The Standard Volume 1 January 8, 1887

Volume 1 January 8, 1887

                The Case of Dr. McGlynn

The Case of Dr. McGlynn brings up in definite form the most important issues which have ever been presented in the history of the Catholic Church in theUnited States. It has in fact an interest far transcending this country, insomuch as the question which it involves is the attitude of the greatest of Christian churches toward the world-wide social movement of our times, and its decision will be fraught with the most important consequences, both to the development of that movement and to the Church itself.

Whatever may have been his communications to his ecclesiastical superiors, Dr. McGlynn has to the public at large maintained a most prudent and dignified silence. What has been given to the press has come from the archbishop himself, or the familiars of his palace and ecclesiastical council. From these sources the public know that Dr. McGlynn has been deprived of his pastoral charge and his means of livelihood and has been ordered to report to Rome, not because of any moral offense, any shortcoming in personal duties or any theological heresy, but because of his expression of certain economic beliefs and political preferences. Never before in the history of this country has there been such a barefaced attempt to use the Catholic Church as a political machine – such an audacious exercise of ecclesiastical power to stifle political opinion and control political action. Yet this outrageous attempt to use the power of Rome in American politics has excited no remonstrance on the part of the press, dominated, as the press is, for the most part, by influences which would gladly see the Catholic Church used to keep down any questionings of social injustice, and to prevent any political action on the part of workingmen. With few exceptions the leading papers have manifested an evident satisfaction that an extinguisher, as they suppose, has been put upon the radical utterances of “the Priest of the Poor,” and even journals ordinarily most sensitive to “papal aggressions” have softly patted Archbishop Corrigan on the back as an enforcer of discipline and a savior of society. Mr. Joseph Pulitzer, of the World, has, indeed, remarked that deposition was too severe a punishment. Some punishment, he assumes, ought to be visited upon the priest who ventured to oppose the “Fatty Walshes” that in the recent election rallied round Mr. Hewitt to save society, but in the kindness of his heart and the magnanimity of a victor, Mr. Pulitzer would evidently be satisfied with the sending of the most eloquent and best beloved of New York pastors from the largest of metropolitan parishes to some obscure country station, where he could not prove a stumbling block and an offense to New York rings.

On the other hand, many of his co-believers, while deeply indignant at the treatment of Dr. McGlynn, have, in the absence of any word to the contrary, assumed that he must go to Rome, and some of them seem to think that it would be well for him to go for the purpose of making a clear issue before the authorities of the Church as to the action of the archbishop.

Thus the matter stands at this writing.

Born in New York of parents whose mother tongue was Irish, Dr. McGlynn received the first part of his education in our public schools and graduated with honor into the Free Academy; but, selected by Archbishop Hughes because of his promise and of his desire for the vocation of a priest, he left the Free Academy to become a student in the Propaganda College in Rome. In that famous college, where students of all races, colors and languages meet on a footing of perfect equality, he not only acquired a thorough classical education, a mastery of the Italian and other continental languages and laid broad and deep foundations for theological studies that did not cease with his student days, but he learned that truly catholic lesson that only intercourse with men of different races and conditions can give – the lesson that “He hath made of one blood all the nations of men” – that “a man’s a man for a’ that.” Returning with high honors to his native land, a priest and doctor of divinity, Dr. McGlynn served for three years as chaplain of a military hospital during the war, was for some time pastor of St. Ann’s, until ill-health compelled him to take a trip to Europe; and was associated as assistant with two of the most notable of New York Catholic pastors, Father Farrell and Dr. Cummings, both devoted Catholics, but at the same time both deeply imbued with the free spirit of American institutions. At the decease of Dr. Cummings in 1866 Dr. McGlynn became pastor of St. Stephen’s, the largest though not the wealthiest parish ofNew York- for its congregation is mostly drawn from the east side.

Dr. McGlynn does not owe his prominence to the attention excited by the efforts to punish him for his political opinions. Recognized by common consent as the ablest, and strongest of Catholic priests inNew York, public opinion pointed to him as natural successor to the archbishopric of his diocese, and had it not been for his attitude on the school question, he would doubtless long ere this have reached the archiepiscopal dignity and perhaps the cardinalate. As it is, he was selected some nine years ago to go toRomeas the representative of the metropolitan diocese, carrying a Latin letter to the pope. And as a mere parish priest Dr. McGlynn has by force of his learning, eloquence and character, stood in the front rank of the great clergymen of the United States and wielded influence second to that of no man in the metropolis – an influence which sprang not merely from his ability, but in still greater degree from the lover which his devotion has inspired among all who came in contact with him. If he has never forgotten that he was an American citizen, Dr. McGlynn has been first and all the time a priest – a minister to the deepest of human needs. Instead of living luxuriously and growing rich, as many Catholic priests with opportunities inferior to his have done, he has voluntarily embraced poverty, living in the simplest and plainest fashion, and not only giving away the greater part of the little stipend of $800, which he permitted himself to draw from his church, but the considerable bequests which have from time to time come to him from relatives. St. Stephen’s, during all the years of his pastorate, has been pre-eminently the church of the poor; few aristocratic carriages rolled up to the door of its parochial residence, and liveried footmen seldom rang the bell; but there has been all these years a constant procession of the over-wrought, the distressed and the despairing.

Dr. McGlynn has never established a parochial school, but the revenues of the church that remained after dealing with the immense debt with which it was burdened when he assumed his pastorate have been expended in giving every facility and aid to devotion. St. Stephen’s has been noted for its magnificent music and for the beauty of its altars and its paintings – a single one of which is worth more than the furniture of the residence that has accommodated Dr. McGlynn and his eight assistants. Every day in the year St. Stephen’s church has stood open to those who might seek it for religious aid, and beginning at half-past five in the morning eight masses have been said, besides vesper service in the evening and a daily service inBellevuehospital. In addition to this, Dr. McGlynn has during his pastorate established a home for orphans and destitute children that now embraces three establishments – one inNew York, one onStaten Islandand one in Fordham – that together shelter six hundred children.

In the collection of a rich lady recently deceased, placed on exhibition last year in this city prior to its sale by auction, there was a little picture by a French artist that brought under the hammer thirty thousand dollars. And for those who can afford to buy great paintings this was none too much for the little picture of perhaps a couple of square feet. It was not merely marvelously drawn and colored, but was one of those paintings at which one can look long and look again, because of the meaning they express. This painting, which now adorns a railroad millionaire’s mansion, instead of hanging, as it ought to hang, on the walls of some public art gallery, is entitled, “The Missionary’s Story.” In the magnificent salon of a Roman palace a simple monk of one of the missionary orders is telling a story of hardship and martyrdom in some far off heathen land to two young cardinals seated easily on couch. In the middle ground another dignitary of the church is helping himself to refreshment from a well-filled table, while a handsome dog, on his hind legs, wistfully begs, and in a corner of the apartment the heads of some of the great orders are gossiping and laughing. The earnestness of the monk on the one side, the abstraction and languor of the two cardinals as they listen to what to them is “a tale of little meaning, though its words be strong,” and the utter indifference of the other dignitaries, produce an impression which it is hard to convey fully in words. It is the contrast between the earnestness and devotion of the men who have carried the banner of the Cross throughout all lands and the worldliness of the polished hierarchical aristocracy, who out of their devotion and their sacrifices enjoy the sweets of power and the luxuries of wealth.

Take the history ofFranceand read of princely cardinals, of luxurious bishops and abbots and of supple, cringing abbes, fawning and intriguing in the court of Versailles, and you will understand how the Revolution, stung to madness, decreed the abolition of Christianity and set up the altar of reason. Turn to the pages that tell of the poor priest driving the dead cart in the plague; of Vincent de Paul serving the galley slave; of sisters of charity toiling among the poor like ministering angels, and you will know how Christianity has endured and yet endures.

So it has always been. Christ was cradled in a manger, and came forth from the home of a working carpenter to preach to the tramp and the outcast Peter was a fisherman, Paul a tent-maker. It was among the despised and down-trodden and the generous-hearted who felt for the oppressed that the gospel of hope for the poor and of menace to the rich made its way. Christ’s declaration was that he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it; yet to the high priests of Jerusalem, as to the pontiffs of pagan Rome, the gospel of the common brotherhood of man and the common fatherhood of God was rank communism, to be trodden out with anathema, with steel and with lire, because it threatened the privileges of the rich and powerful. Hunted, persecuted, through the toils of its missionaries and the agonies of its martyrs, Christianity made its way, until it had become a power which the greatest of politicians could not despise, and in what is called the “conversion of Constantine,” Roman imperialism, with all it represented, was married in form with Christian truth. From that time, and in every land where it has become a dominant religion, the very powers that at first fought so bitterly against Christianity have sought to use it. This has been true of a[ll] forms of Christianity. The Catholic Church has been used to bolster the power of tyrants and to keep the masses quiet under social injustice; the Greek Church to support the absolutism of the Czar. Luther hurled his direct anathemas against German peasants driven into agrarian revolt by the unbearable oppressions of their lords; the English Church has been the staunch supporter of regal tyranny and landlord robbery, and Presbyterian ministers have preached to Scottish clansmen that in resisting eviction from their homes they would be resisting the will of God, while in our own day and place the popular preachers of the great liberal denominations, however careless they may be of the charge of heterodoxy, are careful to temper the gospel to their wealthy sheep.

The most Catholic – indeed, it may perhaps be said, the most religious people in the world to-day are the Irish, and it is to the Irish that the growth and power of the Catholic Church wherever the English tongue is spoken are mainly due.Irelandowes no debt of gratitude toRome. ThechurchofPatrick, the church of the days ofIreland’s glory, maintained a semi-independence ofRome, and it was to subdue this independence that the first English invader received a papal warrant to conquerIrelandon condition that he would compel the payment of Peter’s pence. But inIrelandfor generations past the Catholic faith has been the religion of the poor and oppressed, the religion of national hope and social aspiration. The priest, hunted and persecuted with his people when adherence to the Catholic faith was made the badge of an inferior caste and the mark of the most atrocious penal laws, became the devoted friend, the trusted guide, the father and leader of his flock in things temporal as in things spiritual; and while atheism and indifference have rolled their waves over France and Germany and Italy, the Irish heart has remained devotedly and intensely Catholic.

But this devotion has been put to some severe tests. Since persecution has ceased, the English government has sought to use the national faith to insure Irish submission, and there has grown up among the Irish Catholics a wealthy class eager for social “respectability,” that have come to be known as “Castle Catholics” – fawners at the court of the lord lieutenant and the bitterest opponents of any movement that has looked to the assertion of popular rights. The priests for the most part have remained true to the people and to their aspirations; but the hierarchy has too often been but a tool in the hands of the oppressor. The solicitations of the English government gained for the Irish Church at Rome a recognition which its devotion had never attained by the appointment of an Irish cardinal in the person of Cardinal Cullen; but he and his successor, Cardinal McCabe, were as devoted to English dominance and landlord interests as though they had been the direct appointees of the landlord oligarchy. While Cardinal McCabe lived no priest in his diocese dared say one word in public for the national movement, the single curate inDublin, Father Kane, who attended a land league meeting, being compelled to publicly apologize and then withdraw into the Dominican order. Even the noble-hearted women, who, when the Irish leaders were cast into prison, kept the cause alive, were condemned in an archiepiscopal pastoral.

On the death of Cardinal McCabe, the appointment of a successor of the same kind was only defeated by the determined attitude of the Irish priests and people, led by such prelates as Archbishop Croke and Bishop Nulty, who, in unequivocal language, told the Roman authorities that the course to which they were prompted by the English government and the Castle Catholics would inevitably lead in Ireland to just such a revolt of the masses from the Church as had already occurred on the continent.

Here in the United Statesthe same condition of things is presented. The Catholic Church, which has grown mainly by the multiplication of the Irish element in our population, is a church of the poorer masses; but in it the rich Catholics of the same genus as the Castle Catholics of Ireland, have to a large degree influenced the hierarchy in the same way. Dr. McGlynn is a representative of the Soggarth aroon – the “dear priest” whose devotion and patriotism have madeIreland so loyal to the Roman Church. Archbishop Corrigan is a representative of the “Castle Catholics” ofNew York, an American Cardinal McCabe.

There is another thing worth noting. Ireland was never conquered by the Romans, as were England and the Scottish lowlands, and the idea that land could be made private property so as to shut out any class of the people from all legal rights to the use of the earth, opposed as it is to ancient Irish law and custom, was only forced upon Ireland in comparatively modem times, by the force of English arms and the treachery of Irish chiefs, bought, as were the Scottish chieftains, to betray their countrymen by the promise of a change of the tribal tenure of land into an individual tenure which would make it absolutely their own; and it is only where the English tongue has supplanted the Irish tongue that Irishmen have forgotten their ancient traditions and become accustomed to regard private property in land as a matter of course.

“God bless you, my son!” said the venerable Bishop Duggan of Clonfert to me when I was inIrelandlive years ago. “In what you say of the equal rights of all men in the soil of their native land there is to me nothing new or startling, nor will there be anything new in it to any man who was held to the breast of an Irish-speaking mother. Your doctrines are the old beliefs of our race. When a little boy, sitting in the evening in the group about a turf fire in the west ofIreland, I have heard the same doctrines from the lips of men who never spoke a word of English. Our people have bowed to might; but they never have acknowledged the right of making land private property. In the old tongue they have treasured the old truth, and now in the providence of God the time has come for that truth to be asserted. I am an old man now, and may not see the victory; but I tell you that no matter what may be arrayed against it, there is no earthly power that can stop this movement.”

And this is characteristic of the Gaelic people, as I afterward found it, not only in the west ofIreland, but in the west ofScotland. To the thoroughly Anglicized Irishman the doctrine that “God made the land for the people” the doctrine that property in land cannot have the sanction that attaches to property in things produced by labor – may seem a new-fangled notion; but to the descendants of the men who were driven into the hills and bogs of the west, with the cry of “To Connaught or to hell!” and who with the old language have preserved the old traditions, it comes like a half-forgotten, but still familiar and self-evident truth; and the rallying cry of “The land for the people!” with which Michael Davitt raised the banner of the Land League, wakes a quick response in the bosom of the Celt.

This is the stock from which, like Michael Davitt and Patrick Ford, Dr. McGlynn comes.

I refer toIrelandbecause it is necessary to a full understanding of the case. It is not only that the Catholic Church in the United States derives its strength and importance from Ireland, and that both Dr. McGlynn and Archbishop Corrigan are the sons of Irish parents, and represent types which are presented in Ireland with perfect distinctness, but because the first attempt on the part of Rome to throttle an American priest for the exercise of his rights as a man and a citizen had relation to the Irish movement.

In 1882 came the darkest day of the land movement inIreland. A temporizing rent-reduction bill had been passed by the British Parliament in the hope of staying the radical wave; Parnell had come out of prison on an understanding, expressed or implied, that the radical features of the agitation with relation to the land were to be dropped; the Ladies’ Land League was abandoned; the word “land” was dropped out of the title of the Irish National League; Davitt, who, on his release from Portland, had again raised the old standard of the land for the people, was hounded as a creator of dissension, and Errington had the ear of the ecclesiastical authorities at Rome, and was through them exerting a pressure upon such of the Irish bishops as had been true to the people’s cause.

Just at the time when almost every voice was stilled that had championed the cause of the “Land for the People,” a new voice rung out. In welcoming Michael Davitt to New York, Dr. McGlynn, of whom previous to this nothing had been heard on the land question, made a speech in which he re-echoed in the clearest tones the same truth proclaimed by the Bishop of Meath – the truth that the land of every country belongs by grant of their Divine Creator to the whole people of that country, and that any compromise which should fall short of securing their equal rights in the land to the humblest of the people would be an injustice and wrong that could not stand. In ringing words he bade Michael Davitt go back toIrelandand preach the gospel of man’s natural right to land without care for consequences.

Such a speech, from such a man, at such a time, produced a marked impression. To the English colony at Rome, intriguing to use the ecclesiastical power – already fearful of everything denounced as socialism – to put down the Irish rebellion, such an utterance from an American priest was gall and wormwood, and, doubtless at the instigation of Errington, a letter was sent by the Cardinal Prefect of the Propaganda directing Cardinal McCloskey to suspend Dr. McGlynn. Cardinal McCloskey was too wise and just to do this, but Dr. McGlynn was ordered to make no more Land League speeches and he obeyed, remaining silent for years.

In the fall of 1882, after my return from Ireland, and after the speech to which I have referred, I made Dr. McGlynn’s personal acquaintance, and learned to reverence his deep but unostentatious piety, his broad Catholic spirit, and his devotion to the cause of the poor, to respect his mental grasp and acumen, and to admire a character in which the impulsiveness and warmth of the typical Celt is blended with an iron steadfastness and strength of will. It was his counsel that I peculiarly sought when a desire on the part of the labor convention to nominate me for the mayoralty of this city placed upon me a responsibility I would gladly have avoided. It was his view of what he deemed my duty that determined me.

Nominated by a convention of the trade and labor associations ofNew Yorkupon a platform which embodied a principle which I believe to be of the utmost importance, Dr. McGlynn gave me his earnest support, and I received assurances of like support from other Catholic clergymen. It came, however, to my ears that Archbishop Corrigan was much offended by the attitude of Dr. McGlynn, and to an old and valued personal friend of mine, the head in this country of one of the great Catholic orders, who had called on me to express his satisfaction at my nomination and to proffer his personal testimony in my favor, I expressed a desire to call upon the archbishop, should he be willing to meet me, that I might explain my real position in regard to the right of property, a matter as to which he was evidently under the grossest misapprehension. Before I again heard from my friend in this matter, Dr. McGlynn himself suggested that I should call on the archbishop, having received from him a letter expressing his anxiety about Dr. McGlynn’s supposed relations with Henry George, and his concern about a Catholic priest even appearing to coincide with socialism. Dr. McGlynn gave me the following letter of introduction to the archbishop:

New York, Sept. 29,1886.

Most Rev. and Dear Archbishop – I beg to introduce and to recommend to your esteem and kind attention my very dear and valued friend Mr. Henry George, whose published works have placed him in the front rank of American men of letters and writers on political and social science. Mr. George’s [garbled word] and intellectual gifts do not exceed his [garbled word] and graces of heart and character and his profoundly reverent and religious spirit. It seems to me a providential occurrence for which we should be thankful, that the labor organizations have chosen for their leader so wise and conservative a man, and one so utterly opposed, as all his writings show, to socialism, communism and anarchy, as Mr. George is. I, in view of my rights and duties us a citizen, which were not surrendered when I became a priest, am determined to do what I can to support Mr. George; and I am also stimulated by love for the poor and oppressed laboring classes, which seems to be particularly consonant with the charitable and philanthropic character of the priesthood, by virtue of which it has gained every where its greatest triumphs. As in a recent letter you showed some anxiety about a Catholic priest even seeming to coincide, with socialism, I have thought that I could not do better than to send Mr. George himself to you, as none other, so well as he, could prove to you the groundlessness of your fears by a frank statement, and by pointing out to you pertinent passages in his works.

Very sincerely,

Your obedient servant,

Edward McGlynn.

I called accordingly on the archbishop, who received me courteously, but gave me little opportunity to speak on matters as to which I could speak with propriety, insomuch as he opened the conversation by reading to me two letters from the propaganda, dated in 1882 and addressed to his predecessor, Cardinal McCloskey. In these the suspension of “the priest McGlynn” was demanded at the express order of the pope, because, in his Land League speeches, he had taught doctrines openly contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and he was censured because, in other ways, he had shown “propensity to favor the Irish revolution.” The archbishop gave me at some considerable length a history of the matter, the essential point of which was that the execution of this sentence had at that time been suspended on the understanding that Dr. McGlynn should make no more public utterances. The archbishop said that understanding had now been violated by Dr. McGlynn – so much so that a Protestant gentleman with whom he had recently dined had complained to him of the scandalous declarations of the doctor in regard to the rights of landowners. The archbishop told me that he had called his council to meet at 12 o’clock that day for the purpose of taking into consideration the case of Dr. McGlynn, and, as I understood, of at once suspending him.

On leaving the archbishop I called on Dr. McGlynn and informed him of the result of my interview. He said that his understanding of the promise he had felt himself obliged to make in 1882 was that he should deliver no more speeches on the Irish question, which promise he had kept; that he had since made speeches in behalf of Mr. Cleveland, to which there had been no remonstrance whatever,’and that although he had not up to that time received any inhibition from speaking at the Chickering hall meeting; yet even should one come he could not, now that he had been announced to speak, refrain from doing so consistently with his own self-respect and without publicly renouncing the rights of an American citizen.

As my visit to the archbishop had not accomplished the purpose I had intended, I forwarded on the next day the following letter:

16 Astor Place,

New York, Sept. 30,1886.

M. A. Corrigan, Archbishop ofNew York

Most Reverend Sir: I enclose you with this a letter from the Bishop of Meath, which, though not written for the purpose, will show by its incidental allusions that he fully shares the views I hold with respect to property in land. I have been unable to lay my hands upon a copy of his letter to the clergy and laity of his diocese, in which the fundamental proposition that all human creatures have equal rights in the land into which their Creator brings them is definitely set forth, but hope to find one and will send it to you.

I also send you copies of all my works. If you will do me the honor to look over them you will clearly see that there is nothing in them inconsistent with any of the teachings of religion, and I think you will agree with Cardinal Manning, who declared to me that there was nothing in the principles I have advocated in regard to the treatment of the land that the church had ever condemned.

Your ideas of my views have undoubtedly been founded upon the misrepresentations of opponents. I respectfully submit to you that, now that these views are becoming widely diffused, and are held by an already large and rapidly growing number of men, it is neither just nor wise to judge of them by misrepresentations founded upon ignorance or malice.

I am extremely anxious that you should inform yourself of the real character of the doctrines as to property in land, which I hold in common with such men as BJishup Nulty, Dr. McGlynn, and many others of the clergy of your church, because, from our conversation of yesterday I fear that your misapprehensions of these doctrines will lead you to action which, from my point of view, could only be productive of ill effects. In reference to our conversation of yesterday, will you permit me, with all proper respect, to say that the suspension of Dr. McGlynn for lending aid to an attempt of the workingmen of this city to legally redress abuses which they deeply feel, could but give point to the assertions of those who are striving to alienate workingmen from the church, by declaring that its authorities have always excited their power against any attempt to emancipate labor. Between the time of which you spoke to me yesterday, when Dr. McGlynn was censured from Rome for making speeches in behalf of the Irish Land League, to the present Lime, he has made many political speeches, without any interference of the ecclesiastical authority, for in the last presidential canvass he rendered most effective aid in the election of President Cleveland, without any ecclesiastical objection. If you should step in now and prevent him from expressing his sympathy with the organized labor associations of this city, it will seem to that great body of citizens as if your ecclesiastical authority had been exerted for the express purpose of breaking up a movement which has for its aim the destruction of political corruption and the assertion of popular rights. Yours, respectfully,

Henry George

To which I received in due course the following reply:

Archbishoprick ofNew York,

Secretary’s Office,452 Madison Ave.,

New York, Oct. 1, 1886.

Mr. Henry George:

Sir: I am directed by the Most. Rev. Archbishop to convey to you his acknowledgments of receipt of your letter of yesterday and of the copies of your works you sent him. His Grace also directs me to return you Bishop Nulty’s letter. -I am, respectfully,

C. E. McDonnell, Sec’y.

I also deemed it my duty to communicate to Mr. John McMackin, chairman of the executive committee of the labor convention, and himself a Catholic, as well as prudent and sagacious man, the result of my visit to the archbishop, and my impression of his intention. Whereupon Mr. McMackin wrote to the archbishop the following letter, which, together with the reply, he has given me permission to print:

New York, Sept. 30, 1886.

M. A. Corrigan, Archbishop ofNew York-

Most Reverend, Sir: I learn from Mr. George that a conversation with you has left upon his mind the impression that it may be your purpose, by the exercise of your episcopal authority, to prevent Dr. McGlynn taking part in aid of the workingmen’s movement for the election of a mayor of this city.

As a practical Catholic, devoted to my faith, I most respectfully protest against any such action on your part. As president of the conference of Trade and Labor organizations which nominated Mr. George, I know the strength of the movement and the feelings and desires which animate it. I can assure you that it has nothing which should prevent any Catholic from taking part in it, and that it is animated solely by a deep desire to reform the corruption of our government and ameliorate the condition of workingmen.

The clergy of the city have been permitted to take part in other political movements. The basements of the churches and the assistance of the clergy have been given to the aid of a similar movement in Ireland, and you yourself have sanctioned, by your presence, the extension of moral and financial assistance to the political party which in England and Ireland is struggling for the emancipation of the masses by the same legal methods which we propose to use here. Dr. McGlynn himself made a number of speeches in the last presidential campaign for the Democratic party without ecclesiastical prohibition.

To now interdict him from helping the workingmen of New York in a supreme effort to right their wrongs through the ballot would seem to them as though the Church, while willing to permit its clergy to aid the old political parties, only interposed its authority when honest citizens, tired of the corruption of our politics, made an effort to break down the rule of machines and cliques.

As a Catholic, devoted to my religion. I deem it my duty to respectfully represent to you the great scandal which such action on your part will cause. Dr. McGlynn is loved and venerated among us as the priest who has been pre-eminently the faithful friend of the oppressed, and it will be believed among the great body of citizens who have taken hold of the movement with an energy and determination of which, I think, you have little idea. that your action has been taken at the instance of the corrupt politicians who see in this revolt of the workingmen the overthrow of their power. No action of the kind can prevent the success of this movement, which will prove stronger by opposition; but it will give a handle to those among us who are constantly preaching that the Church is the enemy of labor, and that the first step which the workingmen must take to secure their just rights is to emancipate themselves from all reverence for religion and its ministers.

I write to you thus frankly, because I believe it to be my duty to lay before you facts and considerations of which I cannot believe you to be sufficiently informed, and which my position as the official head of the workingmen’s party enables me to know. I trust you will see in this communication no presumption, but only a sincere desire to prevent, until you have more fully considered the matter, such action as I am convinced would be deeply injurious to everything that is good.

I am, most reverend sir, with profound respect, devotedly and obediently yours,

John McMackin.

This was the reply:

452 Madison Avenue,

New York, Oct. 1, 1886.

Mr. John McMackin, Chairman, &c.-

A single remark is quite sufficient answer to your communication just received. The only politician who has ventured to approach me, directly or indirectly, in the campaign you refer to, is Mr. Henry George.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

M. A. Corrigan, Abp

In relation to the insinuation of the archbishop’s letter, I have only to observe that no living man can say that I ever, directly or indirectly, asked his support in the late campaign in any other way than in my public speeches, and that my visit to the archbishop was solely with the view of removing from his mind misapprehensions which I thought were based on ignorance, and of thus relieving the embarrassment of a noble-hearted friend, who, although I am not of his faith, is to me, indeed, the soggarth aroon of the Irish peasant.

Dr. McGlynn went to Chickering hall and spoke, though the other Catholic clergymen who were to have been present did not come, having, as I afterward learned, received an express command not to do so. I did not hear Dr. McGlynn’s speech, but I know how it impressed those who did. A lady who was present, and who had no idea of the situation, said to me after the meeting, “Dr. McGlynn spoke like a man who expected this night to be his last.” she did not know that he spoke under the shadow of what to a Catholic priest is worse than death.

Dr. McGlynn informed me the next morning that he would not speak again during the campaign, and, as far as we could, Mr. McMackin and myself prevented anyone from asking him. And he kept his own counsel. Not until weeks after the campaign, and until the matter, bruited about from the archbishop’s palace had found its way into the press, did I learn, or had I the faintest suspicion, that on the morning after that speech Dr. McGlynn had really been suspended for two weeks. I do not think that even Dr. McGlynn’s assistants knew it, so anxious was he to preserve the authorities of the Church

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that he loves from the scandal of thus trying to coerce an American citizen in the exercise of his political rights.

Dr. McGlynn made no more speeches in the campaign, obeying to the letter the command his ecclesiastical superior. But he did show his sympathy in all non-forbidden ways, and when, on the eve of the election, “Monsignor” Preston, the archbishop’s right-hand man, issued a pronunciamento designed to prevent Catholics from voting the workingmen’s ticket, which pronunciamento was distributed at the church doors, Dr. McGlynn volunteered to ride around with me to the polls – in this silent way to show that a conscientious Catholic could and did support me.

The attitude of silence which Dr. McGlynn maintained in regard to his suspension during the campaign he has maintained since. The public knows that he has again been suspended since the election, and has been summoned to Rome by the Cardinal Prefect of the Propaganda; but this information has been given to the public not by Dr. McGlynn, but by the archbishop and the members of his ecclesiastical staff, who seem to have sought every opportunity to publicly degrade and punish the priest who has dared to show any spark of the manhood of an American citizen.

Let it be observed that there is and can be no pretense that Dr. McGlynn in taking in politics has done anything inconsistent with his duty as a Catholic priest. He is not punished for having taken part in politics, but for having taken a side in politics which Archbishop Corrigan does not like. The Catholic Church does not deny the propriety of the priest exercising all the functions of the citizen. To say nothing of the past, when bishops and cardinals held the highest political offices, inGermanyandFranceandItaly, the Catholic clergy have been in recent times energetic politicians, and sometimes hold elective office. InIreland, Catholic priests have long taken the most prominent and active part in politics, and candidates issue their election addresses to “the clergy and people.” Archbishop Hughes was noted as a consummate and persistent politician, and the influence of the Catholic hierarchy was thrown in the last election in support of Mr. Hewitt, in spite of the wish of many priests who were coerced into silence. But as a priest, Dr. McGlynn has never taken any part in politics. He has never interjected the discussion of a burning question into a sermon, as did the archbishop into his pastoral, and has never, in his character of a priest, presumed to offer political advice.

What, Dr. McGlynn is punished for is for taking the side of the workingmen against the system of injustice and spoliation and the rotten rings which have made the government of New York a byword of corruption. In the last presidential election Dr. McGlynn made some vigorous speeches in behalf of the Democratic candidate without a word or thought of remonstrance. His sin is in taking a side in politics which was opposed to the rings that had the support of the Catholic hierarchy.

Whether Dr. McGlynn will go toRomeis something which rests with himself; whether he ought to go toRomeis a matter which may properly be discussed. Some of his friends, following the lead of the impulsive Michael Davitt – who, on the eve of his marriage with a charming lady, was disposed to take roseate views – have seemed to think that Dr. McGlynn ought to obey the summons to Rome, in order to present the case of those Catholics who believe in the common right to land, and force the question to an issue, which would forever still any pretense that this doctrine was condemned by the Church.

This might be all very well if Dr. McGlynn could go to Rome after some such unequivocal popular expression as convince the Roman authorities that he was the ambassador of American Catholics, and that they did not propose to be trifled with. But for him to go toRomeas a suspended priest with any expectation of getting a hearing as against an archbishop, backed up by all the influence of the rich Catholics of theUnited States, and by all the powerful influence of the English colony and English intriguers atRome, would be folly. Dr. McGlynn would have no chance inRometo make any presentation of the case, even if the Propaganda were a perfectly impartial tribunal.

But it is not. The cardinals of the Propaganda are a set of Italian Bourbon politicians, bitterly opposed to everything savoring of freedom and progress, and committed in advance against Dr. McGlynn and the doctrine of “the land for the people.” Michael Davitt himself knows how bitterly they opposed the Irish movement. Is it likely that they would give any hearing to the “priest McGlynn,” whom they condemned four years ago because of his partiality to the “Irish revolution?”

