VOL. II — NO. 15. NEW YORK,
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, 1887.
PRICE FIVE CENTS
Geneva, where I spoke on Wednesday evening, the 5th inst., is one of the most beautiful towns in the state. It has long been the residence of a number of comfortable families — hereditary naval officers and so on — and their houses, running along the bluff that overlooks the lake, have the advantage of a situation than which none prettier can well be imagined. I had been invited to speak in the afternoon at the Geneva fair, where a very large concourse of farmers was expected, but the bad weather forced the postponement of the fair. Father McManus, pastor of St. Mary’s, seems to be the bitter opponent of the anti-poverty movement. He has been telling his people that if they went to hear Dr. McGlynn they would become ipso facto excommunicated, and has used his influence to prevent the formation of any united labor club. But his efforts do not seem to have had much result. I spoke in the evening at Linden hall to a large and highly appreciative audience. Rev. Donald Grant, pastor of the Baptist church, presided and introduced me. Rev. Mr. Formosa of the Methodist church, now located in Philadelphia, and Rev. C. H. Wright of the Methodist church at Geneva also occupied seats on the platform, while in the audience were Rev. P. H. Stevenson of the Presbyterian church and Rev. J . P. Foster of the Episcopal church. The students of Hobart college were there in large force, and were among the most interested listeners, expressing their approval in college fashion at the close of the proceedings by shouting in chorus as they left the hall: “What’s the matter with Henry George?” “O! He’s all right.”
As usual, after my address I answered a large number of intelligent questions put by the audience. But this was not enough. A great many remained after the meeting had been adjourned and clustered round the stage, and I held something like what the Methodists call a protracted meeting, answering in an informal way the questions put. Then all were requested to leave the hall except those who wanted to join the club. About twenty-five gentlemen signed the roll and a temporary organization was made by the election of Andrew Charters as president and Mart Quinn as secretary. The only organization we have had in Geneva has been an informal one started a few weeks ago. Messrs. P. J. Duffy, M. Pender and A. Michaelson having acted as a committee to arrange for the meeting.
Among those present from other places was Mr. R. G. Ganoung of Seneca Falls, a member of the executive committee of the united labor club of that place, and a very active worker. Though only started a few weeks ago the Seneca Falls club already numbers forty. They are taking in new members at the rate of ten or twelve every meeting, and are confident of a large vote.
The members of the Geneva club not only propose to do all they can in the town, but are also taking measures to distribute land and labor tracts in the surrounding towns and country.
In spite of the badness of the weather there were present quite a number of farmers from short distances around the town. The accounts agree that the interest taken by the farmers in the question of the single tax is already great and is very rapidly increasing.
I was to have spoken on the morning of Thursday, Oct. 1, at the agricultural fair at Ovid, the county seat of Seneca county, where a great audience of farmers was expected. But, like the fair at Geneva, the Ovid fair had to be postponed on account of the bad weather, and we kept on to Ithaca.
Geneva is a beautiful town, but I am inclined to think Ithaca even more beautiful. Cornell university has an ideal site, and its large buildings loom up grandly over Cayuga lake and the surrounding country, now clad in the glorious autumn foliage. We put up at the Clinton house, which, when it was built in 1829-30, must have been one of the finest hotels in the Union. Its proprietor, Mr. Thompson, is probably the oldest hotel keeper in the state, his memory recalling distinctly events that happened over seventy years ago. He is still hale and hearty, and though when I bade him good night in his office it was nearly 1 o’clock, yet when I looked out of my window at 6 o’clock in the morning I saw him sweeping away the dried leaves from the pavement. When this hotel was built Ithaca was expected to become an important commercial town, taking the travel and trade of southern New York and northern Pennsylvania, which found an outlet through Cayuga lake. It participated in the great speculative land fever of the thirties which culminated in the revulsion of ’37, and for a long distance around it land was staked out into building lots, and passed from hand to hand at prices which would now seem preposterous. Many of the lots that were then staked out in the swamp which surrounds the inlet to the lake are still held, I am told, by the descendants of people living in other parts of the country, who bought them at speculative prices.
Cornell university has given something of new life to Ithaca, and as it becomes — as it certainly is destined to be — one of the great universities of the world, Ithaca, like Cambridge and Oxford, will be known far and wide as a university town. I had not time to go through the university, but two farmers, the Messrs. Pearson, drove up in a wagon that they called their “Democrat,” through the grounds. Cornell university is now very rich, mainly through the land grant made by congress for the establishment of agricultural colleges. Many of the states sold their agricultural scrip at prices as low as seventy-five cents per acre, but a good part of the New York grant was by arrangement of the trustees located by Mr. Cornell on timber lands in the northwest that have now become very valuable. The great college of the state of New York is thus being supported by the development of values which really belong to the newer and poorer states of the northwest. But under our pernicious system these values, had they not gone to Cornell, would have merely gone to the making of millionaires. The university has also received large benefactions from Mr. Cornell, Mr. Sibley and others, and is today one of the best types of the modern university, opening its doors to women as well as men and possessing large facilities for technical instruction. It has ample space over which to spread, and one who sees it today cannot help thinking what a grand institution it may become in the next century. It gives, by the by, a practical illustration of the absurdity of the idea that absolute ownership of land is necessary to improvement. The comfortable houses in which its officials and professors dwell have mostly been built by themselves, but the university retains the title to the land, making an agreement with the builders by which in case of death or of retirement the houses may either be sold to some approved purchaser or taken by the university at an assessed valuation. The university grounds are already surrounded by a number of beautiful mansions, Mr. Cornell’s, Mr. Libby’s, and others — largely those of men who have made great fortunes by getting hold of timber lands. The most striking of these mansions, and perhaps, taking it altogether, the most tasteful and beautiful house (though, of course, not the largest) that I can remember to have seen, is what is called the McGraw-Fisk mansion. It was built by the only child and heiress of a man who made a great fortune in timber lands, who, within a year of her death, married Professor Willard Fisk of the university. The house, which its mistress never entered, has cost some $350,000 and is yet unfinished in the interior. It was left by her, together with the bulk of her property, to the university, after she had given $300,000 to her husband and made some large bequests to relatives. Prof. Fisk tried to come to an understanding with the university by which he should be permitted the use of the grounds and house during his lifetime. This being refused, he commenced suit to break the will. The suit was decided in favor of the university; but the decision was reversed by the supreme court, and the case is now pending before the court of appeals, the ground of the contest being that the university already holds all the property which its charter permits it to hold.
The two Pearson brothers, Pierce and Nicholas, who took us up on the hill and over the university grounds, furnished a good illustration of the way in which the doctrine of the single tax is affecting the class of men who it has been said would be most bitterly opposed to it. They are natives of this county and own large and exceedingly well cultivated farms near the town, but so far from seeing any injustice in the proposition to put all taxes on land values, they realize that such a system would do away with the injustice of taxing a man upon his enterprise and industry and thrift. “If one farmer,” said Mr. Pierce Pearson, “cultivates well and raises five hundred dollars worth of potatoes from a field of no greater value than that of another farmer who cultivates shiftlessly and raises but one hundred dollars worth, I cannot see why the one should be taxed a penny more than the other.” And he told me of a well known farmer of the neighborhood named Hildebrand, who, having that year painted his barns and out buildings, found that the assessor had on this account raised his valuation four hundred dollars, and thus levied upon him in increased taxes a fine of something like ten dollars. Though the wealth held in Ithaca has very greatly increased since 1860, Mr. Pearson told me that the personal property assessment had decreased in that time a quarter of a million dollars.
Mr. C. C. Platt, a very intelligent young man, who is doing a flourishing drug business in Ithaca, is the member for this congressional district of the united labor party state committee; and the doctrine of the single tax has already secured the support of a number of active men, both in the town and in the university, some of them, like Mr. H. Mente, having taken active part in previous labor movements, and others having belonged to the old parties or being entirely new to active political work.
The meeting in the evening was held in the Ithaca rink, which was crowded to the utmost with an audience of nearly three thousand. Cornell university was well represented by a large body of students, both male and female, and a dozen or so of the professors and instructors. After the meeting our party was entertained at supper by a number of the university men, and a land and labor university club was formed, Mr. Byron W. Holt, a very active and earnest advocate of our principles, being elected chairman, and Mr. H. B. Bessemer secretary. Mr. Holt was congratulating himself on being a member of the first university club devoted to spreading these doctrines, till he was reminded of the splendid work done during the last campaign in New York by the club of Columbia college.
Leaving Ithaca in the morning of Friday, with the consciousness that the good seed had been well scattered in the pretty university town, we took the boat for Cayuga at the foot of the lake. The day was dull and overcast, but for all that it was a delightful sail. The lake country, its people say — and journeying through it one can well believe them — is the garden spot of the state; and when the banks of this beautiful sheet of water, now resplendent with the varied tints of October, are lined — as some day they will be — with tasteful residences, they will be worth a long journey to look upon.
In Auburn, where I spoke on Friday night, we had another great meeting, every foot of space in the opera house being packed by half-past seven o’clock, when the doors had to be closed and a crowd that would have filled two such houses turned away. Rev. F. H. Hinman, pastor of Calvary Presbyterian church, presided, and a number of other clergyman, among them Rev. F. V. Brown of the Church of the Disciples. were present. The audience was extremely attentive and at the close very enthusiastic, and the questions addressed to me and the knots that gathered for discussion after the meeting had adjourned showed clearly how thoroughly interest in our principles had been aroused. I met here Mr. H. W. Benedict, principal of the business college, who was a delegate to the Syracuse convention and is an earnest worker in the cause; Mr. J. C. Freeland of Seneca Falls, who made a most favorable report of our movement in that town; Mr. W. E. Churchill of the Temperance Herald, who is much interested in our views; Mr. Nolan, one of the editors of the Auburn Dispatch, a bright, independent daily paper, which has treated us with fairness editorially and devotes considerable space to news of our movement; and Messrs. M. J. Meagher and Jno. W. Ketcham of Skaneateles Falls, who had come over purposely to attend the meeting. These last-named gentlemen told me that the large population in that busy manufacturing town had begun to think earnestly about the questions raised by the united labor party and were anxious to get more light. To like effect spoke a number of men from other neighboring towns.
All our friends speak of the good work that is being done by the land and labor tracts and by the copies of The Standard which the recruiting fund is enabling us to send out; they reach where it is impossible for speakers to go.
R. G. Parker is chairman of the committee in Auburn, and a most active and intelligent worker. The Auburn men look with confidence to carrying the city. At the municipal election last. spring they came within seventy-five of the democratic vote. Two candidates for assembly have been nominated by the united labor party, John P. Mosher for the First district, and Thomas Cunningham for the Second district. On Saturday night I spoke at New Brighton, S. I. On Sunday I spoke at a great anti-poverty meeting in Newark, N. J., and afterward at a meeting of the letter carriers in New York, at the Anti-poverty meeting in the Academy of Music, and in Madison square garden under the auspices of the Eleventh assembly district. Of these New York city meetings it is unnecessary to speak. At New Brighton I met a very intelligent audience, embracing quite a number of people who do not usually take much interest in politics.
Mr. A. B. Stoddard presided after the meeting had been opened by Mr. Costello of the New Brighton land and labor club. Quite a number of questions were asked, some of them evidently the result of a good deal of thought.
Our friends on Staten island say that the movement has taken a firm hold, and that the different towns are well organized and an active canvass is going on. They expect a large vote.
New Brighton will always be associated in my mind with a man to whom, of all others, I would have wished that a few more years of life might have been given that he could have seen this day — Francis G. Shaw of West New Brighton. Mr. Shaw was a man whom to know was to respect and admire, and to know well was to love. The son of a wealthy Boston merchant, he inherited a competency, and belonged all his life to that class who are most disposed to accept with equanimity “things as they are.” He was a man of pure life, high culture, large reading, much travel and fine literary taste. Most of all, he was a man whose heart and conscience were always prompting him to do what he could for the benefit of his fellows. He was an earnest abolitionist in the days when to be an abolitionist meant to confront ostracism, abuse, and sometimes violence; and his means enabled the underground railway to carry many a slave from bondage to freedom. The war which saved the union and destroyed negro slavery cost him his only son, that Colonel Shaw who was “buried with his niggers,” and his son-in-law, the brave General Lowell,
whose widow, Mrs. Josephine Shaw Lowell, has long been so active and useful in philanthropic work in New York. Fully aware that the destruction of negro slavery had only ended one form of oppression, and deeply conscious of the social injustice which exists in the so-called free countries of the civilized world today, Mr. Shaw was unable to see any remedy until, in 1881, he read a copy of “Progress and Poverty.” From that time on, to the day of his death, a space of something over a year, his whole heart was in the work of what has now become the great anti-poverty movement He spent some thousands of dollars in distributing copies of “Progress and Poverty” to individuals and associations where he thought they might do good; it was his money that enabled me to get out in England the sixpenny edition of the book, of which over 150,000 copies were circulated, and his generous aid enabled me to do various other things that I could not have done without him. He had full faith that the day would come when men would assert their natural rights to the land, but at the time of his death, in 1882, he did not foresee how quickly the movement to this end would take shape in the United States, and urged me to remain in Great Britain, as some of my English friends wanted me to do, as he thought the first battle would be fought there. The death of a good man is not to be regretted — at least it ought not to be by those of us who believe it only the calling to a higher post — yet I cannot help but wish that he might have lived a few years longer, to have seen how widely and vigorously the seed that he helped to sow is springing up.
Cohoes, where I spoke on Monday night, affords some very striking instances of land monopoly and its effects; but as one of our local friends has promised to write an account for The Standard, I will leave the matter to him. Our meeting was held in the opera house, and was crowded, large numbers of people being unable to get in. Some of the front seats were sold at twenty-five cents apiece, and in addition to this a collection was taken up. Between the two the club not only defrayed all the expenses of the meeting, but netted a profit of some twenty-five dollars, which goes into the treasury for future use. Dr. J. W. Ross, president of the club, presided. The little speech he made in introducing me was a suggestive one. He said that a year ago he had regarded Henry George as a crank and a demagogue, considering his doctrines preposterous on their face, and believing that if he had any following at all it could only be among the ignorant, who could be deluded with specious words. Thinking thus, he was utterly astounded by the vote of 68,000 which was polled in New York. “There must be something in this movement that is worth attention,” he said to himself. “No matter how absurd they may be, doctrines that can command such support and arouse such enthusiasm demand examination.” He sent for “Progress and Poverty,” read it and closed the book a firm believer and enthusiastic advocate of the very doctrines he had so despised, and determined from that time on to devote all his energy to their dissemination.
Dr. Ross’s case is that of thousands of men in New York and throughout the country. Our great gain in bringing the anti-poverty movement into politics is in compelling discussion and arousing thought. Busy men will not pay much attention to any question so long as it seems to them purely speculative; but when such a question enters into the realm of action and men are called upon to vote on it, it compels that general discussion which enlists the attention of all classes. This is the great importance to us of the election this year; every additional vote that we get will add to the force that is driving the land question into universal discussion. And discussion can have but one result. The present system cannot survive it.
Patrick J. Cummins of Amsterdam, our candidate for state treasurer, was present and made a brief speech. As master workman of the Knights of Labor of this district he had official charge of a large strike of mill operatives through this part of the county some time ago that ended disastrously, and, as is usual in such cases, brought some unpopularity to the men in the lead. The manly way in which Mr. Cummins faced this opposition seemed, however, to disarm it completely. After a brief statement of the principles of the party, and a declaration that the laboring masses were at last moving upon the lines which could alone permanently better their condition, he adjured his hearers to vote for the principle whether they voted for the man or not; and if they did not like him, to scratch his name off the ticket, or to trade him for a vote for the head of the ticket; but above all things to vote for the principle of the land for the people, which is really the thing at issue. His address excited great enthusiasm.
David Reeves Smith is an engineer of Cohoes, who some time ago wrote a pamphlet in which, admitting that land is rightfully common property, he declares that since all articles consist of land they are also common property, or at least contain an element which belongs to all men in common. He proposes a general tax of two percent on all property, which he calls a “death rate tax,” on the supposition that the whole population changes twice a century. He challenged me to divide my time with him here. As I know of only three believers in his theory — one himself, another Mr. Edward Gordon Clark, and the third a gentleman in Buffalo, I did not think it fair to the audience to divide time with him unless they should express a desire that I should do so. I put the question to the audience, and as they emphatically desired to have me proceed I went on with my address, offering Mr. Smith an opportunity of asking me any questions or making any objections at its close. This opportunity he did not avail himself of, but many others in the audience did. After I had concluded Mr. Edward J. Lee and Mr. P. S. O’Heaney of Albany, the one the united labor candidate for the state senate and the other for congress, made brief speeches. The meeting was very attentive, enthusiastic, and satisfactory.
We have in Cohoes a strong club which meets in the office of Dr. J. S. Crane; but here, as everywhere, our friends assert that the quiet vote will largely exceed the vote of which there are open indications.
Among the influential men whom I met after the conclusion of the lecture was Master Workman Fitzpatrick of the ax makers’ assembly. He has only within the last month or so become a convert to our views. Opposed to them at first, he decided after the holding of the Syracuse convention that it was time to look into them, with the result that they have now no more earnest supporter. “I am a poor man,” said Mr. Fitzpatrick to a friend: “I have to work hard for my living and am a good deal of the time out of work. Twenty thousand dollars would be a fortune to me; yet even if within my lifetime we were never to bring these doctrines into practical effect I would not for twenty thousand dollars exchange the satisfaction which the belief in them has given me.” Many, many readers of The Standard well know what Mr. Fitzpatrick meant.
Besides our Cohoes friends, a number of active sympathizers from surrounding towns were present, among them J. D. Van Ornum of Troy, who constantly carries with him a bundle of tracts and some copies of The Standard, doing missionary work wherever he can, and A. A. Herrington of Cambridge, N. Y., where Dr. McGlynn spoke some time ago. These gentlemen gave us information concerning the spread of our ideas and sympathizers in other small places, such as McKownville, Duwnsville, Knowersville and Manny’s Corners, where the farmers are evincing great interest, and in some cases taking active part in the work.
At Whitehall, where I spoke on Tuesday night, our friends are full of confidence. The Knights of Labor here number some three hundred, and there is general disgust with the old parties.
Mr. James W. Bustead, president of the club, presided and introduced me; and in the audience were Rev. H. W. Finch, pastor of the Presbyterian chureh, Rev. F. G. Rainey, pastor of the Methodist church, and ex-Assemblyman Emerson E. Davis. Mr. Bustead, who is an architect and builder, has been an active democrat, but about five weeks ago cast in his lot with the true democracy, the united labor party.
I was glad to meet in Whitehall some friends from Rutland, Vt., who had come over to hear me, Mr. John P. Ryan and his wife and Hon. George A. Weather. The labor men carried Rutland at the last municipal election and elected Mr. Fay, an avowed advocate of the single tax, president of the town. They want to bring the question into Vermont state politics at the election next year, and say that they can poll a great vote, and with a good canvass may carry the state.
Mr. Ryan has been traveling through the farming districts of Vermont. He says that as a rule the farmers are extremely poor and heavily mortgaged, and that he finds them everywhere ready to accept our doctrines when they understand them.
Speaking of farmers, readers of The Standard may have noticed a few weeks ago in the Publisher’s Notes the warm letter inclosing a contribution to the recruiting fund of twenty-five dollars, from D. C. Leonard of Stockton, Cal. Mr. Leonard is a farmer near that city, and owns several hundred acres of fine land. I did not know him prior to the publication of “Progress and Poverty,” but when that book was printed in a small author’s edition in San Francisco in 1870, he got hold of a copy, and at once sent for sixty dollars’ worth of the books, which he put in circulation in his neighborhood, passing them from hand to hand. I mention this as one of the many evidences that I have had that the farmers of the country will constitute no barrier to the carrying out of our principles.
I have now in press, and will next week publish, a German edition of “Progress and Poverty.” The translation is that of C. D. F. Gutschow, which was first published in Berlin in 1880 by Elvin Strode. Although the book has been so long published in Germany and many copies have been circulated in that country, the price at which it could be sold here, after adding costs, has been by far too high to permit of a large sale, and there have been many demands for a cheap German edition. The new edition will supply this want. It will be printed on good paper from new type, neatly bound in the same style as the cheap edition of “Protection or Free Trade?” which has been recently issued, and will be sold at the retail price of thirty-five cents. I hope for it a large circulation among German-Americans.
A good friend in Charleston writes me this:
Charleston, S. C, Oct. 8, 1887.—Our papers are full of the infamous lie started by the Star. Your denial should not be delayed, for although we are used to political slanders, such reports do harm with the ignorant. Personally I have studied your writings too long to believe one single word against you, but those who have not may believe, and add one more to the difficulties we have already to encounter. For God’s sake, send me a few lines to be read at our meeting next Thursday night. Do not wait for the next Standard. I am aware your time is frightfully occupied, but make time to do this. Benj. Adams.
My friend must excuse me. I have something more important to do than to spend time in denying falsehoods that may be circulated about me. If I were to accede to his request and deny that I had ever been a pirate, I would next be called upon to deny that I had ever been a horse thief or a bigamist. I have never bothered myself with denying any such personal charges, and never propose to. I can safely leave my reputation in the hands of those who know me.
Falsehood and abuse are ever the weapons employed against truth, and the man who attempts to do battle against a great social injustice must expect them, and will, if he be wise, learn to be careless of them, content with knowing that—
. . . Never yet
Share of truth was vainly set
In the world’s wide fallow.
Tide Rising in Dunkirk.
Dunkirk, Chautauqua County.—There was a big attendance at the Opera house on the occasion of Henry George’s visit. The audience was very intelligent, and among the most prominent persons present were Messrs. Oliver Peat, Mayor William Bookstaver, ex-Assemblyman Julian T. Williams, Rev. Mr. Day, pastor of the Presbyterian church, Dr. Blackham and David Wright. Rev. E. P. Adams, who some time ago came boldly out in advocacy of the doctrine of “the land for all the people,” presided and said in his introductory remarks that he stood on that platform because he wanted to give what help he could in the new politics which Mr. George represented. Mr. George’s speech was a telling one and has had an appreciable effect on the people of Dunkirk. We are chiefly engaged now in distributing tracts among the farmers. Francis Lake.
From Cattaraugus County.
Ellicottsville, Cattaraugus Co — This county, the chief occupations of which are farming, oil producing and refining, timber cutting and manufacturing of various kinds, is republican; the town is democratic, and both have been carried by the greenbackers. I think the united labor party will draw almost equally from the democratic and republican vote. E. D. Northrup
A Land and Labor Club in Lansingburg.
Lansingburg, Renssalaer County—We have organized a land and labor club here and shall commence active work at once. The officers are Geo. Vincent, president; James McMann, secretary, and Charles Ward, treasurer. We have ordered a sufficient supply of tracts and mean to let the people of Lansingburg know just what the united labor party want. James McMann.
Spreading Among the Knights of Labor.
Portchester, Westchester Co., Oct. 10.— We have been holding meetings and distributing tracts and in every way possible urging discussion. We have large support among the Knights of Labor. The Portchester Enterprise has recognized our importance as a factor in politics and reports our movements generally with fairness. Fred J. Huppert.
Braceville is in Earnest.
Braceville, Ill.—We have a live land and labor club of as earnest men as ever engaged in any cause. The roll call will reach a hundred, and another club will be established in our village before long — as soon as the boys can be rallied together who are already in favor of the tax reform. Robert Cumming.
Strong in Renssalaer County
Lansingburg, Renssalaer Co.. Oct. 10.—The fifteen branches of the united labor party in this county have 1,000 members. Largely attended meetings have been held. If tomorrow were election day Henry George would poll l,200 votes. The democratic party will be the heaviest loser from our movement. John Hunter.
Just Starting In
Canajoharie, Montgomery County.—The people of Canajoharie don’t as yet know much about the principles of the united labor party, and for this reason we have plenty of work before us. One thing in our favor, however, is that they are not prejudiced against the movement. We have tracts and hope so on to hold meetings. William Schults.
Recruits Enlisting in Tioga
Owego, Tioga Co.—Our mass meeting last week has already been productive of much good, and recruits are coming into our ranks daily. Dr. Alfred S. Houghton of Cincinnati, Robert Crowe and Louis R Post delivered the addresses, and were listened to attentively. P.
To Our Friends Throughout the State.
The Standard invites correspondence from its friends throughout; the state relating to the progress of the campaign, and giving facts which may illustrate or bear upon the principles advocated by the united labor party. Such correspondence should be brief, and confined to the recital of facts, to avoid undue pressure upon our columns.
THE TWENTY-FOURTH PUBLIC MEETING OF THE SOCIETY.
Speeches by Henry George. Dr. McGlynn, John McMackin and Victor A. Wilder — Outspoken Resolutions on the Union Square Outrage — The Police Interference with the Anti-Poverty Fair.
The meeting at Madison square garden on last Sunday evening told somewhat on the attendance at the Academy of Music. That is to say, there were for the first time some empty seats at an anti-poverty meeting in the academy. The crowd, however, numbered thousands, and if brought together in support of any other cause would be considered enormous. McAuliffe’s orchestra, which has been employed at the Anti-poverty fair, was present and furnished the instrumental music. Miss Munier’s chorus sang in the course of the evening both at the garden and the academy.
At 8 o’clock W. T. Croasdale, Victor A. Wilder and Henry George appeared upon the stage and they were hailed with more than ordinary applause.
Mr. George, who was the first speaker, spoke mainly on the events of the previous week relating to the movement. He said that he had spoken during the week in the interior of the state to immense audiences. The doctrines of the Anti-poverty society were surely taking root in the cities and towns as well as among the farmers of the country. He hardly hoped to make many converts by speaking to an audience for an hour or two, but what he did expect was to got men to thinking, and the discussions that follow the meetings are sure proofs that the leaven is already beginning to work through the whole lump. After referring to the police outrage of the night before at Union square, Mr. George spoke of the great anti-poverty meeting in Newark in the afternoon remarking that in the case of Rev. Mr. Pentecost the prophet was not without honor in his own country.
Mr. George’s speech was in subject and in general tenor similar to that delivered by him on the same evening at Madison square garden, a report, of which is given elsewhere in the account of that meeting.1
THE UNION SQUARE OUTRAGE DENOUNCED.
When the applause which greeted Dr. McGlynn’s speech had subsided, Chairman Croasdale, on behalf of Mr. John McMackin, chairman of the county committee of the united labor parry, moved the adoption of the following:
Whereas, It has been brought to our notice through the public prints that a peaceful assembly of citizens, met to discuss public and pressing issues, was forcibly dispersed by the organized police force of this city; and,
Whereas, The constitution of this state and of the Union guarantee us the right of free speech and peaceful assembly;
Be it resolved. That the Anti-poverty society, in meeting assembled, while it differs widely from the party conducting the dispersed meeting, yet enters its most decided and emphatic protest against this wanton and unprovoked outrage, and against the scandalous use of the forces of the organized police of this city against a peaceable and law-abiding meeting of our fellow citizens, as a crime against liberty and a deadly blow at the foundation of law and order and the public peace.
John McMackin, speaking to the resolution, said that while the progressive labor party had differed with the united labor party, there was no difference between the two in the view taken by them of the unlawful and unwarrantable action of the police in this case. He regarded the men who held the meeting as honest and peaceful in their intentions and sincere in their ideas, and they had the same right as other citizens to preach the doctrines they believed in. The united labor party wanted a full expression of opinion from every class of American citizens. When intelligent men come to consider the great questions immediately related to American liberty, there could be but one opinion. The liberty of speech of every citizen must be respected. Speaking of the bill that was intended to give to the united labor party the fifth election inspector, Mr. McMackin said it was the only crumb the party could get from the legislature. When the bill had passed, a committee waited upon the governor of the state, and he had the audacity to say: “Gentlemen, what are you leaving the democratic party for?” He added, “We will give you any office you want.”
Victor A. Wilder, candidate for state comptroller, followed Mr. McMackin. He characterized the clubbing of the socialists by the police as the work of anarchists, spoke of the march of monopoly as seen in the absorption of the Baltimore and Ohio telegraph line by the Western Union company, and controverted the position of Mayor Hewitt with respect to the principles of the united labor party.
The resolutions were then put to the vote and carried amid great applause.
THE POLICE INTERFERENCE WITH THE ANTI-POVERTY FAIR.
Mr. W. T. Croasdale then gave an account of the police interference with the sale of “random purchase tickets” at the Anti-poverty fair, and read a letter to the patrons of the fair, the substance of which is printed in another column. Mr. Croasdale said that in justice he ought to say that the annoyance experienced at the fair had not come from the direct action of the police itself, but had been inspired by the same men at police headquarters who were trying to defeat the law in order to beat the new party at the polls.
Rev. C. P. McCarthy explained to the audience that the statement that he had been present at Union square on Saturday night was incorrect.
The chairman then announced Dr. McGlynn, who was received with the usual demonstrations of welcome.
DR. M’GLYNN’S SPEECH.
Dr. McGlynn’s speech was a masterly demonstration of the truth that no political action can be deemed expedient, or even excusable, except it square exactly with the Western Union company, and controverted the position of Mayor Hewitt with respect to the principles of the united labor party.
The resolutions were then put to the vote and carried amid great applause.
