Volume 1 March 26, 1887
A Crowded City
New York, we say, is a crowded city. Its population is so large and its area so small, that tenement houses are carried to great heights to accommodate the poor, and for the middle classes flats and boarding houses have taken the place of homes. This crowding goes on year by year, and unless relief is found the middle class of today must, in the near future, herd in precincts of misery and vice as so many of the working poor already do, and the children of both grow up in a polluted moral atmosphere to become the social dregs and poison of their generation.
In last week’s Standard, for the purpose of showing the crowded condition of the poor in Near York, we printed three cuts, exhibiting respectively a perspective view of Mulberry bend, a ground plan of the bend, and a ground plan of the tenement block bounded by Canal, Baxter, Bayard and Mulberry streets. In the three blocks shown on the two ground plans the buildings, represented by shaded lines, covered almost all the ground, leaving less aggregate space in each block than the area of either of the abutting streets, while the perspective view showed a continuous row of two, three and four story structures along the margins of the block, and a confused mass of other buildings on the interior spaces. These and buildings like them are hiding places of immorality and crime, and “homes” of the working poor. Into them people are crowded like pigs in a sty. There children are born and reared, and out of them come the vandals of modem times. They are breeding places of pestilence, nurseries of vice, and a very chamber of horrors to all whose sensibilities have not been deadened by familiar contact.
That this crowding is unnatural is self-evident, and that it generates social disease from which society must perish if it be not eradicated, is a truth that confronts the investigator at the threshold of his inquiry. How to prevent it is the problem that perplexes. “How can crowding be avoided in a crowded city?” is a question often asked. But, in truth, this city is not crowded, and it was to illustrate this that in our last issue, along with the perspective view of one block and ground plans of three in a section of the crowded district, we also printed a ground plan of twenty-two blocks live miles away and in the heart of the city, territorially. on which there are less than three hundred houses, or not twice as many, on mil these twenty-two blocks, as on the two blocks of Mulberry bend, and about four times as many as on the single block bounded by Mulberry, Canal, Baxter and Bayard streets.
In this startling comparison every structure is counted as a house. But since nearly all the structures on the twenty-two lots up town are small frame houses or temporary shanties, while in the crowded districts many of the structures are wide, deep and high, the capacity of the twenty-two lots to relieve the crowded quarter is almost beyond computation. On ten of these lots, bounded by Fourth and Fifth avenues and Ninety-fourth and Ninety-ninth streets, our diagram of last week showed thirty odd buildings; but every one of these is a shanty, and all that land is practically vacant. In bringing these two districts together, one crowded with people as a neglected garden is with weeds, and the other an open, vacant space, vast in comparison, we at once show that the city is not crowded and suggest an effective and natural way of relieving the crowded quarters.
In this issue of TheStandard a still mere striking comparison is presented. The rough sketch in perspective of a small triangular block in Madison street, recently used by the Morning Journal in its tenement house crusade under the management of Mr. Wingate, is brought in juxtaposition with a diagram of the vacant lots lying between One Hundred and tenth and One Hundred and twentieth streets, north and south, and Fifth and Eighth avenues. east and west. The sketch speaks for itself. No ground plan is needed to show how nearly the block is covered by eight five-story buildings. The angular opening inthe center is no more than a light-well for four of the buildings; into the others neither light nor air can penetrate, except from the street. But in the cramped rooms of this jam of houses families are forced to herd, while acres of land within a half hours ride are almost us bare as an open field.
The ground plan on this page shows thirty quadrangular blocks, each capable of accommodating eighty houses of comfortable size; or, allowing space for St. Nicholas avenue, 2,280 in all. At present there are but 190 buildings on this land. Only 120 are shown on the diagram, because the others are shanties and temporary frame houses. But if we count every kind there is still ample space for 2,090 more houses. Thus it appears that ninety-one per cent of the land shown in our diagram is vacant.
This congestion of our population is by no means confined tothe squalid districts, though there its evil effects are more obvious. In boarding houses and flats the merrymaker does not jostle the mourner, nor do the indigent and the vicious so closely mingle; but on a somewhat higher plane of comfort and respectability the lodging house and the tenement are reproached in the boarding house and the flat The disappearance of the home which is such a marked feature of the growth of thecity is prophetic of social disaster. This tendency, first manifested on the lower round of the social ladder where it culminates in the Mulberry bends of our metropolis, has moved steadily upward round after round, until few but the very rich can say that they have a home. Scores and scores of houses on the west side and on the east, outside of the aristocratic quarter, but also outside of tenement districts, houses that present an outward appearance of comfort, are only hives, in which the better to do mechanics, clerks and small business men eat and sleep. Every one of their occupants might have a home, a real home, at no greater cost of living than he pays now, and as convenient to his place of business, if master builders could gain access tothe vacant spaces of the city without paying an enormous entrance fee.
The crowding of tenements, boarding houses, apartments and flats in some quarters, while within the limits of the same city there is block after block of vacant land, would amaze any one unfamiliar with our customs. The apparent disposition to swarm would be inexplicable; and how could he help attributing it to disposition, when opportunities for reasonable segregation were so near at hand and so easy of access? On investigation, however, he would learn that it was due, not to the disposition of the people, but to a legalized privilege which had become a subject of barter and sale—to the privilege of owning and dealing in land as if it were a chattel.
In the district shown on our diagram this week the average price of vacant lots fronting on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues, including corners, is about $13,000; on Eighth avenue it is somewhat higher, and on the cross streets it is about $6,500.
In the district between Ninety-fourth street, Second avenue, Ninety-ninth street and Fifth avenue, shown on our diagram last week, the prices run from $7,000 to $15,000 and more. Inside lots fronting on Second avenue, and those fronting on the side streets, are held at $7,000; those fronting on Lexington, Fourth and Madison avenues at $10,000; those on Third and Fifth avenues at $15,000, and corner lots at a considerable advance on the price of inside lots in the same neighborhood. These prices are a tariff imposed on capital as a condition of building. The money that would be sufficient to erect two good houses must be paid to the owner of a vacant lot for the mere right to build one. If the builder would avoid the risks of debt by using his own capital he must have not only enough to build a house, but twice as much more to pay for the privilege of building. If he borrow capital, he must ultimately pay for this privilege the same as if he used his own capital, and meantime must pay three times as much interest as would be required if he could devote all the capital to building; that is, he must pair interest on the money he borrows to buy the privilege, as well as on that with which he builds. In either case the purchaser or tenant must in the end pay the whole or the builder will be bankrupt
That this condition of things discourages building is obvious. There must not only be a demand for buildings, but an effective demand, or buildings cannot be erected, for it is theuser of buildings who pays for them. That there is a demand can not be doubted when we consider the crowded state of many parts of the city; but effective demand is sadly crippled. People cannot pay for the house room they so badly need. This is true not alone of the denizens of Mulberry bend, but also of clerks, professional men, small merchants, mechanics, and the more useful members of society generally. There are two reasons why they cannot pay, having a common cause. The first is, taking the vacant district shown on our diagram for illustration, that they must, either in purchase price or rentals, pay three times what the building costs; two-thirds of their payment being for the ground privilege and one- third for the house. This they cannot do, and are forced into closer quarters where they pay more in proportion to accommodation, but less in fact The house, therefore, which they want and for which they could pay if it were not so heavily burdened with the price of a mere privilege, is loft unbuilt, and the land remains vacant From this condition results the second reason. The industrial activity of the city, consequent on extensive building operations, is so paralyzed by the crippling of effective demand for houses, that the labor market is glutted; wages all along the line of labor, from t he hod carrier to the master builder, from the car driver to the merchant, are pressed down by competition; and the ability to rent or buy houses on the part of those who want them is still further diminished: Thus, as the price of vacant land rises, the necessity for swarming increases.
In 1859 there were crowded quarters in New York, but none—not even the worst—was so crowded as many districts are now. And then the crowding was almost confined to the very poor. What we call the middle class lived in comparative comfort They had their business troubles and their struggles with the world, but they had hardly begun to swarm. There were boarding houses, but they were not yet substitutes for homes; there were better class tenements, but they did not shelter the class of people who now seek refuge in them, and in deference to whose feelings they are called “Hats.” At that time Ninety-fifth street was too far away from business points for workingmen of any class to think of making a home there. They could not buy land in that region for use. But, in expectation of the growth of the city, land there, even then, commanded a high price—not so high as to be prohibitory to all but the rich, as now, perhaps, but still, in view of its inaccessibility, so high a price that few, if any, could afford to buy except as a speculation.
Then it was that a man, whose name is of no importance, since there are many cases like his, bought seventy-five feet of land, fronting on Ninety-fifth street and running through to Ninety-sixth street along what is now Lexington avenue. For this land he paid $2,400. In 1871-2 Lexington avenue was extended through the land, taking off a strip thirty-five feet deep, but leaving a frontage of 200 feet along the westerly line of the avenue and a depth of forty feet on each of the side streets. For this invasion of his landed privilege the city paid the owner seven thousand dollars, or $4,600 more than all the land had cost him twelve years before. And in 1886 he sold what remained of this land for thirty- four thousand dollars. Thus an investment of $2,400 yielded him in twenty-seven years a gross profit of $38,600, and as his taxes and legal interest on his investment were more than paid by the city’s purchase and rents he received from squatters who erected shanties on the place, his net profit was over thirty-one thousand dollars.
Who is to pay this profit? If land titles were suddenly abolished, the latest purchaser would; but if they continue, it will be paid by the tenants who in the future live on that land. Meantime, industrious people of New York are forced to pay abnormally high rents in crowded quarters because this land, and acre after acre like it, are kept out of use, and to submit to low incomes because the burden which the price of such land imposes on enterprise and capital makes competition close and business stagnant.
Every public improvement adds to the value of land by making it more desirable to those who canafford to pay the price demanded for the privilege of using it. This fad is well illustrated by the elevated roads which have raised the values of Harlem land enormously, and is thoroughly understood by speculators in land. The station at One Hundred and sixteenth street and Eighth avenue, a point which may be found on the accompanying diagram, is at a great height above the street. This has a tendency to depress land values in that neighborhood. People who would submit to the inconvenience of ascending and descending these long stairways every day cannot afford to pay the prices that prevail, and people who can will not undergo the exertion nor endure the inconvenience. There is, therefore, no demand for that land for use, at prices satisfactory to the speculative owners. To remedy this the late J. H. Sherwood, John Crimmins and the Astors, large owners of land in that locality, have subscribed eighty thousand dollars for the construction and running of a free elevator at the station. That this would be an inducement to rich tenants there is no doubt—an inducement which would create a demand for houses there, and make building temporarily active. But with the fresh demand prices and rents would rise; the donors of the free elevator would get back far more than the amount of their contributions; speculative values would feel the impulse, and the. building boom would experience a relapse.
The New York Times, referring in an editorial last Sunday to Mayor Hewitt’s efforts to close up the dives and dance halls, said that most of these places are resorts of bad characters of both sexes, in which many a youth takes his first steps on the road to vice and crime. That this is a deplorable fact no one will dispute. But the remedy suggested by the Times is a poultice for a cancer. It is that greater private and public effort should be made to provide cheerful and respectable places where those who have no attractive homes can spend their leisure time without degradation. The Times impliedly admits that the people for whom it invokes this “private and public effort” are those who have not attractive homes, and that those who have need no such resorts. But if the home tends to morality and virtue, as it undoubtedly does, why not lend our efforts to providing all with homes, not from donations of the charitable rich, but by restoring to the people their natural but confiscated right of places for homes?
Turning to another column of the Times, in an editorial on “The West Side,” we find the increasing homelessness of our people attributed to “the shape of the island,” which, it says, is of course the final cause. “If,” it continues, “New York could expand in all directions as readily as Philadelphia it would be as easy here as in Philadelphia for a man of moderate means, living on wages or fees, to own his own house within a reasonable distance of his business.” The shape of the island, then, is the reason men of moderate means cannot have homes that would keep them away from infamous dens. New Yorkers are homeless and consequently vicious, then, because the Lord made Manhattan island so narrow and long. Why, oh, why, in mercy to the children of His creation did He not make it short and thick?
But it is not because New York is narrower than Philadelphia nor vet because our population is greater that we have so many more homeless people. It is because land speculation can “corner” vacant lots more easily here than there. Were the Creator to widen the island, which we can hardly hope for, so mo relief would follow; but were we to make land speculation unprofitable, as we easily can, immediate, absolute and permanent relief would result. Real estate speculation keeps people from having homes, because prices of lots run up so high that it requires more than three times as much to buy the ground on. which to build a house as it does to build. So long as this is so homes will be few and resorts of infamy plentiful.
There is a simple remedy for all this in shifting taxes from labor and capital to land values.
An Instructive Exhibition
A Show of Contrasts—The Table of a Prince and the Table of a Pauper
The London Democrat, in view of the craze in London for exhibitions of all sorts and kinds, illustrative of the progress of the British empire, suggests a democratic exhibition of things as they really are in Great Britain today. The Democrat gives a list of possible exhibits as a reporter might describe them:
Section A.—The design of this- section is to illustrate the relation of the royal family to the people. At the en trance were two pyramids: the one so small that we could easily cover it with our hands, the other towering high above our heads, and spreading wide before us. The first was called “The Wages of an Agricultural Family;” the second, “The Wages of the Royal Family.” The contents of the last were said to be thirty thousand times greater than the other. The work produced by the peasant family was spread in beautiful array of corn, vegetables, ham and cheese. There was no specimen of work done by the royal family in the exhibition. Various volumes and speeches had been sent to the committee, but the committee were unable to see how work done by the royal family’s secretaries could be called work done by the royal family. Much interest was manifested in two tables set at the end of a large apartment, called in the catalogue “The Table of a Prince and the Table of a Pauper.” The meal of the first, when set for himself alone, was costly enough to have given two hundred working men a luxurious dinner. The food set before the second was hardly enough to sustain a child, and was of the most untempting description. It is described on the catalogue as “The food supplied to old men and women who have added thousands of pounds to the value of the whole country.” The ladies showed much interest in two dresses—“the court dress worn by her majesty and the dress worn by a working girl.” The first we cannot and the second we will not describe.
Section B.—In this section is illustrated the difference between the lives of those who make the money and those who spend it- The feature of this section was two companion. pictures by our great democratic artist—“The Family of the Inventor” and “The Family of the Man who Profiteth by the Invention.” Another title to the first might be cleanly starvation, which is more terrible by far than squalid starvation. In an attic without furniture and without fire, but with walls and floor as dean as newly fallen snow, a woman and children, with cheeks shrunken from poverty, are clustered round the bed of a dying man. In the other, a bluff and bloated person is presiding at the wedding breakfast of his red-haired daughter with a squint, who has just married the heir to a dukedom. The duke is proposing the health of the bride’s father, and telling how much the country owes to the honesty and industry of such men. “The Family of the Millworker” and “The Family of the Millowner” are also admirable pictures by the same talented artist. They exhibit under fresh aspects the old conditions of dire distress and wanton plenty.
Section C.—Here we have various illustrations of “The Home of a Toiler in the Nineteenth Century.”’ Care has been taken to select only the homes of those who are temperate and virtuous. The result is verygrim and dreadful. It was universally admitted that in comparison to the houses where dwelt the honest children of toil, the cells of an ordinary jail were infinitely superior. This part of the exhibition is generally known as the “conversion section.”’ Thousands of the ignorant and thoughtless of our upper and middle classes after thus truthfully seeing how and where our workers lived, went away democrats. It is said that the sight of a peasants cabin in Ireland and Scotland will convert anyone who is not thoroughly bad at heart or connected with the landowning interest.
Business Men versus Landlordism
The business men of Minneapolis have waked up to the fact that a “boom” in land values makes a city no richer, but on the contrary has the effect of discouraging industry. The board of trade of that city adopted the following resolution at a meeting last week:
Resolved, That in the opinion of this board of trade the practice now so prevalent in this city of speculating in real estate and thereby nominally increasing its value largely beyond its real and intrinsic worth, in opposed to the substantial growth and prosperity of the city.
In discussing this resolution in the meeting, the man who proposed it said: “I understand that a certain real estate man has been criticizing the board of trade as being slow and unenterprising, saving that the members do not bring capital here. He, a real estate man, is helping to drive it away on account of the high prices that his kind put upon property. A gentleman has refused to take $1,500 a front foot for property on Hennepin avenue, although the parties who want to buy it propose to put up a building to cost $900,000. Why? Because there is a boom, and these real estate men are making him believe that he can get more for it by and by.”
Peculiar Advantages, Indeed
A newspaper correspondent writing from Duluth, Minn., a “town with a boom,” lays peculiar stress on the following “advantages” pertaining to this little city of from 20,000 to 30,000 inhabitants: “The very cheapest residence property is listed at $800 to $1,500, while desirable business lots are being sold all the way from $250 to $500 per front foot. All of the country for the distance of about four and one-half miles lying along the buy and lake has been platted and included within the city limits, and the lots have been sold and resold at fabulous prices, and still the work goes on.
What The Landlord And Competition Leaves Them
The Experience of Men in Various Branches of Retail Trade—A Class Who Cannot Strike for Short Hours or Higher Incomes
How many retail storekeepers are there in the city of New York? What, on an average, are their profits? What is the relation of their income torent? Do they, as a rule, own the houses in which their business is carried on? Do they reap the reward of their merits as business men? Have they any interest in the development of the political and social questions of the day? Do improved machinery and modern methods helpthorn or operate to the detriment of their business? During the past week many retail storekeepers of the city were visited by a writer for TheStandard and asked such questions as these.
There are no means of finding out through official or authoritative sources what is the number of retail dealers in this city. Bradstreet’s agency does not know. The census does not tell. The business directory contains more than 500 pages of the names of business men, nearly 50,000 in all, but while it has lists of lawyers and architects it does not give the names and addresses of the largest class of retailers, the small dealers. Guesses at the total number of the retail dealers, whose stores line nearly all the avenues and many of the cross streets, vary greatly, some dealers estimating that there are probably 50,000 and others that there are about 150,000. It is known that there are about 12,000 liquor stores. Five stores of all other kinds to each liquor store would give about 75,000 proprietors of retail stores.
The proprietor of a hardware and tin store answered the writer’s questions by saying that he had had his place on a ten years’ lease at $800a year back in the ’00s, but when the lease expired the landlord added $700 a year to the rent, without putting’ on a dollar in improvements. In thirty years his rent had doubled, while the house became an old one, The hardware retailer is being injured by peddlers, who, having learned a little as to the working of tinware, manufacture and sell it themselves. Machine made goods also bring down profits very low. Boys run the machines. Free trade could not make the business any worse.
A retailer in fish had been an observer for many years of the tendencies of business in his locality. He thought the number of stores increased much faster than population. He could remember when along First avenue, in a distance of about a mile, there were only two butcher stores, while now there are nearly a dozen. People seemed to think that if there was a store room vacant on an avenue there should be in some way a business to pay its rent. He thought the motive most men had in going into business was to become their own bosses. As masters of themselves they could stand many privations which they would not suffer if working for others.
A First avenue butcher told an interesting story of his experience with a landlord. When heset up in his business, he took a three years lease of a corner store at $90 a month. He was ambitious, knew his trade, took a pride in it, watched closely how he could please his customers, managed economically, worked from half-past 4 a. m. to half-past 8 p. m., and built up a paying business. As soon as his lease expired, his landlord asked $90 a month of him. He paid it, supposing that was to be the rent for a year. But in a month or two the landlord asked for $110, and a little later for $125. The tenant here called a halt emphatically, looked around and found a whole house to let in his neighborhood, leased land left the corner where he had prospered, to run the risk of a new site for his business. Fortunately his trade followed him. The corner landlord, after having his store room on his hands for a long time, turned it into a liquor store.
A dealer in teas and groceries said that a few years ago a dollar a pound was considered cheap for tea, but now the same quality could be got for about one-half the sum. While other causes had some influence in lowering the price. competition had the largest share. Drummers now went from house to house and floor to floor taking orders for tea by the pound. With a market raked over as fine as this fact signified, he saw no hopes for large accumulations of wealth for a tea dealer. The dealers had tried to get up combinations in which members were to be bound to sell overthe counter only at schedule prices. But some dealers could not be bound by their word and the combination broke down. He had noticed last week in a daily paper advertisements of the sale of ten grocery stores at auction. That was constantly occurring: men made ventures and failed.
A stationer and newsdealer on First avenue, who was talked with, said that landlords never had slack times. He had worked for many years down town for a boss. had saved a few dollars, gene into business for himself, and was now- working hard for a landlord. His day’s work was from 5 a. m. toll p.m. He could not strike for short hours, and a strike against the landlord he know would be a very short one. He sold cigars and tobacco, and people seemed to be smoking clay pipes and cigarettes, on which there is little profit.
A dealer in hats on the Bowery said that, according to his observation, retail dealers generally worked for the landlords. They had no means of organizing to protect their interests, as have wage workers, and the only way they could better their condition would be through political action. They did not look for muchassistance from lighter taxation; there was something deeper than that to come from legislation. As a matter of fact, he said a very large number of storekeepers had voted for Henry George last November. Rents ranged on the Bowery from $1,500 for a small single store to $45,000 for a house occupied by a dime museum. The average was $1,800for a single storeroom on the ground floor. He showed the writer a vacant storeroom, the rent of which is $2,500 a year. Three tenants failed in business in this store in three years. It is a part of the Astor estate. Of all classes of people, he thought, none were so directly at the mercy of landlords as small business men.
A Boweryshoe dealer, who had a storeroom and basement, each 25 by 90 feet, on a ten years’ lease, at $3,000,believed he paid a moderate rent. Competition was keener than ever in the shoe trade. The introduction of the shoe business into the dry goods and clothing stores had a bad effect on sales in the stores in which shoes only were sold. As to rents, he knew of a ramshackle building worth no more that $6,000 which was renting at $2,500 a year. No repairs were made on it, except such as the tenant has obliged to make to protect himself from inclement weather, and the house was a disgrace to the Bowery. The lot on which it was built was worth from $15,000 to $18,000. It was Trinity property, and he d id not know what that corporation had ever done to create that value in the lot.
Another shoe dealer on the Bowery related tothe writer his experience with a rack-renting landlord. In the fall of 1876 be took a corner store on a lease of a year and a half, paying a rental at the rate of $1,800 a year for the first few months and $2,000 for the next year. At the expiration of his lease $200 was added to his rent for the following year, and but one year’s lease was given him. The next year $300 was added, the next $300 and the next $200, so that in 1884 he was paying $3,000 for the same old storeroom on the same old Bowery. The only cause for this raise of $1,200 in the rent was that the landlord found that he could pay it. In 1884 the house was sold, and the new owner immediately added $1,000 to the rent. This drove the shoe dealer to other quarters close by, where he secured a five years’ lease at about the rent he was paying in 1878, and where his customers followed him, and he is doing even better than before. Since he left the corner store it has changed tenants five times, that number of dealers having failed to raise money enough to pay the landlord. The shoe dealer said that when he was renting the corner store on a one-year’s lease, he put in the cheapest fixtures he could get and paid no attention to the place any further than to keep out burglars and the rain. The landlord had suggested that if he would put in a plate glass window his store would be more attractive, but he found no inducement for making such costly improvements on a one year’s lease. Now that he had a live years’ lease he took care to have a clean, attractive, handsomely fitted up place. He could readily understand how a tenant tanner would not give a landlord his labor in making improvements on rented acres. But it was not necessary to go to Ireland to see the evil effects of grasping landlordism. The Bowery merchants could testify to every form of legal piracy which could be exercised by land owners. There were men who knew the possible rental value of every storeroom and house from Chat ham square to Cooper Union, and if they found a place held at a smaller rent than they believed could be squeezed out of it, they rented it from the owner and took chances in subletting it. These men knew better than did the owners of large estates the value of a storeroom to a tenant. for they watched his trade and knew when he could afford to pay a high rent rather than move. The man who owned a single house was a harder landlord than was the owner of a large estate, for his espionage was closer.
A dealer in what is known to the trade as “gents’ furnishing goods” said he thought that today New York had scarcely one-half the stores of this kind that it had fifteen years ago. High rents and keen competition, and especially the competition of the great general stores, had thrown many a good business man out of a fairly well established trade. The managers of large stores help to control fashions. They manufacture neckties, shirts, collars, cuffs and similar goods. When they found that a style in any goods was not likely to suit the popular taste, the stock was disposed of, even at reduced prices, and no more made, while if the fancy of the public was caught by a style, they had the facilities to quietly make up a large quantity and take advantage of the fact. The gents’ furnishing goods counter in a large store is run much more cheaply than is a small store selling the same line of goods and nothing else. The counter in the great store costs less in rent. It is managed by boys or girls under a floor walker who, exercising the supervision of the small storekeeper, Controls many more salesmen and women. The pay roll is, therefore, proportionately smaller than in the single store, and the sales far greater. The keeper of the small retail store may buy stock from a down town jobber at what appears to him a very low rate, yet the stock may turn out to be ill chosen, because, as the fashion of the season is developed, the jobber may dispose of goods of the same stock at “bankrupt prices” to get them off his hands, and the retailer, being unable to sell his stock at a profit in competition with later buyers from the jobber, is subject to a loss which it is difficult to retrieve.
A gentleman who lately sold a large dry goods and notion store and retired from the retail trade, after being engaged in it for many years, spoke of the change that had taken place in business in this city since the time he entered upon it. He had been obliged to take up with the sale of one kind of goods after another, as people expected to make a s many of their purchases as possible in one place when they made any at all. The old time country store keeper sold dry goods and molasses, salt fish and shoes, and it now looked as if the large general stores of the city were to return to the old method of keeping much the same assortment of stock. He had begun by handling dry goods only. Counter after counter had been added in his place of business, until he was selling dry goods, shoes, boys’ clothing, toys, stationery, notions of many kinds, gents’ furnishing goods, and some lines of household goods. He did not see how a small retailer dealing in but one of these lines could make ends meet. He had seen many star., and few succeed. He regarded the failure of small dealers in the lines he had been dealing in as almost a certainty in this city. They could not compete with the methods of the great, well known stores.
How the beer trade of the city is managed is a matter of common knowledge. The beer pool has partitioned the city among its members, and, under its judicious management, every quarter has saloons enough to meet the demand for beer. The brewers control two thirds of the saloons through mortgages, the retailers being salesmen rather than owners and dealers. The profit on a single, glass of beer is a large one, but the earnings of any one saloon are apt to be small, because there is another saloon close at hand to share with it the sales of a neighborhood. The same is true of the liquor business. Both trades are so much cut up that dealers say it is the exception rather than the rule to make money in either, though there is a popular impression that the beer and liquor trades flourish even when all others are dull.
A prominent cigar-maker said the sum realized on a thousand cigars by a retail dealer is more than twice the amount paid for the labor of making them and the wholesale price put together. A retail dealer to whom this fact was mentioned, said. with a smile, that that was no more than right, since it took the average retailer twice as long a time to sell a thousand as the maker was engaged in making them. Another fact that retailers could not overlook in trying to make large profits was the enormous rents they had to pay. Privileges in hotels and similar crowded places came high, and it was necessary, in order to drive a good trade, to follow the crowd. Of late years some of the large manufacturers of cigars had established a custom somewhat similar to that of the brewers. A great firm would either set up its own retail stores in town and country, or make good terms with such dealers as confined their sales to the brands made by it. On tobacco, smoking or chewing, dealers look for very little profit, and cigarette smoking has become a prevailing custom despite the discouragements extended by dealers, who saw no money in it for them.
The retail storekeepers of New York, as a class, are men of pronounced individualism. They think and work for themselves. Their planning, saving, managing and forecasting are not for other men’s profit. They have a keen intelligence which tells in commercial affairs. They need no explanation of the economic facts relating to rents, profits, interest and wages. They rub against these entities every day. There is an increasing number of them asking why their activities and merits should be subject to forces which in themselves are stagnant, and which only become productive when united with true capital and labor. These forces may all be united under one term—monopoly. The movement against monopolies, commonly called the labor movement., has no more sagacious or interested observers than the retail shopkeepers.
A Church Buys a Taxing Privilege
New York Herald, March 21.
It was the Collegiate Middle Reform Dutch church that bought the five lots at the Boulevard and Eighty-seventh street, sold by L. J . &I.Phillips for $58,000, at private contract.
