the Standard
Volume 1 May 21, 1887

Page 1

[text missing] laid out, well built, handsome [text missing] and go of a thriving American [text missing]  But in religious prejudices it is far behind any American town—behind, perhaps, even Belfast and Londonderry themselves.  The Twelfth of July is regularly observed, the Orange lodges flourish, the memory of King William is venerated, every one must be classified either as a Protestant or Roman Catholic, and to the imaginations of a good part of the people the pope, with his schemings to re-establish the inquisition, is an ever present danger.  One great reason for the survival of these stupid and degrading religious prejudices is the system of separate schools.  Religious prejudices, as all other prejudices, are fostered by isolation, and vanish as men are brought into contact with each other, and learn, what all intimate intercourse with different nations, creeds and orders teaches, that “a man's a man for a' that.”  Nothing is better calculated to keep bigotry alive than the education of Protestant children in Protestant schools and of Catholic children in Catholic schools.  Instead of teaching religion, these schools really teach children whose parents are of different creeds to look with contempt and dislike upon one another.
It is this religious bigotry, inflamed by ultra-loyalist tuft-hunters, that is responsible for the disgraceful opposition to Mr. O'Brien's visit.  So far at least as the “rag tag and bobtail” are concerned, the hootings and brickbats with which remonstrance was made are demonstrations against the pope.  But in reality Mr. O'Brien probably cares as much for the pope as the majority of the Irish leaders do, and that is—nothing.

Archbishop Lynch, the Catholic archbishop of Toronto, has taken a very decided stand against the polcy of Mr. O'Brien coming to Canada to denounce Lord Lansdowne, and refused to have anything to do with the reception..  He bases his opposition on a matter of policy, declaring that his own aim in life has been to allay the feeling against Protestants and Catholics, and that while “we were getting along so nicely that both the Dominion parliament and the local legislature passed strong resolutions favorable to home rule and the Irish cause,” the effect of Mr. O'Brien's visit will be to excite religious prejudices and alienate former friends.  But surely Mr. O'Brien is not responsible for this.  He has not said anything about religion.  He as one Irishman is merely denouncing another Irishman in the dominions of their common “sovereign lady” for charging his tenants too much rent—something which prelates like Archbishop Lynch and the majority of Canadian politicians, irrespective of creed or party, consider a heinous offense—when committed in Ireland.  If the situation of Upper Canada is so lamentable that this excites religious antagonisms, the system of separate schools, of which Archbishop Lynch has been a supporter, is largely responsible for it.

As for the Marquis of Lansdowne himself, the archbishop says in the Toronto World:
I believe him to be an exorbitant and tyrannical landlord, notwithstanding that a few of his tenants, who are made special pets by his lordship, give him a certificate for generosity.  Mr. O'Brien's statement of the cruelty inflicted on the Luggacurran estate is quite correct.  Lord Lansdowne borrowed money at one per cent from the government and lent it out at five per cent to his tenants.  I did not pay my respects to him since he came to Toronto, because my nature revolts against shaking hands with the oppressor of the poor, as I believe him to be.
The illogical position of Archbishop Lynch is that of American politicians and newspapers, as well as of the clergy on both sides of the border.  It is a heinous crime to borrow money at one per cent and loan it at five—in Ireland.  It is very wicked for a landlord to oppress his tenants by refusing to reduce their rents—in Ireland.  But against the system which permits this, and which is common to Canada and the United States, as well as to Ireland, these gentlemen have not a word to say.  On the contrary, they denounce any attack on this system as foolish and wicked.

But all Catholic bishops are not so illogical.  On the morning after Davitt made his Liverpool speech in 1882—a speech in which, while advocating the nationalization of the land, he proposed a small compensation to landlords—I called upon an eminent Irish bishop in the European hotel, Dublin.  For my part, I was delighted with Davitt's speech, for his advocacy of compensation seemed to me of little practical moment as compared with his advocacy of compensation seemed to me of little practical moment as compared with his advocacy of the principle of the land for the people at a time when for reasons of policy the parliamentary leaders were trying to ignore it; and, expecting that the bishop would feel the same way, I asked him, “Have you read Davitt's speech?”
To my surprise there was no gleam of satisfaction in his face, adjusting his spectacles, he said:  “I have now, Mr. George, read your 'Progress and Poverty' carefully for the third time, and I want to say to you, with even more emphasis than I have said it before, that there is nothing in it, from the first page to the last, that I do not thoroughly approve.  But of all the chapters in the book, that which pleases me most is that in which you demonstrate the injustice of paying to landlords one penny by way of compensation.”  Then he went on to say that he was sorry to read Mr. Davitt's speech.  “In my opinion,” he said, “in proposing any kind of compensation he throws away the strength of his position.  The land question is in reality a moral question, and a moral question is not capable of compromise.  There is no half way between right and wrong.  Either the land of Ireland belongs to the landlords, or every child born in Ireland has an equal right to its use.  There can be no middle ground.  If the land belongs to the landlord, and a proposal to pay them compensation is an admission that it does, then we have no more right to say how they shall use it, or what terms they shall demand for it, than we have to put limitations on them with regard to the use of any other property.  But if the land rightfully belongs to the people, then the landlords are not entitled to any compensation, and the strength of the cause is weakened and the popular conscience is perplexed by any proposal to give them compensation.”
So as regards Lord Lansdowne.  The only real justification there can be for complaining of the rents he charges, or of his recourse to legal remedies for putting out tenants who will not comply with his terms, is that property in land differs essentially from other property—that, in fact, it cannot rightfully be treated as individual property at all, but of natural right belongs in usufruct to the whole people.

Lord Lansdowne has been considerably flurried by Mr. O'Brien's visit, and has got himself a certificate of character from his Wiltshire tenants, just as Archbishop Corrigan recently got himself one from his dependent priests.  But it is a pity he did not take the course of meeting Mr. O'Brien, either in person or by proxy, and defending his right to do as he pleased with his own.  A discussion of this kind between two such eminent Irishmen would have been very useful in Canada—and in other parts of the world as well.  Even as it is, however, Mr. O'Brien's visit will be useful.  For men cannot be called upon to denounce a landlord for refusing to make a fifteen per cent reduction in his rents without coming in many cases to ask themselves why he should be permitted to collect any rent.  The Irish agitation must finally get to this.  How little any mere rent reductions to tenants can do for the poorest class of Irishmen is suggested by the presence of Mr. Kilbride with O'Brien.  Mr. Kilbride is a capitalistic tenant farmer of the English type.  He has been paying Lord Lansdowne a rent of something like $4,000 per annum, and wants to make Lord Lansdowne reduce it some hundreds.  But what difference will it make to the laborers whom Mr. Kilbride employs whether these hundreds go into his pocket or into that of Lord Lansdowne?

Achbishop Corrigan is still preaching against the doctrine that God made the earth for His children.  In a canonical visitation to the Church of the Sacred Heart last week, he is reported to have said that “those who claim that land, like sunshine and air, was the free gift of God and equally the property of all, overlook the great difference that sunshine and air cannot become private property as can land.”
According to the archbishop, then, the justification of private property in anything is in the capability of the thing to be made private property.  Men can be made private property, and were held as private property even in this country, until very recent times.  Therefore, according to the archbishop's logic, those who said that the purchase of human flesh and blood could not make them rightfully private property sinned against philosophy, common sense and the teachings of the Catholic church.
But, as a matter of fact, the sunshine and air do become private property with the land, which is the only means the children of men have to utilize either one of them, and the right to use the sunshine and breathe the air is sold with the land.  Further than this, if the archbishop will get hold of a little book called, “The Windmill as a Prime Mover,” by Alfred R. Wolff, a mechanical engineer, of this city, he will find some quotations which show that even the air has been claimed as private property.  In the fourteenth century the Augustinian monks at Windsheim, in the province of Overyssel, in Holland, attempted to build a windmill, but the lord of Woerst set up the claim that all the wind in Zealand was his property and that the monks had no right to use it without his permission.  The monks appealed to the bishop of Utrecht, who flew into a violent passion, declaring that the wind in Zealand was the property of Holy Church, and by letters patent gave to the Augustinians the right to use all the wind they wanted to for their windmill.
The fact, however, is that the only reason why air and sunshine cannot be made private property is simply that private property in land carries with it private property in land carries with it private property in the use of those elements also.  Man is a land animal, and access to land means to him access to the whole material universe, so far as he can use it.

The anti-Catholic prejudices of Canadian Orangemen are stupid and contemptible, but Archbishop Corrigan is doing all he can to give color to the charge that Catholicism is utterly inconsistent with freedom.  He appears to be traveling round his diocese preaching not only that the church has condemned the doctrine that all the children of God are equal heirs to His bounty, but also that he and the pope have the right to dictate to the faithful in matters political.  If Corriganism were really Catholicism every lover of liberty would indeed be justified in regarding the Catholic church as the enemy of freedom.

Not that Mr. O'Brien's mission to this country has brought up the subjects of evictions, and that such men as Charles A. Dana and Chauncey Depew and Eugene Kelly are foremost in showing their heartfelt sympathy with evicted Irishmen, their indignation at heartless landlords like Lord Lansdowne and their appropriation of “the plan of campaign,” it is to be hoped that the matter of American landlordism and American evictions will get some attention.  In another column will be found an account from a Newark paper of an American eviction, in which a widow and her five children, with all their little household goods, were thrown out on the street during a rain storm.  Like the eviction noticed in the Standard last week, in which, of a widow's seven children turned out into the roadside under similar circumstances, five of them died from disease contracted by the exposure, such a case could not have occurred in Ireland, where a poor law officer is required to be present at every eviction, in order to afford the evicted, if required, sustenance and shelter.  Nor are the forms and delays which an Irish landlord like Lord Lansdowne must submit to before he can evict his tenant to be compared with the rough and ready modes by which the American landlord can get rid of anyone whom he does not want to permit longer to live on his share of the planet.  As the English owner of a large tract of American land once told me with much satisfaction, “The states are a fine place to have an estate in.  If your tenants don't pay their rent or for any reason you want to get rid of them you can, as they say, 'fire them out' at once without any of the delays or formalities they have in England.”

I met the other day, in an interior town, the angel-faced sister superior of one of those communities of devoted women who are the true glory and real strength of that church which the forty-thousand dollar Corrigans are doing their best to make ridiculous and hateful.  She told me of the cunning tricks of a little baby waif they had taken in—a baby waif like that baby found in an ash heap in New York a day or two ago—(so cheap are the “children of God and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven” on this earth in which they have no legal right)  And she also told me—for it was troubling her—of the rise in the price of coal which the coal and transportation lords have decreed, and which will make sad inroads in the meager income from which she must feed and warm her orphans.
In the mean time our daily papers all contain accounts of an eviction in one of the Pennsylvania coal estates.  The accounts full and graphic, but I quote, by preference, that of the Tribune, since that paper is a staunch advocate of the system of “protection to American industry,” which has placed the workingmen of Pennsylvania in so proud a position as compared with the “pauper laborers” of Europe.

 

Wilkesbarre, Pa., May 17—Since April 11 the miners employed by J.S. Wentz & Co., at their Hazle Brook collieries near Hazleton have been on strike, and on Saturday the company began the forcible eviction of the men from their homes.  The whole village and the land lying around about for miles are owned by the company.  It will not sell or lease a foot of land to anyone nor allow a man to build a house for himself.  It compels every employee in the mines to rent from it, at from $5 to $6 a month.  The men are forced to sign leases which place them absolutely at the company's mercy.  They expressly waive every benefit or protection which they might have under the laws of the state.  They agree that the moment they cease to work for the company they must leave their homes, and can be ejected on ten days' notice; and they further have to sign what is termed an “amicable suit of ejectment,” by which the company can at any moment issue a writ and evict them.
Notices to quit were sent round to the strikers some weeks ago.  On Saturday Deputy Sheriff Brockway, armed with the writs issued in “amicable suits of ejectment,” and backed by a body of coal and iron police in the pay of the company, appeared in the village and began to evict.  Six families with all their goods and chattels were thrown on the hillside; they were the families of Neal Gallagher, Daniel Nigan, Patrick Bowen, “Barney” Gallegher, Joseph McMonigle and Patrick Dunlavey.  Everything the houses contained were thrown pell-mell out of doors and windows, the women and children driven out, and the doors locked behind them.
Not only were they deprived of home and shelter, but not a soul in the village dare shelter them or their goods.  The company had given notice that any tenant affording shelter to those evicted would be himself dispossessed.  Mrs. Dunlavey was sick in bed when the officers entered the house; but she had to go, and her bed was put outside after her.  It was with difficulty that she obtained permission to stop over night at a neighbor's, nor were the evicted tenants able to remove their goods, for the company had prohibited any wagon from entering its lands for that purpose, and refused to grant the use of its own teams.  Women and children were compelled to hunt miles in search of a place to spend the night, and some, unable to obtain shelter, were forced to sleep on the bare ground without roof or shelter.  Their goods are lying today just as they were thrown out, the people being unable to move them.
The strike was the result of the company's persistent attempts to break up the local district of the Knights of Labor.  Every man suspected of belonging to it was discharged—his place filled by an ignorant Hungarian or Pole.  Early in April three men were discharged for this reason.  The miners took up their cause, and demanded their reinstatement.  The company paid no attention to the demand and the men struck.  They offered to arbitrate, but the company refused to consider anything but unconditional surrender.  It hired a number of additional Hungarians and took out the coal cut by the miners before they struck, charging the laborers' time to the strikers.  The company has large stores in the village, and all employees are forced to deal with it and it only.  Not another store is allowed on the company's ground, and not a traveling merchant or peddler dares set foot on its territory.
There is nothing extraordinary in this to any one who has been over the Pennsylvania coal regions.  Life there is, if anything, harder than it is in Connemara, and the mere laborer is even more the serf of the man who owns the land.  Company stores, cut-throat leases, the prohibition against sheltering others are the rule rather than the exception.  And why not?  If a man can buy a piece of the planet, with all that it contains, just as he may buy a slice of watermelon, why may he not dictate the conditions on which men may live or work upon it?  If they do not like it, let them go elsewhere.

Mayor Hewitt, Charles A. Dana and Chauncey M. Depew aired themselves before the Brotherhood of locomotive firemen on Sunday as samples of what any American might become if he was only smart enough.
“Forty years ago,” said Mayor Hewitt, “I was poor, and I said: 'I will do what I can to abolish poverty.'  And what poverty did I set out to abolish?  My own poverty.”  Just so.  If any man with equal opportunities, and equal brains, and equal energy to these three successful gentlemen will concentrate everything on abolishing poverty in his own case he will, if he is fortunate, probably succeed.  But what about mere ordinary men?
According to Mr. Hewitt, “the reason why poverty does not disappear is because there are a great number of tramps and bummers and lazy fellows, called in the old law beggars and vagabonds, who do not want to abolish poverty.  They live by poverty.  They could abolish it quickly enough if they would go to work as you work and I work.  There is no poverty in the world and I work.  There is no poverty in the world except the accidents of an overruling providence.”  I used to know a man who lived for awhile on the eastern shore of Virginia, and who, regarding the colored citizens of those parts as the most contented people in the world, would occasionally break out with the exclamation: “I wish I was a nigger.”  If he were to read Mr. Hewitt's speech he would doubtless prefer to be a Mr. Hewitt.
Chauncey M. Depew made some good jokes—he always does—but nothing that he said was quite equal to Mr. Hewitt's telling the firemen that if they laid by the price of a glass of beer every day they might soon buy a railroad—even the New York Central.  Mr. Charles A. Dana is the smartest of the lot.  He proved it by saying nothing.

Henry George

 

Even Joseph Pulitzer

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial
No journal in this country pitches into Henry George's land doctrines more frequently or more savagely than the Chicago Tribune.  But Mr. George himself could not assail more bitterly than the Tribune does the evils of landlordism as exemplified by such large land holders as Scully in Illinois and George Clarke in New York.  The latter, being a native, and therefore not to be legislated out of his possessions, the Tribune rejoices that his bankruptcy has at last stopped his acquisition of land and promises to divide his vast estate into a thousand homesteads or 500 farms of 120 acres each.  Scully being an alien, the Tribune is advocating a pending bill to compel him to sell within a specified time the vast areas of land he now has rented to tenants in Illinois.  If the evils of land monopoly or of land holding in very large tracts are to be guarded against, it is obviously only a question of how large the tracts may be and how the holding of larger ones shall be prevented.  On that narrow ground there does not appear to be much room available for a serious difference between George and Medill.  As for individual owners, whether citizens or aliens, our law provides for the redistribution of their landed property by preventing entails for a longer duration than one life.  But corporations that never die are now holding in mortmain landed possessions to which the entire acreage of all the exceptionally large individual estates in this country would compare in extent as a cow pen to a kingdom.

 

He Thought We Advocated Eating Soup With a Knitting Needle

Lakeview, Volusia, Fla., April 23—Your courteous letter of the 12th ult. And the sample copy of the Standard came duly to hand and I thank you therefor.  I have long been of the opinion that state and municipal taxes should be derived from licenses and from real estate, appraised at what it is worth without the improvements.  I had supposed his was about the extent of your creed; but on reading the Standard I conclude that the rule of your party would be worse than anything we have yet had in America, not excepting the reign of George III.  I have little fear that your theories will be accepted by Americans, except a few cranks and the thriftless and profligate loafers and bummers of towns and cities.  You will doubtless be more successful with foreigners who have not yet acquired just conceptions of liberty and fairness.  But their children will be Americans and will know better.

E.E. Ropes

 

This is Safer Than Buying Children and Amounts to Just the Same Thing

New York World
Little Rock, Ark—Large purchases of wild lands have recently been made in this state of capitalists.  During the past week it is estimated that about 200,000 acres have been sold.  The land is mostly in the southern tier of counties and is covered with pine and oak timber, and a good deal of it is adapted for agricultural purposes.  Among the largest purchases are L.C. Black, Cincinnati, whose holdings amount to some 15,000 acres; Governor J.B. Foraker, Colonel McCulloch, a banker, and Crane & Farlow, Hamilton, O.; Mrs. M.B. Taggart, Zanesville, O.; Austin Corbin company and Jay Gould (through an agent), New York, and three syndicates of Chicago, St. Paul and Minneapolis, respectively.  It is understood that the purchasers will hold the land until it increases in value.

 

The Grain Grows Fast

Elkton, Md., May 7—I have read the Standard regularly since its first issue.  I have also read all your works, and am thoroughly in sympathy with your economic doctrines.  I might stop here but for the desire I feel to congratulate you that you have lived to see the seeds of the great truth in the pages of “Progress and Poverty” sown, take root and grow with a wonderful growth, promising an early and glorious harvest.

W.G. Purnell

 

Why Not the Free Soil Party?

Rochester, N.Y., May 8—Why not call our new political organization the “free soil party” or the “free land party?”  Either would be significant, and would have a double meaning.  In the '50s the “free soil party” wanted the land to be owned, but the workers to be free.  Experience has shown that where the land is owned the workers are owned, and the demand of the new party is that both the land and the workers shall be free.

B.C. Keeler

 

Anti-Poverty

People Joining the Society From All Parts Of The Country

The Academy of Music Filled Again to Overflowing – Mr. George Answering Questions—A Feeling Address by Rev. Father Huntington—Letters from Interested People—Press Comments

The doors of the Academy of Music were opened last Sunday evening at five minutes past 7 o'clock.  Those who had been waiting even at that early hour for the opening of the house were nearly sufficient in number to fill the parquet.  A steady stream of people followed and continued to pour into the auditorium, and before 8 o'clock the house had standing room only.  After the proceedings of the evening had been begun, many others arrived, who ranged themselves back of the seats along the walls and stood there until the close.
The first round of applause for the evening was given when Miss Munier entered with the young ladies of the Concordia chorus.  Mr. George then took a chair on the stage, being accompanied by Mr. William T. Croasdale, who acted as chairman during the evening.  Mr. Charles Wilhelm, the violinist, accompanied on the piano by Mr. Henry Schmitt, rendered a selection from Handel which elicited a recall.  “To Thee, My Country” was next given by the chorus.
Mr. George followed.  He announced that word had been received that the president of the society, Dr. McGlynn, was in St. Louis addressing another immense audience, and that he would return in time to preside at the meeting of the society's members on Wednesday evening.  Dr. McGlynn had one more Sunday evening engagement, and after that he was expected to be at the meetings regularly.  Mr. George's next statement—that he had to take an early train for Canada—brought out peals of laughter, and the audience applauded and laughed again when he added, “But I am coming back,” and a voice said, “That's more than the boodle aldermen have done.”  Mr. George then made a brief explanation of the purposes of the society.  While he was doing so he said fervidly:
“What we, of the Anti-poverty society, hold is this:  That there is no room on this earth for poverty; that the raw materials that God has provided are supplied in sufficient abundance for all; that the cause of poverty consists primarily in the fact that instead of allowing to each his equal right to the use of the opportunities that the Creator has afforded, we have given them by our laws and our our systems into the hands of a few individuals, thus disinheriting the majority of the children who in a country like this come into the world.  (Here a baby in the gallery, knowing what was appropriate, treated the audience to a prolonged wail)  A disinherited one?  (Laughter and applause)  Yes, but there is a sober side to it.  Tonight, and in the hotter nights that are to come, many and many a little baby will be wailing piteously in this city of New York; wailing, sobbing unto its death for no other reason than it has been denied the bounties which its Creator intended for it.  There is no fact more appalling than that fact of the mortality among children in such cities as this.  They have been invited into the world by the power that prepared the world, invited to a feast in which there is room and abundance for all, but the portion that belongs to them has been taken—has been monopolized.  They are turned back and thrust forth by disease, by want, to leave the world ere they are fairly in it.”
After speaking for a few moments further, Mr. George said he was ready to answer questions.
A young man arose and asked, “I am a supporter of the protective tariff.  My question is, when the united labor party declares itself in favor of a single tax on land values, is it, therefore, pledged against a protective tariff and in favor of free trade?”
Mr. George—I do not know that I have any right to speak for the united labor party.  I will speak for myself.  I am in favor of an absolute free trade.  I believe that protection, as it is called, protection to American labor, is a humbug and a fraud: that what it really means is protection to monopolies.  I hold that all that labor needs is its rights—not protection, but justice.  I hold that it is unworthy a great, free republic, unworthy a Christian nation, that we should line our frontiers with custom house officers, and put guards along our coasts, and fine every man who brings goods into the country, search every carpet bag and examine every trunk.  If we did justice, if we did free the land, if we did assure to every man the full opportunity of employing his own labor, then all the seeming necessity for a tariff would have passed.  When we give true free trade at home, then we can invite free trade with all the world.  For free trade carried to its fullest extent means not merely the sweeping away of customs duties; it means the abolition of everything that stands in the way of production.  Trade, in the last analysis, is simply a means of production, it is that last part which brings the goods to the persons who are to consume them.  For the same reason that we ought to sweep away our tariffs, for the same reason we ought to prevent the railroads all over the country levying tariffs on trade.  For the same reason that we ought not to tax the man who brings goods, good things, into the country we ought not to tax the man who produces those things in the country.  The best country, or what ought to be the best country, is that country where there are the most of those things.  We ought not to try to keep them out or prevent their production.  Further than that, we ought to prevent that monopoly which holds the natural opportunities of production idle when labor is unemployed: that prevents men from using their labor in the production of wealth and induces that competition which drives men into a conflict with each other to sell their labor to some employer.  I am for free trade, but it is not for British free trade.  I am for free trade.  I am not for a revenue tariff.  I am for the same sort of free trade that those great Frenchmen were for a century ago proposed just what we now propose—the raising of all public revenues by a single tax on the values of land.
The next question raised a laugh, which was followed by applause at Mr. George's answer.  The question was: “How do you propose to abolish the pawnbroking system?”  It was put by a gentleman of Hebrew physiognomy, who stood in a balcony box, and smiled good naturedly as he spoke.
Mr. George—We propose to abolish the pawnbroking system by producing a state of things in which no one will be so poor as to be compelled to resort to a pawnshop.
A man in a proscenium box said: “You say you do not believe in British free trade.  What is the difference between British free trade and the free trade you speak of?”
Mr. George—British free trade is not free trade at all.  The British have a custom house and a lot of custom house officers.  If you go over there you will probably have your trunk examined—especially if they think you are as Irishman.  The British free trade movement only went so far as the ruling powers thought wise.  If the agitation had gone a little further it would have gone straight to the land question.  And now, after an interval, that movement is commencing again and will go on.  You cannot have full free trade until you have equal rights to the use of the land.  You cannot have full free trade until you abolish all taxes on necessity or on production and raise your taxes from the value of land.
Other questions which followed were similar to those that are answered every week in the Standard.  Great good humor prevailed while the questions rained in on the speaker, and he promptly answered them.  At length Mr. George said:  “I will now have to leave in order to catch my train, but we have here with us Father Huntington, a man who has devoted his life to God's work among the poor, and who is with us in the attempt to strike at the root of poverty and to institute a social condition of justice that will bring God's kingdom upon earth.”
Chairman Croasdale hereupon announced that next Sunday evening the Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost would appear before the Anti-poverty society and address the meeting, and that upon the Sunday following the “soggarth aroon” would be present.
Father Huntington then spoke as follows:
This is the first time that I have had the pleasure of coming to one of the meetings of the Anti-poverty society.  Some things I have seen about these meetings in the papers—some things on the one side, some things on the other.
I want, in the first place, to speak of one accusation that has been made against this society, an accusation that, it seems to me, ought to fill us with profound surprise.  We had a right to be looked upon as cranks; we were used to that.  We had a right to expect that people would tell us that our plans were altogether impracticable and would not work in a land of monopolies and corporations.  But there is one charge I think we had a right not to expect, and that is that this society rests on an un-Christian basis.
I say I think that that is an extraordinary charge—the charge that because this is an anti-poverty society and because we are trying to get rid of poverty we are somehow flying in the face of Providence.  It is said to be unscriptural.  That charge is in the minds of a great many good, respectable people who are rather timid withal and afraid somehow that this is going against the church and the faith and Christianity.
The trouble is just here, that people do not understand what the word “poverty” means.  They do not know what the thing is that this society is working against.  Poverty and wealth are relative terms.  The other day in one of the magazines it was said that the condition of the peasantry of Italy is so bad that they regard the man who grinds an organ here as a sort of millionaire.  That shows the relative nature of poverty and riches.  If poverty means a condition in which men must do some work in order to live, then that is not the poverty against which we fight, for we believe in the dignity of toil.  But that is not what poverty means.  The word means, as we use it, a condition of things under which men live as their Maker never meant them to live.
The Bible does not say that we have got to keep people in such poverty as that.  I know well that my Master said, “The poor ye have with you always.”  And we have had them for 1,800 years.  He did not say you should keep them poor always.  We need not, therefore, rob a man of half his earnings and pen him up in a sty for fear that the Master's words won't come true.  I know there is a blessing on poverty.  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven”—and they can be thankful for it, too!  There are some other blessings:  “Blessed are ye when men shall persecute you and revile you”—but I never knew that it was the spirit of Christianity to persecute men for fear they won't win that blessing.  No more do I think it is necessary to keep people in such poverty as we are organized to oppose for fear that, otherwise, they won't get into the kingdom of heaven.
If it is true that Christ came into the world to keep people in poverty, it is very strange that His apostles should have begun by instituting a state of things in which poverty was practically impossible.  Yet that is exactly what they did.  This is what was said of the state of things immediately after the ascension of our Lord: “Neither was there any among them that lacked; for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold and laid them down at the apostles' feet, and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”
That does not sound like poverty.  It is presumed that these men knew what the Master wanted.  Let us see what, thirty years after that, St. Paul laid down as one of the rules for Christians:  “For I mean not that other men be eased and ye burdened, but by an equality that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want; that their abundance also may be a supply for your want; that there may be equality.”
That does not sound like poverty either, does it?  If we are to be told we are “flying in the face of Providence” and called “un-Christian” because we have formed an anti-poverty society, will they please explain these passages to us.  The truth is that real poverty is not a blessing; it is a curse, just as persecution is a curse, sickness is a curse, death is a curse.  The cross of Christ has power to turn even these curses into blessings, but Christ came to remove the curse.  He healed the sick, He raised the dead, He taught men to love and not to hate, and He came to make men not poor, but rich.  This is what St. Paul says:  “For ye know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor that ye, through his poverty, might be rich.”  Christ came into the world for the very purpose of eradicating the poverty against which we are working, and the church has been the great anti-poverty society of the ages, only she should have done her work more thoroughly.  If she had we would not now stand here with these awful problems to meet and deal with in such ways as we can.
I dare say some people will find fault with me for being here tonight—on Sunday night.
I say, is there not a cause?  If the church is still leaving the poor in their misery because she does not yet oppose as she might the injustice in the world, then I say is not there reason for every man who has a love of righteousness in his breast to rise up and say to every other man who feels the same love burning in his heart, “Let us stand together and do what we can to set things right.”  And I think that there is something more to be said.  I think that those who are faulting this movement as being un-Christian have a good deal to answer for to One to whom we must all answer.  It seems to me an insult to the God that made us and to the Christ that died for us to say that it is His will and purpose that we should keep men's bodies cramped, their eyes dimmed, their minds stupefied and their souls hardened with vice that we may have the poor with us.
The conditions of life in large tracts of this city are such that many of you do not realize them and do not understand them.  I saw in the papers last Monday morning flings at this audience because it was well dressed.  I do not know much about dress; but I think that that is a great thing to feel encouraged about that people who can wear good clothes should be standing up for the rights of people who have not much more than rags to cover them.

