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Ethel Barksdale Wade.


To the Wives, Mothers and Daughters of the Farmers and Laborers of America, Whose Heroic Devotion and Patient Fortitude Helped to Establish American Liberty, and Who Now, as in the Past, are Nobly Aiding in the Second Struggle for Independace, this Volume is Respectively Dedicated, as a Slight Token of the Author's Appreciation of Their Unselfish Devotion.



NO APOLOGY is necessary for the publication of a work of this character. The wide-spread discontent among the laboring masses throughout the country, with a growing desire to know more of the causes which have led to the present depressed condition of the productive interests, has induced the author to give to the public a work which, it is to be hoped, will at least throw some light on questions concerning the interests of the producers. The numerous letters containing kind words of encouragement which the author has received in response to the prospectus sent out, leads him to believe that the book will be kindly received and heartily endorsed by those whose interests he has endeavored to represent. The preparation of such a work is not without its difficulties. The author, having no extensive acquaintance or literary reputation to recommend him to the task, has been compelled to seek from comparative strangers for important data. Much of the information herein contained has come through official sources, and, while as a rule the author's requests have been courteously responded to, in some cases information has been altogether withheld or but tardily given. The result is unavoidable delay in the publication of the book, and a less complete work than it might otherwise have been. While the author is sensible of the fact that the position he has taken upon some of the great questions with which our people are grappling may expose


him to the criticisms of those who honestly differ from him, he expresses the hope that the book will be received in the same spirit of charity in which it is written. It would be a surprise indeed if the work should meet the unqualified approval of all. An effort has been made to truthfully interpret the objects of the Order; to correct the errors which have crept into the organizations; to eradicate false doctrines and harmonize conflicting elements which are the outgrowth of an improper understanding of the great objects which we are all laboring to accomplish. Due deference has been given to the opinions of our most advanced thinkers. In the discussion of the various questions treated the author has endeavored to keep within the limits of constitutional authority. The work is not prepared in the interest of any political party. While we have endeavored to point out existing evils and false systems, and the connection of either of the political parties therewith, we have done so in the hope that these evils and systems should no longer be condoned, but that the farmers should assert their independence and manhood by demanding the abolition of those evils which oppress the productive classes, with an emphasis which cannot be misunderstood. The preparation of such a work is no small task. The author sensibly realizes the responsibility resting upon him in its production. If he has erred, he fondly hopes it has been on the side of mercy and the oppressed people. Being one among, and of the laboring classes, he could not well err otherwise. He hopes that fifteen years connection with labor organizations, and constant application to the study of their objects, and of the evils to which the farmer is subjected, has contributed to some extent to fit him for the preparation of a work of this kind. He would, however, feel that his duty had been but partially discharged were he to omit to acknowledge his indebtedness to the many good brethren who have


so kindly assisted him in obtaining much of the information embraced in this volume. For want of space we are compelled to omit mention of their names. They are composed principally of the Presidents and Secretaries of the State and National Wheels and Alliances. We trust that the careful perusal of this work will incite our members to greater effort and inspire within them more love and pride of our noble Order.

Preface to the Third Edition.

In this, the third and revised edition, the author desires to acknowledge his appreciation of the generous reception which the members and officers of the Order have given the book. As a work devoted to the cause of reform it has had the usual obstacles that books of that nature have to overcome. But we are pleased to state that its success is now assured. In this edition we are gratified to state that we give the public a much better book than in the former. The history of the organization, which is sweeping like a cyclone the whole country and producing revolutions of the most astonishing character, is truthfully told. For most of the information relating to the history of the Order in the various States and Territories we are indebted to the Presidents and Secretaries of the State organizations. Hence we have it from an official source. To the many friends of the cause who have so kindly furnished us information and statistics we take pleasure in acknowledging our obligations. Hoping the revised edition of the book will meet with the same generous patronage and friendly notice as the former editions we are,

HARDY, ARK., November 27, 1890.



"IN THE sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread," is the decree of Almighty God. Since the earliest stages of human history, man's effort to shun this decree has led to crime. For this reason usury was forbidden. Had it been intended that "In the sweat of thy brother's face thou shalt eat bread," it would have been so ordained. Usury and monopoly would have been consistent with divine law, and the best agents to secure that end. But for these crimes God destroyed the nations.

"Thou hast taken usury and increase and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbor by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord God. Behold, therefore, I have smitten my hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which has been in the midst of thee." — (Ezekiel xxii, 12, 13.)

As far back as we have any history of the human family, there has been a constant struggle between those who tilled mother earth, and those who sought to live and thrive by manipulating the products of the soil. In the early history of the nations of the old world, it was the common belief that a certain portion of the people possessed the right to collect taxes and tithes, and impose burdens upon the producing classes. For many centuries it was believed that kings ruled by divine right, and that their descendants were entitled to places of distinction and privileges, on account of their birth, to which the common


people could never attain. Among the oligarchies of the old world this sentiment still prevails to a great extent. This gave rise to a large, idle and extravagant class of nobility that, in time, became so numerous, so profligate in their expenditures, immoral in their social relations and corrupt in the administration of justice, that the people rose up against those abuses, and, in many instances, deposed the king, slew the nobility, and undertook to found a government whose principles were established on popular rights. But for many years, ignorance of the masses and conflicting elements, led by selfish and ambitious partisans, frustrated the objects of the larger class of people who worshipped at the shrine of liberty. History, however, furnishes a few instances of short duration where such attempts were successful. It was not until the art of printing was discovered, and education of the masses had gained considerable headway, that a general desire for more freedom of speech, thought and action began to make itself felt among the potentates of the old and new worlds. The great reforms that have been accomplished within the last two centuries, and the errors that have been eradicated from our religious, social and political systems, are the natural outgrowth of popular education. As the mind is freed from the clouds of ignorance, and new light is shed upon all the forms of nature, the laws of God and the ways of mankind, there is a natural and innate desire for more freedom of action. It might be thought that in a government like ours, where the constitution guarantees the fullest freedom of speech and liberty of action, that the discontent everywhere prevailing is without foundation. But if we study the history of American legislation for the past twenty-five years, and mark well its tendency in the interests of the few and against that of the great masses of the people, it will indicate a hidden power as diabolical in its nature, sinuous in


its character and far-reaching in its consequences as that of the ambitious kings and despotic rulers of the past. That the people could be made a party to a crime against their own interests and liberties, is only another evidence that the ingenuity of man directed to the accomplishment of diabolical and hellish schemes, can keep pace with the progress of the age, and will ever be present to frustrate, if possible, the establishment of governments and institutions founded upon humanitarian principles. But, that this is the fault of the people, is no reparation for existing evils, or guarantee of future safety. "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." The conspirators against American liberty have discovered a new scheme by which they expect to carry out their infamous plans. As the press, the moulder of public opinion, ushered into the world a new civilization, it has been seized and its power is now directed to the enslavement of the people. The power of the press is not realized by the great body of the people. It can sow seeds of error that generations may not eradicate. It can soothe the passions or arouse the prejudices. Its power over the public mind is as potent as the wand of the famous magicians of the East. The press is controlled and has been for years, by the money power of the nation. The agricultural masses, the most numerous and important of any class of people forming the great body of the republic, and whose interests are identical, are kept divided upon the great issues which affect their welfare. They are robbed by an infamous system of finance; they are plundered by transportation companies; they are imposed upon by an unjust system of tariff laws; they are deprived of their lands and other property by an iniquitous system of usury; they are fleeced by the exorbitant exactions of numerous trusts; they are preyed upon by the merchants, imposed upon by the lawyers, misled by the politician and seem to be regarded as the legitimate prey of all other


classes. Monopoly names the price of what they have to sell, and charges them what it pleases for what they are compelled to buy. The farmer may hold his crop in vain, for when he does put it on the market he finds that the same manipulators govern and fix the price of his products. Individual effort is fruitless. The relentless, remorseless and unyielding grasp of monopoly is upon every avenue of trade and commerce. Extortion is demanded with an audacity that was never surpassed by the Dick Turpins or Jack Ketches of English highways. They lay tribute with as much authority as the vassal lords and princes of feudal times. If they are asked what right they have to do this, their answer would be the same as the highway-man's: "Because we can. It is a private affair of our own." When this state of affairs exists throughout the whole country; when these modern barons are levying tribute on everything the farmer sells and all that he buys, is it to be wondered at, that the law of self-preservation is forcing him to unite with his fellow sufferers to repel these encroachments upon his rights? Is it expected that he is to apologize for making a united effort to repel the invader? The organization of farmers is the outgrowth of an invasion of their natural rights. Such an organization was that of the Grange. If it only partially succeeded, it was not on account of a lack of honest effort, but because it did not go far enough to reach the root of the evils of which it complained. It sought to correct existing abuses by abolishing the middle-man. This would afford but partial relief. The man who was in sight suffered, but the hidden enemy laughed in derision. It disarmed itself by prohibiting political discussion. The root of the evil lay in the laws. Monopolies exist by law, are chartered by law, and should be controlled by law. A trust is a conspiracy against legitimate trade. It is against the interests of the people and the welfare of the public. It is demoralizing


in its influence, inconsistent with free institutions and dangerous to our liberties. To participate in a trust should be a crime subject to severe punishment. Trust is only another name for monopoly. Monopoly is wielding a greater power in the government than the people. While general discontent prevails, the masses of the people who suffer all the evils of class legislation have been disunited, and charging each other with being the cause of their ills. But the light of a new era is dawning. The farmers have begun to realize that a law that is good for one of them is beneficial to all; that their interests are identical, and that the only hope of reform is to lay down all prejudice and make a united effort. In the North, in the South, everywhere, the farmers are organizing. They are adopting systems of trade and studying questions of political economy as they never did before. Mistakes may occur, as no doubt they will. Their track may be strewn with wrecks of failures; but they will move on; they cannot do otherwise; self-preservation drives them to unity of action.

The walls of prejudice are being battered down. The North and South will join hands against a common foe. The New England farmer will grasp the hand of his sun-tanned brother of the South and West. The cry of universal brotherhood shall pierce the pine-clad hills of Maine. Its reverberations will be heard among the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire. It shall float out upon the soft sea breezes, until encircling the Atlantic and Gulf coasts it reaches the maritime metropolis of the Lone Star State. It will rebound over the rock-ribbed hills and through the forests of Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky and Missouri. Its welcome sound will float over the prairies of the rich and fertile states of the great Northwest, and be wafted across the continent, where ocean's proud wave kisses the shores of the Golden State. The independent manhood of the country is rising up in


defense of its liberties. An army of oppressed producers are organizing for victory. They are marshalling their hosts on the hilltops of freedom. Upon their banner they have inscribed: "Liberty, Justice and Equality." A million hearts are beating in response to this sentiment, and millions of arms are ready to defend it. The march of this mighty army is already felt by the enemy, intrenched behind the fortresses of King Mammon. With flying banners and an irresistible force, they are moving, inspired with a confidence that says the victory is already won. The Wheel and Alliance stand to-day like a young army flushed with victory, without regret for the past, or fear for the future. Let us fondly hope that their mission may be accomplished, and peace, prosperity and happiness may be the inheritance which they bequeath to future generations.


Book First.

Chapter I. Labor.

At no time, perhaps, in the world's history, certainly at no time in the history of the American Republic, has the question of Labor received as much of the public attention and been the theme of so much political controversy as at present and for the past few years. To enter into a detailed account or discussion of all the causes which have led to the present wide-spread labor agitation would result in filling the pages of a larger volume than is at present proposed by the author.

Perhaps one of the greatest causes — though somewhat remote in its nature — that has contributed to the present condition of labor throughout the world, is the false theories advanced by certain accepted and influential statesmen in relation to that branch of political economy. To affirm that labor constitutes the most important feature in the science of political economy, is but to state a truth that has been proven by experience, and emphasized by some of the most eminent authorities.

