who made the earth and made mankind and died on Calvary that men might live in happiness forever, tell me, What is John Jones? A freeman? Then to be free is to bend the supple binges of the knee, to crouch before a master, to be pursued by the specter of starvation, to lose self-confidence and self-respect and all that goes to make man Man! A slave? Let John Jones himself make answer. And if he answers yes, lot him ask himself another question: Is he not of all slaves the worst—a slave who might be free and will not—a slave who dares not claim' his birthright of freedom — a slave who is a fool?
T. L. McCready.
I know Father McGlynn holds a great many land heresies, but the followers of Mr. George go further than he. If their views are carried out, there will be socialists, there will be communists calling for the nationalization of the land, without compensation to owners. I regard such a scheme as that as nothing less than a robbery. So far as Mr. George's or Father McGlynn's land heresies are concerned, I think they can all be whipped into shreds on the ten commandments and the multiplication table.—[Joe Cook, Boston’s professor of omniscience.]
We have only words of sympathy for the suspended priest. He has been a shining light among the Catholic clergy of New York: he has been a kind, benevolent and faithful pastor. In an evil moment he adopted the plausible land theories of Mr. George, and became so ardent a disciple that he forgot his sacerdotal obligations, and fomented by his conduct a ministerial scandal which sorely grieved his superiors and the great body of church worshipers. The mischievous cabal of communists, socialists, anarchists and anti-Catholic bigots who are now applauding his insubordination are not tit associates for a man of his high character, intelligent eminence and religions instincts.—[Boston Republic, Ultramontane.]
It is not possible to make a man's garden pay taxes any more than his barn. He and his labor or some other man for him must pay all taxes. So Henry George's line discrimination between things made by “God” and things made by man is a discrimination between the agricultural laborer and the mechanic, to the great disadvantage of the former. This injustice may captivate the heart of the trades unionist in cities, but it cannot be made the basis of a national movement for reform.—[Winsted, Conn., Press.]
Dr. McGlynn is a fair sample of the genuine anarchist. It is the first principle of anarchism to defy all authority and overthrow all law. The substitute for law is with them the will of the individual. Whatever Dr. Me Glynn's usefulness has been in the past, it is destroyed for the future. He has assumed a position which he cannot maintain. He out-Georges Henry George.—[Brownville, Pa., Clipper.]
Henry George's ideal notions came to the front last Thursday night at the Brooklyn temperance meeting, when he said: “The saloon is a social need, and it ought to be maintained in some form.” He shows himself to be a thorough democrat and an also demagogue, fully capable of getting behind the screen of some other party in order to help his own.—[Cleveland News and Herald.]
The circulation of such a paper as The Standard among the uneducated, who possess no knowledge of political economy and lack the power of discrimination, is only productive of evil, as it advances theories and advocates »measures entirely alien and destructive to the true interests and harmonious workings of society. A perfect social chaos would be the result if George's theories were brought into practice.—[Mallete, Dak., Tribune.]
Henry George might have made some headway in mashing the tariff and thus destroying in a great measure our industries and the demand for labor; he could also have counted on a large following in his proposed destruction of the rights of property; but when he undertook to clown the pope Henry immediately measured his length in the mud. Now, who is so poor as to reverence Henry George?—[Dr. Munro of Indiana: quoted by Vicennes News.]
Will Gracefully Accept
The New Haven Register, having indulged in some nonsense about property holders resisting with their rifles any attempt to carry out what it calls the new plan of confiscation, the New Haven Workmen's Advocate says: Henry George simply proposes to prevent speculation in land values by taxing land to its full value, and we cannot see how, under the circumstances, the “rifle” would come into play with any good results to the riflemen commanded by editorial colonels. Nor will it be likely that the farmers will object to paying their taxes to the tax collector direct, instead of as at present paying an indirect and most burdensome tax lo the manufacturer, the merchant, the money lender and mortgage monger. The land holder on Mr. George's plan would be much more secure in his tenure of land than the overworked and interest-burdened farmer is today.
So, what's the use of indulging in such incendiary talk about farmers “armed with rifles:” The changes proposed will undoubtedly be. carried out by the people, and then—why, then the editor of the Register will not be the last to tell thorn that he always was in favor of true democracy. He will accept the inevitable gracefully.
The Senate Fears the People
John Swinton's Paper.
The pretext of the senate for beginning the erection of a great military establishment is the fear of foreign invasion; but the real reason is that new fangled fear of the people which is filling our large cities with arsenals and armories, and which has just led the capitalists of Chicago to offer the government ground for a military camp. and which has led to the recent decision of the supreme court practically nullifying the constitutional right of the people to bear arms.
The McGlynn Testimonial
The publisher of The Standard acknowledges the receipt of the following sums for the fund for Dr. McGlynn:
R. O'Neil, Elgin, Ill.
S. Nixon, Three Rivers, Mich.
Charles S. McMullen, Ponce Park, Fla.
George Duncan, Martin's Ferry, Ohio
A. Frew, Carbonate, Dakota
Patrick McGovern, New York
Benj. Urner, Elizabeth, N. J.
A. S. Eldridge, Johnstown, Pa.
Blanton Duncan, Louisville, Ky.
A New Jersey priest
A Brooklyn Boy
Dr. Thomas O'Reilly, St. Louis
P. Farley, Troy
S. J., Troy
F. H. T., Troy
Two workingmen, New York
W. S. Hedding, New York
J. McN., Reading, Pa.
Heman B. D., St. Louis
D. B., New London
L. B., New London
H. R. S., New London
C. Tamsen, Milwaukee
R. L. T., Milwaukee
M. M., New Orleans
Insulting a Generous Mind
Elgin, Ill., Feb. 7.—Enclosed find $1 for the Dr. McGlynn fund. I feel, with nearly all Catholics in this place, that the insult and degradation inflicted on Dr. McGlynn is nothing more than an effort on the part of tyranny to stifle the promptings of a generous mind. What does Cardinal Jacobini or Simeoni know of our political wants or aspirations except that inspired by Corriganism, Wiggerism, Gilmourism and Chatardism? And how much they are in sympathy with the people may be easily guessed. Catholics should remind those gentlemen that America is not Spain, and that we have a little better and higher instincts than if we were chickens in a poultry yard. We are always willing to hear the church; but if the church undertakes to court-martial one of our number for his political belief, then we should stand up as one man and say “An injury to one is the concern of all.”
Truth Shall Prevail
Three Rivers, Mich., Feb. 9.—Enclosed find one dollar, which please give to Dr. McGlynn. He sees the stay that you have seen, and I too see. The truth you have made clear has found friends who will toll for it, suffer for it, and, as you say, if need be, die for it, and I believe it will ultimately prevail.
Elizabeth, N. J., Feb. 13.—Although not a Roman Catholic in religion I am, I trust, Catholic in my sympathies, and I beg to be permitted to contribute the enclosed ten dollars to the fund for Father McGlynn. I thank God for him and the noble stand he has taken, and for you, his noble defender; and am glad to note that he does not propose to give up his ministry at the behest of the lords and princes of the church, whether of Rome or New York. I respectfully nominate him as pastor-at-large to the people, and if he accepts the position, though I contribute nought to the support of any other pastor, I will gladly help to sustain him.
From Dr. Mendelson
No. 209 West 46th St., New York, Feb. 4.—Enclosed find check for $8 for the McGlynn fund, $5 from my father, S. Mendelson, and $3 from self and wife. I take this opportunity to express to you our appreciation of the good work The Standard is doing for the emancipation of labor and our wish that its efforts may be rewarded by a constantly extending circulation. The Standard is destined to be for the land and labor cause what the Liberator of Garrison was for anti-slavery.
From Dr. Thomas O'Reilly
St. Louis, Feb. 14.—Please find enclosed a check for $50 as my contribution to the McGlynn fund. I sincerely regret that the numerous calls made upon me prevent me from making this sum double.
Thomas O'Reilly, M. D.
The Few Own the Many
Cordelia, Cal., Feb. 7.—There are we drifting to? Suppose we extend facts: The population of the United States is 50,000,000 of people; but suppose all the land in its boundary is gobbled up by a few—one hundred thousand like Jay Gould, Vanderbilt, Stanford, Astor, Huntington and the Trinity church corporation and a host of others paid for all the land, got the right- and title to it, made it all their own—they would have the right to do with it what they pleased. It would look very well until some day they drove everybody off their property. What then would become of the 49,000,000 of people? Would they have to go into the sea and live with the fish?
Hermann H. Albers.
The Gospel of Peace
The seeds planted by the founders and lenders of the International did not fall on stony ground. The International, it is true, went to pieces, but each of the pieces retained some of its ideas intact. The fundamental idea, that the interests of the workers in all lands are identical. that war, except it he a war of class against class, is to be abhorred as but lending to greater misery, is now reasserted both in France and Germany in reference to the present strained relations ca used by Prince Bismarck's attitude. This is what the Socialist, a French paper, says:
Brothers in Germany, rest ruin your Moltke; we will take care of our Boulanger. Men can arm themselves in the barracks of the bourgeois republic as in the barracks of the Hohenzollern empire; but these murderous weapons with which they on both sides wish to have us slaughtered will not be drawn, or they will be drawn against those who commit the indiscretion of playing with tire. As you have already said, Alsace-Lorraine, far from separating us, will but serve to bind us closer together. The abolition of all boundaries, which is a part of your program as well as of ours, will but make our brothers in Alsace-Lorraine the link between the victorious working classes of two countries.
Taxed for Fresh Air
Pall Mall Budget.
It is often said that Londoners owe most of their open spaces to the “generosity” of the corporation. This is an entire delusion. By far the greater number of the open spaces now belonging to the people of London has been paid fur out of indirect taxes—namely, the coal, wine and corn duties. For every breath of fresh air drawn by Cockneys on Hampstead heath or in Epping forest they have paid so much extra on their coal or their corn. It is on this wise: Thirteen pennies per ton are levied on all coal coming within fifteen miles of St. Paul's. Of these thirteen, nine are paid over to the metropolitan board of works and four to the corporation. The wine duty is a small one. and need not be mentioned in this connection. The grain duty is levied by weight on all gram coining into the port of London, and it is out of this duty that Tipping forest and other open spaces have been bought. It remains in force for several years more. The other duties, however, come to un end (unless reviewed by parliament in 1889. The corporation want lo have the coal duty renewed in order that they may still have the wherewithal to buy up open spaces; and prima facie, there is certainly a good deal to be said for their case. Fresh air is no doubt a precious commodity. Keats said, if we remember aright, that the air on Hampstead heath was “worth 6d. a pint,” and soil is; but whether London would care to pay the price if it was raised directly, instead of indirectly, may well be doubted.
The Spirit of the Age
Judge Frank F. Reid of Tennessee.
If the spirit of the nineteenth century could be incarnated, and should walk about dressed in a suit of clothes, I doubt, not that personage would be seen every Sunday at church, in a choice pew, with a gilt-edged prayer book in his hand, while during the other six days of the week he would be gambling—or, to use the politer expression, speculating—in stocks and bonds and real estate, and would of ten be found seated at the boards of directors of corporation organized for no other purpose than to give the big fish an opportunity to swallow the little fish: “in” with all the “rings”' formed to swindle and steal, on a large scale, under the forms of law, while applauding with virtuous zest the verdicts of juries consigning ignorant and friendless men and little boys to the penitentiary for long terms of years for the theft of a few dollars, perhaps himself a lessee of that institution; fleecing the unfortunate by exactions of usury under the name of interest, and poisoning the souls of men with that covetous greed for money which changes the human heart into a stone, fills the earth with wretchedness and hell with nine-tenths of its scorched and forever lost victims.
War As It Really Is
A Private Soldier's Story of Grant's Last Campaign in Virginia
History resounds with the pomp and pageantry of war. Bloody combats have been celebrated in song and story, and men have been taught to feel that there is something glorious in events that strew the ground with dead and wounded, and cause women to weep and orphans to cry for bread. Nations that profess the religion of the Prince of Peace are still animated by the spirit that causes the Indian to don paint and feathers, and parade the scalps of his enemies as his chief claim to honor and distinction.
In our country to-day this spirit is still rampant. The officers of the late civil war are still fighting their battles in the newspapers and magazines, the perpetuation of the memories of a fratricidal contest is accounted a patriotic duty, and the halls of legislation resound with belligerent bluster, while bills for fortifying our coasts, enlarging our navy and strengthening our militia are pushed through congress amid the plaudits of unthinking people. The old glamour still attaches to the bloody trade of war, and officers of the army and navy are the pets of that body of idlers calling itself Society, with a big S.
This is largely due to the fact that the history of war is written by officers who, whatever their claims to bravery, do not fully share the perils. privations and miseries of the great body of the soldiery. They write of the battles in which thousands of men were killed or wounded in such a way that these thousands appear xis mere numerals, conveying to the reader no definite conception of the fact that these dead and wounded were individual men, many of whom suffered terribly, and nearly all of whom left behind them mother, wife, child, sister or sweetheart, whose heart was wrung with agony as a loved name appeared on those terrible lists of killed and wounded that were printed in the newspapers after each battle.
Yet that terrible war was fought on both sides by intelligent Americans, most of whom could read, and many of whom could not merely write, but write well. The truths that then most need to know about that war will never be known until its private soldiers tell those likely to be private soldiers in any future contest what war means to those who bear its brunt and do the fighting. This is just what one private soldier, Frank Wilkeson of the Eleventh New York battery, does most admirably and graphically in the volume now under consideration.(1)
The common conception in the north of the war of the Union is that it was a heroic contest in which a noble and self-sacrificing body of patriots was led to battle by courageous and skillful commanders. The idea of a great battle, as presented by the accounts of officers and sung by poets, is a rush of brave men upon their opponents under the guidance and leadership of officers who directed every detail and planned every movement.
Those who read this volume will find such ideas vanish as they turn its pages. Wilkeson, then a mere boy, ran away from home to enter the army in 1863, two years after the contest had begun, and long after the patriotic enthusiasm that at first filled the ranks with the flower of northern manhood as volunteers had died out. The iniquitous system that, while compelling the poor drafted man to risk his life, permitted his rich fellow citizen to hire a substitute, was by that time thoroughly established. When the patriotic boy ran away from his pleasant home in the Hudson valley to enlist in a battery then serving at the front, his dreams were rapidly dispelled. Instead of joining a body of other patriots eager for the fray and impatient to get to the front, he found himself thrust into a penitentiary at Albany, among a thousand substitutes, all eager to desert, and guarded by heavy lines of sentinels, who, rifle in hand, stood guard constantly to keep their “recruits” from running away.