THE POLICE INTERFERENCE WITH THE ANTI-POVERTY FAIR.
Mr. W. T. Croasdale then gave an account of the police interference with the sale of “random purchase tickets” at the Anti-poverty fair, and read a letter to the patrons of the fair, the substance of which is printed in another column. Mr. Croasdale said that in justice he ought to say that the annoyance experienced at the fair had not come from the direct action of the police itself, but had been inspired by the same men at police headquarters who were trying to defeat the law in order to beat the new party at the polls.
Rev. C. P. McCarthy explained to the audience that the statement that he had been present at Union square on Saturday night was incorrect.
The chairman then announced Dr. McGlynn, who was received with the usual demonstrations of
DR M’GLYNN’S SPEECH.
Dr. McGlynn’s speech was a masterly demonstration of the truth that no political action can be deemed expedient, or even excusable, except it square exactly with the principles of justice ordained by the Almighty; and he pointed out that at every crisis in history, when the crimes and blunders of men had apparently rendered social dissolution inevitable, God has, in some way unforeseen by man, brought order out of chaos, and guided humanity to a higher plane by the light of eternal truth reflected from human errors.
On every hand, said he, we are constantly receiving new evidences that the providence of God is shaping our course and overruling even our mistakes and blunders to give a perfect and speedy success to this movement that we have undertaken for the love of Him and for the love of our brethren. And we should be recreant to the clear call of God if we were to permit any false modesty or diffidence to cause us to ignore the plain fact that God does call upon us to speak not a new truth, but the old truth that justice is the original law of God: that even, perfect justice to all men is God’s law for developing in humanity those capacities and faculties that make man like unto God, and which, if they have but free play, will necessarily impel human society onward and upward till the prayer and prophesy of Christ shall be literally fulfilled and God’s whole family here on earth shall be found doing the Father’s will, even as it is done in heaven. (Applause.)
We have all manner of clear signs that this is God’s cause; the peculiar maliguity with which it is attacked and misrepresented, the fear with which the truth is heard by those whose selfish interests impel them to guard their privileges by denying the law of justice to all men. The strife in which we are engaged has on the one hand the sanction of all the powers that work for God as it clearly has on the other the opposition of all that work for evil. And there is a wonderful analogy between this movement of ours and the great movement, the shouts of triumph for the accomplishment of which are still ringing in our ears — the movement for the abolition of property in men. In a few eloquent sentences the speaker showed how every great movement for human freedom has been met with insult, contumely and misrepresentation, until persecution has almost come to be a test of truth.
But against all these powerful antagonists we have, said he, the consoling Christian faith, which is with me a faith just as strong as anything that can be scientifically demonstrated, that aiding us in every good work, inspiring us with every good thought, giving eloquence to our tongues when we preach messages of emancipation to men, are spirits of goodness, ministers of Christ, who rejoice in doing the Father’s bidding and guarding His chosen ones lest they should hurt their feet against a stone, and so guiding the doings and the words and thoughts of men that the very wrath of man is made to work the will of God.
It is a great thing, a glorious, an inspiring thing, to be permitted to take any part in a conflict like this for making practical among men the simple law of justice, the perfect will of God. The very simplicity of the remedy that this united labor party and this Anti-poverty society propound for the social evils that are the cause of poverty and its attendant vices, and miseries, and crimes, stamps it with one of the highest characteristics of the works of God. It is like the law of gravitation, so simple, so regular, so precise, that it causes the pin or the mote to fall to the ground, and holds in their proper orbits the circling planets and the suns.
This simple remedy that can be summed up in the one word, “justice,” gives us the law of civilization; the one clear, straight path that shall lead the human family to a civilization, to a perfection of virtue and goodness, of which we have hitherto scarcely dared to dream. And so it ever is; the truths that are so simple that they go straight to the minds and hearts of the least of God’s children are the highest and sublimest. And thus it is that this united labor party platform, and the principles of this Anti-poverty society, convey all the charm and grace and benediction of sweet religion in simply teaching men that God is a father, and all mankind but brethren — the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man. (Applause.)
And is it not becoming every day more justifiable for us to say, “Surely this is the work of the finger of God!” Wherever we go we find that the soil has already been providentially prepared for us; we are agreeably surprised at the welcome we receive; we find that the minds of men have been stirred, and their hearts have been moved; that calumny and misrepresentation have only quickened their curiosity and stimulated their zeal. (Applause.) The men who come here from curiosity go away convinced that they have heard a great truth. “Where they came perhaps to cavil, they remain to bless; where they came to oppose, they go away sympathizing and resolved to help. (Applause.)
It is a thousand pities that brethren should not be permitted to dwell together in unity. It is infinitely sad that children of one Father, brethren of one family, called to one sublime, eternal destiny, should not during their brief sojourn in this, the Father’s schoolhouse and workshop, dwell together in harmony and peace. It is an inscrutable mystery that such things should be under the government of so wise, so powerful and so loving a father. But we may, perhaps, discover some little of the meaning of the mystery. It is, perhaps, that out of the conflict there may come more perfect peace; as in music, the ear that for a time is set on edge, rejoices with the more ecstatic bliss, in the perfect accord that follows, and it may well be that the very doubts and fears, the cares and sorrows and the sins of men shall, all in God’s good time, serve the purpose of bringing out of apparent chaos and confusion, that perfect harmony for which our souls are ever sighing, that perfect repose and peace for which we are ever yearning. When out of the darkness we come into the light, we shall enjoy the light all the more; and after the weariness, the cares, the sorrows and the sins of life we shall, throughout eternity, enjoy all the more the perfect grace and fellowship of the Father, and be all the better, all the happier for what we shall have gone through.
And thus it is that we can at once justify the ways of God to men, and at the same time do what we can to hasten the coming of that blessed day when men shall even here have emerged from darkness into light, from warfare into peace, from the barbarism of our present social condition to that perfect civilization that will inevitably come if we but follow steadfastly the simple law of justice. We have no quarrel with, or wish to destroy, our present civilization. Our only quarrel is with the injustice that permits men to forget the golden rule, to usurp more than their share of God’s bounties, and under the pretense of the right of property to rob others of those unalienable rights which Thomas Jefferson enumerates, and in telling of which he is but in another form giving us a transcript of the gospel of Christ. (Great applause.) For to tell men so different in stature, in strength, in mental powers, in tastes, in acquirements, that they are born equally endowed by their Creator with the unalienable right to life, liberty and happiness, is simply to make a most magnificent profession of faith in God, that God is the Father of all and that, in spite of the accidental inequalities of men, just because God is the father of us all, we do enjoy the equality of children of one family endowed with the same essential rights to life, and therefore to that liberty and that right to the pursuit of happiness without which life would be for most of us a mockery and a snare and a delusion. We find unspeakable comfort in discovering that the essential principles of the great charter of our liberties is in such perfect consonance with the teachings of natural and revealed religion. And so we take heart of hope and assert with perfect confidence that the principles of this society and this party alone represent the basic truths on which our republic is founded. We assert with confidence that the sages who asserted our liberties and founded our constitution, if they were here tonight, could stand on no other platform than ours. (Great and prolonged applause.)
Amid the jarring of factions united together on the one side and on the other in a vulgar and ignoble conflict for the spoils of office, we say of each and both that they are unworthy of the names that they so proudly vaunt, that they are unworthy of the true significance of either name, and that this party of ours is the only democratic party, this party of ours is the only republican party (great applause), for it is the only party that, with perfect and absolute conviction, with clear vision of a great truth, demands a government of the people, for the people and by the people. (Great applause.)
The united labor party is the only party that in its every principle and assertion is simply demanding the common weal; it is the party that wishes to destroy all privilege and to assert simply equal right and justice. If Abraham Lincoln could stand again in the flesh tonight, what other platform could he find to stand upon than the united labor party’s platform? (Applause.) For this is the party of emancipation; this is the party that would abolish the slavery of men; this is the party that would destroy a slavery that in so many of its features is more crushing than chattel slavery. This is the party that seeks to abolish poverty simply by destroying industrial slavery. In this one platform we unite the teaching of the very essence and core of all religion with the teaching of those principles that have made the glory of our republic. We are asserting those great principles that on the one hand are necessarily religious and on the other best adapted for the social and political welfare of men.
Whatever concerns the best interests of men must necessarily be religious, since man is the child of God, made in His image. And thus this political platform becomes all radiant with religion, illuminated with light from heaven. What else is it that brings out on this stormy night thousands to this hall, and perhaps as many more to the Madison square garden, where I was this evening? What is it that, wherever we go, brings such multitudes to hear that no hall will hold them? Is it not simply because today the same truths are true that were preached of old by the sweetest and divinest of teachers, whom the common people heard gladly, and who, when the precursor, the forerunner, John the Baptist, sent men to inquire of him if he was Messiah, bade them tell John that they had seen how the gospel, the glad tidings of emancipation was preached to the poor?
And standing upon this platform as upon the eternal rock of justice, what matters it what shall befall us? Whatever fate may be in store for us we can await it with supreme indifference. We can go smiling to the stake, to the block or to the dungeon, if need be, for the cause of justice, and feel it to be the greatest gain to lose all else, that justice may triumph; and while life and liberty and the peaceful pursuit and enjoyment of domestic bliss and of happiness is God’s will for the masses of men, they are consecrated for a higher purpose and for a holier destiny who may sacrifice their very life and liberty and pursuit of happiness, that all men may enjoy a fuller life, a nobler liberty and a high and holier happiness. (Great applause.)
Thus it is that, with indifference to surrounding things, they who see the light clearly and are permitted to believe that they enjoy the fellowship of the Father, count all loss a gain; count whatsoever comes to them as a loving dispensation from the best of Fathers. Thus it is that we begin to feel that it is good for us to be here; that life is worth the living, the battle is worth the fighting, and the burden is worth the bearing; that the lessons of time shall have their perfect fruition; and that for the tasks faithfully and lovingly performed here in obedience to the Father’s will, we shall one day have the unspeakable reward of the Father’s loving invitation, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
A Commercial Traveler on Some Pro-Poverty Absurdities.
Dayton. O.—I am a commercial traveler and have the opportunity of reading a different newspaper almost every day. I cannot help enjoying the manner in which the poor editors of the pro-poverty press are struggling with the land question. Sept 25, the Sunday CincinnatiGazette opens its leader with a review of “McGlynn and the Methodist Bear Garden,” in which it ridicules George’s land theory, which, it claims, designs to make the land owners landless and give the land to those who have none now. Right on the heels of this theme the editor works himself into a gentle fury on account of the western cattle barons and the water monopolies which sell the precious fluid at $2 per acre. Further on comes the Irish land question, and here our friend chuckles at the idea that the democracy of England, Scotland and Wales will soon make short shrift of the British landlords. But a short time ago the Chicago Tribune magnanimously admitted that “Mr. George is honest and means well, but his land theory won’t work.” “How is he going to collect this tax unless he takes payment in advance?” he asks; “and as you declare products of labor free, what will prevent a farmer from harvesting his crops and moving off? and will his successor agree to pay the defaulted rent or tax as well as his own, or will he do as his predecessor did?” Such bosh in a reputable journal! If that honest farmer moves off and attempts to defraud the community we will in all likelihood proceed against him as we do now to collect debts, and if we seize his chattels this would in no manner constitute a tax on labor products.
All the objections brought forth against the land value tax theory so far have been utterly without force, and the hostile emanations of the press are either deliberate knavery or unpardonable stupidity in the case of men engaged in so responsible and important a pursuit as public journalism. Geo. G. Guenther.
Hard at Work in Buffalo.
Buffalo, Oct. 12.— Judge Maguire’s address was listened to by an audience of five hundred mechanics, clerks, salesmen, etc., and notwithstanding the sneering comments of the press, the good effects of the meeting are manifest. We find that whenever the principles of the party are even remotely understood, it is easy to make converts. We are hard at work distributing tracts, making personal efforts at conversion, and arranging for public meetings. J. W. Neil, Secretary.
Another Worker in the Field
Mr. C. A. Poage, who was for many years the managing editor of the Occident, the Presbyterian paper of the Pacific coast, but who is now engaged in active business in this city, has taken the platform for the cause of the united labor party, and will devote to it all the time he can spare from his business. It will not be possible for him to go very far away from this city, but his voice will be heard in the cities and towns about the bay and up the Hudson. Mr. Poage has already addressed audiences in Poughkeepsie and Nyack.
Rapid Growth in Poughkeepsie.
Poughkeepsie, N. Y.— The Sunday meetings of our Anti- poverty society are well attended, and the constant appearance of new faces shows that the interest is spreading, while the membership roll increases steadily. We have appointed our county and city committees, and are going in for active campaign work.
Several adverse articles have appeared in the newspapers, but they have been ably answered, and the effect has been good. W. C. Albro.
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN.
THE GREAT BUILDING THRONGED WITH AN ENTHUSIASTIC AUDIENCE.
Henry George Denounces the Outrage in Union Square — Bright Prospects Throughout the State — Dr. McGlynn Shows the Harmony of True Religion and True Politics — An Announcement From the Managers of the Fair.
Madison square garden2 was the scene last Sunday night of an imposing demonstration under the auspices of the Eleventh assembly district association of the united labor party. Long before 8 o’dock, the hour for the meeting, a large crowd had assembled, filling the space reserved for seats. The tables at the fair were covered with cloths, but the decorations were still visible. Part of the galleries on each side of the garden and a large part of the dancing floor were occupied by the seats, and these were all filled, while a number of persons remained standing on outskirts of the line of seats. It was an enthusiastic crowd, and when Miss Munier’s chorus entered the young ladies were received with cheers and applause.
Dr. Anketell opened the proceedings by introducing Dr. Miller, a colored gentleman, as the chairman of the evening, and he in turn introduced Dr. McGlynn.
Dr. McGlynn’s address was to a large extent the same as that delivered at the Academy of Music, a report of which is given elsewhere in this issue of The Standard.3 He drew attention to the many indications that the fortunes of the new crusade are in very truth guided and controlled by an overruling and approving providence, and the platform of the united labor party the teaching of the very truth of God.
“If,” said he, “the platform of this united labor party (cheers) and of the Anti-poverty society (applause) were merely a political platform in the accepted, hackneyed, much abused and justly despised sense of the word political, then I should not be here tonight standing upon it (applause), for I am by taste, by nature, by vocation from my earliest childhood, from my very consecration in the flower of my manhood, a priest and a minister of the altars and the truths of Christ; and the one irresistible attraction of the principles of this society, of this party, for me is that they are all radiant with light from heaven, that they are but in another form the old, primeval teachings of the saints and sages and seers of every age and of every land; they are but in another form a transcript of the gospel of Christ.” (Applause.)
Dr. McGlynn dwelt eloquently upon the harmony of the crusade against poverty with the sublime truths of revealed religion, and showed how the very simplicity of the remedy proposed is one of the strongest proofs of its efficacy. Then, looking into the future, he described civilization as it will be when industrial emancipation shall have been accomplished. He said:
“We have no quarrel with a denser population than there is today. But the one essential thing is to see to it that it shall be the law of our country for all time to come that with the happy increase of population we shall maintain perfect equality, absolute, even justice. And when that shall have been secured, then we may well believe that our country shall easily lead in the advance of nations, that all other nations will be compelled by the force of example to imitate the doing of justice that shall have become common among us; and thus shall we be the forerunners in that magnificent work of hastening the day that shall prepare the earth itself to become, as Christ prayed and prophesied that it should be, the very kingdom of heaven on earth. (Applause.) ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’” (Great applause and cheering.)
A PERSONAL EXPLANATION FROM REV. C. P. MCCARTHY.
At the conclusion of Dr. McGlynn’s address Rev. C. P. McCarthy made a brief personal explanation. He first read a paragraph from the New York Sun’s report of the police outrage in Union Square on Saturday night, in which a bystander is quoted as saying that “he had heard Rev. C. P. McCarthy, a George man, who stood at the time near the cottage in the park, exclaim, ‘This is my work.’”
Mr. McCarthy characterized the statement as an outrageous slander, stating that he had not been in Union square at all on Saturday night, but had spent the whole evening at the Anti-poverty fair in Madison square garden. The reverend gentleman’s explanation was received with applause.
HENRY GEORGE’S SPEECH.
Dr. Miller then announced Henry George who was greeted with prolonged applause and “three cheers for our next secretary of state.” Mr. George looked slightly worn with the fatigues of the campaign, but his voice was as clear and his delivery as eloquent as ever. He said:
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Eleventh Assembly District: I was glad to hear Mr. McCarthy’s statement. I knew, as every one who has the pleasure of his acquaintance knew, when I read that paragraph today that it was utterly false (applause), and I am glad to know that even the slightest possibility of truth is taken away from it by his statement that he was not at Union square at all last night. (Applause.) And I hope it is also true that no members of the united labor party in any way disturbed that meeting. (Applause.) I hope our friends will most carefully refrain from any attempt to interfere with or annoy the meetings of our opponents. (A voice; “We are not anarchists.”) No, we are not anarchists. (Applause.) We are defenders of law and order. (Applause.) We have banded together for the purpose of bringing about great reforms by peaceful and constitutional means (applause), and for that reason, for the reason that we are not anarchists, for the reason that we are opposed to anarchism in all its forms, we ought to be foremost in expressing our indignation at the crime committed in Union square last night. (Applause.) That was anarchism of the worst kind. (“Hear! hear!” and applause.) When men wearing the uniform of the police, upholders of the law, intrusted with authority for the purpose of defending public order and securing respect for the rights of property and the rights of person — when such men set the law at defiance, make an assault upon the persons of citizens and charge and club a peaceful assembly, that is anarchism of the worst and most dangerous kind. (Applause.)
An offence against the law is far more reprehensible, and ought to be punished with far more severity, when committed by a sworn officer of the law. (Applause.) Power involves responsibility, and the police who committed that outrage at Union square last night ought to be held — and an indignant public opinion ought to demand it — to the strictest accountability. The police captain in charge there says it was a blunder. (A voice: “I guess it was a blunder.”)
If it was a blunder, such a blunderer ought not to hold that position for another day. (Applause and cries of “Good! good!”) But it was not a mere blunder. That line of policemen would never have dreamed of starting forward, using their clubs upon the heads of inoffensive people assembled in the exercise of their constitutional right to peaceably express their opinions upon public questions if they had not become habituated to such acts. (Applause and cries of “Hear! hear!”)
We boast that this is a land of liberty. Right here in our harbor stands that grand statue of liberty enlightening the world. (Applause.) But there is no other great city where the English tongue is spoken — nay no other great city, I think, in the civilized world — where the rights of persons are set at as open defiance by the police authorities as they are in this city of New York. (Applause.) I bring no charge against the great body of the police. I have for them a high respect. But this is certain: that brutality and defiance of law have been encouraged among them. Every day we hear of clubbings by the police. It has become a common thing, so that a policeman is apt to consider that he has a perfect right to constitute himself judge, jury and executioner, and to club anybody that he thinks ought to be clubbed. (Applause.)
When I ran as your cahdidate for mayor of this city last year (cheering) I pledged myself when accepting your nomination that if elected mayor of this city I would see to it that such outrageous violations of the law and of the rights of citizens on the part of the police should be stopped; and that if I could not stop them I would resign the office. (Applause and repeated cheering and waving of handkerchiefs.) I know that under the vicious system of government that obtains here the mayor of the city has no direct control over the police, but I have enough confidence in public spirit, in the regard for law and justice on the part of the great masses of our population; I have sufficient reliance upon the public spirit of such great newspapers as the Herald (applause and cheers) and the World (vociferous applause) to believe that if the chief magistrate of this city, acting as a private citizen, or as the first citizen in the metropolis, were to set himself to see these outrages punished, a stop could be put to them. (Applause.)
I say that such outrages could not be perpetrated, would not be perpetrated, in any other great city where the English tongue is spoken. I am certain of it as regards England and Scotland, and even Ireland. Such an occurrence as took place in Union square last night, had it taken place in London, and had it been supported by the government, would have led to such an outburst of popular indignation as would have hurled that government from power. (Applause.) And I hope and trust that such will be the case here. I hope and trust that there will be such a manifestation of public indignation against the outrage committed last night that the police authorities shall be taught that the police are defenders of the law, and are not to be permitted to violate the law. (Applause.)
We pay too little regard to the rights of persons in this city. Because the men who met on Union square last night hold opinions that we think foolish and perhaps dangerous, is no reason why we should condone any offense committed against them. (Applause.) It is not against them alone, it is against the whole people. (“Hear! hear!”’) It is against the spirit of American liberty, and I hope and trust that from this time forward no member of the united labor party will go to the meetings of any other party with any disposition to interfere or to annoy, and that we will unite with good citizens of all other parties in endeavoring to bring the force of public opinion and of law upon the uniformed violators of the rights of the citizen. (Applause.)
Dr. McGlynn has been speaking to you (applause) of the great principles for which we stand. They are the principles of American liberty. To carry out to the very fullest all that we desire we require no change in our fundamental institutions. What we aim at, what we would bring about is simply the application in spirit and in truth to our laws of that great principle declared in the Declaration of Independence, the equality of all men. (Applause.) And wherever this platform of ours is fairly brought before the people, wherever our principles are set forth in their simplicity and their truth, we are making converts. And when we get a man we hold him. (Applause.) I can say to you that my experience in my trip through the state for the last week, and for the two weeks before that, has increased my confidence that we are destined to secure an early and a sweeping triumph. (Applause.) Whether we elect our state officers or not this fall, it is already certain that we will poll a vote that will give us just such a moral victory as we gained in this city last year. (Applause.) And with the state of New York fairly in the movement, with the new party fairly started, then all over the Union we will begin to see flocking to our standard the great body of men who have been engaged in vague labor movements — the great body of good and faithful citizens who now see that something, something radical, something at the root, is wrong with the present state of society.
I came this afternoon from a great meeting held in Newark (applause), where our friend, the Rev. Mr. Pentecost (cheers and applause) has been nominated for mayor. (Applause.) It was not a political meeting. It was better than that. It was an anti-poverty meeting (applause), and the Academy of Music in Newark was crowded to its fullest extent by an enthusiastic audience. In Philadelphia, in Boston, in Chicago, in Cincinnati and in San Francisco (applause) such organizations have already been formed. The new crusade is everywhere going forward. (Cheering and applause.) The cross that was raised here is everywhere gathering to itself an army of devoted men, and we can rely upon it that from this time onward this movement will never know stoppage or retreat. (Great cheering and applause.)
THE INTERFERENCE WITH THE FAIR.
The chairman then read a communication from the managers of the Anti-poverty fair, detailing the police interference with the sale of “random purchase tickets,” and announcing that articles for which tickets had been sold would be disposed of at auction, and the proceeds divided pro rata among the holders of tickets. The reading of the communication was interrupted by frequent cries of “Shame! shame!” and other expressions of disapproval of the action of the police.
The meeting concluded with the reading of the Syracuse platform by Mrs. J. H. Hackett, and the singing of a chorus by Miss Munier’s choir.
A Considerable Vote in Northport.
Northport, Suffolk Co.—With proper effort there is a considerable vote here that could be obtained. Men are ready to listen to anything new, and most of the farmers who have difficulty in making ends meet will jump at any measure for relief if they once see it. The Journal of Northport and the Port Jefferson Times are well disposed, and are printing some short articles of mine on the land question. J. K. Rudgard.
Speakers Worth Hearing in Brooklyn.
John J. Clancy, nominee for mayor of Brooklyn, and Louis F. Post of New York will address the citizens of Brooklyn on Sunday evening, October 16, in the Academy of Music on Montague street, under the auspices of the Kings county Henry George land club.
A CRITIC BECOMES A BELIEVER.
On Re-Reading “Progress and Poverty,” He Announces His Acceptance of Its Views
About two years ago there was put before the public a book entitled “Rational Communism,” the author withholding his name, and simply announcing himself as “a capitalist.” In many respects it was a work of genuine merit. Its descriptions of the common methods of wealth-getting in this country were truthful; the changes of social and industrial conditions in the past thirty or forty years were portrayed with an accuracy which showed that the author had watched them closely, and many of the undeniable grievances of the working classes were stated forcibly, plainly and sympathetically. The shams of false religion, the platitudes of superficial economists, the injustice in our social organization, the perversion of the principles on which our republic was founded had aroused the indignation of a nature that detested wrong doing, and the contents of the book bore abundant testimony to the author’s honesty of purpose and his determination to leave his fellow men the better off for his having been among them. The author believed that men could find their way to social prosperity and happiness through a communism controlled by reason. One might differ from his conclusions and decline to accept his theory of social advancement, yet no one could fail to perceive his sincerity of purpose or to appreciate the many significant truths contained in the pages of his book.
A few days ago a Standard writer met the author of “Rational Communism,” and was informed by the latter that time had effected changes in his opinions, especially as to the results that might be reached through a taxation that would absorb the annual rent of land. The gentleman said:
“I can now see that the comments on ‘Progress and Poverty’ in my work were not supported by a knowledge of the more remote effects of the proposed tax. I will be candid. I passed judgment upon a book that I had merely skimmed over. Its teachings, as a whole, I did not appreciate. In truth, I had prejudged the work before I had ever seen a copy of it, deriving my opinion of it from the screeds of book reviewers, who had been unable, perhaps from the hurried and consequently superficial character of their work, to see fully the effects of preventing the locking up of natural opportunities, of the assumption by the public of whatever businesses in their nature pertain solely to the public, and of returning to the community the values of natural agencies created by the community. I adopted in my book the opinion that Mr. George’s theory for bettering the condition of mankind rested merely upon a plan for placing all taxes upon land, and it seemed to me that he had not reached down to the root of the evil, that poverty could not be abolished by that method, or even the condition of the laborers much improved. Hence, when his work finally came into my hands I passed it aside without fully understanding it, in fact without any just conception of the principles it teaches, embracing, as they do, a comprehensive plan of social reorganization, to which justice is the key. However, I subscribed for The Standard, believing it to be right to assist in promoting every effort toward social reform. Upon reading a few copies of the paper I began to comprehend the importance of ‘Progress and Poverty.’ Gradually it dawned upon my mind that the results of virtually abolishing private property in land reached vastly further than had at first appeared to me; that the opportunity thus afforded for the laboring class to rise above its servile position was far beyond the bounds of my first conception. I then turned again to ‘Progress and Poverty,’ and this time with a determination to fathom it to the very core. The result was to convert me in general to Mr. George’s industrial and economic views. What I regarded, when I wrote my work, as a fundamental error in the scheme for the taxation of land values, was the argument that any increase of taxes would remain on the land, and that it could not be shifted from the landlord to the tenant through increased rent and from the tenant to the public at large. But Mr. George is right in that argument, I now see. Yet the assumption that such a tax can be shifted from the land is an error that is general among those who have never investigated the subject closely. I think that the fallacy of this view should be frequently exposed in the columns of The Standard with clearness and in detail.
“No one, not even Proudhon, has taken a more decided stand against the system of individual property than I have in my work. Observing, with a hatred of the wrong, how systematically and effectually the laboring classes are swindled out of their just dues, under the established system of unrestricted private property, and not being able to discover, after years of reflection, how this wrong could be avoided under the system, I denounced the system with all the ardor of a nature that hates injustice in any form. I look forward now to a process of evolution, perhaps of long continuance, by which mankind will become elevated and attain a state of happiness in which private property may gradually become extinct. Mr. George proposes, however, something that is eminently practical under present conditions — something that can be put in practice at once, and that would improve the condition of the laboring classes to an extent not to be seen until the effects of his simple plan are maturely considered. Mr. George, in fact, points out a middle ground between ultra individualism and ultra socialism. This ground, it seems to me, can be taken by all who are laboring to better the condition of the race. I would urge upon those whose hearts are with practical and far reaching reform, but who have not been able to embrace Mr. George’s teachings, to conscientiously study those teachings. Perhaps there are many well meaning men, advanced thinkers, who would, like myself, join hands with Mr. George were they to study for themselves his doctrines, instead of receiving them at second hand. If there are any such men, I earnestly beg of them to read, not glance at, ‘Progress and Poverty.’”
Would Like to See the Voter in Ellenville Without Tracts
Ellenville, Oct. l2—We are making converts fast, and our organizations are daily becoming stronger. On the streets and in public places we hear nothing talked about but Henry George and his theories; and as for tracts, I would like to see the voter in this place who hasn’t been supplied.
The regular meeting of our land and labor club on Thursday evening last was well attended, and an address was delivered on the subject of the local tax.
President L. and L. No. 21.
Suffolk County Active.
Sag Harbor, Suffolk Co.—A third of the entire voting population turned out to attend the united labor meeting in Masonic hall. Mr. Hughes presided and Carl Christman acted as secretary. Strong speeches were made by John J. Bealin and James J. Gahan, after which a branch of the united labor party was organized. It is quite clear that a very large vote will be cast for our nominees.
QUERIES AND ANSWERS.
The Service and the Product.
Marietta, Ohio.—In an article entitled, “Is it a crime to own land?” in the American Magazine for May, John Phillip Phillips (whoever he may be) says: “It has been said that man cannot justly become the owner of land because land was not made by man, but by the Creator. Iron, lead, copper and various other metals were made by the same being who created land. Is private ownership of these metals wrong? The Lord created all kinds of animals; but does this fact prove that private ownership of a cow or a horse is a crime?”