While this is true, however, it does not follow that the relation which labor bears to civilization, progress, and a higher state of general prosperity, has been given the prominence which its importance deserves, or been the


recipient of the reward to which it is entitled. In all ages and in all countries labor has at times paused in its various vocations and demanded at the hands of the state better compensation for its services.

If we were to trace the causes of discontent which have led to a revolt on the part of the laboring classes, we should perhaps discover that in nine tenths of the cases they were the natural outgrowth of excessive taxation or of falling prices, either of which would indirectly affect the wages of labor. We say indirectly because it is the most effectual way of accomplishing a reduction of wages without provoking a general revolt. Although the means are sinuous, the result is always the same, and in either case culminates in inadequate compensation. That in some cases this may be due to natural causes, such as drouth, floods, famine and pestilence, is a fact that no one will attempt to deny; but that in a majority of cases the burdens are imposed by an unwise and unequal system of laws is equally true. In order to more properly simplify the subject proposed to be treated in this chapter, it will be necessary to devote a small space to a discussion of the elementary principles of labor. In this age of progress and intellectual development, it is a question whether we are justifiable in accepting some of the principles laid down by accepted and eminent authorities in the science of this branch of English political economy. Or, perhaps, it were better to say that the student of the standard authorities is at a loss to know which of the theories to accept as more nearly correct. Some of these principles are stated as follows: "Man has a natural aversion to labor;" "Each man is naturally in an attitude of hostility to every other man." We prefer rather to accept the more recent one laid down by an American writer, that, "man's activities are instinctive and naturally pleasurable." The latter is evinced in the almost constant activity of the


child; in man in a natural or savage state; and in man in his civilized state after he has acquired a competency for life. Another and very important feature in addition to man's instinctive desire to labor is the incentive to do so. It is well to remark here that what some writers have styled "aversion to labor," might more properly have been termed a lack of an incentive to do so; in other words, an inadequate compensation. Men do not "strike" because they have an aversion to labor, but for better wages, or for less working hours, which is equivalent to the same thing. This incentive to labor is one of the most important features of our subject; in fact it is the subject itself. We will leave it to others to discuss the matter from a physiological and scientific standpoint and only address ourselves to the more practical points as they appear to us.

Man has a natural desire to better his own condition. This principle alone, uninfluenced by any other motives, indicates universal selfishness, and is, according to Dr. Smith, "so powerful a principle that it alone, and without any assistance, is capable of carrying society to wealth and prosperity." If we were ready to admit that among men there was no benevolence, no generosity, we might pause here; but almost if not equal to the incentive to serve one's self, comes the desire to provide for the family. In addition to this man has a natural pride of State that is an incentive to serve the community outside of pure motives of selfishness. With a part or all of these incentives man enters the field of labor. He is an integral part of the whole, and over him and each one of the whole "is the community, governing the laborer by its unwritten rules, paying him his real wages and fixing the order of his life." The natural law of labor is, that the laborer is entitled to all the fruits of his toil. There is no variation to this rule. It is fixed upon the universal law of nature, and any infringement upon it is not only repugnant to the


laborer but is dangerous to the welfare of the State. There is, however, a difficulty arising in the application of the rule where labor becomes mixed with other forms of capital, such as material, machinery, etc. To properly and equitably eliminate it and fix a just reward for the laborer, is a problem that should commend itself to all who would reach the bottom of the "labor question."

The true principle, and one that would forever settle strikes, riots and all differences between labor and capital, is, that the laborer should be rewarded according to that that he does, and not according to what the employer can get the labor performed for. We are aware of the fact that when we make this remark we are treading on debatable ground, but if it is necessary, in order to sustain our position, we can fall back upon that universal natural law, "The laborer is entitled to all the fruits of his toil." A universal violation of this rule would culminate in the adoption of the barbaric one that "might makes right," and the weak would be compelled to succumb to the strong. For certain reasons which we have neither time nor space to discuss here, men are better than the laws they live under. If we are asked why, we simply reply it has always been, and for certain physiological and moral reasons, will ever be so. Were it not a fact, the selfishness of those who have unjustly, though legally, acquired capital in our own country, coming in contact with the interests of, and robbing labor of its profits, would have ere this produced a revolution. But a spirit of forbearance born of the fathers of the Revolution, and an instinctive dread of the horrors of war have often averted such a catastrophe. But he who closes his eyes to the fact that the world is approaching a crisis without a parallel, in some respects, in all its past history, must be either influenced by a spirit of selfishness which has characterized tyrants of all ages, or densely ignorant of the ominous import of


such wide-spread dissatisfaction among the producing classes throughout the world. The fires of discontent are burning on both continents. Where the freedom of speech is denied the foundation of governments are honeycombed with secret societies. Where freedom of speech is permitted labor organizations under various names, but all having the same object — self protection — in view, are springing into existence. The rapidity of growth and the number of these organizations is absolutely without a parallel. To assume that there is no just cause for all this uprising on the part of labor would be equivalent to courting national suicide. Some will contend that competition will correct all inequalities arising in the various conditions of labor. Adam Smith says, "it is the great regulator of industrial action. It is beneficent, just and equalizing. In the market of the world it is what gravitation is in the mechanism of the heavens, an all combining and balancing and beneficent law. Any invasion of this principle is contrary to the law of nature and of sound political economy." This might perhaps be true if we had, or it were possible to have, like competition in all things; and while it will apply to the markets of the world in the sale of the products of labor there are various conditions in the sphere of expenditure of wages which it cannot affect; and as to the things which might be affected by it, it is injurious or has a trick of failing at the moment something is expected of it. Taxes, to which every man owning property is liable, is not affected by competition; and, when we speak of taxes we mean both direct and indirect. Rents are practically unaffected by it, as also a number of other things to which the laborer is subject and over which competition exerts no influence. Competition in wages, when based upon necessity, is decidedly injurious and signifies an unhealthy condition of the industrial interests of the country. Competition in commerce, trade


and transportation fails "at the moment something is expected of it," because it leads to combination. In proof of this theory we have only to point to the numerous trusts that have sprung up in our country within the past ten years, and to the consolidation of numerous railroad companies. In the latter part of Dr. Smith's proposition, however, we most heartily concur; "Any invasion of this principle (competition) is contrary to the law of nature and of sound political economy." And right here we might as well add, that the violation of this principle is one among the many causes which are responsible for the present condition of American labor. Competition is killed by combination, and the laws of trade are perverted to the end that the few are enabled to enrich themselves at the expense of the many. Having briefly considered some of the elementary principles relating to labor we are enabled to make the following general deductions.

First. — Man is naturally disposed to take pleasure in remunerative employment.

Second. — He is justly entitled to the fruits of his own labor.

Third. — Any violation of this natural law will breed social disorder, and an universal violation will bring national calamity. Add to this that labor creates all wealth and provides not only the necessities of life, but all the comforts and luxuries; that wealth is only past labor — power over nature — crystalized into tokens of value, called money, and controlled in many cases by those who have performed but little labor themselves. The wealth of the Vanderbilts, Rothchilds and Goulds is but the accumulated labor of millions who have received but a part of a just reward for their services. The individual laborer is not the master of his own actions. He must work or suffer and is therefore compelled to submit to the exactions of his employer who is also his master. He is but an integral


part of the society or community which "fixes the condition of his life." Society is the State or government in which he lives. He must therefore appeal to the State for that relief which he has tried in vain to reach through the instrumentality of strikes. An associated effort on the part of the community — or State — of which the laborer is a part may go far towards correcting the evils to which he is subject. A community may be a force tending to a better or worse order of life, as it may happen; or its power may be wielded for evil by the more perfect association of a large and influential portion of its members. It is no longer a matter of doubt but that the American laborer has just grounds of complaint against the assisted importation of cheap labor from foreign countries. In its encouragement, and our "haste to become rich and mighty," we find ourselves confronted with a question that threatens the very foundations of our social and political structures. The community is a sick man suffering from the antisocial disorders of ignorance, selfishness and unlimited competition. The hypocritical philanthropists have thought it a good practice to give the patient fresh doses of ignorance and barbarism. They seem to be charmed with the near dollar to be made out of cheap labor, but utterly ignore the inevitable degradation of the community, and its peril to the estate of those who are fortunate enough to accumulate anything, and to the future of the Republic.


Chapter II. Labor's Wrongs.

IT is not proposed in this chapter to enter into a detailed discussion of the many ills to which the laborer, and more especially the farmer, has been subjected for many years. The more important among these have received due attention in the second part of this volume. To deny that these evils exist — and to an alarming extent — is to commit a folly that is nothing less than criminal; and to universally ignore, is a national crime. Whatever may be said of trade and commerce and the professions, it has long been evident to earnest thinkers that the farmers were the most cruelly oppressed class of our community. It is certainly a very unfortunate and unnatural condition of society that dooms the principal and the most useful portion of the producing class to the greatest amount of oppression; but such is the evil that is upon us. For many years the country has been suffering from evils of which all have been conscious, but which it would seem none have had the courage or wisdom to correct. Prominent among these are the burdens that have been fastened upon the people by the reckless and unscrupulous course of the great railroad monopolies that have sprung up in our midst. These vast and powerful corporations have established a series of abuses which have gradually and almost effectually undermined the solid basis upon which our internal commerce was supposed to rest. They have debauched and demoralized our Courts and Legislatures; have bribed and


taken into their pay the high public officials charged with the making and execution of our laws; have robbed the nation of a domain sufficient to constitute an empire; have flooded the land with worthless stocks and other so called securities; have established a system of gambling at our financial centres that has resulted in a financial crisis which covered the whole land with ruin and suffering; have set at defiance the laws of the land and have trampled upon individual and public rights and liberties, openly boasting that they are too powerful to be made amenable to the law; and not content with all this, not satisfied with the ruin they have wrought, they continue to petition the law making power to give them still greater means of robbing and oppressing the people. It is useless to deny the facts. The issue has got to be met. We have had bountiful seasons and our crops have been abundant. Indeed the abundance of the crops has been one of the alleged causes of the present hard times. The farmers have been economical and industrious. They have had the use of improved machinery. Yet in the face of all this, the cold stern fact confronts us that the condition of the American farmer is growing gloomier with each succeeding year. In fact, as has been remarked by the Governor of one of our Western States, and as a matter capable of proof, the railroads have to a considerable extent ceased to figure on rates at which they can afford to carry freight, but have made a calculation of what a thing can be produced at and a bare subsistence obtained by the producers, and they take the difference between this figure and the market price of the article at the point of delivery, for freight charges. Nor is the great railway corporations the only means of oppression with which the farmer has to contend. From the time that his produce leaves him until it reaches the consumer, whether domestic or foreign, it does not move nor go through a single transition that some relentless, grasping


and powerful corporation does not lay a tribute thereon. And this is true, not only for what he sells, but on everything he buys these same exacting corporate monopolies, trusts and combinations which are protected by legal enactment, and their property guarded by armed detectives, have levied their contributions. A few men combine and make the price of beef and pork; of steel and iron; of sugar and salt, nails, earthenware, cotton bagging, binder twine, and of almost every other article of necessity to the farmer. A combination will "bear" the price of wheat down today and the "bulls" will toss it up tomorrow. The dealer or producer ships for the high price and his grain reaches the market after the "bulls" have unloaded and the bottom has gone out of prices. Another serious drawback and heavy tax upon the farmer is the exorbitant prices he is compelled to pay for supplies while raising his crop, and this is more especially true if he buys on a credit, as most farmers do, especially in the Southern States. We do not mean to say that the town or country merchant is making too much money; it is the system that is at fault more than the men. Those merchants do precisely what the farmer would do if he was in the same business; and those of the farmers who think most are beginning to see that they are in a great manner responsible for the system. As has been remarked a majority of the farmers buy their goods of the local traders on credit, paying when they sell their crops. These traders have, therefore, in fixing their prices, to make allowance for bad debts and for interest. But as they do not receive cash, they of course cannot buy for cash, and the wholesale merchants who carry the traders have to be paid for their risks and loss of interest. And besides all this, there is hardly a town in which there is not about twice as many stores as there ought to be. It is a mistake to think, that by overcrowding the business in small towns the people get the benefit of competition. Where


there are two stores and only trade enough for one, their owners combine and arrange the prices, between them, being sure to put them high enough so that both can live.