The author still has a vivid recollection of these “'irreclaimable blackguards, thieves and ruffians,” and gives a graphic description of his experiences in the barracks with them. He was robbed and beaten, and then punished by the officers for fighting because he resisted. He tells also of the subsequent efforts of many of these rascals to escape, whereupon they were shot down by officers, several of them in the streets of New York. The story of the first few days in the hold of a transport with these ruffians on their way to the south reads like the tale of a nightmare. One feature of it will be new to many renders, and that is the presence among the desperadoes of professional gamblers, disguised as soldiers, who, through the connivance of officers, were able to swindle the brutes out of the greater part of the large sum for which they had sold their liberty.
The story of winter camp life on the Rapidan is one of wearisome and largely useless drilling in maneuvers never afterward practiced, and of cruel and brutal punishments inflicted on the unfit and insubordinate recruits added to the army by the drafting process.
But it is when he comes to the description of actual battles that Mr. Wilkeson tells plain truths, that strip war of the glamour so often thrown over it by military writers. We do not, in these pages, had pictured the swift rush of brave men cheered by the voice and animated by the example of gallant commanders. The men moved forward in accordance with orders from unseen commanders to positions of peril. Once there they fought, as all modern soldiers do, behind trees or improvised trenches, or whatever other shelter they could find. Most of them fought well, but they fought of their own motion, and asked no more of their distant commanders than that they should keep the lines well filled with fresh men, to take the places of the killed and wounded. The common soldiers knew their duty, and did it, but they asked and expected little of the general officers, to whom the credit of their heroism is usually assigned.
Wilkeson's battery was not called into action in the battle of the Wilderness, and the lad, eager for actual experience, ran away to the front, and taking a musket and cartridge-box from the body of a dead man, took his place in the line and participated in the fight. He tells the story of the battle as he saw it, and it almost goes without saying that his tale differs from that told by the general officers who saw the light through field glasses from such distant vantage ground as the nature of the wooded country permitted.
The singular indifference to death and wounds acquired by veterans is illustrated by an incident recorded by the author as occurring after the retreat from the Wilderness. A timber of heavy artillerymen had just arrived from the entrenchments around Washington. The hard fighting infantrymen had conceived a contempt for these fort soldiers, and as the artillerymen, in new uniforms, marched gaily forward, a group of wounded men awaiting transportation to hospital decided the newcomers, asking them why they did not bring their earthworks with them. These men would limp along, exposing gaping wounds to the new men and ironically remonstrating with them in the folly of coming to such a place without their earthworks. One grim joker amused himself by covering and uncovering the terribly distorted face of a dead comrade. Despite this horrible initiation, Wilkeson records that the artillerymen fought well and were thenceforward treated with the fullest confidence and respect.
The whole series of battles following that in the Wilderness is described, and the author makes no attempt to conceal his contempt for the generalship that recklessly cast men against impregnable earthworks manned by the veteran troops of the army of northern Virginia. The enlisted men had definite opinions concerning the abilities of their officers, and among themselves cursed them bitterly for incompetency. “Toward Grant during that period the feeling was largely one of curiosity, as he had just taken command; but many complaints were made as the days rolled on that he wasted his army by hurling it against works that could not be captured, and that he sacrificed the enlisted men.
During one of the fights at Spottsylvania Wilkeson was with his battery firing at the confederate line when one of his comrades called his attention to Grant and Meade. They were sitting on the ground under a large tree watching the fight. Preparations were making by the infantry for another charge.
Grant had a cigar in his mouth. His fare was immovable and expressionless. His eyes lacked luster. He sat quietly and watched the scene as though he was uninterested spectator. Meade was nervous. . . . Our infantry advanced swiftly, but not with the vim they had displayed a week previous, and when they got within close rifle range of the works they were struck by a storm of rifle balls and canister that smashed the front line to finders. They broke for cover, leaving the ground thickly strewn with dead and dying men. The second line of battle did not attempt to make an assault, but returned to the ravine. Grant's face never changed its expression. He sat impassive and smoked steadily, and watched the short-lived battle and decided defeat without displaying emotion. . . . this was the only time that I saw either Grant or Meade under fire during the campaign, and then they were within range of rifled cannon only.
The soldiers looked curiously at Grant, but made no attempt to cheer him.
Wilkeson charges very distinctly that some one blundered before Petersburg. Our troops by a sudden movement arrived in front of the city hours before the confederates, and might then easily have captured the place. The opportunity was lest, and the result was that the confederates got inside the works, and so there was more slaughter of private soldiers, cutting in another defeat.
During the last two years of the war the army of the Potomac was much demoralized. This was partly due to the knowledge of the veteran enlisted men that their lives were uselessly sacrificed by their officers, and more largely to the fact that so much worthless material was injected into the army by the substitute system. Wilkeson cites one instance where veteran troops simply stood still when ordered to make a useless and deadly charge against well manned earthworks. He also descants at length upon the numerous “coffee boilers” who shirked to the rear through sheer cowardice.
He gives ghastly details of death on the field. He was himself one of a party engaged in playing cards on a blanket while their battery was not in action, when one of the four suddenly fell forward vomiting blood, a stray bullet having gone through his head. One man was literally torn to pieces, and a third had his bowels torn off by a shell and strung in ribbons along some yards from the spot where he fell dead. Such details do not encourage enlistments. There was little sentiment about death. Men took it as a matter of course. One man, mortally wounded, calmly lighted his pipe for a last smoke. Most of the stories about dying men talking of mothers, wives or sweethearts at home are fictitious or else apply to those who died in hospital while delirious.
The volume as a whole will be wholesome reading for youths filled with romantic not ions of military glory, and might prove useful to the noisy blatherskites in congress who now talk so glibly of war, were it not for the fact that such men never encounter the hardships of a private soldier's life and usually find profit in that which brings to others misery and death.
The facts, as given by Wilkeson, redound vastly more to the credit of the private soldiers than to that of the officers of our army in the late war, and they justify his conclusions against officering an army with West Point graduates and against exhausting the flower of our youth by the volunteer system and then filling up the battle-depleted ranks with criminals and tramps. Mr. Wilkeson writes strongly on this point, and declares his purpose to show, in a future edit ion, “how the resort to volunteering, the unprincipled dodge of cowardly politicians, ground up the choicest seed corn of the nation; how it consumed the young, the patriotic, the intelligent, the generous, the brave; how it wasted the best moral, social and political element of the republic, leaving the cowards, shirks, egotists and money makers to stay at home and procreate their kind.” Again he says: “I carried out with me from the ranks not only the feeling, but the knowledge derived from the current history of the war, that the military salvation of this country requires that the West Point academy be destroyed . . . West Point turns out shoulder-strapped officeholders. It cannot produce soldiers, for these are, as I claim, horn and not made.” He finally charges on West Point the ruinous delay in suppressing the rebellion, the piling up of needless billions of debt, and the awful waste of the best soldiers the world has seen.
It is probably not too much to say of Mr. Wilkeson's volume that in graphic delineation, in minuteness of detail, in absolute truthfulness and in soundness of conclusion it is the best war-book yet written, and the only one that gives to the brave men who actually fought the battles the full meed of praise that is their due. It is a book, too, that ought to make those who would scheme to embroil our people in another war to blush with a sense of their atrocious wickedness.
Men and Women
Dr. James E. Kelly, formerly of Sackville street, Dublin, but now of No. 6 Lexington avenue, this city, has been chosen consulting physician and surgeon of the French hospital. The Irish World, in noting this appointment, says: “May it ever be so with those who, while serving humanity and adding glory to the Irish name through their avocations, are still mindful of the land that gave them birth.”
Secretary Manning was in New York on Wednesday evening. and the corridors of the Fifth avenue hotel were thronged with politicians eager to see him. They evidently do not think that his retirement from politics is likely to leave him without influence. It is not believed that many of them expect appointments to clerkships in Mr. Manning's new bank.
Archbishop Walsh has been boycotted by Castle Catholics, in Dublin, because he supports the plan of campaign.
Joseph Chamberlain has said: “Robbery is robbery, whether it be practiced against the individual or against the state; and I cannot understand why the community are the only people who are to be without redress. If the rights of property are sacred, surely the rights of the poor are entitled to special reverence.”
Prospective Wealth and Pinching Poverty
The Richmond, Va., State, 3d inst., said in an editorial:
In countries like America, where there are no privileged classes, every man has an opportunity to accumulate a fortune. If he has wit and business pluck the humblest day laborer will cease to be a hewer of wood and become a man of large business affairs.
But its news columns of the same issue showed that in December and January the Richmond city mission had done a larger amount of work than in any other t w o months since its organization. The mission's visitors had made 1,825 visits to poor people, and the rest of its statistics, published in the State, showed dire poverty on the part of a great many people in Richmond. It is a pity that so many of the people of Richmond lack what the State calls “wit.”
Knaves In Cow's Clothing
Candidates Whose Hearts Ache for the Poor Workingman
Mystery makes fuel for the fire of our fears. You ought to have seen how our d o g Jeremiah flew around a couple of boys with a cowhide stretched over them, imagining he saw some strange demon.
Just so it is with the people when any new theory dawns on the world, Like the rays of the rising sun illuminating the morning cloud, the first whisper of any social or political advancement paints our imaginations red, and we expect blood and thunder where only good and earthly blessings are shining on the horizon of our limited views.
But, still, a great many things wouldn't amount to much if it wasn't for the shroud of mystery hanging over them, like these two boys in the cow skin.
There was a good deal of “Jeremiah and the cowskin” connected with the origin of the Mormon bible. Joe Smith was shrewd enough. to throw in some mystery for the imagination to use as a cud, and a lot of uncalled for ignorance has been. chewed out of it. Jeremiah is not the only one that has been scared by an empty pelt. Far from it. See how our wise business men throw up their hands in holy horror when the free trade calfskin promenades around the presidential election, just a s though one party or set of men would rather see our country going down hill than to see our business prosper. But the high tariff steer is covered with a mysterious pelt, and we imagine that it protects the laboring man because it keeps the price of goods up, while our manufacturers import foreign laborers and we sit around and do nothing but enjoy their company. The little bit of pleasure we get in associating with foreign laborers is all the benefit we get out of high tariff. The duty paid on all goods shipped to our country goes to pay the expenses of our government, of course; but just that much more is added to the price of the goods and the American consumer pays it all back again, and the mysterious high tariff steer pelt waves in the land of the free and is worshiped like the sacred white elephant of hindmost India.
Our currency, too, finds shelter under the untanned pelt of mystery, and a big gob of abstruseness hangs around our leading financiers, and their arguments are as wise and mysterious as the gab of a parrot and about as voluble.
While mystery magnifies trifles into mountains, it also creates demons out of harmless creatures, When the woolly pelt of abolition first began to wave in the breeze of public thought, it looked so fearful in the eyes of the timid that they hoped and prayed it would soon be blown from the northern horizon. But it grew larger every day, and soon filled our literature, our politics and our religion, and today it serves as a covering on every freeman's couch throughout our republic.
Today we find another well tanned pelt waving over the land and searing the owners of ill- otten wealth, while the poor laborers are gathering under it like chicks under their mother's wing. Our literature, our politics and our religion are scented with it, and it will never disappear till justice is done to every humble workman, and corporations are compelled to earn their money instead of making it. That d a y is fast coming, for when once a subject is debated by every one, the majority will vote on the side of right, and justice will swim on the surface at last.
But, confound it, I have drifted from the story I started out to tell—about the two boys in the cowhide.
Last fall we sold our cow, because it was easier to sell her than to buy hay. We sold her to a man who lives about two miles from our house; but the next night she came back, apparently, and eat all the clothes left hanging on the line. We could hear her bell jingling around the house and would request Jeremiah to “seek” her, but Jeremiah seemed to be afraid of her. She came back one night when I was a way from home, and Melinda slipped out and penned her in the stable, but the next morning she was gone and all the clothes on the line had disappeared also. I thought it mighty queer that she always came back in the evening of a washday and had such a ravenous appetite for clean clothes, and I began to grow suspicious. So the next night when she came jingling around the back yard I slipped out and watched her motion. I saw at once it was some thieves in cow's clothing, so I slipped up and caught the apparition by the tail. Jeremiah flew around and became terribly excited, but I drove him away and hollered to Melinda to fetch out the bucket and get a little milk for breakfast. The thieves stood as calm as an old cow till Melinda came out with the bucket, and then they began to prance around a little and keep a w a y from her. I watched my chance and stubbed the tail around a peach tree, and then, while Melinda held the end, I pretended to tame the brute with a club and whacked the thieves over their heads till they begged for mercy. Melinda fainted when she heard a voice coming out of the cow's belly; but when she remembered that she had been fooled one night before, and had penned the supposed cow in the stable, she came out of her faint and let her nerves down gently by objurgating soft and low, while she shook those thieves till they promised to bring back all the stolen goods.
Jeremiah bas become very suspicious of strange cattle, and he examines them very closely, to see whether they have got boots on. I've become a little suspicious myself, and I believe there are a great many rogues going around in cow's clothing.
When the candidate comes to me and tells me how his heart aches for the poor laboring man, and that his prayer is taut all poor people may be fed with stuffed turkey, I always think of Jeremiah and the the cow-skin, and swallow his gab with a good deal of suspicion for dressing.
How many lawyers, judges, congressmen, senators, preachers and missionaries are parading in cow's clothing, whose voices sound as guileless as the tinkle of a cow bell, and who are robbing the public clothes-line and give no milk?
And these are the very men who hold up the shadow of any coming blessing, and teach people to look at it with suspicion. Any blessing that comes in disguise is always looked upon with suspicion, but the knave in the cowskin will pass for a harmless critter till some one investigates for milk.
As long as wealth gives a man prestige in the estimation of society just so long will you find men wearing the cow-skin to hide their ungodly struggles for the almighty dollar. But I will go along in my humble way, praying for bur fallen race and trusting that we may all grow better, but still keeping my weather eye cocked on the clothes-line.