Queries And Answers
Thoughtful Questions from a Contemporary
New York Volks-zeitung, March 21. Translation.
Henry George’s paper, TheStandard, which has now reached its eleventh number, contains any quantity of most readable contributions on social questions. Next to the unusually numerous signed articles by able writers the most important feature is the large number of “answered objections” to Henry George’s proposition to make the unearned increment of land value the only object of taxation and let all wealth created by labor go tax free. Many of these objections are merely misunderstandings and are quickly straightened or set aside. Many, however, are carefully thought cut and are answered fully by George himself. We call particular attention to this interesting department. One object ion, however, has not been made and, therefore, has not been answered in The Standard, and this weoffer now.
Henry George believes that placing all taxes on land values will make the way easy to solve the social problem: for if nil land not used by the owners must be sold cheaply or given up in order to evade high taxation, then working people will buy it for the erection of homes or for farming purposes. By this means the supply of wage workers in the market will be lessened and, therefore, wages will rise, and by thrift wage earners will be able to become independent, or they would become farmers.
First, it cannot be unknown to Henry George that everything which tends in general to cut down prices for the means of subsistence (food, rent. etc.) will be at the same time (under capitalistic regime) a means of lessening wages. In fact, his knowledge of this truth betrays itself in many parts of his writings. He can only mean, therefore, that the number of wage slaves, who, after the accomplishment of his purpose, will erect homes on unused lands will be so great that it will counteract the tendency of wages to fall. This is. however, very improbable, for, in the first place, too many have not the means to put a small plot into working condition and tend it and yet keep free from debt; in the second place, they could not get a loan on mortgage, because then the land would rise in value, and with this rise the taxes would rise, so that householders would have continually more and more to pay, and becomes less able to pay off the mortgage. Next, the community would have to provide sewers, water ducts, street, lighting, etc., without assessing property holders, as they would be ruined by assessments, and these public needs must bepaid for out of the single land tax, and therefore must raise land values. Fourth (and this is the most important), the supply of laborers, by immigration and growth of population, would not be lessened. The house owning laborers would always have to find their support by wage working, because they could not support themselves wholly on their house plots, and would have. to underbidthe newcomers, which they would be able to do. and would not be any better off than at present.
We expect the placing of all taxes on land values to make easy the solution of the social question, but not merely because working people will take up land for homes or farms. They will find land all around them which they may take for either purpose if they wish, free of price or tax; and that they will take it for homes to a very great extent we believe. But we do not expect that mechanics or unskilled laborers, in any great numbers, will go to farming. The effect of such a tax would penetrate deeper and reach farther than the Volks-zeitung thinks. Not only would it enable men who want homes and those who want to farm to get the land for nothing without going beyond the borders of civilization, but it would also set the whole community at work. improving, producing and trading. This would involve the employment of men in the very occupations in which they now engage to an extent that has never yet been realized. The demand for labor would be vastly increased and steadily grow. In other words, illimitable opportunities for laborers of every kind would open up. The inevitable effect of this would be to increase wages.
That it is the tendency of wages, under present conditions, to fall as the cost of living falls, is true. This is because workingmen are in competition for opportunities to work, and the cheaper they are able to live, the less wages they can afford to take in bidding against each other for a job. But a tax on land values alone would change the competition for work among workingmen into a competition for workers among employers. Our contemporary will certainly agree that if this be so wages will increase (the competition for workers continuing) until they reach the point of earnings. They cannot go beyond that point for the same reason that a quart jug cannot hold more than a quart; and they will not stop short of that point so long as demand exceeds supply.
This shifting of competition from the man to the “boss” will be due not merely to the fact that the number of wage slaves who . . . will erect homes on unused land will be so great that it will counteract the tendency of wages to fall, but also, and in greater degree, to the fact that “wage slaves” will be slaves no longer, but independent citizens. The opportunity open to every man of having a place for a home free, and of being able to get a living, even though it be a poor one, directly from the soil, will utterly destroy the element of coercion which now enters into every contract between what the lawyers call “master and servant.” At present the servant’s alternative is market wages or homelessness and starvation; then it would be the wages demanded, or, at the worst, a poor living for a time. And it makes a vast difference with a man’s independence whether his refusal to work for another on the master’s terms involves destruction or discomfort. This independence would tend to keep the supply of wage laborers below the demand, and consequently to sustain wages at the earning point. But beyond this, the ranks of what are now wage slaves would be constantly depleted by the desertion of men who, with good wages, had saved enough capital to go into business for themselves, which they could then do without the risks that attend small business ventures under existing conditions; and the children of the future, instead of being born to hopeless servitude, would be joint inheritors of ever-accumulating values of land, and offspring of parents able to give them a fair start in the world.
Our contemporary will probably say, and it is true, that the values which labor in cooperation creates, would not go to the laborer in wages. But these values are represented by the value of land, which, under the system we propose, would be taken for public use. Thus the laborer would get what he individually earned, in his wages, and what he as a member of the community earned, in the equal benefits he would derive from land values.
To answer our contemporary’s objections seriatim:
(1) While many have not the means to put land into such condition as to employ it to best advantage, no healthy man will starve or perish from cold if he have free access to land. Moreover, so many now competing for employment would, if land were free, become independent workers, and make independent workers of their children, that the supply of wage workers could be kept up to meet the needs of employers only by keeping wages up to the full earning point.
(2) If the land tax were imposed to nearly the limit of value, there would be no land mortgages. The only mortgages., then would be on improvements. Such mortgages would not affect the value of land. Nothing but demand could do that. We do not believe that debts should be collected by law, but if they were, debtors would find it easier to pay if wages were high, than now, when wages are low.
(3) Sewers, etc., should be paid for out of common funds. The value which they might give to adjoining land would be taxable; but the occupiers, in their tax, would be paying for nothing but the added benefits they would receive, and that not in a large sum, but in yearly installments.
(4) It is true that the supply of laborers by immigration would not be lessened. It would be largely increased. It would in all probability nearly depopulate every country in which land is privately owned. But this would be a good thing. It would increase the co-operative owner of labor here, and while that would greatly add to our land values, the whole people would benefit by this increased value and there would still be plenty of free land left.
Why Farmers Leave Their Farms
Hyde Park, Mass.—Why do so many men leave their farms and seek employment in centers of industry? I understand that the land value tax would induce men to occupy the land and make a greater demand and consequently higher wages for wage workers in manufactories: but it, puzzles me to know why farms are abandoned now, if they would be sought then.
John A. Jackson.
Fanning is abandoned chiefly because it does not pay. The farmer is taxed to death. To begin with, he must mortgage himself to buy a farm, a large part of the price being for the mere natural opportunity — land: this makes him in fact a tenant to the mortgagee, though in form he is owner: then he must pay taxes on his stock, barns, house, crops and so on; and if by industry and thrift he increases the value of these his tax is higher; and if he goes to the store nearly everything he buys is plastered over with a custom house tax if a foreign product or with a monopolist’s protective tariff tax if a home product.
Perhaps farms are abandoned also because man is a gregarious animal. The isolation of farm lite is not agreeable to the farmers boy and is torture to the town-bred man.
Because farms are not sought now or are oven abandoned does not. argue against the land value tax as a social reform. That tax would take the rental value of land for public use. The effect would be that no land would have value until at least five men wanted to use it; whereas now any land which two men would like to fence in on speculation, without the slightest intention of using it, has value, and consequently all available land is fenced in. There would be so much land, both in city and country, which nobody would want to use if land values were taxed that anyone who wanted a lot for a home or shop, or a tract of land for a farm, could get it near at home without price and without tax. Taxation would not affect it until a growing community in the neighborhood gave to it a special value—“social value” as it is sometimes called in contradistinction to utility.
Mechanics would not necessarily take advantage of this condition by resorting to farms. That would not be essential to a rise of wages; wages would rise because workingmen would be independent. The farm laborer could farm for himself without either leaving the community where he was born or paying for a natural opportunity. The city workingman could get a home free of all taxes and without the ornament of a mortgage, and, in all occupations, the contract of employment would involve value of service, and not the alternative to the laborer of small wages or none. He. who can have a place for a home without price can contract independently and freely with a prince, but he who is a wanderer on the face of the earth must take what wages he can get or starve.
The same conditions would satisfy the gregarious nature of men on farms. Farming communities would consist of villages, and not, as now, of widely scattered farm houses. They would also make farming profitable by practically abolishing mortgages, and almost wholly exempting the great body of farmers from every form of taxation. Therefore, men who had a taste for farming would farm and prosper, and those who preferred other pursuits would follow their inclinations, and, protected by free contract, prosper also.
Another Poor Man Afraid of Losing His Wealth
New York.—Suppose I had lived at the beginning of the city and had owned a lot at the present corner of Fifth avenue and Fiftieth street, taxes being very light then, but, as the city grew, that land values became so high that I could not afford to pay my taxes; would I have to give up to my rich neighbor? Again, if, after I was settled; I discovered an oil well on my land that would make the land more valuable and increase my taxes. If I was a rich man I could develop the oil well, but being poor, would I have to get out?
C. J. H. Johnston.
It is as easy to pay a land value tax for the privilege of using valuable land as to pay no tax at all for land having no value. At the settlement of the city you would have paid no tax, because your land had no value; would you be any worse off if, when the land became valuable by reason of population or the discovery of an oil well, its value was made the sole basis of taxation?Suppose your hen, which has been laying six eggs a week, begins to lay a golden egg on Sunday, are you any poorer if the golden eggsare made the sole basis of taxation?
You are confused by the notion that a land value tax would lake from you something which you already have. It would not. It would only take future ground rents as you collected them. If at one time your land commands no ground rent, and you therefore pay no tax, how are you injured when ground rent arises and the community says, This belongs to us! Are you not rather benefited by exemption from all taxation during the time when your land cannot be rented. As to giving up to your rich neighbor, that would depend on you. If you thought you could do better by moving a little further up where there were no land values, and consequently no tax, you would probably sell out to your rich neighbor; but if you preferred not to move, you would not sell. In a pecuniary way it would be about as broad us long, whether you moved to non-valuable land and paid no t ax or stayed on the valuable land and paid the tax. Your labor and capital would produce about the same net result ineither case.
If an oil well was discovered on your land, and the land became valuable in consequence, you would, of course, pay for the value. In that case it would be to your interest either to work the well or let some one else work it. If you couldn’t work it, which would be very doubtful, or wouldn’t, which would be quite probable if you got into an oil ring, then the community ought to have its value just the same as if you did work it. All you could possibly lose in any event would be the shares of other people in a common property, and that, we say candidly, we should want you to lose.
Land Value Taxes and House Rent
Buffalo, N. Y.—When the whole of taxation is thrown upon the landowners. how is house rent to be prevented from rising accordingly.
The higher the tax on land values the cheaper land will be, for a tax on land values discourages land speculation and tends to glut the market with vacant land; the cheaper land values are the greater the tendency to improve land by building houses and otherwise: and, the more houses there are the lower house rents will be.
Landlords do not lower ground rents when taxes on land values are reduced. They are not philanthropists. They take all the tenant will give. Nor can they increase ground rents when taxes on land values are increased. A tax on ground rent is a kind of tax which cannot be thrown off upon the consumer, and in that respect differs from a tax on commodities. A tax on land values increases the supply of land by bringing more into market; whereas a tax on commodities increases the supply by discouraging production. Rents are low in tax-ridden communities and high in communities where taxes are light. If taxation were abolished in Buffalo, youcould not buy or rent a lot for less than you can now; but if land values were taxed to the uttermost. you could get plenty of lots for nothing.
The Effect in Texas
Shiphed, Tex. March 5.—Will you please tell us how your land theory, shifting the burden of taxation from improvements to the land, is going to affect us? Way down here in Dixie, on the cotton fields, we are generally in the relation of landlord and tenant, and the result so far is not very satisfactory to either one. Many tenants have become land owners and many land owners have become tenants. Now, to the owner of a farm, large or small, who has struggled these many years under adverse circumstances to keep it up, what will be the effect of your theory? Will it give him a push forward, as some contend, or backward, as others suppose? We don’t quite see. As to your other positions, we are in entire accord with you.
J. K. Hill.
Your tenant farmers would pay no taxes; your land owning farmers who work their farms would have their taxes reduced, and in many cases escape taxation entirely; and your landlord farmers, who live by the labor of others, would have to go towork. There is land enough in Texas to give every family in the United States a piece of ground large enough to make a living from: but your land is so monopolized by speculating landlords that working farmers cannot get a farm without struggling hard for it; and when they get it they must pay taxes on all they own. produce, eat. drink and wear. If taxes were shifted from products to land values the land monopolists would let go and land would be a glut in the market. In a short time large areas of the land of Texas would be as free as air. The ordinary farm would have little or no value, except what labor had given to it, and the owner of such a farm would pay only a small tax, or none at all. Your taxes would be wholly paid by people who owned land that was exceptionally desirable, such as city lots, farms near cities, mines and so on This would certainly give your farmers a push ahead. At any rate, theywould keep all they earned, and that is more than they can do now.
Security of Tenure
San Francisco, March 7.—Au Answer to Queries (in Standard of Feb. 12)states that “land and homestead owners would have, under your proposed system, the same security in their tenure as they have now, and that nothing more would be required of them.” Now your system proposes as an end to be attained that private property in land shall be abolished. and to effect this, that land shall be taxed to the full rental value. At present, land is not taxed in any case or under any system of assessment overa small percentage of its rental value or otherwise, and the rights of owners are not sought to be impaired in any way. How then can the change of increasing the tax, involving as it does the gradual but certain abolition of owners’ interest. give the same security as, and no more burden oftax than, the present system.
You wholly fail to comprehend the Query and answer to which you refer. We were asked, “What security have the holders or users of land on which they have built their homes for its further tenure.” The writer was not speaking of “tenure” in its legal sense. What he wanted to know was what security the house owner would have of continued occupation of the land his house stood on. And we replied that “householders would have the same security they have now;” that is, the right to remain as long as they paid their taxes, An increase of tax on land values does not diminish security of occupation; it only diminishes income from land values. If you own a lot worth $100 a year, on which, you pay $1 in taxes, your security of occupation will be just as complete if your taxes be raised to $100; it is only your enjoyment of an unearned income that will be affected. But you may say that a house owner gets no income from the lot on which his house stands, and therefore a tax taking its entire value destroys his security of tenure. A house owner does get what is equivalent to an income from his lot. If he rents the house he gets an actual income; if he uses it himself he saves in the item of rent. In either case he is benefited, at the expense of the community, to the extent of the value of the land. For the community, to whom that value of right belongs, to take it from him is not to interfere with his tenure.
Thus far of land having a value. As to land having no real value, of which there are vast areas all about us, there would be nothing to pay, and consequently no interference either with tenure or income.
Why Working Farmers Suffer Though Land Values Rise
Minneapolis, Minn., March 2.—Will you please make clear the apparent discrepancy in the remarks that often appear side by side: The gist of each is that land values. are ever on the increase, and that money is made, by men owning land, at the expense of the community, andthat the working farmer who buys his farm on part cash payment, and gives a mortgage for the remainder, soon loses his farm, and his cash, ton, not being able to meet the mortgage when due. Can it be that the trouble, lies in the exorbitant rate of interest, or does it lie in other industrial causes, such as tariff, hard times (men out of work), etc., or is it a combination ofall?
Land values in the aggregate are ever on the increase; but in some places the increase is rapid and in others slow. The value of mere farming land is almost stationary. But if a mine of any kind be discovered, the land value rises with fabulous rapidity, or if a town grows up it is quickly enhanced. If the working farmer who gives a mortgage for part of the purchase price, discovers a mine on his farm, he will not lose his farm nor the cash he has paid. Neither will he if town springs up upon his land or in the immediate neighborhood. In either case he makes money at the expense of the community by owning land. But if the farm remains a farm—if no mine is discovered and population does not increase in the neighborhood—the farmer makes no money at the expense of the community. He makes nothing except what his labor produces, and, with his burdensome mortgage and comprehensive taxes, that is absorbed and he goes to the walk, as does everyone else under present conditions who depends for pecuniary success on labor alone.
The root of the trouble is not in exorbitant interest. If the money a farmer borrowed could be, devoted to improvements, and be exempt from taxes, the interest he paid would not bother him. The improvements would earn for him more than he paid in interest. But a great part of that money must be used to pay for mere land at a high speculative price. This does him no more good that so much money thrown into the tire. The interest on it is not interest at all, but ground rent.
The great evil of private land ownership, however, is not that some men get ground rents from other men. but that it encourages the keeping of land out of use in expectation of a rise in value. In such cases the owner gets no income from his land, but he does more damage than if he did. He limits opportunities for labor and capital, and, with a constantly increasing supply of labor and capital, wages and interest (real interest, not a bonus for some privilege created by law) are forced down, until men who have nothing but labor to offer cannot hope to accumulate capital, and must be well content if they can get a bare living from year to year.
New York City.—Will you inform me what has become of the organization called the Knights of Labor? Also, if there is such a political party as the free trade republican.
The organization of the Knights of Labor wants the earth for the people, and is in a fair way of getting it. Its headquarters are in Philadelphia, and it has subordinate organizations all over the United States and Canada.
There is no such political organization as the free trade republican party.
Two Important Questions
Minneapolis. Minn.—Please answer the following questions: 1. If there is no limit to land holding under the doctrine of “the land for the people,” how are we to prevent the money kings from taking up all the valuable vacant land, and luring help, which will undoubtedly produce the tax, besides a large dividend for the kings? How are we to get square with Jay Gould if there will be no tax on improvements? He at present has money enough to support himself and all his relatives in luxury the remainder of their lives without ever performing a day’s work.
(1) There will be a limit to land holding. If money kings take up all the valuable vacant land, that which is not valuable (which you must understand does not mean that it is not useful, but only that it is not in demand), will still be open for whoever wants to use it, and the value of the valuable land will go to the people instead of going to the money kings, as it does now. No one will hold land and pay its value over to the community every year unless he uses it; but if he uses much he must employ help, and what with the great demand for labor which this will create and the opening for laborers which the non-valuable land near by affords, he will have to pay his laborers all they earn or they won’t work for him. The money king’s income will have to be earned by his own labor or by his own capital, and in either case, no matter how much it may be, it will not come out of the share of anybody else. His dividends will not be, as they are now, the price that laborers pay for an opportunity. Such a condition cannot continue long without making capital profit less to the man who does not use it himself, for every one with such opportunities will acquire capital of his own and be no longer dependent on another for the tools of production, any more than he will be for natural opportunities to produce It is no part of our plan to make any one poor, but. to make every one independent and rich to the extent of his energy, productive skill and thrift.
(2) We are not ambitious to get square with Jay Gould. If we can cut his claws and draw his teeth we shall be well satisfied. And that can be done by making laborers independent, so that, no matter how much money Gould may have, he cannot get a man to work for him unless he pays that man his price. Put an end t o the power that the Goulds now have of appropriating part of the products if their workmen without compensation, and their vast fortunes will hurt no one. They will be as harmless as a chunk of gold in an old stocking. We are not yet informed that Mr. Gould is in any hurry to have all taxes shifted from improvements to land values, and yet he is reputed every shrewd man, who “never misses a trick.”
Where to Begin
Pictou, Ontario. March 15. —“Inquirer” asked in TheStandard of March 12 if land reform would not likely be accomplished by a series of steps, and if so, what should be the first point un which we should concentrate our effort. The answer given was. “The first point on which we should concentrate our efforts is the shifting of all taxes to land values.” That answer seems to me very indefinite. We cannot at once shift all taxes to land values. The abolition of one tax after another will doubtless take place, until at last nothing will be taxed but land values. Such being the case, what tax or taxes should we first attack; I have thought that the abolition of indirect taxation would make the rest comparatively easy. Firstly, because it would limit the power of our legislators, making them directly dependent upon the people for the revenue; and secondly, because it would shift the burden of taxation from the poor to the rich and force to our ranks, in self-defense, many small capitalists who, under the present system of indirect taxation, strongly oppose us, not because it is to their advantage to do so, but because they have thought very little about the proposed reform. Will you kindly tell me whether I am right or wrong, and if wrong, what course would it be best for us to pursue?
Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson.
We are inclined to think that in the main you are right. In this country we live under a double government, state and national. Federal legislation should be immediately aimed at the abolition of revenue tariffs, and the substitution of a direct tax on land values apportioned among the several states according to population; and state legislation at the shifting of taxes in cities from land improvements to land values.
The Land and Labor Party in Cincinnati
The Henry George club of Cincinnati have opened permanent quarters at 258 Vine street—the principal street of the city. They have the second floor of a large building, and keep their rooms open every evening. Dr. David De Beck is treasurer and librarian.
New York In Congress
No Enemy Of The Labor Party Can Again Be Elected Here
The Labor Party on the Vote for Mayor Carried One District, Nearly Carried Two Others, and Demonstrated That It Holds the Balance of Power
It was recently shown in TheStandard that the united labor party of this city is not, as some politicians seem disposed to believe, composed of dissatisfied democrats, but is really a new party, which, in the last election, drew off 23 per cent of the republican and 31 per cent of the democratic vote. Though it then wisely concentrated its strength on a single candidate for office, it is not a party concerned only in local matters, but it undoubtedly desires to give toNew York a decent and effective municipal government. Its purposes extend to state and national questions, and its first act after the election was to make provision for the active propaganda since carried on throughout the country.
The politicians of the two old parties and the newspapers devoted to their interests persist in regarding the movement, as local and transitory, and a Tammany congressman. Bourke Cockran, recently declared publicly that the voters of the labor party do not understand or care about the principles enunciated in their platform. A careful study of the returns of the last election, by congressional election districts, will cause ambitions, young men seeking seats in congress to be somewhat chary of thus reflecting on the intelligence of men who have it in their power to say who shall not go to congress from this city, even if they cannot vet say who shall go.
A tabulation of the vote by congressional districts shows that on the vote for mayor the new party carried one district and came within 30 votes in one case and 185 votes in smother of carrying two more districts. It was second in the race in all but two districts, and held the balance of power in every district In this city, thus displaying a strength that would have enabled it to change the political majority in the house of representatives in The Fiftieth congress, bad it chosen to do so.
The returns by congressional districts show that the 6.376 voters who cast ballots for mayor, but who voted for no state officer, refrained also from voting for candidates for congress, and a comparison between the remaining vote, as divided by old party lines of the vote for court of appeals and by new party lines on the vote for mayor, confirms the demonstration by a former calculation that these one- ticket voters went to the polls exclusively in the interest of the labor party, and that they are men who,for some years at least, have not voted either the democratic or republican ticket.
With those who voted for the old party candidates for judge of the court of appeals the case was different, and it appears that wherever there was a sharp struggle for a seat in congress the labor vote was drawn into it, and where there was no such contest that the vote for congress fell short of that for the court ofappeals to just about the extent that the labor party drew votes from the old parties. This indicates that in such cases the workingmen did not vote for any candidate for congress.
In the Sixth district, where Amos .T. Cummings, democrat, had practically no opposition, receiving 13,799 votes out of 14,433 cast, the votefor congress fell to 6,129 below that for court of appeals. The vote for mayor in the district was Roosevelt 5,492, Hewitt 9,565 and George 6,152.
In the Seventh congressional district there was an active contest between John D. Lawson, republican, and Lloyd S. Bryce, democrat, and the total vote for congress fell but about a thousand behind that for court of appeals. It is clear that in this district most of the 2,400dcrnocrais who deserted Hewitt for George adhered to the democratic candidate for congress, and that more than half of the 1,500 republican deserters to George voted for the republican candidate. In this congressional district the vote for mayor was: Roosevelt, 6,242; Hewitt, 10,934; and George, 4,575. This is one of the two districts in which the labor party was third in the race.
The struggle between Tim Campbell and T. F.Grady in the Eighth congressional district seems to have drawn all voters into it except the thousand who voted for mayor and for another candidate. It was so short and sharp a light that every body had his combative instincts aroused, and as Campbell was the regular candidate of both the old parties, it is probable that the labor vote went largely against him on that account. As both Campbell and Grady are democrats and neither had any claims on workingmen, or for that matter on republicans, it is impossible to make any estimate as to the source of the vote that nearly defeated Tim Campbell. The labor party was a good second on the mayoralty vote, which stood: Roosevelt, 6,066; Hewitt, 10,029 George, 9,999; Hewitt’s plurality being out 30.
The one-sided contest in the Ninth district between August P. Wagener, republican, and S. S. Cox. democrat, appears to have drawn in all of the voters; except the thousand and more who voted for mayor only, the vote for congress being substantially the same as that for court of appeals. There was a slight defection from Cox to Wagener. The mayoralty vote stood: Roosevelt, 5,011; Hewitt, 9,389; George, 9,204; Hewitt’s plurality being but 185. A vigorous effort would doubtless elect labor candidates for congress from both the Eighth and Ninth districts.
In the Tenth district all voters, except those voting for mayor alone, participated in the congressional contest that so nearly resulted disastrously to Francis B. Spinola and his collar. The vote for mayor in the district was: Roosevelt, 5,720; Hewitt, 9,661; and George, 6,946.The labor party could do nothing directly, but the result showed that it could accomplish a great deal by combination, ifso disposed. In this district it endorsed Allen Thorndike Rice, the republican candidate, and it would have elected him had Mike Cregan, the republican boss, not betrayed his candidate. There were doubtless men in the labor party who refused to vote forMr. Rice, but the figures show that the bulk of the party\s vote went with its endorsement, and ifCregan sold out Rice much beyond a thousand votes, it required all of the labor vote added to the remaining republican Vote to bring Rice’s figures up to 10,320, which was but 327 below Spinola’s in this strong democratic district.
In the Eleventh district Truman A. Merriman, democrat, was elected practically without opposition. The vote fell nearly 5,000 below that for court of appeals, but as the vote for Mr. Merriman exceeded by more than 5,000 that east for both Hewitt and Roosevelt, it is evident that many workingmen must have thought it worth while to vote for the Sun’s young man. The vote for mayor in the district was, Roosevelt, 9,423; Hewitt, 10,530; George, 10.985, a plurality of 455 for the labor candidate, this this being the only congressional district carried by that party. In the Twelfth district the vote for congress was more than 1,300 short of that for court of appeals, the contest between Bourke Cockran, Tammany, and George H. Pell, republican, not being one of absorbing interest to workingmen. The vote for mayor was, Roosevelt, 8,883: Hewitt, 12,050, and George, 9,357.
In the Thirteenth district the labor vote, though third in size, played an important part. Though Peekham, for judge of the court of appeals, had a majority of 6,254 over his republican opponent, Ashbel B. Fitch, republican, was elected to congress over Egbert L. Viele, democrat. Viele got 13,989 votes to 13,353 east for Hewitt, while Fitch had about 7,000 more votes than were cast for Roosevelt. These must of course have come from those voting for the labor candidate for mayor, though no official action was taken by the labor party to bring about such a result. It is said that the brewers of the district had a grievance against Gen. Viele and that they urged their men to vote against him, and that these in turn induced other workingmen to join them in the effort. The vote for mayor was: Roosevelt, 10,613; Hewitt, 13,353; George, 9,394, this being the other congressional district in which the labor party was second to the republicans, but here it was able by mere informal co-operation with the minority to overthrow a majority of over 6,000 in a solidly democratic district.
The wonderful vote of the labor party at the last municipal election was largely due to the fact that, for the first time, the workingmen entered a canvass with the certainty of a large vote and a reasonable hope of success. If thirty thousand names signed to a pledge to vote for the party’s candidate could bring about such a result in 1886, with an impromptu organization, with bow much greater hope and enthusiasm must, the party enter the campaigns of 1887 and 1888, with such a record of achievement! That it can elect its own candidates to congress from three districts and defeat any declared enemy in every other district in 1888 is clearly proven by these figures, which show that by simply standing together the new party can, without any entangling alliances, attain to the control of this city, gain the balance of power in New York state and lake an important stop toward the ultimate control of the federal government. It is the only party in this city that can look at election figures without an alarm similar to that which typical municipal politicians of the old parties feel in the shadow of a court house.
Wm. T. Croasdale.
Land In Richmond, Va.
How Municipal Improvements Are to Enrich the Landlords
Richmond, Va., State.