It is hardly worth while to dwell upon the evils of giving a mortgage on a crop yet to be raised, or upon the farm animals and implements with which it is made, a practice that is very common among Southern farmers. The idea is so repugnant to common sense, and the practice fraught with such far reaching evils, that the only wonder is that such a law is permitted to remain upon the statute book among a civilized people. We do not wish to convey the idea that we are making a wholesale onslaught on the means of transportation and the persons engaged therein, and in the trades of various kinds.

As public benefactors the railroads take their place first among the great discoveries of the nineteenth century; but they should not be used as a means of oppression. Against Jay Gould, Russell Sage and other great railroad men, who, by the force of their genius have acquired control of thousands of miles of railroad and accumulated millions of dollars of wealth, we have no personal fight to make. They were perhaps only actuated by the instinctive desire possessed by most men to become rich and powerful. They are perhaps no worse than other men would be occupying the same position. But they are the representatives of the worst system of despotism in existence, and they are shrewd enough to regard the interest of their roads as paramount to that of the public. The constitution gives to Congress the power to regulate commerce between the States, but for years the presidents of the trunk lines between the East and West have been exercising that power, and fixing the price that the farmer shall have for the products of his farm. It is certainly inconsistent with free institutions to lodge such power in the hands of a few men who have every incentive to abuse


it, and it remains for the people to say how long such a state of affairs shall continue. This power is used against the interests of the people. This despotism in common with that of other monopolies threatens them in every relation of their national life. It exacts tribute from them with as much authority as the Jack Shephards who meet you upon the highways with the command "stand and deliver." And the great wealth made by the representatives of this imperial despotism is made up of the aggregation of the sums wrung from the people through the instrumentality of these grinding monopolies. Such vast power as these men possess would be a never ceasing source of danger in the hands of disinterested persons. It is doubly so when the insatiate desire to pile up wealth is the incentive to an abuse of that power. The people owe it to themselves to curtail their powers, and to render them harmless by subjecting them to a series of regulations which shall compel them to respect the rights of the community to whom they are indebted for the very existence of the roads. The people have a right to do this and it should be done promptly. There is no necessity for placing burdens on the roads heavier than they can bear. They have a right to a fair return for their investments, but they have no right to plunder the public. A series of wise and liberal regulations will protect the people against railroad tyranny and extortion, and at the same time enable the roads to do a profitable business. The burden of excessive rates is perhaps more keenly felt by the Western and Southern farmers than their brethren in the East. This becomes more apparent when we take into consideration the fact that the entire corn crop of the United States for the year 1887 was 1,456,000,000 bushels; and of wheat 456,000,000 bushels. Of this the States of Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas,


Minnesota, Wisconsin and Dakota raised 1,145,000,000 bushels of corn, and 339,000,000 bushels of wheat; or more than three fourths of the entire product of the United States. All the surplus of this vast area must pass over the rail-roads to find a market. The cost of transportation to the East consumes one half, and in some instances three fourths of the value of the grain products of the farm, and the farmer's profits are made small in order that heavy freights might be paid and large profits gained by the companies. But an unjust tariff rate is not the only evil which the railroad companies impose upon the farmer. They fre-quently by iniquitous combination dictate the dealer to whom he shall sell the products of his farm.

Said an Iowa farmer recently: "The railroads of this State discriminate unjustly against the farmers in the transportation of crops; that is, give other men advantages which they deny to farmers. Let me explain: here is a wheat or corn buyer who makes a living by purchasing grain of the farmers and shipping it to Chicago. Of course he makes a profit on it — grows rich in fact. Now the farmers think that if they ship their own grain directly to Chicago they might save the profit that this middleman makes. They engage a lot of cars, load them, and send them forward, but they find when they have paid the freight and the other expenses which the middleman must necessarily also incur, they don't have as much left for their grain as he offered them. Now how is that explained? The railroad company gives the grain trader a drawback on the grain he ships, which it refuses to the farmers; and in some instances, at least, these traders are in partnership with railway officials. I thought when the idea of cooperative shipments was first proposed, that these favors were given solely on account of the amount of business that these men brought to the railroads. I supposed that the deductions were simply those that would


be naturally made to wholesale trade, and in speeches to farmers I told them so. But we have learned differently, for when our farmers have combined and offered freight in large quantities to the railroad companies, they have refused to give us the advantages which they give the favorites.

The terms of these contracts are secret. But we know that they must be considerable, or these men who have them could not make so much money. You see what this kind of railroad management amounts to. The company comes in and says: 'You shall sell your grain to a certain man and for a certain price, which we will fix.' That's one thing we complain of, and we will not long submit to it. But I have not told you all. In certain cases the roads have fixed the rates of freight very high, and then men have appeared among farmers, offering to buy our produce at prices just a shade higher than it would net us to ship it ourselves, but at rates much below what it ought to bring us. We have often supposed that these men were the agents of the railroad companies or of the railroad managers. If our suspicions were correct, you see what an outrage on the farmers it was.

"The railroad people knowing our necessities, and that many of us are obliged to sell, even at a loss, for the purpose of obtaining money, first arbitrarily fix the price of our produce and then force us to sell to them.

"Nor are these discriminations confined to our shipments East. They discriminate in favor of certain men in bringing freight westward, and in that way force us to trade with those men. Take salt, for instance, and let an association of farmers and a local trader purchase the same amount at the same price in Chicago. When that salt is in Iowa, the local trader, if there is strong competition, will retail it to the farmers cheaper than what their own cost them with the freight added. Now there must be some cat in the meal (or salt). It may be that in some


cases the wholesale dealer may give the Iowa trader a drawback; but in others we know that he is favored with special rates by the railroads which they refuse to give to others shipping the same goods in like amount."

Said another farmer: "The great railroad corporations first extort from us everything they possibly can, and then they turn us over to Chicago to be still further plundered. Why, they don't allow us to say which elevator our grain shall go into when it reaches Chicago; we have no redress if the railroad don't deliver as much grain as we ship from here, and it is utterly impossible for us to have any of our grain passed as ‘No. 1.’ We may ship the best wheat that ever went to Chicago, and the probabilities are that they will mix it up with their ‘imperial’ wheat and make a ‘No. 2’ that will bring a higher price, and the increase that we ought to have goes to the owner of the elevator. We have no particular interest in Chicago's prosperity; indeed, if our grain could go forward without going into Chicago to be taxed for the benefit of her speculators, we should be much better off."

Mr. Stephen Smith, an Illinois farmer, speaking for the men of his calling in his own State, says: "For the past ten or twelve years the conviction has been gradually forcing itself upon us that something was wrong in our affairs; for while every other industry was being fairly remunerated, we have been steadily going behind, until poverty, if not bankruptcy, stared us in the face. We found that, while we labored harder and more hours than the artisan and workman in other pursuits, we were forced to content ourselves with poorer food and clothing, with fewer social privileges, and less opportunities for mental cultivation than they.

"We could not help seeing that if they were as steady and industrious as we, they were able to live in better houses, and had more money to spend in their adornment


than we had; that if they had the taste for such things, as most of them had, they had more pictures, books and newspapers and more leisure to enjoy them, than we, and that they often indulged in such luxuries as lectures, concerts, excursions, and festivals, while it was rare, indeed, that we could afford to give wife and children one of these treats. Then we began to see that the men who did nothing but handle the products of our labor were still better off, and were getting rich while we were growing poor; that those who supplied us with the implements for our work added from twenty to fifty per cent, to the original cost, and charged it over to us; that the merchant and grocer who supplied us with necessaries in their line never forgot their profits; that the lawyer, who spent half an hour in drawing up the mortgage on our farm, charged us what would be equal to four days of our labor; that to the doctor who came five or six miles into the country to cheer the coming or speed the departing member of our family, we paid the price of an acre of corn or five days labor with our team; that the teacher, for whose education we had paid, earned as much in six hours as we could in six days of sixteen hours each; and so on through all the branches of trade, professions or productions, we found all getting a fair, and some an exorbitant, profit on their commodities and services with which our own would bear no comparison."

"Is it any wonder," says the New York Tribune commenting upon this declaration, "that the men who turned from their hard labor and profitless crops to see these features of their surroundings should put up the cry, ‘There's something wrong about all this’? And the story is not much exaggerated; from the farmer's point of view not at all, but on the contrary, very mildly stated. You may say some of these things that seem so unjust are but the natural and inevitable accompaniments of the profession


of agriculture; that men take up and follow farming knowing all its disadvantages and risks of the business; that they go into it with their eyes open, and that even with these drawbacks the business is overdone, and low prices are brought about by over-production. But with all that, you do not remove or explain the patent injustice which always stares the farmer in the face, that all his neighbors in other pursuits and occupations are getting rich and living in comfort upon the profits of his business and his labor. For many of the discomforts and privations of their lot there are compensations, of course. They do not deny this, though they could hardly be expected to enumerate them in the recital of their complaints, for they belong to the other side of the case. On the other side of the case, too, are considerations that pertain to the kind of crops they raise, whether they could not make their business more profitable by the exercise of sounder judgment in the choice of crops to be produced, and other similar suggestions. But underlying all this is a grievance actual and tangible, and that is their present and immediate objective point, to-wit: The absolute power over them and their business of the railroad corporations which have been created by their votes. They have seen the railroads discriminating against them in freight tariffs and paying no heed to remonstrance or protest. They have appealed to Legislatures and Courts, and found themselves met with the money and power of great moneyed corporations; and finally they have betaken themselves to organization and to trying the force of numbers for the acquisition of what they believe to be their rights. They may be striking out in some cases blindly and in a hasty, unreasonable way; but what they mean to do is to agitate the subject until it gets some attention and some thought from men competent to devise a remedy, or at least a relief." The evils complained of by Mr. Smith are not imaginary, as will be seen


by the following statistics given by another Illinois fanner:

"Chas. F. Mills, secretary and statistican for the State Board of Agriculture, is a worker of ability, and in volume 22, page 271, Agricultural Reports, I find a table of figures, headed corn — the leading crop in Illinois, containing more bushels, and representing more value than all other tillage crops combined. This table gives the average yield per acre, bushels produced, price per bushel, total value, cost of producing an acre, and then columns for loss or profit on producing cost of crop. The table includes each year from 1860 to 1885. The cost of producing an acre of corn, Mr. Mills gives at $10.50, and this amount, he informs me, includes rental of land and taxes, and I believe this amount to be a fair average cost for producing an acre. We find, then, the corn crop was produced

For year 1882, at a loss of... $1,273,57
For year 1883, at a loss of... 8,621,440
For year 1884, at a loss of... 11,780,557
For year 1885, at a loss of... 10,831,701
For year 1886, at a loss of... 19,870,259
Total loss in five years... $52,377,528

And two-thirds of the farms that made this loss are mortgaged. Can these mortgages be paid? Does farming in Illinois pay? Turning to page 259, same report, I find corn, wheat, oats and rye were all grown at a loss for the year 1884. Hay, *barley and Irish potatoes alone showing a profit above cost of production. These facts being true, and they are sustained by good authority, is it not true, then, that farming in Illinois does not pay? And in that fact alone we find the reason why people are leaving the farm. "Whither are we drifting," and can we continue to thus blindly drift in safety?