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I think it is something to be encouraged over that men who have a roof over their heads should be looking out for those who live in hovels where the rain bents in.  I think it is something that you are looking out for your brethren.  That seems to promise that better times are coming.  The thousands that gather at these meetings here—although many of their names may not be enrolled in the books of the Anti-poverty society—are yet members of that society in their hearts when they say, “Never mind whether we make anything out of it or not, we will see that the poor get their rights.”
Once more I say their rights, for it is not almsgiving that the poor want, or charitable institutions or beneficial societies or pious patronage so much as simple justice.  Remember Christ teaches that only those can be truly merciful who are hungering and thirsting after justice—for all mankind.
I do not think that you all really understand the conditions under which many men and women are living.  I do not think that I understand them.  My mind gets perplexed when I try to take in the misery of our great tenement house districts, and when I put it on paper I tear it up and say it cannot be like that—as bad as that; and yet I can verify every word of it in the tenement houses and back yards of the east side of New York.  I do not think that we can, without an experience of years, really put ourselves in the places of these people.  It is not only physical suffering; that is bad enough.  It is bad enough to see every other child up and down the streets with granulated eyelids; it is bad enough to see the discouraged men and women; it is bad enough to see in the tenement houses the weary way in which the women toil up the stairs; it is bad enough to be told of mothers who have not enough nourishment in their bodies to feed their little babes.  All this is, indeed, bad enough; but these conditions are not only cramping the body, enfeebling the mind and making the death rate so high, but they are dragging men and women into utter sin and vice.
Men and women want to do right, but they cannot because of the conditions of life which surround them.
Let me tell you one case that will stand for thousands in this city—the case of a girl about sixteen years old.  She had been confirmed, she had had her first communion; she was trying to do right; was at church every Sunday.  She was working in a shop, but was rather dull and did not get along very well.  Her father, naturally a good man, but hardened by the lowering life and ceaseless toil of a tenement tailor shop, told her that if she lost her place he would turn her out of house and home.  She simply could not do the work and was turned away.  She did not dare to tell her people at home, and for a whole week she looked for a job that would give her an honest livelihood, going out as if to the shop in the morning and coming back at night.  She looked all that week and did not find any.  She came home and said that the boss was going to pay Monday night.  That night she did not dare to go home.  The next thing I heard, her father was hunting for her up and down the Bowery till 12 o'clock at night.  This Christian city had practically said to her, “You shall not have even the privilege of living except at the price of sin.”
Something has got to be done to stop that.  It is all wrong.  You and I feel that there must be some chance given at least to the children growing up, that they may have an opportunity of earning their living in an honorable way, and not be driven into sin and shame by the pressure of the greed and avarice and indifference and heartlessness of those who hold the poor in their grasp.
In those houses people are crowded together in such a way that it is almost inevitable that the bad should drag down the good; and there is no chance for the good to lift up the bad.  It is just a great heterogeneous mass of human beings of all races and nationalities and beliefs crushed together in a pestilent atmosphere, where every influence of harm goes cut upon men's bodies and souls to drag them down, where there cannot be a quarrel in a family but it is heard all over the house, and where the children rise up and lie down with the sound of oaths and impurity in their ears.  There is not a trace of beauty anywhere in the district.  And boys and girls craving just a little of the brightness and happiness of the world are growing up in dirt and stench, robbed of all the loveliness of life.
That is what is going on, and it is bearing its expected fruits.  You can see in the faces of many people—even children of ten and twelve years—the hard, bitter, unhappy look that comes from such education.  It is against poverty of this sort that we are organized.  It is in the endeavor to bring the light and air into such lives that we come here tonight.  That is the work which our Master has given us to do, and every man and woman who believes that God has given the earth and sun and air to the children of men is bound to see that these wronged brothers and sisters have their share of the inheritance.
What can be done?  Holding meetings is one thing.  We have got to have action.  It is not enough to talk and shout and then go away feeling rather stirred and yet leave the poor in their misery.  You and I are here to find out what that action shall be—to get light and knowledge for ourselves and for others.  I think we begin to see some opening and by which the poor can have their chance.  You and I, many of us people that are here, begin to see the light.  Many people all over the land are beginning to see the light.
I will read you what was written to me a short while ago by a young physician of this city:  “Until Henry George showed that it was not the injustice of God, but the greed and injustice of man, that caused us all this misery, I, like nearly all, thought that this condition from some inscrutable reason had to be, and that while we might relieve individual suffering, the condition itself we could never remove.  Now, thank God, the light has come.  The path is as bright as day and we must all hang together to pursue it.”
That is what we mean, that is what we are after, that is the call that is ringing out all over this land.  Remember the words spoken here go out from these walls, cast, west, north and south, rousing men up.  You hear of men far away beyond the Sierra Nevadas who are upholding the truth.  What you and I must do is to stand firm, and stand together, and say we will not stop because of all the meers of newspapers, because of all the cavils of complainers.  We will not stop until we have found out the way by which this wrong can be righted and by which the poor shall have the heritage that is theirs from the Father of us all.
The following dispatch was received just after the close of the meeting:
Sunday Evening, May 15—The mass meeting of the Twenty-first assembly district now assembled in Lyric hall sends its greetings to the meetings at the Academy of Music, and hopes that the rehearsals of our party now taking place will result in a grand chorus of 100,000 votes at the next party performance at the ballot box.

A.R. Hammond, Chairman

 


From Friends Elsewhere

Some Specimen Letters Sent to Treasurer Urner and “the Standard

Brooklyn—From the deepest sympathies of my heart, as also the most positive convictions of reason, I am an earnest, though humble, “brother,” in the old “new faith.”
A republican, because I believed, and still believe, that party more nearly than any other desired and aimed to establish justice and human liberty in the sense which you and I understand that principle.
A knight of “the new crusade” now, because I am convinced that this new party distances the old ones by leagues in the advance toward the establishment of the equal rights of all God's children to His bounties.
What He gives He gives to all the children of men.  What I produce by my effort, applied in modification or development of His gifts, is mine.

E.S.D.

 

Jackson, Tenn.—I will do anything in my power to aid and assist any organization to change the present social system, in which one man makes $100,000 per year and other citizens have only a bare subsistence, and must labor from ten to sixteen hours per day.  God speed your good work.

J.E.V.

 

Washington, D.C.—I have been a convert to the land values tax theory of Mr. George for a long time; have written some on the subject, and have made several converts to the theory by personal presentation, and I desire to further the cause whenever possible.  Believing that numbers of zealous advocates aid the advancement of an idea, I wish to become a unit of the George wing of the G.A.R. of labor, as I am also a member of the other “G.A.R.”  I am a small owner of land myself; have personally reaped the benefit of that “unearned increment” for which I never rendered an equivalent, but nevertheless I believe that such unearned values should go by right and justice to its lawful owner—the people.

Geo. E.D.

 

Savannah, Ga.—I enclose initiation fee of one dollar and respectfully request to be enrolled a member of the Anit-poverty society, whose officers are the pioneers of a new civilization to lead a doomed race to the happy land of promise.  The unique proposition to abolish poverty, the old lie, the blasphemy of the ages, is the grandest idea of this century or of any other century—a revelation from Heaven that will crown its supporters with argent wreaths of immortality.  Poverty is unnatural, abnormal and out of harmony with the design of creation.  The birds of the air, the flowers of the field beasts of the forest seem happy in the enjoyment of universal equality.  There are no millionaires or tramps among the birds or the lillies; their hours of work are apparently short, and of leisure long; they rejoice and sing and dream their happy hours away.  Is man, their lord and master, who can levy, or should have power to levy, upon earth, air and water for subsistence, less than they—the only animal doomed to unceasing toil, to hopeless misery?  Forbid it, Heaven!  Forbid it, “kind friends,” “good masters” of the Anti-poverty society; nor cease your humane efforts until root and branch you destroy the curse.

J.C.D.

 

Rahway—It has made me glad to read the noble words of Dr. McGlynn and the lucid arguments of Henry George, advocating the very doctrines that I have held for twenty-five years, and in holding which I felt almost alone.
Enclosed please find my dollar for initiation fee in the “Anti-poverty society,” and enroll me as a comrade under the cross of this new crusade.

W.R.

 

New York, May 13—I have seen and heard Henry George and Dr. McGlynn, and believe from the bottom of my heart that they are sincere and mean to do all the good they can.  I am heartily in sympathy with all they have thus far undertaken.

Fred Rippel

 

Westfield, N.J.—Desiring to aid in every good word and work, according to my ability and opportunity, I enclose the initiation fee of $1, which entitles me to membership in your newly-formed society.  I do not concede, however, the claim that “poverty is the result of human laws that allow individuals to claim as private poverty that which the Creator has provided for the use of all.”  This assertion is too sweeping.  At one stroke it closes all the saloons of our land, every one of which is causing a part of the general poverty, day and night.  Indeed, to a very large extent, where there are no saloons, there is no poverty.  Hence, before I am a land reformer, by way of the ballot, I am “for God, home and native land by way of the prohibition party.”
I would suggest, therefore, in a brotherly way, that your society, which is now also mine, should always pledge its candidates of the land and labor party to favor laws that will enforce the destruction of the liquor traffic, root and branch.

E.L.M.

 

New York—I have heard Mr. George; studied his “Progress of Humanity;” compared it with Montgredian's “Wealth Creation;” have compared his general theories with Kant's “Explanation of the Phenomena of Mind;” have thought of the practical results of his policy of land tax; the possible coming in, in full realization, of all of his prophesies, and am satisfied that Mr. George in intellectual grasp is equal to the philosophers named, and in giving the result of his powerful mind to the common people he is their superior.  I send in $1 and also subscription to Mr. George's paper.  I pray for Mr. George's health and strength.  I feel his loss now would retard what I can foresee—a civilization such as the world has not historical record of.

G.S.P.

 

Chelsea, Mass—My soul is in the movement.  I want to be recognized as with this grand reform.  It is nothing but religion—a religious work for all.  Just as sure as God reigns the truth will reign.  “For ever the right comes uppermost, and ever is justice done.”  Count me with you.  Faithfully yours,

E.T.C.

 

Middletown—Am unable to express the renewed courage I feel for the burdens of life as I study the aims and methods of the Anti-poverty society, to which I hereby seek admission, enclosing initiation fee.

X

 

Denver—The press dispatches as received and published here stated that, among others mentioned, Bob Ingersoll would be welcomed as a member of the society, and although that statement is not corroborated in the Standard's report of the meeting, yet I do not doubt that his application, if made, would be favorably received, and I therefore, while not placing myself beside that renowned free thinker, preferring rather such company as Herbert Spencer and Professor Huxley, take the liberty of enclosing my mite to help on the good cause so able advocated by Dr. McGlynn and Henry George.

C.

 

New York—I am working for the Anti-poverty society and distributing envelopes.  I am receiving money and names.  I heard the doctor lecture when he was in St. Ann's, and when he came to St. Stephen's preaching the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, I always attended the doctor's lectures and continue to do so.  Any good Catholic that knows the catechism can say that they cannot excommunicate him from the church.

M.W.

 

Harrisburg, Pa.—The following resolutions were adopted at a meeting of the Uriah Stevens L.A. 2087, Knights of Labor, on Wednesday evening:
Whereas, We have learned amid a whirlwind of enthusiasm the Anti-poverty society, Dr. McGlynn as its president, was inaugurated at Chickering hall last Sunday evening, May 2, 1887, which we believe is destined to become a helpful aid in fighting the social crime of poverty, inasmuch as the Anti-poverty society will be the means of bringing into prominence the moral side of the labor question; therefore be it
Resolved, That we recognize in Henry George, Dr. Edward McGlynn and their collaborators the highest degree of philanthropy, coupled with a desire to elevate their fellow men, that is highly commendable and worthy the emulation of all mankind; and further
Resolved, That we will extend our sympathy and moral aid in furtherance of the social reform so ably championed by Henry George, the noblest of statesmen, and Dr. Edward McGlynn, the priest of the people; and be it further
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be given to the papers in this city, and a copy be sent to the Standard for publication.
Chicago, May 9—The sentiments expressed by the Anti-poverty society I fully endorse, and I believe every fair minded person who reads this week's Standard will do likewise.  You have named the society well, for, under the title, thousands will rally who have heretofore kept in the background from fear of being called “anarchists.”  I am anxious to become a member of the society, and enclosed please find the initiation fee of one dollar.

Frank D. Macneill

 


What The Press Is Saying

Encouragement From Friends and the Fair Minded—Criticism From Other Sources That Will Not Prove Discouraging

What Is Said On Fifth Avenue

On Sunday evening Rev. Charles H. Eaton said in his sermon at the church of the Divine Paternity:  “In the object is nothing to be objected to for any lover of humanity.  It is most commendable.  We see all around us the evidences of poverty, crime and corruption, physical and moral disease.  Every lover of humanity is just as sincere in recognizing these facts as is any member of the Anti-poverty society.  This society is nothing new.  All churches, great teachers and priests, just as great as the president of the Anti-poverty society, have stricken for the same object.  That society will do nothing more than all the churches for the past 1,800 years and more have done.  Is it true that, as the apostle of the new movement says, the rich grow richer and the poor poorer?  If so, then we may well ask, if there is still a God?  It is a false statement.  The world is advancing.  We may apply three tests to see if the statement be true.  The first test would be:  'Is there an increase of poverty?'  Then 'is there a fall in the general scale of living?'  And, thirdly, 'is there a decrease in the average duration of life?”
After quoting statistics, the speaker said:  “The statement, which is the basis of the Anti-poverty society, is wrong.  I do not believe that the whole book of Henry George's “Progress and Poverty” is worth the paper it is written on unless he proves the facts on its first pages.  If the facts be incorrect, then the question is a serious one if the remedy be not wrong.  There is only one way to escape poverty, that is by work, thrift and self-denial.”

 

Should Join The Quakers

Philadelphia Ledger
Clearly the Anti-poverty society could not do better than to ask to be admitted into the Society of Friends.  As shown in the reports of some meetings represented in the yearly meeting this week, “no poor” are returned among their members.  The society sets its face against liquor drinking, and here the general executive of the Knights of Labor comes to the long-accepted conclusion of the “friends.”  As one of the vital points of Quaker conduct is that members shall live within the bounds of their circumstances and keep to moderation in their trade and business, the ability to give clear answers to these searching queries in any organization ought to be well studied and examined before any new society undertakes to do business under these old signs.

 

Can The Editors Be Convicted?

Middletown, N.Y., Workingman
Henry George need not be so anxious to convince the “editors” that his land reform in its taxation phase does not involve an attempt to cut the land up into small parcels, equal or not in size, for the use of all.  The editors don't want to be convinced.  They are hired or find their profit in expressing and defending the opposite position.  What must be done is to get at the great body of the editors' constituents, then the editors will be on our friends' side and will work with us.  The editors are not to be converted; they can only be forced to see by the conversion of their readers.

 

Doubts That God Is Just

New York Evening Post
It is the knowledge displayed at the George and McGlynn meetings of the intentions of the Creator which really, far more than their political economy, gives them their importance.  Mr. George was yesterday able to make a special announcement that “the Creator meant His bounties of nature equally for all men.”  “Instead of this,” said he, “we have allowed them to become the property of a few individuals.”  There is something very puzzling about all this.  In the first place, how did Mr. George find out what the Creator's intentions about the division of property were?  There is nothing in Mr. George's history or antecedents or in his appearance to indicate how he came to be selected as a special recipient of the confidence of the Almighty.  In the second place, if what he says be true, how does it happen that the Creator has allowed his “intentions,” as revealed by George, to be frustrated by people like Jay Gould and Russell Sage?  The “intentions” of the Creator, as usually understood, mean His fixed will, expressed in the order of nature, which no man can gainsay or resist.  According to George, however, not only can the divine plan in the creation of the universe be set aside by monopolists and stock operators, but it cannot be set working again without hiring a hall and starting a society with a dollar membership.

 

Will Not This Annihilate Poverty?

Poughkeepsie News-Press
Herbert Spencer, Henry George, Dr. McGlynn and many other writers on political economy say that if the land is nationalized every worker can, if he wishes, have an opportunity to work for himself, and that he will not thereafter work for less than his labor is worth…The problem is complicated.  We have cities containing millions of people, a great nation of 60,000,000 of people, a territory of almost infinite extent—there being 4,000,000 of square miles of rocks and rills, mountains and valleys, tillable and untillable soil which it would be impossible to fairly distribute and allot to the individuals of our great nation.  The proposition is to consider land separate and apart from all improvements upon or within it, and to tax the owner of the soil an amount equal to the annual rent of the ground thus unimproved yet standing in the midst of all other improvements that at the time surround it.  The aggregated ground rent constitutes the national inheritance, or the natural value which no simple hand hath made.  Yet this value is only the result of the increase of population and of industrialism.  To divide this great sum so that all may receive his due part thereof is the entire problem.  If it is expended for those things which are necessary and enjoyable for all it will make the wants of each, that must be supplied by individual exertion, care and foresight, so much less.  Can we not name some of these things?  There is the general government, the carrying of the mails, the public schools, the improvement of water ways, the liberating of the nation's commerce from all burdens, the distribution of the products of labor, the supplying of cities with water and light, the care of the unfortunate and the punishment of criminals.  If the assets are not exhausted there are public wants that may cry for attention.  Is not this indeed the annihilation of poverty?

 

Only Theory

Petersburg, Va., Index Appeal
A beautiful theory, indeed; but alas! a theory only; as impracticable, as impossible of becoming a reality as the thousand and one other theories that have preceded it and have come to naught.  Not but that the efforts of such sincere enthusiasts as Mr. George and Father McGlynn—whose panacea for the ills that now afflict poverty-stricken humanity is a radical change in the tenure of land—may be productive of good in some way.  Well, their first movement has been to form an anti-poverty society.  How seductive a sound those words carry to the car!  “Anti-poverty society.”  Think of it, ye millions that grovel in the depths of want!  Think of it, ye millions who know not in the morning where to lay your head at night!  Think of it, ye millions who know not where the crust of bread is to come from that may appease your gnawing hunger!  Think of it, ye millions that are clad in rags that expose you to the bitter blasts!  Think of it, ye millions upon millions of paupers—an “anti-poverty society!”  Want shall take wings and peace and plenty shall be every man's portion.

 

A Readjustment A Necessity

Buffalo, N.Y., Sunday Truth
In the light of such declarations as these the George anti-poverty movement does not appear so entirely quixotic as scoffers would have us believe.  Just how the philanthropic ideas of Mr. George may be put into practice it is hard, even for himself, to define, but one thing is absolutely certain, that a readjustment of social, financial and political conditions is becoming more and more a necessity.  We do not fear that the result will be achieved by a destruction of our institutions or the abolishment of our fundamental laws, but look to its accomplishment through the progressive process of agitation, education and general enlightenment.

 

A Business Meeting

The Members of the Society in the Large Hall of Cooper Union

The members of the Anti-poverty society assembled for the transaction of business in the large hall of the Cooper Union, on Wednesday evening last at 8pm.  About six hundred persons were present, many members having brought friends.
Dr. McGlynn called the audience to order and stated the object of the meeting.  Secretary Michael Clarke read the constitution and by-laws of the society as drafted by the executive committee, which were adopted by a unanimous vote.
The officers placed in nomination by the executive committee were:  President, Dr. Edward McGlynn; vice-president, Henry George; treasurer, Benjamin Urner; secretary, Michael Clarke; executive committee, John McMackin, Thomas L. McCready, Rev. H.O. Pentecost, Gaybert Barnes, William McCabe, W.T. Croasdale, Abner C. Thomas, A.J. Steers, James O'Flaherty, T.L. Johnson and J.R. Waters.  On motion, they were declared elected.
The treasurer's report showed that the total receipts to date had been $1,498.03, of which $553 were from members paying the $1 fee on application for membership.  After deducting expenses for hiring halls, printing programs, etc., $619.58 was on hand.
A general discussion then ensued on the question of charging for admission to the boxes at the weekly public meetings at the Academy of Music.  After several members had expressed their views, the question was referred to the executive committee with power.
Dr. McGlynn said that the business of the meeting having been dispatched it had been suggested that he should “amuse” the audience.  He said that he believed the society should endeavor to secure men in the legislature and in congress to make the changes in the laws necessary to bring about a recognition of the right of all people to an equal share in the general bounties of nature.  The executive and judicial offices were comparatively unimportant.  The doctor continued speaking in a most impressive manner for a few minutes, referring to the moral and religious character of the movement.  With a view to the efficient distribution of tracts, he requested that each member would, as soon as possible, forward to the treasurer a list of names and addresses in all parts of the United States to which tracts could be sent by mail.
At the close of Dr. McGlynn's remarks, applications for membership from over one hundred persons were handed in.  Large bundles of land and labor tracts were then distributed among the audience, many persons having expressed a desire to use them in missionary work.
Mr. S.M. Burroughs of the land restoration society of London, spoke of the growth of the doctrine of the land for the people in Scotland and England.  In closing, he presented Dr. McGlynn with a picture sent him by admirers in England.

 


Correspondence

P.V. Jones of Lakeland, Fla., in an article, the length of which, we regret, prevents us from publishing, says: “I think that those who know most about labor movements will agree that as a general remedy for social ills the strike and boycott have been signal failures.  But what about the ballot?  What would become of the landlord, and all the ills which follow in the trail of landlordism, if we were simply to vote a tax on land, exclusive of improvements, equal to its rental value?  Unquestionably the landlord would disappear, as if by magic, and labor would be truly free.  The land speculator, the particular class of landlords for whom this medicine is intended, understand its deadly effects if the people at large do not.”

 


Concentration of Land Ownership

Israel Hall of Ann Arbor, Mich., who has long been fighting for land reform, and holds that all taxes should be shifted to land values, says:  “Select 1,000 of the sharpest trading men in existence, place them on an island which gives them a thousand acres each, and no more, leave them there thirty years, with the right to barter, buy and sell their homes, it will be found that a tithe of the thousand will own the entire island, and the remainder of that community will be compelled to work as servants on such terms as the tithe of successful speculators shall dictate.”

 


A Free Soil Club Dinner

The Free Soil club will give a dinner in honor of the several committees that issued the call for the first state convention of the united labor party, on Thursday evening, May 26, at the Teutonia assembly rooms, Third avenue and Sixteenth street.  The dinner is to be entirely informal and democratic, and will commence promptly at seven o'clock.  Professor Thomas Davidson is to be toastmaster, and will call upon members and guests to respond to appropriate sentiments.  The dinner will cost one dollar a plate.

 


Mr. Wingate Puts His Shoulder to the Wheel

The Henry George land club of Brooklyn will meet next Tuesday evening, May 24, at its headquarters, Thayer's Hall, corner of Bedford and Fulton avenues.  The president, Mr. Charles F. Wingate, has set his heart upon making these meetings the most interesting of the kind in Brooklyn.

 


What the Colorado Settler Has to Buy Besides Land

New York Iron Age
The usual lease or deed given to a settler or farm tenant in Colorado provides that if he buys the land he shall pay, say, $10 per acre; in addition he pays $10 for a perpetual water right, and from $1.50 to $4 per year per acre of the land he cultivates for the use of water.  Then there is an unknown and elastic charge, which varies year by year, for the repairs necessary to maintain the ditch.  The profits derived from the business of seizing water are enormous; 80, 90 and 100 per cent per annum are not uncommon dividends.

 


Protectionists In A Fix

Unless They Could Roof the Country in, and then Much Prosperity Would Ensue

Rocky Forks, Mo.—Press dispatches say that “successful experiments have been made at Metz, Germany, with a navigable balloon propelled by an electric motor.  The speed of the balloon exceeds that of a railroad train, and it may be directed at will, moving against the wind.”  With what consternation and what forebodings this piece of intelligence will be received by our protective tariff “statesmen” can only be imagined by whoever has waded through one of Mr. Randall's oratorical efforts in behalf of the poor laboring man whom he is so desirous of “protecting from the pauper labor of Europe,” or by whoever has had the pleasure of hearing James G. Blaine dilate on savings banks, statistics and kindred subjects.  If inventive genius has made the air of heaven a public highway, then indeed is the mission of the protective tariff statesman at an end, and he will necessarily be relegated to the list of the things that “have been.”  But, while this seems perfectly right and natural, those statesmen of protective fame will not give up without a struggle.  The stage coach today has its defenders, and, in case aerial navigation becomes an accomplished fact, the American people need not be surprised to hear that Mr. Randall or some other deserving protectionist statesman has introduced a bill into congress providing that the United States shall be roofed in, in order that customs duties may continue to be collected and American labor protected from the products of European pauper labor.
It is true this roof would have its disadvantages, such as keeping from the earth sunshine and rain; but not only would this great roof afford complete protection to American labor, but its construction would furnish employment to thousands of unemployed men.  Many nails would necessarily have to be used, and much lumber; times would be better in the iron and lumber business; more men would be employed in them, steady work be given, and higher wages paid; money would be plentiful, and we could apply our enormous and constantly increasing surplus on this philanthropic work.

Ray Clarence Richmond

 


The New Party in Newark

New Jersey Unionist
What now, in the view of the approach of other elections, is the duty of labor?  There can be but one answer.  This is to stand up and be counted for itself; to organize anew and take a bold and determined hand in politics; to band together and compel the old concerns to “fish, cut bait or go ashore;” or, in other words, to do what the people demand or get out and let somebody else do it.  Firmly believing this to be the duty and the policy of organized labor, the movement started in this city last Thursday night, looking to just such action, has our hearty and unqualified approval.  If the intelligent wage workers of this state are true to themselves next fall—if they will fling off the old party yoke and strike out resolutely for themselves—they can easily send to the next legislature at least ten or a dozen assemblymen of the John Donohue stripe, and can even penetrate the lofty and dignified senate, which, God knows, is badly in need of some new blood—plain, plebian, workingman's blood.  What say you, brothers of Hudson, Passaic, Union, Middlesex, Mercer, Burlington, Camden and Gloucester?  Will you join with us of Essex in the movement for regeneration?  If so, speak out and act like men, and that at once!

 


Facts From Pottstown

Pottstown, Pa., May 12—At this writing workmen are busily engaged in tearing down the old stone and residence by David Weand and family, situated on the corner of High and Penn streets, in the borough of Pottstown, Montgomery county, Pa.  The property was lately purchased by Wm. R. Shuler, Jr., who intends to erect a large, new building thereon.  The original tract of land was 60 feet front on High street and 300 feet in depth, for which Jesse Kline paid $100 in the year of our Lord, 1835.  After it had passed through the hands of several parties David Weand, in 1846, purchased the property for $2,500 and added a brick extension.  Now, about forty years afterward less than half the tract—60 feet front and 140 feet deep—has been sold for $20,000!  Remember, this large sum is only for the land.  The old “improvements” are really considered an incumbrance and are being pulled down and removed.  Is not this a striking example of the “unearned increment” of land values?  Forty or fifty years ago Pottstown was a village of only a few hundred inhabitants, with no manufactories or railroads.  Today we have three railroads, not less than a score of the largest manufactories and nearly 15,000 souls within a three miles radius.  Every one of these inhabitants and all of these big improvements have contributed to the immense increase in the value of that lot, as well as of the rest of the land in this vicinity.

B.F.F.

 


Rouse, Thou Giant

John Stuart Blackie

Rouse thy wrath and be a giant,
People's Will, that has been pliant,
Long, too long!
Up, and stop the rusty chaining,
Brittle bond for thy restraining,
Know the hour, the weak are reigning—
Thou art strong.

Hear, ye loveless, narrow-hearted
Few, for whom the many smarted,
Hear my word!
I have heard the people's moaning,
I have known the poor man's groaning,
I have vowed a red atoning,
Saith the Lord,

Who have lived in pillowed pleasure,
Ye shall now, in righteous measure,
Eat the dust!
Who beheld the bondsmen sallow
Pine, that ye in lust might wallow,
Ye shall feel young Freedom's fallow,
So 'tis just

 


A Real Estate Paper on Co-Operation

Real Estate Record and Guide
I have heard that same panacea (co-operation) recommended for the last forty years, but co-operation for industrial production has never succeeded.  It has failed every time it has been attempted.  The only form of co-operation which has partly succeeded has been the co-operative stores in England.  This was due to the preposterous and wasteful credit system which obtains in the retail trade of that country.  The cash system, which has been the rule in this country in all retail businesses, has made it impossible to start a successful co-operative store in the United States.  I will never believe in co-operation until it is found feasible for ships' crews to command the captain and the rank and file of an army to give orders to their general.

 


What the Scripture Means

L.H. Weekes of Newark, N.J., writes to express hearty sympathy with the great social reform advocated by the Standard, and quotes from Matthew:
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.”
This means, says Mr. Weekes, that there shall be justice between man and man, and not that the many must live in poverty and ignorance, and even slavery, while the few live in luxury and wantonness.

