Volume 2 August 27, 1887
The first state convention of the united labor party held last week at Syracuse more than fulfilled the most sanguine expectations of all who have been looking forward to it as the first stop in the formation of the great national party that is destined to effect a, peaceful revolution and re-found the American republic upon the firm basis of a full recognition of those natural rights asserted in the Declaration of American Independence.
The gathering was a, remarkable one in many respects, differing as widely from the ordinary “reform” conventions which seek to manufacture political parties as from the conventions of the great parties themselves. It was composed of men in the prime of life—most of thorn wage carriers, and, without an exception, men who earn their living by some form of honest industry, bright, earnest and intelligent, able to express their opinions, having a fair acknowledge of parliamentary methods, and yet clearly not of the class that habitually attend conventions. There was on the one hand a noticeable absence of visionaries and on the other hand of professional politicians. Especially conspicuous by their absence were the professional labor politicians. It was a gathering obviously representative of the men who have – been accustomed to do the voting, not of the men who manipulate politics. Slate there was none, and management, save perhaps on the part of the small but compact body of socialists, there was none. Instead of a few “bell wethers” to give the cue to the rest, every one seemed ready to speak, and anxious to speak, and the veteran newspaper reporters present who were familiar with political conventions could not refrain from manifesting their surprise at the spectacle of a convention “running itself.” Its whole atmosphere was that of zeal, enthusiasm and the consciousness of strength; its whole suggestion was that of a broad and deep popular movement—of the coming into politics of the people themselves. It did not get along with its work as rapidly as political conventions usually do, for there was no cut and dried program, and all inferences were fully discussed and freely decided in open session, but there was no speaking for bancombe and no disposition to sacrifice principle to the attempt to catch voices.
The public interest in the Syracuse convention. and the general estimate of its importance are best shown by the full reports given by the metropolitan papers—the Herald devoting as much as two pages a day to reporting its proceedings and the World almost as much. The Standard cannot attempt to rival the full and fair reports of these great journals, but we give this week such a report as will serve as a smaller of record and give our readers at a distance an intelligent account of the proceedings.
The one contest of absorbing interest was that over the relations of the united labor party to socialism. This came to a lest on the question of the admission of delegates from this city who had been ruled out by the decision of the county general committee excluding members of the socialistic labor party from membership in the united labor party. After a full hearing of the socialistic claimants the matter was practically decided on a motion to compromise by admitting both sets of delegates, giving them half a vote each. This proposition was defeated by almost a two-thirds vote. The minority, however, did not represent socialistic strength, but was largely composed of men who deemed it unwise to press the issue. The compromise rejected, the report excluding the socialistic contestants was adopted by a majority so great that no division was called for, and sit a subsequent stage of the proceedings a question as to whether a member of the socialistic labor party could be a member of the united labor party was decided in the negative without a dissenting voice.
The emphatic decision of the convention as to the relations of the united labor party to state socialism brought to an end all hope that may have been entertained of giving to the declaration of principles a socialistic color. The platform, which was adopted with practical unanimity and with great enthusiasm, is in substance (and in essential points in language) a re-affirmation of what is known as the Clarendon hall platform—the declaration adopted as a basis of political action by the convention of trades and labor associations held in this city last year, on which the municipal campaign was fought, and which since that time has been largely indorsed and adopted by similar associations all over the union. The Syracuse platform differs from the Clarendon hall platform only in the omission of what in the latter was purely local, and in the addition of certain explanatory clauses, which distinctly draw the line between the principles of the united labor party and those of the socialistic labor party, and specifically refute oft-repeated misrepresentations by which it has been sought to befog the issues raised by the united labor party and to arouse prejudice against it. This plain, straightforward declaration of essential principles may be summed up in two words—“no monopoly.” The aim of the new party, as thus authoritatively set forth, is simply to do away with those special privileges which now give some men unjust advantages over others, and to secure to all equal freedom to employ their labor or capital. It proposes to abolish the greatest and most injurious of monopolies, that of natural opportunities, by the adoption of a system of raising public revenues which will do away with the fines now levied on production, prevent the forestalling of land by non-users and give to the community the values created by social growth and improvement. And it proposes to abolish those mi nor monopolies which have made the great modern inventions and discoveries a means of oppression and extortion, by an extension within its proper limits of the principles involved in the governmental carrying of mails and the municipal ownership of water works. Far reaching as are these proposals, they contemplate no violent change, no departure from the spirit of American institutions, and their mere statement as made in the platform of the united labor party must convince every thoughtful man, who will candidly consider them, of their justice and expediency.
The comments of the press throughout the country, which have become noticeably fairer and more respectful, already begin to show in very marked manner the impression made by the Syracuse convention, and the effect which has been produced by that quiet but rapid leavening of public opinion which has been going on ever since the united labor party last year formulated the principles which rallied in this city a support so unexpected by the politicians. The proceedings and platform of the Syracuse convention not only oppose clear statements and notorious facts to the misrepresentations which have been so generally made by the press, but they effectually dispose of the delusion which the managers and adherents of the old parties have so fondly cherished, that the men who voted the united labor ticket last fall, and the men who all over the country have been indorsing its platform, knew nothing and cared nothing for the principles they were avowing and supporting. A funny instance of this delusion is given in the last number of Harper's Weekly, in an editorial article written, doubtless, before the meeting of the Syracuse convention, which thus endeavors to make some provision of comfort against the enormous vote which the editor even then seemed to think might be given for the new party next November:
Support of the ticket nominated at Syracuse would mean very much what the vote for Henry George us mayor meant. It was an inspiration, as we have said, an expression of dissatisfaction, but it was not an approval of a definite policy. . . . Mr. George's position is that of a man who points out what he believes to be the remedy for increasing poverty and for a certain popular discontent. But his supporters have no real conception of the nature and scope of his remedy. They follow him because he expresses sympathy and proposes relief. That, however, is not the way in which parties are developed. They are produced by a common agreement upon an object and upon the means to attain it. There is no such condition in what is called the labor party. Probably not fifty persons in the weekly audience of the Anti-poverty society have any clearer idea than that they wish to be more comfortable, and no comprehension whatever of Mr. George's land theories or of their practical application.
To anyone who really knows the sentiments of the men who voted for me last November; to anyone who has attended a district meeting of the united labor party, or a single gathering of the Anti-poverty society; or to anyone who knows what literature has been circulating among the masses, and what discussions have been going on among the active and thoughtful members of labor associations all over the country, this is to the last degree ludicrous. True man, public spirited Citizen and influential editor of a “journal of civilization,” though he is, George William Curtis knows as little of the movement of thought that has been going on among a great body of his fellow citizens for some time past as though he had been dreaming away the months on the bosom of the Nile. He evidently knows of the men of whom he writes only through the editorials of the daily newspapers, and these he has failed to read between the lines. Yet the delusion under which he labors is, or has been, common to many intelligent and ordinarily well informed men.
The action of the convention ought to dissipate this delusion. To say nothing of the constant hammering by the press from the outside, an energetic body of men within the labor party have, ever since the convention was called, been engaged in strenuously combating the theories which Mr. Curtis imagines are so little understood, urging against them not only all the arguments which the pro-poverty press deem so effective, but adroitly appealing to prejudices and habits of thought which have great power among men who are conscious of the injustice of present social conditions without thoroughly realizing the relation which exists between the treatment of land and the grievances of labor. Yet the result of this fierce fire has been that at the cost of driving from their ranks a body of men who had in the beginning furnished efficient support, the great majority of a convention thoroughly representative of the masses of the party refused to abate one jot or tittle of the theories or remedies which gentlemen like Mr. Curtis imagine they have no conception or comprehension of.
The plain, simple truth is that the theory of the cause and cure of poverty and all the evils that flow from it, which those who desire to belittle it constantly speak of as the “George theory,” and which they foolishly delude themselves into imagining owes its spread to the plausibility of a few men, is the theory of no single man or set of men, but is an individual perception of self-evident truths that is as clear to rapidly increasing thousands and thousands as is the perception that two and two make four. If McGlynn, George and McMackin had tried to impose upon the convention a platform essentially different from that which was adopted they could no more have succeeded than they could have succeeded in persuading its members that two and two make five.
If Mr. Curtis will reflect a little he will see that this must be true. He will realize, if he considers the matter, that the first impulse is always to account for manifold effects by manifold causes, and that the tracing of diverse evils to a single root, and the assignment for them of a simple remedy, presupposes some effort of thought. He will see that the first gropings of the labor movement in this country have been in accordance with this principle, and that its earlier platforms have demanded numerous remedies for grievances as to which the thought. of workingmen had not progressed far enough to perceive the close relation. He will see that the state socialism which would cure the difficulty of finding employment by making the state the universal employer, and would remedy the injustice in the present distribution of wealth by imposing on the state the distribution of all wealth, is in reality but the concentration of superficial notions and vulgar fallacies that are in more diffused and less connected form widely current in what is deemed our best and most cultured society. Considering these things Mr. Curtis must perceive that the simple theory embodied in the united labor platform could only be adopted by a body of men who thoroughly understood and clearly grasped it.
This in truth is the fact. The Syracuse platform was made by a committee selected by the delegates of the various congressional districts from among their number. It represents not merely the concurrent opinions of the members of that large committee, but the wishes and instructions of their constituents. It embodies ideas that have been of late growing with unprecedented rapidity, not only among the organized, workmen of the country, but among all classes.
“Why did Mr. George leave his free trade principles out of his platform?” asks the Evening Post, a question which it thereupon proceeds to answer by insinuating that Mr. George has joined “the Blaine combination” and that the Syracuse convention had no higher object than that of smoothing the way for the election of the arch apostle of high protectionism next year.
“A very important occasion presented itself to him the other day at Syracuse,” says the Irish World, whose editor, Patrick Ford, is the personal friend and most ardent supporter of Mr. Blaine, “but Mr. George failed to breathe a word about free trade. As the apostle of the now party, it was his office, one would suppose, to proclaim the faith that is in him boldly and without disguise. Yet on this great question he is now silent!”
And thereupon the Irish World goes on to warn protectionists that they must not be deceived thereby, since—
“By doing away with all taxes save those on land values only, as the Syracuse platform has it, there is no room for a protective tariff, and Henry George thus contrives covertly to bring in ins free trade plank by the back doer which he dared not introduce through the front. It is not, there fore, so much as a negative victory for the protectionists. It cannot be called even a compromise. The advantage remains with the free trade principle; and the only comfort protectionists can derive from it lies in the tactics of the free traders who, in resorting to indirect methods, therein confess the weakness of their cause.”
The familiar fable of “The Miller, His Son and the Ass” has for moral the impossibility of pleasing both Mr. Blaine's enemies and Mr. Blaine's friends, but it is a little strange that both should, for the same omission, fall upon me and the platform which they credit to me.
I should like to say, however, to Patrick Ford that the Syracuse platform is not my platform, and that it represents not a schedule of my personal opinions, but the principles on which a great party has determined to stand. Could I, however, have written the platform as I pleased, I certainly would not have declared in it either for protection or free trade, as he and the Evening Post understand the terms. For while I have never hesitated to avow myself an out-and-out free trader, I have at the same time always declared that I considered any question of tariff as of trivial importance compared with the question of restoring to men their natural rights to land, and it would seem to me little short of treason to the greater principle to provoke any division in its support by thrusting forward the smaller principle. Strange as it is, there are men, of whom Patrick Ford himself is an instance, who do see the injustice of our present treatment of land and yet continue to believe in protection as a remedy for evils which they elsewise acknowledge to flow from the denial to labor of access to natural opportunities. But there is no good reason why the believer in protection and the disbeliever in protection should not ignore all their differences and work together heartily on the basis of the Syracuse platform. Granted that doing away with all taxes, save on land values, would leave no room for a protective tariff, it would still leave ample room for protection. For I put it to Patrick Ford's own logical mind whether a system of bounties on goods produced at home would not give as much encouragement to home producers and as effectually keep out goods produced abroad as a system of taxes on foreign importations. Nay, I put it to him whether we could not in this way give more economical, more varied and more certain “encouragement” to American industry than by taxing imports. And I am sure that Patrick Ford, who so thoroughly appreciates the injustice and the robbery of permitting ground rents to go into private pockets, will see how much fairer it would be to “protect industry” from this fund rather than by increasing the prices of goods as we do with our tariff, to put the cost upon consumers—and in largest part and greatest degree upon that class of consumers who only make a poor living by hard toil.
And I wish to put to Patrick Ford a still more pertinent inquiry. Let him attach to the tariff question what importance he may, what does it amount to as compared with the question of the continuance of the injustice which he has over and over declared, in the language of Bishop Nulty, to be a crime and a blasphemy. Can he set forth any other way of securing to each child of God his equal share in the common heritage other than that obvious way which Bishop Nulty has proposed, and which is now embodied in the platform of that united labor party, which he himself so earnestly supported last fall?
If he can, let him state it. If he cannot, let him ask himself whether the man and the paper that have preached the gospel of the land for the people on two continents so long and so well, shall now, when the standard is raised and the issue is joined, stand faltering about the tariff.
But to return to Harper's Weekly. Mr. Curtis says truly that parties we not developed by following those who merely express sympathy and propose relief. This is the reason who until now, in spite of widespread and bitter discontent with social conditions, no labor party has been able to form. Mr. Curtis says truly that parties are produced by a common agreement upon an object and upon the means to attain it. If he will read the platform of the united labor party, as adopted at Syracuse last week, he will behold for the first time since the republican party was formed, a party which has come to a common agreement upon an object of the most vital importance, and upon a means sufficient to attain it. That object is the abolition of poverty—the titter doing away with that bitter strife which fills brothels, and prisons, and almshouses, and graves too short for man or woman, which stunts man against man and class against class and nation against nation; which stunts bodies and cramps minds and turns generous impulses info tigerish passions; which today threatens our republic with dangers more dreadful than civil war, and is writing the words of doom upon the glistening facades of the highest civilization the race has yet attained. And the means, it is the doing of simple justice between man and man, the acknowledgment that all men have equal rights in the world into which their Creator brings them, and are equally entitled to share in all the advantages which accrue to society at large by reason of those advances and improvements which result from the general growth of knowledge, the general improvement of the arts, and the general progress of discovery and invention.
It is just because it is bound together by a common agreement upon a great object and upon the means to attain if, that the party which at Syracuse leaped into the arena of state politics is destined to grow and grow, no matter who may slink away from its standard or what powers may resist its advance. “While democrat and republican have lost all grasp of principle; while they represent a merely selfish struggle over the spoils of office, here is a party which knows definitely what it wants, and knows how to get it; a party which will make no concessions of principle to prevent defections or to allay opposition; a party which arouses the same fervor of enthusiasm that carried men into the face of death to save the union and to free the slave; a party whose principles are an inspiring religion which gives to those who once yield to their potency a vivid realization of the fatherhood of God and a deep consciousness of the brotherhood of man. To such a party the future is given.
To all friends of the cause of the emancipation of labor and the elevation of mankind, throughout the state, the country and the world, the united labor party of New York gives greeting through its platform. In the Empire state of the American union we have brought into political issue this widest, deepest question of our times; we have carried forward by a great stop the standard that can never be forced back. No matter what the old parties do or fail to do, it is around this standard that the political contest of this year must rage. New York is for the time the battle ground of the Union.
Here is a letter which shows how our friends in other states feel that our struggle is their struggle, and are ready to help us:
Atkinson Bros., General Agents Of
The Keystone Watch Co.,
926 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia, Pa., Aug. 25,1887.
Mr. Henry George:
Dear Sir—We take pleasure in inclosing a check for $100 as a contribution to the campaign fund, and in pledging ourselves to have at least one million “land and labor” tracts printed before November. We feel you are fighting our fight, not that of New York alone, and believe you can easily be elected. If without money, without organization, without the means of insuring a fair count, and with all the power of the press, and of the national, state and city government against you, you could in a five weeks' campaign have counted 68,000 votes for you, certainly with the organization and experience the party now has, with the prestige of your former victory, with the new coverts that have joined your ranks weekly since last November, with the means you now have of enforcing a fair count, and with the thorough canvass you will make in the next nine weeks, 300,000 are nut too many to expect.
And what glorious tidings such news will be to the poor and oppressed everywhere; to Scully's slaves in the west, as wed as to the victims of mine owners' greed in Pennsylvania. God speed the right! Yours truly,
We want money and we want work. The carrying of the state of New York by the united labor party is merely a question of energy. Let those who can, contribute their means to make the state resound with our speakers and to diffuse our literature; and let all make some personal effort. There is no man or woman or child in this state who is imbued with our principles who cannot do something by word of mouth, or by distributing the tracts which such men as Messrs. Atkinson will provide, to engender discussion and spread our principles. Even our friends outside of the state can at least write to any acquaintances they may have within the state and help to put them upon inquiry and win them to outside. Let us make this a hand to hand contest, and we can surely carry New York this year, and at one blow precipitate over the whole union the most magnificent revolution that the world has yet seen.
Southern Catholics Sustaining Him
Pittsburgh, Aug. 24.—The Rev. Fathers Ryan of Memphis?, and Bremen of New Orleans, were passengers to-night on the Pan Handle express on their way from Louisville to New York city. Both gentlemen talked freely about the principal object of their visit east. Father Ryan said: “We go east for what we considera great and godlike purpose—namely, to console our fellow priest, Dr. McGlynn, in his hour of trial and sorrow. We will immediately on our arrival in New York call on Archbishop Corrigan and inform him that we are the bearers of a message from the majority of the members of our respective congregations in Memphis and New Orleans to Dr. McGlynn, in which they express the hope that he will keep up courage, remain a good, pure man1 and true to the principles of the Roman Catholic church. We will also inform the archbishop that the memorial which we will present to the excommunicated priest is signed by hundreds of southern Catholics who believe Dr. McGlynn has been unjustly treated. The archbishop will likely be displeased at our course, and will not sanction it in all probability, but we do not wish either hinter any other prelate of the church to think or say there is any secrecy about our mission.”
The Only Party of Principle
Hutchinson, Kan.—I rejoice that at last we have a party which refuses to purchase votes and power by the sacrifice of principles. That is what the old political parties have done. I hope the united labor party will stand firm for the principle of the equal rights of every human being to the gifts of nature. We do not want it declared that all have some rights, but that all have equal rights.
J. G. Malcolm.
Working Against Poverty in Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minn., August 18.—We have held several meetings under the auspices of the Anti-poverty society, and the Knights of Labor picnic held on the 9th gave us a good send off. Mr. M. F. Fogg of Lansing, Mich., made a stirring address on the 9th, and again on last. Sunday evening (14th) was he listened to by a large and attentive audience. We are doing all we can to push the good work.
The McGlynn Fund
The publisher of The Standard acknowledges the receipt of the following sums, which have been handed to Dr. McGlynn:
D. W. Sloan, Waukesha, Wis.
'ammer, 'ammer, 'ammer
J. L. Schimpf
W. J. Mahony
L. E. Newcomb
Let Them Join the Land and Labor Club
Chicago, Aug. 19.—Chicago has many who are heart and soul with the reform begun by Henry George, but:.we are unfortunate in not knowing each other and losing the strength that is always brought about by unity. A great work could be done by bringing those men together.
R. H. Cowdrey.
Blanton Duncan Thinks the Convention Did Wisely
Bridgeport, Aug. 20.—So far as I can see the Syracuse convention has acted wisely and well. Large numbers of men will now join the ranks of the united labor party who would refuse to do so were the socialists still with you.
The Fourteenth at Work
The Fourteenth assembly district organization has displayed the ticket of the united labor party on a large transparency in front of their headquarters at 187 First avenue. The rooms of the organization will hereafter be open nightly for the enrollment of voters.
Judge James G. Maguire on Edmond About's Attempted Defense of Landlordism—The French Philosopher Confuted by His Own Arguments
San Francisco, Cal.—The' contradictions and absurdities. into which the defenders of landlordism inadvertently run are well illustrated in M. Edmond About's otherwise able work on “Social Economy.”
In chapter 9 he makes an elaborate but weak and labored defense of private property in land, with all of its incidental powers and privileges, including, of course, the land lord's privilege of sitting in idleness as a mere parasite, and sapping the life of industry; while in chapter 4 he exhausts the vocabulary of polite invective in the denunciation of all social and industrial para sites.
This last mentioned chapter, though not so intended, is an admirable argument against the levying of toll by landlord parasites upon industry and enterprise.
The following extracts may prove both interesting and instructive to many readers of The Standard, and will serve as posers to the pro-poverty pharisees who are in the habit of quoting from M. About to sustain the opposite theory. He says:
Through an instinct of equity, men do homage to those who have produced more than they have consumed in their lives.
We regard with absolute indifference the multitude of .those who have consumed the equivalent: of their total production. We pity those who, despite their arduous labor and moderate consumption, never succeed in making both ends meet, and who die insolvent.
It will be observed that landlords do not; belong to any of these three classes, for, as landlords, they do not labor and do not produce anything. But the author proceeds to describe a fourth and final class, namely, “parasites,” which does manifestly include all landlords. Of this class he says:
As for the parasites whose industry consists in consuming the products of labor without rendering anything in return, they are the enemies of the human race.
There are three classes of parasites—robbers, beggars and professional gamesters.
Robbery is an operation consisting in appropriating, by force or cunning, the products of another's labor. It is the violation of the natural law, anterior and .superior ti» all positive laws, which confers useful things on their producer. All the things actually existing upon the earth belong to their authors or their authors' assigns. la order to obtain a portion, of them, equity requires that you should give an equivalent in exchange.
Whoever appropriates a roll costing a sou without giving a sou for it does injury, not to the baker alone, but to the whole human race. He consumes another's labor without furnishing an equivalent amount himself.
After discussing the proposition at some length, he says:
The main point is to maintain and confirm this principle of universal justice: the product belongs to the producer.
To show that wealth obtained without labor is an injury to the parasite as well as to the victim, be says:
Nothing is truer and more philosophical than the old common saying, “Property wrongly acquired never profits.”
Au honest workman cleaves to his earnings as to his eyes. They are the prize of his toll. He has risen early six days running. He has assiduously labored ten hours daily, sometimes longer. He has spent his breath and the sweat of his brow. On receiving his wages he can say, without exaggeration, I have taken it from my own body; it, is my flesh and blood.
After dwelling at some length upon. The wages of honest labor, he says of the parasite: Money has less value in his eyes than in, those of an honest man. . . . Because he has not labored to acquire it; because he thinks he can steal more when he has expended what he has. . . .
The proceeds of robbery corrupt all who handle them. Stolen goods are corrupting. He then proceeds to show that parasites are nearly all spend tariffs, and adds:
Man lays store by his goods in proportion to the labor they have cost him. Those who have got money without doing anything, those who count upon always getting it in the same way, are not prone to save, either from inclination or reason. Wherefore should they deprive themselves of anything, seeing that they have an inexhaustible mine to work? For what purpose should they form an instrument of labor, when they have resolved never to produce anything, when they know that society is always ready to toil for them?
These parasites marry, multiply and found stocks of parasites. Their children are naturally disposed to imitate their fathers and mothers. They are not taught the nobility of labor; from birth they are habituated to shame. They are a sad and baneful brood.
After commenting upon the fact that these parasites absorb a large portion of what is produced without making any return, M. About says:
To give a piece of bread to an able-bodied man, capable of earning it, is to weaken the great and holy law, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.” This is to deprive society of the services which this man might reader it by laboring. . . . If all the producers agreed to refuse toll to those who refuse to produce, all able-bodied persons would consider it a duty to earn their own livelihood.—Social Economy pp. 63 to 81.
All this was written by M. About against thieves and beggars, according to the popular understanding of these terms, but a glance will show how completely all that he says of these other social and industrial parasites applies to landlords, who are simply “able-bodied idlers that consume the products of labor without rendering anything in return.” It proves that landlords are not only a curse to society, but a curse to themselves and their offspring as well. Tim landlord gentry must not become angered at M. About's blundering defense, for there is no living man who can attempt to generalize in the classification of the leeches that are fastened upon our body politic without placing landlords among “the enemies of the human race,” unless, indeed, he should say: all parasites, except landlords, are a curse and an abomination.
James G. Maguire.
Members of No. 6. Attention
All members of typographical union No. 6 who are in accord with the principles and platform of the united labor party, as adopted by the state convention at Syracuse, are cordially invited to attend a meeting at No. 10 Stanton street, on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 28, immediately after the meeting of the union, for the purpose of organizing a Printers' united labor party club, thus-enabling us to vigorously and effectively enter the coming campaign for the emancipation of labor and the establishment of social and political justice.
Heartily with You
Alexander Skillin, master workman of L. A. 6,380, Oswego, N. Y., sends The Standard a list of new subscribers obtained by him, and says, “I am heartily with you in your efforts and will do all I can for the good cause.”
A Crowded Meeting Ratifies The Syracuse Platform
Speeches by Louis F. Post, Henry George, Dr. McGlynn and John McMackin—The Cause for Which We Fight is Worldwide—In New York—“We Can Win, and It Depends on Ourselves as Individuals Whether We Will Win”
The Anti-poverty society and its friends assembled in great force at the Academy of Music last Sunday night the meeting being the first since the adjournment of the Syracuse convention. The tone of the meeting was jubilant, yet serious. The audience evidently rejoiced with all their hearts that their principles had been made a distinct political issue, while at the same time they appreciated the magnitude of the struggle which must be endured before those principles could become the foundation of the law of the land. Every word from the platform was listened to with rapt attention; every point and allusion was grasped with the quickness of thought; the whole temper of the meeting betokened determination and fixed purpose.
James Redpath occupied the chair. After the singing of the “American Hymn” by Miss Munier's chorus, Mr. Redpath said:
It gives me great pleasure to announce that the attractive program for this evening is to be rendered still more attractive by the omission of opening remarks by the chairman. I propose to be eloquent, as the present president during the war was valiant, by sending a substitute to the front. And my substitute to-night is Mr. Post of Syracuse. (Laughter and applause.)
Mr. Post smilingly retorted: The chairman's substitute is not from Syracuse; he is from Albany. (Laughter.) I was unexpectedly asked to serve as a substitute tonight, end I wanted to decline because I had left a part of my voice up at Syracuse. (Laughter.) The chairman said ho was worse off in the matter of voice than I was, and that I should have to go to the front. Then I tried to get off on another ground. my mind was absorbed with what had occurred at Syracuse (applause), and I was afraid that I could not make an appropriate speech for an occasion like this. He told me that that was just the kind of a speech that you would want tonight, so I agreed to try.
We will make a ratification meeting of this. (Great applause.) It is proper that the society should make a ratification meeting of this. (“Hear. hear!”) Not that we ratify the nomination of a mere political ticket. We are ratifying the production of a platform, the declaration of a principle, and that the principle upon which this society stands. (Great applause.) And if we do ratify the ticket, it is because every man on the ticket is an advocate of the principle. (“Hear, hear!” and applause.)
We are well satisfied, my friends, we are well satisfied, all of us. (A voice: “And so are we” and applause.) I remember hearing of a very rich man once who lived in a country village, who, besides being a very rich man, was a very mean man. (A voice: “They generally are”) Nobody liked him. The blacksmith. and the butcher, and the grocer, the doctor, the preacher, and even the lawyer, none of them liked him. The undertaker didn't like him, either. (Laughter.) Well, he died, this rich mean man; and they gave him a big funeral because he was a rich man and had the money or loft the money to pay for it. And this undertaker who didn't like him bad the job, and made a grand funeral of it. When they had the body lying in the little church of the village and the clergyman was preaching the funeral sermon to the large crowd of people assembled, the hearse was standing outside with numerous carriages and wagons. The undertaker, pretty well satisfied with the job as far as it had gone, sat on the church steps to take a rest. And a stranger went through on horseback. He saw this assemblage of carriages and wagons, and he rode up to the sexton and said: “A large turnout; man or woman?” (Laughter.) “Old bach.” (Laughter.) “Leading citizen?” “Worth twenty thousand if he is worth a cent.” “What is the complaint?” “There ain't no complaint; everybody's satisfied.” (Great applause and uproarious laughter.) That is the way we feel about this ticket, and more than all about this platform. (A voice, “The finest convention in the world.”) And if anybody is not satisfied, let him make another platform and another ticket, and go ahead on his own account. (Great applause.)
What is this platform? It is just this one principle, clearly declared and clearly defined, that the earth was made for the people who must live upon the earth (applause); that the dead have no right in it and no part in it, and no right to control it. We do not say that they do not control it, for unfortunately they do; but they have no right to control it. We propose, as soon as we can get in power, that the dead shall leave us alone, (A voice: “That is what is the matter.” Applause.) We will bury them decently, and when they are our friends we will mourn for them sincerely: but after they have been dead long enough to be forgotten, we shall say to them, “Hands off! This earth is ours!” And that is the doctrine, that is the principle of our platform and our candidates. (Applause.)
And why should we not have the whole state and the whole country with us on this platform? Isn't it honest enough? Isn't that justice? Isn't that what nature and nature's God intended? (Voices, “Yes, yes.”) The reason we have not is because men, for one reason and another, cannot see, or will not see, what is as plain as daylight. They do not want to see it, or have not sense enough to see it. A story is told of a clergyman who, traveling one night over a prairie, had to camp out; he got tired. In the morning he wanted to go east, but got started north. After be had traveled about twenty miles out of his way he made some inquiries of a man be met, and was set straight toward the east. But the man said to him: “How did you get off the track? It is a clear day. Didn't you see the sun rise?” “Yes, I saw the sun rise,” said the clergyman, “but, don't you know, I couldn't bring my self to believe that that was east.” (Laughter.) That is the trouble with some of our opponents. They see this plain enough, but they cannot bring themselves to believe that it is east. But it is east, my friends, and we are going straight toward it; and any head that gets in our way is going to be hit and going to be hurt. (Applause.)