"The working people, if goaded to desperation, have the strength of a Sampson. The extremely rich, and the extremely poor, are opposing forces — the dangerous classes in society, and on the increase. Again I call the Chicago News statistican to the witness stand. Under the heading, "cause of decline," meaning farming, he uses the following language: ‘In the condition of the farming population of Illinois, the richest agricultural State in the Union, there is food for serious thought. Why, with the general increase in wealth, the increase in purchasing power of the wages now paid the trades and professions, the enormous expansion in traffic and business — why do we find the condition of the farmer unimproved, or worse even than ten, twenty or thirty years ago; discontented and restless, piling up mortgages, drifting towards peasantry and serfdom?’ ‘Agriculture, more than all else, lies at the basis of our prosperity, and there must be something abnormal in our fundamental conditions when the creative half of the population enjoys less of the fruits of its labors than the dependent industries, trades and professions; when a stupendously increasing aggregation of wealth and population in the cities is attended by a diminution in numbers and a steadily growing impoverishment of the agricultural classes.’

"If a farmer had said so much as this he would be called a grumbler. But be that as it may, I ask, who gets all the profits on farming? It goes mainly to the tax-gatherer, money-loaner and transportation companies. For want of time I will discuss the profits on only one of these — transportation companies — and see if they be one of the robbers. Here again I submit facts stronger than any words of mine. Here I stop to remark that we are all proud of our railroad system and its management. In it we have a State pride; as a system surpassing that of any other State in the Union. Their management is in the


hands of men of ability, and integrity too. Those men are entrusted with these immense properties to make money for the companies, and in this, are doing only what thousands of good men would do under like circumstances. The wrong is mainly in a system of laws and the administration thereof that permits corporations to take advantage of the people.

"Here, then, is the railroad and warehouse commissioners' report for the year 1884. These reports are made up from the books of the corporations, and are said to be substantially correct. On page 472 is a table giving earnings, expenses and net income for that year from their Illinois business. This table includes all the railroads in the State, or so much of each one as is within the State, and giving their earnings within the State also. I find their total income from all sources for 1884 to be $56,457, 238, and their total operating expenses, repairs and taxes to be $36,473,227, leaving a balance of net profits on that year's business of $20,097,554.

"Pretty good. It is near 36 per cent, of the entire gross receipts. For the year 1886 I find the balance of profit to be some more, but will omit the figures.

"Then what was the difference in profits between the farmers and the railroad companies upon their respective businesses for the year 1884 within the State? The rail-road companies had a net increase of $20,097,554, but how did the account stand with the farmers? Volume 22 of the Agricultural Report shows that on the production of the corn crop in 1884, there was a loss of $11,780,559, and on the wheat crop for the same year there was a loss of $8,897,389, making a total on corn and wheat that year of $20,677,948. This shows a loss of near $600,000 more than the railroad companies' net gain. To meet these losses and pay the tax-gatherer and money-loaner mort-gages had to be made.


"The better to show who gets the money, please note the following: As stated above, the total income for all the roads in the State for 1884 was $56,457,238. Now how much of the farmers' produce would be required to pay this sum? Value of beef cattle sold the same year, $32,251,145; hogs the same year, $24,886,854; surplus wheat sold the same year, $13,199,522 — total, $60,505, 623. (Arg. Rep. Vol. 22.)

"Sales from beef cattle, hogs and wheat comprise nearly all of the farmer's income. From these sales we received $60,607,623, and paid to transportation companies in the same time $56,457,238. The tax gatherer and money lender got the balance.

"Who gets the money? Does farming pay? No! It has ceased to pay! And is there not here a reason, a good and sufficient reason, why agricultural districts are being depopulated? If this state of things shall continue, depopulation will go on until the survival of the fittest only will remain.

"We hear people boast of our boundless resources and our vast aggregation of wealth; of our twelve thousand miles of railroad trackage in the State, and making more every day. Of what avails all this, if the workers in the field, toiling twelve hours a day, cannot make both ends meet? They are sinking, sinking, into a state of dependency on those who control the wealth and resources of the State."

Speaking of the mortgaged condition of the farmers of his State the same man says: "McLean county, in the last three years, and the adjacent counties thereto, have been especially blessed with good crops beyond other counties in the State, but I find from a report that is today only partially made up by the board of labor statistics, that the mortgaged indebtedness of these counties are as follows: McLean county, for the year 1887, 1,752 mortgages


are placed on record for a total sum of $1,542,000, and of these 403 are on farms, incumbering 40,763 acres of land; there was 641 mortgages recorded on town lots for the sum of $566,521, incumbering 982 lots; there were 708 chattel mortgages, mostly on live stock and farm implements for a sum of $213,449. this is the record in McLean county for one year. To show the rate of increase there was nearly one-third more mortgages placed on record last year than in 1880. In De Wit county there was placed on record in 1887, 562 mortgages for a total sum of $444,406; of these 218 were on farm lands and for a sum of $303,058, incumbering 19, 922 acres of land; town lots were mortgaged for $62,875. The prevalence of chattel mortgages is much more in DeWitt than in McLean county, 244 chattel mortgages being recorded for the sum of $78,473. Piatt county is much worse off than DeWitt. For the year 1887, 647 mortgages for the sum of $533,633 were recorded, incumbering 22,128 acres of land; 233 were on farm implements and live stock for $108,132. Still worse in Logan county, 1,112 mortgages were recorded last year; the total sum of these mortgages is $783,135. Just one year's tribute to Shylock on the mortgage record of last year. For the same year 457 farmers had to mortgage their farms, stock and implements to raise $153,037, and more had mortgaged their growing crops. These counties comprise the fourteenth Congressional district, one of the richest agricultural districts in Illinois, and the indebtedness last year was $3,987,336, and 127,218 acres of land were incumbered thereby. The total present mortgage indebtedness of the fourteenth Congressional district is $11,500,000, on which is annually paid interest amounting to $787,500."

If such is the state of affairs in one of the richest agricultural districts of Illinois, how deplorable it must be in those States that are not blessed with the fertility of


soil, and market facilities which has made that State so famous for her "waving fields of golden grain" and her network of railroads.

A Kansas farmer thus tersely states the condition of the farmers in his State. "I have in sixty acres of grain. It takes twenty-five acres of oats to pay my interest on $1,000, and it takes two-thirds of my thirty-five acres of corn to carry the other third to market, leaving less than twelve acres to pay debts, clothe, educate and feed my family. I have an eighty acre farm, stocked, and all worth $3,000, and no other income."

Nor, are the farmers the only sufferers among the great army of laborers. The greed of capital dominates every class of laborers, and women and children are the victims of this relentless car of juggernaut. The New York Sun, referring to the deplorable condition of the working women of that city, says: "Ann Fullmon lives at 618 East Ninth street, New York City. She finishes pantaloons for a living; sews on buttons, makes button-holes, puts on straps, buckles and presses them for 13 cents a pair; averages $2 a week for self and family.

"Kate Crowley makes men's drawers at 10 cents for a dozen pairs. She can finish two dozen pairs in a day by working from 6 a. m. to 9 p. m., and gets 20 cents for her day's labor."

The recent developments of the condition of the working girls of Chicago made by a brave young lady correspondent of the Times of that city is thus briefly told by the Industrial West. "Nothing has been said or printed this year which has caused a more profound sensation, and aroused the indignation of the people more than the series of articles published in the Chicago Daily Times, entitled "City Slave Girls." The Times' lady reporter, Miss Nell Nelson, took upon herself the embarrassing duties of dressing herself in the attire of a factory


girl, and visited, each day, one or more factories where women are employed, where she secured employment and worked a few hours or managed to stay long enough to learn the condition of the employees, and the Times contained the story of misery as seen by Miss Nelson.

"On July 10, she visited the Western Lane factory, 218 State street. There she found the most wretched conditions of poverty and serfdom. As she entered the office she was followed by a young lady who had been crocheting mats, and as she had come to draw her pay and quit the company's service, it gave the reporter an opportunity to make a note of her earnings, and when the clerk opened the books, it was found the poor girl had worked from the first of last January to July 10, for the princely sum of fifteen dollars, and instead of paying her she was put off in a dark room to wait until the proprietor came in. Miss Nelson then applied for work and learned that for making mats of the size and style made by the poor girl, the company had paid 60 cents per dozen; that a dozen was an ordinary week's work, and that all the other grades of work given out by that company were correspondingly the same price. That company lets its work out by the piece and the employees carry it to their homes. The Times reporter found that to get work one must pay two dollars for the privilege, and deposit one dollar to secure the return of the material. The reporter then visited Rosenthal & Co.'s factory and found that the company only pays 50 cents for making a lady's cloak. It was too much for Miss Nelson and she left without further investigation. Her next visit was to Ludden's, 121 Market street, where she applied for work and got it. Holding up a pair of brown cottonade pants, the foreman said, ‘Here is a sample. The work is cut out but you will have to do everything yourself. I want you to make the fly extra strong and press the buttons. We pay seventy-five


cents per dozen and you furnish your own thread.’

"When the reporter objected to the low price, he told her if she preferred she could have cheviot shirts to make at the same price, but having learned all she cared to, she excused herself and proceeded to Never Rip Jersey Factory, 133 West Washington street, where she arrived too late in the day to secure work, but was told to come in the next morning, which she did and was given work, making jerseys at 60 cents per dozen. On entering the work-room her heart nearly failed as she beheld the wretched serfs and surveyed the low ceiling, with its scanty light, bad ventilation, and inhaled the sickening odors and foul air from the dyed fabrics and a long row of water closets which projected from the wall. In this factory she stayed long enough to earn 25 cents. At noon, she says, the machinery stopped and 120 working women were given 30 minutes in which to eat their dinners.

"The reporter says she counted thirty-seven women who made their dinner on dry bread alone, fifteen with sandwiches; ten ate cold pancakes, and twenty-three had no dinner whatever.

"‘Oh, God! that bread should be so dear, and flesh and blood so cheap.’

"While there, the reporter gives an account of one poor exhausted slave, who went into the water closet and was found asleep in the sickening stench. She was carried out and when a breath of fresh air was given her, her wasted energies revived, and she told how, six months before she came from England with every hope of bettering her condition, only to plunge deeper into the jaws of slavery. In the evening the reporter went to the sale room to price a jersey and was asked $2.50 for the identical jersey she had finished for five cents.

"The invincible reporter finds herself next day, in the foul and murky confines of Ellinger's cloak factory,


282 Madison street. There she found the usual price for making a cloak was 50 cents, and but few could make a cloak in a day; but for cloaks above a certain grade, the company paid 65 cents, which was divided, the stitcher getting 20 cents, the binder 15 cents, and the maker 30 cents; providing the workmanship withstood the closest inspection; if not it was condemned and no credit given for the work, or the girls compelled to make it over. The reporter undertook the job of making one at 65 cents, or rather at 30 cents; after paying the stitcher and binder. It was a lady's long cloak, trimmed down the back goar, around the collar and cuffs and pockets with mohair plush, and all the seams faced with black muslin. She could not make a cloak in one day and another woman helped, and it was finished a few minutes before quitting time. The plucky little woman took her time and demanded her 30 cents, which was refused until pay day. She seized the cloak and refused to surrender it until paid for. A struggle ensued which ended in paying her 30 cents, and she threw the cloak in the proprietor's face and went to the work room and gave the 30 cents to the woman who had instructed her how to make the cloak. The price of the cloak at the salesroom of the company was $35. At 7:30 the next morning she went to the workroom of Wetleer's factory on Wabash Avenue, where corsets, bustles, skirts, jerseys, cloaks, etc., are made. Here she found the average wages paid to be $1.50 per week. She applied for work on bustles, but was told she could not live on the wages paid, but if she would call Monday she might get work where she could earn 20 cents per day.