It is true that the patriotic Irish prelates, with the all but unanimous sentiment of Catholic Ireland behind them, did back down the Propaganda and defeat the Errington influence inRomeby forcing, a year ago, the appointment of Dr. Walsh to the archbishoprick ofDublin, instead of the “Castle hack” who had been selected for the position. But this was done by a practically united Irish hierarchy, consisting of an archbishop and bishops, and under the open declaration that the bishops, priests and people ofIrelanddid not propose to be bullied byEnglandthroughRomeany longer. What chance would a simple priest – a suspended priest at that – with his own archbishop against him, have before a tribunal where united Catholic Ireland could barely get consideration? Instead of the Irish victory furnishing any precedent, the Bourbons of the Propaganda,irritated at their Irish defeat, would be all the more sure to wreak their vengeance upon the American supporters of the “Irish Revolution.”

Not that there is any fear of Rome deciding against the doctrines regarding God’s gifts to man which Dr. McGlynn has so ably championed. It is too politic for that. What it would do if Dr. McGlynn went toRomewould be simply to sidetrack the issue and to drop Dr. McGlynn, metaphorically, through some ecclesiastical trap door. He would be worried and heart-broken by delays, compelled to defend himself against all sorts of side charges, and finally sent into some convent or ordered off to Africa orChina. As Puck, chuckling over the suppression of Dr. McGlynn, declares, “The Church hath a million ways of squelching the insubordinate, and Dr. McGlynn is marked for squelching. The job will be done delicately, but it will be done effectively.” Nor does “Monsignor” (my lord) Preston have any doubt as to what will become of Dr. McGlynn if he goes toRome. “He is not sent for to be complimented,” says this “My Lord”Preston; “he is sent for to be disciplined.”

The truth is that having Dr. McGlynn ordered toRomeis a cunning scheme to get rid of him with the least possible remonstrance from his congregation. It would be unpleasant, to say the least, to try to cut off his head here among those who know him and love him, so he is to be sent away to be executed, and time is to be allowed to dull feeling.

But all this is merely in answer to those well meaning persons who say that Dr. McGlynn should go toRome. What might happen to Dr. McGlynn inRomeis not in itself a reason that a man such as he is might regard. But there are the strongest possible reasons why he should not go toRome. In this matter a great principle is at stake. Does an American citizen cease to be a citizen when he becomes a priest? Is an American citizen, because he is also a Catholic priest, to be held to answer before a foreign tribunal because of his action in American politics? If this is so, then the sooner we know the better.

The charge is often made that the Catholic Church is the foe of human liberty – the sometimes stealthy, but always persistent, enemy of real progress. This not true of Catholic doctrine. There is nothing in Catholic faith which prevents a believer from being a good citizen and a social reformer of the most radical type. But it is too true of those who control the ecclesiastical machinery. And the issue is now made in the case of Dr. McGlynn between the freedom of Catholic theology and the spirit of reaction that controls the ecclesiastical machine.

To say that there is nothing in Catholic doctrines inconsistent with the largest political liberty may seem to many non-Catholics far too strong a statement. But, as understood by intelligent Catholics, the doctrine of papal infallibility means no more than the expression of a trust that when it comes to speaking in his official character as head of the universal church the Divine Providence will not permit any false teaching on matters of faith. In the Catholic view the pope, in all other capacities and on all other subjects, is no more infallible than Archbishop Corrigan, and Archbishop Corrigan is no more infallible than the butler who opens the door of his marble palace, or the butcher boy who brings meat to the kitchen.

In matters of faith the Catholic holds that he must submit to his Church (though even in matters of faith Catholic dogma is much more elastic than most Protestants suppose), but in matters beyond the sphere of faith and morals no intelligent Catholic attaches any more importance to the dictum of ecclesiastical authority, be it that of priest, bishop, cardinal or pope, than is due to the character of the man and the reasonableness of the opinion. That there have been stupid and vicious ecclesiastics; that even incumbents of the chair of St. Peter have been vile and wicked; that Catholic authorities have declared against the rotundity of the earth and its motion round the sun, have instigated wars, massacres and persecutions – are to him no argument against the Catholic faith, for he sees in them only the aberrations of the human element. That in all ages there have been ecclesiastics or ecclesiastical rings who, prompted by the lusts of the flesh or the desire to please the powers of the world, through ignorance of the limits of their own functions or through a desire to impose upon the ignorance of their flocks, have attempted to stretch ecclesiastical authority beyond its proper domain, any intelligent Catholic will readily concede; but he contends that in all such cases ecclesiastical authority loses its binding force, and that the duty of the true Catholic is to set it at defiance.

No Catholic who really understood his faith would say that the Catholic Irish who fought against the English invaders, armed with the bull of Pope Adrian, incurred any spiritual penalty, or were any the less Catholics. On the contrary, he would say that the very fact of their being Catholics made it the more incumbent on them to resist such an unwarranted stretch of papal power. Archbishop Hughes, in a public speech in this city, gloried in the fact that the Catholic Venetians fought a pope when he tried to use the papal power to destroy their republic, and declared that American Catholics could and would do the same thing if papal aggression ever threatened their liberties.

It is not exactly papal aggression which now threatens the liberties of American Catholics, but it is something which endeavors to shield itself behind the papal authority and to use the machinery ofRometo control American politics. The pope himself probably knows as much of the case of Dr. McGlynn as the new Warden of the Tombs does of the binomial theorem, and the Italian cardinals of the Propaganda can know but little more. Dr. McGlynn has not been summoned toRomeat the instance ofRome, but at the instance of Archbishop Corrigan, prompted undoubtedly by the “Castle Catholics” and the ring politicians ofNew York.

But whether the Roman ecclesiastical authorities are used through Errington by the British government, or through Archbishop Corrigan by aNew Yorkring, or whether they act in American politics on their own motives and for their own purposes, makes little difference. The prime fact is in the outrageous claim that the American Catholic clergy, perhaps for their numbers the most influential class of men in the country, are to be in their political action the puppets of a foreign power, four thousand miles distant in space and many centuries distant in ideas; that these men, each of whom may influence hundreds and thousands of votes, are to be subject to disgrace and punishment, to be thrown out of their homes and means of livelihood if their political action does not suit the Italian cardinals of the Propaganda or the worthy gentleman who lives in the twelve-hundred-roomed palace called the Vatican. If American Catholics have not more spirit than to submit to this, then is Catholicism indeed utterly inconsistent with free institutions!

But I am confident that there is too much spirit in American Catholics to submit to such dictation, and for my part I would rejoice to see Dr. McGlynn make the issue clear and plain by utterly refusing to go toRometo answer for his conduct as a citizen. In his case the point has long been passed at which endurance ceases to be a virtue. His submission when arraigned for favoring the Irish revolution has merely encouraged ecclesiastical tyranny. The time has come when he ought to make a stand for the sake of his brethren in the priesthood, as well as for the sake of the principles of American liberty.

Even without going into the question of why the government of a world-wide church should be allowed to rest in the hands of a knot of reactionary Italians, it is clear that the organization of the Catholic church in this country is not such as self-respecting American Catholics ought to be contented with, or as is suited to the genius of our institutions. The organization of the Church in this country is autocratic in the last degree. The American Catholic priest has no such independence as belongs to the priest ofItaly,FranceorSpain. Ecclesiastically he is under martial law, for by a fiction which the ecclesiastical politicians ofRomehave seen fit to preserve, this country, likeIreland, is considered as a missionary country, and is, therefore, under the absolute government of the Propaganda. Some pretense of securing to American priests a little show of independence was made at the council of Baltimore, but what it amounts to may be seen from the fact that there are inNew York cityonly nine pastors who cannot be removed at a moment’s notice by will of the archbishop. As for Catholic congregations, they have not only no choice as to their pastors, and no voice in church matters, but have no control whatever over the edifices they build and the property their contributions create. The congregation of St. Stephen’s now see their beloved pastor thrown out of the church their contributions have raised and beautified, and they are helpless to prevent it.

However, there is one thing they can do. They can keep a tight grip of their money. That would be the most effective means of bringing the ecclesiastical autocracy to its senses.

In the meantime American workingmen might as well make up their minds that in their fight for the enfranchisement of labor they must meet the opposition of the Catholic hierarchy.

Henry George.

 

Free Trade

An Important Meeting to be Held at Cooper Union Next Week

A vigorous protest is to be made during the coming week by the New York free traders against the attitude of congress toward a reform of the tariff, through the medium of a mass meeting at Cooper Union, on Wednesday, the 12th inst., at which Capt. F. W. Dawson, of South Carolina; ex-Governor Dorsheimer, Henry George, and possibly Colonel Fellows and Congressman Belmont will speak. Jackson S. Schultz will preside. The more progressive element among the free traders have been learning very rapidly of late that their true policy is to take the offensive on the broad ground that the protective tariff is oppressive to all classes of the community. They are growing impatient at the temporizing policy of the ” moderate” tariff newspapers, which advocate a reduction of duties mainly because there is a surplus revenue, and at the timidity of political leaders in congress, who hold their tariff convictions so entirely secondary to their party machinery, and dread taking a positive stand which they fear may prove unpopular.

The coming meeting is said to be projected with the hope that it will spur up these lukewarm advocates to something like a definite course of action and give an opportunity for a clear statement of belief that the workingmen of the country are not benefited by the tariff, even through a nominal raising of wages. The protectionist fetish of protection to American labor has been worshiped so blindly in the past that even ultra free traders have until recently been somewhat chary of accepting the challenge given them by protectionists on this branch of the subject; but since it has begun to dawn on the public that landlords and not the tariff is the cause that governs wages, the advocates of lower customs duties have found their strongest weapon in demonstrating the cheapness of the labor that goes with high wages. The committee who are to draft resolutions for the meeting on Wednesday state that they will devote special attention to this point, and emphasize the failure of the protective system to really advance the interests of workmen in manufacturing industries. It is gratifying to find this radical sentiment growing among free traders, and to observe the catholic spirit in which the list of speakers has been made up.

 

Why Texans are Poor.

Forney,Texas. – I am a farmer and landowner. Twelve years ago land here could be bought for $3 an acre; now it is worth $30. Then land went begging for renters; now renters go begging for land. The man who owns this black, rich soil is better off than the man who owned slaves before the war. He is complete master of the situation. He not only dictates the amount of rent, but the method of cultivation.

T. F. Tuet.

[It is inTexasthat 39,700 people are officially reported as destitute of shelter, clothing and food.]

 

“Fatty” Walsh

A Natural Product of the Trade of Politics

Walshes and Divvers in Every District – The Services They Render Their Constituents – Helping Men Out of Jail – Walsh Once Sentenced to Prison.

Politics is a business to a constantly growing number ofNew York’s citizens. Men like “Fatty” Walsh, the new warden of the Tombs prison, and Alderman Pat Divver, are in every assembly district, only their neighbors do not find them out so completely. They will perhaps become better known now that a new force in politics has become aggressive. The favors that these politicians do for their neighbors are turned into votes, and the more favors they do the more votes they get.

Ever since the new warden of the Tombs, “Fatty” Walsh, was able to show himself in society, he has been a politician. He learned the trade of gold-beating and worked at it long enough to become heartily sick of work and anxious for some other employment. He fell in with Pat Hayes, who had then the reputation of being the smartest and sharpest faro player inNew York. Hayes informed Walsh that if he would only put a little money into his game at 40 Bowery he could make lots of money. “Fatty” made the investment, and in four years was worth $100,000. His reputation grew in the community, and as his father and his brother, the latter of whom was once elected county clerk, were a power in politics, it is safe to assert that the authorities kept their hands out of Walsh’s affairs. He had a gambling business atNo. 5 Mulberry streetuntil he offended them. Walsh himself began to take a hand in politics in 1875, and notably when his brother “Billy ” was running for the office of county clerk. In that contest, which was marked by strong and bitter feelings, Jerry Hartigan, who was Walsh’s factotum, killed his man. He was tried, convicted and, by means known to those who can exert political influence, freed. Walsh himself was frequently before the courts for fighting, since it is necessary to maintain one’s position in politics just as often and as hard as anywhere else. Judge Doweling sentenced Walsh to six months in the workhouse as a common fighter, but the judge had not nerve enough to stick to this decision, and he discharged “Fatty” from custody before he was put in the jail. Speaking of the event afterward, Judge Doweling said: “I’d a-given $1,000 to have been able to lock up Walsh and make him bring bonds for his good behavior to-morrow. I hope I’ll be able to do it some day.”

It was in 1880 that “Fatty’s” gambling place in the Bowery was “pulled.” He had offended the men in Tammany Hall, with whom he had trained in politics for years, and they had their scalping knives out. He was in the assembly and his friends were all beset at home by Tammany. As happens frequently in politics, Walsh was never prosecuted, for the reason it is generally considered that he was too useful a man to put in prison. Benjamin K. Phelps, who was then district attorney, made reprisals, and it is safe to say that some of the fifteen thousand votes he insisted should be made Republican came out of the Fourth and Sixth wards through Walsh’s assistance. People ask, “How ‘Fatty’ lives?” “He lives,” says a prominent citizen of the Fourth ward, “as a good many other people live. He has been an assemblyman and an alderman. He was on the pay roll of the department of public works. The people ought to take care of him since he is so serviceable to them in many ways. Between us, I do not know what this district would do without ‘Fatty’ Walsh, and now that he is in the Tombs in charge of things, and with the eyes of the whole public on him, he cannot be of the same service as when he was out. I’m for bouncing him.”

The District in which “Fatty” Walsh lived is a very peculiar one. The police dominate it as though it were their private property. Men, women and children are hauled off to jail just at election time that they may send and bring their friends and get them out. For the last two or three years back, since the public had frowned upon gambling, Walsh’s house has been beset by all sorts of people, seeking favors at his hands. In the hallway of his house, 27 City Hall place, a man whose wife is in jail for drunkenness, or fighting with a neighbor, jostles another who has come to ask “Fatty” to give him a note to some of his friends with boodle, that he may bail out a friend who has been locked up. “Fatty” goes with the first to the Tombs after giving the other a note to his friend Barney Golden, the tailor of97 Baxter street. On his way down to the City Hall, which was his lounging place in the middle of the day, “Fatty” was hailed by a half dozen friends who had been warned, more energetically perhaps than at any other time since the election, to remove obstructions from the front of their doors or to abate a nuisance that had been in operation since the last election.

Perhaps the commissioner of jurors had sent word to a juror, who is a busy man, that he must appear and state his reasons. The juror asks “Fatty” to go and get him excused. The commission of public works wants a man to put in a new water meter, and “Fatty” is asked to get permission to let things stand as they are. All of these people, if “Fatty” succeeds in getting what they want, will support him with their votes and get all their friends to do likewise. They will stand an assessment, too, but as a general rule Walsh depends for his income on other sources. It has repeatedly been said in the district that in the year 1884, when Walsh was elected alderman, Mayor Grace gave him $1,000, and that in the year he was defeated Grace gave him $5,000. But the greater part of the money used in his elections comes from the many friends who desired “Fatty’s” election to an office.

In the year 1884 all the gamblers in town who had been accommodated, by “Fatty” chipped in to help elect him alderman. Jerry Haitian went around and collected the assessment. It gives Walsh pain to acknowledge that he has never since been in a position to repay any of these favors, for the boodle board made the aldermen so disreputable that they could no longer help anybody.

William P. Kirk, the indicted boodle alderman, was until his indictment in charge of affairs in the second assembly district, and he is now in charge of things, but he has not the grasp that he had. He is the man behind Divver, and he negotiated the putting of Walsh into the office of warden and the removal of Warden Finn. Finn for years was a keeper in the Tombs. He was also a police man.

“I made Finn constable, policeman, keeper in the Tombs and warden, and now I am going to make him the superintendent,” William P. Kirk, the indicted boodle alderman, said to the writer. “Whatever I says goes,” he complacently added. Warden Finn was made superintendent of district prisons three days afterward. Had Kirk been entrenched in power, Walsh never would have been appointed warden. The office has always been considered as the property of Tammany Hall.

When Walsh was beaten by Divver for Alderman, in 1885, he said to his friends that he would like to be made warden of the tombs. It looked as if he was going to get it when Dr. Charles G. Simmons was made commissioner of public charities and correction; but many politicians said that if the appointment was made it would turn the town upside down, and the commissioners of charities and correction put Hr. Walsh’s character in their pigeonholes, to be used when the times were more quiet. Last fall Mr. Walsh aimed to be made congressman from the Seventh district. It was all arranged in his district that he should receive the nomination and Mr. Patrick Divver should be made the alderman, while Timothy D. Sullivan, the undertaker, was to be the assemblyman. Mr. Divver, who is now in charge of Tammany’s interests in the second district, consulted with Alderman Kirk, and this arrangement was agreed upon. The leaders of the Labor party upset matters considerably. Their candidate for mayor named “Fatty” Walsh as a specimen politician in his letters, and it was believed that should Walsh be made the candidate for congress the district would be lost to the Democrats. They thereupon determined upon heroic measures. John R. Fellows, who was willing to stand in any district if the politicians would furnish him with the money, picked out “Fatty’s” district for himself when the politicians told him they had no money to give him. “Fatty’s” friends informed Mr. Fellows that if he ran in that district he would be beaten out of his boots by the workingmen. Other politicians who wanted the nomination were frightened off in the same way, until Lloyd C. Bryce appeared. Mr. Bryce is the son-in-law of Edward Cooper. Mr. Hewitt, Mr. Cooper’s brother-in-law, was friendly to him. Mr. Cooper, through Police Justice Daniel O’Reilly, told “Fatty” Walsh that if he would withdraw from the race for congressman he would be taken care of. He asked what he would get. He was told that he would get the appointment of warden of the tombs. Both factions of the Democratic party were united and he positively would get this position. “Fatty” went to the convention and voted for himself once, but it was agreed three days before that General Bryce should he the nominee for congress. The bargain was adhered to, and “Fatty” has got his appointment.

“I do not know why the people are raising such a fuss about this appointment of ‘Fatty’ to be warden of the Tombs,” ex-Coroner W. H. Kennedy said. “He has been a great service to theCountyDemocracydown in this district, and he ought to have something. I myself have spent a good deal of money in politics, and I think it is only fair and just that ‘Fatty’ should have a job. He was promised it and he ought to have it, and there’s an end. It would have made a great difference in the number of votes that Hewitt polled in the Second Assembly district had ‘Fatty’ Walsh been in bed on election day instead of his polling place in Park street. All his ‘injuns’ would have held up their hands and quit work. ‘Fatty’ got the biggest bulk of the money to distribute at the polls and he made good use of it, for Hewitt got more votes in his district than in any other.”

 

The Situation in Philadelphia

The Labor Party Has a Good Chance – The Bosses Select the Regular Candidates.

Philadelphia, Jan. 4. – The coming contest for the mayoralty of this city promises to be close and exciting. A new party has entered the field, and if properly managed will give the Republicans and Democrats a hard race.

The United Labor party holds its convention on the 34th of January, and as the situation stands at present, it has a good chance of polling a large vote, providing the convention nominates men of honesty and ability. At this stage of the party’s existence the character of the nominees is of vital importance. By nominating men of well-known honesty and ability the party furnishes a guarantee of good municipal government, while the platform brings to the front the great national issue of the land question.

The situation is peculiarly favorable toward the new party, because of the disaffection which is already beginning to show itself in the ranks of the Republicans.

The history of the selection of the probable Republican nominee is, to say the least, peculiar. Seventeen men met last month in a building onThird street, and kindly relieved the rank and file of the party from any further trouble in making a nomination by selecting for the candidate a well-known millionaire.

This method of selecting the candidate in this city is not a new one; the only difference is that the candidate is usually selected by five men onSeventh street, while now he is selected by seventeen men onThird street. But the selection of the nominee in this case is significant for two reasons; one is that the candidate was selected by rich men for the sole reason that he has a barrel, and has tapped it liberally in previous elections, and the second is that twelve of the men who took part in the nominating convention have heretofore been more or less active in opposing personal dictation in politics. Most of them were members of the committee of one hundred, or some other similar reform association. How they justify their action in this case is not clear to the average citizen. It is still an open question who the Democrats will nominate, but they are pretty sure to put up some second-rate politician if Boss Randall runs the convention. On the whole the situation is peculiarly favorable towards the new party, and if they don’t poll a large vote it will be their own fault.

A meeting of the Henry George club ofPhiladelphiawas held December 31, 1886, at Broad and Filbert streets. This organization has been formed to disseminate the doctrine of land nationalization as expressed in “Progress and Poverty.” Its membership is rapidly growing and the educational work which it is doing will prove of great value to the cause.

It numbers among its members several newspaper men and many leading merchants and manufacturers, men who occupy prominent positions in society and exercise a large influence. Temporary quarters have been secured at1018 Chestnut street, and the regular meetings of the club will be held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. The following officers have been elected: President, E. M. Chandler; secretary and treasurer, A. A. Stephenson.

Those who are interested in the work of the society are requested to send their address to A. H. Stephenson, secretary,P. O. box190.Philadelphia.

Keystone

 

Soggarth Aroon

Who, in the winter’s night,
Soggarth Aroon,
When the could blast did bite,
Soggarth Aroon,
Came to my cabin door,
and, on my earthen flure,
Knelt by me, sick and poor,
Soggarth Aroon?

Who, on the marriage day,
Soggarth Aroon,
Made the poor cabin gay,
Soggarth Aroon -
And did both laugh and sing,
Making our hearts to ring,
At the poor christening,
Soggarth Aroon?

Who, as friend only met,
Soggarth Aroon,
Never did flout me yet,
Soggarth Aroon?
And when my hearth was dim,
Gave, while his eye did brim,
What I should give to him,
Soggarth Aroon?

Och! you, and only you,
Soggarth Aroon!
And for this I was true to you,
Soggarth Aroon;
In love they’ll never shake,
When for would Ireland’s sake,
We a true part did take,
Soggarth Aroon!

By John Banim

 

The Convention

Representatives Of All Political Schools Should Be There

Obstacles That May Be Interposed – Possible Delays – The Duty of the Legislature – The People’s Mandate

The great typical American statesman, Thomas Jefferson, never uttered a truer remark than when he declared that every generation of men need a revolution to purify and renovate the functions of government, and to bring these to the standard of contemporary wants and convenience.

The State ofNew York, wisely recognizing this teaching, and preferring that the methods of revolution shall rather be peaceful than violent, contemplates a review of its framework of government every twenty years. The question of the revision and amendment of our State constitution was therefore submitted to popular vote last November. About 600,000 votes were polled, of which 570,000 were in favor of revision and amendment and 30,000 against. The majority is unprecedented, and gives proof of the existence of a public opinion which many persons who are generally careful observers had not suspected. It now becomes the constitutional duty of the legislature, in session atAlbany, to “provide by law for the election of delegates” to a convention.

However small the vote cast against the holding of a convention, the interests adverse to it are great and numerous. These interests may be grouped as either partisan or capitalistic. Those with whom the world is doing well naturally desire no change. That patient ass, the public, is jogging along quite acceptably to them, under the impulse and direction of their own bridle and spurs, and they fail to see why any alteration should be made in his gait. It so happens that neither the Democratic nor the Republican party organizations of this State favored constitutional revision at the election. They passed no resolutions, they issued no appeals, they furnished no ballots. The 540,000 majority is not of their making. It was given in spite of the indifference or hostility of the managers of both the old parties, and very considerably to the surprise and discomfiture of them all. And now that the 570,000 affirmative voters come to ask a Democratic governor and a legislature Republican in both branches, for a convention, in which their discontents can be expressed, their demands heeded, and the reforms they desire accomplished, it becomes an interesting question to ask what they are going to do about it.

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have the right to expect that they shall have a majority of the delegates. Under the circumstances it should be a non-partisan body, in which no party should have absolute control. The representatives of all political schools should receive a hearing – not only those who fancy we have arrived at the full end and fruition of governmental progress, but also those who believe we are yet a great distance away from Utopia. There should be no delay, for any cause or pretence, in passing the act for the convention, and the day for the election of delegates and the day for the assembling of the body itself should be the very earliest practicable. Otherwise the work of the convention may not be completed in time to be voted upon at the polls in November next, and the questions it may involve may be carried over into the next year’s presidential canvass – not, perhaps, to the profit of whoever may be found responsible for needless delay. It is not apprehended that any serious attempt will be made to juggle over the words “election of delegates,” and to pass a law for their appointment by the governor and senate. Such a proposal has indeed been made in print, but it will doubtless be abandoned as impracticable and dangerous to its inventors. The question is not whether delegates shall be named by the governor or by the sovereign people, but whether, by any means, we shall be prevented from having any convention at all. For nobody has yet discovered any means of compelling the law-making power to perform a duty which may have been expressly charged upon it by the constitution. If, therefore, either the Democratic Governor or the Republican Legislature is resolved to prevent the holding of a convention, either can find excuses enough to prevent. Suppose that one insists on adapting the congressional apportionment under the census of 1880, as the basis of representation in the convention, while the other adheres to the legislative apportionment under the State census of 1875. Suppose both sides get to be very earnest in the dispute, party spirit becomes roused, time fleets by, the convention bill falls through, and the voice of 570,000 citizens is set at naught. and the census question is only one of a dozen issues which might be seized upon with more or less concert to thwart the popular will.

Even this danger we are inclined to dismiss as imaginary. Whatever reasons should be adduced for an adjournment of the present session without a proper convention law, that result would be disastrous to all concerned. The agitation would not be quieted by such means; it would be intensified. The constitutional question would then enter, with all that it implies, into the presidential struggle of 1888. The precedents of the “People’s Resolution” of 1845 would be recalled and followed. As was the case in 1846, the delay and exasperation would but render the malcontents all the stronger, and the changes required by the people more sweeping and comprehensive. The men atAlbanyhave heard the muttering of the storm; they will not be likely to provoke its fury. The legislature is probably wise enough to pass, and the governor wise enough to sign, a nonpartisan convention bill.

Gideon J. Tucker

 

Tariff for the Boss

Chicago,Illinois. – The following example shows that a tariff cannot benefit laborers when the “labor market” is overstocked: Of a certain article let our man in a foreign country produce one gross per day worth $10, his wages being $1.50. Lay a 50 per cent duty, and a gross imported into this country must bring at least �15. The same article made here may be sold for $12 a gross and leave the manufacturer a good profit after paying the workman double foreign wages. But then the foreign workman comes here and competes until wages fall to say S2. To the foreigner this is an apparent increase of 50 cents; but to the American workman it is a decrease of $1, and the manufacturer pockets the difference in wages because the tariff protects him from foreign competition.

Fr. Wislein

 

Land Values in Los Angeles

Orange, Los Angeles county, Cal. – Land here which was valued a few years ago at $l or $2 an acre, having been found suitable for grape raising, is now held at from $100 to $300 an acre, unimproved. Fully one-half of the nominal owners are heavily mortgaged. Large holders complain of high wages, which are but $1.50 a day in busy times. Every body is looking for relief to a proposed duty of five cents a pound on foreign raisins.

Robert E. Tener

 

Illinois Farm Mortgages

Barry,Ill.- There certainly never was a better time to expound the doctrine of shifting all taxes to land values to the agriculturists of Pike county, for I am reliably informed that three-fourths of the farms are mortgaged. The supposed owners are actually renters, paying rent in the shape of interest. No doubt the same state of affairs prevails more or less in many other counties ofIllinois.

F. H. Crandall

 

Page 3

The Lost Equilibrium

How Men Lost Their Foothold In The Garden Of The Lord

The first seizure of advantages – The Final Result – The Level Becomes an Inclined Plane – The Meaning of the Golden Law – The People Begin to Harken Unto It

A certain king made a spacious suspended garden, and surrounded it with an insurmountable wall. Surveying the beauties of his marvelously poised garden, he determined to entrust it to the care of some chosen subjects. So he made gates in the wall on one side of the garden for the entrance. and in the opposite wall made other gates for their departure when it should please him to call them away.

At all the gates he stationed guardians, instructed to open and close the portals only at the royal command. Then he began to usher through the gates of entrance the subjects whom he bad chosen, bidding them to wander about at will, to familiarize themselves with the garden, and to regale themselves at the many fountains of gratification that his forethought had provided. To increase the happiness of these occupants the wise king soon determined to send little children to them, and placed at a gate of entrance a timely annunciation of his purpose. Presently the occupants discovered its significance, and knew that a little child was about to enter. Then they who wanted the companionship of a child went to that gate, and the little newcomer was received and led into the garden.

Along the opposite side of the garden the gates of exit opened and closed, as one and another of the occupants passed out in answer to the royal summons. Sometimes a gate opened suddenly near an occupant deeply engrossed with some pursuit or pleasure; and the imperative gesture of its guardian, who was visible only to the called one, summoned him to pass at once into the outer unknown region. Sometimes a gate opened slowly, and its guardian fixed his eye on an occupant with a deliberation that was almost hesitation, before giving a summons. Then the called one bent his steps toward the gate in the company of friends who summoned him to bid him adieu, sorrowing at the parting, but saying that perhaps it would please the wise king to permit them to greet him again at a future time in another garden.

Sometimes a guardian opened his gate and looked steadfastly at an occupant, who turned his feet thitherward, expecting momentarily to receive a summons, but only to see the guardian withdraw, closing the gate and leaving him still within the garden. Then this reprieved one turned back again, receiving the congratulations of his friends, who saluted him as one returning unexpected from a far country.

It had pleased the wise king to overhang the garden with clusters of golden fruit and delectable offerings, which nestling among fair and budding promises bent over all the wall in tempting invitation. Some of the golden fruit was within easy reach: more was just beyond; much more still higher; and upward and far above, the eye could distinguish glimpses of gold peeping out from an intermingling profusion of offerings and promises.

It happened that some of the occupants, while following their pursuits and pleasures, found a spot where fruit offering and promise were more abundant and accessible than anywhere else. Then one said to his companions:

“If we could by a system of the pre-emption and cajolery set up hindrances that would be hard to pass over, and so make this part of our garden vantage ground, how pleasant for us it would be to dwell here alone, and to gather the golden fruit and delectable offerings while awaiting the ripening of the fair and budding promises.” The suggestion pleased his companions so well that they established a system of pre-emption and cajolery which made that part of the garden, with its wealth of fruit offering and promise, vantage ground to them. But the hearts of these pre-emptors became so changed by the surfeiting on the overhanging clusters that they lost their love of children so that when the timely annunciation appeared at a gate of entrance, it was seldom that an occupant of the vantage ground could be found willing to take a little child for a companion.

But children were joyfully received at the gates of entrance in other parts of the garden; and those parts became thickly peopled. This unequal distribution of occupants was not without a serious effect upon the garden, which, although unperceived by its occupants, could have been discovered by an exact observer; for the garden gradually departed from its perfect equipoise.

High upon the wall in a certain part of the garden the wise king had written a law in letters of gold. But the luxuriance of the overhanging clusters had hidden this law, and it had been covered up by a species of hoary, insidious creeper. One day a solitary who cared naught for golden fruit, delectable offering and fair and budding promises, and who loved to prowl about the wall, hoping to find there a clue to secrets which the garden refused to reveal, discovered the law covered up by the hoary insidious creeper. By patience and care he brought it to light just as it had been written in letters of gold by the wise king: Preserve the Equilibrium. Running back into the garden he called for volunteers to cut away the overhanging clusters of golden fruit, delectable offerings and fair and budding promises that hid the law from the occupants. But the overhanging clusters were prized above everything else in the garden; and a proposition to cut ruthlessly through them even for the purpose of reaching a golden law of a was king seemed like the vagary of a madman.

The solitary, however, was so very much in earnest that he did succeed in organizing a band of devotees who cut resolutely through fruit, offering and promise; and brought the law in plain sight to all in that part of the garden who chose to read it.

The law thus revealed, appeared to these resolute devotees so golden and full of meaning that they agreed to pass their whole time in keeping it uncovered and bright, and in bringing it to the knowledge of every occupant in the garden. To accomplish this, some of the devotees made copies of the golden law and went throughout he garden distributing them, so that in course of time every occupant had knowledge of the law, many possessed a copy of it, and some prized it highly.