We will make one of these old parties feel It—one of them. 1 say; I don't know which one. (A voice: “Tammany hall:”) I don't know which one, and, between you and me, I don't care which one. (Great applause.) But one of them we are going to make feel a good deal as that little boy must have felt when he prayed, “Oh, Lord, bless pa and ma and the baby, but as for me I have been so bad that I am afraid that I am a gone sucker.” (Uproarious laughter.) Now, I don't know which one of these old parties is going to feel that way. (A voice: “Tammany hall.”) I don't care which one is going to feel that way, but one of them is, and that right soon; for the factors are at work which are calculated to make us not the third party that they say we are to be, but the second party and then the first. (Tremendous applause.)
We are going to have this light out between aristocracy and democracy. (Great applause.) The aristocrats of the democratic party and the aristocrats of the republican party have got to come together, and they will come together before long. And this is all we want. because when we get both of their heads on one pair of shoulders it will only take one blow to cut off two heads.
Now, my friends, if I had the rest of my voice here—I have sent for it, and I suppose it will be here in a few days—I might go on a little longer, but as it is, both for my own comfort and yours, you must excuse me from saving anything more. (Great applause.) The chairman announced Henry George as the next speaker.
As Mr. George stepped forward the enthusiasm broke forth afresh and with redoubled vigor. The applause had somewhat lulled, when a clear voice rang out with, “Little, but oh, my!” which brought down the house. Mr. George said:
I thank you for this enthusiastic greeting. I thank you for it at the beginning of another campaign. (Great applause. “Three cheers for the next secretary of state.” “Three more for Henry George.”') The next two months that lie before us are most important. (A voice: “Lively.”) Aye, lively we will make them. No w has come our time to reach out into the state—to make a union between the workingmen of the cities and the workingmen of the country—(applause)—and to weld into one mass a great party that will go forward on its mission of victory. (Applause. A voice: “The next secretary of state.” Applause.) Yes. it. is indeed possible that I may be. (Applause.) It is entirely within our power, not merely to send one of the great parties to the rear—that we are bound to do anyhow—(applause)— but, it is entirely within our power to push them both to the rear. (Great applause. A voice: “The last shall be first.”) we, the last shall be first. We are the last in the field, and we will be the first. All it requires is work, hard work, constant work. But it can be done. (A voice: “And will be done.” Applause.) I don't say it will be done; I say it can be done. (Applause.) Upon us as individuals depends it whether it will be done.
This ought to be made something more than a campaign of shouting and meetings. Make it a hand-to-hand contest. (Applause.) Let every man and every woman—for the women can count as much as the men—(A voice, “And a great deal more”)—let each one single out some voter and go to work to enlighten and to convert him. (Applause.) Many who are opposed to us are opposed to us simply because they do not understand what we want. (Applause.) If we can get these men thinking they will think themselves into our ranks. (Applause.) It is utterly impossible for any intelligent man who is not hopelessly blinded by prejudice to think over the matter without seeing that the great cause of poverty lies in this great wrong which we point out and which we are pledged to rectify (applause); the wrong that disinherits men; the wrong that makes the gift of the all-father for all of His children the private property of the few. (Great applause.)
We are to be congratulated, as Mr. Post has said. upon the platform adopted at Syracuse (applause); on the fact that it has been made plain beyond any peradventure that the united labor party is not a socialistic party (tremendous and long continued applause): upon the fact that it has been made plain that we are not deniers of the just rights of property (applause); that we want to give to each that which is properly due to each one, his equal share in the bounties of the Creator and in all the advantages that come by social growth and improvement, and at the same time to secure to each full of opportunities to employ his powers as he may see lit, and security that he shall enjoy the fruits of his exertion. (Applause.)
And on this platform of natural rights and equal justice I believe we can go into the interior of the state with the assurance of rallying the great masses to our standard, as we have already rallied them here in the metropolis. (Applause.; I say it is entirely possible for us to beat both of the old parties in this coming campaign. (Applause.) If that is done. if the Empire state is carried for these principles, the whole union is half won! (Great applause.)
Secretary of state! (A voice: “That is what you will be.”) What is secretary of state? But let it go forth over the telegraph wires next November that you have elected Henry George (deafening applause) as a representative of these principles, and it will be a message that will ring around the world. (“Hear! hear!” and applause. A voice: “We want patience, perseverance and courage.”) Patience, perseverance and courage—you are right. (Applause.) Let each one do that which he can do best, and do it as well as he can. For my own part, it concerns me little what the result shall be. All that concerns me is that I shall do my best. (Applause.) For many years now I have felt as Mr. McGlynn (great applause) so beautifully said last Sunday night, that there is in this movement a higher power than that of man. It is our business ti» do what we can. When we have done that, then we can be satisfied, whatever be the immediate result. For, no matter what be the sot backs, no matter what the temporary defeats, in the long run the good will triumph. (Applause.)
I feel that it is an honor, a high honor, to be chosen to head this movement in the state of New York. Sitting here to-night I have been thinking how strange it would have seemed to me if ten years ago any body has told me (At this point the whole audience arose and gave one tremendous shout as the massive form of Dr. McGlynn appeared upon the platform. The enthusiasm was only equaled by that which was manifested on the Sunday when the excommunication was announced.) I was thinking how strange it would have seemed if ton years ago anybody should have told me that I should have been called on to head the ticket of such a movement as this in the state of New York. I never oven dreamed at that time that I would ever live in the state of New York. (Mr. George was again interrupted by a little girl who toddled up to Mr. McGlynn, bearing an enormous floral emblem in her arms. On it was inscribed, “Purity of intention is the life of a nation.”) And vet, when I think of it, there is a certain propriety in it.
It was in this state of New York, when a sojourner for a little while in this great city, that my attention was called so intensely to the bitterness of the poverty that is to be found amidst the greatest wealth. It was in this city that I took a vow in my heart that I would do my best to seek out its cause, and as long as life was left in me, with all the power that I could command, I would do my best to remedy it. (Applause.) Through ways that I could not have anticipated, by paths that I could not have foreseen, I have been led to this: that I have seen this great movement spring up and grow, and that to me has been allotted the honor of heading it in its first great struggle. (Applause.)
I am thankful for this, not alone to you, but to the power that I believe is above us all—the power that all through this universe is struggling for the good; the power that all who feel in their hearts that they are trying to do something to make life better and higher and purer, something to make the conditions of man easier and nobler, can confidently rely upon, no matter what comes to them here.
Results! Let us care for them; but let us all strive in this great battle to do the very utmost that is in our power. (Applause.) If we start out with this determination; if we carry it through the campaign, I believe that we can carry the state of New York. (Great applause.)
There is one thing that I would like to suggest to those who are heartily enlisted in this cause: to the men who are really going to work for it, and that is that until election, no man who intends to take an active part in the contest should drink intoxicating liquor. (Uproarious applause. A voice: “We will have the prohibitionists with us then.”) No, I do not think that that will follow, nor is that what I was thinking of; but that we may get the best results of our own powers. If we make a good fight here, if we show a disposition to do all that we can do, we can count on our brethren in other states for their help. (Applause.)
This is more than a mere local election contest. It is a campaign of national importance. (Applause.) New York is the battle ground this fall of the nation—we, and, as my friend said, of the whole world. From the continent of Europe, and even from Australia, eyes will be turned to New York; and people will be waiting next November to hear what we have done. (Applause.)
Let the thought inspirit us and arouse all our enthusiasm, all our devotion, all our energy. Let us begin now, and carry forward the campaign day by day, week by week, never faltering, until the last wrote is placed in the box. (Deafening applause.) Miss Munier's chorus sang “The Land for the People,” by I. T. Gallagher, to the air of “O'Donnell Aboo.” Chairman Rod path said, “I have now the pleasure of introducing the greatest preacher of righteousness now living, our friend, Dr. McGlynn.” The doctor was for several minutes prevented from speaking by a storm of applause. He said:
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: I have been exceedingly touched by the words that I have just heard from Mr. George. They inspire me with the thought of the immense significance of the apparently trifling things of time and sense, if only we who live in the midst of them and are so large a part of them have the knowledge, and, what is still more necessary, the virtue, the rectitude and will so to use these things, so to co-ordinate them, so when need be to rise above them, as to make them not merely the signs and the symbols of, but also the powerful helps toward spiritual things, toward the things that shall last as long as God Himself. (Applause.) I was also struck with a certain parallel in my own life to that of Mr. George. He told how but a few years ago it would have seemed to him passing strange if any one had whispered in his ear, or if the thought had come to him in a dream, that he should be hero tonight under the altogether extraordinary and unique circumstances that surround his personality. (Applause.)
If anyone had told me, when as a boy only fourteen years old I was torn from my mother's side and sent across the seas to the eternal city to study the lore of the saints and sages of the church, to witness the ruins of the mighty monuments of so many centuries—if any angel had whispered in my ear, as I lay prostrate before a Christian altar in the city of Rome to receive the consecration of the Christian priesthood—if even a year or two ago any prophetic spirit had told me as I was ministering before the altar, by the sick bed, in the confessional, to souls tried, afflicted, sinful and despairing, that I should be here to-night under the circumstances that surround me (applause), that I should be torn from those altars, that 1 should be unseated from that tribunal of Christ's charity and mercy and pardon, that I should be forbidden to teach from a pulpit the truth of Christ that has been dear to me from my earliest childhood—it would have seemed worse than a horrid nightmare.
But I am intensely convinced that it has been all overruled by the loving providence of God my Father (applause); that what would have seemed so shocking, what has been so shocking and so painful, is all for the best. (Great applause.) For I have not. had to wait to learn till to-night, till this year, till last year, I have known since my earliest childhood that the very core and essence of all religion, is .simply to know God and to love Him, and for God's dear sake to love all the brethren. (Applause.)
Creed and sacrament and symbols, prayer and incense, and all the sweet and poetic things that the ages have caused to duster around the Christian altars, are all good and beautiful; no mind more than mine can respect them, and no man more than myself drink in their beauty, their music, and their poetry. But yet we were unmanly, we were given to the strangely unphilosophical fault of exalting the moans above the end, the path above the destination—in a vulgar phrase, we would be putting the cart before the horse—if we would confine the essence of religion to the mere signs and forms. (Applause.)
The creeds, every word of which I believe, are useful because they instruct the mind, because they point out the path, because they throw a strong light upon that path, because they teach or suggest a divine philosophy, because it is necessary that men should know something before they can as intelligent beings do anything, because it is necessary that the intellect should be enlightened in order that the will may be directed. But all these things are but scaffolding for the erection of a building, and it were strangely unwise, it were the work of mere fools, to devote all of our time, our attention, our efforts to the building of scaffolding, losing sight entirely of the edifice which is the only reason of being for the scaffolding. (Applause.)
The essential part of all the teachings of religion, of all the precepts of the moral law, may be said to be what in the language of spiritual religion is called edification—the building up, the education, the drawing out, the making higher, the expanding of the faculties of man, so that he shall be the better able for all eternity to enjoy the presence of of his Father, and so that by the right exercise of the faculties that have been given to him, by the steadfast adherence of his with to the law that has been made known to him, he shall receive his happiness, not as a gratuitous gift, but as the reward of a well- fought battle, of a rightfully performed task, of a patiently performed journey. (Applause.)
Authority is of no value or account except so far as it is a means toward the building up of this magnificent edifice. the whole reason of being of which is its helping toward the supremely true and good and beautiful. (Applause.) This was the sublime philosophy of the greatest of Christ's apostles, “Faith, hope, charity, these three (applause), but the greatest of these is charity.” (Applause.) And I hardly need to instruct you that in the mind and language of the apostle this charity is something far higher and sublimer than the doling out of a pittance to the beggar, perhaps to get rid of his unpleasant presence. The better translation would be, “Faith, hope, love” (applause); and, m fact, that is the word in the original language, the Greek, and it is also the original and true meaning of the word charity.
Now, then, see what a sublime inspired teaching is this, that the reason of the being of all the universe is love, that it was an impulse of love that impelled the greatest mind to say, “Let all things be.” The eternal truth that was before anything began to be, the truth that was in the beginning eternal, supreme, all-sufficient to itself and to the possibility of all things, is the only receptacle of all the ideas of things possible, as well as of things real. And that supreme intellect saw amid the myriad millions of things possible certain things in order, in measure, that it were good to create as a manifestation of the love of that Supreme Being who is at one and the same time the eternal truth, the eternal goodness and the eternal beauty.
And so the will of the Eternal spoke the word and commanded that myriads of things, myriads of worlds, universes after universes should exist as a manifestation outwardly of the truth, goodness and beauty that is in the mind of God and is God Himself. (Applause.) And the one reason for the existence of things outside of God is, that God is love and that He would pour out His love over all the work of His hands. And having created all manner of inanimate and animate things, wondrous in their beauty and their order, at last He created one animal higher and nobler and more majestic in form than all the rest, and to this one he has given the power to know and, therefore, to love. And this one rational animal, this highest flower of the animal, the vegetable and the mineral worlds, which is the link between the visible and the invisible, between the spiritual and the material, is the only one of all the visible creations capable of knowing its Maker, of loving its Maker, and of giving intelligent ascriptions of praise in behalf of all creation to the supremely good and loving Father who is the author of its being. (Applause.)
Now, then, to love God is the one thing for which we are made; and that we may love Him, we must know Him. And, therefore, is it that we must know certain truths about Him, that we may love Him the better. While our Father could have created us from the beginning, with that unfailing and clear vision of His countenance which would have so ravished our hearts to love Him that it would have been impossible for us to divert our gaze from His infinitely loving countenance, He, in His wisdom and in His love, thought and desired something better for us. He desired that we should not inherit that kingdom as a mere gratuitous gift. He knew that it was better for us that we should for a time be, as it were, banished from that perfect vision, that we should only be able to see the Father's face as through a glass darkly, by the reflected light of His works; that by deciphering His handwriting upon the sea sands and the rocks we might be able gradually, slowly, yet surely to rise to the knowledge of His invisible things, and thus the better earn as a reward of our diligence to be called home from school to enjoy the Father's fellowship in His own blessed kingdom beyond. (Applause.)
And while the supreme joy, the delight, the perfect peace, for which the will of man is ever yearning, and in which alone it can find its happiness, is the one only thing that rational beings should supremely, persistently desire above all else, yet it is better for us that our wills should be tried by being left in such condition that we may be free to choose between the good and the evil. If our Father, from the first instant of the creation of these heavenly souls of ours, had drawn the veil and allowed us to see so clearly the beauty of His countenance, the desirableness, the necessity of loving Him and serving Him, that it would have been impossible for us to do otherwise, then we should have been no longer free—we should have been controlled by a law as imperative as gravitation itself, so that we could no more divert our gaze from that beauty, or shut our eves to that truth, or swerve our wills from that perfection that our intellect would have seen in the countenance of God, than could the st one that we toss in the air resist the attraction that draws it back toward the center of the earth.
Now, then, one of the chief attributes of God our Father is His perfect freedom—His freedom to create or not to create; His freedom to create after one manner or another; His freedom to create myriads and myriads of worlds, and to leave indefinitely numerous worlds eternally uncreated. He is perfectly free, with a freedom of which we in our limited measure can have no conception, free absolutely, and restrained only by His own infinite attributes, His wisdom and His goodness—free to do all things except what would be contrary to His own wisdom and goodness. And this royal prerogative of God our Father was necessary in His children. It was an inspiration of His wondrous love for us that He would make us so like to Himself that not merely did He give us the power to know and the capacity to love, but He leaves us free to choose between good and evil, free to do, or not, free to act, or not. While God is not capable of choosing between good and evil because of His infinite goodness, in our weakness we are capable of choosing the evil. And just because we are capable of choosing the evil, it is a magnificently royal prerogative that likens us to God our Father that we have the freedom to resist the evil, and by resisting it to deserve the approving smile of the countenance of our Father in heaven. (Applause.)
I think it is well for us to meditate upon this Christian philosophy, this true philosophy of the human intellect and the human will, in order to justify the ways of God to man, in order to show that it is good for us to be here, that it is good for us to be here even in the midst of the trials, the cares, the anxieties, the burdens and the sins of this lower life that is called the “vale of tears,” because from this wondrous tragedy so full of tears and sorrows and blood, there arises a result well worthy of all the cost. I do believe, we all must believe, that the goodness of God is ever all His works, and that He is not unmindful or forgetful of any one of His children; that the lowest rational being in the kingdom of God is sharing God's wisdom and mercy and goodness, that even those who seem freest from His grace are not entirely abandoned by Him. And so we are permitted to believe and hope that even those souls who do not, by perfect rectitude of will, by loving God for His own sake, attain to that perfect beatific vision which the Christian religion teaches us is the greatest gift that comes to us from redemption—even they are still in God's kingdom.
And it is the teaching of the greatest of the Christian philosophers, St. Augustine, that even in what we call hell it is better to exist than not to exist at all. (Applause.) Now, it is not exactly my purpose this evening to mitigate excessively the torments of hell. I do not want to describe hell as a particularly desirable place, lest some one should unfortunately say, well, then, it is a good enough place for me. (Laughter.) But in order to justify the ways of God to men, in order to show that He is a merciful God, I will tell you a somewhat amusing conversation that took place between two doctors of divinity sitting in Booth's theater in the interval between two of the acts of “Julius Cæsar.” (Laughter.)As they were sitting in one of the boxes awaiting the rising of the curtain they began to talk of theology and then about hell. It may seem somewhat amusing that two doctors of divinity should have been talking about such subjects in the interval between two acts of “Julius Cæsar,” But why not? God is everywhere, and whatsoever is not contrary to the will of God—that is not consecrated to vice or sin, the thought, the deed, the action that is not forbidden by the law of God—is therefore not displeasing to Him, and on any time, or place, or object, or action, that is not displeasing to Him, we may invoke His pleasure and benediction. (Applause.) I confess myself guilty of so great a sin as having gone scores of times to witness the representation of classic masterpieces of the drama by the great masters; and if you should happen to guess that one of those two doctors of divinity is upon this platform tonight (applause and laughter) I shall not contradict you. And as I am talking about that subject, and preaching—I never expected that a year or two ago—and preaching in a theatre (applause), I may as well tell you my opinion about that thing. If, as some of you kindly seem to think, there is any merit whatever in my little talks, any merit as to manner or the like, I think that I have learned a very great deal by going to hear those masters of the dramatic art. (Applause.) I rememberhow I was once guilty of the sin of going to a breakfast given in honor of Mr. Barry Sullivan. And there I confessed before the newspaper reporters that I was only too glad to sit at the feet of such a master as Mr. Sullivan, and to learn from him to suit the word to the action and the action to the word. (Applause.) And I remember that I was wicked enough to say something like this: “We are here, clergymen who believe, or say that we believe—(applause and laughter)—who think, or think that we think— laughter) that we are sent by God to men to deliver to them the most momentous messages, to solve for them the most terrible of mysteries, and we come out paltering and faltering, stammering and stuttering and lisping, like little school boys coming out to recite and get through as hurriedly as they can, their appointed and most unwelcome task. We might well learn from Hamlet how to beguile people of their tears and to 'make each particular hair to stand on end like quills upon the fretful porcupine.'—(laughter and applause)—and in all seriousness to make even the scoffing to believe “that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy.” (Applause.)
That is a digression—a parenthesis. To go back to the two doctors of divinity sitting in a box. They began to say something like this: “What is hell anyhow—this theological idea of hell?” (Laughter.) It is this: The eternal deprivation of that union with God through grace, of that peculiar fellowship which in God's plan is a supernatural and entirely gratuitous elevation of the soul of man—something that man nature never had any right to, something that man's nature would not even have aspired to. Man's rational nature would have discovered the truth by reasoning and investigation; but we are told by the apostle Paul that the time shall come when we shall see the better way even as weare seen. (Applause.) And that is the beatific vision that will so ravish the mind and the heart, that the creature shall become in some sense one with the Creator—shall be immersed and swallowed up in that beatific vision of truth and beauty, which is God. But that is supernatural. Now, in the natural condition of things man rises simply, gradually and slowly to a speculative knowledge of the truth and a union with the good that is not anything like so intimate, so close and personal. And in the scheme of the Christian philosophy all those who have violated the law of God, all those who have failed to love Him and give the best proof of love by doing His will, are in a lower and fallen condition because deprived of that grace.
And so, those who are the children of God in this supernatural sense, those who are united with Him by His grace, those who so love Him that for His love they suffer all things, and would sootier die than swerve from His will, they are really in an inchoate hell. But if they should die, the veil is drawn, and they come nearer and nearer to that beatific vision, which is heaven.
And so, those theologians that night in the box in the theater said one to another, “Yes, that is true. And so, we are in hell now if we are not in a state of grace. But let us humbly hope that we are in God's grace, and, therefore, not in hell.” (Applause.) Therefore, I do believe, with St. Augustine, that it is better for a man to exist even in hell than not to exist at all (applause); because if every man enjoys something of the knowledge of truth, he must enjoy also something of the love of the good. He is not entirely beyond the reach of the love of God his Father. Because there is no portion of the universe that can escape Him, and there is no part of His creation that is not constantly the object of His beneficence rather than of His justice. (Applause.)
Now, I think that all this, that looks very much like a sermon, is not at all inapposite for a speech before this Anti-poverty society, for the reason that it gives us a philosophy upon which to work, to guide our intellects and to stimulate our wills, j make us feel what a grand, good, noble thing it is to be permitted to help in the great work of helping God's children to see a higher truth, to discover a better way, to see that the plan of creation is not that men shall selfishly enjoy and possess, but that by using the things of time and sense they may deserve the magnificent reward of being called to enjoy the blessedness of the Father's home in heaven. (Applause.) But you discover that for all this it is necessary that the freedom of man's will should be respected; that it is necessary that this great tragic-comedy, this strange mingling of tears and smiles, shall be permitted to go on to the end of time; that the straight line shall be drawn between sin and godliness, between God and His angels and the good will of men on the one hand, and fallen angels and the evil will of men on the other. (Applause.)
The moral law, of which we have spoken more than once on this platform. is the will of God made clear to us by the law of nature itself, by the clear perception of our intellect, of what is necessary for the well being of individuals and of society, and must therefore be the will of Him who is the Maker of all individuals and of society. We first discover that virtue consists in obeying that law, and vice in disregarding it. And the reason for all this conflict in the midst of the things of time and sense is that men may have an opportunity of practicing virtue by their own free will, so that they shall receive the Father's eternal smile, not as a gratuitous inheritance, but as a well earned reward. (Applause.)
The supreme moral law—the law of gravitation in the moral order—is justice. Justice is necessary in order that love should prevail. In the kingdom of the beatific vision there need be no talk of justice, for there love will reign supreme; but here, whore we see but darkly, justice precedes love. Justice is necessary, in order that love may be permitted to reign here. Justice is the one thing necessary to hold society together, to give to each individual man the proper opportunity of exercising his god-given liberty.
So it is the supreme law of society that everyone shall have his own, that all human beings shall respect the god-given liberty of I each, that all society and each member of society shall recognize each individual as a child of the king, endowed not merely with the power of knowing and loving Him, but with the royal liberty of a child of God.
And it is because of this essential Christian philosophy that we are not socialists, but individualists—(tremendous applause)—because we believe that the individual precedes society; that to each individual God has given inalienable rights—to himself, to his life, to his liberty and to the pursuit of happiness; and the object of society is not to bestow these rights on men, but simply to see that no men or band of men shall ever dare to violate them. (Great applause.)
You see, then, dear friends, how great a mistake do those make who honestly but ignorantly charge us with socialism, and how benevolent and calumnious are those who charge us with it without the excuse of ignorance. (Applause.) We want elbow room. We want room and opportunity for each child of God to develop the nature that God has given him, to cultivate his talents, his tastes, his faculties, his God-given powers. While we assert the equal right of all men to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we have simply to look around us to recognize the infinite variety of nature. All the things of the world, of heaven and earth and of the infernal regions, wherever they may be, are within the scope of God's wisdom, and they are all sending up a magnificent anthem of praise to the wise, all-powerful and all-loving Father. (Applause.)
Surely, dear friends, it were unworthy of children of such a father to have to be driven, to virtue by the fear of hell, rather than to be drawn to it by the Father's love. (Great applause.) Now, do not go off and say—and I beg these gentlemen of the press to make this very clear—do not go off and say that Dr. McGlynn has been denying the existence of hell. (Applause and laughter.) Dr. McGlynn simply stands on the same platform with St. Augustine (applause), and says that it is beyond his capacity, and is not his business, to know or tell anything about the temperature of hell; and he can safely say that it is no part of Catholic theology, and still less of Catholic dogma, that there is any material fire in hell at all. (Laughter.)
It has been a commonplace of Catholic theology and preaching that the one idea of hell is in the privation of the grace of God and of that supernatural vision of God which we call the beatific vision. And, therefore, those two doctors of divinity, sitting like little cherubs up aloft (laughter) in Booth's theater, were entirely right when they agreed that if they were not, as they hoped they were, in the grace of God, they were actually in hell, even in that gilded saloon surrounded by all that luxury and witnessing that magnificent performance. I do not want to make vice easier by telling people that they are going to enjoy in hell a continual performance of Julius Cæsar. (Uproarious laughter.) I do not think it is <rood policy to make hell too comfortable. (Laughter.) But at the same time I am glad to be able to instruct you in the essential philosophy of it, in order to indicate the mercy and the goodness and the justice of God our Father. (Applause.) But I repeat, the noblest incitement to virtue is the love of God's smile, and not the fear of fire. (Applause.)
And it is a great thing to be permitted to speak some word, to do some act, that shall make men better, that shall make them see the truth more clearly and love righteousness more earnestly. And it is the object of this strife of ours to teach that virtue shall triumph in the end; that justice after many a battle shall reign supreme; that after the conflict of the ages the world shall at last repose in a magnificent brotherhood, the universal republic of men; when the prophecies of the Hebrew saints and seers shall be literally fulfilled: when men shall turn their swords into reaping hooks and their spears into plowshares; when aristocracies, and monarchies, and landlordism, and all the countless crimes that have been committed against; justice and equality shall be looked back upon as barbarisms and men shall almost doubt that they ever can have exist ed. (Great applause.)
That is the blessed day of which we have the unspeakable happiness of seeing the first whitening of the dawn. And we should strive, all of us as best we can, even during our brief lives—and to many of us the days that remain must surely be brief indeed—to reach the highest mountain peak of thought and virtue and self-sacrifice, that we may see some of the rising glories of the sun of justice. (Applause.)
Prate then no more about our appealing to the cupidity of men, to their base passions, to their covetousness of other men's goods! It is a brutal calumny. (Applause.) We do not appeal to the selfish interests of men. We do not ask men to join this crusade that they may have a little more to eat; that they may have to work a little less hardly. No; we ask them to join this crusade that they may learn to love their brethren, to love humanity, to do away with injustice, that their hearts may be fired with the divine enthusiasm of humanity. (Applause.) And so we do not hold out to them as an inducement that they shall be permitted to indulge themselves more. We say unless they are willing to sacrifice something they are not wanted in this crusade. (Applause.)
And now I would like to follow up that excellent suggestion of Mr. George's. (Applause.) We have called this movement a crusade. It is a holy name, but the cause is not unworthy of it. We have made the banner of this crusade a fair white ground emblazoned with the cross of the redemption. We call men to painful sacrifice. we call them to leave many a pleasure and many a comfort behind that they may come out and do battle for the right. We need men who will set their teeth and be determined to suffer, and if need be to die, that justice may triumph. (Applause.)
Now, the noble spirits that gave direction and impulse to the earlier crusades were self-denying men. They were men of God and men of prayer. The war that they waged was a religious war. They did battle for God, for Christ, and for the brethren. Every soldier felt himself a consecrated priest and believed his good sword was, as it were acquainted with the very benediction of the Christ. (Applause.)
And to carry out the analogy between ourselves and the old crusaders, let us consecrate ourselves to this holy war with prayer and with sweet self-denial. Let no man dare to say that the men or women who fight under the pure white banner of this crusade are self indulgent or carnal minded; that they live in the brutal part of their nature, rather than in the angelic part. I ask you to make no solemn vow, but I beg you to join me and Mr. George and the rest of us in this resolution that at least till the end of the election we will abstain totally from intoxicating drinks. (Great applause.)
In the good old Christian times, when. knighthood meant something more than wearing a cocked hat and a big scarf; when it meant going out to do battle for the weak against the strong, for women against the grasping man, for the Christian against the Saracen, the consecration to knighthood was only a little less than the consecration to the Christian priesthood. The night before the final ceremony was spent in prayer and consecration before a Christian altar. Men felt themselves unworthy to be enrolled as knights without self denial and prayer and a firm endeavor to come nearer to their better selves.
Let us then carry out the resolution. Let us make it clear that we are not self-indulgent, but self- denying men and women. Let us make good what I c:m say of myself, that the preaching and practicing of this magnificent doctrine of this crusade makes us better men and women. (Applause.)
It is a sign full of significance that the common tendency and largely the practice of the Knights of Labor is toward just such self-denial. (Applause.) I was invited to attend a great picnic of a district assembly in Chicago, field in a grove some fifty miles from Chicago about two months ago. It was the strict rule that not a glass of intoxicating liquor of any kind should be sold in or about the place where that picnic was held. (Applause.) And I am very glad that the same view prevailed in Hie direction of our late most successful Anti-poverty excursion. (A voice: “It was the same at Syracuse.”) I don't know whether it has been yet mentioned here tonight, but it is a very significant thing that the local papers in Syracuse said that there was actually less liquor consumed in the neighborhood of the convention building during the holding of our convention than was drunk during the holding of “the prohibition convention. (Uproarious laughter.) And there is just the difference between us and the prohibitionists. We believe in appealing to the intelligence of men and asking them to rule themselves and to make it clear that they do not need any legislature to keep them from making beasts of themselves. (Great applause.)
