Volume 2 August 6, 1887
Church And State
In response to a request that he would give the readers of The Standard some information with regard to the interview in the New York Sun of April 30, 1870, which was republished in The Standard of July 23, Dr. McGlynn writes:
You will see from that interview, now seventeen years old, that the liberal and so-called radical views which I am supposed to entertain, and recent utterances of which by me have been charged to a feeling of irritation because of my suspension and excommunication, have in reality been fully entertained by me, I may say, from the beginning of my priestly ministry. I may add that in private conversations and in discussions at conferences of the clergy I have not only not made any concealment of these views, but have very fully declared them and vigorously maintained them. I have also, as in the instance of the Sun interview, made known my views on more than one public occasion. I confess that I have been in forget measure restrained from public utterance on these questions by prudential considerations, white my convictions were extremely clear and settled on them. I could not forget that I was a priest, and that my chief duty was to preach the gospel, to administrate the sacraments and to exemplify the charity of Christ.
As I have often since had occasion to say, questions of politics, political economy, of science and art—in fact, all questions that can be of interest to men, are only worthy so far as they have a moral and religions side, can be deduced from a religious ideal, and coordinated toward a religious end. This is but another way of saving that a man is not a mineral, a vegetable, or a mere brute animal, but that he has a moral, mental, aesthetic and spiritual side that requires for its existence and for its satisfaction a supreme spiritual and eternal ideal, utterly distinct from the vicissitudes of time and sense, and from which, and in subordination to which, the things of time and sense can have their only explanation and reason of being. My interest, therefore, in questions of education, of politics and political economy, such as it has been, has always been with a clear vision, and because of a clear vision, of this spiritual and moral side of things; and my action outside of the pulpit or sanctuary, so far from being in any sense at variance with or alien to any vocation and work as a clergy man, was always prompted by an eager desire to help those spiritual and moral interests which it is the essential vocation of the produced to promote. It is a poor business for a man to be very eager to prove perfect consistency in his views and acts throughout life. It was a true maxim of the ancient Romans: “Sapientis est mutare consilium”: —It is the part of a wise man to change his mind. But in this matter I am very glad to be able to show that I have not been inconsistent. lest such weight as recent utterances of mine might have—and as I wish they could have—should be in any degree impaired by the allegation or supposition that they are made now for the first time and largely from resentment. Again, if it be worth while to defend one's consistency, I would say that while at any time I would have suffered whatsoever loss rather than deny or retract my convictions, not so precious were to me the graces and opportunities of the Christian ministry to speak and labor for the highest ends, that I felt justified in repressing myself, and in not speaking too loudly or too often my convictions on certain subjects. I knew too well the narrowness, ignorance and obstinacy of what I have called the ecclesiastical machine, with reference to questions of education, political economy and politics, and that what may be called the archiepiscopal ring here and the papal ring in Rome would not long tolerate such freedom of speech and independence on the part of a mere priest as wight seem to be guaranteed to him, not only by his rights as an American citizen, out by right reason, Catholic theology and canon law.
It may be as well to state here that the sanctions and guarantees of canon law as against papal abuse are to a great extent but little more than a fiction, since it is the teaching of the canonists that in canon law the pope can do all things (papa omnia potest). How idle then to quote canon law against the pope, who can make or unmake, suspend or amend the canons at will! I therefore did suppress myself not a little, and in the whole of my ecclesiastical career but some half dozen times did I make strong public utterances that I knew must be distasteful to the machine, and these only when I felt that the best interests of humanity and of the church itself demanded that prudential considerations should be thrown to the winds. One of the first of these occasions was that which led to the interview published in the Sun. I shall give you a little chapter of unpublished history. A priest, Edward J. O'Reilly, pastor of St. Mary's church in Grand street, this city, a man of ability and culture, had shortly before the date of that interview been promoted from the parish of Newburgh, where he had begun to agitate in writing the so- called “school question,” which largely consisted of the demand for public moneys for Catholic parochial schools. When he came to St. Mary's parish in New York he found himself burdened with two parochial school buildings which he found it almost impossible to support, even with the aid of fairs, and raffles (in violation of law), and picnics and excursions, the chief profits of which would come from the sale of beer and intoxicating drinks. He said to me one day, “I can't support my schools.” “Well then,” said I, “don't support them.” “But,” said he, “I must support them.” “Well,” said I, “support them then.” I simply meant to say that if he and his people wanted private, religious, parochial schools nobody should deny them the right of enjoying that luxury, but that reasonable beings would suppose that he and his people should also enjoy the privilege of paying for the luxury. But the fact is that the Catholic people as a rule are not very eager for parochial schools, which are forced upon them by the fanaticism of bishops and priests, so that the support of the schools has to be extorted from the people by never-ending scoldings from the altar and pulpit, by choking people at church doors to sell them excursion tickets, and by other similar un-Christlike arts. In the conversation referred to Father O'Reilly quickly made known his view on the subject. He said, “We are paying our share of the taxes. We are therefore entitled to our share of the public school fund. We have the votes and the political influence, and we must demand, and shall obtain, our lights.” I answered that he might have a majority of the voters in some of the wards in New York city, but that he should not forget the bitter hostility of the great majority of the people of the state and country to such demands, and that the pressing of such demands by him and his friends would provoke bitter denunciation and caricatures from pulpit and press, and would do irreparable in jury to the Catholic church. throughout the United States. He replied: “What have I to do with the Catholic church in the United States? My mission is to my own church and to the children of my own people”—a sentiment which I thought very uncatholic, and one that was rebuked by the action of children in his own Sunday school, who showed that they were concerned not merely for the interests of religion in the United States, but in far away China and Japan, for the spiritual help of which they were collecting and contributing their pence.
This Father O'Reilly, determined to carry out his views, associated with himself a number of priests, among whom were Fathers Cloury of St. Gabriel's, Treanor of the Transfiguration church, and McKenna of St. Rose's. They formed what may be called an offensive and defensive alliance with the Tammany ring, of which at that time the chief ornaments were Tweed, Sweeney, Connolly and Oakey Hall. It was a matter of life and death for the ring at that time, already deep in its unparalleled thievery and general rascality, to secure the re-election of Oakey Hall as mayor. It was like a godsend to the desperate ring-to-be permitted to hope that they could buy the “Catholic vote” and the support of the Catholic ecclesiastical machine, at so cheap a price as that of a few hundred thousand dollars a year for Catholic schools, which sum they could easily procure by legislative trick and fraud. To give to the alliance more surety and dignity it was desired by the ring, and the desire was gratified, that Archbishop McCloskey should have a conference on the subject with Peter B. Sweeney, who was known as the “brains” of the ring. This conference was held on a Sunday evening, in a room in the old episcopal, now pastoral, residence of St. Patrick's church in Mulberry street! In due time the ring maintained its part of the bargain by passing through the legislature an appropriation which granted to the Catholic parochial schools of New York city an amount somewhere between two hundred and three hundred thousand dollars. Mr. Sweeney got great credit for his cleverness in so managing that the appropriation was tacked onto a bill on, I believe, the last night of the session, and in such shape and language that but few of the legislators could have known or guessed the real intent of the appropriation or the amount appropriated. The appropriation awarded “a sum equivalent to twenty per cent of the excise money in New York county for the years 1868 to such free schools as are not already in receipt of any share of the public school fund.” A commissioner was by the act itself to be appointed for the distribution of the fund. Mr. Nathaniel Jarvis, Jr., was appointed such commissioner, and even he, who is somewhat known as a practical politician, was shocked at the cupidity and unscrupulousness of Catholic clergymen in their unseemly scramble to get more than their share of the appropriation. One worthy pastor had the coolness to ask for a share, although he had no school, on the ground that, if he could get a liberal slice of the fund, he would start a school. The parochial schools enjoyed this gift of the ring for a year or two, and clergymen privy to the bargain did what they could to keep their part of the pact by doing their best to re-elect Mayor Hall, and therefore to oppose the rival candidate, Judge Ledwith, who was himself a Catholic, and for whom personally some of the clergy referred to had the kindest feeling. More than one priest recommended the Tammany party from the altar the Sunday before election, and Mr. John Mullally, a well known Catholic journalist and politician, recently a tax commissioner, went about to priests the Saturday evening before with what was equivalent to a message from Vicar General Starrs, with whom he had just been in conference, lo the effect that the Tammany party were willing to do the best they could for the Catholic schools, and it was but fair that the Catholics and the clergy should do the best they could for Tammany hall.
Sweeney's legislative trick and the unparalleled robberies of the Tammany ring began to be understood by the public about the same time. The newspaper press and the pulpits of the whole state thundered against the iniquitous alliance of the priests and the Tammany ring. Harper's Weekly for a year or so, week after week, caricatured bishops, priests and nuns, representing them as robbing the public treasury and destroying our American institutions, and doing both of these things by the aid of the Tammany ring. The storm of public indignation compelled the speedy repeal of the legislative clause enacting the appropriation, but the bad passions and theological hat reds evoked by the storm have not yet been layed. It was because of the injury that all this was doing to the true spiritual interests of the Catholic religion that I, overcoming a good deal of reluctance, consented to speak as I did in the Sun interview of April, 1870, to show that all priests and Catholics were not in sympathy-with the unhallowed alliance with Tammany, nor did they share the spirit of hostility to the public schools, and the fanaticism of those who, to promote parochial schools, would sacrifice the best interests of religion and charity, neglecting in great measure those religious teachings and ministrations and those charitable works which are peculiarly of the office of the church, sacrificing everything to a mere fetich of so- called Catholic education, in which system very often in practice there is but very little religion, and still less of any kind of education.
The publication of the interview in the Sun, happening about the time of the repeal of the appropriation, infuriated Tammany's clerical allies. and Fathers O'Reilly, Cloury, Treanor and McKenna having persuaded the venerable Jesuit Father The band, then temporarily in charge of St. James's church, to join them, called a meeting of pastors at Father O'Reilly's house to take action in regard to the publication of what the New York Sun then called my “truly American views.” The meeting adopted a remonstrance against me, to be signed by pastors, and to be sent through Father Preston, chancellor of the diocese, who presided at the meeting, to Archbishop McCloskey, then attending the Vatican council.
It was the expectation of at-least some of the clergy that my removal would be the result of the remonstrance, but the good sense of Archbishop McCloskey prevented such a scandal, as it did again live years ago when he failed to carry out the command of the pope. sent through Cardinal Suneoni, ordering my suspension for my land league speeches. The fanatical McMaster, of the Freeman's Journal, gave cry, and the whole pack of editors of so-called Catholic journals all over the country swelled the chorus of vituperation from their organs great and small. But Archbishop McCloskey treated the remonstrance of the officious priests with scant courtesy. He sent them no formal answer, and the nearest approach to an answer was in a little speech at a collation after his return, in which, with what might have seemed ironical words, he congratulated the clergy upon their "harmony" and hoped it would continue, and then added that of course there would be difference of opinion in practical matters, but that when a course of action should be decided upon by the diocese it was to be hoped that there would be unity of action, although of course he could not pretend to claim interior assent or unqualified approval of courses to be decided upon in practical things. The latter words of the archbishop were borrowed almost literally from a suggestion of mine in a conversation of a day or two before.
For the prudential considerations already mentioned I forbore to say anything more in public on the subject. But some three or four years afterward, as if to force me into the unpleasant alternative of either avowing or retracting my supposed reprehensible opinions on the school question, I was appointed, nominally by the archbishop, but I believe in reality by a kind of plot on the part of Father Preston, who issued the notifications, and of the Jesuit Father Daubresse, the moderator of the conference, to be one of those who should have to discuss the school question in all its bearings at the semi-annual conference on moral theology. At the conference I discussed the question with the greatest freedom for over an hour, as it was the right to do, having been appointed, and as it was a duty of conscience to do, since I could not say aught else than what I believed. I am glad to be able to say that my utterances more than once elicited applause iron's considerable number of the clergy present at the conference. I have never hitherto made any public statement concerning that conference, yet I believe that charges made within the last few months in the newspapers by officious clergymen, seeking to please the authorities, we made with reference to my utterances on that occasion. I have been charged with insulting Cardinal McCloskey and with holding unorthodox opinions on Christian education simply because I believed and said in his presence that it is not necessary that secular instruction should be imparted by the same person, in the same room, or on the same day of the week as religious instruction, and that priests were sent by their Master to preach the gospel, to administer the sacraments, and to do charity, rather than to play the pedagogue for secular instruction, and that I, who had never been requested to build a parochial school, would probably if so requested avail myself of my clear right to ask a still higher authority to send me to China or Japan or to any other place where I might continue to be the priest without having to be the secular schoolmaster or school builder. And it would have been as discreditable to Cardinal McCloskey's judgment as it is to that of the officious newspaper informants to think that it was an insult to him that I discussed with perfect freedom once I was ordered to discuss at all.
You may observe in the suggestions republished in your paper from the Sun of 1870, that I was very anxious to take the wretched theological hatreds and squabbles out of politics, as far as possible, once and forever. I can assure you that in these suggestions for legislation or an amendment to the constitution—as you may readily see for yourself—I was by no means exclusively thinking of alleged abuses by Catholics, cleric or lay. I am aware that there have been and are grave abuses and violations of liberty of conscience on the other side. Inmates of institutions—protective, reformatory and penal— committed by the strong a rm of the law, have been and are coerced into attending religious services, and thus deprived of that essential liberty of conscience before which even the strong arm of the law should fall powerless.
The reading of the Bible in the public schools is maintained as a kind of fetich, not so much because of any great religious value it can, under the circumstances, have for anybody, as because it gratifies a certain pharisaic sense of religiosity, or, worse, the wretched ascendancy of one set of religionists over another, or, still worse, of religionists over non-religionists, in schools that by their very name of 'public' and 'common proclaim the essential injustice of any such ascendancy', and of introducing into the schools anything that is not, or cannot be, common to all the people. You may remember the vigorous articles some years ago in the New York Herald because of the violation of liberty cf conscience in the House of Refuge, an institution ruled by a close corporation, yet largely supported by funds raised by authority of law. The complaints of Catholics concerning that institution, and the frequent attempts to compel by law the granting of liberty of conscience in it, no less than the efforts of the managers and friends of the management to prevent such legislation. and their refusal without legislation to grant liberty of conscience, have been a constant cause of irritation, and have presented a distressing dilemma to the politicians for years past. Is it not high time to have done with this wretched business once for all by such legislation, or rather amendment of the constitution, as was suggested by me seventeen years ago? I am happy to have reason to believe that even gentlemen prominently connected with the House of Refuge are beginning to see this matter in the same light as I do, and that they will be willing to co-operate with citizens of all denominations and of no denomination in procuring through the constitutional convention, which is to be held in spite of the efforts of Archbishop Corrigan to prevent it, such provisions as will make such irritation and scandal impossible in future. My reason for saving this is that some of these gentlemen are, I believe, actively interested in the work of a committee that has for one of its objects the procuring of some such provision or amendment as the constitution of this state. I will give you, as entirely pertinent to. This subject, the text of a correspondence which I had some three months ago with the acting secretary of that committee, the Rev. Mr. Baker. But first I should like to say that some suggestions in my part of the correspondence were deliberately intended to make impossible in the future the miserable evasions that have been common in the past, by which, under the pretense of non-sectarianism. people have been deprived of the reasonable enjoyment of such religious ministrations as they preferred, and, on the other hand, have been coerced into attending religious service and instruction which were utterly distasteful to them, and at. which very often they felt that they could not voluntarily be present without grievously sinning against conscience. Surely it is the rational doctrine of the soundest Christian philosophy, as it is a cherished American principle, that liberty of conscience shall be inviolate. The correspondence is as follows:
ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL
54TH STREET AND 5TH AVENUE,
NEW YORK, April 29,1887.
Rev. Edward McGlynn, D.D.—Rev. and Dear Sir: A conference of the executive and finance committee of the central committee for protecting and perpetuating the separation of church and state will be held at this hospital on Tuesday evening. May 3, at 5 o'clock, at which the following proposed amendment to the state constitution will be discussed:
“No moneys from the public treasury, state, county or municipal, or moneys raised by taxation, shall be given, paid or loaned to any sectarian institution, or any institution under sectarian teaching or control.”
I have been specially requested to ask you and the following gentlemen to be with us on that occasion: Rev. Joshua Strong, D.D., Mr. Henry George. Mr. Henry A. Cram. I sincerely trust that it will be in your power to be present. Yours truly,
George S. Baker,
Executive Committee—E. M. Kingsley, S. Hastings, Grant, Churchill H. Cutting, Andrew Powell. Finance 'Committee—H. A. Oakley, Hugh N. Camp, William Alexander Smith.
New York, May 3,1887.
Mr. George S. Baker, Acting Secretary of Committee for Protecting and Perpetuating the Separation of Church and State, St. Luke's Hospital, New York city:
Sir—I have received your favor inviting me to take part in a conference of the executive and financial committees of your committee to be held this evening, to which conference you inform me that you were requested to invite also Rev. Joshua Strong, D.D., Mr. Henry George and Mr. Henry A. Cram. I thank you for the courteous invitation, and regret that another engagement will not permit me to be present.
I am glad to be able to express my sincere concurrence in the general proposition which, as I understand it, underlies the purpose of your committee and the amendment to the state constitution it proposes as follows: “No moneys from the public treasury—state, county or municipal—or moneys raised by taxation, shall be given, paid or loaned to any sectarian institution, or any institution under sectarian teaching or control.”
I am convinced from my reading of history that too often the liberty of religion has suffered by the so-called protection of the state, and its purity has been corrupted by state endowments, while, on the other hand, the liberties of the people and the rights of the state as representative of these liberties, have been time and again encroached upon by churchmen grown rich and powerful by the endowments of the state. I could not, however, with perfect satisfaction to myself approve of the proposed amendment unless I were permitted to amend the amendment by making it broader and more radical, and so clear in its provision as to render impossible all quibbling and evasion. I would therefore suggest the insertion after the word “taxation” of the following words: From licenses, excises, or in any other way, by authority of law. Again, after the word “control” I would suggest the addition of the following words: Or to any private institutions, or to any institution that shrill not be the property of the people in their political capacity, and entirely controlled by officers elected or appointed by the people.
I hope that these suggestions will meet with acceptance from the conference, in which case I shall cheerfully and earnestly defend the proposed amendment with voice and pen, and use what influence may have in the matter of the election of delegates to the constitutional convention, and with the members of the convention in behalf of the amendment. With best wishes for the committee and yourself, I am, sir, yours sincerely,
I received another letter from Rev. Mr. Baker, telling me that my suggestions had been submitted to the conference, and were referred to a legal committee, from which, no doubt, we shall hear in good time a favorable report.
What I say in my letter to Rev. Mr. Baker is what I said in the Sun in 1870, and I am glad to know that what was said so long ago is in substance and spirit and largely in phraseology the same as the Nine Demands of the American Secular Union. I can cordially and unreservedly subscribe to those demands, and I should be glad to see them granted by appropriate changes in our constitutions, state and federal.
Narrow and bigoted people on the one hand, and malevolent people on the other hand, will fear, or make believe that they think that all this shows in me an indifference or hostility to religion, and they will persist in saving that it is the result of bitterness and irritation consequent upon recent events. Yet you have proved, by your publication of what I wrote for the Sun seventeen years ago, that these views are not new to me, that they were entertained while I was devoting myself exclusively to the work of my ministry, and that I avowed then that my object was, as I do now, that. it is to promote the best interests of religion by taking theological squabbles and hundreds out of politics once and forever. These people should give me credit for honesty in the frequent assertion that no cause is fully worthy of human interest except by reason of its moral and religious bearings, and that the sanctions of morality are essentially religions. I have such perfect faith in the divine efficacy of the gospel, the sacraments and the charity of Christ, that I have but little patience with those clergymen who have so lost faith in the efficacy of their own ministry that they-seem to place their chief trust m legislative help and in parochial schools. They seem to think that God has not a proper resting placein His universe till they have placed Him in their written political constitutions and sandwiched Him in between spelling and arithmetic. They seem to have yet to learn that the deepest sentiments and convictions of the human heart and mind—the perennial sou roes of high endeavor, noble, thinking and right doing—religion, justice, love—are above and before all civil laws and constitutions and are the creators and never the creatures of whatever in the law is highest and best.
A Protestant's Outspoken Utterance
New York City.—I am one of the last men to interfere in other people's business; but when the leaven of sympathy is working in. the whole community, it affects me with others. I am not a Catholic, but this I will say, without fear or favor, that no man, Catholic or Protestant, ever lived more worthy than the spotless and saint-like Dr. McGlynn of the confidence of his fellow men.
Samuel F. Evans.
The Syracuse Convention
Deputations Will Be Present from Every Section of the State
Mr. John J. Bealin returned during the past week from a trip in the northern part of New York, taken in the interest of land and labor clubs. He visited Utica, Rochester, Medina, Oswego, Watertown, Clayton, Ogdensburg, Amsterdam, Schenectady, Cohoes, “Waterford and Lansingburg. All these places will send delegates to the Syracuse convention pledged to support the land doctrine as the primary principle for the platform. Mr. Bealin found a large part of the public ready to act with the new party, the movement being by no means confined to those usually denominated workingmen. In Cohoes he found professional and business men very active in forming branches of the party. Dr. J. W. Ross, Dr. J. Cr:inc of Cohoes; Mr. Salsbery of Schenectady, a prominent dry goods merchant; J. Burtlett, editor of Labor's Stage of Amsterdam; P. H. Cummings and Harvey Book of the same place are working earnestly for the cause. A branch of the Anti-poverty society was organized there on last Sunday evening. The Rev. George Muller, pastor of the Baptist church at Schenectady, a believer in the anti- poverty doctrine and master workman of district assembly No. 65., is in full sympathy with the new party. Master Work man Alfred Murray of district assembly No. 104, is also an active supporter. In Oswego there is a great following. In Rochester, among the party leaders are Peter McKittrick, Christian Drexler, William M. Shea, and D. C. Feeley, attorney-at-law. Rev. J. A. Co])eland of Scottsville will be at Syracuse. W. C. Wood, M. D., of Gloversville has been elected a member of the convention. The attendance at Syracuse from all parts of, the state will be large.
Mr. John McMackin has also returned from an extended trip in the interior of the state. He found the people in many districts ripe for a new party and states that he is positive that there will be a large representation at Syracuse.
The Anti-Poverty Excursion
Every Prospect of a Brilliant Success—A Large Number of Tickets Already Sold—Members Working Enthusiastically
The first grove meeting and excursion of the Anti-poverty society, on Aug. l3, promises to be a thorough success in every way. Tickets have been distributed among the members for sale, and returns are already coming in, many members requesting a fresh supply of tickets.
The excursion barges will leave various points as follows: West Eleventh street, 8.30 a. m.; Broome street, E. R.; 9 a. m.; Eighth street, E. II., 9:30 a. m.; Thirty second street, E. R., at 10 a. m. Departures will be made promptly on schedule time, to secure the advantages of the tides. Lunch. Will be served on the boats at city prices, under the charge of an experienced caterer; or dinner can be secured at the grove hotel for fifty cents.
Tickets for the excursion will be sold at the box office of the Academy of Music on Saturday and Sunday; or they can be purchased from any member of the society, or by mail from Henry George, 25 Ann street, or Rev. Dr. McGlynn, room 28, Cooper union. The grove meeting will be addressed by Dr. McGlynn, Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost and Henry George.
It Is the Gospel of the Golden Rule
Chicago, Ill.—What a wonderful hold this doctrine of the land tor the people takes upon a man! How the church-hardened Christian seems to freshen up under its influence. And, best of all, is the sight of thousands who, looking at Christianity, have said. “If this represents the teachings of Christ, then I am better off without it,” now turn to that misunderstood and misrepresented Christ, and with open arms and swelling hearts call Him “brother.” When I first read the speeches of Dr. McGlynn and Henry George the allusions to a God in matters of political economy and the bringing of God into the discussion of the practical affairs of our life seemed like sacrifice; but I soon saw that it was the misconception of the character of God, and not God's indifference to the welfare of His children, that caused the feeling. And this proves the wonderful growth that takes place when this subject is thought upon. I feel that the power that is in this movement comes from the justice that it exhibits, and a long with that comesnaturally the power to bring back to God and His ways the men who have been driven from Him by the Christian churches.
R. H. Cowdrey.
A Sunday Afternoon Address
Dr. McGlynn will deliver his lecture, “The Cross of the New Crusade,” at the Perine Mountain home. Baltus Roll hill, near Summit, N. J., on Sunday, the 7th inst., at 2 o'clock sharp. Rev. Chas. P. McCarthy will preside. After the discourse orderly questions will be answered. Conveyances will be in waiting at the railroad depot at Westfield on the arrival of the 9 o'clock. a. m., train from the foot of Liberty street, New York, to convey passengers to the home, returning in the afternoon to meet the Westfield 5:27 train to New York city. Visitors are recommended to take their which with them, as the Perine home does not provide any supplies except for invited guests. The grounds are open to all, and tents are erected for the convenience of those who bring their own proclaims. There is a plentiful supply of spring water. The round trip from Jersey City will cost about $1.50, including the drive up the mountain from the top of which the view is magnificent and the air invigorating.
American Citizenship is Going to Have a Meaning Soon
New York.—I am a regular reader cf The Standard. Till now it seemed to me of no importance at all to meddle with American politics. But since your new party has sprung up I have come up the conviction that it is my duty to support it. So last week I filed my declaration of intention to become a citizen.
“Blessed Are Ye When Men Shall Cast Out Your Name as Evil”
May God bless the president of our anti-poverty society every hour of his holy life. And when he dies, may every hair of his head be a candle to light him to glory.
Anti-Poverty in Omaha
Omaha, Neb., July 20—We have organized an anti-poverty society here to begin the missionary work, and hope to see an organization of the united labor party grow your; of it.
F. S. Lewis. Secretary A. P. S.,
119 North. Fifteenth street.
The Society Holds Its Fourteenth Public Meeting
William T. Croasdale Reviews the History of the Excommunication—Louis F. Post's Apt Illustrations of the Cause of Poverty and the Means by Which It Can Be Poverty and the Means by Which It Can Be Abolished—The Crowded New World Will Be Speedily Uncrowded by the Imposition of a Tax on Land Values
The Academy of Music, though less crowded last Sunday night than usual, was still fairly well filled with an attentive and enthusiastic audience, who showed their devotion to the anti-poverty cause by braving the extraordinary heat. The meeting was opened promptly at 8 o'clock, with William T. Croasdale in the chair.
After the singing of the "Anthem of Liberty" by Miss Munier's Concordia chorus, Mr. Croasdale said:
Ladies and Gentlemen: The presence here on such a torrid evening as this of an audience doubtless larger than could be attracted to any church in the city (applause) goes to show that our members are anxious at all times to testify by their presence their zeal in the cause represented by this society. (Great applause.) It has been suggested to me that instead of attempting any formal speech this evening I shall briefly-tell a story familiar to many of you and yet one that many tried to have reiterated in order that they may understand exactly its full bearing. A question was propounded two weeks ago by a gentleman in one of these seats to Mr. George (applause and cheers) why it was that the president of this society, the typical American priest (cheers) should not obey the summons to go across the seas to answer for his action in American politics and his opinions on a subject of political economy. I make no claims to be able to answer that question from a theological standpoint, but I do claim to have studied that case from the beginning to the end and to be able to give you the absolute facts that give the lie to the statement that Dr. McGlynn (great applause) was summoned to Rome merely as a matter of church discipline and not on account of his opinions. I have studied that case from the beginning, and I do not hesitate to say here that anything that I lacked in the way if necessary information has been cheerfully furnished me by the good doctor himself. (Applause). And I therefore think that I can speak with absolute accuracy when I give you An account of the chain of facts that go to form this history.
Possibly some of you have learned from recent publications when the first difficulty began. Seventeen years ago this native-born citizen of New York, this priest fresh from the teachings of the propaganda in Rome, found in this city an iniquitous conspiracy between a small group of the priesthood and the Tweed ring. He lifted his voice against it. He protested against it in private. He protested against it in public. And he declared that the American common school system—("Hear hear!" and applause)—purified from all sectarian influence that over-zealous Protestants might inject into it, was good enough for Catholic and Protestant, for Jew and Gentile. (Applause.) From the time that he dared lift his voice in favor of that principle, from the time that as an American he stood by the very foundation stone of American liberty—(applause and cheers)—this man was persecuted. And there are men in this audience who know how he was persecuted by a small clique who were determined, if possible, to effect his ruin. And you. gentlemen, particularly the Catholics in this audience, know that the sleuth hound who stood at the head of this party was this man Preston. (Groans and hisses.) From that time on, everything that human ingenuity and devilish malignity could suggest has been done to annihilate the standing of this man, who was the beloved pastor of the largest parish on earth. (Applause.)