Again, Prof. W. G. Sumner (Social Classes, page 68) says: “Man did not make land. A man cannot ‘make’ a chattel or product of any kind whatever without first appropriating land, so as to get the ore, wood, wool, fur or other raw material.”
Now, my question is this: If by bestowing labor upon a log the original wood in it, which God created, becomes absolutely my own, why does not the bestowal of labor upon a piece of land make the original soil in it, which God created, absolutely my own? E. B. A.
For the same reason that your bestowal of labor upon the ocean (as by catching fish, planting oysters or sailing a ship) does not make the ocean absolutely your own.
What you draw forth from the land is yours. That harms nobody, for the source from which it comes is practically limitless;4 and if it were not, the product soon returns to the source again. But if the source is to be yours, as well as what you draw from it, then there will soon be no chance for others to exercise their right, equal to yours, of drawing forth from the land. When you take water from the spring, the water you have thus drawn forth belongs to you; but how do you argue, from that act, a title to the spring which would enable you to make all who must draw water from that spring dependent on you for the right?
The Phillips whom you quote is answered by the answer to your question. But what Professor Sumner says is true. No man can produce anything without first appropriating land so as to get the raw material.5 It is for that very reason that we oppose ownership of land, which enables the owner to prohibit other people from getting raw material, and gives him an income that he does not earn, through his power of charging producers for producing.
New York.—In your editorial of Sept. 3 you endeavor to show how the land tax, through the freeing of the natural elements from the grasp of monopolies, would increase production.
Your example is the production of coal, coal mining, You say truly (in one sense), that the simplest form of labor suffices to produce coal. In the sense that no special skill is required to dig coal, coal mining is a very simple kind of work that anybody can do. But in another sense, and in a sense that bears most directly on the matter at issue, coal mining is a complex kind of labor. In order to mine coal a number of men must combine, some to work at the necessary pumping, others at the hoisting, others at the breaking, etc. Coal mining is, therefore, combined or social work, not performed by a single individual separately, but by means of the social or associated efforts of a number of individuals, and in that sense complex work, which a man can never do singly to any extent. Therefore when you say of coal: “Man has but to go and take it. Suppose a citizen of Pennsylvania . . . could take a ton when he wanted it, and do what he pleased with it,” you assume a wholly impracticable state of affairs. In the first place “a single citizen” cannot mine coal, as before shown. In the second place, as his (the miner’s) labor is only a part of the labor necessary to produce the ton of coal, he cannot “do what he pleases with it,” but out of the proceeds or price of that ton of coal all his co-laborers must be paid.
But granting that when you said “single citizen” you meant one member of that multiple or collective body, consisting of a number of citizens who are associating their labor at some one mine for the purpose of digging out coal — is it true that such need but to go and dig coal? Must he not arrange to work conjointly with the other necessary co-laborers? Must not there be hoisting machines, pump works, cars, breakers, etc? Must not somebody else transport that coal to some center of distribution along with a lot of other tons of coal? Must it not from there be distributed to the consumers? and is it not only then, after all this has been done, that the coal is exchanged for money — that is, sold?
Now, have not all those who stand between the miner and consumer of coal the power to levy tribute on the labor product of the miner as a condition of allowing the miner to receive any return? Suppose the nation owned the natural element part of the mine and the miners and their co-workers at the mine had organized to work conjointly, and some one else owned the hoisting machines, cars, etc; or some one else again owned the instruments and agencies for the necessary transportation and distribution of said coal. Could not these owners of these instruments and agencies levy tribute on the product of the workers of the mine as a condition of allowing them to use these indispensable agencies? And, after forming a union, pool, or, as it is now called, “committee,” could they not meet monthly and say how much is to be permitted to be produced? Again, is not some intelligent, centralized, general direction of work necessary to prevent work from being done out of time or proportion to the nation’s needs or uses? Hence, is not the nationalization or common or social — call it what you may — ownership of such instruments and agencies necessary to the end of securing to the workers the full equitable return for his labor? And is not some central direction or guidance necessary in such a social system of production? Would not the chance or guess plan of production lead to endless trouble and irregularities? Is it not absurd to talk about a citizen getting a ton of coal whenever he wants to?
If coal lands were free, any one could get coal for his own use, and even for the supply of a small local market, without the aid of any of the great instruments of coal production and exchange. Therefore, no one in the coal region could suffer for want of coal, or of any of the products of that region which were exchangeable for coal. This in itself would be a great stride in the direction of abolishing poverty.
But coal mining for the supply of the world’s market is, as you say, a complex kind of labor, performed by associated effort or co-operation, and out of the price of a ton of coal the wages for every variety of labor employed in its production, transportation and delivery to the consumer must be paid. It is not necessary, however, that this co-operation should be deliberately organized. The demand for coal in the markets of the world evolves the co-operation; it induces the mining of coal, which in turn induces the transportation of coal, and the manufacture of machinery for transportation on the one hand, and the manufacture of mining machinery on the other. Every demand gives rise to supply. At first the demand is for coal, and labor turns to mining; mining creates demand for implements, and other labor turns to the production of implements; then comes the demand for transportation; and other labor turning to the manufacture and operation of instruments of transportation creates demand in still other directions which make still other demands, and, reacting, make new demands for coal; and thus, supply responding to demand, and every supply or effort to supply making further demands, the coal mining industry interlinks itself with all other industries, and evolves a more perfect co-operation — not of a village, state or nation, but of the world — than even omniscient statisticians or managers of industry could conceive or direct.
Such co-operation prevails now, modified and crippled by monopoly. Paralyze the hand that grasps natural opportunities, and by the control of public franchises lays burdens on industry and interferes with exchange, and the co-operation is complete and harmonious in all its parts.
Those who stand between the miner and the consumer of coal would not then have power to levy tribute on the miner. They could get no more than they earned; that they ought to get, and the miner would be willing that they should have it. If the owners of the hoisting apparatus or of the agencies of transportation and distribution undertook to tax the miner, a demand for new hoisting apparatus and new agencies of transportation would immediately arise, to which labor would at once respond. Suppose the return to the owners of hoisting apparatus to be 1, the usual return to similar effort, and that they should undertake to charge 2; then it would be exceptionally profitable to own and operate hoisting apparatus, and some labor otherwise employed would make hoisting apparatus. But the mere fact that this would be so would prevent the owners of hoisting apparatus from trying the experiment, just as the fact that a competitor might come into the village will prevent the village storekeeper from charging exorbitant rates for staples. And similarly of the owners of machinery of transportation and distribution.
No pool could be formed to defeat the harmonious operation of this simple social law. What makes pools effective now is not control of existing hoisting apparatus, which may be duplicated, but of mining opportunities, which cannot be duplicated; not of locomotives and coal cars, but of public highways.
No “intelligent, centralized, general direction of work” can be equal to the task of preventing work being done out of time or proportion. That can be regulated only by demand for work. Demand may cause a temporary over supply of some things relatively to other things; but, since the wants of men are unlimited, any such over supply can be but temporary. No one claims perfection for demand. It may make waste here and there at times, when seeking a new level, but it does not make the waste that a “manager” would, and it is not arbitrary. Most of its waste now is due to the monopoly of natural opportunity.
Production in response to demand is not a guess plan of production. The social body is no more a nerveless organism than is the physical body; a rise or fall of demand for coal in the general market is communicated to the mines and along all the commercial nerves that lead to them as certainly as a rise or fall of demand for food in the stomach is communicated to the fingers.
It is not absurd to talk about a citizen getting a ton of coal whenever he wants to. If he lives near a coal mine in respect to which no one can say, “This belongs to me,” he can unquestionably get a ton of coal whenever he wants it, without other capital than a pick. If he lives far away from a coal mine, but where fish are plentiful, he can get a ton of coal whenever he wants it without other capital than a hook and line, for his demand for coal will be a demand for every form of labor that produces, transports and delivers coal, and will give rise to a demand for fish in exchange. And if he lives in a great city where demand for work is constant he can get a ton of coal whenever he wants it by working for whoever wants him and exchanging his wages for coal. In every case his demand causes the supply to be produced. ln the first place he produces the supply with his own hands; in the other two he hires other men to produce the supply, while he supplies something that they demand.
Monopolize natural opportunity or interfere with freedom of exchange and you disorganize this co-operation; destroy monopoly in natural opportunities and abolish all obstructions to trade and you make the co-operation as perfect and constant as the movement of the planets.
Shifting the Tax.
Hamilton, O.—Will not the consumer have to pay the tax under your system of taxing only land values? M.
Yes; the landlord is the only consumer of land values, and he will have to pay the tax. Read tract No. 37.6
A Doubting Thomas — (1) A man who invests his money in cultivated land and continues to use and improve the land is not as justly entitled to the profit that may arise from the increased value of the land (the increased value that is due to the growth of the community) as is the man who puts his money into a savings bank paying ten percent interest to depositors. In the one case it is not the increment of his product, but the demands of other people that makes the profit; in the other it is the increment of his product. The owner of a horse is justly entitled to the foal she produces, but the owner of a ship is not justly entitled to the ocean on which she sails. By the way, where is the ten percent savings bank? I know people who would like to transfer their accounts. (2) I don’t know whether or not the history of land transactions shows that the profits are not equal to ten percent on the investment, and I don’t care. It is not probable that the history of slave dealing would show any very exceptional profits, but that proves nothing as to the justice of slavery. (3) The freeing of land will do away with tenement houses by making it possible for every one who can build a house to get a place for his house for nothing, and by making it profitable to put houses on land, and unprofitable to keep land out of use. (4) Land is not cheap in tenement districts. The owners of tenement house lands, who live in the tenements, are not as poor, nor nearly as poor, as their tenants. They bear a similar relation to the landlord system that the owner of one “nigger” bore to the slave system. (5) The single tax would not make the farmer pay a greater tax on his land than he now pays on his real estate. There is very little farming land that is worth more than twenty or thirty percent of the value of the farm. At present the farmer pays on a valuation of fifty percent. But even if the farmer’s direct tax were more, his indirect taxes — those that he pays whenever he goes to the store, and which would be wholly abolished — would make his burdens a great deal less than now, to say nothing of the benefits of better markets for his produce. (6) The reason that men get rich at the expense of others, without dealing in land, is that the monopolization of land by limiting natural opportunities for employment creates an unemployed class, which makes labor cheap, and enables speculators in labor to get much for little. MEM.—You would do well to read “Progress and Poverty.”
H. W. Starr, Rockford, Ill.—(1) I am inclined to think that the distribution of direct taxes by the federal government among the states according to land values would be better than according to population. (2) I do not think that the adoption by the states of the present federal plan of direct taxation would remove any serious obstacle in the way of the land value tax.
H. W., New York.—When you say that to make man independent he must have access to machinery as well as to land, you might as well say that he must also have access to food, clothing and shelter. Machinery as well as food, clothing and shelter, comes from the land; and when man has access to land, he will, through division of labor, be able to enjoy the benefits of food, clothing, shelter and machinery on equal terms.
ANTI-POVERTY IN BROOKLYN.
Judge Maguire the Principal Speaker at a Meeting of the Kings County Club.
The Kings county Henry George land club held another public meeting on last Sunday evening at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Although the weather was bad the house was comfortably well filled. Mr. J. P. Kohler, president of the club, opened the meeting with a short address, and was followed by G. T. Klinger, who also spoke briefly. The principal speaker of the evening was Judge Maguire. He dealt with the question of land monopoly chiefly from its legal point of view. He said he was amazed wherever he went at the intense enthusiasm that had been excited by the principles of the united labor party.
Speaking of the power wielded for centuries by the dukes of Sutherland, he said it was mainly due to their almost boundless land possessions. More people had been driven to death through evictions within the last forty years in Great Britain than had died through legal process in the course of recorded English history. The condition of the toilers today was like that of animals pursued by hunters intent on capturing them alive. They were ensnared into a pit, permitted to be overcome by hunger, and kept in a state of subjection by that process. In San Francisco, on thirteen of the principal business blocks but one man was the owner of the property on which his store was situated. In burning words the judge described the frightful hardships of the Pennsylvania coal workers, and denounced the men in the pulpit who attributed to the Almighty the distress that arose from man’s greed. Brooklyn, he said, was called a city of homes, yet he would ask how many of the toilers of this city owned their homes. He closed with a logical presentation of the argument for a single tax on land values.
The audience paid close attention to Judge Maguire’s utterances, and heartily and frequently applauded him, his apt illustrations especially winning approval. Those who had not already understood the objects of the new party must have felt the power of his earnest and persuasive manner, as well as the force of his reasoning.
In appearance, the people present were rather of the class that love justice, and would shield all citizens from enforced poverty rather than of that at present distressed by poverty itself.
If They Should Read “Progress and Poverty” in Order to Refute Its Arguments They Would Become Converted.
Weatherford, Tex.—The books and tracts reached me less than two weeks ago. I thought then, like nearly every one that takes his ideas from newspaper comments, that the single tax theory was tinctured with communism. But I find that it is really a step, and a long one, too, further from communism than our present, system, in the fact that it does not even take a tax on what a man may accumulate by his labor. I believe all that is necessary is to get the people to read sufficiently to get an idea, and they will study out their own conversion. Since I have converted my self I have made several converts and set a good number of others to thinking. I loaned “Progress and Poverty” to our district judge today. The opposition does the advertising, and they might make themselves better posted. But if they attempt that they will come out like the gentleman in the last Standard, who read “Progress and Poverty” to refute its arguments;
they would become converts. Will M. Buell.
Spreading the Anti-Poverty Doctrine in St. Louis.
St. Louis, Oct 6.—We had an enthusiastic meeting of our Anti-poverty society last night at Excelsior hall, Ninth and Franklin avenues. Among the interesting features was the recitation from memory of an entire chapter of “Social Problems” by W. C. Bohannon, a telegrapher. We meet again in the same place in two weeks from last night. Charles M. Wilson, Secretary.
Good News from Steuben County.
Bath, Steuben Co.—The outlook in this county is so encouraging that we shall put a full local ticket in the field. We have got the ball rolling in this town and are pushing the work in all the other towns in this congressional district. We are putting out quantities of tracts where they will tell. T.
Very Hopeful at Glen Cove.
Glen Cove, Queens County.—It is pretty generally believed among our men that the candidates of the united labor party will get the largest number of votes in this village on election day. We are to have a county ticket in the field and are hopeful of its success. John Murray.
HARD AT WORK.
WHAT INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS ARE DOING.
Letters from Men in the Thick of the Fight — Interest Awakening Everywhere, and People Anxious to Hear the Truth — Facts and Experiences.
The following extracts from reports and letters received by the state executive committee will serve to convey some idea of the zeal and activity with which the campaign is being conducted:
H. H. Freeman, who is organizing through the center of the state, reports:
“I had a conference with numbers of earnest men in Hudson, and they have gone to work. In Utica I found that much interest in the principles of the party had been awakened by the recent overflowing meeting addressed by Dr. McGlynn and Mr. Glackin. The local organization will, in a few days, be perfected. Utica is going to make a good record.”
George E. Bedell of Herkimer writes: “The meeting here, at which Dr. McGlynn spoke, has helped us greatly. Every seat in the hall was filled. The audience was the most intelligent that ever assembled in Herkimer on an occasion of this kind. Dr. McGlynn was introduced by Hon. George W. Smith, the finest orator in the county.”
J. R. McCarthy of Little Falls: “I for one am satisfied that this town, with its numerous manufacturing industries and long established farming interests, if properly cared for, will, on election day, yield returns that will satisfy even the most exacting or enthusiastic voter now within the ranks of the united labor party.”
Tom Clayton of Ellenville.—The land and labor club of this place had a large and enthusiastic meeting, at which John J. Bealin and James J. Gahan of New York made excellent speeches. Quite a number of converts were made — in short, we had a glorious time. Send us some more speakers as soon as possible, as we wish to keep the pot boiling. There are quite a number on the fence who will come over on our side as soon as they understand what we advocate.
H. B. Brown, Bay Shore, L. I.—There is no organization here yet, not so much because the principles of the party are not understood as because men are slow to break their old party affiliations. They will come over, however, when they have heard Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost or some such speaker. In the meantime, I am putting out what tracts and copies of The Standard I can get.
Thomas Leary, Ellicottville.—There is not much of a stir here yet in politics, but if we get some speakers through this section the candidates of the party will poll from twenty to thirty percent of the total vote.
—— , Buffalo.—An indication of awakening interest is the fact that the men in our organization here have just sent thirty new subscriptions to the Standard office. We are distributing copies of the Standard and tracts at our meetings, and the demand nearly always exceeds the supply.
John Rourke, Greenbush.—The people here are very anxious to hear Dr. McGlynn and Henry George and have the principles of the party explained. At our last local election the labor candidates polled more votes than both of the old parties together. There are still a few of our people who do not understand the theories of Henry George, and we want tracts and some good speakers.
H. B. Hawkins, Oneonta.—We had a successful meeting here on the 6th. The ball has been set in motion. We are spreading the light and will try to put tracts and copies of the Standard into the hands of every voter in the county. We are making active preparations for a big meeting on the 19th, at which Dr. Houghton of Cincinnati is to address us.
Martin S. Kelly, Schenectady.—The meeting addressed by Dr. McGlynn and Everett Glackin was an immense success, the hall being crowded to its utmost. By the way, our parish priest showed Dr. McGlynn many attentions and invited the great priest to spend the evening with him, which he did.
H. C. Romaine, Green Island.—I have been in several villages in Washington county and find them in prosperous condition. Whitehall is in good working order and will soon call a county meeting. There are committees at work in both the polling districts. The men in Whitehall will take care of the three or four villages close by. At Fort Edward I found things ripe, and on Wednesday night, the 5th. I helped to organize a club. Dr. M. W. Van Derberg was elected president and L. H. Atkins secretary. The president of the village, who was elected by the Knights of Labor, is a member of the club. Mr. Quinlan, at Glens Falls, is doing good work. He is making speeches through the county. The indications are that Glens Falls will poll a large vote.
T. J. Sanford, Troy.—We had a rousing meeting last week in Valley Falls, and have six other meetings in this county arranged for.
James Bartley, Amsterdam.—We had a magnificent meeting on the evening of the 5th in our handsome opera house. It was crowded with nearly two thousand people. On being requested to signify their approval or disapproval of the proposition of taxing land values as presented to them by the speakers the audience almost unanimously voted in favor of the tax.
B. S. Warner. Hurleyville.—An organization has been formed here with Rev. William Hamilton as chairman and William Youngs as secretary. The club is composed of good men, who will be able to increase their numbers considerably as soon as they got down to work. The farmers of this county will support our party almost in a body as soon as they get a true understanding of the land plank in the platform.
John H. Quinlan, Glens Falls.—I am satisfied that our state ticket is becoming more and more popular every day in this section. I spoke at our county seat on Monday evening in the court house. It being court week, men from all parts of the county were in town and attended the meeting. A good deal of interest was manifested in the speeches.
Thomas Fassett, Plattsburgh.—Everything is looking well in this quarter. We are urging forward the work in every way — by holding meetings, distributing tracts and such other ways as suggest themselves.
Herman Shader, Kingston.—We are making a strong fight in this city. We have organized clubs in four out of nine election districts, and will organize in the other five in the course of a week or two.
Many Active Supporters in Hornellsville
A correspondent in Hornellsville, Steuben county, says: When Henry George spoke here during his trip last week through the southern tier of counties he was listened to by a large audience, representing all classes. A noticeable departure from the usual style of political meetings was the presence of ladies. George H. Van Winkle presided, and among the prominent men in the audience were ex-Mayor J. W. Keal and E. W. Robinson, secretary of the Farmers’ club, an organization of considerable strength, which publishes a farmer’s paper, and every year holds a fair here.
Hornellsville has many active supporters of the new party, who are doing good work, and the ballots will be well distributed before election day.
The Duty We Owe to the Farmers.
“I tell you half the farms of Orange county are mortgaged.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes,” replied the lawyer, “and even a much larger proportion, I think. I am frequently called upon to draw new mortgages, but in my practice of six years I have not met with an instance where a mortgage has been paid off with the earnings of a mortgageor. My experience may be somewhat unusual in this respect, but I am positive that relatively very few mortgages are discharged of record except by transfer of the farms, foreclosure, or, which is the commonest method, by raising a new mortgage to pay off the old one.”
If this is the case with Orange county, the famous feeding grounds of the New York city milk market, what must the facts be in less favored localities?
What a flood of light the lawyers of our county towns could throw upon this subject. Slaves could work no harder nor fare much worse than millions of our back country farmers.
If the united labor party does not succeed to power this fall it will be because the farmers have not understood its principles. There is hardly a citizen in our cities and towns who has not one or more rural friends to whom he owes it as a sacred duty to furnish the means of enlightenment on this subject. Manifest the truth. The farmer, above all others, is the one who will be immediately and directly benefited by the triumph of our principles. The united labor party can convert the granger element in this state if only the farmers are enlightened as to the aims and purposes of the new party. Let us who have access to the literature be up and doing. A little effort in this direction now will yield big returns. B. F. Henley.
A Visit to the Anti-Poverty Society of Boston
BOSTON, Oct. 10.—Being here on business, I dropped in to see how the Anti-poverty society was progressing, and my experience may interest your readers.
Their meeting was held in Horticultural hall, on Tremont street. There was a good attendance, with a fair sprinkling of ladies. The speaker of the evening was a Mr. Roach, a splendid specimen of intellectual and physical manhood. His speech was deliberate and methodical; but oh! what sledge hammer blows of solid argument he did deliver, and yet so plain and simple that a child could comprehend them. He was interrogated right and left, and answered everybody very satisfactorily.
On motion of a member it was resolved that next Sunday be a New York night, when an effort should be made to raise a substantial sum by collection to aid you in your campaign.
It was a splendid audience — serious, deliberative and determined. I enjoyed the meeting very much. The chairman announced that in a couple of weeks the society would be addressed by a Harvard college professor and a minister of the gospel, whose names he was not at liberty to announce just yet. Will F. Foley.
Judge Maguire at Hoosick Falls.
Hoosick Falls, Oct. 10.—Our meeting on the 6th inst., which was addressed by Judge Maguire, was attended by fully 800 people, who listened attentively and showed by their applause that they appreciated the speaker’s arguments and illustrations. Some contemptible fellows are trying to check our movement by tearing down the bills announcing our public meetings, but political feeling here is at fever heat and we have no difficulty in getting well advertised. The general feeling of the community is becoming more favorable to us as our strength increases, and both local papers give very fair notices of our meetings.
Our club membership is rapidly increasing. We are distributing tracts and Standards very effectively, and none in this manner to reach a large number of farmers. F. S. Hammond.
Good Effects in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam, N. Y., Oct. 10.—Dr. McGlynn’s lecture here was a grand success and awakened an interest in the teachings of our party such as nothing else could have done.
It is admitted by all that the audience was representative of the intellectual as well as the laboring class of people. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, professors, clergymen, manufacturers and leading business men were well represented.
One local pa per remarked only yesterday that “Dr. McGlynn and his leeture are still the all-absorbing topic of the town, and the criticisms are as varied as numerous.”
Ray D. Chapman,
Vice-President Land and Labor Club.
A New Lesson in the Concord School of Philosophy.
Concord, Mass.—The indifference shown to Henry George’s views in rural localities is, of course, attributable to ignorance, but it must be borne in mind that there is a cause for this ignorance. I find that those who follow Mr. George here do so — first, because they have read his books; and second, because they belong to the class which is neither poor nor rich, and have had the leisure of mind and heart to ponder upon the questions he is agitating. I find that those who call him either a pestilent fellow or an amiable visionary distribute themselves into two classes. First, the class whose daily recurring need of keeping body and soul together gives them no leisure for instructive reading and even hardly the leisure for sympathetic emotion or thought of any kind; and secondly, the individuals already amply equipped with incomes, whose minds and hearts simply seem to have become palsied in the daily recurring effort to amass still greater wealth than they now possess. Neither of these two latter classes can be properly said to participate in any intelligent effort at government. They will vote either the republican or democratic ticket when the time comes. Ask these people to account for the fact that an amiable dreamer or a pestilent fellow can awaken 68,000 voters in New York and they cannot answer you.
It is instructive to observe in a country town like this, which may serve as an illustration for many another, how shallow is the observation or how paralyzed the conscience which turns a deaf ear to the cry of this reform.
In this community the same conditions of life obtain as in a thousand other non-manufacturing towns in New England, viz.: There is no great poverty and no great wealth. It is almost a distinction to be a pauper here. Taxes are not inordinate. Farmers may grumble a little at them, but that is the prerogative of their class. On the whole, every one is pretty well satisfied. Briefly stated, these conditions exist in a great many farming communities. But in addition to this there are some special features of life in Concord which render the town what may be called a unique community. At the far end of it in one direction is a little chapel dedicated to pure philosophy. Many of the most. distinguished thinkers in America have discussed the problems of destiny therein. It is a pleasant experience to sit there through a summer day and realize, perhaps for the first time, how rich is the heritage of exalted thought which the ages have given us. At the far end of the town in another direction is a stately bulk of masonry. In it are confined no less than seven hundred young men for whom society can find no better use than to place upon them a brand of infamy — a mark which it is needless to say years of rectitude and good behavior after their release cannot wholly obliterate. The institution in which these beings are confined is the state reformatory. The only reproach which has been brought against it is that it habituates its inmates to more humane treatment than they experience outside of its walls, and thus places a premium on crime. It is true that once in a while some young wretch, born and suckled in a Boston slum, feels ungrateful for his detention. He has a heritage of vice and ignorance which dates back, heaven only knows how far. He has been known with one blow of a heavy tool to irretrievably shatter a delicate machine which has cost the taxpayers a thousand dollars. You see the deeds bequeathed to him by his father and mother have been kept in abeyance perhaps for many months, but have not been extirpated. In a moment of passionate resentment against his lot they overmaster the fear of punishment or the hope of reward. When the culprit views the ruin he has wrought he calls it “his way of getting even with the state.” He has simply thrown himself against a wall and has been crushed in the process. After ten days in the “solitary,” the state, by way of getting even with him, places a scarlet suit upon him — that means “dangerous.” In other words, the state meets brutality with answering brutality. But there are not many who wear the red jacket. Most of the inmates keep quiet. For a while, at least, they feel sure of shelter and food.
These, then, are the conditions existing here. Because Concord is a farming town there is no great wealth, and the absence of manufacturing prevents great poverty because there are no interruptions to industry. Philosophy has its seat in the Hillside chapel, religion finds a sanctuary in five churches, and philanthropy does what it can to soften the lot of the wicked man “who will not turn from his sin and save his soul alive.” The optimist will, with a triumphant gesture, point to these facts and ask you in the name of the prophet what more you can ask. In his opinion these obvious evidences of material ease and philanthropic achievement outweigh a whole library of books on progress and poverty. It is true that he has never read any of Mr. George’s books. In the face of the facts I have deseribed he will tell you that he does not require to read them.
But there is one fact which I have not mentioned — a fact so obvious that it could only have escaped the observation of a thrift which has become self-complacent — a philosophy which finds an end in itself, and a philanthropy which forgets that there should be no need of philanthropy; and that fact is that during the year 1886 we fed and lodged in this town no less than 1,117 tramps.
I watched this army come and go while I sat by my comfortable fireside last winter. In snow and sleet, half clad and half fed, these outcasts passed, sometimes in small gangs, sometimes in large ones. Twice I counted a compact gang of twenty-five. I have talked with scores of them, and always to receive the same answer, which was this: “We were not always tramps. Work gave out at home. We do not like tramping, but we prefer it to the obloquy of becoming paupers there. Do you blame us?” And in my heart of hearts I could only answer, “No, I do not blame you.” Will the editors of our leading city newspapers, who study life from behind a pile of manuscript, kindly consent to come down out of the clouds? Is it not worth their while as guides of thought and legislation to try and inform themselves just a little about the verities of life?
I commend to them these two verities, which they might have witnessed at my threshold within three weeks past. The first was the case of a man to whom I gave breakfast. I noticed that his hand trembled so much that he spilled his coffee. He was well dressed, and had an honest but emaciated face. I said to him, “You are sick?” He looked up to me from where he was sitting, but his white lips could not frame the answer for a while. He was too weak to cry much. Presently he said: “Yes, I am sick; but when I get to Boston I hope to get into the hospital there. My old employer in the city knows that I am a steady man. For two months I have had the ague, and my money is gone.” He seemed bewildered when I paid his fare on the train which would take him to his destination. He had not asked for it. The second instance was that of a young fellow who asked for breakfast, but would not eat it because there was no work he could do about my premises by way of compensation for his meal. I urged him to eat, but he was firm. He said “tramping was new to him, and he would go hungry till he could find some work.” Perhaps the optimists will answer that the 1,117 tramps all lied when they said they did not like the pursuit of tramping; that the sick man was shamming, and that the one last mentioned declined his breakfast because his belly was full. I have heard the optimists say this. Which shall we pity most, the arrogant indifference of the well-to-do and educated, or the suffering which often comes from ignorance and poverty, and drives men, like wild beasts, hunting in gangs for food and shelter? Robertson James.
Hungry for the Tracts in New Orleans.