I suppose there. may be some here tonight who feel inclined to say that after all these Sunday evening speeches of ours are beginning to look very much like Sunday evening sermons. We can only say you must bear with us. You must be patient with us. And, after all, we are not inconsistent. There may be some question of the propriety of putting God in the constitution, because I am quite confident that God is able to take care of himself without being protected by our constitution. (Great- applause and laughter.) There may be some-question about the propriety of talking religion in a political convention, or of making God, so to speak—be it said with all reverence—a part of any plank of a political platform; but there can be no legitimate objection of that kind to the teaching of this society, for this society, while working for an end that can only be attained by political action, and while, therefore, in close sympathy and relationship with the united labor party (applause), is yet a distinct society, and is not sailing under any false colors, and invites nobody here under any false pretense. It is a part of the original call for the formation of this society, and it is printed on every letter that goes out of the office of this society, that God has given to all His children abundant materials out of which they may earn their living, and it is the essential object of this society to vindicate God's purpose, and to see that it be not thwarted by the injustice of men. (Applause.) And so the object of this society is essentially a religions one: and not to have religion upon this platform would be an attempt to play the tragedy of “Hamlet with Hamlet left out. (Great and long continued applause.)
At the conclusion of Dr. McGlynn's address these were calls for John McMackin, who was seated on the stage. He said that at Syracuse was founded a party on principles of justice that would go forward to triumphant success. Thatlittle experience was had in five weeks last year would be applied this year, and all who felt like assisting in the campaign would find plenty of work to do. The platform contained the essential principles of the party, and the ticket represented the essential labor element of New York state. The riff-raff of the labor movement, the pirates as he had to term them at Syracuse (referring to the union labor committee), could do nothing in the fight. Neither could the people who owned them. As for the element which was endeavoring to control the movement, that was happily disposed of. If those composing it desired to return as individuals they could come back. But the great movement could never be side-tracked. it was announced that the collection had been $168.76, including $8 for initiation fees.
Why the Owners of Great Britain Are Willing to Sell Their Country
A correspondent in Glasgow, speaking of the abolition of all restrictions upon alien landlordism in Great Britain, writes:
In seeking to prevent aliens from acquiring land in any state of their union Americans are adopting a rule that has been recently abandoned in Britain. Up till the year 1870 no alien could become the owner of “real” property in Great Britain. The “British nationalization act,” which received the royal assent on May 12, 1870, has removed this disability and altered our land systems for the worse. There is now nothing but the glaring magnitude of the scandal to prevent the notorious Winans from buying the whole of his quarter of a million acre doer forest in the Highlands, or Scotland itself, if the handful of persons who lay claim to its ownership, are disposed to sell it to him and he is able and willing to buy it.
The reasons for this change are neither hard to find nor far to seek. The British landlords and capitalists who have bought thousands and millions of acres in the states and other quarters could neither safely nor decently debar foreign exploiters from dealing with British land in the same way. The old law again had a tendency to lessen the value of land in the United Kingdom, while the alteration promised to increase it. Alien Shylocks were not so ready to part with their money to needy lordlings on the security of estates which they could not hold as they would be on the security of estates that they could. The landlord class, therefore, feels itself necessitated to demolish the only practically operating survival of the principle originally prevailing in all the British Islands, and specially in Scotland.
Missionary Work Among the Catholic Priesthood
San Francisco, Cal.—I was reading The Standard while riding in a street car the other day, and, looking up, saw a young priest sitting opposite scowling at me. I suppose I looked inquiringly, for he lowered his glance to The Standard, and then raised it to my face again. There could be no mistake that he was angry, and as he was a stranger to me his hostility to The Standard could be the only cause.
Your friend George J—a few days ago met Father Pendergrast on the Oakland side, and in conversation the priest spoke strongly against your doctrines. Learning that the father had not read any of your publications or The Standard, Mr. J advised him to read them before expressing any further opinions, and has since sent him a copy of The Standard with your answers to the Packard business college students.
H. D. Dunn.
Enlisted for the War
New York, August 20.— Have just finished reading the platform of the Syracuse convention. Well done! I want to enlist for “three years or the war.” I am ready to fight under the banner of the “Cross of the new crusade.” I have always been a republican, but I am now for the “land and labor party.” Yours fraternally.
85 East Tenth street.
Queries And Answers
The truth that the land value tax would benefit the working masses is rapidly gaining ground. That it would do so and how it would do so is plain enough to any one who, understanding the elementary principles of production and exchange, is capable of pursuing a simple line of reasoning; but ignorance of or inattention to these principles gives plausibility to a notion that the land value tax would not be of the slightest advantage to the mere laborer, but is only a middle class reform. Thus a correspondent in Chicago who signs himself “Socialist” asks why this tax would improve the condition of working men. “Suppose land is free,” he says, “of what use is it to the man who is without tools, machinery, credit or money? How could lie make a decent living upon the land even if it were free?”
I find that people whom this question embarrasses are apt to regard man as living in a state of isolation when they speak of his power of producing, and in a state of civilization when they refer to what constitutes a decent living. If they would imagine him as living, both as producer and consumer, in either state, and avoid shifting him from one to the other, they would experience but little difficulty.
If the man who has neither tools nor machinery lives in a slate of isolation he can supply himself with all that he requires provided he has free access to fertile land. He cannot have many of the things that go to make up a comfortable social existence; he cannot make what we are accustomed to call a decent living; but he can procure sheller, clothing and food and provide means of saving from season to season. We should, perhaps, call him a wild man; but he would not be a suffering man. In these circumstances it is plain that access to land, though h e possessed no machinery of production, would enable him to supply all his wants, while to erect a barrier between him and the land would make him helpless.
If, however, he live in society, his wants are greater and move varied; but so, also, are his powers of production. And the added powers of individual production are not due to existing tools that he possesses or to which he may have access, but to division of labor. By division of labor, machinery is as easily produced as is the product of machinery.
Whereas in the isolated state the worker must with his own labor make all he consumes, in the social state he makes only some of all the things he consumes, and exchanges the surplus of what he makes for the surplus of what his neighbors make. In the isolated state his immediate necessities require so much labor that he is restricted in the production of things requiring long periods of time for completion, and he cannot make any of the great products that require co-operation and varied skill as well as time; but in the social state, provided land be free, and exchange between laborer and laborer untrammeled, he can devote himself to the production of what requires long periods for completion, because other laborers will in the mean time supply his immediate needs in exchange for an interest in what he is at work upon; and in the same way he can join with others in bringing forth those massive products that defy the powers of single men. By exchange and the division of labor which it permits, the productive power of individuals is augmented, and results in making man in the social state as independent of everything but the materials of nature as in the isolated state. In the latter the satisfaction of his wants is limited by his natural opportunities and individual powers, but in the former it is limited by his natural opportunities and individual powers, plus all the manifest advantages that flow from exchange between laborers of every variety of skill with access to every variety of natural opportunity. Robinson Crusoe on his lonely island could produce a dug cut to fish in. a goat skin coat to wear, and tropical fruit to eat; but on a continent and in a social state he could in effect produce ships, woolen clothing, and fruits of every climate, though literally he were to work neither as a shipwright, a tailor nor a fruit raiser. For, as stated in “Progress and Poverty,” “the miner who, two thousand feet under ground, in the heart of the Comstock, is digging out silver ore, is, in effect, by virtue of a thousand exchanges, harvesting crops in valleys live thousand feet nearer the earth's center; chasing the whale through Arctic ice fields; plucking tobacco leaves in Virginia; picking coffee berries in Honduras; cutting sugar cane in the Hawaiian islands; gathering cotton in Georgia, or weaving it in Manchester or Lowell; making quaint wooden toys for his children in the Hartz mountains, or plucking amid the green and gold of Los Angeles orchards the oranges which. when his shift is relieved, he will take home to his sick wife. The wages which lie receives on Saturday night at the mouth of the shaft. what are they but the certificate to all the world that lie has done these things—the primary exchange in the long series which transmutes his labor into the things he has really been laboring for.”
It is just in proportion as a man is unable to produce something that other men want, that they in turn are unable to produce many things that he wants; and the converse is equally true that just in proportion as one man is permitted to and does produce something that all men want can they in turn produce many things that he wants. And as the wants of either are supplied in point of quantity they expand to infinity in point of quality.
The one essential to the production of anything, whether in the isolated or the social state, is natural opportunity—land. That given, and in the isolated state a man can produce to the limit of his individual powers, while in the social state he can produce to the limit of his individual powers plus the powers generated by ex-
But in the social state some individuals own land to the exclusion of others. Part of the land has a rental value and part has not. That which has a rental value gives to its owner an advantage over producers who exchange with him; and that which has no rental value is kept out of use by a price in expectation that in the future it will have a rental value. Thus at once a deduction from products is made for the benefit of the mere land owner, and landless men who would produce are in greater or less degree prohibited from doing so. This prohibition, which limits their opportunities to produce, diminishes their powers of consumption, and, reacting upon exchange, diminishes consumptive power generally, and consequently retards production generally.
The land value tax counteracts this effect by removing its cause.
It is well settled that a tax on a product increases the value of the product and tends to limit its consumption; and diminished consumption, acting and reacting upon exchange, tends to reduce all production. Men, as consumers, want to consume more of everything, and, as producers, each is willing to produce more of something; but the tax so fetters exchange that desire to consume and willingness to produce cannot freely meet. A, for example, wants his house painted. He cannot do it well, but the house painter can; and there is something that A can do well, which the house painter wants done, but which A has no occasion to do for himself. If there be no tax on houses A will exchange work with the house painter, and each will be served according to his desires. But if there be a tax on houses, which A wishes to avoid or keep down, he will let his house go unpainted, and the house painter will have one opportunity less to serve himself by serving another. The house painter's opportunities to produce what A wants are diminished because A would avoid taxation, and A's opportunities to produce what the house painter wants are diminished because the house painter, by reduced opportunities to produce, is forced to check his consumption. The obvious remedy for this is to abolish taxes on products, and that the land value tax does.
Again, production is checked by the withdrawal of natural opportunities from use. This is caused by the familiar fact that land values grow with the growth of population, which induces men to preempt land in advance of demand for it so as to make a profit when it shall be in demand. Production is checked again by the increasing rent of land that is in demand for use. This rent is a tax upon production, and, like any other tax upon production, tends to make the value of products higher, and thus to check consumption, which, in turn, checks production. Now, it must be evident that, if all land not in use; were freely accessible, production, to the extent that it is checked by preemption of land, would be liberated; and that it the rent of the land which is in use were reduced production would be still further liberated. Both these things can be done by making it as expensive to keep land out of use as to use it. All land not in use would be abandoned at once, and that, by increasing the market supply of land, would lend to lower rent.
But how shall it be made as expensive to keep land out of use as to use it? By imposing all taxes on land values.
Thus would products be freed from taxation, and an impetus be given to production; thus would land owners be forced to part with all land which they did not use, and an additional impetus be given to production; and thus would rents be lowered, and a still further impetus bu given to production. And if the tax were increased until it absorbed all land values, so as to leave nothing to landlords as landlords, every obstruction to exchange would be removed, and whoever could make anything that society needed would have free access to the natural materials, and find a ready army of consumers whose cry would ever be: “'More! more! more!'”
John Doe is a man of small means. His place of business is in the city of New York, and he must live near to it. He has saved a few hundred dollars, and has every reasonable expectation of receiving a mode rate income from his business indefinitely. He would like to own a house. There are places where he can easily buy the land and have enough left to build with, but he cannot remove his business to any of those places; in New York there are plenty of vacant lots, but he cannot buy a lot there and put up a building ton, and is afraid to have a home with a mortgage on it; moreover, he knows that if he should build he would have to pay a tax on his house, and taking all those things into consideration, he is perhaps as well off in a flat as he would be in a house of his own, which mortgagee or tax gatherer, or both, might confiscate if business became dull. So John Doe goes without a home.
And here is Richard Roe, a good carpenter, but poor as Job's turkey, who, having no capital, is glad to work for small wages wherever he can get a job. Richard Roe is able and willing to build a house, and anxious to trade with John Doe. There is nothing between them except the conditions that induce Doe to go without a house of his own, but they are enough. and so Richard Roe plods along, working as hard to find employment as he works at his trade when employment is found.
But now all taxes are shifted from products of labor to land values. John Doe has no longer any fear of a tax on his house. The owners of vacant lots, rather than pay the high tax that falls upon valuable land, abandon the lots, and after awhile John Doe finds that he can get a site for his house by paying annually such tax as it may be worth—that is, what it would rent for. He is no longer required to sink his capital in the purchase of a building site. He has no fear of mortgagees, for no mortgage is necessary. And he decides to build. He offers the job of building to Richard Roe. But Richard Roe has no capital and cannot build a house with his bare hands! Why, bless your heart, he needs no capital. Being an “honest man and capable workman, and having an opportunity to build for an honest man with ready money all the capital he may require—tools, machinery, lumber, everything—will be at his command. Through a myriad exchanges they will flow to him, as what he receives from John Doe flows from him, and in co-operation with his own labor the labor of thousands of men will contribute to the erection of John Doe's house. All these thousands of men will be withdrawn from the army of the unemployed, and John Does will spring up every where among them to keep this poverty destroying game of pitch and toss agoing.
But what shall be said to a correspondent like Fred Ripple of New York, who, seeing all this, and declaring his belief that “the land value tax would benefit the working masses by compelling the use of land, and thereby increasing demand for labor,” is not satisfied, “because there are some very rich people who, without working, could live upon interest which, like wages, would be higher than now if land values were taxed away.”
The truth is that most of the wealth of our very rich people is not wealth at all, but private taxing privileges. It consists of evidences of public debts, the value of which is due to revenues annually forced out of the people and turned over to bond owners in the name of interest; or in public franchises; or in ground rents, which are a form of taxation. Put an end to the public debts and contract no new one, resume all public franchises, and tax all ground rents, and the riches of the wealthy would be reduced to real wealth—existing labor products,—which they might use productively or consume or waste, as they chose. In neither case would anyone be wronged or burdened. Without the power to compel others to repair and augment their wealth, they would be no better off than their neighbors, except for the comparatively short time during which their accumulated wealth was passing back to its original elements; and even during that time every body would be completely independent of them. They would be like a man with a wagon load of peaches in a free peach orchard.
Louis F. Post.
The Inevitable Result of Forcing Men to Compete for the Mere Privilege of Work
The Electric Age, telegraphers' organ, has for the last four or five numbers devoted a couple of pages each month to what it calls a “Discussion as to the Cause of Low Salaries,” under which heading letters from various telegraphers have appeared. Many of them are from advocates of the single tax on land, and the discussion of the land question has been an animated and most interesting one. In the current number, Mr. John J. Flanagan of New York gives in his letter the following facts concerning the decrease in salaries in the New York Western union office:
Three years ago vacancies existed at all times of the year; salaries for first-class telegraphers were commonly $80 and frequently $85 per month. Enough extra was to be had to satisfy the most rapacious “wolves,” and still more men could be used if they were at hand.
The year following was not so prosperous. New corners were greeted with $75 and too of ten with $70 vouchers, and “we need no men today; come in next week” was in many cases the reply to applicants.
How do we find it now? We find that for nine months of the year no vacancies exist, though an occasional old employee may be taken on, that for nine months of the year there is not only no “extra” work, but barely full time for the unfortunates on the waiting list.
The maximum salary for late arrivals is $75, excepting in rare instances. Seventy dollars is common for first class men; and as for those who are not up to the standard they may be happy if they pet a sufficient amount to meet actual living expenses in this most exorbitant of cities. Graduates are being hired, the inducement held out being $15 to $25 a month for the very promising ones.
What must be the inevitable result of the present tide that is submerging our future prospects? How long will it be, if the present tendencies continue. Before thoseapplying for positions will be met with a notice, “No vacancies today; manager busy and can see no applicants,” and that sign shall be there not only nine months of the year, but from the first day of January to the last day of December?
A Perfectly Healthy Activity, Which Will Put the Tenement House and the Vacant Lot Side by Side
La Crosse Daily Republican.
Attention is called to one feature of La Crosse real estate transactions which is seldom taken into account when considering local conditions. Reference is made to the prominent element of activity as apart from any distinct increase of market values. This activity. however, is perfectly healthy, and essentially connected with other business relations as shown above. In other words, there is a legitimate call for every particle of movement which exists, entirely free from any speculative tendency. Real estate activity of this kind in an eastern town where no legitimate increase of business is taking place would show a state of feverish and dangerous speculation, while here it shows nothing of the sort. There is a class of willing buyers here, because openings are constantly being furnished for business, and men already established are enlarging and reaching out for better locations. It will, therefore, he sees that the dangerous booming speculative element, whether caused by mining discoveries or any other sudden and unstable condition, does not enter into transactions in this city. In the face of such facts as these, it only requires the exercise of ordinary judgment to arrive at the conclusion that nothing can be lost by making judicious investments in La Crosse real estate, while the prospect is that much is to be eventually gained.
Rockland, Me., Opinion.
A very large proportion of the land in the city of Lewiston is field by a few wealthy gentlemen, as also is the immensely valuable water power there. who derive a princely income from the rent of the same. They do not use it themselves, but grow rich on what is paid them by thosewho do use it. They have held on to it. for. a great many years, while Lewiston has grown from a little country village to a great city, and have sold scarcely any of it. A very large number of buildings, including those on the principal business st reels, the most valuable portions of the city. are erected on leased land, and all the manufacturing concerns pay rem for the water power they use. Did anybody ever hear that any difficulty had been experienced in ascertaining what land rent is in Lewiston? Is is not always easy enough to ascertain what are land value? and what are improvement values in dealings between individuals and the landlord corporation? Why then should there be any practical difficulty in gradually taking off the taxes now imposed on labor and capital in Lewiston and increasing the tax on hind values till the entire land rent should be absorbed and the restriction on production of a heavy tax on capital and labor entirety removed?"
A Country Where Land is Recognized as the Property of the Whole People
Rev. J. Anketell in the Living Church.
In most of the cantons of Switzerland. notably Glarne, Valais and Unterwalden, the land for a thousand years has been recognized as the property of the whole people, and its use has been allotted to the industrious workers, on such conditions as the people see fit to determine. No one is allowed to hold an acre of it for speculative purposes. Hence there are very few great fortunes in Switzerland and very little abject poverty. As Emile de Laveleye says, “With the Swiss the motto of the French revolution, 'liberty, equality, fraternity,' is no empty formula inscribed on public documents. It is a living reality and he is contented with his lot.”
A Genuine “Infant” Industry
In a recent issue the New Jersey Unionist describes the methods used for fostering and developing the industry of silk manufacture in this country. Says the Unionist:
The establishment of "annexes" in outlying towns seems to us to be the order of the day among the Paterson silk manufacturers. The Phoenix manufacturing company are about; to establish another at Pottstown. Pa., R. & H. Adams are about to start one in Massachusetts, and the firm of Dexter, Dunbert & Co. have just started to work in their Honesdale. Pa., factory. The object of these “annexes” can be best judged by the following from the report of the bureau of industrial statistics of Pennsylvania for 1885-6” “Only the preparatory processes of silk manufacture are performed in these establishments, and for them cheap labor is required. In the mining and manufacturing towns of Pennsylvania there is plenty of employment. for men but little for the boys and girls. To provide work for the latter and build up their towns, Pennsylvanians offer to put up mills and exempt them ten years from taxes. The occupants take mills on an agreement to pay interest on the cost of the mills in lieu of rent, with the privilege of buying the mills at cost at the end of ten years. The occupants then get girls and boys at $l.50 per week. to whom they would have to pay $4.50 in Paterson, N. J.”
As for the manner in which these “annexes” are operated, the Unionist quotes as follows from the Harrisburg Star:
In order to build up this infant industry, the school laws are disobeyed, and the laws against the employment of children are openly and flagrantly violated. There is not one redeeming feature connected with the industry, and nothing but the avariciousness of men and the cupidity of parents and children keep it alive. The manufacture of silk in the United States is forced and unnatural, and is based on the moral and physical ruination of children and youths who are compelled to compete with the silk industries of China, Japan and France, countries adapted by nature for the growth and manufacture of the commodity. That there should be strikes is but natural in any industrial pursuit, but when a body of children without any organization unite to rebel against the unjust task masters in the silk mills. It behooves the public to open more wide the school doors and to enforce the law against the employment of children.
The necessary result of thus providing employment for infant children in the “mining and manufacturing towns of Pennsylvania” is that the parents of the children are enabled to work for less wages than before, perhaps finding consolation in the fact that they are developing the “industries” of their country. If by “Pennsylvanians” is meant the people who own Pennsylvania, it is not surprising that they should be willing to put up mills and exempt them from taxes for ten years, since they are thereby enabled to squeeze out of the unfortunate people who live and work in Pennsylvania a greater proportion of the wealth which they produce.
Isn't it a Mockery to Tell These People They Are “Members of Christ, Children of God and Inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven?”
Dr. Anna S. Daniels in Christian Union.
Hear tenement houses present additional dangers which do not exist in the front houses. To reach a rear or yard house, as the people call them, we pass through a narrow alley or the hall of the front house into a flagged court yard. From the yard we pass into another dark, dirty hall, usually with a spiral staircase. The poorer families occupy these houses. The yard is always filled with dirty, noisy children engaged in what they call play. These are the younger children, who cannot be trusted alone in the street. They are pitiful little objects, with their pale faces, thin clothes and bodies showing a lamentable ignorance of water. The dark alley may afford shelter to the same class of wretches who lodge in the halls. The front doer being always open, beggars and peddlers pass in and out at their will, often insulting the women and children whom they meet on the stairs. There are a few second and even third rear houses in the city, but they are, fortunately, rare. I am acquainted with but one of the latter, perhaps a half dozen of the former. There is little ventilation in these rear houses. The front house is always higher than the rear, the latter being built close to another tall building. In looking out of their windows the people see only their neighbors' clothes lines and the filthy court yards with closets. In case of fire in the front house their means of exit to the street is cut off. Being so shut off from the street and the gaze of the public their manners and morals receive much less attention than those of people in front houses. The rooms of these poor people are small, consisting usually of a room and bedroom; the front room is used as a living room; the cooking, washing, ironing and ad the domestic processes are performed in this one room, which at night serves also as a sleeping room.
The furniture Consists of a cooking stove, chairs and table, usually a bureau, sometimes a lounge, the wails covered more or less by gaudy chromos and advertising cards. In the poorest and meanest room there is always this pitiful attempt at decoration. The room is clean or thirty, according to the disposition of the women, the day of the week, and, with the Jews, the season of the year: the latter at their religious festivals scrub and scour every article in their miserable apartments, often giving them a most cheerful appearance. The bedroom is always small, with the small window the law compels the landlord to make opening in the had; there is only room for a bed, possibly a washstand and chair; the rooms are dark and poorly ventilated, are not fit to sleep in, and are abominable holes for the sick. It is a source of increasing astonishment to me that these people can take any possible interest in life. If they have sufficient food and clothing, money to pay rent, and are in no danger of being served with a warrant of dispossession, they are content, but I do, not believe very happy.
The constant examples of morality presented to the children of the tenement houses early accustom them to scenes of which they should know nothing. There is an absolute lack of modesty among the class of people under discussion. In those cases where no lodgers are taken the families are often large; the older brothers and sisters live at home, and there is usually one, Sometimes two, rarely three, bedroom. A man, his wife, and five children live in a room and bedroom; they dress and undress in the presence of each other. In the summer the rooms are intolerably hot. If the woman happens to be a laundress they are unbearable. I have noted the temperature many times by a reliable thermometer, and found the mercury not infrequently 105 degrees Fahrenheit. In one case, in Essex street, in the summer of 1874, where the family occupation was tailoring, over the end of a sick child the temperature was 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Although in the room only an hour, I suffered from the effects of the high temperature for hours after.
Because of the heated rooms the women attire themselves in as little clothing as possible—ordinarily a dress skirt and a chemise, children of five going naked, or nearly so. If the summer is unusually warm there is a decided increase in the number of crimes committed and an alarming death rate.
The children early lose their individuality. Everything in a tenement house family is common property. There is no sense of private ownership; they have nut even a part of a bureau. The stronger members of the family get the most of everything, the weaker ones are pushed to the wall.
How America Opens Her Arms to the Hardworking Immigrant
What is to be done with the thousands of ignorant laborers that have been shipped into Colorado by the car load to work with the pick and shovel on the railroad grades when the work contemplated is completed? It is said that thousands of foreigners, who cannot speak a word of English, have been picked up in eastern cities, and even as soon as they landed in Castle garden, and been brought to Colorado by the car load, their fare being advanced by agents for them. By the time winter comes these men, who as a general thing live from hand to mouth, will be out of employment, for railroad building will take a rest this winter. Some will say, oh, they will come out all right: they will find employment and food somewhere. Well, if they do. all the worse for the natives, many of whim already find it hard to get work in the various trades and employments outside of laboring work. There will be some jostling in Colorado soon.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
'Tis the watchword of the churchman, and
'tis ever on his tongue;
;Tis in every prayer recited and every anthem
'Tis the main spring of his actions, for our
actions on the sod,
Cannot have the slightest merit save in glorifying
Then he tells us that “our poverty's a means
of saving grace.
By which the Lord is chastening us to fill
a higher place!
Let us offer up our poverty and onward
For the greater, greater glory of the ever-loving
Is there glory for the Father in the gleam of
Is there glory for the Savior in His starving
Is there glory for the Holy Ghost in awful
That are wrung from sorrow's children by
their crushing miseries?
Is there incense sweet to heaven in an erring;
When not waywardness, but poverty, is really
Will the countless crimes' committed in the
dire stress of want,
Form a suitable selection for a laudatory
Strike your colors, traitrous bearers of the
standard of the cross!
To our flowing cup of sorrow you have naught
to add but dross,
While your pharisaic motto is, “Ad dei
You proclaim God's fatherhood a lie, man's
brotherhood a sham!
And the glorious crusader, whom you sought
Has unfurled the blazing banner of God's
fatherhood on high!
And our poverty—its wretchedness and all its
hosts of sin—
We will conquer under guidance of our glorious
For 'tis blazoned on the heavens in the brightness
of the sun,
That the cause that we are fighting, dearest
father, will be won.
Then the glory of the Father who has put thee
By emancipating millions, will be sung in
W. P. C.
An Albany Paper's Impression of the Convention
Albany Sunday Press.
The noticeable features of the recent Syracuse convention of the united labor party were many. In the intelligence and respectability of its delegates it was far ahead of any political convention that has been held in this state in years, as the writerknows from personal observation. There were no roughs: there were no heelers. It was a gathering of representative men in their various walks of life, who came with an object in view and a determination to persevere to the end. The delegates, who were laboring men, were the most intelligent men from the ranks of the trades unions and other organizations. The merchant. the lawyer, the man, the journalist, were there. There was no rowdyism, no drunkenness. There Were no cranks.
The members of the united labor party may hold erroneous ideas, but they do not hold them as the result of a morbid fancy. In their every day walks of life they are thoroughly earnest men. “Whether their ideas are practical. is for the future alone to tell. In the character, intelligence and general appearance of its members, it far outshadowed customary gatherings of either of the old parties, Certainly a party organized by such, men as were in Syracuse last week is not to be derided, even if it cannot- be supported, It may not last, but it certainly now has great held upon the people. It will grow, unless the old parties discard ring rule and vie with each other in their efforts for honest government. Even should the united labor party have but a short life, it cannot fail to produce a good effect both in New York city and in the state and be the influencing cause of better laws and more honest government. Assuredly if that is done. Henry George, Dr. McGlynn, James Red path. John McMackin, John K. O'Donnell and Louis F. Post will not have lived in vain.
Growth of Tenement Houses in Brooklyn
Brooklyn has not been until in recent years much given to the building of tenement homes. While New York has been for a long time practically a city of tenements, we have contrived until lately to house our people in a different fashion. Them are indications, however, that this state of things is rapidly passing away, and that at no very distant date a majority of the people of this city will be living m houses which are to all intents and purposes tenements.
The tenement houses proper have rooms for from five to sixteen families, but the usual number of families occupying a Brooklyn tenement house is from six to eight. Five story tenement houses for ten families are not common in Brooklyn. and the larger ones are still rarer. The usual frontage of a tenement house twenty-five feet and its depth from fifty-five to sixty-five. Two families live on each floor, one on each side of a, central hall, and the usual number of rooms is four, two of which are either dark or lighted from the hall. The sanitary arrangements are usually not good, and tenement house life is by no means desirable. But. they are extremely economical of land, and more people can be housed in this fashion on an acre of land than by any other system. Take a block containing an acre which wil1 measure say, 220 feet one way and 200 feet the other. Built up in three-story private residences, with an average of eight persons to each house, the acre would accommodate 176 persons. Built up in three- story flats, five persons to a family, an acre Would have 330 inhabitants, and four-story has, 330 inhabitants. But three-story tenements this number would be increased to 520, and in four-story tenements to 650. It is easy to see that this involves great overcrowding and a condition of affairs by no means favorable to health or comfort.
Justice Is the Demand, Not Charity
T. W. Curtis in New Haven News.
No, it is some great underlying wrong or injustice that gives these dark aspects to our civilization. So says the labor reform which. is now beginning to agitate the world. Justice is the demand of this age, not charity. The working class ask not for alms, but for their own. ii the wage- earner got his due, “those sharper ills of life” would not trouble him, at any rate he would not complain, but bear them manfully. But his faith has come to be that if all have a. free and equa1 access to the bounties of nature, these “yawning gulfs” between rich and poor would not be. And, however destitute his condition may now be his ideal is not that of mere physical comforts, for these he demands as a right and as a means to an end and self-improvement. He sees that he is robbed of health and leisure, and is not a rational being, nor a free Citizen, and is denied the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
The Situation And The Prospect
Having sat on the platform through every session of the convention, and watched its doings with eager interest, I am perfectly satisfied with the result. Assuming an overriding Providence in the affairs of men, I think the event goes far to show such superintendence in this case. Looking back over the proceedings, including the outcome, I think I would not have one important action changed.