 


Curbstone Dealers In Real Estate

Some Stories of the Smaller Fleas Who Take Their Bite Out of Tenants

Squatter Coleman's successful performances as a self-constituted landlord were the subject of conversation in a little group of business men a few evenings ago.  One of them said:
“I am told that the bureau of assessments and taxation has facts buried in its books in regard to the holders of much real estate that ought to be ventilated.  If Coleman could go on illegally collecting rents for years, it is reasonable to suppose that others are doing the same thing, or other things just as questionable.  I have frequently heard it said that the ownership of a large part of the water front is in dispute—that part still in private hands.  There have been suits brought by the city, I know, which ousted the claimants to a good deal of land under the river.”
“Well,” said another, “when a reward is a big one, some men will always be found who will put forth some claim to it.  The reward to the man holding any New York land is temptation enough to start up a crop of claimants whenever possible.  If the facts in the books of the tax office could be classified and summarized, revelations as to the extent of some of the fortunes invested in New York real estate could be made which would set the town talking.”
“Why should there be any secrecy about men's investments in real estate?” asked a third.  “On the surface there is not, but really there is.  If the people of New York had placed before them the bare facts as they are in regard to city real estate matters, they would soon have clear ideas about forestalling.  We are now told that a man's business foresight guides him in making investments, but there is no more foresight shown in betting on the advance in prices of real estate in Harlem than there is in taking breath.  In my opinion, there is far less shrewdness to be employed in handling large sums of money in buying uptown blocks than there is in the business of scenting out storerooms which may be turned to better account than is done by the tenants occupying them.  Whenever business becomes active in any quarter of the city, you will find that the landlords will soon be trying to advance rents, and they will say, truthfully enough, that they will say, truthfully enough, that they have been offered more than was then paid them.  The class of men who prompt landlords to put up rents are wide awake fellows.  They can judge what business a retail storekeeper is doing, and if he can stand a raise in his rent they will offer to buy a lease of the landlord at, it may be, a small advance.  When they get the lease they will offer to sell it to the old tenant at a considerable advance.  If he will not buy it, they usually find a tenant ready to take the risk that he refuses.  The rents of the whole business quarters of the city have been put up in this way.  One landlord, seeing that another was getting higher rents than he, would raise his prices, and another would follow, until all would be getting better terms.”
“As you know, I am in the liquor business,” said another of the party.  “I have had these agents or speculators, whatever they may be, to come to me and make offers of business places for rent as liquor stores.  They had taken them for grocery stores, but once in possession of them they were willing to fight the owner, if necessary, about the terms of the lease, and use the stores as they pleased.”
“I know of a case on the east side,” said one of the group, “in which a landlord took an old house, put a few repairs and a coat of paint on it, for appearance sake, and fitted up the ground floor for a drug store.  He rented the house pretty well, sold the drug store for $5,000, and then sold the house on the basis of his rents and the price of the store.  The druggist who bought the store is badly bitten.  He can't do a paying business.  He could not on half the rent he is paying.  That landlord was a sharp one.  You'll excuse me, gentlemen, for saying it, but was he not a good, smart business man.”
The same speaker continued:  “I can tell you how one landlord succeeded in defrauding another in the sale of a house.  One of the tenants in the house was told by his landlord on one occasion, when he was paying his rent, that the rent of the tenants in the house—a large tenement building—had had their rent increased $2 or $3 a month.  The tenant began to express a determination not to pay any increase, when the landlord told him, in strict confidence, that he need not, but that his rent receipts would be made out for $2 more than he really paid, so that the rest of the tenants might be convinced that the raise throughout the house had been uniform.  The tenant made no objection to an increase so long as it was made only on paper.  But soon afterward the landlord sold the house.  But soon afterward the landlord sold the house.  The new landlord, on making the first collection of rent, after his purchase, was surprised when all the tenants in the house told him that they had been really paying the old landlord several dollars less than their receipts showed.  The fact was that the old landlord had played his trick of making a seeming advance with every tenant in his house.  Before giving the receipts to the tenants he had showed them to the intending purchaser of the house, and further inquiries by the latter among the tenants as to their rents had elicited replies based on their rent receipts.  It was not until he was the owner of the house that he got at the real facts.”
“Make a tenant a landlord and he is as bad as the rest,” was the opinion next ventured.  “I know a landlord who is raising the rents in a tenement house $2 right through in all the apartments, but he is the last in his neighborhood to do it.  Now, when one of the tenants came into the house he said that his family had a lodger.  After a while it was another lodger, then another, until I don't know how many they have.  Folks go up and down stairs that the owner of the house, who lives in it, doesn't know.  That tenant is making money off the landlord's house.  If the landlord wanted a lodging house of his premises he could keep it himself.  I'll venture the assertion that the lodgers of that tenant think they pay too much for their lodging.”
A smile went around and the group separated, as one of them said, “Well, business is business.”

 


Logical Sequence

Let A be a person or persons holding all the land.  Then, as men must live on the land or die, it follows that:
1.  They must obtain permission before they can live on A's land.
2.  For this permission they must pay what the man most eager to live will give.  And as most men find bare subsistence preferable to death, while their labor will produce a bare subsistence preferable to death, while their labor will produce a bare subsistence plus a large surplus, it follows further that the persons most eager to live will give all the surplus, and rent will only leave bare subsistence to the laborers, while any increase in power of labor only swells the rent.

F. Finter

 

The Pressure of Population in Scotland

Labouchere in New York World
The famous deer forest of Applecross in West Ross-shire is to be sold next month.  It extends to about 70,000 acres and the scenery is magnificent.  There are no finer corries in the highlands, and the deer-stalking is excellent.  There are also plenty of grouse and capital salmon fishing.  Applecross house is close to the sea.  This place formerly belonged to the Mackenzies, whose estate of 150,000 acres was sold to the late duke of Leeds in 1854.  The property was one of the finest in the highlands, and in 1862 it was divided into three portions, of which Applecross now belongs to Lord Middleton and Auchnasshellach to Lord Wimborne.

 

Page 3

Newarks's Land Grabs

“Whoever writes the history of Newark,” says Rev. Dr. Stearns in one of his historical addresses, “if he will do any justice to his subject,” must study the history of the First Presbyterian church, for “although, theoretically, there was a distinction made from the beginning between civil and ecclesiastical affairs, yet in practice it would be difficult to describe the line between at least the temporalities of the church and the ordinary business of the body politic.”  The reverend historian was undoubtedly right so far as the early history of the community is concerned, and if the movement recently begun there goes forward logically to its conclusion, the relations of the municipality to that great land holding corporation will again become a subject of vital public concern.
The city of Newark, busy, bustling and worldly as it has become, is the direct outgrowth of that narrow form of early New England piety that led men of similar religious belief to segregate themselves from their fellow men and, abandoning the rest of their race to damnation, attempt to establish a commonwealth of the elect who might gain prosperity on earth and the surety of salvation in the world to come.  When political union was forced on the people of the colony of Connecticut there was bitter dissatisfaction among the people of Milford and New Haven, who objected to even political association with those who did not accept the religious tenets and theory of church government prevailing in the two colonies named.  A number of the dissatisfied, therefore, heard with pleasure the invitation given about that time by Sir George Cartaret to immigrants to settle within the domain of “the proprietors of New Jersey,” said “proprietors” being not the aboriginal inhabitants, but a number of Englishmen to whom the duke of York had presented the ownership of that particular portion of God's earth.  Sir George guaranteed religious liberty and offered lands to all who would take them, reserving, however, a quit rent of a half-penny an acre to the proprietors as evidence of their continued ownership.
The people of the Congregational church in Milford resolved to embrace the opportunity thus offered, and in the spring of 1666 a small vessel carrying some thirty persons anchored in the Passaic river opposite the present city, and prepared to unload.  When about to land, however, a new set of proprietors appeared in the persons of the chiefs and big men of the Hackensack tribe of Indians, who informed them that they were the owners of the land, and that they were the owners of the land, and that they did not recognize the title of the duke of York.  Thereupon the immigrants made a bargain with the red men, buying the ground from the river bank to the foot of the Orange mountain, the consideration being “fifty double hands of powder, one hundred bars of lead, twenty axes, twenty coats, ten guns, twenty pistols, ten kettles, ten swords, four blankets, four barrels of beer, ten pairs of breeches, fifty knives, twenty hoes, eight hundred and fifty fathoms of wampum, twenty ankers of liquor or something equivalent, and three troopers' coats.”  Subsequently the purchase was extended to the top of the mountain on the payment of the ten guns, three coats and thirteen cases of rum.  It is well to be particular about these items, since the present value of these lands makes the question of their original cost one of some interest.
Having thus satisfied both parties claiming the ownership of the soil, the settlers set about founding their commonwealth and the establishment of religious liberty, as it was understood by the Puritans.  The union of church and state was almost complete.  None but church members could vote or hold office.  For seventy years the town transacted the church business, and the first seven ministers were called by the town meeting, and their salaries were paid out of the public treasury.  People opposed to the church who would not keep quiet or become converted were banished from the colony, the town paying them for their lands and houses at an appraised value.  The money value of the goods paid to the Indians was assessed on the inhabitants according to the extent of land held by each.  The tract was divided among the colonists.  Each was given a home lot in the town and a farm in the country.  The first pastor of the church, Rev. Abraham Pierson, was brought to Newark at the expense of the colony, a lot of land was assigned to him, he was given £80 to enable him to build a house, and was paid £80 a year salary and exempted from all taxation except the land tax levied for draining meadows.  The town maintained certain corporate rights to the land.  Every stranger had to give satisfactory evidence of good moral character and be received by vote of the town before he was allowed to settle, and no land could be sold without the consent of the town.  In course of time some effort was made to escape the payment of quit rents to the “proprietors,” but the latter insisted rigorously on what they called their rights, and the contest was quietly abandoned by the colonists.  The original grant set aside 300 acres for “each parish for the use of their ministers.”  In October, 1676, a warrant was taken out for the survey of these 200 acres, and also for three acres for a burying ground, three acres for a market place, and lots for school house, meeting house and town house.  On Dec. 10, 1696, a deed was executed by the proprietors conveying all of the above mentioned reservations to John Curtis, John Treat, Theophiles Pierson and Robert Young, “to the only proper use, benefit and behoof of the old settlers of the town of Newark, their heirs and assigns forever,” on condition of the old settlers of the town of Newark, their heirs and assigns forever,” on condition of the payment of 6d on each 25th day of March forever, and that the land should be used for the purposes expressed in the deed for no other purposes whatsoever.  The reservation of the 6d on each 25th day of March forever, and that the land should be used for no other purposes whatsoever.  The reservation of the 6d annual rent was in accord with the policy of the “proprietors,” who evidently never intended to alienate any land so completely that they would not have at least a reversionary interest in it.  Whether the payment of this rent has been kept up no one appears to know, but certainly the other conditions of the trust have been set at naught.  The military exercise ground has been turned into a handsome little park, lined on one side with fine residences.  The market ground has been similarly treated, greatly to the disgust of many countrymen, who have from time to time violently asserted their claims by tearing down the fence and driving their wagons in on the grass.  An effort was recently made to satisfy the farmers by turning over the old graveyard to them for market purposes, but the descendants of those buried there got out an injunction, and the scheme was abandoned.  No one has been buried in this lot for forty or fifty years, and it is almost in the heart of the city, yet the claim of those whose bones have long since turned to dust is upheld as against the living to the use of this land.  The absurdity of such a system is quite apparent to the present generation of Newarkers, and had the proposal been to erect new public buildings, such as the city badly needs, on the lot, it is probable that it would have been supported by public opinion, and the effort would not have been abandoned on the first rebuff.
The history of the town and the church is interesting, but it is not necessary for the purposes of this article to give it in detail.  A bound volume of the historical discourses of Rev. Dr. Stearns, placed at the disposal of the writer by Mr. Wm. E. Layton, librarian of the Newark library association, and the “History of Newark,” by Joseph Atkinson (now editor of the New Jersey Unionist, the labor paper), will afford the curious information on the subject.  The last named volume can be found in the Astor library.  The early history is that of a colony of earnest, God-fearing people, and though they had their little differences they appear to have been in the main united.  Gradually the Congregational system gave away to the Presbyterian appears to have been effected without difficulty.  In the course of its existence the peaceful town has given birth to two men more notable than honored—Aaron Burr, a vice-president of the United States, who sought the distribution of his country, and Michael Augustus Corrigan, present archbishop of New York, who is doing all that lies in his power to disrupt the Roman Catholic church in the United States.  In the revolutionary times the town embraced the patriotic cause with enthusiasm, and the minister of the First church, Rev. Alexander Macwhorter, threw himself into the struggle with such ardor that he became famous throughout the country.
The first schism in the church came about through an event which shows that resistance to the Puritan idea of the Sabbath is no new thing.  Colonel John Ogden, a wealthy and influential member of the First church, saved his wheat one dry Sunday during a wet season.  The good people of the town were shocked, and the church undertook to discipline the colonel.  He showed fight, and a controversy followed that finally resulted in the establishment of a Church of England congregation that has since become Trinity Episcopal church.  This controversy, though it began over questions of doctrine and discipline, soon included the land question, the new congregation claiming a share in the lands devised to the trustees for the benefit of the old inhabitants, but which had by mere consent, without any formal act, passed to the use of the First church.  The Mountain society, which had established what has since become the First Presbyterian church insisted that the ground was originally alloted to each parish, that it was at that time the only parish in the colony, and as such received possession.  The contention was at times bitter, and it continued for many years.  The First church had meanwhile become incorporated, and it concluded to make its title more definite.  The last surviving heir and the town the title to the property was formally invested in the trustees of the church.  This was accomplished at a town meeting held March 12, 1760.  Next year a town meeting reversed this decision, and ordered the division of the property among the three churches claiming it.  A committee was appointed to carry this decree into effect, but the next town meeting in 1762 rejected the report of this committee.  Six years later another town meeting passed a vote to divide the property, and a committee to make the division was appointed.  The trustees of the church formally protested against this action as an infringement of their rights of property, and the matter appears then to have been dropped.  After the revolution there was a revival of the controversy, which was finally quieted in 1786 or '87 by the voluntary grant by the First church of certain lands beyond the town limits to the Episcopal church and the Mountain society.
Meanwhile the old church held on to its land in the heart of the city, but it does not appear to have derived any great benefit from it up to 1787, when the corner stone of the handsome structure, still standing, was laid.  The building of that church taxed the resources of the congregation to the utmost, and it was not opened for service until 1791.
In 1801 the need for still another church was acknowledged, and the old society voted that it would convey to any congregation establishing a new Presbyterian church two-sevenths of its real estate.  It voted at the same time to make a similar conveyance to a third congregation when such should be established.  The Second church was completed in 1811, but owning to doubts as to its right to transfer the title, the First church granted it, in lieu of such conveyance, a third of its income from real estate.  The Third church grew out of dissensions in the First church concerning a minister, and in 1824 two-sevenths of the land owned by the First church in 1809 were conveyed to the new organization.  In 1825 an act of the legislature was procured that authorized the trustees to convey lands to Trinity church in Newar, the First Presbyterian church in Orange, and the Second and Third Presbyterian churches in Newark, to be held solely for the support of a gospel ministry.  The purpose of this law was to ratify the transfers previously made, and to enable the First church to carry out the agreement it had made with the congregation of the Second church.
The assessment system of Newark makes it well nigh impossible for an outsider, not having access to the church books, to make a reasonable estimate as to the revenue derived from ground rents by the First church and the other churches with which it shared its land.  The ground is leased for long terms to individuals who agree to pay the taxes, and the land and buildings are assessed as the property of such individuals.  That the revenue is quite large is manifest, since the church grounds lie on Broad street, the principal thoroughfare of the city, at and near its intersection with Market street, an important business avenue.  In some instances the leases have been sold by the holders to others, who sub-let the property for uses that gave rise to great scandal and caused attacks on the church for permitting its property to be used for immoral purposes.  It is due to the trustees to say that they made strenuous efforts—sometimes at considerable pecuniary sacrifice—to recover possession of the property, with a view to abating such nuisances.  The facts already stated also show that the later policy of the church was one of liberality toward its neighbors.  Since the First church shared its patrimony with the Second and Third churches, however, no further division has taken place, and hence the First, Second and Third Presbyterian churches of Newark, Trinity Episcopal church of the same city and the First Presbyterian church of Orange have enjoyed and to a large extent still enjoy the privilege of levying a land tax on property in Essex county for the support of their respective congregations, which gives them an unjust advantage over the numerous other churches wholly supported by their respective congregations.  This advantage is occasionally a matter of complaint with members of other congregations, who fail to see, however, that the privilege enjoyed by the five favored churches is precisely the same as that enjoyed by numerous private individuals under the pernicious system that recognizes land as private property.  Let those who are becoming interested in this question in our neighboring city follow up this line of inquiry for themselves, and they will see—first, that the land held and leased by these favored churches bears precisely the same burdens now laid on other land; and, second, that it yields over and above this a large sum that goes toward the support of churches for the use of rich congregations abundantly able to meet all such expenses out of their own pockets.  A similar remainder over and above the tax now paid on it now goes into private pockets from every foot of ground in the city that has been put to use.  Where land has not been put to use it is held vacant by speculators, who anticipate that the growth of population will give it a value, and who meanwhile force those who desire to build to go beyond to less eligible sites in order to find sites for the purpose.  Those who get this clearly in their minds will understand precisely what the proposition to levy all taxes on land values means to the city of Newark.
The city and county tax rate of Newark for 1886 was $2.03 on the $100.  The assessment was as follows:

Real estate valuation

$75,967,335

Personal property valuation

19,299,676

 

$95,267,011

Less indebtedness deducted

1,990,734

 

$93,276,277

The tax assessment is $1,930,447.16, and of this amount $1,542,137.50 is now collected from land and houses and $388,809.66 from personal property.  In addition a vexatious poll tax is levied, which actually yields less than the cost of collection, and license fees yielding $75,000 a year are collected from carters, peddlers and others, which hamper trade and result in annoying arrests and litigation.  Furthermore, the complaint is constant in Newark as it is everywhere, that the tax on personal property leads to evasion, falsehood and perjury.  Again, despite all this complicated and burdensome taxation the city has not met expenses and the cost of improvements from year to year, and it has, after deducting its sinking fund, a bonded debt of nearly $8,000,000, much of which was contracted to meet current expenditures.
How much better a system of levying all taxation on land values would work is perceptible at a glance.  The assessors estimate that the assessment covers four-fifths of the real estate values.  This is probably true of improved property, but it is not true of vacant lots held for speculation.  Taking it as a basis of calculation, however, we find that if $75,967,335 represents four-fifths of the value of the land and buildings in the city, that the full value is $94,959,168.  Deducting from this one-third (which is far too much), as the value of the buildings, we have a remainder of $63,306,112 as the value of bare land in Newark.  All of this is now subject to a tax of two and three one hundredths per cent.  No one will pretend that if all of it were under ground rent as the church lands now are that it would not yield at least two and seventy-seven one hundredths per cent over and above such taxes.  In New York it is a matter than five per cent ground rent over and above a still higher rate of taxation.  In that event the tax on land values in Newark could be easily placed at five per cent, and at this rate it would yield the city a revenue of $3,165,305.60, as against the present $1,930,447.16, giving a surplus of $1,234,858.44 toward the extinguishment of the burdensome public debt, the extension of the water works, the building of new bridges over the Passaic, the erection of new city buildings or any other purpose of public utility and benefit, while it would also have the effect of giving work on such improvements to many men now idle.
For a time it might yield something less, for the immediate effect would be to force down the price of land held vacant by speculators, but as no man thereafter could afford to thus hold land that he does not use himself and will not permit others to use, such men would at once build, or get their land into the hands of others who would build.  If they did not do this voluntarily the city would do it for them by means of tax sales.  Nor would tax sales be a farce any longer when the city could afford to sell land thus seized for a mere nominal price, since it would be sure of the revenue from the increasing value the growth of population would give it, irrespective of the buildings to be erected on it.  The systematic fraud by which speculators hold on to Newark land in defiance of the tax sales would be at an end the moment it became apparent that such sales gave to enterprising builders an opportunity.  The temporary fall in values could not, therefore, last long, and building operations being no longer burdened by a tax, an era of building activity would set in that would make Newark more than ever a city of individual homes.
And this tax would fall exclusively on land owners as such, and they could by no possibility shift the burden.  There are no physical limits to Newark's possible expansion.  The necessary operation of the tax would be to make the furthest outlying vacant lots approximately free land, and any attempt to raise rent in the thickly settled portions of the city would defeat itself by forcing a sufficient number of tenants to the edge to reduce the number of applicants in town, and thus restore the equilibrium.  This cannot be denied by any man who argues this question on purely economic grounds, and hence the defenders of land monopoly fly to the great moral principle and denounce any plan for the resumption by the people of their natural common ownership of the soil as a proposal to commit robbery.
How little right the land owners of Newark have to raise this plea is seen by a brief glance at their history.  The present mayor of the city, Hon. Joseph Haines, has a dim perception of the great truth underlying the doctrine of land resumption, but he has never thought it out.  In his last annual message he denounces with just bitterness the schemes of speculators to gain possession of the water courses to which not only Newark, but all other important New Jersey cities must, at some not distant day, look for an abundant supply of pure water.  In the course of this denunciation, Mayor Haines says:
We are placed upon this earth by no consent of ours.  Our Creator has given to the child of the humblest peasant, born though he may be in a hovel, equal rights to the land, the water, the light and the air with the child of the millionaire.  The land, by the act of some petty prince or emperor, or by act of congress, has been given to favorites and soulless corporations, and now schemers without number are engaged in concocting nefarious plans to create a monopoly of the water, and sell to the people what already belongs to the people.  Their only regret seems to be that they cannot devise some infernal plan by which to meter and sell God's free sunlight to their fellow men.
The mayor sees the great truth, but fails thus far to understand the only method of remedying the great wrong done by petty kings and emperors and stupid congresses.  He will in time, perhaps, cease to concern himself about taxes on personal property or any products of human industry and join the new crusade for the restoration of their equal rights in the land to all of God's children who have been deprived of their heritage by the injustice of their fellow heirs to the Creator's bounty.  When that time comes Mayor Haines will see an even wider application for some passages in his last message.
In one place he recounts the bargain above described between the early settlers and the Indians and computes the value of all the goods given to the red men as about $750.  He says of the fathers who drove this trade, “from our standpoint in this nineteenth century they would be adjudged 'tough Christians.'”  Again, after describing the reservations made for public use by private individuals, and he quotes a report made by a committee to a special town meeting in 1802 which declares “that the encroachments on and about the ancient watering place are wanton and without a shadow of right; that remissness of the inhabitants, openly avow their intentions to maintain and defend not only their former encroachments, but threaten to fence in the whole of the public grounds and set the town at defiance.”  Thus, as ever, the land grabber showed himself the most audacious and impudent of robbers.  The mayor shows that the old burying ground was similarly encroached upon, and that the robbers managed to secure, in the very act of legislature that forbade further encroachments, indemnity for their earlier acts, on the usual plea that the removal of the encroaching buildings would subject innocent purchasers to great pecuniary loss.
In another part of his message the mayor shows the loss sustained by the city through a decision of the court of appeals that in making street and sewer improvements real estate can only be assessed for the actual and not the prospective benefit.  By this decision the dogs in the manger who withhold land from human use, simply with a view to securing its prospective value, are exempted from paying their just share of the operations specifically intended to give it such future value.  This indicates that the old rapacity denounced in the town meeting of 1802 still clings to the Newark land grabbers, and shows that those of them now alive are unwilling to bear the just share of the burden caused by the unjust system by which they profit.  In the new era no such controversy can arise, since public improvements will be made at the public expense, and they will bring back immediate compensation through increased taxes dues to the increase in rental values.
No claim is made that this article is an exhaustive presentation of the advantages open to the people of Newark through the adoption of the system of concentrating taxation on land values and increasing the tax until the full rental value is taken for public use.  No one who will look over the city will believe for a moment that the buildings represent a third of the $94,959,168 at which its real estate is valued by the assessors.  No one familiar with such matters will imagine that the assessment on the vast amount of vacant ground within the city limits represents four-fifths of their selling value.  Here, in New York, recent experience has shown that vacant lots are assessed at only twenty-eight per cent of their selling value, and it is unreasonable to suppose that the vacant lots of Newark are assessed at eighty per cent of their value.  If land reformers in the latter city will make a careful study of the question they will doubtless find that vacant lots sell for double or triple the amount for which they are assessed, and that the value of the bare land of Newark is nearer a hundred millions than sixty-three and a third millions, and that it is capable of yielding a public revenue of $5,000,000 annually.
Nor is this more than a mere beginning.  The steady growth in population that made the town of Newark, with its population of 6,507 in 1820, a great manufacturing city, with a population of 136,400 in 1880, still continues, and the inhabitants now doubtless number much more than 150,000.  The pressure of this growth cannot fail to add constantly to the value of land, and the judicious expenditure of the increased public income from such values cannot fail in turn to promote the increase of industry and population.  There is scarcely a limit to the city's possible growth, and it can reserve numerous parks and pleasure grounds as it grows and absorbs Orange, Belleville and many another thrifty suburb.  It can own its means of street transportation and run cars for nothing if it chooses, thus enabling its thrifty suburb.  It can own its means of street transportation and run cars for nothing if it chooses, thus enabling its thrifty workmen to spread themselves in separate homes over the whole beautiful country at its back.  All of this and more can be accomplished by simply restoring their own to the people, and pouring into the public treasury the tax for the use of God's earth that now goes into the hands of land owners.  No worker would pay more tax than he now pays rent, and all taxation on human industry and its results thus being removed, the manufactures of the city would promoted by the very system that set its builders busy preparing homes for its throngs of workmen.  When men tell the people of Newark that it is a moral wrong to propose such a beneficent arrangement, they have but to look to the last message of the mayor of their city for evidence that shows that it ill becomes those who now hold the soil to talk of the honesty on which existing titles are based.

Wm. T. Croasdale

 


An Organizers' Fund

A Correspondent Suggests Contributions for Keeping Lectures and Organizers in the Field

The following letter explains itself.  the Standard will gladly receive any contributions for the purpose named, and acknowledge them in its columns:
Waynesborough, Pa.—I believe that a call through the Standard on all who are in sympathy with your reform movement to state whether, and to what extent, they are willing to contribute to keep lecturers and organizers in the field, would show that a very considerable fund could be raised for the purpose.  I judge from my own feelings in the matter.  I would not be able to give much, but to the extent of my ability I would be willing to contribute monthly or in a gross sum at once.  My faith in the adequacy of the remedies which you propose has become stronger and stronger the more I have considered them, and though I thought I could “see through the whole thing” before I had read your great book half way through, yet I find that every day shows me new beauties in the plan.  I only hope that you will live to see the day (in my opinion not so far distant as some imagine) when complete success shall crown your efforts and the whole people acknowledge your invaluable services.
You will excuse me for writing thus boldly, for I am so much in sympathy with your great work that you do not seem like a stranger to me.  Respectfully yours,

J.B. Raby

 


An Incident of the New Crusade in Canada

Kingston, Canada, May—I am delighted with the Standard.  It is doing good work.  Perhaps you will permit me to relate a little incident which happened not long ago.  I was on a train for Toronto, and while discussing one of Dr. McGlynn's speeches with some acquaintances chanced to make myself overheard by a motherly, comfortable old lady in the seat in front.  Several times she turned half around as if to intercept more of the conversation, and at last, as if no longer able to resist, she turned to me impulsively:  “Is it Dr. McGlynn's speech you have, sir?”  And she went on volubly in praise of the “noble man,” the “brave man.”  She had been eagerly following his course.  Would I allow her to read the speech?  Would it be published in Canada?  I told her I was just then writing out some of the finest extracts and recommending a journal to publish the speech entire.  She then read the speech carefully through, bending her gray head over it and peering through her spectacles.  Returning me the Standard she gave me at the same time a copy of the Montreal Witness, with its report of Cardinal Taschereau's latest utterance on Dr. McGlynn and the Knights of Labor.  There she had read of Dr. McGlynn's “Terrible Mistake,” “the deluded victim of a preposterous theory,” “desire for notoriety,” etc., and I then understood the almost hysterical enthusiasm with which she read the doctor's own sturdy, lofty, eloquent appeal for the new crusade.  It was out of chill cynicism and dull prejudice into the welcome glow and warmth of generous, liberal sentiment.
The old lady soon left the train, glowing with enthusiasm for the doctor and the cause, a mild, most effective missionary in her way.  Beacons of this same generous fire are being lighted all over the continent, even to its obscurest corners.  Zealous Cardinal Taschereau can only burn himself or his pontifical robes in trying to extinguish it.  I want to circulate Dr. McGlynn's address among the clergy here.

R. Balmer

 


$1,300 per Front Foot in St. Paul

St. Paul, Minn., Daily Globe
The Sault Ste. Marie railroad company has purchased two lots in Kittson's addition.  These lots front 100 feet on Broadway and run back 200 feet to Pine street.  The price contracted to be paid is $130,000, and at the rate of $1,300 per front foot for the Broadway frontage.  This is the highest price ever paid for St. Paul property.