Some sings of the lily, and daisy, and rose,
And the pansies and pinks that the summertime throws
In the green, grassy lap of the medder that lays
Blinkin' up at the skies through the sunshiny days.
But what Is the lily, and all of the rest
Of the flowers, to a man with a heart in his breast
That was dipped brim min' full of the honey a:id dew
Of the sweet clover blossoms his babyhood knew?
I never set eyes on a clover Held now,
Er fool round a stable, er climb in the mow,
But my childhood comes back jest as clear and as plain
As the smell of the clover I'm sniffin' again;
And I wonder away in a bare-footed dream,
Whare I tangle my toes in the blossoms that gleam
With the dew of the dawn of the morning of love
Ere it wept o'er the graves that I'm weepin' above.
And so I love clover; it seems like a part
Of the sacredness sorrows and joys of my heart;
And whatever it blossoms, oh, thare let me bow
And thank the good God as I'm thankin' Him now!
And I only to Him Mill for the strength, when I die,
To go out in the clover and tell it good bye,
And lovin'ly nestle my face in its bloom
While my soul slips away on a breth of perfume.
-James Whitcomb Bilan.
Neither President nor Senator Needed in the United States
When the revolted American colonies bade farewell to the British empire the empire was governed by that “trinity of powers”—executive, legislative and judicial—upon which so much praise had been lavished by constitutional writers. Royalty, the one man executive power, still had and for fifty years longer continued to have an actual as well as a nominal existence. It was not by any means the transparent sham that it is to-day. Though vastly modified from what it had been under the Tudors and the Stuarts, it was still a potent and equal integer in government. George III throughout all his long reign was far enough from being the passive, salaried puppet his successors have been content to be since the reform bill. He had a stout will of his own, and it had been in great degree owing to his self assertion, obstinacy and irascibility, as our colonists had had good cause to know, that they had been driven into rebellion. There was as surely a reigning sovereign in London in 1776 as there was a house of commons; and each of the Hanoverian kings would have indignantly repudiated a suggestion that he was “the only person in the realm compelled to approve unconditionally of every act of parliament.”
The delegates who met in convention at Philadelphia 100 years ago to frame a “constitution for the United States of America” had by their early training been English whigs. They had attained to middle and mature age during our revolutionary struggle, but their ideas of government had been imbibed from the English constitutional writers, chiefly from the learned and polished Blackstone. The favorite theory of that political generation was the necessary division and balance of the three branches of government—executive, legislative and judicial—and nothing could be more natural than the strict conformity of our federal constitution to that theory. When it is further considered that each of the several states of the confederation had in 1787 already formed its constitution upon the same mode! (or had adapted to use with slight modifications its colonial charter), the inducements of usage and conformity will be observed to have been added to the convictions of education. The federal constitution, thus made, has perpetuated for a Century on this continent a political system which every other enlightened people upon the planet have long since outgrown.
Although it was impossible for the men of 1787 to conceive of any executive head which should not only be single, but also independent of the legislature, or very nearly so, they, standing upon the very brink of the great French revolution, were nearer to the overthrow and general repudiation of one-man power than they dreamed. Perpetuate it on this side of the Atlantic as they might, its days were numbered on the other side. And we awaken here in America in the last quarter of the nineteenth century to find that in almost all other self-governing countries the real executive is not only not single, but is also in no respect independent, being absolutely the creature of the legislature. The change of governmental form in this respect, throughout Christendom, since the convening of that deliberative body in Philadelphia, is one of the most remarkable things in modern political history. Parliamentary government, as developed since the fall of Napoleon, has everywhere, except at Berlin and at Washington, and perhaps at Copenhagen, been conceded to be wiser, prompter, fairer, more flexible and better representative than the tangled, rigid and unwieldy “three powers,” under which fifty millions of intelligent Americans today suffer misgovernment.
What is parliamentary government? It is the deposit of all powers in one elective house or chamber; the designation by a majority of its members of a cabinet or ministry, more or less numerous, which possesses executive functions under the direction of the legislative body, but not in control of it, and never in opposition to it. This is a reversion to an original form—the council of barbaric chieftains, of the twilight of history. The warrior who excelled his fellows and became a king was a usurper, whose ascendancy was permitted by the hero-worshiping propensities of our race till his claim, founded upon valor or cunning, or other accident, grew into and was recognized as a divine right. To depose the usurper and restore the assembly is the only way to return to the principle of the equality of men. To relegate the executive back from his position of mastership to that of subordination and service to the majority, or to the representatives of the majority; to make the actual administration the hand and not the head; to break the arbitrary iron term of emperor, king, consul, president or governor, and make the tenure of the cabinet which is to succeed him depend not upon lives or fixed years, but upon the everyday satisfaction of its constituencies with its acts and policy, would introduce into this country the latest improvements in the, science of civilized government.
From the conditions unfortunately accompanying its recognition in Europe, parliamentary government exists nowhere in its purity. It is hampered more or less by the royal and noble relies of the past usurpations. True, in Great Britain (whence our ancestors derived their faulty model) neither the personal nor the political opinions of the crown-wearer have now anything whatever to do with the policy of government. Continental Europe, which was a congeries of despotisms in 1787, is a fraternity of parliaments and ministers. Kingdom after kingdom maintains the hollow forms and mummeries of royalty, from which the essence has departed. King after king has been presented with the alternative of self-support of his throne, or an enormous pension and at title, upon it, and has prudently preferred the latter. Every paper of state which his majesty's most obsequious ministers present on their knees for his august signature, is a document which has already been adopted by yeas and nays in another place, and to which his majesty never has the slightest objection at any time.
These kings, who reign but never govern, are the excrescences of the European parliamentary system- resulting, as a compromise, from the temporary retention of the kingly shadow. Russia and Germany remain autocratic; but even Germany has a parliament, which debates, though it does not rule. Pure parliamentarianism has, of course, no more need of a senate or house of lords than it has of a monarch, and in American systems, the senate, if it ever had a raison d'etre, has long since lost it. The senates, in both state and nation, have become a mere roost for millionaires, and have grown corrupt and exclusive because the price of seats in them generally comes high. From being a supposed bulwark against popular turbulence American senates have become a positive impediment in the way of popular progress. The only necessary elements of parliamentary government are the house and its servants—the ministry. The judiciary in this country, since the New York state constitution of 1846 (so generally treated as a model by her sister states), has been set apart as a purely elective office, filled for limited terms, and no longer requiring to be included as part of an imaginary trinitarian system.
Our governmental defects are obvious. Energy, promptness and subordination are lacking in the American system. Negligence and corruption flourish for want of proper supervision. The tariff question lingers—for instance, at Washington. Nobody knows anything about it; nobody can centralize congressional opinion so as to deal with it; year after year passes idly. But, put a responsible ministry on the floor of the house of representatives, with a majority at its back, and with the knowledge that it must stand or fall by the public opinion of the day, and a single month would suffice to settle the entire tariff problem. Given the control of the executive departments to congress, and such a measure as the Morrison surplus resolution of last session, after passing both houses almost unanimously, would have been instantly put into effect, instead of being ignominiously pocketed, disregarded and denied. The absurd spectacle of the legislative power of congress contemptuously set at nought in the treasury department; of the president and the two houses at loggerheads touching currency, debt and taxation, balancing each other's authority and nullifying each other's acts, would of course be altogether impossible under a parliamentary system.
No clearer description of the impotence of congress, under the present system, the helplessness of leaders, and the lack of wholesome policy, could be given than by the following extract from the speech of Mr. Weaver of Iowa in the house in April, 1880:
There is no policy nor purpose in this house today in either one of the two great political parties. You may be a high protective tariff man or a free trader and still be either a democrat or republican. You can be an anti-bank man or a bank man and still be a member of any party represented on this floor, except the greenback party. You can be a monopolist or on anti- monopolist, you can be a Blair educational bill man or an anti- Blair man, and still be an acceptable member of either of the old parties. I defy any one to name a thing that a man has to believe in to be a member of either of these two parties, or to point out what, if he do not believe in it, will debar him from membership. There is no policy here in either party, no purpose, but degradation and disintegration. Evils are rampant, but congress is deaf and blind. The remedy must come (if at all) from the majority of the house. We must have a purpose. We must have tests of membership. Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Labor, church 's, have tests of membership, but the great political parties of this country have none, and a man may believe anything about government and yet be an acceptable member of either organization.
It must be an unobservant statesman who has not considered the dangers attendant upon our intricate and undemocratic method of presidential election. The competition for the chair of American mock royalty, the presidency, has already once been the immediate cause of a terrific civil war, in 1801. On three other occasions, in 1801, 1825 and 1677, presidential contests brought us to the very verge of actual strife, so that men held their breath in apprehension. We stand quadrennially in fear of such civil dissensions as have attended all elective monarchies, from those of Roman emperors to those of Polish kings, and it is a safe prediction that if the American people persist in retaining the presidency in their federal constitution, not only rebellions, but final dissolution and de-nationalization, will some day grow out of the struggle for it.
I shall be so bold as to advert to just one additional reflection on the public dangers of the presidency. There is a skeleton in our national closet. It is the fear of the assassination of the president. Do you say such a danger is unworthy of consideration ? How can it be when two presidents have already died by the hand of violence within this present generation? The extent to which the dread of assassination has grown, until it has become a living, ever present white terror, at the executive mansion and throughout all official circles at Washington, is not and cannot be realized elsewhere. It is proclaimed by the crowd of detectives who surround the mansion where dwells our chief magistrate; by his few, guarded and unannounced appearances in public. He and we, too, are paying a humiliating price for the possession of a paltry copy of royalty at the end of the nineteenth century. Admit to the fullest extent the warning of Jefferson, that “governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;” admit the peril of “abolishing forms to which. we are accustomed;” but, now that we are again about to assemble a constitutional convention in our greatest and foremost state, New York, and are about, moreover, to celebrate the centennial of our federal compact, it is an apt moment to inquire how our institutions can be conveniently improved, and whether, wedded to the ideas of one hundred years ago, we should continue to lag in the rear in the march of nations.
Gideon J. Tucker.
Figures Cannot Be Dodged
Proof Beyond Doubt that there is No Poverty in this Country
Sehome, W. T.—The Portland Oregonian says: “In a recent speech in Boston Henry George held that, in spite of inventions and improvements in every direction, 'it is becoming more and more difficult to make a living.' As a matter of fact the people of this country consumed more sugar, tea and coffee last year than in any one year of our history, with a single exception, . . . and they are not growing poorer every year and starving for the want of the absolute necessaries of life.” The incorrectness of Henry George's teachings are further demonstrated: Two hundred million lead pencils were sold in the United States last year, making an average of a fraction over four pencils to every man, woman and child in the land. Yet Mr. George complains of the condition of the poorer classes in a land where every inhabitant, from the puling infant in its mother's arms to the gray hatred veteran of the almshouse, used four lead pencils. Why, four lead pencils would almost write a book; the price of the infants four lead pencils, judiciously expended, would in the course of time buy shoes for the family. During the year 1885 over 60,000,000 pairs of kid gloves were sold in the United States. This allows one and about two-fifth pairs to every inhabitant. Now, allowing for the wear and tear in putting new kids on the hands of laboring men, we have remaining one pair to each inhabitant. Figures cannot be dodged. That such a teacher as Mr. George should be tolerated, and, above all, that he should have followers of alleged intelligence in a land where there is such abundance—nay, luxury—among the people as is indicated by the uni1 real and increasing use of kid gloves, is astounding.
Again, during the year of 1800-01 there were manufactured and sold in the United States 11,000,000 boxes of Ayer's, Schenck's and other pills. The average was less than one-third of a box per capita. Last year the sales amounted to 50,000,000 boxes, or one to every inhabitant. The inference is irresistible that the condition of the masses is becoming better instead of worse. The subject opens out illimitably; but the foregoing serves to show how prosperous our laboring classes really are.
Sandusky, O., Local.
A treasury overflowing with the people's cash, which by right should have been left in the pockets of the people, is a sufficient abomination; but to put that money into fortifications and armaments would be putting it into useless and huge swindling jobs. which would add to that abomination a public demoralization which would be more ruinous to the nation than anything else except the actual war they would threaten and invoke. And an actual war gotten up, such as is the one threatened to gratify public plunderers, land and sea pirates, human cormorants, ghouls jobbing in dead men at so much per head, who want such a war as the buzzards long for a carcass to prey upon, would be the final, irretrievable ruin, degradation and utter abandonment to every form of corruption of this nation, and all its people, even including in its hideous misery of life and living, the infernal fiends, robbers and thieves who urged it on; and the wretched asses who want those preparations made for war. so that it may come.
Imprisonment For Debt
Remnants of a Barbarous Law Invoked Against Organized Labor
The recent arrest of five Knights of Labor in a civil suit should direct the attention of labor organizations to the existing law of imprisonment for debt. At one time all judgment debtors were imprisoned; but the law has been modified by degrees until now imprisonment is allowed only in certain cases including judgments for libel and other injuries to the person, and fraud and other injuries to property. It is insisted that in such eases it should be retained, and every attempt to repeal it is met with violent opposition. The moral force of this opposition is weakened, however, by the fact that every step in the gradual modification of the law from its most barbarous condition was opposed as violently and with the same arguments that are now advanced.
Imprisonment for debt of any kind bears with peculiar harshness upon the poor. The well-to-do know nothing of its severity. If a rich man wrongs another and a judgment for damages is found against him. his property and not his person pays the penalty. Or if no property can be reached, wealthy friends may give security that he will not abscond, and his imprisonment is only nominal: the prison walls are enlarged for him to the territorial limits of the county. But the man who has neither property nor wealthy friends is confined in jail for from three to six months, according to the magnitude of the judgment. And at the beginning of the suit, when no one can know whether it will succeed or fail, whether it is in good faith or malicious, the defendant may he arrest ed and held to bail ponding the trial. Here again the rich man finds bail and the poor man is looked up.