"Her next visit was to one of the dark and most degraded holes of American serfdom, Julius Stein & Co., 132 Market street. There she found a girl who had worked three days for 65 cents. Another, two and a half days on a cloak for 45 cents; another earned $4.20 in two weeks,


and the highest earned was reported by a woman who said she had earned $6.10 in two weeks. According to Miss Nelson's report, the Julius Stein & Co. factory is presided over by the most heartless, cruel, insulting tyrants, who are only prevented from using the lash by the civil law. Like the other factories she visited, the work-room is dark and poorly ventilated, and the poor slaves suffering not only from starvation, but are slowly dying by inches from foul air and malarial poison, which comes from badly constructed closets, and other impurities. So great is the strain upon the poor wretches that if one happens to get a few cents ahead, her very nature demands a trip to Lincoln park or some other place where she can receive a few breaths of fresh air.

"The Times next reports the visit of its lady reporter to the Excelsior Underwear works, 192-202 Fifth Avenue. There she found the same condition of serfdom. There she found women's drawers made at 20 cents per dozen, shirts at 80 cents per dozen. The reporter secured work making chemises at 80 cents per dozen, but had to pay 50 cents per month for the use of a machine."

In order to more clearly show the tendency and drift of our own system towards that of the low condition of labor in Great Britian, we publish the following article from that able and efficient farmer's journal, the Southwest:


"While the papers of Chicago, and the country in general, were describing the poverty, misery and helpless dependence in which the working girls of Chicago lived, and the systematic ill-treatment to which they were subjected, the papers of London, England, were teeming with the detailed horrors of match factory life in that city. The exposure incident to the investigation of the strike in


Bryant & May's match factory, had aroused public indignation. About 1,400 women and girls went out on a strike. The wages paid were wretchedly low and the hours of labor degradingly long. Besides, they were fined on the slightest provocation or shortcoming. The women averaged, according to the comparative statement, $2.80 per week, and the girls from 75 cents to $1.10 per week. Many of the little girls were found to be bald on account of carrying boxes on their heads. They were compelled to eat their meals in the factory in the fumes of the phosphorus, which resulted in many cases in ulceration of the jaw bone. But the profits of the company were magnificent even if it was made out of the souls and bodies of the girls. Last year the dividend was 23 per cent. And among the stockholders are three members of Parliament, and fifty-five members of the Church of England. All good people, of course. And other highly respected stockholders were found to be pocketing the profits of the unpaid factory girls. No doubt those highly respected owners of the match factory thought they were doing those women and girls quite a favor in furnishing them with good steady employment. What if the hair is rubbed off the heads of the little girls? What does a factory girl, who has to work from half-past six in the morning until eight at night, want with hair on her head? She has no time to get sun struck, even if she is bald. What if the jaw bone of the women ulcerate and drop out? What does a woman earning from $1.25 to $2.50 per week, want with either teeth or a jaw bone? And besides, she is forbidden to talk in the factory. This decay of the jaw bone is only the natural adaptation to environments, as Darwin would testify. See how strongly developed and how strong are the jaws of the members of Parliament and of our Congressmen. Hence the principal product of the London law factory, as well as of our National


Jaw-Gymnasium at Washington, is talk. It is because both the British and American legislators use their jaw so much and their brains so little that the workingmen of London and Chicago have little use for teeth or jaw bones. And this is the outcome of the long boasted British and American civilization! This is the result of the long lauded British and American statesmanship! Women and children worked, starved and tortured to death almost on the eve of the twentieth century! Such civilization! Such statesmanship!

"At the recent annual meeting of the Land Nationalization Society of great Britain, the president, Alfred Russell Wallace, epitomized the British industrial situation
as follows:

"‘It is about fifty years since Hood's famous ‘Song of the Shirt’ startled the world with its revelation of hopeless misery. But what would Hood have said if he could have heard the revelations now being made — of shirts made at id. each, the worker, by continuous hard work, making twelve shirts a day, earning 6s. a week, and with the rent of an attic at least double what it was in his time!

"Year after year farmers, under the pressure of the exorbitant rents, are becoming first impoverished, then bankrupt; and landlords are turning their arable lands into pasture, so as to get the maximum of profit with the minimum of outlay and risk, and thus a constant stream of laborers, and with them village mechanics and shopkeepers, are forced to migrate to the towns. The consequence is that we have at this moment two-thirds of our whole population — more than 20,000,000 people — concentrated in the great cities and towns, while millions of acres of our land all over the country are less populated and less effectively cultivated than fifty years ago.’"



The striking girls of Minneapolis recently held a mass meeting, which was presided over by Mrs. E. S. Marble, president of the local suffrage society. About 2,000 people were in attendance. On the back part of the stage hung several garments made by the girls and the prices paid for the same in St. Paul and by the firm for which they had been working in Minneapolis, as follows:

Shirts, 9 cts. Shirts, 6 cts.
Pants, 14 ˝ " Pants, 12 "
Overalls, 6 " Overalls, 5 "
Blouse, 6 " Blouse, 4 ˝"
Blouse Shirt, 6 " Blouse Shirt, 3 ˝"

The condition of the miners in some of the mines, if possible, is more deplorable than that of the farmers. Harper's Weekly of June 16, 1888, in describing the coal mines of Pennsylvania, has this to say about wages and life of the miners:

"Wages are very low in the coal regions. Laborers receive from 60 to 80 cents per day. Year in and year out for the last ten years, during which time the cheap foreigners have been coming to this country in great numbers, the average daily wages for a common laborer has probably not been more than 70 cents per day. With the stopping of work very few laborers make more than $12 per month, the year round, and a third of this must go as rent for the shanty. Eight dollars a month is very little in the expensive coal regions for food, clothes and medicines.

"There is many a miner who goes without dinner day after day, and who tightens his belt when noon comes.

"A piece of fresh meat is a luxury for holidays, and


two or three cold potatoes are the usual contents of the dinner pail. There is no allowance made by the employers for accidents or illness. When the doctor is needed, each visit must be paid for when it is made. When the rent day comes, the rent is taken from the month's earnings, and if the head of the family can work no more, the family is turned out with all the bitter cruelty of ‘business.’"

Men and women of America! Has every feeling of humanity fled from your hearts? Has every spark of patriotism died within your bosoms? Will you stand idly by and see the very life-blood crushed from the bodies of your countrymen — from your own brothers and sisters? Will you sit with folded hands and look complacently on the agonies of the dying Republic? That Republic which is the heirloom of the Fathers of the Revolution — established through their unselfish patriotism and bought with their blood?

Chancellor Kent, the great American jurist and lawgiver, once said: "When the spirit of liberty has fled and truth and justice are disregarded, private rights can easily be sacrificed under the forms of law." Is it possible that the "spirit of liberty has fled?" And that "truth and justice are disregarded" in this broad land of God's giving? Oh, America! Where is thy proud boast of protection to thy citizens? Where is the freedom that rang out from the hills in glad song in thy early days? Millions would be spent to protect an adventurer who had slandered a foreigner and was detained in a foreign dungeon. But the women and girls of our country are permitted to writhe in the grasp of a heartless, relentless, scheming, grasping and hell-born set of moneyed aristocrats who worship at the shrine of Mammon, and would sacrifice the flesh and blood of their own country-people with less pangs of con-science than the Hindoo mother who yields her child to


the crocodiles of the Ganges. A leading journal has said that "fifty cents per day for the labor of a woman is her only barrier between a life of virtue and a life of shame." What a terrible admission! Thousands of women yearly go down to lives of shame — driven by want and poverty to desperation — and dazzled and charmed by the glitter and display which the money of Mammon and his satellites shower upon the hell holes of sin and their occupants. Man neglects her, woman ignores her, the world passes her by without notice while she remains virtuous; she sees her sinful sister feted by the elite — dressed in gorgeous apparel set off in brilliant jewels; she loses confidence in humanity — becomes exasperated at the heartlessness of her own sex — chides the charity of the world — doubts — falters — falls.

"O the rarity
Of Christian charity
Under the sun."

If poverty hardens the heart unto desperation, and riches maketh it haughty unto wickedness, how great the sin of the nation that has adopted a system of laws that leads to these two extremes! We are pleased to know that one religious paper has taken up the cause of the oppressed. We clip the following from the St. Louis Christian Advocate

"In the further consideration of this subject, it is well to inquire whether the present condition of the masses denotes advancement and prosperity, or a tendency to poverty and demoralization. It is doubtful if any period of our history has been marked by a more general dissatisfaction than at the present. Undeniably there is a widespread spirit of discontent. Many laborers are idle, others working on short time and what they regard as low pay. Many factories are silent, furnaces are either not worked or yielding no profits. Strikes on the part of


workmen, or ‘lockouts’ on the part of employers, are things of almost daily occurrence; while combinations, ‘trusts’ and monopolies of various kinds, affecting almost all the necessaries and comforts of life, multiply in number and increase in power, when a fair competition, which is the life of trade, would enable the consumer to purchase his supplies at a rate much lower than the monopolists demand.

"This the great mass of people are beginning to learn. They feel it. They writhe under and despise it. This monopolizing spirit has extended to the lands of the country, and millions of acres have been bought by companies, some at home, and some from abroad, or granted to railroad companies; and, in either case, the price has been raised to double, or five times, or ten times that at which it could have been procured from the government. Consequently the poor man's chances for obtaining a home are lessened in proportion to this advance of price. All of which is ‘a sore evil under the sun.’ By such means the poor man has been more and more embarrassed in his affairs, and finds it more and more difficult to meet the demands for the necessaries and comforts of life. All the while, the earth ‘yields her kindly fruits for the sustenance of man and beast,’ the Father of all deals bountifully with us, nor pestilence nor famine abounds; and yet, because of the combinations referred to, the fruits of the earth are grasped and monopolized, and dealt out to the laboring man at extravagant prices. The flour, the sugar, the butter, and almost everything else that supplies the table come to the consumer with high prices, fixed by the monopolists. So seriously have these things affected the interests of the laboring class that the excitement caused bodes no good, but only evil to the public welfare, and the indications point to the worse rather than the better.


"But how did all this come about? To tell all would require much space. It is a long story, and, in many of its aspects, as discreditable, to some of the parties concerned, as it is long."

But it is useless to continue to multiply evidence of the sad and deplorable condition of the American laborer. It might be continued indefinitely, but it seems so apparent and "plain that a wayfaring man, though a fool, cannot err therein." In vain has the farmer pleaded; in vain has he sought that relief which his common sense convinces him he is justly entitled to. He has been put off, on one pretense and another until "forbearance has ceased to be a virtue;" and having learned, to his sorrow, that in combination there is strength, he is seeking through a counter combination of his fellow laborers to consummate that which he knows can never be accomplished in any other manner. Their appeals to the Legislatures and to the Courts have been met with the corrupt use of the money of corporations. The farmers are calling a halt. Hereto-fore they have asked for that which they should have had without the asking. It is a peculiar condition of affairs that the most important class of society — the producers — have received less consideration at the hands of the Legislative and Judicial departments of the government than any other. "They have asked for a fish and been given a serpent, for bread and been given a stone." "Woe unto him that buildeth a city in blood!" "Whosoever soweth to the wind shall reap the whirlwind." The prayers of the oppressed have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabbaoth." The farmer and the laborer are marching on to victory. A great general was once asked why he did not at once move upon the enemy. He answered: "I am organizing for victory." The farmers and laborers of the United States are "organizing for victory." They are preparing to move upon the enemy.


Not in the gaudy trappings of war, with flying banners and martial music, and amid the boom of artillery, the rattle of musketry and the clash of swords, accompanied with all the horrors of physical contest; but silently, peaceably, and by force of reason and the potent influence of the ballot do they expect to accomplish this mighty revolution in behalf of oppressed labor.