Those who, before the assembly, expected a rag-tag affair, if there were any such, must have been greatly surprised at the sober and respectable character of the body. There were a remarkable number of ready and effective speakers and an equally notable familiarity with parliamentary usage. The deliberations, considering the burning questions met, were calm and forceful, only one or two indiscreet or heated utterances occurring, and these being retracted or explained in kindly and manly fashion.
The most important feature of the convention's doings is the platform, which to my mind, includes the nomination of Mr. George for “the first place on the ticket. Mr. George is the platform incarnated. From first to last the interest of the convention centered in doctrine rather than persons. The socialistic question, the decision of which was the second important action, was wholly one of doctrine. To say that the socialistic contested delegates were excluded from any motive of policy, as to catch the farmer vote or avoid the mere stigma of socialism, is absurd. It would be equally absurd to attribute to the convention any objection to the socialists as individuals. They were excluded because they were socialists, organized outside of the united labor party to accomplish a purpose essentially different from that which the convention desired. Even the socialistic land doctrine is essentially different from that of the united labor party, and because of this difference the socialists were declared ineligible as members of that party, just as are republicans, democrats or prohibitionists, as such. This is why the split with the socialists is so important. It was entirely a question of principle. The convention could not have admitted the socialists without stultifying itself.
Success is certain. The only question is when. My impression is that the election of the ticket this fall is entirely possible, considering the immense earnestness of the party and the element of uncertainty which confessedly characterizes the present political atmosphere. I think it not improbable that the next governor of New York will be the nominee of the united labor party. Ultimate success of the party is sure if truth possesses winning power. That our principles are right I have no more doubt than that I exist.
A large vote in this state will, of course, give immense impetus to the cause in other states. Could we succeed in changing the laws of New York so that all taxes shall be removed from the products of industry, which may be done by devoting those values which accrue to land by the presence of population to public uses, other states would be forced to do the same, whether they liked it or not, in self-defense. The advantages for manufacturers, laborers and merchants in New York in that case would be so great that other states could not possibly hold their own in commercial competition. All we need is that our state adopt Mr. George's system of taxation for it to become universal in states, the n national, then world-wide, for the reason given above, to cite no other. Honest clergyman who believe in the principles of the united labor party must come into the movement as a religious reform which can only become operative by political action, or lose their self-respect. No minister can believe this doctrine and be silent without moral deterioration. Worldly wise ministers will do as they did during the anti-slavery movement, either oppose the new crusade or keep quiet, and when it succeeds preach fervent sermons about the great reform which we have brought about. Garrison and Phillips were first denounced and afterward eulogized by the pulpit. It will be the same with Henry George and the united labor party. If any manly minister wishes to keep out of the ranks of the crusaders he would better not study “Progress and Poverty” nor read The Standard. If h e does, in all probability, even the gates of hell” cannot prevent his coming with us.
I purpose doing all the active work I possibly can without neglecting the work of my parish, which I am in duty bound to attend to as long as I am permitted to hold my present position. In my opinion I can preach the gospel of Jesus nowhere more effectively than in the canvass of the united labor party in New York. I believe that if Jesus were alive and here today he would work in the same way, and a minister can do no better than what he believes his great leader would do.
Hugh O. Pentecost.
Let Us Fight To Win
The united labor party has presented to the people of this state candidates for all of the offices that are to be filled. The ticket is an excellent one, representing all portions of the state, and is composed of men fitted to discharge the duties of the various positions for which they are candidates. The question of chief interest now is as to the vote that they will receive. The assumption of the regular parties is that this ticket is put up to draw as large a vote as possible, but that the new party has no hope of electing it. This is an unfounded assumption. The present condition of politics is such that the most extraordinary changes are possible, and the new party is the nucleus around which all who are dissatisfied or disgusted with the old parties will naturally gather. The united labor party enters this contest with the prestige won in this city last year. It entered that canvass without a name or organization and at once leaped to the second place, and probably had its votes been counted, to the first place among existing parties in this city. It enters the state canvass much better equipped for the campaign and appeals to people as thoroughly disgusted with the old parties as are those of this city. It ought to draw a larger percentage of votes from both the old parties throughout the state than it drew from them in this city. If it only does as well, however, it will receive in the state at large 250,132 votes, without counting on any increase in this city. To assume that the united labor party can accomplish this much is not unreasonable, for outside the city it is better organized than it was in New York a year ago. But in the city it is as completely organized as either of the old parties, and no well informed man doubts that its vote here will be far larger than it was a year ago. Its vote will doubtless be 90,000, and many place it at 101,000. If, however, it only does as well in the state at large as it did last year the vote would stand:
It is, of course, possible that the percentage of votes drawn from the respective old parties may differ in the republican districts from that shown in this formerly democratic stronghold. That is, however, a matter with which the new party does not concern itself. It seeks votes without asking which party they are taken from. Any change of the kind would merely make the votes of the old parties more even, and the probable increase in the prohibition vote would in any event tend that way.
But, as has been shown, there is no reason to suppose that in this city the united labor party will not run up to nearly or quite 100,000. This would bring the total vote up to more than 282,000, and a very small increase over the figures given above for the remaining portion of the state would send the total considerably over 300,000, and correspondingly reduce the vote of the old parties.
There were 970,807 votes east for judge of the court of appeals at the last state election. A third of this is 323,002, and taking the prohibition and scattering votes into consideration, any party receiving a third of the whole vote would be practically certain of success. We believe that the united labor party will poll more than 110,000 below the Harlem river, and there is no reason why, if this is done, it should not obtain enough votes in the remainder of the state to assure its success.
All of the existing political conditions show that the people are ready for and expecting a great change of some kind. New parties are rising on all sides, which show not only discontent with the old organizations, but a readiness to leave them. At the election of last year, 144,227 votes, more than half of the whole number, were east against the continuance of existing conditions and in favor of a new constitution. Under such a condition the possibilities in the way of peaceful revolution are simply beyond computation.
Such are the conditions under which the united labor party enters the field of state politics. It finds the old parties held together by no fixed belief, while it is fairly surcharged with intense conviction. It finds politicians of the old school standing aghast before a problem that they confess must be solved, but for which they see no solution, while the new party proclaims that it is for the solution of that very problem it has come into existence. Into a condition of political confusion, doubt, fear and despair the new party comes with clearness of conviction definiteness of purpose, and filled with hope and confidence. To all this is opposed nothing but negations. History is filled with instances in which whole peoples have flocked to standards thus carried by hopeful and courageous leaders.
Under such circumstances there is no reason why the united labor party may not hope to win. It ought to win, and all it needs to assure victory is determined effort and unflagging zeal. It has every incentive to strive for success. It is a party of principle, and even an approximation to success will sweep the rubbish of the old and meaningless contest over dead issues cut of the way and precipitate on the broad field of national politics the one great issue so clearly enunciated in the Syracuse platform. Let neither friend nor foe imagine that this is any case of merely standing up to be counted. The united labor party is in the contest to win, and its success is easily within the range of possibility.
A happy thought comes to the World, and it is that the principle to taxing land values only shall be applied to the wild and freed lands now owned by the state. If the World will go into the wilderness itself, and there in the quiet of solitude study the land doctrine, it will comprehend the fact that just the worst place in the world to try a tax on land values is the place where land has practically no value.
The Times thinks that Thomas C. Platt is likely to vie w the rise of the united labor party with a great deal of satisfaction, since the alarm of the democrats concerning their state ticket will be so great that Mr. Platt will be easily able to arrange deals with them for legislative seats that will give him control of the legislature. The Times really seems to imagine that it can hurt the united labor party by thus exposing the lack of principle in the old parties.
Labor's Stage of Amsterdam is the first New York paper to hoist the Syracuse ticket to its masthead. It announces that it will stand for the principles and candidates of the party.
The Opening Gun
The convention is over, the campaign begun,
And we give the old parties our hearty defiance;
For great is the triumph that soon will be
'Neath the banner that floats o'er our holy alliance.
We stand by a principle noble and grand—
“The land for the people”—and who shall
And that rallying cry shall resound through
And thrill with affright all who think to
Oh, ye who between fear and hope are divided,
Shake oil the dull dread of the craven and
By justice and truth let your course be decided,
And strike for the end of monopoly's rule.
Hurrah for our platform! we stand squarely
Hurrah for our leaders! they're men one
Hurrah for our ticket! the names blazoned
Will glitter in triumph, we know, in the
As chairman of the committee on credentials at the recent state convention of the united labor party at Syracuse, I wish to correct some misapprehensions concerning the work of that committee. As soon as the committee met a proposition was made to proceed at once to the consideration of the contested credentials, but a small faction insisted that all the credentials should be examined.
The only contests in the committee that turned on socialism were those of the Eighth and Tenth assembly districts. Six claimants from those districts were unseated “on the ground that the contestants having acknowledged that they have been and still are members of the socialistic labor party, they were ineligible under the constitution of the united labor party of New York, as officially declared by its highest executive authority, the county general committee.”
The contest as to the delegates from the Fourteenth assembly district did not turn on this question. No attempt was made by any one to pretend that Walter Vrooman was entitled to .represent that district. The only regular credentials certified to the election of Shaider, McCabe and Quirk. It was shown clearly to the committee that after the first meeting, at which one ineligible man was chosen, that another meeting of the district was held to elect delegates. The meeting was fully advertised and largely attended. Mr. Block was present at the meeting, at which the previous election was declared void. Neither he nor any one else denied that the meeting was a regular one, and the regular officers of the district certified that at it Shaider, McCabe and Quirk had been elected. The committee had, in a previous contest. made by an alternate from the Third district, decided that an assembly district had a right to hold a second election, and it had unanimously seated the delegate chosen at that election instead of the alternate previously chosen, and who would have been entitled to the seat had no new election taken place. My recollection is that the vote in committee in favor of seating Block was much smaller than that in favor of seating the socialistic labor party men. The action of the committee was certainly not based on the fact that Block is a socialist, fur no one claimed that he is now a member of the socialistic labor party. The motion on which the committee acted was .simply that the delegates holding credentials from the president and secretary of the district should be seated, and there was no reason assigned in it.
I admit that this should have been made clearer in the committee's report, but the session lasted continuously from 8 o'clock in the evening until half-past 4 next morning. I tried in vain to get some sleep, and finally wrote the report in time to present it to the committee again by 9 o'clock. It was merely a brief chronicle of the committee's conclusions, and there was no time for argument. Since the report was made a great deal has been said as to the influence of the rural delegates in bringing about the result. To the best of my knowledge, there were but two city delegates in the minority of the committee, and all the other city members voted steadily with the majority. Rodgers and Finkelstein, the two delegates who created all the difficulty, found their chief supporters in a delegate from Yonkers and another from Brooklyn, and the other four votes of the minority came from Albany, Buffalo and .other parts of the state. Of course this is a question that ought never to have been raised, but since both the men named have falsely asserted that the opinion of the New York assembly districts was overcome by votes from the country districts, it is proper that the fact should be stated that all their support in the committee came from outside New York city. Both of them have since their return to the city misstated facts concerning the committee's action, but as they no longer belong to the united labor party any controversy with them concerning its affairs would be out of place.
Subsequent events have proven that George Block is unfaithful to the united labor party, and is a socialist of the most sanguinary hue, but he was not unseated because he was a socialist, but because the Fourteenth assembly district had, at a regular meeting legally called, sent another man in his place. His assembly declared the first election void because members of the socialistic labor party participated in it. The committee on credentials made no attempt to pass upon that decision. It simply found that a new election had been held, and reported in favor of seating the men chosen at that election. Mr. Block, then cannot pose as a martyr to his socialistic views in this matter.
Wm. T. Croasdale.
Whither Edward Atkinson is Leading Us
New York City.—Mr. Atkinson, in his recent article in the Century, has made out a catalogue of food, clothing and fuel, which he considers adequate for the consumption of an adult, which catalogue is called a ration, and may be useful to remember if New York should ever be bombarded by the British fleet. He goes on to show that in the year 1800 the laborer earned 980 daily rations; in 1865, 840: in 1880, 1,210; in 1885-6, 1,400. He then compares l865 and 1885-6, and wonders what more prosperity the laborer can want, anyway.
Now, Mr. Atkinson's figures of the rations earned for l885-6 are, on his own showing, an estimate; and I think we may as well wait for the returns to come in before drawing any conclusions from them. He selects 1861 as the other end of the comparison, not because it made the best showing, but—well, never mind why.
If we compare 1860 with 1880 (the earliest and latest years for which he gives definite figures), we find that the rations earned increased from 980 to 1,210, say, twenty-five per cent. Whether rent advanced sufficiently during the same time to neutralize the increased purchasing power of labor, Mr. Atkinson has not yet investigated; at least. He publishes no figures on that point. Rent, anyway, is an unimportant subject. No political economist of any consequence has paid any attention to it. Ricardo, McCulloch and J. S. Mill have indulged in wearisome dissertations about the matter, but Mr. Atkinson has not wasted any time reading them.
Let us suppose that the condition of the laborer did improve twenty-five per cent in the period mentioned. Mr. Atkinson says it did, and that settles it. Now let us try to find out, just for curiosity, what there was in the economic conditions of the country to permit such an improvement.
In an article in the Popular Science Monthly Mr. David A. Wells quotes from the United States commissioner of labor's report for 1886 extracts showing that in the manufacture of agricultural implements 600 men now do the work that would have required 2,111 men fifteen or twenty years ago; that in the manufacture of boots and shoes 100 persons supply the place of 500: that in the manufacture of Hour there has been a displacement of labor of seventy-live per cent; in furniture, twenty-five to fifty per cent; in wall paper, ninety nine per cent; in metals and metallic goods, thirty-three and one-third per cent.
If it be permitted to us who have no direct inspirations in the matter of statistics to draw a conclusion from the above figures, may we not reasonably conclude that labor has at least doubled in efficiency during twenty years? And if this be so—if the efficiency of labor increased one hundred per cent and the wages of labor twenty five per cent. what became of the balance? Did capital get it? It seems to be generally admitted that capital was less remuneratively rewarded at the end of the period than at the beginning. Who, then, reaped the benefit of this increased efficiency of combined capital and labor? Let Mr. Atkinson inform us, as soon as convenient, how the owners of natural opportunities fared in those haleyon days.
There is another passage in Mr. Wells's article which suggests the possibilities opened to us by advancing civilization. He shows that ten men working one year can supply bread to one thousand, and the calculation covers all the processes from the sowing of the seed. Now we can live on bread—and water. Don't start, gentle reader, we may as well get used to the idea. And if we can evolute sufficiently to have ten men supply clothing for 1,000. and ten more men supply fuel for 1,000, and if we can imagine one man owning the natural opportunities requisite for the production of said food, clothing and fuel, wiry, then, one man by supplying the wants of 1,000 can have the services of about 970 free. And when that day comes, oh, Lord deliver us!
If Henry George and Dr. McGlynn would get down to something really practical, such as de vising means by which the odd 970 may amuse their owner after they have ceased to be really useful to him, they would confer a real benefit on humanity. Or if they would agitate for a repeal of the laws against suicide, so that we may be able to depart this life when we are no longer wanted, or if they will arrange to provide us with a cemetery in the planet Jupiter, so that our dust may not encumber this earth which does not belong to us, then they would have some claim to the gratitude of posterity.
William E. McKenna.
A Prominent Real Estate Paper Gives Its Views Upon the Situation
“Prophetic Department” New York Real Estate Record and Guide.
Politician—The puzzle of puzzles in politics is the probable vote of the newly organized labor party and its effect upon the older parties. Can you throw any light upon this most interesting of the serious conundrums of the day?
Sir Oracle—I would not be much a f raid of this new organization were there an\r vital question at issue between the democrats and the republicans. The voters will be called to sustain one or the other of the existing party organizations. because they are known by certain names, and not on account of their representing any definite and far-reaching program. Now, the labor people and the temperance people represent not only a sentiment, but certain vital principles. The aims they have in view claim to be moral and reformatory, and they appeal to what is best in human nature, however mistaken they may be.
Pol.—But surely the communistic land taxation scheme of Henry George will be pretty unanimously condemned as soon as it is understood. Surely the farming class as well as city land owners will pretty unanimously reject a land confiscation program.
Sir O.—I am afraid that it is you that do not understand what George's scheme really is. If you look into it closely you will find that it does not affect the ownership of improved property. Indeed. The only classes that can make any compliant against George's theory are the owners of wild and vacant suburban property. His proposition is simply to tax all land alike, whether improved or unimproved, which in effect would be to relieve city houses and improved farms from two-thirds to three-fourths of the taxation they are called upon to bear. His aim is simply to kill speculation and eventually put an end to private ownership in unimproved land. Take, for instance, two plots of ground of equal size, one of which is wholly' unimproved and the other contains, say, a hotel or office building, which cost a million dollars. Under George's plan the latter would pay no mere than the former in the way of taxation. There is nothing in this proposition to terrify conservative owners of improved property. Indeed, it is a bid for their support, as it would be an offer to reduce taxation very largely. The speculative farmer who had more wild land than he could care for would object to George's taxation scheme; but not so the well-to- do agriculturist, whose domain included good farm houses, barns, fences and other improvements, for he could be relieved of many of his present burdens.
Pol.—This does put the matter in a somewhat different light. I remember, some years since, David A. Wells proposed to abolish the tariff and revenue laws and place all the bur dens of the state, upon land, in what respect did his scheme differ from that of Henry George's?
Sir O.—My recollection is that Wells did not discriminate as between the speculative and other holders of realty. He would have placed the burdens mainly upon the owners of improved property. From the way he put the scheme it was very plausible, but it would have been far more objectionable to the owners of improved property than is Henry George's now famous scheme to confiscate the “unearned increment;” that is, the profit that now arises from purchasing cheap land and holding it until the growth of population and wealth makes it valuable.
Pol.—Well, 1 declare there does not seem to be anything so appalling in Henry George's program. But would not his system of taxation invalidate existing titles?
Sir O.—I do not so understand it. He does not, I believe, propose to interfere with existing land ownership in any way. The present machinery is to be kept intact. But the state has an undoubted right to tax up to any amount, even to the extent of confiscation. This power he would use so as to throw all vacant land into the hands of the several state governments.
Pol.—Well, perhaps you are right; but it will take many long years to rid the property owners of the idea that Henry George means to dispossess them of their real estate. It is very difficult to eradicate an erroneous impression. But this is aside, after all, from the mere practical matter of the number of votes the labor party will poll in November next. and from which of the old parties will their draw the most strength.
Sir O.— Ex-Mayor Wickham, who in the past has been a shrewd and active working politician, is of the impression that three-fourths of the labor vote will come from the democratic party. He thinks they will poll from 125,000 to 175,000 votes, which will result in the election of the republican state ticket by a handsome plurality.
Pol.—But will not the declaration of Henry George and McGlynn against the socialists split the labor party in halves.
Sir O.—It was. I think, a shrewd move on the part of George and McGlynn to antagonize the socialists. The action drew the fire of a good many of the adherents of the old party organizations. George is now fighting on the old democratic lines—free immigration, free trade and free liquor. The socialists will be forced to go with the labor party all the same, for they are too weak to run a ticket of their own, and they have nothing in common with either the democrats or the republicans. I hardly like to predict just yet as to the result of the coming election. The impending contest has really no significance except as showing the strength of the labor party and the prohibitionists. The vital question after all is what effect this coming election will have on the presidential election in the fall of 1885.
Pol.—What is there to be said anent the Syracuse convention? Are not there evident signs of trouble in the attempt to organize a state labor party? When these people get together as a national party is there not danger of a breakdown:
Sir O.—The only hope for the new party' is in the leadership of men like Henry George, Dr. McGlynn and Master Workman Powderly. Our American party machinery, with its focal district organizations and its delegates to city, state and national conventions, inevitably develops a “machine.” Political work must be systematized. There must be organization, foresight and arrangement, which involves the politician and the wire-puller. When the labor party machine is fully developed, if its controllers are in harmony with the three men I have named, all will do well, and the organization will become a power in our politics; but if the machine breaks away from George or McGlynn, or if it is captured by the wire-pullers of the republican or democratic parties, it will be dead before it is born.
“Now When the Chief Priests Heard these Things, They Doubted of Them Whereunto This Would Grow”
Chicago Living Church (Episcopal).
The formation of the church association in New York for the advancement of the interests of labor would seem to be expedient and opportune. . . .
But what has the church to do with the matter, or rather certain clergy of the church who volunteer to look into it? They would have nothing to do with it as a question of politics or political economy having nothing to do with humanity and ethics. But the labor question is supposed to have to do with both. Its chief complaint is one of wrong and injustice. It is not a question of tariffs and bi- metalism, but of alleged wrong to the workingman. He is supposed to be not only oppressed in his wages, but to be defrauded out of his natural rights in the inheritance of the earth. The question goes to the very foundation of the rights of ownership, at least ownership in land, and would amount to a revolution, if not otherwise at least in all our ethical ideas as to the rights of property.
If the leaders of the labor movement, and especially the priest who has been ready to sacrifice his church for his opinions, have become identified with it because of its ethical and religious claims, it is possible that the “church association,” above spoken of, has been organized none too soon, and can be none too diligent and careful in its inquiries.
A Hint for Thos. R. Beecher and Others Who Think Poor People Like to Live in Tenement Houses
Ohio Valley Budget.
If thus strange fascination of the poor in great cities to crowd together in tenements of which the Intelligence speaks is a human trait, why does it exhibit itself only where land is high priced? In the smaller cities and towns workingmen generally prefer to occupy small cottages if possible, because land is cheap and rent comparatively low. There are no large eight story tenements in these , places because it wouldn't pay. Population is not crowded together enough and land is more easily accessible. If Wheeling were to suddenly obtain a population of 1,000,000 then her working- population would be compelled by force of circumstances to be strangely fascinated with two hot rooms in a six or eight story tenement, and each family would pay as much or even more for rent than it now does for a whole lot and house to itself. The bigger the city and the more valuable the land the higher are the houses. The more crowded are the tenements. High land, high houses and high rents go together.
Give these people free transportation and put a tax on land that will make speculation in it unprofitable and the strange fascination would soon disappear. No philanthropy would be needed.
Archbishop is Very Careful Just Now
The end is not yet of the conflict between Archbishop Corrigan and his priests. His personal unpopularity, arising from his asserted domineering character, has much to do with the matter. Here we have Dr. McGlynn's old assistant, Dr. Curran, an honored priest, attending a public picnic of the Georgeites. and introduced by Dr. McGlynn to the cheering multitudes. Naturally, we should expect him to be called to account and suspended by the archbishop. Called to account he has been. but not suspended. Report tells of a sharp interview when he obeyed the archbishop summons, and the archbishop publishes the priest's apology. It is no apology at all; only an expression of regret that his action had been interpreted as implying contumacy. That is all. No regret for attending the meeting, or for associating with a priest excommunicated nomination—only regret that it had been misinterpreted. The archbishop is very careful just now. He sees before him a case of a man who will claim his personal rights, and then appeal to Rome against suspension by his ordinary, and not, like Dr. McGlynn, give the archbishop a chance to excommunicate him for disobedience and contumacy.
On Wednesday evening Dr. and Mrs. John P. Newman held a reception at the residence of Senator am! Mrs. Leland Stanford, whose guests they are during their sojourn in this city.
The entire lower floor was brilliantly lighted and placed at the disposal of the company, who arrived shortly after 8 o'clock, and having paid their respects in the reception room, spent a couple of hours in admiring the elegant appointments of the library, the rich treasures of the art galleries, the Pompeian grandeurs of the drawing room, the elaborate East India decorations of the parlor, and the elegant frescoes which beautify every nook and corner of the establishment.
During the evening several of the guests contributed vocal and instrumental music. At 9 o'clock the dining room was thrown open and the company invited to partake of dainty refreshments served in buffet style, and an hour later the guests took leave of their hospitable entertainers.—[San Francisco Call.]
Mrs Igo scrubs out offices and receives for her work $15 per month. For her two rooms she pays $7.50 per month, and with the rest feeds and clothes live young children, two boys and three girls, ranging from. three to twelve years of age. A child of seven is suffering from spinal trouble and is very much deformed. She took it to the Forty second street hospital, but they refused it admittance on the ground that it was incurable.—[New York Herald.]
The habit of sending out children to nurse in the country and elsewhere tends annually to the death of nearly one-tenth of the population of Paris. One mayor in the department of Eure et Loire asserts dolefully that the cemetery of his village is paved with the coffins of little Parisians, but that he is powerless to interfere. Other mayors are equally explicit. Children are taken down to the country in batches, dosed with soothing potions on the way, and handed over to elderly women.
A four months' old baby was lately found at 142 Cherry street, New York, half starved. Its mother was dead, and the woman who had undertaken the care of it had been sent to Blackwell's island for drunkenness. With a party of friends, Mr. Jemison was drinking in a bar room, when an acquaintance who was in the saloon, but was not one of the drinking party, became insulted because he was not included in the treat, drew a pistol and shot Jemison, the shot taking effect in the lungs. Jemison turned upon him and shot him dead. But he, also, had received a mortal wound. He was a young man of ability and promise.—[Oakland, Cal., Echoes.]
What the Land Tax Would Do for Denver
The first thought of most men will be that this ground rent is not sufficient to furnish anything like money enough to pay all the taxes. Let us examine the facts as to the city of Denver. The assessed value of the land and improvements in the city is thirty-three and a half million dollars, while the price it would bring at private sale is more than double that sum—say seventy millions. It has been found by the statisticians that the value of the land in cities the size of Denver is not less than one-half of the total value of the land and improvements. This gives us a land value of thirty-five million dollars for the city of Denver.
I am told by real estate men of excellent judgment and long experience in Denver that real estate investments pay on an average at least seven per cent interest, after paying taxes and repairs, on the value of the land as well as the improvements. On this basis, and it is below rather than above the truth, the ground rents of Denver amount to $3,450,000 a year, and are constantly increasing. This entire ground rent has arisen within the last twenty-five years, and nearly all of it since the first railroad came to the city.
The entire amount of property tax levied within Arapahoe county, including all state, county, city, and school funds, amounts to a little less than $1,100,000, which is much less than one-half of the ground rent of the city of Denver. These facts dispose of the fear that the value of the ground rent would not be sufficient to pay the expenses of government. They ought also to be sufficient to relieve the farmers and small land owners of the fear that under such a system they would have all the taxes to pay. As a matter of fact, that class of property owners do pay most of the taxes now. There is probably not a man in Denver who has paid any attention to the subject who will not admit the truth of this statement. The people who own less than $10,000 worth of real estate generally find it assessed from sixty per cent to eighty per cent of what they would sell it for, while the men who own much more than that amount usually succeed in having it assessed at about twenty-five per cent of what they ask for it. The truth of this statement does not necessarily imply dishonesty in either the assessor or the board of equalization, because the small property owner is too busy to at tend to his assessment, while the other class cannot make money faster than by getting their assessment reduced. The larger land owners are also very poor about that time of the year, and sometimes find it necessary to employ high-priced lawyers before they can sufficiently impress the fact of their poverty on the minds of the officers.
It can readily be seen that George's system would raise most of the tax from the ground rent of business lots, as it is that kind of land which pa vs the highest ground rent. There are comparatively very few men in Denver who occupy land for residence purposes that is worth a ground rent of $350 a year, even under the present system, which permits men for a very trifle of tax to hold land out of use at speculative prices. There are very few business houses that do not pay a ground rent of more than $350 yearly, and there are very many that are paving more than $1,000.
Howard Crosby's $2 a Day Workingman Mast “Hump Himself” If He Wants a Suburban House for $637.50
The annexed district has been and is growing wonderfully. New buildings are going up on every side and the value of property is increasing as the months go by. The Twenty-third ward, lying just north of the Harlem river and more easy of access, is the home of the working classes, and, therefore, carries off the palm for tenements and flats. The Twenty-fourth ward, on the other hand, being further off, and also abounding in all those natural advantages which render a locality desirable for residences, is the district in which homes and cottages, each with their little plot of ground, are more plentiful.
The increase in the value of lots has been very marked, especially in the lower part of the district. Along Third avenue, especially just above Harlem river, lots are held now at figures as high as the same lots can be had for in Harlem, and very few or scarcely none at all are to be bought even then. All through North New York lots are bringing now from $2,000 to $5,000, according to location, where a year ago they sold for half that figure. About eighteen months ago a woman bought two lots on East 137th street, near Brook avenue, paying $2,000 apiece for them. A year ago she sold them for $2,500 each, and now they are worth $3,400. On St. Ann's avenue a syndicate bought some hilly property about two years ago for $235 a lot and graded it. They are now selling the lots for $3,000 and $3,500. The greatest increase of value in the Twenty-fourth ward has also been on Third avenue, when lots have during the past year gone up seventy-live per cent. They are now selling at $2,500 each. In South Fordham. property has also increased greatly, lots which sold two years ago for $400 being now eagerly bought up for $1,100.
Working Toward the Truth
Reynolds's Weekly, London.
Two plain inferences may be drawn. Firstly, the land being common property it would be no less wrong than absurd to talk of “compensating” individuals for what belongs equally to all. Secondly, as modern civilization does nut about of every one becoming a tiller of the soil, it follows that in order that each may enjoy “his share of the common inheritance,” reasonable “economic rent” must be paid into a common fund, to be beneficially expended for the good of all.