 


The Anti-Renters

The triumphant rebels of the American revolution of 1776-86, after the accomplishment of their independence, avenged themselves mercilessly upon those land owners who had adhered to king and parliament.  They confiscated right and left.  Every acre of tory land that hand could be laid on was seized by the state.  In New York, however, two great landed properties remained in the ownership of the families to whom they had been granted by colonial authorities, which means that these two families—the Van Rensselears and the Livingstons—had been faithful to the cause of the successful rebellion.  They had, indeed, given unquestionable proofs of their patriotism.  The estates were known as “manors” and their masters were called “patroons.”  The Van Rensselaer manor was of Dutch origin, and lay in the counties of Albany, Rensselaer, Schoharie, Delaware, Montgomery, Scheneetady, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster.  The first Van Rensselaer had been connected with the Dutch West India company, and his patent from the Dutch director had been confirmed by treaties with the Indians and recognized by English governors.  His tenants were of Dutch and English derivation.  The two Livingston manors lay in Columbia and Dutchess.  The first Livingston, a poor Scotch gentleman of good education, was an official in the English colony, married into the Van Rensselaer family, received grants from the English governor, and also had obtained a confirmation from the Indians.  His tenants were partly Dutch and partly German, from the Palatine.
The revolution had put new ideas into the heads of the tenantry.  The bold phrases and eloquent arraignments of Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence had been read and pondered, in farm house and cottage, throughout the land, and social discontent felt itself invited to appear.  The leases to the tenants upon both manors were in feudal shape.  Those on the Van Rensselaer estate were perpetual, those on the Livingston estate were each for two or three lives.  The rents were light, but were payable in kind, principally in wheat and chickens.  Corn must be ground at the landlord's mill, and goods must be brought at his stores; the streams and the mines be bought at his stores; the streams and the mines were the landlord's, and the cutting of fuel was restricted.  The tenant must give a day to drawing manure for the patroon's park.  At every assignment of the patroon's park.  At every assignment of the lease by the tenant to a purchaser one quarter of the consideration money belonged to the landlord.  These feudal conditions revolted the men who had just rid themselves, by a long and bloody war, of monarchy and nobility.
The demands of the tenants, when they first began to consider their situation, were surely not unreasonable.  They simply asked that the patroons should consent to sell out to them their proprietary interests, and it was proposed by the tenant associations to raise among themselves and their sympathizers by mortgage or otherwise, a capital in money, whereof the interest should be equal to the rentals.  The quarter sales and the distraint for rent being the most prominent grievances, it was even offered to replace them directly to the landlord by mortgages to him.  Any fair arrangement, which would have alleviated tenures, felt to be odious by the people, would have been welcomed at this period and have brought an end to all difficulty.
But there was much putting forth, on the other side, of a claim not altogether unheard of, even in these later days, of the right of every man to do absolutely as he pleased with his own.  The traditions of the Van Rensselaers and Livingstons were adverse to selling any of their lands.  The manors which they had so long held were the patent of their social superiority and the foundation of the political importance of their families.  Land holders they were, and land holders they would remain.  The law was with them, and no sound lawyer had been found who could discover a legal flaw in their titles.  And in fact, these titles have always been absolutely upheld by our courts.
The first general anti-rent demonstration was made by a state convention which was held in 1845 at Berne, in Albany county.  This body assembled about nine years too late.  The men who attended it should have been invited to, and should have participated in, the workingmen's and loco foco state convention, held at Utica, in 1836.  Many valuable movements for reform have been lost by lack of unity.  Had the discontented elements both in city and country moved at the same time and in accord with each other half a century ago, the record of our subjugation by monopolies might not have been the painful and humiliating one that it is.  The Berne assemblage was large and was composed of resolute and intelligent farmers, who spoke and acted as men suffering under a grievance.  The business of the convention was to make an appeal to the legislature against feudal tenures and to demand the calling of a constitutional convention.  The resolutions adopted disapproved and deprecated all acts of violence or disorder, but expressed a determination to use every peaceful political weapon to place themselves upon a level with the free farmers of the state.  This Berne convention was held just as Silas Wright had assumed the gubernatorial chair.  Its members seemed to have little confidence in Wright, who, in many respects, resembled Grover Cleveland.  Like Cleveland, Wright was a lawyer.  He possessed honesty and was free from craft and cunning, but his character was intensely bigoted and obstinate.  He was, moreover, in no friendly mood toward the manor tenantry, and in his very first message to the legislature he began war upon them in this rather stilted language, which, however, accurately describes the offenses of which some of their number and been guilty.  “An exciting state election,” wrote the governor, “has been made the occasion for an earnest attempt to intermix these (land tenure) questions with the general politics of the state and to make them tests of the election to the legislature.  It was out reasonable to expect, after the appeals made in this form had been patiently listened to, maturely considered and deliberately decided by the freemen of the counties, before whom the questions were raised, that further efforts in any other manner, to accomplish the objects sought, would be at least delayed until the relief expected could have been asked at the hands of the legislature.  Even this delay has not been suffered, but resistance to the law and its officers has been renewed in forms and under circumstances of the deepest aggravation.  Organized bands of men, assuming the guise of savages, with arms in their hands, have already bid defiance to the law, its process and it officers, and, in repeated instances, and in more than one county, but the life of the sheriff and his deputiees' in immanent peril, forcibly taken from them their official papers and burned them in open day, compelling the officer to desist from further attempts to discharge their duties.”
The governor proceeded to recommend the enactment of laws prohibiting the assuming of disguises with the purpose of evading or resisting the laws, or of committing breaches of the peace.  Such a law was passed and signed without delay, but instead of terrifying the young farmers' sons it seemed at once to set loose numbers of hard riders, who paraded at midnight over turnpikes and crossroads, in calico jackets and masks, making night hideous with the blowing of horns and firing of fowling pieces.  Like the ku-kluxes and moonlighters of our own day they seemed to revel in the terror they produced.  Nor does the history of those disturbances lack resemblance to that of the eviction disorders resulting from the eighty-year-old coercion policy of the landlords of Ireland.  The manorial counties had burst into a blaze, and a deputy sheriff, engaged in a distraint, had been shot dead in Columbia county, as was charged, by a tenant of the Livingston manor.  This accused person, Dr. Smith A. Boughton, whose masquerading name was “Big Thunder,” was tried, but the jury disagreed.  A conviction on a second trial sent him to state prison.  Another deputy sheriff was killed in Delaware county, on Van Rensselaer land, for which John Van Steenburgh and Edward O'Connor were convicted of murder.  Their death sentences were commuted, and they also went to state prison.  The governor hotly proclaimed all Delaware county to be in insurrection, and ordered out the state militia.  A reign of terror succeeded to a reign of disorder.  In the meanwhile the constitutional convention, from which the anti-renters expected so much relief, had been ordered by a majority of the popular vote of 180,000.
The election of November, 1845, returned anti-rent assemblymen from the patroon countries.  The governor's legislative message was more pacific.  He announced, January, 1846, the restoration of order in the disturbed counties.  He recommended that distraint for rent be abolished for future leasings, and also advised a statutory limitation of future leases of farm lands to five or ten years, and finally proposed the imposition of an income tax on manorial rents.  The legislature complied with the first suggestion, and the constitutional convention, the next summer, limited agricultural leases to twelve years.  But the patroons made successful fight in the legislature against the income tax and it was never imposed.
The constitutional convention of 1846 brought great disappointment to the anti-renters.  The tenantry had fondly hoped that the state of New York would assert and exert its sovereignty on their behalf.  They could not believe that the provision of the United States constitution whereby a state is prohibited from “passing laws” impairing the obligation of contracts applied to the organization of the constitution of a state.  They demanded and confidently hoped for the condemnation of the manor leases in the revised fundamental law of the state, on the ground that they were contracts against public policy, and were inconsistent with popular government.  But the matter seemed otherwise to the crowd of eminent and talented lawyers who swayed the debates of that convention, and, when it adjourned, the fortunes of the anti-renters were, as we have seen, but little advanced.  I saw its daily sessions and heard its debates, and can bear witness to the ability, zeal and learning which was brought to the discussion of the anti-rent question.
Some power of revenge was left to the disappointed tenantry, and of this they did not fail to avail themselves.  Governor Wright, like many an other chief executive before and since, had been deceived as to his popularity by confidants and flatterers.  Against the good judgment of Mr. Croswell, editor of the Argus, Wright took a renomination from his party.  The whigs nominated John Young, who had been the friend and advocate of the tenantry in the legislature and in the constitutional convention.  Both parties began actively to bid for the anti-rent vote.  I was present at the Anti-rent state convention, held at Albany in October, 1846, just as the constitutional convention, at which I was employed as a newspaper reporter, concluded its labors.  The sympathies of youth impelled me to a more active participation in its proceedings than was prudent, and I was summarily discharged by my employers from their service in consequence, but subsequently, with due warning as to future conduct, reinstated.
This convention ended the career of Silas Wright.  Persons claiming to represent both him and his opponent, John Young, were in attendance, actively and openly competing for the anti-rent endorsement, and pledging their favorites, if elected, to grant pardons to the martyrs of the cause languishing in the state prison.  But the anti-renters had most confidence in the whig nominee, and John Young received their almost unanimous support.  In the November election the governor, Young beat Wright in the state by 11,500 majority, which was also supported by the anti-renters, defeated Hamilton Fish, whig, by about 13,000 majority.  These figures demonstrate that the whig and democratic parties proper were at that time, as now, just about equally balanced in the state of New York, and that the anti-rent vote held easily the balance of power.  There has been no such close equipose of parties in New York, from 1846 up to the last presidential election of 1884.
The support of Young and Gardiner by the tenantry of patroons very naturally brought about a counter movement of conservatives.  In New York city, what was called the “business interest,” experienced one of its occasional spasmodic awakenings, and New York papers said a good deal editorially about the danger of agrarianism and anarchy.  The merchants and bankers of New York resolved to prepare “a splendid service of plate,” valued at $20,000, to be presented to Governor Wright, “as a token of sympathy.”  This magnificent tribute never reached him.  He left Albany at the end of his official term, returned to his home in St. Lawrence county, and died suddenly there a few days after of an apoplectic attack.
John Young, who assumed the governorship, was the most dangerous and indefatigable enemy the democracy of this state ever encountered since Alexander Hamilton, and his skillful partisan management wrested from them the state, at the time of their most absolute ascendancy in the federal government.  These facts make it all the more remarkable that a democratic governor, at the distance of only forty years, should have been misled as to the politics of that one of his official predecessors whom, in many particulars, though not in party associations, he himself so much resembles.  Young was bold, and thorough.  He was only twenty-seven days in office when he pardoned unconditionally out of state prison John Van Steenburgh, Edward O'Connor and Smith A. Boughton.  It was a wise act, and in great degree subdued the public excitement.
Anti-rentism thereafter was nothing but a series of struggles in the courts.  Many tenants went to the west: and all through the geographical streak which marks New York state emigration on the map, you will find today the historic old Dutch family names which stood so long on the manorial leases of the Hudson and Mohawk valleys.  Others remained on the old farms, but by no means did they implicitly pay rent.  The landlords found themselves more and more seriously crippled to come to terms with the lessees.  The only way was to sell to them.  A syndicate, composed of Walter S. Church, Dean Richmond and Peter Cagger, undertook a wholesale settlement of the Van Rensselaer estate and made a large profit from it.  The Livingstons sold by degrees.  When my father-in-law's manor lands were partitioned, in 1867, my anti-rent predilections were gratified by seeing the lineal descendants of the very settlers who had originally taken the leases, purchase the fee of farms which their ancestors and themselves had patiently cultivated, as tenants, for a century and a half.  And they bought them very cheaply, for nobody bid against them.

Gideon J. Tucker

 


the Standard of Humanity

New Jersey Unionist
Stand by the cross of the new crusade.  It's the Standard of humanity, the only hope and salvation of the people from the maws of monopoly and land sharks.

 

Page 4

Morrisania's Millions

Two hundred and thirty odd years ago Richard Morris bought from the Indians a tract of three thousand acres on the main land, some miles north of Manhattan island.  This land passed to his descendants, several of whom have been men of distinction and one of whom, Governor Morris, became in time the owner of the greater part of the tract.  His residence, called Morrisania, gave name to the village beyond the Harlem, now included in the city of New York.  He was succeeded by his son, Governor Morris, who in 1848 sold 122 acres of this land to three brothers named Charles, James and Alexander Bathgate for $12,000.  One of the brothers died two years ago, and legal proceedings were shortly after instituted for the partition of the estate.  For some reason the brothers have neglected to pay the taxes, and they thus owed the city $50,000.  Last week, by order of the court, fifty building lots on their land were sold at auction for the payment of taxes.  Bidding was spirited, and the total sum obtained was $128,360.  The newspapers chronicle this as a notable evidence of the increasing prosperity of the northern part of the city.

We have no means of knowing exactly what proportion of the original 122 acres these lots represented.  Had they been regular city lots they would have occupied something more than four acres, but the dimensions given in a few instances show that they were larger than the regular city lots.  Suppose, in order that we shall err, if at all, on the side of caution, we say that they occupied eight acres; then, throwing away fractions, the whole estate is worth fifteen times $128,369, or $1,925,400.  The Bathgates purchased it less than forty years ago for $12,000.  They do not appear to have done anything to promote the growth of population northward that has given their land its value.  Since the great rise in values began they have not even paid the small share of such increased value claimed by the community in taxes.  They sold some portion of the ground three years after they bought it, and hence some others have had a small share in the increase, but treating the proprietors as a whole they have seen land that cost them $12,000 increase in value in less than forty $1,913,400.  The whole of this increase was caused by the community, which obtains of that which it thus created but $50,000, and it has trouble to get even that.  Meanwhile the original purchasers have had a good living off of the estate for forty years.

But the Bathgate farm constituted less than the twenty-fourth part of the 3,000 acres originally bought by Richard Morris, and a similar increase in the value of the whole tract would make it worth $27,000,000.  It is probable that the value of the whole estate is not yet proportionately equal in value to the Bathgate lots, at 171st and 172d streets, but the time is rapidly coming when those lots will advance largely in selling value, and the whole tract become proportionately as valuable as this portion now is.  That is to say, the growth of population in the annexed district will, in the course of a very few years, have increased land values in a tract of 3,000 acres there $27,000,000.  There are 26,500 acres in the annexed district, and we leave each reader to calculate for himself the total increase.  Take what relative valuation of the remainder he may, he will find in the total reached a useful lesson on the meaning of the term “unearned increment.”  The people who have held this land did nothing to create these values.  The increase is due solely to the growth of population in New York, which constantly forces the people northward.  The community has got some of it back in taxes, but the Bathgate incident shows that this is a mere bagetelle—$50,000 out of nearly $2,000,000.

But New Yorkers do not enjoy a monopoly of newspaper rejoicing over the evidence that private individuals are growing enormously wealthy by appropriating values created by the public.  The Philadelphia papers gleefully chronicle a little real estate operation there that indicates a tremendous increase in value.  Joseph Gatley in 1876 purchased at auction a property at the corner of Fourth and Harmony streets for $2,750.  For more than ten years he has earned a good living by conducting an oyster house and barroom on the premises.  The other day he sold the property to Robert Glendenning & Co., the bankers, for $50,000.  “Over 1,714 per cent profit on a real estate investment” is the comment of one of the Philadelphia papers on the transaction.

Does this mean that the majority of individuals in New York and Philadelphia are growing richer?  By no means.  It simply means that the majority of such individuals must pay an ever increasing rent to a minority for the mere privilege of occupying ground on which to live or do business.  It means that to the majority of people in both cities the struggle for existence is becoming fiercer and more intense.  What it will mean to them in the future we have but to look to London to see.  The dukes of Westminster, Norfolk, Bedford and Portland own a large part of the ground on which London is built, and their enormous incomes consist largely of ground rents.  A parliamentary committee has recently been examining into the working of this system.  From the testimony it appears that Mr. Armbrecht, a chemist, some sixteen years ago established himself in business in a house built upon the estate of the duke of Westminster.  The lease had sixteen years to run and he bought the building and built up a lucrative trade, his understanding being that the lease was one guaranteeing the right of renewal.  The lease had sixteen years to run and he bought the building and built up a lucrative trade, his understanding being that the lease was one guaranteeing the right of renewal.  The lease is about to expire, and the tenant has received a peremptory notice from the duke to get out.  The building goes to the ducal robber, and with it the good will of the business which the chemist has built up.  The labor and capital of the working chemist go into the capacious maw of the hereditary thief called in England a lord.

Robert P. Porter, the tariff advocate, in a London letter to the Philadelphia Press gives numerous similar instances of extortion by landlords.  The profits of business are systematically appropriated, and in order to make way for further business expansion—business that will be similarly bled by these land leeches in the future—all considerations of humanity and Christianity are cast aside, and the agents of these coroneted cormorants have driven out, in order to make way for other tenants, as many as seven thousand poor people at a time, without so much as asking where the poor wretches were to find shelter thereafter.  Mr. Porter prefaces these stories of oppression as follows:  “Let me give some instances, for they illustrate why the land views of Henry George spread so rapidly in England.”

If Mr. Porter would but turn his attention for a moment from his patent Pennsylvanian panacea for poverty to look at the facts he would discover that in all our great American cities, despite our high tariff, the condition of the laboring people is approximating that of the same class in London, while numerous instances given of late in the columns of this paper would prove to him that the possessors of landed estates in New York are levying just the same kind of tribute on trade and enterprise here that the dukes of Westminster, Norfolk, Bedford and Portland are exacting from the tradesmen of low tariff London.

No views could be well wider apart than those concerning a tariff held respectively by Mr. Porter and the Standard; but a study of the real causes of poverty, such as he is now making, ought eventually to bring Mr. Porter to see that whether he or the Standard be right on the tariff question, so long as land monopoly continues neither free trade nor protection can ultimately do anything to prevent the constant descent of the mass of wage workers into indigence, nor to remedy the growth of a burdensome imposition on business men.  The right to say who may and who may not find standing room on earth gives to him possessing it the power to tax both labor and capital, and it matters little, in the long run, whether it be exercised by the scion of a ducal house in London, the descendant of a Dutch peddler in New York, or by a multitude of smaller owners.  The landlord, as such, however useful he may sometimes be in other capacities, does nothing to build up a community, and yet he is licensed to levy an ever-increasing tax on both labor and capital, and to obtain and appropriate to himself the enormous publicity created values shown by the recent sales in the suburban portion of New York and the business center of Philadelphia.

 

A Blind Leader

The Sun joins the Tribune in declaring that poverty is specially ordained of God.  It quotes a silly paragraph from the Hebrew Journal, and tells that paper that “idleness, wastefulness and extravagance are not, after all, the great cause of poverty.”  It says:
Poverty is the order of nature.  Man is born poor, his only resources being the faculties he inherits.  The whole history of civilization is the record of his attempt to lift himself out of this natural poverty.  If there were no idleness, waste, or extravagance, this long and laborious historical process would be somewhat abbreviated; but poverty would be somewhat abbreviated; but poverty would be the rule all the same.  The immovable reason why, in spite of God's bounty, nature's fruitfulness, and man's efforts, poverty always exists, is that man is weak and has not the power of producing wealth in a measure adequate to render every one rich and comfortable.  The world is poor; society is poor; the richest country is poor.  Even here in the United States an exact division of the total wealth which exists would come very far short of giving to every individual a thousand dollars apiece.  The one and only remedy for this universal poverty is to increase the producing power of mankind.
It is difficult to deal seriously with such twaddle as this.  Man is born weak and helpless, it is true, but some are born into conditions that stunt the growth of their faculties and condemn them to premature toil before nature fits their muscles for exertion, while many others, equally helpless, are born into conditions that ensure them from birth such comforts and luxuries as a lifetime of toil could not bring to less fortunate infants.  Except in their helplessness there is nothing that two such infants have in common, and this is not because of anything in nature, but because of conditions brought about by man.
The “reason why, in spite of God's bounty, nature's fruitfulness, and man's efforts poverty always exists” is not that man is weak and has not the power of producing wealth in a measure adequate to render everyone rich and comfortable,” but because a few have been permitted by human law to appropriate all of the choicest of God's bounties to their own selfish use, permitting their co-heirs access to just so much of that bounty as they choose on conditions that compel most men to poverty and many to idleness.
In time it will be true that a great advantage will be found in increasing the producing power of mankind, but under existing conditions experience proves that such increase aggravates rather than remedies poverty.  Labor saving machinery, while enriching the people as a whole by adding to their productive power, reduces many once prosperous men to poverty by throwing them out of work.  The reason that increased productive power is not an unmixed blessing is found in the fact that the results of the increase are not justly divided.  The mighty power of steam has probably multiplied the productive power of mankind a thousand fold, and here in America it has been applied to the richest natural resources ever enjoyed by any equal number of men in the history of the world, and yet the Sun is able to say that even in the United States society is poor.  In one breath it talks of remedying poverty by a still further increase of the producing power, and in another it preaches the gospel of despair and declares that “poverty is the order of nature,” and therefore not to be remedied.
It is time that men seeking to lead public opinion should abandon this attempt to cajole the masses with a false hope which they themselves do not share.  The Anti-poverty society does not deny the great fact that on an earth where the food of man is produced by annual crops continuous industry is necessary to continued human existence.  It claims, however, that whatever fanciful speculations men may indulge in as to the possible division of the stored up wealth of mankind among individuals, this earth can be made to yield to human industry every year more that enough to feed, clothe and house in comfort the whole human race, and leave a considerable surplus of time and product for gratifying other than mere physical needs.  It declares that the reason why many are denied the opportunity to work, while others who do work fail to secure even the satisfaction of their mere physical wants is found in the unwise laws and customs of men and not in the niggardly returns yielded by nature to exertion.  It demands as a remedy for the existing evils that each child born into the world shall come into it with an equal right to whatever nature has given to man, be that much or little, and it proposes to accomplish this by gradually restoring to society as a whole the common ownership in all natural resources.  The people who believe the plan impossible of of accomplishment or the remedy inadequate have a perfect right to say so, but such attempts to divert a hurricane with a fan as this by the Sun are absurdly ineffective.  They deceive no one who really sees and thinks and they flatter the thoughtless and ignorant into a fancied security from which they will have a rude awakening.

The question of public control of railroads is frequently set up by the pro-poverty press for the purpose of being knocked down; but it is seldom that any serious grounds of objections are stated.  It is usually urged in a general way that it would imperil our institutions to turn the management of railroads over to government, and in this connection that the less government we have the safer we are.  Exactly what kind of democrats these are who distinguish between the people and the government in a democratic country it would be interesting to know.
Occasionally, however, a real attempt at discussion is made.  The best that has come to our notice appeared recently in the Pioneer-Press of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  That journal specifies two principal objections, one political and the other financial.  The political objection comprises tendency toward centralization, public corruption and extension of political patronage; while the financial objection alludes to the great cost of acquiring control and the small percentage of earnings.
So far from tending toward centralization, public ownership of railroads would tend toward decentralization.  Railroad corporations have produced centralization of power—of political as well as economic power, and that not in the hands of officials answerable to the people, but in the hands of irresponsible railroad kings.  These corporations govern districts, and even states, and, to an extent, they have manipulated the federal government.  Public corruption is generaled by them.  They employ legislators and bribe judges.  Directly or indirectly nearly all scandals in public affairs, to say nothing of corruption that has not come near enough to the surface to make scandal, grow out of private control of public functions.  All the possibilities of corruption incident to government control of railroads are trifles compared to the actual corruption incident to corporate control.  And as to the extension of political patronage, public management would, under reasonable civil service regulations, reduce patronage.  In cities today the position of conductor or driver on a street car is political patronage.  The elevated roads of New York are supplied with brakemen by country politicians.  And on the big railroads subordinates find it exceedingly desirable to have the support of some influential statesmen.  Between railroad magnates and politicians it is a case of “I tickle you and you tickle me.”
The great cost of acquiring railroads is not worth consideration.  If the people were to pay the nominal value, there would be force in the objection.  But that is not intended.  No one proposes to give stockholders government bonds for watered stock.  Whatever the roads are actually worth should be paid, but no more; and when that is done the government, having value for what it pays, will not be out of pocket.  He who buys a bushel of wheat for the value of a bushel of wheat loses nothing.  And as to the income from these roads, which the Pioneer Press puts at three per cent, no one needs to be told that the income at present rates is far above necessary operating expenses.  When the “india rubber account” is taken out of operating expenses, a wide margin for profit remains; and when water is squeezed out, the percentage of profit will run up amazingly.
The Pioneer Press lays down a rule which deserves more careful consideration than it gives to it.  It is “that any business which can be carried on by private capital and private enterprise is better so conducted than by the agents of the state.”  This is true; but it makes against rather than for the notion that railroads should be controlled by private enterprise.  The management of railroads is a public function, not a business; and its income is a tax, not a profit.  The establishment and management of a highway is a function of the state, requiring a franchise from the state to enable private individuals to undertake it.  To argue from the rule laid down that is ought to be carried on by private capital and enterprise is to argue that the collection and disbursements of other taxes are to be so carried on, since it is quite as true of them as of railroads, that they can be carried on better by private capital and enterprise than by the agents of the state.
But, in fact, it is not true of either.

The story of the Anti-renters, told in our columns this week by Hon. Gideon J. Tucker, is an excellent illustration of the sturdy, independent manner in which, during the earlier days of the republic, the yeomanry of America struggled against the growing tyranny of landlordism.  To many of the present generation who sympathize so ardently with the efforts of the Irish people to free themselves from the incubus of rent, it will be news to learn that within the last half century a struggle not unlike that now going on in Ireland, took place within the borders of the state of New York; that property was destroyed, men slain and a state of smothered war maintained by men—otherwise peaceable and well disposed—who were goaded into rebellion by the infringement of their natural rights, under cover of statute law.  The saviors of society, so urgent to decry peaceable methods of agitation and reform, may learn, if they will, a stern lesson of warning from the story of the Anti-renters.

The Star says of the no-beer-on-Sunday law, that it is a nice law that banishes 60,000 citizens in a single day.  But the Star sees nothing reprehensible in the law that banishes many times 60,000 citizens for life and compels the vast majority of those who decline banishment to live in flats and tenements.

The Anti-poverty society wants lists of names and addresses of men and women in every part of the United States to whom it can forward tracts by mail.  If every reader of the Standard will forward such a list the work of the society will be immensely aided, and a vast number of fresh recruits enlisted in the ranks of the new crusade.  These lists need not by any means be confined to persons already interested in the great reform.  They should embrace the careless and unthinking, as well as those who have already begun to think.  When possible, vocations should be given as well as names, in order that suitable tracts may be selected.  Lists may be sent to the treasurer of the society, Mr. Benjamin Urner, 6 Harrison street, New York.

The following suggestive advertisement appears in a late number of the Herald:
The President of a Railroad Company, building one hundred miles in the south, will notify persons where depots will be built, so that quarter of million dollars can be made from land with ten thousand dollars capital.  President, 218 Herald office.

The Mail and Express is one of the journals that regard poverty as a providential arrangement—a sort of divinely appointed condiment or flavoring to the lives of the better classes—possibly disagreeable to the fools who endure it, but highly picturesque and pleasing to those who look at it from the safe height of plenty.  This is what it finds to say about the Anti-poverty meeting last Sunday night:
“Disinherited babes” are what Henry George calls the tenement house children, and he talks of “disinherited babes crying in the wretched, crowded tenements, crying until they die of bad air and heat and sickness, dying because they have been robbed from the start of their just inheritance.”  Well, if a father, because he prefers working for wages in the city to tilling the soil on his own farm, prefers the tenement house to the country home, who is it robs the baby of fresh air?
“Stupid people!” said the French princess, “to cry for such a thing as bread!  Why don't they eat cake?”

 

The bill to give the labor party an inspector of election in each district has passed both houses of the legislature, and is now in the governor's hands.  Better judgment prevailed among the democrats in the senate than the representatives of that party in the assembly displayed.  A few leading democrats in the house opposed the bill, ostensibly on the ground that it was part of a trade between the labor party and the republicans looking to the support of Blaine by the former.  The subterfuge was so transparent that democratic senators could not be induced to adopt it.  The bill is, in fact, a perfectly fair and harmonious one.  The two democratic police commissioners are empowered by it to select democratic inspectors, and the two republican commissioners to select republican inspectors; but there is no labor party commissioner in the board in whom authority to select labor party inspectors might be vested, and, therefore, the labor party itself is empowered to choose any one of the four commissioners to act for it.  There is no room for bargaining.  The commissioner chosen by the labor party must select the inspectors that are nominated by that party, precisely as the democratic commissioners select inspectors nominated by the democratic party.  The real objection to this bill is that it will enable the labor party to protect itself against fraudulent canvassing, which reduced the labor vote in this city last fall to such an extent that it is an open secret among politicians today that the candidate who received the certificate of election as mayor was not in fact elected.  The judicious character of the governor's vetoes thus far give reasonable promise that he will approve this bill.

The Indian allotment in severalty law, which might better be entitled “an act for the more complete impoverishment of the Indians,” is about to be enforced.  This law compels the Indians to choose farms to be held by them in severalty.  It is intended to establish the system of private ownership among Indians which now prevails among us.  This is against the protest of the Indians themselves, and can benefit no one but land speculators, except possibly a few Indians who may develop the selfish and grasping qualities of heart and mind that are so characteristic of our civilization.  As soon as the Indians get individual titles to portions of what is now common land, and find that it can be sold like game or beaded moccasins, their titles will be in the market and in a very short time the mass of Indians will be landless.  The reservation system has been bad because it was protective.  What the Indians needed was to be let alone.  This law, instead of letting them alone, compels them to a course which will result in enriching and “civilizing” a very few Indians and impoverishing all the rest.