New Orleans. La.—Tracts of the Land and labor library received at noon today. Have given out about half of them, mostly to car drivers. Of the great number to whom they were offered only one man refused to receive them. Poor fellow. I am charitable enough to believe that he can’t read. I shall place the others “where they will do the most good” tomorrow. Will send for more soon. Have patience with this people. They are hard to start, move slowly at first, but when they once get in motion, the pro-poverty crowd will think the “dawn has broke for sure.”
C. H. Merry.
Increased From Scores to Hundreds in Binghamton
Binghamton, N. Y.—The last meeting of our land and labor club was largely devoted to a consideration of the best means of propaganda. We are distributing tracts largely, and are making a thorough canvass of the different wards. The growth of our party in this town has been very rapid. Where we could muster only a score of adherents a few months ago, we can now count our voters by the hundred. John Doyle.
The Rochester Anti-Poverty Society.
That bright advocate of united labor principles, the Earth, says that Rev. John A. Copeland has engaged the new opera house m Rochester for every Sunday afternoon and evening during the coming year, to be used for meetings of the Rochester Anti-poverty society.
Page 4 – Editorial
HENRY GEORGE. Editor and Proprietor.
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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, 1887.
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PLATFORM OF THE UNITED LABOR PARTY.
Adopted at Syracuse August 19, 1887.
We, the delegates of the united labor party of New York, in state convention assembled, hereby reassert, as the fundamental platform of the party, and the basis on which we ask the co-operation of citizens of other states, the following declaration or principles adopted on September 23, 1886, by the convention of trade and labor associations of the city of New York, that resulted in the formation of the united labor party.
“Holding that the corruptions of government and the impoverishment of labor result from neglect of the self-evident truths proclaimed by the founders of this republic that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, we aim at the abolition of a system which compels men to pay their fellow creatures for the use of God’s gifts to all, and permits monopolizers to deprive labor of natural opportunities for employment, thus filling the land with tramps and paupers and bringing about an unnatural competition which tends to reduce wages to starvation rates and to make the wealth producer the industrial slave of those who grow rich by his toil.
“Holding, moreover, that the advantages arising from social growth and improvement belong to society at large, we aim at the abolition of the system which makes such beneficent inventions as the railroad and telegraph a means for the oppression of the people and the aggrandizement of an aristocracy of wealth and power. We declare the true purpose of government to be the maintenance of that sacred right of property which gives to every one opportunity to employ his labor, and security that he shall enjoy its fruits; to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak, and the unscrupulous from robbing the honest; and to do for the equal benefit of all such things as can be better done by organized society than by individuals; and we aim at the abolition of all laws which give to any class of citizens advantages, either judicial, financial, industrial or political, that are not equally shared by all others.”
We call upon all who seek the emancipation of labor, and who would make the American union and its component states democratic commonwealths of really free and independent citizens, to ignore all minor differences and join with us in organizing a great national party on this broad platform of natural rights and equal justice. We do not aim at securing any forced equality in the distribution of wealth. We do not propose that the state shall attempt to control production, conduct distribution, or in any wise interfere with the freedom of the individual to use his labor or capital in any way that may seem proper to him and that will not interfere with the equal rights of others. Nor do we propose that the state shall take possession of land and either work it or rent it out. What we propose is not the disturbing of any man in his holding or title, but by abolishing all taxes on industry or its products, to leave to the producer the full fruits of his exertion and by the taxation of land values, exclusive or improvements, to devote to the common use and benefit those values, which, arising not from the exertion of the individual, but from the growth of society, belong justly to the community as a whole. This increased taxation of land, not according to its area, but according to its value, must, while relieving the working farmer and small homestead owner of the undue burdens now imposed upon them, make it unprofitable to hold land for speculation, and thus throw open abundant opportunities for the employment of labor and the building up of homes.
While thus simplifying government by doing away with the horde of officials required by the present system of taxation and with its incentives to fraud and corruption, we would further promote the common weal and further secure the equal rights of all, by placing under public control such agencies as are in their nature monopolies: We would have our municipalities supply their inhabitants with water, light and heat; we would have the general government issue all money, without the intervention of banks; we would add a postal telegraph system and postal savings banks to the postal service, and would assume public control and ownership of those iron roads which have become the highways of modern commerce.
While declaring the foregoing to be the fundamental principles and aims of the united labor party, and while conscious that no reform can give effectual and permanent relief to labor that does not involve the legal recognition of equal rights to natural opportunities, we nevertheless, as measures of relief from some of the evil effects of ignoring those rights, favor such legislation as may tend to reduce the hours of labor, to prevent the employment of children of tender years, to avoid the competition of convict labor with honest industry, to secure the sanitary inspection of tenements, factories and mines, and to put an end to the abuse of conspiracy laws.
We desire also to so simplify the procedure of our courts and diminish the expense of legal proceedings, that the poor may be placed on an equality with the rich and the long delays which now result in scandalous miscarriages of justice may be prevented.
And since the ballot is the only means by which in our Republic the redress of political and social grievances is to be sought, we especially and emphatically declare for the adoption of what is known as the “Australian system of voting,” in order that the effectual secrecy of the ballot and the relief of candidates for public office from the heavy expenses now imposed upon them, may prevent bribery and intimidation, do away with practical discriminations in favor of the rich and unscrupulous, and lessen the pernicious influence of money in politics.
In support or these aims we solicit the co-operation of all patriotic citizens who, sick of the degradation of politics, desire by constitutional methods to establish justice, to preserve liberty, to extend the spirit of fraternity, and to elevate humanity.
United Labor Party of the State of New York.
Headquarters State Executive Committee,
28 Cooper Union,
New York City, Sept. 1, 1887.
To all Members and Friends of the United Labor Party throughout the United States: By its platform, adopted at Syracuse on the 19th of August last, the united labor party of the state of New York has brought into state politics the principles on which the memorable municipal campaign of a year ago was fought, and thus taken a great stride in the forward movement which must not know retreat. Within the next twelvemonth the advance must be made upon the national field. To this end a national conference will at an early day be called in conformity with a resolution adopted by the New York state convention. To all throughout the state and the union who desire the emancipation of labor, the destruction of the doing of even justice, the simplification and purification of government, with the abolition of privilege on one hand and of poverty on the other, the united labor party of New York sends greeting and it solicits their help. Every such contest as the one we are now entering upon must be a costly one. We need money to send speakers through the state, to distribute literature in every city, town and village, and to print and distribute our ballots. The last item alone, owing to unjust electoral laws which we are striving to reform, and which throw upon private generosity what should be a public burden, will cost us several thousands of dollars. Contributions, small or great, to aid in this work will be gratefully received and promptly acknowledged by this committee.
Chairman and Treasurer.
Gaybert Barnes, Secretary.
THE UNION SQUARE OUTRAGE.
On Saturday evening last a considerable number of citizens assembled on the Union square plaza, in this city, to peaceably discuss their grievances and consider means for the abatement of them. These citizens had complied with every municipal regulation; they had notified the police authorities of their intention to assemble, and had secured the customary permit, as well as the usual detail of police to protect their deliberations and secure them from any lawless interference.
The meeting was in progress, the principal speaker was making his address, when a few men belonging, or pretending to belong, to a political party whose principles are opposed to those advocated by the men holding the meeting, began to create a disturbance by shouting one of the campaign cries of their party. The captain in charge of the police was appealed to, and with about a score of his men behind him started to expel the intruders, when suddenly the whole body of police, as if moved by a common impulse, rushed forward, striking right and left with their heavy clubs, and drove the people indiscriminately from the plaza. A number of persons were more or less seriously injured, the decorations provided for the meeting were defaced and destroyed, and the meeting itself was, for a time at least, effectually dispersed.
This is what the police authorities of New York euphemistically term a mistake. Several thousand American citizens are forced to flee for their lives through the streets of their own city, pursued by an infuriated body of armed and disciplined law breakers; the right of the people peaceably to assemble for the discussion of their grievances — a right so essential to political freedom that its definition is imbedded in the fundamental law of the land — is flagrantly violated by the very men whose duty is to protect it; the people of New York are practically forced to understand that the man who dares, by his presence at a peaceful public meeting, to indorse any expression of discontent with things as they are does so at peril of his life; and the responsible authorities benignantly express their regret for the occurrence and assure us that it was all a mistake. Were the crime less grave, the outrage upon American liberty less flagrant, so childish an excuse might raise a smile.
But the truth is, there was no mistake. When a man points a loaded gun at his neighbor, knowing it to be loaded, it is no excuse for him, if evil come of it, to say he pulled the trigger by mistake. Yet that is precisely the sort of excuse that the police authorities of New York offer for their crime. The policemen who lined the curb on Union square last Saturday night knew precisely what they were there for, and acted on that knowledge. They were assembled with intent that if the meeting should be conducted in what their commanding officer chose to consider a proper and orderly manner, they should remain quiescent; otherwise, on signal or order given, they were to do precisely what they did do — make a blind charge upon the crowd, bludgeon men and women, and disperse the meeting. They were in effect a loaded gun pointed at the heads of the unoffending citizens assembled, and the trigger being pulled the explosion and disaster followed as a matter of course. That Captain Reilly, when he left his command to disperse the little knot of disturbers, supposed that his action would be construed into an order to maim and slay at discretion, is not probable; but the fact is unquestionable that the men under his control expected such an order, were trained and prepared to obey it, and did obey it the moment, as they thought, they had received it.
The crime with which the police authorities of New York stand charged is not the giving of a hasty or ill-understood order, but the deliberate and systematic conversion of a body of public servants, temporarily placed under their control, into a disciplined force of law breakers.
The outrage of last Saturday night was so unprovoked, so utterly causeless, that it has provoked a universal clamor of indignation. Citizens of every political faith denounce the deed, and the press without exception reprobate it. And yet in much of the comment upon the subject it is evident that the indignation is by far more moderate than would have been excited had the outrage been perpetrated upon citizens of a different political faith or of different social standing. There is in many quarters a feeling, less expressed than implied, that although under the circumstances the reckless assault upon the citizens assembled in Union square was utterly unjustifiable, yet had the circumstances been slightly different the assault might have been rather praiseworthy than otherwise. Thus, the Mail and Express strongly hints that when the speakers refused to vacate the platform of the cottage the police would have been justified in “dispersing” the meeting with their bludgeons. The Evening Post remarks simply that “the wrong people were clubbed,” meaning that Captain Reilly’s intention to club the men who were disturbing the meeting was unfortunately misinterpreted into a command to club everybody within reach. The Times benevolently rebukes the socialists for feeling dissatisfied with their treatment, and says that their unreasonableness “is shown by their completely ignoring an explanation that carries on its face the evidence of its accuracy, and denouncing the conduct of the police as a ‘monstrous outrage.’” The World mildly remarks that though Captain Reilly makes some amends by admitting that he is to blame, . . . yet, for the sake of example, the police commissioners ought to take some notice of the affair.” And the Sun regrets that the police should have “seized that opportunity to pay their assailants back” for having sometimes spoken of them as “capitalistic police,” “uniformed ruffians,” and so on.
But suppose Chauncey M. Depew had been the speaker on the stand that evening, and a Vanderbilt, or an Astor, or a Rhinelander, or a Goelet, or a Field, had been among the victims of the clubbing?
That our policemen in their dealings with non-propertied citizens should be thus learning to assume the duties and authority of peace officers, judges and executioners is a natural and necessary result of the frightful wrong that underlies our social system. Men cannot be deprived of one of their rights and have all others left intact; the trespass must be continually enlarged if the trespasser would know security. The monopoly of nature’s bounties which brings wealth to the few brings to the many destitution and misery, the fruitful parents of discontent and crime: and against these last monopoly must seek the aid of legally organized force. Wherever social inequalities are most glaring there will the strongest government be found and the grossest injustice be practiced against the poor. The carbine of the Irish constable, the rifle of the “Pinkerton man” and the club of the New York policeman are alike the products of the system which gives to some the control of the bounties which nature intended for the use of all.
THE FIFTH INSPECTOR.
The legislature of this state, at its last session, provided for the appointment of a fifth inspector in each election district in this city as the representative of the united labor party. There can be no question upon this point. The bill providing for the appointment was drawn by representatives of the united labor party, advocated in the legislature as an act of justice to the united labor party, and universally accepted at the time of its passage as a guarantee that the vote of the united labor party in New York city would be fairly counted at the coming election. It would be difficult to imagine a more distinct or better understood legislative declaration of the will of the people.
But under our corrupt political system, our politicians regard a legislative enactment as something to be obeyed if convenient, but to be unhesitatingly disregarded or nullified when it threatens any serious interference with practical politics. That the united labor party cast, last year, many more votes than were counted for it is a matter of common fame. That the appointment of the fifth inspector according to law will render it difficult to repeat the counting-out process is evident to the politicians who “view with alarm” the rapid growth of the new party. In this emergency the lash of party discipline and political influence has been unhesitatingly applied to compel officials appointed for the execution of the law to disregard the plain intent and meaning of the law, and all the machinery of legal delay is set in motion to aid them in their wrong doing.
The non-appointment of the fifth inspector in accordance with the law is an attempt to disfranchise the voters of this city. It is practically an announcement that votes east for the abolition of poverty will not be counted.
About the “grand ratification meeting” of the republicans at Chickering hall there was a solemnity that borders on the ludicrous. After its first meeting the Antipoverty society was not allowed to use Chickering hall because the crowd was so great as to endanger the building, and it has been obliged to meet at the Academy of Music,7 where every week twice the number of people that can crowd into Chickering hall have attended. And yet it was in this Chickering hall of small capacity that the “grand ratification meeting” of the G. O. P. was held. Not only was the meeting held there, but the place was full — really and truly full, and, as the Times puts it, “long past the hour set for the beginning of the meeting the doors were held back for the passage of the multitude.” To people who witness the turning away of multitudes from the big Academy of Music long before the time set for the meeting, the phenomenon of the doors of little Chickering hall being held back “for the passage of the multitude” long after the time set for the meeting must be just a little bit funny.
The republicans are elated over the Chickering hall meeting, which was not quite so large as an Anti-poverty society overflow, and the democrats fill their country organs with reports of an enthusiastic mass meeting of the county democracy at Cooper union, which proves to have been a meeting of the county committee, numbering possibly two hundred.
The fact is that the old parties cannot get out a meeting of respectable numbers. The republicans tried, it, but with wise caution selected one of the smallest halls in the city, and the democrats content themselves with telegraphic reports of enthusiastic mass meetings that are not held.
And just as it is in the city, so it is becoming in the country. The meetings of the united labor party are every where as well or better attended than political meetings have been for some years past. Nor is this due to a mere desire to see and hear Henry George and Dr. McGlynn, for meetings addressed by unknown speakers are also largely attended. The yeast is at work in labor politics, while the unleavened dough of the pro-poverty politics is rapidly becoming mouldy.
THE CAMPAIGN IN THE CITY.
Besides the immense gathering at the regular meeting of the Anti-Poverty society in the Academy of Music on Sunday evening, and the still larger gathering in Madison square garden on the same evening under the auspices of the Eleventh assembly district, a number of large and important meetings were held in several assembly districts during the week.
The most notable of these was in the Second district on Saturday night. It was an open-air mass meeting at “Paradise park,” better known as the “Five points.” The place is in the heart of a tenement house district and there were assembled a throng composed of all nationalities. The meeting was held for the purpose of indorsing the platform and nominations of the united labor party. Dr. McGlynn was the chief speaker and briefly addressed the assemblage first in English and then in Italian. Thomas Maher, who recently resigned from the Tammany organization, also made a ringing speech in support of the united labor platform and ticket.
The effects following such meetings are generally quite marked. In this case many men who never attended any of the larger gatherings of the party have been set to discussing the principles enunciated in the platform, while others have been induced to apply for membership in the district organization.
Well attended meetings have been held in the Fifth, the Sixteenth, the Twenty-third and other districts, and all have been marked with enthusiasm.
Another big meeting of telegraphers was held in Masonic Temple on Sunday afternoon to complete measures for taking an active part in the campaign. It was determined to follow the example set by the printers and tailors and send a representative through the state to make speeches and in other ways arouse men of the craft and induce them to join the ranks. John J. Flannigan, a young and effective speaker, was selected for the duty, and $100 was immediately guaranteed to start a fund to pay his expenses. Mr. Flannigan will commence to speak as soon as arrangements can be completed.
In Brooklyn there is much activity and the outlook is very encouraging. Victor A. Wilder, chairman of the county executive committee and nominee for state comptroller, is sanguine of a heavy vote for the candidates of the united labor party. He is making a personal inspection of the ward organizations and finds them in a most satisfactory condition. Where eight months or a year ago only a score of men could be induced to attend a meeting, five or six hundred are now brought together with ease, and take the liveliest kind of interest in the proceedings. Mr. Wilder gave as an illustration a Twenty-second ward meeting on Thursday evening in Turn hall, on Eighth avenue near Third street. The meeting was not advertised further than by a simple announcement on a previous occasion and the distribution of a few hand bills. Notwithstanding this, seven hundred men crowded into the hall and listened with close attention to the speakers of the evening. John J. Clancy, nominee for mayor, made the principal address, and Victor A. Wilder and others followed. The audience gave unmistakable evidence that its enthusiasm was backed by intelligence, by applauding loudest when a speaker made some nice point relative to the land tax. Before the proceedings ended a good-sized collection was taken up. Meetings of this description are being held in all parts of Brooklyn, and give good reason for large expectations.
The Newark Mayoralty.
The short and sharp mayoralty contest in Newark wound up on Tuesday evening. Five parties had four candidates in the field. Joseph B. Haynes, a democrat, was re-elected mayor; the republican candidate came in rather a close second in the race; the law and order and prohibition candidate was third, and Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost was fourth, with about 2,000 votes.
The united labor party went into the Newark fight without an organization. The brief campaign of a week was carried on under circumstances that perplexed many of the voters of the city, and diverted from the party many votes that might otherwise have been cast for its candidate. Aside from the influences exerted on behalf of the old parties, the law and order party introduced in the campaign issues of a local character that for a long time have excited the people of the city. An argument much used against Mr. Pentecost’s candidacy was that in the capacity of mayor no man could carry into practical effect the larger principles of the united labor party, and no doubt many sympathizing with its aims doubted whether the present was the time to build up the new party in New Jersey.
On Wednesday Mr. Pentecost said to a Standard reporter: “I want it distinctly understood that I am cheerful, and not only sanguine in regard to the future, but absolutely certain of ultimate success. The united labor party, which is strictly in accord with the principles of the party in New York, polled 2,000 votes. It is gratifying to know that in Newark, perhaps the most conservative city in New Jersey, under most unfavorable circumstances the party of the land for the people can count on 2,000 votes. This is particularly encouraging, when it is taken into consideration that six weeks ago there were hardly any avowed united labor party men in the city. The party went into the campaign without money, and almost wholly without organization. It hoped for victory, but it can afford to lose a skirmish; for the men who have enlisted under its banner are there to stay, and every day in the future will add to its strength, while weakening its opponents.”
Land Monopoly in Maine.
Auburn, Me.—One might think that a state like this, with a handful of population, and a territory as large as all England, would be free from the grasp of the land monopolist. But here in Auburn we have one of the most rent extorting land companies, I venture to say, that ever fastened itself onto a community. Not only do they control the land, but they have got the water as well, and charge a tax for every foot that is used to run the spindles of one of the first cotton cloth producing cities of the country.
We land and labor men are few in numbers here as yet, but we have got a club organized and have published our declaration of principles in the local papers. We look to New York with deep interest this fall, and if a good showing is made there we shall hope to spread out a little here.
The circulation of The Standard is increasing here, and we hope to enlarge it.
Fred. W. Beale,
Secretary L. & L. Club.
The Progressive Labor versus United Labor Debate Postponed
The debate between Messrs. Schevitch8 and George on the comparative merits of the principles of the united labor and progressive labor parties, which was to have taken place on Sunday, October 16, has been postponed at Mr. Schevitch’s request.
To a representative of The Standard, Mr. Schevitch said that he wished the debate postponed for a week, as he is at present very busy with matters connected with the Union square outrage, and desires before engaging in the debate to go over Mr. George’s works carefully, to insure accuracy in his quotations. Mr. Schevitch suggests Sunday Oct. 23 as the date of the meeting, and he telegraphed Mr. George, who is at present absent from the city, on the subject.
Dwellers in Harlem Will Have a Chance to Listen to the Anti-Poverty Gospel.
On Sunday evening, October 16, Rev. Charles P. McCarthy will hold a meeting at Arthur hall, on Sixth avenue, between 126th and 127th streets, which will be addressed by himself and other speakers. The meeting will open promptly at 7:45 p. m. Music will be furnished by a choir under the direction of Mrs. and Miss McCarthy.
These meetings will be continued on succeeding Sundays during the campaign. At the meeting on Sunday, Oet. 23, Dr. McGlynn will deliver a brief address, the exercises commencing promptly at 7.30 in order to allow the doctor time to reach the Academy of Music in season for the Anti-poverty meeting.
Active in and About Batavia.
Batavia, Genesee County.—I am traveling through this congressional district, and from what I see I have every reason to feel encouraged. Everywhere the people manifest an earnest spirit of inquiry. During the week good meetings have been held in Leroy, Perry, Warsaw, Attica, Batavia and one or two other places. We are making converts, and our organization is growing stronger. Everywhere I go I see that tracts are distributed.
A. J. Rose, Member State Committee.
Another New Church minister Joins the Anti-Poverty Ranks.
Rev. D. B. Palmer, pastor of the New Church in Paterson, N. J., has joined the Anti-poverty society.
Mr. Palmer has been and is a prohibitionist, and claims that by joining the anti-poverty movement he is really serving the cause of prohibition better than he could in any other way.
Mr. Palmer will speak before the Anti-poverty society of Paterson on Sunday, Oet. 23.
The Noes Had It.
At the meeting of the Franklin literary society of Brooklyn, last Monday night, the evening was devoted to the discussion of the proposition: That the so-called “unearned increment” is the proper reward of business foresight.
Herman F. Keopke. a well-known lawyer of Brooklyn, supported the proposition, and A. J. Sullivan opposed it. After a spirited debate a vote was taken on the merits and the proposition was decided to be untenable.
Seed Fallen on Good Ground.
Binghamton, Broome Co.—Whenever two or three are gathered together in the stores, shops and factories or on the corners of the streets the conversation turns on the theories of the united labor party. None attempt to refute, and many are strong advocates who, a short time before, were only lukewarm. We feel sure that the seed has fallen on good ground, that it is taking root and will bring forth abundant fruit. L. S. Hinman.
The Dr. McGlynn Fund.
The publisher of THE STANDARD has received $3 for the Dr. McGlynn fund from ‘ammer, ‘ammer, ‘ammer (two contributions), $1 from A. Richardson and $1 from Ed. P. Vollium of San Antonio, Tex.
The “Times” Is Slow, but It’s Coming Round by Degrees — It Will Indorse the Rest of the Syracuse Platform Later
New York Times.9
Monopoly in this business would be economical if it were an honest monopoly under proper control, but if it should be established under a corporation like the Western Union it would be very costly. The only monopoly which could be made economical and serve the legitimate interests of the people would be a monopoly under the control of the government. The manner in which the telegraph business has been allowed to grow up in this country makes the acquisition of the facilities with the vast property and numerous patent rights involved in it a matter of formidable difficulty, leaving wholly out of view the question of subsequent management. The government could not be expected to pay the extravagant cost of the present system, much less the price which existing companies would put upon their property and their rights. The most that it could be called upon to pay would be the cost of replacing the existing facilities, which would not be easy of ascertainment, and the acquisition of the property on that basis could not be made without a long and vexatious contest. To build an entirely new system to take the place of the present one would be a waste of capital, for the property in private hands could not be wiped out or rendered valueless without compensation. But telegraphing is a public function like the operation of railroads, and the companies engaged in it have been adjudged to be common carriers. The great bulk of the business is a part of the interstate commerce of the country. It is a question worth studying whether it cannot advantageously be put under the regulation of national laws through the power of congress to regulate commerce between the states.
Are We to Wait for this Sort of Thing in the United States or Shall We Settle the Land Question Now?
New York Tribune.
Mr. Mulhall proves from the census returns that between 1841 and 1881 the number of farms in Ireland was reduced from 826,516 to 499,108, and the number of houses from 1,328,839 to 914,108. The disappearance of 327,400 farms and 414,731 houses in forty years he considers a conclusive proof of evictions. These figures he brings down to 1880, proving that during the Victorian reign 480,000 families, representing over 3,000,000 of population, have been unroofed and driven from the island. The government returns show that 4,186,000 persons have emigrated during the queen’s reign, and by Mr. Mulhall’s estimate three-fourths of these were evicted peasants. Is it strange that the island took no part in the jubilee festivities? For what has the Victorian reign been conspicuous in Ireland, if not for evictions, depopulation, ruin and misery? Three millions of evicted peasants in half a century! That is a most appalling record. Yet there are Englishmen who would have Americans believe that there has been no such thing as misgovernment in Ireland during the queen’s reign!
THE ANTI-POVERTY FAIR.
Mayor Hewitt recently received an anonymous letter, written in a woman’s hand, calling his attention to the “lottery” carried on at the Anti-poverty fair. The mayor sent the letter to Police Superintendent Murray, who turned the matter over to Captain Reilly, the officer in charge of the precinct in which Madison square garden is situated. A detective called at the Garden on Saturday night and informed W. T. Croasdale, chairman of the fair committee, that the sale of chance tickets was forbidden by statute, and that the police had been asked to enforce the law. Mr. Croasdale, in order to make a test case, at once sold the detective a “random purchase ticket,” and arranged with him to appear at Jefferson market court next day and answer to the charge. Mr. Croasdale was not arrested, as has been erroneously stated, but deemed the course he took the best by which the question might be brought to a trial. The hearing was postponed, however, until next Monday, and imperative orders were issued by the police department forbidding the sale of “random purchase tickets” at the fair.
Announcement of these proceedings was made at the meeting on Sunday evening at Madison square garden and at the Academy. On Monday Mr. Croasdale issued a circular letter informing the patrons of the fair of the course the committee would pursue. It had been decided to quietly submit to the order of the officers of the law, and sell no more of the tickets, although there had been no judicial investigation of the case, and the statute invoked had long been a dead letter so far as the fairs of churches and social bodies were concerned.
On Monday evening, accordingly, the fair reopened without the features which had proved so innocently attractive to many visitors. The chance books were put away, and articles were sold outright. The large crowd present, however, had not had its spirits dashed in the least by the action of the police authorities. Some of the ladies, it is true, who had been energetic and successful in making sales felt that their sphere of usefulness had been some what contracted, but the general feeling was that the present hindrances to progress would be forgotten in a substantial victory at the polls in a few weeks. The interference was regarded as evidence that the new crusade was making itself felt, and that its opponents are ready to employ their waning power in vain endeavors to injure it.
The attendance at the fair during the week has been large, and those who were desirous of extending financial aid to the cause of the people found opportunity to put their money in the treasury in other ways than buying chances. The slates recording the number of votes given to various popular and unpopular people indicated that a good many dollars were contributed in the purchase of the right of franchise in this respect. An entertainment was given nightly in the hall at the west end of the garden and proved highly remunerative. It was evident from the life shown on each succeeding evening that the fair was bound to be a success despite the spirit of persecution shown toward its promoters.
The fair will close on Monday evening with a grand concert and ball. It is expected that 10,000 persons will be present.
Organizing in New Orleans.
The following circular, which is now being widely distributed in New Orleans, illustrates the energy with which the friends of the cause in Louisiana are working:
To the Laboring Masses of New Orleans:— The necessity for intelligent and independent political action on the part of the toiling masses is imperative if they desire to enjoy the full blessings of life and the freedom guaranteed to all American citizens. This can be accomplished only by the united efforts of those who obey the divine injunction, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.”
Therefore, there has been formed the united labor party for the purpose of directing and organizing the power of the industrial masses as a political party. Its platform and principles are such as will engage your interest and receive your indorsement. You are therefore requested to give it your investigation, influence and support; it is well established in this city, and is gaining daily in strength, popularity and membership; there are already organized seventeen clubs in the several wards, with large and increasing membership.
For further information apply to any of the central or executive committee, or to
John E. Kelley,
Chairman Central Committee, L. A. 6105.
E. J. Donnegan,
Secretary Central Committee, L. A. 3285.
An Indorsement from Minneapolis.
Minneapolis, Minn., Oct. 8.—At a meeting of the flour mill operative labor club of Minneapolis the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
Resolved, That we recognize Henry George and Dr. McGlynn as able and far-seeing philosophers; that they have dug deeper into the cause of social wrongs that now exist than all other reformers combined, and offer the only solution of the vexed question affecting labor and capital — that is, “the taxing of land to its full rental value.”
Resolved, That we most heartily endorse every step taken by the united labor party of New York as wise, conservative, patriotic and statesmanlike, and we will hail the day when the glorious gospel of the “fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man” shall be preached from every hill top and cross road in the land.
S. T. Killer, President.
Matt. Donaghue, Sec. pro tem.
College Professors and Students Studying the Single Tax
Ithaca, Tompkins Co., Oet. 10.—The Ithaca Journal, speaking of Henry George’s late visit to this place, says:
Henry George, the united labor candidate for secretary of state, the distinguished author of “Progress and Poverty,” and the head and front of the most important sociopolitical movement of the times, had an ovation in Ithaca last night that exceeded anything that, has been extended to a public man since James G. Blaine and Roscoe Conkling were here in 1876.