The Party And The Press
What The Papers Say About The Syracuse Convention
Conflicting Criticisms—“The Mild Words of the Platform Will Deceive No One”—Not True That All Men Are Created Free and Equal—The Party and the Platform Both Grotesque—Etc., Etc., Etc.
The space given to reports of the Syracuse convention in the news columns of the papers indicates an appreciation of the fact that the united labor party is a factor in polities that must he taken into serious consideration. The editorial comments also show a disposition to consider the new party's principles instead of persisting in an attempt to hurl them down. In short, the Syracuse convention has worked a marvelous improvement in the manners of journalism. Of course, the various papers give evidence of the standpoints from which they view affairs. The benignancy of the Tribune is due to its hope that the new movement will, for the time being, help the republicans. The malignity of the Times is born of fear that the movement may hurt Cleveland, on whose re-election that paper has almost staked its existence. The Sun is malignant because that is its nature, and because the power of Tammany is threatened, while the World is engaged in the Canute and sea business, and wants the new movement to go just far enough to prevent Cleveland's renomination, but not far enough to prevent the election of some other democrat. The Star, of course, wants the whole movement smashed because it does not have the right label on it. Remembering these facts, the comments of The newspapers on the Syracuse ticket and platform are interesting:
New York Tribune.
When a labor party nominated Henry George for mayor of New York there began at once a studied effort to belittle and ridicule the movement, the man and his doctrines. But it is an old story that honest belief is never successfully committed by ridicule or by predictions of failure. Precisely the same tactics are adopted already by many of those who opposed the teachings of Mr. George and the aims of the workingmen represented in the Syracuse convention. If that course is persisted in, if the mistaken teachings of the new party are met will decision and heedless misrepresentation instead of sober reasoning, the result in the state may prove not less enterprising than the vote which was cast for mayor in this city. . . . The people are thus brought to a direct issue on the question whether the welfare of workingmen and of civilized society can be promoted by “the taxation of land values exclusive of improvements,” by “placing or under public Control such agencies as are in their nature monopolies,” and by “simplifying the procedure of our courts and diminishing the expense of legal proceedings, that the poor may be placed on an equality with the rich, and the long delays which now result in scandalous miscarriages of justice may be prevented.” The Tribune's views on these and other points are well known, but a political contest in which vital principles are involved, and honest beliefs are pressed with the earnestness of religions conviction, has always an educating and elevating influence.
AGAINST EXISTING INSTITUTIONS.
New York Star.
A vote for Mr. George will be one against our existing institutions. The changes he proposes cannot be effectuated under the present federal or state constitutions. The and tax he offers as a panacea for all our public ills would deprive the holder of property of all gain from his ownership and transfer it to the state. The mild words of the Syracuse platform will deceive no one who recollects the discussions of the past year and such declarations as that of Dr. McGlynn, who would “abolish all private property in land the world over, without one penny of compensation to the miscalled owners.” That is what the George party aims at, and this is the proposition that will be accepted and indorsed by every one who quotes for Henry George.
MEN WHO VEAR GOOD CLOTHES.
New York Sun.
Mr. George, Dr. McGlynn and John McMackin are sincere advocates of this land theory, and doubtless thought that that would be sufficient ground on which to build up a labor party. Our opinion is that it will turn out that this theory has more adherents among persons whose incomes allow them to wear good clothes seven days in the week than among those whose best garments are put on on Sunday only.
NO PROOF THAT IT WOULD WORK.
New York World.
Passing over its glittering generalities the labor platform proposes two distinct and radical changes in the political and economic administration of our government. It proposes “abolishing all taxes on industry and its products,” and, “by the taxation of land values to the exclusion of improvements, to devote to the common use and benefit those values which. arising not from the exertion of the individual, but from the growth of society, belong to the community as a whole.” “This is the panacea for the evils and inequalities of society which Mr. George has made familiar to the people. It is an untested theory. No fact of human experience can be cited to show that it would work as Mr. George assumes that it would do. On the contrary, the history of taxation proves that all attempts in a complicated civilization to con fine revenue to one source have disastrously failed.
THE MUGWUMP FREES HER MIND.
The united laborers, in addition to their main task of petting a living out of other people's land, favor the improvement of the Erie canal; an eight-hour law for letter carriers; schooling for children to their sixteenth year: the establishment of free public libraries; a state printing office (in order to kill the “rat” office of Weed, Parsons & Co.); the prohibition of private armed forces to protect “scab” laborers; the prohibition of public appropriations of money for schools for charitable or other institutions unless they Are under state control;” the adoption and enforcement of proper forestry lavs; woman suffrage; the suppression of Gov. Hill's cohort of factory inspectors, arbitrators and Statisticians, who are stigmatized as “a flagrant abuse;” and, finally, the suppression of “the baleful system of landlordism in Ireland,” the latter being an expression of sympathy rather than a ground of action. . . . The resolution against socialistic production and distribution is explicit, and is emphasized by the nomination of Mr. George for the chief place on the ticket.
THE CLEVELAND ORGAN'S OPINION.
New York Times.
Head by the feeble and flickering light its own language supplies the platform is rubbish. Read with a full understanding of the purpose of its framers, it is scarcely more contradictory than the average Convention deliverance of the democratic or republican party. The declaration of principles taken from the Clarendon hall platform of last September, setting out with the venerable affirmation that “all men are created free and equal,” which is not and never was true, proceeds with the enumeration of familiar evils which the old parties have annually condemned and promised to remedy, but for which the united labor party will vainly seek a cure, since it has only the faintest conception of the nature and difficulties of the problem to be dealt with. For the rest, the platform consists of a labored disclaimer of any intention to disturb any man in his property rights, joined to the emaciation of principles and purposes which are as purely socialistic as those of Shevitch himself, and whose application and accomplishment would be sheer pillage.
New York Tribune.
The labor ticket creditably represents the party, because the other candidates, like Mr. George, are fairly exempt from criticism except on the score of their opinions and their inexperience in public affairs. New parties generally bring to the front new men, who often prove efficient and worthy. Mr. George, the best known of the nominees, is certainly a man of unusual powers, and it would be affectation to doubt his ability to discharge acceptably the duties of secretary of state. Moreover, if all the other candidates on this ticket are as earnest as he in advocating beliefs which debar a man from political preferment, they have a merit which cannot be attributed to all candidates of older parties. It will be as well to accept these candidates as personally worthy and proper, because the vital question after all is whether their ideas should be accepted.
A SOURCE OF WONDER.
New York Sun.
That an ardent free trader naturally hostile to labor unions should be a chosen to lead a labor party, will doubtless be a source of wonder to observers of the various recent manifestations of the spirit of the workingmen, probably nine tenths of whom care much less for Mr. George's land theory than they know about it.
However, the result of this fall's election will show how far the judgment of the leaders of the united labor party was justified.
THE "TIMES" DOES NOT KNOW THEM, THEREFORE LET THEM BE ANATHEMA.
New York Times.
It would be hard to say whether the ticket of the united labor party or the platform is the more grotesque. Henry George, to be sure, flighty as he is, and with all those grave defects of character of which he is now, with good cause, beginning to be suspected, has intelligence and integrity enough to fill acceptably the not extremely important office of secretary of state. But Wilder, Cummings, Feely— ho are they? To how many members of the united labor party are their worthiness and their abilities, or even their names, sufficiently veil known to make their nominations for controller, state treasurer and attorney general, respectively, anything but a mockery of the forms and procedures of sober democracy?
APPROPRIATE AND COURAGEOUS.
New York Star.
Henry George's convention has appropriately and courageously nominated Henry George for secretary of state. It is right that the people should know just how many voters there are in the commonwealth who would be willing to confer the principal office that lies this year within their gift on the political agitator, who, in 1886, ran a meteoric race for mayor of their chief city. There is, moreover, a certain fitness in this nomination of the land agitator, in that, besides being a commissioner of the land office, the secretary of state has, of all the state officials, the most to do with the custodianship of the public lands, the use and ministerial distribution of them, and the preservation of the muniments of title and leases of possession on which the enjoyment of them and the income from them depend.
A FITTING NOMINATION.
New York Evening Post.
Mr. George protested that he did not want the nomination, and in this he was evidently sincere. But it was fitting that he should be nominated, in order to show how far the movement that began in the city last fall has extended into the state.
A Terrible Picture, but Not an Exaggerated One
Bolivar, Tenn.—The recent fearful railway accident near Chatsworth, Ill., affords one collateral lesson worth noting. The telegraphic report says:
One man had been thrown up against the roof of the coach, and his arms had in some manner been pinned there so that he could not move. He was suspended from the roof, and was suffering horribly. Suddenly a man entered the compartment who was evidently a fellow passenger. It looked as if he were giving the other man assistance, but I afterward learned that he had robbed the victimof a valuable gold watch and $40, and then vent away, leaving him hanging there.
A thrill of horror and disgust goes through the world at the recital of a human being fallen so low. Yet this thing is occurring every day in our present social system. A man by misfortune is out of work and has nothing; a wife loses her husband, has to make the fearful struggle of life, hard enough for strong men at the best, alone; a young girl bereft of home and friends is thrown upon her scanty resources, to stand or fall; social conditions have “in some manner pinned their arms so that they cannot move.” Their fear betrays their helplessness, and then the vultures of society plunder them without mercy, take advantage of their miserable condition to extort consent to the robbery, and it is called “a free contract”—“if they can do better let them go elsewhere”—and the vultures are “shrewd business men;” “organizers of anti-poverty societies of one,” men who “look out for themselves and let everybody else do the same thing.”
Can't you build a short, healthy editorial on this? Yours truly,
B. C. Keeler.
Railways and the Government
New Orleans, La.—The United States has the best mail service in the world at the lowest possible cost.
Under an intelligent and judicious system of reduction in rates of postage that desirable mean has been almost reached that gives the best service for the least money. The policy of the government in this matter has demonstrated the fact that the greatest net revenue is to be had not by maintaining high rates of postage, but by the adoption of a carefully prepared schedule of low prices. This is something that corporations and individuals never learn.
This result has been attained, too, under adverse circumstances, because the carrying of all mail matter is done by contract, while in most cases the compensation is fixed according to a per ton per mile Schedule. When we consider the fact that the charge for postage on equal weights is the same to all parts of the United States and that the government is obliged to pay so much per ton per mile for all mail hauled, it is a matter of wonder that such low rates of postage could ever obtain and still enable that branch of the service to be so nearly self-sustaining.
If the government owned the railroads the rate of postage could be reduced fifty per cent below what it now is, and the people would have better service in this, that the system of free delivery could be extended, employes get better pay, and still leave a surplus over and above the actual cost of service.
C. H. M.
Telling Work in Missouri
Lima Creek, Mo., Aug. 17.—“The cross of the new crusade” has been raised in this (Camden) county, and from now on the war cry of “the land for the people” will be heard among the Osage hills. Last night that gallant crusader, H. Martin Williams, had our courtroom packed full of intelligent men and women to hear him discuss “The Land Question,” and for more than two hour s he had the rapt affection of such an audience as has never before assembled in our county. His speech is all the talk today, and scores of our most intelligent people have been brought to a knowledge of the truth upon this question of questions.
The seed has been sown, and the harvest will come in 1888.
T. S. H.
The Celt And The Land
A Language Which Has No Words for “Landlord,” “Tenant” or “Slave”—The Celtic Polity as Distinguished from the Polity of Feudalism
Glasglow, Scotland.—The language of the primitive race, the race which is, more than any other, the creator of the distinguishing traits of the Scottish character, denies the doctrine of personal property in the soil. The Celtic tongue lacks the words for “landlord,” “factor” and “rent.” It also wants, as a corollary, any word answering to our notion of “slave.” The old communal occupancy of the soil lingered longer in the north of Scotland than in any other part of Britain, and the tradition of its original prevalence has never entirely died out.
The late Rev. Thomas McLauchlan, one of our greatest Celtic scholars, states in his “Celtic Gleanings,” published in Edinburgh thirty years ago, that—
The Celts had ideas of their own on the subject of the tenure of land. Wherever the Celt is they exist. They distinguish the Celt of France as much as they do the Celt of Great Britain or Ireland.
They would appear to be bred in the very bone of the people, and to be well nigh inextinguishable. For centuries previous to 1792 did France lie under the burden of the feudal system. It would have been natural to suppose that during that period that system would have taker, root in the public mind so firmly as to be ineradicable. It is so in England, where the Saxon mind is dominant; no English revolution has ever touched the feudal system.
This was written in 1857, when there were no signs of the land agitation now raging in every district of Great Britain. It is, besides, true that all the political reforms effected mainly by the preponderance of English opinion, have had little or no effect on the land. The author continues:
But in France no sooner is that system shaken by a great national movement than the innate ideas, if we may so speak, of the people assert their power Celtic France, so soon as free to do so, asserted in the face of the world its sympathy with the principles that have characterized the race, and these ideas follow the Celt wherever he goes. It would be interesting to know to what extent Celtic influence in America had to do with the origination of the earlier free soil movement, a movement having in view the bringing of the national arrangement on the subject of the tenure of land into accordance with the principles of Celtic policy. In comparing certain of the principles of national policy which characterize the Celt with those that characterize the Anglo-Norman or Anglo-Saxon, let it be observed. if there be any one thing which we owe to the latter it is the feudal systems. The fundamental idea in that system is that the property of a country is vested in the monarch. The corresponding idea in the systems of the Celt, is that the soil belongs to the people; that it is the gift of God for the support of mankind, and in consequence is for the benefit of those who exist upon it.
The world stands indebted, not to the Teuton, but to the Celt, for the transmission to our time of the democratic consciousness that the land of every country belongs to the community dwelling upon it. To keep the human race in perpetual remembrance of its stolen inheritance seems to have been in the past, and promises to be still more so in the future, the divine mission of the Celt. This view is not opposed to the fact that the Teutons originally possessed a system of land tenure identical with that of the Celt.
The difference between the Celts and the Teutons is this: The Celt has been unable to institute landlordism, because he has been unable to think it; the Teuton has done what his rival could not do, created the evil thought, and thus reduced it to practice. This distinction is the key to the riddle of history. The story of the world is the record of the encroachments of the land robbers upon the land robbed, the supremacy of the classes over the masses, the oppression of the unprivileged by the privileged, the conspiracy of the rich against the poor. It can be said for the Celt that he has, during the ages of the past, entered his protest against the land monopoly which constitutes the foundation of the present all pervading and all prevailing reign of injustice and wrong. This injustice and this wrong are not destined to last. The unavailing protest of the departed yesterday is now the living, the expanding and omnipotent demand of today.
The Road to Temperance by the Way of Land Reform
I am heartily glad that the Voice and The Standard are to compare principles, and I hope that those who conduct the discussion will be gentle and avoid that root of bitterness cal led sarcasm. As a temperance man I consider two things, the alcohol and the thirst, but chiefly the thirst. “You say a great deal about my drinking,” complained a toper whom they were; trying to reform, “but nothing to assuage my thirst.” Other laws than those to prevent or restrain the liquor traffic have a mighty bearing on the temperance question. Drinking stimulates thirst for drink, but the misery and poverty which sinks self-respect to the wretched level of the dram shop is the real prime mover of intemperance.
The hopes of the human heart are like flowers looking upward, but if the conditions of existence are so hard and discouraging that a man's best thirst cannot be gratified, then he droops down to the gutter level like the prodigal sou who in his extremity was willing to fill his belly with the husks which the swine did eat. Is there in the drunkard any recollection of a father's love to lift him from his husks and bring him home: The alternative may not be so hopeful. He may only be able to return to the life picture painted by Charles Kingsley:
Hark! From wasted moor and fen,
Feverous alley, workhouse den,
Comes the wail of Englishmen—
Work, or the grave!
Or he may chant that other English plaint;
O, poverty is a weary thing,
And full of grief and pain;
It boweth down the heart of man.
As with an iron chain;
It maketh even the little child,
With bitter sighs, complain.
“Beer,” says Sargent, “is the great curse of the English people. We see no such habitual drunkenness in this country." But if the English worker is three times as much a drunkard as the American, it is because his condition is three times as hopeless. “You may talk about your democracy, or any other kind of a cracy,” said Thomas Carlyle to Dr. Cuyler, “but the real reason you get along so well over there, is that you have got a vast deal of land for a very few people.” Now that our land is being gobbled up, our condition is getting less hopeful, and beer drinking is positively on the increase in large manufacturing centers. It is a statistical fact that in spite of the efforts to put men in temperance straight jackets, the number of saloon keepers increased between 1870 and 1880 in a much greater ratio than the increase of the population.
He renders the best. aid to the cause of temperance who seeks to obtain for the masses of the people more just and wholesome conditions of living, conditions under which a man, instead of being a beast of burden with a back to carry and a throat to swallow merely, shall be able to stand up in all the dignity of moral worth and mental beauty and call himself a man—aye, a man who is a man, a prince and a child of God.
C. H. Fitch.
Dr. Curran Doesn't Propose to be Misrepresented
Considerable exultation has been displayed lately by pro-poverty enthusiasts over a statement by Father Lavelle, rector of the Roman Catholic cathedral in this city, to the effect that Dr. Curran had expressed to Archbishop Corrigan his contrition for having attended a labor picnic at Union park in company with Dr. McGlynn and Henry George. Dr. Curran has decided objection to being misrepresented in this manner, and has sent the following letter to the World:
St. Mary's Church,
Saugerties, N. Y., Aug. 19.
To the Editor of the World—Dear Sir: You will oblige me by publishing the following in your paper:
It seems that some people are unwilling or unable to understand the plain words of a statement that appeared in last Sunday's papers in reference to my attendance at the united labor party picnic of the 2d inst. I suppose that this unwillingness and inability to comprehend are due, in great part to the unfair comments of Father Lavelle and others.
I have not stated that I made an apology for going to the said picnic. and, as a matter of fact, did not make such apology. When it was asserted that my presence on this occasion had been interpreted, by some, as an act of contumacy and disrespect to the holy see, I expressed regret that it had been thus misinterpreted. Concerning the future, I have been charged by a special precept of the archbishop not to appear on similar occasions.
In obedience to like special prohibition Dr. McGlynn promised to abstain from attending certain meetings in the last mayoralty campaign and, in compliance with his promises, the doctor said nothing in public after his Chickering hall speech.
It is dishonest and illogical to argue from my statement that there is any defection on my party from any one, or that I have given any newly-born adherence to any one. I have not changed my views or my principles, my firm friendships or my attachments. I have simply reprobated every imputation to me of contumacy to authority, or of disrespect for it.
My statement has been accepted as satisfactory. It means only what it says, and I will not permit any one to add to it. Yours very truly,
James T. Curran.
Uncle Phil Pays His Respects to a Writer in the “Century”
Brooklyn, Aug. 14.—In an article in a recent number of the Century entitled, “Labor Parties,” I observed a certain condescending style which to me is exasperating, and at the same time funny, coming, as it apparently does, from the pen of an American, and therefore presumably a worker and not a foreign aristocrat.
He speaks of workingmen who are active in the land and labor movement as of a class too ignorant to understand their own needs. He says: “We doubt if the workingmen have any clear idea of what they would do in case they could get control of the government in state or nation.”
For goodness sake! Isn't the government this minute controlled by workingmen? If not, by whom is it controlled: I should like to know. This country is a big beehive in which we are all working, either with hand or brain, and the Century writer is one of us. When he dipped his pen into the ink to write the above smart saying, what was he doing, pray, but working? And I doubt not he has been paid his wages, and fully as much as his work was worth, too.
As for the workingmen not knowing what they will do in case they carry the day, I believe the must of them understand the situation of affairs, and how to mend it; but for such as do not, the Century writer among the number, I would suggest a thorough study of “Progress and Poverty.” Let them read it over three or four times—they cannot get too much of it. Like the Bible and Shakespeare, they will find new beauties in it every time they open it.
The Century writer says: “An exclusively workingmen's party is an undesirable thing, even if its aims are right, and no such party can be maintained for any length of time if an honest attempt is made by the educated people to help the workingmen improve their lot,”
This language seems to imply that a workingman could not possibly be educated. I happen to know of working people who are also educated and cultured. This trying to separate working people from educated ones, as sheep from goals, does not set well on my stomach, and this article in particular has given me such a disagreeable taste in my mouth that I cannot keep still; so to relieve my mind I send a few lines to The Standard, the paper I love, because it advocates the cause that I love.
How the Landlord Gets All the Benefit of Public Improvements
New York, August 16.—The Tribune of this date, in an article on the proposed Blackwell's island bridge and Hudson river tunnel, claims that these improvements would afford “valuable relief to New York's congested population in the tenement districts;” that it will give them decent homes, wholesome air, etc. In the same article it makes the statement that twelve years ago an ordinary mechanic could easily rent a house in Harlem, but that today it would be a poor habitation that he could secure for his entire wages.
Now, if the building of the elevated road had the effect of increasing rents in Harlem to such an extent by making land there more desirable, will not the Blackwell island bridge and Hudson river tunnel have the same effect on Long island and New Jersey? All the land within easy access of New York is now held by speculators—in anticipation of this bridge and tunnel boom—and the poor man will have to travel a long distance to find a home within his means.
The “congested population” will be relieved when this land is taxed to its full value, and not before.
J. M. F.
Christianity in Cheyenne
Cheyenne, Wyo.—Rev. of this place is examining "Progress and Poverty" critically, and will doubtless preach on the subject shortly. He seems favorably inclined, and is, withal, a very intelligent scholar, a deep thinker, and an honest man. To help us along Rev. Mr. Williams of the Congregational church preached a sermon last Sunday entitled, “The best anti-poverty society,” in which he assailed Henry George, whose work she confesses he has never examined. Father is thoroughly in sympathy with Dr. McGlynn, but he dare not speak, or he would certainly be deposed or removed.
A. G. Groh.
Ask Your Friends What They Would Think of an Acre in Wall Street
New York City.—I am a stenographer, and consequently mix much with capitalists and land owners. They say there should be such restrictions in force as will prevent any one person from owning large tracts of land. I say that if it is right for one person to own one acre, it is just as right for that person to own one million acres—if he can get them. Am I not right?
Bertha A. Washburne.
A Matter Of History
The Roman Catholic Church, Through Its Missionaries, Has Expressly Taught the Common Right to the Use of Land
It seems strange that in all the discussion to which the persecution of Dr. McGlynn has given rise The Standard has not shown that the Roman Catholic church has approved of the doctrine of common property in land. While the church has never passed ex-cathedra upon the question, generally accepting the economic status of each nation as it finds it, yet that it has, through its societies in America, held land as the property of the community, there cannot be the shadow of a doubt.
In the settlements of Indians in Paraguay, beginning under the Jesuits in 1610, and gradually extended by them over the country watered by the Paraguay and Uruguay rivers, not only was the land considered common property, but the government was essentially socialistic. Even the produce of the labor of the community was stored in magazines, from which each family was supplied according to its needs. These governments were not provisional arrangements, but the settled policy of the priests. They lasted continuously for 157 years; in 1732 the thirty villages under the care of the clergy contained a population of over 140,000 souls; and when, in 1750, Ferdinand VI of Spain ceded to the Portuguese the district of La Guayra and a territory of some 20,000 square miles to the east of the Uruguay (in which area there happened to be included seven or the Jesuit “reductions”), the Jesuits armed the natives and stoutly resisted the cession till in 1767 they were finally beaten off and expelled from the country by the combined forces of Spain and Portugal.
The Jesuits had a similar establishment among the Chiriquas, containing some 40,000 Indians, and others of less importance in Moxos, Cal., and elsewhere. In all these settlements, not only was the people's right to the use of the earth recognized, but the socialistic scheme of a community of goods was forced upon the natives by the parochial government. Private property of any kind did not exist.
Allen B. Quinan.
Rev. John Anketell Tells the Story of the Gracchi, and Applies the Moral
In the early days of the Roman republic, while there was not absolute equality among the Citizens, the lavs of justice and public right were held to be sacred.
Then none was for a party;
Then all were for the state;
Then the great man helped the poor,
And the poor man loved the great.
Then lands were fairly portioned,
Then spoils were fairly sold;
The Romans were like brothers,
In the brave days of old.
But with lapse of years the patricians (or upper classes) encroached more and more upon the land which belonged to the people, so that at last it was difficult for a poor man to find a foothold on the earth to the enjoyment of which he had been born.
In the year 375 B. C. the tribune of the people, C. Licinius Stolo, succeeded in forcing through a law to the effect that no one should possess more than 500 jugera (about 333 acres) of land. The contest lasted for ten years, during which the republic nearly fell into anarchy; but at last justice triumphed, and peace was restored for 250 years. The increasing luxury of the republic, the growing power of the patrician classes, and their constant insidious encroachments brought this law into desuetude and contempt. Starvation stared the poor in the face. Then arose Tiberius Gracchus, a noble patrician, the nephew of Scipio Africanus, who demanded justice for the poor and the revival of the Licinian rogations. He was on the eve of accomplishing his design, when a mob of the “saviors of society” issued from the Temple of Faith (was it a marble cathedral?), and barbarously murdered him by repeated blows on the head (B. C. 133).
Ten years later his gallant brother Caius renewed the fight, but he too fell a victim to patrician fury and was killed by his servant at his own request, that he might not fall alive into the cruel hands of his enemies. His body was shamefully mutilated. The ignorant and degraded plebeians, deprived of their noble leaders, were cowed into abject submission and became practically slaves. From that day the Roman republic hastened to its downfall and in less than a Century became the empire of the Caesars.
America has found her Gracchi and the omens are more auspicious. The poor of our country are not yet the ignorant and degraded Roman mob, and the method of land taxation is much more feasible than the crude Licinian plan of limiting the number of acres. If the present increasing social inequality goes on from bad to worse it must inevitably result, as Dr. Strong has well shown in his book, “Our Country,” in a terrible 'outburst of anarchy, which shall wreck all existing institutions, followed by an imperial despotism as cruel and degrading as that of Nero and Caligula.
We who do not “despair of the republic” hope for and believe in better things.
“For right is right, since God is God, And right the day must win; To doubt would be disloyalty, To falter is to sin.”
The day must come when our country, pointing to her Gracchi, shall exclaim, as did Cornelia of her heroic sons:
“These are my jewels!”
John Anketell, A. M.
Buying Air for Chicago Children
Chicago, Ill.—Here m this great central mart of the west we are fighting, not only for free land, but actually for free air. In one portion of this city, less than half a square mile in area, there are crowded 80,000 souls, of which number 23,252 live five feet and more below the surface of the ground. Here the death rate of children under live years is seventy per cent, while for the whole city it averages fifty per cent. The Daily News of Chicago is devoting column after column to this subject, and urging contributions to a sanitarium for giving fresh air to the children of the poor.
If our social system is as perfect as they say it is, how comes it that people have to be appealed to to give dying children air for charity?
At a joint meeting of L. A. 522, 1307 and 7114, this question was discussed, and it was resolved that under a proper system there would be no need to buy any fresh air for either poor or sick.
W. H. R.
Miraculous Interposition Be Hanged!—What Put the “Cussedness” into Him?
At what point do these anti-poverty theories touch the careless, shameless, indifferent loafer, who has not enough regard for his own manhood to do an honest day's work? Will putting taxes on land help him? Can the acute intellect of Mr. George devise any readjustment of material forces that will make him a useful member of society? What such a man wants is not more money, or more land, or a better chance, but an entire change of nature which will take the “cussedness” out of him and make him a decent member of society; and this he is not likely to get by anything short of the miraculous interposition of divine providence—that is to say, the chance is almost everything against nothing that he will not get it at all.
Our Mother Earth
J. H. Duganne.
Whence arise the springs that- nourish
All creation from its birth?
Whence spring up the oaks. and nourish?—
From the earth—our mother earth!
Where are gems and crystals hidden?
Where are ores of wondrous worth?
Whence are fire and heat upbidden !—
From the earth—our mother earth!
Whence arise the green oases.
In the desert's sandy dearth?
What is life's support and basis?
'Tis the earth—our mother earth!
Bread, and tire. and crystal water—
All within our being's girth;
Gold and gems, to those who sought her—
Hath she given—mother earth!
She is mankind's nurse and servant—
Still our mother and our slave;
Still the same, in labor fervent,
From our birthday to our grave!
Never yet hath God ordained her
To be trodden by the few!
Grasping lords have but profaned her;
And their crime they yet shall rue!
Like the seed within her bosom,
Sleeps a future, yet, of right!—
Man shall see his hopes in blossom!
Man shall yet reveal his might!
Then, no one, above another,
Shall assert his nobler birth;
But each man shall share his mother—
Snare his glorious mother—Earth!
Straws Which Show The Wind
Dr. McGlynn says: “I am an American, and as an American. I will say and do as I please in American polities. In religion I am a known Catholic. In politics I am independent. I will follow my own conscience and my own judgment when I consider questions of political economy.” The Roman Catholic party in America will uphold this position. he clergy know and feel in their innermost; hearts that this is not only right, but that it is the only position which any independent, intellectual and self-respecting man can take.—[San Francisco Argonaut.]
A true revival of religion can only be brought about by preaching the new gospel of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, and by restoring to the poorest of God's children his inalienable right to a share in the heritage of the earth which God provided for all.—[Cresco, Neb., Times.]
This very wise arrangement of making more than half of our fellow creatures poor in order to soften the hearts of the lesser number simply to keep them from lapsing into a state of “hard, unsympathizing misanthropy,” will hardly give the poor any great degree of comfort or consolation, nor will it make them feel their misery and degradation less. And if for this the poor are created, doesn't the arrangement fail of its purpose How many rich are there who have less sympathy for the poor than they have for the lover animals, especially if they are graded stock'—[Ocala, Fla., Banner.]