The stirring letter from Newark, N.J., printed in the last issue of the Standard under the title, “Press on the New Crusade,” was from the pen of Rev. Thomas C. Easton, D.D., pastor of the First Reformed church of Newark.

 

Rev. Charles P. McCarthy's Bereavement

Miss Eileen McCarthy, daughter of Rev. Charles P. McCarthy, has been called away from earth as she was blooming into womanhood.  The funeral services took place at the residence of her parents, 75 East 121st street.  Rev. Dr. Hodge, pastor of the Universalist church of Harlem, officiated.  He was assisted by the bereaved father, who made an address and led in prayer.  The floral offerings were numerous and beautiful.  Among the large gatherings of friends and relatives were Mr. Henry George, Miss George, A.M. Molina, Fred C. Leubuscher, Miss Leubuscher, C.F.J. Doody, James P. Hyde, Messrs. Carmen, Irving and Endelmann.  After the services a delegation from the Twenty-third assembly district united labor party appeared and presented resolutions of condolence.  The internment took place at Woodlawn century.
Mr. McCarthy's remarks were touching in the extreme, and showed that even in the hour of his own bereavement his heart was still full of the great cause to which he has devoted his life.  His flower, he said, was taken from him by the will of the All-Father, and he was filled with grief.  The loss wrung his heart and his sympathy went out to the afflicted of mankind.  “Alas!” he said, “how many heads are bowed down and how many hearts bleed, not by the will of Providence, but by the injustice of man.  How many beautiful young girls in the horrid tenement districts fade away and die before their time; how many innocent babes are torn from warm breasts; how those that exist grow in in disfigurement, just because some human beings have seized upon the bounties which God intended for all!  Was this the meaning of life?  Nay; we come here for a time to do our little and should, leave in peace when our days are numbered.  But to how many does life seem a terrible mistake!  Some glut themselves with God's bounties while others starve.”  And as the old man stood there beside the casket, he called the benediction of Heaven down upon that great movement which has for its purpose the opening to all mankind of free and equal access to the gifts of nature.  Then would there be less sorrow and more happiness; then would death come less often to young lives and God's will be done on earth.

 

Intended for the Poor as Well as the Rich

Brooklyn, May 12—Having carefully studied Dr. McGlynn's case, I have come to the conclusion that he is punished because he refused to retract that “private ownership of land is unjust.”  I myself think as he does.  Last Sunday I attended mass at St. Agnes' church, Brooklyn, where Rev. Father Duffy is pastor.  The sermon was by Father Crowley of St. Augustine's, and he took for his text, “Many are called, but few are chosen.”  He illustrated how the beauty of God's works, above and below, ought to bring people to the Master.  He pointed out how air will come in at the window of the poor as well as of the rich, and how the sunlight strikes on the roof of the cottage as well as on the palace.  I waited patiently to hear him say that the land was God's gift to the poor as well as to the rich, but he omitted that.  If land, air and light are free gifts from God to all of His children, then I am sorry that Father Crowley was afraid to speak what he certainly must know is right.

An American Catholic

 

Dr. McGlynn in St. Louis

The Grand opera house, St. Louis, was crowded to overflowing last Sunday night with an audience assembled to listen to Dr. McGlynn's lecture on the “Cross of the New Crusade.”  Mr. Stephen M. Ryan, master workman of D.A. 17, K. of L., presided and introduced the lecturer in a brief, but telling speech, which was heartily applauded, while Dr. McGlynn's appearance upon the stage was the signal for an outburst of enthusiasm that spoke well for the future of the new crusade in St. Louis.  The lecture was a decided success, the audience listening intently, and showing clearly their appreciation of the arguments presented to them and of the deep religious significance of the new movement.

 

An Efficient Teacher

Professor Antonio Molina, not content with being one of the chief instructors in the political economy class connected with the Twenty-third assembly district association of the united labor party, has now commenced a series of discourses on the land question before local assemblies of the Knights of Labor.  He uses a blackboard and invites questions.  On Tuesday night, after he had been talking for nearly three hours, it was decided by unanimous vote that the only way in which wages could be raised and the condition of the workingmen could be improved was by remitting all taxation on labor and capital and appropriating land values for common use.

 

God Speed the New Crusade

Seneca Falls, N.Y., May 11—God speed the Standard and the new crusade.  The opposition shown to the doctrines of Henry George I find comes chiefly from men who do not understand them.  The only way to prevent revolution is to do simple justice to all alike, rich and poor, high and low.  Justice wrongs no man; and the sooner we clear our political system of the corruption and injustice which characterizes it, the better it will be for us as a nation and a people.

R.S. Ganoung

 

The New Crusade

Alsager Hay Hill

In the dead of the winter night,
As I lay on my couch awake,
There fell, as it seemed, a light,
And I heard a voice that spake.

And it seemed, but I know not why,
The voice of Him that died,
On the Holy Mount of Calvary—
Jesus the crucified!

Yet with half reluctant air,
I turned on my pillow, and said:
“Speak, Spirit, what message you bear
Is it news from the living or dead?”

And the Spirit answered again:
“O creature troubled and crossed,
Surely I died in vain—
For my lambs are straying and lost!

“In the crush of your proud great city,
So full of revel and scorn.
Have you neither place nor pity
For the little ones weakly and lorn?”

“They know not their way in the shadows,
Though Wisdom still cries to be heard;
For better the marsh and the meadows,
The life of the bee or the bird!”

“They know not their way in the shadows,
Though Wisdom still cries to be heard;
For better the marsh and the meadows,
The life of the bee or the bird!”

Then I said—“O Lord, I am thine,
And wait but the word from Thee;
But why are Thy looks divine
So searchingly turned on me?”

Then He spake, and with kind command,
His words as the dew came down—
“Brother, the day is at hand,
Lay hold on the Cross and the Crown!

“Behold! as I pass thro' your streets,
My watchmen away or asleep;
And for ever there come the bleats
Of the wand'ring desolate sheep.

“From the heat of your stifling alleys,
Green gardens of fever and pain;
From the very green of your valleys,
Far away from the stress and the strain;

“From garrets seething with leaven
Of idleness, folly and sin,
Where the only glimpse of my heaven
Is the stars that look shudderingly in;

“From all the waste places of plenty,
From wretchedness deep as the grave,
They call you!  Go forth, I have sent you,
Go forth in my spirit and save!”

So spake He, and speaking He vanished,
And I tell but the vision today.
But when from this heart shall be banished
The voice that has shown me the way?

Oh, brothers and sisters mine,
In the dead of your winter night,
Should the self-same spirit shine
And utter such words of might—

Wait not for the bigots and schemers,
Still fighting for sway in their schools;
Heed not all the profitless dreamers,
Asleep o'er their systems and rules.

There is work for the hands that are willing
And trophies for hearts that are true,
See now! the dark places are filling
With beacon lights kindled anew.

Go forth!  They are far from the fold,
In their wretchedness black as the grave
While the shepherd calls as of old,
“Go forth in my Spirit and save!”

 

Demanding Justice

Rev. H.O. Pentecost's Brilliant Speech Before the Newark Trades Assembly

An enthusiastic meeting was held in Newark, N.J., May 11, under the auspices of the Essex county trades assembly, when the Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost delivered an address upon the land question.  Mr. Pentecost was introduced by the chairman, Mr. Folmar, and was warmly greeted.  He said:
Whenever we point to the poverty-stricken condition of the wealth producers of this country we are told that the causes of it may be found in idleness, extravagance and intemperance.  These charges against working people are false, except as they refer to an exceedingly small minority of them.  But after all allowance has been made for self-inflicted poverty, it can be easily proven that the volume of involuntary poverty suffered in the world constitutes an indictment against the ruling classes of society, which is beginning to be heard in the supreme court of divine justice, and will not cease to plead until our present iniquitous and abominable system of land holding shall be abolished and the laboring man, who is now a slave, shall be free.  The abolition of poverty is the object of the “new crusade,” as this magnificent movement was called at a recent great meeting in New York by the noble, great-hearted and altogether lovable and manly priest who loves his fellow man even better than his church—I mean Edward McGlynn—and not until there is a full and fair opportunity for every man to apply his own labor for his own benefit in his own way, not until there is no longer an involuntary pauper on the earth, will this new crusade come to an end.
One of the charges oftenest brought against those of us who frequently speak as I am now speaking is that we are stirring up a spirit of discontent among laboring people.  Why, bless your hearts, that is precisely what we are trying to do.  Liberty is not possible without a forerunner of discontent.  The Magna Carta was wrested from the king of England by discontent.  The republic of France was established by discontent.  The tyrannical yoke of England was flung from the neck of our colonies in a grand passion of discontent.  Slavery was abolished from our land through the efforts of agitators who spread discontent everywhere.  Soreheads and mugwumps are the John Baptists of all reforms.
You can no longer satisfy the laboring men of this country by telling them that they are better paid now than ever before, or that they are better paid than laboring men in any other country.  This is not the real question.  The fact which they have discovered is that they are not getting a fair share of the wealth which they produce, while, somehow or other, they produce, while, somehow or other, there is a class of men in the community who are not producers of wealth, but who are nevertheless getting about all there is except what is necessary to sustain the lives of laboring man.
They have discovered their grievance, and they are hunting for its remedy.  They know that somebody struck Billy Paterson, and they are looking for the man.
The root of the trouble is that you allow the man who owns land to put in his pocket all the effect of your improvements in every way.  I want to show you that by an illustration:
There is a man who owns an island near New Orleans which he rents to another man who employs one overseer to hire and manage hands to work that farm.  The man who owns the land does nothing.  The overseer does nothing but keep the others at work.  The men who do nothing live handsomely.  The workmen live in barracks.  None of the ordinary palliatives will meet the case of those laborers.  Industry, sobriety, economy, national currency, non-convict labor, income tax, will all fail.
This is the infernal system by which the idler becomes the richest man in the community.  When you allow a mortal to fence in a piece of land which God made and compel you to pay him for the use of it, you simply legalize highway robbery.

 


Dr. McGlynn to Lecture for the Eighteenth District

Dr. McGlynn is to lecture on “The Duties of Labor” at Cooper Union, on Monday evening, May 23, under the auspices of the Eighteenth assembly district of the united labor party.  Miss Agatha Munier will lead her Concordia chorus of one hundred trained voices, and some very good music may be expected.

 

Page 5

The Week

There prevails in Mexico an ingenious system under which a recalcitrant debtor, having no other means of discharging his obligation, can be taken in execution by his creditor and forced to work out his debt.  As the wages allowed him are absurdly low, and he has to provide out of them for his own subsistence, the unfortunate chattelized debtor—peon is the local name of him—is thus compelled to life-long slavery, and as interest accumulates more rapidly than his scanty wages, he generally quits this earth with his obligation very considerably augmented.  And right here is where the true beauty of the Mexican system develops itself.  The debt obligation is hereditary, the children of the man who has been toiling for fifty years or so in the vain endeavor to wipe out a debt of ten or twelve dollars being bound in peonage to their father's creditor, and transmitting the obligation to the next generation, not only unimpaired, but generally very considerably increased by the steady accumulation of interest.  Such is the semi-barbarous custom of Mexico.
In highly civilized countries, such as Egypt and the United States, matters are arranged more scientifically, not to say decorously.  There they don't make a peon of the individual—they simply clap a chattel mortgage on the entire population.  A khedive in Egypt, or a boss in New York, takes a notion to have a new palace, or finds himself in need of spending money for some purpose or another or for no purpose whatsoever.  He calls in a money lender, who advances the sum required, and in return receives a number of mortgages or bonds each of which entitles the holder to call upon the people at large in New York or Egypt to furnish the equivalent of so many days' labor annually.  And these bonds the banker resells to the lacky ones of the earth who are born to be supported by the labor of other people, and are anxious to extend their possessions of humanity.  This is an excellent system—doubtless providential.  It gives the common people something to work for, it relieves the better class from the necessity of labor and it prevents the employment of capital in the making of shoes and clothes and other vulgarities, and thus tends to check that dreadful overproduction which, by providing too much of everything forces so many to get along with nothing at all.  The people of Great Britain and Ireland, for example, are thus peoned to the tune of 90,000,000 days' work annually, which labor they contentedly perform without fee or reward of any kind, to the great comfort and satisfaction of their proprietors.
Once in a while, however, it happens that some community, not having a clear comprehension of the true principles of political economy, and being deficient in that sterling honesty which induces the conscientious Mexican peon to give the labor of his life to the son of some fellow who once lent his grandfather fifty cents—once in a while some such community sets custom and morality at defiance and impudently declines to do its appointed number of days' work for the benefit of its proprietors.  Then society is shaken to its center, and there's a pretty how d'ye do.  If the wicked peons are a weak nation, the good proprietors sometimes send a ship of war or two and settle the matter with a high hand; or, if the peons are strong enough to make the employment of this sort of argument dangerous, a certain number of the proprietors are appointed a “committee of bondholders” to do what they can by peaceful methods to bring the peons to a proper sense of their duty in the premises.  This perversity of human nature is even now receiving a sad illustration within the borders of the United States.  The people of the state of Virginia are contumaciously and irreligiously refusing to do the stipulated annual number of days work for their proprietors, to whom they were duly and lawfully peoned by their forefathers.  Most of these proprietors are Englishmen, and as the British government doesn't see its way with perfect clearness to bombarding Norfolk and enforcing the contract in that way, why, the more peaceful “committee of bondholders” have taken the matter in charge and are even now endeavoring to persuade the wicked Virginians to save the honor of their state by contributing to the support of a few thousand Englishmen.  So far the committee has had a painfully discouraging experience.  The Virginians, it is true, are not so rash as to dispute that they ought to do the days' work required of them; they simply say that after providing for their families, and their public schools, and the current expenses of their state government, they are, so to speak, too tired to do any more, and the English proprietors must wait until they get rested.  They are willing to acknowledge of Britain, but in their own expressive vernacular, they'll be dog-goned if they pay a cent.
All this is very sad.  When Smith makes a solemn promise to Brown that Jones shall do something, the whole scheme of the universe is evidently brought to naught unless Jones keeps Smith's promise.  Virginia had better have a care what she is about.  If this present generation of Virginians refuse to carry out the promises of their predecessors, they may find it impossible to discount the future by selling the labor of their descendants.  Perhaps if they do, the world will be the better for it.

Mr. John Wanamaker, who keeps a big store in Philadelphia, has decided to set apart a certain portion of the profits of his business during the coming year to be distributed among his employees.  Hereat arises a chorus of jubilation from the press, who see in Mr. Wanamaker's action the dawn of that millennial era of profit sharing (and, of course, loss sharing as well), so frequently spoken of by Mr. Edward Depew—or was it Mr. Chauncey M. Atkinson.
We have no doubt that Mr. Wanamaker is perfectly honest in his intentions.  When he says he means to give his employees a share in the profits of his business he unquestionably intends to do it.  The thing to be considered is whether the employees will be any better off under a system of partial profit sharing than they are now under the wages system pure and simple.
Suppose one of Mr. Wanamaker's clerks, now earning $10 a week, finds at the end of the year that by skill and diligence he has become entitled to a dividend of $52, making his net weekly wages for the year $11 instead of $10.  Several things will follow.  In the first place, when that clerk applies for a rise of salary he will very probably be told that he has already received it; next, the number of competitors for his place behind Wanamaker's counter will be increased by whatever number of $10 a week clerks may be willing to accept $9 weekly in cash and wait a year for payment of the extra dollar; and, finally, there will surely come to the front a smaller number of competitors, confident in the possession of an extra amount of energy and skill, who will be willing to work for comparatively low wages, and trust to recompense themselves by earning higher dividends.
Take it altogether, the net result of the profit-sharing system can only be to exact more work and greater diligence from the employee, without in any way increasing his wages.  But it will unquestionably be a good thing for Mr. Wanamaker and any other employers who may adopt it.  Perhaps that is why Mr. Atkinson and Mr. Depew have so much to say about it.

More overproduction; really there is no telling where this sort of thing is going to stop.  Too much anthracite coal is what's the matter now.  There are 900,000 tons of this fuel in store at tide-water shipping points, and the wicked people actually are not buying it at the prices asked by the coal companies.  What better evidence could there be that more coal is being produced than people want to use.
Of course, the remedy is a very simple one, and the coal companies are going to apply it with commendable promptitude.  They announce that from Monday of next week until Monday of the week following no anthracite coal shall be mined in Pennsylvania.  Firstly, it will stimulate a healthy demand for the 900,000 tons of coal now lying unbought, and secondly, it will tend to forestall and prevent any impudent attempt on the part of the vulgar fellows who mine the coal to secure by combinations an advance upon their scanty wages.
But if only some corporation had absolute control of the Croton aqueduct, how soon, how very soon, should we be telling men with parched lips and dirty faces that much of their distress was to the over-production of water.

The Harlem railroad company has owned for a generation or more, a block of land on East Thirty-third and Thirty-fourth streets, extending from Fourth to Lexington avenues, originally utilized as a storage yard for cars, but long since practically abandoned, that is to say, as to any use that was made of it.  The fences were kept round it safely enough, with the usual placards on them forbidding trespassers.  The place finally got to have so neglected and disreputable an appearance that the residents in the vicinity offered, if Mr. Vanderbilt would allow them, to convert it into a sort of park, to be used as a playground for their children; and Mr. Vanderbilt consenting, this was done.  Except for the brief period that it was thus used as a playground, however, that land has been of absolutely no service to any human being for twenty years or more.
Well, the other day, the Harlem railroad company sold this land to a Mr. Meyer for $500,000.  Mr. Meyer did nothing to it, but simply waited a few days, and then sold it to Mr. Edward Dodge for $850,000.  It is worth noting, by the way, that the assessed value of the land for taxation is only $240,000.
Mr. Dodge intends, it is said, to divide the land into building lots, and sell them either with or without buildings.  As he cannot be supposed to have invested $850,000 without expecting a fair profit, it is safe to anticipate that he will get for the lots not less than $1,000,000.
This block of land measures 400 by 200 feet, and can be divided into say fifty building lots.  A very brief arithmetical calculation will suffice to show that when fifty houses shall be built on these lots the men living on them will have to pay, each one of them, a tax of $1,000 a year to Mr. Dodge or his representatives, not for anything he has ever done, or that Mr. Meyer has ever done, or that the Harlem railroad has ever done, but simply and altogether because our system of laws allows the privilege of stealing men's labor to be bought and sold and gambled upon as freely and as unrighteously as were ever negroes in the slave markets of the south.

The usual weekly meetings of Methodist ministers in Philadelphia on the 10th inst. nearly ended in a free fight.  Thomas W. Price read a paper on “statistics” which impugned the accuracy of the report of the missionary board, and declares that “in the whole range of literature, secular or religious, a more incongruous mass of stuff was never presented to the public than the centennial report of the Methodist church published three years ago.  In it no two statements of the same fact agree.”  As to the conference reports he continued:  “The figures are not reliable for three reasons:  First, because there is an evident exaggeration of the number of members; second, because there is a senseless exaggeration of the number of members; second, because there is a senseless exaggeration of the value of church property, and third, because of the plain in many churches to place the minister's salary at $1,500 say, and then tell the pastor to give them $300 back.”
He similarly analyzed the report of the annuity fund.  One minister interrupted Mr. Price by declaring that one of his statements was “a deliberate lie,” which remark was endorsed by stamping and shouting.  As soon as the reading was finished ministers nearly tumbled over one another in their eagerness to reply, and Dr. Paxon of the church extension society, who finally got the floor, denied the truth of Mr. Price's statements and declared that that gentleman had perpetrated an outrage.  Mr. Price attempted to reply, when a scene of indescribable confusion ensued, the whole crowd shouting to protest.  The chair finally decided that he must be heard and he reiterated his charges.  Another riotous scene occurred.  Finally, when Rev. J.W. Sayers and Mr. Price were standing opposite each other livid with rage and each shaking his fist under the other's nose, the meeting precipitately adjourned.  Nothing more disgraceful has ever occurred in a religious body, and the rage of his clerical assailants may lead people to believe that there must have been an uncomfortable deal of truth in Mr. Price's charges.  If our Methodist brethren will devote themselves to imitating Him whom they call Master, and engage in an effort to establish God's kingdom on earth instead of boasting over their denomination's growth in wealth and numbers, they will learn to hear truth with a view to correction and to bear contumely and scorn with patient equanimity.  Such conduct as that of last Sunday suggests to the profane observer the need of sending a missionary to Methodist ministers of Philadelphia with a view to converting them to Christianity.
Another lesson they might learn to advantage is that statistics, whether religious or secular, are extremely dangerous things—very apt to mislead both complier and student.

About a month ago the emperor of Australia showed his august humility by publicity washing the feet of twelve carefully selected and previously fumigated poor men.  His imperial majesty is said to have performed the “function” in a very impressive manner, having previously fortified himself with high mass in his private chapel.  What good it did the poor men history doesn't say, and probably nobody cares.
Customs differ.  Here, within the past week, a number of American sovereigns have—well, they probably haven't actually washed Queen Kapiolani's feet, but had they supposed etiquette required it, they unquestionably would have done so, and enjoyed it, too.

 


“No Profits”

To the Boston Transcript a correspondent writes:  The present strike of the carpenters in this city recalls an incident of the extensive strike of last year at the stock yards that illustrates, among other things, the remarkable difference in the meaning attached to words by different men.  A gentleman having a large ownership in one of the principal packing houses stated in conversation that, under the eight-hour system that prevailed for a time, his firm had made no profits at all, and that business could not go on much longer under such circumstances.  Of course, no one could deny so plain an inference.  Later in the same conversation the speaker made assertions that served to explain the sense of the words, “no profits.”  His house, it appeared, had made in the period mentioned, only $100,000, and this insignificant sum was but a trifling five per cent on the capital involved, and since as large a rate could be made on investments in real estate, no sane person could be expected to endure the worry and care incident to the management of a large business.  Anything less than ten per cent seemed to him characterized with sufficient accuracy by the words, “no profits.”

 


Mr. Atkinson's Spectrum

Mr. Edward Atkinson delivered an address on Sunday evening, May 1, before the Boston Central Labor lyceum.  His subject was the improved condition of the working masses.  The New York journals of Monday morning gave a good deal of space to an Associated press account of what he said.  As the exchanges of the Standard came in through the ensuing week, it was observed that the daily press generally had been supplied copiously with matter from Mr. Atkinson's address.  Then the Sun reprinted it in full from the Boston Herald, six columns and a half being taken up with it.  The writers of the laissez faire press throughout the country are quoting it in editorial articles and are using it for the purpose of strengthening their set opinions.
Mr. Atkinson's name is often before the public.  He is in the insurance business, an occupation that gives him experience in figuring and averaging.  He prepared a good many pages of the tenth census report.  He was before the Blair senatorial labor commission of 1883, and succeeded in procuring the republication in its report of several of the pamphlets and magazine articles.  He was present at a meeting of the state commissioners of labor bureaus at Boston in June, 1885, and the paper he read there was printed in the next annual reports of the commissioners.  Magazine publishers occasionally put Mr. Atkinson's name on their list of contributors.  He attends conventions of various kinds and talks, and his name then goes in the papers.  Some editors have spoken of him as eminent.
So, let us see what Mr. Atkinson's latest effort amounts to.  It has many statements about many things—not well arranged or well digested statements.  Its aim, in the main, seems to be to show “what share the mill owner gets out of cotton cloth, what shares the managers get and what share working men and women get.”  By means of a chart, he shows the proportionate sums of money entering into the various items of expense in producing such cotton sheeting as is sold at 6¼ cents a yard, the goods being made in an imaginary mill established on $1,000,000 capital, borrowed from a savings bank.  The chart in print is a neat arrangement of figures and black lines, the lines being intended for those who cannot readily understand amounts as expressed in figures.  Before reaching his subjects proper, Mr. Atkinson talks enough about other matters to take up three columns of the Sun.  After his subject is finished, his general conclusion fills a column and a half.  That is to say, his argument as to mill wages and profits, occupies about two columns out of six and a half.  That is a peculiarity of Mr. Atkinson's style.
Mr. Atkinson's whole argument is a presumptive one, resting on hypothetical figures relating to the operation of his fictitious mill.
Mr. Atkinson gives the cost of mill labor in a yard of 6½ cent cotton sheeting, 36 inches wide, as 1.694 cents.  This does not include salaries of treasurer, agents and clerks.  In the first report of Carroll D. Wright as commissioner of labor statistics, issued last year, the actual cost of labor, in a mill running in Massachusetts, per yard of cotton sheeting, 36 inches wide, is given as 1.2962 cents.  Now, this little difference of something over three mills illustrates the snag against which statisticians are ever breaking the symmetry of their tables.  In his calculations, did Mr. Wright reckon as labor just what Mr. Atkinson did in his?  Did he include or exclude certain salaries?  Do statisticians agree as to the elements admissible under stated classifications?  Are statistical tables, in which a .001 can make statement misstatement, to be depended upon, as are the hands of a watch, to impart accurate information?  This is a somewhat important point.  Before surrendering ourselves to a belief in columns of figures, it would be comforting to know whether they are constructed by a machinery as true as that of a watch or are subject to the errors and miscalculations of such a machine as a bigoted, dogmatic, purblind and egotistical man.
Some examples as replies are at hand.  In 1878 and 1884 the department of state issued pamphlets containing many tables giving comparisons of the wages of workmen in Europe and America.  According to tables in these reports bricklayers in Chicago received in 1878 $8.50 per week; in 1884 $24, while the bureau of statistics of Illinois made out the wages of Chicago bricklayers in 1884 to be $19.30 per week, and much the same difference ran through the tables of these official reports referring to twenty-two occupations.  It would seem that here one official guess was about as good as another.  An explanation of the wide divergence of these tabular statements was given by the president of a Chicago labor union in a few words.  The statement for 1878 was made out by averaging the time lost and working time for each trade.  The statement for 1878 was made out by averaging the time lost and working time for each trade.  The statement for 1881 was made up simply to agree with the scale of wages of the unions without allowing for time lost.  The Illinois bureau reached its figures by taking the rates paid union men and those paid non-union men and striking an average without taking into account the amount of work obtained or accomplished.  Yet upon such reports as these the secretary of state based the official opinion that in Chicago wages were double, treble and even quadruple, according to the trade, what they were in London.  The object aimed at was proof of the benefits of the protective tariff.  When, last year, the national bureau of labor statistics made the estimate that 1,000,000 men were out of employment in this country, an accomplished statistician pointed out that certain factors had been overlooked in the calculation, and that, according to the commissioner's own methods, he should have placed the number of idle men at nearly 2,000,000.  In taking the tenth census, the agents in the stock raising parts of the west used the blank forms made out for farm productions with results that were ludicrous, but not more so than were the statements relative to the size of farms in Georgia, the number of small farms being represented as increasing when the contrary was shown to be the fact by the tables themselves.  It is the knowledge of such facts as these that throws the onus of proof of their allegations upon the ilk of statisticians.
This is the case when Mr. Atkinson runs along along at this rate:  “Up to this time the true men of this country, the free men of this country, the scabs of this country, have managed their own affairs fairly well, without much regard to your meddlesome acts; the result of that has been that the men of special skill, who are at the head of their trades, are one hundred per cent better off today than they were twenty years ago and more.  That is, they can buy twice as much food, fuel, clothing and as good a shelter today for a year's wages as they could buy twenty years ago with what they then earned.  The average carpenter, mason, painter or other mechanic who minds his own time can buy nearly twice as much, but not quite.  The average factory operative can buy two-thirds more than he or she could buy twenty years ago with a year's wages, and the common laborer can buy fifty per cent more.  But this will not go on if you don't stop.”
Now, it is very difficult to accept Mr. Atkinson's statements when he can be quoted in contradiction of himself.  In the tenth census is this table of wages, compiled by him:

An Establishment in Massachusetts

Males

1850 Per week

1880 Per week

Common laborers

$5.52

$6.00

Mechanics

8.52

10.62

Picker tenders

4.80

6.60

Carders

4.50

6.30

Males

1850 Per week

1880 Per week

Spinners

8.88

Dressers or slasher tenders

9.30

Yard and watch

6.36

6.96

Weaving only

3.52

5.33

All department's, including weaving

3.22

4.88

Did Mr. Atkinson refer to the mechanic of 1880 as being able to buy twice as much food, fuel, clothing and shelter as the mechanic of 1850?  In 1850 the mechanic was buying many goods under free trade that in 1880 he was paying advanced protection prices for.  In 1850 what was his rent?  In the above table, all things considered, a reduction in purchasing power is shown.
Did Mr. Atkinson intend to say in his address that wages were steadily advancing in the cotton mills of the country?  Here are some tables from the tenth census.  Glance at them:

Union Manufacturing Company, North Manchester, Conn.