Since the meeting at which Mr. George spoke the prospects of our party are brightening every day. More clubs are forming, and many business men are joining, while among professors and students of Cornell college there is talk of forming clubs. We are distributing tracts with marked effect.J. G. X.
Making Wonderful Strides in Rochester.
Rochester, N. Y., The Earth.
The united labor party has made wonderful strides in this city during the last week. The address of Henry George at Washington rink on Monday evening, a full report of which will be found elsewhere in this issue, aroused the enthusiasm of the workingmen to the highest pitch. It had a noticeable effect upon the attendance at the meeting of the united labor club on the following evening, where several new names were added to the roll of membership. The meeting of the club on that evening was one of unusual interest. After the transaction of routine business there was a protracted and interesting discussion of Allen Thorndike Rice’s electoral reform bill, embracing the main features of the “Australian system of voting.” Another equally interesting metning was held last evening, at which there was a long discussion of the right to hold land for speculative purposes.
THREE WEEKS IN THE STATE.
Syracuse, N. Y.—Let no one deceive himself with the notion that the united labor party will cast a small vote outside of New York city. After a trip of three weeks’ duration, in which I have been in a different populous center every day, I am convinced that within another three weeks the question on men’s lips will be not, “How many votes will the united labor party poll,” but just as it was a year ago in New York city, “Which of the two old parties will be third in the race?”
The process of partisan disintegration is manifest everywhere. Party ties have become ropes of sand. Allusions in public speeches to the corruption that festers in the old party organizations and to the total absence of live issues in their platforms are heartily applauded even by those who listen silently to expositions of the Syracuse platform. The most difficult work of a new party — convincing the people that the old organizations serve no useful purpose — was complete before our campaign began; and curiosity to learn the doctrines of the new party brings large audiences together in every town. They assemble to gratify curiosity, and in nearly every instance they separate with enthusiasm for the new movement. Those that come to scoff often remain to pray, to inquire, to learn, and to declare their adherence to the united labor party.
Before a first meeting is held in a town the place is very possibly dead to the movement. A few earnest and active men are doing what they can, but in most trying circumstances and with fear and despondency. But when the people respond to the call for the meeting it is invariably more largely attended than was expected by its organizers, and on the following day “Henry George and the land question” is the talk of the town. The vis inertiae is overcome.
And while work like this is being done in populous centers, from which its effects rapidly radiate over the surrounding country, voluntary missionaries are everywhere and at all times advancing the movement. Drummers talk about it to their customers on the cars and in the hotels. And not only do they talk, but many of them carry tracts, which they make it a point to place where they will do the most good.
“Are you a Henry George man?” said one drummer to another, in the midst of a conversation on the cars.
“I am, from top to bottom!” was the reply.
“Well,” said the first, “I have never read anything about George except what I see in the newspapers, and you don’t look like a man who would advocate such nonsense. Won’t you tell me briefly what Henry George wants?”
“Certainly. He believes that land values, which are created by the growth of the community, should be a public fund, and that all labor products should be untaxed.”
A few questions and answers followed, resulting in a declaration by the inquirer to the effect that he recognized the justice of such a policy, and could see how it would make business boom and bring in better times for everybody. And now there are two drummer missionaries where there was one before.
Dr. Wood of Gloversville carries a supply of tracts with him as he carries his medicines. Whatever the nature of the political or economic disease he finds, he has a prescription for it at hand. One day recently he was on a railroad train, and noticed in a seat in front a drummer who was listlessly looking out of the window. Without a word Dr. Wood dropped one of Pentecost’s sermons into his seat. The drummer picked it up, read it and threw it down on the seat, picked it up again, folded it carefully, placed it in his pocket, and again allowed his eyes to wander over the fields. Encouraged by what he saw, Dr. Wood handed over a copy of David Dudley Field’s cross-examination of Henry George,10 saying as he did so:
“Have another dose?’”
“Yes,” said the drummer, “I guess I will.” He began to read, but stopped after a few paragraphs, and, beckoning to the doctor, said:
“Come over here. You are a Henry George man, ain’t you?”
Well, I can read this tract later on, but I may not be able to talk to a live Henry George man. Now, I want you to answer a few questions. The questions were asked and answered satisfactorily until the doctor intimated that the “George theory,” if put into operation, would abolish poverty. At that the drummer objected.
“Now, look here,” he said, “when I used to work in a store in Boston I got only $15 a week and saved money, and another fellow got $20 and was always short. He was in poverty and I was not, although I got less than he did, and I have always thought that I went the right way to abolish poverty. What have you to say to that?”
“You wish me to infer, I suppose,” said the doctor, “that if everybody were economical poverty would disappear?”
“You are a drummer, are you not?”
“Well, if everybody were economical, how long do you think you would be on the road?”
“By thunder,” the drummer exclaimed, “I never thought of that before. I’d lose my job in less than six weeks.”
And so another missionary went forth.
One afternoon I was sitting in front of the Mansion house at Troy, talking with Robert Crowe of New York and Clarence Moeller of Chicago, both of whom had spoken in Troy a few days before. It was just after Glackin and McGlynn’s great meeting there, at which the opera house was packed, and more were turned away than got in. A very intelligent, bright-looking, comfortably-appearing man spoke to Crowe and Moeller, saying that he had heard them speak, and was so affected that he wanted to look at the matter further, and had intended to hear Father McGlynn. On mentioning it to his brother-in-law, the latter wanted to know if he was crazy, and spoke of George and McGlynn as a pair of corrupt money makers; whereupon he showed his brother-in-law the World, which the brother-in-law looked upon as a daily gospel tract, and called his attention to an editorial in which the World declared that whatever might be thought of the opinions of George and McGlynn, their sincerity and honesty were not open to question. That disposed of the brother-in-law.
I had quite a long talk with this stranger.
He told me he had studied Wayland’s Political Economy at college, and I explained to him the points of difference between George’s elements of political economy and the subject as it has been taught. He readily recognized the defective analysis and limping logic of the old economists, and without hesitation assented to George’s propositions as to the origin of wages, the distinction between land and capital, and so on. As he was leaving Mr. Crowe handed him a copy of the Standard, which he put in his pocket, and, shaking hands with me, said:
“I am going to think over this matter, and if you hear of a fellow making speeches to the farmers, and the newspapers say he is crazy, you’ll know it’s me.”
The country can well afford to be overrun with such lunatics.
I always believed it would be easy to convince the farmer of the benefits to him of shifting all taxation to land values, but it is easier than I thought. All through the lake section the land value of farms does not exceed twenty to thirty percent of the total value of the farms, and it is exceptionally good land and exceptionally poor improvements where the proportion of land value is not much less. It does not take long, therefore, to convince a farmer in that section that Governor Hill’s fears that the George system of taxation would throw public burdens on the farmer are not well grounded.
“I should like to come to your hotel and talk this matter over,” said a farmer to me after one of my speeches. I made an appointment, and he came. The conversation lasted two or three hours, during which many points were discussed, but the main features of the conversation can be boiled down to a few questions and answers.
“How are you going to get the farmers with you?” he asked.
“You are a working farmer?”
“What is your farm worth?”
“Five thousand dollars. I could get that, but wouldn’t take it.”
“What is your basis of real estate taxation?
“Twenty-five hundred to three thousand dollars.”
“If a cyclone and a fire should sweep over your place, leaving nothing but the land in its natural condition, what would your farm be worth?’
“Oh, I couldn’t get a thousand dollars for it!”
“Very well; you are now paying taxes on a valuation of from twenty-five hundred to three thousand dollars, while we would tax you on a valuation not to exceed a thousand dollars — the value of the bare land. But beyond that,” I added, “if you improve now, you must pay a higher tax, while we would tax you no more; if you go to the store you must pay a great variety of taxes, in the price of goods, on everything you buy, while we would exempt all these things; moreover, your stock and all the produce you consume is taxed now, while we would free it. What is your objection to the change?”
“None at all. I shall vote for Henry George.”
It is not alone in New York and Brooklyn that the religious spirit of this movement has commended it to clergymen. In Rochester the Rev. Mr. Copeland, a leading Methodist, is active in the party and has undertaken to form an Anti-poverty society, for which he has engaged a large hall for every Sunday night for a year to come, while in Auburn the leading Presbyterian minister has agreed to preside at every meeting of the party. And I have been recently told of a Christian woman who objected to taking a class in a Presbyterian Sabbath school, because of the restrictions she would be under in teaching such passages of scripture as the Sermon on the Mount. The conversation was with the pastor, who, after listening to a sermon from her, with the Sermon on the Mount as a text — such a sermon as he had never listened to before, though it fell from lips that would have quivered and been silent before an assemblage — said to her: “If that is the land question, you take a class in my Sabbath school, and you may teach the land question to your heart’s content!”
My three weeks’ trip has been an extensive one. On the 10th of September I found an audience of 350 at Buffalo, from which thirty four new members of the club were got, and which was followed by a packed hall when Mr. George came.
Thence to Lockport, on the 20th, where 350 were present. “The largest labor meeting,” said L. J. McParlin, “ever held in the town.” Here there is a female Nicodemus, who wrote to Mr. McParlin, offering pecuniary aid to the campaign as he should require it. “I have been in reform politics a long time,” Mr. McParlin said to me, “but I never had that kind of an experience before.”
Lockport is a beautiful village. Oppression there is lightly felt, for just beyond the border of public improvements building lots are very cheap. Any one willing to forego the benefits of gas, water service and sewerage, may have a home only a block or two away from these conveniences. It is a town where education triumphs over brutality in public institutions. There is a complete school system with seven school buildings, and not a single armory. An attempt to provide an armory was frustrated by two greenbackers, who procured the erection of a new schoolhouse in its stead.
From Lockport I went to Rochester, where the popularity of D. C. Feely, our candidate for attorney-general, has concentrated the labor vote in favor of the united labor party. Thence to Canandaigua, a farming centre, where an expected audience of a dozen swelled to a hundred, which increased to seven hundred for Mr. George.
From Canandaigua I jumped to Ithaca, the seat of Cornell university. One of the most active members of the land and labor club there was head man of the junior class last year and another is the leading druggist. On the Sunday following the meeting the land question was the breakfast table talk of the students (about 150 of whom attended the meeting, besides 300 citizens), and such a favorable interest was developed that it was determined to organize a Henry George economic club in the college.
At Auburn, which cast 1,200 labor votes last fall, the court house was crowded, and the audience responsive from the start. The Rev. Mr. Hinman of the Calvary Presbyterian church presided, and although he expressed himself as not yet prepared to advocate our method of abolishing poverty, he was in sympathy with the aim, believing that poverty was not a decree of God, and in the united labor principles he recognized what he called “the right ring.”
At Fort Plain seed was sown in an audience of three hundred, which has already sprouted, and in Gloversville, the home of Dr. Wood, where an audience of 250 met me last June, we appeared before an audience of 1,200; all the seats were occupied, and behind them men stood two, three and four deep.
At Lansingburgh there was an audience of seventy-five, from which several recruits came, and at Green Island an audience of fifty (compelled to stand because a democratic politician, who had control of the benches usually used in the hall, refused to let us have them), stood through three speeches, extending over a period of two hours and a half, and the club’s membership was augmented by several voters.
At Yonkers, though the night was stormy, and Saturday is a bad meeting night there, there were from 300 to 400 present. This was not a first meeting as all the others, except Gloversville were, and there is every indication that, even if the election were tomorrow, we should poll a large vote.
An eleven-hour ride over the Erie and the Northern Central brought me to Penn Yan just in time for the meeting, at which 300 were assembled. The town was completely dead to the subject, save among three or four citizens. The deadness is gone, but the prospects are not good. Towns near Elmira are corrupt to the core. I am assured that from 200 to 250 votes in Penn Yan are purchasable, and these are by no means all poor men’s votes. Even business men are among those who look to election day for profit as certainly as to a fair week. The bribery is open. No attempt at concealment is made, and both parties engage in it. Two dollars is the ruling price. It is the same in Oswego, where I next went, but in Owego the meeting had such an effect in introducing a living issue into politics that there is every reason to believe corruption at the polls will be less than ever before.
At Albany there was a large audience, more than two-thirds of the Academy of Music being full. The audience was not only attentive, but enthusiastic. A great amount of good work has been done in this city, some of the results of which have appeared in the adoption of the Syracuse platform by the local labor convention and the affiliation of the citizen’s committee of three hundred. Albany is accounted good for at least 5,000 votes.
An all night ride took me to Plattsburg, where a very satisfactory condition of affairs exists. Thomas Fassett, one of the best known and respected citizens of the county, has been active for several months, and the single tax is fairly well understood. So it was that we found more enthusiasm in the audience of three hundred that met us there than in any other village at the initial meeting. There is a large demand for “Progress and Poverty,” and the land question is the current topic of debate.
It was not so in Malone, a few miles west. There are a few active and intelligent workers, but the town is retrogressive and the growth of land values is consequently in the wrong direction to excite attention. However, over 250 people gathered at the meeting, and although they were not demonstrative as at Albany and Plattsburg, they were attentive and apparently interested.
In Syracuse the movement is crippled by dissensions in organized labor. The Knights of Labor and trades unionists are very bitter toward each other, and to complicate matters Deputy Factory Inspector Guettig is an energetic worker for the democratic party as an aide-de-camp to Governor Hill. Still there is ample evidence that while organized labor has not gone boldly into the movement here, organized laborers will very generally vote with it. The reports of the political corruption of the shops, made by members of the party who work in them, is indicative of a heavy silent vote. And despite all local difficulties the party organization numbers 250 members in good standing.
It is here that I have first found any footprints of the progressive labor party outside of New York. The socialists of Syracuse to the number of sixty have organized politically under that name. Their strength, such as it is, is solely due to the Rochester trades unions.
One of the interesting facts I have noted is that wherever the Knights of Labor are well organized, and wherever the greenbackers ever had a working organization, the united labor party is well established. Knights of Labor and greenbackers are the leaven that has leavened the lump throughout the state. They not only understand the question readily from their study of political economy, but they are familiar with practical politics, and know what ought to be done to perfect organization and spread the doctrine. Some of the old greenbackers hold aloof, still infected with the notion that if the money system were right all things would be right; but most of them realize that though the money system were never so right, it would only make things so much the better for landlords if land were still treated as private property. Louis F. Post.
Leading Citizens in Elmira Interested.
Elmira, Chemung Co.—The opera house held a large gathering of sympathizers on the evening Henry George spoke here. A number of our prominent men were present, among them Senator J. Sloat Fassett, Rev. Thomas K. Beecher, Rabbi A. M. Radin, Rev. W. T. Henry, ex-County Clerk A. C. Eustis, and ex-Mayor Flood. Rufus A. Wilson, managing editor of the Telegram, presided, and introduced the speaker. Several men in the audience asked questions after the address was finished, which Mr. George answered readily. The leading men in the united labor party are prepared to make a strong fight in Elmira this fall, and expect the backing of the earnest thinking men, who are disgusted at the fearfully corrupt condition of our politics. The Standard is sold extensively by the newsdealers in this city, and sample copies distributed at the meeting, as well as tracts, found ready acceptance. J. M.
Working Among the Farmers.
Oswego, Tioga Co.—We have a land and labor club here, but are too poor to push the work as we would like to see it pushed. However, we are putting out tracts and doing what we can to get people thinking. There are plenty of farmers about here who find it difficult to make ends meet. Their sons find farming so unprofitable that they come to the villages. I am one of them. If a few of these farmers get a fair idea of what the single tax means, it won’t take long for the doctrine to spread far and wide. J. A. D.
PREACHERS OF THE NEW CRUSADE.
Why Should Not Our Young Men Go Forth, Taking No Thought for the Morrow, and Preach the Gospel to Every Living Creature?
This new movement of the united labor party and Anti-poverty society is a crusade. Then why not adopt the methods of the original crusaders? The Savior and His apostles belonged to the poorest of the poor class; but the world yet feels the effects of their work. They tramped from place to place and begged their food and shelter. Why cannot men be found now who will undertake to carry the banner of the new idea all over this country in the same manner that the apostles did of old? In these days of high rents and low wages it is meet that self-sacrificing men should rise up willing to go out among the people and tell them why things are as they are, and how a better condition of life may be brought to pass.
We are poor. We have no money to pay railroad fares and hotel bills. Unless great sacrifices are made it may be years before we can thoroughly arouse the people to a sense of the wrong that is being done them every day and every hour. And meanwhile the gorged ox of monopoly, the appropriators of the common wealth — the stiflers of manhood and murderers of independence have full sway, and are pressing down and down the creatures of God, whom He has sent here to partake of and enjoy the things so lovingly placed here for all.
I propose that a corps of young men be raised who will pledge themselves to go out through the United States to tell the people what is the matter with the civilization of today. They must make their way from place to place as best they can. For food, shelter, clothing and transportation they must depend upon the people to whom they speak. They need not speak in halls, but under the open sky, from street corners, in fields, by the roadside, by the sea sands and from the tails of carts.
The thing is feasible. This new movement takes firm hold upon the hearts of those who hear what our speakers have to say, and I have not a doubt that the way of these young men would be made smooth wherever they might go. Men with families could not take a hand, because of the daily grind necessary to support the little ones; but for young men with no ties to bind them, what a career is open!
When the religious spirit is abroad all reforms are possible. Forty years ago the Mormons laid the foundations of an empire. They were poor — miserably poor. They had been driven from place to place in the west until they found themselves in the arid valley of the great Salt lake, far from our civilization, far from men who hunted them as wild beasts. They made their home there, and began sending out missionaries — who were to rely on their own resources — to preach to the oppressed of the world that in the land of the Latter Day Saints no one who wanted to work would be without food and shelter. These missionaries were ordered to make their way to all parts of the world. The task was a hard one, but the religious sentiment proved strong enough to overcome all obstacles. It is the boast of the Mormon church that there is not a Mormon in any of the stakes (cities or towns or settlements) of Zion who is not certain of his supper, bed and breakfast. Today the Mormons still send out their missionaries. Persecution and all the indignities that can be heaped upon them do not deter them from doing the work marked out, for they believe they are simply “doing the work of the Lord” in delivering God’s creatures from the miserable poverty that seems to be the rule of our civilization.
And it has been shown twice in my own experience that not even the religious sentiment is necessary — that is, it is not necessary to be expressed. When a man can be made to see that his bread and butter are in jeopardy he will make a good fight. In 1867 (or there-abouts) a man named D. O. McCarthy published in San Francisco a paper called the American Flag. He demanded of the typographical union a reduction of wages in his composing room. The union refused to grant it. It was a long and bitter fight, and finally he reduced his demand to one that was so near the scale of the union that it was hardly worth caviling over — twenty-five or fifty cents a week, I believe. He said he only wanted to appear before the public a victor. But the union was firm. McCarthy was nominated by the republican party for state printer, and the printers organized a crusade against him. They sent out missionaries among the farmers and miners to tell the story of their grievance against McCarthy. These men had to depend on their own resources, and to make their way over the state of California as best they could. They did so by telling their audiences exactly how they expected to get along; and they had not the slightest difficulty in getting from place to place. Some of them landed back in San Francisco with more funds than they had when they started out. The result of the work of these missionaries was that D. O. McCarthy was overwhelmingly defeated, running behind his ticket over 30,000 votes. There was no especial principle involved, only bread and butter, yet see what was the effect of the work of a few earnest, self-sacrificing men.
When the workingmen’s party movement was sweeping over the state of California; and while it was considered an honest movement, missionaries were sent out to talk to the people. These missionaries had no money, yet they made their way successfully in every direction.
These things go to show that when people’s hearts are in sympathy with a movement, or when an idea is being advanced that contains the elements of justice and right, the people will listen; and, if need be, will assist its missionaries on their road to preach to others. Now, this doctrine that the unearned increment of land belongs to the whole people, and not to a portion, contains in it the elements of justice and right; the true religion is in it — the teaching that our civilization must be so reformed that all God’s creatures shall be guaranteed a share of the bounties so liberally bestowed upon this planet by the Creator; and surely the experience of the Anti-poverty society and of every other organization or individual who has yet preached it, shows that like the gospel of Christ, of which it is an all-important part, the common people hear it gladly.
Let, then, some of the wise men of the new crusade consider the suggestion that a corps of young men be organized to go forth and preach the truths that our civilization is not being carried on on a correct basis, to show the people how it is not, and to point out the way that leads to the making of this planet a paradise. Crusader.
In Queens County.
Long Island City.—The united labor party has found a footing in this democratic stronghold, and one or more branches of it have been formed in this city, Flushing, Newtown, Glen Cove and Sea Cliff. The Glen Cove club has forty members. The campaign has been opened, and several well-attended meetings have taken place.
Members of the party predict that Henry George will receive at least 8,000 votes. It is thought that the united labor movement in this county will weaken the democratic movement. The united labor party men say they do not care which party suffers. They are looking for votes they say, and will get them, no matter what party loses them.
An active member of the organization says he would not be surprised if the united labor party carried this city. H. W.
AMONG THE GLOVEMAKERS.
An Interesting Meeting in Gloversville — A Manufacturer Who Sees What the United Labor Party Will Do for Him — An Infidel Converted.
Gloversville. N. Y., Oct. 8.— The largest political meeting ever held here was that of the united labor party, Oct. 6, when Dr. McGlynn and Everett Glackin spoke. Karson memorial hall held the largest audience ever gathered within its walls. Mr. Karson, the owner, said it was the severest test his building had ever received, there being, according to the count of himself and assistants, 1,650 persons present, while fully a thousand were turned away.
W. M. Colin of Johnstown, the united labor nominee for assemblyman from the Fulton and Hamilton county disinct, delivered a brief address, reviewing and defending the principles of the party. Mr. Colin is a working glovemaker, and, as the chairman said, had done his ten hours’ work that day before coming to address the meeting.
Everett Glackin followed with an eloquent and forcible speech, carrying the audience completely with him, after which Dr. McGlynn followed with one of his soul-stirring appeals. The audience was appreciative and enthusiastic throughout, and many new converts were made.
On the following day Mr. Glackin and Dr. McGlynn visited several of the manufacturing establishments, among others, that of M. A. Klein, one of the leading glove makers, and an enthusiastic united labor party man. Mr. Klein presented the doctor with an elegant pair of driving gloves as a memorial of his visit to Gloversville.
An incident occurred as the doctor was leaving the town, which illustrates the effect of his teachings. A gentleman accosted him, and with a warm hand shake, remarked: “I have always been an infidel, and never felt kindly toward religion, but you have changed all that; I believe in it now.” W. C. Wood, M. D.
Words of Sympathy and Cheer from New South Wales.
Dubbo, N. S. W.—The undersigned, on behalf of the Land value tax association, Dubbo, N. S. W., send you a friendly greeting, and assurance of confidence and good will. On our side of the globe, as on every other, labor has become practically enslaved, and looked in vain for a remedy till the full explanation of the merits of a land value tax as a remedy for undeserved poverty reached us through your printed works. As we are beginning to realize that the land reform movement means bread for the hungry, work for the breadwinners, an increase of production and a better distribution of what is produced, leisure for the thrifty, educational opportunlty, and a vindication of the wisdom and justice of the All-Father, we, in gratitude, desire to thank and cheer yourself, Dr. McGlynn and the hundreds of co-workers of whose earnestness we are gradually learning. God speed the work. George Plummer, treasurer; D. Simons, Edward Hawton, Sr., Robert Elias Moore, Edward Hawton, Jr., William Menkern, C. R. Knight, A. Frazer Cassin, A. Woodhams, Sidney R. Skeethorpe. W. Walker, R. N. Crichton, John Meagher, W. R. Bovie, W. Thompson, W. Ruth, H. Gimbert, John Reidy, William A. Hams, J. L. Sammis.
How the Light is Spreading at the Antipodes.
Wagga Wagga, N. S. W.—The light spreading here. A small but active body of us in different parts of the colony are doing our best to spread it by various means, such as contributing to the papers, giving away books, etc., etc. As soon as I heard “’Progress and Poverty” was procurable in the colonies I got our local bookseller, Mr. W. C. Hunter, to get a dozen copies. I would be afraid to say how many dozen he has sold since then. I have given away seven dozen myself. I got the address of The Standard from my friend and co-worker, Mr. G. Plummer of Dubbo. He told me he was sending for it and offered to send for a copy for me, but I said “No; I will have it introduced in our own district.” So I got Mr. Hunter to order half a dozen, offering to take for distribution any copies that he could not sell. The result is I can hardly get a copy for myself. Mr. Hunter informs me that he has increased the order to a dozen. As to the paper itself I am more than pleased with it. I am astonished at the progress of the movement.
Mr. Hunter has ordered for me 700 tracts, which I shall distribute on their arrival.
The Anti-Poverty Society in Topeka, Kan.
Topeka, Kan., Oct. 7.—The Topeka branch of the Anti-poverty society is increasing in numbers and vigor, notwithstanding considerable opposition from the local press. It is our intention to secure a hall for our meetings during the fall and winter months, where we can discuss every phase of the social system, especially the land value tax questions, and we shall invite our opponents to meet us on the platform.
We have had two or three addresses from clergymen at our Sunday evening park meetings, which is very encouraging. If we can but enlist the ministry on our side, we shall have a speedy triumph. The masses of mankind are longing for a religion of deeds, not creeds — a religion that shall rise to the level of pure justice, and offer comfort for the present, as well as hope for the future. R R. Gaskill,
Sec. Topeka Anti-poverty society.
Some Figures About Land Values in New York State.
Fort Edward, N. Y.—As most of the objections made to taxing land values are based on the assumption that present values would not be changed, let us accept that assumption as a true one and make an estimate on that basis. As the land and improvements in this state have been assessed together, and at valuations varying from one-fifth to two-thirds their actual worth, no fair estimate can be made, from available statistics, of the land value outside the city of New York. But as California has for some years assessed land separate from the improvements, that can be used as a basis for determining the value of the land in this state. In 1880 the valuation of the land in San Francisco was $122,000,000, and in the state at large11 $227,000,000. The land values of San Francisco were, therefore, .349 per cent of the total land values of the state.
In 1880 San Francisco contained .269 percent of the population of the state. In the same year New York contained .237 percent of the population of the state, but as its growth has probably been more rapid than that of the state we may take for granted it now contains twenty-five percent of the population. Using the above estimate the proportional value of its land to that of the rest of the state can be found by the rule of three, thus: If San Francisco contains .269 percent of the population of the state, and its land value is .349 percent of the land values of the state, then New York city, which contains 25 percent of the population of the state, must have .324 percent of its land values.
Now, a careful estimate of the annual land values of New York city, based on the rentals of such properties as the Sailors’ Snug Harbor and Collegiate church, places them at $100,000,000. Taking this as .324 percent of the annual land value of the state, the total must be $308,000,000. This is the amount that we of this state are paying annually for the use of the land; less, perhaps, the cost of the state, county and municipal governments, which is about $58,000,000, which would leave a balance of, in round numbers, $250,000,000. Now, it is manifest that if this surplus were divided among the 5,617,610 (estimate for 1887) inhabitants, such a division would give each person $44.50. That this would not benefit the masses marines [sic] may believe, but the masses, when they discover it, know better.
But what effect would this have on the farmers. Let us see. The assessment of 1880 in California placed the land at .556 percent of the total value of the land and improvements. Assuming that the farms in this state will average as much in value as they did in 1870, viz, $57, and will average the same in size, viz, 103 acres, the average land value of each farm would be $3,264.27, and the annual value, at five percent — this is what the Sailors’ Snug Harbor is able to collect from its tenants, and the taxes are also paid by the tenants — would be $163.21. This seems like an exorbitant tax, and altogether too large for the farmer to be able to pay; but he would draw his share of the surplus, which we have seen is $44.50, and his wife and each child would draw a like amount. If there were four in his family he would draw enough to pay his tax, which would give him the use of his land free. If he owned only fifty acres his tax would be $79.23, and his wife’s and his share of the surplus would be more than enough to pay the tax, and each of his children would receive $44.50, enough to decently clothe it. Under such a system children would not be a curse, as they very often are now.
But how about the poor widow who owns a house and lot in a country village of, say, about 3,000 inhabitants. Well, this is just such a place, and there is just such a widow here. She owns a house and lot on one of the streets near the business center of the village. She refused $300 for it last week; but let us say, as it rents for $96 a year, that it is worth $1,000. Its land would be worth, on the above estimate, $556 — this is more than it would sell for by perhaps $150; the tax would be $27.80, or about $18 more than under the present system. But her share of the surplus would pay it and leave her a balance of $10.70, besides saving her the $9 she pays now.
And now for the case mentioned by Mr. Leavens, of Litchfield county, Conn., in The Standard of Sept. 24:
In 1880 the population of New York was 108.15 to the square mile; that of Connecticut was 131.09. Assuming that their increase has been proportional in the last seven years — as it nearly was in the last decade — their respective densities are, 110.5 in New York and 144.75 in Connecticut. It being an established fact that land values in the same country are proportional to the density of the population, therefore, the population of Connecticut is to that of New York as the land values of Connecticut are to those of New York, thus: 688,064: 5617610::$37;841,247: $308,950,000.