It was under this law that the five Knights of Labor to whom I refer were arrested. The Old Dominion steamship company had discharged longshoremen because they would not submit to a reduction of wages. Their union took the matter up, and a strike and boycott resulted which crippled the business of the steamship company. The company brought a suit against the live men, who were, as it supposed, officers of the union, laying damages at $20,000 and asking an order of arrest on the ground that the damages claimed were for an in jury to the company? s property. Whether the suit was well founded, either in law or fact, is not material; the men were arrested. Though it must have been manifest to the judge that they were workingmen. he fixed their bail at $5,000 each, an amount that few who work for daily wages can give. It happened, however. that these men gave it, very much to the discomfiture of the plaintiff, whose chief hope it was to send them to jail. In any ordinary case, men in the condition of life of these men, could not have given such exorbitant bail, and and the malice of the plaintiff would have been gratified by their imprisonment.
It ought to be obvious to any one that a law involving discrimination like this, which affords such opportunities to the malicious and inflicts corporal punishment in civil suits. Is out of place in a modern statute book. If a man whose person or property has been injured by the wrongful act of another seeks pecuniary compensation and obtains a money judgment, why should his debt be so much more sacred than any other as to entitle him to squeeze his debtor by threats of jail or to torture him and impoverish his family by imprisonment? If corporal punishment is what is wanted it should be sought in the criminal courts where complainant and defendant are, in theory at least, upon an equal footing and a public prosecutor guards the rights of both. But it often happens that men are punished by these civil arrests for wrongs they do not commit. Actions for conversion furnish familiar instances. Conversion is the wrongful taking of another's property. The “wrong doer” may be innocent of any intention to do wrong. He may be ignorant even of the act with which he is charged. The property may have come into his hands fairly and honestly, or the wrong may have been done, without his knowledge, by an agent. Yet a judgment for damages may be had against him, and if he cannot pay he must go to jail, unless he has friends who will agree to pay the debt if he leaves the county. Nothing can be said in favor of this from a legal standpoint that is not hostile to sound principles. It is repugnant to every moral consideration, a means of oppressing the poor, a tool of the extortioner, a weapon of revenge and a trap for the unfortunate; and now that it has been invoked as a menace to organized labor, organized labor should demand its prompt repeal.
Louis F. Post.
There Must Be Something Wrong
When earth produces rich and fair
The golden waving corn,
When fragrant fruits perfume the air
And fleecy flocks are shorn,
Whilst thousands move with aching head,
And sing the ceaseless song,
We starve, we die, oh give us bread!
There must be something wrong.
When wealth is wrought, as seasons roll,
From off the fruitful soil,
When luxury from pole to pole
Reaps fruit from human toil;
When of a thousand, one alone
In plenty rolls along,
And others never a joy have known,
There must be something wrong.
When poor men's tables waste away
To barrenness and drouth.
There must be something in the way
That's worth the finding out.
With surfeits one great table bends
Yet starves the wistful throng.
While scarce a crust their board extends
There must be something w rung.
Then let the law give equal right;
To wealthy and to poor,
Let freedom loose the grip of might—
We ask for nothing more.
Until this duty is begun
The burden of our song
It is and can be only one,
There must be something wrong.
A Shaker Protest
David Frazer, one of the most sensible of the Shakers, writes to the New York Tribune remonstrating on the evil of its ways. He says:
There are three kinds of political economy. The first is that of heaven. “Unto this last, even as unto thee, will I give a penny.” The second, that of modem Christian civilization, which leaves in the city of New York 200,000 helpless women the victims of destructive competition. And to dispose of its surplus population, its chief factors are war, “famine and pestience. Third, the political economy of justice—opening to all alike the elements of human subsistence, of which Henry George is an exponent. The attacks of the press upon him impress me unfavorably. I am an aged man, between eighty and ninety. I advise in the interests of peace and of security to life and property, that you take a change of base.
The March to Monarchy
Boston Evening Transcript.
Thinking men are coming to the conclusion that very populous cities must be controlled by a power out side of their borders. Thus a paper was read before the New York republican club on Wednesday night, assuming that the “experience of New York during the years from 1846 to 1857 proved that popular government for cities is a failure. It was proposed to abolish the common council and have a mayor appointed by the governor, who, on the recommendations of the mayor, should also appoint heads of departments.” This scheme would effectually wipe out the theory of local self-government.
“So Cold, Papa! So Cold!”
The blast bowled round the miner's hut and sifted through its seams,
Where in its little cradle smiled a sick child in its dreams;
As if, ere yet its soul had fled, its angel mother's eye
Had caught from heaven its upturned glance and beckoned it on high.
The miner slept—but as the chili of midnight o'er him rolled,
He heard, or seemed to hear, a cry: “So cold, papa- so cold!”
He listened, but the cot was still; 'twas but a dying breath,
That, as those blue lips grew benumbed, dwindled away in death.
Chill as a corpse-light at its head the candle kept its 'wake.
Chili, bitter chili, those waxen lips that neither sighed nor spake;
While, with long nights of watching spent, with food and fuel gone,
Sadly beside his little boy the father slumbered on.
But when, alas! at early morn he bent him o'er that brow,
laps that so lately said “good night” said no “good morning” now.
Childless, as by that cot he bowed with eyes suffused and dim,
With coal beneath his very feet, yet none that night for him;
The while he rubbed those rigid hands and kissed those curls of gold,
That faint cry shivered through his frame, “So cold, papa, so cold!”
In the white churchyard on the hill, under the winter snow,
Warm in its little grave at last lies all he loved below,
But why there was no coal that night, the coldest of the year,
And why the men struck at the shute, by heaven! the world shall hear.
Down at the bottom of that tomb whose tales are never told,
Black as the blackest slave that rots within the slave ship's hold:
Down in the death damp and the dark of that unlifted frown,
Shoveling and shoveling at the shaft as the coal came pouring down—
Down there the word was brought to them within that deadly graff,
That wages were cut down per ton just two cents and a half,
While that same hour, the price of coal, from where it stood be fore,
Was raised without a single word, just half a dollar more
Who dared such mad injustice, at this dread moment, when
The whole land well may tremble for the wrongs of workingmen—
Whose was the foul conspiracy that called those serried halts—
Whose strike still holds the boycott down on Nature's bursting vaults ?
A knot of spiderous plutocrats, a dastard pack of fools.
Who have combined to corner coal in what is known as “pools.”
What I corner coal and cut men down to cover up the blind,
and tax us for it all the while because it is not mined?
What, corner coal! that legacy to every man that lives,—
Those sunbeams stored up in the ground, the light of heaven gives—
Then why not corner light at once and shut down on the sun !
And shovel it up around the throne at just so lunch a ton?
Sell out the sea in watered stocks, the air by telephone,
And tax each man so much a breath, according to ozone.
Know this, ye Vandal chiefs, that earth is God's free gift to man.
Like light, like air, like water free, deny it if you can;
And any law that gives a man a right to hold in fee
One foot of land, of which that man is only God's trustee,
I care not by what court upheld—what statute, howe'er strong—
On God's eternal statute book it stands a monstrous wrong.
For that alone is property that man himself creates,
And any law but perfidy that locks great Nature's gates;
For coal and iron, and wood and stone, and telegraph and train,
Belong unto the commonwealth by eminent domain;
And to the commonwealth should come as cheaply as they can,
With well paid labor left between—the only middle-man,
For of all trespassers at law, he is the vilest wretch
Who corners nature's gifts for what the pinch of want the fetch.
For these great truths the Saviour died, the truths the Scriptures teach,
The truths that to its lauded fold the pulpit dare not preach;
The truths a coward clerisy dare not so light as teach.
Heavens! if such men were called of God, he never urged them much.
Strike, O ye trampled millions, strike, for justice and for right,
For God is more than governments, and truth is more than might.
Against the tyranny of law stands this sure sure antidote.
The classes have the money, but the masses have the vote.
For of all tyrants on the throne, be they however accurst,
A conscienceless plutocracy is far by far the worst.
And sadder than all cries that curse the centuries of old,
That moan upon the midnight air: “So cold, papa, so cold!”
Rev. Miller Hageman.
Miss M'Tartar's Day
Friday was Miss McTartar's day, and the Poor—with a capital P, if you please, a s she always wrote it in her quarterly and semi- annual results—were well aware of it, particularly those who dwelt in Sweeny's court. If they were not, heaven knows it was for no lack of reminders in the shape of sharp reproofs, caustic denials, sour chagrins and bitter mortifications plentifully heaped upon them.
High and haughty and hard was Miss McTartar, with a face like fate's and a tongue like a two edged sword; and most of her pensioners would have walked a mile around to get out of her path on ordinary occasions, but With cold, hunger and an epidemic behind them what were they to do?
No dread of her, no respect for discipline, no terror of punishment, no amount of red tape, though she measured it off by the yard and fought it by the gross, could scare or hinder the inhabitants of the court from various uncomfortable tricks they had.
They were always falling ill, being “set out,” getting hurt, starving, freezing, dying and wanting to be born, or wanting to be buried, from Sunday morning till Saturday night, and exhibiting other unconscionable traits of a vile, low-bred humanity.
So void of sense and shame were they, so unamenable to system, that if she had posted up a notice of her day in letters of gold and pictures of silver over the stately doorway of her marble mansion, that would not have served as a warning and remembrancer.
On Fridays, and on Fridays only, she sat at the head of a committee expressly to hear complaints, and woes and wrongs, and to deal out—after due inquisition—a certain quantity of charitable relief well seasoned with advice; but it would be a great mistake to suppose that the court would not turn up bright and early on the odd days of the week with a fresh watch ready for redress. To be sure, it was said by one who knew the needy, “the poor have ye always with you;” but that was ages ago, and deeply did Miss McTartar resent their pertinacity, their improvidence and their insubordination. Add ingratitude to the list and you have their world old vices, which all the costly and beneficent philanthropy of the nineteenth century has been unable to root out, the more's the pity.
“A loaded cannon planted on my top step,” said she, “to threaten them with instant and richly deserved annihilation would not suffice to frighten them away”—the exigent, thriftless, miserable poor!
They watched and waited and waylaid her with tears and cunningly devised tales: they begged and entreated, prayed and hoped; yes, and more than once with desperate insolence demanded comfort, succor, food, utterly and stolidly oblivious of the fact that there is a time for everything, and that Miss McTartar's time for them was Friday.
Not that she ever went out of her course for them or paid the slightest attention to them otherwise than at the appointed hour, and in her official capacity. The code of your Medes and Persians was mere melted wax compared with her inflexibility, which, being of a petrean quality, wailing want and impudent beggary might break their hearts or knock their brains out against and welcome.
She had no time for such trivial kindness as a cup of cold water to any thirsty soul; she was too busy building immense reservoirs, laying conduits and irrigating w hole districts, and she would have disdained to lose a minute in cooling a fevered tongue with her finger-tip while all the fires of hell were burning.
She had chosen to devote her life to the service of the ungrateful poor and to charity—no ignoble resolve for one who, though little and lame, was rich withal—but it was as well, perhaps, for truths sake, that she found for her work a phrase which fittingly excluded the idea of tender and loving ministry.
“Societarian reformation,” said she sternly, “exacts rigorism, systemization and legislation,'” and uncommonly like a personification of these three handmaidens roiled into one she looked when she said it—at least, so thought the Rev. James Summerbell, who heard her. He was a mild-mannered, intellectual young man, who had been" especially appointed by the vestry of St. Martin's to assist Miss McTartar in her campaigns against poverty; and for the life of him, while she urged a policy of extermination, he could not help being reminded of the grim old Roman who wound up every oration with his delenda est Carthago, nor of standing somewhat in awe of her too.
But Mr. Summerbell's thoughts were, as you will presently see, apt to be excursive, speculative, unpractical, if not wholly indefensible.
Luckily for him, providence had endowed him with a line genius for silence, therefore his ideas seldom found utterance in words, though there were occasions when they kindled flame in his eyes, flushed his pale cheeks, and t rem bl ed on his very lips.
He had his misgivings that her method of blasting whole rocks from the mountain of human misery uprooted too rudely and recklessly the clinging vines, the soft mosses, the tender foliage with which heaven clothes the sharpest stones, and brought to the hapless hewers of wood and drawers of water who dwelt in the immediate vicinity of her operations dire confusion, hatred and dismay.
He—weak soul!—loved the small, sweet springs and quiet rills of private and personal benevolence which draw the giver into Christ-like sympathy with his kind, and he blushed to find that they were despicable in her eyes.
Countless funds passed through her hands as water passes through the marble palms of a statued fountain, and her benefits dropped with an icy chili upon the quivering nerves of the unfortunate who fell beneath the stream. She gathered legacies, contributions, endowments into one strong, store receptacle; and expended them by an unalterable system. She had missions and commissions, but no omissions of any sort except a trilling lack of the charity which siffereth long and is kind.
She was president of this board and directness of that; her name was famous and her kingdom broad; as for the kingdom of heaven, it had not vet come, nor did it seem to be much nearer, for all her battling. To one who walked quietly through Gath or listened in the streets of Askalon—and Mr. Summerbell frequently did both—there rose strange whispers.
The miserable muttered curses on her; no child loved her nor reverenced her name; no mother breathed a blessing on her as she passed; no poor man took her gifts otherwise than as a blow from one too powerful to feel his resentment, and the bread she gave even to the aged tasted of bitter ashes.
“She is a wonderful woman, sir,” said the portly, gold-spectacled president of the “board of public charities;” “a most remarkable woman. A woman who belies the assertion that her sex is pitiful in individual suffering and indifferent when it is generalized. For her individual suffering does not exist, sir: and it would but impair her usefulness if it did. You will travel far be fore you will find another like her, for I regard her as a woman who is, ah—hem—all brains, sir!”
Gravely Mr. Summerbell bowed his acquiescence, feeling that for once he could do so without being mentally overwhelmed by the awful sense of lying which so often tortured him in her service. So much of all that was beautiful, precious and gracious in the nature of woman seemed to have run, in her case, to brain, that he began to regard her morally as a hydrocephalic monstrosity.
Vainly, he acknowledged with secret humiliation, he had endeavored to school himself to fortitude and sought to burden his heart as a preparation for the embarrassing scenes and painful duties each day imposed upon him. He could not steel himself to look with indifference, nor even with decent composure, upon the sorrows and sufferings of his fellow creatures, and his impulse was ever to stretch out his hands pitifully and cry:
“My brother, my brother, why cannot I shelter thee in my bosom and wipe away the tears from thine eyes? Art thou not tried and beaten with stripes even as I am?” And then he would fancy Miss McTartar's scorn and amazement if he had yielded to any such nonsense, and, sighing, mourn over his weakness. All this he hid, or imagined he hid, from observation, as month after month he went the rounds with her in this strangely incompatible partnership of “sweetness and light,” but in the irreverent judgment of Sweeny's court it looked very much as if light, in the person of Miss McTartar, had taken sweetness in the person of Mr. Summer, bell somewhat rudely by the coat collar and was hauling him along to witness, unwillingly enough, her triumphs.