The popularization of the golden law caused a marked change in the habits of many of the occupants. They began to believe that they ought not to give themselves wholly to pursuits and pleasures, but that they ought to do something for the wise king in return for the privileges of the garden which he had extended to them, and for the golden law that he had written. But he being outside of the garden, the wall being impassible to everything but his power, and the occupants having nothing to offer him that was not already his, except a service of gratitude, they determined to make an orifice in the wall and assemble there in a congregation for the purpose of making such a gift offering.

But a difference of opinion arose in the congregation shortly after the orifice was made. Some asserted that the orifice did not fully pierce the wall; but reached only to a large cavity in the interior, and therefore could not be used as a medium of communication with the wise king. So the disaffected members withdrew from the congregation, and made another orifice, which in turn became a cause of dissemination. Thus, in course of time many congregations assembled at many orifices, and each congregation believed its own orifice to be the only real and useful orifice.

Disagreements also arose as to the meaning of the golden law. In some cases they were merely individual differences of opinion; in other cases new congregations were established to unite in upholding some favorite interpretation. Nearly all members of all congregations agreed, however, in the belief that the golden law should be valued as a regulator of behavior. Consequently, all congregations obeyed its precept by setting apart certain periods of time for the pursuits and pleasures of the garden, balancing those periods by other periods set apart for offering services of gratitude at the orifices. Another interpretation that found many endorsers and caused the formation of new congregations declared that the equilibrium enjoined by the golden law referred to the emotions; so certain other periods were set apart by these congregations as periods of exuberance and joy, and such periods were balanced with other periods set apart as periods of depression and sorrow.

Outside of the congregations were many occupants who believed the congregations altogether wrong in their interpretations of the golden law. These doubters regarded the law only as a governor of health, saying that it had been found to insure an equilibrium of the bodily functions. Put into plain language, they thought the precept meant that: Occupants of the garden must so employ themselves that their natural organs would obtain equal portions of labor, recreation and repose. Furthermore, these outsiders declared that the orifices were but opportunities for the exhibition of folly, as no token of acknowledgment had ever entered the garden in response to the services of gratitude that had been offered, and that the true way to make return to the wise king for his benefactions was to admire the beauties of his handiwork in the garden. Such arguments, however, had no weight whatever with those who many times, when wearied with the pursuits and pleasures of the garden, and when its very atmosphere seemed enervating, had while at some orifice become conscious of inblowing zephyrs revivifying in their influence and comforting in their fragrance.

There were scoffers in the garden who questioned even the very existence of the wise king, and pronounced the golden law a piece of incomprehensibility that had been written in time past by some shrewd occupant who for a selfish purpose wished to gain ascendancy over other occupants by working upon their credulity. They said that if a wise king did exist, and if he had any law, and if he wished intellects to accept him and his laws, the proper course for him would be to enter the garden and to write a law before the eves of its occupants in words that they could understand.

While the occupants of the garden were thus following their pursuits and pleasures; while congregations were thus wrangling about interpretations; while scoffers were thus jeering at the golden law, and challenging the wise king to manifest himself unmistakably, the garden was departing more and more from its original equipose. The lower parts, crowded as they had become by occupants who were excluded from the vantage ground by the hindrances of preemption and cajolery, were steadily sinking, and thus steadily drawing away from the overhanging clusters. Nor did the rise of the vantage ground bring t o its occupants what they had sought; for although they were lifted higher among the clusters, those clusters receded steadily, and they were continually tantalized by prizes which were almost yet not altogether within the grasp.

The change in the poise of the garden progressed so slowly that it was for a long time thought unworthy of remark. The pursuits and pleasures of the occupants so engrossed their attention that they had little attention to bestow upon the phenomena. Children entered the garden, grew to maturity and passed through the gates of exit without heeding the progress of the incline. Gradually and unceasingly, however, the vantage ground continued to rise and the lower parts to sink until the garden became so slanted that existence therein began to be a continual struggle to get up hill. All occupants became seized with a determination to get away and keep away from the lower parts at all hazards; for their pleasure had ceased, and all pursuits were reduced to a ceaseless effort to seize the meager clusters that overhung that locality, almost beyond reach.

Moved with compassion for the occupants of these parts, some of the occupants of the vantage ground now voluntarily descended among them to comfort them, and to counsel them to await in patience the time when it would please the wise king to call them away to other and better gardens. But the prospect of other gardens had little attraction for the occupants of the lower parts. Their hearts were set upon this garden, and especially on one desirable spot half way up the incline, to which they might aspire. It was just below the hindrances set up by the system of preemption and cajolery. There the garden had not risen among the overhanging clusters, nor had it sunk away from them, and those fortunate enough to obtain a foot-hold in that region were tolerably certain of securing enough, though the overhanging clusters were scanty in comparison with the lavish profusion of those of the vantage ground.

One day a climber, who had gained a precarious footing in the middle part of the garden, and who was looking about to see if he could make a safe venture in any direction, espied an opportune advantage before him. Upon examining it carefully he found it to be secure and promising. Then grasping it, he realized that it was not only a means of support, but an agent by which he could surmount the hindrances and enter the vantage ground. And from that time forward the chief desire of the holders of the middle ground was to seek out and gain possession of opportune advantages.

The slant of the garden so increased that in course of time it forbade further disregard; and still continuing, it became an all-engrossing theme. Though many still insisted that the garden had always been a steep hill, many more by far now believed its condition an unnatural one, the result of the working of some unhidden cause, which the occupants ought to discover. The vehemence of their arguments forced even the listless to take part in the controversy.

“Look ye!["] alarmists began to cry; “one part of our garden is continually sinking – another part continually rising. If things grow worse with us we will surely be overturned.”

“Speak to the occupants of the lower parts”! answered the vantage ground. “They are to blame, they are continually admitting children through the gates of entrance and increasing the weight of the lower parts. If they paid no more attention to the timely annunciation than we do, our garden would soon right itself.”

“Speak to the occupants of the vantage ground!” retorted the lower parts. They have brought this thing to pass. If they had not set up hindrances by their system of preemption and cajolery, occupants would be naturally and equitably distributed, and our garden would rest in equilibrium.

Amid these alarms and recriminations a reasoner was quietly and industriously noting the unnatural condition of his surroundings. By dint of great effort he had gained a position in the middle ground; but instead of trying to grasp one of the opportune advantages for his own use, he sought to discover their origin. By long and patient study he learned that they were attached to the margin of the garden, and reaching far up among the overhanging clusters of golden fruit, delectable offerings and fair and budding promises hung down as opportunities for the elevation of the garden. He reasoned that when the garden had rested in its original state of equipose the opportunities for the elevation of the garden had been out of sight behind the overhanging clusters; but as the vantage ground had risen among the clusters and had become an incline, those opportunities, reaching down the slope as far as and even beyond the hindrances, had offered themselves as opportune advantages to those who espied them. He reasoned, further, that opportunities for the elevation of the garden must be the common attachment of its whole margin. “Eureka!” he cried aloud to the occupants of the garden, “I have found it! Our whole garden is vantage ground! Lay hold of the opportunities that are attached to all the margin of the garden, and lift the garden into a state of equipose and up among the overhanging clusters!”

“Oh, no!” responded they of the lower parts, “We have no time to bother with your theories about the use of opportunities. We are introducing a method of progression that will carry us up the incline easily. By aid of our newly discovered combination movement we can work ourselves upward and onward as a single irresistible body into the vantage ground.” “But listen!” pleaded the reasoner; “the transfer of such an immense weight to the vantage ground will surely overturn our garden and we shall all be plunged into chaos together!”

“Your arguments are fallacies,” replied they of the lower parts. “Our onset is to be so sudden and impetuous, and our movement so well qualified to adapt itself to exigencies, that the hindrances will be destroyed, our ranks broken up and scattered and the equilibrium recovered, though the garden should be within one degree of catastrophe.” Then the reasoner appealed to the congregations:

“For the love which you have for the wise king,” cried he,” listen to the true meaning of the golden law and behold the result of your ignorance! While you have been wrangling about the balancing of seasons and emotions, our garden itself has lost its equilibrium. This is the meaning of the golden law, Preserve the equilibrium of the garden. We have failed to obey, and are suffering the disastrous consequences of our folly. While there is yet time, lay hold of the opportunities that are attached to the margin of our garden, and restore the lost equilibrium!”

“Nonsense !” said the congregations. “The equilibrium enjoined by the golden law is an equilibrium of disposal of the overhanging clusters. Some of these are for the use of self; some to be distributed among others than self.” Then calling out to the occupants of the vantage ground: “Shower down,” cried the congregations, “out of your abundance golden fruit and offerings unto the lower parts!”

So a shower of gifts fell out of the vantage ground into the lower parts, where occupants were joining hand in hand to essay an ascent of the incline by help of their newly discovered combination movement, while congregations throughout the garden assembled at their orifices to offer to the wise king a service of gratitude for the golden law which they refused to accept in its true significance.

Unheeded, the voice of the reasoner rang through the garden: “Seize the opportunities! Seize the opportunities!’ Unheeded, the cry fell upon the ears of the occupants of the lower parts as their combination movement began an ascent of the incline. Unheeded still as their combination broke under the great weight laid upon it, and a retrograde swept them swiftly back again into the lower parts. But loud and thrilling the cry still rang out above the mutterings of despair that arose from the lower parts, and high above the hallelujahs of the congregations that swelled upward as the showers of gifts fell out of the vantage ground. “For your lives! For your lives ! Seize the opportunities and restore the equilibrium of the garden!”

Steadily the lower parts continue to sink; higher and higher still rises the vantage ground. A catastrophe is imminent! Will the cry of the reasoner now be regarded, or will congregations persist in stultifying the golden law, and tumult reign in the lower parts until the occupants of the garden go headlong into destruction?

Hark! Another voice takes up the cry. And another! And still another! ” Seize the opportunities! Seize the opportunities!” The cry grows into a chorus, and congregations are stampeding. The lower parts join in the cry ; and here and there and every where men are running to lay hold of the opportunities. Ah, they are seized at last: The lower parts are rising! The equilibrium of the garden is restored, and a new and exultant shout pours forth from every throat as the whole garden rises higher and higher among the golden fruit, the delectable offerings and the fair and budding promises. “Long live the reasoner!”

F. F. Williams

 

Money Value Of Art Products

One Artist Produces With His Own Hands $3,000,000 of Pictures

It is a prevalent notion among ordinary men of affairs that artists are not wealth producers. By many the “knight of the palette” or “chisel” will be cataloged with busy idlers, dawdling triflers or visionary dreamers. And although the more liberal of these would-be monopolists of the title “practical” might admit that the presence of painters and sculptors need not be harmful to a community which is rich enough to afford their support, still, they will deny that their productions are of any value to the stock of general wealth. An appeal to facts will reverse this unjust verdict. Look atItalyat the present day. Does not her wealth consist largely of art treasures? Destroy her superb inheritance of the creations of brain and hands of a few hundred artists and she would be poor indeed!

In the seventeenth century theNetherlandsgave birth to a score of painters. The pictures which they have left the world, if offered for sale to-day, would command gold enough to free our city from its enormous public debt. During the last twenty years many millions of our dollars have been sent toFranceto purchase pictures. Who have they in happyFranceto work this magic spell over the pockets of our cold, practical business men? A little band of painters, in number not sufficient to man a fair-sized cotton mill. Let us select one of them for example: At a modest estimate the market value of the pictures sent annually from the easel of the famous Meissnier could be placed at $100,000. He has painted for more than thirty years. Here we have the case of one individual of a profession who, by his own hands, unaided by assistants, has created wealth to the amount of three million dollars. In the whole list of wealth-producers, where can we find a parallel?

Is it then too much to claim for the artist a foremost place in the ranks of the world’s workers? And may we not expect that the artist, hating, as he does, the constraints of conventionality, loving truth and her path that leads to beauty, untrammeled by dogma or tradition, unprejudiced in his inquiry after the just, trained in the study of cause and effect, not haunted by the fear of personal loss nor spurred by the mean motive of personal gain, will be among the first to feel and respond to the great movement now beginning for the nationalization of land and the enfranchisement of labor?

L. E. Wilmarth

 

Government Money

Osceola,Ia.- I want to make a few suggestions. The government should issue legal tender money and lend it directly to the people on good security. To issue money only to bankers at one per cent., for them to lend to the people at from six to twelve per cent. caps the climax of all the rascalities ever tolerated by a confiding people.

Justin Ayres

 

Cheating The Indians

Schemes Of White Men To Get Possession Of Indian Territory

President Cleveland’s Original Policy – His Surrender to the Ruffian – Swindlers – The Land in Severalty Scheme – The Government’s Promises to be broken

Washington, Dec. 27, 1886. – It is now fifty years and more since the Creeks, Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws and I know not how many other Aboriginal tribes were cajoled and forced to leave their native hunting grounds east of theMississippi. They were promised a permanent home beyond theGreatRiver- beyond the remotest scattered settlements of theArkansasterritory. A fine district of country, seventy thousand square miles in extent, was set apart and solemnly deeded to them by act of congress. There they and their posterity were to remain forever a separate people under their own tribal laws and usages, but with every possible encouragement from the white race to the acquisition of the arts of civilized life. The enforced emigration of these tribes from States east of theMississippiwas generally regarded as unjust and cruel, but now in their new homes in theFar Westthey were to be shielded for all time by the national authority and the national honor from further injustice.

But the tide of white emigration which had already passed beyond theMississippiin a few years swept around and enfolded the Indian reservation within its broad current. The public lands inMissouriandArkansas,TexasandKansas, were appropriated by actual settlers, or by wealthy non-resident individuals and companies. Railroad companies asked and obtained leave to extend their lines through the territory, from the borders ofMissouriandKansastoTexas. This privilege necessarily involved a violation of a fundamental law of the Indian reservation forbidding any white man to settle among them. The cattle breeders made contracts with the tribes for the privilege of pasturing their herds upon the reservations. Possession, it is said, constitutes nine points of the law, and it was not long before these tenants and their co-conspirators on the border organized themselves as an army to take possession of the lands on which they had been permitted to graze their cattle.

The good people of the country and the Government branded the conduct of these lawless men as an outrage. Troops were sent to protect the helpless Indians. The conduct of President Cleveland in this matter was heartily approved by all parties. But, alas! his policy has been abandoned.

Incredible as it appears, it is true that the administration of Mr. Cleveland and the congress of theUnited Statesnow propose to concede to the ruffian invaders of theIndian territoryall that they demand. There are now two bills pending in congress, each of which has passed one house, making this concession in the amplest form.

One of these bills provides for the establishment of a territorial government over theIndian territory, to be exclusively for the white men. It covers every foot of the territory which half a century ago was solemnly dedicated to the exclusive and permanent possession of the Indians. It is to be bounded byArkansasandMissourion the east, byTexason the south, byTexasandNew Mexicoon the west, and byKansasandColoradoon the north. No Indian is to have a voice or a vote in its government, unless, perhaps, he will consent to abandon his tribe, his kith and kin, and all the institutions under which he and his ancestors have lived for ages. The bill provides for buying out the tribal titles to all the lands not actually lived upon by the Indians, and assumes if it does not actually provide for the subdivision of the remaining Indian lands in severalty. This territory is to be admitted into theUnionas a State. It will then make what laws may be desired by the people in regard to land titles. If necessary, the Indians can easily be induced to take their lands in severalty, and then, inexperienced in the management of business, they will be the easy prey of the sharp and unscrupulous white men around them.

The other act pending in Congress, which has passed in the senate, provides specifically for the division of the tribal lands among the individual members. But, strange to say, it is not to be applied to those tribes which are most civilized and most competent to manage their affairs. The Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Seminole, Osages, Miamis, Peorias, Sacs and Foxes, and Senecas, are exempted from the law of severalty titles, while the wild tribes, who have no idea of what a title to a tract of land signifies; who have no conception of the meaning of deeds, of mortgages, and liens, are to be at once subjected to these arrangements. Can any one believe that this bill is in the interest of the Indians?

The commissioner of Indian affairs, it is true, insists strenuously upon the application of the severalty principle to the classes or tribes which are exempted from its operation by the senate bill. His great fear is that the masses of the civilized tribes will be cheated out of the usufruct of their lands by their rich Indian brethren, and his remedy against this apprehended evil is to give to white men an equal chance lo cheat them. In his last annual report he states that “the rich Indians, who cultivate tribal lands, pay no rent to the poorer and more unfortunate of their race, although they are equal owners of the soil. His proposition, like that of the senate bill, is to divide the lands into 160-acre tracts among the members of the tribes. He states that the poor Indians are employed as laborers by their rich neighbors at $16 per month, instead of settling down as farmers. It seems not to have occurred to the head of the Indian bureau that a poor Indian has the same right to take a farm on the tribal lands as a rich one, and that the tribe, or if not the tribe, then the Indian bureau, would see to it that he has his rights.

And again, the head of the bureau seems not to have reflected that if neither the tribe nor the bureau has the power or the authority to protect the poor Indians under existing circumstances, they will be equally powerless or equally wanting in will to protect him when holding his share of the land in severalty. Furthermore, so long as the land is held jointly by the tribe, it is impossible to divest the poor Indian of his rights. But when he becomes the sole possessor of 160 acres, he may alienate it. It is true that the senate bill proposes, and the commissioner suggests that the severalty titles be made inalienable for twenty-five years. But there are many legal expedients for avoiding such obstacles.

The bill provides, and the commissioner recommends, that the surplus lands, after each Indian shall have his 100 acres assigned him, be sold to white men. In some of the tribes, as the commissioner shows, the surplus would be two to four times as large as the allotted lands. It will follow, therefore, that each Indian farmer of those tribes will have two to four white neighbors. These white neighbors will make the laws by which the Indian will be governed, but in the making of which he will have no voice.

The commissioner states that even now there are rich Indians who cultivate a thousand acres of the tribal lands, and claim and fence in a quarter of a mile all around the thousand acres for pasturage. This arrangement gives them a thousand more. The monopoly is tolerated by the tribal government and by the Indian bureau. It devolves upon the commissioner, therefore, to show that a division of the Indian lands in severalty will tend to reform the Indian governments and the Indian bureau. Otherwise, the opportunities of the rich Indians to oppress the poor would seem to increased, rather than diminished, by dividing the lands in severalty.

If the bill shall pass, and if each adult Indian be assigned his 160 acres, the poor will still be poor. They will have nothing to set up house-keeping upon, nothing on which to begin as independent tillers of the soil. No house, no furniture, no provisions for a year, no horse or ox, no plow; and the outcome will be that the poor Indian must go back to the farm of his rich neighbor and work for $16 per month. What, then, will he do with his 160 acres? He will lease it to his rich neighbor, and when tempted to spend more than he makes as a laborer, he will mortgage his land for money. The senate bill provides that the allotment of land to individual Indians will be held in trust by theUnited Statesfor twenty-five years, after which time the Indian or his heirs is to have a conveyance of the land in fee, discharged of all encumbrances whatsoever. The professed object is to train the Indian to the civilized habits of business; and this is to be done by appointing him a guardian for twenty-five years, during which time he can neither buy nor sell land. Why, then, not allow the land to remain in the joint ownership of the tribe? As a member of the tribe he cannot possibly be cheated out of his birthright, if the land is held as at present. If assigned to him in severalty, albeit without the power of alienation, it is morally certain that he will enter into contracts by which he will encumber it to its full value. The allotments are to be patented to the Indians, and held and conveyed and to descend “according to the laws of the state or territory where such land is located.” The laws will be made by white men, for the peculiar advantage of the white men.

These bills, therefore, are admirably contrived for turning the Aborigines of this country into pariahs and outcasts, landless and homeless.

Daniel R. Goodloe

 

The Archbishop

His position Insulting to the Dignity of the Republic

Archbishop Corrigan has assumed a position which is utterly repugnant to the genius of this republic, insulting to its dignity, and dangerous to its liberties. A man of distinguished ability, culture and piety, and an American by birth, is summoned to Rome to answer for the course he saw fit to pursue in a municipal election in New York before an ecclesiastic who has been deprived by his countrymen of power held by his order for twelve hundred and sixty years, and who is now a voluntary prisoner in the Vatican. Could anything be more humiliating or preposterous! And yet, if we tamely submit to it, this act of a Catholic archbishop may lead to consequences of inconceivable magnitude and of the most disastrous character. The cause of freedom and justice in this country has already arrayed against it a “solid South.” Shall it now be subjected to the necessity of fighting the hierarchy ofRome? Whatever opinion we may form of the theory put forth by the new school of political economy in relation to the individual ownership of land, it is foolish to regard it as socialistic or anarchical. If it be an error, it is an error which leans to virtue’s side – an error in favor of the poor, toiling, suffering masses. It is idle to attempt to whistle it down the wind or to crush it by the stale arts of tyranny which even proved too old in the far-off time of Galileo. It demands, not the rack, or the thumbscrew, or the deposition of intellectual, large hearted and conscientious priests who cannot be confined within the narrow boundaries of sacerdotal and sectarian routine, but a candid examination and a full, elaborate and exhaustive discussion. How much better would it have been for the reputation of Archbishop Corrigan, both now and hereafter, if, instead of quoting the opinion of Pope Leo XIII, with reference to theories and practices which were utterly foreign to the subject he had in hand, and which are as abhorrent to Mr. George and to Dr. McGlynn as they are to himself, he had entered the field as an honest and intelligent disputant, and shown, if he could, the fallacy of the argument set forth in that great work which has astonished and electrified the world of modern thought, “Progress and Poverty.”

Whatever may be the result of the action of the archbishop, the theories so ably propounded in this book will assuredly be tested. The magnitude of the evils under which large bodies of the people in every country labor is apparent, and the astounding phenomenon stares us in the face that these evils are not only not lessened, but are actually increased as the facilities for labor and all the wonderful improvements of our modern civilization are multiplied. The remedy proposed might not prove as efficient as its advocates imagine, but it is so eminently just, and commends itself so strongly to the common sense of mankind, that it will undoubtedly be adopted. Land is a creation and a gift of God, necessary to the maintenance of human life, and can no more be properly made a subject of monopoly than water, or air, or light. The ownership of human beings was until recently regarded as a natural right, and, even in this country, millions of dollars were invested therein as property. But the claim was only a “wild and guilty phantasy,” and though clothed with the sanction of centuries and sustained by incalculable interests it fell before the irresistible artillery of truth in fire and blood. The time has evidently come for the settlement of the question in relation to the ownership of land. The unequal distribution of wealth is attracting universal attention. There is a marked dissatisfaction and restlessness among the laboring classes, and everywhere they are combining in leagues and organizations of different names to assert and maintain their rights. This combination is all that is required to insure their triumph.

Henry A. Hartt

 

The Land Question in Colorado

Grand Junction,Col.- Last spring I defended, before the Knights of Labor, the proposition to place all taxation for revenue on land. Some months afterward, in defense of this idea, I was elected mayor of this town, and later an “Industrial club” was organized, the members of which support this principle. The club has aroused a tremendous opposition, which seems to come from all classes, and I have almost begun to think that it is useless for us on the frontier to make much of an effort until the centers of thought and industry first move. Two years ago, before my acceptance of your doctrines, I was a member of the fifth general assembly of this State (elected on the Republican ticket), and was chairman of the house committee on finance. I am, therefore, well enough acquainted throughout the State to know that great interest is being taken in this question, an interest largely occasioned by Mr. George’s recent candidacy inNew York.

James W. Bucklin

 

A Missionary in the Mountains

Cahto,Mendocino County,Cal.- I have not yet found the man who had the temerity to deny the two propositions that all men have an equal right to the materials and forces of nature, and that every man has a right to all he produces by his own labor. I am a common laborer and am working on a sheep range way up in the mountains of Mendocino. I am not the only supporter you have here, however, thanks to a copy of “Progress and Poverty,” which I have industriously circulated. I shall do my best to obtain subscriptions to The Standard.

Philip Smith

 

The Pacific Coast

Judge Maguire Of San Francisco On California Land Tenure

Half of the State Owned by Five Hundred Men – With but a Million Inhabitants, and an Area One-Third Larger Than Italy, the State is Overpopulated

San Francisco, Dec. 23. – With an abiding faith in the ultimate triumph of natural justice, I hail The Standard as the herald of a new and better era. A few more brave battles, a few more sacrifices, and the shackles will fall from the limbs of the toiling millions. The heirs to God’s bounty will claim their heritage, and peace and plenty will flow to labor as its natural reward.

The land must be restored and preserved to the people, or freedom and happiness must soon perish from our glorious land.

The present condition of land tenure inCaliforniaforms a dark chapter, for land monopoly is the one great drawback of ourGoldenState. It is peculiarly sad that a land so supremely blessed by the Creator should be blighted and cursed by an institution fostered by laws of popular enactment.

We have a population of about one million inhabitants, an area of more than one hundred million acres, one-half of which is the private property of five hundred men, according to the statement of Mr. Stephen Gage, president of the Southern Pacific Railroad company, whose facilities for obtaining exact information upon the subject are good, and at least as trustworthy as any in the State.

Of these lands large tracts are held by the railroad companies for speculative purposes. They are kept free from taxation by allowing the apparent title to remain in the federal government until sales are effected upon satisfactory terms, bonds being then given for deeds.

Patents are procured only for such lands as have been sold, and in the hands of the occupying owners they first become subject to taxation.

Of private landlords, one firm of cattle dealers (Miller & Lux) own more than a million acres, most of which is arable, and all of which is very valuable. They use it for pasture, paying minimal taxes, hoping soon to realize fabulous wealth by selling or leasing to the people, for whom it was created, the privilege of making homes upon it.

It is said that this firm can drive a herd of cattle fromFortYumatoSan Francisco(about 600 miles), camping every night on their own land.

However that may be, it is certain that hundreds of American families have searched over the same routes through millions of acres of unfenced and uncultivated farming land without being able to secure a place large enough for a modest home, except by mortgaging their lives to some human vampire for the privilege.

A few weeks ago I had occasion to hold court inSan Luis Obispocounty, and returning, passed through the beautiful Santa Margarita rancho, a magnificent valley, containing 51,000 acres of the finest, deepest, richest and best watered soil on the face of the earth. It is the private property of one man. It is capable of supporting in comfort 2,000 families at least. It is now a cattle range. There is one farmhouse upon it and one stage station. While traveling through this great wealth of natural resources we met four emigrant families looking for homes. The women, brave specimens of “the noble mothers of the west,” were worn and haggard and sick at heart from hope deferred; the children were barefooted, sunburnt and ragged. They were searching for land. The best land in the world was lying all around them unused, waiting for tillage. But human laws had deprived them of their natural, God-given right to use it. Footsore, weary and despairing, they were compelled to travel on, doubtless finding everywhere that speculators with superior facilities had preceded them.

Leaving the Santa Margarita we traveled through a succession of rich and fertile valleys, varying in width from three to thirty miles for a distance of seventy miles, all of which, except a few hundred acres, is the private property of seven speculators, who have not even fenced half of it, while families who would gladly make true American homes on twenty-acre tracts of the valley land, are scrambling and even fighting for the possession of steep and rocky ridges in far less eligible places in the same vicinity.

These are but examples, and moderate examples, of the infamous conditions existing here – conditions which have forced upon us, with a population of only one million inhabitants, all the horrors of over-population, while Italy, for example, with only a little more than two-thirds of the acreage of our State, supports thirty millions of people.

Men like the emigrants of whom I have spoken, forced in their helpless despair to abandon their families, have drifted out upon the roads in search of work. Spurned, rebuked, buffeted, they have finally abandoned hope and sunk slowly, but surely, into that indescribable condition of mental, moral and physical degradation which is best expressed by the term “tramp.” These wretched creatures, who under natural conditions would nearly all have been useful men, now swarm upon the highways and infest the towns of every county in our State.

In Alameda, a second-class county, during six months of the year 1885 over four hundred tramps were convicted and imprisoned for vagrancy.

Such are the fruits of our present system of private property in land, by which a few hundred men are enabled to own and hold the natural opportunities of millions. As the natural and necessary result of this great curse we may truly say with Goldsmith:

Our country blooms, a garden and a grave.

Jas G. McGuire

 

Booming Land in California

From a Letter in theBostonJournal.

The last craze of theSanta Barbarapeople is the booming of the price of land. City lots which could not be given away a few years ago now command from $1,000 to $10,000, and the price is still climbing upward and everyone is buying and selling, and everyone is crazy to get and carry all that he can. Is there any occasion for it? Not the slightest. There is land enough from the foot-hills to the water to locate five million people, and then have room to house as many more and give each one a large plot of ground.

 

The Landlord’s Prayer

Lord, keep us rich and free from toil,
For we
Are honored holders of Thy soil,
Which democrats would now despoil
With glee.
O! Lord, our fathers got the land
For serving those whom Thy right hand
Had chosen to be great and grand
As kings.
Tho’ ta’en by force, we’re not to blame,
Thou know’st, O! Lord, it is a shame
To say to us – of titled name,
Such things.

Lord, let us live in wealth’s content,
And peace!
Lord, we are by Thy mercy meant
To rule mankind, and make our rent
Increase.
The birds that haunt the moors and hills,
The fish that swim in streams and rills,
The beasts that roam as Nature wills,
We own;
E’en Lord, the minerals that lie
Beneath the earth’s periphery
Belong to us! Thou knowest why
Alone.

London Democrat

 

Page 4

I begin the publication of this paper in response to many urgent requests, and because I believe that there is a field for a journal that shall serve as a focus for news and opinions relating to the great movement, now beginning, for the emancipation of labor by the restoration of natural rights.

The generation that abolished chattel slavery is passing away, and the political distinctions that grew out of that contest are becoming meaningless. The work now before us is the abolition of industrial slavery.

What God created for the use of all should be utilized for the benefit of all; what is produced by the individual belongs rightfully to the individual. The neglect of these simple principles has brought upon us the curse of wide-spread poverty and all the evils that flow from it. Their recognition will abolish poverty, will secure to the humblest independence and leisure, and will lay a broad and strong foundation on which all other reforms may be based. To secure the full recognition of these principles is the most important task to which any man can address himself to-day. It is in the hope of aiding in this work that I establish this paper.

I believe that the Declaration of Independence is not a mere string of glittering generalities. I believe that all men are really created equal, and that the securing of those equal natural rights is the true purpose and test of government. And against whatever law, custom or device that restrains men in the exercise of their natural rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness I shall raise my voice.

Confident in the strength of truth. I shall give no quarter to abuses and ask none from their champions. The political corruption that shames our democracy, the false theories that assume that a nation’s prosperity lies in shutting itself in from free intercourse with other nations, the stupid fiscal system that piles up hundreds of millions of dollars in our treasury vaults while we are paying interest on an enormous debt; the aping of foreign nations that insists upon standing armies and navies modeled on aristocratic plans; the judicial system that offers a mockery of justice on one side and condones evil-doing on the other; the false philanthropy that gives a dole while it denies a right: the lip-worship of a just God and the heart worship of the Golden Calf – all these, are to my mind of one connected whole whose foundations are in the denial of the equal rights of man to the use of Nature’s bounty; and in attacking and exposing them as opportunity may offer, I shall render easier the exposure and abolition of the great wrong from which they primarily spring.

I shall endeavor to conduct this paper by the same rules on which a just man would regulate his conduct. I shall not wittingly give currency to an untruth, and, if I inadvertently do so, will endeavor to repair the wrong. I shall endeavor to be fair to opponents and true to friends. I do not propose to make everything that shall appear here square to my own theories, but will be willing to give place to views which may differ from my own when they are so stated as to be worthy of consideration. I hope to make this paper the worthy exponent and advocate of the great party yet unnamed that is now beginning to form, but at the same time to make its contents so varied and interesting as to insure for it a general circulation.

I ask for The Standard the active aid of all who wish to see such a paper firmly established, and I trust they will not be satisfied with ordering the paper themselves, but will try to obtain for it other subscriptions or orders.