The exact future of the labor reform party no vise man would attempt to foretell, but no wise man will deny that it has in all probability a great and important: part to play in the early future. In the fact that he has identified himself with this great popular movement lies the potentiality of a distinguished career for Dr. McGlynn, and the radical difference between him and fretful and egotistic reformers of the Hyacinthe type.—[Brooklyn Standard-Union.]
How are we to account for this new sign in. our social and political heavens that when the most popular of our churches are deserted, and when even the theaters, with their vast resources, both to interest and amuse, are obliged to dose their doors, crowds of intelligent people, in both New York and Brooklyn, greet with fervor and enthusiasm approaching to the hysteric, every appearance of the apostle of the new crusade.—[Brooklyn Weekly Press.]
The world has no record of a grander aggregation of human wisdom than is afforded, by the labors of the men who founded this government of ours. The master mind and spirit of that day in the elucidation of the great truths of social and governmental philosophy was Thomas Jefferson. Upon the fundamental canons of his doctrine rests the very structure of American democracy. Wherever that structure has shown evidence of weakness it will be found to have been assailed by the merciless and tremendous force of human selfishness.—[St. Paul, Minn., Dispatch.]
It has always seemed to us little less than monstrous that a man like Jay Gould should have the control of the entire telegraphic system of the country, and that the news of the world, the quotations of the markets, the business secrets of the leading firms, and the confidential family messages should be at the mercy and under the oversight of Jay Gould's agents. No country permits anything of the kind but the United States. Our land telegraphic lines should be under the control of the department of the federal post-office, the same as in other nations., while the cables—not only those between the United States and Europe, but all submarine telegraphic communication—should be owned and managed by a high commission representing all the commercial nations. The telegraphic service, either land or marine, should be furnished for cost. It should not be owned by a private company. It is one of the natural monopolies. the control of which should be assumed by the government for the benefit of the community.—[Real Estate Record and Guide.]
The united labor party may not triumph at the polls as a political organization, but if its American Catholic numbers succeed in teaching Italian popes and cardinals that they must keep their hands off American politics the party will nut have lived in vain. They are determined that the church in America shall enjoy a larger freedom and that its lover clergy shall be emancipated from the serfdom to which they have so long been subject.—[Sandy Lake News.]
Have you taken a look up lately at the new post-office building? Its exterior is quite imposing and all that, but there is another question. agitating the minds of tenants in the immediate vicinity of this handsome structure. What is it? Will landlords raise the rent later on? It is presumed that they will. And it is right here that Henry George would enter protest. He would argue this way: By what right does the property holder here demand something for nothing? What has he done to enhance the value of the land or the houses thereon which surrounds Uncle Sam's big building.—[Baltimore Free Press.]
It is time til at Americans were taking some interest in this proposed taxation reform. Not a week ago we saw in Galveston a sorry spectacle of able-bodied Americans envying the condition of galley slaves. The convicts had work and were earning a living. Hundreds of free Americans envied them. And this in a land so full of natural opportunities that, were things as nature intended them to be, no man would be without work and the whole of the proceeds of his work. A protest has been uttered against the employment of convict labor, but not a word against. the condition which makes it necessary for an American citizen to covet the poor favor of a chance to earn a living by the hardest toil. Mr. George has breathed the breath of life into the dormant declaration that all men are created free and equal, and that doctrine is beginning to stir, and soon it will move with a giant's strength, and it will he Americans and individuals who will fight the light under that banner, and they will achieve an American victory.—[Correspondence Galveston News.]
Just So. But Some Other Fellow “Owns” the Surface of the Earth?
“Poverty,” says Father McGlynn, “is a disease.” It can be cured by scratching the. surface of the earth in the neighborhood with a hoe.—[Philadelphia Press.]
The Story of the Convention
For Secretary of State—Henry George of New York.
For State Comptroller—V. A. Wilder of Kings.
For State Treasurer—Patrick H. Cummins of Montgomery.
For Attorney General—Denis C. Feely of Monroe.
For State Surveyor—Sylvanus H. Sweet of Westchester.
PREPARING FOR WORK
On the evening of Tuesday, the 16th, not a score of delegates had arrived in Syracuse. The motives that usually bring: crowds of scheming politicians together on the eve of an important convention did not serve to fill the hotel corridors with members of the united labor party. There were no office seekers on hand drumming up supporters, no platform makers with selfish interests to promote, no hangers-on wailing to pick up crumbs during the sessions of the convention, and no slate makers working in mysterious ways and preparing to issue mandates to dependent delegater. At the Empire house, the headquarters of the committee calling the convention, the evening was rather a dull one.
The majority of the New York and Kings county delegates left this city for Syracuse by the 9:15 train on Tuesday evening. Among their number were Dr. McGlynn, James Redpath, Henry George, and many other well known delegates. Nearly all the socialists who hoped to obtain seats in the convention were also on board. Among them were Sergius Schevitsch and Laurence Gronlund. One of the cars toward the from, of the train was filled with socialists and labor party men, who showed only the best feeling toward one another The probable proceedings of the convention was the general topic, all confessing themselves equally in the dark as to what might occur, save as to the exclusion of the socialists whose seats were contested. It was plain that the majority was against them.
On Wednesday morning at 9 o'clock the committee that called the convention went ante session in a parlor at the Empire house, and were employed from that hour until noon in receiving the credentials of delegates. All who presented credentials, whether their seats were contested or not, were given cards of admission to the floor of the convention pending the investigation of the credentials committee It was past noon before all the delegates bad handed in their papers, and secretary Levey announced that the convention would not be called to order until 1:30 o'clock.
At that hour Alhambra ball, where the sessions were held, was nearly full of visitors and delegates. The building, which was formerly a skating rink, has lately been fitted up as a theater. It has low walls and is covered with a great semi-circular roof supported by half a dozen immense frame keyed arches. A largo platform had been erected at one side of the ball midway between the ends. Reporters' tables were directly in front of the platform. Further in front and to the right benches for the delegates were arranged facing the platform. To the left, separated from the delegates' benches. Were seats for the public, and back of them was the one entrance to the ball. The United lines telegraph company bad an office in the building, and a corps of messenger boys took charge of dispatches for the Western union.
A glance over the house just before the convention was called to order showed that nearly every delegate was either a young man or one in early middle life. But three or four greybeards were to be seen, and while the large delegations from New York and Kings counties contained many faces familiar in the labor movement, in this city and Brooklyn, not a few professional and business men were among them. Bronzed-faced farmers sat among the country delegates, though the majority were from the artisan class, and many of them well-known Knights of Labor. The news experts of the daily press bad evidently judged the convention worthy of full reports, the corps of reporters present being very large. Some of the New York papers were represented by four and five men. Among the interested observers seated on the platform were Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost and W. J. Atkinson, president of the Anti-poverty society of Philadelphia. Both looked pleased when they saw the American flags that draped the ball and platform.
The Kings county delegates sat to the right of the platform, their benches forming and with those of the New York delegates. Victor A. Wilder sat far enough forward to catch the chairman's eye, but John R. O'Donnell was back out of range. The New York delegation sat on the front benches facing the chairman. Next the aisle on the first bench sat Croasdale, and after him George, McGlynn, McMackin, Post Redpath, Archibald, and, until they were declared not entitled to seats, Vrooman and Bloch. Just back of them were Magee, John K. Sullivan, Moran and Finkelstone. The socialists mostly sat in a bunch further back.
An inspection of the audience gathered to listen to the proceedings was satisfactory to the friends of the party. Its make up was wholly respectable. Many in the foreground were elderly men of scholarly appearance. There was a large attendance of thrifty looking workingmen. During the subsequent sessions the visitors watched the proceedings with unflagging interest, and frequently joined the applause that greeted the speakers.
Jeremiah Murphy, as chairman of the committee on call, asked the convention to come to order, and directed the secretary, A. A. Levey, to read the call under which the constitution bad assembled. During the reading of the document several rounds of applause were given.
Roll call was next ordered. A communication was read from the committee on call, explaining that “in cases of contesting delegations both sets bad been given tickets of admission, but that this action in no way recognized the right of either to seats.” Objections continuing to he made as the names of some of the delegates whose seats were contested were called, Mr. McMackin further explained that no contesting delegates could have voice or vote in the convention until some committee bad passed upon their their credentials. The committee on call had admitted all whose seats were not contested. It had given cards to contestants also who had credentials. The committee had not, however, decided on the regularity of such credentials.
The nest business was the election of temporary chairman. William P. Rogers nominated Frank J. Ferrell. Mr, Rogers said Mr. Ferrell was known personally to more than half the convention, was known by reputation to ail the convention, and commanded universal respect. He had presided over the county general committee of New York with eminent ability. He nominated Mr. Ferrell to rebuke the rotten old political parties, and especially the rotten old republican party, which ignored the colored vote when giving out the office.
Dr. W. C. Wood said; “I nominate for temporary chairman of this convention Louis F. Post.” Dr. McGlynn seconded the nomination.
J. A. Ronayne of Erie nominated Richard Ferguson of Frie, saying that be was a man well known throughout the state.
W. C. Anderson of New York put in nomination the name of William P. O'Meara, “who,” he said, “though young in years, had done as much work as anybody.”
The naming of each of the candidates was followed by applause.
Mr. O'Moara declined in favor of Mr. Ferreli. Mr. Ferguson declared that he could not permit his name to be used against such men as Frank Ferrell and Louis F. Post. The delegates were in pleasant humor, and laughed and bantered one another as business went along. After the nominations were closed, a Brooklyn delegate called out, “Mr. Chairman, who is Post, anyway? I would like to have him stand up so we can see him.” This was received with boots and groans. expressive of disbelief. Mr. Post did not stand up. Another Brooklyn delegate said, “I will inform the gentleman that Mr. Post has represented our principles for the past fifteen years and has done as much as any one to advance the labor movement.” (Applause.) Henry George arose and began saying, “I have known Louis Post for years, and no better or truer man is in this movement.”—when the chairman's gavel was thumped heavily on his table and be said, “Your name and the district you come from,” at which there was a roar of laughter, followed by cheering. “Henry George,” was the reply, “of the Twenty-third assembly district of New York.”
William P. Rogers asked if Mr. Post lived in Albany in the district be represented. The chairman said be did not believe the question was relevant, George G. Bloch, a contesting delegate from the Fourteenth New York district, tried to get the floor. Several other delegates also clamored for recognition, and there was much noise and confusion for a few moments.
When order bad been restored, W. T. Croasdale moved that in voting the roll be called, and each member rise and declare his preference. Several members called for a secret ballot- A delegate asked whether delegates from contested districts could vote, and again there was a hubbub that indicated the feeling of the convention in regard to the questions involved in the contest between the two sets of delegates from several New York districts. The delegate was told they could not. Roll call was at length ordered, and Croasdale and Joyce were appointed tellers.
The vote was announced as follows: Post, 91; Ferrell, 61. The election of Mr. Post was made unanimous, and he was escorted to the platform by Mr. Farrell. Great applause greeted them as they walked to the chairman's table. In response to repeated calls, Mr. Post said:
Gentlemen of the Convention: It would be a mere formality for me to express my appreciation of the honor you have conferred upon me in making me temporary presiding officer of the first state convention of this new party, which, starting in New York city one year ago, has spread over the state and is destined to sweep the country. (Cheers.) There is not in this state today a single community in which the cause we represent is deader in respect to any political movement than it was in the city of New York one short year ago; and when Mr. George was nominated for mayor (applause) the most sanguine of us did not believe until nearly the last moment that a vote large enough to be respectable in politics could be polled. But when the vote was counted it was sixty-eight thousand. (Applause.) The labor organizations of New York formed the nucleus of the united labor party, and to that party came not only men who belonged to labor organizations, but also men who worked for a living in occupations that did not admit them into labor organizations. What was done there a year ago, if we will have it so, can be done in New York state before another year rolls around.
We are here today to form the nucleus of a new party, into which we shall invite all who work for a living as distinguished from those who live by the labor of others by virtue of special privileges. In forming this new party let me admonish you to lay the foundations firm and deep. If that be done, a magnificent superstructure may be reared; but if we fail in that, the superstructure, whatever it be, will crumble. We believe that every man who works should enjoy the full fruits of his labor; but we kind that the materials that nature supplies for man to apply his labor to are appropriated and owned by some men to the exclusion of others, and in consequence that the products which labor draws from from those materials are largely lost to the laborer. We also find that certain public functions, such as the operation of railroads and telegraphs and the issue of money are delegated to individuals and corporations, are carried on as private employments. It is for us to demand equality of "rights in natural materials, and that all public functions be exercised by the public. Upon these issues and to promote the growth of this new party we have gathered hero today as Americans (applause)—as Americans (renewed applause), not tomorrow. national sense, merely, but in respect to the free spirit of American institutions. (Applause.) And in the contest upon which we are about to enter we need no loftier symbol of our purpose than that banner (pointing to the American flag), under whose folds we meet. With its white stripes of purity, its red stripes of fraternity, its blue field of liberty, and its stars of promise and hope, American manhood may move onward and upward to the very summit of its noblest aspirations.
Nominations for the three secretaryships were then made. They were Alvin T. Walsh, Frank J. Ferrell, J. P. Archibald, A. A. Levey, J. J. Joyce, Thomas Devine, Andrew D. Best, James Coughlin and John H. Schilling. All declined save Messrs. Sanford, Walsh and Devine, who were declared temporary secretaries.
W. T. Croasdale moved that a committee of fifteen on credentials be appointed. John T. Burke moved to amend by making the committee one from each congressional district. The amendment was adopted.
P. H. Cummins moved that a committee of ten be appointed by the chair on permanent organization. Dennis Nerney moved an amendment, which was adopted, providing for one member from each congressional district. A recess of fifteen minutes was taken, v/hen the following committeemen were chosen by their respective congressional districts;
Committee on Credentials—W. E. Simkins, F. D. Murray, Gaybert Barnes, James W. Webb, Adolph Pettinkofer, Jas. J. Sweeney, W. T. Croasdale, James J. Crossen, Edward Finkelstone, William P. Rogers, Edward Conkling, Hugh Whoriskey, W. O. Eastlake, Alex. C. Sutherland, C. L. Dedrich, John J. Bealin, F. .S. Hammond, A. J. Barker. P. H. Cummins, John H. Quinlan, George E. Bedell, Joseph H. Steinmetz, E. W. Benedict, F. S. Van Houten, George H. Vau Winkle, John II. Ronayne, E. D. Northrup.
Committee on Permanent Organization—J. K. Rudyard, C. A. Schalkenbach, S. Russell Anderson, John V. Brown, James Bell, Charles White, S. H. Robinson, P. J. Scannell, B. David, M. R. Loverson, Robert Hamilton, James Redpath, AV. C. Anderson, Frank Sylvester, Stephen Wolf, Sydney Christopher, C. H. Barrett, P. C. Danderand, John K. Quinlan, George E. Bedell, Wm. Joyce, M. J. Murray, P. J. Jacobs, E. J. Shriver, D. M. De Silva, Geo. M. Brice, T. L. Johnson.
A motion to adjourn to 9 o'clock Thursday morning, to which an amendment was offered making the hour 7 o'clock Wednesday evening, gave rise to a long and apparently purposeless discussion. In the course of it W. B. Clarke got through a resolution limiting each speaking to five minutes and to one speech on any one subject. It was also decided that the report of the committee on permanent organization should not be acted on until after the report of the committee on credentials bad been disposed of. Further time was then consumed over the question of adjournment, and it was whispered that filibustering for advantage was going on. Nothing came of it, however, and at, nearly 6 o'clock the convention adjourned until 7. The evening session was brief. W. T. Croasdale, as chairman of the committee on credentials, reported progress. There was some talk about sending the public to the gallery, as there might be confusion in taking votes, but the suggestion was not acted upon. Adjournment was taken until 9 the next morning.
Temporary Chairman Post did not call the convention to order until 10:30 o'clock. He explained that the committee on credentials bad not been ab!e to report before that time.
W. T. Croasdale, as chairman of the committee, stated that it bad been in session until 4:30 o'clock. He then read its report, as follows:
The committee on credentials reports that it has carefully examined all of the credentials presented to the temporary committee on organization, and that it commends the care with which that committee performed its work.
The list of delegates as first reported by the convention is found to be correct, except in a few instances, and this committee has been chiefly occupied in examining the several contests and protests presented to it, which were as follows:
Third assembly district, New York county, Mr. G. P. Johnson held a certificate of his election as delegate to supply a vacancy. Mr. Kronberg claimed that the election was irregular, and that as the only alternate present he was entitled to the seat. After hearing both parties and t ho chairman of the district, the committee decided to report the sitting member, Mr. Johnson, entitled to his seat.
Mr. Finkelstone of the committee declared that W. J. Boyhan of the Eighteenth assembly district in New York, is an office holder under one of the old parties. The committee, after discussion, declared his seat vacant, and recommended that the convention send a remonstrance to the Eighteenth assembly district against its conduct in this case.
After examination of the credentials from the Twenty-first assembly district of New York the committee found that no contestant appeared against Dr. W. S. Gottheil, and reported that he is the regularly elected delegate.
From the Eighth assembly district of New York county two sets of credentials were received. One, signed by P. J. McMahon, chairman, and Charles Barnet, secretary, certified to the election of J. N. Bogert, Wm. H. Autenrieth and J. F. Clancy as delegates. The other, signed by Hugo Voght, chairman, and Charles J. Rayersky, secretary, certified to the election of Hugo Voght, John G. Stein and Frederick Bergman as delegates. The committee heard the contestants on both sides, and after a prolonged debate decided to report in favor of seating J. N. Bogert, William H. Autenrietb and J. F. Clancy, on the ground that the contestants having acknowledged that they have been and still are members of the socialistic labor party were ineligible under the constitution of the united labor party of New York, as officially declared by its highest executive authority. the county general committee.
From the Tenth assembly district of New York two sets of certificates appeared. One, signed by August W. Mayor, chairman, and William Corner, secretary, certifying to the election of August W. Mayer, John Breunig and Edward Zimmerman as delegates. The other. signed by E. Goldsmith, chairman, and Dan S. Jacobs, secretary, certified to the election of S. E. Schevitsch, Max Boehm and Laurence Gronlund. All of the contestants were heard, except Mr. Gronlund, who did not appear. Messrs. Schevitsch and Boehm acknowledged that they are members of the socialistic labor party. Much conflicting testimony as to the regularity of the respective electors was submitted, after which the committee decided to report in favor of seating August W. Mayer, John Breunig and Edward Zimmerman.
From the Fourteenth assembly district of New York two sets of credentials were received. One, signed by Michael J. Murray, chairman, and William McCabe, secretary, declared the election of William McCabe, Francis Schaider and Dennis J. Quirk as delegates, and the other, signed by Francis Schaider, vice president, and Francis II. Koenig, corresponding secretary, certified to the election of George Bloch, Walter Vrooman and Francis Schaidor as delegates. The committee found that Francis Schaider was certified to be a delegate by both sets of credentials and declared him elected. The committee heard George Bloch, William McCabe and Dennis Quirk. The claim of the men whose election was certified to by the chairman of the district was that the election first. held was void by reason of the participation therein of members of the socialistic labor party. Mr. Vrooman did not appear before the committee. After listening to the evidence the committee decided to report hi favor of coating William McCabe and Dennis Quirk as the remaining delegates.
Credentials were received from the following new delegates, and cards were issued to them: James P. Kohler, Eleventh assembly district of Kings county, John Leitz, Third assembly district of Oswego county; Frank Mosier. Third Assembly district of Oswego county; A. J. Rose, land and labor club of Genesee county.
William T. Croasdale, Chairman.
John J. Bealin, Secretary.
E. Finkelstone, William P. Rogers, A. G. Sutherland, W. Benedict, H. A. Baker, G. H. Van Winkle, J. R. .Murray and J. A. Ronayne made a minority report. They claimed that the interpretation of the law under which the socialists of the Eighth and Tenth New York districts were ruled out was retroactive in its effect; their election could not be invalidated without also invalidating even proceeding in which socialists took part since the formation of the party, including the adoption of its platform and constitution. They claimed also that it bad not been ascertained what members of these assembly district, organizations were members of the socialistic labor party; that this party was not a political party; that the executive committee of the county general committee of New York bad so decided, and that Chairman McMackin bad taken the same view in a letter written to August W. Mayer a few days previous to the decision to the contrary by the county general committee. The report said that. Mr. Block was not a member of the socialistic labor party, and that his eligibility was contested simply on the ground that socialists had voted for him. It recommended that Messrs. Vogt, Stein, Bergmann, Schevitsch, Boebui and Block be admitted.
Thomas Moran moved the adoption of the majority report. William P. Rogers moved the adoption of the minority report.
William B. Clarke thought it time to take the bull by the horns. To show the principles of the socialistic labor party; he read two sections from the constitution of that body. One provided that “the land, the instruments of production, machines, factories, etc, and the products of labor become the property of the whole people;” the other that “all production be organized cooperatively and carried on under the direction of the commonwealth, as also co-operative distribution of the products, according to the service rendered and the just needs of the individual.” Another thing, the speaker said, the socialists proposed was to dissolve the manage tie, practically, and destroy the family relation. He, for his part, declined to stand upon the same platform with men who upheld such propositions.
The delivery of Mr. Clarke's speech was accompanied by cheers, laughter and cries denunciatory of the socialists' principles. A scene of wild excitement ensued, many delegates clamoring for recognition by the chair.
John Mullen of Orange hoped the members of the other party would be expelled from the convention, so that the united labor party might remain a party of the people.
Dr. Wood of Fulton did not propose to follow a party that would made him a slave to the state. If the united labor party had anything to do with socialism, there never would be a united labor party in Fulton county. Richard J. Hinton and Louis Berliner spoke on behalf of the socialists.
James H. Magee moved that each delegate ruled out by the majority be given five minutes to defend his case, and the motion was carried.
George G. Bloch was the first to speak. He said he did not propose to discuss the issue of socialism. He was not going to be caught m that trap. It was a false issue. He did not enter the united labor party as a socialist. He came to the convention as a labor man, and whether he held socialistic views was his private business. The cry of socialism was not raised until a few of Henry George's friends had been defeated in New York. It was intended that the convention should be a convention according to the tastes and theories of Mr. George, and the socialists made up their minds to attend it not to advocate socialism, but to stand for labor only. True men should thank the socialists for what they had done for labor. But there was a movement to make out of the party, which was originally a bona fide labor party, a tax reform, middle class party, a party for free trade. There was more socialism in the platform of the united labor party than his hearers imagined, but there was a lack of courage and logic on the part of their leader to go as far as the socialists. If the land was to be made the property of the people in common, why not the products of labor? The tax scheme of Henry George could not be carried out, because taxes would always be shifted upon the shoulders of labor. Under the present political system labor must always bear the burden of taxation. Every great labor movement bad been a failure because all had fallen into the hands of demagogues. The socialists were the first to give warning when the politicians got in. They had raised the cry at this time, and this was why they were unpopular with the friends of Henry George. His hearers had made some people demi-gods and whoever doubted their goodness was to be damned for it. Ho was excommunicated. It showed bad taste to excommunicate people who did not think as his hearers, while they had been identified with a man who had been excommunicated by another pope.
Hugo Voght of the Eighth, speaking from the platform, said he had attended the united labor party convention, his credentials showing that he was a member of the socialistic labor party, and his standing had not been questioned The chairman of the committee on constitution had had this very question put before him, whether a united labor delegate should be ruled out because he belonged to another labor party, and the chairman, with unanimous assent, replied that he should not. The issue raised by Mr. Clarke against socialism was not formally and fairly before the convention, but it should be discussed. The very clauses that Mr. Clarke had pointed out—the co-operation of labor—were in the platforms of previous labor conventions. The proposition about the marriage law was the very law at present enforced in Prussia. He had been in the labor movement many years. There had never been any discussions in the trades unions because of socialism. Was the labor movement to be wrapped up in one person—Henry George—and no one else? It must not be forgotten that. the labor movement was started by the labor unions of New York. He hoped his hearers would not join in the delusion that if they put out the hated socialists they would gain more votes. If they put out Henry George they would gain more strength.
J. N. Bogert, an anti-socialist contesting delegate from the Eighth, confined his remarks to the question whether the proceedings of the meeting in his district, at which he was elected, were regular. A decision had been made by the chairman of the county general committee, upheld by the committee, and was binding upon assembly district organizations. It was plainly the duty of members of the socialistic labor party to obey that decision until it should be reversed.
Walter Vrooman, socialist, tried to got the platform. It was pointed out by Mr. Croasdale that he was excluded by both reports, but Mr. George moved that he be given live minutes to address the convention. The motion being carried, Mr. Vrooman proceeded with his speech, asserting that the socialists were the first to enter politics for the benefit of labor. The socialists were accustomed to being misunderstood and misrepresented. Socialism was a science—a philosophy. Socialists did not expect people to understand them. It took a long tune and intelligent study to understand socialism. A eulogy of socialism and slaps at some of the members of the Fourteenth district exhausted Vrooman's five minutes.
Sergius E. Schevitsch asked for fifteen minutes, two other socialists having surrendered their five minutes to him. He was applauded when he took his stand on the platform. He said:
The speaker that proceeded me said the socialists were not cushions to be sat down on. You may sit down on them, but you will find them hard cushions. It is with feelings of sorrow that I stand on this platform for the last time today. You are about to drive us out. Socialists all over the world are accustomed to be misrepresented, to be reviled, to be slandered, to be sent to all sorts of nice places prepared for them by the governments of Europe. But they ought not to receive such treatment from men who ought to be their brethren. Therefore it is with sadness that I speak, because, having studied the labor movement as a somewhat intelligent observer if events, I tell you that by doing what you are about to do you are ruining your party in New York past all possible redemption for the present. In the course of time the great movement of wage workers will again evolve and take the upper hand, but for the present your party will go to pieces, ft will be so for the simple reason that all this talk heard here today—this pretext for excluding socialists, that the constitution of your party conflicts with the presence of men who belong to the socialistic labor party—is all tomfoolery.
You have shown today the true intent of the lenders of your party. It is their intention to oust the most honest, the most self-sacrificing, the hardest working element of that party. It is so. I cite Mr. George himself, who said this very same thing in these same words in a speech at one of the last meetings of the last campaign in New York, and I for one, as a man who has the profoundest respect and admiration for Mr. George, indorse his words.
Last summer it was the socialistic workingmen of New York who first started that ball rolling which afterward became the avalanche of November. After the infamous boycott trials in New York it was the socialistic party that aroused the workingmen to a sense of the invasion of their rights and started that movement which has developed into this party. These- reviled, despised socialists were those who took up the banner and led in the light, saying to the men of New York, “Now is the time to protest, to unite, to organize and show your strength at the ballot box.” It was out of that movement that the united labor party grew. I will defy any man to show me one single socialist who opposed the adoption of this constitution which is now quoted against the admission of socialists because they belong to the socialistic labor party. You cannot point to a single socialist who tried to force his own opinions on the party in any way. There were socialistic writers who criticized Mr. George's theories, but the very life of a great idea is discussion and criticism. Mr. George is a philosopher, and he knows that. You may erect a great machine like the Catholic church which will forbid criticism. but it cannot—
Here a voice interrupted—“I call the gentleman to order for mentioning the name of a church.”
There was a laugh at this and cries of “Go on.”
The chairman ruled that Mr. Shevitsch was not out of order.
“I simply mention a great machine,” resumed Mr. Shevitsch. “which does not permit freedom of thought. It is not meant in disrespect to the great man sitting there (glancing at Dr. McGlynn), because I speak of this great church organization in a disparaging way. This great movement has grown out of the great trades of New York city. So, take the platform of the noble order of the Knights of Labor, we find a section that demands the introduction of co-operation, and that is just what the socialists want. The Central labor union makes the same demand.
There is nothing the socialists ever struggled for in the name of labor which is stronger than this condemnation of the wage system, which practically becomes wage slavery under the present condition of society. We stand on the same ground against the wage system. We do not stand alone any more. “That time is past. I have here a list of New York trades unions which I know personally to be in sympathy with socialistic ideas. A feeling of great indignation will animate their members when they learn of the action of this convention. There are about twelve of these unions. I need not read their names, but they represent about seventeen thousand men. They have already passed resolutions protesting against the rulings of the county general committee of New York. If they bear of similar action on your part these resolutions will be mere child's play compared with what is coming.
I say to you, beware of what you do. I am not a Cassandra, but the consequences of what you are about to do will be more dangerous than you think. You want success and you must have votes, for it is only by votes you can gain success. Look to the cities with that great industrial population, which is not only the bone and sinew, but the brains of our people. Beware of letting your party antagonize these men.
Anything that can shatter this infamous form of society may be compatible with the spirit of labor and may be founded on labor organization. I do not mean only laborers with hand, but also brain laborers. Catch as many men as you can, but beware of widening the breach you have already made in New York. I know full well that anything one can say—say today—will be of no avail; that we will be voted down. I know that probably you will lake this stop. I am here only to make the declaration that I stand on this platform not as a socialist, but as a member of the united labor party. Expel me; brand me as something I have never been in my life; but you cannot take from me that I am a member of the united labor party, because I accept its principles, for every action I take is for the benefit of that party and I have no personal motives. As God is in heaven, I have never said or written anything against them, I here declare, and have never belonged to any other political organization or club. I claim that the socialistic party is only a party in name. Have we sunk so low as to grasp at names instead of at principles? Take the thing as it is and then you will see it will be as absurd, as criminal, for the united labor party to expel us as for the republican party to expel the abolitionists from their ranks. It is exactly the same thing. Think it over fully, impartially, as American Citizens. And here I would like to say a word on so-called foreigners. There are no foreigners in the labor movement. It is unfair in spirit and in fact. The labor movement is the bearer of the grandest, noblest idea in every country, and its workers are true patriots in every country. A man intrusted with these sentiments is as good as an American citizen.