But even the men who were conspiring for his ruin did not dare openly to lift their hands against this man while Cardinal McCloskey cheers and applause) sat in the chair since disgraced by Corrigan. (Hisses). Yet the attempt then was made. Four years before the beginning of these difficulties, when no man in New York, and particularly no Irishman in New York. believed that any such action could possibly be taken there came from Rome, from the man you have since learned to know and to justly despise, Cardinal Simeoni (hisses), a message addressed, not to the archbishop of this diocese, but to the coadjutor bishop who had been brought over from New Jersey through machinations in Rome, not through influence exerted in New York. There came a suggestion that Dr. McGlynn was using dangerous words in regard to the Irish cause: and before even an answer could be made, before time was given to send back an excuse, if excuse were needed on the part of a man whose father and mother were of Irish origin and who was a priest of that church which was received its most loyal support from the Irish people, there came again from this cardinal prefect of the propaganda another order to the cardinal archbishop himself to suspend the priest McGlynn unless in his judgment it ought not to be done. It is needless to tell a New York audience that in the judgment of Cardinal McCloskey it was not to be done, (Applause.) But nevertheless the pressure brought to bear was such that this priest, without blame, this man who had taught the doctrine that the land of every country belongs to the people thereof (applause), this man who had merely said to a New York audience what Bishop Nulty had said to the Irish people in general (applause), was so persecuted, so nagged at from across the sea by inspiration from this side that he had to promise the benevolent archbishop of this diocese that he would refrain from making any more Irish land leagues speeches in order that this archbishop should not, be persecuted by this pressure from Home, stimulated from this side. Ladies and gentlemen, was there any matter of discipline there? (Cries of "No!"') Was this priest truthful to any of the duties of the priesthood?("No! no.'") Was he disobedient to the honored archbishop? ("No! no!") No; he was none of these. But because he taught, not in the pulpit, but on public platforms, a doctrine that was offensive to Errington, the conspirator (hisses) who professed to represent the English cabinet at the Vatican, the conspirator who came well nigh turning the same Vatican against the Irish people—a doctrine offensive to Simeoni (hisses), who who was then in alliance with Errington; because in the exercise of his right as an American Citizen he had taught a doctrine true, good and wholesome, the only doctrine that can ever relieve Ireland from the tyranny under which she has so long suffered, (great cheering and applause), he was persecuted until he agreed, for the sake of peace, to make no more land league speeches at all. Surely, up to that point no man can pretend that there was on his part any matter of discipline. He was persecuted for opinion's sake from Rome.
Then, the next year, another letter came over from Cardinal Simeoni (hisses) saying that the priest McGlynn had been violating his understanding with his archbishop by talking on the Irish question, and complaining that, though his words were less violent than the year before, there still was dangerous evidence in them that lie was disposed to favor "the Irish revolution." What do Irish- Americans think of the power that will reach three thousand miles to cheek a man because it fears that he may be favoring the Irish revolution? God bless the Irish revolution! (Great applause and renewed cheers.) It will be accomplished at a certain time, and that time will be when the doctrine preached by Bishop Nulty and Dr. McGlynn shall have entered into the hearts (applause) and inspired the brains and minds of the Irish people, and brought them to stand hand to hand and shoulder to shoulder with the English and Scotch democracy for the overthrow if the whole system. (Wild applause and cheering, lasting nearly two minutes.) It is not my purpose to go into that, but as an American, looking at this matter from a far, I tell you I have no hope of Irish success through any alliance with weak-kneed English liberals. It must be the democracy on both sides of the channel (applause) that will tear from vested privilege, from landlords and from lords of all kinds, the right of the people to the soil of the country that they own in common. (Applause.)
But in the case that I have alluded to, the doctor was able to give a very quick and prompt explanation. He said to the archbishop—remember that I am speaking of the cardinal archbishop, not this effigy that is there now (great laughter)—I am not a Catholic, and I have a perfect right to say that lie is a kind of a little man-milliner, all dressed up, and if you should take the dresses off there would not be enough left of him to scare a school boy—he said to the cardinal archbishop of New York: “I did not speak at any land league meeting. I kept my word. But I did go to the Cooper union and there made a speech at the request of Irishmen, without regard to the land league. in order to raise money for the starving poor in certain famine districts in Ireland?” (Applause.) But out of his love for his church, he said: “I will not again speak for Ireland, even for charity.” And that was accepted as something satisfactory to the power that ruled the Irish people. (Hisses.)
Well, gentlemen, in the course of time the good cardinal passed away, and his coadjutor (howls and hisses) took the complete title of the office. Then the men who had for seventeen long years watched for their chance redoubled their watching. In the summer of 1886—that is, last summer, it began to be rumored through this town that the working people of New York, weary of acting as the supporters of people who had all the use imaginable for them"for two months before election and none the day after (hisses and laughter) were going to throw aside all the factional fights and feelings that had hitherto divided them and go into politics in one solid phalanx on their own account. Do you think that news was heard with pleasure. Do you think they liked it back here? [Here the speaker pointed to the rear wall of the Academy of Music, which divides it from Tammany hall.] Tammany hall is on the other side of that wall (hisses), and I tell you the trembling alarm of that organization must have shaken that dividing wall when they really saw and felt that the working people of New York meant business at last. (Applause.) Quick upon the rumor came another, that these men proposed to put aside their attitude of humble suppliancy, and that they proposed to make a man their candidate who was truly the friend of the American people. Then came a time when it was clearly and surely seen that they would nominate Henry George. (Great applause and repeated cheering.)
Before that nomination was made, there went through this town another rumor. Men learned with surprise—and many of them with great pleasure—that the beloved pastor of St. Stephen's proposed to support the candidacy of Henry George. (Applause.) All, gentlemen, then, indeed, there was alarm over here (pointing backward toward Tammany hall.) I happened at the time to be one of the editors of a democratic newspaper, and I was in a position to hear something of what was going on, and I know there was alarm, and a great deal of it—an abundance of it. I don't care to mention political names that came to me under such circumstances in more or less confidence, but a man, whose name is very familiar in this city, said to another public officer: “I am scared about this thing.” “Well,” said this gentleman, “what is the matter? We have had workingmen's movements before, and they never amounted to much.”
“Yes,” said the other, “but they always got a rich man for candidate and looked to him for making the campaign. But now these fellows have nominated a poor man, and are paying for the campaign out of their own pockets. (Great applause) And,” said this City hall politician, “when I see a thing like that I am scared.” (Laughter.) And he had reason to be scared, as the result proved. (Laughter, and cries of “O'Donoghue.”) No, O'Donoghue has enough to stand. He did not do this; let him answer for his own sins.
But this was before Henry George was nominated. The priests of St. Stephen's church were about to go into retreat and at that particular time the archbishop of this diocese—the new one (hisses) sent to Dr. McGlynn a letter about matters particularly relating to the church, and would up with this suggestion: “During this retreat I hope you will think over your relations with Henry George as reported in the newspapers.” And the archbishop in the same letter showed by his express mention of socialism that he ignorantly confounded Mr. George's doctrine with socialism. This shows precisely the reason of the anxiety. The doctrines of Henry George were well known to be the doctrines which Dr. McGlynn had taught on former occasions at those land league meetings. There was a feeling that here was a man likely to go into a campaign to make practical the doctrine that the land belongs to the people. He must be cautioned in advance. Was not this a case of persecution for opinions sake and that opinion one of American politics and political economy
Well, the doctor came back from his retreat, and in September, in order that Archbishop Corrigan might have his mind set at rest as to any taint of socialism in the doctrines he espoused, be sent to him his dear and trusted friend Henry George, asking him to explain to the archbishop what it was that he was teaching and what it was that the archbishop was attempting to condemn. Of course Mr. George could not do it. (Laughter.) The difficulties were insuperable. In the first place, if the archbishop had opened his eyes as wide as possible he hadn't between them the brain to comprehend the doctrine; in the second place, the little man refused to open his ears and it was impossible to talk the doctrine to him or give him any explanation. But what did the archbishop do? He didn't want to listen; he wanted to talk. He pulled out of a little drawer the letters written four years before and showed them to Henry George as his justification of the severe action he was already contemplating against Dr. McGlynn. Information of some such danger reached Dr. McGlynn from one of the archbishop's councilors, and so clear was it in the mind of this councilor that it was a question of doctrine, that he advised, as a means of avoiding a collision, that Mr. George should make a clear and brief statement of his doctrine, showing its total distinction from socialism; and it was for this that Mr. George ca lied upon the archbishop. The latter informed Mr. George that he had called a meeting of his council for that day, the 29th of September, to consider the question of suspending Dr. McGlynn. Now, then, ladies and gentlemen, just remember that. This date is necessary to remember when we come to consider this question of suspension for discipline without regard to doctrine.
Up to that time, as the archbishop acknowledged to Mr. George, he did not know that Dr, McGlynn was to speak at the Chickering hall meeting to ratify Mr. George's nomination, and his only expression to Dr. McGlynn was one of solicitude because of his relations with Mr. George and the consequent apparent coincidence with socialism. Yet before Henry George arrived there he had called a meeting of his council to consider the suspension of Dr. McGlynn. Now, where is your discipline there? (A voice: "None.") Was it not the tiger waiting for the spring? Was it not that these men who had been nourishing their hate for nineteen years said:. “Now, here is our chance to spring on this man who has hitherto been too strong for us?” Was it not the advisers of this archbishop—(a voice: “Joe O'Donoghue”)—yes, Joe O'Donoghue and Monsignor Preston (hisses), one an open politician of Tammany hall, the other an ecclesiastical politician who dared to insult all the Catholics of this town by writing a letter for such public use as could be made of it, and which was distributed at the church doors the Sunday before election, practically directing Catholics to vote against, a certain candidate. (Hisses.) There was no broach of discipline yet on Dr. McGlynn's part, but simply an opportunity in view. And they held a meeting that day to consider the subject of suspension, before any offense against either discipline or doctrine had been committed. This may be a familiar story to some of you, but I doubt not that the malignant and persistent misrepresentation of the facts in this case by the daily press has had the effect of beclouding many minds on the subject.
Well, gentlemen, announcement was made that at the ratification meeting at Chickering hall Dr. McGlynn and a number of other priests, I think thirteen in all, would be present. Instantly, on this same 29th day of September there went forth a letter, which did not arrive till the next day, the 30th, to every one of these priests, commanding them not to go. All but one of them obeyed. But one man said to this archbishop: “I have promised to go. I have allowed myself to be announced to speak at this meeting, and it will be a greater scandal to the church should I now publicly withdraw than it will be for me to go (applause), therefore I shall go. (Applause.) But in order that I may not have even the appearance of disobedience to my ecclesiastical superior, I hereby agree not to make any promise to address any more political meetings during this campaign.” Was there any spirit of insubordination, was there any spirit of disobedience there? (Cries of "No! no!") A man has his self-respect to maintain, it seems to me, from the mere fact that he stands before the community as a priest of God. (Applause.) Dr. McGlynn had his self-respect to maintain and he maintained it. But he did yield to discipline in this matter.
Now, what was the next step? On the 1st of October he spoke, and on the 2ud of October came the mandate suspending him from the priesthood for two weeks. This was the first beginning of discipline. So far as that is concerned there is a reasonable excuse for those people who say that the suspension was because of a matter of discipline, because there was disobedience to a command which the archbishop had no right to issue, but which he nevertheless did issue. But that suspension worked it self out in two weeks, and Dr. McGlynn resumed his ministration.
What was the next step? Because of a newspaper interview, without any inquiry, without even sending to ask whether it was true, without even sending for the reporter to ask whether it was a verbatim report, on its mere appearance, on the inference that something in it was disrespectful to Pope Leo XIII, this archbishop instantly suspended Dr. McGlynn again "for the balance of the year," as he says in exceedingly elegant language. Now, then, at once, as you have heard here on this platform, word was sent by Dr. McGlynn that it had not been his intention to say anything disrespectful of the pope, and he said so in the columns of the newspaper itself. But in that same paper he said: “I reaffirm the doctrine that the land of every country belongs to the people thereof.” And in his own statement of this whole case over his own signature Archbishop Corrigan speaks of this as a quasi-retraction. “But,” he says, “he never retracted the main statement that private ownership in land was against natural justice,” and because of that he was again suspended. There you have the whole case in a nutshell. It is not necessary to review it a step further. There, over the signature of the archbishop, stands before the people of New York the statement that Dr. McGlynn, after he had completed the penance, if you choose to call it such, imposed for his first act of disobedience, was again suspended because he refused to withdraw his doctrine in regard to the land question. Thus the suspension was because of a political opinion. And all the newspapers and all the Prestons who may choose to lie about it cannot alter that fact unless they prove that the archbishop himself lied when he put his signature to that paper.
You know the rest of the story, how the doctor was clubbed out of his pulpit and his home at St. Stephen's; how he was evicted, like any cottier in Ireland, by the man who attempted to succeed him, and whom, thank God, the women of St. Stephen's forced to run away (laughter); and the man, suffering under this cruelty, and in all serious earnestness, ill with a disease known as enlargement of the heart, was by the excitement and the ignominy attending it, driven into an attack which was serious indeed. Then he went away, driven from his home, finding shelter in the home of his dead sister, and finding responsibilities there which he has since well cared for, a motherless family of children claiming his care. He, a sick man, was then ordered to come to Rome. And, ladies and gentlemen, I defy you to find in the whole record a single word to show that he ever refused to obey that order. He found good reason, sufficient reasons, which any gentleman, any archbishop, should have been glad to accept as sufficient. And yet, while no refusal had been made, there came again from this same Simeoni, of whom we have heard a few years before, a cable order to Dr. McGlynn to first retract his doctrines and then come to Rome. And from that moment until the present hour there never has been one single moment that that order did not stand. And, as Dr. McGlynn himself has said, it would have been a fool's errand for him to have gone to Rome without first retracting the doctrine. (A voice: “Let Rome come to him.”)
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I have gone over this matter simply because it was suggested to me that there were some who might forget the consecutive order of events. Doubtless all have read the story, but it has not been prosecuted to them frequently in consecutive order; and the absence of our president tonight seemed to give an occasion of presenting it to this audience. But all of this was apparently dropped, and a new, perfectly fresh order came, not saying anything about what preceded it, but saying, “Come to Rome within forty days.” But the old order stood, and there never has been one single moment when it was possible for Dr. McGlynn to go to Rome with any hope of accomplishing anything whatever save to be insulted anew, unless he retracted the truth which he has again and again preached so eloquently from this platform. (Applause.) That, it is unnecessary to say to this. or to any audience that knows him, he did not do, and he will not do it. (Applause.) As Father Huntington — applause)—the other night, in answer to a question concerning himself, said, he is not that kind of a priest. He is rather the kind of a priest that the church which he loves and honors had in the early days when men and women lived in caves, when they became blazing torches for the amusement of a Roman populace, when they were thrown to beasts in the arena to make a Roman holiday. He is the stuff of which martyrs are made (applause), and all the powers of men cannot bend such a man to take back, to retract, to lay down what he believes to be the very living truth of God given to His children. Had he been that kind of a man this great hall would not have been filled night after night to listen to him. Had he been the kind of a man who would retract the truth for the sake of convenience, or for the sake of anything else, the people who have so nobly, so honorably, followed him in his misfortune would not be today the firm supporters of him that they are. It is not merely as a beloved priest that he is supported by Catholic people, it is because he is a great man. And, furthermore and above all, it is because, as priest and man, he typifies a great and glorious truth that all of the machinations of his enemies will utterly fail to put beneath their feet. And the action of the men who have sought to destroy him has, as has been well said, deprived him of a parish and given him a continent. (Great applause.) Mr. Croasdale then reminded the audience of the intended grove meeting and excursion of the Anti- poverty society at Oriental grove, on August 13, particulars of which have already been given in The Standard.
The Concordia chorus then sang the new crusaders' battle hymn while the collection was taken up, after which Mr. Croasdale announced Louis F. Post, who was received with prolonged applause.
Mr. Post spoke as follows:
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: We have had on this platform on almost every occasion of a public meeting of this society a gentleman who is known by reputation to you all, personally to many, but who has not yet addressed the society. I refer to Mr. James Redpath. (Applause.) James Redpath was an old-time abolitionist. (Applause.) He was in that movement at its inception. He was a crank abolitionist, if you will, and when that light was over and the slave was freed, a man whom he had incensed said to him: “Well, now you have abolished slavery, what are you going to abolish next?” “Poverty,” said Redpath. That was twenty-five years ago. I suppose the man he spoke to thought that that was about as impossible a thing as could be undertaken. I doubt if Mr. Redpath himself had any very clear idea of how poverty could be abolished, or whether it could be abolished, and think that he replied on the spur of the moment. But since then he has been convinced that there is a way to abolish poverty, and it is only on account of his ill health that we have not heard from him yet. But before the year is through, we may expect to listen to his ringing voice from this platform in behalf of this new crusade. (Applause.)
We have a state of society that might well arouse anyone to the idea of abolishing poverty if it can be abolished. There is scarcely a vice and scarcely a crime that cannot be traced to the poverty of our time—poverty in the midst of plenty. Greed and idleness on the one hand, and poverty and toil on the other. A day or two ago I read in a newspaper how some charitable people in Chicago had made a discovery. A remarkable discovery they had made of a young girl who worked in a store there for three dollars a week and who had to pay three dollars a week for her board. They were philanthropic people and they immediately set about to find some relief. And what relief do you suppose they found? Why, they have started a boarding house for working girls where they can get board for a little less than three dollars a week. Well, now, can't they see—that girl can see if they can't; the working girls and working men can see if they can't—that when they have succeeded in giving her board for a little less than three dollars a week the boss will succeed in getting her work for a little less than three dollars a week? (Applause.) That is the only remedy these people seem to have to offer. Think a moment what they have done. They have given this girl a place to board for a little less than three dollars a week and they have helped to drive the boarding house keeper out of business. She has been boarding girls for three dollars a week. Now she has lost her job. Well, that seems to be the result of most of our advances. Somebody loses a job whenever we make an improvement.
Do you remember that little boy who made one of the most remarkable inventions connected with the steam engine? They used to have a boy pull a string, in the olden times, on steam engines, so as to open and close the valves, to let the steam come in at one end and then let it go out at the other. Well, this boy, this particular boy, liked to have a good time. He wanted to play ball. One day the thought struck him that he could attach that string to the machinery so it would work itself. He did so, and went off to play, and when he came back the old machine was working away just as well as if he had stayed there. He did that several days in succession. But one day the boss came and found him playing ball. “Why are you not tending to that engine?” said the man. “Because the engine is tending to itself,” said the boy. They went there, and sure enough, the engine was tending to itself. The boy had made a great invention. Well, what happened? The boy lost his job. That particular boy did get some compensation for his ingenuity and his laziness. He got a reward from the man that appropriated the invention. But, then, all the other boys that pulled strings on other engines. they lost their jobs, too—(laughter)—and they did not get any reward. And so it is with all the inventions and all the advances we make.
Well, now, what the Anti-poverty society wants to do is to make inexhaustible opportunities for work. The Anti-poverty society is not a creator. It did not make the universe, and it cannot make inexhaustible opportunities for work; but I will tell you what it can do and what it is going to do. It is going to brush away all the obstructions to the inexhaustible opportunities for work that the Almighty has made for men. (Applause.)
When we started out in this crusade we had a right to expect the sympathy and assistance of organized religion because the religious sentiment. the religions spirit, was in our movement; and if the religious sentiment, the religions spirit, was in the organized religious movements, then we had a right to expect their assistance and their aid. (Applause) Well, we have had it to no very great extent except in the case of individuals, and what are we to infer? Religion, my friends, is divine. It is eternal. But organized religions are human, and like all other things that are human they have their infancy, their youth, their manhood, their old age and their death. That is the story of history, not with regard to religion, but with regard to religions (applause); to organized religions. Religion, like freedom, must be recreated, as it were, year by year, in hearts wide open on the God-ward side. But the hearts of organized religion seem too of ten wide open on the devil-ward side and movements like these are necessary to revive, to recreate divine religion. ("Hear! hear!" and applause.) They make a good many jokes about Chicago. There is one joke that I remember, (I tell it with reverence, as it was told to me), of a little girl whose parents were about to remove to Chicago. She was a devout little girl, and the night before they were about to leave the east she said her prayers devoutly, and when she had said “amen” she added: “Good by, God, we are going to Chicago tomorrow.” (Laughter.) Well, if those who have in charge the organized religions of our day continue on as they are going now, it won't be long until we may expect devout children when they leave their homes on Sabbath mornings to say as they cross the threshold: “Good by, God, I am going to church now.” (Applause.)
But organized religion has not been entirely sterile in this movement. We have our McGlynn (applause), we have our Pentecost (applause), we have our Huntington. (Applause.) These three we have already before the people, and there is many another man in the pulpit today whose heart is with us (applause); whose voice has already spoken, and many and many another one will be with us before this year is out, with us before the people, and, I hope and believe, on this very platform and before this very society. (Applause.) You see the fact of it is, that most men who go into the ministry go there with a pure spirit, pure motives, honest purposes, and when the scoundrels that get into the profession put the handcuffs on them they can't stand it long. They have in good faith offered up their lives for a sacrifice to God, and when they find their superiors would lead them in the other direction they are willing to say as soon as they may “Get thee behind me, Satan.” (Applause.)
Speaking of Dr. McGlynn (applause), I want to tell you something about a friend of mine, an Irish Catholic who thinks a great deal of Dr. McGlynn. I notice that there are a good many Irish Catholics that think a good deal of Dr. McGlynn. (Applause.) There are a good many people who are neither Irish nor Catholics who think a good deal of Dr. McGlynn. (Applause.) And this Irish Catholic friend of mine thinks so much of the doctor that he has his portrait framed and hung up in his shop right where he works. Another man works in that shop who is not an Irishman and not a Catholic and who doesn't think a very great deal of Dr. McGlynn, but who does belong to Tammany hall. Well, this man came over to my friend and he said: “Pat, there's a companion piece to that picture you ought to have to put alongside of it.” “What's that?” says Pat, “You ought to have the portrait of the devil hanging there,” said he. “No, sir,” replied Pat, “yez haven't excommunicated him.” (Laughter, cheers and applause.)
We are all learning in this movement what we hope that even the churches may learn before long, that religion means something more than constantly asking the Almighty to “save my soul.” (Applause.) I was walking in a country churchyard last week in the, village near which I was born, and on the tombstone of a woman who died at the age of eighty-five I saw this epitaph: "In that she lived for others she lived for God." It was a true epitaph. I knew that woman' when she lived and she deserved it. That epitaph indicated what true religion is. It indicated what organized religion has yet to learn. In that we live for others we live for God.' (Applause.) In that we live for others, and to the extent that we live for others, we are truly religious. There was no anti-poverty society of one proposed in that epitaph. (Applause.) And she whose body lay there when she was alive would have scorned the idea of constituting herself an anti-poverty society of one.
James Russell Lowell, before he was converted, told us what true religion is:
He's true to God who's true to man. Where'er a wrong is done
To the humblest or the weakest, 'neath the all-beholding sun,
That wrong is also done to us; and they are slaves most base
Whose love of right is for themselves, and not for all the race. (Applause.)
But, coming back to what James Redpath said. Why should we not abolish poverty? What is poverty that it cannot be abolished? On this platform a few nights ago I took occasion to tell you of those holes in the mining regions of Pennsylvania where the ram had collected and frozen, and for the sake of the illustration I will mention it again. In the winter months the rain had frozen in these holes and those men, who earned on an average but seven dollars and a half a week during the year, thought that they might alter their work go into these holes and gather that ice and put it away to save it for summer. Why did they want to do that? Because they wanted to abolish their poverty in the matter of ice. During the summer months, not having ice, they suffered; and if they could have ice during these hot summer months their poverty would be abolished as to that. Now, here was plenty of ice for them. All it required was a little labor to take it out from the ground and put it away in caves until the summer should come. But the man that owned the holes in which the ice had accumulated told them they could not take it from there unless they would pay so much a ton. They were not capitalists. Out of their seven dollars and a half a week they hadn't any money left for ice. The owner could have allowed them to go in and get it. That they could do and wanted to do. But they could not, in addition to that, go down into their pockets and pull out money and pay for going into those holes. The consequence was that the ice stayed till nature took it away. It melted. Their poverty in ice was not abolished because some one stood between them and the Creator who had furnished the means with which to abolish their poverty in the matter of ice.
I mention that again, because it is such a perfect illustration of the whole social system. Everything that we sec, everything that we enjoy, is taken from the earth by labor just as that ice might have been taken. And the possibilities of producing from the earth by labor are unlimited. A man. if he has access to the earth, can produce all that is necessary to satisfy his wants; and given sixty millions of people with free access to the earth, there would never be any poverty. Take it one thing at a time. Would there be any poverty as to ice if men could go where ice has accumulated by nature and take it out? Would there be any poverty as to any other of the things which we enjoy that are taken from the earth just as that ice might have been taken? But here stands the middle man. here stands the man that owns the hole, as it were. here stands the men that own the globe, who say: “You shall not take anything unless you pay me for the opportunity.” Sometimes they want a good deal more than the opportunity is worth and more than anybody can afford to pay, and the result is that we cannot bring labor in contact with land. The labor of man cannot be brought in contact with the materials that the Almighty has furnished, and this middle man is all that stands in the way. If we could get him out of the way, labor and land could freely come together, and poverty would be abolished. It would be abolished in the coal regions in the matter of ice, and it would be abolished in everything else that we take from the earth, just as it would be in the matter of that ice.
It may be a pretty big job that we have undertaken to get rid of this middle man, but I guess we shall do it before we get through. I think that the means that have been proposed will dispose of him: and I think that this society, with other societies that are spreading the movement over the country now, will do it. The movement is running on in a way and with a speed that before long will make these men come to terms and get out of the way from between the men who want to produce, the men who want to abolish their poverty. and the natural means with which they might abolish it. (Applause.)
During our parade on the 18th of June, as we came down Broadway, where that magic lantern performance is, on Twenty-third street, some men who did not belong to an anti-poverty society, unless it was an antipoverty society of one, had hired this institution to throw remarks at the procession as it passed by. One of these remarks that appeared as I was passing was this: “To abolish poverty.” Well, I didn't understand what that meant, and so I waited to see what would come next, and presently down came a flap—“Work.” To abolish poverty—work! That is true. You can't abolish poverty without work—your own work or some other man's. (Applause.) You can't abolish poverty without work, neither can you go to Europe without going there. Now, suppose somebody should say: "To go to Europe—go there." That is all right. You have got to go if you want to get there. But suppose you haven't the means to go? There is something more than work necessary to abolish poverty. It is the natural material to which to apply the work. (Applause.)
It is well enough for the men who have cornered the raw material to say: “Abolish your poverty by work.” We say: “Yes, we will abolish our poverty by work, but we want that material that you have stolen. When we get that, poverty will be abolished by work.” (Applause.)
I am going to illustrate to you as briefly as I can, this system that we have, this system of rent. I have done it once or twice before on a blackboard, but we can't use a blackboard here; some of you are too far off. So I am "going to suppose that people must come into this building for the purpose of procuring some necessary of life: that they must have a location in this building in order to get some necessary of life. There is nothing violent about that supposition, because this building then would simply represent the earth, and., we .must get all the necessaries of life from the earth. Now I am going to suppose that that box, the one nearest the stage on this floor, and that one opposite, are equally desirable for the purpose of getting this necessary of life. So as to give exactness to it, I will suppose that each of these boxes will produce six—six dollars, six anything you please—and that the next box will produce five; that is, they who have got in there would be able to get live with the same amount of labor that would produce six in either of the first two boxes. The upper box near the stage I represent by four, and the next two by three, and these seats here by two, and those seats beyond in the circle by one, and the rest of the seats by nothing—that is, by a bare living, just enough of the things needed to sustain life, nothing more. So you see, here are the grades: six, live, four, three, two. one and a bare living. Now we have got a representation of the earth, its varying degrees of fertility, its varying advantages, some places, some soils, being better than others, and grading on down to a point where a man by his labor can produce for himself but a bare living.