Henry George

 

Police Brutality

The World is exposing a shocking police outrage. It appears that Officer McGinley, of Captain Washburn’s precinct, arrested a respectable colored woman, Mrs. Fanny Belkizer, without cause, and when she resisted and screamed struck her in the face with his club. The blow dislocated her lower jaw. In this condition, and her clothing saturated with blood she was brought to the station house, where, unable to distinctly answer questions, she was thrust into a cell and in the morning taken before Police Justice Gorman. One of the line of unfortunates gathered in during the night, she awaited her turn to be rudely pushed to the prisoners’ rail by the policeman who arrested her.

“What is it, officer?” asked the judge, as McGinley stepped up to the desk.

“Drunk and disorderly,” was the reply.

“What have you got to say?” the judge inquired of the woman. She could not speak, and the summary proceeding was closed.

“Ten dollars,” said the judge, as the prisoner was shoved away to make room for another.

Mrs. Belkizer’s husband, upon paying the fine, discovered how badly his wife was hurt, and took her to Dr. Flemming, who states that “her jaw lay on her breast,” and describes her as “a terrible sight to see.” By his advice she was removed toMount Sinaihospital, from which, after undergoing a painful operation, she was discharged eight days later.

It happens that Mrs. Belkizer and her husband have influential friends, and the policeman is threatened with vigorous prosecution. He denies the clubbing, and maintains his charge of drunkenness. This would be enough if Mrs. Belkizer were friendless; but as it is, he may have to explain how he came to maltreat any person, drunk or sober, in the condition Dr. Fleming found this woman in when she left the court room. As to the clubbing, circumstances are against him; as to her sobriety, the most beastly intoxication, even if her good name did not corroborate her denial, would not excuse his brutal conduct.

But if the officer’s conduct was brutal, what of the sergeant at the desk, the captain of the precinct, and the justice of the police court? Is it possible that the prisoner’s injuries escaped the sergeant’s notice? If they did, his indifference amounted to cruelty. Is it possible that Captain Washburn knew nothing of her condition? Then he owed it to himself to prosecute the officer and complain of the sergeant. Did Police Justice Gorman really suppose he had a case of “drunk and disorderly” before him? He had no right to suppose. It was his sworn duty to know as well as evidence could inform him. Although it is customary with police justices, it was a moral crime for him to act upon the uncorroborated story of the policeman.

Mrs. Belkizer’s case is not exceptional. It may be more horrible than others, and the officer was unlucky in pitching upon a victim of good reputation with wealthy friends. But brutality among patrolmen, indifference of their superiors to outrage and suffering, and a farcical administration of justice in police courts, have become so common and attracted so little attention in the cases of the friendless, that cases like Mrs. Belkizer’s are necessary to bring these official offenders to justice.

 

Official Condescension

When slaves were suddenly freed and made citizens, condescension in efforts to improve their condition was not out of place; but how does it sound to hear the governor of a state talking in that tone about workingmen who were born citizens – as Governor Hill does in his message?

“It should be our aim to study their wants,” he says, “to respectfully and attentively listen to their complaints, to dispassionately discuss their proposed projects, and in a kindly spirit to intelligently distinguish between their real and their fancied grievances.” Pray, governor, to whom do you allude when you speak of “our aim,” and who is it that is to attentively listen, dispassionately discuss, and kindly distinguish? Is there in truth a governing class, of which you are a good-natured representative, to whom men that work must present their grievances as an humble subject might kneel at the foot of a throne? Or are the workingmen of the state, whom you make the objects of your gracious condescension, citizens whose commands, when expressed in legal form, must be obeyed?

When you recognize that workingmen are demanding rights, and not begging for privileges, you will be able to discuss labor questions more intelligently.

 

Mr. Warden Walsh

Why all this outcry against “Fatty” Walsh? Mayor Grace says that the Sixth ward statesman “is probably the most representative man of the Second assembly district.” A glance at the official returns of the last election shows that the Second assembly district cast 4,072 votes for Hewitt, 1,682 for George, 879 forRoosevelt, and 8 for Wardwell. When it comes to “saving society” Walsh’s bailiwick proudly comes to the fore as the banner district. “Fatty” appears to be a savior who saves. Is society, now that it has been saved, for the time being, going to show itself ungrateful?

“Fatty” Walsh is the natural product of the conditions long existing in our politics. The system by which moneyed men exercise absolute control necessitates such men as Walsh and his rival, Pat Divver. Wealthy gamblers on the stock exchange and in the faro banks and business men would not soil their hands by such work as Walsh and Divver do. They have neither the time nor the inclination to get their constituents out of jail or attend to the interests of the pushcart men. The politicians who do this work must be “taken care of” or they will quit working, since no public interest prompts their political activity.

Of course the attempt to show that “Fatty” has reformed was a failure, and Pharisees of the press are greatly shocked that an “indicted gambler” has received an important appointment; but they were perfectly content to accept the services of all the gamblers a few months ago, to assist in maintaining the political system that rests upon just such activity as Walsh displays.

These people have no right to complain. “Fatty” Walsh has but recently been inaugurated warden of the Tombs. He was really appointed by the enthusiastic voters who accepted a candidate at the hands of Croker and Power and elected him mayor ofNew York.

 

How Railroad Millionaires Are Made

The general railroad act of New Yorkwas enacted in 1850, and has served as a model for nearly all the railroad legislation of the United States. The eighty-fifth section provides that “at least one thousand dollars of stock for every mile of railroad proposed to be made must be subscribed to the articles of association, and ten per cent. paid thereon in goof faith and in cash to the directors named in the articles of association.”

It results, therefore, that all the actual cash required to give a railroad company corporate vitality in this state is an actual cash investment of one hundred dollars per mile!

Furnished with cash or credit to this extent of affluence, a band of would-be millionaires are thus invested with all the enormous power given by the laws of our state to these semi-public enterprises.

They are now at liberty to erect there-upon a structure of “mortgage bonds,” “income bonds,” “construction bonds” and “car trust securities,” limited only by the extent of their combined rapacity!

We can form an idea of the extent of the wealth thus illegitimately acquired through the forms of law from a consideration of some figures derived from the report of the railroad commissioners ofNew Yorkfor 1885:

The total number of miles of track built and operated by railroads inNew YorkStatewas 18,820.

Their total capital stock was $650,500,000. As at this time the bonded indebtedness of these railroads was $557,800,000, it is evident that with a cash investment required by law of but $65,000,000, the projectors of these roads have been able to issue and sell securities representing twelve hundred millions of dollars!

Can we wonder that the agricultural producers of theEmpireStategroan under the weight of discriminating transportation charges required to pay interest charges on this accumulation of corporate plunder?

With an increase of railroad dividends each recurring year brings to them only a smaller reward for their toil.

They are at last beginning to turn with eager eyes to their industrial brethren of the cities, also victims of monopolies. The day of their union in political co-operation will mark a new departure in American politics.

 

Practical Politics

Captain Michael Cregan is a practical politician. As engineer of the Republican machine of the Sixteenth Assembly district in the city ofNew Yorkhe has done such valuable work that the Republicans send him to conventions and the Democrats keep him in a lucrative office. He is in every respect, save one, a model “savior of society.” The exception is his engaging frankness. This quality was conspicuously displayed by the captain last week, when he testified before a committee of his party relative to the congressional campaign in his district.

Allen Thorndike Rice was the Republican candidate for congress against Francis B. Spinola in the district lately represented by Mayor Hewitt. Although the district was Democratic by over 7,000 majority, Mr. Rice came within less than 500 votes of election, and it was evident that he would have defeated Spinola but for the treachery of Captain Cregan. An investigation was ordered by the republican committee, at which testimony was given to the effect that the captain had instructed his election-day subordinates to work in a ballot now and then for Spinola. When Cregan testified he denied this, but it was not his denial that made the captain’s testimony interesting. It was the candor with which this “savior of society” disclosed some methods of practical politics, and gave his reasons for refusing to explain others.

“I tell a man the night before election,” said the captain, “here’s your tickets and here’s your money. I want so many votes. Go and get them.” Asked about a certain polling district he said: “I never go there. It’s no good. I go somewhere else where I can get ‘em for their rent money.”

The persons vaguely alluded to here by the decapitated pronoun are supposed to be voters. The process of getting them Cregan declined to explain, saying, when asked by the chairman what payments he made on election day, and saying it with a smile: “I’m a practical politician, I am. It would be a new thing for me to tell you that, and might land me in the state prison.” It will be noticed that the captains reverence for the eleventh commandment is quite up to the “society saving” standard.

But when asked what he meant by having said that Mr. Rice could have been elected for $10,000 more, Captain Cregan lost patience. He had said so, and meant it; but he was a practical politician and did not want to go on record in exactly that way. He wanted to be understood in this way: “If Mr. Rice could do it without Spinola’s knowing it, he might have overcome that little majority for almost nothing. But if he put in money and Spinola knew it, Spinola would put in money too. Here were two rich men running for office. If one spent money, the other would. That’s practical politics. In such a case Rice might have been elected for $10,000.”

Michael Cregan is no better and no worse than the averageNew Yorkpolitician. He is a good fellow, as the others are – until they land in state prison. In his comings and goings, as a practical politician, he is a representative of a class whom the respectable “saviors of society” employ on election day to buy and bully the pauperized and degraded victims of social injustice. They furnish the political connection between the millionaire and the tramp.

 

“Outside Interference”

Many employers imagine that they plant themselves in an impregnable position when they declare that they will treat only with their own men and tolerate no interference by outsiders – that is, by officers of trades’ unions or Knights of Labor. Such men only demonstrate their ignorance of what has already been accomplished by the movement to organize labor.

So long as men could only deal as individuals with their employers they were absolutely powerless to compel any redress of wrongs or betterment of their condition. If they were not satisfied the employer could safely tell them to go, sure that he could readily supply their places from the mass of disorganized workingmen always seeking employment. It was to remedy this very condition of affairs that labor organizations were formed.

The dispute is now, as much as it ever was, between the employer and those in his employ. The difference is that the latter have a powerful body at their back, which can at least make it difficult for the employer to find new men if he arbitrarily discharges those who state their grievances and ask a remedy at his hands. The declaration that no “outsiders” will be listened to is a direct blow at the very foundation of organized labor, and is absurd when made by those who admit the right of labor to organize.

No conceivable perfection in the organization of labor can compel employers to pay wages that will cause them to manufacture at a loss, or even without some profit. They would naturally shut up their shops rather than submit to such a demand, and labor, having overreached itself, would be subjected to even greater loss. All that organization can do is to enable workingmen to stand up with courage and confidence for as fair a bargain as is possible under existing conditions, and that they will do no matter how many petty railway presidents or other employers resent “outside interference,” and assert their right to make both sides of the bargain between labor and capital.

Disreputable houses are inNew Yorksources of exceptional profit to landlords and of frequent perquisites to the police. Rents are high and official reminders regular. Not long ago an attempt was made to close up one of these places onThirteenth street, between Second and Third avenues. The neighbors complained to the captain of the precinct, McCullagh, who promised to suppress the nuisance, but did not. A law and order association was then formed, which employed a lawyer and begun proceedings to evict the occupants. Preliminary to these proceedings a search was made for the owner, who proved to be a resident ofSpain, a woman named Luz Farres de Mora; her agents in charge of letting the house were Coudert Bros., the law firm of which Frederic R. Coudert is the head. The case was tried before Justice Steckler, who found the facts as they were alleged by the neighbors and issued warrants to dispossess the occupants of the house. At the trial a witness testified that a monthly stipend was paid to the police. A neighboring house belonging to Conrad Dorman, ofFort Lee, N. J., was proceeded against at the same time with like result; but new tenants immediately took possession and continued its use for the same unlawful purpose.

The surplus in the Federal treasury seems to worry some people very much. But why should it? Would any individual be in doubt about what to do if he had plenty of money in the bank and was under heavy interest bearing obligations? He would pay his debts and stop the interest unless he could use his money more profitably. That is what the government should do. And it would do it if it were not for the banking monopoly, which has set up a gold dollar for popular warfare.

“The Year 1886,” says the Tribune, “has been distinguished by remarkable uprisings of organized labor, yet it will end without evidence that the organized workers have gained anything on the whole by these surprising efforts.” Our contemporary reminds the workingmen that they have neither gained control of the municipal government of New York nor of the national house of representatives, and it insists, on probably insufficient evidence, that most of their strikes have failed. It suggests that organization has practically been shown to be useless, by the fact that the improvement in business has brought to unorganized labor quite as much increase in wages as organization has secured for other labor. This is amusing. If there have been instances in which employers have advanced wages of their own motion, simply because they felt able to do so, the Tribune has not had the enterprise to report them by telegraph. The only important thing about all this is the evidence it affords that the class for which our contemporary speaks evidently hopes that labor is sufficiently dismayed by defeat to give up the fight. Again, the Tribune says that “in the political field the net results so far is defeat of the labor candidates in almost every important contest, although the laborers had a clear majority of votes in every case had they been united.” Very true; but it is the fact that they were more nearly united last year than ever before that leads the Tribune and other papers of its class, to discuss the matter with such unaccustomed gravity. The positive evidence afforded last year that a little closer union would assure certain success will have a wonderful effect hereafter. The new party is yet in its infancy, but it is too bright to stupefy itself by the Tribune‘s soothing syrup.

Whatever opinions one may hold respecting capital punishment, the course pursued by the governor in the case of Mrs, Druse must be approved. It is his duty to enforce the law, and although arbitrary power of pardon is lodged with him, he has no right as the executive of a democratic commonwealth to exercise it capriciously. By granting a respite he enables the law-making power to save the state from a disgrace which it is not within the province of an executive officer to avert.

When the wrong of private property in land is attacked a favorite remark is: “There is plenty of land to be had free one or two hundred miles from every city of the continent; why don’t those who grumble about their poverty take it up?” They don’t take it up because the land is worthless. If it were not worthless it would bring a price. It is valueless either from insalubrity, as the swamps ofLong Island; from infertility, as the alkali plains through which the Union Pacific railroad runs, or from remoteness from markets, as in the case of the free lands in the Canadian northwest. If produce has its value eaten up in being wagoned and freighted to market, what inducement is there to raise the produce? It is cruel mockery to tell needy men that they can relieve their poverty by taking up free (?) lands, when they lack capital to work it, experience to make their plowing, sowing and reaping successful, when by the very essence of the offer the land they are asked to accept is worthless.

Those illustrated papers which appeal to vulgar tastes by libelously caricaturing public men while they live, and celebrating these writers in weak attempts at art when they die, sometimes drift into embarrassing situations. Such was the experience of Puck when a caricature of General Logan, prepared during his life, appeared while the press was filled with laudatory obituary articles.

We are indebted to the enterprise of the San FranciscoArgonaut for an interesting letter in regard to the recent mayoralty canvass in New York. Mr. Pixley vouches for the author as a person “worthy of credence.” “Solid on everything else,” says the writer to Mr. Pixley, “except the European theory of protection, you are all wrong on the George business. He was nominated in “town meeting” called by 33,000 citizens, the signatures having been obtained in sixteen days. It was the revolt of decent people against the machine. He had the signatures of 123 clergymen, 486 lawyers, over 500 physicians, a majority of the members of the brokers’ exchange, of the publishers of the city, of over 3,000 shop-keepers (not one gin-mill keeper), nine-tenths of the newspaper men. ["]There was not” he says, “a rum-shop for George. That tells the story and the truth.” The writer says further that no statement could be more viciously and maliciously inaccurate than the impression which Mr. Pixley had striven to convey, that the Henry George vote had come from “the criminal, unemployed and discontent element.” “It might,” says the correspondent, “with more truth have been said of George Washington than of Henry George.” We cannot add to the force and truth of this observation, and it only remains for us to congratulate Mr. Pixley upon his magnanimity in printing so severe a condemnation of his own rash and crude criticisms.

A correspondent of the BaltimoreSun is much amused over the ignorance concerningAmerica displayed by a Persian governor, who recently asked: “How many kings have they inAmerica now?” Well, we have quite a number of kings, and some of them live inBaltimore. How many have we?

A sketch printed elsewhere gives an abstract of the political opinions of Sir Thomas More. Sir Thomas was certainly a man of excellent head and heart, with views far in advance of his time. The Standard cannot endorse the extreme socialistic ideas of this devout old Catholic, who died a martyr to his belief in the supremacy of the pope. This is not through any failure to appreciate their nobility and generosity, but simply from a conviction that the system suggested by More needlessly throws away the advantages of individual effort and ambition. We freely admit, however, that it is, as More claimed, much closer to the teachings and example of Christ than the existing system, and we shall gladly join our Catholic friends in honoring the author of Utopia, should the proposal long under consideration to canonize him be carried out. But what will become of “His Grace,” ofNew York, should St. Thomas More take his [p]lace on the calendar of saints.

Two out of every three farms in Marshall and Franklin counties,Alabama, are said to be under mortgage, and yet the farmers there imagine that they belong to the landlord class.

Those constantly recurring “accidents” in the construction of the new aqueduct, by which many workingmen have been killed and many more maimed for life, failed to excite any attention from the press until a man labeled “Anarchist” fell a victim. His case passed unnoticed for two months, until the label was discovered. And now, what is the comment? Why, that this man has “saved society some trouble!” that “the news of this death does not cause very deep grief!” that few people are sorry he “is out of the world!” and so on. Yet his death resulted from an accident in an honorable occupation. If workingmen were to comment thus on the accidental death of some pampered savior of society their conduct would be promptly denounced as brutal. Does it, then, make a difference when the other man’s ox is gored?

The New Yorkcorrespondent of the AlbanyJournal says that if the new party succeeds in getting a respectable representation numerically in the constitutional convention it will make things very lively for that body. He is right.

The brutal levity of police justices on the bench is scandalous. With two or three exceptions these officials are in the habit of making sport of the misery that daily comes before them. Recently Justice Patterson imposed a ten dollar fine for drunkenness upon a man whose name is more easily spelled than pronounced. The prisoner begged to be let off with six dollars, all the money he had, and the judge replied: “No; a man that’s got such a name as you have ought to be fined ten dollars.” For the law that licenses drunkenness at the rate of ten dollars and imprisons men who cannot pay the tax, Judge Patterson is not responsible; but his remark in this case was cowardly. Had he and the prisoner been upon an equality it might have passed as a piece of stupid pleasantry or as an insult to be summarily resented. Under the circumstances it ought to be made a ground of impeachment.

Governor Hill has at last discovered that people who work for a living are not satisfied with the way things are going. In his message he says: “It is useless to shut our eyes to the fact that there seems to be a growing discontent among the industrial classes.” Of course the causes of discontent are beyond the governor’s vision, and even to the fact that there are causes he is officially indifferent. His aim therefore is “to alleviate and pacify” the discontent, not to remove its causes, and so he advises the legislature.

In their bill providing for the constitutional convention, the labor organizations propose that women shall vote for delegates and upon the adoption of the constitution when prepared. Even opponents of woman suffrage in general should not object to this. Women are citizens and subject to the law, and this convention is to define the limitations of law. For women to vote upon such a matter will not interfere with their domestic duties, nor impose upon them those military and civil obligations which are supposed to be corollaries of the suffrage; and it is absolutely essential if the constitution is to be what it will purport to be – an organic law emanating directly from the whole people.

The Irish World says that editors who misrepresent the land question know that the majority of mankind are mere echoes, and therefore make such senseless cries as communism, socialism, anarchism, when speaking of land taxation. They might as well apply these terms to any other system of taxation. It is not proposed to confiscate any value that has been created by human industry. This would be robbery. But when the community creates wealth it is entitled to it as much as the individual is to the wealth he creates.

The latest issue of Lovell’s Library Twilight Club tracts on “Questions of the Day,” edited by Chas. F. Wingate, contains a score or more bright, pointed and taking essays by some of the ablest American writers, including James Redpath, Rev. Dr. Rylance, Henry George, Louis F. Post, Lyman Abbott, John Swinton, Prof. Hawley, Thos. G. Shearman, E. E. Hale, Graham McAdam, Jas. Parker, Capt. Codman, David A. Wells, Stewart L. Woodford and others. It is marvelously cheap at twenty cents a copy, and deserves a large circulation.

 

It Owns Too Much Land

Speaking of Rev. Dr. McGlynn, the Salt Lake Tribune, an anti-Mormon paper, says: “The Catholic Church cannot afford to keep inAmerica a priest who does not believe in private ownership of land. Object to the ecclesiastical ownership of land and half the wealth of the Catholic Church inAmerica would go at one swoop.

 

A Landlord’s Queries

Sioux City,Iowa. – As an American landlord, possessing the freehold of 3,374 acres, divided into one farm of 2,000 acres and six farms occupied by tenants. I find your views very interesting. I admit your arguments, but there are two points I insist on your demonstrating. First, the American landowner bought his land, in many cases paying hard cash for it to the government or to the soldiers who homesteaded it. Now, why should I lose all my capital, which was money earned in manufacture, and Vanderbilt retain his countless millions? I paid in hard cash $33,000 for this land ten years ago, and in every case my title took its seat in a patent to a soldier from theUnited Statesgovernment. Second, demonstrate by example how a landlord is to lose his grip on the land by all land being equally taxed to its full value. Success to the cause of humanity. Let me have a clear answer, as I am only a farmer and very busy.

A. Barlow

First: The equal right of every man to the use of land is inalienable. As he cannot sell himself he cannot sell his right to that upon which he must exist. Much less may his government divest him of his right. Still less may he or his government divest his unborn children of their right. Slaveholders paid hard cash – some of it earned possibly in manufacture – for “niggers,” but that gave them no moral right to their human property. The equal natural right of all to the use of the globe upon which they are born once conceded, vested interests, however acquired, must give way when they deprive any of the human family of his share. But suppose this were not so, how does the fact that you paid $33,000 for your land ten years ago give you a moral right to that increased value which it has acquired from other causes than your own improvement? And do you not give too much importance to the fact that your interest in land would be diminished by the tax, and none at all to the fact that our wages – you say you are very busy – would be increased, that your capital would pay no taxes, and that you would be freed from the great variety of indirect taxes which you now pay? Vanderbilt’s millions will soon go when private property in land is annulled. That is the keystone of the arch. But why do you draw this comparison between yourself and Vanderbilt? His mere dwelling occupies more land – in value – than you own.

Second: It is not proposed to tax all land equally. It is not proposed to tax any land. What is proposed is to tax the rental value of land as distinguished from the value of improvements. If you collect this rental value, the tax will take it away from you; if you do not collect it, but keep the land out of use, the tax will take as much from you as you might have collected. What kind of a “grip” have your six tenants on you so long as you can compel them to pay for the use of the land they use. What kind of a “grip” will you have on them when you are obliged to pay back that rent? As you are independent of them now they will be independent of you then. There is a further answer: The land value tax will open up for use, free of rent or tax, great bodies of land every where, on which men can make a comfortable living. So long as such land is available no man will work for another for less than a comfortable living; and that will put an end to every kind of “grip” by which some men live by the sweat of other men’s brows]

 

Virginia Lands

Philadelphia Times.

That part ofVirginiawhich suffered most severely by war and was oftenest wrested from either contending army by the other, is the most prosperous to-day. The old order is changing in the northern counties. Fertile farms and tastefully built houses on either side remind the Pennsylvanian of his native State, for in this section ofVirginiareconstruction means more than the political struggle commonly suggested by that name. It signifies that the old proprietors have already in large measure divided their farms into smaller ones and sold them to enterprising newcomers, and all, having less to manage and more capital to manage it with, have concentrated their resources and managed better. But when you get further south into the latitude that was subjected only to occasional raids, the landscape bears a dead and desolate appearance. The houses are of the plainest architecture and are generally destitute of paint; scrubby forests of pine and fields of broom-sedge stretch wearily away to the right and left, and the cultivated fields to be seen here and there have a poor and worn out look. The proprietors have not had many opportunities of welcoming the friendly Yankee and selling him a little farm. In fact, the friendly Yankee has not crowded the trains or the hotel lobbies or the real estate offices in search of worn out farm lands, and nobody who sees how badly worn out they are can blame him, considering the prices asked for them.

 

Oh, Most Wise Judge!

Mr. Grottkau, editor of the Arbeiter-zeitung, atMadison,Wisconsin, was recently sentenced to thirty days’ imprisonment for contempt because he had printed some verses reflecting on Judge Sloan of that place. Judge Sloan, in imposing sentence, displayed a most exalted opinion of the dignity of the bench and an absurd ignorance of the present condition of laboring men. He said: “There is but one security in this country for its citizens – the independence and dignity of the courts. When that is gone the whole fabric of government falls. If there be wrongs to be remedied – fancied wrongs many of them are – existing between capital and labor, an appeal can always be made to the common, sober sense of the people. The laborer of to-day is the capitalist of to-morrow. There never was a time when the laborer was in better condition or enjoying more prosperity than at present. The tendency of civilization is toward the betterment of the lowest laboring man.”

 

Reform for Chicago

Chicago Tribune

A committee consisting of representatives of the United Labor party, the Iroquois club (the leading Democratic organization of the city), the Union league {Republican), the Commercial club, and the Citizens’ association has drafted a bill for the reform of the government of Cook county. The measure proposes in the first place to elect next April a new board of fifteen members – ten from the city and five from the county – the same day that a mayor and aldermen are elected forChicago, and that trustees, supervisors, etc., are elected by the county towns. It supposes also to confer on the chairman of the county board veto powers and to vest the county clerk with the powers of controller. In addition, it provides that specific appropriations, which under no circumstances can be exceeded, shall be made during the first three months of the fiscal year.

 

Government by Committee

Lancaster, Pa., Intelligencer

Philadelphiahas a population of nearly a million. She wants a mayor. A committee of some kind propose four names and ask the big city to choose a name. And this is our boasted government of the people. It seems very much like the crowned heads ofEuropechoosing a king for the Bulgarian people.

 

Page 5

The Week

Mr. Hewitt signalized his entrance into the mayor’s office by a public reception attended by many placemen and politicians. The mayor was jocose and in the best of humor. In the course of the day Mr. Hewitt denounced liars on the press who attributed to him what be did not say. This is ungrateful, since Mr. Hewitt owes a great deal to journalists addicted to this habit. When he shook hands with Commissioner Purroy he said, “The last time I saw you were getting me into this trouble.” Croker and Power were among the callers, but their candidate’s remarks to them are not recorded. Among the local statesmen were: Tim. Costigan, Frank Duffy, Col. Mooney, Police Justices Duffy, White and Murray, Tim. Campbell, Eddie Cahill and many others naturally jubilant over the success of their efforts to save society. The occasion was a cheerful one to all concerned, and Mr. Hewitt’s amiability was such that Mr. O. B. Potter congratulated him on the good beginning he had made.

Joseph P. McDonough, one of the circuit clerks of the supreme court, has been removed by County Clerk Flack, and a Tammany ex-assemblyman has been appointed in his place. The position is worth $2,000 a year. McDonough’s removal is due to the fact that his organization, Irving Hall, endorsed the workingmen’s candidate for the mayoralty.

The details of the deal that united the city democrats last fall are coming to light. The first revelation involves Henry R. Beckman, a typical savior of society of the patrician class, now president of the board of aldermen; Maurice J. Power, leader of the County Democracy, and Richard Croker, leader of Tammany Hall. Tammany had forced the nomination of Mr. Hewitt for mayor, and a dispute arose over the other nominations. The CountyDemocracyinsisted that it should name the president of the board of aldermen, since Tammany had named the mayor, while Tammany claimed the nomination on the ground that its nominee for mayor belonged to the CountyDemocracy. The dispute was temporarily adjusted by referring it to Mr. Hewitt, who chose Mr. Beckman, then park commissioner. Mr. Croker, on behalf of Tammany, objected that Beckman was a personal friend of Mayor Grace, and that he should not be indorsed unless he pledged himself not to resign as park commissioner until Mr. Hewitt took the office of mayor. Mr. Power, on behalf of the CountyDemocracy, promised to obtain the pledge, which he did. After election this transaction got into political gossip, and a Times reporter obtained a statement from Mr. Grace, who said that he had not at first believed Mr. Beckman capable of such conduct. He had nevertheless asked him if the story was true and Mr. Beckman had admitted giving the pledge. Mr. Grace says he told the park commissioner rather forcibly what he thought of such bargains, and referred to his pretense of reluctance to run for president of the board of aldermen after making an improper promise in order to secure the nomination. After his call on the mayor Mr. Beckman is said to have declared that he had just spent the worst fifteen minutes of his life. In the absence or disability of Mr. Hewitt the same Mr. Beckman will, by virtue of his office, look after the foundations of society and ward off chaos.

Mayor Hewitt, having been confined to his house, Mr. Beckman, who became president of the board of aldermen by a pre-election deal, has been acting mayor. Should Mr. Beckman also fall ill Pat. Divver, vice-president of the board and chronic competitor of “Fatty Walsh,” would preside over the destinies of the city. The descent is regular.

The general term of theNew Yorksupreme court, Judge Daniels writing the opinion, has decided that cornering articles of food or other necessaries is a criminal conspiracy. Judge Daniels says it is nothing less than respectable robbery. With a statute as old as the state prohibiting combinations to injure trade or commerce, and gigantic corners daily manipulated in the centers of trade, it is curious that until now the statute has been enforced only against mechanics for combining against some shoe shop.

Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt gave a dinner to a large number of the employes of the New York Central andWestShoreroads on New Year’s day. The dinner consisted of oysters, corned beef, tongue, ham and all kinds of vegetables and dessert. The men, we are told, “were loud in their praises of both the dinner and of Mr. Vanderbilt.” This seems to indicate that they are not accustomed to such dinners, yet the bill of fare is a plain one, the materials by no means costly, and such a meal ought to be easily within the reach of a fairly paid workman every day.

The cheerful face of Miss Agatha Munier has disappeared from the choir of St. Stephen’s church, and is not likely to return until the reinstatement of Dr. McGlynn. For fifteen years Miss Munier has engaged in the sacred service of this edifice, and the music, under her skillful leadership, has long been known for its excellence. But old associations were not strong enough bonds to hold her where she believed injustice was being done, and until the venerated priest who built up St. Stephens is returned she will not set foot in the choir loft.

William Morrison, aThird avenuecar driver, was held to bail on New Year’s day for striking a balky horse with a car hook. This, perhaps, indicated a growth of human feeling on the part of the management of that company that may, if encouraged, reach a height that will include men.

The inequality of taxation upon personal property was aptly illustrated by Thomas G. Shearman, Esq., at the last dinner of the Twilight club. “What is personal property?” he asked. “Umbrellas!” exclaimed the redoubtable Capt. Codman. The laughter that followed was varied with an assortment of allusions to the communal nature of this kind of property, but it suited Mr. Shearman’s purpose well, and he went on: “Certainly; umbrellas are personal property. Now, suppose you tax umbrellas, who will pay most taxes? Men with only one umbrella, of course. The assessor would assume that every man had one; therefore, every man not wholly destitute of umbrellas would have to pay taxes on one or commit perjury. But the more umbrellas any man had the easier could he escape his proportion of taxes. In guessing at the number of umbrellas the assessor would guess above the limit of the poor man and far below that of the rich man, as he does now with all kinds of chattels. A tax on umbrellas is an excellent example of the inequality of personal property taxes.”

Senator Murphy’s constitutional convention bill provides for two delegates from each assembly district and thirty-two at large. This would exclude third party delegates unless they came from districts in which the third party was either a first or second party. Speaker Hulsted’s bill provides for ninety-six local delegates, thirty of them from the senatorial districts ofNew York, Kings andRichmond, and thirty-two at large. This would make a compact convention of one hundred and twenty-eight delegates, which it might be neither troublesome nor expensive to argue with. The Labor party’s bill provides for three delegates from each assembly district, for only one of whom any elector can vote, and thirty-two at large. This enables a third party of respectable [garbled word] strength to send a working delegation. It would make a large convention, but the detail work could be done by committees, and upon a final vote the very size of the body would afford reasonable security against corruption.