Now, assuming that the expenses of the state, county and municipal governments are per capita about the same as they are in New York — about $10 — the total amount required would be, in round numbers, $7,000,000; the surplus would be $30,841,247, or $44.82 each. The land value of the 166 acres that Mr. Leavens referred to would be, on the basis here used, .556 percent of $6,237, or $3,407.77; and the tax would be $173.30. But each member of the farmer’s family would receive $44.82; and if there are four in his family he would receive more than the amount of his tax. F. S. Craft.
Vacant Lots and Nicodemus in Memphis.
Memphis, Tenn.—Memphis is a prosperous and growing city, though she has her share of poverty, and while real estate has been forced up to unreasonable prices, there are many valuable lots lying in idleness. While it is claimed that two or three men own thousands of lots which they refuse either to sell or improve, they are holding them for higher prices — or, in other words, are waiting for their property to be improved by the industry of others. This land, bought perhaps at $100 per acre, has increased a hundred fold, though not a dollar or a day’s labor have been expended upon it.
There is a strong feeling in this city in favor of the land tax, though it is not openly expressed, and the strength of the united labor party cannot be judged by its actual membership. There are thousands who do not express their opinion for various reasons, but who, when the proper time arrives, will work and vote for the new party.
All success to the party in New York. The eyes of the world are turned upon the Empire state, and victory there would start a current of public opinion that not the combined efforts of all the landlords in Christendom could check; that would sweep the country from ocean to ocean.
J. M. Place.
Good Logic from South Carolina.
St. Matthews, S. C—Labor organizations that expect to right the wrongs of the masses by any plan short of making natural opportunities equally free to all, are bound to fail. If labor strikes today and succeeds, why, as soon as capital can reorganize, the battle has to be fought over again.
The truth is this: Capital and labor are fighting each other and destroying each other, while the lund owner is robbing both. Capital and labor are not natural enemies, and the only reason why they appear to be enemies is that under present conditions but little is left for either, and they both, very naturally, struggle to get what there is. John M. Payne.
Anti-Poverty and United Labor in Baltimore.
Baltimore, Md.—We have had two successful meetings of our Anti-poverty society at the Academy of Music, and can already observe the effect. Our president, Professor Garside, is devoted to the work. We have also two united labor party clubs, one at each end of the town. Of the west end club Uriah Garber is president and S. Whitehead, secretary; of the east end, Isaac Miller, president, and John W. Jones, secretary. W. N. Hill, M. D.
The People Are Anxious to Learn.
Plattsburg, Clinton Co., Oct. 10.—No hall in this town will be big enough to accommodate the people who express a desire to hear Henry George when he comes here on the 12th. The cause is booming in this place and in every other place that I hear of. The politicians are getting extremely alarmed. Thomas Fassett
THE DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH
By THOMAS G. SHEARMAN.12
An Irish landlord, writing to the London Times, called particular attention to the fact that, in case all the landlords should be expelled, the whole of Ireland, outside of the large towns, would be left without a single person whose annual income would exceed $1,500. To the wealthy landlord who owns the Times, this appalling fact seems to afford such conclusive proof of the desolation and misery which would follow home rule that he deems it superfluous to add a word of comment. He considers it quite enough to say that no such state of things exists in any civilised country. That it should be eventually brought about in Ireland, he evidently believes, must be considered by every sane man as one of the most frightful disasters which could befall the human race.
I am writing in Germany, the country from which have proceeded the most important additions to the intellectual wealth of the world during the last fifty years. The man who knows nothing of the contributions made to history, to theology, to science, whether abstract or applied, by German students, knows practically nothing at all. What have been the income of the men who have thus enriched the world? Rarely so much as $1,900; generally not half that amount. Some of the world-famous German scholars accomplished their great achievements on an income of less than $600 a year.
New England developed a marvelous degree of intellectual activity in the colonial period of our history, though confined within a narrow circle. But that was a period of small incomes and very little accumulated wealth; nor did the few wealthy men contribute anything of importance to the intellectual or moral development of the people.
What have the wealthy Irish landlords done for the development of the Irish people in religion, morality or intellect? What contribution has any wealthy Irish landlord ever made to literature, science, art or high thought of any kind? What benefit have these men of wealth conferred upon any part of the world in any direction? They have just held a solemn meeting to answer these questions, and their own testimony affords the best evidence against them. They claim to have advised their tenants to improve their stock, to introduce better methods of cultivation and to qualify themselves generally to pay higher rents, while they themselves have set excellent examples to their inferiors by taking good care of themselves.
Many years ago a practical joker inserted an advertisement in a daily paper to the following effect: “Wanted, by a young gentleman of good birth and breeding, board in a respectable family, where his Christian example would be considered sufficient compensation for his board.” The Irish landlords do not advertise, but they get precisely that for which the young man advertised in vain. Their Christian example, however, has been chiefly directed toward hunting, horse racing and hard drinking. Certainly, down to a period less than fifty years ago, all accounts of Ireland agreed in this; and except that the drinking is conducted with more moderation, there seems no reason to believe that there has been any change.
But are the landlords of Ireland constituted of worse materials than landlords elsewhere? Are landlords anywhere naturally worse than other men? Would their tenants, if transferred to the position of the landlords, be any better than they? Is not human nature much the same, whether men are landlords or not? These questions answer themselves. The march of human progress does not depend upon the leadership of wealthy men, and their contributions to human welfare have always been and always will be infinitesimal when compared with their ability.
No harm, therefore, would ensue to any society in which wealth should be distributed with comparative evenness. We may safely assume that such a state of society is most desirable. The important questions are:
1. In which direction is society now tending?
2. What causes are at work to produce an unequal distribution of wealth?
3. What can be done to effect a more equal distribution without diminishing the production of wealth?
Is modern society tending toward a more equal or a more unequal distribution of wealth?
This is a question which has only in recent years excited any active interest sufficient to induce the compilation of statistics casting any light upon its solution. The means of comparison with the past are therefore very imperfect; and for this reason all answers must be somewhat uncertain and largely colored by personal bias. Mr. Atkinson13 in America and Mr. Giffen14 in England have undertaken to show, by various statistics, that the tendency of the last forty years has been toward securing a larger share of the annual product for the masses of the people, and that there has been a general progress from poverty among the vast majority who labor with their hands for their daily bread. We shall, therefore, certainly be upon the safe and conservative side if we accept the statistics of these gentlemen as a basis for further argument. Let us do so, and thus avoid disputes as to these questions, which, as will soon appear, are matters of minor importance; since enough is admitted on all sides to make imperative and just the demand for a better state of things than that which now exists.
The figures given by Mr. Atkinson, from a select number of American mills and workshops, indicate an advance in wages of 50% in 40 years. The census of 1880, including that part of it which was taken under Mr. Atkinson’s personal direction, does not indicate anything like this advance; and no statistics of farm wages have ever been given which justify the belief that they have advanced even 20% in the last 30 years. And farm laborers outnumber manufacturing workmen by more than one-half of their whole number. No matter: let us assume that all wages have risen 50%. Still, we are furnished with no statistics justifying the assertion that a larger share of the national accumulation of wealth has gone to the workmen, except the one circumstance that the profits of capital invested in manufactures and in loans have diminished. May not the amount of capital, however, be very much greater than it was 30 years ago? May it not have increased more rapidly than wages have advanced? We have conclusive answers to these inquiries in the census returns, which show that the increase in invested capital, in every direction, has gone on at a far more rapid rate than the utmost advance ever claimed for wages. We need not ignore the fact that these returns of capital are very inaccurate. The inaccuracy consists solely in a great understatement; and therefore a correct return would only intensify the contrast between the growth of capital and the increase of wages. There is nothing, therefore, in the figures furnished by Mr. Atkinson which even tends to show that the working classes of the present day hold a larger share of the accumulated wealth of the country than the same classes held 30 or 40 years ago. And it is certain that they pay three times the amount of taxes now which the same classes paid 30 years ago.
Mr. Giffen is able to make a better showing for England. He proves — at least as clearly as Mr. Atkinson does for America — that wages have risen over 50% in England during the last 30 years. He proves conclusively that the price of everything which the laborer buys has been reduced in a far greater proportion in England than in America. Taxation in England has been shifted very largely from the shoulders of the poor to those of the well to do. The workman, who used to pay the most, now pays the least, especially if he does not use liquors or tobacco. The hours of labor in large factories have been reduced much more than in America. The general improvement in the condition of the mechanical and manufacturing workmen of Great Britain and Ireland has actually been far greater, within the last 40 years, than among similar classes in America. Moreover, Mr. Giffen is able to show, as Mr. Atkinson is not, a decided increase in the proportion of the national wealth which is held by small owners, so far as personal property is concerned. If mere progress is a conclusive test, England must be the paradise of workingmen. But, no! there is still a brighter paradise! Wages have risen more rapidly in Ireland than in any part of England or America. Ireland must, therefore, be the true land of milk and honey!
We have now reached the true climax of absurdity. We see that progress may go on for long periods at a rapid rate without bringing the people into a condition with which they can be or ought to be contented, and without even giving them a materially larger share of the general wealth. We may well begin to doubt whether some important point has not been overlooked in these glowing pictures of prosperity.
As usual, we find that something has been overlooked, and that there remains an exceedingly important element, concerning which neither Mr Atkinson nor Mr. Giffen furnishes any statistics. And, as usual, we find that it is our old friend, rent. Mr. Giffen, it is true, has some advantage over Mr. Atkinson, on this as on almost every other point. The rent of farm lands has declined of late years in Great Britain, and has been cut down by statute in Ireland. But the population of England is crowding more and more into the towns, and rent in towns shows no sign of falling, either in England or in America. That profits are falling is proved easily enough, without statistics, by the manifest fall in interest of money. That wages are, upon the whole, rising, may be admitted. But if rent rises faster than wages, the condition of the wage earner may be no more satisfactory than it was before.
Whether this omitted factor in the problem changes its solution or not, one thing is far too clear to be denied by men of common sense. Whether the condition of the great mass of people is improving rapidly or not, it is certain that the accumulation of large fortunes in the hands of a few persons has gone on in America at an unprecedented rate during the last 25 years. Mr. Atkinson estimates the average earnings of nine-tenths of the American people at less than $450 for each family. He arrives at this by dividing the total product of the nation among all its workers in equal shares, except as to the first million or so, to whom he allows $1,000 each. Here is no deduction for interest on capital or for the numerous incomes which are well known to exceed $10,000, and the considerable number which range between $100,000 and $1,000,000 a year. No allowance is made either for the difference between the earnings of skilled workmen and common laborers, or between the incomes of farmers and their laborers. Making a very moderate allowance for these items, the annual income of four-fifths of American workers, including small farmers, would not exceed $350 each. If the calculations heretofore given are at all correct, even this is an over statement of the case.
Now, suppose that the same class of persons did earn only $233 30 years ago; will any one pretend that the difference between their condition and that of the average rich man of today is less than that which existed between the average laborer and rich man of 30 years ago? Is the social chasm any the less a chasm, simply because both sides have moved in one direction, while one has moved a hundred feet further than the other? Suppose that the rich man does only gain 10% on his income of $10,000 in the same space of time in which the poor man gains 20% on his income of $300, how many periods of 20 years each will be required to bridge over the chasm? Let us put it in figures:
|Table No. 1.|
Now one of the most striking facts of our time is that this very table will raise a smile on many lips at the very idea of calling any man “rich” whose income is only $30,000 a year. Already we have long passed that point; and it is a common saying that no one can “afford to live in New York” on an income of $10,000.
When it is said, as it was said twenty years ago by David A. Wells,15 that the rich are growing richer, and the poor are growing poorer, every man of sense knows that what is meant by the speaker and understood by the hearers is that the relative share of the poor, and not their actual quantity of wealth, is diminishing. That this is true of the poor in America, even more than of the poor in England, is hardly disputable. That it is true of the poor in both countries is not disputable at all.
What causes are at work to produce an unequal distribution of wealth?
Many, of course, which are in the nature of men and things. Superior industry, skill, judgment, foresight, adaptability, inventive genius, economy, self-control, patience, perseverance, punctuality, promptness, diligence, honesty, truthfulness and other virtues, as well as superior bodily strength and powers of endurance, must all tend to give to their possessors great advantages over those who are inferior in any of these respects. It would be an unfortunate thing for the world if this were not so. In the future, even more than in the past, the services of great inventors and men of rare genius will be indispensable to human progress. If the vast mass of the poor are ever to be made rich and comfortable it must be by means of new developments of the power of man over nature, attainable only by means of incessant studies and experiments, growing every year more laborious and costly. The inventor can no longer work successfully without the aid of the capitalist; and the one must be repaid for his toil and the other for his risk. Both will inevitably make a much larger profit than any individual workman could possibly obtain, for if they could not do so they would not incur the labor nor the risk.
All that Mr. Atkinson says about the value of capital to labor is substantially true. Each is necessary to the other; and there is no more conflict between them than there is between every buyer and seller. And the competition between capitalists for the services of laborers tends to increase more rapidly than the competition of laborers for employment — other things being equal.
Let us, for the present, waive the burning question of rent. Mr. Atkinson says that we can get land, free of rent, anywhere that we want it, to build a new mill or factory. We should like to see him do it, especially in a convenient part of Manhattan island; but no matter. There is another perennial source of inequality in the distribution of wealth, as to which Mr. Atkinson (though saying little about it in public) agrees with us, as indeed every one who has considered the subject at all, must do. This is taxation.
Very few ideas in these days are really original; and it is of little importance whether they are or not. The writer has worked out many problems in economic science himself, only to find, long afterward, that they had been better done by others long before. But there some advantages in this process, among which it sometimes happens that a new extension of the main idea may be found. Among the questions thus worked out, without aid from books, or a suggestion from any source, was the great discrepancy between the burdens imposed by indirect taxation upon the rich and the poor respectively, in proportion to their incomes. That point had been noticed many years before, although it had never received the attention which it well deserved. The independent study of this, however, led the writer to observe another point which, so far as he is aware, had never before received attention; namely, that, in consequence of the impossibility of taxes being paid out of anything but savings, the burden of taxation should be estimated according to what each taxpayer is able to save, and not according to what he earns. The principle involved being practically recognized in the imposition of every income tax, it may be that it has been discussed in some of the debates which preceded the laying of that tax in England; but, if so, the writer is still quite unaware of any such debate or of any allusion to the subject, in any form, prior to his own public statement of it in January, 1882.16 Since that time it has gradually been recognized in many discussions of taxation, and it is fully conceded by Mr. Atkinson.
It may be as well to reproduce here, in a corrected form, the calculations by which it was shown, in 1882, that indirect taxation lays a burden upon the poor at least ten times as heavy, in proportion to their ability to pay, as it does upon the moderately rich, and a hundred times as heavy as that imposed upon the extremely rich. The fact is undisputed; it is not only conceded, but is insisted upon by the most strenuous supporters of the system of indirect taxation.
But the admission of this fact involves the admission of another, which has nevertheless been ignored by the supporters of the present system. The enormous disproportion between the shares of taxation borne by the rich and the poor respectively results in the inevitable concentration of wealth in the hands of the rich. The most extravagant estimates of the savings of the American people do not put them higher than 15% of the total income. Mr. Atkinson puts them at less than 10%. Actual statistics show that prudent, average laborers do not save more than 5% of their earnings, after payment of taxes. Obviously, men with large incomes can and generally do save a far greater proportion of their incomes. The table given below is based upon what is believed to be a reasonable estimate of the savings of the different classes in view of all known statistics. In preparing this table an allowance of an increase of prices, by reason of the tariff, on domestic articles protected thereby, is made only to the extent of twice the tariff duties, or $500,000,000 per annum. As the domestic articles out number the imported ones by about ten to one, this allowance is very moderate. Duties are not added to the prices of the domestic articles in quite the same proportion as to the imports; but only about one-fifth of that increase is assumed to attach to the home product. This estimate is absurdly low, and it therefore does not make the table as strong on the side here taken as the facts would justify. Fifteen percent is added to the whole increase of price to represent the mercantile retail profit, which has to be added to the cost to the consumer, in order to compensate the three or more sets of merchants for advancing the duties and the corresponding increase of prices on domestic goods. All this is an unavoidable burden imposed upon the final purchaser by indirect taxation.
The amount to be added to indirect taxes, other than the tariff, is not so easily computed. Experience has proved that internal revenue taxes, as on liquors and tobacco, promote monopolies, and thus add a burden upon the consumer, far in excess of the nominal tax. The repeal of the tax of one cent per box of matches resulted in an ultimate reduction of price by two cents. But we will not undertake to estimate anything on this point. The mercantile profit, or rather the compensation for loss of interest and risk of loss, is, of course, the same upon excise duties as upon customs duties. It is not probably half so large upon the nominally direct taxes levied by the several states and towns, which are mainly indirect, because charged on building and personalty. We will allow only 5% upon these as profit.
The entire taxation of the country for the census year, 1880, was, in round numbers, $250,000,000 taxes upon imports, $150,000,000 internal revenue taxes and $300,000,000 in state and local taxes — $700,000,000 in all. The total burden arising from this taxation, by the time that it reached the mass of consumers was about as follows:
Table No. 2.—The Present Burdens of Taxation.
Duties upon imports $250,000,000
Increased prices of protected
articles—not imported 500,000,000
Internal revenue 150,000,000
Interest and profits 15% 135,000,000
Local taxes 300,000,000
Interest and profits 5% 15,000,000 315,000,000
Grand total 1,350,000,000
Accepting the extravagant estimate of the gross earnings of the American people, for the same year, at $10,000,000,000, which Mr. Atkinson thinks rather too high, and Mr. Nimmo17 rather too low, and dividing this income according to the best light which is thrown upon it by all the statistics heretofore referred to, we arrive at the following result:
Table No. 3—Estimated Incomes of American People.
Class 1— 100 persons averaging $1,000,000 $100,000,000
Class 2— 2,000 persons averaging $100,000 $200,000,000
Class 3— 5,000 persons averaging $50,000 $250,000,000
Class 4— 100,000 persons averaging $10,000 $1,000,000,000
Class 5— 1,000,000 persons averaging $1,000 $1,000,000,000
Class 6— 2,500,000 persons averaging $500 $1,250,000,000
Class 7— 13,800,000 persons averaging $350 $4,830,000,000
Depreciation of capital, coming out of income, but not reckoned by any one as part of net income; 4% on $35,000,000,000 1,400,000,000
17,407,100 persons, income 10,030,000,000
The item of depreciation is precisely that which, from investigation of accounts for a long series of years, Mr. Atkinson finds to be the proper allowance in a cotton mill. Of course, this depreciation must be made good out of the annual income before that can be divided at all.
Next, let us consider what portion of these earnings each class could save by the exercise of such care and economy as may fairly be expected from each. The whole amount actually added to the national wealth, after deducting taxes, which are so much loss, was certainly not more than $750,000,000 in 1880. Add the taxes, which were not saved, and there would appear to be about $1,450,000,000, which might have been saved but for taxes.
But, in addition to these actual taxes are to be considered the profits accruing to capitalists out of the system of indirect taxation, already mentioned as amounting to $650,000,000 per annum. A vast proportion of these profits (probably two-thirds) are lost by the wasteful processes through which they are made; but that does not lessen the burden upon the poor, who have to pay them. The rich pay their pro rata share of these; but how small that is will soon appear.
In the first instance we must ascertain what are the possible savings of each class at present, allowing the ordinary living expenses of that class. Many individuals of every class, except the great capitalists, spend all their income; but the great majority do not, for if they did, the nation would accumulate no wealth. The following estimates are based upon Mr. Atkinson’s theory that the national savings of 1880 amounted to not more than $750,000,000. If Mr. Blaine’s theory, that we had saved $30,000,000,000 in 20 years, could be accepted, it would imply a national saving of at least $2,000,000,000 in 1880. That would, if true, lay the foundation for a terrific statement as to the concentration of wealth in few hands, since the working classes certainly have not saved a quarter of that sum; but, as no intelligent person can honestly believe such a statement, it would be wrong to take advantage of it for the sake of an argument.
We divide the community, as before, into seven classes:
Table No. 4.—Incomes, Expenses and Savings.
Table No. 5– Savings of Each Class, as a Class, for the Year 1880
|Number ofPersons||Present Savingsof Class|
This computation, it will be seen, harmonizes with the previous estimate of national savings. The estimate of savings of the three great classes, including all earning $1,000 or less, is based upon statistics furnished to labor commissioners by men of that class. Men earning $500 to $600 a year do not claim to have saved more than 5% of their earnings. It is obvious that a still smaller proportion only can be saved by those who have to support an average of three persons on $250 or less. What pinching must be suffered, even to do so much, none can know but those who have tried it.(1)
(l)It is to be borne in mind that furniture and clothing are included in expenses, even though partially saved up, as they are taxed in the same manner as other expenses, and are not available capital.
Now, upon those figures, how is it possible that the distribution of wealth should not become more and more unequal, as time rolls along? Put the whole of the three poorer classes together, including, as they do, not only all laborers and skilled mechanics, but also the vast majority of foremen, clerks, teachers, preachers, traders, shopkeepers, farmers and planters, with a decided majority of lawyers and doctors, inasmuch as class 5 includes all those whose income is less than $2,000, they falling into the average of $1,000. Yet, with all these included, the annual savings of these 17,400,000 workers cannot exceed $300,000,000; while the annual savings of 107,000 persons, having the larger incomes, amount to $450,000,000. At the end of thirty years, which is the usual estimate of a generation, the 17,000,000 will have accumulated $9,000,000,000, or $530 each, while the 107,000 will have accumulated $13,500,000,000, or $126,168 each, without allowing anything for interest on their savings, which, even at the lowest conceivable rate of interest, would increase their gains to over $175,000 each.
Now there is no use in fighting with facts or with natural laws. If this state of things really is the natural result of natural laws it is useless to struggle against it or complain of it. But, before assuming that it is, let us see what share taxation, which is a necessity, it is true, but not necessarily to be levied in any one way, has to do with this result.
The present system of taxation, as already shown, imposes a total burden of $13,500,000,000, which is substantially all borne by consumers, in proportion to their expenses, and not according to either their property or their income. This is equal to about 17.25% of the total expenditures of all classes. Let us call it only 17%. The following table shows the annual expenses of each class, the amount of tax levied on each, at 17%, and the amount which each class would save, if it were possible to dispense with taxation altogether without losing the benefits of civilized life:
Table No. 6 — Expenses, Tax Burden and Possible Savings, by Classes.
|AnnualExpenses||Tax Burdenat 17%||Possible Savingsif not taxed|
|2014 Editor’s note: minor calculation error in Class 6’s tax burden ($2.125 million) and thus savings figure. Adds 1% to class’s tax burden and .1% to aggregate savings for society.|
If taxation could be entirely dispensed with, these figures show that the classes living by their daily labor, and averaging together less than $500 a year, would be able, with no greater economy than they exercise now, to save $1,450,000,000 per annum; while the wealthier classes, retaining all the advantage which has been given to them by centuries of unequal and oppressive taxation, would still be unable to save more than $637,000,000. At the end of thirty years, therefore, the “poorer” classes would have saved $43,530,000,000, while the “richer” classes could have saved only $19,100,000,000. The rich would be richer than they can be now, but the poor would gain upon them so rapidly, and would, as a class, have such a decided control over the property of the country as to remove all occasion for jealousy. While under the present system of taxation it is inevitable that two-thirds of all the wealth of the country should soon pass into the hands of about 100,000 persons, the abolition of taxation would make it impossible that they should ever control as much as one-third, and would reduce their share continually as time passed on.
Thus it is made clear that taxation lies at the root of poverty and infallibly fosters enormous inequalities in the distribution of wealth.
“Ah! but we cannot do without taxation! How is the government to be carried on and social order maintained?” Very good; but why must taxation be so levied as inevitably to crush the poor? As Mr. Atkinson says: “The man upon whom the burden of taxation falls heaviest is he who possesses no property whatever. It finds him poor, it keeps him poor, and it may even reduce him to pauperism.” Must this be so?
Before answering this question, let us see what would be the result of a system of taxation which is universally conceded by the strongest opponents of both the land tax and the income tax to be perfectly fair, and which certainly is abundantly liberal toward the rich. What would be the result of a direct tax upon all kinds of property, if it could be so levied that it could not be shifted over from the taxpayer to the consumer? No fairer or more accurate method for ascertaining this could be suggested than a tax proportioned exactly to the amount which each taxpayer could naturally save out of his income, because this is the only source from which accumulated property can be derived.18
We have seen that the present system of taxation, under which taxes are first paid by a few and then collected, with a profit, from the many, is attended with burdens which nearly double the weight of the taxes. It is notorious, also, that the national government has for many years collected a vast amount of taxes which it has not needed; and the “surplus” — of which so many stupid people are ignorantly proud — is even now hanging about our necks and threatening the country with the worst financial panic which it has over known. Under direct taxation all this would be at an end, and the tax would be instantly reduced to $630,000,000, if not less. Let us take that figure, however, as to which there can be no dispute.
In place of the present burden of 60% on the savings of people, a tax of one half that amount would be more than ample to meet all the expenses of government, both national and local. Under a perfectly impartial system of taxation, assessing rich and poor alike upon what they have, and not upon what they have spent, the following would be the result of a direct tax of 30% on the savings of all classes alike, instead of the present levy of 10% on the very rich and 80% on the very poor.
Table No.7 — Savings and Taxes, under Strictly Equal Taxation.
|2014 Editor’s note: “tax on savings, equally” column adds to $90,000 less than shown.|
Even under an equalized taxation, it will be seen, the three poorer classes would accumulate wealth at the rate of $1,015,023,000 per annum, or $30,468,690,000 in 30 years, while the richer classes would accumulate only at the rate of $446,495,000 per annum, or $13,394,850,000 in 30 years! Thus the 17,000,000 persons who now begin life without capital and depend solely upon their labor for support, would, in the course of an ordinary working life, become the owners of more than twice as much property as all the capitalists and more favored classes put together.
The statistics and estimates here given are, of course, open to question and correction. Those who believe that the average American laborer is able to save more than $10 a year out of $350; and to lay it by as untaxed capital, can construct tables which would show a somewhat different result. But the figures here given have been taken, as far as possible, from those which are furnished by the defenders of the existing system. Ex-Governor Gear of Iowa, when running for congress, declared that every American workman paid a tax of 17% on his wages for the privilege of living in America; and he glorified the system which imposed this tax as the bulwark of American freedom. The Iowa farmers and laborers were simple-minded enough to believe him, and elected him to continue that system by his vote. The figure given in table No. 6 agrees with this estimate, although it was reached by an independent calculation. The estimates of present savings are based upon the official publications of that devoted adherent of the same system, the state of New Jersey. But let any number of corrections be made in these figures, and it will be found that the results will be substantially unchanged. Congressman Milliken of Maine, three years ago, and Congressman Seymour of New York, 40 years ago, urged the necessity of a protective tariff on the very ground that the effect of any indirect tax system was just what it is here stated to be, and that American workmen must be insured higher wages in order to compensate them for the injustice of such a system. Table No. 6 shows that the amount of taxation imposed upon the farmers and laborers of this country by this system is $1,000,000,000 every year. The census shows that the whole amount of wages in all kinds of manufacturing in 1880 was much less than this sum. But not more than one-fourth of these wages was paid to laborers who could, by any possibility, be engaged in protected industries. The other laborers could afford to pay, not merely the difference in the wages paid to their fellow workmen in protected factories and mines, but absolutely all their wages, for the sake of getting rid of indirect taxation; and they would gain enormously by the trade. If it is necessary that heavy taxes should be raised to increase the wages of American workmen, let them be raised by direct taxation and paid directly to the workmen, not to their employers.
The ordinary reader has long since become weary of these figures, and has skipped to this point. It is not necessary for him to look backward. It was necessary to give the figures, in order to prevent the cavils of critics, who would otherwise have said that the conclusions now to be stated were supported by no proofs. These figures completely demonstrate the truth of the following conclusions, which are all that the ordinary reader need trouble himself with.
1. The present system of indirect taxation is so grossly unjust and unfair that it takes from the 16,000,000 hand workers of this country every year five-sixths of all their possible savings; while it takes from about 100,000 comparatively wealthy persons much less than two-sixths of theirs, and, from the immensely rich, only one part in thirty-six. In other words, out of every dollar which he has left, after supporting his family, the laborer pays 83 cents, the rich man on the average 30 cents, and the railway kings, steel rail makers and other twenty-millionaires 3 cents.19
2. Under this system an enormous bounty is paid continually by laborers to their employers, for the privilege of having work, while their employers have to pay almost the whole of this bounty to other persons, for the privilege of having access to the materials for work.
3. The inevitable result of this system is to keep 17,000,000 farmers and wage earners so poor that, while 100,000 persons can and do easily accumulate $450,000,000 every year, the 17,000,000 can only, by the closest economy, accumulate $300,000,000 in the same time. In other words, for every dollar which it is possible for all the small farmers and mechanics to save, it is an easy matter for a class, not a hundredth part as numerous, to save a dollar and a half.
4. It is also a necessary result of this method of taxation that the wealth of the country is rapidly concentrating into a few hands, and that, unless it is absolutely squandered by its owner, by far the larger part of that wealth must become the property of about 100,000 persons in less than two generations, while more than one-third of the whole will belong to less than 10,000 persons.