 

1880 Per month

1870 Per month

Carding overseer

$58.50

$58.50

Spinning overseer

52.00

58.50

Weaving overseer

71.50

63.50

 

Per day

Per day

Picker

$0.80

$0.90

Card stripper

0.76

1.03

Grinder

1.25

1.50

Drawer

0.81

0.75

Speeder

0.77

0.70

Frame spinner

0.70

0.76

Doffer

0.45

0.50

Spooler

0.90

0.90

Warper

1.75

2.00

Mule spinner

0.84

0.76

Back boy

0.48

0.50

Spinning section hand

0.90

1.00

Dresser

1.46

1.92

Web drawer

0.90

1.00

Weaver

1.07

1.07

Weaving section hands

1.85

2.00

Cloth trimmer

0.90

1.00

Winder

0.68

0.84

Finisher

0.88

1.23

Dryer

1.30

1.61

Machinist

2.22

1.65

Common laborer

1.50

1.50

Chicopee Manufacturing Company, Chicopee Falls, Mass.

 

1880 Per month

1871 Per month

Carding, spinning and weaving overseers

$54.43     

$63.44     

 

Per day

Per day

Picker

0.84 2-3

1.09     

Card stripper

0.90 2-3

1.11     

Grinder

1.30 1-3

1.54     

Drawer

0.62     

0.63 2-3

Doffer, boy

0.52 1-3

0.48     

Spooler, girl

0.57     

0.54     

Warper, girl

0.75 1-3

0.90     

Shipping section hand

1.36     

1.66 2-3

Slasher

1.47     

1.85     

Weaver, girl

0.98 1-3

1.25     

Spinner, male

1.47     

1.36     

Spinner, female

0.65    

0.81 2-2

St. Louis Cotton Factory, St. Louis, Mo.

 

1880 Per day

1870 Per day

Engineer

$3.16 2-3

3.56     

Fireman

1.33 1-3

2.33 1-3

Mechanic

2.29     

3.00     

Carder

1.83 3-4

…     

Lap boy

0.66 2-3

0.70     

Assistant spinning overseer

0.91 2-3

1.66 2-3

Oiler boy

0.37 1-2

0.62 1-2

Bobbin carrier

0.50     

0.66 2-3

Reeler

0.75    

0.97 1-2

Twister

0.62 1-2

0.80     

The average number of months that this mill was in operation was 12 in 1870, and from 1876 to 1880, 8½.
The table showing the wages paid at the mill of Briggs & Bros., Philadelphia, give almost exactly the same rates for 1860 and 1880.
The following is a table of prices (gold) in the United States, taken from Mulhall's “History of Prices,” expressed in shillings and pence:

 

'31-40

'41-50

'51-60

'61-70

'71-80

'81-83

Beef, cwt., s.

25

22

24

22

22

29

Butter, cwt., s.

80

62

90

106

104

140

Cheese, cwt., s.

37

28

38

46

51

65

Coal, ton, s.

34

25

25

26

19

18

Coffee, cwt., s.

54

36

48

71

77

58

Cotton, cwt., s.

58

40

50

170

63

56

Flour, cwt., s.

16

13

14

12

12

11

Fish, cwt., s.

20

26

38

35

29

36

Hams, cwt., s.

49

36

46

45

42

65

Iron, ton, s.

187

133

121

122

131

92

Leather, cwt., d.

89

73

102

105

118

94

Maize, bushel, s.

40

32

40

38

28

35

Pork, cwt., s.

40

25

40

40

33

35

Rice, cwt., s.

17

21

19

33

32

24

Sugar, cwt., s.

32

29

29

40

33

31

Tobacco, cwt., s.

34

27

43

57

39

37

Wheat, bushel, d.

68

58

79

75

65

60

Wool, pound, d.

16

14

18

19

19

20

These tables do not indicate that the “average factory operative can buy two-thirds more than he or she could buy twenty years ago with a year's wages.”  They indicate, rather, that food and fuel have advanced in price; that a few articles of clothing have been reduced in price; that wages have advanced but little as compared with thirty years ago, and they give but little or no information as to the sources of general complaint of the working people of today—the advance in rents and the loss of time through lack of employment.  They show a decided reduction in wages in the decade 1870-1880.
If the statement were to be made before the Central labor union of New York that wages double today what they were twenty or forty years ago—that a year's income of the average worker in any occupation whatever is larger by even twenty-five per cent than it was in the “forties” or the “sixties”—it would evoke answers from men able to present the facts bearing on such an assertion—the subdivision of labor, the displacement of hand labor by machinery, the rise in New York rents, the vast number of idle men seeking work, and the pressure of women into the field of labor to the detriment of the male breadwinner.  If Mr. Atkinson were to repeat his statement that labor was taking more than its share of the increased product resulting from improvements in the arts, his attention would be called to the taxes imposed by the great monopolies that have grown up in the past twenty-five years; to the influence of the money power over legislation; to the profits derived from pooling, stock watering and cornering, and, beyond every other method, from ever-increasing rents.
Are the working masses as well off in America as they were in the last generation or the generation before that?  Mr. Atkinson's method of answering the question is to take up the question of wages in the cotton manufacturing industry—an industry employing less than 17,000 hands in 1880—to show that the amount of money received by the hands is more than it was formerly, and then to arrive at sweeping conclusions.  But if his figures are erroneous, or if he has not taken within the scope of his examination all the facts bearing on the subject, his conclusions may be sadly amiss.  It is a question whether the testimony of common belief and the statements of intelligent observers is not better evidence here than the accounts of statisticians.  When one reads statements like the following, he is apt to receive impressions so clear that the puzzles of the figure manipulators can not affect them:
Rev. Dr. Samuel Osgood, in an address delivered before the New York Historical society in November, 1866, said: “In 1796 taxes were light, being about one-half of one per cent.  A man worth $50,000 was thought rich, and some fortunes reached $250,000.  Mechanics had a dollar a day for wages, and a genteel house rented $350 a year, and $750 additional would meet the ordinary expenses of living for a genteel family—such as now spend from $6,000 to $10,000, we have good reason to believe, from such authority as Mr. D.T. Valentine, clerk of the common council.  A good house could be bought for $3,000 or $4,000, and flour was $4 and $5 a barrel and beef ten cents a pound.
An article was published in the New York American, April 6, 1825, under the title, “Proof of the Comfortable Situation of the Working Classes in Our City.”  The writer said:  “I took a station at Catharine market, which is the great emporium for the mechanics and laborers on Saturday evening, to offer a 'joint and trimmings' to any one who appeared to be in want.  At the end of two hours I observed but one individual whose external appearance warranted my offering the boon.  He answered (in reply to my application) that he received ten shillings per day wages, and that he had in his pocket five dollars of the week's earnings to buy his Sunday dinner.  I counted upward of 870 men and women who passed me to buy at the market in the two hours.”
Elderly men of New York say that forty years ago the wood sawyer could have his own cottage.  He feared no landlord, could always find work, and was respected if he was a good citizen.  It is only forty years ago since the first tenement house was erected in this city, yet now the tenement house population is more than a million.  It is a mistake to think that old New York families are not living in tenement houses.
The older men among the mechanics of New York, in speaking of the conditions forty years ago, say that work was always to be had.  That was the era of the independent Bowery boy, a development of a time of good wages and small necessary expenditures.
Forty years ago, says Carroll D. Wright in the tenth census, the factory operatives of New England were Americans, the young women being, in many instances, “the daughters of our best citizens.”  But the other nationalities are now largely represented.  Mr. G.B. Whitman of Manchester, in 1883, gave the number of employees at his factory as eight hundred, the number of native born Americans being but eighty.  One-third were Canadians and the rest Irish, English and “mixed.”
Forty years ago, the tenth census tells us, board for young women in New England factory towns was $1.25.  Mr. Atkinson avoids giving comparisons of prices of board or of rents.
The tone of Mr. Atkinson's Boston address may be inferred from a few quotations:  “I am not a Knight of Labor, but a squire of work.”  “If all the waste of rich men or by rich men were taken from them and divided among the workmen it would not make a difference of fifteen minutes a day.  If it were divided in money it would not give the whole body of the workmen the price of an extra glass of beer a day.”  “All this talk about wage slavery is nonsense.  There is no slave labor, no compulsion in this country now unless it is the compulsion of the Knights of Labor, and that is pretty much played out already.”  “I have said I know something about making cotton goods.  Now I am going to tell you what I know.”  “I will show you what would happen if you had your own way.  You would have to wear your old shirts a good deal longer or go without any.”  “Do you know what a spectrum is?  It is not a ghost; it is a fact.”  “All anyone gets in this life is a house or a room to live in, some food to eat, some clothes to wear, some fuel to burn, and something to drink.”  “Now, I tell you right here that the 'scab' is the man who will come out ahead and you will get left.”  “I will except the capitalists who make rum.  If you will have the rum they will make it for you and you will waste your money on it.”  The pronoun “I” occurs eighty-one times in a single column.
Mr. Atkinson does not even know the nature of his own business.  He told his audience that his “regular work is to stop the cotton and woolen mills from being burned up.”  This is a grave blunder.  Fire insurance companies are engaged in disturbing losses by fire among the insured.  As a statistician he knows that statistics show that in New Hampshire, when that state was boycotted by the insurance companies, the number of fires was reduced by thirty per cent.  He does not save buildings from fire.
One of Mr. Atkinson's digressions was: “You may adopt Mr. George's plan of putting all the taxes on land, but you can't make them stay there.”  Here he is twice wrong.  The plan is to put taxes on land values and they will stay there.”
After all, Mr. Atkinson has no corner on figures.  If you devote an hour to his statistics you can catch his knack of using them.  Then a deal of assumption, a vein of preaching, a habit of injecting slurs at an audience you despise, an exaggeration of the point that suits you, an elimination of all other points, a tendency to contradict other people, a parade of knowledge, a conspicuous display of egotism, and you may engage in the battle of figures with Atkinson.

 


St. Stephen's Parishioners

Their Enthusiasm and Devotion to Their Pastor Unabated

The pretense made by some of Archbishop Corrigan's friends that the excitement among the parishioners of St. Stephen's church is dying out is utterly without foundation.  Their meeting at International hall on Friday evening of last week was as large as any ever held there, and every inch of standing room was occupied.  Mr. Feeny presided, and made a pathetic speech which called forth enthusiastic applause and moved many of those present to tears.
Dr. Henry Carey made a ringing speech, pledging himself to stand by Dr. McGlynn come what may, and his declaration was greeted by a wild waving of handkerchief and a perfect whirlwind of cheers.
Wm. McCabe, read from the last number of the Standard the preposterous speech of a German priest in Brooklyn.  It's denunciation of the women of St. Stephen's was received by the ladies with shouts of laughter, but its brutal remarks about Father McGlynn called forth hisses and cries of “shame.”
Mr. James J. Gahan, editor of the Catholic Herald, was the next speaker, and he was received with a perfect storm of applause.  He alluded to his charge made at a previous meeting that Bishop Loughlin of Brooklyn had used his power to prevent priests attending Dr. McGlynn's lecture in that diocese, and quoted an alleged denial of the statement by the bishop in an interview in the Sun, and he then read a letter of his own to the Sun, which that paper had refused to print.  Mr. Gahan said that the time has gone by when a simple statement by an ecclesiastic can brand a layman as a liar, and he reminded the audience of Archbishop Corrigan's guarded denial of Henry George's statement that the archbishop had interfered in the last municipal campaign.  He recited the facts, and asked the audience whether it believed Corrigan or George.  The answer from all parts of the hall was “George,” followed by enthusiastic applause.
Mr. Gahan then reiterated his statements as to the action of the bishop of Brooklyn, and asked the audience whether they believed Loughlin or himself.  Again the answer was “Gahan, Gahan,” followed by another storm of applause.  Mr. Gahan closed with a eulogy of Dr. McGlynn, which was a wonderful and impassioned piece of oratory, that held the audience spellbound, except when now and then it burst into a powerful torrent of applause.
Mr. Feeny announced that owing to the approach of hot weather he had been authorized to close the meetings for the present, but the desire to continue them was so general that he thought he would venture to disobey orders.  “Take care, you'll be suspended,” shouted some one in the audience whereupon there was prolonged laughter.  Mr. Feeny said he would take the risk and announce another meeting for the following Friday.  The meeting then adjourned, with cheers for Dr. McGlynn and for the Anti-poverty society.

 


Protection Creating Colonies of Foreigners

Chicago Herald
Wherever a coal mine, an iron mill, a glass factory or any other highly protected institution can be found in America there will be seen a foreign colony representing elements not seen in the United States until capital learned the trick of displacing American labor and then of defrauding it under the specious plea of protecting that which in the nature of things can have no protection, while it is subjected to the fierce competition of the incoming of hundreds of thousands.

 

Page 6

Queries And Answers

A Fool's Questions

(1) Supposing taxation should be all laid on land values, does not the experience of the past show that it could be successfully evaded in the same manner as other direct taxes?  Would not the owners, while holding on to their land, as far as occupation is concerned, arrange fraudulent sales or leases, by which the value of the land should be sent down to a merely nominal sum, while secret agreements with tenants retained the real value in the hands in which it now resides?
(2) Could not a combination of owners defy the law by the operation of determined selfishness in the same manner in which the premium on gold was so long kept up, and which caused the long struggle in the middle ages between the power of the state and that of religious corporations in the history of “uses and trusts” laws in England?
(3) Will not the reform in taxation, if ever carried, demand honesty from the taxed parties, and does the history of human nature give any assurance that such honesty can be expected!
(4) Is it not certain, on the other hand, that the reform can never be carried by peaceable means, any more than the manumission of the slaves of the southern states!
(5) Should not the land and labor party wake up to the fact that the confiscation of ground rent, like the abolition of any other gigantic wrong, can only be carried ultimately by force of arms; and should not its members determine in advance that, if necessary, they are ready to fight and die for their principles?
(6) Can the battle be won on any other than religious grounds, by appeal to the equal right of all God's children to all enjoyment of the bounties he has freely given for all?
(7) If man be not an immortal being, what religion is able to prove the fact, by actual demonstration, at the present day?
(8) If he be an immortal being, what religion is able to prove the fact, by actual demonstration, at the present day?
(9) If immortality can be proven, is there any private ownership of the means of sustaining life therein?
A fool asks these questions of a wise man.

Egypt

 

(1) No.  The land would not be taxed on the basis of what a landlord pretended to rent it for, but on the basis of its rental value; and that would be as well known in the community as the price of wheat.
(2) Again, no.  The income tax was evaded in two principal ways: by perjury and by silence.  The government was dependent, except as to persons having fixed incomes, on the veracity of the taxpayer; and when taxpayers made no return, it had not even that to rely on.  The premium on gold was kept up by government repudiation of its own paper.  The middle age struggle was due to an attempt to deprive some persons of land titles while conceding them to others.  If no titles at all had been recognized, there would never have been occasion for the statute of uses; or, as a closer analogy, if the state had appropriated all economic rent it would not have made the slightest difference whether any particular land belonged to the nominal owner or to some one else.
(3) It will not require honesty from the parties taxed.  As land lies out of doors, the taxing officer will need no information from the owner to discover its existence or situation; and as its value will be then, as now, known to the whole neighborhood, no oath of the owner will be necessary.  If the owner of valuable land managed by fraud or otherwise to pay a low tax, the fact would soon transpire, and he would be besieged by people anxious to rent of him.  This would cause enough commotion in the community to attract the attention of the tax officials.
(4) As soon as we can thrash the saviors of society with the ballot, we shall be able to thrash the saviors of society with the ballot, we shall be able to thrash them with the bayonet if they start a circuis of that kind.
(5) They are ready to fight and die in defense of their principles; but while the forms of political liberty remain they are determined to introduce their principles through the medium of these forms.
(6) It is not profitable to speculate on that.  It is enough to know that the religious sentiment is awakened.  A general whose army is equipped with powder and ball would not speculate on the possibility of winning a battle with bows and arrows.
(7) Every use.  It is the religious spirit that makes men willing to sacrifice even life for an idea.  Religion does not necessarily include theology, nor is theology always religion.
(8) Fools sometimes ask questions that wise men cannot answer.
(9) If there be, there will be immortal tramps, criminals and millionaires.

 


Another

Platteville, Col.—Suppose the system of taxing land values to be in force, how will you determine value of land and amount of tax to be levied?  For example, A is a great merchant in New York; the ground on which his building stands is a let 50×150 feet, worth before the state taxed land values $100,000, for which A paid $10,000 per annum rent.  B, who is a laborer, has now a small residence on the lot adjoining A of the same dimensions, and which was of same value before land values were taxed, and which now must be of equal value to the lot A occupies, but which he obtained when the system of taxing land values was put in force.  Suppose the income of A to be $15,000 per annum, of which it requires $1,000 for support of himself and family, how will the amount of rent or tax of each be determined while on account of location or value of lot, for other purposes than residence which B occupies others would be willing to pay to the state for use of some more than the income of B.

Reader

 

Your question has no practical application.  It is like that of the boy who asked:  “Pa, if you hadn't married ma, would I be I?”
A great merchant desiring to use a hundred thousand dollar lot in New York would have to pay much more than a thousand dollars a year for the privilege.  A laborer who had a small residence on a lot adjoining that of the great merchant would neither be a laborer, in the conventional sense, nor have a small residence on the lot.  If the laborer owned such a lot, his income from ground rent alone would be more than $1,500; and if he rented it he would have to pay more than that sum every year for occupying it.
But we have no objection to replying to your question, though it is obviously either dishonest or stupid.  Let us suppose, first, that A, the merchant, and B, the laborer, rent these lots.  Then, using your own wild figures, each would pay $1,000 a year to a landlord.  If the land tax were in force to its full limit, and the rental remained as high as now, neither A nor B would be affected except that they would pay the $2,000 over to the community as a tax.  If the tax took only fifty per cent of the rental, A and B would pay rent as before, and would be freed from taxation, while the landlord would pay over $1,000 and keep the other $1,000.
Suppose, second, that A and B each owned and occupied his lot.  Then, the rental value being $1,000 a lot, each would be taxed to that amount.  A, having an income of $15,000, could afford to pay the tax and might remain; but B, having an income of only $15,000, could not afford to remain, and would sell out to some one who could, and take up his residence on land that was not so valuable, being compensated with his share of the rentals that other people paid for the more valuable land, including that which he had left.
If, as your question supposes, both of these lots were more valuable for business than for residence purposes, the tax would be on the basis of the value for business purposes, and B, too, would have to move unless he was willing to pay the higher tax.  This, however, is precisely what A and B would do now.  If a lot is worth more for business purposes than into business buildings.  If the occupiers are also owners they live elsewhere, and draw unearned incomes from those who take their places; and if the occupiers are only tenants they live elsewhere, and some one else draws the unearned income from those who take their places.

 


Uniform Freight Charges

Freeland, Pa.—Suppose the government should take control of the railroads, would you advise a uniform rate of freight for same classes of goods regardless of distance, such as the post office department now uses?  If so, would you consider it fair to the people of Chicago to be charged as much for freight from San Francisco as the people of New York from same place?  Please reply in your columns and oblige yours in the cause,

W.B. Estelle

 

It would be well if it were possible: and in time it might be possible.  Postal charges originally varied with distance.
It would not be unfair to the people of Chicago if they paid as much freight for San Francisco products as the people of New York paid and no more for New York products than the people of Albany paid.  A uniform rate of freight charges would not result from public control of railroads, if at all, until cost of transportation had been reduced, like the cost of mail service, to a nominal figure.

 


A Question of Consistency

Newark, N.J.—Is it consistent for a man who believes in your land doctrine to belong to a building and loan association?

 

Yes.  It is consistent for him to own land in any legal form.  We are agitating for the change of an institution, not for the useless sacrifice of individual interests.  We have no sympathy with that sentiment, usually a selfish or envious sentiment, which demands of men who work for institutional changes that they shall refuse to conform to the institutions they attack.  A man who favors public control of railroads is not bound to refrain from riding on railroads that are controlled by corporations, or from owning railroad stock.  A man who is opposed to interest on money neither promotes his purpose nor deserves a reputation for consistency by refusing to take interest.  A man who opposes laws for the collection of debt is not inconsistent if he sues for a debt.  A greenbacker who either receives or pays out gold coin is not inconsistent.  It is only in matters of personal conduct that a man is inconsistent who preaches one thing and does another.  Thus, a temperance man would be inconsistent if he drank to excess, while a prohibitionist, though an habitual drunkard, might not be.  But reforms that can be accomplished only by changing institutions do not require of their advocates that they shall do individually what they believe society as a whole ought to do.
What good would even a large landowner do, who, believing that land should not be private property, gave his land away?  Those who received the gift would be happy, no doubt; but the institution of land owning would be as strong as ever, and the miseries that flow from it as great.
We do not oppose the private ownership of land.  We are opposed to the private appropriation of rent, which we would abolish by taxing rent.  But shall we, therefore, refuse to take rent while society maintains the institution?  That would be only to benefit our tenants—to make them landlords in our place; and it is no part of our fight to substitute one rent receiver for another.

 


Value of a Good Will

Indianapolis, Ind.—The wrongs you point out in the present land system cannot be disputed, but the question that is troubling many of us who are seeking light is as to whether the remedy you offer is a practical one.  The following, for instance, is a case in point.  Suppose I am a practical hotel man.  I purchase or lease a lot of ground at a small value and build a $25,000 improvement on it.  By tact and popularity I soon build up a business worth $50,000.  Suppose, now, a party offers me that amount for it;  shall I be taxed on the $25,000 increase in value, or shall I be taxed on the value of the land aside from the business?  If so, by what process can the value of the land be determined?  The increase of value of my plant has not come through the desirableness of the location, or from the fact that many others want the lot of ground upon which I am situated, but the value has come through my own individual effort and popularity.  I could do just as well on a spot of ground elsewhere that has not increased in value since I improved this.
Now the question is, how shall the real value of the land, aside from the improvements and the business enterprise be determined?
The question here raised is a pertinent one, for it deals with the practical utility of your system.
In estimating the value of an enterprise, there are at least four factors to consider:  The ground, the buildings and other stationary improvements, the machinery or outfit necessary to run the business, and the business itself.  The two latter are often transferable to another spot of ground where they would be just as valuable, but the fact that my buildings are stationary may compel me to pay more for the use of the land than any other person would pay for it my improvement was off.
If our houses on wheels, so that we could move off at will when another party offered more for the use of the ground than we were justified in paying, then there would be a perfect adjustment.
The method of estimating the real rental value of land aside from the improvements which represent my money and my labor is a problem over which thousands are stumbling.
Please explain how this obstacle can be overcome, and you will make many converts.

Frank Kennedy

 

Your tax would not be based on the value of your land for a single purpose—the purpose to which you had devoted it and in which you earned a valuable reputation—but on its value for any purpose for which land in that neighborhood was used.
The four values you mention, namely, value of ground, value of fixed improvements, value of movable improvements and value of good will are recognized.  At present you pay taxes on all these values.  We would impose taxes on only one—the value of the ground.  That value could be readily determined.  If your lot was no better situated for the general business of the location than neighboring land, it would be worth no more, and consequently would be taxed no more.  For example:  Suppose your hotel was located in a residence quarter of the city, and that the building was worth no more than adjoining residences occupying ground of the same value, and yet that you could get more for it because it was a hotel with a good trade; then you would pay no higher tax than the lots on each side of you.
If you, a practical hotel man, should erect a $25,000 hotel on ground of little or no value and build up a business worth $50,000, inclusive of the improvements, you would be taxed or not on the increase according to whether land in the neighborhood had generally increased in value.  If land similarly situated which was worth little or nothing when you built were now worth $25,000 you would be taxed on the increase; if not, not.  In the one case the increase would be land value; in the other labor value.  Accordingly, when you suppose that the desirableness of the location or from the fact that many others want the lot of ground,” but through your individual effort and popularity, and that you could do just as well elsewhere if your hotel were on wheels, you supply the facts which decide that your taxes would not be increased.

 


A Sophomoric Conundrum

Woburn, Mass., May 12—In an editorial in the Boston Herald, May 10, an example is given with an endeavor to prove the injustice of the land theories of Mr. Henry George, and although a firm believer in them myself, I cannot find a solution to the problem, viz: “X and Z, by hard work, have each laid up $5,000.  X invests his money in the shares of a cotton mill, while Z buys a piece of land.  Then, by a popular demand for a change, the laws regulating the ownership in land are changed, and Z finds that the value of his property is practically confiscated, while that made by X remains untouched.”

J.M.

 

X and Z by hard work have each laid up $5,000.  X invests his money in the shares of a cotton mill, while Z buys a Cuban slave.  Then by a popular demand in Cuba, the laws regulating the ownership of men are changed, and Z finds that the value of his “property” is practically confiscated, while that of X remains untouched.
The cases are parallel.  In each X invests his money in a product of labor which he devotes to further production, while Z invests his in a privilege of taxation.  The income that X receives is the increase which his capital produces over and above the wages of those who use it.  But the income that Z receives is the wages of his slave in one illustration and the price of a natural opportunity in the other, neither of which can in justice be his property.  X's right to his income is a natural one—the right that every one has to the enjoyment of what he produces, together with its increase—and which cannot be justly abolished by human law.  Z's right to his income is a mere creature of human law in contravention of natural right, which may be justly abolished by human law.  To take away X's capital is to confiscate property; but to take away Z's land or his slave is only to put an end to his privilege of confiscating the property of other people.  That X paid for his privilege makes no difference.  He did not pay the slave; and no one but the slave himself has a natural right to sell the slave's labor.  He did not pay the people who own the land; that does not belong to the generations that are gone, but to the generation that is here, and even the generation that is here could not give a day's good title, for new owners are born every twenty-four house.  If X chose to gamble on the possibility of new generations continuing his oppressive power of taxation which their predecessors conferred, he must not grieve if the gamble goes against him.
Had you clearly understood the distinction between products of labor and natural opportunities as objects of exclusive ownership, the Boston Herald's sophomoric conundrum would not have puzzled you.

 


Cui Bono

Richmond—(1) I own a house and lot assessed at $4,000-$2,000 land, $2,000 on the house.  I pay $80 taxes.  If the tax be taken off the house, I would have to pay $80 on the land.  How would that help me or anybody else?  (2) All land is already taxed at its full value in this State.  The constitution requires it so to be taxed.  (3) If nobody now purchases or buys unoccupied lots, how will doubling the tax induce anybody to buy them?  (4) There are thousands of acres of good land in Virginia that can be had for the cost (much less, indeed) of the houses upon the farm.  (5) To tax land is to reduce its selling value in proportion to the tax.  To tax unoccupied land would be, according to your theory, to compel its sale.  But at what price?  None at all, if it is to be sold because it yields no revenue.  If I own a piece of land that yields me $1,000 a year, I can sell it for $10,000; but if taxation causes it to yield me only $500, then I can sell it for only $5,000.  If, then, land be taxed so that it will yield no return to the owner, he could not sell it at all.  Upon what, then, would you lay taxes?  (6) If you so tax unoccupied lands as to make it unprofitable to hold them, it will be unprofitable for anybody to hold them, and so they will have no value, and all taxes will have to be laid upon lots having houses upon them.  (7) We in Richmond have to raise about a million of dollars by taxation.  How would it help us to pay a million of dollars upon our lots and nothing upon our houses—all the unoccupied lots being now taxed at their full market value?

Frank

 

(1) If that case stood alone it would not help you or anyone else.  But if such a tax were general, men who keep $2,000 land out of use by paying a tax of $40 or less would have to pay $80.  This they could not afford to do, and would be compelled to improve their land as you have done, or to sell it to some one who would, or to abandon it altogether.  If they improved they would create a greater demand for labor and capital, which makes good times; if they sold to some one who improved, the same result would follow; if they abandoned the land, any one might take it for use and thus be able to employ himself.  To remove taxes from products is to promote production and increase wealth; to increase taxes on land values is to discourage land grabbing and make natural opportunities cheap; to do both at once is to increase opportunities to work and to enhance the returns to labor.  Read with care and attention books 8 and 9 of “Progress and Poverty.”
(2) It may be that all land in your state is now taxed at the full value; but so are improvements.  The inducement to produce, which a land value tax makes, is neutralized by a burdensome tax on the products.  Your state is now sparsely settled.  If all taxes there were shifted to land values it would soon become one of the most populous in the union, for population would rapidly drift to and capital would rapidly accumulate in a state where land could be had for nothing, if the laborer and the capital owner were assured full returns.
(3) It would not induce anyone to buy the lots, but it would discourage those who now keep them out of use from continuing that vicious system.  Such lots would be free to whoever would use them.
(4) Does it not seem singular to you that while “there are thousands of acres of good land in Virginia that can be had for the cost (much less, indeed) of the houses,” yet that nowhere in Virginia can vacant land be got for nothing?  Think it over and reconcile the inconsistency if you can; it will be good mental exercise.  It may be that capital cannot be profitably employed there, and therefore sells for less than costs or that the capital you name is of a higher order than can be profitably employed there; for example, if Stewart's store were located on that land it would not sell for anything like its cost.  Is it true that improvements that are adapted to the time and place sell for less than cost?
(5) Upon the rent.  If your land yields you a thousand a year over and above the returns to labor and capital, it will yield no less if fifty per cent be taxed away from you.  If the whole rent were taken in taxes, it is true, as you say, that the land could not be sold at all; it could only be rented, in which case the person using it would secure to every one what he earned, free even from taxation, and to the community that increment which the community as a whole produces.
(6) If all land were taxed to its full value, vacant land would not be taxed, because it would have no value, speculation being eliminated.  The fact that a lot was vacant would prove it valueless.  But if some one should fence it in with a view to holding it until it acquired value, it would be valuable as soon as it was wanted for use in preference to land that was not fenced in, and then it would be taxed, whether improved or not.  It is true that, when all rent was taken in taxes, taxes would fall upon improved land only, for no one would take up land without improving it; but it does not follow that taxes would be laid on all improved land.  The most desirable land would pay the highest tax, and so down until improved land, no more desirable than vacant land, was reached, which, like the vacant land, would pay no tax.
(7) Your business interests, being freed from the burden of taxation, would develop with surprising rapidity; unoccupied lots that have a real value would be built upon, while the others would fall in speculative value according to the extent of the land value tax, thus bringing them within the reach of your poorer classes, who would improve them; all this would tend to unshackle labor and to advance the incomes of the industrial classes, their consumptive power would be increased, and that reacting would still further promote the commercial interests of the city.  Even if your taxes were as high as now, your business would be more profitable, and however much you extended it your taxes would not rise except as your land became more valuable.  If then you gradually advanced the tax until all land values were taken for public use, you would be able, without taxation, but out of that communal income which is now appropriated by a few, to have a city that in its structures, its docks, its railway facilities, its libraries, and art galleries, its hospitals, schools and parks, would rival any city on the globe; a city into which there would be a constant stream of immigration seeking its illuminable opportunities for employment; a city that would spread its population and influence over the state of Virginia, and make green gardens and prosperous towns where now are thousands of acres of waste land; a city in which there would be no paupers, and where the infirm and the unfortunate would be cared for as a matter of right, and not of charity, out of that common fund which their presence among you creates.