Well, now, Adam and Eve drop in. Adam comes into this box here because he recognizes it is the best, a sort of Garden of Eden, and he takes his seat there. There are eight seats in the box, but he only uses two. And, after he is comfortably seated, Cain comes along with his wile. Cain had a wife, you know. (Laughter.) Cain comes in with his wife. He comes in there and wants a seat in Adam's box, where they produce six. “But,” Adam says, “you had better pay me something for this I guess.” “Why,” says Cain, “I won't pay you anything for your seat. There are six other seats in this box just as good as those you have and there is another box just as good with eight seats. I won't pay you anything.” And then more would come. And so it would go on until those two boxes were filled. There would not be any such thing as rent up to that time. Nobody that came in would pay for the privilege of a seat in any of those two boxes so long as unoccupied seats there could be had just as good. But when these boxes were filled new corners would have to pay something to be in these two “number six” boxes, as I will call them. A man would not want to go into the “five” boxes if he could get. into the “six” boxes. Then a little bargaining would ensue between these new corners and the old corners, and the most that the new corners would give for the privilege of being in the better box would be “one.” That is, they would say: “It is immaterial to us whether we work for 'five' and keep it ail, or work for 'six' and give 'one' to the others.” So they would be willing to pay as high or nearly as high, but no higher, than “one.” Then when the number live boxes were filled people would have to go into number four. And then the rent would be higher. For the 'five' box it would be one and for the six box two.” Then, don't you see, Mr. and Mrs. Adam or Mr. and .Mrs Cain would have the best of the bargain, because they got there first. And so it would go on until finally we would find people down in the seats which produced only “one,” and then they would be driven over into the circle where they would get just a bare living. Meantime rent would be going up all the time, and when people were driven to the circle where there was just enough to sustain life that would be all the working people could get anywhere, because Adam and Cain and the rest would take the difference as rent. Wages would be the same all the way up, but there would be a gradation of the rent from “six” down to “one.” All you have got to do to prove this to your satisfaction is to look about you and see how all the better places in the community command a higher ground rent according to their location.
But that is not all, and that is not the worst of it. You can very well see how the descendants of the first comers, who got the best places and kept them, get the best of other people all the time, and that after a while there comes a time when they can lay back and do nothing, and all that is produced by others above a living will be turned over to these people whose merit is that their great grandfathers came here before other people's great grandchildren came here.
Well, I say that is not all, and that is not the worst. I have told you how rent would rise and how wages would fall if men took no more land than they could use. But that is not what they do. When Adam comes into that box first he does not take those two seats and try to dicker with Cain. Adam turns the key and locks the door and appropriates the whole eight seats. And when Cain comes and knocks Adam tells him he guesses he don't dare to deal with him because there isn't any land boom on just now. Real estate is way down, and he thinks there will be a good many more people in this building and guesses he will hold on a little, and tells Cain to go over on this side. Well, Cain comes over here and gets in this box. But Adam has put at flea in his ear, so Cain turns the lock in that door. Now, there are only two in this box and two in that, and there are six empty seats in both. Before, when nobody took more seats than he could use, there would have to be eight people in each box before the incoming population would be crowded into the other boxes. Now, the incoming population is, immediately crowded into the lower boxes because Mr. Adam and Mr. Cain are expecting a boom in real estate, and they are holding fast until it comes. When population increases men must go into the poorer boxes, and they turn the key, too. And after a while you find that, although the boxes are not full, nobody can get into them, and people down here in the orchestra circle, they draw a line around just as many seats as they can reach. And then you hear people say: “How crowded!” You say: “Why, there are lots of empty seats.” “Yes, but it is crowded. People must go west! Go west! Move on! Move on! There is not room here!” And the reason there is not room here is because those who gel into those seats first have done precisely what Adam did there and Cain there (pointing to the boxes.) They have locked the door on the rest of the people and kept the house empty, and yet keep shrieking: “We are crowded. We are crowded.”
Is it not so right in this city of New York? There is the most crowded city on this continent, and, in some places, said to be the most crowded city on the globe. It is not half built upon, as a matter of fact. You know it. You can find people crowded like sardines in a box down here in the Tenth ward, and you will find acre after acre of vacant ground within a short rifle shot of where I stand. Don't the people want that ground? Yes. Why don't they take it? For precisely the same reason that those miners do not take that ice out of the holes in Pennsylvania. For the same reason that those miners did not take the ice in Pennsylvania, the people of New York do not take this land and use it and build upon it. And what we see here in the city of New York we may see all over the country. Population is not advancing steadily from the east to the west as it should. It is going by jumps, every man, as he moves on to grow up with the country, does precisely what I have imagined those people in the boxes to do, takes upon what land he needs, not what land he can use, but all of the land he can manage to hold fast to. So that the next man who wants to grow up with the country has got to go a good deal further on to find a country to grow up with. And we have this spectacle presented of a country so crowded that people are now asking us to shut out immigration. Yet we have only sixty millions of people here.
They want to shut out immigration because the country is crowded. You just put a tax on land values up to what they are worth and see how naughty quick this country will be uncrowded. Why, one man can crowd a whole continent in the way that this country is crowded. All he has to do is to get a deed, trace it back far enough to make it look respectable, to some king on the other side the water, and the whole country is crowded, then, if he chooses not to let anybody come in. (A voice: “What about the money kings in this country?”)
If we were to put a tax upon the value of the boxes and seats in this theater in the illustration that I have given, do you suppose that they would be held on to in that way without being used? If a man has to pay as much for his privilege when he does not use it as when he does, do you suppose that he will keep it out of use? If Adam there and Cain there had had to pay as much for those boxes when there were but two in them as if there had been eight in ten that would have unlocked that door mighty quick. (Applause.) And when you open up natural resources, when you bong men in contact with nature freely (snapping bis fingers), that for your money kings! (Applause.) 1 had the money king thrown at me live years ago in discussing this question and the answer I gave then will do now. A dear friend of juice who had the money king idea on the brain said to me: “I admit a great deal of what you say about the land, but let me tell you this: give me control of all the money and I will give you control of all the land and I will get the best of you.” Said I: “Clint, the first thing I would say to you would be, 'Give me all your money or get off my land.'” (Laughter and great cheering.)
I find that the time I had given myself is about up, but I want to say a word about one Lind of anniversary that we have to meet in this controversy, and that is the arithmetic fiend. He is is well typified by our friend, Mr. Atkinson of Boston. This arithmetic fiend tells us that poverty is abolishing itself; that we are giving rich all the tune. Now that is true for some people. There are some that are getting rich all the time, but they are not working very hard. These are the ones that are doing their work by proxy. But the people that are doing work for themselves, who are working themselves by doing it for somebody else's benefit, they are not improving so very rapidly as these figures would suggest? Did you ever notice these figures? On the one hand they say wages used to be so much: now they are so much more. Meat used to cost so much; now it only costs so much. A barrel of flour used to cost so much; now it only costs so much. And they figure the thing up until they get at it somehow that a man can live now on seventy cents a day when it used to cost a dollar, and that he gets a dollar and a half for wages where he used to get only a dollar. That is the general arrangement. Well, now, it is true, as they say, that figures do not lie; that is, provided you get all the figures. (Applause.) But they do not get all the figures. If they want to compare figures, why not get boarding house bills of thirty and forty years ago and compare them with boarding house bills of today? Why don"t they get figures that will take in as much as possible of comfortable human life in the two periods they compare? You cannot take one period and compare it with another by simply ascertaining the cost of this thing or that thing then and now.
Why, just carry it back to our old friend Adam. There was a time when his entire wardrobe consisted of a fig-leaf (laughter), and I have no doubt that Adam was a very respectable, comfortably dressed man, too, at that time and in the state of society in which he lived. But imagine Mr. Atkinson coming along and saving that a man is just twice as well off in the matter of clothes as Adam was because he has two fig-leaves. (Laughter.) I say you have got to consider standards of comfort, standards of respectability. Standards change, and the fact is this is a thing that cannot be reached by figures and the figures they give do lie because they are not all the figures. (Applause.)
We know better. We have but to look around us to see that poverty is on the increase, that men are becoming more and more dependent upon others for the right to make a living, and we don't care what the figures may be as to the wages of that man or this man or that class or this class; we do not care how much beefsteak is a pound, nor how much flour is a barrel. We know that the people are getting poorer. (Applause.) We know that we have a vast slough of poverty in our midst. We know that it is spreading, growing, getting deeper, and that it is generating vice and crime. We know that it is threatening our civilization. We don't care what their figures may be. (Applause.) This community, this civilization, today realizes the prophets figure of “an image of gold on feet of clay.” Any man who knows anything of the history of his time will recognize the application of that figure. (Applause.) And I tell you that if we keep on, those feet of clay will crumble and that image of gold will fall. Father McGlynn (applause) said this in another way when he told the people that if they did not remedy these evils they would get their bellyful of French revolutions. The pro-poverty press, the men who have sought to misrepresent him from the beginning, pretended to believe that he was threatening violence. They knew better. You know what he meant. You know what he expressed. He made no threat. He made no menace. He merely made a prediction. He simply said to a bad boy: “Stop fooling with that gun or it will go off (great applause), and if it goes off it will make another empty hole in your skull.” That is all he said, and any one that looks about him can see that it is true. We may not know much about the figures of the Atkinsons and we care less, but we do know that poverty is spreading. We know that it is dangerous. We know that it is likely to lead to violence, and we are bound to abolish it by removing its cause by making land free. (Applause.)
Now, just one little story on this point, and I am done.
There was a porter in one of the houses down town. His name was Uncle Piastus. One day his employer called him up and said: “Uncle Rastus, do you understand arithmetic?”
“No, Massa, I doan understan' 'rithmetic at all.”
“Well, now, let us see,” said his employer. “Suppose I should lend you live dollars, to be paid back in installments of a dollar a month; how much would you owe me at the end of three months?”
“Five dollars, sah.”
“Well,” said his employer, “I guess you don't know much about arithmetic.”
“No, massa, I reckon I doan know nothing about 'rithmctic, but I specks I knows a heap about Uncle Rastus.” (Laughter.)
And so we know little or nothing about these statistics, but we know a great deal about the situation, which these other gentlemen seem to fail to understand. (Great applause.)
Three cheers were given for Mr. Post on concluding his address, and the applause was long and hearty.
The Anti-Poverty Movement in Boston
Boston, Mass.—We are not engaging the attention of the whole community here as yet, but we are working quietly and earnestly, and looking forward. Last evening an open-air meeting was held under the auspices of the Henry George club of Boston at Central square, Cambridge. Mr. J. R, Roche occupied the chair, and the speakers were Mr. Edwin M. White, Mr. T. B. Spillane, Mr. Daniel H. Biggs and Mr. Davis J. King. About 2,000 were present, who listened attentively, and who sought eagerly the tracts that were distributed at the close of the meeting. A reference to the dear priest who dared to brave the terrors of excommunication for truth's sake brought forth a storm of applause. Names of many were taken to form a land and labor club in Cambridge. Another open-air meeting is to be held on Boston common Monday evening next.
The preliminary steps are being taken to form an anti-poverty society. All readers of The Standard in Boston who believe in the new crusade are requested to send their names to D. H. Biggs, secretary of the temporary organization.
J. H. Roche.
Master Workman Powderly on the Parent of All Monopolies
Nanticoke, Pa.—An open air meeting was held here July 25. The meeting was addressed by Master Workman T. V. Powderly, K. of L., Rev. T. C. Smith of Nanticoke, and C. S. Kopkins of Wilkesbarre, Pa.
Mr. Powderly confined his address to an explanation of the objects and principles of the K. of L. In speaking of monopolies Mr. Powderly characterized land monopoly as the parent of all other monopolies.
Mr. Hopkins, in a twenty minutes' speech, outlined the principles of the land and labor party, and pointed out a few of the advantages that would be gained by “substituting a tax upon land values for all other forms of taxation.”
The meeting was well attended in spite of a drizzling rain, and close attention was given to the speeches.
A land and labor club is about to be organized in Wilkesbarre, with every prospect of a very large membership.
Saloon Licenses and Home Licenses
Newark, N. Y.—Enclosed find $3, of which $2.50 is to renew my subscription for a year, and fifty cents for recruit subscriptions to — and —.
In our city if a man wishes to retail liquor for a year. the price is £50 for a license. If another wishes to build a house worth $5,000 or $6,000 for a home for his family, the charge is the same. The latter, besides making a comfortable home for his family, is a public benefactor in adding to the growth and wealth of the city, and is more worthy of a bounty than to be mulcted in un animal fine. The other, instead of making a home, renders many a family homeless and miserable. How long will such an absurd law be suffered to exist before a sufficient number of votes can be obtained to abolish it? It is to be hoped, not many years.
A Farmer who Knows how it is Himself
La Bahia, Tex.—Enclosed find 20 cents, for which send a copy of “Progress and Poverty” to——. I would send more money, but this is a hard time of year with the southern farmer that has to buy annually the right to labor for a living. The principles so ably set forth in The Standard are gradually taking hold of this people. I have been utilizing all my spare time in talking up this new crusade. I meet with much ignorance, some selfishness and a little meanness; but what does a crusader care for opposition?
Robert A. Whateley.
Memphis, Tenn.—Wave high the cross of the new crusade! We have started a land and labor club, and I hope an anti-poverty society will soon follow.
Queries And Answers
It Is A Cause
Going up Third avenue I noticed on the banner of a united labor society—corner of 105th street and Third avenue, I think—the words, “Private ownership in land is the curse of civilization.—Henry George.” Being ambitious to own a piece of land, as any one contemplating marriage would be, I thought, how would that idea suit me? I tried to console myself with the thought that the saying was intended to mean, “Private ownership in land is the cause of civilization.”
George W. Keyser.
You confuse private use of land with private ownership. Private use of land is a cause of civilization; but private ownership of land is its curse. Ownership of land involves the right to prevent its use. It is private ownership of land that makes it so difficult to use land. Private ownership sets up a toll gate, and it often happens that men are forced to pay a toll which leaves them nothing out of what they produce but a bare living.
One Substantial Difference
Philadelphia, Pa., July 9.—(1) Will you please explain tome the substantial difference between your plan of gradually increasing taxation on land with the view of ultimately appropriating all rent, and the suggestion to at once divert the unearned increment into the public treasury after compensating the land owner. Under your system the landlord would receive a portion of the unearned increment for a number of years, which, being equivalent to an annuity of diminishing rates can be capitalized, i.e., expressed by a definite sum of single payment depending upon the mean rate of interest. Supposing this sum to be the convention paid the landlord, would he fare better by this method than by yours?
(2) What relation does the value of land bear to the annual unearned increment? Is Macleod correct when he maintains that the value of land is a function of the rent and the mean rate of interest proper, i. e., the unearned increment capitalized at the prevailing mean rate of interest?
(3) What would be the probable value of a piece of land that brings an annual rental of $600 if the mean rate of interest proper is four per cent?
(1) To shift all taxes to land values and gradually to increase the tax with the view of ultimately appropriating all rent, would constantly tend to reduce the selling value of land; while to compensate the landlord and divert the whole unearned increment into the public treasury, would make land much more valuable than it is now and place the community under the burden of a tremendous interest-bearing debt. There are other substantial differences between the two plans, but this is enough.
(2) If by “annual unearned increment” you mean rent, it varies from something less than prevailing interest on capital down to nothing. Eliminating speculative value and considering real value alone the value of land is its rent capitalized at the prevailing rate of interest, i.e.: If interest is five per cent land yielding $500 rental is worth $10,000.
(3) The probable value, speculation eliminated, would be twenty-five years' purchase or $15,000.
Proportion of Idle Land
About what proportion of all land owned by title deed is under cultivation? or, how much land is held for speculation as compared to land in use?
C. F. H.
Impossible to tell. In New York city from two-thirds to three-quarters of all the land is kept out of use, and of the remainder a great deal is not put to its best use. As New York city is the most densely populated place in the United States, you may draw your own inferences as to the country generally.
Baltimore, Md.—The following question is often put to me: Suppose a man has an acre of inferior soil of a value of $5, and he increases value of the acre by fertilizers and his own labor to $10. Would you increase his tax? I say no. Am I right?
W. N. Hill, M. D.
You are right.
Panics, Trusts, and Homesteads
Boston, July 18.—(1) Are not booms and panics more directly the result of fluctuations of currency or money supply than of land speculation? With a stable currency would not land values rise steadily with the advance of society, rather than by fits and starts, a boom, then a halt or collapse, and then a boom again, a little higher than the last?
(2) Are not some of the great conspiracies in production, like the cotton oil trust, the Standard oil monopoly, the—proposed rubber manufacturing trust, etc., beyond the reach of the reforms which would be accomplished by the nationalization of the land?
(3) Do not the benefits, moral and economic, which seem to be inherent in small proprietorship, justify a differential land tax—an exemption of a certain value in homestead, for instance—to force the breaking up of all great holdings, which can be subdivided, without any great economic waste.
Edwin M. White.
(1) When land values rise steadily with the advance of society, they take on a tendency to rise with greater rapidity than society advances, until land reaches a selling value so far in excess of rental value that production is cheeked and industrial depression results. This is irrespective of currency fluctuations. The same thing would happen if there were no medium of exchange, and commerce was pure barter.
(2) No; they could no more flourish, if land were free, than a water lily could bloom in a hay mow.
(3) We should favor a reasonable homestead exemption, but not for the purpose of creating a peasant proprietary.
The Persistence of a Tendency
——Mass., July 18.—While I do not falter in the least in my allegiance to the land doctrine, a question has been put to me by a semi-believer, which I haven't been quite able to answer. If all taxes were transferred to land, or even if land were actually owned by the state and leased to individuals, would not persons already in possession of capital have a considerable advantage over those who have no capital, which would enable the former to pay a higher rent than the latter, and thus practically monopolize the use of land? This is not exactly the same question as the one you have answered so often about the rich and the poor man who own adjoining houses; and may be illustrated by the case of the Equitable insurance company, which has put up such a magnificent building that the rents obtained—above the interest on capital used in construction—will undoubtedly be much greater than those paid by the same area of land in the vicinity, if only by reason of the increased number of office floors made possible. No one who did not control a large amount of capital could erect such a building; and consequently no such person could have successfully bid against the Equitable company for the use of the land.
If the building rent obtained by the Equitable Insurance company exceeds the interest on capital used in construction, the investment is a good one and will tempt others to erect similar buildings in the same neighborhood, unless there are opposing influences. The opposing influences at present is not insufficiency of capital, but the great cost of the ground, the burdensome taxes on the building and the extra risk created by these two factors. If the ground cost nothing and there were no taxes on the building the risk would be reduced to a minimum, and the Equitable would not long be permitted to obtain greater rents than were obtained from buildings on land of equal area in the vicinity. Returns from capital tend to a level, and ground rent is scaled according to the desirableness of the ground. These tendencies would be stronger than now if production were free.
A Brooklynite's Quandary
Brooklyn.— I read in “Progress and Poverty” that a man's house where he lives can not be counted as his capital. Now suppose that man moves to a house where he has to pay rent to someone else, and he gets rent from the house he owns; thus his house represents capital. Now, why did it not represent capital before, as he was not compelled to pay for his room when he lived in it.
In the first case his house is in process of consumption for his own use or gratification, just as are the potatoes which a farmer uses upon his table; in the second case it is in process of exchange for another house, just as are the potatoes which a farmer trades for molasses. The fact that the man devotes his income from his house to the hiring of another house does not change his house from capital to mere wealth, any more than it would if he devoted the increase to buying food, clothing or any other necessary.
Is Father Huntington subject to Archbishop Corrigan? And if so, why is he not excommunicated? Is he not preaching the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man, the same as Dr. McGlynn?
O. E. R. R.
Father Huntington is a priest of the Protestant Episcopal church, and, as he said in answer to an inquiry at one of the Anti-poverty meetings, “his bishop is not that kind of a bishop.”
A. D. Cody.—You are right. Of course Mr. George did not mean that the occupiers of land should pay its full value in taxes every year. What he meant, and what has been made clear over and over again, is that the occupier should pay the rental value every year.
D. Gilbert, Battle Creek, Mich.—Under the land value tax the "moneyed element" of society could not gain possession of all the land. The amount of land that one man could hold against the demands of others for the same land would be the amount that ho could use profitably; and the others, as compensation for being deprived of the use of that land, would snare in its value. At the same time, other land less valuable or wholly free would be easily accessible to them. Any man or set of men who should undertake to appropriate all land would be unable, from the profits of what they could profitably use, to pay taxes on what they could not use.
S. Everett, Hornellsville, N. Y.—Our position is that all taxes that may be levied shall be a percentage on the selling value of land irrespective of improvements. The owners of land having no selling value, such as a very large class of farmers, would pay no tax at all; while the owners of land having a high selling value, like mines and lots in large cities, would pay a high tax.
Well, You Know—the Fact is—Oh! D—n the Anti-Poverty Society, Anyway!
From the New York World, Aug. 2, fourth page; evoked from inner consciousness of editorial writer:
The wonderful growth and prosperity of the United States are due to the liberty and the opportunity afforded to every Citizen here for the past hundred years. The development of the great republic has been parallel with and dependent upon the development of private property—the right and the chance of each individual to better his condition, to work out his own fortune.
From the New York World, same date, fifth page; written by special reporter Harold W. Raymond from actual observation in Mauch Chunk, Pa.:
“Do you mean to say,” I cried, aghast, “that live thousand persons are compelled to rely on the services of a young doctor who is a drunkard? Impossible!'”
“My young friend,” returned the old Citizen, dryly, “there is nothing impossible up in this country and I pray you not to make the mistake of thinking there is. So far as compulsion is concerned in this and other instances that I know of the case stands thus: Every married man working for the companies which make collections for yonder drunken sawbones is obliged to pay him $9 per year— ay, it is docked from his monthly earnings—and every single man contributes $6. If they wish to pay this tribute and employ another physician they are not denied that luxury, but as surely as a man is found out doing this his services are dispensed with. You ask why? It is this: The company does not want strange doctors about. They want their own man. And then, when there is an accident in their mines, why, there is no coroner's inquest and no trouble about a certificate of death and all that. See?”
“My God! Do you mean to say that this is the truth?”
“Investigate for yourself. I make no protestations.”
Well, I have investigated, and I have found that the old citizen told the truth. There have been crimes committed up here—crimes of omission, commission—under this system of enforced doctoring which prevails at many of the mines. There have been deaths in the mines—aye, many of them—caused by company carelessness or avarice, and delicately covered over by these richly paid medical attorneys. There have been women in childbirth neglected because the doctor was off on a bit of a spree, or doing the society act in some fashionable event. There have been dying people unattended, though they had long been taxed for attendance, for I do assure you, although in justice beit said that there are many good men and true among the “company doctors,” that as a usual thing the collection of the tax is much better looked after than the earning of the same.
Dear! Dear! How Dreadful! and All Because He Thinks it's Wrong to Steal
Memphis, Tenn., Evening Ledger.
Much has been written and said of the peculiar position occupied by Dr. McGlynn—a Catholic sworn to obey the rides and regulations of his church, to the promotion of whose interest he had devoted the best days of his life, now hurled by the “awful curse of Rome” from her fold—an ardent advocate of a doctrine which, however correct at the formation of the earth, or in theory, is in the practice of our day rank poison to a majority of the people—a citizen of the United States, and boasting of its protection, preaching treason to her constitution. A man with a good heart, but perverted intellect. Neither a Catholic nor a Protestant—scarcely a citizen, though still a man, his position is deplorable. He cannot enter the Protestant church for the reason that no such theories nor a political preacher would be there tolerated. The Catholics, true to their teachings, are falling from his side day by day. If his belief in his theories was real and sincere ho should have explained and defended them before the church at Rome, to whom, by a voluntary vow, he first owed obedience. If, as we are inclined to think, they are but a cover for some real or imaginary slight or indignity offered him by the church, under which he poses as one cruelly persecuted, he widely misses his mark. As a politician neither the democratic nor republican party dare espouse him, and the workingmen will tire of him, but as a man he should find regret and sympathy in all our hearts for a life up to this time spent in self-sacrifice for the good of his fellow man.
The Catholic Church In Belgium
Refusing Absolution to Workmen Who Presume to Strike—The Priests, Like Little Lap Dogs, Snarling at the Poor
Dr. McGlynn permits us to make the following extracts from a letter recently received by him from a well informed correspondent in Brussels:
Be of good courage, and fight the kind of Roman influence personified by a nuncio. It will corrupt the American church and make it what the church has become in this country, where I live (Belgium), a church which is altogether on the side of the rich against the poor.
In no country in Europe do the poor (especially the poorer poor) suffer more than in this commercial, capitalist-ridden country. The starvation wages are wicked, and they are now trying to make them lower. The poorer workmen will soon be like the horse with a straw a day, so terribly are their poverty and number taken advantage of. And what makes it worse is that the rich here are very rich, and could be so generous if they liked. But no, they spare no expense for themselves and their pleasures, but care nothing for the starvers. They—or their ladies—give large sums to priests, monks; perhaps that is why the priests are so for them. The priests here won't give absolution to any workman who goes on strike, no matter what provocation it may be he is enduring. They only preach humility and patience to the poor here; but I don't see that they preach duty to the rich at all; toward them the priests' conduct here is cringing. Indeed the priests—and I see a good deal of them—seem to me to be content to be like little lap dogs, crawling under the wealthy and snarling at the poor.
A baptism, or marriage or funeral, etc., is done very differently for the rich man and the poor man. For the rich man's children splendid colleges and convents are provided; there are put the brothers, or nuns, who know the most—anything will do for the poor, For the poor the priests do little or nothing; they are always fluttering about the wealthy.
There are Catholic workingmen's societies, but they allow no strikes. Those who join them are taught to take what they get and be thankful. In general the working classes here hate the church, the few bona Catholiques among them—an ignoble few whose idea of religion is to cringe. It seems quite a pleasure to people like that to know that while their own little children are crying for bread, the rich man's pampered darlings suck chocolate at ten francs the box, or play with toys which cost hundreds. They are ready to work and slave hard all their lives, and to see their young children work and slave, for just I enough to live; they are quite content that ail the profit should go to those well-dressed children over there, riding by on their ponies—children who will never know what it is to work, but be idle all their days, and yet want more, and more and more.
This is what an Italianized church has reduced itself to in Belgium.
Archbishop Corrigan Ought to Resign
A correspondent of the Denver News, to whom that paper refers editorially as “a devout and highly respected priest of the Catholic church,” says:
In view of the uncanonical treatment of Dr. McGlynn by the archbishop of New York; in view also of the terrible blow given by Archbishop Corrigan to liberty of speech, heretofore enjoyed by all bishops and priests in common with their fellow citizens; and finally, in view of the incalculable injury his inexcusable and fatal blundering has done our most holy father himself, bringing ins action of excommunication, under the circumstances in which it was fulminated, into contempt. in the eves of all non-Catholics, and even of many of the faithful, and thus doing grievous injury to the papal dignity and influence—in view, I repeat, of these sad results of incompetent administration, following from the open and wanton violation of the canon law of the church, I am bold enough to say that the most reverend archbishop of New York ought himself to be disciplined; that he ought to be obliged by his ecclesiastical superior, Cardinal Simeoni or Leo XIII, to study canon law, and in particular the decrees of Baltimore, and be admonished to be guided by them in the future and in all his official acts. But, ignoring them as ho has done, with the sad result now witnessed in his diocese and throughout the country, scandal to the faithful children of Jesus Christ and triumph for the enemies of the Catholic church, I fear that the days of his usefulness as a bishop are forever at an end in New York. Under all the circumstances, for the honor and good name of the Catholic church and her supreme head. who, I feel confident, has been deceived and imposed upon, for the peace and welfare of the Catholics of New York, the best thing for Archbishop Corrigan to do is to lay down his crozier and retire once more to Seton hall, or ask to be transferred to some other field of labor where, profiting by his past sad experience, he can avoid the blunders which have marked his administration both in New Jersey and in New York.
Defining Its Position
St. Louis New Order.
A letter from C. H. Allen, F. S. of D. A. 143, requests the New Order to define its position on the political issues of the day. The gist of Mr. Allen's request is for us to declare whether we are heartily in favor of the union labor platform as promulgated at Cincinnati, or whether we side with the Henry George faction. Mr. Allen takes the ground that the George theory is very unpopular in the country, and “the advocacy of it will only serve to drive the city laboring element from acting in concert and harmony with the country people, for the farmers of the United States will not vote with any political party that holds that doctrine in their platform.” In the first place we have good reason to know that the farmers in a great many parts of the country are decidedly in favor of the George theory, for the reason that when they fully understand the “land question” they immediately recognize that it is the one principle on which they can retain possession of their farms without having them sold over their heads by some mortgage shark, who has been draining their substance for years.
In the next place we believe that the “George idea” is the only issue on which the labor party can hope to go before the country and make any ultimate and lasting success. The Cincinnati platform is not far-reaching enough to insure victory, and is really not as good a platform as the preamble of the Knights of Labor.