August W. Mayer, anti-socialist, of the Tenth district, said that the meeting at which he was elected was regular. The other, at which the socialistic delegates were elected, was not. He contradicted the assertion that the socialists originated the political labor movement in New York. Those socialists who had been most prominent only came into the political movement a year after it had been started, live or six years ago.
William McCabe, anti-socialist, of the Fourteenth, said that, owing to the decision of the general committee, the election of the socialists in his district had been declared null and void, consequently their places had been declared vacant. Following instructions, his district had ordered a new election, advertised the call three times, all present at the meeting in good standing had voted, and McCabe, Schaider and Quirk were elected. To show that there was no malice, the district had elected Socialist Schaider. Mr. McCabe said there was no high philosophy about the question of admit ting His sot of delegates. It was merely a matter of discipline. The district had obeyed the instructions of the county general committee.
W. H. Autenreith, anti-socialist, of the Eighth. explained that everything was running smoothly in his district until its socialist chairman had declared that he would not recognize the decision of the county general committee.
J. F. Clancy said that the socialists had packed the meeting of the Eighth and captured it.
Although Socialist Laurence Gronlund of the Tenth had not appeared before the credentials committee, ho was now given a hearing from the platform. He restricted his speech mainly to the question of the regularity of his election.
W. G. Boyhan of the Eighteenth, whom the committee ruled out on the ground that he was a professional politician, said he had held his office for eleven years. It was a clerkship in the city court, and he had been appointed to it by a friend, not on political grounds. He had gone to work as a molder in a foundry at the age of thirteen, and still held a card as an honorary member of his union. His election was regular, and no one contested his seat. He thought some person was disposed to do him an in jury for no cause whatever.
Thaddeus B. Wakeman offered the following:
Resolved, That George G. Bloch and W. J. Boyhan be admitted as delegates.
Resolved, That in consideration of the fact that the organization known as the socialistic labor party was not, at the formation of our party, regarded as a political party in the common acceptance of that term, and that the members of that organization avow and declare that they do not consider their organization a political party, we admit both of the delegations from the contested districts, and give a half vote to each delegate; that we do not thereby commit this convention as deciding that the socialistic labor party is not a political party, but, on the contrary, that unless the congress of that body next September distinctly disavow the name and all claims of being a political party, then we recommend that all members of that party be ineligible in our party.
Mr. Wakeman said that to cast out Mr Bloch because socialists happened to vote for him would be manifestly unjust. Mr. Block had been ruled out by an ex post facto law. It would be unjust to take the ex post facto riding of Mr. McMackin against the delegates already elected. Mr. McMackin had no right to determine who should be members.
Mr. McMackin said that there was no question of ex post facto law. The law was passed last January. It was put in force in August. What he had insisted on as the executive officer of the party in New York was in no matter what class they belonged to, all members should abide by the laws and support the platform of the organization. The question that had been decided in the general committee could be decided in no other way, and the men who forced that decision were men who had got tickets from another meeting and brought them into the united labor in coming to elect themselves. The party had condemned caucusing. Was there any meaner or more unmanly action than for a body of men to meet secretly and formulate a ticket of men who were not even Citizens of the United State.
Mr. Schevitsch—“It has never been done.”
Mr. McMackin said that Mr, Schevitsch himself lived in New Jersey.
Adjournment was then taken until three o'clock.
When the convention met in the afternoon Mr. Leubuscher moved that Mr. Wakeman's substitute be divided. He thought, after Mr. Boyhan's straightforward statement, he should be admitted.
Henry George said he, too, was in favor of seating Mr. Boyhan, but he hoped Mr. Wakeman's substitute would be voted down. It did no justice. It was a compromise that settled nothing.
“The technicalities of the case,” continued Mr. George, “have been sufficiently ventilated. They have been passed upon by the supreme authority of the county, and by a committee appointed from each congressional district here represented—and I am in favor, in the first place, of standing by thosedecisions.
“But beyond this there is another question, and of the first importance. The greatest danger that could befall this party would not be the separation of its elements—would not be the withdrawal of anybody heretofore connected with it—but would be a continuance within its ranks of incongruous elements. No one recognizes more fully than I do the energy, the devotion, the industry of the socialists.”
A Delegate—They are going to vote for you anyway.
“Whether they vote for me or not.” said Mr. George, “I am bound to recognize this. In the address of which Mr. Schevitsch spoke this morning I did pay them the high compliment that was their due for their efforts in the last election. But I did not say they were the most honest men, the most unselfish of all my supporters. It would not have been proper for me to make such a distinction. Mr. Schevitsch's memory fails him on this point. But we did work together in the last election. We worked together because we were going the same way. The two great principles for which we stood then—principles clearly declared in the Clarendon hall platform—were first, the assertion of the equal rights of all men in the land of their country, to be secured by the imposition of taxation upon land values in such way and degree as would give the whole value for the use of the community, and second, the assumption by constituted society of all functions in their nature monopolies. So long as the socialists can go with the men whom I represent m that direction there is no reason why we should separate. But since that election and within the last- few months the socialists have stated very distinctly that they are not going the same way; that they want to go another way. (Hear! Hear!' and cheers.)
“What socialists want to do is to nationalize land in the sense of taking it under the control of the government and working it by the government. What they want to do further is to take for the use of the state all instruments of production—the machinery, the capital—and to regulate all distribution and exchange. I, for one, will not go that way. (Great cheering.)
“This is the question we must settle. We cannot compromise. I have the highest personal regard for the gentlemen of the socialistic labor party that I know. I hope that we shall always continue to be friends. I believe that we are working in our different way, for the same ultimate end. But when they want to go one way and we want to go another, then it is far better that each body should act for itself than remain united in a party in which there will be mutual wrangling and recriminations that will bring weakness.
“There is an old story of a man who was riding a mule. the mule commenced to kick and the man got his foot out of the stirrup. One of the mule's feet caught in it, and the man exclaimed, 'Now, stop right here! If you are going to got on, I am going to get off.'
Denis Nernoy of Westchester and J. A. Ronayne of Erie briefly supported the substitute. Dr. McGlynn said:
I am entirely opposed to the substitute of Mr. Wakeman. No man can more desire harmony, but harmony with the absence of certain principles is useless. If men agree to differ let them do so, not in the same convention or the same party, but in a different convention and a different party. (Cheers.) They must fight out their differences on different platforms, else political action were nothing but a farce.
Now we bear a great deal that these gentlemen of the socialistic labor party are striving for the same object that we are. That is not enough. It is necessary that they should be in favor of the means by which to reach those objects. They regard as useless, as pernicious, the very means we have come here to adopt.
This convention was called by the general committees of New York and Kings counties, and the central land and labor committee. They necessarily called it on the great lines upon which the victory of last year was, won. As a member of the land and labor committee, I would remark that we were instructed not only to organize the state of New York, but the whole United States on that platform, so that it is clearly too late to discuss what are the fundamental principles of the party. They have already been adopted, and we shall look foolish before the people of the state and the United States if we belie the call upon which we have invited delegates here.
Now, I can unite with Mr. George in all the pleasant things he has said about our socialistic friends, but we must agree to differ with thorn. Let us hope it may be as men differ about religion and still remain good social friends. The resolution of Mr. Wakeman has been offered in the interest of justice. It would work a great in justice to those who have been lawfully appointed delegates. It would practically the franchise those districts, because their votes and those of these contesting delegates would be constantly neutralizing one another. It would be like the tail wagging the dog. Now, I want to know whether I belong to the party of the dog or the party of the tail. If I belong to the party of the dog I object to being wagged the party that is the tail (cheers), and if the dog is being wagged by the tail then the sooner the tail gets away from that dog the better.
W. T. Croasdale said, that as chairman of the committee on credentials he would move the previous question. On being informed that if his motion prevailed Mr. Boyhan would be deprived of a hearing, he withdrew it.
Mr. Boyhan, not knowing that the motion was withdrawn, protested against it as gag law.
At this stage of the proceedings there was much excitement, a dozen delegates being frequently on the floor at a time. Mr. Wilder of Kings at length obtained it.
“Did the socialistic party ever nominate a man for office?” he asked. (Cries of “Yes.”) “Has this party ever declared that it is not a political party? (Voices, 'No.') Was that documented read here this morning from the socialistic party (Voices, 'Yes.') I get 'yes' every where,” said Mr. Wilder, who argued that it was a question of party discipline, whether they should admit democrats, republicans or socialists who belong to other parties outside of the united labor party. So sure as they admitted the socialistic delegates from “New York, they would go before the country as having adopted socialism. He continued:
Men talk about a split. A split with whom? With the democratic party? Yes. With the republican party? Yes. With the socialist party? Yes. I had been in favor of admitting these delegates until they made that issue. I am ready to split, though I cleave the heart of this thing, and go to my country, my wife and my family with the right to use my labor within having a socialistic boss over my head. When I split for that I sun ready to split, by the Eternal, if I am the only man on the other side.
After another period of confusion and excitement Mr. Croasdale moved the previous question. It was carried. When the question was put, “Shall Mr. Bloch be admitted instead of Mr. McCabe?” there were shouts for calling the roll, for a. show of cards and for a rising vote. The vote was by cards, but the secretaries did not agree on the count. The chair directed the yeas to go on one side of the hall and the nays on the opposite. Messrs. Moran and Burke, acting as tellers, made the count, There were 86 votes in the affirmative and 91 in the negative.
On the question whether Mr. Boyhan should retain his seat the house voted in the affirmative by a large majority.
Mr. Wakeman's “compromise giving each contesting delegate half a vote was voted on and declared lost. Mr. Him on called for a division. Those favoring the compromise were massed to the extreme right of the chair, those opposed to the left. The latter body was about twice the size of the former, the figures being 94 to 54.
The minority report was then rejected by vote, and the question being put on the majority report was answered affirmatively by a large majority. Three cheers were given by the anti-socialists.
After the noise had subsided, Mr. Redpath handed the chairman the report of the committee on organization. It was as follows:
To the Convention: Your committee on permanent organization begs leave to recommend that the convention be permanently organized by the election of a president, two vice presidents and three secretaries; that John McMackin of New York be elected president: that John McCabe of Albany be selected first vice president; that R. H. Ferguson of Erie county be elected second vice president; that the three secretaries of the temporary organization be elected as permanent secretaries; that the convention elect a state committee consisting of a member from each congressional district, the members of which shall be named by the delegates from their respective districts; that Cushing's Manual be adopted to govern the proceedings of the convention; that no delegate shall be permitted to speak any longer than five minutes at any time, nor more than once on any question.
James Redpath, Chairman.
Edward J. Shriver, Secretary.
A minority handed in the accompanying report: We would most respectfully submit the following: That the committee on organization exceeded its duty in recommending the names of candidates for permanent officers of this convention, and we would recommend that that portion of the report of the committee relating to said recommendations be expunged from the report of the committee. James Bell, Charles White. W. Bernhart, David Jacobs, S. Russell Anderson. P. J. Scannell. W. C Anderson. John Brown.
Robert Hamilton created laughter by saying that the signers of the minority report voted for the selection of officers by the committee. but when they could not get their own officers, tried to got out of it The report was adopted, excepting that part relating to officers, which was struck out on motion of John McMackin.
Nominations were then announced to be in order.
James H. Magee said there was one that could .be put in nomination who was the peer of my man. He had been identified for years with organized labor, and had occupied the position of president of an organization dear to the hearts of many. He had brought about the settlement of difficulties in which thousands of men were interested, and which had resulted in placing those men on a basis they had never occupied before. He referred to the ex-president of “Big Six,” who was known and honored wherever the press was known, and those presence would win the respect of any audience.
William McCabe said there was another old and respected trade? unionist present. He had led the united labor party to success last fall. He had wished the permanent chairman to be selected outside of New York, but on further consideration he thought the chairman should be taken from the last battlefield. He nominated John McMackin.
W. P. O'Meara, John T. Burke and P. D. Murray spoke in favor of John R. O'Donnell, and Thomas Moran, H. A. Spencer, H. H. Freeman and J. Dease spoke in favor of John McMackin.
Henry George said: There is no man upon this floor, no man in the city of New York, who is better fitted to preside over a deliberative assembly than Mr. O'Donnell, nor could we select a dearer man. I have known him for some time. and everything I know of him is to his honor. Ho reflects credit on organized labor. He has been true to organized labor. He is with us m the great principles represented by this party. Nevertheless, much as I respect him and value his services I propose to vote for John McMackin, on account of the services he has rendered to this party and on account of the manner in which he is identified with it. I know what he has done. I have learned to know him as few men know each other. I know how much was due to his wisdom, his sagacity, and how much this organization through the state owes to him. He has worked late and early; he has sacrificed much. There is no man to whom we owe so much. It is a great honor to preside over the first state convention of this party in New York, and it is an honor that I thank should be conferred upon John McMackin.
Dr. McGlynn spoke of the signal services that John McMackin had rendered the party, and said he would vote for him.
Messrs. Moran and Burke were again appointed tellers. The vote was taken by roll call. It stood in for McMackin and 58 for O'Donnell.
Mr. O'Donnell, Dr. McGlynn and Dr. Wood were appointed a committee to escort Mr. McMackin to the chair. Mr. O'Donnell, in response to calls, made a short speech, in which he said there was no man he would sooner be defeated by than the gentleman chosen chairman. On motion of Mr. O'Donnell it was resolved to appoint two committees, one on platform and the other on resolutions, one member to be elected from each congressional district. The convention then, at 7 o'clock, adjourned for one hour.
At the evening session the rest of the officers were chosen. James J. Ryan of Oswego was made first vice-president, and W. C. Wood of Gloversville, second vice-president. The secretaries elected were John T. Burke of New York, Thomas J . Devine of Westchester, and J . T. Sanford of Troy.
James H. Magee said he understood there was a communication on the table, and asked that it be read; but when it was announced to be from the “union labor party” it was tabled without being read. Later the communication was taken from the table and returned to the committee of the union labor party. With it was sent this note:
I am instructed to inform you that the united labor party does not desire to communicate with the union labor party of New York.
John McMackin, Chairman.
The following committees on platform and resolutions were appointed:
Platform—Michael Clarke, John R. O'Donnell, John V. Brown, J. Frye, Dr. Edward McGlynn, William J. Loughead, Thomas D. Kenny, A. W. Maver, M. R. Leverson, George E. Swayne, Charles Field, Henry George, Henry George, Jr., Charles H. Fuller, F. S. Hammond, John J. McCabe, William C. Wood, John H. Quinlan, William H. Joyce, J.H. Blakeney, R. J. Parker, Joseph W. Barker, D. M. De Silva, A. J. Rose, R. H. Ferguson and T. L. Johnson.
Resolutions—J. H. Schilling, J. P. Kohler, John Quigley, A. D. Brown, George Smith, J. J. Joyce, H. Alden Spencer, J. M. Clancy, D. J. Quirk, Thaddeus B. Wakeman, Charles Brice, James Redpath, Frank M. Horn, Jere Murphy, John J. Mul len, George Storer, A. W. Ross, Eugene Munier, John H. Quinlan, J. H. Steinmetz, James Ryan, C. C. Platt, George H. Van Winkle, A. J. Rose, R. H. Ferguson and T. L. Johnson.
It was 10:40 o'clock when the convention adjourned.
When the convention was called to order at 10:30, August Kessler of Albany asked whether, as the socialists of New York city had been declared ineligible to seats in the convention, the socialists from the rest of the state were also ineligible. The question, which was intended to revive discussion, was soon answered by the chair deciding that a committee had acted on the credentials of every man sitting in the convention, and all were therefore entitled to their seats.
Mr. Kelly moved that no man be placed on the state committee unless he resided in the district he was selected to represent. This brought up some talk about New York men sitting in the convention as delegates from country districts. Mr. Post said he was elected by the second district of Albany. That district had a right to send a delegate without dictation from any other district. Messrs. Nerney and Devine of Westchester defended the regularity of the credentials presented by Henry George, Jr., as delegate from that county. The people of Winchester themselves exercised their rights and sent whom they pleased.
Henry George, chairman of the committee on platform, announced the report as follows:
We, the delegates of the united labor party of New York, in state convention assembled, hereby reassert, as the fundamental platform of the party, and the basis on which we ask the co-operation of the Citizens of other states, the following declaration of the principles adopted on September 23,1886, by the convention of the trade and labor associations of the city of New York, that resulted in the formation of the united labor party.
“Holding that corruptions of government and the impoverishment of labor result from neglect of the self-evident truths proclaimed by the founders of this republic that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, we aim at the abolition of a system which compels men to pay their fellow creatures for the use of God's gifts to all, and permits monopolizers to deprive labor of natural opportunities for employment, thus filling the land with tramps and paupers and bringing about an unnatural competition which, tends to reduce wages to starvation rates and to make the wealth producer the industrial slave of those who grow rich by his toil.
“Holding, moreover, that the advantages arising from social growth and improvement belong to society at large, we aim at the abolition of a system which makes such beneficent inventions as the railroad and telegraph a means for the oppression of the people and the aggrandizement of an aristocracy of wealth and power. We declare the true purpose of government to be the maintenance of that sacred right of .property which gives to every one opportunity to employ his labor, and security that he shall enjoy its fruits; to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak and the unscrupulous from robing the honest; and do for the equal benefit of alt such things as can be better done by organized society than by individuals; and we aim at the abolition of all laws which give to any class of Citizens advantages, either judicial, financial, industrial or political, that art; not equally share by all others.”
We call upon ail who seek the emancipation of labor, and who would make the American union and its component states democratic commonwealths of really free and independent citizens, to ignore all minor differences and join with us in organizing a great national party on this broad platform of natural rights and equal justice. We do not aim at securing any forced equality in the distribution of wealth. We do not propose that the state shall attempt to control production, conduct distribution, or in any wise interfere with the freedom of the individual to use his labor or capital in any way that may seem proper to him and will not interfere with the equal rights or others. Nor do we propose that the state shall take possession of land and either work it or rent it out. What we propose is not the disturbing of any man in his holding or title, but by abolishing all taxes on industry or its products, to leave to the producer the full fruits or his exertion and by the taxation of land values, exclusive of improvements, to secure for the common us and benefit those values, which, arising not from the exertion of the individual, but from the growth of society, belong justly to the community as a whole. This increased taxation or land, not according to its area, but according to its value, while believing the working farmer and the small homestead owner of the undue burdens now imposed upon them, will make it unprofitable to hold land for speculation. And thus throw open abundant opportunities for the employment of labor and the building up of homes.
White thus simplifying government by doing away with the horde of officials required by the present system or taxation and with its incentives to fraud and corruption, we would further promote the common wealth and further secure the equal rights of all, by placing under public control such agendas as are in their nature monopolies: We would have our municipalities supply their inhabitants with water, light and heat; we would have the general government issue all money, without the intervention of banks; we would add a postal telegraph system and postal savings banks to the postal service, and would assume public control and ownership of those iron roads which have become the highways of modern commerce.
While declaring the foregoing to be the fundamental principles and aims of the united labor party, and while conscious that no reform can give effectual and permanent relief to labor that does not involve the legal recognition of equal rights to natural opportunities, we nevertheless, a s measures or relief from some of the evil effects of ignoring those rights, favor such legislation as may tend to reduce the hours of labor. to prevent the employment of children of tender years, to avoid the competition of convict labor with honest industry, to secure the sanitary inspection of tenements, factories and mines, and to put an end to the abuse of conspiracy laws.
We desire also to simplify the procedure of our courts and diminish the expense of legal proceedings, that the poor may be placed on an equality with the rich and the long delays which now result in scandalous miscarriages of justice may be prevented.
And since the ballot is the only means by which in our republic the redress of political and social grievances is to be sought, we especially and emphatically declare for the adoption of what is known as the “Australian system of voting,” in order that the effectual secrecy of the ballot and the relief or candidates for public office from the heavy expenses now imposed upon them, may prevent bribery and intimidation, do away with practical discriminations in favor or-the rich and unscrupulous, and lessen the pernicious influence of money in politics.
In support of these aims we solicit the cooperation of all patriotic citizens who, sick if the degradation of politics, desire by constitutional methods to establish justice, to preserve liberty, to extend the spirit or fraternity, and to elevate humanity.
M. R. Leverson read a minority report, signed by himself and J. H. Quinlan. It demanded woman suffrage and the proportional system of representation. Mr. Quinlan stated that he did not entirely agree with the other signer of the report, and it was quickly voted down.
H. Alden Spencer, chairman of the committee on resolutions, had read two or three paragraphs before Mr. George took the floor, and he now proceeded. The resolutions requested the chairman of the state committee to co-operate with the land and labor committee in calling a national conference; favored improvement of the state canals; denounced the discrimination of railway managers against shippers using the state canals; denounced the flagrant abuse of power by which the governor employs agents of the corrupt democratic party to travel through the state in the guise of factory inspectors, arbitrators and statisticians, but in reality to work for partisan purposes; condemned the action of congress in failing to pass the eight hour bill for letter carriers; favored the extension of the school age of children from fourteen to sixteen years; demanded free public libraries; demanded a state printing department; demanded the prohibition by legislation of the employment of bodies of armed men by corporations or individuals; declared that under no circumstances should the public funds be appropriated for any schools except public schools, nor for the benefit of any charitable or other institutions unless they are completely under the control and management of the state; demanded the adoption and rigid enforcement of forestry laws; favored the abrogation of all laws that do not recognize the equal civil and political rights of women, and expressed sympathy with the Irish people in their present struggle for a national legislature, and wished them success in their laudable efforts to destroy the baleful system of landlordism in Ireland. The nomination of a ticket had been made the special order for 3 o'clock. That hour having arrived, J. H. Blakeney of Broome nominated Henry George for secretary of state. Charles White nominated John R. O'Donnell. Mr. George declined in favor of Mr. O'Donnell. Mr. O'Donnell declined, saying that it was utterly impossible for him to accept office. Mr. Kelly placed Mr. George's name in nomination again, declaring that Mr. George owed it to the men who had supported him in the last election to lead them again. They had worked for him faithfully and earnestly; they had stood by him, and he now should stand by them. Mr. Platt of Tompkins nominated James Redpath. Mr. Redpath said that running for office was the only thing that he could not do for the party—his health forbade it.
Mr. O'Donnell said:
If there is any hope that Henry George will consent to lead this party on the state ticket, as he led us last year on the city ticket, there cannot be a dissenting voice in this convention, and I am happy to have this opportunity, considering the circumstances in which we have been placed during this convention, to bear witness to my admiration be fit for Mr. George's pre-eminent ability and his strict personal integrity. There is some talk of organized labor. I am to some extent the representative of organized labor, but I am no more its representative than is Henry George the union printer, who always has been and always will be a union printer. Mr. George is pre-eminently the man for the occasion. He can poll a larger vote than any other man. He can draw all the opposition over to himself and is the ideal candidate, if he can be induced to undergo the tortures of another campaign.
From the moment that the nominations had been the order of business, the excitement of the members had gradually increased, all the speeches meeting with loud demonstrations from the house, Mr. O'Donnell's remarks especially bringing out shouts of applause. There was now a tumult. Calls came from all parts of the house for Mr. George to go upon the platform. When he reached the speaker's stand he was unable to proceed for several minutes, the crowd rising and giving cheer upon cheer. At length Mr. George said: Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen of the Convention: It is needless, I think, for me to say to you that. I do not wish this nomination. I do not wish the office. There is no office, not oven the highest in the land, that I would take if I had my personal preference, for the reason that the line that I had marked out for myself is another line. If I could ask you to respect my personal feelings and my personal desires, my request would be not to nominate me. But neither am I free to absolutely decline.
Aye, men of New York, you did stand by me in the light. To the last day of my life 1 shall feel honored by your unsolicited support, and to the last day of my life I shall feel bound, if physical health permits and you make the demand upon me as the most available man to represent your principles, then, though you nominate me for dog catcher, to place myself at your service. But I want you to decide this question fairly and squarely. You are making upon me a demand that I would like to shrink from. If there is any other man who you think will be as available as I, I hope you will put him to the front and I will do what I can for him. I pledge myself here to stump the state for him from one end to the other.
When I ran for office last year I thought that would let me out for a long time to come. I hardly think it is a good thing for the party that the same man should be put up continually. (Cries of “We think so!” from all parts of the house.)
Well, if you really do think so, and all of you think so, then I can say nothing but that I am at your service.
Mr. George resumed his seat in the body of the hall, and a rising vote was taken. It was unanimous, the wildest enthusiasm prevailing, and when declared shouts of “Platform!” “platform!” came from every direction. Returning to the platform Mr. George said:
I am honored by your unanimous selection. I will do my best to carry your standard forward. I believe that we are now beginning the greatest movement in American history. It is to me something far deeper and more significant than any mere political movement. It is a movement which arouses all the religious enthusiasm of which I am capable. I am not going to run for secretary of state: I am going to stand forward for you in the battle to elevate human kind—in the contest that is to sweep away poverty; in the struggle to make life easier, better, higher and nobler for those who come after us; no mere class movement, but a movement for the benefit of all classes,. from the lowest to the highest; no merely national movement, but a movement that is the beginning of a struggle for the elevation of our whole race—a movement that in the enthusiasm it kindles in the hearts of those who really feel it, sweeps away all prejudices of nationality and class and race and color.
We here begin a movement the highest and the noblest that men can engage in. Let us do our best from now on to carry it forward to a success that will ring all through this country in November next, and sound the signal for the formation of a grand national party that shall carry into realization the principles of Thomas Jefferson.
Mr. George was applauded at every sentence. The convention was now at fever heat. Dr. McGlynn was justly called for. He responded from the platform. He said Mr. George's nomination was not a matter for congratulation except in the sense that a martyr might be congratulated as he was going smiling, tenacious of his purpose, to the stake or to the block. He knew Mr. George was no office seeker. The man was peculiarity a prophet of a great idea—a man raised up by the singular providence of a God who is not unmindful of his children who are suffering and toiling, starving and dying. The great merit of the convention was that it gave occasion for the achievement upon the wider held of the state of New York of the self-same great moral victory that had been gained in the mayoralty campaign of last fall in New York city. The supporters of George had excellent reason to believe that they actually had elected George—that he must have got over 80,000 votes. The doctor told of one district in which fifteen votes for George were discovered by a watcher on a Hewitt hook.
Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost, in response to a general call, came to the front of the platform. His speech was most impressive. He said:
I did not suppose that even if I were called upon it would be in order for me to say anything before this convention, and I have been so absorbed in the proceedings that if I had had any supposition of it I could not possibly have prepared one word that would be fitting at this time. And yet it is but the simple truth to say that I have never been so stirred, even to the center of my being, by any occasion as that which has moved me at this time, and had it not been for a strong exercise of will the tears would have streamed down my cheeks. A miracle has been wrought here. A political convention wherein offices go begging for men has not been seen in this country for many years. We witness the birth of a political party in which there is one great fundamental principle, enunciated by a man who it is no exaggeration to say will yet, by generations unborn, be considered one of the greatest men who have ever set foot upon God's earth. This is no mere political movement, but a movement for the freedom of the human race, and there is but one regret in my heart at this moment. I speak it with reluctance, knowing that what I say will possibly be misrepresented and used against me. My regret is that I am so hampered by the claims of a comparatively small sphere that I cannot stump the state. Would to God there were some power on earth to excommunicate me into this larger field.
Every man who knows anything of the movement must feel as I do now on nearing the close of this convention, that one of the most significant events in American society is now about to be consummated, and I know it is the providence of God—if there is any reality in what seems a prophetic sense—that there will before long flock to the standard of this united labor party every man in this country who has a conscience in him and who loves his fellow men. It is my pride and joy, it is one thing for which I thank God that I was not born until this time, that I may have the privilege of taking part in this magnificent light that must go on to victory.
Mr. Pentecost's speech, like those of Mr. George and Dr. McGlynn, was received with unbounded enthusiasm. The excited delegates seemed unable to get down to business, but at length a delegate nominated James P. Archibald for state comptroller. Mr. Archibald withdrew m favor of Victor A. Wilder of Kings. Mr. Wilder's nomination was made unanimous, to which action he responded in an eloquent speech.
J. P. Kohler nominated Arthur Stafford of Kings for state treasurer. R. H. Ferguson and J. H. Bartley were also named. The two former declined, and Mr. Bartley:s name was withdrawn in favor of P. H. Cummins of Amsterdam, who was declared the nominee by acclamation.
For attorney general, John A. Ronayne of Erie and Louis F. Post were nominated, but both declined in favor of Denis C. Feely of Rochester, who had been put in nomination by John T. Burke and Dr. McGlynn.
For state surveyor and engineer, Mr. Burton of Troy named Sylvanus H. Sweet, and his nomination was made unanimously. The state committee was announced as follows: 1, Chas. Koffer; 2, V. A. Wilder; 3, Gaybert Barnes; 4, John V. Brown; 5. Joseph Warwick; 6., Dr. Edward McGlynn; 7, James P. Degnan; 8, John N. Bogert; 9, Wm. McCabe; 10. Frank E. Blyler: 11, John K. Sullivan; 12, Hugh Whoriskey; 13, W. P. O'Meara; 14, Alex. G. Sutherland; 15, John J. Mullen; 18, Timothy McDonald; 10, Clarence H. Barrett; 20, P. H. Cummins; 21, John H. Quinlan; 24, Geo. E. Bedell; 25, Wm. H. Joyce; 20, J. H. Blakeney: 27. James Ryan; 28, C. C. Platt; 29, Dwight M. De Silva; 31, A. J. Rose; 32, J. A. Ronayne.
Delegate Franz of Kings asked if socialists outside of New York were excluded from the united labor party.
“All are excluded from the party,” said Chairman McMackin, “who are connected with any other political party or who cannot stand squarely on our platform.”
“Do I understand,” said a delegate, “that a man must sever all connection with any other before he can join our party?”