For some months past there has been great activity in the real estate market of Richmond, and property in the east and west ends has rapidly advanced in prices. The present boom is attributed to the projected street car Hues, street improvements and the natural growth of the city. In 1873 there was a great boom in real estate, and property in every section of the city was sold at what was then thought to be fabulous prices, while no good reason could be advanced why real estate should bring such prices. But the speculative fever continued to spread for a few months, the end finally came and the boom collapsed, resulting in heavy losses to those who had invested, and it was a long time be f ore the real estate market recovered from its effects.
Since that time the city has grown. Capitalists ever on the lookout for goo«l, solid investments, seeing that the west end was the place to put their money, went into the market and purchased largely, and many tracts of land have changed hands within the past six months. To gives some idea of the increase in value of real estate in the west end within the past twelve months, it is only necessary to state that lots on Main and Cary streets extended, and in Harvietown, which were sold at from $3 to $5 per front foot have recently been sold for from $9 to $15 per front foot. The reason of this great advance is from the fact that in the near future a wide avenue, similar to the present Reservoir Boulevard, is to be constructed from the river to Grove avenue, thence to the Broad street road; and along this avenue a line of street cars will run, thus affording transportation from that section to all parts of the city, and besides that is the locality in which persons of moderate means will have to look for lots on which to build their homes. For while they can afford to pay from $10 to $15 per foot they cannot afford to pay $75 and $100. and thus from necessity they will settle there.
It is not only in the west end that property has advanced; for in that section of our city known as the east end, situated upon Church, Union and Chimborazo hills, property has advanced over 100 per cent within the past three months. This advance is attributed to the contemplated street railway to be built by the Union passenger street railway company and the various street improvements. Besides, the appropriation matter by congress to improve the road leading to the National cemetery will make this a beautiful drive leading from the city. Of course it is to be expected that the vacant places along this road will be built up, as was the case on Grove avenue. A gentleman who is thoroughly posted, in speaking of the advance in real estate, said that the east end was the place to put money as an investment; eligible sites for private residences could now be purchased for from live to ten dollars per foot, which, in his opinion, in less than live years will bring twenty to twenty five dollars. That portion of the city, said he, is susceptible of grand improvements. Col. W. E. Cutshaw has asserted if the city council would appropriate $100,000 for the improvement of Marshal ward he would make it the garden spot of the city.
While property in other parts of the city, as a general thing, has not advanced in the same ratio, still the market is stiff, and Main and Broad street property commands high prices and is much sought after by capitalists.
Altogether the future prospects of Richmond are very bright, and property contiguous to thickly settled portions of our city, which for years has been far below its actual value.
A Good Story—and It [text missing], too
Mr. W. N. Hobart is one among that class of men on ‘change who may be fitly termed conservative, and when any one approaches him with a statement as to the possibilities of natural gas, he has an excellent story to tell of what before him not many years ago in the oil country in Pennsylvania. The valuable product had been discovered in an insignificant locality, and the excitement began. The people were wild. They poured into the place from all quarters of the state and country. He was riding through the neighborhood on horseback and supplied to water his horse at a wayside house of entertainment. The house was well up on the hillside and some distance from the corporate limits of the prospective city. He noticed that over the surface of the water in the trough a thick scum of oil floated, and questioned the phlegmatic proprietor. That worthy pointed to the valley as the center of the oil belt. Mr. Hobart did not tell the writer that he made any investment, but he did say with an impressive air that in less than a year that wayside house where he had watered his horse was the center of the town a mi the objective point for the manipulator of the penetrating drill.
And Who Would be the Chief Gainers by it?
Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette.
Now, if there were a ship canal from here to Lake Eric, just see bow easily this famous Pittsburgh coal bed could supply the north western markets with the best fuel in America out side of natural gas. And bow conveniently Lake Superior ores could be laid down in Pittsburgh furnaces. A canal large enough to float such crafts as would not require trans-shipment or rehandling, would open up this section of the country in a great shape, and provide a direct waterway from the lakes to the gulf as well. The embarrassed situation of the coal men intentioned at a recent meeting suggests such a remedy.
His Great Speech Before The United Irish Societies
Truths More Precious Than Gold or Diamonds—The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man—“I Am a Priest, and I Shall Never Be Anything Else”—The Land for the People
The fact that by the unanimous request of the United Irish societies Dr. McGlynn was to make the St. Patrick’s day oration attracted an unusually large assemblage to Jones’ Woods, where the exercises were held. After the procession a multitude streamed into the great pavilion to listen to the speaker, but such is the vastness of the place that, unless complete silence is obtained, the strongest voice fails to reach the further ends. Owing to a lack of proper regulations this stillness was not obtained and the speakers could only be heard at the head of the hall and for a short way along the big galleries. However, the listeners numbered thousands. In the body of the hall a multitude stood packed together for more than an hour and a half.
All eyes were directed on two men who had modestly taken retired seats on the platform. One of these gentlemen was Dr. Curran, formerly assistant pastor of St. Stephen’s church, and the other was Dr. Edward McGlynn.
After the rendition of a few selections by the orchestra, Recorder Edward Smyth and Judge Gildersleeve made appropriate addresses. Then Judge Patrick Gavan Duffy, the chairman, came forward and said:
“A fearless, independent, valiant and bold Christian is about to address you. I will bestow no encomiums on him because you all know him as well as I do. I have the honor to introduce to you the Soggarth Aroon.”
This was a signal for a frantic burst of applause, and cheer alter cheer went up for the courageous priest. After the applause had abated. Dr. McGlynn spoke as follows:
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: It is a holy and wholesome thought, and one which has been the observance of centuries, to venerate the memory of the sainted dead. It is holy because the inspiration comes from the source highest and purest of all good things—the religion that is the very core of the heart of man; and it is wholesome, because it teaches us m our humdrum workday world to pause a little and to contemplate our best ideals, and to beautify, to make sweet and glad and holy the toils, the cares and the sorrows of our baser life. If it be true that it is good to honor the memory of all the sainted dead, the truth is particularly striking in the case of a man like him whose memory we glorify to-day—a man who, more than most men, has attained to gigantic stature—a man whose sanctity of life, whose miraculous wisdom, whose wondrous provision have made him the saint, the father, the supporter, the founder of a wondrous people; a man so towering in his eminence that his memory, his works, cannot be contained to the comparatively small limits of the land in which he labored and which he loved so well, but must, in God’s good time, go on widening and strengthening until it shall become a thing of beauty and a benediction for all the children of men. But it is particularly grateful and pleasant for us to remember that we most, if not all, of us are children in direct descent of the men and women to whom he went—the willing messenger of the glad tidings of Christ’s blessings to men—of the men and women who gathered around him with uncovered front, with reverent attitude, and drank in eagerly the heavenly lessons that he was sent to teach.
We read in the life of this great man that, during the comparatively brief space of his one lifetime, his work was accomplished with a fullness, with a success that is rare in the history of apostolic men; and as the aged patriarch was about to lav down the burden and go to his great re ward, his heart was troubled with the thought of the future of his beloved nation. He knew too well the vicissitudes of history, the instability of the hearts of men; and he prayed with a prayer so earnest, so strong, that we must fa in believe that it was not unheard, that the people whom he had converted to Christ, no matter what the vicissitudes of their history, no matter what the agonies they might have to endure, should never entirely forget the lessons that he had taught of the blessedness of holiness, of the fatherhood of God, of justice and purity and truth that alone make beautiful the lives of men. His prayer must have been granted; it was granted.
But this pearl of great price is so precious that God only gives it, as the gospel says, to those who will forsake all else in order to become the fortunate possessors of it; and it was given, it would seem, to the people of Ireland to make this agonizing choice between all that the world holds dear—language, liberty. land on the one hand—and on the other the precious treasure of undiminished loyalty to what they believe to be the truth of God. And so, in order to hug to their heart of hearts that priceless treasure, they have counted all else as naught: and upon a hundred battlefields, in thousands of wretched hovels, m the holds of emigrant ships upon trackless prairies in new lands, they have died rather than sacrifice the one thing best of all. But, as the Master foretold, it must hold good in the case of this people that, having sacrificed all for the one thing necessary, they shall receive all back again with exceeding fullness; and I think it is given to us of this generation to behold at least the glimmering of the dawn of that day when the nations shall rise and pronounce blessed a people who have sacrificed so much in order to preserve for the whole world certain precious truths. more precious than gold or diamonds—the truth of the fatherhood of God and the equal brotherhood of man, the truth that is of the very essence of the gospel of Christ, that God has given the fair earth to all the sons of men, that He has made man to stand erect, His noblest work, in the very image of his maker, endowed with wondrous intellect, capable of Godlike functions, and therefore free as the air to choose the right and its blessed reward, and at the excuse of every sacrifice to shun the evil and its unspeakable degradation; and therefore free as a child of God from undue dependence upon any man or set of men that shall interpose between God the Father and God’s children in the enjoyment of those rights, those liberties, and those blessings that, because He is the Father, He has given equally to all His children.
It might seem, perhaps, a little out of place even for me, a priest of the Catholic church, upon this platform that is not so much religious as patriotic, and upon which are patriotic men who are not of that fold, to content myself with merely preaching to you a St. Patrick’s day sermon. I shall not be guilty of the indiscretion; and vet I can never forget, go wherever I will, and happen whatever may, that I am a priest—and I shall never be be anything else—and, therefore, you must pardon me if, wherever I stand, or upon whatsoever platform, whether I would talk of patriotism or of political economy, I should always inject into my discourse a good deal of an old sermon. But no reasonable man can blame me for this, for all truly reasonable men of every age—Pagan or Christian—have agreed that every great cause is necessarily religious, and that if you pluck out of great economic questions or out of great patriotic struggles the religious core of thorn, then the question is not worth the answering, then the fight is not worth the fighting, then we might as well resign ourselves to the inevitable, agreeing, once for all, that if life is worth living at all, it is simply on the low and vulgar and bestial plane of those who say, “Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” If such be the aims of life, then are they right who say that all life is but a vulgar scramble for the good things that are not enough to go around, and that we must be more like the beasts at the trough than like children of one family, eager to help one another at the Father’s table abundantly provided for the wants of all. If you take from your patriotic causes, from your great economic struggles, this principle of justice and of brotherly love which is of the essence of all true religion, then life is but a vulgar race in which the maxim must hold true, “Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.”
The Irish question is peculiarly a religious as well as an economic, a political and a patriotic, question.
The miseries of the Irish people, apart from certain faults of their own, are largely shown in history to be due to their inalienable fidelity to what they believe to be the highest religious truth, and to certain patriotic and economic principles which they know to be true—that God gave to no nation the right to enslave another; that God gave to no individual man the right to enslave his brother. These principles of eternal truth and justice are principles of religion: and it is because for them the Irish people have had to stiller so much by their enslavement to a foreign nation and through the robbery of their land by a foreign people; that they are God’s appointed apostles and evangelists to other lands of great religious truths and of the doctrine of national independence and of the nationalization of the soil. All of us who have Irish blood coursing in our veins feel that blood course more rapidly to-day as we seem to see the near approach of the blessed day of Irish independence. Our hearts to-day are with those men who are struggling in the councils of the British Parliament for justice to Ireland; but I will say that my heart, while with them, has a peculiar tenderness and sympathy for those who are concerned about the land question, without solving which mere national legislative independence will be but half the boon that Ireland craves. The great question for the Irish people today is also a question that concerns every people. It is not so much, Shall they be free from foreign dictation? as, Shall they be enslaved, the great multitudes of the people, by a privileged few. It matters not whether the few be native or alien, whether they be English or Irish; the great question of Ireland today is not so much that of foreign lawgivers, bailiffs and rulers, as it is that of landlords. It matters not a jot whether these were born in Ireland, whether they be of pure Celtic race, whether they speak the old tongue or the new, they are still landlords— land thieves. It makes no difference whether the people are robbed and starved and thrown out to die by an Englishman or an Irishman; and for that matter you might feel a little less bitter toward the Englishman because he is an Englishman, and all the more bitter toward the Irishman because he is an Irishman, for he is not only sinning against natural justice that should bind all men to all other men, but sinning against the patriotism and the peculiar relation and kinship that should unite in fraternal sympathy the people of the same nation.
And so let us shout “Home rule for Ireland,” but in the same breath let us shout “The land of Ireland for the people of Ireland.”
This theme of mine is net so amiss on the platform of this day as some might imagine. Nothing happens without a cause. Now, the singularly rapid conversion of the people of Ireland to the Christian faith by one man—something unparalleled in the history of a people—must Have been preceded by some exceptional cause; and the cause was largely this: The people to whom St. Patrick preached were living under a just and equitable system of laws evolved by the wisdom of their seers and sages, and inherited largely from the earliest days of the human family, when certain great self-evident principles they came into practice as a matter of course. The Irish people were living under what are known as the Brehon laws, in fraternity and equality. The masses were not oppressed by classes; they all were equally entitled to God’s bounties; the land of the people belonged to all; no privileged man could forever fence in the land and exclude the rest of his brethren; men possessed land only as tenants of the community, giving a fair equivalent to the community, and under such equitable conditions as were proscribed by the community. This wholesome, naturally just system necessarily produced a people who were relieved from want and the still more degrading fear of want—a people who had leisure from toil to devote to the graces that adorn humanity; a people that were given to the culture of art, of poetry and of song. And so when the great saint came to Ireland he found a people with hearts naturally Christian, because schooled in the great lessons of justice between man and man, of love between brother and brother: and he found in their cultivated intelligence and in their poetic natures responsive chords to the Christian truths as taught and to the Christian harmonics he came to reveal. And therefore it was that this people made such progress in lessons which only supplemented the truths they know before, and that they speedily became in their turn messengers of Christian truth and culture to Britain and to barbarous nations of the continent If time permitted, I would quote to you from the Brehon laws to sustain what I have asserted of the condition of the society in which St. Patrick preached, and in which he made so speedy and so rich a harvest. It must suffice to say that the great truths embodied in these have never been forgotten. They have been overlaid by the false economic doctrines brought into Ireland and forced upon the people at the point of the sword, even as a foreign language, foreign laws and foreign institutions were forced upon them. But it is a fact that where the old language is still spoken these traditions are religiously preserved; and grandfathers who even today speak scarcely a word of English, are telling by the fireside, in the dear old Celtic tongue, to the grandchildren upon their knees, of the sanctity of the people’s rights, teaching them that the land, the air, the sunlight, the water, the game, the fishes and all the bounties of nature were created by the Father of all for the equal ownership and enjoyment of His children.
It is from the ranks of these Celtic speaking people that have come in our day the apostles of these economic truths. Michael Davitt learned them in the Irish tongue from his father and mother, and I can say that I have inherited similar sentiments from my Irish-speaking father and mother. I suppose most of you know that I was born in this city, but I claim that I am an Irishman, and I can prove that I come honestly by the title by making a bull and saying that I am an Irishman born out of his native country. I would say a word about the singular destiny of the people whom St. Patrick loved so well that they should be scattered to the ends of the earth largely because of their fidelity to the religions and economic truths he taught and sanctified by his patriarchal benediction. The Irish people have long been forced to give up land, language, literature, liberty, everything, to preserve in their heart of hearts imbedded forever those great leading truths, and so, scattered as they have been to all the winds of heaven, in the providence of God, they serve the purpose of good seed taking root wherever they fall. Wherever they go they erect on the one hand the standard of the cross, and on the other the banner of liberty and equal rights. And, therefore, it is with singular fitness that in the new crusade now begun on a broader field for restoring to the people their common rights, the great leader, while not a man of Irish birth or blood, is by natural affinity a lover of Ireland and Irishmen; and beneath that glorious standard many of the most effectual, eloquent and ardent apostles are the children of the Irish. In days to come this broad land of America will acknowledge that it owes to the people of Ireland a double debt: that it owes to them no small measure of the keeping alive of the blessed traditions of Christ and precious economic truths. It will be told in the history of our new crusade that t he winning of the victory was due in as large proportion to the children of the Irish race as was the achievement of our independence a century ago and the maintenance of it in 1812. And now, never forgetting that I am a priest of the same church of which the saint whom we honor today was a chosen apostle, it occurs to me as not amiss to ask of him upon these, his people, a copious benediction. It requires no great stretch of fancy to imagine the dear and venerable form of the sainted old man hovering above our heads, blessing the prayer and the worship with which you began the day, and not refusing a blessing to the patriotic work and even to the innocent merriment with which you end it. It is pleasant to remember that this is but one of many patriotic assemblages gathered together in countless places to-day, to recall his virtues, to pledge themselves to the initiation of them, and to invoke his blessing. His spirit is surely here, teaching lessons, inculcating duties and promising through the Christ whom he worshiped and whose kingdom he now shares, a copious reward to those who heed the lessons, will fulfill the duties, will preach the truth, will suffer and labor, and, if need be, die for it.
Rev. Dr. Curran’s Address
Truth Will Always Require Men to Suffer for It—You Have a Right to What God Gave You
After the conclusion of Dr. McGlynn’s speech to the United Irish societies on St. Patrick’s day, Rev. Dr. Curran, formerly assistant pastor of St. Stephen-s, but now of St. Patrick’s church in Mott street, was invited to address the meeting. The reverend doctor said:
I am pleased to see that so many Irish hearts beat in sympathy for their best friend, one who for so many years has shown his love for everything that could benefit the Irish people. Your greetings here to my old friend and my first pastor go to show that Irishmen will stand by those who defend the truth. I find some comfort in the fact that when I was removed from St. Stephen’s soon after the departure of Dr. McGlynn, I was sent to the church of St. Patrick, and thus placed under his protection. St. Patrick was your first apostle; here is another apostle.
It is, my dear friends, with special love for you that I am here to-day, and I delight to be with you. This is the first time I have ever spoken on a public platform, and I am glad that it is on an occasion like this. When one of the old pontiff martyrs was going to his death, his deacon said to him, “Whither are you going without your deacon?” I would use words of similar attachment to Dr. McGlynn today.
Truth will always require men to suffer for it. You have suffered in the past, and you may yet have to suffer for it. It is the gospel that was preached from the beginning, and Christianity flourished always by persecution. The country that we have to-day gained its liberty and maintained justice only by shedding the blood of its bravest and best. For centuries the Irish people have endured persecution, have gone to death, even to the stake, because they knew that truth was worth more than life itself. Until men have what is their right they must suffer for the truth and be willing to uphold it, no matter what the consequence. This is the principle that you have been taught in the past—that the truth is worth the dying for. And if you have been the apostles in the past of holy religion, may it not be true, what was here stated a few minutes ago, that you are to be the apostles of another great truth which is now demanding attention, than you have a right to what God gave you, and that nobody has a right to keep from any what God intended all should have?
This, then, my dear friends, is, in brief, what I wish to say to you: Fight the good fight till the end, and stand by those who have your interests ac heart, and are willing to suffer for you, and the truth in the end must prevail, for God is not dead. I thank you tor permitting me to address you upon this occasion, and I am the more gratified that I am here as the companion of one whom I shall always cherish, love and admire, my old pastor, Dr. McGlynn.
Dr. Curran’s Speech
Dr. McGlynn’s Views About Land Taxation May Be Held By Any Priest
New York Herald, March 19.
A Herald reporter asked the Rev. Dr. Curran, now of St. Patrick’s church in Mott street, but formerly of St. Stephen’s, what he thought of the reports of his brief speech in the various newspapers. Dr. Curran answered that no paper had reported him verbatim and that words were put into his mouth which he did not use.
“For instance,” said Dr. Curran, smilingly, “I did not speak of Dr. McGlynn as a saint. We don’t canonize until after death. When I went to that meeting I had no idea that I was going to speak. I was asked to say something, but declined because I had made no preparation. The intention was that immediately after Dr. McGlynn’s speech he and I should leave. Dr. McGlynn is not as well as he looks, and we were afraid of bis catching cold. But, finally, I was prevailed upon to stand up, and was not given even five minutes’ preparation, for some gentlemen near were talking to me almost up to the last moment.”
“But you indorsed the land theories of Dr. McGlynn?”
“Why not? They have not condemned by the church, and the holy father has himself said so.”
“How. Dr. Curran?”
“Not long since he directed Cardinal Gibbons to say for him to Dr. McGlynn that he saw nothing so far in the land theories advanced by Dr. McGlynn that was contrary to Catholic teaching. Cardinal Gibbons has communicated this expression of opinion of the holy father to Dr. McGlynn
“But it is said that this land theory is to be investigated and passed upon by the proper authorities at Rome.”
“Well, whatever decision the church may make Dr. McGlynn will abide by. He is and ever will be in thorough accord with his church.”
Dr. Curran has long been the friend and admirer of the pastor of St. Stephen’s, and it is said that because of this friendship and admiration he was removed from the parish. However this may be, at the archbishop’s residence the subject will not be referred to in any way when reportorial inquiries are made. Yesterday apparently no notice was taken of the Jones’ Wood episode.
The Second District M’Glynn Meeting
Ringing Speeches and Strong Resolutions in Sympathy with the Priest of the People
The Second Assembly District association of the united labor party had a Dr. McGlynn mass meeting on Sunday evening in Monroe hall, corner of Center and Pearl streets. Of course the hall was jammed, the audience presenting all creeds and nationalities. President James Degnan, in calling the meeting to order, said no night was butter suited than the Sabbath to express sympathy with that faithful servant of God and glorious apostle of liberty and free speech, Dr. Edward McGlynn.
“The question in the case of Dr. McGlynn is one not of ecclesiastical authority in matters of religion. It is a question of American liberty; it is a question of the right of the archbishop to dictate to citizens how and for whom to vote. It is a question of justice or oppression. No matter in what light we view the case of our soggarth aroon can see no reason for the action taken by the church authorities.” [Cries "None."]
Then when the assemblage had got thoroughly warmed up Michael Clarke was introduced and said: “Dr. McGlynn has been subjected to a severe penalty for simply exercising his rights as an American citizen. He is persecuted for declaring his opinion as to the proper method of bettering the condition of his fellow citizens. He has been driven from his home, ordered to go and apologize, and lastly ordered to go to Rome. This we are entitled to denounce as a great outrage, perpetrated in the interest of the most rotten and corrupt ring of plunderers that can he found in the world.”
Prof. Daniel De Leon said that from the Battery to Spuyten Duyvil no man can compare in popularity with Dr. Edward McGlynn, and suggested the erection of a statue to the archbishop for the good he had done the labor party. “Michael Augustin Corrigan,” he said, “came to our assistance just when we wanted him, and by deposing one of our best men in the labor party had strengthened our cause immeasurably. Michael Augustin Corrigan should occupy a niche in our hearts for the good he has done us.” [Laughter.]
Stirring resolutions were then adopted, declaring that “the independent citizens of the Second assembly district stigmatize the suspension of Dr. McGlynn as an insult to American citizens, a menace to American institutions and an outrage to Christianity,” and that they “tender their heartfelt sympathy to Father McGlynn in his hour of oppression by tyrannical superiors, and pledge themselves to struggle for the triumph of those principles for which he suffers.”
After brief speeches by Philip Kelly and Charles Purcell, a collection was taken up and an appreciable addition was made to the McGlynn fund.
Trade Dollars Coming Back from China
Correspondence New York Journal of Commerce.
Washington, March 11.—During the debate which preceded the passage by the house of the bill for the retirement and recoinage of the trade dollar. Mr. Scott of Pennsylvania, the champion of the bill, in reply to a question, what assurance we had that the twenty-three or twenty-four million of these dollars exported would not be returned to this country, said: “The assurance is this: The original idea of this trade dollar was that it was simply a dollar to meet the relations of our trade with China. It was hoped that it would be introduced as a substitute for the Mexican dollar, which has always been the standard dollar of China, and when these dollars were coined they were largely exported to China. The custom or habit of the Chinese people is that whenever they get a dollar they put some kind of a stamp upon it, and this bill expressly provides that no dollar defaced or stamped shall be redeemed by the government. It is a safeguard against the return of the $26,920,000 which we have exported.” In answer to further inquiries Mr. Scott admitted that some few of the trade dollars exported to China had come back; he had been told that many of them had the Chinese stamp upon them, but could not state it as an actual fact within his own knowledge. In this matter Mr. Scott, congress and the whole country have been received. The Chinese have not stamped the trade dollars, but have marked them with India, ink or some other similar preparation. A large number of the trade dollars which have already been presented are thus marked with Chinese characters in India ink denoting their value. The treasury department has decided that under the law coins thus marked cannot be redeemed at their face value, but it only requires a little water, a brush and a few motions of the hand to remove these marks, when the dollar at once becomes redeemable. The trade dollars have never been circulated to any extent in China, but have been hoarded. undefaced, except for the marks in India ink, to await their redemption by the United States. It is highly probably that long before the end of the six months, when the privilege of redemption expires, the greater part of the trade dollars exported to China will be returned here to be exchanged for legal tender dollars. Mr. Scott estimated that the redemption of this coin would not exceed $7,500,000. The indications are now that it will not fall very short of the whole coinage, which was $35,965,000.
For or Against Us—Which?
Frankford, Tex.—One of your correspondents does not think it would do to enroll the negroes in the south in the new party. He must know, if he has any knowledge of Texas politics, that the local candidates go among the negroes and electioneer and vote every man they can. This is especially the case in local option elections, and a good many precincts and counties would go for prohibition if it were not that the liquor men vote the negro in opposition. There is one thing certain. The negroes, who have political rights and liberties guaranteed by the constitution, will, if we do not educate and organize them, be used, as they hitherto have been, against us. A negroes vote counts for as much as a white man’s, and the whole problem is just this: If he does not vote with. us he will vote against us.
S. J. Worley.
In a recent speech in Baltimore Frank Hurd said:
A tariff is a tax upon foreign articles imported into this country. When levied for the purpose of raising revenue for the government it is called a revenue tariff. When imposed for the purpose of aiding individuals it is called a protective tariff. To the first I bare no objection; to the latter I am unalterably opposed.
It is a pity that Frank Hurd has not got beyond this. So long as he sees no objection to a revenue tariff, his opposition to a protective tariff is little better than a beating of the air. It is not only practically impossible, in this country at least, to frame a revenue tariff that should not be incidentally protective, but so long as it is conceded that tariff duties are to be imposed. the disposition to use thorn for protective purposes will be irresistible.
And so longas he admits the necessity of a revenue tariff it is impossible for any man to make the free trade argument in its beauty and strength. Will Frank Hurd tel1, men that free trade is “the international law of God” and at the same time tell them that tariffs for revenue only are all right?
Mr. Hurd himself seems conscious of this inconsistency, and thus tries to explain it away:
“I have often been asked how a free trader proposes to raise revenue, as though there were something inconsistent between revenue tariff and free trade. My friends, we are all believers in liberty, and yet we have a government which imposes continual restrictions upon our liberty. You might as well say a man is against liberty who is in favor of government, as to say that a man is against revenue tariff who is in favor of free trade. A free trader is one who believes in the right of every individual to trade with every other individual or the world, subject only to the institutions of the. government of which he is a citizen.
This definition makes no real distinction between free traders and protectionists, for protectionists also believe in “the right of every individual to tradewith every other individual in the world, subject only to the institutions of the government of which he is a citizen.” And in truth, the only distinction between such so-called free traders as Frank Hurd represents in this speech, and the most thoroughgoing protectionist: is one of degree. They are for a low tariff, while the protectionists are for a high tariff: they are for a revenue tariff, while the protectionists are for a protective tariff. Free trade is utterly inconsistent with any tariff.
Mr. Hurd is not happy in his illustration. That we have a government that imposes continual restrictions upon our liberty proves merely that we are not believers in liberty. The true end and aim of government is not the interference with liberty, but the securing of liberty. And in the eyes of one who really loves and really trusts liberty, the only justification for any governmental restriction upon the rigid of the individual to do as he pleases is that it is necessary to secure the equal liberty of other individuals. The man is really against liberty who, whatever good purpose he may seek to attain, is in favor of any governmental restriction that goes further than this. Liberty is—liberty, and free trade in any true sense means—free trade.