A Hero of Conscience
Sermon by Rev. Henry Blanchard of Portland, Me.
Dr. McGlynn is the apostle of freedom of thought; he is the hero of conscience. . . . He teaches the great doctrines of the universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man. He teaches that to disobey conscience is to sin against the Holy Ghost. He asserts, as the Master taught, the right of every man to judge for himself what is right. We may well pray God to bless him, to give him wisdom and power, as he tries to uplift his brother men.
The Inwardness Of A Boom
The Practical Effects of Land Speculation in Grand Rapids, Iowa—A Stirring Appeal to Men to Assert Their Rights
Grand Rapids, Iowa, Workman.
Grand Rapids is having a genuine real estate boom. Grand Rapids in this respect is diseased. A real estate boom is a disease. It is a disease that makes a covered home for the poor man harder to get. Certain newspapers, following the usual bent, art; aggravating the disease by egging on the boom. They think they are doing a commendable thing, the proper thing, and, as things go, it is the proper thing. Every line in the papers boosting the price of real estate is the building of a higher fence and shutting out the possibilities of a poor man realizing God's gift—the land. Every line tending to add value to the lot makes the poor man more a slave than before and tightens the chains still tighter. What matters it to the man who has his home and no more one home sufficient to shelter his family that he can call “his.” where he can lay his head without paying for the privilege, whether that home is worth ten cents or a million? He doesn't build it to speculate; he builds it to live in, the same as the squirrel in the tree. He paints it, he papers it, he carpet the floors, he puts up window curtains, just like other people: he beautifies it, for he is proud of it, and because it is his—not to sell, but for his own comfort and pleas are. To boom real estate is to rob the poor man of the ability to obtain a resting place. Yea, it is sowing the seed that breeds anarchists.
To boom a city is to make meat for the devil. It creates an aggregation of evils. It tends to greater riches and affluence on the one hand and misery and suffering on the other. To boom a city is to boom pestilence, epidemics, vice and more graveyards. To boom a city is to boom tears, pain and profanity. To boom a city is to make us cruel, to hate our neighbor, to hate ourselves; it breeds curses. gives St. Peter the blues, and consequent jubilation in sheol. Cities a r e the cancers of civilization, and the bigger the city the bigger the cancer, and to boom a city is to aggravate the sore. In history Sodom and Gomorrah were the boss cancers.
Of what benefit is it to boom Grand Rapids? Who gets the benefit? Are the workingmen benefited? Do they get any bigger wages? Can they buy a home any cheaper? Do rents come down? No. The reverse is the case. Wages in many casts are lower. It costs more to live. Rents are higher, and consequently groceries, clothing, fuel, every necessity and comfort of lift: is higher. It costs more to bury the dead. Sunlight and air and water are held at a premium. To the masses the bigger the city the greater the struggle for existence. Society becomes more exclusive. You have fewer friends and are still more of a stranger. Every man eyes his neighbor with suspicion, afraid he is in his way. The shop man looks daggers at the stranger talking to the boss—fears he may offer to work cheaper and rubbish of his situation.
But this isn't the fault of any one in particular. It is the fault of the system under which we live. Is there any remedy? We believe there is. Said a neighbor to another neighbor, “What do you think of Henry George's ideas.” Said neighbor No. 2, “If it is a question of humanity, of lifting the unfortunate from the gutters, of building up and Christianizing our social fabric, of elevating the poor man by legitimate methods at the expense of the rich, I believe Henry George is all right. If it is to be and is just that might is right, that the strong shall victimize the weak that there must be more misery and suffering and the more the better, then Henry George is all wrong.” Mr. George's idea is to relieve the masses from the burdens that are needlessly imposed upon them, and give them more freedom to enjoy the comforts and blessings of life. His idea of taxation is correct. We say this fearlessly, not because we are a judge in the matter, but because it comes under a natural law, as natural as the law of gravitation.
Opposite No. 8 Pearl street is a vacant lot. On each side of the lot is a block. The lot, say, is worth $5,000. Say one of the blocks is worth $20,000. The block, which cost labor to build, is assessed at $15,000, the vacant lot at $3,000 The owner of the lot is holding it, waiting for more improvements at somebody else!s expense to give his lot more value. The George idea would raise the tax on that vacant Tot and lower the tax in the block. That would compel the sale of the lot. Another block, more rentals and cheaper rents would result, thus relieving the burden on labor. Julius A. Berkey has a vacant lot adjacent to the truant school. Mr. Houseman, so we are informed, has offered him $40,000 for it. He won't sell it. Mr. Houseman's beautiful block has increased the value. of Mr. Berkey's vacant lot. Tax it equal to the Houseman block: and Mr. Berkey would then sell it. Mr. H. would then build upon it, give employment to men, carpenters, painters, bricklayers, etc, increase retains and decrease rents.
What is the show for a workingman to buy a home at present in this city? A very poor show indeed. If your wife has some pride, wants a house that looks decent on the outside and in a good neighborhood, near the street railway, the price is beyond reach. If you want to squat down in some quarter where the houses are driven in between each other with a wedge, where children are as thick as fleas in a hog pen, or in some mud hole, or in the smoke of a factory or locomotive, the price may be within reach. You hear of a man who has got some beautiful lots, and you start and look the ground over. You hunt up the owner. He says; “I will sell you one of those lots, 23 feet front and 130 feet deep for $400 cash, providing you will build a $600 house. I have more lots to sell here, and I want to build up this portion with with nice-looking two-story house. It makes the rest of my lots so much the more valuable.” He doesn't offer to rebate for the benefit that accrues to the rest of his property by your $600 house. What would Henry George dos Tax those lots and lower the tax on the $600 laborer's house. You go up on Clancy street and you will see a row of neat looking two story buildings built to sell. “I will sell you that house,” says the owner, “for $1,050, $700 down, and the rest in two years at eight per cent. I don't really care about selling it. I get $10 a month rent, which will pay for the whole house in a few years, and besides the street railway is going right along on this street, and as .soon as it is down I can get $1,200 for the place.” What would bu the effect of Henry George's idea carried out? It would reduce rents; give a working man a chance for a house, retrieve the small business man from excessive rents, which come out of the consumers of the commodities he sells, and the Clancy street man would be glad to sell at a price within the means of a common man. The Clancy street man is to blame; it is the fault of the system.
Now what should be done? Give right up and let things go on from worse to worse? Isn't it time that the workingmen of Grand Rapids woke up to a true realization of the situation? It is not only the workingmen but every man living except the speculator—every man who rents, every man who pays for the privilege of doing a legitimate business. Who are the first dozen men that will get together and organize a land and labor club in this city and push the principle of a tax on the unearned value of the land?
The Heaven, Even the Heavens, Are the Lord's, but the Earth Hath He Given to the Lehigh and Navigation Company
A reporter of the New York Sun has been. making a trip over the Lehigh valley railroad to Mauch Chunk and Glen Onoko. From one of the firm of Mumford Bros., who run the celebrated Switchback railroad, he obtained the following information:
“Where was the first coal discovered?”
“Right over there. Philip Ginter, a regular Rip Van Winkle German, picked it up live minutes' walk from here in 1791. In 1812 the senator from Sehuykill pronounced the coal worthless. In 1817 the land was leased for an ear of corn. Now 800,000,000tons of coal lie untouched here. They are the property of the Lehigh coal and navigation company. One vein, 150 feet wide, just found, is 400 “feet deep, and extends half a mile at least.”
Socialism And The New Party
It is necessary that the platform to be adopted by the united labor party convention which is to meet at Syracuse on the 17th should firmly and clearly define the position of the party with relation to socialism. Th is is rendered necessary by the organized endeavor of the State or German socialists to impress their peculiar views upon the party—an endeavor that has become so notorious that any disposition to evade the issue whether or not the united labor party indorses these views, would give its enemies a specious pretext to make the charge that it dues.
Stimulated, perhaps, by the irritation produced by what in socialistic parlance might be called the attempt of the socialists to “exploit” the united labor party, there is a strong disposition to rule out of the convention three prominent socialists who have been elected as delegates, but who are not voters of New York—one, Mr. Schevitsch. having his legal residence in New Jersey, and the other two, Messrs. Gronlund and Vrooman, having been in the state only a few months.
But though such proceeding might be in, conformity with the usage requiring that the members of a state convention should be voters of the state, the fact that these gentlemen are prominent socialists, and elected for that reason. furnishes an argument for the most liberal recognition of the right of the district to send such representatives as will best express the opinions of its members. Since the relations of the united labor party with socialism have been brought into such prominence and will enter into the most important part of the proceedings of the convention, it is all the better that socialism should be represented there by its ablest exponents, and it would be a pity to rule out of the convention on technical grounds three such men as Messrs. Schevitsch, Gronlund and Vrooman—the first a well- known socialistic editor, the second a well-known socialistic writer. And the third an accredited missionary and orator of the socialistic labor party. The question between State or German socialism and the ideas of that great party of equal rights and individual freedom which is now beginning to rise all over the land, may as well. since the socialists have raised it, be settled now as at any other time, and ought to be settled frankly and openly, and on its merits, and with the best representation of socialistic ideas that the members of the party who hold to these ideas can select.
There are a large number of us who are not socialists, do not propose to become socialists, and are not willing to be used as a stalking horse for socialism; and if the socialists of the German school, who have hitherto acted with the united labor party, propose to use the socialistic organization as a party within a party, and making up in discipline what they lack in numbers, to insist upon any endorsement, expressed or implied, of their peculiar theories as a condition of continuing to act with the party, then the quicker the two bodies separate?, each to go its own way, the better it will be.
And this not merely as a matter of principle but as a matter of policy—if any distinction can be made between the two things in them minds of men who have no policy except to advance principle. For any disadvantage that might result from being called socialists we care nothing. But to permit the simple and obviously just principles of securing equal rights in natural opportunities by taking land values for public uses and of bringing businesses in their nature monopolies under the control or management of the state, to be confounded with schemes for abolishing industrial liberty and making the state the sole landholder as well as the sole landowner, the sole capitalist, the sole employer and the sole director of production and exchange, would be to greatly retard the work we have in hand. Such confused theories and wild schemes as those of the doctrinaires of the German socialistic school can never stand the lest of intelligent discussion or make headway among a people with whom the instinct of individual freedom is so strong as with ours.
German socialism is so confused and confusing in its terminology, so illogical in its methods; it contains such a mixture of important truths with superficial generalizations and unwarranted assumptions, that it is difficult—at least for people of English speech—to readily understand its real meaning and purpose. Let me endeavor to give such a brief account of it as will at least serve to show the differences between it and the theories advanced in The Standard and held by the great bulk of the men who are now united in the formation of a new party.
In the theories of Marxian or German socialism—or socialism as we might as well call it to avoid repetition—the central point is the employer or capitalist. In that form of production which the socialistic writers denominate the capitalistic, and which they assume to be that of all production in the grade of civilization to which the most advanced modem nations have already attained, or, at least, in that to which they are advancing. this employer provides site, building, tools and materials, and buys labor, paying for it wages. He does not, however, pay in wages the whole value which the labor he buys adds to his material, but only a part of it, which the socialistic writers put at from one-quarter to one- half. The rest he keeps for himself. He, in short, buys labor as he buys commodities, and the price that he must pay and that labor can demand is, in the socialistic theory, fixed by the same la w that governs the price of other commodities; that is to say, the minimum on which, in the existing state of society, laborers will consent to maintain themselves and reproduce. The tendency of competition for employment among laborers to reduce wages to this minimum and keep them there is assumed. in the socialistic theory, to be the general law, and is styled by them the “iron law of wages.” That part of the value created by the laborers, which the employer does not return to them in wages, but keeps for himself, and which is generally assumed by socialistic writers to be from three-quarters to one-half of the whole produce, they style “surplus value.” Gronlund, however, in his book, “The Cooperative Commonwealth,” which is probably the best popular rendering into English of the socialistic theory, gives to this “surplus value” of Marx the much more intelligible name of “fleecings.” It is from this “surplus value,” or “fleecings,” that profits, rent, and interest are assumed to come, and from it the employers or capitalists maintain and augment their capital. This, in fact, the socialistic writers generally speak of as, and even more commonly assume to be the source of capital, and from this idea is derived the assertion they frequently make that capital consists of unpaid labor.
Nothing could better show the incoherence of socialism than its failure to give any definite meaning to the term which it most frequently uses and lays the most stress upon. Capital, the socialists tell us, consists of “unpaid labor” or “surplus value,” the “fleecings” of what has been produced by labor. Capital, they again tell us, is “that part of wealth employed productively with a view to profit by the sale of the produce.” Yet they not only class land as capital (thus confounding the essential distinction between primary and secondary factor of production), but when pressed for an explanation of what they mean when they talk of nationalizing capital they exclude from the definition such articles of wealth as the individual can employ productively with a view to profit, such as the ax of the woodsman, the sewing machine of the seamstress and the boat of the fisherman. The fact is that it is impossible to get in the socialistic literature any clear and consistent definition of capital. What they evidently have in mind in talking of capital is such capital as is used in the factory system, though they do not hesitate to include land with it and to speak of the landlord pure and simple as a capitalist.
The same indefiniteness and confusion of terminology, the same failure to subject to analysis the things and phenomena of which it treats, run through the whole socialistic theory. For instance, in the “Socialistic Catechism” of Dr. J. L. Joynes, which is circulated by the state socialists both in England and this country, the question is asked. “What is wealth?” The answer given is, “Everything that supplies the wants of man and ministers in any way to his comfort and enjoyment.” Under this definition land, water, air and sunshine, to say nothing of intangible things, are clearly included as wealth, yet the very next question is, “Whence is wealth derived?” to which the answer is given, “From labor usefully employed upon natural objects.” Yet the notion that labor usefully employed upon natural objects produces land is not more unintelligible than the notion that “surplus values” or “fleecings” produces capital. As to the latter, it might as well be said that robbing orchards produces apples, and in fad considering that land is by Socialists included in capital, it might as well be said that robbing orchards produces apples and apple trees too.
This indisposition or inability to analyze, to trace things to their root, and distinguish between the primary and the secondary, the essential and the accidental, is the vice of the whole socialistic theory. The socialist sees that under the conditions that exist today in civilized societies, the laborer does not get the fair reward of his labor, and that the tendency of the competition between laborers is, despite the augmentation of productive power, to force wages to the minimum of a bare livelihood. But, instead of going further and asking the reason of this, lie assumes it to be inherent in the “wage system,” and the natural result of free competition. As the only remedy for these evils, he would put an end to the “wage system,” and abolish competition by having the ownership of all capital (including land) assumed by the state; having all production and exchange directed by the state, and making all employed in production, or, at least, all employed in production for exchange, employes of the state, whose business it will then be to see that they do get a fair return for their labor. In the “co-operative commonwealth,” as pictured by the socialistic writers, ownership and possession of all means of production, including both land and capital, would be held by the state. The various classes of producers would be organized in associations or guilds in the nature of government departments, whose members would settle their hours of work, the part each should assume, and the relative value of their labor, while the collectivity or general government would, in the words of' Gronlund, “only have three functions, of being general manager, general statistician and general arbitrator. As statistician it will determine how much is to be produced; as manager distribute the work and see to it that it is properly performed; and as arbitrator it will see justice done between association and association and between each association and its members.”
Only this, ought certainly to be enough even for a collectivity as big as the United States; but in thus minimizing the functions of the collectivity, Mr. Gronlund is evidently thinking merely of its relation with the various producing departments or associations. A still larger job would be that of exchanging things and parts of things after they had been produced by the various associations. To this end the socialistic scheme is that all produce for exchange is to he turned over to the general government, which is to give the producers, or rather the producing association, money or orders in the form of labor notes, upon its general stock of wealth, according lo the amount of labor which has entered into the productions. The general government, in its capacity of general statistician, or general bureau of statistics, is not only to decidehow much of each particular article is to be produced. but at what rates it is to be exchanged and how much of it is to be exported when it is deemed expedient to export. Even newspapers and books are to be produced and circulated in this fashion. If it is possible for anyone seriously to imagine such a scheme in actual operation in a country like the United States, it might be instructive for him to go on and speculate how long it would take it to break up in anarchy or pass into worse than the despotism of ancient Egypt.
The utter impracticability and essential childishness of such a scheme as this is largely disguised to the believers in socialism by a curious pretense of scientific research and generalization, and much reference to the doctrine of evolution. According to the socialistic writers all introduction up to quite recent times was for use, not for exchange, and they even slavery say that capital has only become an agent in production during the last two hundred years or so! Slavery, according to them, was the first method of organizing labor and securing the increased production that comes from it. From chattel slavery, by way of serfdom, the natural evolution has been into the industrial slavery of the wage system and "capitalistic production," in which modern civilization is now. And from this mankind are to pass by evolution into the socialistic organization of production and distribution in which all industry is to be intelligently ordered by the collective will. This evolution, they hold, will be accomplished anyhow by virtue of the natural forces, whatever they may be, which produce evolution, and the socialists who understand and hold to the Marxian theory do not so much hope to assist in hastening its advent as to put men in readiness to take advantage of the new order when in the fullness of evolution it shall come. Their notion sometimes seems to be that one branch of industry after another will pass under control of the state, until everything has been thus managed and directed. At other times it seems to be that the commercial crises or gluts (which the\r attribute to a tendency of capitalists to produce as much as possible in order to get the 1argest profits, while the laborers, not getting their fair share of the produce of their labor, are unable to buy what is thus produced) will finally culminate in a grand break-down of tin; present system, when all that socialists will have to do will be to step in and organize industry under governmental direction.
The simple truths which are the grams of wheat in all this mountainous chaff of grotesque exaggeration and assumption are that with the progress of civilization and the integration of society the division of labor becomes more minute and the methods of production require larger amounts of capital, and that certain functions are developed, such, for instance, as the maintenance of highways, the supplying of cities with water, etc, which can better be performed by the community or under the control of the community, than by leaving them to individual enterprise, and (when in their nature competition becomes impossible) to individual or corporate monopoly.
Ignoring the essential distinction between land and capital, regarding land as but one of the means of production, of no more importance than steam engines or power looms, and looking to the direction and employment of labor by the state as the only mode of securing an equitable distribution of wealth, socialists do not appreciate the wide and far-reaching consequences which would flow from the simple reform that would put all men upon an equality with regard to natural opportunities, and which by appropriating its natural revenue for the support of the state would make possible the freeing of production from all the imposts and restrictions that new hamper it. The nationalization of land is included in their program as is the nationalization of machinery, but while they do not attach any more importance to the nationalization of land than they do to that of any other "instrument of production," they also mean by it something essentially different from what is aimed at by the united labor party. Frederick Engels, the coadjutor of Marx in founding this German school of socialism, has recently written a tract on the labor movement in America as a preface to a new edition of his “Condition of the"Working Classes in England in 1884.” which has been translated from the German by Florence Kelley Wischnewetzky, who is, by the bye, a daughter of Congressman Kelley of Philadelphia, and who doubtless comes the more easily to the idea of full governmental regulation and direction of industry from her familiarity with the idea of the direction and regulation of industry by protective tariffs. In this pamphlet Herr Engels thus states the difference between the socialists of the German school and those who think as I do:
If Henry George declares land monopolization to be the sole cause of poverty and misery, he naturally finds the remedy in the resumption of land by society at large. New, the socialists of the school of Marx, too, demand the resumption, by society, of the land, and not only of the land but of all other means of production likewise. But even if we leave these out of the question, there is another difference. What is to be done with the land? Modern socialists, as represented by Marx, demand that it should be held and worked in common and for common account, and the same with all other means of social production—mines, railways, factories, etc.; Henry George would confine himself to letting it out to individuals as at present, merely regulating its distribution and applying the rents for public, instead of, as at present, for private purposes. What the socialists demand implies a total revolution of the whole system of social production; what Henry George demands leaves the present mode of social production untouched, and has, in f act, been anticipated by the extreme section of Ricardian bourgeois economists who, too, demanded the confiscation of the rent of land by the state.
The difference is, in fact, even greater than Herr Engels represents it. We do not propose. Any such violent and radical change as would be involved in the formal resumption of land by society at large, and the letting of it out to individuals. We propose to leave land in individual possession as now, merely taking, in the form of a fax, as nearly as may be, the equivalent of that value which attaches to land by reason of the growth and advance of society;—and while thus appropriating for the use of the community a revenue which properly belongs to the community, to do away with the incentive given to the withholding of land from productive use by the individual expectation of profiting by its future increase in value.
This simple yet radical reform would do away with all the injustice which socialists see in the present conditions of society, and would open the way to all the real good that they can picture in their childish scheme of making, the state the universal capitalist, employer, merchant, and shopkeeper.
For if the laborer does not now obtain his fair earnings; if, despite the improvements which increase productive power, wages still lend to a minimum that gives but a bare living, it is not because of any inherent injustice in the “wage system,” nor because of any “iron law of wages” which operates because it must. These things are simply the results of the fact that labor, deprived of its right of access to land, the natural and indispensable element of production and existence, and thus rendered helpless, must, as the only means of escaping starvation, sell itself to those who can employ it.
Make land free of access to labor and all else becomes possible. Land is not wealth or capital, but is, on the contrary, that original factor of production from which labor produces wealth and capital. Land is not a means of production, like a tool or a machine. It is the original means of production, without which no other means of production can be used, and from which labor can produce all other means of production. It is not true, as socialists say, that the mere laborer, in the present stage of civilization, could not avail himself of the access to land to get a living. The two essential and primary factors of production—labor and land, even in the absence of secondary factors obtained from their produce, have in their union, today, as they had in the beginning, the potentiality of all that man ever has brought, or ever can bring, into being. Nor is it true, as the socialists seem to assume, that the whole class of producers below that of the employing capitalist are so destitute of capital, so incapable of getting it if they have good opportunity to use it, that they could not find the means of make good use of land if the monopoly that now holds so much eligible land vacant were broken up. Here in New York we see the poorest class of laborers building themselves some sort of shanties wherever they are permitted to use convenient land even on sufferance. And if the valuable land in and around New York that is now held vacant at enormous prices were subject to a tax which destroyed the expectation of profiting by the future increase in land values and compelled its owners either to build, to sell, or to give it away, is there not a great body of wage workers who would hasten to build or to get themselves homes? And with agricultural land, mining land, and, in short, all natural opportunities subjected to the same just system, is there not a great body of men now competing with each other in overstocked, unproductive vocations, or selling their labor for wages, who have or could find the needed capital to employ themselves to good advantage? With the glut in the labor market thus relieved, and the increased demand which would come from the relief of production both from the fines of present taxation and the blackmail of land speculation, would not wages rise quickly and high in all branches of industry?
With this liberty of labor to employ itself all the evils of “the wage system” would disappear, and free competition through the interplay of demand and supply would not only fix the returns of the various kinds and qualities of exertion with a justice and celerity to which the best efforts of any administrative bureau would be the clumsiest parody; but would determine the amounts and kinds of the various articles needed to satisfy the wants of society, and the relative values at which they should exchange, with a comprehensiveness, a nicety and a celerity which any general statistician or board of general statisticians, even though he or they possessed all human knowledge and all human virtue, could not hope to approach.
In concentrating effort on the recognition of equal rights to land, the new party is striking at the root of that unjust distribution of wealth which the socialists of the German school blame to the wage system, and of that tyranny which they mistakenly attribute to capital. But we do not propose to stop here. There are other monopolies than that of land, though they are less important, and we propose to break them all up. The kernel of truth in the socialistic demand that the state should manage and regulate all industry is that there are many things that already can be better managed or controlled by the community than by private individuals, and with the advance of society these are constantly increasing. While we aim at simplifying government by substituting a simple and efficient plan of raising revenue for the present costly, cumbrous, unjust and demoralizing method, and by cutting off functions for which there is no need, we propose at the same time to push forward in the direction of extending the co-operative functions of the state.
Let the socialists come with us, and they will go faster and further in this direction than they can go alone; and when we stop they can, if they choose, try to keep on. But if they must persist in bringing to the front their schemes for making the state everything and the individual nothing, let them maintain their socialistic labor party and leave us to fight our own way.
The cross of the new crusade has been raised. No matter who may be for it or who may he against it, it will be carried on without faltering and without swerving.
An Important Decision
The decision rendered by Justice Bradley of the United States supreme court, at Trenton, N. J., last Monday, is one of great importance to the advocates of the governmental ownership of railways. The case was one in which the state of New Jersey sought to prevent the Staten island rapid transit company from building a bridge across Arthur Kill, to connect Staten island with the main land in New Jersey. The work had been authorized by an act of congress, but the state of New Jersey insisted that this merely gave permission to cross the navigable water to be spanned by the bridge, and without the consent of the state the abutments could not be built on the New Jersey shore, or on the land under water belonging to the state.
Justice Bradley decides that the constitutional power of congress to regulate commerce is in no way dependent on the consent of the states, and he says:
We think that the power to regulate commerce between the states extends not only to the control of the navigable waters of the country and the hinds under them for the purposes of navigation, but for the purpose of erecting piers, bridges and all other instrumentalities of commerce which in the judgment of congress may be necessary or expedient.
A railroad is certainly an “instrumentality of commerce,” and if this decision of Justice Bradley, in which United States Judge Nixon concurred, shall be upheld by the supreme court, there can no longer be any constitutional question as to the right of the federal government to build, purchase or otherwise acquire the railroads.
Nor does this decision end here. The argument having been made that the state has the right of eminent domain while the United States have no such dominion over lands, the court declared that to admit such a contention would be to permit the states to frustrate the supremacy given by the constitution to the government of the United States, and it therefore gave the opinion that—
If it is necessary that the United States government shall have an eminent domain still higher than that of the states in order that it may fully carry out the objects and purposes of the constitution, then it has it.
This, if also sustained by the supreme court, completely equips the federal government with all the necessary power to build and operate a railroad from one end of the country to the other, and such power to build and operate a competing road is, of itself, sufficient to enable the government to secure any existing roads at a reasonable price without resort to drastic legislation or arbitrary power. This is the only solution of the railway problem, and the solution cannot long be delayed, if the question, Shall the railways control the government or the government control the railways? is to receive an answer consonant with free institutions or the wishes of the people. The difficulties encountered in enforcing the inter-state commerce law already indicate that the powers conferred by the statute on the commissioners is insufficient, and this but prepares the way for going forward instead of turning back. In fact, as was remarked in The Standard at the time of its passage, the chief value of that law was as a first step toward the ultimate governmental ownership of our railway system. Let no man be alarmed by the interested outcry that this would promote robbery and robbery. No government officials will ever dare to steal such vast sums as have been taken from the American people by the irresponsible individuals who constitute the railway rings and syndicates that now control the system with an ever- increasing concentration of power in the hands of a few. The power to rob, to oppress and to cheat exists, and it is fully exercised. At the very worst, it can be no more outrageously used by government officials than it has been used by the men who now possess it.
The extracts that we print elsewhere, from a recent issue of the Christian Advocate, the leading Methodist paper of the United States, are significant, as indicating unmistakably the fast approaching turn in the tide of Christian sentiment regarding the anti-poverty reform. Christian teachers who but a few months since saw in the denouncing of private ownership in land nothing but an attack on the eighth commandment, are beginning to recognize the truth that the moral law which sanctions and protects the ownership of things in no way justifies the claim to monopolize the right to the use of that element from which alone things can be produced. The Christian Advocate still opposes the antipoverty reform, but it does so on the ground of expediency only. It admits, impliedly, if not avowedly, that private land ownership is unjustifiable. but it is still unable to see how the abolition of that system would lend to the extirpation of poverty. It has abandoned positive opposition for negative. A little more study and observation will open its eyes to the truth.
At a recent meeting of the “subway board” Mayor Hewitt of this city proposed as an amendment to a pending motion, “that all men shall do unto others as they would that others should do unto them.” Such an utterance from a chief savior of society naturally created a sort of mild panic in the board, and President Hess asked the mayor “if he really wanted that put in.” The mayor replied that he did; that the motion under consideration was a string of platitudes, and that he had added one more as an amendment.
A platitude is defined by Webster as “that which exhibits dullness; a weak or empty remark.” It appears, therefore, that Mayor Hewitt considers that when Christ enunciated the golden rule He made a weak and empty remark, exhibiting flatness or dullness. Had Mayor Hewitt been present at the Sermon on the Mount he would probably have shouted “rats,” or the equivalent Judaic expression, and gone home disgusted.
But the golden rule will yet become a living truth, the Hewitt anti-poverty society of one to the contrary notwithstanding.
The pro-poverty, press gets off a good thing once in a while. Here is what a writer in the Star says about the federal government and the railways:
How absurd it is for sensible men in this country to urge that a federal government organized and equipped as ours is, and as Mr. George describes it in his united labor party platform, shall assume to manage the railways. For the men now, or likely to be, in the federal government to attempt to do that would be like the effort of the tail to wag the dog!