“Certainly,” said McMackin, “that is provided for in the platform.”
“That's a mistake,” said O'Donnell of Kings, jumping to his feet. “It is not provided for in the platform.”
A motion making the desired prohibition was then offered, and was unanimously carried. A vote of thanks was tendered the officers, Chairman McMackin mach a few closing remarks, and the convention adjourned sine die.
Henry George, nominated for secretary of state, was born in Philadelphia in 1839. He went to California at an early age, and came to New York in 1880. He is a printer by trade.
Victor A. Wilder, the nominee for state comptroller, is a resident of Brooklyn, and is connected with a railway supply company of New York city. He is well known among men interested in the movement for the emancipation of labor, has delivered quite a number of lectures on the “labor question,” and is a member of L. A. 2679, K. of L. Mr. Wilder is about forty-one years old, was born in Cutter, Me, served with a Massachusetts regiment during the war, and has been engaged in business enterprises in Colorado and elsewhere.
Patrick H. Cummins, candidate for state treasurer, is a boot and shoe dealer of Amsterdam, N.Y., where he has long been prominent among the Knights of Labor, being M.W. of D.A. 65 during one of the most critical periods of its existence. Mr. Cummins is highly popular among his townspeople, having been twice a candidate for the assembly, once on the greenback and once on the united labor ticket.
Denis C. Feely, nominated for attorney general, is a well known lawyer of Rochester. Mr. Feely has heretofore voted with the greenback party, and ran for attorney general on the greenback ticket of 1877. He is an enthusiastic member of the Irish national land league, and is noted throughout Monroe county for his steadfast advocacy of the principles of the united labor platform.
The nominee for state engineer, Sylvanus H. Sweet, is a resident of Albany, but spends much of his time on his farm in Broome county. Mr. Sweet has had experience in the office for which he has been nominated, having been state engineer under Governor Tilden in 1875 or 1876.
The Socialistic Labor Party's Protest
After the adjournment of the convention, a meeting of socialists was held at the City hall, Syracuse, to protest against the exclusion of the socialistic delegates. The audience was largely one of curiosity, and the majority of those present left the hail before the real business of the meeting was begun. Resolutions were passed -declaring the expulsion of the socialists an act of prejudice and cowardice and several fervid speeches were made in German and English.
The socialists of New York city emphasized their displeasure by a mass meeting at Cooper union on Monday evening, August 22. The hall was decorated with red hags. In answer to calls for the American flag one of the speakers remarked that this cry of Americanism was a humbug from beginning to end. There was much confusion, and it was evident that a large portion of the audience were by no means in sympathy with the objects of the meeting. Resolutions were finally passed repudiating “Henry George, his platform and his personal political machine,” and calling upon all assembly district organizations opposed to the “Henry George ring” to send delegates to a conference to be held Sept. 4. Most of the audience loft the hall before the orators had finished speaking, and only a faithful few remained to pass a vote of adjournment.
An Open Profession of Faith
Mr. Isaac Wood of Brooklyn forwards us the following copy of a letter addressed by him August 24 to the Twenty-fifth ward (Brooklyn) republican association:
Brooklyn.'August 24.—Gentlemen: A new party (the united labor party) has been organized which claims my allegiance against any and every other. I hereby tender my resignation as a member of your body for the following reasons:
1. As a practical operative wage worker, because you have sold out our interests to monopolies of all kinds.
2. As a veteran volunteer soldier of the republic; we volunteered in order to preserve to ourselves and our children the advantages flowing from the immortal declaration: “All men are created free and equal;” and since our victory, those whom we trusted to transact our business have so mismanaged as to produce artificial and unjust inequalities which threaten even our form of government, and already have placed many of us so completely at the cruel mercy of "a few that our children have no such opportunities as our fat hers had, and should things continue, another few years would place our grandchildren at the mercy of tyrants.
3. As an officer and member of the church of Christ; because I am sure that the Anti-poverty society (the religious name of the party) is directed by the spirit of “our Father” to promote the salvation. of his children, temporal and eternal. The brotherhood of the human family, the stone which the builders have constantly rejected, is rapidly becoming the head of the corner.
“Whosoever falls upon it 'will be broken, and upon whomsoever it. shall fall it will grind him to powder.” I dare not hesitate, brothers. I hear again the call to duty. The standard is at the front; and to the united labor party platform and ticket I pledge my life, my fortune and my sacred honor.
694 Lexington avenue.
The Feeling in Auburn
Auburn, N. Y., Aug. 23.—The result of the Syracuse convention has excited a great deal of enthusiasm here. Last year the independent labor nominee for mayor, Mr. Speer, received 3,500 votes; the republican candidate was elected. Last year the labor party here had no organization; this year it has, and the belief already is that the united labor ticket will outrun the democratic and probably beat the republican ticket by a few votes.
Herkimer, N. Y., Aug. 23.—I can report an intense interest in the work of the united labor party here. The people are anxious to understand the question.
George E. Bedell.
State Committeeman for 24th District.
The Convention Converted Him
Albany, Aug. 24.—Find $1 inclosed. I desire to join the Anti-poverty society. I went to the Syracuse convention a republican. I returned a united labor man.
R. A. W.
Landlords Are Land Lords, Whether in England or America
Correspondence Baltimore Sun.
In what respect does the origin of landlordism in the United States differ from that in England? Were not settlements made and colonies formed in America under monarchical institutions? And were not the grants of the kings of England, Franco and Spain and the pope of Rune made the basis of all existing titles in which the right of ownership or landlordism is vested? America is nearly four hundred years old, with: the period of our political release from monarchical institutions is only passed a century. What is truly an exotic that cannot long flourish under republican institutions has nevertheless been transplanted and is in full bloom today in the United States. A landlord distinctively in England is a non-producer, and a landlord distinctively in the United States is a non-producer also. Whether by inheritance or purchase, he does both in England and America possess the power of demanding a share of the wealth annually produced, and this share, which both in Europe and America is called rent, is determined in both countries by the law of rent, viz: “The excess of production over what the same application of labor can produce on the least productive land in use, or land without rent.” This law means to the producer of wealth that the only escape from the exactions of the avaricious landlord, be he baron, aristocrat or common citizen, is to nee to new and loss productive lands, which hitherto have always been to the west of civilization. But the terrible fact, which is known to many inquiring minds, is that our public domain, to which we have looked with hope, is nearly all i f not quite all (at least of arable land) in possession of non-producing land speculators who are holding it with that “self denial, industry and foresight” that is booming the land values all over the United States, and even in Europe and England.
At last the landlords own the civilized world, and the active factors in production, labor and capital, are at their mercy. Every year the wages of labor, which includes professions, merchants, editors, clerks, mechanics and common laborers, is getting less and less. Every year the interest of capital, which includes capital of capitalist, publisher, merchant, mechanic and farmer, is getting less and less.
And every year the rent of land. which includes sites of cities and of towns, mineral, forest and agricultural land, is growing more and more. In other words, the animal wealth produced is being divided in such a manner that labor and capital are getting a less and less share, though they produce it all; and rent or the landlords are getting a larger and larger share, though they, as landlords distinctively, produce not a dollar of the total production. Their labor is not as producers; they neither grow nor manufacture, nor exchange production: they only collect the share that is produced by others which they demand.
On the 8th of November next, ten weeks hence, the voters of the state of New York will cast their ballets for and against poverty, for and against the golden rule of Christ, for and against the doing of God's will on earth as it is in heaven.
The issue is clear and well defined; there can be no mistake about it. The people of this state are not asked to choose between two sets of eager office seekers—between one series of meaningless generalities and another. They are called upon to say whether a system of robbery, condemned alike by religion and by reason, shall continue or be put an end to. They are called upon to decide whether or no a small privileged class shall continue, not only to levy a burdensome tax upon industry of every kind, but absolutely to forbid industry and to compel men who are willing to work to stand idle and starving. They are called upon to say whether they will assert, their inalienable right to the magnificent natural bounties that God has provided for their use, or suffer those bounties to be monopolized by a few individuals. They fire called upon to say whether babies shall continue to be killed; whether women shall still be driven into brothels; whether the army of tramps shall be maintained and recruited; whether drunkenness, lying and theft shall be encouraged, or whether the cruel fences that now separate labor and opportunity shall be pulled down, once and forever, and the ever present dread of poverty be lifted from the souls of men.
This battle can be won! It rests with you, renders of The Standard, to win it or to lose it. It rests with you, not collectively, but individually—with you, John Smith or Peter Jones, who read these lines. If you, personally and individually, fail to do your whole duty in this crisis, the guilt of failure, if failure come, will lie at your door. The blood of the children who must be slaughtered because you rested idle will cry to heaven against you. The tears of women, the groans of men, the crime and wretchedness of hundreds of thousands of human beings who might have been sinless and happy but for your neglect of duty shall be an awful testimony against men. Think of it!
These are no idle words. There are little girls alive today, thousands upon thousands of them— your own daughters may be of the number—little girls as yet innocent of knowledge or thought of evil, who will become happy wives and mothers or sink into the very pit of hell on earth, according as you, within the nest tea weeks, shall do your whole duty or neglect it. There are boys— your sons may be among them—who will be honest men or criminals, according as this battle is lost or won. There are women—the wife you love and cherish may be one of them—for whom the doom of widowhood is reserved, and who will sink into the pit of poverty in which hundreds of thousands of their sisters are now writhing, if you stretch not forth your hand now while yet there is time to save them. There are men—who shall say that your own name is not upon the muster roll?—who will be hounded into crime by the pressure of want if you stand idle now when every manshould be up and doing. These are no fancies; they are sober, solemn facts. You may refuse to look them in the face if you will; you may shut your eyes and try to find peace by forgetting them, but you cannot in your soul deny them.
This battle can be won. Of all the vast army of voters in this state there is scarce a corporal's guard who will not east their ballots against poverty if once they clearly understand the issue. Our only enemy is ignorance. The task that lies before us is simply to make people understand what we want and why we want it; and, gigantic as that task may seem, it is one perfectly within our power to accomplish. For truth is indeed mighty and will prevail. Calumny and misrepresentation fade before her flaming touch; opposition but attracts attention to her discussion means her triumph. With truth on our side, with a great principle for our watch word, easy to defend and grateful to the ears of all who really hear it, what power can defeat us if only we are true to ourselves, and do, every man of us, the full measure of his duty.
What can you find to do? Friend, if you only really want to do, you can answer that question for yourself. Do whatever lies within the utmost limit of your power. Look upon this campaign in New York as a matter of life and death to yourself, and you'll find work enough, and pleasure in the doing of it.
Have you hoisted your colors? Do the people of your neighborhood know you for a believer in the gospe1 of anti-poverty? If not, your first duty is plain before you. Stand forth, like a free American, and avow your principles. Do this, and the chances are as ten to one that you will find among your friends several who are almost persuaded, and who need only your example to range themselves upon your side. If you are a church member, call upon your clergyman and urge him to examine the matter, lest hereafter he should find that he has ignorantly opposed the law of Christ: see that he is supplied with tracts: urge him to read The Standard; hammer at him, and let him know no peace until you shall have forced the truth upon him. Provoke discussion in your local newspaper; ask the editor to explain things to you; he will soon discover that the topic is interesting to his readers, and will keep talking about it for his own sake. Collect your friends together some evening, and explain the matter to them, or read them some of the tracts of the “Land and Labor library.” Hang up in your office and in your sitting room at home some sign of your belief, —a quotation from “Progress and Poverty” or from one of Dr. McGlynn's or Mr. Pentecost's addresses—that may serve to turn conversation toward the subject. If you can, put up a bulletin board somewhere in your neighborhood; keep it supplied with fresh tracts and extracts from The Standard, and see that it bears your name and address, and an invitation to subscribe to The Standard through you. Be aggressive. Don't hug your belief to your heart, and dread lest other people should catch sight of it; but stand forth, freeman fashion, and let the world know you as you are, and say of you what it will.
It will cost you something to do this, no doubt. What then? Is your faith so cold that you can make no sacrifice for it? Are you one of those who hope to enjoy the fruits of victory, and yet will strike no blow to hasten it? Shame upon you, if indeed it be so! And if you happen to be living in Dakota or Wyoming or Texas, or some other far off state or territory, do not think to quiet your conscience by saying that whether you exert yourself or not can make but little difference in the futures of an election here in New York. Bound together as our country is with electricity and steam and constant travel, every part of it is sensible in some degree to every feeling and impulse that thrills another part, however distant. The mere knowledge that out in Dakota or elsewhere men are mustering enthusiastically round the banner of the new crusade will fire the hearts of our friends here with fresh enthusiasm, and make their task the lighter.
Are you living in New York state? If so, your path of duty lies clear before you. The voters in your neighborhood are the people you must attack, and the sooner you begin upon them the better. Is there a land and labor club, or an organization of the united labor party in your neighborhood? If not, try and repair the fault at once. Get your bulletin board in place and see it properly supplied. Send along your recruit subscriptions. Distribute tracts. Work as though the fate of the campaign depended on you, as indeed it may; and take this comforting assurance with you, that the more you work, the more pleasant you will find it.
A lawyer writes us from a New York town:
I am attorney for various corporations; hence you must not publish anything I write over my name. Inclosed find check, for which send The Standard one year to the two following addresses.
Send me for distribution such tracts explanatory of the single tax as you can, and a goodly number of STANDARDS.
We respect our friend's confidence, as a matter of course. But what an illustration a letter like this is of our boasted democracy! Here is an American citizen actually terrorized into concealing his convictions by the tacit threat that if he avows them he will be reduced to poverty. Believing the teachings of Christ, he must pretend to oppose them. Favoring one political party, he must pretend to be a follower of another. His manhood is put into one scale and the bread and butter of his family put into the other, and manhood kicks the beam. Thus it is that the devil of poverty lavs his clutch upon rich and poor alike, and forces them to do his evil work.
We do not reproach our friend. He needs much sympathy rather than scorn. His humiliating plight is a fresh illustration of the far-reaching nature of the reform we are advocating, and of the degrading influence of that poverty for whose extirpation we are striving.
Jamestown, N. Y.—Being away from the city all day yesterday I had not a chance to buy The Standard, and today when I went to the news depot every copy was gone. I therefore inclose five cents, for which please send the last issue. I would not be without The Standard even if it cost twenty-five cents a copy.
I am grieved to find the Swedish-American newspapers opposing, and, worst of all, misrepresenting our cause. I would like to see the principal tracts on the land question translated into Swedish. There are about 600,000 Swedes in the United States, besides Danes and Norwegians, who use a different tongue, though it resembles Swedish. The truth should be presented to these people in the language they are most familiar with.
God speed the glorious cause of God on earth.
F. G. Anderson,
Recording secretary Furniture Makers' assembly
No. 6442, K. of L., and secretary of the
Central labor union of Jamestown, N. Y.
Mr. Anderson's letter contains a timely suggestion. There are several millions of foreign born citizens, Germans, French, Swedes, Bohemians, etc., who need to have our cause explained to them in the language of their native land. The readers of The Standard can do this if they will. A translation of any four page tract in the land and labor library can be made, and 10,000 copies printed, for $25. There are plenty of Standard readers who can raise this amount by subscription among their friends, and either attend to the distribution of the tracts themselves, or allow us to send them to places where we may know they are needed.
St. Louis, Mo.—I have acted on your suggestion, and have ordered my newsdealer to get three extra STANDARDS every week, and put one, full face opened, on his display board every week, so that the whole of the first page can be read by the passing public, and especially by those who are too poor to buy the paper. If he should not sell the three extra copies every week, I buy them my self, and send them where they will do most good.
K. Perry Alexander.
Mr. Alexander is evidently a man who doesn't waste time thinking about the great things he would do if only he had more time to spare or a lot of money to spend, but takes the work that lies nearest to his hand and does that promptly and efficiently. Would there were more like him. The laborers are increasing; each week swells the number of earnest workers: but the idlers are still far, far too many.
This newsdealer business should be attended to, and you, good friend, should make it your personal business to attend to it at once. Inquire of your dealer if he keeps The Standard on sale; if he doesn't, get him to take at least one copy; if he does, get him to increase his order by guaranteeing him against loss on unsold copies. If every Standard leader will but do this, the effect will be marked and immediate. And remember that increase breeds increase; every fresh reader whom you secure in this way may in his turn bring another. Push the pa per with your newsdealer, and let us hear what you are doing.
Here are some other letters from the workers that the non-workers may read with profit:
San Francisco.—Inclosed find $5. One dollar is to make me a member of the Anti-poverty society. $1 for the city campaign fund. $1 for the McGlynn fund and the rest for STANDARDS, to be sent as follows. I am better pleased with The Standard every issue.
I have not been idle. Have been buying a copy of the paper wherever I saw it for sale; but on July 29 I could not find a copy in the whole city.
J. T. Schimpf.
Roselle, N. J.—The inclosed remittance is for four six-months' subscriptions to The Standard, and for f our six-weeks' subscriptions to be sent to the addresses given below. The rest of the money is to be used in any way that seems best to you for the glorious new crusade. I only wish it were in my power to send a thousand times as much. I am doing all I can to interest all I come in contact with in the principles of the new party, and to persuade them to learn of them through the columns of the only thoroughly interesting and honest political and religious paper published—The Standard. A number of people have promised to take the paper hereafter, but they seem to prefer to buy them weekly from the newstands.
Oh, I feel, with Mr. Pentecost, that it is a glorious thing to have been born in this age, and to be able to do whatever in me lies to help forward this grand movement to make all God's children equal sharers in His bounties. I pity all those who, closing their eyes to self-evident truths, deny themselves this privilege and happiness. But it cannot be they will long so foolishly blind themselves. Soon every honest man and woman will be gladly working for the “coming of His kingdom,” and then will our country be at last truly free, and America the beacon light of all nations.
Brookline, Mass.—For inclosed remittance send me The Standard for one year and the balance in tracts.
I read “Progress and Poverty” a year ago. It was like a revelation. I have just secured a dozen copies, which I am going to distribute where they will count. If I can get a man to read I know I can capture him, and if I don't make twenty-live converts this year it will be my own fault. I do not have many dollars to spend, but what I have shall be used in pushing the doctrine of the land for the people.
Wm. H. Goodwin.
Kirksville, Mo.—At a meeting of L. A. 2772, K. of L., the following preamble and resolutions were adopted:
Whereas, This assembly has noted with gladness the growth of the anti-poverty movement (those that sit in darkness are beginning to see a great light), and believes the same to be the outgrowth of right principles unwaveringly advocated by men who dare do right, though opposed by pope, propaganda or misled people; therefore be it
Resolved, That this meeting approves and commends the action of the Anti-poverty society. And that we heartily sympathize with and honor Dr. McGlynn and others for their fidelity to principle.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to Henry George for publication in the people's paper, The Standard, of which we are taking six copies, and expect to increase our number in the near future. Let the good work go on.
[Seal.] Secretary K. of L., 2772.
Arkansas City, Kan.—I received the tracts and papers forwarded me by Mr. Barnes at your request. I have over one hundred persons reading them, and have today forwarded application for a charter for a land and labor club to the central committee. The union labor party here are going to nominate a full county ticket to run against the republicans, and the democrats will make no nomination. I have talked with the leading men in it. They recognize, the most of them, that it is only a question of time when they have got to adopt the land value theory as expounded by you, and seem anxious for a conference on the subject this fall. They say they believe the theory, and if it can only be worded clearly enough to show the farmers that it will benefit them, they will adopt it. They assert that a good many who see the evils are yet so bound down to the old parties by habit that they have to be fed on milk before they can bear strong meat. Nevertheless, they offer me every chance to explain the theory at their public meetings.
When the charter for a land and labor club comes I can easily get fifty members, and will then be able to work faster still. I am confident we shall all be with the New York party on the land question by 1888. I have forwarded tracts to every minister in town, and am going to personally call on every editor and talk at him, if not with him. One of our ministers preached last Sunday on the prevailing discontent, and alluded frequently to your theory and in terms of respect, if not approval. I think I have set him thinking, and as he is an able, fair-minded man, the seed may germinate.
Walter H. Creamer.
McKeesport, Pa.—I long for Saturday evening every week, so that I can get The Standard. Not being a church goer, I read the doctrine of the new crusade on Sunday; and I want to say right here if that is Christianity I shall adopt it publicly at the first opportunity. which I believe will be soon, as the fire is already kindled in this place.
B. T. Morgan.
San Francisco, Cal.—I had not read an v of the writings of Henry George nor seen T HE Standard until last mouth. My impressions of the anti-poverty movement had been formed from what l had read in papers unfriendly to the cause. Four weeks ago a friend loaned me a copy of The Standard, and since then has given me three issues later. I began with mind prejudiced and full of distrust; I ended by cordially indorsing the proposed system of a direct on land only. That principle is broad enough to build a great party or to produce national results. What has impressed me most about The Standard is the earnestness of its writers and their conviction of the truths of what they write. I could find no cross purposes, no personal selfishness, no cowardice of equivocations, no cringing to adverse influences or powers assailed. Its statements were fair, its language clear and easy to be understood, while its influences and appeals are all to the best instincts and principles of those addressed.
The principles of the anti-poverty party promise reform, and many thousands of voters on this coast will support it if a national movement is made. The great want at present is a more general knowledge of what the anti-poverty movement means. Meetings are good as far as they go, but unless reported correctly their influence is limited. We want The Standard, with the speeches of Fat her McGlynn, George, Pentecost, Post and others whose hearts are in the movement. We want a greater circulation of the anti-poverty tracts also, as they can be read by the masses. if this is done the success of the new party will be certain wherever organizations are made.
Horace D. Dunn.
Vilas, D. T., Aug. 10.—I met Professor Evenson a few weeks ago in Madison, D. T. He induced me to subscribe for The Standard. I am delighted with the paper. I intend to save every number I receive and have them bound. Please send me a copy of No. 1, Vol. 2, so that I can have the volume complete. Send me a few copies of any number for distribution, with a view to getting subscribers.
I am an old disciple of “Transatlantic” of the Irish World en the land question, therefore I find no difficulty in grasping your theory. I am entirely in accord with Dr. McGlynn. May God strengthen him to bear up against his enemies and the enemies of the poor, and to continue his course in behalf of true Christianity and for the abolition of the misery of fallen humanity. An Irish priest here says, “if Dr. McGlynn's case was left to a vote of the priests of the United States, it would be decided in Dr. McGlvnn's favor.
T. F. O'Reilly.
Atlanta, Ga.—I have been reading The Standard for several weeks, and have just completed “Progress and Poverty.” I have enlisted, and with do what I can in my humble way. Think I can semi you a club of subscribers for The Standard soon. Inclosed find postal note for fifty-five cents, for which send me the following tracts:
W. E. Gathright.
Montgomery, Ala.—Inclosed find $1 for recruit subscriptions as per list below.
Permit me to express the hope that The Standard may do them as much good as it. does me. In the success of the doctrine for which it labors (simple justice between brother and brother), lies our only hope of salvation from a social condition, the contemplation of which must make heart-sick any man who will think for a moment, or who regards this life as anything else than a struggle to the death between a lot of ferocious beasts, who tear and rend each other over the possession of a carcass. I love to contemplate the Creator as a loving fa the r who has provided “far abundantly above all that we can ask or think” for his children, and life as a period of privilege, during which “brethren should dwell together in unity.”
It was my pleasure to meet, in a railway coach recently, the owner of an express line in Oakland, Cal., who is a valued member of the American party. Calling his attention to the fact that the success of his party's doctrine would but render more helpless the producing class in the United States, by rendering it more desirable as a place of residence, thus forcing up land values, to the benefiting of the few, and forcing down the remuneration of the many—the producers, I suggested that the real remedy for the ills which so afflict us was to first draw the teeth of the lion by taking for the benefit of all the people the rental value which their presence gives to land, and look to minor matters of training him afterward. He admitted that he had thought but little on the subject, but .then saw clearly that the proposed remedy was the only real one, and promised as we parted (of course he took a. copy of The Standard with him) that he would on returning home, do all he could to spread the light. It may not be out of place to state that he owns a nice house and lot in Oakland.
Santa Cruz, Cal.—Inclosed is $1 for twenty-four recruit subscriptions, and for remainder of remittance send campaign songs and tracts. I have started a land and labor club here, and Judge Maguire will address it on August 20.
H. L. Place.
Baltimore, Md.—I received the tracts you sent me. The “Single Tax” awakens interest in the minus of those whose opinions have been molded by the newspapers of the day. The tracts containing sermons before the Anti-poverty society will, however, be the best for my use, as I am a member in good standing in a live Methodist church. Previous to my conversion to your views on the land question I was an intense prohibitionist, but now that issue dwarfs beside the great remedy for poverty, and I hail with pleasure the acceptance of your challenge by the Voice.
Inclosed is a list of recruit subscriptions with remittance. J——
Concord, Mass.—I am indebted to some unknown friend for the last few numbers of The Standard. I have read them with great interest. and now inclose $3 for one year's subscription and some of your selected tracts. Including the “Single Tax.”
L S. P.
Somerville, Mass.—Six weeks ago a Cambridge newsdealer directed my attention to The Standard, and since then I have taken five copies. I used to think your theories so mysterious that only college professors and Professional politicians were qualified to grapple with them, but after reading the first copy of The Standard I took to them like a duck to the water. Find inclosed twenty cents for a set of the land and labor library.
St. Paul, Minn.—Inclosed please find $10 for anti-poverty and the cause of the abolishment of white slavery. I will vote with any party that has these aims, as the present two great parties have not the courage or do not consider them of sufficient importance to take them up. Dispose of this money at your discretion where it will do the most good.
Inclosed find $5 currency for the recruiting fund.
Member No. 430, Anti-Poverty Society.
Pittsburgh, Pa.—Inclosed find $1 for the recruiting fund. it is my wish that you send Standards to persons only that live in New York city and state, as I would like to see the new party poll a large vote there. I will try and send $1 every two weeks.
Newburg, N. Y.—Here is $5 for the recruiting fund, and I want every penny of it spent in New York. A convert who will east his vote with the united labor party this November is worth ten converts in Dakota. This light must be won.
St. Paul, Minn.—I have just read the platform, and my hand instinctively goes into my pocket. Hurrah for us! We mean to win in New York this fall. Those of us who can vote will vote, and those who can't vote can pay their money. Inclosed is my contribution, $2.50. Add it to the recruiting fund.
Mauch Chunk, Pa.—We people down here haven't forgotten the lesson taught us on the fourth of July by a speaker from New York. If New York can be redeemed, Pennsylvania won't remain long in bondage. Some of us slaves have passed around the hat and here is the result, $6.85. Send The Standard flying among the voters in New York, and let the New Yorkers remember that they are fighting for our freedom as well as their own.
J. B. Farren.
The recruiting fund now stands:
W., Jersey City
Emil Gint, St. Paul, Minn.
Ida Hibbard, Roselle, N. J.
Member No. 430, Anti-poverty society
'ammer, 'ammer, 'ammer
A. B. Q., Baltimore
O. M. Rockwood, Lockport, N. Y.
Edw. Burgess, Poughkeepsie
J. P. C., Brooklyn
Anti-poverty society, Philadelphia
James B. Boyd
W. J. Mahony, Kansas City
H. I., Chandler, East Saginaw, Mich.
James Redmond, Newburg
John Doe, St. Paul, Minn.
J. B. Farren, Mauch Chunk, Pa.
Total to date
Standard readers, we want to throw the whole weight of this recruiting fund into the contest in New York, and we urge upon you to pour into it every dollar you can spare. It rests with you to say whether or not every voter in New York shall have an opportunity to learn from the columns of The Standard just what it is, what we are fighting for, and how deeply he is interested in our success.
A Pro-Poverty Politician Rebuked
Manistee, Mich., Broadaxe.
In his Fourth of July address at Onekema Hon. B. M. Cutcheon made the sacredness of the American home his theme. In the course of his remarks he referred to the land reform theories as “anarchism and socialism,” and assumed that the advocates of these theories were practical destructionists, standing ready to devastate the American home and swallow it up as an alligator would gulp down a negro baby. Of course he had no idea that such eminent political economists as John Stuart Mill and a host of other equally profound reasoners and authorities years ago sowed the seeds from which the now prevalent crop of land reform ideas originated.
The foundation st one in the land reform structure is the exemption of the American home, not only from the unjust and unequal taxation with which it is now burdened, but in fact from ail taxation. The land upon which the house, rests will be subject to an equitable tax. and to dispossession if that tax is not paid, but the home, the furniture, the horse, the cow, and all property accumulated by the owner's industry and thrift, will forever remain his unless he chooses to sell. Neither the government nor any private person has any title to what the owner has won by his own endeavor, and hence can never take it from him. At present, however, when he fails to pay his taxes the “sacred home” which Mr. Cutcheon talks so glibly about, and all its permanent surroundings, including what he has paid for the land before he could build his home upon it, goes to some man whose only merit is that he has been selfish and grasping enough to outstrip the owner of the home in the accumulation of wealth which somebody else has produced. This is the protection of the sacredness of the American home which Mr. Cutcheon pleads for.
The Victims of Civilization
Rhode Island Country Journal.
Anyone whose work lies among the poor knows how numerous they are. They may be found in the cheaper tenements of every city, where sanitary conditions are worst, with pale faces and imploring eyes, and emaciated bodies, that tell of insufficient food and malarial air. They are simply victims, and cannot be truly called by any other name—victims of our mean economy, selfishness, love of our own comfort and carelessness about. The way the least fortunate classes are living. We do no longer publicly offer human sacrifices to supposed gods, but in back streets and unhealthy tenements such sacrifices are being daily offered to the gods mammon, selfishness, indifference, and to the god civilization. Nor can any one of us plead entire innocence of complicity. The victims are the lower millstone to our upper, and are ground by the same forces that are elevating us.