When the grand and inspiring, and, properly put, the self-evident, doctrine of free trade is belittled into a mere revenue reform, all its power is lost. When its advocates fear to propose more than to abolish some duty here and pare down another duty there, and feel it incumbent on them to apologetically declare all tin; while that nothing is further from their wish than to do away with custom houses and break down forever the artificial barriers which prevent the citizen of the United States from freely exchanging his products for the products of the people of other countries, protectionists may well laugh them to scorn. They can accomplish nothing. And they have accomplished nothing. All that Mr. Hurd can claim is that “from the time of those great statesmen, Carlisle and Morrison, there has not been an increaseof duty on a single article of importation into the United States.” This is hardly the fact, for the last revision of the tariff, which occurred in the days of Carlisle and Morrison and Hurd himself, certainly did increase the duties upon several articles of importation. But even if it were the fact it could no more be attributed to the efforts of “those great statesmen, Carlisle and Morrison,” than the refusal of the sea to advance above high water mark could be attributed to the command of King Canute. If with our present mountainous tariff pouring a steady surplus into an overflowing treasury, all that “free traders” of the Carlisle-Morrison school can congratulate themselves on is that duties have not been increased, would it not have been better that the protectionists of congress should have been left free to carry protection to any possible pitch of absurdity.
That the energy and talent which in the United States since the war have been devoted to opposing the protective features of our tariff have accomplished so little is due to the fact that the so- called free traders have always been afraid of the principle of free trade, and have avoided striking at the root of protective ideas. The principle of free trade goes much further than the elimination from the tariff of its designedly protective features. It goes further even than the abolition of the tariff. It requires the abolition of all taxes that in any way repress the production of wealth. The same reasons that make it wrong and inexpedient to tax any one for enriching a country by bringing into it wealth from another country, also make it wrong and inexpedient to tax any one for enriching the country by producing wealth within it. The same principle which would abolish custom houses would also abolish the taxes which we now levy upon the building of dwelling houses, the erection of factories and workshop and the improvement of farms. In short, free trade carried to its logical conclusion would compel the reliance for revenue upon the taxation of land values—the only tax from which a great amount of revenue can be raised without in any way hampering the production of wealth.
It is because the principle of free trade does go so far as this that the so-called free traders are afraid of it, and try to muzzle and emasculate it. But until they are willing to goas far as this they can never successfully contend with the ideas from which protection draws its strength. They will point out in vain why one country ought to have nothing to fear from the industrial competition of other countries until they also point out by what perversion of natural justice it is that the competition of laborer with laborer does tend to drive wages to the lowest point on which labor will consent to live. They may expose in vain the absurdity and waste of a system which has for its aim the keeping of our own work in our own country until they expose the wrong which keeps idle so many American citizens who would gladly be at work, and makes in common thought the opportunity to labor a boon. If men like Hurd and Morrison and Carlisle would really accomplish anything let them strike at protectionism, not in its comparatively unimportant branches. But in its root. Let them join that now rapidly growing party which aims not merely at the assertion of right to trade without the payment of a protective tax, but, at the assertion of the right of the producer to avail himself of natural opportunities, and at the abolition of all taxes save that tax on the val tie of land which will take for the use of the community what the growth of the community, not the exertion of the individual, creates.
Why Human Lives Are Wasted
A succession of terrible accidents, involving the untimely death in the most agonizing forms of many persons and the maiming for life of others, ought to admonish us that we have suffered the natural incentives to that constant vigilance that can alone prevent such disasters to become weakened. Instead of making a legal maximum to the recovery of damages from a railroad company in case of loss of life from accident, there should be a minimum of say at least $10,000, which could be recovered without delay and without any question of contributory negligence, leaving to the juries the power of assessing as much higher damages, when suit was brought, as they saw fit. This might sometimes be hard on a railroad company, hut it would effectually prevent such terrible disasters as the falling of trains through bridges and the sweeping of passengers off an unprotected elevated railway track.
As for such horrible disasters as the burning of the Richmond hotel in Buffalo, they require for their prevention the abolition of the system of insurance, which has become nothing less than a grand system for the promotion of carelessness and the reward of incendiarism. Better that an individual or a company should now and again be bankrupted by a fire than that human beings should be roasted in their beds or crushed by jumping out of windows. But the effect of the abolition of insurance would unquestionably be so much greater care in constructing buildings and in guarding against lire that the destructive fires now so common would become extremely rare, if not utterly unknown. Henry C. Lee, in Lippincott’s Magazine for March, says: “The fact that insurance can be obtained upon almost any risk, thus relieving the individual from responsibility from his own laches or recklessness, exorcises a moral influence on the community even worse than the gambling spirit fostered by the lottery. More than this, it is a direct incentive to crime. Underwriters have told me that it is a received axiom in insurance circles that from twenty to thirty per cent of fires are incendiary, purposely set for the purpose of gaining the amount insured. Even more serious is the case of marine risks, where life as well asproperty are sacrificed. . . . When New Hampshire not long ago enacted the valued policy law, which induced all the insurance agencies to withdraw from the slate, there was a general chorus of ridicule and a confident prediction that a twelvemonth would see the obnoxious law repealed and the insurance companies supplicated to return. Yet . . since the underwriters expelled themselves and deprived the state of the benefit of their presence, losses by fire have diminished by about thirty per cent.”
Money In Politics
City Chamberlain Ivins has followed up his exposure of the part play ed by money in political contests in this city by proposing legislation that will largely reduce election expenses and offer a check to corrupt expenditure. Mayor Hewitt also expresses a desire that the proposed laws providing that printed ballots shall be provided at public expense shall be passed. Most of those urging the new plan speak of it as the English system. It would be more accurate to call it the Australian system, as it originated in that country. Under this title it was freely discussed and fully explained by the speakers of the united labor party in the last municipal canvass, and it had long before been made the subject of a magazine article by the labor party’s candidate. In fact, the very evils that Mr. Ivins has so clearly portrayed were fully recognized by the workingmen when they entered the campaign, and in the Clarendon hall platform they called on “all citizens who desire honest government to join in an effort to secure it, and to show for once that the will of the people may prevail, even against the money and organization of banded spoilsmen."
Those who have recently shown their comprehension of the power of this money and organization to defy and thwart the people’s will, not only failed to embrace the opportunity thus offered to them, but they lent their influence and gave their money to assist “the landed spoilsmen” to maintain their power. It is well that they have since had the courage to acknowledge their mistake, and to urge legislation that will permit a really free election in this city and break the power of the halls and rings to levy an enormous tax on the public to raise money for the express purpose of preventing the true expression of the people’s will at the polls. The members of the new party can sincerely join in wishing success to this effort, but the probability of such success is greatly weakened by the fact that the legislature to which the appeal is made consists of men who owe their places to the machines of one or the other of the two parties that have devised and profited by the system exposed and attacked. The control of politics in this city by the corrupt use of money will never cease until all who sincerely desire such reform shall step outside the old ring-ridden organizations and lend their help to the men who made the attack on ring government last year, and who will continue that attack on the lines then laid down until legislators owing nothing to bosses will need no urging to induce them to pass just such laws as those now advocated by these belated friends of municipal reform.
Ireland And America
A remarkable meeting in behalf of oppressed Ireland was held at Cooper Union hall on Monday evening. Mr. Charles A. Dana, who has recently doubled his capacity for denouncing daily the one thing for which, above all others, the Irish people are struggling. presided. Rev. Dr. Lloyd made the speech of the evening. Ex-Governor Abbett of New Jersey, who left his own bailiwick a few months ago to come over here and in a local contest throw his influence in behalf of landlordism, boldly denounced the English tory government for the support it is giving to Irish landlords in carrying out a cruel system of eviction, such as is practiced without let or hindrance by the landlords of New York. Roscoe Conkling. Samuel J. Randall, Sunset Cox and William M. Evarts wrote letters in a similar strain, and Judge Noah Davis humorously commented on the mingling of republican, democrat, and mugwump in this long distance telephoning of sympathy with the victims of far-away wrongs. But the meeting was more remarkable for what it left undone than for what it did. The immediate occasion for holding it was the arrest of Father Keller in Ireland because of his refusal to betray his parishioners in their efforts to save their homes from the rapacity of their landlords. The object was to offer words of encouragement to Gladstone and Parnell and their faithful followers in England and Ireland in their efforts to give the Irish people home rule, in order that they may have the power to eradicate by legislation the system of landlordism by which they have been impoverished and enslaved. The object is a noble one, and Father Keller deserves the sincere sympathy of liberty loving men throughout the world; but though there are thousands of men in New York who are in the fullest sympathy with this movement, and though the most distinguished priest of the Roman Catholic church on this continent is here today. in New York city, a martyr to the very ca use for which Father Keller is suffering, there was not, in either speech or resolution at this strange meeting, one word as to the very heart of the Irish question; not one reference to the priestly martyr to land reform struck down here at the dictation of politicians as cruel and stupid as those who haveimprisoned Father Keller, and who are seeking to govern Ireland in absolute defiance of the almost unanimous sentiment of the Irish people. To so great an extent was this ignoring of the real sympathizers with the Irish people carried, that it was apparently not until after Judge Davis’ classification of the participants as democrats, republicans and mugwumps, that it occurred to the chairman that one class had been omitted—the Irish—and be thereupon called on Father Dougherty to make a speech, which the paper edited by the chairman of the meeting did not attempt to report. The ludicrous absurdity of such a performance cannot but speedily result in confining demonstrations of sympathy with Ireland to those who comprehend the cause of Ireland’s woes and share the hatred of the Irish people for the iniquitous system that enables a few to seize and retain God’s gifts to all and to reduce the majority to the misery of the Irish peasantry and the dwellers in New York tenement houses.
A conception of this identity of interest between the men who are resisting the tyranny and greed of landlordism in Ireland and those who are contending against the evils arising from the same cause in America is slow to making its way and overcoming ignorance and prejudice. Such papers as the Brooklyn Examiner and the Catholic Herald of this city were quick to see that the cause for which Dr. McGlynn was called to suffer in New York was that for which the Irish people are contending: but ecclesiastical influence blinded the eves of too many Catholic papers to this obvious truth, and one among them, the New York Tablet, even sought to demonstrate that the very contrary was the truth. We fear that that journal is not vet ready to confess its error, but the extract from its columns, printed elsewhere, shows that the uprising of Catholics against that exercise of unwarranted authority over American politics by an Italian cardinal has not been without effect on this staunch upholder of ecclesiastical power. The Tablet does not hesitate to put into plain English the exact meaning of Cardinal Gibbons’ covert threat in his protest against any attempt at Home to condemn the Knights of Labor in the United States, and it con fesses that “painful, not to say scandalous, experience, fully warrants the fortitude with which the American cardinal has thus addressed himself to the Italian cardinal.” This discrimination between what is American and what is Italian lends emphasis to the Tablet’s denunciation of the “tyrannical conduct of individual bishops” in “matters political and social” and to its manly declaration that in matters not properly within faith and dogma “American Catholics will not tolerate unreasonable and oppressive intrusiveness by individuals on either side of the ocean.” These are brave words, and their utterance by a journal which failed at first to resent the “oppressive intrusiveness” of Archbishop Corrigan and Cardinal Simeoni in the case of Dr. McGlynn demonstrates the growth of the feeling that the cause for which Ireland is struggling is equally that of the American people; and is, in fact, the cause of God’s poor all over the world, and therefore one against which the church of the poor must not, through the princely pride and worldly ambition of its great dignitaries, be permitted to set its face. The action of the Irish Catholics in the matter of the Parnell fund and of the vacancy in the see of Dublin, followed by utterances of American Catholics concerning the removal of Dr. McGlynn and the attempt to condemn the Knights of Labor, demonstrates that in these countries, where the catholic church has in matters of religion commanded the profoundest devotion of its adherents, there is a love of liberty and a courage and independence that will preserve it from a course that would literally cause it to sell its birthright for a mess of pottage and betray its Master by adding enormously to the already innumerable host of the godless poor. alienated from Christianity by the pride and selfishness of professing Christians.
“The Standard” Tracts
The prompt and widespread demand for the series of tracts now being issued under the general title of “The Land and Labor Library” suffices to show bow strong is the feeling in favor of economic reform, and bow earnest its advocates are in their desire to add fresh strength and impetus to the movement. One order calls for 100,000 tracts; another has been received for 10,000, while applications for smaller quantities come with every mail.
It may not be amiss to remind friends of the cause that TheStandard has special facilities for the distribution of these tracts, and can place hundreds of thousands of them in the hands of earnest men and women all over the country, who will gladly distribute them, but who cannot afford to pay the cost of printing and mailing them from New York. We will apply to this purpose any funds that may be sent us.
The Rev. Dr. McGlynn is to lecture at the Academy of Music next Tuesday, on “The Cross of a New Crusade.” Excepting his St. Patrick’s day address, this will be Dr. McGlynn’s first appearance before the public since his resistance to ecclesiastical tyranny in behalf of American citizenship resulted in his deposition by Archbishop Corrigan. This announcement will be welcome news to the thousands in this city who cheered the late pastor of St. Stephen’s in his ordeal. by their fidelity to his principles and their approval of his courageous course.
We have it on the authority of a distinguished clergyman of New York that in the west there is a chicken soup spring—a hot spring from which a nutritious liquid resembling chicken soup in appearance and taste may be dipped like water from a pool. What a blessing it would be to the poor if there were many such springs distributed all over the country! Then no one would starve, for, with their own hands, the hungry could take food from these natural and, we may suppose, inexhaustible reservoir. What a blessing to the laborer ground down to the minimum of wages! Thus provided by nature with the means of preserving life, he would work for no one for less than he earned. But stop! Suppose somebody owned these springs. Ah !
The Christian Union, which is in advance of most of its religious contemporaries both in its sentiments regarding industrial questions and its courage of utterance, thinks that organizations of capital on one side and of labor on the other must be organized together, and that then industrial freedom will be complete. The Christian Union is thinking of an arch without a keystone. That labor and capital ought to organize together, that they will organize together and that their interests are identical is true. But in saying this we mean true capital—products of labor. The interests of an engineer and of the owner of his engine are identical; they can and should and will unite against the owners of special privileges who lay a tax on both. But the Christian Union in using the word capital includes the owners of privileges and franchises; the landowner as well as the capital owner, the monopolist as well as the business man. The interests of this kind of “capital” are not identical with, but are diametrically opposed to, the interests of both labor and real capital, and if such a union as the Christian Union has in mind came about, it would be like the famous union of the wolf and the lamb, in which the lamb was inside. The union of labor and capital that will indeed make industrial freedom a reality is a union of the laborer with working capitalists like storekeepers, manufacturers and farmers, which turns its forces against beneficiaries of land values and other privileged classes who now masquerade as capitalists.
There is much food for reflection in the article on retail storekeepers in another column. To the employee it shows the labor and worry involved in doing business without the advantage of some special privilege or the possession of large capital; to the retail storekeepers themselves it shows the identity of their interests with those of workingmen, while to both it points out a common enemy. Ground rent clings like an old man of the sea to the shoulders of both. But the burdens of private ownership of land are not limited to ground rent. The land speculation which it engenders, by limiting the supply of land, abnormally increases ground rents, cuts down wages. reduces consumption and paralyzes trade, while taxes which should be paid out of ground rents are levied upon whatever the workingman and the storekeeper consume.
The Week In Wall Street
The Baltimore and Ohio “deal,” the chief topic of conversation in Wall street a week ago, has almost dwindled into insignificance. Though the shrewdest operators have been conducting a still hunt for the true inwardness of the trade, but little light has been thrown upon it, and the conviction grows stronger that the whole thing was gotten up for speculative purposes, and to allow the heavily loaded cliques to float out of the market on the high tide that such a deal would create. But the very mystery of the dicker prevented the rise that so many expected. A prominent operator declared that the person who could solve the mystery would make a clear million by gambling on it. The Richmond and Terminal people did not exercise the option said to have been given to Mr. Sully by Mr. Garrett, because the option required cash, and this the Terminal people are not accustomed to pay when they purchase a railroad. They are mostly Standard oil people, and they follow Standard oil methods. When they want to buy out any body they issue of their own securities sufficient to make the purchase and pay these. In this way Standard oil crushed its rivals. It would either undersell and drive them out of the business or compel them to come into the combination and receive the assessed valuation of their property in Standard oil stock. The new Cotton seed oil trust, of which we hear so much, is a Standard oil scheme conducted on the same principles. Pillsbury of Minneapolis, it is said, proposed some time ago to make a gigantic combination of the milling interests of the country on the same plan, but of late we have heard nothing of it. The charter of the Richmond Terminal allows the directors to issue stock of that corporation in unlimited quantities, and this stock they probably wanted to use to purchase the control of the Baltimore and Ohio, but Mi. Garrett wanted cash, and so the option expired with nothing done.
The president and one of the directors of the Cincinnati. Hamilton and Dayton railroad—Messrs. Stayner and Ives—have been much talked about in connection with the deal lately. They are supposed to hold a second option, to take effect on the expiration of the Sully option. The Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton is a comparatively small road, operating under ownership and lease but 354 miles, and an attempt by this company to absorb the Baltimore and Ohio, operating 1,700 miles of line, would be a feat like that of the frog swallowing the duck. So, during all their activity in Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia, the uppermost question has been, “Who’s backing them ?” Everybody hit upon Mr. Gould, so that he could capture the Baltimore and Ohio telegraph, but he vehemently denies having any connection with it, and disclaims any intention of scooping the Baltimore and Ohio telegraph, because of its utter worthlessness to him. But Mr. Gould’s denials and disclaimers have been known to be doubted, and Wall street people still say that “Gould will turn up as the principal after the negotiations are completed.” C. P. Huntington, who is said to be desirous of controlling a trans- continental line with a New York terminus, has been suggested; and Mackay, the California millionaire who, with James Gordon Bennett, owns the Pestal telegraph and the Commercial cable, was said to be after the Baltimore and Ohio telegraph, so that a rival to Western Union could be built up that would shake that water-soaked corporation to its very foundations. But Mr. Mackay tells the reporters that he never dreamed of buying control of Baltimore and Ohio. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, that aggressive and progressive railroad giant of the southwest, whose extensions are fast nearing Chicago, was reported to be behind Stavner and Ives, in its anxiety to connect under one control the Atlantic with the Pacific. But no one knows which way the eat will jump, or if it will "jump at all, and the agony of this suspense has not been endured without murmur. With the exception of a slight spurt in Northwest, consequent upon reported increase in earnings, and moderate activity in Fort Worth and Denver, caused by reports that extensions of that road will bring the Rocky mountains 800 miles nearer to the seaboard at Galveston than they are now to New York, the stock market has been absolutely featureless and sales have diminished to less than half their volume in ordinarily active times. Commission houses with private wires don’t begin to earn their wire rentals, and though they flourish whether the market goes up or down, when it stands still their complaints only equal in intensity their endeavors to make their customers believe that “money is now to be made by selling on the ‘bulges’ and buying on the ‘slumps’.” Europe also waits further developments, though purchases sufficient have been made for foreign account to prevent any export of gold. The government bond market, toward the end of the week, shows a little stiffness, said to be caused by purchases of 4s and 4½s to replace the 3s recently called.
The railroads have been busy adjusting their affairs to the requirements of the interstate commerce law, which begins to operate on April 5. A number of the western roads have called in their annual passes to legislators and others and have given notice that after April 1 these passes will be dishonored. This prohibition of pass issuing to law makers is probably the best feature in the new bill. Some years ago I sat in the room of a United States district court judge. It was in the early part of the year, and the president of a trunk line that passed through his district had just sent him annuals for himself and family, including sleeper accommodations. judge seemed to be very much pleased over the matter, and though I had strong opinions on the subject of indirect bribery, courtesy forbade my expressing my sentiments to him. The circumstance, however, was vividly recalled when, a year later, two adjoining states were trying to attach some of this railroad company’s property for taxes, and this same United States judge claimed jurisdiction, and, as a matter of course, enjoined the state authorities from collecting the taxes. In other ways this feature will be beneficial to the fare-paying portion of the traveling public. President Adams of the Union Pacific testified not long ago that his company was obliged to charge fully ten per cent higher passenger rates than it would if the deadhead class was abolished. In other words, the railroads compel those who do pay their fare to pay for those who enjoy, apparently, the courtesy of the railroad company.
The railroads are trying to get around the provisions of the law relating to pooling. They have tacitly agreed among themselves upon the differential rates which the weaker and longer route roads may charge. This in effect almost serves the purposes of a pool. It has been suspected by many that the stronger railroads of the country have clamored for just such a bill, because they feel certain of mining and driving the weaker roads to the wall when pooling and apportionment are abolished and open competition set in, but in the present state of business they prefer not to have any rate wars. The anthracite coal pool doesn’t seem to be worried about such little trifles as interstate commerce bills. Its members have already agreed that the output for 1887 shall be 34,000,000 tons, as against 31,000,000 for 1886. The coal barons are altogether too strong, and our penalties for disobeying or evading the laws are too light for the people to expect to get anything approaching their rights regarding that great, God-given blessing, coal. We might get an idea from ancient, fossillated, but honest China, and adopt decapitation as the penalty for open violation or secret evasion oi" such pro bono publico laws as these.
A granger organ in the west, apprehending that efforts to evade the law will be made by the railroads, says that “the greatest fortunes are made from transporting and handling agricultural products after they leave the farmer’s hands. Thinking men are beginning to feel the force and significance of this. The interstate commerce law was enacted because justice demanded it for the farmer. If its true object is defeated in its enforcement an effectual substitute will be found later. ‘Granger legislation’ is sure to return in all its mighty power, and that soon.”
A Wall street paper characterizes this ebullition as “Another Granger Howl,” and vehemently defends the railroads against what it calls “specious arguments in behalf of the farmers as against the railroads.” It then gives statistics to prove that the Chicago and Alton road carried freight cheaper in 1886 than in any previous year, the average rate per ton a mile being .061 cents as against 1.054 cents in 1879. It holds, too, that this reduction in freight rates is true of almost every other road in the country. It then says that freight rates have declined as an inevitable result of competition, that a further decline would wipe out all profits, and, after admitting “that no other industry returns so narrow a margin of profit m proportion to the labor expended and the capital involved as farming,” advises the granger to remember that it is not due to the avarice of the railroads, but to “the laws of supply and demand.” We call attention to this little zephyr in the world of controversy because each of these disputants represents a very large class in the community—classes that though not antagonistic, are warring, dissatisfied and, above all, totally ignorant and unconscious of the conditions that make both farming and railroading little better than starvation.
Were rents lower in the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore, how much more agricultural products would be consumed, and how much better could the consumers afford to pay a higher price, both to the farmer for raising them, and to the railroad for hauling them to market? Were rent a lower in London, Liverpool, Birmingham and Edinburgh, how much more of America’s products would the half starved English and Scotch people consume. and how much more would they not gladly pay the steamship companies for bringing the products to them? “Supply and demand,” bosh! The people have to pay the landlord so much for living on the earth, that after he gets through with them there’s nothing left for the farmers or railroads, the employers or employees.
Saturday’s bank statement showed a still further decrease in reserve, and as April 1st approaches, at which time funds will be required to make quarterly statements, the apprehensions of a money panic seem to deepen. To offset this feeling, rumors that the government will purchase 4s or 4½s in open market have been floating round. Though this competition of so large a buy er would please mightily the holders of our securities and the speculators in governments, no verification of the rumors can be had. At the end of 1886 the treasury held some $400,000,000 of money, and under trade activity its absorptions since then have been increasing. Some 30,000,000 three per cents have since been called and the remainder, yet outstanding, (about 30,000,000 more) will be called and paid by the end of the fiscal year. These calls, however, will hardly relieve industry from the blight of tight money. Under the new law, designating an additional number of cities as United States depositories, the treasury may be relieved and the surplus more generally distributed. But the evil about this is that the banks designated will gain large profits from loaning the people their own money. Were it not the banks virtually control the policy of the treasurer some arrangement might be made in the failure of congress to reduce taxation, whereby the sub-treasuries could loan the surplus, taking government bonds as collateral and letting the rate be fixed by the demand for money. This would at least give the people a chance to procure the use of that which corrupt legislators steal from them. Any such course, however, would have to combat the silly objection about “enlarging the functions of government,” an objection so ready to those who have inside facilities for getting at the government pap through.
X. Y. Z.
A benevolent lady of large heart but small economicknowledge has established in various parts of this city sidewalk booths, where he that will may obtain a plate of wholesome victuals or a cup of coffee for only one cent. The booths are we, I patronized, and it is said that many of the patrons belong to the class of “really deserving poor.”
Perhaps it is as well that experiments of this kind should be tried, if only to show how little real good they can effect and how much positive injury they inflict on the class they are designed to benefit. What Mrs. Lamadrid and those who sympathize with her efforts do not see, is that to reduce the cost of subsistence is only to reduce wages. If Mrs. Lamadrid, in her charity, were to provide car drivers with plentiful meals at a cent each, lodgings at cent a night, and nothing at a cent a garment, the only practical result would be that thousands of unemployed men would struggle for the privilege of driving cars at four and five cents a day.
The Pennsylvania legislature is engaged in the task of consolidating and codifying its various revenue acts in to one general bill. The proposed new law, as it stands at present, contains one feature which, though in perfect accord with the currently received canons of taxation, is exciting bitter opposition from that portion of the Pennsylvania press which more especially represents the views of manufacturers. Th is is a clause restoring the tax on manufacturing corporations, which was repealed in 1885. The Pittsburgh Chronicle remarks: “Hundreds of manufacturers in other states are now seriously considering the desirability of removing their plants and interests to Pennsylvania, and there is danger that this tax may determine them against making the change. It should be our policy to encourage them to come, instead of searing them away, depending for state revenue upon the increase in population and wealth certain to result from their coming.”
Concurrent on an utterance like this is almost superfluous. It would be difficult to make a terser presentation. of the unrighteousness and impolicy of checking productive enterprise by punishing it with a tax line.
The court of appeals at Albany has confirmed the sentence imposed by a lower court on one Areusberg of Brooklyn, for selling oleomargarine colored so as to be an imitation of natural butter. This decision affirms the constitutionality of the law of 1885, which was designed to put an end to the making and sale of oleomargarine. The language of the opinion is worth noting. The it a lies are ours.
“Assuming, as is claimed, that butter made from animal fat or oil is as wholesome, nutritious and suitable for food as dairy butter: that it is composed of the same elements and is substantially the same article excepting as regards its origin. and that it is cheaper, and that it would be a violation of the constitutional rights and liberties of the people to prohibit them from manufacturing or dealing in it for the mere purpose of protecting the producers of dairy butter against competition, yet it cannot be claimed that the producers of butter made from animal fats or oils have any constitutional rights to resort to devices for the purpose of making their product resemble in appearance the more expensive article known as dairy butter, or that it is beyond the power of the legislature to enact such lavs as they may deem necessary to prevent the simulated article being put upon the market in such a form and manner as to be calculated to deceive.
“It was sufficient to authorize a finding [by the jury] that the article had been artificially colored so as to imitate the most valuable kind of dairy butter: that such coloring was not essential or necessarily incident to its manufacture, and that its only object was to make it resemble dairy butter and increase its market value. . . We are of opinion that such artificial coloring of oleomargarine for the mere purpose of making it resemble dairy butter comes within the statutory prohibition against imitation, and that such prohibition is Within the power of the legislature, and rests upon the same principle which would sustain a prohibition of coloring winter dairy butter for the purpose of enhancing its market price by making it resemble summer dairy butter, should the legislature deem such a prohibition necessary or expedient.”
Now, it is a notorious fact that much winter dairy butter is artificially colored. with the purpose and result of enhancing its value in the market. And whatever may be the judge-made law on the subject, there is certainly very little justice in providing one kind of sauce for the oleomargarine goose and another for the winter dairy butter gander.
It is proposed to widen Elm street in this city, extending it through to Lafayette place, and thence to Union square. Concurrently there are rumors in the air of a cable road to be built along this new thoroughfare. It may be that New York is destined shortly to see another valuable franchise given away without the slightest compensation to its true owners and the real creators of its value. Certain compensation districts will be cleaned out, certain other districts will be made more accessible, and as the net result, rents will advance still higher and the people of New York will find it harder than ever to make a living. But it will all show in the statistics as so much wealth added to the city.
Father Keller of Youghal, county Cork, in Ireland, has been bringing himself within the compass of the law. A certain Mr. Ponsorby, having estates in the county of Cork, brought an action in bankruptcy in two courts of Dublin against two of his tenants, and subpoenaed Father Keller as a witness, sending him, by the hands of the other who served the subpoena, three pounds sterling for traveling expenses. Father Keller accepted the subpoena and the three sovereigns, tore the former up and turned the latter over to the local branch of the land league, with a jocone letter declaring it to be a contribution from Mr. Ponsonby, whereupon cusued a must remarkable series of events.