Last Sunday the case of Nelson P. Pearson, charged with bribery at the late election, was for the fifth time before a police court. Four times it had been postponed to accommodate the defendant, and the fifth it was “hung up” to accommodate the judge. Frederick C. Leubuscher, Esq., who was authorized by the district attorney to represent the People, had ineffectually attempted to force the case to a hearing before Justice Duffy, who finally adjourned it to a date when Justice Power would sit. Justice Power is the leader of theCountyDemocracy. He refused to hear the case, saying that no other judge had a right to send cases to him, which, as a matter of police court ethics, may be true, but as a matter of law is not. Although the circumstances and the importance of the case were explained by Mr. Leubuscher, Judge Power refused t o either hear or adjourn it, and now it is out of court. Defendant’s counsel did not appear at all; it was not necessary.

The lowest bidder for supplying meat to the board of charities and correction of New York for 1887 offers to furnish 1,200 tons of chuck beef at 4 4-10 cents per pound, salt beef at 4 1/2; veal at 12, pork at 8, mutton at 0, corned beef at 8, sirloin steaks at 10, roasts at 10 and extra diet beef at 10. The total amount of meat required is about 3,500,000 pounds.

Governor Hill’s message was read to the legislature on Monday. He recommends a permanent system for the employment of prison labor, free from the objections to the contract system, which was abolished by popular vote in 1883. He also urges some measure for spring municipal elections in the city ofNew York, and a law permitting naturalized citizens to register without producing their papers. A law limiting preferences in general assignments, a census act, a commission to revise the charter of New York, abolition of the regents of the university, abolition of the state board of charities and the state board of health, a law to enforce religious freedom, provisions for appeals in murder cases directly to the court of appeals and an act restricting the power of corporations to issue stock and bonds, are also among the governor’s recommendations. His suggestion that the legislature employ a special counsel to draft bills in legal form and to advise members and committees is valuable, and if adopted would save much useless litigation. More popular, perhaps, but less valuable, is his proposition for the placing of all property, real and personal, upon an equal footing for purposes of taxation. This proposal, submitted with a view to the favor of farmers, is losing its attractiveness, as farmers learn that the landowners of their farms bear a very small proportion to the values of their improvements and stock.

Mayor Whitney ofBrooklyn, in his message to the aldermen on Monday, said: “Our growth has been great; our wealth has increased; our debt has decreased; our tax rate has been reduced.” He might have added, “Our rents have gone up.”

Congress reassembled on Tuesday. Before the holiday recess the house had managed to kill any proposal to reduce tariff taxation and to pass a modification of the Reagan railway bill. The bill is still in committee of conference, and the senate can be depended on to shape it in the interests of the railways as far as possible. Each house has also passed a separate bill providing for the division of Indian lands in severalty. This question will also go to a conference committee, and all friends of justice to the red men will hope that there will be a failure to agree. Both bills are bad, and any combination of them is likely to be worse than either.

The president had sufficiently recovered from his rheumatic attack to enable him to receive on New Year’s day. The newspapers give gushing accounts of the splendor of the ladies’ dresses and of the gorgeousness of the army officials and diplomats at the official reception, but fail to discant on the costumes of the people who attended the larger reception given labor to “the citizens,” whoever they may be. They are evidently an inferior class of people, however, in whose clothes our contemporaries are not interested.

There is an active and successful effort in progress to raise a fund for the widow of the late Senator Logan and up to Tuesday over $20,000 had been subscribed. The money will be invested in Mrs. Logan’s name inUnited Statesfour per cent. bonds.

The federal commission of agriculture complains to Governor Oglesby that the Illinois Live Stock commission has interfered to prevent the success of the efforts by the general government to suppress pleuro-pneumonia among cattle in theChicagostock yards. Unless there is a change, the commissioner says he will be compelled to admit that theIllinoisauthorities are not enforcing all reasonable measures for stamping out the disease. This matter vitally concerns consumers of western beef.

There will be a sharp and eager competition for the seat in theUnited Statessenate rendered vacant by the death of Gen. Logan. Gov. Oglesby announces that he will not be a candidate. The probability is that the largest purse will secure the prize.

The reports of famine in the drouth-stricken districts ofTexasare heart-rending. The county judges of the region affected recently met in convention and declared that the total number of people in those counties now in need of food, clothing and fuel is placed at 30,000, while thousands more are without seed to plant during the coming year. An appeal is made to the state, and national legislatures, and to the country at large, to furnish at once $500,000 to relieve immediate wants.

Mr. Robert S. Green, just inaugurated as governor ofNew Jersey, in the extent and richness of the patronage at his disposal, leads all other governors. He will have, for example, the appointment of a secretary of state for five years, at a salary of $6,000 and fees; an attorney general for five years, at $7,000 and fees; a chancellor for five years, at $10;000 and fees; three judges of the supreme court for seven years, at $7,500 each; a clerk of the supreme court for seven years, at $2,000, and a state prison keeper for five years, at $5,000. Another good paying office is that of prosecutor of the pleas atJersey City, worth $12,000 per annum, and a number of less important places, with salaries ranging from $2,500 to $3,500 each. Perhaps when “the poor people who have to work for a living” home to governNew Jerseyin fact, instead of nominally, the “richness” of this patronage will be marred somewhat.

Minnesotahas two governors. McGill, the Republican candidate, has been inaugurated, and A. A. Arnes, the Democratic candidate, took the oath of office on Tuesday, and will contest the election of McGill.

The proprietors of the BostonHerald announced on the 1st inst. that during the current year they will share the net profits of their business with their employees.

The Bulletin of the American Iron and Steel association on Jan. 1 published a review of the year, which says our iron and steel industries were especially active during 1886, and this activity was fairly distributed throughout the year. Improvement began in 1885. Our production in 1886 of pig iron,Bessemersteel and steel rails, open hearth steel, structural iron and steel and some other varieties has been much larger than in 1885, and our production of pig iron,Bessemersteel,Bessemersteel rails and open-hearth steel has been much the largest in our history. During 1886 this country built over 7,000 miles of new railroad, against 3,313 miles reported in 1885. The general business outlook for 1887 is very favorable.

Arrangements have just been made for establishing large iron furnaces and improved charcoal factories atNashville,Tenn.A company with millions of nominal capital has been organized to erect furnaces, rolling mills, a steel plant and a chemical works for the production of charcoal, wood alcohol, acetate of lime, etc. The local papers are jubilant over the prospect thatNashville’s importance as a manufacturing center will thus be enormously increased. The new company has taken care to secure a good frontage on theCumberland river, with a view to utilizing natural means of transportation, thus assuring favorable railway rates. It has also made less commendable water arrangements, by providing for the gratuitous issue of its $1,000 of capital stock to each subscriber for $1,000 bond. The organizers have also purchased over 2,700 acres of land at and near the site of the proposed works, on which they will erect dwelling houses for workmen and others. The promoters thus show their appreciation of the direction that the indirect profits of their enterprise will take, and prepare to secure these profits for all time. The comments of theNashvillepress on the condition of the workmen in the city’s new suburb, twenty years hence, will contrast broadly with their exuberant expressions of delight just now.

Englandhails 1887 as the year of jubilee in honor of the fiftieth anniversary ofVictoria’s ascension of the throne. The newspapers descant on the wonderful progress made during that remarkable half century, and those who have shared in it are in a mood for happy retrospective. No serious proposal is made to imitate the custom of the Jewish year of jubilee, when the slaves were freed, all debts forgiven, and the land restored to the people, and hence the great majority of the people may not participate with enthusiasm in the rejoicing, of which the London papers are so full.

Politics is troublesome despite the jubilee. The Liberals are content and biding their time. The Tories and Assistant Tories have not yet recovered from their consternation over the unexpected retirement of Lord Randolph Churchill from the ministry. This consternation is increased by the young man’s threat to explain fully in parliament his objection to the war and naval estimate, which was assigned by him as a reason for retiring from the ministry. He insists that it was not because of unwillingness to make necessary additions that he protested, but because a very large portion of the fund already appropriated is used to support lazy supernumeraries in fat sinecures instead of for the purchase of guns and other man-killing apparatus. Any proposal to avert the storm by making overtures to Churchill were howled down by the older Tories, however, and the result is that Lord Salisbury has called Mr. Goshen, one of the Liberal deserters, into the cabinet as chancellor of the exchequer. Thus the coalition is at last formed. Things are not working smoothly, however, as the reconstruction of the cabinet is impeded by Tory jealousy of Mr. Goshen. Mr. Gladstone refers to Mr. Chamberlain’sBirminghamspeech as an utterance that ought to open the way for an agreement between the opposing sections of the Liberal party. Parliament has been prorogued until Jan. 27.

The troubles experienced by the Tory ministry have had the effect of interrupting the enthusiastic campaign of suppression inIreland, on which it had just entered. Now that the deserting Liberals have joined the Tories on a platform of refusing justice toIreland, perhaps coercion will be actively resumed. Thus far the Tory effort has accomplished little more than to change the time for paying rents to the “trustees” under the “new plan” from day to night. Mr. Dillon has, on the advice of the Archbishop of Dublin and others, given bail, and patriotic Englishmen are alarmed by the spectacle of patriotic Irishmen at large. Tenant dissatisfaction threatens to extend toUlster, where the super-patriotic Irishmen of English and Scotch extraction have discovered that the Catholic tenants of the other provinces have, by raising a row, secured twice the reduction in rent that has been offered to theUlstermen for keeping the peace, blessing the queen and damning the pope.

The Tories tell each other that ifGladstonecan only be kept out of power for two more years his political activity will be ended and that all danger of Irish independence will then be at an end. Meanwhile the grand old man has just celebrated his seventy-seventh birthday and looks as fresh as a daisy.

There is talk inEnglandof imposing a tax of £5 a year on all foreigners working in the country. The tax is specifically aimed at the Germans, who are becoming quite numerous as hotel waiters. The proposal is popular with native English workmen, who see in it a promise of protection to English labor.

InFrancethe patched-up Goblet ministry still holds together, and the talk in governing circles is of war. At his New Year’s reception Mr. Goblet, in response to the expression of a hope for peace by some brokers, said that while nobody knows of anything that justifies anxiety, France was ready and need not fear war. The army is in fighting mood, and the expectation is general that war must shortly come. The only people who comprehend thatFrance, like every other country, has a great deal to fear from war are the Socialists, who represent those who must become targets for the enemy’s cannon. Antidi Boyer, a Socialist deputy, intends to offer a proposal for the general disarming ofEuropeat the next session of the chamber. Socialist representatives in the German Reichstag will make similar proposals, but no one supposes that such efforts will have any effect. The trade of wholesale murder will continue to flourish inEuropeuntil the masses of the people have the intelligence to understand what it means for them, and have also the power to put an end to it. Meanwhile Paris, that is, theParisrepresented by the leading newspapers, is gay as ever, thoughtless and careless of the humble homes to which war brings desolation and woe.

Herr Tisza, the Hungarian prime minister, declared on New Year’s day that the government adheres to the policy concerningBulgariaand the Eastern policy already enunciated by himself and Count Kalnoky. He said that, notwithstanding the fact that all of the European states have been arming since the original proclamation of this policy was made, the government ofAustria-Hungarysees nothing in the existing situation to diminish its hope that peace can be preserved. It will endeavor by every means to preserve peace so long as the vital interests or the honor of the country are not jeopardizcd. Like all of the other recent professions of the same character, this contains within it the suggestion that war may become necessary.

The powerful European syndicate known as the “Rothschild group” has decided against another loan toRussia, and it seems now probable that if the crazy czar wants war he will have to pay its expenses as it goes along. This is probably impossible, and the action of the money kings may preserve peace.

The belief is growing general in Europe that the czar has become crazy, and hence no extravagant action on the part ofRussiawill surprise the other powers. The autocrat’s malady is likely to be increased by the reports of renewed activity by the Nihilists.

 

A Costly Business

PhiladelphiaPress.

It costsEurope$1,000,000,000 a year to keep the peace, and she doesn’t keep it very well even at that figure.

 

Before And After

There was an incident attending the recent dinner of the New England Society inNew York, which brought with it many thoughts. The president, Judge Russell, in eloquent, gentle words, made mention of those members of the society who had passed away during the preceding year, gentlemen, whose virtues and achievements held them worthy of reverent remembrance by all who valued the example of self-denying citizenship. The most notable of these departed members was ex-President Arthur. The company were asked to drink to his memory, and this was done in silence.

We were coming upon that hallowed season when a new sunshine seems to fall upon our homes, and we are taught by example, as well as by precept, the lesson of peace and goodwill, when the nation was called upon to mourn the death of John A. Logan. The sorrowful strains of the funeral music have scarcely died away. We read tributes in prose and poetry, of generous offerings in recognition of his fame, bringing comfort and substance to those whom he held dear, but whose claims upon him had been sacrificed to public duty in the senate and the field.

These and other spontaneous honors to Arthur and Logan might under changed circumstances be regarded as doing credit to the American character and accepted, in a certain sense, at least, by a critical world, as our answer to the imputation that republics are ungrateful. “This,” we should like proudly to say, “is our way of appreciating those who serve the state. Ribbons, stars, estates, dignities descending from generation to generation, gorgeous tombs, pageantry, titles, power, may illustrate the obligations ofEnglandtoWellingtonand the homage ofFranceto sundry members of the house of Bonaparte.England’s estimate of Nelson is found in an earldom and a pension;America’s estimate ofJacksonis seen in the number of post offices named after him.” One recompense, we might add in our mood of self felicitation, is as much valued as the other when we recall the sacrifices made by the bravest and best of our people for an emblem called the flag, and such fame as finds expression in postage-stamp decorations and banknote engravings. This appreciation might be a just one if we did not know that in the souls of Nelson and Farragut, high above shadowy or material rewards, was a patriotic devotion to the nation they served, and which they would have served, as truly if honors and rewards were as insubstantial as a dream.

But while the flowers which the nation threw over the pall of Arthur and Logan have scarcely faded, and the new grief inspired by their loss is still fresh, there is another sentiment among the many now finding a sad expression, bringing its own reflections. If Arthur and Logan are to-day in their character, and in the lesson which that character must impress upon our sons, all that we are asked to believe in a thousand newspapers and by men of every party, what were they yesterday? It is well that passion should be hushed at the grave and that generous sentiments should be given to the dead. But while we do honor to the dead should we not do justice to the living?

There was not a gentleman who rose in answer to President Russel’s recognition of the memory of Mr. Arthur who did not know the true character of the ex-president a year ago, as well as it is known now. That the ex-president was a gentleman whose personal character was beyond reproach, of singular purity of mind and dignity of bearing; his life in New York, where he was esteemed long before the vision of his supreme destiny opened, even to the proudest and dearest friendships – a true life, so far as we could know it, knowing him as counselor, companion and friend; as far as we could see it, in those sacred aspects, which come from a pure and perfect home. There was no one in that company who did not know a year ago, as well as to-day, that the ex-president, in his public duties, beginning with their humblest performance in New York city, and ending in the splendor of Washington, was governed by serene, high courage and patriotism; true to his party, when party fealty was in question; true in the highest sense to the public’s welfare, without regard to party, when the people called upon him – rising to every station, commanding the respect of mankind, by the felicity, integrity and tact with which he accepted every responsibility.

There is no one among the multitude who show their grief over the bier of Logan who did not know the true character of that unique and eminent warrior a year ago, as well it is known to-day. Unique and eminent among that company of illustrious men upon whose swords so long depended the fate of the Union, to be honored to the end of time as the saviors of the Union,Loganwas a type of a heroic class – a soldier of the people. Fortune gave him none of those advantages which disciplined the genius of Grant and Lee, He had no such background to his military career which, in theUnited States, at least, can only be found inWest Point. The son of an Irish emigrant, thrown as a lad into the severe conditions of prairie life; a soldier in his boyhood, re-entering the army when the civil war began, and fighting his way from the lowest to the highest station, in many respects the most picturesque development among the great men of our war. The private soldier inMexicobecame a general commanding inTennessee. Such a career all Americans who value the inherent fitness of their institutions for every form of intellectual development must cherish as a proud example to their children.

True, we now see what Arthur and Logan were to the country. Sorrow becomes ostentation – eulogy leans to extravagance. The voices of calumny are now voices of praise – praise verging so nearly upon hyperbole as to inspire the hasty observer with doubts as to its sincerity.

This may be called human nature – political human nature – not expressly characteristic of our time, but in all ages, from that of Belisarius to that of Napoleon. But in truth does it not, even if in sorrow we confess it, teach a lesson which should be borne in mind by those who represent, and whose duty it is to educate, public opinion? The tendency to scatter mud upon men like Arthur andLoganwhen living, and roses upon their ashes when dead, deadens the influence of our teachers at a time when that influence might serve the public good. Is it not because of this flippancy of criticism that public opinion in notable cases has drifted from all established leadership, going in obstinacy and sometimes in blindness its own way, heedless of advice and entreaty? Even a patient people will in time grow weary of insincerity, frivolity, the petulance of political discussion and the animosities of political leaders. We shall then see phenomena like what was seen in New York last autumn, when a private gentleman, without money, influence or organization, appealing to the philosophy and not the passions of his fellow citizens, antagonized by the press, the most powerful hierarchy in Christendom, the most potent agencies of society and capital, by influences which, well directed, the people should accept as their guide, could create and develop a movement which carried to the polls sixty-eight thousand votes. That movement was a revolution of public opinion against every agency by which under proper conditions public opinion should be governed.

This and other phenomena, some, perhaps, much to be regretted, we shall see again – so long as our preachers in the press and on the hustings preach their gospel of trifling and insincerity. The contrast which a few short months, even weeks, has shown in the treatment of men like Arthur and Logan – the swift, shuddering change – from calumny to commendation, from the extreme of depreciation before, to the extreme of adulation after, cannot be seen without pain. If we were sincere before, can we be deemed sincere after? More than this, we should gravely consider other consequences that must come from the recent revolts of the people in their political action against the influence of those who have led, and who when inspired by candor and wisdom, might again lead the people. Would it not be a step in return to that high possibility, an advance toward the re establishment of an influence, whose decadence all must regret, to avoid, in dealing with our Arthurs and Logans, the slime as well as the roses, to be just to the living as we are more than just to the dead?

John Russell Young

 

Cookery In Public Schools

InBostonand some progressive western cities manual training for boys and sewing for girls is admitted to the public school system of instruction.New Yorkhas yet to so far modify the prevailing methods of tuition as to rank with these places in meeting the popular demand for practical instruction.

The time has passed when the majority of public school pupils come from a class whose social aspirations and desire for culture exceed the limit of their finances. A quarter of a century ago parents may have desired that their daughters should acquire at public expense a degree of educational polish that they could not afford to secure privately. It is possible now that such aspirations may prevail to a limited extent so far as some grammar school pupils are concerned. But the number is small who attain any proficiency in such accomplishments, or who prolong scholastic life far enough to enter the normal school with the purpose of becoming teachers. A smattering of superficial educational graces may be called for by a small percentage of the mass of public school attendants who continue their studies beyond the age of twelve or thirteen years. This incomplete mental garnishing is all very well so far as it goes, but the fact must be considered that more than three-fourths of the pupils of both sexes leave school at the earliest age when they can begin to earn money.

The real issue, then, is to make the earlier grades of public school education serviceable to the greatest number of pupils. Other of the older countries set us the example of industrial training, and sooner or later we must follow it. The objection that such training is not feasible in our ordinary public schoolrooms, even to the details of cookery, has been set aside by actual performance.

As long ago as 1878 the Montreal board of school commissioners had successfully introduced sewing in girls’ schools, and engaged me to practically instruct the graduating class of the high school in domestic economy. In 1879 a number of graduates of theWashingtonnormal school attended my lectures in Washington, D. C., under the personal supervision of the superintendent of public schools of that city. In 1880 the consul-general ofFranceinNew York, by the direction of the home government, applied for my published works and the details of my system of instruction, with the design of using both in the government schools ofFrance. Five years later, in California, the subject was thoroughly canvassed by the Oakland board of education, which body sent one of its members east to investigate all schools where industrial education was in operation. At the instance of the board I made demonstration of the possibility of teaching cookery in the ordinary schoolroom, and a teacher was trained to continue the instruction. In the study of domestic economy, perhaps, more than in any other branch of education, success depends upon the individuality of the teacher, the conditions being capacity to sustain the first enthusiasm of the pupils throughout the detail of practice and ability to impart the most absolute scientific principles in a clear and practical manner. In 1885 the Public Education association ofPhiladelphia(under the guidance of Mrs. Weir-Mitchell, Miss Pendleton and Miss Meredith) arranged with the local board of education for test lessons in cookery, which I gave in thePhiladelphianormal school to the chemistry class of the third year. Details of work, elucidating some fundamental principles of the science of domestic economy, were successfully illustrated by pupils taken at random from the class without previous coaching, and their work was as perfect as that of trained experts in cookery.

The possibility of such instruction thus proven in different sections of the country, under widely diverse circumstances, and always without any previous training of the pupils, leaves no ground for further failure on the part of school boards in general to afford pupils the knowledge more intimately connected with their comfort and well-being than any other at present taught. Everywhere pupils receive the instruction enthusiastically, boys being quite as apt scholars as girls. Parents approve it as soon as they comprehend its practical nature, knowing, as many of them do, that the every-day conditions of life in many of their homes is usually fatal to system and perfection in household operations.

The lack of light and the scant supply of water above the second floor in most tenement houses are serious obstacles to neatness. A frequent comment during cooking lessons given among working people is one of surprise at the absence of dirt and disorder. If no better result were attained than the spreading of the gospel of cleanliness and sanitary living, the proper teaching o( cookery in the public schools would prove an incalculable blessing to the community at large.

Setting aside this possible advantage, the fact should be borne in mind that thorough home training in this country seems to be put out of the question by some influences inseparable from the mode of life prevailing among working people. Even if the house-mother has retained the ability from her own early training – as many mothers of German extraction have – she must be a strict disciplinarian indeed who can overcome the adverse influences her daughters meet among their associates in the streets, in the workshops or behind the store counters, and, worst of all, in the public schools as now conducted, where books and book-learning cast a traditional slur upon every kind of merely manual labor.

The majority of young women and girls who leave the public schools to enter factories and stores have a profound contempt for domestic work of any sort, while the little learning they have acquired is wholly inadequate to fit them for earning money in any pursuit that demands intelligent execution. No matter whether they remain non-domestic workers or whether they eventually come to fulfill the duty of womanhood by becoming wives and mothers, the question is equally serious as effecting social advance. As individuals they would live more healthfully and comfortably, as part of the family more usefully, for such knowledge as could legitimately be imparted to them by a judicious engagement of the study of domestic economy upon the existing public school system. All school boards must, in the nature of things, sooner or later yield to the palpable requirements of the people for this practical training which is so vital in its bearing upon the well being of the bone and sinew of the land, the workers who create all the elements of national prosperity and stability.

Juliet Corson.

 

Yes, Why?

Binghamton, N. Y., Republican.

The SyracuseStandard says a republic “cannot afford to debar any considerable proportion of its male population from the ballot box. Why draw the line on the “male population” when millions of women are better equipped for suffrage than millions of men who possess it?

 

Sham Education

We should despise an ensign or a lieutenant in the army if, instead of attending to the duties of his position, he occupied himself in contemplating the delights of generalship and praying to the commander-in-chief to make him a general. The commander-in-chief, too, if he were a wise man, would probably give him a rather vigorous answer, and tell him that the way to become a general was to do his duty in his present position.

In like manner, we ought to despise any man who, instead of faithfully performing the duties of this life, dwells upon the glories and delights of the future life, and occupies his time praying to God to give him a high place, free from care, in that life. If God spoke in answer to such prayers we need not doubt but he would say that the way to secure a place in the higher life would be by performing our duty faithfully in this. It is, indeed, a piece of the purest charlatanry to try to make men believe anything else than this.

“Thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things.” That is the divine law of life.

It follows that all education should be education for this life; since, if it is lived well, the next will take care of itself. The sole end of education ought to be to produce men capable of performing well all the duties of this life – men rich in intelligence, sympathy and helpfulness; men with free heads, free hearts and free hands. We ought so to instruct our young citizens that they shall be able to make a livelihood without being forced to sell their labor to anyone, and without being deprived of all means and opportunity for self-cultivation and the noble enjoyment of life; that they shall love things according to their true worth, and not be subject to such degrading’ desires as love of wealth, fashion, display, riotous living and fear of public opinion; that they shall think freely and boldly, without any regard to priest or pagan. Only men who do this are fit citizens for a free, progressive republic.

Tried by this standard, our present systems of education, public and private, are miserably lacking.

Despite the fact that we pride ourselves so much on our educational system, and pay such enormous sums for its support, it is in a very large degree a mere piece of show and sham, both in matter and in method, and leads to some of the most lamentable results. In matter, it is a confused, unorganized heap of mediaeval religious prejudices and modern utilitarianisms; in method, it is a mixture of formality and sentimentality. Its results are a condition of public intelligence of which the popular, gossiping, vulgar newspaper is the most fitting index, and an economic and moral condition that are threatening the very basis of our national life. It unfits a large portion of our people for honest work; it encourages vanity and love of show, and breeds a spirit of selfish emulation. It utterly fails to fit the lower class of the community to earn an independent and honest livelihood, to resist the vulgar ambitions and vanities of the classes above them, and to perform their duties as citizens at the polls. It leaves our young men and young women without any comprehension of the social and political institutions under which they live, and of their duty toward these institutions. In a word, it is an education that in every way favors the designs of dishonest politicians, ambitious monopolists and generally of social vampires.

Our popular education requires to be overhauled from the very foundation, and a system introduced which shall train men and women to think for themselves and to resist every attempt of priestcraft, fashion or capital to enslave them. At present the large mass of our fellow citizens are the bondslaves of all the three, and hardly know that they are slaves, so cunningly do their oppressors blind them with a false show of education, which in many ways is worse than no education at all. Most of our people are silly enough to believe that because this education costs a great deal it must necessarily be good. Could anything in the world be more characteristic! Expense and show are the BAEL and Ashtaroth of the American people; yea, they are the double Moloch to which the souls and bodies of our children are sacrificed. An end must be put to this great sham. We must not rest until we can obtain for all our people a system of education suited to our time and needs and the great destiny of our country – an education producing free, noble men and women, despising sham and show and capable of any sacrifice for freedom, truth and right.

There are three kinds of liberty, economic, moral and intellectual, and not one of them is fostered by our present education. For the sake of the first, we must establish schools for industrial training, in which every boy and girl shall be instructed in the art of earning an independent living. For the sake of the second, we must introduce into our present schools a system of moral training calculated to fire the heart aud direct the will – a system teaching by noble examples, and not by bald rules or threatening supernatural sanctions. For the sake of the third, we must introduce a careful training of the intelligence in the love of truth and in the best methods of reaching it – a training from which all that is dogmatic and unintelligible is rigorously excluded. Nay more, from our education, we must, once for all, exclude all rivalry, all selfish emulation, all shows and public exhibitions. The last are not only foolish, but absolutely demoralizing and wicked. Let the working men, let all the lovers of freedom and of their country take this matter to heart and insist upon a system of public education that shall be genuine, enlightening and elevating, instead of one that is a mere costly sham and an instrument of oppression and degradation.

Away with the present farrago of mediaeivalism, materialism, formality, sentimentality and vain show! Let it give place to an organic system of education, training the whole human creature, body, soul and spirit; hand, heart and head, to harmony, to freedom, to purity, to unselfishness, to helpfulness, to work in all ways.

Thomas Davidson

 

Gas for $1 a Thousand

A committee composed of William Sellers, Joel J. Bailey, John Hunter and other wealthy business men ofPhiladelphia, protested recently against selling or leasing the gas works of that city to private parties. They insist that under proper city management gas can be furnished to individuals at $1 a thousand feet – with free public lighting and still a portion of the profits be left to set aside as a sinking fund.Philadelphiahas owned its gas works for years, and despite enormous rascality the price of gas there has generally been lower than in other cities.

 

The Cause of Freedom

Freedom still lives; one day she will reward him
Who trusted in her though she tarried long,
Who held her creed, was faithful till her coming,
Who for her sake strove, suffered and was strong.
She will bring crowns for those who love and serve her;
If thou can’st live for her, be satisfied;
If thou can’st die for her, rejoice! Our brothers
At least shall crown our graves, and say “These died
Believing in the sun, when night was blackest,
And by our dawn their faith is justified!”

E. Nesbitt

 

Page 6

Women Workers

The Eager Rush For Work In Factories – Pitiful Scenes

Children and Old Women Begging for Work in a Boom – Why the Poorest Women Shrink from Domestic Service – Ladies not Good Mistresses or Capable Organizers

Let any observant reader of the newspapers from Maine to California scan the columns headed, “Help Wanted – Female,” and say which, of all the “wants” that appear there, is distinguished by its persistent, unvarying iteration, its unfulfilled and apparently unfulfillable desire, and he will, without hesitancy, lay his finger upon this: “Wanted, a girl for general housework.” There it stands, in perennial constancy, for three hundred and sixty-five days of the year; its frequency indicative of a market whose demand is forever at the maximum, while its supply is not only at a minimum, but of the worst material and the most meager choice. Like God’s poor, it is always with us – a vexation, a thorn in the flesh, a riddle without an Oedipus; and whatever its advertisement may be as a source of steady revenue to the editors, it is in its poor results a disappointment to the householder who is sanguine enough to look for a harvest of applicants. Bound up with the house life of respectable, happy, well-to-do American woman, the question why their more needy sisters stubbornly refuse to undertake their domestic labors, however well paid; to sleep under their roofs, however well protected; or eat of their bread, however plentiful, must be capable of intelligent solution.

The disadvantage of those who have hitherto considered the subject has been that they have viewed it only from the standpoint of employers seeking help, and they retire amazed and discomfited that their arguments and inducements are so signally unavailing. How the matter may appear to those whom they have been unable to move from their obduracy has yet to be written. Ten years of intimate knowledge and of close fellowship with the latter should entitle a sympathetic worker to speak for those who so seldom lift voice or pen o speak for themselves; and long dealing with them as forewoman, hearing their confidences, sharing their troubles and their doubts, should surely enable one of themselves to show new light upon a subject which, from a continual, one-sided presentation, has been worn into tatters. To that end a clear statement of facts, acquired behind the shabby desks in the work rooms of some of the principal wholesale houses inPhiladelphiamanufacturing white goods and clothing, may be serviceable.

Where and in what manner is this work conducted which has deprived the whole country of household keepers? Usually, in the upper parts of the large warehouses, stores and other buildings in the business portions of the city, in the third, fourth and fifth stories. Not originally designed for the uses to which they are now generally put, they have neither retiring rooms, water, nor sufficient drainage, and their sanitary arrangements are inadequate in the extreme. Narrow, dusty stairways lead up to them; broad hatchways and elevator shafts keep the grimy floors bitter cold in Winter, and proximity to the roof and the glare of the sun in their unshaded windows render them suffocating in summer. In the latter-season in the pressroom the thermometer stands at 115 and I20 degrees, and the girls who work there in clouds of steam are visibly wet to the waist with perspiration. As all winter fashions are prepared in the Summer months, the pressers who handle these heavy goods, the cutters who cut them, the operators who make them, and the models who “try on,” as Jenny Wren would say, have hard work. In the workrooms the operators sit at long tables, upon which are fastened the machines, which are driven by steam power. Sweltering in air that is blurred with foulness, or freezing in the icy draughts that sweep over their feet from the open hatches, girlhood, womanhood, old age, bend assiduously over the work before them. The hours are from 7:30 a. m. until 6 p. m., with half an hour for dinner; but there is no limit to any exaction which may be made in the busy seasons for longer hours, and work is often prolonged until 10 p. m.