Gradually it began to dawn even upon his patroness, who could no more have lived without domination than she could have breathed without air, that the young minister was sad and ill at case, and did not enter heartily into his labors.
She remembered the troubled look upon his face on the very first day she ever saw him, when she clutched an unruly boy by the ear and thrust him into the church door; but would any one presume to tell her that it was not better to be forced into heaven than not get there at all?
True, Mr. Summerbell had deprecated—“more for her own sake,” he murmured, “than for Teddy's—the black seeds of a discourtesy sown upon a soil already rich in weeds, and “feared the rough fruit of unchivalrous and impudent speech for the future!” and he was right. It was but one week ago that that very boy, seeing her and Mr. Summerbell approach the narrow, dirty street on their disinterested errands, rose from his play in the gutter and cried shrilly to his companions:
“Run, fellers, run!—here comes that 'ere lame duck wot cuffs the boys and drags 'em into church!” a warning sufficient to disperse the ragged group, who declined from that hour onward to be cuffed, even into everlasting bliss.
To Miss McTartar contradiction, either expressed or implied, was detestable. “What if her coadjutor's cheek did flush and his eye flash at times as if, in her dealings with God's poor, she had suddenly struck him a blow; She was not of a nature to brook rebellion from either him or them, and she stiffened her proud check and hardened her heart, and set her feet more firmly in the path she had marked out for herself and for him.
Boldly she marched into poverty's strongholds, and with grim satisfaction encircling her small, tightly-drawn mouth, beheld the cowardly squadrons fly from her or cringe before her. Limping painfully after them in victory, she warned, admonished and visited them; ticketed, numbered and booked them, like convicts; made vast preparations in the fall for winters siege, and like a skillful commander, hedged herself and her helpers about with ingenious precautions against the wily foe who lay in ambush and sneaked from thence to surprise incautious donors.
“I know these people,” said she, “their lying and whining and shirking; but it will be a very cold day indeed, and they'll have to get up be fore I do, if they ever get ahead of Mary McTartar!” And Mr. Summerbell believed her. though not being entirely free from the old Adam, he wished in his secret soil that they would get ahead of her some line frosty morning.
He was sick of suffering and of sorrow; he wondered if the spirit of laughter and of fun had forever departed from the earth; he wondered if they ever had echoed or ever would echo in Sweeny's court, and then, reproaching himself for his unworthy and frivolous thoughts, he betook himself to St. Martin's to pray for all who are anyways afflicted or distressed in mind, body or estate.
It was on his way to the splendid shrine of the saint that he passed the entrance to the court, and the glance he east toward it probably brought joy and mirth, by foroe of antithesis, into his mind. It was indeed dirty, squalid, ill-smelling—a credit to no human creature; but such as it was, here were kindled the hearth-fires and here were the homes of a hundred bodies with immortal souls in them.
No wonder Mr. Summerbell's brow was contracted and his eye troubled as he returned the greeting of the stout, rosy-checked grocer with whom “the board” had been doing some business lately.
“It's a great place, the court is,” said the latter cheerily, “specially in winter time.”
“Do you know,” said the minister gravely, “I'm afraid to think of it in stormy weather; it does look in such a state of ill-repair. I'm afraid it will fall down—I am, indeed!”
“Yes, the houses are considerably out of line, that's a fact; but the whole thing belongs, part and parcel, to a big estate,” said the grocer, waving his hand in the direction of St. Martin's, “and it can't be bought, nor sold, nor improved. It's so tied up and fettered, legally and lawfully, that no man living can better it, and, you might say, worsen it, neither.”
“Are the houses so very, very bad inside?” questioned Mr. Summerbell, anxiously.
“Bad!” echoed the grocer, “bad? Why, you can lie in any garret in the row and see the stars through the roof, and you could, if you had a mind, drown yourself in any of the cellars—it's a mortal wonder some of them don't, too. If you drive a nail in the walls they crumble like gingerbread. Bad! You've said your worst of a house when you say it can't be mended.”
It was true enough, as the pastor knew, and it pained him sharply to think that thence was derived the revenue of one of his richest parishioners. “I wonder,” he exclaimed, “if they couldn't be mended? Something might be, done toward straightening them up—don't you think so?”
“There's only one way to fix them houses,” answered the grocer, eyeing them critically; “but it's a first-rate way.”
“And what is it?” asked Mr. Summerbell, eagerly.
“Well,” said the man. slowly, “you might jack up the roofs and build new houses underneath them, and then when you'd got that done you could put new roofs on your houses; it's the only way I know,” and he laughed as said “Good morning,” and hurried back into his store, leaving the minister to pursue his walk.
He had scarcely disappeared around the windy corner when two people sallied forth from the extreme end of the court into the biting blast of the wintry morning. They were Mrs. Nulty, the mother of refractory Teddy, and Mrs. Umpehent, a newcomer in the neighborhood. Both were bound in the direction of the nearest shop, the former to exhaust her slim credit, the latter to expend her last cash in the purchase of material for breakfast.
They were not, as yet, personally acquainted, but when your residence happens to be constructed with a view to such extreme sociability that you can hear a baby fall out of bed three doors off, smell all the dinners in that now while you are eating your own, and shake hands with a friend in an opposite window without being under the necessity of leaving your chair or your apartment, reserve becomes impossible and sudden intimacies not rare, nor difficult of attainment. Mrs. Umpehent bought her loaf rather shyly, crimsoning as she said, “Yesterday's, if you please,” because it was a penny cheaper. Mrs. Nulty, who always bought fresh bread when she was having it charged, sacrificed her inclinations through motives of delicacy, and said:
“Ye may give me the same, an' a half dozen onions; it cuts better, an' it goes a trifle furder, an' it's more wholesomer, anyway.”
Her consideration for the feelings of Mrs. Umpehent did not fail of their effect. The pale, tristful visage of the widow brightened as she looked up, and in less than ten minutes afterward, on the windy corner, she had frankly confided to her neighbor, with many tears and sniffles, the most important passages of her simple history, and received much sympathy in return, expressed with Hibernian earnestness and warm-heartedness.
She was a faded, little woman, very thin and hungry-eyed, and had a bewildered air, and a habit of ejaculating, “my lands!” and “my stars!” as if she were the happy possessor of extensive properties terrestrial and celestial, and had them on her mind. But very few worldly goods had Mrs. Umpehent except the clothes upon her back and the five small editions of herself, who usually clung to her skirts and called her “mammy.”
She went out washing by day, and took in sewing in the evening, and her leisure time— that is, the moments given to uneasy slumbers—she devoted to a nightmare of study over the old financial problem known as making both ends meet. She had not vet unraveled it, and she had never been so nearly on the verge of despair as on the morning when heaven threw Mrs. Nulty across her path as a guide and comforter.
The latter was one of Miss McTartar's own “women.” belonged in her district, had been duly visited, reported, ticket, red-tailed and pigeon-holed; had been regularly assisted, admonished, reprimanded and taken by the throat in the name of charity and “societarian reformation,” and was a fair specimen of the fruits of her stern and aggressive benevolence.
She was careless, thankless, improvident, and if Teddy had the spirit of a rebel he came honestly by it. Morally, she was as unstable as water, as unsatisfactory to handle as quicksilver, as unconvertible as Satan; and yet she had another side to her impulsive and generous nature, and this side she now turned to her tearful neighbor until the heart of the little widow warmed and opened as some poor down-trodden weed by the wayside expands under the influence of a genial shower.
“Ye hev a right till it along wid the rest,” said she, “an' it's not long till Friday, an' if ye're anyways feared to go yer lone, shure I'll go wid ye an' shpake fur ye.”
“My lands! but you are good and kind; I don't know how to thank you; but couldn't I go before Friday? It wouldn't be too long for me to wait, but there's the children,” urged Mrs. Umpehent, at having the pleasure of Miss McTartar's acquaintance.
“Before!” echoed Mrs. Nulty; “don't ye be thryin' it unless ye want the head shnapped off yer shouldhers! Friday's the day betwixt tin and two,” and her tone was sufficient evidence that she had at last learned her lesson.
“My stars! ain't it awful?” said Mrs. Umpehent in astonishment and alarm. She drew her wisp of a scarf about her, shivered and looked up and down the court in wild appeal to the rest of its inhabitants, who were either lying abed for warmth or deriving costly comfort from fires fed with coal paid for by the bucket at the rate of twenty dollars per ton.
“Ye're right, an' that's what ye are,” assented Mrs. Nulty, “but kape up y'r heart. Tiddy will run to the store for bread whinever ye ax him—he's a biddable good boy when he's not dhriv, an I can wait very aisy for the money till y'r pay duv wears roun' again.” Then noticing the tears that filled Mrs. Umpehenfs eyes and her quivering lips, which trembled but could not shape their gratitude, she said by way of a distraction:
“Did iver ye ate onions wid y ' r bread? I wish ye'd thry them; they'e illegant. Cut thim up and sprinkle a lock of salt on thim, and they'll swaten y'r mouth aqual to mate. Manny's the time I would chose them before anny other denty," and under cover of her shawl she pressed three of her six into Mrs. Umpehenfs hand, who vainly refused to accept them.
“Thry thim wanst,” said Mrs. Nulty with irresistible persuasiveness, and would not be denied. She was secretly impressed that her pale-faced neighbor was slowly starving to death, and that a full and plentiful meal would lighten her burdens considerably. So far, therefore, as her limited means allowed of generosity she endeavored to supply the deficiency.
“If I had but the makins of a pot of soup it would be more nourishiner,” she thought inwardly, but not having them she freely bestowed her onions. She was neither a beautiful nor a prosperous looking figure as she stood in the keen blast; far from it; but Mr. Summerbell, who was again approaching the court unseen by the two women, had noticed the delicate conveyance of the trilling gift and murmured, “Thou lady too!” with very great heartiness.
Little outward resemblance did poor, unconscious Mrs. Nulty bear to anything that goes in silk, lives luxuriously, and wears undisputed the title of ladyhood. With one arm upraised and bare to the elbow, she held on to her cumbersome headgear of blanket shawl which the wind caught and flapped in her face, or filled out like a patched and disreputable balloon. But with tooth and nail she clutched it-, and veered around as the flapping or the filling became troublesome, thus exposing, now in the front, now in the rear, her “tempestuous petticoat” and ragged extremities.
“There's a sharp contrast between the well-happed condition of her brain and the airy condition of her feet.” cogitated the young minister as he drew nearer; “but her heart is warm with generous blood. Her shoes are striking illustrations of the—well, of the failure of the attraction of cohesion, and they are both for the left side, which gives them the odd appearance of having just stepped down off one of the ancient Assyrian or Egyptian tombs whereon kings, and captives are sculptured with a side view of the legs, and one foot planted in front of the other. Still, they would carry their owner in haste to one who was wounded and fell among thieves—therefore, thou lady too!" And wit ti grave courtesy Mr. Summerbell raised his hat just in time to astonish and gratify Mrs. Nulty, who had that instant turned about. “He's a rale gentleman, that wan,” she exclaimed, when he was out of earshot. “I'm sorry for him too, poor sowl, till see him trallawaggin' at the heels of the likes of Miss McTartar.” And she looked after him pityingly.
“My stars! and who is Miss McTartar?” asked Mrs. Umpeheut.
“Do you not know her?” cried her friend in unfeigned amazement; "not know the sourluckin' body that sats at the head of the board and bosses the gintlemin, and' cuffs the childer in the church dure, an' be's impotent to poor bodies what comes till her for help?”
Mrs. Umpehent opened her mouth and opened her eyes, and felt impelled to ask, “Is she a big, fierce woman—very tall?”
“Big?” cried Mrs. Nulty in scorn; “she's the bulk of my list,” and doubling it up, she held it before Mrs. Umpehenfs eyes; “and more be token, she has a reel fat.”
“A real foot?” gasped the little widow in vague bewilderment. “why, my lands! what other kind of feet would she have?”
“Dacent feet like me own. to be sure,” answered Mrs. Nulty decisively, looking down at them, “but did ye niver see a reel fut— blessed be the Maker—in a high-heeled shoe?”
“Oh, my stars! yes,” returned Mrs. Umpehent, visibly puling and shrinking. “I think I won't go on Friday, after all; I'll work my fingers to the bone first; I couldn't stand it.”
“Indade, thin, and you'll go on Friday, an' I'll call for you mesilf. They'll be givin' groceries, at laste, so I'm tould, and ye hey a right to yer share, so ye hey! FU spake fur ye, an' Fil give her as good as she sinds if she be's sassy till ye. Come you wid me, betwixt tin and two, an' Fl! not lave ye till y'r righted,” and with this and many other comfortable assurances of help, moral and physical, Mrs. Nulty braced up the fainting courage of her weak-minded, timid neighbor, and then bade her good-by until the momentous day.
It was a frosty, sunny, freezing morning when it arrived, with a wind direct from the north pole. There was no undue formality in Mrs. Nulty's friendship, so, her own abode being on the ground floor and Mrs. Umpehenfs in the sky parlor opposite, she merely stepped to the curb and called, in a voice that brought every curious individual in the court to their doors or windows:
“Shtep lively, now! Shure the boord 'll be there, an' he'll be there, poor sowl, luckin' sad enough," meaning Mr. Summerbell, "an' she'll be there, an' it's not for the likes of us to kape the company waitin'.” Thus roused into trembling energy Mrs. Umpeheut came down, and away they went, followed by three-fourths of their acquaintances, fell intent upon the same errand. A walk of a few minutes brought them to Miss McTartar's door, where they mingled with the crowd of miserable people who streamed into it, and were marshaled in line by a man-servant to take their turn before the “boord.”
Mrs. Nulty had not been misinformed, and as she whispered to Mrs. Umpehent, who was almost inanimate from fright and nervousness, ordors were being “giv' out” for groceries to the amount of fifty cents each.