“True, 'tis pity; pity 'tis, 'tis true.”
Something to Read and Preserve
The Independent of this week publishes, under the title “The Story of Dr. McGlynn,” a clear and succinct account of the persecution of the doctor from the beginning of the difficulties about his land league speeches up to the present, time. It occupies nine columns. The account was prepared by W. T. Croasdale, and the Independent editorially publishes a note from Dr. McGlynn saying that he had gone over the article and that it faithfully follows the record and the documentary evidence, and brings out points that have been overlooked or forgotten. The author completely demonstrates that Dr. McGlynn was persecuted solely on account of his opinions on the land question.
The Eighteenth Assembly District Picnic
The Eighteenth assembly district, united labor party, had a very enjoyable picnic at Brommer's union park, on Tuesday evening last. Among the guests were Dr. McGlynn and Dr. Curran, formerly of St. Stephen's and now of Saugerties. Dr. Curran made a few remarks, in the course of which he facetiously said that he appeared in place of Henry George, who was prevented from attending. Dr. McGlynn made an able address, and John McMackin and Frank Ferrall also spoke briefly.
The McGlynn Fund
The publisher of The Standard acknowledges the receipt of $1 from John Gleason of Leadville, $1 from George V. Williams of the same place, §1 from Chas. O'Donnell of Freeland, Pa. $l from Martin Conniff of Port Falls, Idaho, $l from Mrs A. E. Blanc, 38 West Washington square, and 37 cents from J. A. H., contributions to the Dr. McGlynn fund.
Scattering the Good Seed
National Home, Wis.—Package of papers, etc… arrived all right. I am scattering the good seed with calm trust that He who numbers the very hairs of our heads will insure a good harvest.
A. D. Cady.
One of the most amusing outcomes of our present mixed politics is the attempt of the mugwump papers to assure the democratic party that it is invincible. Real democrats are honestly scared at the growth of the labor party, and they cannot conceal their alarm. They see clearly that if the united labor party were to east this year for its state and local candidates no more votes than it east last year for its candidate for mayor the democratic party would be doomed. At ibis point the mugwump appears in the field With his assorted stock of misinformation and conceit, and bids democracy not to be afraid, promising to carry it through if it will nominate Cleveland. The mugwump calmly \snores the fact that it is this year's election and not that of next year that his democratic partner is worrying about. He cannot be expected to hot her his head about democratic fears for 1887, since he will probably vote the republican ticket himself in case really representative democrats are nominated. The Evening Post has attempted for once in its life to play the rule of comforter, but as accurate political knowledge cannot be evolved from The inner consciousness of a recluse, it does not matter in the least what the Evening Post has to say.
The rival mugwump, the Times, attempts, however, to go into the matter in detail and presents some figures to show that the labor movement will really help the democrats. Starting out with the assumption that thirty thousand Irish Catholic democrats voted for Blaine in 1884, it declares that if those votes are east next year for the labor candidate that Blaine's loss will be sixty thousand, thus allowing thirty thousand as the number of men who voted for Blaine in 1884 who will vote for the labor candidate in 1888. Assuming, then, that the total labor vote will be one hundred thousand, the Times gleefully points out that Cleveland would lose but forty thousand against sixty thousand lost by Blaine, and would thus add twenty thousand to his meager majority of three years ago.
If this calculation is comforting to the democrats they are welcome to such comfort. The labor party is seeking its own success, and it is a matter of no consequence whatever to it which of the other parties wins when it cannot elect its own candidates. Its leaders expect, however, to poll this year much more than a hundred thousand votes, and this without depending on the thirty thousand Irish Catholic democrats who, according to the Times, voted for Blaine. Should it prove true that this manner of Catholic voters obeyed priestly orders and supported the author of the Mulligan letters, and that now, remorseful because of such un-American submission, they have resolved to defy spiritual dictation in temporal matters and vote for the party hated and denounced by these very priests, the united labor party will have much cause for congratulation, and every patriotic American should join it in its rejoicing. It is well, however, for the Times and others of its ilk to understand that such Catholics as these did nothing to swell the 68,000 votes east for the labor candidate last fall. Ali that the Catholic machine could do, either through advice, threats or even the abuse of the power of the confessional, was done at that election to cause subservient Catholics to support the Tammany candidate, and the Catholics who defied such influences then and voted for George, have been defying such influences ever since, and will adhere to the labor party. If it be true—as there is reason to believe—that other Catholics have become indignant at the bold attempt of the Roman machine to back up Tammany's allies at the archiepiscopal palace in their efforts to coerce and control American voters in the exercise of their political rights, so much the better for the labor party. Such new Catholic recruits will not, however, come exclusively, or perhaps even numerously, from those who voted for Blaine in 1884, be the number of such voters great or small. They will come from thinking Catholics who understand the injury done to their church by the existing archiepiscopal-Tammany alliance for political ends, and who are eager, for the sake of both patriot ism and religion, to rebuke that most unholy alliance. We do not assume that the mugwumpian estimate that thirty thousand Irish Catholic democrats voted for Blaine is true. It is an estimate that greatly enhances the importance of the part played by mugwumps in that campaign, and hence the Times has an interest in making the figure a liberal one. But, be the number what it may, the Times can tell the Tammany leaders and their spiritual advisers nothing about these voters that they do not already know, and it is probable that these voters will go next year as they went three years ago, and that is wherever Tammany wants them to go. If the Times thinks that Tammany will give them to Cleveland it might in that case have made a much better showing for its candidate. If the figures of the Times had any real value they would be highly encouraging, since they indicate a much larger vote than the 100,000 it assigns to the new party- It assumes that of those republicans who voted for Blaine 30,000 will vote for the labor candidate. There is every reason to believe that these republicans at the last election voted for Daniels for judge of the court of appeals, and if this is the case only 18,551 of them, that is, twenty-three per cent of the whole number, voted for George. Thirty thousand this year would bring the number taken from the republicans up to thirty per cent of their whole vote. At last year's election 41,821 of those who voted the democratic state ticket voted for George for mayor—that is, thirty-one per cent of the whole democratic vote. An increase at the same rate in the democratic defections to the new party would bring the percentage up to more than forty, and the result in this city, supposing the total vote to remain unchanged, would be as follows:
Republican vote (for Daniels) 78,886 less 30,000
Democratic vote (for Peckham) 132,373 less 40 per cent
Labor vote, republicans
Forty per cent, from the democratic vote cast for Peckham
Votes cast for the labor candidate at the last election by men who voted for none of the candidates of the old parties
This would give the united labor party a handsome plurality m the city, and if the talk of the Times about those 30,000 Irish Catholics who voted for Blaine has any foundation, and if its supposition that they will this year be transferred bodily to the new party prove well founded, then the additional defection from the democrats would probably be more than sufficient to give the united labor candidates a clear majority of the whole vote east. It is true that the Times does not specifically confine the 30,000 republican votes it assigns to the labor party to this city, but the whole tenor of its article indicates that it had the city only in mind, and hence in its eagerness to show that the republican party will be defeated, it, by necessary implication, boldly gives New York city to the united labor party. For this, many thanks. Though the premises may not be sound the conclusion is probably entirely accurate.
The Herald has also been busy in prompting prominent democrats to try their hands at prophesy. They all think that Cleveland will be nominated, and all of them, while admitting that the labor vote is the unknown quantity in the problem, insist that it cannot prevent the choice of their favorite. They wisely abstain from attempting to give reasons for their opinions.
Such speculations are amusing as well as gratifying. They nearly all give evidence of the utter failure of the old party politicians to comprehend the fact that the labor party is no longer an organization for the expression of a vague discontent, but a political party representing a great principle, and proposing a practical remedy for the wrongs under which the people have so long struggled on from bad to worse. It is too early to speculate intelligently as to the results that the new party may achieve a year hence, but the surface indications are that it will, unavoidably, help the Republicans to success. This is by no means a foregone conclusion, however. It looks as if the republicans will nominate Blaine. There are unquestionably a great many thousands cf republicans who voted for the same candidate three years ago not merely with reluctance, but with positive disgust. These men will not vote for him again. Cleveland is not displeasing such men, and they will vote for him if Blaine is his opponent. Furthermore, the moneyed class are satisfied with Cleveland, and are notoriously indisposed to make any change while they are fairly well satisfied with things as they are. The presence of a labor candidate in the field may create such a stampede of wealthy men of all parties toward Cleveland, as the representative of vested privileges and of opposition to change, that he will sweep the country. This is really the only reasonable ground on which his partisans can hope for his election.
On the other hand, the positive dishonesty of the proposed democratic enthusiasm for Cleveland is a factor that must be taken into serious consideration by all who seek to forecast the political future. There is not a particle of sincerity in it from beginning to end. If a democratic national convention could elect a president of the United States instead of merely nominating a man to be voted for by the people, Grover Cleveland would be about the last man, instead of the first, that it would name. He will owe his nomination solely to considerations of expediency, and he cannot command the earnest support of the democratic masses. How many votes this will cost him it is impossible to say.
So far as the united labor party is concerned, it can afford to indulge in such speculations with entire equanimity. At present it can hardly hope for more than to make a formidable showing in the canvass of 1888. That will, however, be the last real contest between the two old parties, and whichever wins will become the nucleus of the democratic-republican party of caste, privilege and monopoly that will face the great party of the future in the momentous contest of 1892. Four years of purposeless power and the privilege of having its name appear first in the hyphenated title of the party of reaction and irrational conservatism are the only prizes that either the democratic or the republican party can win in the next presidential election, and it is utterly unreasonable to expect those already enlisted in the party of the people to concern themselves about a mere question of spoils and precedence between two parties to which they are equally opposed. We are merely curious spectators of an ignoble contest which we watch with the serene equanimity manifested by the old woman in the story on the occasion of the contest between her husband and the bear.
WM. T. Croasdale.
Having Taken the Land from the People, the British Government Now Proposes to Take the People from the Land and Mortgage the People to Pay for It
Toronto, Canada, July 28.—The following editorial appears in the Toronto News of today: Sir Donald Smith, who has just returned from England, states that the imperial government is considering a scheme fur aiding the emigration of distressed Scottish crofters to the Canadian north west. It is proposed to transplant about twenty thousand of them at a cost of $2,000,000, the money to be repaid in ten years by the settlers with interest. This sounds very nice and philanthropic, but on looking into it a little closer it is obvious that, as with most of these wholesale immigration schemes, the welfare of the settlers is of secondary consideration to the interests of the promoters. The objectionable feature is the proposal to have the Northwest land company, or some other corporation of like diameter, act as intermediaries, receive the subsidy from the imperial government, and take mortgages from the crofters for the amounts advanced them. “The benefit to accrue to the land company,” says the report, “would be in the enhanced value of their lands contiguous to the homesteads sett led upon.” Just so. The landlords of the old country having squeezed these poor people to the last extremity for generations, now propose to turn them over to the land and railway schemers of Canada, so that they may in turn rob them of the fruits of their labors on a virgin soil.
The crofters would make good settlers, but it will be a burning shame if they are allowed to fall into the clutches of these grasping middle men.
Toronto, July 28.—The Sir Donald Smith named is one of Canada's railway magnates, and as a promoter of the Canadian Pacific—our trans-continental read—has received innumerable concessions and favors from the dominion government. Land grants without stint have been the portion of Sir Donald and his conferees. We know that “to whomsoever at any time the land belongs, to him belongs the fruits thereof.” A portion of these fruits—$1,000,000—has recently been presented to the city of Montreal by Sir Donald and his partner, Sir George Stephens, for the endowment of a “Royal Victoria Hospital.” The gift is magnificent in sound, but a mere stipend from the harvest they will reap from the “unearned increment” of the public domain they have possessed themselves of. Could we but forecast the future, it would be interesting to learn now many poor, dejected, hopeless, diseased tramps returning from the fruitless quest for work and shelter on our preempted domain will find a paupers' refuge and furnish subjects for the knife of the experimental gentlemen at the “Royal Victoria Hospital.”
How long, O, Lord, how long!
Poverty Troubles Rich as Well as Poor
Gunnison, Col.—It occurs to me that in one of his recent talks before the Anti-poverty society Mr. George elucidated a point that has not hitherto been given sufficient prominence. That is that poverty afflicts the rich and well-to-do equally, if not more, than the abjectly poor. To the rich and well-to-do “labor parties” and “labor organizations” are offensive; but when we get this class to realize that general poverty not only affects them directly, but endangers their future, we'll catch them.
T. A. Hinkle.
An Active Club
The Middletown, N. Y., land and labor club No. 3 holds a meeting every Thursday evening in Labor hall. Its delegate to the Syracuse convention is Stephen Wolf; the alternate is Rev. C. M. Winchester.
The Party's Name
What Shall It Be?—Suggestions from Readers of “The Standard”
Pittsburgh, Pa., July 31.—That excellent article in the last issue of The Standard on “The New Party's Name,” signed by “Worker,” in which the name of the organization of which I have the honor to be the head was mentioned, leads me to believe that a short statement of the reasons why we in Pittsburgh have continued to be known as commoners would not be amiss. It is of the utmost importance for the success of this great movement that the party be not loaded down with a title too ponderous to carry or too intricate to be appreciated. For years movements of the people have had the term “labor” attached to them, and as one who was a dose observer of their development and fall, I could not help but conclude that the title “labor” had been as a stone tied around the parties' necks. Movements of the people usually originate in the cities where unions are strong, and as applied to townsmen a great amount of damage is not done. It is a question in my mind if the new party were to be confined to the cities that the term “labor party” might not be the best of all. But no political party can succeed if confined to the cities, as three-fourths of the voting population are to be found outside of city limits. Farmers, and that great class of people who live in the small towns and villages whose interests are identical with the farmers, are slow to act and naturally prejudiced against any movement that is designated as a class movement. Even more true is this if the farmers do not believe their own interests are involved in the struggle. The thousands and thousands of small farmers—tenants and small land owners—cannot be made to believe that they are workingmen so long as they aren't working for wages. They seem to believe that, though all but the crust. and water go to the landlord or middle men, they are independent producers, and seldom have their eyes opened until the mortgage is foreclosed or their crops fail them. Further, they are clannish, as is proven by the inability thus far to get their granges and wheels to act cooperatively with trades unions for mutual benefit. Therefore 1 hold. without going deeper into the subject, that a name for a political party must be one significant of the objects sought, designatory of no class, one in which all have a common interest, terse, and to the point.
It was on Dec. 23 of last year at the second meeting of a dozen men who were anxious to do something (they knew not what at that time) that the name for our organization was suggested. There were republicans, democrats, greenbackers, Knights of Labor and trades union men present, and one name after another was mentioned and found little or no favor. The greenbackers, who had gone into that party at its birth, and had helped to tack “labor” on to its title, were unanimous that the word labor should not be part of our name. Nationalist, federalist, people's, social democracy, progression, American, and other names I cannot think of now, were mentioned and rejected. The name commoners seemed to come to me like an inspiration. On the spur of the moment I mentioned it, and it received unanimous approval. The mention of the brief reign of Cromwell's commoners, of English history, acted like magic, and from that moment to the present time no one has thought of dropping the name, but all of our organization are desirous that it should be the name of the new party. Under it we believe success would be made more sure. It has the merit of originality and is expressive of our desires. When The Standard was founded to explain the theory of the taxation of land values, you saw the value of an expressive name like The Standard, and, I believe, you never thought of calling the paper “The Land and Labor Gazette,” “The Land Herald” or any name mentioning the cause you advocate. The republican party seems to be the champion of high tariffs, but it is not called the tariff party. The democrats want the offices, but they would not call themselves the office party.
It is about time that the party is permanently named. The New York state convention of the party in August will not have fulfilled all its duties until it shall have named the baby. Let them call themselves commoners—banded together for the common good, with common causes to battle for, that all the people of this great country shall be of a common class, working for the common wealth.
J. M. Kelly,
Chairman of the Commoners.
Boston, August 1.—I would suggest the name International party or some name which would indicate the international character of the work we have undertaken. If we succeed in planting the seed in a single community it will grow until it embraces the nation. The system once adopted by the people of America and the whole civilized world must follow in their wake. This movement has a far deeper significance than its most earnest supporters can possibly appreciate. In the history of the world every great reform takes its proper place and can be neither hastened nor delayed. The land for the people is only one link in a chain of reforms which are destined to unite the nations of the earth under one form of government. We are living at the beginning of a new cycle of time which demands the sudden casting aside of old methods preparatory to a higher civilization. The spiritual development of the planet has reached a point where the children of earth can live together peacefully.
Edward P. Faxon.
Milford, Conn.—Will you permit me to suggest that the new party be ca lied the free and equal party, or the equality party?
New York.—“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Let the name of the new party be the liberty party.
Janvier, Gloster Co., N. J.—I note with pleasure the care that is being taken to try and give the new party a good name, and I trust the word “radical” will be selected, for we certainly go to the root of the evil.
S. B. W.
Ravenswood, Ill., July 31.—Out of all the suggestions for a name that I have seen, nothing appears to me so fitting as “abolition,” proposed by the Labor Enquirer of Chicago. It is already historic, and has no taint which would prevent popular acceptance. The antagonisms it might have raised thirty years ago do not now exist. It smacks of no class. Its memories are only glorious, and will arouse the enthusiasm of those men, and their descendants, who participated in the abolition of the lesser slavery. In fact, the work of the party is to finish the great work begun by that agitation, by making all men actually free. It is the expression in a single word of the aims and hopes of the party, the abolition of every form of monopoly and special privilege, the abolition of crime, ignorance, of greed, and all forms of brutality; in short, the abolition of poverty with all its degrading concomitants. By all means let it be an “abolition party.”
W. H. Van Ornum.
Wilkerbarre, Aug. 1.—A Standard reader gave me his company a few minutes, and in discussion the following names were developed:
1. “The popular party.” The word “popular” was written in large letters on the floor of a blacksmith shop behind the anvil, and then its appropriateness was discussed and analyzed.
2. “The universal popular party.” This name also received its share of discussion, but was not written on the floor.
3. “The popular rights party.” This also was debated upon.
The “popular” party might meet the approval of thoughtful men as being lit for any to carry a lamp under, be they brokers, merchants, artisans, moral teachers, salesmen, railroad directors and attaches of any position under them, or of the great agricultural body of men who add so much to the prosperity of the country.
Norfolk, Va., Aug. 1.—As an acceptable name I would like to suggest the following: “The liberal American party.” This is euphoneous and suggestive also.
W. H. G.
St. Stephen's Parishioners
The meeting of St. Stephen's parishioners on last Friday evening was attended by as large an audience as was ever in International hall. The speakers were listened to with close intention, and the greatest enthusiasm prevailed. The latest events connected with the persecutions of Dr. McGlynn were discussed, and his brave adherents, convinced that he is in the right, showed by their applause that their support would never waver. The meetings will be continued indefinitely. If there is any difference between the number of the doctor's adherents now and at the time of his suspension, it is in favor of the present time.
Dr. Henry Carey desires it to be stated that the reports in the newspapers to the effect that he has denounced Henry George, or that he has said that he considered Dr. McGlynn too radical, as without foundation. He believes in carrying on the war with more vigor than ever. He firmly believes that Dr. McGlynn will live to be reinstated in St. Stephen's. When Leo XIII discovers that he has been made a cat's paw by Archbishop Corrigan, he will retrace his steps. Dr. Carey calls on all honest Catholics to bring the “machine” to terms by cutting off Peter's pence. Mr. John R. Feeny also stands now in the position that he has always held, as the friend of Dr. McGlynn, and he will be with him to the end.
Many members of St. Stephen's, who called on Dr. Carey and Mr. Feeny through the week, assert that the work of agitation must be followed up with more vigor than ever.
Mrs. James Hackett, one of the prominent ladies of St. Stephen's, said that her action with St. Stephen's parishioners was not a matter of sympathy with the doctor or enthusiasm. It was a conscientious conviction and a matter of duty. She knew Dr. McGlynn to be a good priest, and as such he was worthy of the respect of all honest people. She believed in the total extinction of Peter's pence until the “machine” would preach Christianity pure and simple.
A Catholic Reasons for Admiring Father McGlynn
Lowell, Mass., Aug. 1.—I admire him for his purity of character and religious piety, neither of which have ever been challenged. For his love of the poor, for his labors in their behalf attested by the gratitude of a faithful parish when the crushing hand of power was raised against him.
For his unflinching devotion to principles of truth and justice, for his advocacy of public schools during his early pastorate, and for his subsequent espousal of the land league doctrines for oppressed Ireland. He gave his influence to the land league in America when it was without funds and until silenced by the authorities of a church which Irishmen support. I admire him for his magnanimity in advocating in 1886 the election of a large-souled, pure-minded and distinguished economist and gentleman to the mayoralty of New York at a time when the grossest corruption befouled the politics of that city.
I admire him for his philanthropy. His side has ever been the side of the poor and oppressed. His whole course upright, logical and just.
A Farmers' Alliance Hard at Work
Wichita Falls, Texas.—The tracts sent me have been distributed. The dawning of a brighter day is beginning to dispel the mists that; have so completely enveloped the lives and minds of the industrial slaves here. The great trouble is to get them to read and think for themselves. They have to work from sunup to sundown to supply not only their own families' wants, but those of many other people as well. I have talked with a great many farmers, laying before them the principles of the land and labor party, and they are well pleased with it. Send me what literature you can to help free this country from conditions that make her citizens worse than chattel slaves.
E. J. Perego,
Secretary Farmers' Alliance.
Probably He Has Cursed It Already—It Has Brought Him Trouble Enough
Coal Creek, Col.—Enclosed find $1.25 for six months' subscription to The Standard. If Pope Leo could only realize the number of friends Father McGlynn has throughout this country—if he could only realize the unbounded love and admiration of the people for that magnificent priest—he would curse the day that Michael Corrigan was made an archbishop.
A Free Land Association
An organization in sympathy with the doctrine of the land for the people was formed in Pensacola, Fla., July 13. It took the name of the Free land association, adopted in substance the Clarendon hall platform, and called upon all good Citizens, without distinction of race, color, creed, occupation or past political affiliation to unite with it in furthering the principles set forth in its declaration.
Judge Rogers Spreading the Light
Judge A. J. Rogers of New York has incurred the enmity of the society saviors and pro-poverty press of Newton, N. J., by having enunciated in a Fourth of July oration there the doctrine of the new crusade—the common and inalienable right to land. Nevertheless, the judge found many eager listeners, and has set not a few to thinking.
Presbyterian Ministers Arousing
Pittsburgh, Pa., July 30— The ministers here are becoming aroused. Yesterday the Presbyterian ministers' association discussed Henry George, and I believe the majority were inclined to favor the theory. Several have also preached from their pulpits on it.
The Delaware And Hudson Canal
A Story Which Illustrates the Advantage of Having Been Born a Hundred Years Ago
A correspondent of the New York Times,writing from Scranton, Pa., tells the story of the Delaware and Hudson canal company:
In 1812 Maurice and William Wurts, two Philadelphia merchants, made up their minds that there would some time be money in anthracite coal, and determined to get hold of coal lands and await results. They prospected the wilderness of the upper Lackawanna, but without success, and were on the point of abandoning their scheme when, one day, while prospecting near where the city of Carbondale now stands, Maurice Wurts came upon a man in the garb of a hunter, who was trying to conceal himself in a thicket. Wurts, supposing the man was a hermit, addressed him, and by questioning learned that his name was David Nobles, and that he was living in the woods to escape imprisonment for a debt which he owed a man over the line in Wayne county.
During the conversation Wurts, hoping that this man, who evidently was familiar with every rod of the wilderness-in that locality, had at some time seen anthracite coal deposits, made inquiry of Nobles on the subject. Nobles replied that he owned a lot near there where he had noticed some peculiar black stones, and if these stones were coal he knew where there was plenty of it.
“How much do you want for your lot?” asked the Quaker.
“If you will pay off my debt of £3,” replied Nobles, “I will give you a deed for the lot.”
Wurts lost no time in releasing Nobles from the debt and in getting title to the land. And he did not stop there. Priming Nobles with a story about wanting wilderness lands for a coming body of settlers, he succeeded in getting title to an immense extent of territory, embracing all the coal lands now “owned” by the Delaware and Hudson canal company between Carbondale and Providence, the prices paid varying from 50 cents to $3 an acre.
The Wurtses then began mining, but found it impossible to place their coal in Philadelphia at a price which would compete with the Lehign valley and Schuylkill coal operators, who by that time had begun business. Determined to find a market somewhere they turned their attention' northward and William Wurts walked the entire distance from the mines to the Hudson river. The result was the building of the Delaware and Hudson canal, and in 1829 the first cargo of anthracite coal that was ever received in New York city from the mines direct was transported from Carbondale by the first long coal railroad and the greatest canal ever built with private means in this country. The coal was taken from the Dave Nobles lot, which had cost £3, and which has alone yielded millions to its owners.
This story shows how easy it is for any American citizen possessed of energy, industry and £3 to become a millionaire by buying a coal mine. The New York World's recent articles on “Slavery in Pennsylvania” shows what happens to American Citizens who have only the energy and the industry without the £3 or the coal mine.
Complaints of the Letter Carriers
Another burden has been added to the long list of those borne by the New York letter carriers. A week ago an order was issued to the effect that regular carriers missing any time during the month should not receive their pay until the 5th or 6th of the month following, the reason given being that the post office officials would first pay the substitutes, and that several days must therefore elapse before the pay lists for the regular carriers could be got in shape. Hitherto the regular carriers have drawn their full pay, and immediately transferred to the superintendents whatever was due the substitutes. The carriers say that the new order is not intended as a protection to the substitutes, but is meant to compel the regular men to keep at work, sick or well, their bills for rent and groceries coming due on the first of the mouth, and their inconvenience being considerable if they cannot meet them then.
There is a deceptive method upheld by the superintendents for the purpose of showing the number of hours a carrier works, a record is kept by each carrier of the time consumed in every trip, and this, it is said, is used as showing, in the aggregate, how long the carrier is at work. In addition, however, to carrying letters, the carriers put in a great deal of time searching directories and “removal” books for the names of those whose letters have been misdirected. Special deliveries are also made by collectors, and for this no time credit is given. The many petty annoyances and cheats to which the carriers are subjected continually cause resignations, and the duties of a full force trained in the work, have consequently to be fulfilled by a smaller number, many of whom are not versed in their task. The carriers speak of carrying their grievances to the Central labor union.
An Encouraging Outlook for Emigrants to Dakota
Sioux Falls, Dakota.—I doubt if there is any part of the country where the desire to speculate in land, by the lot and the acre, is so general as in this great territory. Railroad companies, merchants, mechanics, all vie with each other in the mad race for riches through the short cut of land speculation. Railroad companies buy up farms, plat them, advertise, run spots from the main line, and sell at auction. Such a sale recently occurred at the new town of Spencer. A beautiful wheat field was selected as the site, the golden grain trampled under the feet of the speculating crowd. Lots sold freely, although the first building was not vet erected. Then the buyers went home and now wait for population and legitimate enterprise to advance the value of their lots. Bands of music parade the streets of large towns with banners calling attention to the fact that on a certain day a public sale of lots will take place at some town existing only in name. Free lunch and good music are promised those who attend the sale. Banks issue circulars calling on laborers to deposit a part of their earnings and invest in lots, reminding them that that is the sure and safe way to lift themselves above their fellows. But notwithstanding all this excitement, this speculative fever, there is a feeling among merchants and mechanics that real business is not' advanced much by these land booms. Rents are high, wages low, and here, as everywhere, there is a large surplus of labor on the market. There is no free land even in Dakota. The settler who would avail himself of the governments offer and preempt a homestead must go far beyond the lines of' civilization; that is, far from neighbors, schools and churches, and. what is as bad, far from markets. And when he has settled upon such a quarter section he must have a respectable amount of money to enable him to make his improvements and provide his living for at least a year, for there is no labor market on the quiet prairies. But around this beautiful place and around all Dakota towns lie thousands of acres of rich, unoccupied land, close to the store, the school and the church; but it takes money to buy such land, and its owners hold it until the growth of the town raises its value. Having the same land system as all the rests of the country, Dakota shows the same results; merchants complaining that high rent consumes profits, laborers hunting work, tramps, beggars, criminals, all are just as plenty in proportion to population as they are any where else. By way of compensation, we have a few very rich men in every Dakota town, as well as a commodious penitentiary, insane asylums and alms houses.