It is useless for men to call attention to the many railroads that have passed into the hands of receivers, or been sold under mortgages, as evidence that the railroads do not pay good dividends on the capital invested. If it proves anything, it is the utter recklessness and incapacity of some of those who engage in railroad enterprises, and the criminal profligacy of their management. If a wildcat railroad scheme is conceived and a road built through a country where it is evident the traffic will not support it, a business blunder has been committed or a swindle perpetrated; either of which is no evidence that railroads do not pay. The same failure might, and does occur in all kinds of business. It would be unfair to take such failures as evidence that the railroads of the United States do not pay. A much graver question, however, is the inevitable tendency of these grasping monopolies that are springing up around and among us, and the inexorable law which punishes corporate greed with confiscation. No student of history, especially of the history of the great corporations of the century, can fail to discern the fate of many of our great railway companies. One set of men after another growls and submits. One Legislature after another threatens and is cajoled or bought off. But the intolerable oppression continues to grow worse, and year by year the instinct of rebellion grows stronger and stronger, and it is to be hoped that the day is not far distant, when it will have coherence enough to make its demands with an emphasis that will brook no


delay. Then no man can stem the tide of popular indignation or set a limit to party fury or the popular will.

The mutterings of the coming storm are already heard in the many labor organizations that have sprang up in our midst within the past few years. It is worse than idle to talk about measures being unconstitutional. Constitutions may be changed as well as laws, and if the policy of the gigantic corporations is to utterly ignore the popular will, setting every principle of justice at defiance, until the indignation of the people is wrought to such a pitch that the day of spoliation of railways will come, and neither vested rights nor common honesty is likely to obtain a hearing, they may console themselves with the reflection that they were the transgressors.


Chapter III. History of the Wheel.

It would be strange indeed if the long suffering of the farmers under the many and growing evils to which they are subject did not culminate in an organized effort to mitigate their hardships. Such an effort was the organization of the Grange, the Farmers' Clubs, the Farmers' Alliance, Knights of Labor and other kindred organizations. The organization of the Agricultural Wheel was also an effort in this direction. The objects, origin and early history of the Wheel are not unlike that of other organizations of a kindred nature.

It was the outgrowth of necessity — the result of oppression. Like other great organizations that have for their object the amelioration of the condition of the human race, many false impressions and exaggerated statements relative to its origin, growth and objects have gone out to the world, which it is the object of this work to correct.
It is useless to state why the Wheel was organized. The depressed condition of the laboring masses is so conclusively shown in the preceding chapter that it would be a tedious repetition of the subject to add more to it.

W. W. Tedford, one of the founders of the Wheel, says: "The question has often been asked, what gave rise to the Wheel? This question is as easily answered as asked, Monopoly! This is the answer in a nutshell. A monopoly that wants to buy the earth, and with it the souls and bodies of the people who inhabit it. A spirit instigated by


Satin, the head of the firm and proprietor-in-chief of the entire concern, who has inaugurated the infamous system, sent forth his agents, instructed to use every means possible to reduce the world to hellish slavery. It demands everything God has made, for its own use. It would absorb Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Australia, and the islands of the sea, with the cattle on a thousand hills, and everything given mankind for his use and comfort. Monopoly aspires to make the people its servants, politically, financially and socially, and demands that we offer on its golden altar all that we are and have, souls, bodies, lives, liberty.

"God hates monopoly, and so do we, and heartily endorse his condemnation of it. To all whose hands and souls are stained with this vile sin we say kick as you may, your conduct has given rise to the organization of labor.

"What led to the Wheel movement? Monopoly is the true cancer, but like other cancers its roots penetrate the entire body on which it subsists. In consequence of which we challenge the world to produce the equal of some Arkansas monopolists on a small scale. We know of a certain mercantile firm who, twenty-five years ago, owned nothing comparatively, but today owns 18,000 acres of land, a great part of which is in cultivation; also several mules, horses, cattle and several stores. Perhaps one person would be more correct than a firm, for one person owns the greater part of the property.

"The inquiry arises, how did this man, who had no capital to start with, amass that amount of property in twenty-five years, while farmers who had capital grew poorer every year? The answer is, monopoly and extortion! These, in the instance named, were managed through the "anaconda" mortgage, which he succeeded in obtaining on crops and stock, and often on lands. Then began the whole-sale robbery by charging two and three prices for the goods furnished, thereby reducing his victims to extreme poverty,


yea, to financial skeletons. The poor victims, unable to comply with the enormous demands, were "sold out" at shamefully low prices, the mortgagee being the purchaser, at two-thirds the cash value placed on the property by appraisers chosen to put the lowest valuation that decency would permit. In the name of reason and justice, why should not the property bring its full value or no sale, or better, that there be no mortgage.

At the time the Agricultural Wheel was organized flour was selling under mortgages at $10 per barrel; meat at 20 cents per pound; coffee from four to six pounds to the dollar, and other things in proportion. I am stating what I know, for as the Irishman said, "me, himself, was one of the victims;" the merchant who was careful to charge $2.50 for recording the mortgage, to his customer, did all the weighing, measuring and pricing of both goods and produce. With these advantages he accummulated almost unconsciously great wealth, causing the property of the country to come into the hands of the few to the impoverishment of producers. The nature of a mortgage is well known in our State, but a quotation from a well known writer on it will not be out of place here. "The instant one of these anaconda mortgages is executed the maker becomes practically the slave of the mortgagee; he is deprived of all means of obtaining credit elsewhere; he is compelled to trade with the holder of the mortgage; he cannot object to the quality or quantity of the goods offered him, nor to the prices charged. If he wants a pair of No. 8 shoes and the trade has a pair of No. 12 unsalable boots, he must take the latter; if he wants a bushel of corn meal, and the trade has a barrel of sour flour he must take it at a price double that of the sound barrel. If the season is favorable and the industry of the tenant is likely to be rewarded with a bountiful crop, so much the worse for him; commodities at still higher prices are forced on


him until the limit of the value of his crop is reached.

"The hard-working and fortunate tenants are in this way forced to pay the debts of the idle and vicious and the unfortunate. At the end of the crop gathering time there is no difference in the financial condition of the two classes. We are told that one shall not plant and another eat, but it was not given to the prophet Isaiah even, to look down the vista of time for 2,500 years and read the Statutes of Arkansas. Under them every man who exe-cutes an anaconda mortgage is considered to plant and eat not; for them the heavens might as well be brass and the earth iron. Those that now sow not, reap; and those that plant not, eat. As originally enacted, this law made it a felony, punishable by imprisonment at hard labor in the penitentiary, for not less than one nor more than two years, for the mortgagor to remove beyond the limits of the county, or sell, barter, exchange or otherwise dispose of any part of the mortgaged property."

The same writer says by way of illustration, "Samuel N. Beard executed an anaconda mortgage on his stock and crop to be grown; he drew $43 worth of supplies at the usual price in such cases. His stock and crop were worth more than that amount. His wife languished on a bed of sickness during the summer, and at last was too weak to digest any longer the strong and coarse food which her husband had, and her doctor ordered beef tea. The door of the cabin in which he lived had no shutter; the chill November winds were sweeping through it, imperiling his wife's life. In this extremity he bartered seventy pounds of his cotton for lean beef to make soup for his wife and for a shutter to the door. For this, Beard was indicted and sent to the penitentiary one year. He offered to show that the property covered by the mortgage exceeded in value the mortgage debt, and that he could have no intention to defraud; but the Court said that the


Statute said nothing about the intention with which the act was done, and that it was also immaterial whether the remaining property was worth more or less than the mortgage debt, that the offense by the words of the act was complete by the simple act of selling or trading any part of the mortgaged property, without regard to motive or any other facts, and the Supreme Court of the State affirmed the judgment. (Beard vs. State, 43 Ark., p. 284.) But the Judges of that Court were so shocked at the inhumanity of the law (and should have been none the less shocked at the merchant) that they urged upon the Legislature its repeal or modification, and under pressure of that recommendation it was modified; but in the meantime Beard was sent to the penitentiary. He was pardoned by the Governor."

At the time the Wheel was started this abominable instrument held with an iron grasp the purse strings of Arkansas farmers, owing to a severe drouth that made it almost a desert. The merchants, doctors and others, instead of offering to sustain a part of the loss of crops, only drew the reins tighter and harder. In this extremity the doctors, whom the farmers had made, met in Lonoke county and resolved that after a specified time that they would not practice in any family indebted to them, unless the head of the family would give a mortgage. All that we could hear in Prairie county was mortgages! mortgages! mortgages! It appeared that the devil had a mortgage on the monopolist's soul and body which they wanted to shift on all the laborers. Just here could be related a true story of a victim of the mortgage, sad in its details — but enough has been written of that character, as all these wrongs are recorded in a book not printed with ink on paper, or subject to loss or decay, and will surely be righted.

It is sometimes asked, why do farmers mortgage?


This is a question asked by monopolists with evident pride, if farmers give us a mortgage the right to dictate prices goes with it. The answer is, to secure the debt, and the fact that they are willing to make the merchant safe and pay an additional per cent.; yea! double the lawful interest on money, besides granting them the privilege of weighing, measuring and pricing both goods and pro-duce, would seem to be inducement enough to make even the dishonest act justly, but such is not the case, or found to be true in dealing with the average middleman, who in actions, says: Sir, you are obliging enough not only to pat-ronize my house but to mortgage, and for this kindness I am mean enough to take every advantage; yea, every piece of bread out of the mouths of your children, and then let you ‘root hog or die.’"

The above incidences, described by Mr. Tedford, illustrates the condition of the farmer in Arkansas, where the Wheel originated.

The first Wheel was organized on the 15th of February, 1882, in an old log school-house, eight miles south-west of the town of Des Arc, in Prairie county, Arkansas. On the 12th of that month a meeting had been arranged by W. A. Suit and W. T. McBee. A general invitation was given to the farmers in the neighborhood to meet at the McBee Schoolhouse on the evening of the 15th.

When the time for meeting came, the following per-sons were present: W. A. Suit, W. T. McBee, J. W. McBee, H. B. Lokey, J. T. Thrasher, J. W. Walls and W. W. Tedford, who took part in the meeting. W. W. Burns and John McBee, of Lonoke county, were also present but took no part in the proceedings.

A committee was appointed to draft a Constitution and By Laws. W. T. McBee, John W. McBee and W. W. Tedford constituted the committee. One week afterwards,


on the 2 2d of February, they met and adopted the following Constitution and By Laws:


I. This organization shall be known as the Watten
sas Farmers' Club.
2. Its objects shall be the improvement of its members in the theory and practice of agriculture and the dissemination of knowledge relative to rural and farming affairs.
3. The members shall consist of such persons as will sign the constitution and by laws and who are engaged in farming.
4. Its officers shall consist of one president, two vice-presidents, secretary, chaplain and treasurer, who shall jointly constitute the executive committee; also two sentinels, and shall be elected annually.
5. Its meetings shall be held on the first and third Saturday nights in each month at McBee's School house.


1. The president shall preside at all meetings of the Club and executive committee, and have power to call special meetings.
2. One of the vice-presidents shall perform the duties of the president during his absence.
3. The chaplain shall open the meetings with prayer.
4. The secretary shall record the proceedings of the Club, and conduct all correspondence.
5. The treasurer shall receive all moneys and pay out the same on the written order of the president, coun-tersigned by the secretary.
6. It shall be the duty of the sentinels to see that the hall is properly guarded.


A secret work was also adopted about this time and shortly afterward a ritual and charge, written by E. R. McPherson, were added. In four weeks from the time the first meeting was held there were twenty members be-longing to the Club.