It was one of Miss McTarter's axioms that under no circumstances were the poor to be entrusted with money. Codfish, gray flannel and good advice were the current coin in poverty's realm as she had reconstructed it, and for the proper distribution of these she was about to have enormous kitchens or halls built, and superintend them herself.
Morally in her ideal handling of the wretched she wished, like Nero, that her people had but one neck, not, indeed, that she might kill them, but systematically feed them their allowance of hominy and corn meal and clothe them in linsey woolsey.
“Give one of these women . money and she'll buy gew-gaws,” declared she to Mr. Summerbell; “give one of these men money and he'11 buy drink. I know them; they can't deceive me and they can't circumvent me!”
Therefore, the plan which she proposed to the board was at once adopted, and on this identical occasion was in full operation. Arrangements had been made with the rosy-cheeked grocer mentioned a while ago to give to the bearers of the little orders groceries to a limited extent, and these cheeks he was to present at the end of the month. when they would be duly honored by Miss McTartar in hard cash.
Mrs. Nulty and Mrs. Umpehent having, without as much difficulty as the latter anticipated, each secured one, left the dreaded presence, not knowing how much they owed to Mr. Summerbeirs personal efforts in their behalf. On their way out an accident gave them an opportunity to peer into the vast and elegant parlors of Miss McTartur's establishment.
“My stars! the chairs are like cream puffs.” said the little widow, whose empty stomach probably suggested her comparisons, “an' the curtains are custard color an' the carpet's that yaller that if you broke an egg on it you couldn't and the yelk!”
“It's too yaller for my likin',” whispered Mrs. Nulty; “it wouldn't shuit me at all! But they do say it's the latest fashion.”
“There's too much of it,” said Mrs. Umpehent, “an' it makes me feel like I had the jaundice.”
“That accounts for her then,” returned Mrs. Nulty with a tinge of bitterness; "the crooked-tempered, bad-fitted, ill-legged sowl that has niver a laugh nor a cheerful word to throw at a dog. Come away out of there,” she added. “before she hangs us both!” and thus ungratefully they departed, the presumptuous poor.
The next day, on his way to St. Martin's, Mr. Summerbell sloppcd to speak to the good-natured grocer who had supplied the court with articles from his stock in exchange for the chocks of Miss McTartar's de vising.
“You had quite a run of custom yesterday,” said he cheerfully, “from our friends in the vicinity.” “E-normous!” chuckled the grocer. “If I had kept a bank now instead of groceries, and had been obliged to give out money instead of canned lobster and plum pudding, I'd have been busted sure.”
“Oh,” returned Mr. Summerbell mildly, “I'm afraid you don't understand me. I merely alluded to the purchases of our humbler friends, the people in Sweeny's court.”
“And that's who I'm alludin' to,” said the grocer, beaming as rosily on the pale minister as a summers sunset; “that's the very people!”
“Surely, surely, they did not purchase canned lobster and plum pudding!” cried the young man aghast.
“And why not?' said the grocer innocently: “the cheeks said, 'give the bearer groceries to the amount of fifty cents,' and they were entitled to what they got, I suppose. Why, Lord bless you, they bought citron, and chocolate, and loaf sugar, and sardines, and they had a regular party last night! Didn't they give you nor Miss McTartar an invitation?”
Mr. Summerbell looked up and looked down. He essayed to speak, and then. catching an infectious gleam of mirth in the grocers eye, he gave himself up to it, and laughed till he ached. He laughed till he seemed to have thrown off forever the saturnine influence of Miss McTartar. He laughed till he felt like a new man, and the grocer, choking and struggling with fun, gave him an account of the affair at intervals.
“She didn't specify in writin' what they was to have,” said he. “Things were mentioned generally which she considered wholesome for 'em; but she didn't swear me, nor tie me up in red tape, and Mrs. Nulty, sir began it. She came in here with a poor, starved looking little woman, and begged for some let up on the codfish and the hominy, which her friend didn't like. 'Why, it doesn't expressly say codfish and hominy. does it? says I. 'Does it not, thin?' says she, taking the hint; 'for God"s sake, give us a change.' 'Well. how's lobster,' says I, 'and plum pudding ? Tut the cheeks the gither, an' let's have the things,' says she; and when I gave in to her, I had to give in to the whole court. And you ought to have seen them!” cried the grocer. with unction, “you ought. indeed! Did you ever see cows in the corn .' Did you ever see bees in the clover? Did you ever see boys up a cherry tree? Well, they couldn't begin to be a comparison. But won't she street en them, though!”
“Sweeten" was not the exact word, according to Mr. Summerbell's mind; but he found no fault with it, and asked anxiously and eagerly:
“Did they enjoy it so very much? Did they laugh over it, and seem the better for it.”
“Laughed over it and sung over it; I heard thorn myself," returned the grocer, “and as for being the better for it, they were so much the better for it that Fri recommend a change of diet for them to the board, if I was in your place, as likely to do their souls good!”
“It has done me good, said the minister, grasping the stout palm which the other extended; “it has done me so much good that it has taught me my duty to my kind more clearly than I ever saw it before. I'll go home and write Miss McTartar a letter of resignation from her service, and from this very hour I'll follow my Masters method!”
“That's the only plan I know of,” cried the grocer,” to bring the; kingdom any nearer: and alter all, we're all human, and it ain't a good plan to go around resisting other people's temptations, and giving in so often to our own: but my, I can't help laughing either when I think of how'll she'll look when she finds it out!" And for that matter neither could Mr. Summerbell.
C. L. Eckel.
A Problem in the Transferability of Labor
San Francisco Call.
The problem which the presence of Chinese forced upon the people of California is presenting itself in a less menacing form to the people of other countries. Workmen who have become accustomed to the utmost privation consistent with the preservation of life emigrate to countries where the standard «/f living is higher, and underbid the laborers of that country. Even in London, where wages are about as low as the English workingman can stand, the influx of Poles is causing much distress. London letters say that the Polish immigrants manage to live on about one-half the amount the English workingman deems absolutely necessary to existence. The London cabinet makers are especially mentioned as exposed to such competition. The Polish cabinet maker buys his own material, works long hours, lives and works in the same room, and turns the produce of his labor on the market at prices the English manufacturer cannot compete against. The cost of crossing tin; Atlantic; protects the eastern cabinet maker to some extent, and at present wages in all the eastern cities are considerably higher than in London, Paris and Berlin.
The Silent Force
I sat awake all night to see
Just how my lily blooms;
I said. “If I beside it be.
Within the still warm rooms,
I may behold
Its leaves unfold
Beneath night's mystic glooms.”
From calyx green the cream-white scroll
Expanded to a bell:
Its waxen vase it did unroll,
Long ere the morning fell.
It did unfold
Its heart of gold,
But how I could not tell.
The spell was wrought, the flower's sweet soul
Smiled up into my face;
I felt its censor faintly toll
Au incense through the place,
As sunrise bold
Kissed with its gold
The lily's queenly grace.
I learned this lesson then and there,
That mystic night and morn—
God's truths will blossom when and where
'Tis need they should be born—
When hearts are sold
And bought with gold,
And hard with skeptic scorn.
And so I chafe no more. nor weep
To sec God's blossoms ope;
I know the time his angels keep
He casts the horoscope.
Nor death nor mold
Beyond his time asleep.
Can them withhold
Mrs. F. A. Bingham.
The United States of Colombia, in the constitution of 1863, divorced the state from the church. A new constitution has now been adopted which takes the Catholic church back into the arms of the state.
A course of sermons in English has been given in the church belonging to the Scotts' college at Home. Bishop Keane of Virginia and Bishop Ireland of Minnesota have been among the preachers. Bishop Keane's sermon on the condition of the world, groaning under its burdens of today, attracted great attention.
The rector of the American college at Rome has laid over $3,000 Peter's pence from California at the feet of the pope, and also presented a magnificently bound copy of the acts and decrees of the council presided over by the late Cardinal McCioskey in this city in 1883.
The decree of the late Catholic council at Baltimore forbidding operate music in churches is being pressed upon the attention of parish priests.
A Catholic missionary of West Virginia thus describes the altar at which he frequently officiates: “A settler's log cabin has to serve as a temple. A table or a chest laid upon chairs or benches and covered with a white cloth forms the altar, and if at all to be had, another white cloth is to by placed over the room. The altar candlesticks will be generally some thing more than primitive in their way—viz., two glasses filled with salt or two apples scooped out, in which are placed the candies required during divine service–while for the decorations the flowers and foliage from the forest are not quite so inappropriate.”
In an English church there was much excitement after a recent service because it was thought a new ritualistic development had been introduced. The collections had always been taken in the boxes at the church door. On that day the presence of the bishop and the special nature of the collection suggested to the rector that it would be better to adopt the modern practice of a pew to pew collection. He therefore beckoned the clerk, just as the bishop was ascending the pulpit. And told him to fetch two silver salvers from the rectory. to hand them round at the close of the service, and afterward take them to the bishop. The housemaid at the rectory not unnaturally concluded that the clergy needed refreshment, and thus it came about that the clerk, after handing two plates of biscuits down the aisle, presented them to the bishop, audibly remarking that nobody would have any.
The managers of St. Luke's hospital have shown a generous spirit in asking that hereafter no funds of the Hospital Saturday and Sunday collections may be designated fol their institution, but that it may only get its allotment of money out of a fair division. This action can be understood when we are told that St. Luke's would get the largest sums from designated offerings.
The M. E. church in its southern work has struck a snag in the question of caste. It holds the Chattanooga university under a contract with its own Freedmen's aid society, but the trustees have made the university a school for white students only. Pro f. Caulkins of its faculty has been under discipline for treating rudely a colored minister, but the discipline administered has not been thought to be severe enough by those who ask for mixed schools in church teaching, and the excitement is great, with the prospect of the question being taken to the general conference.
The new theology controversy continues to excite interest in the Congregational church. It is claimed that in the important cities of New England, the best talent of the church and a majority of its ministers have given their adhesion to the belief in probation. The case of Mr. Hume, a returned foreign missionary who wishes to be sent again to his work, was a phase of the controversy, as he expressed sympathy with the movement. It has been determined to send him back, with the understanding that he will preach unadulterated hell to the heathen.
Many years ago Mr. Beecher undertook to write a Life of Christ, and published one volume. He has now taken in hand the preparation of a second volume.
Dr. Harnock, professor of ecclesiastical history at Marburg, announces a new deduction from his studies into the origin of orders in the ministry. Apostles, prophets and touchers belonged to one order, he says, and then for the subordinate work of administration bishops, deacons and presbyters were appointed. The two classes made two orders, and sometimes the same persons belonged lo both orders. The members of the first class were not called by men to their work: those of the second were called by the churches.
An ecumenical Methodist council (representative of Methodists in all parts of the world) is to be held in this country in 1891.
Bishop Healy of the Catholic church has forbidden the use of flowers at funerals in his diocese in Maine.
It is sometimes said that the Jews do not care to cultivate land. The fact is that they were driven centuries ago from landholdingand farming by the permutations which made them bankers, jewelers, merchants and travelers. They go back to the soil as readily as others. In this country they have a number of agricultural settlements—live in southern Kansas, two in Dakota and two in New Jersey, at Vineland and Carmel, both prosperous, having already one hundred families engaged in husbandry and in manufacturing. Besides others, in all some five or six hundred families. To these settlements Jewish immigrants are forwarded by wealthy Hebrew philanthropists and societies.
During the past two years nearly 40,000 Jews have landed in New York, driven from their homes by relentless religious and political persecution. They come largely from Russia and Romania, in which countries they have undergone the most bitter sufferings.
Friends of Dr. Heber Newton are pained to learn that he is a very sick man, and that he will probably have to abstain from any work for a long time.
The New Party
Growing Interest And Activity In All Directions
How It Was Bullied and Cheated in Philadelphia—The New York Committee—Active Work in Chicago—Organization in Brooklyn—Words of Cheer From All Quarters
Something over l,600 votes have been courted for the labor candidate for mayor in the Philadelphia election. This is a splendid beginning. considering that the movement was, merely intended as starting the work of organization and propaganda, and that the whole strength of the notoriously corrupt police force, and still more corrupt election officers, was exerted to prevent the labor party from making any showing. Many of its voters were driven from the polls and positive proof that some of its ballots were taken from the hoses and thrown on the floor has already been offered to magistrates. At a meeting of the campaign committee, held on Wednesday night, reports received from many wards showed that the party bad been deliberately counted out of thousands of votes. It was also shown that many of the tickets, stickers, etc., were seized and destroyed by members of the old parties. In one case that will be presented it was shown that a policeman had violently torn a badge from the coat of one of the workers of the party. The committee resolved to continue its agitation, and to begin at once the work of organization and raising campaign funds for the next election.
On the Saturday night preceding the election a great demonstration was held at Horticultural hall. Speeches were made by John McMackin. Henry George and Thomas Phillips, the candidate for mayor, and others, which showed the awakening of a spirit that by and by is certain to insure the triumph of the labor party in Philadelphia. The burden of the speeches was that the only hope for the emancipation of labor lies in the restoration of the natural rights of all men to the land. Mr. George's denunciation of the protective policy was most heartily applauded, and an allusion to Dr. McGlynn as “the first martyr of the new crusade” called forth cheer after cheer.
At the session of the New York county general committee Dr. Leverson submitted amendments to the constitution. and they were referred to the committee on constitution. These amendments were entertained, inasmuch as the Sixteenth assembly district, from which they ca me. had not been represented on the committee on constitution. Those members of the sixteenth who retired from the hall in a dudgeon a few weeks ago were again in their seats, hut the daily papers that made so much of their “bolting” have had nothing to say of their return. A resolution that the committee on constitution should report what planks in the platform it should be necessary for a member of the party to subscribe to was adopted. The committee on constitution and laws reported as amendments to the constitution that no member or organization of the party should assess any candidate for office for any expenditures other than their regular dues, and that no contributions should be received from any candidate for office nominated by either of the old parties who is not a member in good standing of the united labor party. The report was adopted as a whole. A motion to reconsider the vote by which the platform of the party was adopted, the object being to rescind certain planks as to which a difference of opinion exists among the members, was tabled. A motion to permit the appointment of volunteer delegates to the Cincinnati convention was tabled. F. C. Lenbuscher, Gideon J. Tucker and Stephen Pfeil were elected as the lawyer members of the law advisory committee. George A. McKay was elected as one of the four lay members. For the other three members there was not a majority of the votes east. The committee adjourned to Thursday, March 3.