Father Keller was arrested at Youghal and conveyed to Dublin. At Cork he was met at the depot by the mayor and common council, who presented him an address. At Thurles Archbishop Croke and twelve priests were in attendance to assure him of their sympathy and approval. At all the minor stations along the road he received popular ovations. Finally, arriving at Dublin, he was met by the lord mayors carriage and escorted to a hotel (being in custody all the time) by thousands of people with banners and bands of music. The lord mayor delivered an enthusiastic speech, and Father Keller and the officer who has him in charge, went quietly to their respective beds.
The next day the lord mayors carriage was again in requisition, and Father Keller rode to court through a cheering and enthusiastic crowd. Being asked certain questions, he declined to answer on the ground that to do so would be to violate the secrecy of the confessional. Whereupon the judge made an order that he be committed for contempt of court, and Archbishop Walsh stepping forward, the “sad spectacle” was presented of an archbishop of the Catholic church conveying a contumacious witness to jail in his (the archbishop’s) own carriage. To make the matter sadder still, the crowd unharneshed the horses and with their own hands dragged the prelate and the priest to Kilmainham, marching to the tune of “God Save Ireland.”
It is no wonder that the last English secretary of state for Ireland should have resigned his office after a very brief term. What his successor. Mr. Balfour, will do remains to be men.
The theory that an individual may own as his exclusive property a cone or pyramid of planet, whose base and apex are respectively the surface and center of the earth, sometimes leads to curious results.
There is, near the bay of Naples, a famous island called Capri, whose chiefest glory from time immemorial has been a famous grotto, whose only entrance is from the sea by a narrow opening about three feet high. The inhabitants of Capri are proud of their grotto and derive no small income from the guidance of tourists through its mazes. But now comes an ingenious gentleman, reputed an American, who has bought the ground above and announces his intention of digging down through the ceiling of the grotto, closing the sea-entrance, and charging an admission fee.
Lord Tennyson has solved the social problem. He finds in England two classes of people: one possessing lands and houses and other wealth, and therefore loyally and peacefully inclined; the other possessing nothing, and therefore of doubtful peaceableness, though presumably loyal. He also observes in South Africa ill disposed persons of Dutch descent, not at all inclined to loyally, and a great quantity of land not yet reduced to private ownership. What more simple than a readjustment of these various elements. This is what he writes to a certain Mr. White, member of a society for the extirpation of poverty by carrying off the poor:
Dear Mr. White: It seems to me that in South Africa loyal men and women of English blood are greatly needed, and the advantage of sending thither those who cannot gain bread and meat for their children in this country, however hard they work, is so great that I shall be glad to know that the government are taking active steps to organize a wide system of judicious colonization. Faithfully yours,
If this plan could be carried out, what a “boom” there would be in South African land.
Boulanger, Bismarck and the czar—an ambitious Frenchman, a politically unscrupulous German, and an autocrat strongly suspected of insanity. Here are three men, any one of whom has it actually in his power to precipitate a conflict in Europe, compared to which all past wars would be but as child’s play. That Boulanger waits but fora good opportunity is certain: that Bismarck will spare no effort to prevent his getting it is also certain; but about the czar, who can say? A crazy, or half crazy, man with boundless power, yet practically serving out a sentence of imprisonment for life—able with a word to change the destinies of millions, to set ax and gibbet at work, to hurl an army against any one whom he chooses to attack, yet unable to stir abroad or to sleep twice in the same room without risk of death—what possibility is there of forecasting his vagaries, or telling in what direction his panic dread may turn him.’ One thing only is certain. Whether the future hold peace or war for Europe, the people—the individuals who are to die, and pay, and mourn—have got very little to say about it.
The czar is not the only monarch who dreads assassination. The queen of Great Britain and Ireland is also reported to be somewhat apprehensive. Within a few months her majesty will have reigned fifty years, and in commemoration of the event she proposes to make a “progress” through the streets of London, so as to a how such of her subjects as are able to pay big prices for front window seats to have a look at her. The police announce that their arrangements for the procession are perfect, but still her majesty is apprehensive.
Nevertheless, the subjects of Queen Victoria are loyal to their heart’s core, and are preparing to celebrate the jubilee year of their queen’s reign in the most enthusiastic manner. Every private soldier has contributed (at his officer’s command) a day’s pay toward the foundation of a jubilee institute. The naval officers have been directed to en force similar contributions from the sailors, and in fact everybody is chipping in his money to some duly authorized collector, and bubbling over with loyalty. There are, it is true, a few homeless people in London, and there. is some agrarian discontent in Ireland; but these are minor matters, utterly east into the shade and forced out of sight by the shining announcement that the queen will drive in full state from the palace up Constitution hill, through Hyde park to the Marble arch, thence along Oxford street, Holborn, Newgate and Cheapside to the Bank, and thence back either by the Embankment or by Fleet street, the Strand and Whitehall, to the Abbey.
What are fifty years of poverty in the face of such a blessed fact?
Moral Supports for Gladstone
The Irish nationalists of Missouri have issued the following address to the people of that State:
The English tory government is now engaged in concocting measures for curtailing the freedom of debate in the British parliament so as to enable it to pass acts of coercion for the Irish peasantry, which it could not do if the representatives of that people were allowed to expose their grievances.
One of the proposed measures of coercion is to restrict the jury panel, so that no man can be eligible to serve as a juror unless he is entitled by wealth to be a member of the aristocracy. This class, by interest, by prejudice and by hate, is opposed to every movement intended to ameliorate the sufferings of the people; therefore, any person accused of instigating them to adopt measures to improve their condition is certain, not of a trial, but of a conviction. If the tory government succeed in enacting these laws they can create in Ireland tribunals no less infamous and bloody than the committee of public safety, established in France by Robespierre. The Irish people are powerless to prevent such out rages on liberty. They are disarmed and their representatives are being gagged.
In such a dilemma they look to us, Citizens of this great republic, for moral, if not for material aid. Can we assist them? All over the United States the Irish national league in being reorganized to meet this threatened danger. If we in Missouri do not want to remain inactive, we must co-operate with them.
From every source we learn that the Irish farmer is impoverished by the exactions of the landlord, which are greater now than forty years ago, when agricultural products were protected by the corn laws.
Gen. Buller draws attention to this unjust, condition, and characterizes it “as the law which protects only the rich, has enabled them to charge exorbitant rents, and lends to agrarian disturbances.”
This English soldier, a wise and humane man, was sent over to Ireland to dragoon it into submission, but having personally witnessed the suffering of the people and the injustice of the laws by which they are governed, resigned rather than execute them. His testimony tells the tale of Irish discontent, a discontent which compels the British government to pay for a large standing army and to fill every village and hamlet in Ireland with police.
Citizens of Missouri, compare your condition with this people, who have to live under such government, and draw the contrast.’ Your beneficent laws in this state, more than twice the size of Ireland, are maintained without a policeman or a soldier outside of the city of St Louis or Kansas City, and yet life and property are more secure than in the thickly populated metropolis of England.
This is the ideal government which that Seat statesman, Gladstone, backed by the English democracy, endeavored to give Ireland, and which would have give a peace and contentment to the British nation.
Let us then organize so as to assist him, supported as he is by Parnell and the Irish nationalists.
Respectfully, Thomas Meekler, chairman; Andrew Hoolan, president central branch; John J. Ryan, M. D., Michael D. Condon, John Kirby, John Finneran, Patrick Meledy, state organizer; Thomas O’Reilly, M. D., stale delegate—committee on organization. James Criley, secretary.
For Political Action
Reports of the Movement from Many Parts of the Country
Chairman John McMackin returned to New York on Tuesday last. At the meeting at the Cityhall in Troy, on Monday of last week, P. C. Marsh presided, and Henry Katsky was secretary. A large land and labor club was formed, as a branch of the united labor party. At Utina, Joseph Joyce, a prominent, member of the typographical union, and Daniel M. Buckley, president of the land league, with several other active men, undertook the formation of a club. At Home the labor organizations are very small, but there are hopes among the workers of the organization of a club at an early date.
The Syracuse Laborer gives a complete account of the meeting at the City Hall in that city on Thursday of last week, held for the purpose of forming a land and labor club. James Miller of the Moulders’ union was chairman and W. E. Morgan secretary. John McMackin made a speech which the Laborer printed in full. Another meeting was held on Tuesday evening of this week. At Rochester Mr. McMackin found a “Henry George club” and the party organized for political action. Among the men pushing the movement are James Malley, William H. Shay, Thomas Moloney, Peter McKittrick and C. H. Wright. At Buffalo a meeting was held last Saturday night at Turn hall and a club organized. C. M. Kinsky v. as chairman and James Neal secretary. Mr. McMackin’s trip in the state has elicited a great deal of comment from the old party press. He says he found many men at every place he visited who were “heart and soul in the movement.”
John J. Bealin, who has been making a trip for the central committee on the Eric road, writes from several places. His letter from Fort Jervis is especially interesting:
“A land and labor club has just been organized here. I want to call your notice to the fact that land reform has a good footing in this town already. The chairman of the board of assessors has this year been taxing all idle and unimproved land inside the corporation limits one hundred per cent more than heretofore. As a result the land grabbers are up in arms and the poor have less burdens to carry. A farmer ca me to the assessor a day or two ago and asked him how it was that since there was more money raised by taxation this year than last, his tax bill somehow was much less. The assessor told him that he had placed the burden of taxation on the unimproved land in the town, and that he should continue to do so. Here is one farmer at least who is inclined to think pretty well of Mr. George’s idea. On the other hand, a representative of the Erie railroad called on the assessor, objecting to the way the railroad property was taxed, and expostulating that they had no buildings worthany money on the ground. The assessor told the railroad agent this was the very reason he assessed the company more highly, simply because they left their land unimproved. I am afraid if this thing keeps on land held for speculation will be forced on the market for building purposes. The labor movement here seems to be largely in the hands of men of old American extraction. They thoroughly understand this land question, and are not afraid to speak and write about it.”
A land and labor club was formed last Saturday evening in Binghamton, the cigarmakers’ hall being filled with people interested in the movement. The New York united labor party platform was adopted, and E. W. Dundon, S. W. Mapes, Charles Jansen, John Doyle and M. J. Hefferman were appointed a committee on permanent organization. The chairman pro tem was J. H. Blakney. It is expected that Binghamton will soon have a club equal to any in the state.
A committee from the land and labor reform club of San Francisco last week waited on the board of freeholders, and laid be fore them carefully prepared drafts of provisions which they asked to have inserted in the new charter. The freeholders promptly draft ed measures as nearly the opposite as possible and embodied them in the charter.
The Mauch Chunk Watchman says: “The battle cry, ‘the land for the people,’ has strayed up this way.” “Daylight,” it declares, “has been sprang suddenly upon people in this place. None are so blind as they that will not see.”
The Cleveland Workman says: “Henry George clubs are forming all over the state. One started out in Columbus last week with about 100 members. The question of land and land monopoly is upon us one hundred years before any one twenty years ago thought it would be.”
In Chicago the united labor party is doing energetic campaign work. The Labor Enquirer advertised thirty-seven ward meetings for one week. The party has naturalized 3,000 voters since the ticket was put in nomination. The election takes place on Tuesday, April 5.
The Indianapolis Labor Signal says: "The workingmen of Indianapolis are preparing to take a hand in the coming city election, under the lead of the united labor party. It is their purpose, to nominate a full city ticket of dean, competent and deserving men. Candidates will not be selected from among the office-seeking politicians usually put forward, but such men as will command the respect and confidence of workingmen. business men and all others interested in municipal reform. Radical and specific reforms will be demanded, and if these reforms are introduced into the city government the treasury will not long remain empty, and taxation will be greatly reduced. If ever a city has been pioneered and outraged by corporation that city is Indianapolis.”
There is a live land and labor club in Holland city, Mich. Its secretary, in a letter to the Grand Rapids Workman, says that its members believe that “the time has indeed come tor labor to step into the political arena, and, rallying all the forces that are upon its side, make an open light for the assertion cf those equal rights which the great charter of American liberty guarantees to us all, but which the old political parties have heretofore ignored.”
The Orange, N. J., Central Labor union has formed a political city central committee, being encouraged by the results of the recent local election. The members are: First ward, James Ford, Jacob Burker. Charles Corson, Connor Finnerey, Frank McAuley and John Derextro; Second ward, Edward Huffman. H. B. Stokes, Henry Miller, Richard Brennan, Bernard Livingston and George A. Davis; Third ward, John J. Denney, John Lightholder, James McFarland, John W. Lilly, Daniel McCarty and William Cumbelbeach.
The McKeesport, Pa., labor club has been made a permanent organization, and the working people there expect it to have a leading influence in borough politics.
Secretary Barnes, 28 Cooper Union, sends us further extracts from his recent correspondence, as follows:
C. L. T., St. Louis, Mo.—We should have had a club in every ward in this city long ago had it not been for the course of certain “labor” politicians, who have been suppressing the land question, as they say, for the sake of “harmony.” That kind of harmony never leads to anything. Yet on the whole I am glad that men of this kind have not agitated the land question. It should only be urged by men who understand it thoroughly and are devoted to it first, last and all the time. Such men will never compromise a principle.
W. H. V., Chicago, Ill.—The labor movement here is sarong indeed. We shall poll a large vote, and there is little dissension inour ranks. Some arrangements must soon be made for systematic work throughout the State. I regard it as within the range of possibilities for the labor party to elect the next governor of Illinois, if the matter is taken in hand promptly and a thorough organization effected.
Clarence Moeller, Minneapolis, Minn.—We have at last formally organized, and I send you the printed resolutions adopted March 10. You will see that they are good. Section 3 reads: “We demand that a single tax upon land values be substituted in lieu of all others.” I think a strong movement here is an assured fact. We have a committee working hard in every ward. The leading spirits in our movement are earnest, clear-headed men.
Matthew Casey, secretary united labor party, Portland, Ore.—We are making excellent progress here on the coast. Our numbers are added to at every meeting, and we shall shortly be in a position to do effective work.
A. C. Dunning, Anburn, Me—The labor party has great strength in this place, although we failed to carry the last election, and there is an increasing desire on the part of the workers to widen and deepen and strengthen cur organization. We wish to bring the party here into line with the voters who supported Henry George in your recent election.
William E. Morgan, secretary central trades and labor assembly, Syracuse, N. Y. —We have had Mr. McMackin here with us, as you know, and with the best of results. We have begun the formation of a central club, and in a few days shall hold another meeting to permanently organize.
Warren Worth Bailey, Vincennes News, Vincennes, Ind.—My own best judgment is that if we can unite the labor forces we may come powerfully close to winning in l888. The people are not dead in love with either of the old parties. The drift of sentiment in this section is remarkable. Scarcely a man that is not studying the land question. Land and Labor club No. 1, Cincinnati, Ohio. — We have opened permanent headquarters at 25 S Vine street, and are asking all interested in the new party movement either to call or to send their names and addresses to us. We are also making arrangements to supply campaign literature, taking that leaf from your book, and shall soon be deep in a correspondence with all sections.
Win. H. Hannaford, Cambridgeport, Mass.—We are all sound on the land question, and have just established an organization known as the Cambridge league. A great deal of good can be done here by systematic organization, and we are willing to do it, and shall do it. The land question lies at the root of all our labor troubles, and our remedy must be by the ballot. It puzzles me that men have not seen this long ago. You will hear of good results from this town.
C. H. Barrett, Albany, N. Y.—We have been stirring things up a great deal, both here and in Troy. Mr. McMackin has spoken in both cities. The party organs hardly knew what to say about it all. The Albany Argus advises us if we want land to go west. What an original genius its editor must be. It is almost incredible that one head can contain such a store of wisdom.
J. J. Sullivan. New Orleans, La.—The cause is gaining ground here day by day, and when the time comes I venture to predict that the Crescent city will make as good a showing as any city in the union.
John A. Roost, Holland, Mich.—Organization is a great thing. We started a while ago few in number, held open meetings, outsiders coming in one by one, and now we have more than doubled our numbers. We are all firm on the land question. Our opponents are fond of calling us “one-idea men.” After all that is better than being no-idea men. It seems to be forgotten that government is intended, among other things, to be for the people. We are close upon the day of better things. I enclose you a printed copy of our platform. You will see that we are firmly planted on the true ground of your own Clarendon hall declaration. We have had it printed in our local paper.
Henry Ancketill, Hudson, N. Y.—I propose to organize a series of public readings here, publishing a notice somewhat after this fashion: “What are Mr. George’s views on the land question? Come and hear for yourselves. Ladies specially invited, for they are most vitally concerned in the abolition of pauperism, the prevention of infant mortality and of misery and destitution. Admission free.” Very soon “’the land for the people” will be the question at the polls. The light is spreading at a great rate.
Leonard M. Small. Chelsea, Mass.—We have already had enthusiastic meetings, with discussions on the causes of depression, on the landlord system in Ireland and the United States and on the cure for the disease, appealing to all workers to take up this question of questions. Fifty members enrolled themselves tonight. There is an old fling at this town, “Dead as Chelsea.” Before a great while some leaders whose hearts fairly bleed for the poor workingman will find a very lively corpse dancing around in this place. John B. Dempsey, Sec. D. A. 17, K. of L., St. Louis, Mo.—We are busy organizing a land and labor club here to preach the true gospel, and shall proclaim it throughout the south and west. We are going to work in dead earnest. You will hear from us.
William Keyes, M. V. S. L. A. 4231, K. ofL, Coxsackie, N. Y.—I have read the Clarendon hall platform in our assembly, and I can assure you it made a marked impression on the members. Not a syllable in it but we can most cordially endorse. You will hear good reports from this place.
Wm. P. Marsh, V. S. L. A. 3409, K. of L., Battle Creek, Mich.—You will soon receive an application for a club charter from here. We are wide awake and propose to do some missionary work, letting the light into dark places.
A Significant Utterance
A Leading New York Real Estate Journal Acknowledges That All Taxes Must Soon be Levied Upon Land Values
New York Real Estate Bulletin.
“Straws show which way the wind blows,” and that the wind is blowing in the direction of the levying of all taxes on real estate cannot longer be gainsaid. Much as we deplore this state of things, we cannot ignore the facts without doing violence to our own convictions. It appears that all classes of the community are more er less imbued with the belief that this offers the only solution of a difficult problem. The labor agitators, headed by Henry George and seconded by Colonel Ingersoll, are committed to this principle in one form or another. Some of our best writers and deepest thinkers, as well as many of our most practical men, are unqualified in favor of it.
It is universally admitted that the scheme is practicable. It cannot be denied that all other schemes are in a greater or lesser degree impracticable. When men of reputed high character and unquestioned integrity are willing to stoop to the adoption of illegal means to secure their escape from the payment of taxes on their personal property, it must be admitted that there is little hope of occurring any considerable proportion of the income necessary for the support of the government from, personal property. In view of all the facts we are impelled, therefore, to prophecy that this result really may be reached.
More Misery in Skye Than in Kerry—The Landlords’ Plan of Campaign
There is as much, or more. misery in Skye than there is in Kerry. Yet the world has always pitied Kerry. It is only now beginning to pity Skye. The reason lay in the difference between the Irish members and the Scottish members. The one class did their duty, the others did nothing. Scotland has begun to change that. She is sending up to parliament a body of men able and ready to speak for their country. We have had two debates during the past mouth upon Scottish matters. They were vigorous in tone; they show ed, as clearly as could be shown, that Scotland stands in need of the same remedy that is now being applied to Ireland, and that will in time be applied to all countries and all men — the compulsion of land robbers to cease from robbing. the one debate was upon the crofters, the other debate was upon the farmers. Not much that was new was said upon either subject, but much was resaid that was indisputably true. Dr. Cameron, the able and earnest member for Glasgow, told once again the sad and sorry stray of what bad been done in Skye. He called is the landlords’ plan of campaign. No terms could be more perfectly descriptive. They found that rents were not. to be got. Can people pay a heavy rent whose best land has been taken away for the use of the deer? Can they pay a. heavy rent when the price of produce has fallen, and is falling, lower than ever it fell before? The people could not possibly pay their extortionate rents, and the landlords knew it. We have heard of one respectable man who had nothing to live upon except a few turnips that a wealthy neighbor did not think good enough for his cattle.
The landlords determined that if a coin was left in Skye they would have it. And they struck upon the idea which Dr. Cameron calls their Plan of Campaign. By refusing to pay their rates they made it appear that Skye was almost in a state of anarchy. Out of a total of £5,200 that were owing, £3,600 were owed by the landlords, £1,000 were owed by the larger tenants, and only £000 were owed by the similar tenants. Even part of that was not really owing. Some of those who were upon the books as paying rates were dead and some were paupers actually in receipt of parish relief. All of them were quiet and peaceable citizens. Upon these people the navy of Britain made a descent. Sheriff Ivory was invested. with the ‘power, of a dictator, and used it in the spirit of Claverhouse. Skye was absolutely left to the tender mercies of a fierce and fiery official, yet the people of Skye made no resistance. As Dr. Cameron says, “In a peaceful English county Sheriff Ivory would have been ducked in a horsepond,” but in Skye he was able to go about his business without an escort. On one or two occasions a few of the crofters who were being driven from house and home told the sheriffs officer their opinion of him. They did nothing more. The sheriffs officer was as safe of life and limb as he would have been in his own bedroom. But because a few crofters hissed him they were hunted like wild beasts among the hills; they were dragged from their homes, and were not even allowed a trial in their own country by their own countrymen. They were taken to Edinburgh, a town where many wealthy people connected with the land possess and exercise an enormous influence. But even then, in some cases, the juries only convicted on the understanding that if they recommended the convicted men to mercy their punishment would be very trilling. What the juries would not do the judge did without hesitation. Lord Maclaren, in a speech made shortly before, had shown that he and his brethren looked upon the crofters as criminals of the vilest kind. To that view the judges gave effect. They imposed the heaviest sentences upon people who did no more than smile on an officious official.
The other Scottish matter dealt with in the debate is the case of the tenant farmers, who are bound to their holdings by lengthy leases. As a matter of fact, they are on the point of ruin. No bad landlord is so very bad as a bad Scottish landlord. For some years rents have been exacted that not only abolish profit and leave the tenant without the slightest return for his industry, but which actually take away from his stock and capital. Some tenant farmers have been losing at the rate of £200 and £300 per annum. The Scottish secretary says that they must go on losing. His reason is peculiar and characteristic. He will not interfere because ho thinks that to break leases by act of parliament is dishonesty and robbery. It is admitted that Irish tenants must have their leases canceled. What is honest in Ireland is then dishonest in Scotland. It is a dishonest thing to relieve a farmer from paying to a landlord a rent that is ruin differently spelled. We must correct our ideas. Our ideas of honesty are the giving of something for something. If the Scottish secretary is right, honesty is to force men to give something for nothing. The Scottish secretary, the late lamented Mr. Peace, and St. Richard Turpin are to be classed in one school. We are afraid that the obstinate Scottish people will not accept that school of philosophy. It seems to us, by the during and earnest tone of the Scottish members, that landlord robbery in Scotland is almost at an end.
A Protestant Journal on Dr. McGlynn
New York Churchman.
Germany, like our own republic, is suicidally invoking the Roman court to become the umpire of her destinies, and while Dr. McGlynn is sacrificed for resisting the interference of the pontiff in American politics, the most violent of the ultramontano faction in Germany, Herr Windthorst, is crying out quite as lustily as the “liberals” in New York — “as much religion us you like from Rome, but no politics.” This was precisely the attitude of the old Gallileans toward the Curia Romana, and when Henry IV proclaimed their acceptance of the Trent, council as to doctrine, but not as to discipline, he was simply maintaining the very position for which McGlynn is anathematized. Meantime the London Standard thus comments upon the protean faculties of Romanism in tolerating in one place and approving in another what again it persecutes in a third. A London Journalist remarks:
“There is certainly something rather inconsistent in forbidding a priest to share in the comparatively harmless theorizing of Mr. George on oneside of the ocean, while hundreds of priests take part in the practical work of preaching plunder on the other. Whatever may be the private communications between Rome and Dublin, Archbishop Walsh and his colleagues and subordinates have not been suspended nor even openly rebuked. To allow these flagrant offenders to escape intact, while a sinner in a very minor degree is punished, seems hardly possible. On the whole, Leo XIII is placed in rather a difficulty by the attempt of Archbishop Corrigan to silence Father McGlynn, and he will need all this shrewdness to deal with it consistently, and emerge from it with dignity.”
This is shrewd common sense, and one wonders that our keen American journalism has committed itself so generally against an American citizen who (whatever his political whims) stands firm on the American ground—“no politics from Rome.” When the time comes for our Corrigan to imitate the conduct of the Walsh faction, who dyes not see that they will cry out with impurity, or even with pontfical bravos, what McGlynn has so temperately justified in the theories of Henry George.
Home Rule At Rome
The “Castle Catholic” Organ Of This City Changes Front
Simeoni Must Hold His Hand—In Political and Social Matters the Clergy and People Must be Trusted
The Tablet, March 19.
The report made by Cardinal Gibbons to Cardinal Simeoni about the Knights of Labor contains implicitly certain principles by which the decision of the sacred congregation of the propaganda is to be reached. These principles, whether clearly laid down or assumed, amount to a practical assumption that in matters not of dogma local opinion, both ecclesiastical and lay, is entitled to the greatest weight. In other words, the doctrine of home rule in non-essentials is distinctly outlined without any formal allusion to it.
For instance, Cardinal Gibbons points out that the Knights of Labor, although a secret organization, is not within the category of societies condemned by the church as secret societies—just as the Zablet pointed out a fortnight ago. The church does not condemn a society for being secret unless its secrecy is maintained for the promotion of an immoral end. Secrecy in itself is not immoral. Again, the cardinal assures the holy see that because the American people know that the working classes have grievances to redress; because they know that secrecy in their great organization is indispensable to the redress of these grievances; because they know that neither the end aimed at nor the mode adopted can be justly condemned, they will look upon a condemnation of the Knights of Labor as “false and unhallowed,” and he plainly informs Cardinal Simeoni that a condemnation of the order by the holy see would be impotent to compel the obedience of Catholics.
Again, the cardinal has the candor to make known to Cardinal Simeoni that if an unjust condemnation should be issued, the American. Catholics would find an effectual way of expressing their resistance to it. “It would be almost ruinous for the financial support of the church among us and for the Peter’s pence.
Inthe first clause Cardinal Gibbons indicates most emphatically the principle of home rule. He declares that a condemnation of the Knights of Labor by the holy see would “be a cruel blow at the authority of the bishops of the United States.”
This is unquestionably the frankest communication which has ever been made to the sacred congregation of the propaganda. It is equivalent to the declaration that- in political and social matters the clergy and people of a country are to be trusted; and that if, at least as regards this country, they are not trusted, the effects of a mistrust will be made manifest in a way which the advisers of the holy see in Rome will find extremely uncomfortable. Painful, not to say scandalous, experience fully warrants the fortitude with which the American cardinal has thus addressed himself to the Italian cardinal. The unreasonable and tyrannical conduct of individual bishops in Ireland, in Canada and in the United States concerning matters political and social in the past, made it the imperative duty of the council of Baltimore to withdraw from individual bishops the privilege of applying their prejudice and caprices to organizations which antagonized some of their national or personal predilections. For the same reason Cardinal Gibbons was bound in conscience to make known at Rome that IN POLITICAL MATTERS, in social matters, and in all things not properly within “faith and dogma,” THE MASSES OP THE AMERICAN CATHOLICS WILL NOT TOLERATE UNREASONABLE AND OPPRESSIVE INTRUSIVEESS BY INDIVIDUALS ON EITHER SIDE OP THE OCEAN. The past has contained too many incidents, which, to quote Cardinal Gibbons, had the effect of “driving the sons of the church into rebellion against the mother.”