5. No cause of inequality in the distribution of wealth has ever been named, other than such as is inherent in natural laws, working freely in a land of liberty (always excepting rent, which we have purposely excluded from the discussion), which has or can have anything like the influence in promoting inequality of wealth that the present system of taxation has.
6. This system of taxation takes from the poor two-thirds of the benefits which modern inventions and improvements and all the other favorable influences enumerated by Mr. Atkinson have conferred upon them. In his own truthful words, “it finds them poor, keeps them poor,” and constantly tends to “reduce them to pauperism.”
7. No matter how many eight hour laws, arbitration laws, factory inspection laws, apprentice laws, high tariff laws, immigration laws, railroad legislation laws or any other laws upon any conceivable subject may be enacted, and no matter how much good, or harm, such laws may do, one thing is absolutely certain: not all the laws which could be devised by human ingenuity in those directions, or in any of the directions indicated in old fashioned party platforms, could ever change the current which carries wealth steadily away from the poor to swell the purses of the rich, so long as the present system of taxation is maintained.
[To be concluded.]
Cannot Longer Forbear.
Chicago, Ill.—I cannot longer forbear wishing you godspeed in your noble crusade for economic freedom.
I believe the triumph of the great principle enunciated by our leaders is fraught with blessing to humanity, and that a “manifestation of the sons of God” is approaching, in the light of which man will walk with renewed faith in the love of the Divine Father. In the meantime, it is our privilege to speak the truth in love to all men. The present order hot only disinherits the poor of their birthright, but cheats those who profit by it in robbing them of the pleasures of that fraternal spirit and good will to all men that cannot be experienced till justice is done to the humblest. J. T. Ripley.
They Must Be Hard Pressed When They Have to Get Help of That Kind
San Francisco, Oct. 2.—We take a very deep interest in everything relating to your campaign in New York; but our papers here are almost as dumb as oysters in reference to it. We infer from the fact that the foe is bringing on such a character as Dennis Kearney to help them that you are pressing them hard. This looks very cheering to me. For myself, I shall never more vote for any party that does not aim to put into practice the great truths you have taught me. If I can’t vote that way, I will not vote at all. God prosper the work of your hands. Joseph Leggett.
AN EVENING CALL
I said to the boys Saturday afternoon that if we finished digging the potatoes in the eight-acre field we would do the chores before supper, and go up in the evening and have some fun with neighbor Dawson. Dawson is a “Henry George” man all over now, and it makes quite a stir among us, for he is one of the solidest farmers on the Rushville turnpike, and has always been called a sharp and level-headed man.
The boys were pleased with the idea of going up to “the club,” as they called it, especially Bill Green, my hired man. Poor Bill furnishes a home for his old mother besides supporting a wife and two children on his wages by the month or by the day, for the farmers around here can’t afford to hire by the year nowadays; and I have noticed of late, since the neighbors have been talking about Dawson’s new doctrine, that Bill pricks up his cars when he hears anything said about “anti-poverty.”
We put in our best licks and had everything done up slick about dusk, and then set out for Dawson’s, where we found the family just settling down for the evening. Dawson was glad to see us, of course, and said he had got his artillery all mounted and loaded for us — pointing to the big sitting room table covered with papers and pamphlets.
“There’s thunder all around the sky,” said he, taking up the last Standard. “There’s been no such campaign in twenty years as the anti-poverty folks have opened up all over the state. Look here” — pointing to a long list of appointments for speakers — “Here’s an average of about six big meetings a day, taking in all the principal cities and towns in the state, with New York and Brooklyn kept red hot every Saturday and Sunday, and no chance to cool off much through the week.”
“Where does the money come from for all this racket?” I inquired. “These speakers don’t travel on free passes, eh?”
“No, they don’t,” replied Dawson, “and Jay Gould doesn’t furnish a dollar of the money, nor does Vanderbilt, nor Huntingdon, nor Depew; and not a single big tariff protected manufacturer gives the first cent. It is a surprising thing, too, for we see it stated time and time again in the newspapers controlled by the friends of these monopolists that the single tax would be greatly to the interests of railroad owners and big manufacturers, as it would almost entirely relieve them of taxation. If these heavy fellows believe what their own papers say they must be a mighty ungrateful set not to give Henry George a lift in his efforts to shift most of their taxes off on the farmers. I reckon, though, that their own old regular way of shifting their taxes off on the farmers suits them a deal better than Henry George’s way. It hasn’t such a tremendous back-action to it. Seriously, though,” proceeded Dawson, “the money for the anti-poverty campaign comes out of a great many different pockets, and out of pockets, too, that feel the difference when it is taken out. For instance, my own pocket is subject to a spasm every Saturday night, after I read the last page of The Standard, and I have several times had to relieve it by sending a few dollars to the campaign fund. My wife has insisted on sacrificing a prospective carpet to the cause, and I am afraid my new fall overcoat will follow.”
“Well, let’s get to business,” says I, “before my pocket has a spasm. I almost think I can feel one coming on. Let us have the best thing there is in your last paper.”
“It is hard choosing,” said Dawson, “but here is something first-rate — Major Calhoun’s speech at the last anti-poverty meeting. Mary will read it to us, I guess,” nodding to his wife, who seemed very willing to lay down her knitting.
Mrs. Dawson is the best reader in the whole county, and has a way of saying a big word that makes you understand what it means, if you never heard of it before, while the way she winds through a long sentence and gives you the sense of every kink in it, just beats all. And that was a clipper of a speech, and no mistake. There was the French revolution and some other things in it that I didn’t know much about, but I could understand what the man was driving at every time — and the boys, too. I saw they drank in every word, and Bill Green’s eyes fairly blazed in some places. It’s a curious thing, but I don’t think I ever had the same sense that poor, struggling Bill Green was my brother as I had while he and I sat there together listening to that speech.
Before we had time to say a word, after Mrs. Dawson finished, there was a rap at the front door, and Dawson went and brought in Dr. Brunnell. Dr. Brunnell has got the nomination for assembly in this district, and he is around hunting up what few democrats there are left alive in these parts — and they’re mighty few, too, being all the time breaking off or dying off, and we aren’t making any new ones.
“Having an anti-poverty meeting, eh?” says the doctor, trying to look agreeable, as Dawson set him a chair. “Well, I can only stop a moment. But I must say, Dawson, that I gave you credit for too much sense to turn in with this low city rabble to raise their wages and ruin yourself. Now I put the question squarely to you, aren’t wages so high now that you farmers can hardly make enough to pay your help through the summer, and you have to do your own chores in the winter?”
“That is just our situation, doctor; but we consider that the difficulty is not that our men’s wages are so high, but that ours are so low. Twenty years ago we had to pay thirty to forty dollars a month for our help, but we made a hundred percent more off our farms than we can now. We go in for raising our own wages, and if other workingmen get helped a little incidentally, that is not our fault,” concluded Dawson, with a sly wink at Bill Green, who looked so tickled I was afraid
be would explode.
“Well, if enough of you ever lose your senses about this precious scheme to give it a trial,” snarled the doctor, “I warn you that you will need high wages to pay your taxes.”
“Oh, we don’t expect that any working farmer’s tax would be materially increased,” replied Dawson, with cheerful good humor, “and in the case of many they would certainly be much reduced, and the indirect taxes, which take a slice out of us every time we have to buy a machine or a tool or an article of clothing, would all be removed.”
“Isn’t it extraordinary, Mrs. Dawson,” asked the doctor, turning, by way of a bold stroke, to Dawson’s wife, “what a delusion has come over your husband? Now, you don’t believe, do you, that this fine, patent scheme would reduce his taxes?”
Mrs. Dawson looked up at the doctor and then at her husband, and then at the doctor again.
“I cannot tell how that would be, Dr. Brunell,” she said, slowly, “but I do not care, and I should be ashamed of John if he cared. Let our taxes be increased if they ought to be. I solemnly declare,” the little woman went on, in her soft-spoken way, but her voice sounded strong somehow, as if it was talking of itself and she couldn’t hold it, “I can never half enjoy the blessings that fall to my lot for thinking of my wretched fellow creatures to whose lot no blessings fall. If I could sit down with my children in my comfortable room by my warm fire in the winter nights that are coming, and know that every other mother in the land could have a comfortable room and warm fire to enjoy with her children, no word can tell the joy and comfort that thought would be to me. Gladly would I and my daughters go to church on foot and in calico — they would leave the school and I would teach them myself — there is no money sacrifice we would not joyfully make to save our sisters and their little ones from the weary, dreary wretchedness of undeserved poverty. This is no question of reducing John’s taxes with me, Dr. Bunnell.”
The two little Dawson girls crept up, one on each side of their mother, and got hold of her hands, their young eyes shining while she poured this speech over Dr. Brunnell, and I declare for it I never saw a prettier sight in my life. I just wanted to shout, and the doctor looked as uncomfortable as we could wish.
“Ah, very fine feeling, Mrs. Dawson. Ah, yes; does you great credit,” he managed to say; “but, really, I am stopping too long. It is growing late. Good evening, all.” And Dr. Brunnell took himself off, as if he saw that his chance of getting a vote out of that crowd wasn’t worth looking into.
“We must be going, too, boys,” says I. “I must say, though, that we haven’t had such an entertainment as this before in a month of Sundays. I guess we must have The Standard through the campaign, and ‘Progress and Poverty’ and some tracts for Bill — in short, a dollar’s worth of your doctrine.” Here I fished the coin mentioned out of my pocket. “The more we hear of this business the more we want to. Yes, we shall be up again, thank you. Good night.”
Land and Improvements Assessed Separately In Vermont.
Burlington, Vermont. Independent.
The New York Independent prints one of the “make believe” arguments against the Henry George theory of taxation that are quite common in many of the cheaper kinds of papers, but we are surprised to find it in such a strong paper. As though it were impossible to separate the value of building and improvements from that of land! All Vermont assessors know the objection raised is childish. There is no town in this state, or only one or two, that has not just such cases now to provide for. Our laws provide that the land of certain lots set apart for schools, for support of the gospel, etc., shall be exempt from taxation, but requires the improvements to be taxed, and they have to appraise the improvements. If the improvements alone can be appraised, as is done here, and the land and improvements can be appraised, there would seem to be but little trouble in finding the value of the land. Insurance adjusters frequently have the same question to settle. A man owning a corner lot insures the building on it for, say, $5,000, and after a few years it is burned down. The question is raised that the improvements (buildings) on it were not worth $5,000. All the neighbors know the value of the property as it stood before the fire. Purchasers of’the ruins will give so much for the land. It may have been before the fire contracted to be sold at a round price, and when from the round price the value of the ruins is deducted we have the land value. The buildings or improvements are easily estimated — for builders can easily do that. There is really no such difficulty in the matter as is claimed.
It is, as it seems to us, idle to attempt to ridicule the George theories. There is enough in them to warrant a full and free discussion. They are not understood by the people, but when they are they will come to correct conclusions. We certainly do not fully understand them, and are not as yet in a condition to adopt or condemn them, to ridicule or champion them.
He Listened, and Naturally He Became a Convert.
Vincennes, Ind., News.
Capt W. D. Lewis returned from New York yesterday. He has come home a practical convert to Henry George, Dr. McGlynn having so worked upon him in his magnificent sermons that the gallant republican veteran has surrendered at discretion and is as full of enthusiasm as some of us younger fellows have been for a few years past. In describing the anti-poverty mectings Capt. Lewis says that he has seen nothing like them. The audiences are largely of what people usually call the better classes, merchants, doctors, lawyers, well-to-do tradesmen and mechanics, with a fair representation of ladies, and the enthusiasm which marks all that is done is enormous and overwhelming. On Sunday evening he and Mr. Wetzel tried to get into the great Academy of Music to hear Dr. McGlynn for a second or third time, but they found it impossible even to get near the building. Standing room in the top gallery could not be had for a dollar, and the whole house was packed so full of an overwhelmingly enthusiastic mass of humanity that another man could not have been wedged into the vast auditorium. Capt. Lewis met Dr. McGlynn frequently and became well acquainted with him, as well as with Mr. George, and he says the doctor is a marvel. Irresistible in manner, big hearted, quick witted, scholarly, enthusiastic as a school boy and as pure as a woman in thought and language, Capt. Lewis found him all and more than all he had been prepared to expect by the published accounts of his marvelous powers and personality. Capt. Lewis promises to be present at the land and labor club tomorrow evening and relate his experiences and impressions of the new movement as he witnessed its manifestations at headquarters.
And Hasn’t this “Industrial Revolution” Enriched a Few Landholders? — Or Are the 230,000 Artisans Getting Rich?
New York Independent.
Mr. Henry W. Grady, in a speech which he recently made to the farmers assembled at Atlanta, in Georgia, said:
“There are 230,000 artisans in the south today that were not here in 1880, and this does not include the thousands that are building new enterprises. We manufactured last year $213,000,000 worth of articles that six years ago we had bought from the north or west. In six years following the cotton exposition of 1873 new cotton mills have been built in the south starting 1,000,000 new spindles. The south today is witnessing an industrial revolution for which history has no precedent. Figures do not measure it and amazement is simply limited by comprehension.”
Mr. Grady’s statements show that, since the war resulting in the abolition of slavery, an industrial revolution has been going on in the southern states, and very greatly to their advantage. We have no doubt that such is the fact. Slavery, during the whole period of its existence, was not only a crime, but also a curse and a blight to the prosperity of the southern states, and was also the chief reason why these states were so far behind the northern states. It enriched comparatively a few slaveholders at the expense of the general community.
What You Will Find Out West, Young Man.
Correspondence East Oregonian.
Portland at present is at a standstill. There is very little building going on and the increase in population is very slow. The wholesale business is very good, but the retailers are being driven to the wall by high rents and the want of customers. Just how this state of affairs is going to be remedied I cannot at present see. There is no inducement for any one to come to Portland at present unless he has money, there being no manufacturing here worthy of mention. Mechanics cannot get anything to do, neither is there any building to amount to anything. Portland is one of the most expensive places to live in on the Pacific coast. One of the daily papers of the city said not long ago that a mechanic ought to save some money from his salary. I would like to see the party who wrote that article try it at the wages paid the mechanics in this city, combined with the attending necessary expenses. In the first place, you cannot get a decent house to live in for less than from $15 to $20 a month; butter, 30 cents per pound; eggs, 30 cents a dozen; beef, from 15 to 30 cents per pound, and every thing else in proportion. Mechanics’ wages are from $2.50 to $3 per day; of course there are exceptioas where they get more, but this is about an average, and when you have paid your bills at the end of the month, there is nothing left, not even to get you a
glass of beer.
Why Doesn’t Philadelphia Follow New York’s Example and Assert That the River Frontage, at Least, is the Property of the People?
Within the last few years the commerce at the port of Philadelphia has been on a steady increase despite the inadequate facilities at hand for the reception of traffic, until today the sorry sight is presented of a harbor teeming with heavily laden vessels that must wait for days before wharfage can be procured for the discharge of their cargoes.
At the present time there is more shipping anchored in the Delaware river between Port Richmond and the League island navy yard than ever before in the history of the port. Looking southward from Dickinson street yesterday the eye encountered a great number of idle vessels, whose spars, looming up toward the sky, resembled a vast forest. In this great fleet of the merchant marine all the nations of the world were represented and every description of cargo included, from East India jute to the common article of commerce — Spanish iron ore. The detention of this vast amount of traffic at the entrance to the second city of the Union is due solely to the lack of available places at which to discharge it. The scarcity of wharf property arises mainly from the fact that nearly every foot of wharfage from Clearfield street to Moore street is either under corporate ownership or control, or has been rendered valueless through the refusal of the railroad companies to introduce the necessary sidings and connections that would prevent the necessity of handling goods a second time.
In many cases wharf charges are maintained at such an exorbitant rate that vessels have been driven away by the excessive tolls. Another impediment to the natural growth of the port is the contracted dimensions of many of the docks, which are too small to admit of the docking of vessels so that they will not project into the river to the danger of passing craft. In other cases the docks are so badly dredged that deeply laden vessels are in peril of being strained to pieces with the flow and ebb of the tide. At the same time wharf property has risen in value until a twenty-foot front anywhere along the river would bring at public sale not less than $30,000.
A Phase of Nineteenth Century Civilization
Cheyenne, Wyo.. Tribune.
It is announced as a “casual mention” in one of the morning dailies that Sheriff Sharpless is allowing the Bohemian lad confined in jail as a witness, etc; to go to the public school. Who or what is to measure the wrong and outrage involved in the imprisonment of a child for months in a combined jail and penitentiary simply to rebut the presumption of his “not being found as a witness” when some case is called. The imprisonment of unconvicted suspects because “necessity knows no law” and a sense of justice and the conservation of all moral forces in a community becomes sickly and stifled under the blightlng breath of a shortsighted parsimony. Taxes, expenses, etc., in the mouths of Cheap John demagogues smother out “the signing of the prisoner,” however innocent, he may be. Justice often stands mute and motionless in the audience chamber of economy. But who can devise a justification of the policy of the law which says: Rather than lose the testimony of this child — unconvicted, unsuspected of any offense — we will cast him into prison with convicted felons until he is needed. Shame on our law! Suspicion on our boasted civilization! Where is the pen of Dickens — where the voice of Wilberforce? Who would condemn the master of a slave? Who would censure the employment of a child in a woolen factory? Who would release the chimney sweep from his taskmaster? Who disturb the peaceful avocation of an Italian padrone — and then justify the confinement of children in jail, so as to be certain of their forthcoming as witnesses at the convenience of their great mother, the territory? We presume the excuse, the justification, lies in the term “Bohemian” — tramp. A child tramp! What a sermon in that detested name! Who can measure the sweep of unavoidable fate, “circumstances beyond control;” even the wrongs and misery of an “angel in disguise” who may sorrow and suffer in the rags of a tramp — a Bohemian? Who was the immortal tramp — the Man who “had not where to lay His head?”
This is “People’s Politics,” Sure Enough and the Women Take a Hand in It.
New York Tribune.
The “woman in politics” seems likely to prove a reality in the coming campaign if the present purposes of the members of the Anti-poverty society hold good. The women who have flocked in great numbers to the Sunday evening meetings of the society at the Academy of Music cannot vote. but they can work in their own way. And if their plan of holding an enormous fair at the Madison square garden to collect money for campaign purposes shall become a permanent political method, they are going to get about as much fun out of politics as anybody.
ASSEMBLY DISTRICT ORGANIZATIONS.
Where They Meet and When.
The following is a directory of the various assembly district organizations of the united labor party of New York city, showing times and places of meeting, names of chairmen, etc.:
First.—International hall, corner Albany and West streets; every Tuesday evening. Jeremiah Murphy, chairman.
Second.— 33 New Bower7; second and fourth Tuesdays for business; first and third Tuesdays for entertainments and debates. William Russell, chairman.
Third.—185 Grand street; every Tuesday evening. G. H. Robinson. 18 Spring street, chairman.
Fourth.—66 East Broadway; Saturday evening, Philip J. Scannell, 35 Rutgers street, chairman.
Fifth.—Warren hall, corner Spring and Clarke streets; business meeting every Thursday evening; entertainments and debates every second Thursday evening after transaction of routine business. William Anderson, chairman.
Sixth.—412 Grand street; every Wednesday evening. James J. Crosson, chairman.
Seventh.—Fifteenth street and Sixth avenue; Thursday evening. Henry F. Reed, chairman.
Eighth.—236 Broome street; Tuesday evening. Patrick McMahon, 107 Essex street, chairman.
Ninth.—554 Hudson street, corner of Bank: general meeting second and fourth Tuesday evenings; debates first and third Tuesday evenings. H. Oscar Cole, chairman.
Tenth.—Breacht’s hall, 197 East Fourth street; second and fourth Wednesdays. August Maver, 354 East Houston, chairman.
Eleventh—510 Sixth avenue; second and fourth Monday evenings. Frank Shillcr, 133 West Twenty-eighth street, chairman.
Twelfth—Schmidt hall, 85 Avenue D; Tuesday evening. Nathan Rosenstein, 114 Columbia street, chairman.
Thirteenth—363 Eighth avenue, corner Twenty-eighth street: Wednesday evening. Wm. A. O’Connor, 334 West Twenty-Ninth street, chairman.
Fourteenth—118 First avenue; first and third Tuesday and second and fourth Monday. M. J. Murray, 651 East Thirteenth street, chairman.
Fifteenth—475 Ninth avenue, Tuesday night. Edward Conklin,437 West Twenty-eighth street, chairman.
Sixteenth.—Gaswiller’s hall, First avenue, between Twentieth and Twenty-first streets; every Tuesday night. John J. McGrath, chairman.
Seventeenth.—747 Ninth avenue; second and fourth Thursdays. James H. Magee, chairman, 313 West Forty-seventh street.
Eighteenth.—161 East Thirty-second street; every Thursday evening. Philip Kelly, chairman.
Nineteenth.—Deubert’s hall, 122d street and Eighth avenue; every Thursday, and twice a month at 832 Ninth avenue. William P. O’Meara, chairman. Communications should be addressed to the Secretary, Charles Fring, 151st street and Western boulevard
Twentieth.—Forty-ninth street and Third avenue: every Thursday. T. Berliner, chairman.
Twenty-first.—161 West Fifty-first street; every Monday for general business and every Wednesday and Friday for enrollment of members. William Cummings, chairman. Communications should be addressed to the secretary, John J. O’Brien, 103 East Eighty-fourth street.
Twenty-second.—1433 Third avenue; every Tuesday evening. William J. O’Dair, chairman.
Twenty-third.—1897 Third avenue, corner 105th street; business meeting every Monday evening; Progress and Poverty club readings and debates Thursday and Saturday evenings. C. F. Doody, chairman.
Twenty-fourth.—Karl’s park, 148th street and Willis avenue: every Tuesday night. William B. Ahrens, chairman.
display ads follow, including:
The German Edition of “Progress and Poverty” is now in press and will be ready Oct. 19.
Price, in paper covers, 35 cents.
Address HENRY GEORGE,
25 Ann street, New York.
Songs of the New Crusade
The Anti-poverty society has issued a song book entitled.
containing the words and music of seven stirring songs, as sung by the
at the various meetings in New York and vicinity. The book is of a convenient size, well printed, and has a strong paper cover. Every Anti-povertyite or member of a land and labor club should do what he can to distribute these songs and organize choruses to sing them in the coming campaign.
The book will be sent prepaid to any address on receipt of the price, 25 cents. Address
HENRY GEORGE & CO.,
25 Ann street. New York City.
Rev. Dr. Edward McGlynn will speak as follows:
|Oct. 15, 1st and 9th assembly districts, New York cityOct. 16. (afternoon) Flushing and College pt.; (evening) 7th district, Brooklyn, and Academy of Music, New York
Oct. 17, Ithaca
Oct. 18, Geneva
Oct. 19, Canandaigua
Oct. 20, Rochester
Oct. 21, Lockport
Oct. 22, Bartholdi hall and Grand Army hall, Brooklyn, E.D.
|Oct. 23 (afternoon) East New York; (evening) Academy of Music, New YorkOct. 24, Dunkirk
Oct. 25, Jamestown
Oct. 26, Hornellsville
Oct. 27, Elmira
Oct. 28, Owego
Oct. 29, L. I. City
Oct. 31, Port Jervis
Nov. 1, Middletown
Nov. 2, Newburg
Nov. 3, Glens Falls
Nov. 4, (afternoon) Ft. Edward; (evening) Whitehall
Henry George will speak:
|Oct. 17, KingstonOct. 18, Poughkeepsie
Oct. 19, Albany
Oct. 20, Sing Sing
Oct. 21, Yonkers
Oct. 24, Utica
Oct. 25, Ogdensburg
Oct. 26, Watertown
|Oct. 27, OswegoOct. 28, Rome
Oct. 31, Gloversville
Nov. 1, Amsterdam
Nov. 2, Schenectady
Nov. 3, Saratoga
Nov. 4, Hoosick Falls
Rev. W. E. Lincoln of Painesville, O., and Hon. Samuel W. Williams of Vincennes, Ind., will speak:
|Oct. 22, BuffaloOct. 25, Medina
Oct. 26, Batavia
Oct. 27, Penn Yan
Oct. 28, Canandaigua
Oct. 29, Geneva
|Oct. 31, IthacaNov. 1, Auburn
Nov. 2, Oswego
Nov. 3, Ogdensburg
Nov. 4, Watertown
Nov. 5, Rome
Victor A. Wilder of Brooklyn will speak:
|Oct. 14, BuffaloOct. 15, Auburn||Oct. 22, Pt. Richmond|
Judge James G. Maguire of San Francisco will speak:
|Oct. 17, JamestownOct. 18, Hornellsville
Oct. 19, Elmira
Oct. 20, Owego
Oct. 21, Schenectady
Oct. 22, Oneonta
Oct. 24, Port Jervis
Oct. 25, Middletown
Oct. 26, Newburg
|Oct. 27, NyackOct. 28, Greenbush
Oct. 29, Binghamton
Oct. 31, Rochester
Nov. 1, Corning
Nov. 2, Penn Yan
Nov. 3, Seneca Falls
Nov. 4, Batavia
Nov. 5, Medina
Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost of Newark, N. J., will speak:
|Oct. 17, GloversvilleOct. 19, Cohoes.
Oct. 21. Binghamton
Oct. 27, Rochester
|Oct. 28, PeekskillOct. 31, Yonkers
Nov. 2, Stapleton,
Dr. Alfred S. Houghton of Cincinnati will speak:
|Oct. 17, OneontaOct. 18, Nyack
Oct. 19, Hoosick Falls
Oct. 20, Glens Falls
Oct. 21, Whitehall
Oct. 22, Plattsburg
Oct. 24, Malone
Oct. 26, Kingston
Oct. 27, Poughkeepsie
|Oct. 28, PeekskillOct. 29, Sing Sing
Oct. 31, Yonkers
Nov 1, Utica
Nov 2, Syracuse
Nov 3, Rochester
Nov 4, Lockport
Nov 5, Buffalo
Mr. Louis F. Post of New York will speak
|Oct. 16, Brooklyn AcademyOct. 17, Kingston
Oct. 18, Herkimer
|Oct. 19, PeekskillOct. 20, Glens Falls
Oct. 21, Whitehall
Oct. 22, Troy
Mr. James P. Kohler of Brooklyn, will speak:
|Oct. 19, PeekskillOct. 22, Port Richmond||Nov. 2, Stapleton|
Mr. Robert Crowe of New York will speak:
|Oct. 17, OneontaOct. 18, Nyack
Oct. 22, Plattsburg
Oct. 24, Malone
Oct. 20, Kingston
Oct. 27, Poughkeepsie
Oct. 28, Peekskill
|Oct. 31, YonkersNov. 1, Utica
Nov. 2, Syracuse
Nov. 3, Rochester
Nov. 4, Lockport
Nov. 5, Buffalo
|Rev. W. D. P. Bliss will speak:|
|Oct. 25, AlbanyOct. 26, Hudson||Nov. 4, Amsterdam|
|Leo Miller of Chicago will speak:|
|Oct. 14, Buffalo||Oct. 15, Auburn|
Secretary State Committee United Labor Party,
Room 28. Cooper Union, New York.
LAND AND LABOR—The Central Committee has been organized for the purpose of carrying into national politics, by means of circulars, correspondence, lectures, etc., the principles of the United Labor Party of New York, as set forth in the platform adopted at Syracuse, Aug. 19, 1887.
Members of trade and labor organizations, and all citizens in favor of independent political action who are desirous of taking part in the formation of land and labor clubs are requested to address
Chairman Central Committee,
28 Cooper Union. N. Y. City.
Citizens of the following named states who indorse the principles of the United Labor Party and desire to lend active aid in the great movement, now beginning for the emancipation of labor, are requested to communicate with the State Organizers of their respective states, as follows:
California—Judge James O. Maguire, San Francisco.
Connecticut—Robert Pyne, 284 Asylum st., Hartford.
Indiana—Warren Worth Bailey, Vincennes.
Kentucky—Henry George Club, 258 Vine st., Cincinnati.
Louisiana—John J. Sullivan, 703 Fulton street New Orleans.
Massachusetts (Berkshire county)—F. Harvey Lincoln, box 115, Zylonite.
Massachusetts (Boston and vicinity) — Daniel H. Biggs, 61 Clarendon street, Boston.
Minnesota—Central Committee. United Labor Party, 42 Third St, south Minneapolis
New York—John McMackin, 28 Cooper Union, New York city.
Ohio—Henry George Club,| 253 Vine st:, Cincinnati.
South Carolina—Benjamin Adams. Charleston.
West Tennessee, Eastern Arkansas and Northern Mississippi – Land and Labor Club No. 2, Rooms, 9 and 10, Cotton Exchange, Memphis, Tenn.
THE LAND AND LABOR LIBRARY.—
We are now publishing under the title of “The Land and Labor Library” a series of short tracts on various phases of the social problem. These pamphlets contain facts, figures and arguments expressed m concise, vigorous language easily understood. As a means of propaganda we recommend them to all who desire to help on the movement for social reform. Those who wish to have these tracts placed where they will do good but who are unable personally to attend to their distribution. can remit the price to us, as we have every facility for sending them where they are needed and will be read.