The Chicago Mail declares that the breach between the radical and conservative elements in the united labor party is gradually widening. The Knights of Labor, on the other hand, declares that these stories are mere exaggerations of differences of opinions that exist in the united labor as in all other parties. “As a matter of fact,” it insists, “there is no split in the united labor party, the difference of opinion now existing as to the met hod of nominating aldermen and suburban town officers amounting to nothing more than a difference of opinion, and with the knowledge of the feuds in the ranks of the other parties, the united labor party will be in better trim to carry the city election next spring than either of the others. Discussion of methods will merely lead to harmonious action when a plan of action has at last been determined on by a majority vote. and upon issues. upon principles, there is division, and there will be no division of votes this spring.” Differences much more serious the same paper insists exist in the old parties. The ranks of the democrats, it says, are rent in twain, one side wishing to reform the methods of stealing, the other preferring to steal in the same old ways. The republicans, too, are split all up and in very poor trim for a spring campaign. The monopoly-soaked, would-be murderous elements in the party are organizing a machine against the regular gang of political manipulators. This “strong mayor” crowd of republicans want a government that would hail with delight an opportunity to murder 1,000 men under a pretext of protecting a ten cent cigar, or keeping the cigar maker from getting his one cent for making it. The other wing of the republicans don't want to murder the workingmen; they wish to feed them on political taffy, so as to get their votes, after which they will see to it that workingmen get nothing.
After thus describing the condition of the old parties the Knights of Labor says: “Should the repressive republicans and the silk-stocking democrats unite on the citizens' association ticket, the anti- murderous element of the republican party would come to the united labor ticket, not only to rebuke the other fellows, but because they know that such repressive policy can never win, and its defeat is so sure that political shrewdness would keep all sensible men out of that light. On the other hand, if the citizens' association and the Tribune republicans put up Grinnell for mayor the democrats will hardly dare to put up one against him, and the class lines will be drawn so distinctly that every man can see that there are in reality hut two parties in the field—the robbers and the robbed. In that event a walk away for the united labor party is assured, and in any event its prospects for success are excellent.”
The women's assembly of the Chicago Knights has elected three delegates to the nominating committee of the united labor party, which will put a ticket in the field at the coming elections. It is said that these delegates will be allowed to express an opinion on candidates ottered, but will have no vote in the final choice.
The meager, and, in part, false, reports of the daily press concerning the united labor party of Brooklyn fail to show what workingmen there are doing. Last September the Central labor union called a convention for the purpose of organizing a new party. The convention met and the party was formed, but it was then too late to take part in the fall elections. The work of organizing has since gone on rapidly, and the meetings have been enthusiastic. Such opposition as there was has only served to strengthen the convictions of the members.
All but seven of the wards are now organized, and the remaining wards will be ready to send representatives to the county general committee within the next sixty days. This county committee, of which V. A. Wilder is chairman, and C. T. Hubbs is secretary, meets once or twice a month. As soon us the ward organizations are complete, the intention is to send a circular to every voter in each ward, informing him of the organization in his ward, time and place of meeting, and names of the officers. The officers of the general committee feel sure that they will have organized in time for the next elections a party that will poll at least 30,000 votes.
The following brief extracts from the correspondence of the central committee, 38 Cooper Union, show the drift of sentiment in various parts of the country:
John F. Norton, secretary executive committee of the labor party, New Brunswick, N. J.—The workingmen of this place purpose making an effort to elect their own men at the coming municipal election. A great change is coming over the face of politics. Send us copies of the Clarendon hall platform.
Thomas L. Roberts, Sullivan, Ind.—Looking over the disturbed condition of the great industrial masses of our country there can be no doubt that we are on the eve of a great social change. It seems to me that the only way out of our difficulties lies in nationalizing the land.
J. J. Dotson, Cedarton, Brown county, Tex.—The people hereabouts are in great distress, caused by the continued drought. A great many are in actual need of bread and clothing. This has set me a-thinking, and the land and labor movement, though only just begun, is growing very fast. We are with you heart and hand in this great land reform.
D. C. Ballard, Cameron, Mo.—The tracts that you distribute create a decided stir wherever they are read. There is no better means of arousing men to thought.
F. C. Johnson, president of the Floyd county council, patrons of husbandry, New Albany, Ind.—Please send me all the literature you have relating to the land reform. We are anxious to organize hero in that basis.
Carl S. Havens, Angola, Ind.—Please send me or tell me where to get the strongest argument there is against the proposed tax on land values. Nothing I have seen thus far will bear any close examination.
Charles F. Kipp, Columbus, O.—We organized here last night (Feb. 8) under a pledge to cut loose from both the old parties, and on the basis of the Clarendon hall platform. That platform was read section by section, fully discussed, and then adopted unanimously. The 21 mos of this city publishes it almost in full, which is fortunate, for we have no labor organ here.
John H. Schaal, M. W. of L. A. 6312, K. of L.. Chambersburg, Pa.—Many of our members are anxious to start the land and labor movement here. We must organize for political purposes.
Gen. Tom Ewing on the New Party
From an Interview.
It springs from the popular belief that the old parties are under control of the money power as against the people. The fact that both parties in New York have stood inert, and even connived at the officers who have ever since the war let the great corporations, the Goulds and the Vanderbilts go almost untaxed, whereby the masses are compelled to bear double burden of taxation, is enough of itself to make the people abandon both the old parties and try to get justice through a party of their own.
“The Five Alls”
P. E. Collins.
Among the many quaint old tavern signs to be seen in England thirty years ago or later, “The Five Alls” could claim its share of notoriety. The country painter who could achieve this allegory with his brush was raise<l to the dignity of an artist—the Murillo of the hamlet! Five prominent figures, boldly sketched, gave the social grade from the monarch to the man of labor. The king who said, “I govern all.” the bishop who said, “I pray for all!” the lawyer who said, “I plead for all!” the soldier who said, “I fight for all,” and the laborer who truly said, “I pay for all!”
Proud sat the King on his jeweled seat,
Dukes, lords and earls swell up the cheat,
While knaves and flatterers round him crawl,
Says with vain pride, “I govern all!”
The bishop next we may behold,
With satin vestments wrought in gold,
With mitered head and croziered hand—
Bishops nowadays are grand!
Not poor as Christ, Peter, or Paul—
And yet he says, “I pray for all.”
The Lawyer, dressed in wig and gown,
Lives on the discords of the town;
Makes sure to rise when others fall—
And yet he says, “I plead for all!”
The Soldier, idly trained to roam,
That foes abroad and friends a t home
May dread his swagger—hear his oath:
That he is paid to crush them both!
A pensioned pauper, armed to be
A bully of monopoly,
Who seldom comes at freedom's call—
Yet still he says, “I fight for all!”
The ragged Laborer, loth to speak,
.Stands shyly by with hoe and rake,
Spade, plow and scythe, and sickle, too,
That made him strong in bone and thew,
And with these weapons in the field,
Makes mot her earth her treasures yield.
But seeing those ill-handed things,
Those lordlings made by breath of kings,
Seize on the fruitage of his toil,
Deny him foot-room on the so.;l—
Give him, with swine, the husks to eat,
And quote God's name to back the cheat;
Through heart and soul, and senses fly,
Through clenching hand and flashing eye,
Through fiery lips of him they've wronged,
Truth speaking thunders, lightning pronged.
Rings out o'er palace, tower and hall:
“Back, drones! and know I pay for all!”
Aye, Why Not?
Adelaide, Australia, Our Commonwealth.
If we once allow sentiment to enter into our business transactions, where are we to stop? If we once begin to inquire into the rightness or wrongness of things apart from acts of parliament, where is inquiry to stop? Suppose that a certain thing which faddists call abstract justice were listened to, there is no saying in what strange difficulties this might land us. We will instance a few of these possibilities. Mr. Simpleton, for instance might ask: “Considering that Mr. Graves bought land for £7,000, and sold it twenty months later for £12,000; and considering that he did not perform any labor whatsoever on the said land and yet in the short time of twenty months could pocket £5,000 profits, and considering that those £5,000 represent the earnings of fifty men for one year, reckoning their wages at £2 per week, how can Mr. Graves justify his title to those £5,000 on the principles of abstract justice?” And then Mr. Simpleton might move for a committee to investigate: “1. Where these £5,000 came from? 2. By what process they found their way from the rightful owners into the pockets of Mr. Graves? 3. How many people had to starve in consequence of this? 4. Whether this kind of business, though perfectly legal, is not, according to abstract justice, robbery; or if not, whether it is not very much like it; or if not, why not?”
A New Order of Non-Striking Knights
The order of the Knights of Labor in Salem has rapidly decreased in membership within the past six months from various causes incidental to the failure of the great leather strike, the difficulty being that the more radical members had obtained control of the association and precipitated strikes. A number of former leaders in the knights claim that a new organization will shortly be established in Salem with substantially the same principles as the Knights of Labor, with the exception that the members will be pledged not to participate in any strike or boycott until all other means of arriving at a settlement have failed.
Charles Buck, Thomas Cochrane, William P. Chesley, A. J. Campbell, John D. Ottiwell and Hugh Lamb, as a committee, submitted a report at a late general meeting of employers in the building trades of New York, announcing that the time has come when a “strenuous effort should be made to combine employers in the building trades in defense of law, order and individual liberty and their common interests.” The committee also declared that “the great power possessed by the unions rests chiefly on one arbitrary rule, relentlessly enforced, by which every workman must join the union and acknowledge the authority of its delegates before he shall he permitted to earn his living, and by which every workman in every trade is forbidden to work in any shop or on any building where a workman not a member of a union is employed;” that “the enforcement of this rule has resulted in numberless strikes without just cause, has taken from employers the proper control of their own business, has destroyed confidence, delayed and disorganized work and caused serious loss to employers and employed alike,” and that the cure for these evils is largely in our own hands. The committee “confidently believes that the determined assertion” of the principle by employers generally that every employer has a right “to control his own business and determine for himself what workingmen he will employ, upon what terms, and for how long,” and the “corresponding right of every workman to determine, for himself alone, for whom he will work and upon what terms,” would soon result in the formation of a class of “free workmen.” A meeting of employing builders was held on Wednesday of the present week, at which nearly live hundred men connected with the business were present. Up to the time of the meeting about three hundred applications for membership had been filed. An organization committee was appointed as fellows: John W. Beattie, painter; W. P. Chesley, carpenter; J. J. Campbell, iron worker; Jacob Reuss, framer; Thomas Cochrane, plumber; William Young,architect; John D. Ottiwell, roofer; HughLamb, builder; Enoch Rutzler, heating trade; H. Sinclair, plasterer; George Kitchen, gas fixtures; M. H. Mandeville, stair builder; H. H. Hill, elevator builder; Charles Plock, marble worker; James White, mason; A. It. Becker, artificial stone worker; W. R. Ferris, electrician: David Morrison, plumbers' materials. The formation of this federation is a most important event in the eyes of the members of the building trades labor unions, and a trial of strength between them and the employers may be looked for in the spring, as it is to be noted that the employers aim at nothing less than a dismemberment of the unions.
The united trades society of journeymen sail-makers of New York have banners hanging on their rooms of call at 40 Burling slip which were carried in procession in the '30s. This old union has a grievance against the government. At intervals of half a year an officer is detailed from the Brooklyn navy yard to ascertain the standard wages in New York of sail-makers, riggers, calkers and ship painters. The navy department fixes the wages to be paid for the next six months accordingly. The union sail-makers say that although they maintain the scale of wages thus adopted by regulating an apprentice system and withholding their members from work where the scale is not paid, the sit nations at the navy yard are given generally to non-unionists, who obtain them through political influence. Only about one-quarter of the men now employed in the sail lofts at the navy yard are members of the union. The government pays first-class wages, and the sail-makers do not like to see political heelers bungling the work while first-class men can be obtained.
The Central Labor union decided on Sunday by a vote of forty-six to thirty-two not to remove the boycott on Ehret's beer. A resolution was passed requiring trade any labor organizations holding meetings in any halls or places where any articles that have been boycotted are sold to leave the places within two weeks. A committee from the retail liquor dealers' association obtained the privilege of addressing the meeting and presented a resolution calling upon workingmen to buy only anti-monopoly beer, monopoly beer being that made by the members of the brewers' exchange. The matter was laid over, many of the delegates believing that the fight between the liquor dealers and brewers did not concern the Central Labor union. Permission was given to the Balfe musical club to affix the Central Labor union seal to a circular that the club was about to issue to the proprietors of parks and halls concerning the practice of the managers of the halls and parks of acting as brokers for bands paying a premium for engagements made through them.
Mr. Gallagher of the Meade street public school, Wilkesbarre, Penn., thinks he has perfected a coal picker which will do away with child labor in the anthracite districts. At present from twenty-five to sixty boys are required at each crusher to pick out the slate, The work is very severe, poorly paid and bad for the boys, 9,000 or more of whom will be relieved from it in the anthracite region if the machine is a success. The greater gravity of slate and other undesirable stuff is the agency used in the contrivance.
The brakemen who recently struck against the Louisville and Nashville railroad company lost their strike and were desirous of returning to work. The company officers, to whom they applied for work as individuals, told them that the company would not blacklist them, but that it was a rule with the company to ask applicants for work for letters from their last employer. The brakemen found out that not only was this rule in force with the Louisville and Nashville, but with other roads in Tennessee. Two of them received word from friends in Memphis to come there and take employment as brakemen, but on their arrival they were asked for a “letter,” and having none were rejected. Most of the brakemen who vent on strike have obtained work at other vocations.