Mr. Adams Objects
A Minnesota Landlord Insists on Having a County Seat on His Land
Correspondence St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Willmar, Minn.—The people of this county wondered why Samuel H. Adams, one of the wealthiest real estate owners of the county, let his taxes for l885 become delinquent. Now he files an answer alleging that all of his lands included in the delinquent list are in the county of Monongalia and not in the county of Kandiyohi. The counties of Monongalia and Kandiyohi were Consolidated by an act passed in 1870, and the consolidation was ratified by a vote of the people of the two counties the same year. The county of Monongalia originally embraced the twelve northern townships of the present Kandiyohi county, with the village of New London as the county seat. Mr. Adams is largely interested in the village of New London, and if he succeeds in breaking up the consolidation will undoubtedly make considerable money out of his real estate in and about that village. It is understood that Louis Larson, another wealthy real estate owner in New London, and a good many other interested parties are backing the scheme, which is looked upon here more as a real estate speculation than as an actual desire on the part of the movers to become detached from the present county. The object in answering is to test the constitutionality of the consolidation act. It is said that one of the principal points raised against the constitutionality of the act is that the proposition of consolidation should have been submitted to the people of the state instead of to the voters of the district affected. This proposition is said to have originated with S. L. Pierce of St. Paul, who appears as attorney for Mr. Adams, and who is claimed to be an authority on constitutional law. The case will come up for trial in June. Meantime the majority of the people here will endeavor to find out, if possible, whet her the village of New London is located in Minnesota.
The McGlynn Testimonial
The publisher of TheStandard acknowledges the receipt of contributions to the fund for Dr. McGlynn as follows:
D. J. Kelley, Atlanta, Ga.
M.E. D., New York
An old parishioner, Atchison, Kas.
Frank Seanlan, Philadelphia, Pa.
By Miss Nellie M. Houston, New York:
Nellie M. Houston
The South With Dr. McGlynn
New York. March 16.—Enclosed find $4 for the McGlynn fund, contributed by D. J. Kelley, managing editor of the Atlanta (Ga.) Mail and Express, with the assurance that the whole south endorses the action of Dr. McGlynn in upholding the God-given rights of the people, and that it is prepared to go with him to any length he may think necessary to teach foreign dictators what the prerogative of anAmerican citizen, lay or cleric, are.
John G. Lee.
The Cry of the Children
Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Do ye bear the children weeping, O my brothers,
Ere the sorrow comes with years?
They are leaning their young heads against their mothers—
And that cannot stop their tears.
The young lambs are bleating in the meadows,
The young birds are chirping in the nest,
The young fawns are playing with the shadows,
The young flowers are blowing toward the west;
But the young, young children, O my brothers,
They are weeping bitterly!—
They are weeping in the playtime of the others,
In the country oi the free.
And well may the children weep before you!
They are weary ere they run;
They have never soon the sunshine, nor the glory
Which is brighter than the sun:
They know the grief of man, without his wisdom;
They sink in man’s despair, without his calm—
Are slaves, without the liberty in Christdom—
Are martyrs, by the pang without the palm—
Are worn, as if with age, yet unretrievingly
The blessings of its memory cannot keep—
Are orphans of the earthly love and heavenly:
Let them weep! let them weep!
Ivan The Fool
Translation by Isabel F. Hapgood in the Independent
Once upon a time, in a certain empire, in a certain realm, there dwelt a wealthy peasant. And this wealthy peasant had three sons — Semyon-warrior, Taras-big-belly and Ivan-fool, and a daughter, Malanya-long-ear, who was dumb. Semyon-warrior went to the wars to serve the tzar; Taras-big-belly betook himself to a merchant in the town to trade; but Ivan the fool remained at home with the maiden to work and grow round-shouldered with toil. Semyon-warrior won for himself a high position and an estate, and married the daughter of a man of rank. His guerdon was great and his estate was vast, but all the same he could not make both ends meet; what the husband amassed, that the lady wife squandered lavishly, so there was never any money. Then Semyon-warrior went to his estate to collect his revenues. And his steward said to him:
“There is nothing to be got. We have neither cattle nor chattels; neither horses, nor cows, nor plows, nor harrows; all these things must be provided, and then there will be revenues.”
Then Semyon-warrior went to his father: “You are rich, father,” says he; “but you have given me nothing. Portion off to me a third part, and I will transfer it to my estate.”
And the old man said; “You have brought nothing into my house for which I should give you a third part of my property. That would be a wrong to Ivan and the dumb girl.”
But Semyon says: “Why, he is a fool, and she is a long-eared dumb girl. They need nothing.”
And the old man says: “It shall be as Ivan says.”
Then Ivan says: “Well, never mind, let him have it.”
Semyon-warrior took his portion from the house, transported to his own estate, and set off again to serve the tzar.
Taras-big-belly had also amassed much money. He had married a maiden of the merchant class; but all this was not enough for him. He came to his father and says: “Portion out to me my share,”
But the old man was unwilling to give Taras his share.
“You,” says he, “have given us nothing, and what there is in the house Ivan has earned. It is impossible to injure him and the maiden.
But Taras says: “What does he want with it?He is a fool; he cannot marry; no one will have him, and no one wants the dumb girl, either. Give me half the grain, Ivan,” says he. “I will not take the tools, and of the cattle I will take only the iron gray stallion, since he is of no use to you in plowing.”
Ivan began to laugh.
“Well, it’s no matter,” says he. “I will begin over again.”
So Taras’ share was portioned off to him. Taras carried the grain to the town, led off the iron gray horse, and Ivan was left with one aged mare to till the soil as before, and to support his father and mother.
The old devil was vexed because the brothers had not quarreled over the partition. hut had parted in amity. So he summoned three little devils.
“There, you see,” says he, “live three brothers—Semyon-warrior, Taras-big-belly and Ivan-fool. It is necessary that they should all be thoroughly embroiled; but they dwell in peace, they receive each other with hospitality. That fool has ruined the whole business for me. Do you three go and attack those three, and throw them into such confusion that they will tear each other’s eyes out. Can you effect this?”
“We can,” they reply.
“And how will you manage it?”
“We will manage it thus,” they reply; “We will ruin them in the first place, so that they will have nothing to eat, and then we will fling them into a heap and they will kill each other.”
“Very good,” says he; “I see that you understand your business. Go, and do not return to me until you have confounded all three; for, if you do, I will take the hides off the whole three of you.”
The imps all repaired to amorass and began to take counsel together as to how they should set to work. They wrangled anddisputed; each one wanted to devise the easiest possible method of accomplishing their task, and they decided to east lots to see which should fall to whom And if any one of them accomplished his work before the others he was to go to their assistance. The little imps east their lots and appointed an hour when they should meet in the morass again to learn who had succeeded and to whose assistance they must betake themselves.
The appointed hour arrived, and the little imps assent bled in the marsh, according to their compact. They begin to discuss their affairs. The first imp who came from Semyon-warrior began his tale:
“My affairs are going on famously,” says he. “Tomorrow,” says he,” “my Semyon will goto his father.
Then his comrades began to question him:
“How did you manage,” they say. “Why, in the first place,” says he, “I inspired Semyon with so much bravery that he promised his tzar to conquer the whole world, and the tzar made Semyon commander and dispatched him to overcome the Indian tzar. They engaged in combat, and that very night I dampened all the powder in Semyon’s army and went to the Indian tzar, and made him soldiers out of straw in countless multitudes. Semyon’s soldiers perceived that these straw soldiers were marching upon them from every side, and they were seized with fear. Semyon ordered them to lire. The cannon and rifles did not go off. Semyon’s soldiers were terrified and lied like sheep ; and the Indian tzar overthrew them. Semyon was put to shame, his estates were taken from him, and they were going to execute him on the following day, only I had business with him for one day more; so I set him free from prison in order that he might run home. Tomorrow I shall settle the business, so now say which of you two needs assistance.”
Then the second imp, who came from Taras, began the tale of his deeds: “I need no help,” says he. “My affairs have also progressed favorably, and Taras will not live more than another week. In the first place,” says he, “I increased his hunger and inspired him with envy. His envy of the goods of others has grown so great that, whatever he beholds, that he desires to buy. He has purchased incalculable quantities with his money, and still he is buying everything he sees. Now he has begun to purchase with borrowed money. He has loaded many a debt upon his neck. and has involved himself to such an extent that he cannot extricate himself. In another week the day of settlement will arrive, and I shall convert all his wares into rubbish. He will not be able to pay his debts. and he will go to his father.”
Then they began to question the third imp who tame from Ivan. "And how does your business go on?”
“Well, now,” says he, “my business is not going at all. In the first place I spit in his jug of kvas, in order to make his stomach ache, and then I went to his field and pressed down the soil until it was like a stone, so that he could do nothing with it. I though that. he would not plow it; but he is a fool, and so he came with his plow and began to work away. He groaned with the pain in his belly, but, finished the whole of the plowing himself. I broke one plowshare for him, he went home and fitted another. bound on some new foot-cloths and set to work again at his plowing. I crawled under the earth and clung to the plowshare, but it was utterly impossible to hold on, he bent himself to the plow and the share was sharp: it cut my hands all to pieces. He plowed over nearly the whole field, and left only one strip. Come brothers," says he, “help me; for if we do not conquer him all our labors will be in vain. If the fool remains and continues to till the soil, they will not know want, and "he will support his two brothers.”
Semyon-warrior’s imp promised to come to his assistance on the morrow, and thereupon the little devils parted.
Ivan had plowed all the fallow field, and only one strip remained. He went out to finish. His stomach aches; but the plowing must needs be finished. He flourished the reins, turned the plow over and went to work. He had made only one turn and was coming back when the plow seemed to catch on a root and he pulled it. But it was the little imp, who had wound his legs around the plowshare and was holding on. “What marvel is this?”’ thinks Ivan. “There were no roots here, but still, this is a root.” Ivan thrust his hand into the furrow, felt about. and found something soft; he grasped this something and drew it forth. It is black like a root, but there is something moving on the root. Behold! it is a little live devil. “Ugh, you abomination!” says he. Ivan burst into a laugh, and was about to dash the thing’s brains out, but the imp set up a whine. “Don’t kill me,” says he, “and I will do anything you please.”
“What will you do for me?”
“Only mention what you wish.”
Ivan scratched his head. “My belly aches,” says he; “can you cure that?”
“That I can,” says he.
“Well then, cure me.”
The little devil bent down to the furrow, scraped, scraped with his claws, and scratched out a small root, a triple root, and gave it to Ivan.
“There,” says he, “if any one swallows one of these little roots, every pain will disappear.”
Ivan took it, broke off one rootlet, and swallowed it. His stomach ache instantly vanished.
Then the little devil besought him again. “Let me go now,” says he, “I will leap through the earth, and I will never come back again.”
“Well, all right,” says Ivan; “God be with thee!” And as soon as Ivan had mentioned God the little imp dived headlong into the earth, like a stone in water, and nothing but a hole remained. Ivan thrust the two remaining roots into its cap and set about finishing his plowing. He plowed the strip of land to the end, turned his plow over, and went home. He unharnessed the horse, and went to the cottage, and there he found his elder brother Semyon warrior, sitting at supper with his wife. He had been deprived of his estates, he had escaped by main force from prison, and had lied home to dwell with his father. When Semyon beheld Ivan: “I have come to live with you,” says he: feed me and my wife until a new place turns up.”
“Well, all right,” says Ivan; “you may live here.”
But when Ivan tried to seat himself on the bench, the smell which proceeded from Ivan did not please the fine lady, and she says to her husband: “I cannot,” says she, “sup in company with a stinking peasant.”
And Semyon-warrior says: “My lady says that you do not smell good. You ought to eat in the anteroom.”
“Well, all right,” says he. “It is time for me to go to bed, and I have to feed the mare.”
Ivan took his bread and his caftan , and went to bed.
That night Semyon-warriors devil left him and went to seek Ivan’s devil, according to their agreement, and to help him ensnare the fool. He came to the fallow field; he sought and sought his comrade; the latter was now here, and he found nothing but a hole.
“Well,” he thinks, “it is evident that a catastrophe has overtaken his comrade, and I must put myself in his place. The fallow field has been thoroughly plowed; that fool must be entrapped at his mowing.”
The little devil went to the meadow and sent an inundation over Ivan’s grass; the whole crop was matted together with mud. Ivan turned out of his bed at dawn, whetted his scythe and went to mow his meadow. Ivan arrived and began to mow. He gives one sweep, he gives a second—the scythe is dull, it will not cut; it must be whetted. Ivan tried and tried. “No,” says he, “I’ll go home and fetch the whetstone and a small loaf of bread. If I have to try for a week, I won’t quit until I have mowed this.” The imp overheard him and fell into thought. “This is a stiff-necked fool,” says he, “and’ not to be caught. Other means must be resorted to.” Ivan came back, whetted his scythe and began to mow. The imp crept into the grass and began to catch hold of the heel of the scythe and to thrust the tip into the earth. Ivan found it hard work; nevertheless he went on with his mowing, and only a small wooded strip in the marsh remained undone. The imp crept into the marsh and thinks to himself: “He may cut my paws through and through, but I won’t let him finish his mowing.” Ivan entered the marsh. The grass was not thick to the eye, but still the scythe would not go through it. Ivan grew angry and began to mow with all his might. The imp began to yield; he cannot succeed in leaping away; he sees that it is a bad business and flung himself into a bush. Ivan gave a flourish, came in contact with the bush and cut off half the little devil’s tail. Ivan finished his mowing, ordered the girl to do the raking, and went himself to cut the rye.
He went out with his reaping hook, but the bob-tailed devil had been there before him, had tangled the rye so that it would not yield to the hook. Ivan turned round, grasped his sickle, and went to reaping. He reaped the whole of the rye. “Come now,” says he, “I must set to work at the oats.” The bob-tailed imp heard this. He thinks: “I did not trap him with the rye, but I’ll catch him over the oats. Only wait until tomorrow.” The next morning the imp ran to the field of oats, but the oats were already cut. Ivan had reaped during the night, in order that less might be shaken out. The little devil flew into a rage: “That fool has cut me and tortured me,” says he. “Such a disaster I have never beheld, even in war. That cursed fellow never sleeps, and is not to be caught. I will go now,” says he, “to the grain ricks and rot the whole of them for him.” So the imp went to the rick of rye, crept among the sheaves, and it. began to rot; he heated them, warmed himself and fell into a drowsy state.
But Ivan harnessed the mare and went with the maiden to draw them home. He came to the rick and began to toss it upon the cart; he had flung on two sheaves, when he gave a thrust, struck the imp full behind, lifted him up—and behold! on his pitchfork was a live imp, and a bob-tailed one to boot, kicking and wriggling and trying to jump off,
“Eh, so it’s you, you rascal! Are you here again?”
“I,” says he, “am another; that was my brother. But I have been with your brother Semyon.”
“Well,” says Ivan, “whoever you may be, you shall share his fate;” then he was about to spit him on a stake, but the imp began to entreat him. “Let me go,” says he, “and I’l1 never come here again; but whatever you desire that I will do for you.”
“Well, what can you do?”
“Why, I,” says he, “can make soldiers out of anything that you wish.”
“What are they good for?”
“Why,” says he, “you can set them to anything that you like; they can do everything.”
“Can they play songs?”
“Well, very good,” says Ivan; “make them.”
Then said the little devil: “Here do you take this sheaf of rye, scatter it thickly on the ground, and simply say:
“My slave commands that thou no more a sheaf shall be, but that so many straws as there are in thee, so many soldiers shall there be.”
Ivan took the sheaf, strewed it on the ground and spoke as the imp had commanded. And the sheaf sprang up and turned into soldiers, and the drummer marched in front, and the trumpeter played. Ivan burst into a laugh.
“Only see,” says he, “how clever that is. This,” says he, “is a good thing; it will am use the maiden.”
“Come,” says the imp, “let me go now.”
“No,” says he. “I will do this with the straw thatch, but it is useless to waste the grain. Teach me now to turn it back into a sheaf. I will thresh it.”
And the little devil says: “Say ‘So many soldiers, so many straws, my slave commands thee, be a sheaf again.’”
Thus did Ivan speak, and it became a sheaf again.
And again the imp began to entreat him.
“Set-me free now,” says he.
“Well, all right!” Ivan seized him by the back, pressed firmly withhis hand, and removed him from the pitchfork. “God be with you,” says he, and as soon as he mentioned God, the little devil dived under the earth, like a stone in water, and nothing but a hole remained.
Ivan returned home; but at home was his other brother,Taras, who was sitting at supper with his wife. Taras-big-belly had not met his debts; he had fled from his creditors and returned to his father. When he saw Ivan: “Well, Ivan,” says he, “feed me and my wife until I get started again.”
“All right,” says Ivan, “live here.” Ivan took off his caftan and seated himself at the table.
But the merchant’s daughter says, “I cannot eat with a fool; he exhales,” says she, “an odor of sweat.”
Then Taras-big-belly says: “You don’t smell good, Ivan,” says he; “go, eat in the outhouse.”
“Well, all right,” says he—took his bread and went into the yard. “It’s just time for me to go to bed,” says he; “and the mare must be fed.”
On that night the imp parted from Taras, and went, according to their compact, to the help of his comrades to entrap Ivan the fool. He came to the field; he sought and sought his comrades—there was no one there; he found only a hole; he went to the meadow, found the trail in the swamp, and in the stubble field of rye, another hole. “Well,” thinks he, “evidently a disaster has happened to my comrades, and I must take their place, and attack that fool.”
The imp went in search of Ivan. But Ivan had already left the fields and gone to the forest to cut wood.
It had become irksome to the brothers to live together, and they had ordered Ivan to cut timber for cottages and to build them new houses.
The imp hastened to the forest, crawled into the tree boles, and prevented Ivan from felling them. Ivan hewed a tree in such a manner that it might fall in an open space, and began to fell it: but the tree fell wild, rolled down where it should not, and flew into splinters. Ivan got out his wedge, began to disentangle it, and freed the tree with difficulty. Ivan began to fell another, and again the same thing took place. He toiled and toiled, and with difficulty did he accomplish it. He began on a third—and it was the same story over again. Ivan had counted on cutting fifty logs, and he had not cut ten when night was upon him. And Ivan had worn himself out. The steam poured from him like a mist; it spread through the forest, but he would not give way. He hewed down one tree more, and his back was broken with fatigue, so that there was no strength left in him; he flung away his ax, and sat down to rest. The imp heard that Ivan had become quiet, and rejoiced. “Come,” thinks he, “he has exhausted his strength, he will quit this; I, too, will now take a rest;” so he seated himself astride of a stump and exulted. But Ivan rose, picked up his ax, gave a flourish, and as he gave a careless tap from the opposite side the tree cracked at once and thundered down. The imp suddenly bethought himself, but. did not succeed in freeing his leg; the stump gave way and the imp was caught by the paw. Ivan began to clear away—and behold! there was a little live devil. Ivan was astounded. “So it’s you, you rascal! Here you are again!”
“I,” says he, “am another. I have been with your brother Taras.”
“Well, whoever you may be, you shall share the same fate.” Ivan flourished his ax, and was on the point of dashing his brains out with the helve.
The imp entreated him: “Don’t kill me,” says he; “I will do for you whatever you wish.”
“And what can you do?”
“I,” says he, “can make you as much money as ever you want.”
“All right,” says Ivan; “then make it.” And the little devil instructed him how to do it.
“Take oak leaves from this oak,” says he, “and run them between your hands; gold will fall on the ground.”
Ivan took some leaves and rubbed them, and gold showered down.
“This,” says he, “is famous, when I play with the children in my walks.”
“Release me,” begged the imp.
“All right!” Ivan grasped his wedge and set the imp free. “God be with you,” says he; and no sooner had he mentioned God than the imp dived beneath the earth, like a stone in water, and nothing but a hole remained.
The brothers built themselves houses and began to live apart. And Ivan finished his work in the fields, brewed beer, and summoned his brothers to carouse. The brothers did not accept Ivan’s invitation. “We have never beheld any peasant carousal,” they say.
Ivan entertained the peasants and the women, and drank a great deal himself; he began to get intoxicated and went out into the street to the choral dancers. Ivan went up to the dancers and ordered the women to exalt him.
“I will give you that,” says he, “which you have never beheld in your lives.”
The women began to laugh and to praise him. When they had glorified him well, they say: “Come, now, give it to us!”
“I will fetch it instantly.” says he. He seized a sieve, and ran off to the forest. The women laughed: “What a fool!” And they forgot all about him. Behold! Ivan runs back bearing the sieve filled with something.
“Shall I make you presents?”
Ivan seized a handful of gold and flung it to the women. Good heavens! The women rushed forward to pick it up; the peasants sprang up; they tore it from each others hands; they take it. Away from each other. They nearly crushed one old woman to death. Ivan broke into a laugh.
“Ah, you fools,” said he. “Why have you crushed the old woman? Go more softly and I will give you more.” And he began to scatter more. The. people flocked up and Ivan flung the whole contents of his sieve broadcast. They began to beg for more. But Ivan says: “That is all. I give you more another tune. Dance now, and strike up your songs.”
The women struck up their songs.
“Your songs are not good,” says he.
“What songs are better?” say they.
“That,” says he, “I will show you presently. “So he went to the threshing floor, pulled a sheaf apart, threshed it, strewed it on the ground. “Now,” says he, “be my slave, and be no more a sheaf of grain; but as many straws as hero are in thee so many soldiers let there be.” The sheaf sprung up and turned to soldiers. The trumpets and the drums struck up. Ivan ordered them to play some airs, and went with them into the street. The people were amazed. The soldiers played their airs, and Ivan led them back to the threshing floor, but commanded that no one should follow him, and turned the soldiers back into a sheaf, and flung it onthe heap. Then he went home and lay down to sleep in a separate room.
The eldest brother, Semyon, heard of this affair on the following morning, and he comes to Ivan.
“Reveal to me,” says he, “whence you got those soldiers, and whither you led them.”
“What do you want of them?” says Ivan.
“What? With soldiers you can do anything. A kingdom can be won.”
Ivan was astonished. “Well, why did not you say so long ago?” says he, “I will make you as many as you want. Fortunately the maid and I have accumulated a great deal.” Then Ivan led his brother to the threshing floor and says he: “See, I am about to make them, and do you lead them away; for if they must be led they will devour the whole village in one day.”
Semyon promised to lead the soldiers away. and Ivan began to make them. He taps on the end of a sheaf and a battalion appears; he taps another, a second springs up; and he made him so many that they covered the entire field.
“Well, will that do?”
Semyon was delighted, and says, “That will do. I thank you, Ivan.”
“Welcome,” says he. “If you want more come to me and I will make them. There is a great deal of straw just now.”
Semyon-warrior immediately drew his army up in line, collected them together, and set off to make war.
No sooner bad Semyon-warrior taken his departure than Taras-big-belly arrives. He too had heard of what had taken place on the preceding day, and begins to entreat his brother: “Reveal to me whence you obtain that golden coin. If I had so much money I would, with that money, collect money from all the world.”
Ivan was astonished. “Really! You should have told me that long ago,” says he. “I will rub you as much as you want.”
His brother was delighted. “Give me but three sievefuls.”
“All right,” says Ivan; “let’s go to the forest, and if you were to harness up the horse you could not fetch it all away.”
So they went to the forest and Ivan began to rub the leaves from the oak trees. A vast heap rattled down.
“Will that do?”
Taras rejoiced. “That will do for the present,” says he. “Thank you, Ivan.”
“Welcome,” says he. “If you want more come to me and I will rub you some more. There are a great many leaves left.” Taras-big-belly collected a whole cart load of money and set out to engage in trade.
Both brothers had taken their departure. Semyon began to make war and Taras to trade. And Semyon-warrior won for himself a kingdom, but Taras-big-belly amassed a vast heap of treasure in trade.
The two brothers came together and revealed to each other—whence Semyon had his soldiers, and whence Taras had his money.
And Semyon-warrior says to his brother: “I,” says he, “have conquered a kingdom for myself, and have the means of living well, only I have not sufficient money to feed my soldiers.”
And Taras-big-belly says: “And I,” says he, “have amassed a great heap of treasure, only I have one grief,” says he; “I have no one to guard my treasure.”
And Semyon-warrior says: “Let us go to our brother,” says he; “I will order him to make some more soldiers, and I will give them to you to guard your money, and do you command him to rub me some money, in order that I may have the wherewithal to feed my soldiers.”
So they went to Ivan. They come to Ivan, and Semyon says: “My soldiers are too few, brother; make me,” says he, “some more soldiers; a couple of hordes, at least.”
Ivan shook his head. “It’s no use,” said he; “I will not make you any more soldiers.”
“Why, how is this? Surely, you promised.”
“I did promise,” says he; “but I will make no more.”
“But why not, you fool?”
“Because your soldiers have killed men. I was lately plowing beside the road, and I saw a woman bearing a coffin along the road. and lamenting. I asked her who was dead. Says she: ‘Semyon’s soldiers have murdered myhusband in the war.’ I thought that the soldiers would play tunes, but they have done a man to death. I will give no more.” In this he held firm, and would make no more soldiers.
And Taras-big-belly began to entreat Ivan-fool, that he would make him some more of that golden money. Ivan shook his head. “It’s no use,” says he; “I will not rub you any more.”
“How is this? Surely you promised,” says he.
“I did promise,” says he; “but I will make no more.”
“And why will you not, you fool?”
“Because your gold pieces have deprived the mikhailovna of her cow.”
“How have they deprived her?”
“They have. The mikhailovna had a cow, her children drank its milk, but lately her children came to beg milk of me. And I say to them: ‘Where is your cow?’ They say: ‘Taras-big-belly’s steward came, and gave our mot her three gold pieces, and she delivered the cow to him, and now we have nothing to eat.’ I thought that you would only play with those gold pieces, but you have taken away the children’s cow. I will give youno more.” And the fool held firm, and would give no more. And so the brothers went their way.
The brothers went their way, and began to take counsel together, how they might assuage their grief. and Semyon says: “See here, this is what we will do. Do you give me some money to feed my soldiers, and I will give you half of my kingdom, with soldiers in proportion, to guard your money.” To this Taras agreed. The brothers made a partition, and both became tzars and rich.
And Ivan lived at home, maintaining his father and mother and the dumb maiden, and toiling in the field.
And it came to pass, once upon a time, that Ivan’s aged watch dog became mangy and lay near to death. Ivan took pity on him. He look bread from the dumb maiden, put it in his rap, carried it out to the dog and threw it to him. But the rap was ragged, and with the bread a little roof fell out. The aged dog swallowed it with the bread. And no sooner had the dog swallowed it than he sprang up and began to frisk and to bark and to wag his tail, and was perfectly well.
Ivan’s father and mother beheld this. and they marveled. “How did you cure the dog?” they say.
And Ivan says: “I had two little roots—they will heal any malady—and the do ate one of them.”
And it chanced at that time that the tzar’s daughter felt sick, andthe tzar proclaimed throughout all the towns and villages that whoever should heal her should receive a guerdon; and if so be that he were unmarried, then he should receive also has daughter in marriage. And this was made known in Ivan’s village also.
Ivan’s father and mother called him and say to him: “Have you heard what the tzar announces? You said that you have a root: go, then, and head the tzars daughter.”
“All right,” says he. And Ivan made ready to go: and they dressed him up. Ivan comes on the porch and sees standing there a beggar with a crippled arm.
“I have heard,” says he, “that you can work cures. Heal my arm, for I cannot put on my own shoes.”
And Ivan says: “All right!” He pulled out his root and gave it to the beggar and commanded him to swallow it. The beggar swallowed it and was healed, and began at once to flourish his hand. Then Ivan’s father and mother came out to conduct him to the tzar. They heard that Ivan had given away his last rootlet and had nothing wherewith to heal the tzars daughter; and his father and mother began to reproach him.
“You had pity on the beggar,” they say; “but you have no pity on the tzar’s daughter.” But Ivan had compassion on the tzar’s daughter also. He harnessed the horse, flung some straw into a small box and set out.
“Whither are you going, fool?”
“To heal the tzar’s daughter.”
“But surely you have nothing wherewith to heat her.”
“That’s no matter,” says he, and whipped up his horse.
He came to the tzars court, and no sooner had he set foot on the palace porch than the tzar’s daughter was made whole. The tzar rejoiced greatly and commanded Ivan to he brought to him. Then he clothed him and arrayed him in fine raiment. “Be my son-in-law,” says he. “Very good,” says Ivan. And Ivan; married the princess. And soon after that the tzar died. And Ivan became tzar. So all three of the brothers had become tzars.