This, of course, is to the pecuniary advantage of those who are paid by the piece, but in on[e] factory where it was ever the fortune of the worker to labor did those who were paid by the week desire any benefit from this extension of time. It would be hard indeed to imagine surroundings more cheerless, more unfeminine, more depressing in which from fifty to a hundred women could work, year in and year out. Penalties, prohibitions, warnings and notices bristle from the walls and the doors, hang from the gas jets, are painted upon the stairs. “No admittance,” “no admittance except on business,” and the more surly ^’Positively no admittance,” shut out the world; no laughing, no eating, no loud talking, no singing, no loitering, no looking out the windows, “No loafing.” Fines for the laggard, fines for oilspots, for tools broken or lost, for work unfinished and for work spoiled. The compact, if it may be so called, between the firm and the hands is marked by the worst characteristics of that famous “Reciprocity Treaty” of which one of the two nations concerned complained that the “reciprocity” was all on one side. There is no appeal, for there is no tribunal.

If the hands rebel they rebel against powers unseen, and war with foes who are impalpable. Dickens’ humorous description of the methods of the firm of Spenlow and Jerkins finds its counterpart in every factory; but in practice the method ceases to be humorous. Spenlow lays the blame and the shame upon Jorkins, and Jorkins is the one man unavailable always. He is out of town, he is east or west, he is busy with buyers or sellers, letters or telegrams, but he will “see to it” when he returns, or is at leisure, which will probably be when there is a blue moon or a dry rain; and thus complaints are stifled, reforms languish, injustice is silently endorsed.

Advertising days at the manufactory brought hither, from the opening to the closing hour, applicants of all ages, all degrees, and all nationalities. There was no lack of material from which to choose. Little girls from nine years upward, young girls from school, widows, farmers’ and mechanics’ wives and daughters, and, most pitiful of all to see, old women, dimsighted, feeble, came with the rest to plead for work, any work whatsoever that they could do. Of late years it was noticeable that colored women also frequently presented themselves, and were a painful source of embarrassment to set aside as ineligible, from the start, on account of race.

Though the work was manifestly womanly, men, too, ventured awkwardly enough among the throng. Unfortunate, or unsuccessful elsewhere, they thought to try their chances at the sewing machine, and made expert workers who never scrupled to leave when something better turned up. Abundant as were the applications, there were very few skilled hands among them, but there was no difficulty in selecting from such crowds the women out of whom excellent operators might be made. Even on days and at seasons when there was no necessity for advertising, applicants seeking employment came daily up the narrow stairs, with one question fluttering nervously from trembling lips – “Have you any work you could give me?” – and one of the hardest, the most wearing, the most dispiriting duties of the forewoman was to turn away eager children, pale, miserable mothers, and despairing age when there was no possible use to which they would be put in ranks already overflowing.

The inference drawn by a thinking mind from such facts would inevitably be that there must be some inherent advantage in the work to be done in or for a manufactory over that to be done in the household; some attraction drew women who are governed more by instinctive impulses than by a logical use of their reason, to seek the factory with its whirring wheels, its roar of machinery, its dreadful monotony, its long hours, its stern government, in preference to an occupation whose chief, and, one would fancy, its most alluring feature is that it confers the safety and the seclusion of a home upon the toiler.

One important advantage which is utterly wanting in the other, and which will be mentioned hereafter, factory work has, but beyond that one the desirability, for many good reasons, must be conceded to domestic labors. The comfort of adequate pay, of being able to save, of decent living, of the unrestrained and varied exercise of the limbs; the pride of being valuable to the employer, of being well fed and well dressed, are all on the side of household work; but that those weigh lighter in the delicately adjusted balance which determines the intercourse of women as mistresses and women as servants, then that solitary advantage to which illusion has been made, cannot be doubted. One dollar and a half per week were the wages of the little girls who carried messages, cut out embroideries, sewed on buttons, and waited on the operators. The wages of the latter and of the models and pressers averaged six dollars per week the year round; some earned more, but many less, for since 1876 the prices paid for the making of ready-made clothing have steadily declined. The finer grades were made in the building: the coarser to outside hands or contractors who hired them, and the prices bore so little just proportion to the labor bestowed upon them that no girl, woman or man could earn enough at the work in one day to support life for that day, and yet there were always to be found people eager and willing to undertake it. It was a thing to be wondered at, where they all came from and where they hid themselves among the prosperous in the city of homes. They were not beggars, unless it is begging to ask for honest work – not objects of charity in the accepted sense; they were, as a rule, respectable and astonishingly trustworthy, and they were driven hither by one general cause, viz.: The failure of their natural protectors, fathers, sons, husbands and brothers, to provide for them. In one wholesale house two hundred women returned their work twice a week, and of this number not more than half a dozen were the wives of drunken husbands. The cutting down of wages, and the scarcity of work which paid enough to enable a man, however willing and industrious, to support a family, were the chief reasons assigned by the women for leaving their home duties to offer their labor in an overstocked market.

A few came, and these were always the young, enthusiastic and untried, because it is the fashion of the country to teach its daughters that it is a good and glorious thing to be self-supporting, independent, free from masculine guardianship, and that it is a possible thing to earn a comfortable living in the arts, sciences and trades. Those who essayed the latter soon found to their sorrow and chagrin how bitter a right was theirs to an independent starvation: or, if by chance they succeeded, how high the price they paid in laying down youth, health, spirits, all the innocent joys of life, laughter, sunshine, freedom of time, and faith in God for so much wages per week! It has been said by an anatomist that the physical organization of woman is so delicately adjusted, that nature may almost be taxed with cruelty in having created a being capable of such exquisite suffering. Look at the American girl as she sits for ten, twelve or fourteen hours at the sewing machine, and declare whether such unnatural restraint fits her better for wife and motherhood. The terrible strain of her monotonous task lasts through “the long, long, weary day;” she is ill-paid, ill-housed, ill-fed; she performs her labor in bodily revolt and discomfort. For her home life has no meaning, and outside of the factory she has only a bed and a night’s lodging – nothing more. She hears it said by those in authority over her that she, and others like her, work in but a half-hearted, insincere way, and pick up a calling only (as a recent novelist expresses it) “until some fellow comes along who tells her to lay it down,” and marries her. Looking at home, we cannot justly upbraidEnglandas being the only land guilty in this enlightened age of that folly and wickedness of which Ruskin speaks when he says, “The last and worst thing which can be alleged against a nation is that it has made its young girls sad and weary.”

This overcrowding and anxiety for work had their natural effects upon unscrupulous and grasping employers into whose power it is thus put to grind the faces of the poor; but cruel and heartless as is the selfishness of trade, one of whose axioms is that it admits of no sentiment, it is driven by a selfishness more cruel, more heartless, more godless than itself – that of fashion. The exactions of the latter impel the business of the world as the ceaseless rushing waters impel the mill wheels. It is not the fault of the wheels that the grain is crushed between the upper and the nether millstone, nor are employers on the whole so idiotic and so illogical as to abuse and defraud, for the pleasure of it, the hands by whose help they carry on business, any more than they would willfully destroy their own machinery or ruin their own tools. No men ever worked harder or were more sorely pressed than the members of the various firms in whose establishments these experiences were obtained; but the tremendous and irresistible demands of swiftly passing fashions, the anxiety to be first in a most fickle and changeable market, and the deadly competition, rendered them blind and heedless to all but the exigencies of the hour. One instance, of which the writer was an astonished witness, may suffice for illustration: Two firms upon the same street, selling in the same market, manufacturing the same classes of goods, are in keen rivalry. Their “drives” are already demoralizing their customers who are afraid to buy of A to-day, lest B should offer lower rates to-morrow. Goods upon which originally but the smallest margin of profit has been allowed are reduced almost penny by penny, until B, as his highest trump, throws his load upon the market at cost. A sets his teeth, calls his forewoman, and together they go over every item in the estimate for the manufacture of the goods, In it no reduction is possible. He cannot buy his materials for less, she cannot procure labor cheaper; and human ingenuity itself has never found a way in which a man can produce at a loss and conduct his business to its money-making end. A has run his face against this wall, that he must either steal his materials or steal the labor upon them; and, to knock a rival out of the ring, he concludes to steal the labor. Where, then, shall be found fools who will take his stuff and work upon it for nothing in its most liberal sense? Incredible as it may seem, they come trooping in answer to the firm’s advertisement for learners – children, girls, old women. The orders from the office are as follows: “Pick out fifty, seventy-five or more of the brightest and smartest among them – those that are apt to learn and quick with their fingers, and make this bargain with them: We will teach them a certain class of work, free of charge, but they must give us their whole time for a month, two months or three, according to the length of the season. We give them no guarantee to employ them afterward; we may or we may not, as our needs dictate; but this question, if raised, may easily be evaded. It is probable that they will, in the first day or two, spoil a few yards of material, but after that the goods they produce may safely be thrown upon the market, and B will not only be undersold, but we shall, at still lower prices than him, make a profit, since the labor costs us nothing. Necessity pressing them, the desire to get a foothold in the factory and an insight into the manner of working, attracting them, and the supposition taken for granted – alas for their ignorance and inexperience! – that they will afterwards obtain steady work, the women themselves, in their eagerness, render entirely feasible a scheme as ingenious as it is wicked. Indeed this very eagerness is a factor so well known that reputable houses have not hesitated to avail themselves of it over and over again, and goods so produced may be seen any time in the bazaars by any one competent to estimate the difference between the prices at which they are sold and the prices at which they could honestly be manufactured.

It may well be asked, then, with impatient curiosity, What the solitary advantage is which factory work possesses over house work? and the answer is briefly this: “It is faithfully, thoroughly, patiently taught, for men as masters have that priceless precision of knowledge which inspires confidence, commands respect, and raises the spirit of hope and of emulation in the highest degree. In the factory the first step taken with raw hands is to show them an exact sample of their work. No knowledge is taken for granted; nothing is trusted to luck; they are burdened with no responsibility. Every stage of the process is conscientiously, and, it may be added, kindly and encouragingly taught by practical lessons. A manufacturer wants fifty tuckers, corders, laceworkers, Bonnaz operators. He does not wring his hands, tear his hair, and set up a wail, he and his neighbors, that may be heard throughout the length and breadth of the land, because of the scarcity of such workers. If they are not to be had already trained, he takes the women who come in answer to his call – and it is to be observed that they do come when he summons them – and trains them, and the thing is done. Since Adam’s time man has systematized his business in life with such nicety that when his watch is to be regulated he carries it to a jeweler, not a blacksmith nor a street-pavior; when he wants a portrait painted he goes to an artist, not a coal-heaver; nor is he ever so irrational as to berate the street pavior, the coal-heaver, or the blacksmith because they do not, and cannot perform these delicate operations for him. So far as he is concerned he has provided effective helpers for all he needs, and is neither embarrassed nor confounded by unreasonable expectations and bitter disappointments. It is one of the most conspicuous features of the trades over which he presided that he can and does, patiently and uncomplainingly, drill year after year, armies of learners and apprentices who fill up the ranks as death, accident, removals or old age thin them; nor are his labors limited to his own rightful domain. There is no work of woman’s to which he has put his hand that he has not lightened, improved and systematized it. For ages women have cooked, and swept, and sewed and washed; but long, long would the world have waited for a woman to invent self-sealing jars for her fruit, sweepers for her floors, the sewing machine in lieu of needles, and the wringer for her “blue Monday.” Only a woman would expect a rosy-cheeked girl, who dug potatoes and ran barefoot inIreland, to handle her fine china, wash and iron her line linen, and cook her steak to a turn, and only a woman would wonder and weep when rack and ruin, dyspepsia and discomfort come, as they rightfully should come, upon her.

Pitying the cases of the many hapless creatures who entered sanguine and departed at the factory door, the writer once kept a list of friends who wanted girls for general housework, and endeavored to induce some of those who were turned away to apply for such situations. In ten years of service in the business of luring them, success never, even for an instant, shone upon the disinterested endeavor. The more sensible the girl the greater her shrinking from the responsibility of the work. Giving the sense and substance of their objections, in the words of a Scotch girl, “The leddies expect so much, ye ken, that it pits a body aboot.” Remembering that cooking is but one of the accomplishments “the leddies” expect, read only the following definition of it, and think if that alone is not enough to “pit a body aboot,” especially one who is ignorant of its mysteries:

Cooking means the knowledge of Medea, and of Circe, and of Calypse, and of Helen, and of Rebekah, and of the Queen of Sheba. It means the knowledge of all herbs, and fruits, and balms, and spices; and of all that is healing and sweet in fields and groves, and savory in meats; it means carefulness, and inventiveness, and watchfulness, and willingness, and readiness of appliance; it means the economy of your great-grandmothers, and the science of modern chemists; it means much tasting and no wasting; it means English thoroughness, and French art, and Arabian hospitality; and it means, in fine, that you are to be perfectly and always “ladies” – “loaf-givers;” and “to see… that everybody has something nice to eat.”

The sweeping, the dusting, the washing, the ironing, the management of fires, are all distinct and separate businesses, requiring separate lessons; but if the blind lead the blind shall not both fall into the ditch? Let any honest wealthy woman say whether, if suddenly stripped of friends, home, station and competence, she could go out into a stranger’s house and skilfully perform all the duties she now exacts of her “girl,” who starts handicapped by the disadvantages which her poorer birth, poorer training, meaner associations and greater deprivations entail upon her. Few indeed who undertake domestic work come from homes where beds of down, services of silver and spotless linen are seen, nor where the floors are carpeted with Axminster, nor whose table is spread with turkey and turtle. They are truer to their instincts than they have been credited with – the best among such workers. They will flock to their sterner schoolmaster, man, for they believe in him; they do not believe in their weaker sisters, for all their sugar plums and coaxing, for there is no instinct in the wide range of human nature so fine as that which enables a child, a servant or an inferior to detect the incompetency of those in authority over them, the instinct which teaches scorn for specious pretensions to skill or knowledge where neither exist. To women who want such helpers it may be said, they will not come to you until you can teach them, and you cannot teach them what you do not know yourselves – the finest of all arts, the art of housewifery. Strange changes have come upon the rolling globe since Adam’s time, and should it ever come to pass that women will go out into the world to transact its business, and men stay at home to “keep the house,” then, and not until then, will the markets be overstocked with girls seeking “general housework,” for men will cling to the good old ways they learned when the earth was young, and teach their keepers how. As for the merchandise, the commerce, the trades which will then have fallen into feminine hands – let chaos look to it!

C. L. E.

Philadelphia, Dec. 30, 1886

 

Lowell‘s Generous Girls

From the LowellTimes.

Massachusettsstands second in the list of contributions to theCharlestonfund. The first place, in honor, belongs to the factory girls ofLowell.

 

When thou hearest the fool rejoicing, and he saith, “It is over and past,

And the wrong was better than right, and hate turns into love at last,

And we strove for nothing at all, and the gods are fallen asleep;

For so good is the world agrowing, that the evil good shall reap;”

Then loosen the sword in the scabbard, and settle the helm on thine head,

For men betrayed are mighty, and great are the wrongfully dead.

William Morris

 

Free City Railroads

Disadvantages And Deficiencies Of The Existing System

Opposed to Public Interests – Great Reforms Possible – More and Better Roads Without Taxing Labor or Capital – The Cost of the Existing Roads – Inflated Values

The great population ofNew Yorkand its peculiar distribution, owing to the shape of theIslandofManhattan, make the means of quick and easy communication an essential to public comfort, not to say development.New Yorkhas outgrown its railroad facilities. Not only are there not enough roads, but those that exist are not operated so as to develop their fullest utility. One has but to ride on elevated or surface cars at night or morning, when the great mass of workers are coming from or going to their daily toil, and witness the crowding and hustling for seats – and oft-times standing room – to become convinced of the inadequacy of transit facilities. A stranger is at once struck with the impediments to travel. There are no railroads where roads should clearly be, and those roads that do operate are slow, and, for a large part of the day, crowded and uncomfortable. For the residents ofHarlemthe elevated roads were at first speedy and commodious, but owing to the increase of traffic this has ceased to be so. A large part of the population of the city is at a positive disadvantage in crossing town and is compelled to take long, roundabout ways. Plainly, the means of transit are insufficient to meet the requirements of the population.

But that this insufficiency comes from no lack of inducement to build more roads is clear, because of the notoriously high dividends which the monopoly of a line of travel inNew York citywill pay on the actual capital invested. The fault must be sought elsewhere.

When a proposition is made to build a railroad through a populous district and application is made for a charter and for right of way there at once springs up strong opposition. Vested interests brook no competition, and the various corporations holding contiguous franchises are not only at cross purposes themselves but are strongly opposed to any scheme which will in any way deprive them of gain. A powerful lobby fights the new enterprise in the legislature, and land-owners along the proposed line are wheedled or bulldozed into protesting against the innovation. Much capital is thus expended unproductively at the outset, and before the cars get running more is wasted.

OnFourteenth street, for instance, there are a double set of tracks, whereas, a single set would be sufficient for all requirements. The Twenty-third street railroad, running from river to river, is no more of a convenience than one on Fourteenth street would be, which, notwithstanding the fact that the obstacle of the track already exists throughout almost the entire length of the street, is prevented because the ownership of the through franchise is divided up between different companies that cannot agree on a plan of operation. May be a more conspicuous example of this misuse of opportunity is furnished by the Broadway railroad. The cars, instead of running to the Battery, which, as the tracks are laid and the streets are clear for traffic, they might so, stop at Bowling Green, whence wayfarers, in order to complete their journey to South ferry, must take a stage. This inconvenience results from a collision of interests vested in the railroad and the stage line.

The people are not only called upon to suffer these discomforts, but are actually made to pay for so doing. The expense of impeding improvement is collected through the tolls, making in a year on each individual using the roads a very appreciable charge.

In addition to these is a still greater and grosser method of imposition, termed “watering stock.” In order to hide their exorbitant profits these corporations, instead of paying very high interest on capital actually required to build and equip their roads, declare a smaller dividend on a much larger amount of capital, in this way evading the law decreeing that dividends shall not exceed beyond ten per cent. According to the report of the railroad commissioners, made from sworn reports of the railroad companies, the cost of constructing and equipping all the surface roads inNew York cityapproximates sixty millions of dollars. But that this is a gross exaggeration of the value of the actual, tangible property, is manifest, and Mr. Tom L. Johnson, a well known railroad contractor inCleveland, is quite prepared to build similar roads for twenty millions. It is impossible to ascertain the real figures from the published reports of the various companies, but some interesting peculiarities may be pointed out. Dividing the profits by the number of horses used by the line (for, all things else being equal, one horse does about as much work as another), and a surprising result is obtained. Of fourteen of the most important surface railroads in New York city that which proportionately appears to be the most profitable is the Forty-second street and Grand street company, which shows a profit of $288.14 per horse, though it is tenth in comparison of the amount of its track, and eleventh in the number of its horses. Next in order comes theFourth Avenuecompany, showing $183.61 profit for each horse. The third is the Third avenue, with $176 per horse; the fourth, Christopher and Tenth street, $153.65; fifth Central Park, North and East river, $144.96; sixth, Sixth avenue, $142.43; and so on, until the twelfth in order is found to be the Broadway and Seventh avenue road, with its sixteen miles of track, most of which is through the commercial center of the metropolis, and 2,286 horses, which presents the comparatively small amount of $79.38 per horse. The Central Crosstown ostensibly makes a profit of $132.27 on each horse, and the Dry Dock, East Broadway and Battery, $109.69 ; the Second avenue, $96.04; Twenty-third street, $94.65; Eighth avenue, $86.98, and the Ninth avenue, $74.52. Thus it would appear that the Broadway road is only a little more profitable than the Ninth avenue, in spite of the well rooted popular belief to the contrary; and the incident may serve to show how absurd it is to attempt to regulate by law the profits of such a monopoly as a street railroad.

From what has been said the evils ensuing from the private ownership of the right to carry passengers along a public highway is obvious. It is as if some “gentlemen of the road” were permitted to set up business in our midst, modifying their methods to altered circumstances.

The true and the only way to supply the best service with the greatest economy is for the public to assume ownership and control of the railroads, and make them a department of the government, conducted as the post-office and the public schools are. Such a change would at once abolish all stock watering, and no such state of affairs as one line blocking another would occur. A great improvement would be made if reform went no further. But with all the great impediments that now exist out of the way, the building of new roads would follow as a matter of course, while, if the roads were not better made they would at least be built at greatly reduced expense.

The remedy which is generally proposed is public ownership of franchises – their operation to be conducted by private enterprise. This would doubtless alleviate the difficulty, but all the evils could only be overcome by public superintendence, as well as ownership, and the abolition of all tolls. After eliminating all profit the cost of collecting the tolls would be proportionately greater that before, which might be saved by abolishing tolls and running the cars free, doing away with conductors in the case of street-cars, and ticket-sellers and collectors in the case of the elevated roads, besides the army of clerks and officials attending to this branch of the accounts. Then much would be saved when building new roads by simpler construction of buildings and in various other ways. It is estimated that cars could be run toll free at an average cost of less than a cent for each individual.

The result of improving the railroads and increasing their number would, if operated free of toll, give a tremendous stimulus to the general internal business ofNew Yorkand greatly add to the comfort of its people. The problem nowadays is how to save time in getting from home to the place of toil. Rents are advancing year by year, and to get comfortable living quarters those who have not the means to pay high prices are compelled to move further and further away from the business center. In this way, unless communication can be made with proportionate speed, this part of the population is at more and more of a disadvantage. The natural result of such an improvement would be to greatly increase land values.New Yorkwith its free railroads would be a desirable place to live in, and immigration would tend to rapidly swell the population, and in this way, there being a larger number of persons desiring thelandofNew York, land values would mount, and soon would eat up all the advantage that the free railroads had brought. Though the railroads were free rents would have increased. Now, as this increase in land values did not result from anything the land owners had done – for the price of a vacant lot along the line would be seen to have advanced – but was due to this public improvement, the just and proper course would be to appropriate the increase in land values to pay the expense of operating the road. Nobody could object to this course on the score of injustice, because the land owner would be no worse off than before, being called upon to pay only that part of the value of his land that grew out of the public improvement. This would really be but to extend the application of the law. When a highway is improved, such as drained by a sewer, graded or paved, the land adjoining, which is thus made more desirable, is taxed for the cost of the improvement, each lot in proportion to the advantage received – those near at hand most and those removed less. This is the law, though, owing to its technicality, it is often evaded.

When an elevator is put into a building a tax is not levied upon the people who use it. The knowledge that they have no stairs to climb make more people desire the building, and they are willing to pay more for it than for a building with no elevator. There is no need, therefore, for the proprietor to charge toll, as the cost of his elevator is counterbalanced by the higher return which his building brings him.

So, too, this tax on land values would be counterbalanced by the improvement which railroads operated free of tolls would bring. The gain to the present companies having franchises is a very small part of the disadvantage which their ownership works on the community in arresting development, and the adoption of this reform would not only clear away all impediment for future progress, but would bring about great public improvements at the expense of neither labor nor capital, but solely from land values – which are made by and belong to the community at large.

Henry George, Jr

 

Workingmens Homes

A Sanitary Engineer Describes the Evils of the Tenement House System

The sanitary schoolmaster is abroad, and workingmen are at last beginning to realize that they are the chief sufferers from unsanitary conditions. During the late mayoralty canvass inNew Yorkthe tenement house question was very properly made a leading issue, and as a result extensive improvements will undoubtedly be effected. The mass of workingmen in theUnited Statesare housed in tenements. Individual homes in separate dwellings are the exception outside ofPhiladelphiaand small factory towns. It is rare for a mechanic to own his dwelling in the larger cities. Leased houses are the rule, and their owners lack the interest to keep them neat and healthful which is inspired by private ownership. In many of the smaller factory towns, especially inNew England, employees have been able to buy a homestead, but generally speaking, their earnings are too small to permit them to purchase a house.

The tenement system is steadily spreading in most cities and towns north of Mason’s andDixon’s line. The increasing value of land, and the development of the factory system, have been the chief agents in its development. InBoston,Chicago,Cincinnati,St. Louis,Pittsburgh, and even in smaller cities and towns, the double-decker is becoming the chief habitation of the masses. If it is true that “as the houses are so are the people,” grave fears must be entertained of the results of this method of housing the masses.

The crying evils of tenement-house life are squalor, discomfort, intemperance, herding like cattle, filth, chronic disease, sweeping epidemics and decimation by death, the little children being the chief victims, family disruption, growth of immorality and vicious habits, and the creation of and fostering of crime.

These evils have become chronic. They are accepted as a matter of course by most persons. The terrible consequences which must follow their existence are ignored or forgotten. Yet their continuance is a blot upon civilization, a criticism upon Christianity.

InNew York citythe percentage of deaths in tenements increased from 51.11 in 1870 to 55.50 in 1884. The percentage would be greater were it not that the sick occupants of tenements go to charity hospitals, to which their deaths are credited. In the district known as the “Bend,” onMulberry street, the mortality of children under five years is over 65 per cent. In other cities the bulk of the mortality is charged to defective tenements.

All over the civilized world the problem of housing workingmen is being seriously considered. InLondonand inNew York, inParisand inChicago, inBerlinand inSan Francisco, statesmen and sanitarian, religious teachers and political economists are deeply concerned to decide how and where the masses are to live. But it is time that the workingmen themselves, who are most concerned in the matter, should take it up, and by their joint action force upon the authorities prompt, vigorous and sweeping measures of reform. Three-fourths of the funds of trade unions and benefit societies are spent for sick benefits and funerals. A large share of this outlay might be saved by sanitary measures. What these measures are will be considered in a later issue.

Charles F. Wingate.

 

Er. Froude and His Land

In his “Oceana” the historian Froude describes a condition of affairs inNew Zealandto which Americans are not strangers at home. “The soil left waste and waiting for the plowman’s hand, an enormous debt still fast accumulating, and rich and poor – gentlemen, peasants, mechanics – gathering, like flocks of gulls above the carrion, in the big towns.” To remedy this Mr. Froude would, among other reforms, bring the land “within the reach of poor men who have no capital except their labor.” It is that very reform the Labor party intends to accomplish. By taxing land values the dogs in the manger who keep land out of use will be forced to let it come within the reach of poor men who have the capital except their labor.

 

The Land Thieves

How They Have Acquired A Vast Domain In New Mexico

Nature of the Old Mexican Grants – Buying Principalities for a Song – Six Million Acres Acquired and Over Ten Millions Claimed – The Process Continues

Washington, Jan. 4.-The annual report of the commissioner of the general land offices shows how the public land has been stolen in several territories by means of pretended grants fromMexico. The commissioner says:

The surveyor general ofNew Mexicoestimates that 5,000,000 acres are illegally embraced in claims now pending – He refers to one case where a grant for 130 acres was surveyed for 100,000 acres, and to another where a small grant in a narrow canyon was surveyed for nearly 500,000 acres, and he states that these examples could be multiplied. He also refers to grants hitherto recognized that are almost totally unsupported by evidence, and to one case which was a palpable forgery. The claim of Francis Martinez, under the Mexican law, “was limited to a maximum of 48,000 acres. The patent was issued in 1881 for 594,515 acres. A similar grant to E. W. Eaton was patented in 1880 for 81,000 acres. A similar grant was patented in 1887 to Antonio Sandoval for 60,000 acres. The Scolley grant for 22,193 was surveyed for 108,507. A grant to Salvador Gonzales of “a spot of land to enable him to plant a corn-field for the support of his family” was surveyed for 103,959 acres. The Montoya grant, limited by the colonization laws to 48,000 acres, was surveyed for 151,000 acres. The Lorenza grant, same limitation, was surveyed for 130,000 acres. The Estancia grant, also restricted by Mexican law to not exceed 48,000, was surveyed for 415,000 acres. Ignatio Chaves and others petitioned for a tract “which will have on each side one and a half leagues.” This would make a little less than 10,000 acres. It was surveyed for 243,000 acres. It was the Mexican usage to make small individual grants and to put the grantee in possession of a larger quantity which he could use till granted to another. The fee did not pass and the power of the government to dispose of the residue was always maintained for the public benefit to meet the demands of the increasing population. But of late the authorities of theUnited Statesappear to have considered that the possession controlled the grant, and the volume of private land claims has been predicated upon alleged possession… There are now pending claims inNew MexicoandArizonaaggregating 8,500,000 acres. They have never been scrutinized in this office, and stand upon naked reports of the surveyors general, and the results of confirmation heretofore made of such reports have largely proved unfortunate.

Before the country was ceded to the United States Mexico had donated quantities of land to her own citizens. From an early period that government would give more or less of the soil to persons desiring to make “locations.” But while prodigal of her land, the law was such that the provincial authorities had no power to grant considerable areas except to persons proposing to establish a town. It is perfectly well known that the governors of provinces never could grant a large district of country to be held by a tenure that permitted the grantees to exclude other settlers, and hence it was a usual condition to such grants “that the place should be common to all who in future might remove to and settle there.”

The treaty of 1848 required this government to affirm all rights of property acquired under Mexico, and at an early day congress undertook to distinguish the land lodged in private hands from the other land which, at the time of the cession, still belonged to the public domain of Mexico. InCaliforniathese Mexican grants were made the means of enormous land grabs, but inNew Mexicoit was even worse. Emigration did not turn in that direction previous to the war, and land in the territory was not sought after until recently.

More than thirty years ago the surveyor general ofNew Mexicowas required to report information that would enable congress to determine the validity of grants in that territory. Congress did not attempt to go further than to decide what portions of the country should be thrown open to settlement. Those then dealing with this subject never supposed that withholding a particular grant from preemption precluded this government from subsequently inquiring how much of such grant was held in fee simple, and how much of it had, under Mexican law, reverted to the public domain. It must frequently happen that many grants lapsed, either because the premises were abandoned, or because the beneficiaries of Mexican bounty had ceased to exist. For instance, it was a favorite practice to grant large areas (sometimes half a million acres), to several persons who proposed to establish a town. Those who petitioned for the grant were assigned in severalty so much and such land as they selected – never exceeding the quantity they proposed to cultivate or pasture; after the town was founded its authorities were bound to allot to newcomers, without price, so much of the land still vacant as they proposed to occupy. This was called a community grant, and until within the last few years it was never suggested that the few persons mentioned in such a grant owned the entire tract in fee simple, or were entitled to exclude others from it.

As to these community grants (and every grant exceeding 48,000 acres was necessarily a community grant unless made by the central government), congress had determined that certain grants in New Mexico, aggregating probably 6,000,000 acres, were valid, and the land should be withheld from sale. It did not determine what particular persons owned these grants or whether such persons held by a tenure that enabled them to exclude others. Hence the district of country embraced within the boundaries of such a grant (generally several hundred thousand acres), was in an anomalous condition. A very small area (seldom exceeding 300 acres each to the persons named in the original documents), was occupied by the descendants of the old Mexicans who originally attempted to establish a town. Whatever land was not vested in fee simple in these Mexicans belonged to the government. If the town had been established, its authorities (acting as a public body) would have allotted the surplus to newcomers; but the town not being organized, such land was as much public property as if a grant had never been made. Such being the case, congress should have taken steps long ago to ascertain and divide off so much of every grant as was not owned in fee simple by private parties. But while no one was concerned to investigate this subject on behalf of the government, yet some of the shrewdest men were actively at work to be fog the matter and prevent intelligent investigation. It seems that, owing to the neglect of the government, an idea got abroad that a tract of land absolutely vacant and unclaimed would belong to whomsoever had the audacity to assert his ownership.