About this time it was decided to change the name of the organization and it was called the Agricultural Wheel. Mr. Tedford gives the following reasons for adopting this name: "No machinery can be run without a great drive wheel, and as that wheel moves and governs the entire machinery, however complex, so agriculture is the great wheel or power that controls the entire machinery of the world's industries. Who could live without the farmer? And yet, who cares anything for him except his family and the candidate for office? Another reason why it was named the Wheel — because we are surrounded by ‘rings’ of many kinds, especially political rings; the Prophet Ezekiel, in the tenth chapter, says: ‘The wheel that he saw, worked, as it were, with the regularity of a wheel in a wheel,’ and it was confidently expected that this would be so; again the prophet says in the same chapter: ‘As for the wheel it was said in my hearing, O, wheel,’ and so we hear it.

"Every editor who is opposed to our principles raises a pitiful little wail, O Wheel, keep out of politics; you will ruin the glorious organization. In answer, if we were to burst both political parties into atoms, and scatter them like star dust throughout the universe, the editors and others who oppose us would lose nothing; we made them."

The Order obtained a certificate of organization August 22d, 1882. At this time there were about 100 sub-scribers to the Articles of Association of Wheel No. 1.

This was divided, and Wheels Nos. 2, 3 and 4 were chartered and soon became strong organizations.

The State Wheel was organized on the 9th day of


April, 1883, at the residence of W. T. McBee, about one-quarter of a mile from the birthplace of the Wheel. From this time forward the order spread rapidly and soon ex-tended to all parts of the State.

While many changes have been wrought, and the Constitution enlarged to meet the requirements of the Order as it extends its sphere of usefulness, it is a fact worthy of note, that the same words contained in the first paragraph of the preamble adopted by the Wattensas Farmers' Club in February, 1882, still retain their place at the head of the preamble to the Constitution of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, adopted by the National body at St. Louis in December, 1889.

We give the reader the full text of the Preamble and the objects of the order as adopted by Wheel No. 1, in March, 1882:

"Whereas, the general condition of our country imperatively demands unity of action on the part of the laboring classes, reformation in economy, and the dissemination of principles best calculated to encourage and foster agricultural and mechanical pursuits, encouraging the toiling masses, leading them in the road to prosperity, and providing a just and fair remuneration for labor, a just exchange of our commodities and best mode and means of securing to the laboring classes the greatest amount of good.

We hold to the principle that all farmers should save their own meat and bread; raise more corn, wheat, oats and the grasses, and less cotton, so as to increase the demand far beyond the actual supply, securing better prices, and holding the stock of provisions from the greedy paws of merciless speculators.

We hold to the principle that all monopolies are dangerous to the best interests of our country, tending to enslave a free people and subvert and finally overthrow the great principles purchased by Washington and his glorious compatriots.


We hold to the principle that the laboring classes have an inherent right to sell and buy, when and wherever their best interests are served, and patronize none who dare, by word or action, oppose a just, fair and equitable exchange of the products of our labor.

We denounce as unfair and unjust any set of men who sell at large profits, and gain the advantage over the laboring classes and obtain the product of their labor at greatly reduced prices, thus forcing patronage and constituting a hateful monopoly, making free and independent men slaves.


1. The objects of this Order shall be to unite fraternally all acceptable white males who are engaged in the occupation of farming, also mechanics who are actually engaged in farming.
2. To give all possible moral and material aid in its power to its members by holding instructive lectures, by encouraging each other in business, and by assisting each other in obtaining employment.
3. The improvement of its members in the theory and practice of agriculture, and the dissemination of knowledge relative to rural and farming affairs.
4. To ameliorate the condition of farmers in every possible manner.


"We believe there is a God, the great Creator of all things, and that He created all men free and equal, and endowed them with certain inalienable rights, such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that these rights are a common inheritance and should be respected by all mankind.

"We further believe, that any power or influence that


tends to restrict or circumscribe any class of our citizens in the free exercise of these God given rights and privileges are detrimental to the best interests of a free people.

"While it is an established fact that the laboring classes of mankind are the real producers of wealth, we find that they are gradually becoming oppressed by combinations of capital, and the fruits of their toil absorbed by a class who propose not only to live on the labors of others, but to speedily amass fortunes at their expense.

"We hold to the principle that all monopolies are dangerous to the best interests of our country, tending to enslave a free people, and subvert and finally overthrow the great principles purchased by Washington and his glorious compatriots.

"We hold to the principle that the laboring classes have an inherent right to buy and sell when and wherever their interests are best served, and patronize none who dare, by word or action, oppose a just, fair and equitable exchange of the products of our labor."

The growth of the Wheel was attended with many serious drawbacks, and met with much determined resistance. The objects of the Order were not generally well understood and were frequently misrepresented. It grew with such wonderful rapidity that it became impossible to furnish competent lecturers and proper literature to educate the new members as to the real objects of the Order. Thousands who belonged to the Order knew nothing of its origin, and but little of its objects. They were, therefore, in no position to repel the attacks made upon the organization. But few newspapers had, up to this time, espoused the cause of the Wheel, and these had but a limited circulation. The professional politician saw, in the rapid progress of the Order, that the farmer was preparing to look out for himself and a new order of things introduced in the domain of politics. The merchant saw, in the success of


the Order, a reduction in the profits of his business. All these men were naturally arrayed against the Order.

No history had ever been written and circulated set-ting forth the objects of the organization, and narrating its origin and growth. This was a want greatly felt. The enemies of the Order seized the opportunity to misrepresent both its origin and objects.

With the object to supply this want of literature, the author left his home and proceeded to the locality where the organization first had an existence.

It was a cool, crisp and frosty morning, the 28th of November, 1888, that the author stepped from the cars to the platform at Carlisle, a little town on the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad, and about fifteen miles southwest of the site where the Agricultural Wheel first resolved itself into tangible form. We had not long to wait. Col. Morehead, the able and efficient secretary of the Arkansas State Wheel, was there with his buggy, and we were soon whirling away across the open prairie towards his quiet country home. The bright sun kissed and warmed the crisp morning breeze that imparted exhileration and new life to the ride.

With Col. Morehead at one's side, a ten mile ride proved but a short pleasure trip. We were soon at his home, and hospitably entertained by his estimable wife and family. But our trip was not intended for pleasure. The wildest speculations had been indulged in with regard to the origin of the Wheel. Foul and slanderous charges had been given the semblance of truth by respectable (?) politicians, "senile editors" and "potato lawyers." Every wild rumor had been twisted and contorted into a shape to reflect discredit on the organization. The Order was going through its "trial period." The foulest slanders were readily caught up by the enemies of the organization and circulated with a zeal that indicated the severe extremities


to which they were reduced. The need of a reliable and truthful history was never more severely felt by any organization. That it was a scheme concocted by the Republicans to demoralize the Democratic party of the South, was heralded all over the State. The partisan press helped to circulate this abominable story and it spread like a deadly plague through the ranks of the organization. The merchants, seeing their opportunity to deal the Order a blow, lost no time in contributing to the general confusion. Never before was there such a merciless, unceasing, frantic and combined attempt to break the power of an organization as was made in this State in the summer of 1888. To forever set at rest these infamous slanders and give to the world the true history and objects, and the origin of the Wheel was our mission into Prairie county. To see and talk face to face with the founders of the Order, and others who came in shortly after; to look upon the old log school house whose walls had witnessed the first feeble efforts to lift the burdens from oppressed labor; to take by the hand the men who had given life and vitality to an organization that was to sweep like the wind over the Southern States, spreading, like the fire-flamed foxes of Phillistia, consternation and dread among the cohorts of monopoly. All these were inducements enough to visit the scene of efforts that were pregnant with such important results. Through the kindness of Col. Morehead, who furnished himself and conveyance, we were enabled to see much, and gain information that we should, perhaps, otherwise have missed. Bro. Morehead was one among the first to join the Wheel after it started; has been one of the most faithful workers, and has watched its growth with deep interest. Our conversation with the original founders and others who are conversant with the early history of the Order, enables us to say that the history written by W. W. Tedford, and published in the preceding chapter,


is a faithful account of the objects and origin of the Order. While its objects were to "ameliorate the condition of the farmer in every possible manner," it was never intended to be a "secret political order." As Brother Tedford aptly remarks, its was born of "monopoly and oppression." It discussed political questions, for otherwise it could not have discussed monopolies. It looked hopefully forward to the time when it would be powerful enough to control legislation; not from a partisan standpoint, nor as a political party, but as an independent factor, too honest to be cajoled or bought off, and too powerful to be crushed. May we still hope that their fond anticipations may be realized. It is true there were many ups and downs — many obstacles to overcome which the world will never know. But beginning with the seven brave, true men who met in the McBee school house, on the night of the 15th of February, 1882, and including others who joined shortly afterwards, the grand struggle for independence has been going on until the power of the organization is not only felt by the crossroads' merchant, who looked upon the farmers as servants to be used by him, but is feared alike by the infamous trusts that have become an incubus upon our body politic, and the political rings and combinations that are responsible for them. Of the seven original founders of the Wheel six are still living. H. B. Loakey, perhaps the youngest of the seven, is dead. Six of them were owners of land. They were all Democrats by birth, education and practice. They were simple, practical farmers. They were not political schemers, nor were they influenced by those who were. They were moved and actuated by an impulse born of self protection. They saw the necessity of organization. Their minds grasped the grand possibilities that might emanate from one grand combination of the farming element. They may have "builded wiser than they knew;" their efforts


may have been blessed more abundantly than they dared to hope; but the unselfish devotion, the indefatigable will and determined perseverance of this little band of men should be handed down to future generations as a monument of unselfish and devoted patriotism. Others there have been who have fallen in line and placed themselves amid the thickest of the fight; whose untiring efforts have aided materially in spreading the good work so well begun, and whose names ought to go down to posterity as benefactors of their race; but the halo of glory which centers round the importance and grandeur of this noble organization should shed its light full upon the names of that heroic band, who first met at the McBee school house, and emblazon them in letters of gold that will go down through the corridors of time receiving the blessings of future generations.

As W. W. Tedford states, articles of incorporation were filed in the Circuit Clerk's office on the 22d day of August, 1882; and the first Grand or State Wheel was organized April 9th, 1883. Articles of association were filed with the Secretary of State, September 28th, 1885. E. R. McPherson was the first Grand President. On July 18th, 1883, the State Wheel met at Goff's Cove. At this time there were thirty-nine Subordinate Wheels organized, most of which were represented at that meeting. At this meeting E. R. McPherson was re-elected Grand President, and steps were taken to extend the organization. A resolution was passed prohibiting the organization of Wheels within the limits of incorporated towns. The next meeting of the Grand Wheel was held at Stony Point, on January 9th, 1884. The Order had now increased to 114 Subordinate Wheels, most of which were represented by delegates to this meeting. Some very important business was considered. A committee on crop reports was appointed, and a system devised by which reports could be


had from every county having an organization, of the condition, kind and value of crops. The idea was a good one had it been carried into effect. The constitution was amended so as to provide for the organization of County Wheels, when as many as five Subordinate Wheels existed in a county. This was another important step in the way of progress, and the utility of the County Wheel in the past has proven the wisdom of the action. The meetings of the State Wheel were also changed from semi-annually to annually, and the time of meeting fixed for the fourth Wednesday in July of each year. A resolution petitioning Congress to prohibit the dealing in futures in grain, provisions and cotton, was passed. A committee was appointed to consider the practicability of organizing a National Wheel. The following resolution on the mortgage system was passed:

"WHEREAS, The mortgage system in general is a blight upon the energy and industry of our common country; and

WHEREAS, The law granting mortgages is a barrier to the material advancement of the agricultural interest of the State, delegating to the tradesmen and the middlemen the unqualified right of taking undue advantage of the impoverished condition of our people, by extortionate charges and forced sales, under its protection; thus, in a measure, creating an artificial trade, beneficial alone to the tradesmen, forcing the farmer to special instead of permitting a diversity of crops; compelling him to go deeper and deeper in debt, and final bankruptcy; and

WHEREAS, We consider it to be the sacred duty of our Legislature to enact laws granting equal rights to all without burdening any; therefore be it

Resolved, That it is the duty of every farmer and laborer in the various counties of the State of Arkansas to


protest against the continuance upon the statute books of the State, the law granting liens and mortgages upon stock or growing crops. And

Resolved Further, That we call upon our representatives to our State Legislature to adopt such measures as will relieve the country of the burdens this law imposes."