A Village That Is Learning
Gloversville, N.Y., and Its Leading Industry—How Industrial Conditions Are Changing—A Meeting of the Land and Labor Club
Gloversville, N. Y.—This is the center of the glove industry. From the tanning of the hides to the finished product, most of the gloves made in the United States are produced in Gloversville. All the inhabitants are engaged in or dependent on this industry. The village is one of the most attractive in the state. Lying near the foot of the Adirondacks, it is surrounded by wooded bills, and in the village is every evidence of general prosperity. In respect of its prosperity the village is peculiar. The working people live in comfort, and in many ways in a style that rivals that of the wealthiest in the place.
Most of them live in good houses and many own their homes. There are no indications of poverty or dependence. They live well, dress well, and in every rational way seem to enjoy life. How they do this is at first a mystery, for, measured by city wages, their wages are very low. A glove sewer here, who is said to be one of the most expert in the United States, makes but $85 a month. But the mystery is solved when it is remembered that every member of a family works. The head of a family works. say, in a tannery, his wife sews gloves at home, his daughters work either at home or in one of the shops at the same trade, and his sons are engaged in some of the occupations of the village. All these wages combined make a family income that enables every member to live in the style and comfort that prevails. But if a man with a family of small children were thrown upon his own resources here, he would find it uphill work to get along. There are few heads of families who get more than $50 a month the year round, and many get much less. Board at the hotel is $3 a day, and in boarding houses from $4 to $7 a week, while a family can keep house for from $15 to $20 a week.
Not long ago the glove manufacture was carried on by small bosses. A journeyman who had saved a few dollars would go into business for himself, and the village was full of such establishments. But of late years the manufacture has concentrated, and there are but few small factories left. The point has just about been reached when young men going into the trade have ceased to expect to carry on business for themselves.
Land values have very much increased, though rents have moved up slowly. A great deal of land is kept out of use and has risen in selling value enormously. As usual, the big manufacturer speaks with pride of the day when he was a journeyman glove maker or tanner without a dollar, and wants to know why the young men cannot do what he has done.
The land question has taken possession of some of the best men in the place. There is a land and labor club of forty-six members, of which W. C. Wood, M. D., son of the Hon. Anson G. Wood, a popular young physician, is president. The membership is composed chiefly of young business men and workmen in the factories. Quite a number of the citizens are friends of the movement, but fear blacklisting us workmen or the boycott as business men, because the pro-povertyites of the village denounce the movement as anarchy and socialism. Among the business men who have braved this sentiment and identified themselves actively and openly with the club is David Solomon, the leading clothier of the village. One of the leading glove manufacturers makes no secret of his sympathy with the movement, but is too old to take an active part.
On the 8th the club gave its first public meeting in the Knights of Labor hall, at which Louis F. Post of New York delivered a lecture on the land question. It is intended to follow this with meetings in the opera house, which it is hoped Henry George, Dr. McGlynn and Mr. Pentecost will address. The population is large, numbering in the adjoining villages of Gloversville and Johnstown some 20,000, and of a class which will readily awaken to the principles of the Anti-poverty society.
How Would the National Progressive Party Do?
Baltimore, July 30.—I take the liberty of suggesting the name of “National progressive party” as suitable to your organization. The first word may be taken to apply to not only the idea of the nationalization of the land, but the welding together in the bonds of amity the people of the north and south, the east and west—the formation of a truly national American people. so that our republic may pursue the high and noble mission of its founders. By “progressive,” let it be understood we mean to acknowledge the existence a natural and divine law governing everything in this world. Nothing can stand still. After the death of an individual decomposition sets in; or if his health is partially interfered with, we have what is known in science as the “retrograde metamorphosis”—that is, he sets worse and worse until the period of “progressive metamorphosis” returns. We do not want our American republic to undergo its retrograde metamorphosis, as was the case with the Grecian, Roman and Italian republics. Therefore let us be progressives.
William N. Hill. M.D.
Irish Landlordism is Different, You Know
New York, July 22.—Henry Labouchere, in a letter to the New York World not a great while ago, speaking of a method of dealing' with the Irish landlords, said:
But with regard to the landlords, we may take one of two courses—buy them up or let them rot where they are. As a taxpayer, I object to buying them up. My advice is to let them rot. I don't know what use they are, and besides, it is their turn.
Now, doubt less the World considers this plan of dealing with landlords in Ireland a most admirable one, but highly immoral if applied to America. “Were such sentiments as those spoken or put into print in New York, the entire press would howl “anarchy.”
R. J. Smith.
Why, of Course She Did!
Landlady—The price is not high, sir, for the room. You see there are windows on the east and west, and you have the sunlight all day long.
Lodger—But, good gracious, ma'am! you don't expect me to pay for the sunlight, do you?
The Two Wants
A. J. H. Duganne.
The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.
Said God's most Holy Word;
The water hath fish, and the land hath flesh,
And the air hath many a bird.
And the soil is teeming o'er all the earth,
And the earth has numberless hands.
Yet millions of hands want acres—
While millions of acres want hands!
Sunlight and breezes, and gladsome flowers
Are over the earth spread wide,
And the good God gave these gifts to men—
To men who on earth abide.
Yet thousands are toning in poisonous gloom,
And shackled with iron bands—
While millions of hands want acres—
And millions of acres want hands!
Never a foot hath the poor man here
To plant with a grain of corn;
And never a plot where his child may cull
Fresh flowers in the dewy morn.
The soil lies fallow—the woods grow rank,
Yet idle the poor man stands!
Oh! millions of hands want acres—
And millions of acres want hands!
'Tis writ that ye shall not muzzle the ox
That treadeth out the corn;”
But behold! Ye shackle the poor man's hands
Thai have all earth's burdens borne.
The land is the gift of a bounteous God,
And to labor His word commands;
Yet millions of hands want acres,
And millions of acres want hands.
Who hath ordained that the few should hoard
Their millions of is less gold,
And rob the earth of its fruits and flowers,
While profitless soil they hold?
Who hath ordained that a parchment scroll
Shall fence round miles of lands,
When millions of hands want acres
And millions of acres want hands!
'Tis a glaring he on the face of day—
This robbery of men's rights;
'Tis a lie that the Word of the Lord disowns,
'Tis a curse that burns amt blights.
And will burn and blight till the people rise,
And swear, while they break their bands,
That the hands shall henceforth have acres,
And acres henceforth have hands.
Was Christ Mistaken?
Eighteen and a half centuries ago there lived on earth a Man who preached to the common people a gospel of religion and social economy which has sinceattracted considerable attention. He taught His disciples to pray for the coming of God's kingdom, and the doing of God's will on earth as it is in heaven; and He told them what they must do to hasten the courage of the kingdom, and to insure the doing of the will. Prominent junction these directions were the following:
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. . . . For where your treasure is. there will your heart be also. . . . Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.
Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not. neither do they reap, nor gather into barns: yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? . . .
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Therefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? . . . for your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added into you.
Eighteen centuries and more have passed away since Christ, in the plain, unmistakable language I have quoted, told His followers that if they would seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, abandon the idle effort to accumulate wealth by saying, and quit worrying about tomorrow's dinner and tomorrow's suit of clothes, they would find their every want foreseen and provided for by the loving care of their heavenly Father. The fowls of the air are still abundantly fed, though they yet neglect to gather into barns; the lilies of the field are clothed as of yore though still they toil not, neither do they spin; but men, for whom Christ gave His life, whom the Father loves immeasurably above the fowls of the air and the grass of the field, are said takingthought for the morrow, still striving to lay up treasure on earth, still straggling in that same wretched slough of poverty from which Christ would have extricated them; and the kingdom of God and His righteousness are still afar off.
And now comes the Reverend Howard Crosby, a professed follower and minister of the Christ who preached the gospel of improvidence—a man vowed and paid to do all that in him lies to hasten the coming of God's kingdom and the doing of God's will on earth as in heaven—and says it's all a mistake, Christ didn't know what he was talking about, or, worse still, didn't mean what he said. The real trouble, according to Dr. Crosby, is that men don't lay up for themselves treasures upon earth, and don't take thought what they shall eat and drink and wear, and don't make the meat more than the life, and the body than the raiment, and don't ask themselves, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? “For forty years,” says Dr. Crosby, “we have been acquainted with the poor in New York, accustomed to all the scenes of garret and cellar. pauperism, and filth, and crime, and have been witnesses of the problem of poverty in all its forms. As the result of this thorough experience, we unhesitatingly affirm that the tap root of poverty among us is improvidence.”
Listen now to the gospel of Howard Crosby, as expounded in the Forum, for August:
But how can a man with $2 a day save money, when he has a wife and family to support? He certainly cannot without method and self-denial, but method and self-denial are the requisite factors for every kind of true success. They are attributes of true manliness. A man with a family in New York city, who receives $2 a day, can save $50 a year if he will. He receives $600 a year. One hundred and twenty will pay for his home, $300 will pay for his food, $100 will pay for his clothes, $30 will pay for his “sundries” and $50 will remain over for the bank, or any judicious investment. The wife will reduce exercises by her work on the family clothes and by her care of the house hold plant. Fifty dollars saved in a year will be, with its simple interest at five per cent, $637.50 in ten years, which would buy home in the suburbs, and deducing fare on the cars to and from work, would release $90 a year. That is, in ten years the man would have his whole $600 to spend, and would lay up $90 of it, which paradox is explained by the possession of his little suburban home. In reality the $120 formerly paid for his home is now free, and, excepting $30 for car fare, he is so much the richer. He could now live at his old rate of living, and lay up $140 a year. Frugality would soon raise him very far above the poverty line. Sickness might cut down the progress, but tact might often balance this with some advantage. Ordinarily, as things are, a man with a family, getting his two dollars a day in the city of New York, may become virtually an independent householder in thirty years of labor, and this without any so- called luck on his side, but by the steady action of a frugal and sensible system of saving. But what are we to say of a man with a family who gets only a dollar a day? We say that he has reached that low level of pay by the very improvidence of which we are treating, always accepting the classes already mentioned as exceptions, and for which charity in its truest, holiest sense is to provide. The average wages of the manual laborer form a basis for accumulation by frugality. All who are working below the average price of labor have brought themselves down by improvidence, if not in the saving of money, in some one of the other directions to which we shall refer.
Dr. Crosby describes other forms of improvidence, which, he says, are equally effective to produce poverty; I confine myself to this single extract, because it raises an absolutely distinct issue with the teachings of the Savior. Christ says, in clear, unmistakable language: “Don't save; don't worry about tomorrow. Seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Give the Almighty a chance to carry out His plan, and you'll find yourselves taken care of far better than the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.” Dr. Crosby says: “Never lose sight of tomorrow. Save at least one-twelfth of all you make, and after thirty years you will have progressed so far toward the condition of the fowls of the air that you will at least have a nest.”
Now which is right, Jesus Christ or the Reverend Howard Crosby?
The question is no idle one. It involves the whole social problem. Over the entire world there hangs today a threatening and ever darkening cloud—the cloud of poverty. Poverty herds men in tenement houses, and lodges them in hovels; it kills women and children; it degrades whom ever it touches. The dread of poverty compels men to lie and cheat and steal; it has destroyed public morals; it has set up a standard of success in life utterly vicious and debasing. Poverty and the,dread of poverty must be extirpated if civilization is to survive. We who have raised the cross of the new crusade believe and are striving to bring others to believe that to abolish poverty nothing more is necessary than to follow the plan, explicit teachings of Christ: To do unto others as we would they should do unto us, and correlatively, to prevent others from doing to us what they would not we should do unto them; in other words, that we should neither steal from others nor allow others to steal from us. This, we maintain, is the fundamental law whose recognition will bring about that social state which Christ described as God's kingdom on earth, in which the gospel of improvidence so earnestly preached by Christ Himself will be all-sufficient for meas earthly happiness. Dr. Crosby tells us we are all wrong, and that the only way to abolish poverty is to act in direct opposition to the teachings of Christ. If we are wrong, I, for one, want to know it.
Of course, I cannot enter into Dr. Crosby's mind and follow the procession of his reasoning, but the method by which he has reached his conclusion has probably been something like this. He has observed numerous individual cases in which men earning $2 a day have. by rigid self-denial, both physical and moral, accumulated sufficient money to purchase themselves homes, or perhaps, if they were very shrewd and lucky, to purchase some other people's homes as well. On the other hand, he has noticed that the men who spent their wretched pittances as fast as they earned them, never became any better off, unless they met some lucky accident or took to stealing; but on the contrary, were apt, as age came on them, to sink lower and become utterly destitute. Hence Dr. Crosby has argued that if all men would save, all men would come to own homes; and figuring the thing out carefully, he has settled that out of a wage of $2 a day a man can and ought to save at least 16 2/3 cents, which in ten years, with decent luck, or in thirty years, with no serious drawbacks, would amount to enough to buy him a home “in the suburbs.” Dr. Crosby doesn't take any account of the fact that the house and lot which could be bought “in the suburbs” today for $600, will be worth quite a good deal more when his saving workman goes to buy it ten or thirty years hence—but no matter.
Any individual poor man with ordinary brains, decent luck, strong self-denial and a big bump of acquisitiveness can, by saving 16 2/3 cents a day out of his $2 wage, extricate himself from the slough of poverty in the course of time. He can do it quicker still if he steals his board and lodging and saves all his wages. But whether he do it slowly or quickly, honestly or dishonestly, he can only do it at all on condition that he find somebody else to take his place in the poverty slough. He can lessen his own poverty, but he cannot by all his industry and saving lessen the sum total of Poverty.
Dr. Crosby advocates providence—not the providence that raises a crop of corn big enough to furnish food in abundance until nest year's crop is harvested—but the providence that goes without bread today for the sake of having more bread in the house tomorrow. Now suppose we all adopted this plan. Suppose all the workingmen of the country should make a combined effort to get rid of poverty by Dr. Crosby's method, and resolved, every one of them, for ten years to come, to put one-twelfth of their wages into the savings banks. Would anything be really saved? Would there be more wealth in the country? Hardly. The workingmen's demand for bread and beef and beer and cloth and calico and shoes and stockings would be lessened by one-twelfth, and the sacred “wages-fund” of which we hear so much would shrink by a twelfth or more, and the workingmen would be told in scientific politico- economical terms that an era of over production having set in, they must submit to work longer hours for less wages.
Before Dr. Crosby flings any more stones at Christ's gospel of improvidence he will do well to reflect that wealth is not money, but things. All the money in the world will not feed or clothe or shelter a man. Society is wealthy as it possesses things, and poverty stricken as it is deprived of them. And if Dr. Crosby will think a while he will sec that things may be used or wasted, but cannot be hoarded. Let man do what he will to prevent it, the moth and rust will corrupt and the thieves will break through and steal. Man lives from hand to mouth, and has to draw his subsistence from mother earth day by day, as truly as do the birds of the air for whom the Heavenly Father careth.
Dr. Crosby, like many another superficial thinker on economics, is misled by the fact that under existing conditions men can and do accumulate the command of wealth—the right to appropriate the fruits of other people's labor and live thereon in idleness. But the actual things they get in this way, the yachts, and horses, and carriages, and palaces, and food, and clothing, are not accumulated, but are the result of recent labor, and such of them as are meant for continuous use must have fresh labor constantly expended on them or they perish and pass away. Dr. Crosby's provident laborer having saved his $600 could employ it to far greater advantage than in providing himself a home. He could buy the control of a bit of ground which some other man needed to build a home on, and he could exact from that man, year after year, a constantly increasing tax. In the course of a few years, if population increased, the tax would become so heavy that one man's labor would be insufficient to pay it, and Dr. Crosby's provident laborer would have two or more men working for him for no other reward than the mere privilege of living. Yet a few years and the provident laborer might be a wealthy man, living without work, and pointed at as an example of the result of toil, thrift and temperance. Yet so far from having saved anything he would by his own cessation of labor have actually diminished the total of wealth in the community.
Let Dr. Crosby think this out; let him consider what it is that men do when they invest money in land, in mines, in franchises, and in government bonds; let him trace the great fortunes of today to their sources, and consider the methods of their growth; and he will find that the Christ whose livery he wears knew something about political economy, and uttered no idle platitude when he bade men observe God's law of justice, and let tomorrow take care of itself.
“Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” Are we not much better than they? Has not the Father provided for us with a lavish bounty almost surpassing belief? What is there that the heart of man can desire that the hand of man cannot fashion out of the raw material wherewith God has so bounteously stocked this earth? What forces has He given to be our slaves, and what power of mind has He bestowed on us to govern them withal! The sun is our servant; the earth is our workshop and our storehouse. Why should poverty exist among us? Why should we not, like the happy birds for whom the Father careth, take of that which the same Father has provided for us, as we need it, when we need it, and have no thought for the future, sure in the knowledge that the loving care which has fed and clothed and sheltered us today will do as much for us to-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow?
Why, indeed? Let the Reverend Howard Crosby perpend this question. Haply he may discover that the fatherhood of God is meant to be a living truth, and the words of Him who died on Calvasy a genuine announcement of the divine will and wisdom. Haply, too, he may come to perceive that among the degrading effects of that poverty and fear of poverty which the Savior sought to abolish there is none more sad than the spectacle of a man, vowed to the service of Christ and the love of his fellows, doing the little that in him lies to persuade men that the sweet sermon on the mount was a hollow, heartless mockery.
T. L. McCready.
And They Call Philadelphia the City of Homes
Philadelphia Catholic Standard.
We are glad to see that public attention is being directed to the manner in which the poor in our large cities are huddled together in houses and rents which are utterly unfit for human beings to live in. The details are perfectly horrible. It is awful to think that persons possessing human souls and human capacities for suffering are so jammed together amid accumulated filth and in a noisome atmosphere that ordinary conditions of health and common decency become impossible. None of the sacred privacies of home life can be secured, none of the safeguards of family lite can be practiced. Persons are so jumbled and jammed together into a confused mass, without respect to age, or color, or race, or sex, that the evil habits and characteristics permeate and corrupt the whole mass; that those who desire to remain pure and virtuous are unable to avoid close daily contact, with the impure and the vicious.
And while these evils probably prevail in less degree in Philadelphia than in New York and Boston and other large cities, yet they do prevail here to a lamentable extent. We are credibly informed that within a stone's throw of the homes of the wealthy on Chestnut, Walnut and Arch streets there are houses in which persons are crowned together in a way and to an extent which render comfort, decency, personal self-respect and privacy impossible.
The rental charged for these dens of filth and vice is enormous, and in not a few instances, too, they are owned and retired by persons who profess to be Christians, and to regard the obligations of Christianity. How they can reconcile it with their consciences to thus make merchandise of human beings. To make money out of their necessities and miseries, and this, too. under circumstances that involve the destruction of their immortal souls, is more than we can understand.
Steps, we believe, have been taken in New York to diminish the evils by laws prohibiting the crowding the human beings into these dens. The subject should receive like attention here in Philadelphia. But such laws will serve only as a palliative of the evil. They will not prevent it. .Moreover, the poor must live somewhere and must have some kind of houses to shelter them. You cannot turn them into the street. They handle together in tenement houses, in alleys, and courts, because they are too poor to pay for more comfortable accommodations.
A New “Plan of Campaign” Suggested
On the day that the coercion act comes into operation in Ireland the payment of land rent should cease. This act substitutes might fur right; it is an appeal to the law of force. Let it be accepted as such. To force the landlords have appealed: by their standard lot the issue be decided. The power of the government to collect rents will suspend solely on the attitude of the 2,500,000 occupiers of land in Ireland. Let them, or the great majority of them, determine to pay no more rent, and the government would be powerless. By their utmost efforts, with great difficulty and amidst the execrations of the whole world, the government have evicted 5,000 occupiers during the present year. Could they evict five hundred times that number? They could not. The task is obviously impossible. Not a tenth part of the present occupiers could be evicted before the plan of eviction would break down, and the tenants would remain masters of the situation.
In all cases let the degree of resistance be, in accordance with Davitt's recommendation, as much as is “reasonable;” but the success of this action would depend upon numbers rather than upon force. Let tenants combine in sufficient numbers and they will win. The unpaid rent should be expended or sent to friends in America. National leagues and other combinations may become impossible, and therefore the policy adopted must be of a character to permit of individuals acting. For such a campaign leaders would be unnecessary. Let the people once be imbued with the spirit of individual responsibility and they would know their duty and they would do it.
Land and Labor in California
San Francisco Weekly Star.
From all parts of the Union the most encouraging news is received of the progress of the land and labor party. In this state clubs are every where being formed, public meetings are being held to explain the doctrines of the new crusade, and hundreds are joining the ranks. Now is the time, before the next campaign is upon us, for the people to organize, that they may be prepared to act. We do not believe that there is a thinking man or woman in the land, who has the common good at heart, but will freely endorse the principles of the land and labor party in California.
The California clergymen are catching the real estate fever. Oh a recent Sunday one of them, who is some what interested in corner lots, gave out his text from “Lot 4, block 5, of Matthew's addition to the New Testament.”
Dr. M'Glynn In Brooklyn
An Eloquent Address at a Meeting in the Grand Opera House
A meeting was held in the Grand opera house, Brooklyn, on last Sunday evening, under the direction of the Kings county Henry George land club. The house was as full of people as possible, there being 3,000 present. About one-third of the audience were ladies. Many prominent Citizens of Brooklyn were present. The Brooklyn Eagle of Monday in mentioning the character of the audience, said: “Ex-Mayor Low and a number of Roman Catholic priests and lay brothers attracted attention. The very large numbers of Roman Catholics scattered generally about the hall and their hearty applause of the speakers showed that the excommunication of Dr. McGlynn had not by any means isolated him.”
After singing by a quartet, James R. Kohler, president of the club, said it was intended to hold a series of meetings. He explained, in brief, the purposes of the club, and then introduced Dr. McGlynn.
The doctor, who had, on his entrance upon the stage, received round after round of applause, was again cheered for some moments before he could proceed. He spoke at length in relation to the possibility of abolishing poverty.
“It is a very serious matter this,” he said, “the abolition of poverty. It is a trumpet call that comes to the men and women who are not utterly immersed in the selfish pursuit of gain or pleasure, or lost in the indolence of selfish indulgence. It comes to them like a voice from heaven calling upon them to stop the blasphemer, to cease the murmurings and curses of God's children against the providence of which they read in their books and hear in the pulpits, which seem to them but a mere mockery. Thus comes to the world a trumpet call to vindicate the ways of God to men. It is to teach the truth of God, to teach men the better way, to show how the earth can be reconciled to heaven, and how God's family here, according to the plan of the Redeemer, is to be a heaven on earth. Too many people have forgotten the Father's message; have become too unlike their Master, and today, instead of being with their Master on the side of those who have a gracious, loving heart full of pity and tender compassion, they are on the side of the privileged few, the wealthy and comfortable, who think they can go a little higher when they buy their seats in the synagogues. (Applause.) Too many of them forget that the gospel of Christ is a blessed message of liberty, emancipation and fraternity to men. They have lost their faith in the equality of men; they no longer believe in the essential liberty and fraternity of men, but preach to justify, to declare the necessity of poverty in the world.
“You should never forget that if you would enroll yourselves in this magnificent army of crusaders, marching and fighting for eternal justice, truth, liberty, brotherhood, you must feel the obligation of taking on a nobler and higher sense of the true religion. You must feel that man is something more than a mere brute that perishes, and that he is not merely a creature, but the very child of the eternal God. (Applause.) And therefore is it that we never tire of saying that the chief attraction of this movement for many of us—and sooner or later it must be for all of us—is the religion that is in it. (Applause.) It is that this movement is to bring men back to God and to bring back religion to the world. (Applause.) We do not concern ourselves in the preaching of this crusade—it would be exceedingly improper for us to do so—with the dogmas which are, I believe, inherited from Christ Himself and His apostles, but, speaking to the men and women of all churches, and of no church, men who believe in Christ as the Sou of God, and men who do not, we would be belittling our platform if we should desire to do more than appeal to that great principle that is the essence and the core of all religion, that is the one thing that gives value to all dogmas and sacraments, and without which all dogmas and sacraments would be worse than meaningless and useless. This great principle is the very essence of all religion, namely, that man is something different from the rest of the visible world because of his capacity and his insatiate longing to know the eternal infinity of truth.
“Truly that is a horrid evil that compels men to blaspheme the providence of God. Surely that is a horrid evil in a world so wonderfully well filled with all manner of good things as this, that compels so large a proportion of God's children to be stunted and stinted and deprived and pinched, that drives so many of them back into eternity almost before they have had time to more than cross the threshold of this goodly world. Surely it is a mockery upon the plans and desires of the Creator to say that God designed as a necessary part of His law that so large a proportion of these precious human lives should be crushed out in their very incipiency. Upon the tombs of many might be inscribed the mocking epitaph:
Having been so soon done for,
What was I ever begun for?
“Another touching and poetic epitaph which was placed upon the tomb of a child by its Italian parents was: 'He was born, he wept, and he died.' If that contains the truth it is a most sad one, and bears a bitter reproach on the plan of the Creator. Is it the original plan of the Creator to be born, to weep and then to die? Is God's plan nothing better than the traditional 'vale of tears?' It is not the original plan or God's desire. The tears come from a thwarting of God's plan; they come from the jogging of that horrid progress as it exists today. It is a. good thing to be born in the days in which we were born. It is a good thing to live here and now, for the spirit of God is brooding over the sea of misery and crime and universal dissatisfaction and discontent. God is not entirely unmindful of His children. In spite of human sin and human stupidity and cupidity, His overruling providence is still guiding us on to a better day of hope and liberty and of justice. It is well, I say, that we are alive, and we should feel that it is a blessed privilege to live here and now. We hear the trumpet blast of this new crusade and are glad we are permitted, while yet unworthy, to swell the ranks of this good army that is fighting for God and justice and liberty for the masses of men against stint, injustice, stupidity and the cupidity of the self-indulgent classes. (Applause.)
“His grace, the duke of Argyle (hisses) thought to say a very crushing and what he probably believed to be a very clever thing when in some sort of a pamphlet aimed at the philosopher whom we honor by calling him our guide and friend. he described him as 'the prophet of San Francisco.' (Applause and laughter.) Now his grace, the duke of Argyle, spoke better than he knew. Thus we take up his words and say he is a prophet from San Francisco to New York and Dublin and Edinburgh to teach them as they never were taught before the magnificence of his teaching. (Applause.) It was an historic scene when this prophet of San Francisco stood in the midst of the people and preached as man never had heard before the magnificent truth of political economy which is the very essence of all truth, of all religion, of all liberty, the fraternity and brotherhood of men under the loving fatherhood of God. (Applause.) He preached there in the midst of the masses that God is the father of all and not the stepfather of any. (Applause.) He taught in the very midst of the greatest center of wealth in the world the great truth that all men have an equal and undivided right and that landlordism is blasphemy against the law of heaven and earth, and he humorously turned to an inscription at the Royal exchange and told how landlords would actually dethrone God for greed. The inscription was: The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. Henry George (applause) said that it almost seemed a mockery of the sculptor or chiseler who had made the inscription, as it should have read with the apostrophe in a different position, thus: The earth is the (land) lords' and the fullness thereof.' It is asked: 'Cannot a man do what he pleases with his own? Yes; the question implies a proposition that is indisputable. If the land belongs to these people, then your land league meetings are crimes against natural justice. Even the half-hearted land leaguers—who want fifteen, twenty or twenty-five per cent, and fifteen years' purchase or twenty years' purchase or something of that kind—I don't understand their lingo and don't want to—they have no right to be talking. If they believe really that the land belongs to the landlords, then they are all wrong and the landlords are all right, and they have no right to be interfering with any man's property. We must get rid of referring to Ireland and Europe as the only countries in which the evils of landlordism can be seen. Within ten minutes of the city hall you can find victims of landlordism, people stilling for the lack of pure air. Men and women and children are perishing tonight in this midsummer heat for want of fresh air, and it is all due to this horrid evil of landlordism. (Applause.) And if you wish to find worse you can cross the river in a few minutes, or go to Pennsylvania in three hours and to Illinois in several more hours, and you will find worse racked tenements, you will find more grinding leases and tenancy than would be possible in Ireland today. Your chairman said the more a man produced the more he produced for the landlord than he did for himself, for the landlord says: 'Give me the larger share or I will turn you out and put in the man who will give me the larger share.' Why did you people send so much money to Ireland to help the people pay their rents? You were actually making it more and more possible for those robbers of "labor to continue to exist. It would have been better to have told them to refuse to pay any rent and to give up their wretched hovels and to throw them back upon the landlords' hands than it would have been to help pay their rents. The more money you people sent the more money the landlords were able to extort. It is so in this country.”
At the Conclusion of Dr. McGlynn's address, although the hour was late and the heat intense, many in the audience called upon him to continue speaking, a request, however, that the doctor did not comply with.