 


The Liquor Traffic

New York—Will you point out the best means or way of forming a correct view on the much talked of “liquor traffic,” or by directing me to an authority on the logical side of the question, or give me your views on the same?

F. Eugene

 

Liquor is in itself a good thing.  Its abuse only is bad.  The traffic in liquor, therefore, is like the traffic in any other product of labor, and its regulation is to be determined by the same considerations.  You might read part 2 of chapter 3 of book 4 of Adam Smith's “Wealth of Nations.”

 


Two Mistakes Corrected

Jasper, Tennessee—(1) In the Standard of April 30, E.H. Evensson estimates that, according to our present tariff, the consumer is taxed an average of at least 76½ per cent on all articles upon which there is a tariff levied over and above what he would have to pay in the event we had free trade, and recommends a direct tax in the place of a tariff as a remedy.  The gentleman does not take into consideration the fact that if the government abolishes the tariff it will necessitate a tax collector in each county in the United States to assess and collect the taxes necessary to carry on the government.  This immense army of officers, at a very moderate salary, would cost ten or twenty times as much as it does now to collect the tax at a few ports of entry and at the custom houses in inland towns.  (2) It matters not whether land or produce is taxed, the laboring man has it all to pay, as the farmer, merchant and carrier will add all taxes he has to pay to his goods sold, and the difference will not amount to only 76½ per cent, but to 200 or 300 per cent.

Amos L. Griffiths

 

(1) There is already a tax collector in every county whose duty it would be, if each state were assessed its quota for federal purposes, to make the collection with the collections he makes now for state and municipal purposes.
(2) Labor creates that with which all taxes are paid, but it does not pay taxes that fall on land values.  Labor pays land values to the owners of land, who charge all they can get; and they cannot increase it because taxes rise.  Therefore a tax on land values is paid by land owners.  Not so with products.  A tax on a product must be paid by the consumer or labor will not produce it.  If land were produced by human labor, a land tax would be paid by the user, because no one would produce land for him unless he paid the tax.  But labor does not produce land.

[Note—Having answered two or three questions relative to interest, we have been flooded with essays on the subject.  This department is already too much crowded with matter properly belonging to it to give up any space to debate.  Specific questions will receive attention, but we are compelled, once for all, to refer the writers of argumentative letters on the subject of interest to chapters 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7 of book iii of “Progress and Poverty.”]

 

Prosperous Poughkeepsie

How the Great Bridge is Adding to Her Wealth—But Somehow Poughkeepsie's Poor Are Getting Poorer

Poughkeepsie, N.Y.—At this point of the Hudson river there is in process of construction a magnificent bridge.  It was hoped that this bridge would make coal cheaper for all the suffering poor of New England, offer more opportunities for employment, give more labor and better wages to the miners of Pennsylvania, and thus bring comfort and plenty to thousands of homes.  But a certain class of property owners are enabled to pluck and enjoy the fruits of this enterprise even before the piers of the bridge are erected.
This spring, in the month of February, when most of the contracts to rent are made and work was proceeding upon the bridge, the rent of real estate advanced from twenty to thirty per cent on the terms of last year, though there has been no appreciable increase in population since last year, and wages are no higher.  This rise in rent was caused by the expectation that upon the completion of the bridge during the coming summer several railroads will build approaches, thus bringing many laborers and their families to Poughkeepsie.
The land owners are not waiting for this prosperity to come.  They are quietly taking their share in advance.  They have raised the price of their land in anticipation of the increased value which it will acquire by the completion of the great public improvement and the growth of population; in fact, they recognize that their land will be more desirable than it was, and they therefore ask more for it.  This is on the supposition that everything is to be as is promised.  But supposing, for some reason, the work on the bridge ceases, and the railroad enterprises come to nothing.  Then many people will find that they have paid an increased rent for no greater advantage than they enjoyed the year before, and will thus be at a loss.
Facts like these are causing men to think.  It does not take a wise man to see that while wages do not increase, rent gobbles up the greater part of prosperity.

William C. Albro

 


Through A Glass Darkly

A Seattle, W. T., Newspaper Has an Idea that Land Owners Check Production by Laying a Tax Upon Capital

Seattle Post-Intelligeneer
The feeling is now general that the revival in business that began some months ago has come to stay.  This revival and the belief that it has a substantial basis to rest upon has caused a material appreciation in values of all kinds, and, as is usual at such times, the appreciation has been most marked in real estate.  Land that a year ago on account of its position could be bought for a mere song now commands a good price, while other land, more advantageously located, has been selling at prices that a year ago would have seemed fabulous.  This is in a measure encouraging, and to those who believe in the future of Seattle it seems warranted by facts.  But it is always well to remember that it is possible to be too sanguine, and that everything, even land, has a certain intrinsic value near which the minor fluctuations caused by supply and demand should always hang.  There is at the present time a great deal of outside capital that is ready and anxious to come in here if it can do so at prices that will ensure a fair return.  If this capital is admitted the result will be that our city will be adorned and improved and a great impetus will be given to all branches of trade.  But if, on the other hand, land is held entirely out of the market, or held at prices that absolutely preclude the possibility of even moderate returns, capital will seek investment elsewhere, and we will find, to use a somewhat homely phrase, that we have “killed the goose that laid the golden egg.”  Far be it from us to urge any property holder to sell his property at less than its actual value.  And our ideas as to the probable growth of the city that should be counted upon in determining that value are, we think, as extravagant as those of the most enthusiastic believer in its possibilities.  All that we contend is that a value should be fixed, and a reasonable one, all things considered, and an opportunity be given to the capital that is knocking at our doors to enter and make improvements that we have not the means to make ourselves.

 


The Way For Young Men to Get On

The Washington correspondent of the Minneapolis Tribune tells of a young man who was hanging around Washington trying to get a $1,200 clerkship in some of the departments.  A few weeks ago he went to a friend and said: “Well, John, I have get tired of being put off and deceived day after day by these government officials and have accepted an offer to go to Birmingham, Ala., as a sort of timekeeper and tally clerk at $50 per month, but,” he added, “I haven't a cent to pay my board and get out of town with.”  The friend asked how much would do him and was informed $100.  “Let me have it and I will return it with interest the first opportunity.”  The amount was handed over and the young man left.  He had been in Birmingham but a few days when he was told that by making a small advance he could purchase a lot of land at a bargain.  Hiss “boss,” as he called him, loaned him the money and he bought it, and in one week afterward refused to sell at a profit of $1,000.  The borrowed money was returned with interest and thanks.  There is a young man in Findlay, Ohio, who was appointment clerk in the treasury at Washington.  He was removed and Higgins appointed in his place.  He came back to Ohio, went to Findlay, and today he is worth $50,000, which he has made by dealing in gas lands.  This is more than he could have made by fifty years' service in the treasury of the United States at the salary he was working for.

 


The Labor Organizations of Illinois

There are 634 labor organizations in the state of Illinois, according to the report of the bureau of labor statistics.  The total enrolled membership is placed at 114,365.  This is about equally divided between the Knights of Labor and the trades unionists.  Chicago and its vicinity contains sixty-seven per cent of the whole number of trades societies of the state.  Touching the nationality of the members, thirty-two per cent of them are native Americans, twenty-seven per cent German, seventeen per cent Irish, nine per cent English, and nine per cent Scandinavians.  The remaining six per cent is divided between natives of Poland, Bohemia, Italy and other countries.  The proportion of American born members is greater among the Knights of Labor than among trades unionists.  Forty-five per cent of the knights are Americans, while only twenty-one per cent of the trades unionists were born in this country.  Of the knights, seventy per cent are skilled workmen.  Only seventeen per cent of the trades unionists are also knights.  A little more than half the number of labor members are married.  Of 212 strikes reported, involving 50,522 men, eighty-six succeeded, sixty-three failed, thirty-one were compromised and twenty-eight were unsettled at the time the report closed.  The results of four strikes were not reported.

 


Whom Protection Protects

An Instructive Analysis of a Consular Report—Protection Increased Rent

A government blue book rarely furnishes exhilarating reading; and yet, if one will take the trouble to wade through the mass of statistics and commonplace facts that load down the consular reports to the state department, a very great deal of useful information can be picked up.  Coming under this head are several recent reports furnished by Mr. Jacob Schoenhof, our consul at Tunstall, in England, who combines the painstaking disposition of the statistician with the ability of the economist to grasp the significance and mutual relation of apparently disconnected facts.
He has learned, too, the truth that low wages do not mean cheap labor to the employer, or high wages by the day involve increased expense of product.  On the appreciation of this depends the solution of our most pressing social problems, and especially the whole question of protection or free trade.  No one has yet been found bold enough to defend the maintenance of the Chinese commercial policy in this country by pleading openly for its true beneficiaries.  The battle cry has always been “protection to American labor,” and the people have even been urged to shut themselves out of the world's markets only for the sake of securing high wages to American mechanics.
So when Mr. Schoenhof throws light on the actual remuneration of workingmen engaged in protected industries here, he does us a real service.  There is but one fair way to make such a comparison, and Mr. Schoenhof chooses it.  It is not the wages by the day, but the wages by the piece, that make the difference.  And while the day wages are higher in America, the piece wages are lower.  If a manufacturer can buy his material at the same price, he can sell his goods cheaper when he employs labor at $1.50 a day than when he only pays $1, if the higher-paid man turns out twice as much work as the other.
That this is just what happens with high-paid American labor, Mr. Schoenhof shows us when he compares, for instance, the wages in cotton mills at Fall River and at Rochdale, England.  The American spinner earns an average of about $10 a week, against about $7 paid to the Englishmen; but the wages paid out for a hundred pounds of cotton yarn made in Rochdale are nearly 74 cents; while in Fall River they are about two cents less.  Yet the American cotton goods cost a trifle more on the whole.  The lumber used in building the factory, the iron to make its machinery, the coal to run its engines—all bring higher prices; and the owners of the land from which each has been taken collect the difference in each has been added by protection; not the workingman who has made the goods.
When we turn to silk, Mr. Schoenhof tells us that at Macclesfield, the center of silk manufacture in England, the operatives earn only $2.25 a week, more than $3 less than is earned in Paterson, N.J., but there is so much less work done for the $2.25 that each pound of silk represents almost the same amount of wages in one place as the other.  Shoemakers in German factories earn hardly a third what shoemakers earn in Massachusetts factories, but the wages paid for making a pair of German shoes are nearly twice as much as the American ones cost.
Or if we take those great protected interests, coal and iron, the results are the same.  Although there is a tariff duty of seventy-five cents a ton on coal, the American miner is paid only seven cents a ton more than the English miner, and five to ten cents less than the German; while at the same time he works to so much better effect that his yearly earnings are considerably greater than either.  The duty on iron ore is also seventy-five cents a ton, but the wages per ton for mining average only about $1.20 in Pennsylvania, against $1.46 in Staffordshire, England.  Whichever branch of manufacturing industry we consider, a fair comparison of American and foreign wages will demonstrate that, as Mr. Schoenhof says, “cheap production and high wages go pretty well hand in hand.”  American employers can afford to pay more for better work, and it is not high wages that keeps them from competing with European manufacturers.
Evidence that protection has nothing to do with high wages is also furnished in the example of Germany, the European country whose tariff most nearly resembles our own.  There they ostentatiously protect German industries; but, as with us, no one gains but the land owner.  Whether compared with approximately free trade England or with protectionist America, German wages are low and German labor inefficient.  The protected German cotton operative is paid about half as much as the “pauper labor” of English Manchester, and accordingly produces half as much goods, making his product just as costly when put on the market.  The American cotton operative, paid better than either by the day, is paid better than either by the day, is paid worse than either for goods he makes.  And so it goes through the other industries, that so far as the labor cost of goods is concerned our manufacturers have an advantage over the rest of the world.  Far from needing a tariff duty to help them keep up wages they get so much more work for so much less money that they can afford to meet any competition on this one item of cost.
But there is another item which counts against us in the world's competition—the cost of material.  The cost of everything we make is increased to just the extent of the tariff on raw material used, and this means not a better compensation to the laborer, but a bonus to the land owner, given through the operation of the inexorable law of rent.  Raw material means not only the absolute product of nature, such as ores or coal or wool, but also those partially manufactured articles, like pig iron or sawed logs, which have reached the first stage of manufacture, in the progress from which to more highly finished goods there is no substantial loss of weight through the elimination of waste matter.  For the freight charges on this waste have the same practical effect as a tariff duty on the percentage of the material.  Were it imported they would make the cost of manufacture just so much greater here than abroad, and therefore the domestic producer of the raw material can safely demand a correspondingly increased price for what he has to sell.
Once beyond this “waste line,” high tariff duties have no further effect on prices.  No matter what prohibitive rate is placed on elaborately worked iron goods, they bring in America only as much more than in England as the duty on pig iron amounts to.  Sometimes, indeed, when the percentage of labor is sufficiently great in proportion to the cost of the material used, the really cheap American labor overcomes the burden laid upon it, and undersells the foreign goods in their own field.
Protection, in short, means increased rent and higher prices for raw material.  Logic demonstrates that it cannot, and experience proves that it does not, increase wages.  The blatant talk about the interests of workingmen that comes from the advocates of monopolistic protection is of small account beside such practical facts as these plainly set before their eyes, we may safely trust the workingmen of America to forswear the false gods they have so long worshiped to espouse the cause of direct taxation, and by free trade gain at least a chance at the world's markets for their product, from which they are now cut off.

Edward J. Shriver

 


Suppose the 320 Acres is in City Lots?

Exchange
Wisconsin limits alien ownership to 320 acres.

 

Page 7

H.M. Hyndman's Letter

The Increased Value of Fixed Incomes—Agricultural Depression—Landlords, Farmers and Laborers—The Irish Question

The capitalists and landlords have suffered more from the depression of trade than the workers.  You wouldn't think it, would you!  Nor should I; but that is what our fine middle class economists perpetually tells us.  Now and then we have splendid evidence, so to say, of their sufferings, of the reasons which deduce our militant Hebrew, the chancellor of the exchequer, to make a special reduction of taxation—on which I shall have a word to say presently—for this oppressed class.  Thus, when the duke of Buceleugh's etchings were sold, for instance, members of this sadly afflicted section of the community contrived to find—poor, impoverished creatures that they were—a few hundred pounds for lot after lot of little black and white scraps by Rembrandt, the prices never having been so high.  The name in another department of art.  Do you know how to make money on a collection of pictures?  No!  Then here is an infallible recipe:  Always buy the best works of rising artists or of those whose ability is beyond say dispute.  Take the greatest care in selection, weeding out from your gallery from time to time any pictures which fall at all below its general standard of excellence.  Follow this policy out with plenty of money for a good many years, and then when all is satisfactorily accomplished and you can survey with supreme satisfaction perfect specimens on your walls of all the greatest artists of modern times—have the decency to die.  Then when you are gathered to your fathers, if you ever had any, your executors will have the still more ineffable felicity of realizing fifty, seventy-five or one hundred per cent over the cost of your original investments.  Your artistic purchases will enable you to “cut up well.”  Thus it befell—not to speak of your Morgan collection in New York, disposed of under somewhat similar circumstances—thus it befell, I say, with the choice gallery of Mr. John Graham, merchant, of Glasglow.  His famous Gainesborough portrait was bought and sold for £10,000; his, to my mind, still more glorious “Turner of Antwerp” fetched £7,000, and ninety-five pictures fetched in all £62,000-£310,000.  All bought by the poor capitalists; not one, I give you my word for it, by a laboring man.  No; they are suffering worse than ever, and the government has not even yet dared to publish, cooked or uncooked, the statistics of the numbers of unemployed in the districts of East London, which they have officially examined, for fear they should give the governing classes a sort of moral indigestion.
Seriously, can anything well be more preposterous than this absurd contention that the well-to-do classes, who have positively gained by the appreciation of gold and the cheapening of the raw materials of production, are those who have suffered most when hundreds of thousands, nay, even millions of workers have been: destitute and starving?  And I, for one, feel bitterly the scurvy hypocrisy of the liberal and radical party which can cause the the whole earth to listen to the wrongs of the Irish peasantry—with whom, of course, I heartily sympathize—and cannot find a word to say for the equally miserable English and Irish workers at their very door.  Just consider, too, the absurdity of Mr. Goschen's budget, referred to above.  Our income tax is eight pence on the pound, or about four cents on the dollar.  Now the class which has gained more than any other in England of late years is the class with fixed incomes payable in gold, the purchasing power of such incomes having increased from twenty-five to forty per cent, owing to the fall in all sorts of food and other commodities.  They, therefore, if any class, should be taxed the more, inasmuch that they are undoubtedly gaining in consequence of an appreciation of the Standard of value at the expense of the rest of the community.  But to him that hath, to the same shalt be given.  So our capitalist chancellor of the exchequer reduces the income tax by a penny in the pound, and finds the means to do this by suspending the payment of the sinking fund for the national debt.  This, too, although by reason of the increased value of gold the weight of that debt is proportionately much greater than it was.  Pretty financiering that, isn't it?  Almost of the Jacob Sharp order of merit.
Meanwhile, however, what I call the silent revolution in regard to the land is going on steadily, though more rapidly than ever.  The position is more complicated here than else where, and a few words may not be out of place as to its effect.  Foreign competition has reduced the area of wheat growing in Great Britain enormously of late years, and of course has proportionately depressed the whole agricultural interest.  Of course, the greater part of this foreign wheat supply comes from the United States; no less than fifty-five per cent of the whole, indeed, and Canada sends five per cent—sixty per cent of our what supply thus coming from your side of the Atlantic.  You have, therefore, the satisfaction, though India is beginning to haul up on you a little, of having produced a direct economical revolution in the old country as well as of having intensified the revolution in Ireland.  The effect upon the landlord interest here is very curious to note.  According to Sir James Caird, the leading authority on agricultural statistics, the rent of mere agricultural land in Great Britain, which was at the highest point, £51,000,000 in 1877, has now fallen below the level of 1841, when it was at £41,000,000.  That is to say, the landlords' agricultural rents in Great Britain, at the present time, are put by Sir James at over £36,000,000 or £37,000,000 at the outside.  But while the landlords have had to submit to this heavy reduction, the fixed charges on their estates, such as interest on mortgages, rent charges, provisions for foreign wars, etc., have not been reduced a fraction.  Thus the owner, who is also the permanent improver of the land, in our present miserable system, is, comparatively to his previous mode of life, in a most impoverished condition, and wholly unable to improve his land, which greatly needs it after a long succession of bad seasons, even if he wished to.  Thus not only is his social position deteriorated, but his economical function, so to say, is crippled.  He cannot afford to be liberal to his dependents, neither can he afford to spend money on the permanent improvement of his estate.  Moreover, as the greater part of English land is still entailed, he cannot, except at the cost of sacrifices which it would take too long to describe, rid himself of the soil which thus encumbers him and he it.  So the English landlord's position at the present time is really, except in the case of very large owners indeed, or owners of city property, or of men who have other sources of income—that is to say, unless he is either a very large agricultural landowner or something else into the bargain, the English landlord's position, I say, is like the burglar's of burlesque—“not a happy one.”  He is a burden to himself as he has been brought up, and a nuisance to the community.
Again, there is the capitalist farmer class.  This class makes temporary improvements under our system, stocks the land and keeps it in good heart.  But the farmers are, if anything, in yet worse case than the  land owners.  They are reckoned to have lost at least £50,000,000 of capital during the last ten years and are in no case to meet the competition which assails them in every market and in every kind of agricultural commodity.  Many of them have literally paid away all their capital in rent; others are head over ears in debt to the banks, and some, though they managed to keep going by dint of superior intelligence on special advantages, are by no means hopeful as to the future.  A gloomy foreboding seems to have taken hold upon two of the sacred English trinity of production on the land.  Even the banks are in a parlous case and are very doubtful whether they will be able to realize their advances.  Farmers, too, owing to the continuous fall in prices of stock—mutton from La Plata is selling in the English market by the half carcass at 4½ d. per pound—are afraid to launch out in new stock, because, as happened not long since to a skilled farmer, a landlord friend of mine, he may find that after he has fattened the beasts for months they sell for less than he gave for them as store beasts.  So the farmer, too, is in a parlous case all round.
And the agricultural laborers!  They, poor devils, fare the worst of the three.  Bad times means necessarily for them a reduction of wages.  But that is not all.  As land is turned from arable into pasture far fewer hands are wanted, and they are turned off altogether.  Even if the arable is kept on some farms at its former level, machinery is being introduced more and more of necessity.  The effect of this, too, is to reduce the number of hands employed, and so still more are discharged to flock into the already overcrowded towns, swelling the ranks of the unemployed, and reducing the general standard of comfort of the workers and their hopeless competition.  Indeed, the state of things is so bad in all the chief agricultural counties among the laborers that really I should not be surprised if troubles were to break out among them.  Needless to say that in such circumstances the ideas of land nationalization and socialism spread among them rapidly.  This the rather that they see, as any man can see, that there is no earthly reason why the land of England should not return as much or more produce with advantage to the whole community as it ever did, and that the present depression is due, not in the main to bad seasons, but to bad social arrangements all round.  At any rate, the land question here in England, quite apart from the ground rents in cities, which is, of course, a separate form of land monopoly, must ere long force itself to the front through the silly liberal panaceas of peasant proprietory, and three acres and a cow—four acres and a bull!—tends to stop progress.
And here I have got well nigh to the end of my present letter without saying a word about Ireland.  A good thing, too, I venture to think.  On it goes.  What goes on?  Why the never-ending torrent of talk, sweeping away all, submerging all, the political landmarks.  Where are we?  I wish I knew.  Perhaps some of you will kindly tell us.  The Times says at its leisure what David said in his haste, that all Irishmen are liars—are, nine-tenths of them, assassins.  The only wonder is, such a character for turbulence does the “journal of the city” give to all who champion the cause of Irish freedom, that even of those fire-eating assassins is left to lament the “removal” of his fellows.
Anything more preposterous than the present state of things it is impossible to imagine.  The whole tory party seems to have gone clean daft.  Accusing, as they do, the whole Irish parliamentary party of complicity in dynamite outrages, Phoenix park assassinations, etc., etc., they have just refused to allow the Irish members to put their case as against the accusations of the Times before a committee of the house of commons.  This has enabled the Irish largely to reinstate themselves with the mass of English public opinion, which, whether they like to admit it or not, had been much influenced by Parnell's deliberate neglect to prosecute the Times for libel.  Now they have shown a bolder front, and it is, on the whole, a better position.  Don't forget, however, that if Lord Hartington and Mr. Joseph Chamberlain choose, they can keep this precious tory government not only in office but in power for seven solid years.
Think of that!  Seven years of steady tory reaction.  Pharaoh's seven lean kine were fools to it!  There is no saying, indeed, what they wouldn't do if they went on for all that long period in their period in their present furious condition.  Yet a parliament lasts for seven years in this long-winded old country of ours, and a majority is a majority when the reactionists have it.  Happily, nothing is certain except the unforeseen, as Balzac said and Disraeli plagiarized.  And the unforeseen is pretty certain to occur ere long.  But in the meantime the bitterness is getting more bitter and the fury more furious with the debates on all the personal issues, until not really the most strict police arrangements will stave off bloodshed if this goes on.  If the tories could hang their brand new baronet, Sir Charles Lewis, the Londonderry orangemen, I believe they would do it, so angry are they at this last long week of obstruction to their precious coercion bill.  But there—I'm not interested in this interminable business, save as to results.  I only record with satisfaction as a revolutionist that the class war is becoming more manifestly a class war every day, and that liberals and radicals, grand old man and all, will shortly be forced, whether they like it or not, into the revolutionary camp.  Thus only in existing circumstances can the tory coercion bill be resisted.  Even Mr. Labouchere—the English Rochefort—began to talk about “barricades” the other day.  Fancy barricades spoken of in dear, sleepy old English land.
But, seriously speaking, this attempt to check the spread of socialism in London, to put down public meetings by sheer force of police and to suspend trial by jury may yet land us in a conflict of which no man can see the end.  Free speech and trial by jury are words of might to all the English-speaking race.  Anything else you may touch and tamper with, but these are sacred—or so we are told.  Rien n'est sacre pour un—reactioniste, nevertheless.  Social democrats are as unpopular with the “classes” and even with some portion of the masses as the national leaguers themselves.  Consequently, seven men have just been condemned to six months' hard labor for a political offense by a magistrate, without the option of trial; our meetings are attacked by Primrose roughs, paid by the lower sort of tories, and the police side with the roughs; our comrades are “run in” for assaulting the police, and convicted solely of police evidence.  All this is going on as I write, here in London, and the very liberals and radicals whose hearts burn within them at the very idea of such tyranny in Ireland, content themselves with a few languid questions in the house of commons.  But the end is not yet, all the same.

H.M. Hyndman

 


Thoughtful Words From Scotland

Glasglow, Scotland, Pioneer
To him who has eyes to see, nothing can be plainer than that the great nineteenth century revolution has already begun, and that modern civilization every day draws nearer to that struggle which must either raise it to a higher plane or overthrow it.  Most picturesque and most significant was the great gathering of the poverty-stricken masses of London in the great national cathedral of the metropolis, and Hyndman and his fellows of the democratic federation could have desired no demonstration more effective as a means of propaganda and none more portentous to the system which crushes a thousand into pauperism to raise one to unwholesome wealth.  Think of what is involved in this defiling of tens of thousands of pinched and stunted Englishmen into the grand temple erected at national expense to a just and merciful God!  When the ill-clothed, underfed, overworked millions actually begin to realize that they, too, are really the children of “Our Father which art in Heaven,” then the rule of those who claim His earth as theirs draws near its close.  The great and coming revolution will change the existing matter, and men will no longer, at the bidding of this despot or that tyrant, shoot each other down.

 


The New Crusade In Pennsylvania

Dr. McGlynn's Lecture in Pittsburg—The Old City Hall Crowded to Overflowing—The Crusade and the Gospel of Christ

Rev. Dr. Edward McGlynn uplifted the banner of the new crusade before a large and remarkably intelligent audience in Pittsburg, Pa., on Thursday evening, May 12.  The meeting was held at the old city hall, and was presided over by Dr. Logan.
Dr. McGlynn's appearance upon the platform was the signal for a perfect tumult of applause, lasting for more than five minutes.  His address was listened to with eager attention, the immense audience showing by their well-timed applause that they appreciated and accepted the doctrine he expounded and illustrated to them.  The following were among the notable passages of the lecture:
The cross of the new crusade takes its name from its similitude to the cross of the old.  When we talk of this crusade, we mean the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. (Applause)  Man needed not the revelation of Mt. Sinai, or any other revelation, to know that he is something different from brute animal.  His cravings, his desires, his wants teach him that he has the capacity to look beyond and ask what will come after the brute animal perishes.  Men should be taught that this is but an abiding place, a workshop; that there is a home beyond, and that all men should be brothers. (Applause)  Men should be taught that God, being a Father, is not a stepfather (applause); that He has not given to any one man, or any set of men, the privilege to enslave his brethren. (Loud applause)…
We are not brute animals, but we are land animals.  We were made to live upon this earth; not on another earth, but this earth.  We are to live on the land and by the land as long as we live at all.  God, in sending us to this earth, must have planned to make room enough for us all.  He has made room enough at His table for all of His children who have been sent into the world or ever will be until the crack of doom.  But a small minority of His children have usurped our places.  It is a sin which cries for vengeance to deprive the laborer of his hire. (Applause)… Can you not see that instead of contravening religion we are preaching it.  We are disposed to be generous, and instead of calling names to those who call its names we are disposed to pity them.  We have sympathy for the poor rich man…  I am not receiving any financial reward for my services.  On the contrary, I am out of pocket, and shall continue to be out of pocket while I preach the cross of the new crusade.  When the little fund which some of my friends have given me is gone, and please God that will be soon (laughter), I will have to earn my living like any other man.  I will read proof or write a book or do something. (Wild cheers)
…A Pittsburgh paper asked me a question.  I read it on the train.  How about the poor man who has bought himself a little home?  I answer, supposing a “poor white trash” bought a negro for $1,000 and the property ran away with itself, he simply made a bad bargain.  Then they will ask, do you want to take my home from me?  I answer no; you misrepresent me by asking that question, but we will ask you to pay a fair rental on it, and how about the other poor men who have no house?  And the time will come when that little house should go and give way to a thirteen-story palace.  And then the poor cabbage gardener, who has held his patch in the heart of a great city, will be a millionaire.  And they ask, will you tax the poor widow with thirteen children and a cow?  I answer yes; for there are other poor widows with thirteen children and no cow and no house.
I am asked, “Father McGlynn, why are you here?”  I would not be here, and would not continue preaching the new crusade, if I did not believe that I am preaching the gospel of Christ.  It will be the high and the holy purpose of this crusade to prepare for the coming of the Lord.
The Pittsburg Chronicle Telegraph is authority for the statement that all the Catholic priests of Pittsburg and most of the members of the church were expressly ordered not to attend Dr. McGlynn's lecture by Coadjutor Bishop Phelan.  Three priests who intended to take part were directly ordered to stay away.