The three brothers lived on and reigned. The eldest brother, Semyon-warrior, lived in fine style. With his soldiers of straw he collected real soldiers. He commanded that, throughout all his kingdom, a soldier should be stationed for every tea houses, and that this soldier should be vasts in size, white of body, and dean of countenance. And he assembled very many such soldiers, and drilled them all; and if any one withstood him, he immediately dispatches these soldiers. and does whatever may seem good to him. And all people began to hold him in dread.
And his life was very pleasant. Whatever strikes his fancy, and whatever he casts his eyes upon, is his. He dispatches soldiers, and they seize it and fetch him everything that he requires.
Taras-big-belly also lived in comfort. He did not squander the money which he had received from Ivan, but made vast additions to it. He also established fine order to his domains. He kept his money by him in coffers, and pressed money from his people. He exacted money for their souls, and for transit, and for passage, and for foot cloths andtaxes. And whatever he takes a fancy to that he has. They bring him everything for money; and they go to work, because every one needs money.
Neither did Ivan the fool live badly. As soon as he had buried his father-in-law he took off all his royal garments and gave them to his wife to bide in a. chest, and he put on again his hempen blouse and his trousers, and wound his foot-cloths about his feet and betook himself towork.
“This is tiresome to me,” says he. “My belly has begun to increase and I have no appetite and I cannot sleep.”
Then he brought his father and mother, and the dumb girl and began to toil once more.
And they say to him: “But surely you are a tzar!”
“Well, that makes no difference,” says he. “even a tzar must eat.”
The minister came to him and says!
“We .have no money,” says he, “to pay wages.”
“Never mind.” says Ivan. “If you have none, then don’t pay.”
“But,” says he,”then they wont serve.”
“That’s all right,” says Ivan, “they need not serve if they don"t want to. They will be the freer to work. Let them cart off the dung. A great deal has accumulated.”
Men came to Ivan. that he might judge between them. One says: “He has stolen money from me.”
But Ivan says: “Well, what of that; ha needed it.”
Then all knew that. Ivan was a fool. And his wife says to him: “People are saying that you are a fool.”
“All right,” says he.
Then Ivan’s wife thought and thought and she became a fool herself. “Why,” says she, "should I oppose my husband? Where the needle is there the thread should be.” She took off her royal attire, laid it in the chest, and went to the dumb maiden to learn how to work. When she had learned how to work she helped her husband. And all the sensible people de parted from Ivan’s kingdom, and only fools remained. And no one had any money. They lived and labored and fed themselves and all good people.
The old devil waited and waited for news from his little imps, ;is to how they had set the three brothers by the ears; and there tame no news whatever. He set out himself to make inquiries. And searched and searched. He found nothing anywhere. except three heirs. “Well,” thinks he, “evidently they did not overcome them. I must undertake the job myself.”
He set out on his search, but the brothers were no longer in their old abodes. He found them in different kingdoms. All three were living and reigning. This seemed an offense to the old devil. “Now,” says he, “I will take hold of this matter myself.
First of all he betook himself to the Tzar Semyon. He did not present himself in his own shape, but transformed himself into a vaovoda(1)and went to Tzar Semyon: “I have heard. Tzar Semyon.” says he, “that youare a mighty warrior, and I am well-grounded in that art. I desire to enter your service.” Then Tzar Semyon began to question him, and he sees that the man is clever, and so he took him into his service.
The new vouvoda began to instruct the Tzar Semyon, how he might assemble a powerful army.
“In the first place,” says he, “it is necessary to collect a great many soldiers, and it happens,” says he. “that many people roam about in idleness in your kingdom. It is necessary,” says he, “to enlist all the young men in the realm, without exception; by that means your army will be five times as numerous as before. In the second place, new rifles and cannons must be procured. I will get you guns which will fire off a hundred bullets at once, which will scatter like hail. And I will get you cannons which will burn with fire. Be it a man, a horse or a wall, they will burn everything up.”
Tzar Semyon lent an ear to his new voevoda; he commanded all the young children to be enlisted as soldiers, and set up new factories; he manufactured new rifles and cannons, and immediately set out to war upon a neighboring tzar.
As soon as the other army came to meet him Tzar Semyon ordered his soldiers to send fire and bullets against them from his cannon; and at one blow half the army was mowed down and consumed. The neighborhood tzar took fright and submitted himself and surrendered his kingdom. And Tzar Semyon rejoiced. “Now,” says he, “I will attack the Indian tzar.” But the Indian tzar had heard of Tzar Semyon, and he had appropriated all his inventions, and had made some more of his own. The Indian tzar began to enlist as soldiers not only young children, but all the unmarried women as well, and his army became even greater than that of Tzar Semyon; and he adopted all the guns and cannon from Tzar Semyon and devised, besides, a way of flying through the air, and hurling explosive bombs from above.
Tzar Semyon went to war against the Indian tzar; but the scythe had gone a-mowing, until it was dulled at last. The Indian tzar did not give Semyon’s army a chance to fire, but sent his women into the air to throw exploding bombs on Semyon’s army. The women began to scatter bombs upon Semyon’s army like a thunder storm upon needles, and Semyon’s whole army fled, and Semyon the tzar was left alone. The Indian tzar seized Semyon’s realm, and Semyon-warrior fled whither his feet led him.
The old devil had settled with this brother, and went to the Tzar Taras. He transformed himself into a merchant and took up his abode in Taras’ kingdom and began to establish factories and to spend money. This merchant began to pay a high price for every sort of article, and all the people resorted to the merchant in throngs in order to gain money. And the people acquired so much money that they paid up all their arrears and began to pay all their taxes at the appointed time. Tzar Taras rejoiced greatly. “I am obliged to that merchant.” thought he, “for now my money will increase still more, and my manner of life will be still further improved.” and Tzar Taras began to engage in fresh enterprises, and commanded a new palace to be built for him; he ordered his people to fetch him wood and stone and set to work, and he appointed high prices for everything. Tzar Taras thought that the people would flock to labor for him for the sake of his money, as intimes past. But behold! they carried all t he wood and stone to the merchant, and all the laboring men hasten ed to him. Tzar Taras raised his prices. but t he merchant raised his also. Tzar Taras had much money, but the merchant had still more, and the merchant outbid the tzar in price. The royal palace was at a standstill, and the building did not progress. Tzar Taras had laid out a garden. The autumn arrived and Tzar Taras summoned the people to come and plant his garden, and no one appeared; the whole population was busy digging a pond for the merchant. the winter came. Tzar Taras meditated purchasing sable skins for a new cloak, and he sends out to buy them. His messenger returns and says: “There are no sables; the merchant has all the skins; he gave more for them, and has had a rug made of the sables.” Tzar Taras needed to buy a horse, and sent his agents out to purchase one; the messengers come back: “All the horses are in the possession of the merchant, and are busy drawing water to fill his pond.” And thus it was with all the tzar’s affairs—they would do nothing for him, they did everything for the merchant, and only brought him the merchant’s money to pay their taxes.
And so much money accumulated in the tzar’s hands that he had no place to put it; but his life was uncomfortable. The tzar left off fresh enterprises, his only care being to live in comfort, and that he could not do. Hewas hampered in every direction. His cooks and coachmen and servants began to desert him for the merchant. It got so that he could not procure anything to eat. If hesent to the bazar to buy anything there was nothing; the merchant had bought up everything, and all they brought to him was money for their taxes.
Tzar Taras flew info a rage and sent the merchant out of the country. But the merchant established himself just beyond the frontier and continued to act as before. Everything was carried away from the tzar to the merchant, for the sake of the merchant’s money. The tzar fell into a very had state indeed. For days together he hadnothing to eat, and, moreover, there was a rumor in circulation that the merchant was boasting that he would buy the tzarhimself. Tzar Taras grew alarmed, and know not what to do.
Semyon-warrior comes to him and says: “Assist me: the Indian tzar has overthrown me,” But things had come to a crisis with Tzar Taras himself.
“I have had nothing to eat for two days myself,” says he.
The old devil had settled these two brothers and now went to Ivan. The old devil transformed himself into a voevoda again and came to Ivan, and began to persuade him toestablish an army. “It is not fitting,” says he, “that a tzar should live without an army. Only give me the command and I will collect soldiers from among your people and form an army.”
Ivan heard him out —“All right,” says he, “form an army and teach them to play tunes in the most skilful manner, for I love that.” The old devil began to go hither and thither in Ivan’s kingdom and to collect soldiers at will. He announced that they wore all to go and enlist and each one would reserve a measure of vodka and a red cap.
The fools all laughed at him. “We have plenty of liquor,” they say; “we distill it for ourselves, and our wives will make us any sort of caps that we please, even money, and with fringe.”
And so no one wont. The old devil comes to Ivan. “They will not come, willingly, those fools of yours,” says he; “they must be driven by force.”
“Very well,” says he; “then drive them by force,’”
And the old devil announced that all the fools were to enlist as soldiers, and whoever did not present himself would be put to death by Ivan.
The fools come to the voevoda, and say to him:
“You tell us, that if we do not go as soldiers our tzar will put us to death, but you do not say what will become of us if we turn soldiers. They say that soldiers are also put to death.”
“Yes; but not without cause.”
The fools heard this and they stood firm.
“We will not go,” they said. “We will rather await death at home. It seems that it is not to be avoided.”
“You are fools, fools,” said the old devil; “whether the soldiers get killed or not, if you don’t come Tzar Ivan will assuredly put you to death.”
The fools fell into thought, and went to Tzar Ivan to make inquirers:
“A voevoda has made his appearance,” they say, “and he orders us all too as soldiers. ‘If you will go as soldiers,’ says he, ‘perhaps they will kill you and perhaps not; but if you don’t go then Tzar Ivan will assuredly put you to death.’ Is this true?”
Ivan burst out laughing.
“What,” says be, “I am to put you all to death with my own hand? If I were not a fool I would explain it to you, but as it is, I don’t understand it myself.”
“Then,” say they, “we will not go.”
“‘All right,” says he, “don’t go.”
The fools went to the voevoda and refused to become soldiers. The old devil sees that his scheme will not succeed. He went to the tzar of Tarakan, and disguised himself.
“Let us go to war,” says he. “We will fight against the Tzar Ivan. He has no money, but he has grain and cattle and every sort of property in abundance.”
So the tzar of Tarakan went to war. He collected a vast army, he provided guns and cannon and crossed the frontier and began to march into Ivan’s kingdom. They came to Ivan and say to him: “The tzar of Tarakan is coming to make war upon us.”
“All right,” says he; “let him come.”
The tzar of Tarakan crossed the frontier with his army and sent forward scouts to spy out Ivan’s army. They searched and searched, and there was no army. He waited and waited, to see whether one would not make its appearance somewhere; but there was not even a sign of an army with which to fight. The tzar of Tarakan sent to seize the villages. The soldiers came to a village; out ran the fools, men and women, and stare at tire soldiers in amazement. The soldiers begin to despoil the fools of their grain and cattle, and the fools surrender them, and no one offers resistance. The soldiers went to another village, and there it was t he same. The soldiers marched one day, they marched a second; everywhere it was the same; the people yielded everything; no one offered any resistance, and they invited the soldiers to come and live among them.
“If life is evil in your land, my dear fellows” they said, “come and live with us altogether.”
The soldiers marched and marched; there is no army; but the whole nation lives, sustains itself and feeds others, and resists not, but invites them to live among them.
The soldiers grew ti red of this, and returned to their tzar of Tarakan. “We cannot make war,” they say; “lead us away to some other region. War itself would be well enough, but this is like cutting kissel.(1 )We can war no more!”
The tzar of Tarakan flew into a rage, and ordered the soldiers to march over the entire realm, to devastate villages, to burn houses and grain, and to slay the cattle. “If you do not obey my commands,” says he, “I’ll behead every one of you,” says he. The soldiers were alarmed, and began to carry out their tzar’s commands. They began to burn houses and gram, and to slay the cattle. Still the fools did not defend themselves, but simply wept. The old men cried, and the old women cried, and the little children cried.
“Why do you injure us?” they say. “Why,” they say, “do you destroy our goods without cause? If you want them it would be better for you take them.”
And it became intolerable to the soldiers. They proceeded no further, and the whole army dispersed.
Thus was the old devil discomfited—he had not entrapped Ivan with soldiers. Then the old devil transformed himself into a real gentleman, and came to live in Ivan’s kingdom, and attempted to entrap him with money. as he had Taras-big-belly. “I want to do good to you,” says he, “and to teach you wisdom. I,” says he, “will build a house, and establish factories among you.”
“Very good,” they say. “Do as you please.”
The real gentleman passed the night, and in the morning he went forth into the public square, bearing a great bag of gold and a sheet of paper, and says: “You all live like hogs,” says he. “I am going to teach you how to live. Build me a house according to these plans,” says he. “You shall dothe work, and I will show you how, and I will pay you in gold pieces,” and he showed them the money. The fools marveled, for there was no money in circulation among them; but they bartered one article for another among themselves, and so paid for service. They marveled at the gold. “The coins are beautiful,” they say, and they began to barter their goods and their labor with the gentleman for gold pieces. The old devil began to issue gold as he had done with Taras, and they began to exchange every sort of thing and every sort of service for his gold. The old devil rejoiced, and he thinks: “My enterprise is succeeding. Now I shall ruin this fool, as I did Taras, and buy him, soul and body.” But no sooner had the fools received his gold pieces than they distributed them to all the women for necklaces, and all the maidens wove them into their braids of hair, and the children in the street began to play with the pieces. Everyone had a great many, and so they stopped taking any more. But the real gentleman’s big mansion was not half built, and he had not yet laid in his provisions of grain and cattle for the year. And the gentleman issued a proclamation that the people should come and work for him, and that they should fetch him grain and drive cattle to him; and that for every article and for all work he would givegold pieces.
No one comes to work and no one brings anything. Only now and then some small boy or little girl runs up and exchanges an eggfor gold; but that is not enough for any one, and he began to lack food. The real gentleman was hungry, and he went into the village to buy himself something for dinner; he pushed his way into one house, and offers a gold piece for a chicken, but the mistress of the house will not take it: “I don’t want it, my dear man,” says she, “I have no children; there is no one to play with it, and I have already taken three pieces as curiosities.” He forced himself on a peasant, to purchase bread; the peasant would not take his money: “I don’t want it,” says he. “If you will take it for Christ’s sake,” says he, “all right; wait and I will order the woman to cut some for you.” Thereupon the old devil even spit, and fled from the peasant. Not only would he not take anything for Christ’s sake, but even to hear that name was worse than a knife to him. So he got no bread. Wherever the old devil went, no one would give him anything for money, and they all say: “Bring us something else, or go to work, or accent itfor Christ’s sake.” And so the old devil had nothing but money; he did not wish to work, and it was impossible for him to accept anything for Christ’s sake. And the old devil was wroth. “What more do you want,” says he, “when I give you money? You can buy anything for money and hire any sort of a workman.”
The fools heed him not. “No,” say they, “we don’t want it; we have no debts and no taxes—that should we want of money?”
So the old devil lay down to sleep without his supper.
This matter reached the ears of Ivan the fool. They came to him and ask: “What are we to do? A real gentleman has made his appearance among us; he likes to eat and drink well; he loves to dress clean; but he will not work, and he does not beg for the sake of Christ—he only offers gold pieces for everything. The people let him have things at first, until they had collected a quantity, but now they will give him nothing more. What are we to do with him? He has nearly died of hunger.”
Ivan heard them out. “Well, at all events,” says he, “he must be fed! Let him wander among your houses like a shepherd.”
There was nothing else to be done, and the old devil began to wander from house to house, and he came in turn to Ivan’s house. The old devil came to dine, and the dumb girl prepared the dinner at Ivan’s. Lazy people had of ten deceived her. Those who did no work came early to dinner and devoured all the groats. So the dumb girl had grown crafty, and judged them by the joints of their hands. Whoever had callouses on his hands she seated at the table, and to those who had none she gave the scraps. The old devil crept up to the table, but the dumb girl seized him by the hands and looked at them. There were no hard spots; his hands were clean and smooth and the nails were long. The dumb girl uttered a roar, and dragged him away from the table, but Ivan’s wife says to him: “Be not harsh, you real gentleman; my sister-in-law admits no one to t he table who has not callouses on his hands. Wait a while until 1he people have finished their dinner, and then you can eat your fill of what remains.”
The old devil was angry because they wanted to feed him with the pigs at the tzar’s house. He says to Ivan: “You have a foolish law in your kingdom—that all the people shall work with their hands,” says he; “you have invented that through your folly. As if people worked with their hands alone! Do you know with what sensible people work?”
And Ivan says: “How should we fools know? We always toil with our hands and our bended backs.”
“That is because you are fools. But I,” says he, “will teach you how to work with your heads; then you will find out that you can work faster with your heads than with your hands.”
Ivan marveled. “Well,” says he, “it is not without reason that you call us fools.”
Then the old devil began to say: “But it is not easy,” says he, “to work with your head. Now, here you won’t give me anything to eat because I have no callouses on my hands, and you are not aware that it is a hundred times harder to work with your head. Sometimes your head cracks.”
Ivan became thoughtful. “Why, my dear fellow,” says he, “do you fortune yourself so? Is it a slight thing to have your head split? It would be better for you to take some lighter work—with your hands and back.”
And the devil says: “I torture myself because I am so filled with compassion for you fools. If I did not torture myself you would remain fools forever. But I have toiled with my head, and now I am going to teach you how.”
Ivan was amazed. “Teach us,” says he; “but some time or other you had better get your hands in training, so that you can relieve your head with them.”
And the devil promised to instruct them.
And Ivan proclaimed throughout the whole of his kingdom that a real gentleman had made his appearance, and would teach every one how to labor with his head, and that it was possible to do more work with the head than with the hands, and that they were to come and learn. In Ivan’s kingdom a very lofty tower had been built, and upon it was a perpendicular staircase, and on top a platform. And Ivan conducted the real gentleman thither, in order that he might be in full view.
The gentleman took his stand on the tower and began to speak. And the fools assembled to watch him. The fools thought that the gentleman was going to demonstrate in action how to work with the head without the hands. But the old devil taught them, in words only, how they might acquire much property without working. The fools understood nothing of this. They gazed and gazed and departed to their own affairs.
The old devil stood one day on the tower, he stood a second day — talking all the while, and he wanted something to eat. But it never occurred to the fools to take any food to him on the tower. They supposed that if he could work better with his head than with his hands, it would be an easy thing for him to make himself bread with his head also. So the old devil stood still another day upon the platform, talking all the while. And the people approached—stared and stared and then went their way.
And Ivan asks: “Well, has the gentleman begun to work with his head yet?”
“Not yet,” they say; “he is only chattering so far.”
The old devil stood yet another day upon the platform, and he began to grow weak; once he staggered, and struck his head against a pillar. A fool beheld this and told Ivan’s wife, and Ivan’s wife ran to her husband, who was busy tilling the soil.
“Come, see,” says she; “they say that the gentleman has begun to work with his head.” And Ivan was astonished.
“Well,” says he. He turned his horse about, and went to the tower. He comes to the tower, but the old devil was now quite exhausted with hunger, and he began to stagger about, and to strike his head against apillars. No sooner had Ivan arrived than the devil stumbled, and thundered down the staircase, banging his head as ho went; he counted every step with a blow.
“Well now,” says Ivan, “the real gentleman told the truth, that sometimes the head gels cracked, but that is not the same thing as callouses; such work must produce bumps on the head.” The old devil tumbled down stairs and thumped his head on the ground. Ivan was on the point of approaching, to see whether he had done a great deal of work, when all at once the earth yawned and the old devil dived through the earth, and nothing but a hole remained.
Ivan scratched his head. “Well, there now!” says he; “what a scamp that was! That was he again.”
Ivan is living to this day and all the people flock to his kingdom, and his brothers have come to him and ho supports them. If any one comes and says, “Give me food,” he says, “Well, all right, you can live with us; we have plenty of everything." And there is only one custom in his kingdom; whoever has callouses on his hands in av come to the table; but any one who has not must eat the scraps that remain.
Lyof Nikolaevitch Tolstoi.
Landlords Getting It All
How the Pressure of Population is Increasing Land Values in New York
New York Herald, March 21.
Ever onward continues to be the course of the market in realty.
Here and there occurs a halt, an interruption to the quick buying and selling, but that halt has its local causes and the interruption is merely temporary.
The daily reports in the Herald of enormous transactions at auction and at private sale reflect the actual condition of the market and of the extraordinary activity, which has actually become the town talk of the day. Brokers and auctioneers vie with each other as to the largest number of sales, there being no Jack of customers for either of them. In the upper part, of the city the inspection of houses and lots begins early in the morning, and down town the office business of many leading brokers continues after sunset.
The great sale of the Waldo building at auction during the past week has already ceased to be a topic of comment, so rapidly do transactions in various parts of the city follow one another up and engage the attention of all those now busy in this market. Yet the rapid increase of values in all that part of the city below Chambers street is not being overlooked. The question only is now whether the office section of New York shall crowd upon the warehouse district and drive the latter still further up town or whether the skyward building operators shall receive another impetus. That this section from the Battery upward is daily being more crowded by those transacting business there is just as evident as is daily noticed the increase of traffic cm the sidewalks and on the pavements near the great exchanges, near the law courts and near the post office.
The accumulated wealth of corporations, which enables them to acquire so much valuable property, is only paralleled by the increased number of persons who do business with these. corporations, and hence want to be near them. The present value of that land therefore cannot actually be a source of surprise.
Right in connection with this, however, the careful investor well knows that the land northward of what is now known as “down town,” must ultimately also come into play for higher valuation. And that not many years can possibly elapse before the entire part of Manhattan island below Fifty-ninth street, the southern limit of the park, will be devoted to business unless New York indeed changes its commercial character.
Property owners are watching just now with considerable attention the fate of numerous bills introduced in the legislature that will one way or another affect their holdings. The effort to revive High Bridge park with the idea of spreading the assessments over the entire city is a surprise to those who not long ago had been displeased with a legal decision in regard to the said park. Property owners in the annexed district see a grand future for their acres and lots if the bill in favor of small owners in the Twenty-third ward becomes a law. It will enable the latter to pay their assessments in easy installments. There is one bill, however, known, as senate bill No. 304, introduced by Senator Raines, which the brokers in the real estate market donot like at all. It is the one which imposes a graded license on New York brokers, classified as stock, real estate and merchandise brokers; the first to pay a $5.00 annual license, the other $250. It is, however, not believed that the committee on taxation, to which it has been referred, will take favorable action on it.
All the stands on the exchange are covered by immense posters giving announcements of coming auction sales of all classes of property, apartment houses, dwellings, stores and warehouses, vacant lots, in every section of the city, annexed district, Brooklyn, Newark and even Elizabeth.
An innovation in one of these posters has been made by Scott & Meyers, which gives great satisfaction tobuyers. The sale of a prominent apartment house in West Sixty-first street, which is to take place tomorrow, is announced with the exact amount of the gross income. the amount of expenses and the net product of the present investment, a piece of information which it is frequently difficult to obtain when hail a dozen auctioneers are shouting at the same time. It belongs to an estate which evidently understands the market, and it is an innovation which no doubt will be followed by other auctioneers.
How the Farmer is Impoverished
There are signs that the farmers of this country are becoming aware that the excessive tariff imposed upon a great part of what they buy is impoverishing them. Their wire fencing, plow shares, wheel tires and many other things they purchase are made of iron, and on every ton of it they pay a tax of $6.72. Their produce finds a market by being transported on the railroads, and on every ton of steel rail there is a tax of $17, which materially increases the price they pay for freight, and when they or their families travel, Their sugar, their blankets and a vast number of other things are heavily taxed also. The money thus paid. is a constant dram upon their income, and as the years pass each farmer has drawn from him an amount of money that seriously impairs his gains; and for what object is this money taken from him; The country requires but a portion of the whole, for $120,000,000 a year is received more than is needed. The money is paid by the farmers for the benefit of iron masters and others, and our cotton growers and agriculturalists generally, who pay most of it, what do they get in return? While the tax caters get rich, they get poor and have to mortgage land and crops to carry on with. Is it any wonder then that the farmers are becoming tired of a system that robs them of their profits as a leak drains the water from a cistern?
The Uses Of Humbug
The Electro-Pinting Cement that Joins Society Together
Paul Long in The Family.
The other day my wife, who had been taking an inventory of the family sideboard, remarked to me, in those persuasive accents that she employs when bent on cajoling me into the spending of money, that our forks and teaspoons were getting worn with live years of use; “and I think. my dear,” said she, “that you really ought to have them re-plated.” Of course like a dutiful husband.. I promised to attend to the matter at once, and, when she had left the room with a satisfied expression on her face. I relapsed into thought. In Mrs. Long’s desire I discerned a principle without which society would be an impossibility—the all-pervading, all-essential, yet terribly abused and misunderstood principle of humbug.
Why was it that we were anxious to have our forks and spoons covered a fresh with a thin, cheap coating of silver.’ Since the old plating commenced to wear off I hadn’t noticed any diminution in their usefulness. The forks were just as sharp and the spoons held just as much tea or sugar or soup as when they were bought, nor was I able to observe that, the absence of the silver plating imparted any disagreeable flavor. Then why, I persisted in asking myself, should we wish to re-plate our silver! Silver indeed! I began to understand the secret of our anxiety. it is because we pretend that our spoons and forks are made ofsilver; and, to avoid making the falsehood too glaring, even in our own eyes, we must have them covered over with a thin film of the precious metal. It is because we gravely try to humbug the world into believing them solid silver; and the world, not to be outdone in humbug, retorts upon us by pretending to believe the fiction, and humbugs us into the belief that it is deceived.
And why is it we do this? Not from any hope or even wish to deceive our neighbors who may come to sup with us. They know, and we know that they know, that we cannot afford to indulge in spoons of solid silver; nor are we ashamed of our poverty, or in the least degree anxious to conceal it. But society says to us: “We require that you should make a pretense, however flimsy, of possessing solid silver; and we, in our turn, agree to accept your pretense assembly and to feign ourselves utterly deceived. This do, or be east out from the social sphere in which you are otherwise qualified to move.” And we, notwithstanding that we are, as humbly conceive, tolerably truthful and honest in our dealings, obey the mandate and set the silvered falsehoods upon our table.
How much of this silver-plating, this absolutely transparent pretense, society requires from its members! Mrs. Montague and Mrs. Capulet meet each other walking in the public place at Verona. Mrs. Montague knows Mrs. Capulet to be a mere bundle of affectations, a heart less woman, who neglects her family and spends her time going about making mischief among her neighbors. “While as for Mrs. M. herself, “I assure you, mydear,” says Mrs. C, “I could tell you things about that woman that would make you shudder. I declare, I am ashamed of myself every time I speak to her.” Each lady has for the other a determined and implacable hatred. Yet, do they draw aside and scowl and bite their thumbs at each other as they pass? Not a bit of it. Mrs. Montague puts on her best silver-plated manner and. smiles sweetly as she encounters her foe. “Dear Mrs. Capulet. So delighted to meet you. I was just thinking of making you a call. Do you know I’ve been wanting all the week to ask you where you got that lovely bonnet you wore at church last Sunday I declare, it distracted my attention so that I scarcely heard a word of the sermon. You really ought to be ashamed to look so lovely.” Then out comes Mrs. Capulet’s spoon, finely chased, newly plated and burnished like a mirror. “So glad you like it, love. I thinkpretty, myself. Col. Capulet brought it to me from Paris: and the most LOVELY dress. Wasn’t it good of him to think of it?” Thus for live minutes or more they stand, brandishing their plated ware in each others faces, and pretending to believe it solid silver. And then, with nods and smiles, or perhaps even a first-class electro-plated kiss, their separate and each puts away her spoons. “What a fool that woman’s husband must be not to see the way she goes on!” says the Montague. “Thank Heaven, she can’t initiate my bonnet!” exclaims the Capulet. Each has been trying to humbug the other, and each knows that the other has been humbugging in pretending to be humbugged. But the demand of society for imitation silverware has been satisfied, and both ladies are content.