Politics and Confession
New York Herald, July 25.
A Herald reporter was yesterday given another instance of the use of the confessional in antagonism to Dr. McGlynn's adherents.
“There is now no doubt,” said the reporters informant, “that Archbishop Corrigan is using these means to crush the friends of Dr. McGlynn. My respect for the confessional is weakened by what has happened.”
The story is this. In a church of the Franciscan order a lady at the end of her confession was asked by the priest:
“Do you believe that Archbishop Corrigan acted rightly in the McGlynn matter?”
“That is an improper question, father,” meekly replied the penitent. “You have no right to ask me that. Whatever my belief may be you know it is not a sin. I am not afraid to say that I, think he acted wrongly.”
“Then you are a McGlynnite?” said the confessor.
Upon this admission the priest refused the lady absolution.
“Father,” she replied, “you have heard my sins, great and small, and you have not one word to say about them, but yet you tax me with my friendship for Dr. McGlynn, as if it were a sin. If you refuse me absolution, father, you will be doing wrong, for I may never ask you again for it.”
The priest saw that he had a woman of spirit to deal with as well as a good Catholic, and finally and reluctantly he gave her absolution.
The Small Farmer is Going
Vincennes, Ind., News.
The tendency all over the country is toward small farms. The large landlord must go—Washington Democrat.
The very reverse is true. Right here in Indiana the small farmer is going, and going fast. His little farm is merging into the big farm. and he is swelling the tenant class. which is in turn drifting into the mere laboring class.
That what we say is true appears in the following table. It is compiled from the census of 1850, and is therefore official. Under the head of “Farms—Number in each specified class”—we discover this about Indiana farms, comparing the returns of l880 with those of 1870:
Decrease in No.
Decrease per cent.
Under 3 acres
3 and under 10
10 “ “ 20
20 “ “ 50
Increase in No.
Increase per cent.
50 and under 100
100 “ “ 500
500 “ “ 1000
Over 1000 acres
This shows a rapid and terrible decrease in the number of small farms, a startling and momentous increase in large ones. That is to say, the small farmer is being crowded out: the big farmer is coming with galloping strides to the front—an incipient lord of the soil, a budding aristocrat of the English class.
Good Words from the Greenback Champion
General J. B. Weaver's Iowa Tribune—Greenback.
If the reform papers that are using Henry George and his reform theories as a target for abuse and ridicule would confine their shots to the enemy, and if they cannot favor the work of this co- reformer, at least give him credit for high and holy purpose, the world would the sooner out grow its wrongs and oppressions. The proposition that the earth was made by the Almighty for all His children cannot be denied by any. The more this simple proposition is contemplated the stronger it appeals to man's sense of justice and right. Mr. George's remedies for existing wrongs may not commend themselves to the public judgment, but that is a matter of detail and legislation. We think the proposition to assess all taxes upon land will not win, and is not necessary; but we accord to Mr. George credit for a nob;e work that will live long after his exit. We say to him God speed! Education and agitation are the best things for the race. Out of all conflicting theories justice will win in the end.
Anti-Poverty Meeting in Minneapolis
Minneapolis Journal, July 25.
Several hundred people attended a meeting under the auspices of the Anti-poverty society at Windom hall last night. Clarence Moeller presided and there were a number of local labor leaders present. Mr. Moeller explained the objects of the society, and he was followed by Mr. Buell, who made an earnest address, which showed that he had given the matter a great deal of study. T. H. Lucas spoke vigorously and entertainingly. He denounced the land system in this country roundly, and unharmed that as long as there is a land monopoly there will be paupers. All that the society asked is a common title to the soil, and it did not propose to support in idleness and luxury the hordes of bloodsuckers and thieves.
A Town Without Land Titles
High up among the mountains, in the heart of the Black hills of Dakota, is a mining town that presents some remarkable conditions in the matter of real estate titles—Lead City velept.
It is a place of perhaps 2,300 inhabitants, and is chiefly dependent for its life upon the great Homestake gold mines and mills situate here. It has rows of shops in buildings of wood or brick, and plenty of comfortable homes. Every foot of the ground on when this thrifty town stands belongs to others than the owners of the improvements. It is mineral land, and as such the title to it is still in the government, except some portion which has been patented to mining companies for mineral purposes. There are three ways in which building sites may be obtained on mineral lands, viz.:
1. By need from the owner of a mineral patent.
2. By deed from a trustee under a town site grant from government.
3. By squatters right conferred by local mining customs.
Only in the first of these ways can title be acquired to surface for building or commercial purposes, and even those titles are not unassailable in view of the conflicting nature of government grants.
No town site grant has ever issued for the land at Lead City; none of the property holds by virtue of deeds from mining patentees: the only title, therefore, to any town property is a squatter's right, which is simply a possessory right and no title, Conveyances are by quit claim deeds. Possession is assured only from day to day. Owners of mineral patents under lying these stores and dwellings can dispossess the occupants and take their betterments from them: proceedings would consume from three to eighteen mouths, according to the color of the title of the occupant, but the result would ultimately be confiscation of the improvements—as has recently been done in the case of a large amount of property in the city of Deadwood, near by, under decisions in favor of the owners of certain placer claims—and this, notwithstanding that the occupants held by deeds from the trustee of a town site patent issued by the government.
This common right to land is still used upon lands in and about Lead City. If any one wants to build a house, or a corral for his cows, or desires a garden patch. all he has to do is to fence in land for the same and occupy it. He has as complete a title as do the owners of the brick stores, churches or mansions.
Under the stimulus of an expected railroad this spring, large tracts were fenced in by local land grabbers, but these are liable to be jumped if the fencers do not utilize them other wise than to hold them for speculation. Under this free-for-all, no-title system property is worth what it will rent for with the expectancy of tenure. Rents—i. e., values—are graduated upon the cost of improvements and advantages of location; they have no relation to the fee. Values cannot be inflated much because there is plenty of unused land; they cannot depreciate much because they produce a known income. The trend of settlement and current of trade exercise some influence upon demand and hence affect rents and selling prices. Rents hold to valuations the proportion of one-third to one-half. You can buy for $250 the house that you must pay $10 a month rent for; a $700 or $800 house will rent for $25 a month. A store that rents for $150 a month can be bought as readily for $5,000. Money is currently worth two per centum per month. In a word, the factor of ownership of the soil is entirely eliminated from business calculations.
It is difficult to make comparison of the effects of this condition of property with those that obtain in a town where land titles are fixed, because there are many differing conditions of other kinds, as nature of pursuits and incomes, newness of this place and disturbing influence of mining fluctuation, etc. I cannot detect any less confidence in the future of the place than is professed by towns in the Black hills that can abstract their titles. There has been more building here than in any other town in the hills this season. There is more public spirit than in most towns here away, as might be shown by several circumstances. Certainly there is no expression of insecurity or uncertainty of property rights or business interests on account of lack of ownership in the soil. Men buy and sell houses and stores and make calculations years ahead precisely as they do in other new towns in the west.
The only respect in which I can discern any handicap of the town in consequence of the titles being in the government is inability to negotiate loans on the property from outside lenders. These require abstracts of titles, and none can be given; hence, the town has to get on without the aid of eastern capital. There is also some disadvantage to small capitalists in the fact that transactions are uniformly all cash. The man who wants to acquire a little home or the small tradesmen who desires to own his shop cannot buy on part time. Nevertheless, I think a larger proportion of both classes do own their occupancy than in most older towns of the same size. This is so partly because many of them took lots and built for themselves originally, and partly because under the high scale of wages that obtains here any sober man is able to acquire a house or shop.
As for the moral bearings of this “unsettling of values,” I may and facts as curious as any yet given. Lead City is not an incorporated municipality, and has no local system of government. Here is a mining town of 2,500 people without the forms of government; no mayor, council, burgesses, trustees, policemen, police courts, or jail, no street, health, tire, or sewer authorities other than the county officials. Yet I assert candidly that it is the best governed town that I have seen in the west. There is the utmost personal liberty joined with the best public order. Property is secure; there never has been more than one case of robbery, and people leave their chattels unguarded in a way that is quite primitive. At a firemen's tournament that was held here last week, and very large-y attended, lasting f our exciting days, there was not a fight, disorder, misdemeanor not an arrest or occasion for one, and very little drunkenness; not as much as you will invariably see on a circus day in an eastern town of the same size. It only remains to complete the tale to say that three-fourths of the population is foreign born, comprising nearly every nationality in Europe and Chinese.
Coleman E. Bishop.
Lead City, Dak., July 15, l887.
Cresco, Neb., Times.
Over $l00,000,000 are invested in Nebraska mortgages, and more than $10,000,000 are drawn from the state every year as interest, and yet this vast amount of wealth pays not a cent of taxes. The poor man, whose home is mortgaged perhaps to the last cent of its value, is compelled to pay the tax nos only on his own interest in the property, but also that of the money lender.
The Seller Knew When to Squeeze
Burlington, Vt., Independent.
Mr. Huntington, to get the College street frontage he desired, had to fade with Mr. Van Patten for three feet frontage. To get this he paid probably the highest price land ever sold for in this city—at the rate of two hundred and two thousand tight hundred and, fifteen dollars for an acre.
Condensed from Emile de Laveleye's “Primitive Property.”
In the primitive cantons of Switzerland institutions of the most democratic character conceivable have from remote times secured the inhabitants in the enjoyment of liberty, equality and order, and of a degree of happiness such as is rarely enjoyed by humanity.
There has never been a more radical democracy than that which has existed for a thousand years in Switzerland. In the cantons of Uri, Schwytz, Glans, in the Appenzells and in the two Cuterwaldens the people govern themselves directly, without any intermediate representative body. In the spring, all the citizens of full age meet in a single assembly in the open air, to pass laws and to nominate the officers charged with their execution. This absolute self-government, dating from the most remote times, has been transmitted uninterruptedly to the present day. In Switzerland the communes enjoy almost absolute autonomy. They not only frame their own regulations, but even their own constitution, so long as they are not contrary to the laws of the state. They administer independently everything relating, to their schools, churches, police, roads and the care of the poor. They nominate all their officers and fix local taxation. The state is only a federation of independent commanes that existed before its birth and can live without it.
The lands of the communes in Switzerland are cal led Allmenden, which seems to signify that they are the common domain of all. In a restricted sense the name Allmend is applied to a portion of the undivided domain situated near a village and devoted to agriculture. The common territory consists of three distinct portions—forest, meadow and cultivated land. Certain villages also possess lands where rushes are cut for litter and other lands where turf is cut for fuel. The common land is not, as in France, a bare waste or sterile heath, pasturing a few miserable sheep and presenting a picture of neglect and desolation. It is a domain managed according to strict rules dictated by the requirements of systematic agriculture. All the inhabitants regularly take part in its management, and the produce is as great as on private lands, for the cultivated land of the Allmend will let at 250 or 300 francs the hectart (2.4711 English acres). This domain provides those who are entitled to the use of it with the means of satisfying the first wants of life. It supplies turf or wood for fuel, timber for the construction or repairing of the chalet and the making of household articles, tools and agricultural implements—in a word, lodging and furniture: a summer pasturage for the sheep and cows, which yield milk, butter, meat and wool; and finally a plot of cultivated land, yielding corn, potatoes and vegetables.
In many villages the portion of cultivable land that falls to each family is abundantly manured and used as a kitchen garden, and is sufficient to contribute largely to the vegetable portion of the food supply. At Stanz every occupier is entitled to more than an English acre. In the canton of St, Gall the village of Buchs allows more than an acre of excellent tend, firewood for the whole year, and alp (mountain grazing land) for several head of cattle, and derives from its communal property a revenue sufficient to support the pastor and schoolmaster and to meet, all public expenses without imposing any tax.
Mere habitation within the commune, or even the exercise of political membership, is not sufficient to constitute a title, to the enjoyment of the communal domain. Descent from a family that has possessed the right from time immemorial, or at least from the beginning of the present century, is necessary. Collective succession is based on succession in the family; that is to say, descent in a privileged family gives the right to a share in the collective inheritance. In theory it is the association of descendants of the original occupants of the mark—the common domain of a primitive clan— continuing to enjoy what remains of the domain. Thus, in the same village, side by side with a group of persons using the communal land may be found inhabitants excluded from all the advantages that so materially improve the position of the former, and there are thus, as it were, two distinct communes involved one within the other. The Beisassen, or simple residents, as they are called, have often complained of this distinction, which has given rise to violent struggles between the reformers, who demand equal rights for all, and the conservatives, who endeavor to maintain the old exclusion. Even in those cantons where the most absolutely equal democracy that has ever existed is established, there is still a struggle between the spirit of tradition and the spirit of leveling. As there is no general law on the subject, the results of this struggle have not been everywhere the same, but generally arrangements have been adopted securing certain rights to the simple residents. Thus they may have firewood from the forest, but not timber. They may only send the young cattle, and in some cases one or two milch cows, but no more, to the alp. In the. Allmends of the plain they are allowed even less, being often entirely excluded, but in some cases permitted to participate in the drawing of lots for the plots of cultivated land or gardens.
Every community possesses an old chest or ancient trunk, in which are preserved all the documents relating to the domain of the corporation. Besides the fundamental regulation, which may be called the constitution of the society, this chest contains the judgments deciding any contested point, agreements with neighboring villages, and the official reports of decisions passed in the ordinary assemblies of May and December. This respect for ancient tradition is a great source of strength in Switzerland; for, as they are more democratic and equal the further they go back into antiquity, the traditions are more nearly in harmony with the requirements of the age that seeks to establish democracy. They have this great advantage over the innovations attempted in the present day, that they have lasted for thousands of years, being maintained and perfected by the free will of men who appreciate their advantages. This leads us to suppose that they are conformable to natural law—that is, to the wants of human nature.
The mode in which the inhabitants exercise their right in the Allmend differs more or less in the several communes. It also vanes according to the nature of the property. It is not the same for the alp, for the forest, for the turf and for the cultivated lands. When the group of inhabitants in the center of the snark was transformed from a village into a town, it became difficult to maintain the ancient method of enjoyment. Nevertheless, at Berne the woods are still allotted among the persons entitled to their use. In the industrial town of St. Gall each of them receives annually half a fathom of wood and a hundred fagots or a plot of arable land. The town of Soleure distributes among the occupiers a considerable supply of fire wood, varying from five fathoms to a half fathom of beech and fir, according to the class of persons entitled. In many localities the communal lands are let and the profits applied to defray public expenses. Some times there is a surplus, which is apportioned in money, but nearly all the communes that have arable lands allot them among the commoners.
There are infinite varieties of detail in the manner of enjoyment of the several communes. The methods can, however, be classed according to types, as afforded by the three cantons of Uri, Glaris and Valais.
At the present day Uri forms a single mark, without division into communes. Villages have been formed—Fluelen, Altdorf, Burglen, Erstfeld, Silenen, Amstag, Waset and Andermatt— but these villages do not form distinct political corporations. The inhabitant exercises his right of user in any locality to which he may remove. The inhabitant of Silenen may send his cattle into the valley of Schaeehenthal, and the inhabitant of this valley may send his on to the alp of the Surenes. There is no precise measurement of the extent of the Allmends in Uri. An estimate made in 1852 reckons the alps belonging to the lower of the two districts of the canton as containing 5,417 cow runs. As the district numbers 2,700 families of commoners, this allows about the keep of two cows on an average for each family. The communal forests are of great extent, valuable and well kept up. They are worth at least 4,000,000 francs, which makes a capital of about 1,400 francs for each family. To show ho w the partition of the wood is effected, we will give the statistics made in 1855, in the village of Schoddorf, near Altdorf. The first class is that of Citizen shareholders who have had for a whole year fire and light, who heat an oven and possess property. They are entitled to fell six large firs, and their number was 120. The second class comprises those who have fire and light, an oven, but no property. They are entitled to four firs. There were 30 in this category. The third class is that of persons living alone and having no property. There were 9 of them, each being entitled to 3 fir trees. Finally, in the fourth class are those commoners who have had lire and light, but who have no house of their own. They can claim only two firs. They were 25 of them. The total number of commoners was therefore" 164. Of these, 52 had obtained, in addition, timber for new buildings or for repairs; 178 large trunks having been allotted for this purpose. These distributions enable the families to live in comfort. Nowhere are the cultivators so well lodged as in Switzerland. This explains the origin of the chalets which the stranger admires. The communal forest allows of their construction and maintenance. Uri possesses also nearly 1,000 acres of cultivated lands, which, when equally distributed, gives about a quarter of an acre of garden to each family from which to raise fruit and vegetables and flax and hemp for the family linen. This does not make a competence. but it is a guaranteed means of attaining it: in any case, it is a certain preservative against extreme distress. Add to what is supplied by the communal property the produce of private property and individual labor, and all essential wants are amply provided for.
Glaris, among the primitive cantons, is the one that has departed furthest from the ancient modes of partition. The produce of the greater part of the communal lands, instead of being divided directly among the inhabitants, is employed to cover the expenses of the commune. The commonable alps are let by auction for a certain number of years, and, in complete opposition to ancient principles, strangers may obtain them as well as citizens. The rent goes to the communal treasury. Some communes also sell by auction the timber cut from the forest: others divide it among the commoners, reserving a certain proportion. The dry leaves for litter are equally divided; they are distributed by lot, or else everyone goes on a fixed day and collects what he can of them. The point which merits attention in Glaris is the care the communes have taken to preserve a sufficient extent of arable land for distribution among the members. If the number of inhabitants increases, or if any parcels are sold for manufactories or private building purposes, the commune purchases fresh land, in order that the portion of each family may remain the same. A widow, children living; together without parents, or even a son or daughter of full age, provided they have had “fire and light,” within the commune for the space of a year, are alike entitled to a share. These shares vary from a fourth to two-thirds of an acre. Each member retains his lot for ten, twenty or thirty years. At the end of this period the parcels are re formed, measured and again assigned by lot. Every one makes what use he likes oi his plot, cultivating whatever he requires. He can even let it or lease it to the commune, which will pay him rent for it. These plots are admirably cultivated. Every member may send on to the common pasture the cattle that he has kept through the winter, but he pays a tax per head, except for goats, the poor man's cow. In Glaris there are many private corporations that own land. Ten, twenty or thirty cultivators form an association possessing pasture and arable land. The produce of the fruit property is divided among the associates in proportion to the number of shares that each possesses. This is a perfect type of a co- operative society. These associations have lasted for centuries. Distributive co-operative societies now exist in a majority of the industrial communes. Glans, unlike Uri, is not a purely pastoral canton. It is one of the districts of Europe where relatively the largest number of people are employed in industrial occupations. Out of 30,000 inhabitants 10,000 live directly by such occupations and nearly all the others indirectly.
In Valais the fraternal relations of the patriarchal epoch are still to be found in all their simplicity. Nearly all the communes have property of considerable extent—forests, alps, vineyards and corn land. The forest is divided into parcels, which is distributed by lot among the occupiers. The communal vineyards are cultivated in common. Every member of the commune devotes a certain number of days' labor until the wine is bottled. In some localities there are corn lands cultivated in the same manner. Part of the communal revenue is expected in the purchase of cheese. The wine and bread that is the fruit of joint labor form the basis of the banquets, in which all the members of the commune take part. Independently of the communes, societies of riflemen also own common lands, growing wheat and wines. Each member furnishes his number of days' work, and the produce is consumed in common repasts, which take place every Sunday alter the rifle competition.
There seem to be no complete statistics of communal property in Switzerland. Data are obtainable, however, concerning certain cantons and certain towns. In the canton of Unterwalden, the value of the communal property is computed for Obwald, with 10,000 inhabitants, at 11,350,000 francs. In Appenzell, the seven Inner Rhodes, with 9,800 inhabitants, own property estimated at about 3,000,000 francs. In the town of Soleure the commoners own 5,409 juchart (a juchart is three and one- half roods) of forest, 1,041 juchart of pasture land, and 136 of cultivated land. With the capital and buildings they are estimated at 2,330,338 francs, but they are actually worth three times as much. In the canton of St. Gall communal lauds are very extensive. Out of 236 alps in the district-, which contain 24,472 cow runs, 143 alps, with 12,407 cow runs, are common domain. The common property of the town of St. Gall is valued at 6,291,000 francs. In Schaffhausen communal lands comprise 28,140 juchart, one-third of all the lands of the canton. In French Switzerland there are 202 communes owning common lands.
The workman in the great modern industries is often a cosmopolitan wanderer, to whom “country” is a word void of meaning, whose only thought is to struggle with his employer for an increase of wages. This is simply because there is no tie to attach him to his native soil. To the Swiss commoner, on the contrary, his native soil is a veritable alma parens, a good foster mother. He has bis share in it by virtue of a personal, inalienable right, which no one can dispute, and which the lapse of centuries has consecrated. It has often been said that property is the true condition of liberty. He who receives from another the land which be cultivates, is dependent on him. and cannot be completely independent. In England, France, Belgium—wherever liberty of voting was to be secured—the ballot had to be protected with great care, lest landlords should know how tenants voted. In this respect it was not logical to give the suffrage to those who did not exercise the right of property. In Switzerland, by means of the Allmends, a solution of independence was arrived at.
How great is the difference between the lot of the Manchester mechanic and that of the Swiss commoner! The one lives in an atmosphere thick with smoke, with a dirty garret in an unhealthy lane as his only lodging, and the gin palace as his only distraction. The other, breathing the pure air of the splendid Linth valley at the foot of the snows of the Glarnihch, is subject to the wholesome influence of magnificent natural surroundings. He is well lodged; he is the cultivator of his own field, which he holds by reason of his natural and unalienable right of property; he grows a part of his food supply, and he is attached to the soil which he occupies, to the commune in whose administration he takes part, and to the canton whose Jaws he makes directly in the general assembly, feeling himself connected with his fellow members by the bonds of common ownership, and with his fellow citizens by the common exercise of the same rights. The gloomy condition of the English workman begets in his mind hatred of social order, of his employer and of capital, and consequently a spirit of revolt. The Swiss workmen, enjoying all the rights natural to man, cannot rise up against a system that secures him real advantages and which his vote helps to perpetuate. With him the fair motto of the French revolution, liberty, equality, fraternity, is no empty formula inscribed on public documents. His liberty is complete, and has been handed down from remote antiquity; equality is a fact sanctioned by all his laws; fraternity is not mere sentiment—it is embodied in institutions that make the inhabitants of the same commune members of one family, partaking by equal light in the hereditary patrimony. A comparison between the degraded inmate of an English workhouse and the proud, active, independent and industrious commoner of the Swiss Allmend is sufficient to illustrate the profound difference between the system of giving relief and that by which land is given as a right.
Hitherto all democracies have perished, because, after establishing equality of political rights, they have failed to create an equality of conditions such as to prevent the struggle between the rich and the poor leading to various revolutions, finally ending in a civil war and dictatorship. By allowing the distribution among all of a part in the collective prosperity, the Allmends prevent excessive inequality opening a gap between the higher and lower classes. The struggle between rich and poor cannot lead to the ruin of these democratic institutions, for the simple reason that no one is very poor or very rich. Property is not threatened. Who could threaten it where all are proprietors?
The Land Tax and Life Policies
Evansville, Ind., July 7.—At the seventh meeting of the Anti-poverty society the question was asked: “If taxes were shifted to land, would it not destroy the insurance companies and trust companies that have large mortgages of land?”
I entirely agree with Mr. Post, who answered the question, that during the process of shifting of the taxes there would be a corresponding shifting of securities, and that no injury would be done. But even if this should not be the case, and should the change come so suddenly that no preparation could possibly be made, I would not hesitate for an instant to vote for the land reform, even if I knew that by so doing I would render the policy I now hold on my life worthless, and I would feel that I had benefited my family by the act. I would feel they would be tar better provided for by the better and purer conditions by which they would be surrounded than by the money value of my policy!
Those who understand the land question fear no such result. Until we can rouse men to think for themselves, our enemies, taking advantage of their ignorance and prejudice, will try to frighten and mislead them, to make them believe there are lions in the path. But let them go boldly forward. The lions are chained.
In the first place, before the reform could be brought about, the minds and consciences of the people must be aroused to see and feel the wrong, and also the justice and expediency of the remedy we propose for that wrong.
Education is a slow process, and it would be impossible to predict how long a period of agitation must precede the period of conquest, which is certain to follow. Even when the people are thoroughly roused. and the period of conquest comes, it will not come all at once, but gradually. We must not only elect a president, but we must also get control of both branches of congress, the senate as well as the house of representatives. Now, to get control of the senate we must first get control of a majority of the state legislatures. This would require at least six years. Now, the men who are at the head of our insurance companies are sharp, shrewd men. They know enough to go in when it rains. During the period of agitation and the period of conquest they would prepare for the storm. They would collect all loans on unimproved real estate wherever it was possible to do so, and would refuse to make any more.
Most of us can recollect the predictions, of so-called business men, of the ruin and disaster that would be sure to overwhelm us when the government resumed specie payment. We can also recollect that when resumption came there was not even a jar in the machinery of commerce. Even if these periods had not given them time to fully prepare for the change, there are other reasons why they would be protected from injury. It is not at all likely that national, state and municipal taxes would all be shifted at the same time.
It is most probable that in many of the states quite an interval of time would elapse between the shifting of these three different taxes. But a still stronger reason is that when all taxes were so shifted the government would not at first take all of the ground rent, but just enough to meet its actual wants, and when men pay direct instead of indirect taxes, economy in public affairs will become fashionable. It would, no doubt, still be a long time before we could raise the taxes so as to take all of the ground rent, and until we reached that point, even unimproved real estate would have a value. We must also bear in mind that on improved real estate where the improvements were equal in value to the land the security would not be impaired at all. Another reason is that as the process of shifting went on wages would rise and interest would rise also, and these very companies could make better investments that would really aid labor, and not be, as now, in the nature of a tax upon it.
Charles G. Bennett.
A Land Owner Who Wants Advice
Medina, N. Y.—I want your advice about a matter which affects my interests. I possess a piece of unimproved land upon which the taxes are about $50 per year, while the increase in value is about $150 per year. So you see my intelligent and generous fellow citizens are making me a present of $100 per annum for not using my land or allowing any one else to carry on any industry upon it. I have not thanked them for this present, and don't intend to, for I am perfectly able to earn my own living, thank God, without being the recipient of any pension of unearned increment from the public. I would build upon and otherwise improve this land, only I know if I do so I will be soundly taxed, according to the custom of assessors.
I see that there is great agitation going on, especially among workingmen, for the removal of taxation from the products of their industry, so as to encourage them, and the higher taxation of land values, exclusive of the improvements, so as to discourage those who get rich without work by holding land for a rise.
Now what I want to know is this: How long do you think it will be before the change is made from taxing industry to taxing unearned increment? If it is coming pretty soon then I will spend some money in improving this vacant land, so that I shall have an income from the improvements to take the place of the $100 I am getting for nothing every year, which will then go for taxes. Otherwise, perhaps I had better leave the land as it is, and quietly take my $100 per year without being expected to thank any one for it.
S. M. Burroughs.
The Landlord Gets the Gold
A recent letter from an English official in South Africa says: ''Seventy-two miles from Pochefstrom, every mile of which distance is capable of carrying a large population, brings us to Johannesburg, the center of the new gold fields of Wittwaters randt. The farms, for all the deposits are on private property, changed hands at high figures, and the Boers who owned them suddenly found themselves rich beyond their wildest dreams. The Transvaal government proclaimed the district, or a great portion of it, a public gold field, and, under the gold law of the country, threw the farms so proclaimed open to the enterprise of the individual digger, by the same law, however, reserving one- tenth of the farm, which he has the privilege of marking off in any direction, for the exclusive use of the proprietor under a mining lease—or mijn pacht. The law seems to work well. It has attracted a considerable population and much local capital, and as between proprietors and individuals there are few complaints. Everywhere on the bleak hillsides the face of the country is seamed with transverse trenches cutting across and showing the ridges of conglomerate, varying from twenty feet to two or three feet in thickness, lying from a few inches to several feet below the surface of the soil. Beyond this little has been done, pending the arrival of the heavy stamping machinery necessary for the reduction of the deposit, but a great deal of speculation has taken place in claims, which have been sold as high as £1,000 per claim, 150 by 400 feet.
God Save King Herod
The following is the infant mortality record of Pittsburgh and Allegheny City, Pa., for the four weeks cf June, and the first two weeks of July.
June, first week, 09 children under 5 years, including 37 babies.
Second week, 117 children under 5 years, including 57 babies.
Third week, 104 children under 5 years, including 112 babies.
Fourth week, 189 children under 5 years, including 132 babies.