The Boston master builders' association has adopted the system of fixing compensation tor workmen by the hour. Its secretary says that he believes that “the association has struck the key-note to a solution of the labor question,” and that the hour system will eventually be the principle on which all labor will be paid, for while a day may been fourteen hours or eight hours an hour is unmistakably sixty minutes. “Let me illustrate how it works,” the secretary says. “It has become a custom to divide the day into halves and quarters, five hours in the forenoon from 7 o'clock and live hours in the afternoon from 1 to 6, constituting a day. If a man doesn't get to work until half-past 7 he will get, under the present arrangement, but three-quarters of a day's pay, and so since he has no inducement to go to work until half-past 9, he will loaf around until then, and his time is lost both to us and to himself. On the other hand. if he is paid by the hour and it happens that he doesn't get round, perhaps through no fault of his own, until after 7 o'clock, he can go right to work and earn all that he is entitled to. And the same will apply to stormy weather. when, if it comes on to rain at 10 o'clock the workman gets but one-quarter of a day's pay, but if the rain comes at 11 o'clock he gets half a day's pay, the latter doing an in justice to us us the former does to the workmen. We think, as I said, that the hour system of payment is the fairest and nest, and that the workmen will come to look at it in that light themselves.” The secretary seems to have based his rather sweeping conclusions upon a brief experience of the building trades in Boston. He evidently has had in mind simply the conditions under which the employees in those trades have worked there. If he goes no further than to say that the hour system of dividing the day is better than the quarter day system in occupations in which the hands are employed generally by the full day, he is on safe ground. But the hour system must be supported by a rule of the workmen, that unless such conditions as those arising from bad weather prevent it, a certain number of hours must he fixed upon to constitute a day's work, else employers will keep on hand a force large enough to rush through a given quantity of work in the shortest time possible, and the hands will obtain work in such short lengths of time as to bring their weekly earnings down to a very small average. The longshoreman, who demands forty cents an hour, reckons on live hours a day waiting without pay and four to six hours on pay time. The clerks in the public records branch of the government offices in Great Britain were formerly employed by the hour, and their condition became so deplorable that the system was abolished. The hour system is supported by the Boston building trades secretary, perhaps, because it puts great powers in the hands of the employers.
The brickmakers' international union has passed a resolution that no man shall be admitted to membership unless he has declared his intention of becoming a citizen of the United States. This is a blow aimed at the bricklayers who come to this country from Europe in the spring and go home in the fall when the season is over.
The furniture dealers of San Francisco buy the bulk of their stock at Chicago, Philadelphia and New York. Some of the newspapers there see in California redwood a neglected opportunity, and are trying to induce the local furniture workers to extend a trade in furniture made of it to foreign countries.
Six months ago the Georgia Central railroad company decided to fill vacancies, in subordinate positions with colored men. Accordingly, negro applicants were given the preference to whites in tilling places in shops, on wharves, and on the road. It was believed that the negroes would submit where white men might rebel, and that the negroes would not strike. But the traveling public loudly complained of the negroes; the merchants who sent freight over the road preferred white labor, and the white employees of the road were dissatisfied. The management also said that the colored men would not do for conductors, and the road has gone back to the old plan of employing and promoting white men.
The federation of boot and shoe manufacturers in Massachusetts is spreading over the state. Last year the manufacturers were not prepared for the combinations made by the employees. It looks now, however, as if the employers aimed not only at an organization that will be in shape to meet the demands of the workmen's unions, but one that will seize what opportunities offer to weaken the unions. There is a tendency on the part of employers generally to stand together and to break down labor organizations.
The migration of the southern blacks will cover a large extent of territory this year, and it is said that whole counties will be depopulated of their black laborers. The direction of the exodus is toward the lowlands of Mississippi and Louisiana. The store order system is the cause of their going. They are kept in constant debt to their employers, and have no chance to accumulate. This condition of things has been growing worse from year to year.
The general assembly of the Knights of Labor at Richmond appropriated $50,000 for permanent headquarters, and No. 814 Broad street, Philadelphia, has been bought and is now being prepared for the general officers and their assistants. The building is of brown stone, four stories high, with a frontage of forty feet on Broad street, and is one of the most complete in regard to conveniences and modern improvements in Philadelphia. The lot extends back to Carlisle street, upon which fronts a two story brick stable. This is to be used as the official printing office and as a storage house. The knights have not only purchased the real property, but a large portion of the furniture, furnishings and fixtures in the dwelling. The Philadelphia Ledger says the building is entered by a broad flight of brown stone steps, on either side of which is a heavy stone handrail. The entry is carpeted with Wilton carpet, and likewise the stairs, which lead to a large stained glass window representing the four seasons. The balusters are of carved wood of unusual thickness, and the newel post is surmounted by a bronze. The room on the south, which was the parlor of the former residents, is carpeted with handwoven satin and linen carpet that was made in Brussels. The room is about forty feet long, and contains three large mirrors framed in handsomely carved walnut. The mantels are inlaid with marble, fine lace curtains and ornamented hangings decorate the windows, and the walls are frescoed in elaborate designs. In this room there are three immense old-gold satin tufted battings, one of which, on the southern wall, covers a surface of probably twenty feet square. They are several inches deep, and are bordered with colored satin hangings. Sonic of the wood carvings about the mirrors are very elaborate. The rest of the building is fitted throughout on a scale commensurate with this room, the Ledger describing it in detail. The entire building is heated by steam, and there are registers in every room. There are also electrical bells, messenger calls and burglar alarms.
In its last issue the Irish World said: “In view of such conditions as those now existing in industrial circles we cannot approve of the proposition coming from some quarters to attempt an organized and universal demand next spring for the adoption of the eight hour system of labor. The conflicts which the workingmen of the country are having to face all through the severe winter season have certainly not contributed to the strength of organized labor in forcing such a physical contest. An intellectual, constitutional and educational campaign for the betterment of the condition of the wage workers through legislative methods could be organized with but a fraction of the cost of such a doubtful contest, and its benefits would be more readily appreciated and would appeal more strongly to the approval of public opinion. It is to be hoped that conservative counsels will prevail among the enthusiastic in the labor movement, and that imprudent and premature measures calculated to waste the energies of labor and weaken its hold upon public sympathy will be avoided.”
An arbitration bill before the legislature of Illinois promises to establish a board whose decision shall be final and binding for six months.
The American federation of labor, President Samuel Gomper informs us, now comprises thirty- even national and international trades unions, their membership numbering 550,000. There are on file many applications from mixed federated labor unions, and letters are received daily at headquarters inquiring as to the objects of the federation and the manner of joining it. The object of the confederation is to centralize the forces of the trades unions of the country, while each union preserves its trade autonomy. Organizations of the workers at any occupation can join.
Among the many paragraphs relating to proposed co-operative ventures is one giving the details of an alleged great scheme of the international cigar makers' union. It relates how for six years each member of that union has been paying into the general treasury five cents per month as co-operative dues; that by May 1 the fund will be $67,00; that of this amount $50,000 is t o be used to buy a large factory in New York and procure raw material; that fifty of the best cigar makers of the county are to run the factory, and that the very best cigars will be made, and a method of co-operation established which will in a few years set aside the employing class. There is no foundation for the story in fact.
The Canadian Workman is a handsome eight page paper just started m Montreal. The contents are of the best description of labor matter—and the matter is all home set, not, as is so often the case in the eyes of printers, four pages of composition and four pages of imposition.
August Donath, a widely known Washington printer, will henceforth have charge of the editorial columns of The Craftsman, in so far as they deal with questions relating to the typographical fraternity.
The Furniture Worker Journal has entered upon the fifth year of its existence and has been enlarged.
The Kansas City Messenger has passed into the hands of a co-operative company.
The Cleveland Workman is relating week by week the cases of “civil convicts”—people who are legally free and horn equal to the best of men, according to the theory of our fathers, but who, by reason of their poverty, are condemned to a life of suffering, and are worse off in their material surroundings, their clothing, shelter and food than the penal convict.
The Manchester, N. H., American Labor Budget has been sold by Wm. M. Kendall and David M. Ladd to Frank H. Challis and Herbert W. Eastman. It is now called the Organized Labor News.
J. R. Burton has sold the Detroit Labor Leaf to Capt. J. M. McGregor, who will continue to issue it as an independent labor paper. Work and Wages will be issued hereafter from offices in Springfield, Mass., instead of at Holyoke.
There is no change in the situation on the South Boston and Cambridge horse railway lines in Boston. Cars are run on both roads with non-union men, and the companies say they will on no account take back the strikers, and the men say they will only go back in a body at their scale.
The Anthracite Coal Pool
Its Significance to the Workingman—Room for Railroad Reform
A combination to control the supply and enhance the price of the necessaries of life is no doubt a social monstrosity. If a few producers of wheat, with the help of large capital, should gain possession of all the wheat raising lands, and with the object of advancing the price of flour from $5 per barrel to $7, should cut down production from 400,000,000 bushels to 300,000,000, it would be generally perceived that their conduct deserved the severest reprobation. If the railroads of the country lent themselves to the scheme, or should themselves buy up the 1arger part of the wheat area, so as to make the power to fix wages to producers and prices to consumers more complete, the case would be even worse. The plan would work beautifully, of course, for the capital enlisted in it. Prosperity would shower its benefits upon the persons and localities favored by the combination; but the rest of the community would perhaps perceive in it a grave attack on its rights and welfare. Riots, cries for bread, and socialistic schemes for a new distribution of land would be the speedy results of such monopoly. Yet, as respects anthracite coal, which is only in a less degree than wheat a necessary of life in our cities, precisely such a combination of producers and carriers as was described above is in successful operation. It embraces the whole anthracite coal field, arbitrarily fixes the annual output, and determines with almost absolute authority the price of every ton of hard coal sold in the country. Governor Pattison of Pennsylvania recently felt compelled to direct his attorney general to prosecute the offenders. What will become of the suit now that Governor Pattison has been succeeded by Governor Beaver remains to be seen. Five railroads, it was stated, own seven-tenths of the anthracite area, and by combinations among themselves control the distribution and price of coal, as well as the rates of wages at the mines. The constitution of Pennsylvania, it is true, forbids railroads to engage in mining and requires them to carry freight without discrimination; but as the legislature has not enacted laws providing penalties in accordance with these provisions the corporations do as they choose. It is asserted sometimes, when the managers meet to determine how much coal shall be mined in a given month, that a restriction of production is made to keep up wages. The public, it is claimed, should willingly consent to consume less coal at a higher price to benefit the poor miner. But the poor miner does not benefit by diminished employment, and his wages do not rise with the price of coal. .Such is the statement of Mr. James F. Hudson of Pittsburgh, in a recent number of the North American Review; and his contention is sustained by the facts adduced by Henry George, by Mr. Lloyd, and by the statistical publications of Pennsylvania and of the United States. The last census shows that in the first ten years after the coal combination was formed the average weekly wages of the miners were reduced 36½ per cent, while the retail price of coal in Philadelphia declined only 16 2/3 percent. The cost of all labor represented in a ton of coal in the early years of the present decade was from $l.06 to $1.10, while the retail price maintained in Philadelphia was from $5 to $6.50 Restriction of production is effected by suspension of mining, sometimes for two weeks in each month, or more. One company reported in 1878 as many as 167.7 working days out of the 365; in 1883 as many as 277½. “The actual average wages reported by the state bureau of statistics up to 1885, as affected by enforced idleness.” says Mr. Hudson, “shows a reduction of nearly 60 per cent from the period preceding the combination, while the fall in coal was but 20 per cent. The average weekly wages of miners were but $6.67. With these low wages go high freight rates. Railroad reports show that tor the last sixteen years the rate per ton per mile on coal has been kept between 1¾ and 1¼ cents, while on other freights, taking high and low class together, the average has been reduced to less than ¾ cent per ton per mile. The moral aspect of such combinations does not admit of dispute. It is their social aspect, however. that strikes Mr. Hudson as most dangerous. Their illegality is known to every body. They flourish in spite of law and the decisions of eminent judges, resenting interference as an attack on business prosperity.” The result is widespread social demoralization and discontent. The laboring man feels blindly that he is at the mercy of the capitalist law breaker, who is protected in the perpetration of injustice. The Paradox of socialist and anarchist opinions in this free country is thus explained. The laborer is not, it is true, the only victim of such monopolies; every consumer is a loser by them. But the uninstructed workingman, feeling the wrong keenly in his half filled stove and diminished wages, more quickly draws the dangerous inference, says Mr. Hudson, that our laws give capital invested in anthracite coal and railroads the right to exact arbitrary prices from the public and to order labor to stand idle for the increase of its profits.” There is room for railroad reform in matters of this kind, and the sooner it is taken in hand the better for all.
The Way of the World
The New York World says that Henry George's theory of putting all taxes on land and relieving the personal property and builders of the rich from assessment, united with the plan of making liquor cheap and plenty, must certainly be regarded as a very particular way to go to work to benefit the Working people.
From this we are to infer that the celebrated author of “Progress and Poverty” and the lender of the phenomenal 68,000 in New York city, is a special friend of the rich and the ruin traffickers, and that the World is especially opposed to the same. Yet the facts in the case do not tally with the inference. When Mr. George was up for the suffrage of his fellow citizens, we found the rich and the ruin traffickers allied against him, and, strange to say, even the World allied with them.
But it is only one of the ways of the world and the World for twisting things out of shape to make them appear the opposite of what they are. We do not know Mr. George's special doctrine on the liquor question, or whether he has any, or whether he ever indulged in the words or sentiments ascribed to him; but we do know that the World refers to just so much of it isolated as it is intended to make the whole seem the reverse of what it is. Mr. George bases his doctrine on fundamental principles and not on the condition which a vicious system has brought forth. He builds not for time, but for eternity. He asks for a system that will gradually do away with the riches of the idler and bestow on the worker the fruit of his toil. He strikes at the system which enables the manipulator to pile up his palaces while the hard-working innocent is not permitted to even own the hovel that shelters him.
He knows that with a tax placed on the value of the land, with the proceeds going into the public treasury, that the dog in the manger speculator and the piratical descendant of vested rights abomination could nor lay tribute on the rest. of mankind for permission to breathe the breath of life and for partaking of the bounties which mother nature spreads for all alike. The World knows this too, as well Henry George: but as the speculator and the vested rights gorilla. still rule the earth, the World believes in the just of wisdom to pay homage to its rulers: and no better way can it serve them than through its talents and opportunity for engendering and spreading the fogs of economy sophistry to preserve the mystical darkness of the present; in which are hid the past and present titles to all the robbery.
Yet this is the way of the World, as well as of a great many other satellites of smaller proportions.
( 1) Recollections of a Private Soldier in the Army of the Potomac. By Frank Wilkeson. New York and London: G. P. Putman's Sons. 1887.