During and immediately after the war,New Mexicowas invaded by an army of the shrewdest and most unscrupulous adventurers that ever afflicted a peaceful community. The descendants of the Mexicans named in the old grants were helpless in the hands of these American adventurers. They were simple and primitive in their habits, and ignorant of the language and customs of Americans. If a community grant called for 500,000 acres, probably not more than 5,000 would be owned in fee simple by the descendants of the original settlers, and the remainder belonged to the government. Hence adventurers conceived the idea of appropriating the entire area of such grants as these. They bought for a trilling price whatever interest was held by the Mexicans, assuming that no official representing theUnited Stateswould ever take the trouble to defend the rights of the government. Armed with these pretended quit claim deeds the purchaser boisterously asserted ownership of entire districts of country, and ostentatiously complied with the details congress had prescribed for the protection of Mexican titles.

It is believed that more than 10,000,000 acres are thus claimed, and that over 6,000,000 acres are thus held to-day on speculation by persons professing to own the rights formerly vested in the Mexicans; but it is exceedingly doubtful whether the Mexicans ever received as much as one cent per acre for the land now claimed by these adventurers, whose only muniment of title is audacity, and whose only tenure of possession is the neglect of those charged by law with the duty of defending our public land from invasion.

 

Page 7

A Communistic Saint

Sir Thomas More May Have A Place In The Roman Calendar

A Truly Noble and Far-Seeing Friend of the Poor – The Political Views that Found Form in His Utopia – The Greed of the Rich Vigorously Denounced

One of the most notable epochs in human history was that embracing the close of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century. Then “for the first time” says M. Taine “men opened their eyes and saw.” It was the seed time of our modem civilization.Italywas crowded with scholars fleeing from the barbarous rule of the Turk in recently conqueredConstantinople, and the ancient literature of the Greeks, taught by these fugitives, was quickening the minds and broadening the horizon of European students. InFlorence, then the center of culture, Machiavelli taught crafty statesmanship, while [name garbled]-arola aroused by his fiery preaching the religious fervor and the democratic aspirations of the people. InRome, Michael Angelo, sculptor, painter and architect, was at the height of his fame. There, too, the Prussian priest, Copernicus, meditated on the system which forms the basis of modern astronomy.Columbushad opened a new world to mankind, and allEuropewas excited by the publication of Amerigo Vespucci’s account of his travels in the continents that now bear his name. Erasmus was at the height of his scholarly fame. Martin Luther, monk and teacher of divinity in the Roman Catholic Church, was just beginning to chafe under Tetzel’s sale of indulgences, while Ignatius Loyola, a gay young soldier, had not yet fought the battle in which he received the wound that first turned his thoughts toward a monastic life.

Among those conspicuous for honor, virtue and learning in that wonderful age was Sir Thomas More. He, too, to repeat Taine’s words, “opened his eyes and saw;” and among the things seen by him was the fact, as the historian Green says, that “fifteen hundred years of Christian teaching had produced social injustice, religions intolerance and political tyranny,” and hence he longingly turned his eyes to the Land of Nowhere, “in which the mere efforts of natural human virtue realized those ends of security, equality, brotherhood, and freedom for which the very institution of society seemed to have been framed.”

Thomas More, son of a knight of the same name, was born inLondonin 1478. While still a boy, his father’s influence procured his admission to the household of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Morton, then prime minister of Henry VII. There More, after the fashion of the time, along with other youths, waited on the table and had opportunity to listen to the talk of the cardinal and his numerous eminent guests. He left to enterOxforduniversity, where Colet and Orocyn were among his masters. There young More imbibed a taste for the new learning, much to the alarm of his conservative father, who took him away from college and put him to the study of the law, to the practice of which he was admitted in 1496, at the age of eighteen.

But neither parental opposition nor the study of law could overcome the young man’s thirst for the new learning, and he returned to it with avidity, and became one of the greatest scholars of his time and the intimate friend of Erasmus and many others among contemporary men of light and learning.

More grew to manhood during the reign of Henry VII, and got into trouble by opposing in Parliament one of the many greedy exactions of that avaricious monarch. The accession of Henry VIII restored More, who was then but thirty-one years old, to favor, and the young scholar was assiduously courted by the new king, who sent him on several embassies. On the fall of Wolsey, More reluctantly accepted the post of lord chancellor, a position that he filled with honor, but which he resigned rather than sanction the king’s marriage to Anne Boylen. He stepped down from power and splendor into comparative poverty and private position, but the vengeance of the offended tyrant pursued him, and he was finally beheaded for refusing to take the oath acknowledging the king as supreme head of theEnglishChurch. AllEuropecried out in horror at so brutal a murder.

Sir Thomas More appears to have been at once a liberal thinker and a devout Catholic. He eagerly welcomed the revival of learning, but his clear mind could not be imposed upon by the pretenses of Henry, and he saw clearly that it was not change of conviction, so much as furious ambition and unbridled lust, that impelled that brutal tyrant to defy the power of Rome. Hence, More, while himself a politic opponent of the extreme claims of the pope, could not bring himself to acknowledge the spiritual supremacy of Henry VIII over theEnglishChurch. In recognition of his devotion to the Holy See he has long been venerated by English Catholics, and a proposal was made some time ago that he should be canonized. The proposal has been pending for some time inRome, and recent reports indicate that Sir Thomas More may shortly become Saint Thomas More. If so, he will become a favorite intercessor for such workingmen as proud prelates may not harshly drive from the Church.

More was the author of many works, but none of them have become so famous as his Utopia. The very name of the book has become a household word, while “utopian” is ever an adjective of reproach to be hurled against all schemes and ideas that promise a betterment of man’s condition.

The time in which More lived was not notable only for the revival of learning or for mental activity. The foundations of the modern social system were then shaped in other directions. The age of the Tudors was the era of castle building. It was a time of increasing wealth and splendor. The pride of birth was beginning to give way to the pride of riches. It was equally marked by the rapid reduction of the poor to beggary. Then it was that the gulf between Dives and Lazarus began to widen, with the positions of the two, as given in the Scripture story, reversed.

Henry VII, ascending the throne with a worse than doubtful title, saw in the continued exercise of that violence by which he had won the crown the only hope of his security. He broke the power of the barons, and by arbitrary exactions, such as cost his great-grandson not only his crown, but his head, he relieved himself from dependence on the House of Commons.

Indifference to popular rights and favoritism toward supervisable bosses and henchmen, as we should now call them, gave up the land of the people to the robbers who chose to seize and enclose it. This monstrous injustice marked the growth of that system which filled the land with “sturdy beggars* in the time of Henry VIII, and rendered necessary the famous statute ofElizabethproviding for the relief of the poor. Green, in his “History of the English People says:

Throughout the time of the Tudors the discontent of the labor class bound the wealthier classes to the crown. It was in truth this social danger which lay at the root of the Tudor despotism. For the proprietary classes the repression of the poor was a question of life and death…. It was to the selfish panic of the landowners thatEnglandowed the Statute of Laborers and its terrible heritage of pauperism. It was to the selfish panic of both landowner and merchant that she owed the despotism of the Monarchy.

This was the spectacle, spread constantly before his eyes, that caused a great and genius mind like More’s aroused to the activity that characterized thought in that wonderful era, to dream of a Utopia – a Land of Nowhere – in which justice should be done and labor be assured of its just reward. Utopia was to him no mere romance with which the scholar might amuse himself for an idle hour, but it was the description of a plan of society and government possible to a virtuous and industrious people. There are in the work traces of the ideas of Plato and of those attributed to Lycurgus; but the greater part of the story was evidently carefully thought out by More himself, and it shows in many things a prophetic instinct. The second book was probably written atAntwerpin 1515, and the first, or Preface, atLondonin 1516. The work was printed in the latter year atLouvain,Belgium, under the supervision of Erasmus, Peter Giles and others of More’s friends abroad. No copy of it was printed inEnglandin any language during the reign of Henry VIII.; and the first English edition, translated by “Raphe Robynson, Citizen and Goldsmythe” was printed inLondonin 1551, by “Abraham Wele, dwelling in Paul’s church yarde, at the sign of the Lambe.”

The book begins with an epistle from Thomas More to Peter Giles apologizing for the delay. In this letter an elaborate pretence is made that More and Giles had together listened to the tale of Raphael Hythlodaye, the mythical traveler, who is supposed to have visited Utopia and described it. Then follows the first book, containing an elaborate report of this supposed conversation with Hythlodaye, in which the political views illustrated by the story are clearly set forth. Hythlodaye says he was one of twenty-four men who prevailed on Amerigo Vespucci to leave them behind him in the New World to make explorations, but, before fully entering on the story of his travels, he engages with More and Giles in conversation concerning morals and government. He tells them that for the space of five months he was inEngland, where he frequently visited Cardinal Morton, in whose household More lived as a youth, and he gives in great detail conversations he held with the cardinal and his guests. All of this may, of course, be taken as a tentative presentation of More’s own views.

Hythlodaye in this way discourses of the proper measure and object of punishment. He boldly condemns the custom, then universal inEngland, of inflicting capital punishment for theft. He insists that such a penalty is disportioned to the offense. He declares that even the law of Moses, “though it were ungentle and sharp as a law that was given to bondmen,” only punished theft “by the purse and not with death,” and therefore that “God, in the new law of clemency and mercy, under which He ruleth us with fatherly gentleness as his own dear children,” cannot sanction such unmerciful punishment. Again he argues that if the punishment for robbery and for murder be the same, that it is made to the interest of the robber to kill his victim, since this may save him from detection; while, if the murder is discovered, the penalty will be no greater for both crimes titan it would have been for robbery alone. Just, Christian and reasonable as these sentiments may appear, they were many centuries in advance of public opinion when put into the mouth of a fictitious character in 1516.

It is in the course of this discussion that Hythlodaye gives his views of the cause of crime and disorder inEnglandin the time of Henry VII. He declares that no punishment, however horrible, “can keep men from stealing who have no other craft whereby to get their living,” and insists that instead of increasing punishment, provision should be made by which men might get a living, “so that no man should be driven to steal and then to die.” He complained that there were in England a great number of gentlemen who, not content to live idle like drones on that which others had labored for – that is, on the earnings of their tenants, “whom they pull and shove to the quick by raising their rents” – kept numerous idle men in their trains.

These men, when thrown out of service, as they often must be, were without other resource, and must “either starve for hunger or manfully play the thieves.”

He laughed at the argument that these idle “serving-men” were specially useful as soldiers, declaring that the London craftsmen and the plowmen in the fields were more stout and courageous, and he compared the folly of keeping them in that condition to that of France, which kept a standing army to be ready for war in order that such army might be exercised. He denounced those who thought the wealth of a country to consist in its trained soldiery as “wise fools and very archdolts.”

But these idle “serving-men” were not, he declared, the chief cause of stealing in England. The sheep “that were wont to be so meek and tame,” he said, have now “become so great devourers and so wild that they eat up and swallow down the very men themselves.” Because of the increased price of wool, noblemen, gentlemen, and even abbots, not “being content that they live in rest and pleasure, nothing profiting, yea, much annoying the weale publique,” leave no ground, he said, for tillage, but enclose all for pastures, tearing down dwellings, and turning the very churches into sheep-houses.” Therefore,” he continues, “that one covetous and insatiable cormorant, and very plague of his native country, may compass about and enclose many thousand acres of ground together within one pale or hedge, the husbandmen are thrust out of their own, or else, either by cunning or fraud, they be put beside it, or by wrongs and injuries they be so wearied that they are compelled to sell all.” When thus thrown out they were compelled to trudge forth without a home. What else can such “poor, silly, wretched souls” do? he asks, but steal and be hanged, or else go about begging, and then “be cast in prison as vagabonds because they go about and work not; whom no man will set to work, though they never so willingly proffer themselves thereto.” Is it any wonder that Hythlodaye, in alluding to the destruction of the sheep by rot, angrily declared that the murrain should more justly have fallen on the sheep-owners themselves?

His denunciation of the cormorants who thus depopulated their country has a very modern sound, as has also the complaint which follows, that, though sheep increase never so fast “the price falleth not one mite,” because they are all owned by a few rich men, who will not sell until the price is such as suits them. He further charges that “these rich men buy up all, to engross and forestall, and with their monopoly keep the market as it pleases them.” So long as these enormities continue he tells his hearers that they will boast in vain of executing justice on felons, since they first made thieves and then punished them.

In further discussions with More and Giles, Hythlodaye set forth his views as to the duties of kings. He described with bitter irony the expedients by which Henry VII. had raised a revenue, and declared that a king’s duty was to govern his people with a view to their peace and prosperity, instead of seeking to en large his dominions – a sentiment greatly at variance with the opinion of that age. No king should seek to become rich, he said, but prefer rather to rule a prosperous people – that is, a people among whom wealth is widely diffused; because, he insisted, the rich are “covetous and unprofitable,” while, on the other hand, the poor by “their daily labor are more profitable to the commonwealth than to themselves.” The commonalty, he declared, “choseth their king for their own sake, and not for his own sake;” and for “one man to live in pleasure and wealth while all others weep and smart for it, is the part, not of a king, but of a jailer.”

Hythlodaye insisted that the root of all the evils he described was private property. Christ’s gospel taught, he said, that men should have all their goods in common. Only thus could avarice and oppression be avoided; for “where possessions be private, where money beareth all the stroke, it is hard and almost impossible that there the weale publique may justly be governed and prosperously flourish.”

To this declaration by Hythlodaye More represents himself as urging the objection that, in such a state of society, men would lack all stimulus to that labor necessary to the common support; to which the imaginary traveler makes answer that he will prove that More is mistaken, by the full description of the laws, customs, manners and daily life of the people of Utopia.

It is folly to suppose that such a preface should not lead up to something more serious in the writer’s mind than a mere romance written for the amusement of the idle. The second book of “Utopia” is doubtless an attempt by its distinguished author to show how an ideal commonwealth might be practically established on earth in order that the evils so graphically described in the first book might be remedied, and that poverty and the evils in its train might be abolished. “It is,” says Greene, “as he wanders through this dreamland of the new reason that More touches the great problems which are fast opening before the modern world – problems of labor, of crime, of conscience, of government. Merely to have seen and to have examined questions such as these would prove the keenness of his intellect; but its far-reaching originality is shown in the solutions which he proposes,” all of which were far in advance of the thought of his time, and many of which are in advance of current opinion to-day. Three centuries ago, Sir Thomas More predicted the hatching of chickens by the incubator. Before labor-saving machinery was dreamed of he declared that, if everybody would work, nine hours would be sufficient for productive labor, and he based his demand for shorter hours on the plea that more leisure is needed for the intellectual development of the workman. To so prophetic a man a dream of Utopia might readily be but a description of that which is sure to come.

WM. T. Croasdale.

 

Socialism In The Forties

Reminiscences of the Days when Greeley, Danna and Ripley were Reformers

Websters’ Dictionary defines “socialism” as a “social state in which there is community of property among all the citizens.” This is one of Mr. Webster’s many blunders. Though it may correctly define the views of the small fraction of Socialists termed Communists, it is so far false in regard to the great body of Socialists as to be directly opposed to their aims and teachings. In fact, those many Socialists who are known as Associationists claim that one great, if not The great evil of the present modes of distribution is that they are too reckless and lawless, giving to the shrewd, cunning and strong the privilege of unchecked or unlimited grabbing, while their great associative teacher, Fourier, insists that distribution should be apportioned strictly to production or contribution. It is claimed by them that the different classes advocate the distribution of the products of industry thus:

Aristocrats say, according to breeds Civilizees say, according to greeds Communists say, according to needs Associationists say, according to deeds The great body of American Socialists in the forties were of the Associationist or Fourieristic school. Among their axioms, which are as sharply defined as the mathematical propositions ofEuclidare the following:

Equitable distribution of their profits; honors according to usefulness; attractions are apportioned to destinies.

Parke Godwin, of this city, now editor of the Commercial Advertiser, in his article, “Socialism,” in Appleton’s Encyclopedia, defines the term given exactly thus: “The name given to the philosophy or doctrine which teaches that the social relations of mankind are susceptible of a more precise, orderly and harmonious arrangement than that which obtains in existing society.” Such, beyond all doubt, were the views of the editors of the Encyclopedia, Messrs. George Ripley, then literary editor of the Tribune, and Charles Anderson Dana, now editor-in-chief of the New York Sun. The former had been president and the latter treasurer of the Brook Farm association, a society devoted to industrial development and philosophic investigation and propagandism. There they and their associates published the Harbinger, a weekly newspaper recording the progress of their movement and the current of their thought.

It is not surprising that the scholarly and otherwise eminent character of such doctrinaires attracted the attention and effective co-operation of that model citizen and practical philanthropist, the late Francis George Shaw, then living some two miles from Brook Farm, but more recently of Staten Island. His translation of George Sand’s “Cousuelo” and its sequel, “The Countess of Rudelstadt,” for the columns of the Harbinger, were models of literary and artistic taste. To no one more than to Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, was the movement indebted for the impetus it received. The Rev. William Henry Channing, with his magnetic enthusiasm and saintly character, served to permeate the movement with his spiritual attributes, while the poet, Duganne, touching his “Iron Harp,” caused the pulses of the American people to throb as they never throbbed before sinceJefferson formulated the Declaration of American Independence.

The echoes of that “Iron Harp” called the Free Soil party into being, and it is said that the energetic recital of Duganne’s poem, “The Acres and the Lands,” by the Hon. Thomas Florence of Philadelphia, in the national house of representatives, caused the passage of the Homestead act. To show how accurately the thought of that time foreshadowed that of to-day, the following extract from that poem is reproduced:

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof!”

Said God’s most holy word.

The water hath fish, and the land hath flesh,

And the air hath many a bird.

And soil is teeming o’er all the earth.

And the earth has numberless lands.

Yet millions of hands want acres,

And millions of acres want hands!

. . . . . . . .

‘Tis a glaring lie on the face of day,

This robbery of men’s rights!

‘Tls a lie that the word of the Lord disowns!

Tis a curse that burns and blights.

And ’twill burn and blight till the people rise,

And swear, while they break their bands,

That the hands shall henceforth have acres,

And the acres henceforth have hands.

George H. Evans, brother of Frederick Evans, the eminent Shaker elder, edited and published in this city a weekly sheet, entitled Young America, which, though primarily devoted to land reform, abundantly sympathized with the Socialist propagandists. He died early, but the seeds he planted yet live.

While on this hemisphere the teachings of the Socialists took a purely pacific and constructive character, inEuropethe results were largely warlike and destructive; but when the storm had passed, institutions were found to be largely liberalized.

Some students of social phenomena think they perceive as regular a movement of societary forces as that of the tides of the sea. They claim that one tidal humanitary wave set in late in the last Century with the American revolution and expended its force before the French empire was established, and that another tidal wave is now rising, not destructive, but constructive, and bearing the germs of much greater good to humanity than did its predecessor, which brought the American and French revolutions.

Elizabeth, N. J.

John G. Drew.

 

It is, Indeed

PhiladelphiaPress, Rep.

The movement in theSouth Carolinalegislature to check the spread of the Knights of Labor organization in that State is likely to cause the Democrats serious embarrassments.

 

The New Party

Encouraging Progress In Its Organization

How the Movement Started – The Temporary Executive Committee – Land and Labor Clubs – Encouraging Responses from all Quarters

The elections of 1886 will long be memorable as marking the entrance of a new party into the field of American politics. The organized labor of many cities, conscious of political injustices and weary of party neglect, determined to redress its grievances by an appeal to the ballot-box. Distinctive labor tickets were nominated and voted for, and in many places a measure of success was the reward of this action. Everywhere the movement at once challenged attention, and the interest excited and the hopes roused among the masses, by the formidable vote they cast are evidenced by the altered tone of the newspaper press, and of the professional politicians.

The outcome of the fall election was everywhere significant, nowhere more so than in the city ofNew York, where 68,000 votes were counted for the mayoralty candidate, 8,000 more than were cast for the nominee of the Republican party.

At a great mass-meeting held in Cooper Union on the 6th of November, resolutions were unanimously adopted calling upon the Central Labor Union to issue an address to organized workingmen of other cities, asking their co-operation by similar movements in their own localities. And without distinction of race, color, creed, occupation or past political affiliation, the meeting called upon those who hold to the principles set forth in its declaration to form themselves throughout the country into associations for the purpose of carrying on the work of propagating truth by means of lectures, discussions and the dissemination of literature, so that the way may be prepared for political action in their various localities and for the formal organization at the proper time of a national party. The following resolutions were adopted:

Resolved, That, in order to promote the formation of such association, and to secure unity of plan and concert of action between them, a temporary central committee is hereby created, to whom correspondence on this subject may be addressed, and whose duty it shall be to take such measures as may forward the work. This committee shall have power to appoint a secretary, to add to its numbers, and to act until a national conference, to be called by it, shall choose a permanent committee.

Resolved, that such central committee shall consist of John McMackin, the Rev. Edward McGlynn, D.D., and Professor David B. Scott.

The executive committee of the Central Labor Union at once issued an address to organized labor throughout theUnited States, urging the formation of political associations preliminary to a national conference to organize the new party.

Owing to ill health, Professor David B. Scott resigned, and James Redpath was elected to fill the vacancy. At the request of the executive committee of the Labor party ofSan Francisco, the central committee appointed Judge James G. Maguire, state organizer forCalifornia.

The committee, whose office is Room 28, Cooper Union, has been actively at work for several weeks getting in communication with earnest sympathizers in all parts of the Union. Circulars embodying the Clarendon Hall platform, the Cooper Union resolutions of November 6, and an address from the central committee, together with suggestions for the formation of land and labor clubs, have been mailed to leading workers in the cause. Taking a leaf from the recentNew Yorkcampaign, the committee have also issued a number of short tracts for the purpose of arousing attention and inquiry, and these have been distributed in large numbers. The formation of land and labor clubs is a special feature of the work, the purpose being to provide in each locality a nucleus around which earnest men who believe in the general principles of the Clarendon Hall platform may gather in preparation for future political activity. The correspondence of the committee already includes every State in theUnion.

Some idea of the progress of the movement in different sections may be derived from the following brief extracts from the correspondence of the committee:

H. R.,Bay Shore, Long.Island,New York: I propose to organize a club in this sleepy, aristocratic old town.

J. A. R.,Holland,Michigan: We shall organize a club here at at once. I have been a Democrat, but we must cut loose from both the old parties. A vote for principle is never thrown away.

Central Labor Union,Kansas City,Missouri: Please give us information as to political organization. We wish to place ourselves in line with your committee.

T. J. Miller, secretary D. A. 101, Parsons,Kansas: I will do all I can. to assist organization in this section.

F. Z.,Syracuse,New York: We are ready to organize a land and labor club here. Our lists of membership are all prepared.

H. F. Ring,Houston,Texas: I shall organize a strong land and labor club in this city at once.

J. M.,Glen Cove,Long Island,New York: Enclosed are twenty-five names for charter for our land and labor club. Please send as soon as possible.

P. C,Aspen,Colorado: Organized labor here is ready and anxious to fall into line. I am directed to ask you for suggestions as to the formation of clubs.

M. B.,Poughkeepsie,New York: We are ready to organize. Enclosed is a list of charter members. Please forward at once.

Robert Pyne,Hartford,Connecticut: Enclosed please find check for $5 in payment for charter for club formed here last night. I am publishing documents In reference to the movement. Active friends through the State will be heard from in response.

James S. Hook, Augusta, Georgia: I have no doubt that the people of this State are ripe for any movement that will bridle monopolies and give labor a chance to enjoy what it makes. Land and labor clubs can be formed all overGeorgia, and wield a controlling influence in the future politics of the State.

H. B. W.,Cincinnati,Ohio: About a year ago I, with several other young men, made arrangements for meetings at stated intervals. Most of our meetings were devoted to the discussion of the land question. We now have a number of applications for membership, and desire to organize a regular land and labor club. Please give us your suggestions for organization.

R. H. Ferguson,Buffalo,New York: We had a meeting of friends to the cause night before last, and determined to organize a central club in January, with branch clubs under sub-charters.

E. N.,Mobile,Alabama: We have commenced the organization of a club, and will report in a few days.

J. R.,Ansonia,Connecticut: Our first land and labor club was organized on the 20th of December. We are going ahead slowly, but surely.

E. C. R.,Goldendale,WashingtonTerritory: Our taxes here are largely levied on improvements and on the large droves of cattle, horses and sheep. The alternate sections of land throughout the county are held by the Northern Pacific railroad. Still we have no railroad, and we expect none. Many of our citizens are dissatisfied with both the old parties, and will take the new road now open to their view.

T. F., Plattsburg, New,York: I am circulating a petition for names of men in full sympathy with the views enunciated in the Clarendon Hall platform, and shall send an application for a charter in a few days.

C. F.,Elizabeth,New Jersey: Enclosed find application for charter. Please send at once.

W. R.,Louisville,Kentucky: I have brought the subject of political organization of land and labor clubs before the members of my union, and we have already taken steps to organize here. Rest assured there are men in this city who will do their utmost for the advancement of the cause.

C. S. P., Reading, Pennsylvania: I have little faith in any of the means heretofore employed by organized labor for the betterment of the condition of the masses, but if your national party is to be organized on a platform similar to [t]hat upon which Mr. George ran for the mayoralty of New York city I will vote with you and work with you.

W. E.,Waco,Texas: It will be impossible for me to co-operate with you on a platform which calls for political action “without distinction of race or color.” To organize the blacks into clubs would not only kill your movement in the South, but would ostracize ourselves. A people numerically strong that can in five Southern States be cheated or scared out of their votes are worthless as allies to any cause. The negro is more of a menace to white laboring men than the Chinaman is, because the latter cannot vote. See how Mallory turned the blacks against the white laborers atGalveston. But I am heart and soul with your movement as applicable to the civilization of a homogeneous people.

F. S. C,Burlington,Iowa: Please send us a form of application for charter. We are ready to start with fifty members.

H. K.,Galveston,Texas: We shall organize a club here to co-operate with your central committee. Within three months I have set afloat fifty copies of “Progress and Poverty,” with the request to keep them moving.

C. S. T.,Pittsburg,Pennsylvania: Yes, clubs can be organized here. I have talked with many leading men, and we shall set about the work at once. We have nothing to hope for from either of the old parties. I find as many disgusted Republicans as I do Democrats.

J. R. W.,Rockford,Illinois: The business depression continues in spite of all prophecies of returning prosperity, and men everywhere are beginning to suspect the existence of some hitherto unnamed cause for this continuance. Our platform, when the time comes, should be as free as possible from minor issues, superficial in their character and bearings.

H. M.,Providence,Rhode Island: This is, for many reasons, a bad time of the year to organize, but something can be done, for workingmen are at last beginning to realize that their only hope of bettering their condition lies in bringing their grievances into politics.

W. C. T.,Oneida,IdahoTerritory: There is a large Mormon element here and the leaders among them will not allow the members to join any organization but the church, nor patronize anything gotten up by outsiders. But those who don’t belong to their church are ten times as big fools as those who do. They call themselves anti-Mormons and appear to think that all that is required to demonstrate their loyalty and establish the government on the rock of ages is to eat a Mormon fried for breakfast every morning. Still something may be done in this region. I will try my best.

E. C,Elkhart,Indiana. Enclosed find application for charter of land and labor club.

Dr. W. B. Fuller,Uniontown,Pennsylvania: There are at least 500 independent voters in this county; 80 per cent. of them will join the new organization.

J. R. Loveland, Secretary Committee One Hundred,Boston,Massachusetts: I have talked with my associates and they think highly of your plan. There can be a goodly number of clubs formed here.

Judge James G. Maguire,San Francisco: I shall Immediately proceed to organize the state, and do all in my power to promote the great cause of natural justice, which is the end and aim of your central committee.

J. C. M Loogootee, Indiana: The workers are coming slowly but surely to join your ranks. Your short tracts are powerful weapons.

J. T. C,Minneapolis,Minn.: There is but one way out of the house of bondage, and that is the way of practical politics. This a few of us have long realized, and now it looks as though the multitude were beginning to see it too. No wonder the politicians don’t enjoy the prospect before them of being relegated to the back pastures of oblivion to feed on the buds of annihilation.

Benjamin Adams,Charleston, S. C.: The meeting here last night was very enthusiastic in its endorsement of the movement, and I have no doubt whatever that we shall soon create a stir here. It was unanimously decided that we form a land and labor club in this city at once, and I enclose our application for charter.

Locke Craig, Ashville, N. C.: The great vote for Henry George was a light shining in great darkness, and I believe the star we see is the star of the morning.

Lewis Hart, Sr.,Lime Creek,Mo.: The importance of your work cannot be too earnestly insisted on. A majority of our farmers have already mortgaged their homes, and are reduced to the direst extremities to make their semi-annual interest payments.

The cash donations thus far received by the central committee are as follows: P. J. McGuire, Philadelphia, $20; Col. C. G. Otis, New York city, $10; Dr. Walter Mendelson, New York city, $5; Benjamin Adams, Charleston, S. C., $5; a friend, $250.

 

Australian Agitation

A Remarkable Land Movement in the Fifth Continent

Just now there is offered a very useful lesson in the land nationalization movement in South Australia. Only twelve months ago it required great courage for a man to let it be known there that he was a land nationalizationist. To-day the theme is not only in the air, but the air is full of it. The pioneers of a year ago who were derided now have the patient ears of the people and of officials. Our Commonwealth of Adelaide represents the principle in its purity. The Register, the organ of conservatism, seems to be falling into line in a halting but onward pace. An assemblyman, Mr. Burgoyne, has been impelled to outline the idea of true land taxation in a speech to his fellow members. No subject is in the thought and speech of men wherever two or more come together as is this one.

A startling cry in the streets of Adelaide with the hurrying of many feet out of its precincts, and away, has given interest to this land question, and is teaching wisdom there as it may teach the same here. That cry is, “Tetulpa! Gold! gold! gold!” The crowd running away fromAdelaide is that of men who are rushing into a newly-discovered gold-field, where land has been hitherto considered worthless and in which no man has had any private right.

How Our Commonwealth can call after the excited pilgrims, “Why can you dig in Tetulpa, and why can’t you do the same here? Suppose we sold that land, could you dig there for gold any more than you can here for potatoes Now, you can dig in Tetulpa, and if you find a nugget it is yours and yours alone. Would that be so if the land were private property? Mark, then, well, the only advantages Tetulpa has over the plains and hills aroundAdelaide.”

The lesson is a practical one. The men who go to Tetulpa pay the state for miners’ rights and the state gives protection and service that no private landlord would render. In the rich fields about Adelaide, if land were held and worked as the mining ground is, £6 is the lowest average to be earned by any fairly industrious man, that is, an ounce and a half of purest gold, in the shape and stuff of potatoes, gold being worth there £4 per ounce. And in this kind of gold-digging there would be no such exhaustion of wealth as is constantly going on at the mines. But private ownership of the soil that would give corn forbids this; the rent of these fields would leave the toiler about as much grain and potatoes as he would eat – not that if the rent asked were based on the value of the ground for the buildings which must come asAdelaidespreads itself. Therefore, in a wild scamper after gold, in which the lame are limping and the sick are creeping, go men who would work at home if they could get work and find it remunerative – some to gain prizes, many to die or break down for life. For land inAdelaideis selling at $500 an inch.

Well may Mr. Burgoyne tell the assembly that they must learn “a more equitable and just system of land taxation than was now the case.” “That value which was not due to the individual exertion, but to the increase of population, was the part of the land value the tax should be put upon.” The assembly is listening now. Yes; and the people are listening to this: “Nationalize the land! The elections are near and the remedy is in your hands. Take hold of that which is yours; rid yourselves of your spoilers!”

The Kapunda Herald gives its readers warning of what the present threatens for the future, showing that little more than half the land alienated in fee simple is now occupied by freeholders, big land-owners buying up the small estates of their neighbors and leasing to tenants; and an official return is called for that will show the extent of this alarming tendency. The people of Kapunda are told that a levy upon property or income, is a tax, because it is upon labor; but that a levy upon land is not a tax, because it is made upon a value which the state itself has created.