July, first week, 175 children under 5 years, Including 118 babies.
Second week, 216 children under 5 years, including 105 babies.
Commenting on these statistics, the Pittsburgh Times remarks:
Many of these deaths, in fact the vast majority, are those of children whose parents live cooped up in mill and factory tenements in which there is no natural ventilation and artificial ventilation is impossible. Their parents give them food that is unseasonable and in a few days at farthest, between bad air and bad food, choleraic diarrhea supervenes and the little ones are dead. These deaths are the condition of crowded quarters and the inability of parents lo furnish better. The penalty is frightful, but its payment has only commenced. and unless better sanitary precautions are taken the mortality of August will be still more frightful.
But the Question Arises, What Is the Cure?
Napanee, Ont., Standard.
It is now about time that the people of Canada were taking some steps to abate this growing evil, if it cannot be, as present appearances seem to show, permanently stamped out. It is needless to talk about government intervention in the matter. The case is in the hands of every householder; let every one decide to turn a deaf ear to the whining appeal of every able-bodied loafer who comes to the door. and let our municipal authorities, instead of providing a bed and good meal to every one that asks for it, let a little gentle exercise at stone breaking be the prelude. It might sharpen the appetite and promote muscular action. There can be no doubt that much of the thieving and incendiary work so rampant recently might have been prevented had our people and the authorities been less liberal in dealing with this unmitigated nuisance. There is plenty of deserving' objects of charity in our midst who are often made to suffer because of this indiscriminate giving to every persistent beggar who, having heard that Napanee is a perfect Goshen of benevolence, thinks he is certain of a welcome there. The thing has now gone beyond endurance. It is time to try the cure.
The Farmer's Taxes
Ocala, Fla., Banner.
The Banner does not believe that “every acre of land should be taxed at a uniform rate.” It does believe, however, that land lying contiguous and of equal value should be taxed alike, regardless of the improvements that may be upon them.
If the Reporter believes that such a system would “prove the ruin of agriculture,” will it not be kind enough to give its reasons therefor? We certainly would not advocate any measure that would bring ruin and desolation on our country. Why would relieving a farmer's industry from a tax ruin him? We relieve a certain number of acres and a certain amount of personal property from forced sale; why not relieve this personal property and the improvements upon this land—exempt from forced sale— from taxation? If the farmer's house and his barns and his stock and his farming implements are relieved from taxation, and only his lands taxed, and that no more than the idle lands around him, why will he abandon farming? Does a man farm simply for the love of farming?
The Leading Methodist Journal Discusses the Single Tax Reform—Candid Admissions, and Mistakes Which Closer Study Will Rectify
New York Christian Advocate.
…“Progress and Poverty" is one of the most interesting books in its style, and one of the most plausible in its ways of putting things which have been issued in the present century. No one can . Read Mr. George's paper, The Standard, without perceiving that his ability as a writer, both in notes and more elaborate articles, is far superior to that of the average of persons who occupy similar positions either in the secular or the religious press. The evidence that he is deeply read upon the subjects that he discussesappears in everything that he writes.
His conception that the land belongs to the people as freely as the earth and the air, and should not be monopolized by an individual, is not original. It can be found in various ancient writings, and from time to time has been advocated with more or less force and clearness by different writers upon political economy. But in assuming it, and in the met hod of attempting to prove it, and to show it to be practicable, Mr. George is entitled to the credit of investing it with the vigor and freshness of an original discovery.
. . . There are considerations drawn from the present condition of things which appear in favor of his views, and those are by him advanced with great energy, so that most minds coming under his spell are inclined to believe that he has struck a method of solving most of the problems which vex society. These are such as the fact that the titles by which land is held run back into arbitrary conquest, either over individuals or nations; that on the continent of Europe and in the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland the entire land is held by a very small number relatively to the population: that it is by them divided and subdivided, being rented to great land holders, and by them again rented to farmers, so that the laboring classes who do the work have to support three or four orders of society above them, and a very large number of the population are born without the slightest probability of being able to acquire a square inch of the common heritage of all.
. . . Mr. George would put an end to all this by taxing land to its full rental value, and by diminishing the tax upon all sorts of personal property and improvements. Thus, if a man owns a lot, he is to be taxed for the value of the land, but not upon the improvements he has put upon it. This would, of course, prevent the holding of very large amounts of unimproved land by the same persons: would compel them to sell to those who would improve it; or, failing to find a purchaser, would compel them to continually pay the large amount of tax themselves, or forfeit the same to the state.
We do not presume in this short article to attempt to set forth fully Mr. George's theories, nor are we to be considered, from having given a statement of his principles, and affirming that there are many considerations to be adduced in favor of them, as believing, on the whole, that they are true or practicable.
While we do not believe that Mr. George's theories are as revolutionary as some suppose, we have no doubt of their impracticability, and the pretense that they would destroy poverty is a dream, the result of a heated imagination, even though that imagination be connected with a robust and well furnished intellect; for some persons would be able to pay these taxes and still make money out of the land. Their prudent management and patient industry would be rewarded by prosperity; while many more, either from errors of judgment, weakens of body or mind, inefficiency, ignorance or vice, or those misfortunes which may come to any, would perpetuate poverty and indigence.
An “anti-poverty society” has an extremely attractive sound, but it cannot accomplish the end by any one principle even as far reaching as this. The private ownership of land is one of the chief stimulants to industry and interest in the maintenance of existing social order. From the day that Abraham bought the cave of Machpelah in which to bury Sarah to this hour the home idea has been connected with the possession of the ground on which the homestead stands: and only a return to the nomadic mode of life. with the tent pitched wherever pasture might be found for the cattle, or the wigwam erected wherever the game is plenty, could destroy the hold which it has upon the human mind.
The movement maugurated by Mr. George is too far removed from the abstract question to have any effect upon it. It may exist for a time, and even subserve as a balancing power an important purpose in the political life of this country. But having against it, as it must, almost all who possess property or hope to secure it, its sphere will be limited to a part of the population of cities and manufacturing towns.
A Story with a Moral
“Truthseeker” in Electric Age.
Mr. Editor: There is a fertile island in the Pacific ocean which was occupied long ago by an eccentric bachelor, who was the sole proprietor of it. having obtained his title from some monarch, who claimed it as his own. He had a servant whom he had brought with him, and whom he was to pay a certain sum of money for a certain number of years for his service. After this term had expired the owner. taking advantage of circumstances, reduced his wages. The servant protested, but was met with the curt response to go where he could do better, well knowing that it was impossible for the servant to leave the island, as a vessel had not touched at the island since they had been there.
The servant thought over the matter, and finally hit upon a plan to case his circumstances until an opportunity should occur to get away. He went to the proprietor and said: “I would like to buy a part of this island from you, and become your neighbor.” “Very well,” said the proprietor; “stake off as much as you think you need and I will sell it to you.” The servant staked off about one-twentieth of the island. saying he thought that would be sufficient, and asked what the price was. “You may have that piece of land for live thousand dollars,” said the proprietor. The servant was thunderstruck with surprise. “Five thousand dollars!” said he, “why, that's ten tunes as much as you paid for the island.” “I know it,” said the proprietor, “but don't you know that the price of land is governed by circumstances. You may have this piece of land at my price, or buy elsewhere.” As the servant had only a small sum of money the land was out of his reach and the last began to dawn upon him that he was at the mercy of the proprietor. He protested and entreated, but of no avail; he was forced to work at the proprietors figure, which was so low that it was hardly sufficient to purchase the necessary clothing from the proprietor.
I omitted to say that the proprietor also had a negro slave that he had bought from the captain of the vessel who had landed him at his destination. This slave labored the whole day and got nothing for his work but his victuals.
Now, aside from the servant's hope of relief by a passing vessel, I ask the renders of the Age, who had the greater advantages, the white slave or the black one?
A Presbyterian Clergyman Who is Laboring in the Cause
Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost forwards us the following letter recently received by him:
Slatington, Pa. —Will you kindly send me two of your pamphlet “Henry" George's Solution,” etc.?
In a field of labor much smaller than yours, though it yields a big crop of wickedness, too, I have been saying a word now and then for some time past, in the pulpit and out of it, for this righteous cause. I am thinking of how to reach our fellow pastors in the presbytery and among the pamphlets I should like to see this one of yours.
As a young man, it seems to me strange that clear-headed, stout-hearted ministers who boldly faced the slavery issue should not more readily respond to this most manifest call of Christianity. I doubt not that if they can but sec that “This is the wing,” the “'Walk ye in it” will not need to be repeated very often or en forced by any urging. God speed you. Cordially yours,
John F. Scott.
This comes to us by mail:
While the world was steeped in woe
We have dreamed of happiness
Coming, with it cheerful glow,
To the weary human race.
White injustice was our king,
We have dreamed that men would rue
Ever having followed him—
And our dreams are coming true.
Rouse ye, then, the earth from sleep,
To begin its life anew,
Into brighter years to sweep—
Dreamers' dreams are coming true!
On the roaring city street,
Where, in crowds, the wretched throng,
With red eye and weary feet
Seeking wealth by right or wrong;
We have dreamed of the time
When black Greed no more would brew
Want, and misery, and crime—
And our dreams are Coming true.
By the lonely cottage hearth,
Where gaunt labor creeps to rest,
With a load of care and dearth.
Heavy, aye, upon bis breast;
We have dreamed of better days,
When blithe plenty here would strew
Health, content, and leisured case—
And our dreams are coming true.
While fair Nature narrow seemed,
And her bounties hard to win;
While all mankind ghouls were deemed,
Hopeless sons of shame and sin;
We have dreamed that earth was broad,
Stretching 'neath the heavens blue;
That the soul of man was good—
And our dreams are coming true.
Rouse ye, then, the earth from sleep.,
To begin its life anew,
Into brighter years to sweep!
Dreamers' dreams are coming true!
Was there ever another journal published to which the mail brought such letters as daily come to our Standard? Men whose souls bad long since turned to bitterness within them, who, looking out upon the world and seeing the misery and destitution, the awful wretchedness of poverty, the equally awful emptiness of wealth, the heart less struggle, the cruel pushing and crowding and theft and lying, the babies hung back into eternity with a mocking platitude that “the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away,” the women trampled into the mire—men who, seeing all this, bad cursed God and looked upon this earth as the grisly joke of some mocking fiend—these men are shouting for joy as the truth is borne in upon them that all these horrors are remediable—that they spring from the denial of a simple law of justice—that they can be swept from the earth once and forever, if on!y men can be persuaded to give the eternal law of truth and justice a chance of operation. As in that cider day, when there came a sound from heaven, and a rushing, mighty wind, and all men heard the gospel, each in his own language; so now the gladsome gospel of God's fatherhood and man's brotherhood is being heard of all men, and Christians and Jews. atheists and agnostics, Catholics and Protestants, alike recognize its truth, and hail it with shouts of heart felt joy. For the dreamer's dreams are coming true, and the day of the Lord is at hand.
Listen to this:
Evansville, Ind.—I have called myself an atheist, and among my church going “friends, who confess themselves miserable sinners on Sunday, and do the best they can to prove the confession true on Monday. I desire no prouder title. But if you choose to call the doctrine you are preaching Christianity, then count me in as a Christian and let me work with you to convert men from churchianity to Christianity. Hurrah for the coining of the kingdom and the doing of God's will on earth as it is in heaven!
W. H. J.
Is there no meaning in such a letter as this? Now read what a vowed minister of Christ writes us from a foreign land, and say if this doctrine of fatherhood and brotherhood is not indeed a universal gospel, to be understood of all men.
Jena, Germany—Thank you from the bottom of my heart for The Standard. It comes to me, as to many others, every week a sweet messenger of glad tidings. Living amid the retrograde officialism of this country, and knowing too well the insolent pride of irresponsible privilege in my own land (phenomena in the two foremost countries of Europe, which indicate fearful dangers to modern civilization), how I welcome the news of your work in the new world! In the joy of your success, and overcome by the appeals of Dr. McGlynn and Mr. Pentecost, sometimes have knelt down and wept. How it thrills one to feel that this old world is moving forward, and that our brightest dreams nave not been given to torture and madden us. Well, these dreams must be formulated, and I herewith send £5, all I can spare at present. With this I want you to do a good deal. First of all, put me down as a member of the Anti-poverty society, and send me “An Account of the George-Hewitt campaign,” with copies of all the tracts yet issued in the “Land and Labor library.” My subscription to The Standard you already have, so please utilize the balance of the £5 in sending the paper to the following forty addresses for as long a period as possible.
(Rev,) Edgar I. Tripp.
BaTon Rouge, La.—I avail myself of the offer in The Standard to send the paper to five addresses for six weeks for $1. Enclosed please find the dollar and the five addresses. It is a common thing to hear you and your land doctrine condemned by persons that do not know when the doctrine is, and form their opinions from the pro-poverty press. Hence my wish to give your paper a boom here. I get a copy regularly from my newsdealer, and it is read by at least three different persons.
I think after a time good work can be done here, but my fellow farmers are slow to take in a doctrine that taxes land solely and it is hard to get them to read up. They are, however, wide awake to the fact that they and the community generally getting poorer every day, while a few seem, without any effort, to get the lion's share.
I. J. David.
Jacksonville, Ill.—The Standard is accomplishing such a glorious work we want to see its field of usefulness extended. To that end we attach $2.50, which please apply to the “recruit subscription list as follows, one copy to each address for six weeks: . . .
The good work is progressing slowly here, but it is nevertheless progressing. The opponents of Henry George are those who have never read his writing-—who do not, understand this principles he wishes to see established. Among those who have carefully read his work we find hardly an unbeliever, and it is to increase the number of those who understand that we take advantage of the “recruit subscriptions. We hope the list may grow rapidly. We know it will be a power for good.
Success to The Standard and the movement it advocates.
Dan E. Pierson.
Grand Junction, Col.—I enclose $3, of Which $1 is to pay my fee as a member of the Anti- overty Society and $2 for the following twelve “recruit subscriptions” to The Standard. We are getting this county fairly well organized and our vote this fall will be a surprise to Colorado politicians. This is a farming county and the farmers are even more ready to accept the. land doctrine than are town people.
James W. Bucklin.
Baltimore, Md.—I am very glad you have adopted the recruiting system and I am happy to lake advantage of it as far as my means will allow. I enclose $2 with list of twelve namesand addresses. If you can please commence all the subscriptions with the issue of July 16, as I would like them all to read Mr. McGlynn's statement and lecture published in that number.
Although I am, and always have been, a Protestant, I have such love and sympathy for Dr. McGlynn that it fills my heart with grief when I read how unjustly he is being treated. And, on the other hand, it so touches me to read how his friends are lovingly clinging to him that I am often compelled to stop reading aloud. May God bless and comfort him, and bring him out victorious over all his enemies, is my sincere and earnest prayer.
Pleasant reading, these letters, aren't they? We could fill The Standard with them, the whole eight pages, and still have some left over. They tell the story of conviction that finds expression in work—of earnest men and women all over the country who are resolved that if the giant wrongs that oppress humanity go unredressed, it shall not be for want of earnest, practical effort on their parts to right it.
Pleasant reading! Standard readers, are they pleasant reading t o all of you? Ought they to be pleasant reading to all of you? Is there not, for many of you, a thunder tone of reproach in every word of these utterances! To those of you who are standing idle while the battle is waging, is there nothing humiliating in the story of what your brothers and sisters are doing for the cause?
There are at least THIRTY THOUSAND readers of The Standard who as yet have made no sign, have given no evidence of that earnest, consuming longing for the triumph of the right that every believer in the justice of our cause should feel. Are you, who read these hues, one of that thirty thousand? Are you sitting with folded hands, amusing yourself with dreams of the good time that is to come, and rejoicing that other people are doing what they can to hasten its, coming? If you are, then shame upon you.
Suppose some morning the wires should bring you word that in one of our great cities a band of assassins were killing little children by the hundreds weekly; were forcing women to submit to brutal lust; were torturing men beyond the power of humanity to bear. How your heart would burn within you, and how quick you would be to throw aside idle money getting and amusement, and join yourself to your neighbors and swell the indignant, thundering command that the brutality should stop, now, without a day's delay, at once and forever! Well, there is no organized band of assassins, but the little babies are dying all the same, not in one great city alone, but in a score of them; the women are being seized; the men are being tortured. Up and down, to and fro, over the length and breadth of the land, the poverty monster is stalking, seizing his victims where he will, and filling all hearts with a panic fear. And for the redemption of the land from this curse it needs but that you and all like you should rise up with hearts resolved and purposes fixed, and say, like men who really mean it: This thing must stop!
How long, think you, will the fences stand that now shut men out from the opportunities God has provided for them, after once the fence owners begin to realize that the fences will soon be doomed? How long will poverty endure, when once you shall have made anti-poverty fashionable? At this very day men are buying lands and mines and natural opportunities of every kind, with the knowledge that unless they can hold them idle for a score of years to come, they can make no profit on their purchases. They think this anti-poverty movement is but a passing craze, that it has no real hold upon the people, that vested rights in human wrongs are to endure in the future as they have in the past. But let thorn see the handwriting on the wall—let them hear in every city and town and hamlet the voices of men urging their fellows to assert their rights—and a change will come over the spirit of their dreams mighty suddenly. Men who make a business of speculating in God's gifts will begin to find other men shy of buying the taxing privilege, which is all they have to sell. The man who “owns” a coal mine will decide that the sooner he begins to work that coal mine the better for his pocketbook. The man who “owns” a prairie will be looking for a farmer to cultivate it. The man who “owns” a building lot will begin to think about luring men to put up a house upon it. The poverty monster will not l»e killed outright, but the strength and spirit will be taken out of him, and his final destruction will be an easy matter.
What can you do? What ever lies ready to your hand. No man need rest idle. If you can do no more than talk, then talk, in the name of God! Fan the flame of indignation within yourself until your soul grows hot, and while you are musing, the lire burns, and you can't help talking! If you have money, then talk and spend your money, too. Make up a list of the men and women you know, and don't rest until each one of them has heard the truth! We ask you to help extend the circulation of The Standard, because we know, and you know, that the reading of it will bring the readers over to our side. Of all the thirty thousand readers of The Standard who so far have made no sign, we doubt there be one who cannot, by a little effort, secure at least ten subscribers. Good friend, if so far you have been one of the idlers, go to work and recruit our band of ten, and leave your 29,999 fellow idlers to their own consciences.
We send The Standard, on the “recruit subscription” plan, for six consecutive weeks:
To any two addresses for 50 cents.
To any five addresses for $1.
To any twelve addresses for $2.
But we cannot afford to renew subscriptions at these rates.
A friend writes us from Providence, R. I.: Saturday night there was not a copy of The Standard to be had in the city. Even the Rhode Island news company had sold their last copy. One dealer told. Me he sold the last of his supply (40 copies) before 2 o'clock on the d ay they arrived. I find the same trouble everywhere in my travels in these parts in getting the papers, and write, as you may be interested to know that the dealers do not supply the demand. All newsdealers, except the very small ones, seem to keep the paper, but their supply doesn't last long. At Newport last week I could find only one dealer who had a few copies left. The newsdealers can do a very great deal to extend the circulation of The Standard, and in that way make converts to the cause, and many of them are working nobly. But those who are with us in this light should be what they can to make it possible for the newsdealers to help. If every Standard reader who buys his paper at a news stand would arrange with the dealer to have two or three extra copies put on sale each week, and be responsible for their sale, promising to take them if nobody else did, our news stand circulation would increase more rapidly than it does. Newsdealers cannot afford to speculate, even in The Standard; it is a serious matter for a dealer to be stuck on unsold papers, even when those papers are STANDARDS, a n d consequently most of them take only such quantity as they know they can sell. But if a reliable customer says to a dealer, “Take live extra STANDARDS every week, give them a good show on your stand, with a well displayed announcement card, and if you don't sell them all I'll take whatever copies may be left over,” the dealer is relieved from all risk, and can afford to push the paper without risking the loss of any of his bread and butter by doing so. Try this, those of our friends who can afford it, and watch the result.
When the seed falls on good ground, how quickly it springs up and bears fruit. Here is what a gentleman writes us from San Francisco: I want to express the pleasure I have had in reading the numbers of The Standard for July 2, 9 and 16, which were handed to me by my friend —— of Sacramento. These were the first of your publications I had read, and I am a convert to the doctrine of all direct taxation for local, state and national purposes being laid on land values alone. I had heard a great deal about your theory in the so-called public press, and owing to their misrepresentations had, like many others, misjudged the anti-poverty movement. Reading The Standard has caused me to take another view of the movement. I think it will make many converts wherever it is read.
There is plenty of good ground, friends, and The Standard can furnish you with plenty of seed. All that is lacking is the sowers. There are men and women in your neighborhood who are fairly hungering for the truth. Won't you make it your business to see that their hunger is appeased?
Topeka, Kan.—The tracts and sample Standards have been duly received. I distribute both at our regular Sunday evening meetings in the city park. They are all eagerly taken. From the inquiry made for “Progress and Poverty” and for The Standard I am inclined to believe you will hear from Topeka often in the near future. I speak at the city park every Sunday evening and have for the last six weeks. Last Sunday I took occasion to speak of Henry George's great work, “Progress and Poverty,” and threw some force into it. Immediately afterward I was importuned by several persons to send for the book. Inclosed find $1 for which please send value in “Progress and Poverty” in paper. I am satisfied that hundreds of subscribers to The Standard can be secured here, and when the masses get to reading it its sentiments will spread like a contagion. The wealth producing classes of America are ripe for a political revolution.
R. R. Gaskill,
——, Oregon.—Soon after your paper started, through some influence which I cannot now recall, I was induced to buy a copy from one of our newsdealers. The whole scheme was then new to me, but I have since been a close student—have gone through “Progress and Poverty” twice, and am now on “Social Problems” and “Protection or Free Trade?” Nor do I lose any chance of disseminating the doctrine when opportunity offers.
I believe, with that grand soul, Father McGlynn, in the fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man, and that Jesus Christ is the savior of mankind, so I naturally put in my heavy work among Christian people. And the beauty of the thing is, I am converting them right and left. I am counting among my converts several Christian ministers of our city. If I can get these to work like t he noble Dr. McGlynn, Hugh O. Pentecost and others, the result will be felt. In many cases I have subscribed for The Standard and sent it with a copy of “Progress and Poverty” to those whom I have been specially interested in converting, and the fruits are rapidly appearing, to my great satisfaction.
I read the account of the Anti-poverty meeting at the Academy of Music on the l0th inst. with rapturous interest. The enthusiasm of that meeting was not confined within the walls of the Academy, nor to the city of New York, but is echoed all up and down the land. The tune has come when the church of Rome can no longer suppress Christianity, even within its own ranks.
I shall do all I can, in my humble way to urge on t he progress of the new movement. Truth and justice are on our side, and sooner or later they must and will come to the top.
Burlington, Iowa.—Find inclosed $l, for which send the following tracts. . . .
The twenty-five copies of “The Single Tax” and sample copies of The Standard have been distributed wherever they seemed most suitable for sowing the seed—mostly in the wagons of farmers who come to our shop. They are the mist thoughtful and at the same time they most deceived class with regard to the “Georgian theory,” and when one of them has discovered his error, he is a zealous spreader of the light among his friends.
I believe the blundering Cardinal Simeoni and the anger of Archbishop Corrigan will prove a benefit instead of a hindrance to the land and labor movement, just as the mistake of the same venerable “dago” and the spite of Errington gave a “boost” to the Parnell testimonial five years ago.
We Catholics believe as the pope does in theology: but in politics we tolerate no outside interference from anybody, no matter how high or holy. Whatever may be the opinions of individuals, the church never did and never will pronounce in favor of private ownership of land, or of man, although she has permitted both.
Phillipsburg, N. J.—Find inclosed postal note for i l , for which send the following tracts. . . .
The tracts are what got the boys to thinking. it was through No. 18 (Rev. Mr. Spencer's “It is the Law of Christ”) that I converted at least a dozen Methodists, and they have become readers of The Standard. I sell twenty Standards every Saturday, and as soon as the weather gets a little cooler, I will run it to fifty. I want to get all the lectures that are preached from the pulpit, as that is the only way I can get at some of those fellows, for they dare not deny the Bible, and. thank God, that Book is full of good land doctrine, but we never hear any of it only through you and the rest oi those grand men, McGlynn, Pentecost and Huntington. God bless you all.
W. H. Fisk, Newsdealer.
Katamazoo, Mich.—I enclose postal note for fifty cents, for which send The Standard six weeks to — and —.
I found a man yesterday, a mechanic, declaring that bayonets were the only salvation of the working people of this country, an opinion which I entertained myself until I read “Progress and Poverty.” You see, he is an anarchist, but does not know it. I had a little talk with him and found that he knew nothing of the new crusade, but I shall send him some tracts, and think he will soon see the way of social salvation.
N. G. Leslie.
Aspen, Col.—Here we come with another list of subscribers for the greatest paper published in America.
The “land for the people” doctrine has a following here of no small proportions. It is supported and advocated by the best men of the community. Yesterday I gave a ranchmen who had become enthused with the teachings of the cross of the new crusade a bundle of Standards and tracts for distribution among his neighbors; he gladly accepted the responsibility.
It is wonderful to see how rapidly The Standard is spreading the height in this section. George K. Moore.
Marysville, Mont.—Enclosed find $10, for which send books and papers as follows, as well as some extra copies of The Standard and tracts for distribution, and take out $1 for my initiation fee to the Anti-poverty society.
I am thoroughly in earnest in this work and believe the best way to promote our cause is to agitate and try to induce people to do a little thinking for themselves. “I know no better way to do this than by inducing them to read The Standard, and I assure you I am doing all I can in that direction. I hope soon to be able to send you quite a list of subscribers.
This land doctrine is something new to most people, and most folks condemn it without investigation. I find as much ignorance among the people from the east as in this faraway country. For instance, I was in Helena the other day, where I met two wool merchants (for I am a wool grower) from Boston, who, when I spoke to them upon the subject, characterized Henry George and Dr. McGlynn as cranks and irresponsible dreamers; and when I asked them to point out any error in the doctrine of equal rights to natural opportunities they said “it was beautiful in sentiment, but utterly impossible in practice.” But before I parted with them they agreed to give the subject thorough investigation.
S. F. Ralston.
Glasgow, Scotland.—I first saw The Standard some weeks ago, and since then have read it regularly. Its perusal makes my heart leap, and has thrilled the breasts of several old friends of mine and friends of the cause in this city.
Andrew Carnegie, the Scots-American millionaire, in a recent speech in Edinburgh, said that “Progress and Poverty” attracts ten times the attention in this country that it does in America. We Standard readers know this to be untrue, though it is read very widely here.
My warmest congratulations on the success you have already achieved, and my best wishes for your further and more glorious progress.
Standard readers, every one of these letters is a message of encouragement to those of you who are at work, and a reproach to those who are sitting idle.
The recruiting fund grows apace, though not as fast as it should. We have several thousands of addresses of people all over the country to whom a few copies of The Standard might be sent with advantage, if only the needed means were at hand to do so.
Baltimore, Md.—I have been reading The Standard from its first number, and have learned more from it than I ever knew before. I send inclosed $10, of which $5 is for two new subscribers, $1 for membership fee in the Anti-poverty society, and the rest for the recruiting fund.
D. F. Base.
Jersey city, N. J.—Enclosed find $5 for the recruiting fund. Although not a subscriber for The Standard, I have never missed but one number since it was first published; in fact, it would be hard to get along without it.
Jefferson, Colo.—Enclosed is money order for $5, of which place $2 to the recruiting fund, and for the balance send me three copies of “Progress and Poverty,” two of “The Land Question,” one “Social Problems,” and the following tracts.
—Here with find $1 for the recruiting fund.
A LIFE DIRECTOR OF THE AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY.
Albany, N. Y.—Publishers' notes has fetched me. I can't resist its appeals. What a foolish thing it is that people should be sending away thousands upon thousands of dollars to help missionaries preach the gospel to heathens in foreign countries who don't want to hear it, while here at home there are millions upon millions of people ready and eager to hear the glad tidings of great joy which can't be shouted into their ears for want of a few dirty dollars. Here's my $10, and I wish it were a hundred. God bless The Standard, and long may it wave.
A. J. Scudder.
The recruiting fund now stands:
D. F. Base, Baltimore
A Friend, Jersey City
George Champion, Jefferson, Col.
Life Director American Bible society
A. J. Scudder, Albany
L. L. Peltier, Montreal, Can.
Benjamin Van Veen, Liberty, N. Y.
Total to date
What One of the Fathers Said
Though he who grieves for the miserable may be commended for his office of charity, yet he is the more charitable who would there were none miserable to grieve for.