“That is an extreme case,” you say. Then take another illustration. of which I am sure you will not attempt to deny the justice. Mrs. Gadabout, being desirous of inspecting the latest novelties in dress goods, and having what she considers a sufficient excuse, in the need of a paper of pins or some trifle, sallies forth for an afternoons shopping. From counter to counter and from store to store she wanders, feasting her eyes on silks and satins. Piece after piece is taken down for her inspection, and tided out upon the counter, so as to show to best advantage. Inquiries as to price, as to fashions, as to material, and shade, and wearing qualities, and so forth, are made and answered. Trimmings are inquired for, produced and looked at, and, in short, the whole economy of the establishment disturbed. And when, having satisfied her aesthetic taste to the almost. Mrs. Gadabout murmurs an apology for the trouble she has given and hints at an intention of calling again, the gentlemanly’ and patient salesman politely assures her that “it is no trouble to show goods,” and smiles upon her as upon an angel come to notify him of a rise of salary. But do you suppose that weary young man really means what he says? Do you suppose Mrs. Gadabout thinks he means what he says? I don’t. The. young man is tired and sightly disgusted, and Mrs. G. knows it, and, what is more, the young man knows that she knows it, yet he gravely trots out, his burnished plated ware, and Mrs. Gadabout, knowing it to be only imitation, says, “What beautiful solid silver!” and so, with a bow and a half smile, departs.
How many actions of our lives are free from every taint of humbug? Trust me, not many. Are you unfeigned glad to see everybody that comes to your house? When old Mr. Borum, who tells such horribly prosy stories, or Miss Chapel, who forever talks about her mission work, her sick women and destitute children—when they come around to spend a long evening you certainly feel as if you could do without them. But you do not tell them so. You smile, and shake hands, and ask them to sit down, and do you’ll best to entertain them. And, when they have departed, you remark: “Well, I thought he never would go;”: or “What a nuisance that woman is, with her eternal mission. What a pity she isn’t married!” or words to that effect.
“A lie is a he,” says Mrs. Straightlacy, emphatically. “I cannot approve of deception of any kind for any purpose. If I’m in the house when anybody calls I don’t allow the servant to say I’m not at home. And if I’m not glad to see people I don’t make any pretense of welcoming them. Whatever other faults I may have, at least I’m no hypocrite.” Oh, Mrs. Straightlacy, Mr. Straighttacy! And when people say of you that you’re a disagreeable woman, and impolite and unfeeling and generally a nuisance, don’t you despise those people and call them scandal mongers? Bali! Go to! You’re the worst case on the list. You set the bare, dull britannia ware before your guests and require them to believe it sure silver: and, what is worse, you believe it to be pure siiver yourself. You take no trouble to conquer or conceal your prejudices, yourill temper, your jealousy and spite, bur flourish a pewter teaspoon in the face of the world and cry. “See how my honesty shines!” For pity’s sake, madam, go and get yourself decently plated, at no matter what expense.
How this same electro-plating cements and binds society together! Just suppose for a moment that we were sincere in all our words and actions. Imagine Mrs. Montague and Mrs. Capulet telling each other all the thought. Do you suppose either of them would go out-of-doors for fear of meeting the other? Or suppose that. when Miss Skewaller, who thinks she can sing, but in reality has no more voice than a cow—suppose. I say, that when that young lady steps forward to the piano you and the rest of the company were to call for cotton to pin in your ears and to make sarcastic allusions to a pig under a gate. That would be candor. You know you don’t like to hear Miss Skewaller sing. But you conceal your real feelings and sit mute, with an air of entranced alienated, to the lady has finished her performance, and then say, “Oh! beautiful!” You humbug Miss Skewaller. You bring out your plated ware and pass it off on her for real silver. And if you didn’t society would account you a very disagreeable and impertinent person, and your circle of acquaintance would be limited to those who might be able to humbug you, while you fail utterly to humbug them.
Let us be merciful, then, to this beneficent spirit of humbug: and, since we cannot do without it, let us abuse it as little as may be. When our friends set before us their thinly plated, much worn teaspoons, let us shut our eyes to the truth and compassionately accent; them as sterling silver. Only don’t carry the thing too far. Don’t think that, because society accepts your little conventional fictions as facts, that, therefore, you can impose upon its credulity to any extent you please. Don’t try to persuade the world that you use nothing less than teaspoons made of solid gold, lest the base pewter show through all your tawdry mockery of gilding and they humbug no one but yourself.
Matilde J. Berra of Los Angeles Cal., writes a strong letter on woman suffrage the length of which prevents publication entire. She says: “For women to engage privately in reconversation about the merits of political candidates and the wisdom of proposed political measures is no more prejudicial to the interests of home than conversation about parties and fashions and theaters and poodle dogs. To east a vote takes no more time than to buy a beefsteak or a loaf of bread. On all occasions wherever women have been permitted to be heard she has been. found an intelligent, active, conscientious and efficient ally of the friends of good government.”
Akron, Ohio, has become the scene of an active fight between P. D. Armour & Co. and the knights. The sales of Armour meats having fallen off there of late, orders have been issued by the firm to start half a dozen new shops in the city and sell at any price as an offset to the boycott.
The Miners and Laborers’ Amalgramated association is taking under its wing the breaker boys in the anthracite coal region. The boys complain that some of the companies compel them to work twelve hours for seven hours’ pay.
The Trades assembly of Syracuse has had a joust with Cal Wagner, who is managing a theatre in that city. He engaged a non-union orchestra; union men then declined to go to the theatre, and after contemplating empty teats for some weeks, Mr. Wagner discharged his non-union musicians and fired union men. The theatre has now regained its attractiveness for the members of the Trades assembly.
The Sheffield saw works at Indianapolis, which employs 2,000 men, is shut down. The men struck on a rumor that, wages were to be reduced, but the president of the company says the story was untrue. The men then decided that before going back to work they would ask that hereafter no changes in wages should be made under thirty days’ notice, and that there should lie but one apprentice to every four men. The president agreed to the first demand, but would not accede to the other, there being. In his judgment, a great scarcity of saw workers and a necessity for many apprentices to learn the trade.
A strike at the Yorktown colliery of G. H. Myers & Co., near Hazelton, Pa., last week ended with a victory for the miners. An agreement was entered into by the company and men that in future all disputes shall be submitted to a board of five arbitrators, who shall be chosen by the company and the men, and also that employes shall give one week’s notice before striking. It was also agreed that there shall be no reduction in contracted prices of the company’s employees as they now stand without notice of one week or more before such reduction shall go into effect.
The boot and shoe cutters of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts have formed a New England union under the name of she “Boot and Shoe Cutters’ Protective Union of New England.”
Professor Huxley said in a recent speech: I do not think I am far wrong in assuming that we are entering, indeed have already entered upon the most serious struggle for existence to which this country has ever been committed. The latter years of the century promiseto see us embarked in an industrial war of far more serious import than the military wars of its opening years. In the east The most systematically instructed and best informed people in Europe are our competitors. In the west an energetic offshoot of our own stock, grown bigger than its parent, enters upon the struggle possessed of natural resources to which we can make no pretension. Several Knights of Labor assemblies in Boston have in view the formation of an organization whose “objects will be to look out both for the political interests of the workingman and his welfare in the different trades at which he may be employed.” According to a local report of a meeting which the projectors held the other evening. it would appear that only local assemblies of the Knights of Labor in Boston will be eligible to membership in the new organization.
Bills have been introduced in the New York senate, on the petition of the Journeyman Bakers’ national union, making it a misdemeanor for an employer to permit an employee to work in a bakery more than ten hours a day, and making it unlawful to carry on business in a bakery on Sunday. In Detroit the cracker bakers were successful last week in lowering the number of hours in a day’s work.
The bill authorizing trades unions to place a distinctive stamp on goods manufactured by them has passed the assembly of California, and awaits the governor’s signature. A bill before the Illinois legislature provides that the police force of any city may be called upon to quell or suppress any riot or disturbance occurring within live miles of the limits of said city, or to protect property menaced With destruction, the authorities of the town or village where the riot occurs paying the expenses. The governor of Texas has signed a bill requiring railway companies to give their employes thirty days’ notice of a reduction in wages.
A convict confined in the San Quentin prison at San Francisco has invented an improved metal tip for loom shuttles, which has proved very profitable to the state. The tips formerly in use were of English make. They cost $2.90 a pair and wore out in two months. The invention of the convict lasts six months, and costs but 99 cents. The prisoner offered to give the state his patent if his freedom Were given him in exchange, but was told that his liberty was not a purchasable commodity.
Long John’s Land Grant
Speech of Les Miller of Chicago at the Cincinnati Conference
The following speech by Leo Miller of Chicago at the recent Cincinnati conference has published in leaflet form, and may be had by addressing Leo Miller, 13 North Canal street, Chicago, at the rate of 20 copies for 19 cents; l00 copies for 30 cents: 1,000 copies, $1.75. Leo Miller is one of the ablest speakers of the northwest.
Leo Miller of Chicago moved to amend the land plank by adding the following section, Which he was requested to explain, and live minutes were given him in which to do it:
“And we further declare that those land values which result from the growth of community belong of right to the people, and should by them be appropriated and applied for purposes of general benefit.”
Mr. Chairman and fellow delegates: Five minutes is a very short period of time in which to explain an economic proposition to the understanding of one who has never given the subject any particular study or thought. I will, however, do the best I can within the limits allotted me.
Political economists speak of the “unearned increment of wealth,” meaning thereby certain advantageous opportunities growing out of land which have value irrespective of labor performed by any particular person or persons, such value resulting solely from the growth of community, and varying according to the density of population. This value is always on land, and under existing social adjustments the “unearned increment” is pocketed by private persons who do not “earn” it. This is wrong. It should go to those who collectively produce it—the community. What one man produces alone belongs to him individually; what two men together produce belongs to the two in actual division: what a thousand or a million persons jointly are instrumental in producing belongs eventually to all. Who can question the fairness and justice of this proposition?
To make this subject as clear as possible in the shortest possible length of time, I will select a single case out of thousands of the kind, and trace up the growth of such values as I have spoken of, and which the land reformers of today assert, and which many of the old-school economists even are constrained to admit, belong of right to community.
We have in Chicago a lawyer and ex-member of congress by the name of John Wentworth. He is very generally called “Long John.” Hehas an unusually long body, crowned with an unusually long head—a prime requisite to insure success in the legal and land-grabbing professions. Long, long ago Long John foresaw that certain plats of land lyingalong the west shore of the head of Lake Michigan would in time become very desirable, and hence valuable sites on which to live and conduct industry and trade. Long John set his evil eye upon those prospective values; he wanted them. If he could only get the government, which was at that time engaged in the business of granting to certain white persons “vested property rights” in certain black persons, to back him up in his scheme to seize those lots, he would be able to pocket those values which other men would create. Government was willing.
Now let me say hero, that when the first white man settled upon the site where now stands the city of Chicago, the lots which Long John longed to possess and monopolize, not for his own use, but to extort toll from those who would want to use them, had no value Not till the second white man settled there did land value begin to originate, and it kept or. increasing and rising in proportion to the growth of the young city. At the time Long John made his seizure, with the contrivance of government, those lots had a land value of $5,000, on the payment of which he would be able to hold them against the equal claims of other “children of men” to whom the psalmist declared the Lord had "given the earth for an inheritance forever.”
Those lots, which originally had no value, but Inter on did have a value of $5,000, and still later a value of $100,000, now have a rental value of $2,000,000! These rents, amounting annually to not less than $200,000, flow into the long pocket of Long John. Why should they? What has he ever done to entitle him to their possession? Has he ever earned them by labor? Has he ever improved the land by fertilization or drainage? Has he tiled it. or tilled it, or even touched it? No. What then makes these lots of land so very valuable? It is due simply to the growth of the community in and about Chicago. It results from the labor and enterprise of 700,000 persons who have settled there to live and carry on industry and business.
Why, then, should not those 700,000 people have the benefit of those values, which they themselves have been instrumental in producing? Why should one person, who in common with the rest, contributes only one-seven-hundred- thousandth part toward creating it, have it all? Will those who oppose this proposed amendment answer? As special champions of anti-monopoly, where is your consistency in maintaining and defending the worst and most accursed monopoly on earth—the monopoly of the natural resources and means of life?
Now, the true land reformers of the country, those who mean “business,” and not sentiment and platitudes: those who would not deny white men, nor red me;., nor black men, their equal share in the bounties of nature, demand that all of those enormous land values which result from the growth of community, and which now, in the shape of rents, flow into the private pocket of John Wentworth and the pockets of other usurpers and monopolists like him, shall be diverted into the public treasury and be used for the equal benefit of all? Could there be anything more just and equitable than such a disposition of values created by the people collectively? Not one man in the nation would be deprived of a farthing of value which he had produced by toil. Do you want ill-gotten wealth? If you do, then stop blaming Vanderbilt, Gould and the rest of the plunderers. If you do, then cease your efforts to make a new party and “fuse” with old parties already organized and pledged to support monopoly and public plunder.
Ladies and gentlemen of the convention, I submit my amendment to you for adoption or reject ion. Your vote will test the sincerity of your professions, and also help to determine the action of the genuine land and labor reformers of the nation.
The yeas and nays were called for by the chairman, and the amendment was lost by a large majority.
Still Another Clergyman
A Methodist Minister Gives His Testimony
New Castle, Pa., March 17 – I am a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, and have given economic questions a great deal of thought. My attention was first called to the subject by noticing the fact that in all of our country charges we have men—honest, intelligent, industrious, God-fearing—who are poor and who have given up all hope of securing more than a bare subsistence for themselves and their families. I refer to the men who rent farms and who hand over to the landholders one-third of what they raise, or a money rent equivalent to that proportion of their income. I wondered why they did not save money and buy farms for themselves; and I never understood the matter till I read “Progress and Poverty” some years afterward. I have read that book twice, besides dipping into it whenever I had a little leisure, and I am perfectly satisfied that you have given us the true solution of the problem.
During the last three years I have been reading the Bible with direct reference to this issue. Your doctrine that God has given the land to his children for their common benefit is not original with you. It was first promulgated by Moses, and was later approved by the prophets, by Christ and by the apostles. The truth, however, was hidden under great layers of “theology,” and so-called philosophy and political economy, and you have the honor of having uncovered it and revealed it to the minds of men. But if we had not a word in Revelation concerning land ownership, it seems to me the doctrine you advocate should be gladly accepted by all who believe in the Golden Rule, the Lord’s prayer and Paul’s summary: “Bear ye one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Opposition to the doctrine springs from ignorance and covetousness. The first can be soon removed, and the second—because the truth must prevail—will be overthrown in due time.
I welcome the reform for its own sake, and because I believe IT WILL BE THE MEANS OF BRINGING ABOUT A GENUINE REVIVAL OF RELIGION THROUGHOUT ALL CHRISTENDOM. You have struck the keynote. Once enlighten the people on this question and secure the reform, and other questions will receive attention. The religions press has long bewailed the growing worldliness and the spiritual decadence of the church. The truth is, ministers of the gospel have been trained to give a purely spiritual interpretation to all of the economic teachings of the word of God, and have never recognized the fact that God asks very little of us in the way of worshiping Himself and requires a great deal of us in the matter of taking care of His children who are less fortunate than ourselves. It will be understood, some time that “faith” is obedience to God’s laws, and that the only way we can serve Him is in service rendered to our fellow men for His sake. When we love God with all the heart and our neighbors as we love ourselves, the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon the people, and the reformation will mark the greatest event in the history of the church since the Crucifixion. The time is at hand when Christianity must condemn all social injustice or new leaders will arise to give it a new direction and a fresh impetus. Christ wiped out the Jewish church, and his teachings can not be bound by any organization, no matter what its history.
I commend your fairness, moderation and wisdom in your presentation of the cause, and assert that I believe that the leaven has been introduced into the mass that will spread till it leavens the whole lump. Very cordially yours,
C. M. Morse.
What We Might Do With Her Common School Lands
How Chicago Pays Today for the Folly of the Last Generation—The Lesson of India and Japan
Fred Perry Powers in Lippincott’s Magazine.
The state of Nebraska has now a magnificent opportunity to emancipate its people from taxation and to prove to the world that a state can live without taxes. It can do this without touching a vested interest, without changing the title to a dollar’s worth of property, without doing a thing, in fact, that a private individual could not do and would not be wise in doing.
The United States government gave the state of Nebraska for educational purposes, mostly for the support of common schools, 2,838,134 acres of land. In every township the sixteenth and thirty- sixth square miles of the thirty-six square miles making a township were given to the state for the support of common schools. Besides this, 46,080 acres were given to aid the establishment of a state university, and 90,000 acres for the agricultural college.
The constitution of the state forbids the sale of these lands at less than $7 an acre. The commissioners are not obliged to sell at that once, but it appears from the state documents that it is usual to sell when the land reaches that value. Some of the school land statistics of Nebraska are striking. In the six years following 1876, 160,190 acres of school lands were sold. In the two years 1883 and 1884, 267,173 acres were sold. I have no report later than 1884, as the reports are made only biennially. But, as nearly twice as much land was sold in the two years last reported on as in the previous six years, it is reasonable to suppose that half a million acres or more have been sold in the past two years. On Dec. 1. 1884, there were under lease 953,638 acres, valued at $2.49 an acre, or, in the aggregate, $2,375,744. The annual rental was $160,919, or a little less than seven per cent. At the same time there had been sold and were being paid for 461,407 acres of land, which yielded six per cent, or f 186,752, on the unpaid portion of the purchase money, 13,112,542. Money already received from land sales is in vested in securities that yield $ 84,585 a year, making a total revenue to the state from school lands of $432,256.
Why should the state sell any of these lands?Obviously, ownership is not necessary to cultivation. In six years following 1876 the state leased 659,501 acres, and in two years following 1882 it leased 687,471, or a greater amount in two years than in the previous six. The commissioner of public lands and buildings shows that since some little changes have been made in the laws, there is no trouble about collecting rents. Why should the state retain these lands while they are worth less than $7 an acre, and individuals own them after they pass that figure?Who raises these wild prairie lands to $7 an acre in value, and then to $17, and to more than $700, it is safe to say, in the case of the town lots ? The pioneer who settles down on a quarter section of land in the middle of a wilderness, and who never acquires any neighbors will plow and reap many seasons before he will see his land worth in the market $7 an acre, no matter how carefully he may have cultivated it or what comfortable buildings he may have erected. But if other people follow him, if a community grows up around him, some men cultivating the soil, some selling goods, some carrying on the work of transportation, some working at trades, the land rises in value to seven dollars an acre, and seventy dollars, and it may be, seven thousand or seventy thousand dollars an acre; and if the rest of the community were industrious and prosperous and grew in numbers. this land would rise in value just as fast if its owner were a loafer or a tramp as it would if he were a hardworking and exemplary citizen. No matter to whom the law may assign the increased value of that land, the fact is plain and unquestionable that the value is created by the community in general. In Nebraska it is the community that is enhancing the value of those school lands from possibly one dollar and twenty-five cents an acre to seven dollars. During this time the community gets its portion of what it has created, for it receives for the maintenance of its schools an income whose increase is proportioned to the increased valuation. But at seven dollars an acre there is to be a change. The community is to goon increasing the value of these lands, but all the increased value is to go to a relatively small number of individuals. The income from the lands will increase in the same ratio as its value, but it will not go to its creator, the community; it will go to the fortunate or the far-sighted person who bought, or whose ancestor bought, these lands at seven dollars an acre and calmly waited for other people to increase its value. As the community increases in size it will need increased school accommodations. If the land endowment were retained this increased accommodation would be provided by the increased revenue from the leased lands. But, the lands having been sold, the people will have to be taxed to raise the necessary money, and the tenants on those lands given by the nation to the state for public purposes will have the pleasure of paying the private owners of the land its full commercial rental value, or what in Ireland is stigmatized as “rack rent,” and in addition thereto taxes to the state sufficient to build school houses and employ teachers. Whereas, if the state were the landlord, it would use the rentals for educational purposes, and there would be no tax, at least for school purposes.
The consent of the general government might be necessary to enable the state to use a part of this income of these lands for other than educational purposes, but if the schools were amply provided for, this consent would probably be given. After deducting the lands already sold, the state owns some two and a half million acres of land, including non-educational lands. Within a very few years these lands will average in value $20 an acre, amounting to $50,000,000 in all. The time is probably within sight when these lands will be worth $50 an acre, or $125,000,000 in all. A rental of 5 per cent on that it is new nearly 7 per cent—would yield $6,250,000 a year, probably much more than the schools would demand, and the excess would support the state government without the levy of a tax.
Nebraska may well take warning from the city of Chicago, which like a spendthrift heir bartered a magnificent prospective income for a little present spending-money. The sixteenth or school section of the old town of Chicago is bounded by State, Madison, Halstead and Twelfth streets. It is a square mile in the heart of the great metropolis of the west. It was given by the nation whose property it was to the young municipality on whose enterprise and success its future value depended, to serve a great public purpose and supply that municipality with a revenue for the perpetual maintenance of common schools. With characteristic far-sightedness for individual interests, but with the blindness of moles for the interests of the community, the city of Chicago sold one hundred and thirty-eight of the one hundred and forty-two blocks into which this tract was divided, in 1833, for $38,619. Of the four blocks that were saved from the sale, two were saved not as investments, but as sites for school buildings. The schools, however, have retired to quieter and cheaper neighborhoods, and these blocks are now covered by business buildings that yield a revenue to the school fund. One ofthe blocks is among the most valuable in the city. It is bounded by State, Madison, Dearborn and Monroe,, streets, and among other expensive and handsome buildings that stand on it are the Chicago Tribune building and McVicker’s theater. The ground rentals are, I believe, 6 per cent on the valuation assessed every ten years. Five years ago, when I had occasion to investigate the figures, this block was paying the school fund $82,369 a year. So much of the school revenue was provided without taxation. The one hundred and thirty-eight blocks that were sold for $38,619 can hardly be worth less than fifty million dollars now, and the additional value was created by the whole city of Chicago. But the revenue from the tract, which is estimated at three millions, does not go to the school fund or to any other public purpose. It goes to private individuals, and the school fund gets the interest on the $38,619. The present cost of the public school system is eleven or twelve hundred thousand dollars, and the total cost of the city government about four millions. The revenue from the school section would pay the total cost of the schools nearly three times over, and it would not fall very far short of supporting the entire city government without resort to taxation. But the public ownership of land, we are told, is socialistic, and so the people of Chicago are allowed the privilege of paying rent to private owners and taxes to the municipality, when the rent would abolish the taxes if it went to the municipality.
Land has very generally been recognized as an endowment for the good of the community in the early stages of the latter. It is when individual enterprise gets the better of the public good that the land becomes private property and taxation becomes the chief end and aim of government. When the English conquered Bengal they found the land the property of the monarch—that is the state. The rents were collected by zemindars, who kept a portion as their pay and turned the rest over to the state as its revenue. The rents were not excessive; land was not rack-rented, but its rental was based on the necessities of the monarch instead of on the maximum mercantile value of the land. The English came, with their accursed ideas of the threefold division of population into land lords, tenants and laborers, and practically made the zemindars a present of the land on which they collected the state’s revenue—let them have for their private income almost the whole ground rent. Then they assessed taxes upon the impoverished peasantry for the support of their government. It is hardly necessary to say that, the zemindars being now private landlords, their estates are generally rack-rented; while it is notorious that the peasantry are nearly taxed to death by the beneficent English officials, and taxation has made even salt such a luxury that it is not uncommon for people and cattle to suffer in health for the want of it. A writer in the British Quarterly for last April shows that the zemindars are paying less than $15,000,000 a year, the same amount that was agreed on a century ago with Lord Cornwallis, while they are squeezing $70,000,000 a year out of the ryots, and the Indian government has to wring the missing $55,000,000, or as much as it can get, out of the people by every device known to the most relentless tax gatherer.
Japan has started in on the same road. In a report a few years ago Mr. Consul General Van Buren said:
“All the land of the empire was the emperor’s. Through the shogun (tycoon) it was granted to the military favorites for the maintenance of the military power. These favorites leased it in small divisions to the farmers, who held it at the pleasure of the lessors. So long as the lessee paid the stipulated price in produce he was left undisturbed. Such was the land tenure up to 1868. Since that time the feudal institutions have been abolished, the land tenure has been changed, and the land has been sold and is held in fee simple. This great reform has infinitely bettered the condition of the farmer. About three-tenths of all tilled land is now in the possession of small proprietors, the balance being held in larger divisions.”
Seven-tenths of all the land in the empire was then in the private and absolute possession of great landlords and held as large estates; and yet free trade in land had only been in operation thirteen years when this was written.
The consul general should have given a little more study to the history of land ownership, or have waited longer for results to manifest themselves, before he was so confident about the beneficial results. The fact that he states is that the land belonged under the old regime to the state; that it was leased to military chiefs, who paid for it by military services and reimbursed themselves by collecting rents from their sub-tenants, but the land was not rack-rented. Now the rents are to go to private parties, and the expense of supporting the army will be met by the taxation of the very peasants who pay rent to the private landlords. Japan is indeed becoming westernized; she has even borrowed Christian taxation. England knows the end of the road that Japan has just entered upon. At the Conquest, the land of England naturally became the property of the crown, which was the state. The crown made grants of land to nobles, but these grants werenot in fee; the nobles were only tenants, paying for their land with military services, and the nobles bad no right to bequeath their estates. They sublet to the small farmers, and so reimbursed themselves, but the net result to the community was that the people did not pay rent and taxes; they paid rent which supported the military portion, at least, of the government. Several generations elapsed before the noble tenants of the crown were strong enough to exact the right of bequeathing their estates. This right had been denied before because the lands might pass by bequest to women or invalids, who could render no military service, and the land of the nation was its military endowment. The invention of gunpowder revolutionized warfare and ushered in the era of standing armies. The feudal nobles and their retainers were no longer of value in war. The nobles were no longer able to pay rent for their estates in military services, so they no longer had any right to the estates; but they were in possession, not only of the estates but of the political powers of the nation, so they were not to be dislodged. An attempt was made to commute the military services into a land tax that would probably have supported the British army, and so the nation’s land would still have served as an endowment for national defense. But the land holding nobles prevented this, and compromised on a land tax to the state, which at the then valuation was pretty fair, but which was never to be increased, and it never has been. In the mean while population has increased; land values have increased; rents have increased; the land owners have large incomes for which they render no service to the state, and the tenants are permitted the exquisite luxury of paying the landlords rent for the state’s land and taxes to the state to support the army. If the British government now received ground as originally assessed at four shillings in the pound of the rental, it would be able to remit nearly one-half of the taxes. But this assessment gave the state, the natural and original owner, only one-fifth of the ground rents, while four- fifths went the landlords, who no longer rendered any service to the state. Historically and equitably, therefore, the whole rental belongs to the state. If the state received it, it would be able to remit all taxes and reduce rents sixty per cent. A few hundred idle nobles and gentry would have to work for a living, and an industrious but for the most part poor people would find all the conditions of life vastly easier for them. The real question before Americans is not whether they will have a tenant class, but who the landlord class shall be. The tenant class is here in large proportions, in town and in country, and it is growing; the question is whether the people shall pay rent to private parties and taxes to the State, or rent to the state and no taxes. If the rentals were based on the necessities of the government, local and general, they would be low; if they were rented as high as possible, the state would have a revenue ample to enable it to undertake every public work, the desirability of which is conceded, but the expediency of which is denied so long as the money must be raised by taxation. In either event the community would come by its own, the increased value of land resulting from increased population. The actual users of the land would find the change beneficial, for they would not have to lock up large amounts of capital in land ownership. The emancipation of the slaves impoverished only those southern owners who needed to sell and suddenly found they had nothing to sell. The actual employers found they could get laborers as cheaply as before, and without the necessity of investing a large capital in slaves. To the producing interests of the country the emancipation of the land would be equally beneficial.
But this is socialism or something a great deal worse, we are told. Mr. John McDonnell, an English lawyer, who wrote on the nationalization of land before Henry George did, remarks with great accuracy: “Socialism is nothing other than what the majority of the moment think society should not do, and what the minority of the moment think society should do.”
Real Estate Dealers Cheerful
Real Estate Record and Guide.
Business prospects are not quite so good as they have been. There is less demand for iron and steel. The grain and cotton growers are discouraged by the low prices they get for their products, and then the labor strikes have so far failed, which has led to a disposition to economize on the part of the working classes. These various depressing incidents affect retail trade and decrease the consumptive demand for goods. The laboring people in this neighborhood lost heavily by the unsuccessful strikes against the coal roads and the shipping lines. Stocks have been depressed, but the market for securities looks better as the week closes. The most promising interest just now is real estate. All dealers in realty speak cheerfully of the prospects for the rest of the year.