The interest in the question has extended toTasmania. A correspondent writes to one of the journals that a great proportion of the agriculturists are tenant farmers; that a new country is cursed with the impoverishing and degrading conditions of an old country – slaves and landlords.

And then out in Tetulpa they are having trouble. The gold fever has added to the business of Adelaide. Even the restaurants are advertising where men may get their last square meal before going to the diggings, and rents have gone up, with the consequence of heavier charges to the miners for all they need from Adelaide. Mr. Henry Taylor has been preaching a lay sermon to the miners from a text that he has revised to make it read, “The hand of the diligent should make rich,” in which he shows that even though they live in tents on free government lands they could not avoid paying the increasing rent roll of the cities in the enhanced cost of everything they eat, drink, wear and use.

 

The Iron Tariff

What It Does And Fails To Do For Workingmen

The Cost of Pig Iron to all Consumers Raised More than Seven Dollars Per Ton – Labor Does Not Get More Than Twenty-Five Cents of this.

For twenty-five years the rallying cry of protection to American labor has been sounded through the land in advocacy of a tariff which it is claimed makes wages high, yet for half of this period American workmen have only slightly improved their condition as to actual earnings, while they have relatively lost ground as compared with the total increase of the wealth of the nation. Not only wage-earners themselves, but thousands of men of all classes, believing rightly that well-paid workingmen are indispensable to national welfare, have voted to uphold the system of protection; and if the results have not been what they worked for, they have a right to know why. The cry to which they have responded is suspicious in its origin. It was raised by politicians in the pay of the same employers who have always fought most bitterly every demand of their own workmen for better wages.

Let us take the duty on pig iron, which as the foundation of the whole iron industry, is at the bottom of most of the effects on business and wages, caused by protective duties. The rate of duty on pig iron is $6.72 a ton, and the cost to the consumer of domestic iron is almost exactly the pride of foreign iron, with this $6.72 added. The price of iron here is raised in exact proportion to the import duty, although we have just as good furnaces, and more skilled workmen.

Who gets this difference?

It cannot be the laborer at the furnace who smelts the ore into iron. Although he is paid a little more by the day he does so much better work that, on the average, he gets only $1.91 for every ton of iron turned out, according to Mr. Swank, the great advocate of protection in iron, while the English laborer at Middlesboro, where the cheapest iron in England is made, receives $l.66 per ton.

Nor is the working miner the man whose wages are raised by the tariff to the extent of the remainder of the advanced price paid by the consumers, for that amounts to $6.47, and the miners only get a trifle over $5 altogether, or just about the same as is paid abroad for the same work. So we see that the tariff on pig iron does not advance the wages of the men who make pig iron, although it does advance the price nearly $7 a ton.

But, beside the laborers who mine the ore and coal and turn these into iron, there is the capitalist who owns the furnace and the landowner to whom the ore and coal beds belong. A year ago the protectionist iron men made up a statement in which they showed that for every ton of iron made the manufacturer who did not own his raw material had to pay for this material – consisting of iron ore, coal and limestone – the sum of $13.95. The cost of this inEnglandwould have been only $7. While our mine owners sold the product at so high a price, the census shows that they only paid their workmen $5.31 per ton in wages, keeping for themselves the handsome profit of over $8 for the material used in a ton of pig iron, less $1.78 paid for transportation to the furnace, of which sum only about 40 cents went for wages and the balance into the dividends of railroad companies.

Such a profit as this is nothing more nor less than a rack-rent demanded by monopolists, who appropriate the returns from natural opportunities that of right belong to the whole people. The imposition of a tariff makes every man in the country who buys a stove or a pound of nails, or uses iron in any form, pay at the rate of $7 a ton more than he would in any other country, and of this $7 not more than 25 cents goes to wages.

Our iron costs $20 a ton, instead of $13, as it would cost if there were no tariff; and the net result is that out of the $20 the mining companies get nearly $7 profit and the railroads a dollar and a half more.

Our figures all come from protectionist sources, and they are borne out by additional facts showing that iron and coal miners and furnace workmen, albeit “protected” by a high tariff, are no better paid than blacksmiths and carpenters who are not “protected” at all. Mining companies have uniformly grown rich, while for five years past all furnace companies have lost money except those owning mines.

It is the law of rent, operating as plainly as when it forces men to stifle inNew Yorktenements. Just as the growth of population on and around Manhattan Island has made land so valuable here that the fortunate possessor can tax his tenants for all the wealth that the increased population makes it possible to produce, so the increase of furnaces for making pig iron in Pennsylvania has given the owner of a mine there the power to take all of the advance in price which has been created by the establishment of a tariff laid on imported iron professedly “for the benefit of labor.” Where iron furnaces are few, as in Virginia and Alabama, there is less competition for the raw material, and the ore-bed owner has to accept a similar rent: but the result is not to lower wage, although the pig iron is sold at a lower price, but only to give the consumer the benefit of the diminished rent which as yet the landowner has to accept.

This is the reason then why employers who fight organizations of labor with one hand defend “protection to labor” with the other. The tariff on iron does not raise wages, but only increases rent. The duties on bar iron or rails or castings are heavier than those on pig, but the prices of these are not advanced in proportion, so that certainly labor does not benefit by the difference. Except where there is some special combination of monopolies each variety of finished iron sells in America at about just as much above the English price as the tariff in pig iron amounts to, be cause there is free competition between the mills, and if they pay higher wages they get more than their equivalent in efficient labor. But the maker of pig iron must draw his supplies from the lord of the soil and must pay him just as much bonus as the tariff allows to be collected by raising the price of the iron, and so when the pig is turned into bars or nails the bonus must be enlarged on them too to make up for the increased cost of the pig. The mine owner is the only one in the chain whose profit cannot be regulated by a competitor, and so he takes his profit all the way up to where foreign iron can compete. If the State owned this ore land, as it should, and then we shut out foreign iron by a tariff, the State would at least get the difference in price, although it would still be a stupid policy, but while private ownership of mining properties continues, to put a tariff on iron and thereby raise the price, simply means that we pay a tax, not, as pretended, to insure higher wages in the iron industry, but to benefit certain land owners. When workingmen do this they contribute their share to enrich a class composed of their bitterest enemies.

The iron industry is only a typical instance of this working of the tariff, and as it is the largest interest involved in our whole scheme of protection, it furnishes the best data from which to judge whether laws “protect labor” that utterly fail to raise wages, but succeed completely in increasing rent.

Edward J. Shriver

 

Indecent Exposure

PhiladelphiaPress

The Standard Oil company is about to be dragged into the courts ofOhio. The result will be an indecent exposure of a monstrosity.

 

Page 8

Religious At The Cross

Jews were wrought to cruel madness.
Christians lied in fear and sadness:
Mary stood the cross beside:

At its foot her foot she planted,
By the dreadful scene undaunted.
Till the gentle sufferer died.

Poets oft have sung her story,
Painters decked her brow with glory,
Priests her name have deified.

But no worship, song or glory.
Touches like that simple story -
Mary stood the cross beside.

And when, under fierce oppression,
Goodness suffers like transgression,
Christ again is crucified;

But if love be there, true-hearted,
By no grief of terror parted,
Mary stands the cross beside.

W. J. Fox

 

A Short Sermon

By the Rev. William Paley,D.D.

Dr. Paley, who died in 1805, was one of the ablest divines and political philosophers thatEnglandhas produced. His works fill five large volumes, and present much thought that no philosophy of more modern days has displaced. We collect a sermon from his “Moral and Political Philosophy,” a university textbook.

“From reason, then, or revelation, or from both together, it appears to be God Almighty’s intention that the productions of the earth should be applied to the sustenation of human life. Consequently, all waste and misapplication of these productions is contrary to the divine intention and will. Such as what is related to William the Conqueror, the converting of twenty manors into a forest for hunting; or, which is not much better, suffering them to continue in that state; or the letting of large tracts of land lie barren because the owner cannot cultivate them, nor will part with them to those who can….

“From the same intention of God Almighty we also deduce another conclusion, namely, ‘that nothing ought to be made exclusive property which can be conveniently enjoyed in common.’

“It is the general intention of God Almighty that the produce of the earth be applied to the use of man. This appears from the constitution of nature, or, if you will, from His express declaration; and this is all that appears at first. Under this general derivation one man has the same right as another. You pluck an apple from a tree or take a lamb from a flock for your immediate use and nourishment, and I do the same, and we both plead for what we do the general intention of the Supreme Proprietor. So far all is right; but you cannot claim the whole tree or the whole flock and exclude me from any share of them, and plead this general intention for what you do. The plea will not serve you; you must show, by probably arguments, at least, that it is God’s intention that these things should be parceled out to individuals, and that the established distribution under which you claim should be upholden. Show me this and I am satisfied. But until this be shown the general intention which has been made appear, and which is all that does appear, must prevail; and under that, my title is as good as yours. Now, there is no argument to induce such a presumption but one; that the thing cannot be enjoyed at all, or enjoyed with the same or with nearly the same advantage, while it continues in common, as when appropriated. This is true where there is not enough for all, or where the article in question requires care or labor in the production or preservation; but where no such reason obtains, and the thing is in its nature capable of being enjoyed by as many as will, it seems an arbitrary usurpation upon the rights of manhood to confine the use of it to any.”

 

News And Opinions

The following is from an interview with the Rev. Sylvester Malone, pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul’s R. C. Church, Brooklyn, by a reporter of the World: “If what Henry George proposes could be carried out it would be of great benefit to the poor of the country, and would not injure the rich.” “Is there anything in George’s philosophy which is opposed to the Catholic Church?” I cannot see that there is.”

Dr. John Hall, says a ruling elder may pronounce the benediction. The Presbyterian Journal thinks he may not. A minister in the Reformed Church says the ruling elder had a right to say “Grace and peace abide with us all,” but not “with you all.”

In a country parish inGermanya few Sundays ago the prayers of the congregation were asked by a man who had suddenly become rich. The prayer was very earnest.

The Christian at Work admits to its columns a strong argument against taxation of improvements and in favor of the state confiscating the unearned increment of value in land, signed by Mainville Burroughs.

The Catholic Herald asks: “Men of Labor, are you ready? Is there strength in your brain as there is brawn in your arm? Are you prepared to rest your cause on the eternal justice of the Lord, who proclaimed that the earth was his, and that it should not be sold forever?”

From the same these two items:

The Rev. Father Kuhlman publishes a paper in Marshall, Ill.It is commended by Archbishop Feehan of Chicagoas a good Catholic paper. It is called Church Progress. In a recent issue it said: “If the labor men ofPhiladelphia only show their strength, as did their fellow-workmen ofNew York, success may crown their efforts. We are heartily in favor of such a party, or any means adopted to ameliorate the condition of labor. The monopolists of the country are united to drag as much labor for as little pay as possible out of the laboring man, and it is only right and just that their exorbitant demands be met with united strength on the part of labor to receive ample pay for their daily toil.”

AtAndover,Mass., is the oldest theological school in the country. The devout philanthropists who founded it declared its purpose thus: “To provide for the church a learned, orthodox and pious ministry.” It is under the Control of Congregationalists. One of its professors, Dr. Smith, is now on trial under charges of heterodoxy. The decision of this case will affect the position of three, and perhaps four other professors in the same institution. The general interest in this trial calls for a few words of explanation. The chief heresy alleged is “Probation after death,” by which is meant that for some men, if not for all, there will be an experience after departure from this life in which they will be tried – as we are here – with the acceptance or rejection of the Christ. The professors manfully admit that they hold and teach this to be probable truth, but deny that it is in antagonism with any part of the creed or standards which they accepted and signed. Much of the controversy has been directed toward the circulation of this doctrine to foreign missions. Many of the graduates ofAndoverhave been sent to heathen lands. The question has a twofold application to this matter: Shall anyAndoveryoung man be sent to the foreign field in the future who holds this view? and, What is the need of sending missionaries to the heathen if after this life Christ is to be presented for their acceptance? The first question will be partly, perhaps fully, answered by the result of this present trial. The second is answered by the assertion that Christianity has very much to give for the spiritual culture and comfort of men in this life. Good men with the best intentions are on both sides of the trial.

The Churchman, the organ of the conservatism and wealth of the Protestant-Episcopal Church, of that part of the church which is liberal in giving alms for the poor and intolerant in refusing to heed a cry for the right of the poor, which is first generous and then not always just, assumes the role of defender of “certain clergymen, professors and theorists” who appeared in the George canvass, by charitably supposing that as they are workers among the poor their hearts are soft and their heads likewise. We think the gentlemen referred to are able to take care of themselves, and are not all thankful for a defender who offers an excuse for their action.

Canon Shuttleworth, in one of his lectures on Christian Socialism, tells of a manufacturer who advertised for a clerk, offering £75 a year; next day he had a hundred answers, among them one from a man who offered to do the work for £45 a year. “What could I do, Mr. Shuttleworth.”‘ he said. ” His testimonials were by far the best, and business is business, so I accepted him.” “What could you do?” was the reply. “Why you could pay him the extra £30 a year, you thought his labor worth. By paying him the £45 you were simply trading on his hungry belly to the extent of £30 a year.”

Christian Herald.

The Church Reformer (London) says: “On Sunday next before Advent the priest before every altar inEngland prayed for a divine excitement – ‘Stir up, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the wills of thy faithful people.’ Men are beginning to see what is at the bottom of our misery. Henry George’s enormous vote in New York has compelled attention to the fact that whether or no relief works and eight-hour bills and free dinners are to come, nothing can do any good permanently while land, the mother, is divorced from labor, the father of all wealth. If then “God’s servants who did the church’s work on that Sunday in Trafalgar Square, in creating a divine excitement, in asking the question how the hungry are to be fed, and in protesting against the oppression of the poorest laborer, are to continue their work to completion, they must go boldly for nothing less than the full restoration to the people of the whole of the value they give to the land; they may nationalize machinery, capital, what they like, but until they have nationalized the land the poverty of the workers will remain.”

The Church Times (London) has more than one advertisement like this: “To be Sold, the Advowson, or next presentation to a desirable Rectory, 60 miles N. W. ofLondon. Population 600. Incumbent in his 82nd year. Income £500. -Address, etc.”

The “Tithe War” ofWalesis being mainly fought inEngland. Church tithes are on the land, the intention being that the lords of land should pay them; but they shift the burden on the tenant whenever they can. The controversy is assuming the wildest scope and is now bringing the whole land question before those who have refused to heed it.

The Church Times says: “If all the lay impropriators of tithes – who are simply to be regarded in the light of receivers of stolen goods – were to restore their property to the Church, we do not see that there would be much bounty in it, but simply honesty. We should like to know whether robbery from God is to be regarded in a more venal light than robbery from man, and further, whether the fact of the king or parliament being the robbers necessarily makes such a difference morally in the Eighth Commandment as to distinguish the Whitechapel or Seven Dials’ ruffian from the crowned dignitary, or the members of the upper and lower houses of parliament. Money stolen from the Church is stolen, and those who receive the proceeds of it – no matter through how many generations it has passed – are simply the receivers of stolen property. The thing is plain enough. You can’t legalize acts which are in themselves dishonest, unless you reform the Decalogue and strike the ‘not’ out of the Eighth Commandment.” The Church Reformer, quoting from the above, hits a hard blow, thus: “For ‘lay impropriators of tithes’ read ‘landlords;’ for ‘Church’ read ‘nation;’ and the above passage might almost be supposed to be an extract from ‘Progress and Poverty.’ We think of offering a special prize to any reader of the Church Times who can reconcile the above quoted passage with the denunciations of land nationalizers as breakers of the Eighth Commandment which have recently appeared in the same paper.”

A committee appointed by Archbishop Elder, ofCincinnati, has presented a plan to liquidate the Purcell debts.

The Moniteur de Rome, thought to be an occasional organ of the Pope, speaking of the 0′Brien and Dillon plan of campaign, says that it “is almost identical with that of a trade strike, modified in its application to agricultural tenancies.”

The Catholic Herald states that some one, (a clergyman?) endeavored to organize a boycott against it because it believed God said, “The land is mine and it must not be sold forever.” The Sun heard of it and got the editor’s statement, but it was suppressed.

The Presbyterians on this side of theAtlanticdo not wish an iota of the standards changed, but their English brethren are at work on the Confession of Faith, and mean to give the historic document a more liberal character than it has presented.

 

The Cotton Seed Trust

A New Monopoly that Extorts Money from Southern Planters

Mr. Alexander Campbell, of Concordia parish, Louisiana, writes to the Wheeling, W. Va., Intelligencer, describing cotton raising as now carried on in the South. In the course of his letter he says:

“Just as we began to see daylight, and have bright hopes the price of cotton was knocked down, and to add to this misfortune, some parties in the North and here banded together and bought most of the cotton seed mills and formed a ‘Cotton Seed Oil and Trust company.’ This company works after the methods of the ‘Standard Oil company,’ and it is understood that the ‘Cotton Seed Oil and Trust company’ was organized by some members of the ‘ Standard Oil company.’ We formerly sold our seed to the ‘Cotton Seed association’ inNew Orleansat what every planter thought ruinous prices. We received on the Landing from $8 to $12 per ton for the past few years, but now comes this trust company and knocks the price square to $6 per ton, and all mills not in the combination are driven to the wall. Railroads and steamboats are in some way mixed up in the business. It is regarded by this company as proper to rob the now almost helpless planter. A seven-million bale crop of cotton would produce about three and a half million tons of seed. Not even a third of the crop is now manufactured into oil, oil cake and cotton seed meal. The other two-thirds are used on the land for seed to plant and as fertilizers. The product of a ton of seed is said to produce, by some process known to the trust company, 50 gallons of oil, worth 30 cents; 1,600 pounds of oil cake, worth 1 cent per pound; 30 pounds cotton lint, 5 cents per pound; netting the company $32.50 for what they paid $6, and about $2.50 or $3 per ton freight. So you see what a sum is realized by the trust company for the manufacture of one ton of seed.

“While I have said so much about the extortion of commission merchants, they have their side of the question, and consider they have good reasons for conducting business in the manner they do, knowing the uncertainty of crops, the character of the laborers, and in many cases the planters themselves, who had no experience with free labor, and have had to learn by testing different plans, and in many cases making utter failures, the merchants have been liberal in many instances and have done more for planters than I would have done had I been engaged in the business and had known what I do of the risks they take.

 

Labor

The old year closed amid general prognostications by the press that the Knights of Labor are about to divide, and that a bitter warfare between the original body and the new trade federation will follow. In so many cases the wish is father to the thought that these reports must be taken with many grains of allowance. Perfect harmony in so large a body as the Knights of Labor would be something unprecedented, and it is unquestionable that differences have arisen between the Knights and some of the regular trade organizations. Such differences are no greater, however, than have frequently arisen between other independent men aiming at one end, but holding varying opinions as to means. The more frank and vigorous the dispute, the sooner a reasonable basis of settlement is likely to be reached. The existing differences appear to be largely outlined to officers and leaders, and the great body of organized workingmen will never consent to any such outcome of the dispute as will cause a permanent disunion in their ranks. Not only is the necessity of union greater than ever before, but the power that they have, when united, displayed at the polls encourages all to insist with increased determination on harmony of action. The Standard, in summarizing the most important news of the labor movement, does not, therefore, regard it as necessary to dwell upon disputes that must in the very nature of things be eventually settled by a just compromise, and which meanwhile are not without some beneficial effect in keeping alive interest and thought throughout the whole labor organization.

The recent victory for organized labor inBrooklynwas as complete as it was prompt. The employees of eleven horse-car lines went out at 4:30 a. m. on Thursday of last week. The president of the company controlling the lines had haughtily refused to permit any “outsiders” – that is, officers of Knights of Labor – to interfere between him and “his men.” In the course of the day the president not only conferred with the executive board of District Assembly 75, K. of L., but with the mayor and State Arbitrator Donovan, and the company agreed to pay the conductors and drivers at two dollars a day; that twelve hours should constitute a straight day’s work and fourteen hours one with swings. They agreed that a committee of one from each of the roads should settle all grievances. The demands of the men having thus been complied with, the strike ended that night. One salutary result is a reasonable expectation that the necessary arrangements for the new year will be made inNew Yorkwithout resort to any strikes. There is, however, some fear of trouble over the demand of the Broadway drivers and conductors for an increase of wages to $2.25 a day.

The Railroad branch of the Young Men’s Christian association met in the basement of the Grand Central depot on Tuesday evening. Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt presided and Chauncey M. Depew was the orator of the evening. Both gentlemen expressed a high opinion of those railway workmen who never gave the companies any trouble, and both thought that things were really much better than the wicked agitators represented them to be. As Mr. Vanderbilt presided it is to be presumed that he is a member and therefore both a workingman and a Christian. Mr. Depew boldly claimed that he was a workingman, and as be had been moderately successful himself he felt that there was no great reason for complaint among his fellow workingmen. The whole future looked rosy to him when he contemplated the fact that l0,000 members of the association had taken 50,000 baths. If this does not settle the labor problem, what will?

The 2,610 car-drivers who paid $1 apiece for their licenses last winter can have their money returned by calling on the city paymaster, who has been authorized to that effect by the corporation counsel. The city ordinance making provision for the terms and price of the license was declared to be unconstitutional.

On the 3d of December the Equality association (salespeople) published a circular to the employees of the dry, fancy and gents’ furnishing goods stores, a part of which was as follows: “Having determined to demand of the employers in these stores a shortening of the hours of labor, we desire to call your attention to the fact that on and after Saturday, January 8, 18.87, we shall demand that six o’clock p. m. be the hour for closing the stores on Saturday, thereby making six o’clock the regular closing time for every day in the week.”

One of the most prosperous organizations in this city is Furniture Workers’ union No. 7. During the year just closed they won thirty-one of the thirty-five strikes they engaged in, and reduced the hours to an average of nine per day in fifty-four shops, and they paid out to members who lost tools by fire $1,095. During the last three months wages have been increased in nine workshops. The quarterly election of officers took place Tuesday night. National Secretary Einrich says wages and work are good throughout the entire trade.

At a meeting of an organization of machinists the other night a motion was made that hereafter no person would be eligible to membership who had not declared his intention to become a citizen of theUnited States. The motion was not carried, but it was resolved to enjoin upon all members – new and old – the duty of becoming Citizens and voters.

The Progressive Bakers will hold a mass meeting in Pythagoras hall to-night. They have decided to draft for presentation to the legislature a bill forbidding more than ten hours as a day’s work in bakeries, and will probably meet to-night a delegate to the state trades assembly which meets in Albany on the 18th, who will endeavor to get the endorsement of that body for the proposed measure before taking it before the legislature.

The United Framers have introduced a new plan for forcing the payment of wages from unjust and stubborn bosses. They have had a claim of $90 against a Park place man placed in the hands of the Central Labor union’s boycott committee for collection.

An organization of Knights of Labor in this city is named the Foreordained association. They are coal shovelers, and although, perhaps, doomed to hard work and low wages, they have bettered their present condition and prospects very much by organizing.

TheManhattanassociation of sewing machine salesmen are in daily expectation of a favorable settlement with the Singer company, whom they have been fighting nearly a year, for unjust treatment. A committee of theNew Yorkprotective association have had several conferences with Manager Watson which promise well.

Among the members of Typographical Union No. 6 there is whispered hope of an early adjustment with the New YorkTribune.

The New York Protective association (D. A. 49) now holds its meetings on Sundays in Pythagoras hall, beginning at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

The New York Central Labor union was never before so well quartered as now. It has two floors fully furnished, heated and lighted in a building known as Central Labor Union hall, and the passing public are attracted to it by two large glass globes appropriately lettered and illuminated at night. The central body will hold its Sunday sessions in theEighth streethall after May 1, when the lease of Clarendon ball expires.

TheFifth avenuestage drivers are organized to a man into a powerful protective association. Recently their wages were raised and their hours reduced.

The suspender, collar button and necktie pedlars in the neighborhood of the City Hall, on the Bowery and along Fourteenth street, are organized into a protective association, with a price-scale and rules calculated to break the fierce competitive spirit that ruins the trade of other individual salesmen and canvassers. They were organized during the past year by the Jewish Workingmen’s union, and send a representative to the Central Labor union, where the voice of aVesey streetvendor is as respectfully listened to as that of a first-violin delegate from some musical union.

The workingwomen’s fair will be continued at 302 Bowery during the greater part of this month. It is stated that a $2,000 installment has been handed over to the trustees of the Leader Publishing association toward the new press.

At a meeting of the Manufacturers’ Association of the Brass and Iron Trade held in the Monongahela house,Pittsburgh, May 11, 12 and 13, 1886, it was formally resolved:

That we recommend to each member of this association to grant to the men in his employ five hours out of each week to be given in such manner as may be agreed upon with his employees.

The men on their part agreed not to ask for an increase of wages for the term of two years. To-day there are two hundred and ten men out on strike because members’ of the manufacturers’ association broke their contract by taking away the Saturday half-holiday. Three months since the members of the manufacturers’ association in this city made an attempt to force their men back on the old time schedule. The men objected on the grounds that the contract of May was to cover the term of two years, and was by them considered binding. The executive board of brassworkers decided that the men will not return to work until the manufacturers’ association acknowledge the binding force of the contract entered into last May. The funds of the executive committee are in good condition, and the watchword is no surrender.

The legislative committee of theOhioStatetrade assembly met atColumbuson the 29th ult. to prepare labor bills for submission to the general assembly. Mr. Hysell, chairman of the committee, told a reporter that it is impossible to say whether there will be a third party in the field. The sentiment in favor of such a movement is growing, however, and is already especially strong in cities. Many farmers are inclined in the same way, and if the feeling grows among the latter there is no question that a new party will be promptly organized. A convention to decide this matter will assemble atColumbuson February 22.

The Ohio Valley Budget, published at Wheeling, West Virginia, has just put in a new press, the money for which was raised by the trades unions of the valley. The first labor paper started in Wheeling was compelled to suspend because the local printers refused to print it. The labor organizations thereupon began raising money to buy a press, and the Budget’s machine is the result. A combination of the trades in support of theWheeling typographical union has just succeeded in compelling the daily papers in that corporation-ridden city to take back their union printers.

The cases of the New HavenJournal and Courier boycotters will be argued before the supreme court bench,Hartford, Jan. 14.

The close of the old year was marked by the success of a great strike of the employees of thePhiladelphia,&Readingroad in resisting an attempt to reduce their wages. The reduction appears to have been attempted with a view to throwing on the workmen some portion of the burden to which the unfortunateReadingcompany has been subjected by the blundering of its managers.

On the 1st inst. the board of arbitration, to whom was referred the differences between the coal miners and operators in the MahoningvalleyofOhio, decided that the wages should be advanced from fifty-five to sixty-five cents a ton. The three thousand men interested accept the decision and will return to work.

District Assemblies 57 and 136 of the Knights of Labor have issued a circular describing the active and successful efforts of P. D. Armour, “the largest pork and beef packer in the world,” to prevent the success of the eight hour effort and to break it down after it was once temporarily established. The circular says:

The eight hour system gave general satisfaction to the men, and nowhere upon this continent were there a more cheerful and willing lot of employees than the men of Packingtown. After the second week of the inauguration of the eight our day, the men had reached and passed the old ten hour capacity. Notwithstanding this, D. D. Armour plotted day and night to overthrow a system which gave general satisfaction to the men and placed him at no pecuniary disadvantage. Why! Simply because this domineering commercial autocrat had for once been forced to yield a point to his workmen without his consent.

The circular declares that, despite the rescinding of the resolution of the packers to employ no more Knights of Labor, discrimination against organized labor still continues, and there is a steady importation of “scab” labor by the employers. The circular calls on workmen to treat Mr. Armour with the same hostility that he has displayed toward organized labor. The assemblies suggest that meat prepared in disregard of liberty and justice is not likely to be digestible in the stomachs of workingmen.

Secretary Geis of the recently-formed National Clothing Cutters’ union, says the prospect is for a large and powerful body. AlreadyMilwaukee,Chicago,Cincinnati,Cleveland,Rochester,Syracuse,Baltimore,Philadelphia,Newark, Brooklyn, and, of course,New York, are represented.

It has been decided by the management of the BrooklynEagle to employ union forces in all the departments, form the composing-room to the press-room.

Five striking brewers were arrested inPhiladelphiaon Tuesday by a police lieutenant and two private detectives. When the prisoners were brought before the magistrate their captors testified that they had not seen the men commit any act of violence. The magistrate discharged the men with the remark that they ought not to have been arrested. Nothing has yet been done toward the punishment of the police lieutenant and the private detectives who perpetrated the outrage.

The men on the coal docks at Elizabethport, N. J., struck on Monday against a reduction of wages of two and a half cents an hour. A similar strike took place atBayonne, N. J. As a consequence the collieries of the Wilkesbarre region shipping over the New Jersey Central road are idle, throwing eight thousand men and boys out of work. An attempt is made by the newspapers to throw the responsibility of this misfortune on the dock workmen, but it is difficult to see how the companies that took the initiative in attempting to reduce wages and thus precipitated the strike, can set up such a claim.

The second international convention of spring and axle workers began inAllegheny,Pa., on Tuesday.

It is said that the carpenters ofChicagoare organizing to secure an eight-hour working day during the coming season.

The difference between the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad company and the engineers on thePittsburghdivision of the road have been settled by a compromise.

A conference has been held inPittsburghin regard to the settling of the wages of the employees at the Lucy furnace of Carnegie Brothers’ & Phipps for 1887. An advance was granted to the employees, which generally amounted to ten per cent. In several instances it was from fifteen to twenty per cent.

In his message to the aldermen, Mayor Whitney reminds street car companies that the notion that a company may at its option decline to employ the labor needed to keep its line in action unless it can have men on its own terms, is so preposterously at variance with the law and with common sense that he must attribute its existence to a long period of exemption on the part of our railroad corporations from the restraints alike of reason and public policy.

The Columbia Rolling mill atLancaster,Pa., has increased the wages of puddlers to $4 a ton, to take effect on Monday. This is an advance of 25 cents a ton over the present scale.

The compositors on the two daily papers inMontgomery,Ala., refused to work on Saturday unless composition was advanced from 35 to 37 1/2 cents per thousand, the new price fixed by the union. Their places were partially supplied by members of the Printers’ Protective fraternity fromNew Orleans, and more are on the way fromJacksonville,Fla.The job offices are also involved. About forty men in all are on strike.

The Philadelphia Typographical society celebrated its eighty-fourth anniversary on Saturday evening.

TheBostonbakers have determined to withdraw from the Knights of Labor and form an open trades union attached to the National Bakers’ union.

The semi-annual election of officers to the Chicago Trades assembly took place Sunday. William Klevis was elected president and Frederick Long vice-president. The daily papers record this as a triumph of what they call the “radical” element.

The employees of the South Boston Street Railroad company met on Saturday night to consider the company’s answer to their bill of grievances. The company conceded some important points, notably an advance of the hostlers’ wages to �10 per week. The meeting decided not to tie up, but on points not conceded to give the directors one week to comply with their demands.

The Law and Order society inPittsburghon Sunday had all the cigar stores, confectioneries and “a large number of saloons” closed. “The cigar dealers threaten to retaliate by stopping the street-cars and closing up all kinds of business next Sunday.”

Carnegie Brothers & Co., ofPittsburgh, have decided to build a new steel rail mill at Braddock, and work on the structure will be started within thirty days. The new plant will cost upward of a million dollars and will demand the labor of a large number of men. The company’s works will then have a capacity of 400,000 tons of rail per annum, or about one-third of the entire production of the country.

 

One Comment

  1. Posted March 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for posting this. What a resource it is! I have in mind that the first issue was 8 pages; the text fills 80 pages when I put it into a PDF.

    Many names which surface later in the movement show up here — Thomas Shearman, John Codman, Judge Maguire,

    “The Standard” was in some senses an outgrowth of the NYC Mayoral election of the preceding November.

    I look forward to additional issues!

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