The following have already appeared:
No. 1. “First Principles.” By Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 2. “Land and Taxation.” A conversation between David Dudley Field and Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 3. “The Right to the Use of the Earth.” By Herbert Spencer. 4 pages.
No. 4. “A Christian Minister on the Remedy for Poverty.” A sermon by the Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost of Newark, N. J. 2 pages.
No. 5. “A Sum in Proportion.” By T. L. McCready. 2 pages.
No. 6. “The Settler’s Nightmare.” By Louis F. Post. 4 pages.
No. 7. “New York’s Docks. The True Mode of Raising Revenue.” By. J. W. Sullivan. 4 pages.
No. 8. “Unemployed Labor.” By Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 9. “Voices for Reform.” 2 pages.
No. 10. “A Mysterious Disappearance.” By Lewis Freeland. 6 pages.
No. 1l. “How to Increase Profits.” By A. J. Steers. 2 pages.
No. 12. “The American Farmer.” By Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 13. “Sailors’ Snug Harbor and the Randall Farm.” By W. T. Croasdale. 12 pages.
No. 14. “The Collegiate Church and the Shoemaker’s Field.” By W. T. Croasdale. 12 pages.
No. 15. “Only A Dream.” By Abner C. Thomas. 4 pages.
No. 16. “The Anti-Poverty Society.” Dr. McGlynn’s address at the first meeting. 8 pages.
No. 17. “The Cross of the New Crusade.” A poem by David Rorty. 2 pages.
No. 18. “It Is the Law of Christ.” By Rev. S. H. Spencer of Henry, Ill. 4 pages.
No. 19. “My Landlord.” By John Jones. 4 pages.
No. 20. “Thou Shalt Not Steal.” An address by Henry George before the Anti-Poverty Society. 8 pages.
No. 21. “Christianity and Poverty An address by Father Huntington before the Anti-poverty society.” 4 pages.
No. 22. “Poverty and Christianity.” An address by Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost before the Anti-poverty society. 8 pages.
No. 23. “The Single Tax.” By Thomas G. Shearman. 8 pages.
No. 24. “Hymns of the New Crusade”—No. 1. 4 pages
No. 25. “Hymns of the New Crusade”— No. 2. 4 pages.
No. 26. “Religion vs. Robbery.” Address by Rev. Dr McGlynn before the New York Anti-poverty society June 12,1887. 8 pages.
No. 27. “Back to the Land.” Bishop Nulty’s letter to the clergy and laity of his diocese. 16 pages. Price 5 cents.
No. 28. “Anti-Slavery and Anti-Poverty.” An address by the Rev. Hugh O. Pentecost before the New York Anti-Poverty Society, June 19. 3 pages.
No. 29. “Tenement House Morality,” Rev. J. O. S. Huntington in the Forum. 4 pages.
No. 30. “The Case Plainly Stated.” A speech by H. F. Ring before the Knights of Labor at Houston, Texas. 8 pages.
No. 31. “Questions and Answers” Questions by Rev. Howard Henderson of the Sixty-first street M. E. church of New York; with answers by Henry George. 2 pages.
No. 32. “Objections to the Land Tax.” By Thomas G. Shearman. 4 pages.
No. 33. “Socialism—Its Truth and Its Error.” Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 34. “Horse Sense.” W. C. Woods. 2 pages.
No. 35. The Syracuse Platform. 2 pages.
No. 36. “Citycus and Rusticus.” Tudor S. Jenks. 4 pages.
No. 37. “Taxing Land Values.” Henry George- 8 pages
No. 38. “God Wills It.” Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 39. “What We Want.” Everett Glackin, president, Typographical Union No. 6. 2 pages.
No. 40. “Protection or Free Trade.” Henry George. Price 25 cents.
No. 41. The Syracuse Platform. (German.) 2 pages.
No. 42. “First Principles.” (German.) Henry George. 4 pages
No. 43. ‘‘Socialism—Its Truth and Its Error. (German:) Henry George. 4 pages.
No. 44. “How John’s Father Saw the Light.” W. C. Woods, M. D., 2 pages.
No. 45. Platform of the United Labor Party. 2 pages.
No. 46. “Taxing Land Values.” (German.) Henry George. 8 pages.
No. 47. “It is the Law of Christ.” (German.) Rev. S. H. Spencer. 4 pages
prices, free by mail:
2-page tracts — 50 copies, 10 cents; 100 copies, 15 cents; 1,000 copies $1; 5,000 copies $4.25
four-page tracts — 25 copies, 10 cents; 100 copies, 25 cents; 1,000 copies $2; 5,000 copies $8.50
six-page tracts — 25 copies, 15 cents; 100 copies, 37 cents; 1,000 copies $3; 5,000 copies $12.75
eight-page tracts — 25 copies, 20 cents; 100 copies, 50 cents; 1,000 copies $4; 5,000 copies $17
twelve-page tracts — 25 copies, 30 cents; 100 copies, 75 cents; 1,000 copies $6; 5,000 copies $22.50
sixteen-page tracts — 25 copies, 40 cents; 100 copies, $1; 1,000 copies $8; 5,000 copies $34
Other numbers in preparation.
Address HENRY GEORGE,
25 Ann st.. New York City.
An earnest worker in the cause — Edward Madison of Binghamton — writes an interesting letter on the subject of his experiences in making converts to the principles of the united labor party. Mr. Madison is a man who believes in working systematically; he notes the grounds on which each man whom he attacks opposes him; he studies the mental attitude and processes of his opponents, with a view to discovering, as nearly as possible, just what objections are most frequently made, and in what form the truth must be expressed to be most readily understood.
“It isn’t ignorance only,” says Mr. Madison, “that blocks the road. When I meet a man who is purely ignorant — who simply has never heard of the united labor party or the Anti-poverty society, and knows absolutely nothing about them — I don’t have much trouble with him. I begin by pointing out to him the fact that all wealth of every kind is, in the last analysis, the result of labor applied to some portion of the earth; then I show him that as all wealth is the result of labor applied to land, so there is no possible limit to the production of wealth save that imposed by scarcity of land or scarcity of labor. It is easy to make him see that there is practically no limit to land or natural opportunity — that there is plenty of coal and iron and other minerals still undug, plenty of land untilled, plenty of water power unutilized, plenty of building lots unoccupied — in short, that the natural raw material of wealth abounds on every side. Having got so far, I make him find out for himself — just asking him a question or two to put him on the right track — that the simple way to abolish poverty would be to let eager labor get at and utilize the natural opportunities lying idle; and after that the rest is easy. He is in the proper frame of mind. He sees that poverty really can be abolished, if only some way can be devised to give labor access to land; and he is anxious to find that way, and welcomes any glimmer of light that shows it to him. Everything else becomes plain to him with very little explanation — the injustice of land monopoly; the magical effects that will follow the imposition of the single tax. He sees it all; and he is not only converted to our principles, but he is perfectly prepared to go and preach them to somebody else.
“No, it isn’t the ignorant man that bothers me,” Mr. Madison goes on to say. “I always feel glad when I meet one of that kind. It’s the man that thinks he knows that bothers me — the man who thinks he has studied what he thinks are our principles and objects and feels sure there’s nothing in them. That sort of man is my terror. For unless you can get his mind thoroughly clean; unless you can clear away every brick of the edifice of his false ideas, you can never feel certain that his new faith will stand on a firm foundation. You go away from him thinking him thoroughly converted, and the first thing you know, some nonsensical little notion, like the poor widow with her seven children, or the poor man’s house alongside the millionaire’s palace, is hurled at him, and his mind is all adrift again.”
Yes, friend Madison, it is hard to combat error as well as ignorance: but to do that very work is the mission of every member of the united labor party. Don’t leave your converts too easily; see that they have around them some influence that will keep them in the right path. Get them to subscribe for The Standard. Induce them to read “Progress and Poverty” or “Social Problems;” bring them into your land and labor clubs, and get them to attend the meetings. Get them to work for the cause; in working they will study its principles, and through working their faith will be confirmed.
And now, you readers of The Standard, just look into your own hearts and see if you are not, very many of you, in just the position of those men of whom friend Madison complains. Do you really understand what it as that this united labor party is aiming at? Do you really comprehend the results that it is striving to bring about? It is hard to believe that you do. For surely, if you did, there would be no need for this column in The Standard — no need for us to urge you, week after week, to shake off your apathy and throw your whole soul into the contest and conquer once for all.
To bring the kingdom of heaven upon earth; to utterly destroy poverty, and greed, and selfishness; to make it impossible for any man to oppress his neighbor; to relieve the widow and the orphan from the horrible panic fear that oppresses them as they face the unpitying world; to tear down the tenement houses; to do away with the slums: to secure to every man comfort, leisure and freedom from anxiety for the morrow; these are the objects of the united labor party, the glorious results that will follow its success. Do you realize this? Many of you unquestionably do. But ask yourselves if everyone of the hundred thousand and more readers of The Standard had a living sense of the glorious possibilities of the future and a burning desire for their accomplishment, how long would it be before the gospel of anti-poverty would sweep across the country, as the fire across the dry prairie?
Friend — you who read these lines — don’t wait for the other ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine but buckle to and do your share of work at once. Send us subscribers for The Standard; send us money for the recruiting or campaign funds; win us votes for the party. Do whatever you can do best, whatever lies nearest to your hand; but do something. And do it now!
Livonia Station, N. Y.—I inclose remittance for “Progress and Poverty.” I have read The Standard sent me by some kind friend, and have become converted to your views and shall vote the united labor ticket. I want “Progress and Poverty” to convert father and the hired man and a neighbor. I was a republican; but seeing no difference between the two old parties, had almost made up my mind to join the prohibitionists. But I can’t vote for such a narrow issue.
I know one farmer who, owing to poor crops, cannot pay his interest this year. But next year he will have to pay two years’ interest with one year’s crops; and if he can’t pay this year with half a crop, what can he expect next year, even with good crops? He “owns” half his farm.
Charles H. Affolter.
Isn’t it worth the cost of a dozen recruit or campaign subscriptions to get such a letter as that? We could give you scores of such letters to read every week — letters from all over the country, from clergymen, from farmers, from mechanics, from laborers, from professional men. Once in a while, it is true, there comes a note from some willful man or other, “I don’t want The Standard; I won’t read it; stop sending it to me.” But even in that case the man has been waked up to the knowledge that the united labor party is in the field and hard at work; and nine times out of ten, however he make up his mind that he won’t have anything to do with these new fangled ideas, he gets to thinking of them in spite of himself; and from thinking of them to believing in them is only a step.
Mart, Texas.—I sent you twelve recruit subs. several days ago, and said I thought I could send you a hundred in thirty days. Inclosed find money for twenty-four additional ones. I rarely fail to get a man to subscribe if I take him aside to talk over the matter, in a crowd is not the way to catch them. Some “smart Aleck” among them will be sure to throw cold water. Tell your canvassers to catch on to this idea; it’s the best way. I am doing my best to spread the glorious gospel of “The New Crusade.” I told the two newsdealers of Waco to take each twelve copies of The Standard, and that I would pay them cost for all they failed to sell. I shall make the same proposition to our newsman here. I shall send you shortly a contribution for the New York campaign.
Inclosed find two dollars more, handed in since I commenced writing by two young men — one my son — for fees to Anti-poverty society. They saw where you wanted it to help in the campaign, and hasten to help. Neither of these young men is by any means poverty-stricken, but they say they have read of riches taking wings, and they want to provide for that contingency by bringing about conditions favorable to overtaking the fickle goddess in her flight, and such conditions will do it sure. Just let the taxes be placed on natural opportunities instead of property, and the people will be emancipated from the fear of poverty and rejoice in an annual jubilee.
God help the people to read and think, and pray, work and pay. I daily thank God that you have got H. L. Ring enlisted in the cause. He will prove a power in the fight. He enters contests to win, and he will win in this. He ought to be in New York state now, and, I dare say, will be, if possible. If we had the state organized we would ship him to you, sure.
Now is the time for all our friends to join, and help the New York campaign. New York must be won. All must help, and help now. The time is short. God grant that the wires may click that Henry George is elected. How it would ring around the world, and gladden the hearts of the enslaved millions.
J. L. Caldwell.
Lemoore, Cal.—To aid at least a little in this effort to benefit the human race by ushering in the age of humanity, I send you $1.50 and the names of six persons I wish you to send The Standard to for the same during the campaign, as stated in The Standard. Dr. B.Hamlin.
We send The Standard on the recruit subscription plan for six weeks:
To any two addresses for 50 cents.
To any five addresses for $1.
To any twelve addresses for $3.
And we send it from now to the end of the campaign, iu clubs of five or more, to separate addresses, at fifteen cents for each subscription.
These recruit and campaign subscriptions are doing glorious work. Hurry them in, friends, especially the latter. Five campaign subscriptions in New York means at least two more votes on Nov. 8. And two votes may turn the scale in some election district.
Worcester. Mass.—We have started the ball rolling here and will soon make it lively for the enemy in this vicinity. A few gentlemen met this afternoon and after an informal conference voted unanimously to form a land and labor club. I’ve have written for a charter, and I herewith send $1 for tracts of land and labor library. I also send 10 cents for 100 copies of blank form and circular devised by O. G. Howe of Detroit, Yours, E. E. Page.
Philadelphia, Sept. 25.—I must have a little interest in your anti-poverty campaign, though I have but little cash; and being but a night watchman at 67 years of age. For as that glorious Hugh O. Pentecost, in whom the spirit of Christ dwells, said on Sunday, the 18th inst. it is this that so takes hold of the minds of some of us (at least I fancy so, for I am not ashamed to say that it so takes hold of my mind) that we often walk the floor in waking hours and dream of it, and lie awake in midnight hours wondering what a glorious place this old wreck of a world will be when this reform comes to pass. It is this that makes life once more worth the living.
For we shall know as we are known
Nevermore to walk alone
In the dawning of the morning.
When poverty is cleared away.
Ferry Falls, Tex.—I am a blacksmith and live up to the motto, “Strike when the iron is hot;” and am willing to help get it hot. Our cause is prospering in this locality. Two-thirds of the producers in this valley of the Brazas are blacks; but most of them know just what landlordism is doing for them. They have not forgotten the days of chattel slavery, and are zealous in the cause of freedom, and most of the poor whites believe in the land for the people also. The truth only wants to be told and the victory is ours. Ira J. McCollum.
Philadelphia.—Desiring to give a hand in pushing forward the cause of Georgeism, if ever so little, inclosed you will find 50 cents in stamps for which send The Standard to the following addresses. …
Since the centennial stir is over, the land question is the main topic of discussion among workingmen again. Every Friday is looked forward to for The Standard and several neighbors gather in and among us we read it nearly through before dispersing.
Those who don’t quite comprehend the question (for I have yet to see one who does really understand it and not believe its efficacy) are willing to vote for the labor party when opportunity affords it for nothing else than by way of rebuke to both the old parties, which have lost their confidence.
We don’t make much fuss, but in season and out of it, perhaps, we are driving spikes in and clinching them every time. J. F. Cunningham.
Earnest workers these, every one of them. And who can help being an honest worker at a time like this, when “the day of the Lord is at hand,” and the new crusade is setting men’s hearts aflame with eager zeal.
We want to send Standards and tracts to every voter in New York who is not already a convert to our principles; and we want to do it just as quickly as possible, that the effects may be felt by election day. This costs money — more by far than we have at our command — and it is to secure this money that we urge every Standard reader who can afford it, to send his contribution at once to the recruiting fund. A dime, a dollar, a hundred dollars; send what you can, according to your means; but send it now, while the necessity is urgent.
Philadelphia, Pa.—I had concluded to take a season ticket for the “star course” of lectures that are so deservedly popular here, but my wife and I have both decided that it will be better to send the $5 to you to help on the glorious cause of emancipation in New York. The Standard is a power, and is telling on the people.
Boston, Oct. 10.—Please find money order for $2 to help along the good work. I consider the money well invested. E. J. F.
Richmond, Mo.—Herewith find postal note for $1, to be used as you think best in the New York campaign. It is a small amount, it is all I can afford to contribute at present. I trust we may carry New York. J. C.Williams.
New York City.—I inclose a check for $25, to be used for your “Recruiting Fund.” I cannot join your party, nor do I fully share your hopes, but I believe The Standard helps to make its readers think on many important public questions, and I am sure the more readers it has the better. A paper that really teaches the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man cannot have too wide a circulation. Josephine Shaw Lowell.
Washington, D. C., Oct. 10.—Inclosed please find $2, my regular monthly contribution to the good work. Every week, as I read The Standard, and especially “Publishers’ Notes” I am more firmly impressed with the idea that the cause of humanity for which you and your co-laborers are so zealously working is bound to triumph in the end, and that, too, sooner than most of us think. There is no doubt about it that our principles are gaining rapidly in public favor all over the country. Since the opening of the campaign in New York this fall I have met a number of men in this city who are in perfect sympathy with the movement and would vote the straight ticket were they in a position to do so.
The thing I regret most is that I am not able to make my contributions $20 per month instead of $2. Wm. Geddes.
Received this week:
J. L. Carder $1 15
M. Montague 1 00
J. C. Williams 1 00
J. Wright 5 00
J. Packard 1 00
Mr. Haggstrom 1 00
F. Karlson 1 00
E. P. Vollman 1 00
Mr. Van Dyke 1 00
G. C. B. 1 00
E. J. T. 2 00
‘ammer, ‘ammer, ‘ammer 1 00
1472 Anti-poverty society 2 25
J. S. Lowell 25 00
W. M. Geddes 2 00
Previously acknowledged 1,178 88
Total to date 1,225 00
We have now ready, for the use of clubs and other organizations, a form of invitation to attend meetings, issued as No. 45 of the Land and labor library, under the title of “The Platform of the United Labor Party.” On one side is given the Syracuse platform; on the other an urgent appeal to attend a meeting of the party or club, with plain, straightforward reasons for doing so. Proper blanks are left for stamping or writing the name of the organization, time and place of meeting, etc.
These invitation forms can be distributed in the cars or in the streets, left at houses, sent in letters, etc., and properly utilized can be made a very efficient means of propaganda. We furnish them at ten cents per 100, $1 per 1,000, or $4.25 per 5,000.
Change the Names of Men and Places and Might Not All This be Written of the United States?
Reynolds’ Newspaper, London, Eng.
As society is it present constituted, trade depression is a disease that would seem to be incurable. It is twelve years since it attacked, in an epidemic form, the commerce of the country, and no treatment which has been applied to it has produced the slightest effect for the better. On the contrary, so far at least as the working classes are concerned, year by year it is affecting their condition more and more for the worse. Labor is more difficult to obtain now than it ever was, and wages meanwhile have been reduced in most trades to almost the starvation point. Prime ministers and governments have risen and fallen, but trade languishes and labor starves all the same. It has, in fact, become one of the standing topics of discussion wherever and whenever working men come together for the purpose of comparing and exchanging opinions. This year, as was meet, it was the text chosen by the newly elected president of the trades union congress for his address to the delegates assembled at Swansea. Mr. Bevan discovers the cause of trade depression to reside in our land system, and in the concentration of capital into fewer hands. If these propositions are closely looked into, it will be discovered, we think, that Mr. Bevan has placed his finger right on the seat of the disease. There is nothing on the soil, or under the soil, of Great Britain that is not taxed and monopolized in the interests of the land holding class. Food is taxed in the shape of rents; coal and iron are taxed in the form of royalties; bricks, mortar, stone, wood — every blessed thing, in fact, which contributes to sustain human and animal existence — is taxed for the benefit of those drones. Take the duke of Hamilton as an example. From one of his estates in Lanarkshire he realizes over £100,000 per annum from royalties on coal and iron alone. He has no more right to these treasures, placed by nature in the bowels of the earth, than have the inhabitants of Saturn. He does nothing for the locality, or, for the matter of that, for the nation, whence he draws this immense wealth. The most of it he spends abroad or squanders on horse-racing. One hundred thousand pounds would support in comfort one thousand families — it would be two pounds a week to each but the former sum is not a third of the duke’s income from land and its adjuncts, and he is only one of many similarly circumstanced. A workingman has to pay a landlord, in such a case as his grace of Hamilton, first, a direct tax upon his labor in the shape of royalty; second, he is taxed upon the bricks, iron, wood, etc., in the shape of a house which shelters him, not to mention the rent of the ground; third, he buys his provisions from a grocer, his clothes from a tailor, both of whom have in turn also to pay rent, etc., to a landlord, and who again to recoup themselves must put it on the goods purchased by customers. So also the manufacturer is taxed by the landlord — in the city of London the landlord tax upon commerce, in the form of ground rent, is not, on the average, met by sovereigns sufficient to cover the whole surface of the ground — and this, too, in the end comes out of the pocket of the original producer — the workingman. The cry that we are being outsold in the markets of the world because our workingmen receive larger wages for working shorter hours than do foreign workmen, is not tenable. Suppose our workmen did receive larger wages than the workmen of foreign countries, how much would this amount to in the year as compared with the money “cellared” by the landowners. Say that a sixth of the whole population (which would be about six millions) derived their livelihood from labor, and suppose that they each received ten pounds (which is not the fact) more a year than the workmen of foreign countries, how much does this come to? It comes to sixty millions annually, not nearly so large a sum as the tax paid annually by the county of Middlesex alone to landlords.
What the Savings Banks’ Figures Really Show.
Cedar County, Iowa, Nonpareil
The St. Louis Globe-Democrat, to illustrate the prosperity of the country cites the latest report of the comptroller of currency, showing the number of depositors in the savings banks of the country at the end of the fiscal year 1886 to be 2,158,950, with deposits averaging $361.36 for each. The Globe-Democrat will not say whether or not they were time deposits, but at any rate a deposit of $361.36 seems to strike the Globe-Democrat as a large sum of money as an average for 2,l50,000. But why is it that the other 10,000,000 heads of families in this country show no deposits? It surely cannot be claimed that the country is in a prosperous condition with but one-sixth of the heads of families showing a deposit of $361.36 for each family, and the other five-sixths without a cent. In our estimation such would indicate poverty more than prosperity. But corporation sheets throughout the country howl themselves hoarse trying to convince the people that they are prospering, and should not complain if they have enough to eat, provided they can work every day, even if the railroad companies do charge them a dollar in this state for the same service that is performed in other states for thirty-five cents.
They Mean to Stop It in Some Way or Other.
In an editorial on the recent trades union contest, the London Echo says:
The net results of all this discussion is that in a dim way the representatives of labor see the evils of the English land system, and will be found at the back of any thorough and practical reformer when the time is ripe for a settlement. Landlords may smile at the ignorance of the delegates on intricate legal questions which they themselves, in many cases, would have a difficulty in explaining; but the unanimity of the discontent is a matter for serious consideration. If the workmen know nothing more, they, at least, know that the villages are being depopulated, and that their inhabitants compete in the town labor markets, and in some way or other they mean to stop the tide of migration, no matter at what sacrifice to the landlords.
THE CAMPAIGN FUND.
Don’t neglect it! It needs your support — needs it so urgently that unless you readers of The Standard do the full measure of your duty, the work for the doing of which the campaign fund is intended to provide must, to a greater or less extent, go undone.
Here are a few letters that show how earnest sympathizers with the work the united labor party has in hand are bestirring themselves to aid it. They are worth reading, alike for their interest and their example:
Boston, Oct. 9.—I inclose check for $100 for the campaign fund.
It is a matter of regret that those people outside of New York state who are interested in the cause do not mere thoroughly realize the importance of your campaign and contribute more liberally toward it. After you have won the battle in New York the other states will be in such haste to adopt the reform that it will be a hot race to see which will be first in line. So let us hope that all friends will realize the importance of contributing quickly and cheerfully and as liberally as their resources will permit, with the full satisfaction that their cause will be better helped than if their money had been given to spend in their own states. Mark W. Cross.
Los Angeles, Cal., Oct. 3.—Inclosed is $1 for the campaign fund. I believe it is the best act of my life to help in this new crusade and to aid The Standard in its glorious work of enlightening the people. J. E.Miller.
Detroit.—Inclosed please find $1 as the commencement of my weekly contribution to the united labor party campaign fund. If I am spared health and strength I will continue to send my mite until after the election. You are making an able fight in the cause of justice. May you be victorious. James Dalgarno.
Clifton, Staten Island, Oct. 6.—I inclose $1, all I can afford now while out of work, for the campaign fund. I was converted to your doctrine years ago by the Irish World, but although I take that paper yet I can scarcely believe that it is the same that used to be filled every week with articles defining and defending the land gospel. John P. Downey.
Kingston, Ont.—Inclosed please find $3 from three stanch believers. What a noble fight is going on in New York! That strange new vigor is working even here. Who knows what may happen! Sometimes I could take off my hat and cheer in the exultant hope of it.
Madison, Dak., Oct. 7.—Inclosed please find money order for $5 for the campaign fund. A subscription list is started here which will soon be sent in; but, remembering the old adage, “He helps twice who helps quick,” I send you this at once. E. H.Evenson.
Boston. England, Sept. 30.—I should like to let the readers of The Standard know that you have friends and workers even here. Since reading “Progress and Poverty” it has been an exquisite source of pleasure to know I have been the instrument of bringing the light of truth to others. The battle in New York is the opening skirmish in a tremendous struggle for all mankind. The ryots of India, the fellahs of Egypt, and all the down-trodden masses of Europe, did they but know the real issue, would be hanging breathless on the course of events in America. No sacrifice can be too great to attain the exalted object of our endeavor. Inclosed please find contribution to campaign fund and order for literature. Rowland Hill.
Received this week:
|John Garwood, Bellefontaine, OA. Snoddy
F. M. Marquis
A. F. Carbonate, Dak
James Delgarno, Detroit
J. W. D. Philadelphia, Pa
L. Lesauinier, Red Bud, Ill.
By W. E. Rohde, Aspen, Col.:
W. E. Rohde
J. E. Parkinson
G. F. Moore
A. P. K., Kingston, Ont.
J. F. B., Kingston, Ont.
R. B., Kingston, Ont.
M. P. Stright, Los Angeles, Cal.
Elihu Anthony, Santa Cruz, Cal.
George V. Wells, Chicago, Ill.
John F. Downey, Clifton, Staten Island
A miner, Schuylkill Co., Pa.
H. F. Stahmer, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Wm. J. Mahoney, Kansas City, Mo
|$5 002 00
|By J. H. Butler, Los Angeles, CalW. H. Dodge
J. A. Matthews
R. W. Ready
J. E. Ford
T. F. B., Hyde Park, Mass.
George F. Lewes, Victor, Iowa
J. F. New York city
Philip Bausch, New York city
George Bannell, St. Louis
Frank Bonche, St. Louis
Friends of W. R. A. Co, New Haven, Ct
E. H. Emerson, Madison, Dak.
J. F. Frazier
Mark W. Cross, Boston, Mass.
J. E. Miller, San Francisco, Cal.
Rowland Hill, Boston, England
E. D. Hamilton, Marshall, Ind.
Six Quaker City Cigar Makers
A few New York Plasterers
By Peter Cassidy, New York.
P. O. Connor
J. W. Cummings
M. Chaiken, Philadelphia, Pa.
R. T. Young, Tuckahoe, N. Y.
Land and Labor Club of Pawtucket, R. I.
M. Seun, Leonardville, Kan.
Friends in Boston Herald Chapel
No. 1153 Anti-Poverty Society
By M. E. Atkins, for members, San Francisco Examiner chapel —
by M. M. McCarthy, Philadelphia, Pa.
A. G. Groh, Archer, Laramie Co., Wyo. Terr.
S. P. Cropper, Philadelphia, Pa.
John May, New York
Total contributions for week
Total to date
And What is It But the Fear of Poverty That Thus Warps His Moral Nature?
With reference to the extent to which the “swearing off” process in the matter of assessments has been resorted to in Long Island City this year the Long Island City Tribune says: “It is surprising with what ease a man places his hand upon the Bible, or simply raises it toward heaven, and sanctimoniously swears or affirms that he is not worth a dollar in this wide, wicked world. Perhaps twenty-four hours before he has ‘made over’ all his sublunary possessions to his wife or child, and with a face approximating the ethereal — a calmness approaching the angelic — declares before the throne of heaven and his honor as a man he is pauperism personified. All that the ordinary man is supposed to hold sacred and dear — honor, truth, manhood — is sunk in the abysmal depth of this one engulfing thought: I want to escape my duty! In no other country in the wide world could such flagrant falsehoods go unpunished — could such iniquity be passed over without its just penalty.
Not a Bit of It — His First Lesson is That He Must Find a Master to Pay Him $10 a Week
New York Graphic.
The first lesson for a man whose work is worth $10 a week to learn is that he must not expect to live as well as his neighbor who makes $20 a week.
REV. EDWARD McGLYNN. D. D., PRESIDENT.
The twenty-fifth public meeting of the society will be held at the
ACADEMY OF MUSIC
SUNDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 16.
REV. DR. M’GLYNN.
CONCORDIA CHORUS ,
Under the direction of
MISS AGATHA MUNIER
Admission — Family Circle free.
Seats in orchestra chairs, orchestra circle and circle
boxes, 25 cents each. In proscenium boxes, 50 cents.
Box office open at 6:30 p.m on Sunday.
Tickets on sale from Thursday to members, or to
persons introduced by members, at the Anti-Poverty
Society office, 30 Cooper Union.