 


The Experience Of A Mill Owner

He Tells How Lifting All Taxes from Industry and Placing One Big Tax on Land Values Will Benefit Him and His Neighbors

L.D. Howes of the firm of Howes Brothers of this city, wholesale and retail dealers in doors, sash, blinds, moldings and lumber, with mills and yard at Tonawanda, N.Y., writes the following strong letter:
C.H. Williams of our city, who was in the manufacturing business here for a number of years, failed, and wishing to get an honest living by industry went to West Virginia, near Charleston, to purchase some lumber land on which to work.  He found the kind of land he desired in abundance, but owned mostly by non-residents.  One tract the owner offered to sell for $70,000, the payment to be part cash down and the remainder on time.  The land was cheap as things go, but, of course, it was out of the question for a man with small money to purchase.  The owner would not sell a part of it, as the tax on the whole was only $24, and he could make more money in the end by holding it, and, besides, by selling a portion the authorities might tax him according to this selling price for the balance.
Now, if this land owner paid on the selling value of that land taxes proportionately as heavy as those borne by the farmer, the manufacturer and the mechanic, in short, if land values were taxed as heavily as capital and labor, this land holder would not have so much to gain by keeping his land out of use, and would be inclined to take what he could get for it, or to turn to and cut the timber and improve the land, thus engaging in useful labor himself and employing many others as well.  But under our system the man with a little capital or the man who has nothing but his labor, is compelled to compete with his fellows for an opportunity to use one of the elements of life which we foolishly permit some men to call their private property.  It is my belief that were all land values appropriated by taxation for public purposes and all other taxes remitted, the people would in a few years make the land a garden and build up homes for everybody.

 


The Nightmare of Rent

St. Paul, Minn., Labor Echo
In the city, a man who has resided here long enough to have earned and paid for the roof over his head is a capitalist among his fellow workmen, inasmuch as what cost him $1 three or four years ago is today worth $5, and would bring that price readily, even if the roof, house and all were blown into the river by a cyclone.  The advance in wages and steady employment is a matter affecting him not so much as the advance in rent decreases the purchasing power of the dollar earned by the tenant workman.  So it is that in this city of busy employment at fair wages in most trades, the homeless workman must pay somebody one week's wages for the privilege of living four weeks in somebody's house, and he considers himself fairly lucky if he has a written lease for the same at this figure, so that he may be protected against some one else who will pay the landlord more for the privilege.  Rent is the nightmare of every workingman otherwise blessed with a family.  It is the largest factor in the merchant's calculations when putting a price on his goods and casting up his profits on the same.  It is like taking out a license to get somewhere out of the rain and cold.  It is paying money to somebody who has not earned it.  It is the prince of your labor in exchange for a written receipt worth nothing.  It is the disturber of fair competition in commodities.  It is the great obstacle to a fair distribution of products.  It is an evil, however, that cannot be overcome by a strike.  It cannot be brought to terms by a boycott.

 

Facts For Farmers

A Western Man Presents Some Big Figures

Marathon City, Wis., April 29—Could you not devise some kind of a diagram, showing the effect of the adoption of the taxation reform advocated by “Progress and Poverty” and the Standard?  I am certain that if our farmers could only be induced to examine your plan they would become the staunchest supporters thereof.  But they are prejudiced against anything mentioned in connection with Henry George, because our millionaire newspapers, well knowing that if “Georgeism” should prevail, the [text missing] and Astors, the Vanderbilts, Sharps, Shylocks and syndicates could no longer rob the farmer and laborer, have dinned into their ears that Henry George wanted “to divide up their property.”  Now, if our farmers could only be made to think over your plan, they would soon find out that their property is “divided up” every year among the Goulds and syndicates and money sharks; and that is the reason why seventy-five per cent of the farms in the western states are mortgaged to the last woodchuck hole, and the farmer must toil day and night to enable him to simply subsist.  How many of our farmers know that the $350,000,000 collected by the United States government is indirectly paid by the farmers and laborers, and by them alone?
How many of our farmers know that over $500,000,000 is taken from them and given to the protected manufacturers every year on account of the tariff?  How many know that the government loans money to the banks at about one per cent, while the farmers are made bankrupt by being compelled to pay ten per cent and more to the banks and their agents?  How many of them know that one single railroad company “presented” to congressmen, members of state legislatures and court judges annual passes valued at $700,000, and that the “presents” of other railroad companies to these “servants of the people” amount to at least $10,000,000 annually, all of which is piled on the farmers and laborer?  And lastly, how many of them know that—as proved by the Chicago News—the millionaire bankers, brokers, speculators and United States senators willingly commit perjury to avoid paying their share of taxes, thus again piling it on the farmer and laborer?  And to sum up, the amount thus “divided up” amounts to more than $1,000,000,000 each year, or about $20 for every man, woman, boy, girl and baby in the United States.  Therefore I repeat that if only the farmers can be induced to examine “Georgeism,” the greatest boon to mankind since the birth of Christ will be speedily secured.

M. Lemmer

 


He Wants To Go To Work

A Greenbacker Comes to See that Taxing Land Values Is the First Great Reform

Port Huron, Mich., May 7—Since 1880 I have been trying to settle my own mind as to the cause of increasing business depression and its attendant increase of poverty.  I believe I am thoroughly convinced that land taxation, and that alone, will go right to the root of things.  I have been, during these six or seven years, a greenbacker and free trader, and am yet.  But I believe that land taxation ought to precede both in a correct platform of principles—they all belong together.
I now purpose organizing this congressional district on a real platform of genuine democracy.  For three campaigns I have stumped this district in the interests of reform, hampered by an alliance with one of our greatest enemies.  I feel now that I can accomplish something by standing alone.  I fairly ache to get at it and not be compelled at nearly every meeting to explain some of the tricks and dishonest practices of the democracy.  You may be interested to hear that the democratic club of 225 members at the village of Fort Gratiat, St. Clair county, disbanded on Thursday night, May 5, after adopting resolutions of disgust with modern democracy, and on May 12 they will meet to perfect the organization of a united labor club.  Yours for land restoration,

E.P. Greene

 


The Rising Tide Can't Be Swept Back With This Kind of Broom

Charlottesville, Va., Chronicle
Mr. George and his associates should understand what will inevitably follow should they (the victors) undertake to carry out in practice what they do not hesitate to announce as their political theory, viz: the confiscation by taxation to the government, or to the landless, of all the lands in the country.  If the history of the modern world proves anything, it is that the property holder will have his property protected by the government.  If it cannot be protected under a republican form of government, then a constitutional monarchy will be established.  If that will not suffice, the man on horseback will be invoked.  Heretofore the people of this country have maintained a government which protected life, liberty and property.  But whenever it becomes a question whether constitutional liberty must be sacrificed, or life rendered insecure, and the rights of property impaired, the people will let go liberty and retain intact security for life and property.  God grant it may never occur, but as sure as this party succeeds, it will be the old story over again of the advent of armed despotism though the gates thrown open by anarchy.
If the Chronicle will read its exchanges it will learn that what the new crusaders propose is simply that the property holder shall have his property protected, and not be forced to submit to having it snatched from him by men whose only title to plunder is a bit of pamper giving them a pretended exclusive control over the bounties God has provided for the use of man.

 


What Chance Have Labor and Capital Against This Sort of Thing?

Minneapolis Evening Journal
“You still own some of this land you preempted twenty-five years ago, don't you?” said a gentleman of Captain R.P. Russell yesterday.
“Yes, I have some of the original property.  But there is nothing strange in that.”
“It's right down here in the city, too, isn't it?” continued the questioner.
“A good deal of it is.  There's John Blaisdell and John Green, who have also retained their property.  It didn't cost us much,” Captain Russell went on smilingly, “and we have held on to it.  We thought it would pay.  There have been great changes since then.”
“Pay?  I should think it did,” said the questioner, after Captain Russell had departed.  “That land cost those fellows $1.25 an acre.  Now they are selling it at prices ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 an acre.  Just think of that in one lifetime.”

 


A Highly Sensible Proposal

London Echo
A public meeting was held at the court house, Cockermouth, yesterday, for the purpose of taking initiatory proceedings in connection with the celebration of the queen's jubilee.  It was proposed that the poor of the town should be entertained with a dinner, tea and concert, the rejoicings to conclude with a display of fireworks.  Mr. Robert Mitchell, sharebroker, proposed the following address to the queen as an amendment: “That we, your loyal subjects in the ancient borough of Cockermouth, do pray your majesty (but not humbly) that in consideration of our having, during a period of fifty years, contributed our quota of £385,000 annually paid to your majesty, as well as having also provided for your offspring in a lavish manner, amounting in the fifty years, at compound interest, to no less than £84,000,000 sterling, in addition to which we have, at your majesty's wish, provided lucrative and almost nothing-to-do situations for many of your German relations and others; we, therefore, in common reasoning, ask your majesty to hand over one year's income (£385,000) to erect some useful and lasting memorial from a grateful queen to her loving subjects for having, during so long a period, and under many trying circumstances, contributed so liberally toward the support of yourself, family and friends.”

 


The “Tribune” May Oppose the New Crusade, but its News Columns Prove the Need of it

G.W. Smalley in the Tribune
The testimony given before the parliamentary committee on leasehold property has raised a fresh outcry against London landlords.  The duke of Westminster, the duke of Norfolk, Lord Portman and others are attacked by name.  Their offense consists in availing themselves of what John Stuart Mill called the unearned increment.  Tenants, as their leases expire, are called on to choose between sacrificing their business, including the good will, and paying enormously increased rents for houses on which the landlord during their whole tenancy has spent nothing.  Many cases are given: one where the rent of $100 was raised to $1,400; another where the tenant was refused a new lease at any price, though he offered to rebuild the house at his own expense.  Agitation may be expected on lines similar in some respects to the Irish.  The legal right of the landlords is indisputable.  How much the community will stand is another question.

 

Page 8

The United Labor Party

Thursday, May 12—The Fifth assembly district organization held a semi-monthly entertainment.  President William Anderson spoke of the good results of social meetings.  The program included piano selections piano selections by Mrs. Hawkins; Dutch eccentricities, Messrs. Goebel and Baer; banjo, Redican brothers; the humorist, “Tomany Ballantyne;” a recitation by Henry Ancketill; piccolo solo, B. Brady; harmonican, Master John Hickman, and a song by Henry Morgan.  A vigorous address was made by John Swinton on labor in politics.
The Seventh to give a literary and musical entertainment at Metropolitan hall, South Fifth avenue, near Fourth street, on Thursday evening, May 26.  A large attendance is expected.
The regular meeting of the Seventeenth was held at 743 Eighth avenue, Chairman McGee presiding.  The business of the meeting was chiefly of a routine character.  The committee on organization reported steady progress in organizing the various election districts.  The membership of this assembly district is rapidly increasing; its meetings are well attended, and the earnestness and interest displayed by its members promise well for the future.
Friday, May 13—The Twelfth met at 642 East Fifth street, S. Lindner, president, in the chair.  After applications for membership had been received, discussion was had on two communications from the county committee.  They were laid over for the general meeting of Friday, 20th inst.  Questions relating to the report of the delegates to the county committee, the organization of election districts, amendments to the constitution of the county committee, the giving of an entertainment, and the election of delegates to the state convention were also referred to the general meeting.  A committee of three was appointed to draft resolutions condemning the sixteen assemblymen who voted against the bill giving inspectors to the united labor party.
Sunday, May 15—The Eleventh and Twenty-first districts held a mass meeting at Lyric hall.  The case of Dr. McGlynn, the blue laws, home rule and the cause of the united labor party were all considered by the speakers.  A very good audience was present, and speeches were made by the chairman, A.R. Hammond, S.R. Shevitch, J.P. Archibald and John Swinton.  The latter said, in speaking of the political movement:  “Thank God we are taking hold of the sources of power; we are going in in the old American way; we are going into politics.  And it is not in the cities, these European colonies on the seaboard, that the work is the most noticeable.  It is in the good old American towns of the farming country.  I have a letter telling me that the labor party has just carried Cold Valley, Virginia.  Thunder, what is New York when we have carried Cold Valley?  It is in the subsoil districts that the work counts.  An old man called Clod Hopper rules this country.  Forsake not only the principles of the old parties, but their methods also.  There must be no machinery, no bosses, no fetiches, no secret juntas, no secret acts.  We must steer clear of mountebanks, tricksters, office hunters.  By joining together all fragments of discontent we will make in this country such a procedure as will make you open your eyes.  Amen.
Monday, May 16—The Twentieth held its weekly educational meeting at its regular headquarters, 1058 Second Avenue.  L. Berliner presided.  A member of the association made an address in favor of measures pending before the legislature.  Monday, May 23, Mr. T. O'Neill will make an address.  Preparations for the McGlynn meeting, under the auspices of the association, are almost completed.
The Twenty-third passed a resolution directing the secretary to convey a message of sympathy from the association to Rev. C.P. McCarthy, who had just suffered a domestic bereavement.  A program for the organization of election districts was arranged as follows:  Thirty-sixth.  Tuesday, 17th; Fourth, Wednesday, 18th; Ninth, Thursday, 19th.  The Twenty-first, Forty-sixth, Fifty-eighth and Fifth-ninth were reported in process of organization.  The executive committee was appointed.
The Progress and Poverty club of the Twenty-third lately challenged the Young Men's Christian association to engage in a debate similar to that which members of the latter organization held recently with a Philadelphia society.  On Wednesday a letter was received by a member of the Progress and Poverty club, informing him that its challenge had been accepted, and that its opponents would be ready in two weeks to meet its representative speakers.
Tuesday, May 17—The Sixteenth held a special meeting to arrange for the organization of election districts.  Rules were adopted which, under the county organization's constitution, were to govern the proceedings at the election districts' meetings.
The Third held its usual fortnightly business at 42 Great Jones street.  The meetings are held for business purposes, and a monthly entertainment is given, the proceeds of which are devoted to the funds of the district organization.  Next entertainment June 14.  A committee was appointed to confer with the “toiler's league,” an association started for educational purposes, with a view to amalgamation.  It has also been decided to publish a local journal immediately.
Wednesday, April 18—The meeting in the Second was largely taken up by a social entertainment, John T. Burke, James Degnan, John McGonigle and William O'Neil being among those who gave life to the occasion.  There was a large attendance.  The Second is full of vigor, and rejoices in permanent headquarters and a growing organization.

The following gentlemen have been elected officers of land and labor club, No. 1, of Minneapolis: James McDaniels, president; A. Stewart and M.T. Kelly, vice-presidents; C. Moellor, corresponding and recording secretary; M. Donahue, financial secretary; G.A. Gunderson, treasurer.
The Northwestern Labor Union of Minneapolis says: “The united labor party demands laws based on exact scientific justice to humanity, and recognizes no distinction of class or caste.  We desire to unite all nationalities on a platform of a sovereign people under the Stars and Stripes, and the total abolition of laws granting special privileges to individuals or corporations, and a single tax on land values, irrespective of improvements, which will simply discourage the holding of vacant lots and idle land for speculative investment, place a home within the reach of every workingman, and firmly emancipate them from the greed of landlordism and usury.”
Baltimore, Md., May 14—A meeting was held last night for the purpose of forming a land and labor club.  Twenty persons were present, and a number of others who were unable to attend subscribed as members.  John Salmon was elected president pro tem, and a committee of five was appointed to perfect a plan of permanent organization.  A general discussion ensued on various phases of the present system of land tenure, and especially the ground rent system peculiar to Baltimore.  Men are beginning to think.

W.N.H.

 

Erie, Pa., May 13—At last we have a library and reading room for workingmen, and a hall capable of seating 1,200 persons.  It is the intention to arrange for a course of lectures at once on the questions of land and labor.

W.G. McKeon

Providence, R.I., May 11—The meeting of our land and labor club as well attended as usual.  After the disposal of the regular business it was suggested that an efficient way of spreading the doctrines for which we are working would be to have the best and most forcible passages from the speeches and printed works bearing on the subject printed in very large type on large sheets of paper, which could be posted on bill boards and other prominent places in villages, towns and cities throughout the land.  It was said that this could be done at small cost, as the bills might be printed in large amounts at once place.  The local clubs could then see to putting them up.  It seems to some of us that such a plan would thrust before the masses some slight knowledge of their natural rights and the great importance of the “land question.”

John L. Murphy, Secretary

 

A land and labor club has been organized in Kansas City, Mo., and the outlook is most encouraging.  John S. Crosby, of the law firm of Crosby, Rusk & Strong, on Sunday afternoon, May 8, delivered an address before an interested audience in Tobener's hall, reviewing the historical aspect of the movement from the time of the free soil movement down to the present, and explained briefly what those engaged in the movement claimed and what they hoped to do.  After answering a number of thoughtful questions, Mr. Crosby called for a vote of those in favor of appropriating land values for public purposes, and there was a general response.  A land and labor club was thereupon formed, and steps will at once be taken for “spreading the light.”
Greenbush, N.Y.—There was an election in this town last Tuesday and the Knights of Labor put a ticket in the field.  Although the two old parties fought hard to beat us we elected our ticket from stem to stern, not even giving the democrats, who have held the village for a number of years, an inspector.  If that don't show what the workingmen can do if they will only stand together I don't know what will.

N.H.B.

 


The Ohio and Labor Convention

The land and labor executive committee for the state of Ohio has issued a call for a convention to be held in Cincinnati, July 4.  The call is addressed to all land and labor clubs, all members of trades assemblies, all members of Knights of Labor, of farmers' alliances, of the Ohio state grange, and all others in the state of Ohio recognizing the great truth and importance of the doctrine of the land for the people, enunciated in the Clarendon hall platform upon which Henry George received 68,000 votes in New York city, and set forth in the following declaration of principles, and desiring to aid in their propagation.
The following is the declaration of principles referred to:
We oppose the stupid fiscal system that piles up hundreds of millions of dollars in our treasury vaults while we are paying interest on an enormous debt.  We aim at the abolition of the system that makes the railroad and the telegraph a means for the oppression of the people and the aggrandizement of an aristocracy of wealth and power; and we advocate the raising of all public revenues from a tax on land according to its value, throwing the burden of taxation upon mining and unimproved lands in the rural districts, and upon the monopolizers of valuable land in and near our great cities, thus relieving the farming interest on the one hand and our crowded tenement house population on the other, and by lifting all taxation from the products of labor, relieving industry, agriculture and commerce.
The call is signed by Frank Hagslip, corresponding secretary, 253 Vine street, Cincinnati.

 


The Man Who Works Should Get Rich

Hamilton, Ont., Evening Times
In the Hamilton Speculator of today we find a plea for the exemption from taxation of the building and plant of a screw factory.  This is its essence.
Somewhere in the city lies a lot of vacant ground, which now pays taxes to a small amount annually.  The proposition is that taxes shall be paid on this ground just as at present, but that the buildings shall be exempt and the company's plant shall be exempt for a term of years.  If the company shall fail to come here—remain in Dundas or remove to Toronto—the land will lie idle, and who should get no more out of it than will be paid if the request of the company be granted.
The scheme is all right if it were made general.  It is absurd to tax the screw company for putting up a building and plant that will give employment to the citizens and add to the general wealth.  But why make an exception of the screw company?  The Times printing company has bought a plot of ground that was practically vacant; the old stable and house upon it were worth just about the trouble of tearing them down and carting away the materials.  Before the snow flies there will be a good building on that plot.  Why not continue to tax that land, and let the new building and its contents be exempt, just as the Spectator so generously proposes in the case of the screw factory?  And why confine the system to new buildings?  The Speculator printing company employs labor, pays wages, and does much to benefit Hamilton.  Why should its building and plant be taxed?  Why should its building and plant be taxed?  So with the foundries, sewing machine and tobacco factories, shops and stores.  A tax on goods, or on houses, is a tax on industry, a tax on labor.  A tax on land value is a tax on speculation.  It takes for common use a value created by common industry.  The Times paid $7,000 for that vacant plot on the corner of Hughson and King William streets.  No value had been added to it by the labor of its owner.  The improvements, as we have said, were hardly worth the labor of carting them away.  Instead of paying $7,000 to an individual for the land—equal at six per cent, to $420 a year—a just system of taxation would have compelled the Times to pay $420 a year as land tax to the city, and the building to be erected and the plant to be put into it should go tax free forever.  The man who works should get rich, and not the man who hangs on and waits.
There will be a better state of affairs when the farmer votes as he talks, the preacher votes as he preaches and the editor votes as he writes.

 


Land Limitation Is Not What Is Wanted

St. Louis, April 30—I am surrounded by empty lots.  On my right the bare surface of the earth is owned by a man, who has become rich by the increase of the value of his land.  I do not think that he is any more exacting than other land owners, with this exception, that when he sells a lot he stipulates that the purchaser shall erect a two-story house, so that the remainder of his ground is increased in value by the more expensive nature of the improvements.  The empty lot on my left is owned by a poor man, who also owns a house in which he lives, but having a little money, bought this lot to satisfy his land hunger.  He is just as anxious to have his lot become valuable as is my right hand neighbor.  He visits it every Sunday to see if it is still there, and has had the impudence to quarrel with a little German whose premises adjoin his lot, for having had the impudence to quarrel with a little German whose premises adjoin his lot, for having had the temerity to build a one-story house in such close proximity to his ground, and thereby decrease its possible future value.  Here is a large land owner and a small one equally greedy, and both injuring, by their avarice, the whole community in proportion to the quantity of land which they can withhold from use.  In this instance the small land owner is even more contemptible than the larger one, and the example demonstrates plainly that the remedy needed is not the limitation of the quantity of land that an individual shall own, but placing all taxation on land values by some gradual process until they will absorb the full rental value of the bare ground, irrespective of the improvements.

William Harman

 


Poverty Breeding

An Object Lesson in Political Economy—Making Men Slaves

Correspondence Duluth, Minn., Industrial Age
Duluth is a young and growing city, and right here is a good place to observe the workings of those principles which cause poverty and destitution in the older cities.  Who knows but that this spot on the great globe of ours has been reserved by Providence for the purpose of showing, in a marked degree, the operations of these principles?  In a city which grows slowly the principles operate slowly, and the life of one man is most too short to enable him to observe the cause and effect in close relation to each other.  Let us, then, study carefully and closely what we see here in Duluth.
In February I bought a lot for $600.  Within three weeks I sold it for $800.  Thus I became $200 better off than I was before the deal.  This $200 represents the labor of one man for, say, three months at ordinary wages.  I performed no labor the results of which I could give to some other person.  The lot itself produced nothing.  And yet I am able to command the labor of some man for three months.  I received something for nothing.  Every man who makes a cent in this way does the same thing, and it all comes out of the laborer.  It is difficult, it is true, to tell what particular individual or individuals perform this labor for me, and get nothing.  Yet such is the case.  Suppose I had bought this lot at the time when I could have gotten it for $1.  Today it is worth $1,000.  The land itself can be rented for $100 per year.  If I were to lease it for this amount, I would simply require my tenant to pay me out of his wages $100 per year, and practically he would be paying it to me for nothing.  To just that extent the man would be my slave.  I could not, as under the system of chattel slavery, select my slave, but I can say that some man shall work for me to the extent of $100 per year.
It may be said that if private individuals were not permitted to receive rent on lands, the value of the land would depreciate.  The market value might depreciate, but its intrinsic value would be none the less.  Compare it again with the slave.  Suppose I owned a man worth $1,000 in the market.  His emancipation would take away his market value.  But would any value be destroyed in reality?  But would any value be destroyed in reality?  I say no, for if a man was worth $1,000 to me, he is now worth more than that to himself.  So it is with the land.  If it is worth enough to those who occupy it to enable them to pay profits to owners, it is worth enough to pay the same profits to the community.

 


An American Eviction

Is It Any Way More Tolerable Than an Irish One?

Newark, N.J., Evening News
Passers by on Court street last night during the rain storm saw a woman surrounded by five children all crying bitterly among the heap of furniture on the sidewalk.  The woman was Mrs. Mary Friedman, a widow, who with her five children had been turned out of her house during the rain storm for non-payment of rent.  With her family she had occupied rooms at 308 Court street for several years.  Her husband, a barber, died about a year ago.  Since then she has supported her family by doing any kind of work she could get.  Two of the small children worked in a factory and helped to support the others.  The woman was unable to meet all the demands made upon her, and for the past two months she has been unable to pay her rent.
Her landlord, G. Diebel, obtained a writ of ejectment, and yesterday afternoon, while the air was heavy with the threatened rain, a constable, accompanied by two men, entered her rooms and began to carry her furniture out on the street.  The woman begged and implored the men to allow her furniture to remain in the house another night, saying that it was going to rain and she had no place to go to.  The men were acting under legal instructions, and, despite the woman's prayers, carried all her household goods to the street and locked up the vacant rooms.
Soon afterward the rain began to pour.  The widow and her five children sat among the tumbled household goods and filled the air with their cries.  Charles Holzworth, a baker, of 306 Fifteenth avenue took pity on the unfortunate woman and her family and invited them to accept the hospitality of his house for the night.  This morning the furniture still lay on the street, ruined almost beyond repair by the rain which had fallen all through the night.  There are no wealthy people in the neighborhood, but the neighbors have offered to take care of the widow and her family and furniture until she obtains other quarters.

 


They Urge Discussion

Land and Labor club, No. 4, at Battle Creek, Mich., is doing good work.  The declaration of principles has been printed for distribution and by holding frequent public meetings for the discussion of economic questions a lively interest is being awakened in the town.

 


A Glaring Instance

The Injustice of Taxing a Man Who Saves Strongly Illustrated

Madison, Dak.—Three years ago I bought a lot here in Madison and paid $60 for it.  Then I built a small one story frame house and a little barn; I dug a well and made some other improvements.  All this was done after the lot was assessed for that year, when my taxes amounted to $1.28 county tax and 18 cents city tax.  The next year I was assessed not only on my lot, but on the improvements, and I paid in taxes $7.85; and this year, what do you suppose my taxes amount to?  Around $15.  All this is for the privilege of living on this, God's, earth while others—speculators—in my neighborhood have blocks of land lying idle without paying any more taxes on the whole than I do on my one lot with a little shanty upon it.  Is this just?  Three years ago I could buy lots from $50 to $75 which now sell for from $100 to $150, while the taxes are the same, or about the same, as they were then, and will remain the same as a poor man buys a lot and builds a little shanty on it then the taxes come up quickly enough.  We need reform, and we need it badly.

S.S. Mastrud

 


God Speed the Anti-Poverty Society

Catholic Herald, May 14
The Anti-poverty society is now set in motion.  It will advance under the presidency of our dear friend and teacher on its mission of genuine charity.  It will proclaim the grand truth of the equality of men before God, the liberty of men in their essential dignity as His sons, and the fraternity of men in that brotherhood which necessarily results from His fatherhood.  To assist its objects, extend its sphere, increase its usefulness and promote its aims should be considered a sacred duty by priest and parson, by the professional worker and mechanical toiler.  The beautiful and gentle influences of women should be thrown into its scale, and all who love humanity ought make no delay in joining it.
The supporters of negro slavery saw the handwriting on the wall when the Anti-slavery league was established, and the Anti-poverty society is destined to effect the destruction of the impious classes who deprive the masses of their God-given inheritance.

 


Who Are the “We?”

Rev. De Witt Talmage delivered a lecture in Philadelphia recently, in which he said: “With plenty of coal and wood to keep us warm in winter, with easy access to the sea beach to keep cool in summer, with Georgia cotton, Pennsylvania coal, New Jersey pumpkins for pies, fish from the Hudson, poets and philosophers from Boston to explain everything for cattle and oleomargarine for the hogs—in a land like this a man is utterly inexcusable for going around in a bad temper.”

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