The work accomplished at this meeting indicated that the farmers knew what they wanted and were moving in the proper direction to obtain it.

Several matters of a political nature came up and were fairly discussed with the best of feeling.

The next meeting of the Grand Wheel was held at Sulphur Springs, beginning on the 23rd of July, 1884. The meeting was harmonious throughout and much good has resulted from the work done there. Steps were taken toward the organization of a National Wheel and extending the influence of the Order into other States. A committee was also appointed to confer with the Brothers of Freedom with a view to affecting the consolidation of the two Orders. John R. Johnson was elected President for the ensuing year. The meeting closed with the best of feeling prevailing and bright prospects for the future.


On July 22nd, 1885, the State Wheel again met at Mount Carmel, Lonoke county. At this meeting twenty counties were represented by sixty-two delegates. The Wheel had pushed its way to the State lines and some of the border counties were represented. W. G. Moore was there from Texas. The good news had crossed over the line and our brothers in the Lone Star State sent up an appeal to "come over and help them."

John R. Johnson was re-elected Grand President and R. H. Morehead, Secretary. Steps were taken to buy


farm implements and machinery direct from manufacturers. A new secret work was adopted. A resolution recommending the establishment of an Agricultural College and experimental farm was passed. Much of the time of this meeting was occupied in amending the Constitution and By-laws, and many important changes were made.


On the 15th of October, 1885, a called session of the State Wheel was held at Greenbriar, Faulkner county, for the purpose of affecting a consolidation with the Brothers of Freedom. At this time there had been 462 Subordinate Wheels chartered, and the Order was spreading into other States. Ten Wheels had been chartered in Alabama, three in Mississippi and four in Texas. The consolidation was amicably effected, the Brothers of Freedom dropping their name. A new Constitution and By-laws, in substance similar to the old one, and a new secret work were adopted. Isaac McCracken was elected Grand President and R. H. Morehead, Secretary. The Order now had assumed an importance which bid fair to accomplish much good. It spread rapidly throughout the State and began to attract attention from the oppressed farmers in other States, and frequent calls for organizers were made from abroad.


The next meeting of the State Wheel was held at Litchfield, Jackson county, July 28th, 1886. A large representation was present. Many brethren from other States who had come as delegates to organize a National Wheel were there. President McCracken made a stirring address. He advised the organization of a National body and suggested several important changes in the Constitution.


A letter was received and read from T. V. Powderly, Grand Master Workman of the Knights of Labor, pledging the aid of his Order in securing needed legislation, and the repeal of obnoxious laws. A committee was appointed to act with the delegations from other States in organizing a National Wheel.

Isaac McCracken was re-elected Grand President, C. A. Stuart was chosen Vice-President and R. H. Morehead was again made Secretary. At this meeting, after much animated discussion, the word white was dropped from the eligibility clause in the Constitution and provisions made to organize the colored farmers into separate Wheels. The Constitution and By Laws of the National Wheel were ratified.


The fifth annual meeting of the Arkansas State Wheel convened at Hollywood on the 27th day of July, 1887.

At this meeting nearly all the counties in the State were represented. A resolution was passed asking that a State Railroad Commission be provided for. Also, one asking that measures be adopted to prohibit the dealing in futures of all agricultural products. A committee was appointed to confer with the Farmers' Alliance of Texas and the Co-operative Union of Louisiana, with a view to securing cooperative action in trade. The committee reported a plan which was adopted. It provided for the election of a State Wheel Business Agent, and similar agents in the counties. Steps were taken to call all the county agents together at Little Rock in September following, for the purpose of more perfectly completing a plan of cooperative trade. T. J. Andrews was elected State Business Agent, L. P. Featherston was chosen Grand President, George Martin, Vice-President, and Col.


R. H. Morehead was again retained as Secretary of the State Wheel.


The sixth annual meeting of the State Wheel of Arkansas was held in the Hall of the House of Representatives, in the city of Little Rock, beginning on the 25th day of July, 1888. This was, perhaps, the largest and most interesting meeting of the kind ever held in the State. Over one hundred delegates were present, and, although in the midst of a hotly contested political campaign, the best of feeling and general harmony prevailed.

At this meeting nearly every county in the State was represented. Charters had been granted to 1,947 subordinate Wheels. L. P. Featherston was re-elected President and the irrepressible Col. Morehead was again retained as Secretary. W. H. Quayle was elected Treasurer. The meeting was one grand success, and the delegates left with high hopes for the future of the Order. It had grown from the little band of seven who had met at the McBee Schoolhouse to a meeting of delegates, in the Hall of Representatives, representing 75,000 Wheelers in the State, and comparing in point of intellect with any body of like numbers that ever met in the capitol of the State. Well might we be proud of our noble Order.


The seventh annual meeting of the State Wheel of Arkansas was held at Hot Springs on the 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th of July, 1889. The action of the Meridian meeting, consolidating the Wheel and Alliance was indorsed, and the Constitution ratified. Preparations were made to establish a State Exchange, and much other important business was accomplished. John P. Russ was elected President of the State Union, and R. H. Morehead


and W. H. Quayle were again re-elected to their respective offices of Secretary and Treasurer. Delegates were elected to the meeting of the consolidated Order, to be held at St. Louis, Missouri, December 3d, 1889. We will now notice the spread of the Order into other States.


The first subordinate Wheel organized in Mississippi was at Old Harmony Church, near the historic battlefield of Iuka. It was organized by N. P. Campbell, of Arkansas, on the 6th of August, 1885. Immediately afterward Golden Dawn, No. 2, and Piney Grove, No. 3, were organized by Mr. Campbell. C. W. Baker, a member of No. 3, was then made Deputy Organizer for Tishomingo county. He organized ten or twelve Wheels in the spring of 1886. The first County Wheel was organized at Liberty Church, Tishomingo county, in May, 1886. Through the efforts of deputies the Order spread rapidly over Tishomingo, Prentiss, Stawamba, Alcorn and Tippah counties. On the 4th of November, 1886, a convention of delegates, representing each subordinate Wheel in the State, met with the Tishomingo County Wheel at Mt. Pleasant Church and organized the State Wheel. On the 18th of November, following, the State Wheel met at Jumpertown and completed its organization. In January, 1887, a called meeting of the State Wheel was held at Highland. A platform of principles, similar to what was afterwards incorporated into the National Wheel Demands, was adopted. The State Wheel was called together at Jacinto, Alcorn county, in December, 1887, for the purpose of formulating a plan of cooperative trade. The Rochdale plan was recommended. A number of stores have been started in different parts of the State. Mr. Blunt, the efficient Secretary of the State Wheel, in a letter of recent date says: "The Wheel in Mississippi has


accomplished much good. Men are coming up to their contracts better than formerly; buying cheaper and getting nearer value for their products. This enables them to pay and be less dependent upon the merchants."

In September, 1888, the State Wheel again met at Booneville. Delegates were elected to the meeting of the National Wheel at Meridian, and instructed to vote for consolidation with the Farmers' Alliance. The entire delegation voted for the minority report of the committee on Constitution and By-Laws, which differed from the majority report, only, in providing that each State should control the eligibility and management of its colored population as it thought best.

The organization in Mississippi has never been pushed vigorously, except in a few counties, where it is in a healthy, growing condition.


On the 5th day of April, 1884, G. W. Ritchie, of Cleburne, organized Done Star Wheel, No. 1. It was the first Wheel in Texas. The first County Wheel was organized at Hickory Grove, near Paris, July 10th, 1885.

The State Wheel was organized at Moore's Springs, three miles east of Paris, August 25th, 1886. John R. Johnson, ex-President of the Grand Wheel of Arkansas, assisted in the organization. The State Wheel meets on the fourth Wednesday in August of each year.

The second annual meeting of the Texas State Wheel was held with Hamilton Wheel, No. 6, at Sumner Academy, Lamar county, on the 24th day of August, 1887. At this meeting a proposition was made by the Texas Farmers' Alliance for the consolidation of the two Orders; but as the proposition contemplated the entire surrender of the identity of the Wheel it was not entertained. Among other important business transacted at


this meeting was the adoption of an amendment to the Constitution, providing that at the death of a member in good standing, the Secretary of the State Wheel be authorized to make an assessment of one dollar on each subordinate Wheel, and pay the proceeds to the family of the deceased. This amendment has been in effect nearly two years and has been the means of assisting a number of needy families. The State Wheel again convened August 22d, 1888. This meeting was held with Independence Wheel, No. 11, at West Point, Lamar county.

The influence of the Order on agriculture has been highly beneficial; resulting in better methods of farming, greater diversification of crops and an increased tendency to grow all of the home supplies possible.


S. J. Thacker, of Dukedom, Tennessee, organized the first subordinate Wheel in Kentucky at Felisianna, Graves county, January 20th, 1886, with Harrison Pigg, President, and P. H. Johnson, Secretary. James Hammon then organized other Wheels in Graves county, and on the 20th of February, following, the Kentucky State Wheel was organized at Felisianna. S. B. Erwin was elected President. The second meeting of the State Wheel was held at Mitchell's Schoolhouse, Graves county, July 15th 1886. At this meeting delegates were elected to assist in forming a National Wheel. A called session was held in Stubblefield, August 27th, 1886. The organization of the National Wheel was ratified, though considerable dissatisfaction existed on account of the word "white" being left out of the eligibility clause in the Constitution, which impeded the progress of the organization to some extent. The State Wheel next met in regular session at Lebanon, in Graves county, January 15th, 1887.


"The sessions of the State Wheel have been regularly held on the 15th of January and July of each year, and the interest manifested seems to be marked with firmness and decision. While the growth of the Order is rather slow it is of a solid character. As an organized body it has made no effort to influence the politics of the State; yet, it is evident that our demands are treated with courtesy by the law making power. The Order has had a great influence on trade in more than one way. The members are steering clear of the mortgage system and trading direct through their agents with the manufacturers. At the same time, the improvement in methods of farming is no small matter, owing, in a great measure, to the discussion of farm topics at the meetings of the subordinate Wheels. These are certainly the most important meetings of the Order. The life and progress of the Order depends upon the interest taken by the subordinate Wheels. The Executive Board of the State Wheel, knowing Southern Kentucky to be a tobacco growing district, conceived the idea of a tobacco warehouse in the interest of the producers. They went to work, and, in connection with some of the Tennessee brethren, succeeded in establishing a warehouse at Fulton, Kentucky, where tobacco is gathered to be honestly packed, and under the management of a competent Board, it is no longer an experiment. It is commanding the attention of foreign buyers, and sells tobacco for a higher price than other warehouses, and with less expense and lossage to the producer. With this enterprise, and others, Kentucky Wheelers feel proud of their success."


The first Wheel in the State of Tennessee was organized by R. Miles, of Prairie county, Arkansas, February 1st, 1884, in a little log schoolhouse, about three miles from Ralston. It is known by the name of


Public Wells. J. R. Miles was elected president and G. W. Miles, secretary. J. R. Miles was the first to go out and organize Wheels at other places, and by him, and through his influence, five new Wheels were organized during the month of March, 1884. Then came the usual opposition to all reform movements. The Order was ridiculed by good men who did not understand its objects and aims. This, to a great extent, prevented many from joining who at first were favorably impressed with its objects. It was not until in April, 1885, that any other organizations were effected. But the iron will, indomitable courage and persevering industry of Mr. Miles, who had been diligently at work for more than twelve months, began to inspire his community with confidence in the Order, and work progressed more rapidly. From April 25th, 1885, to April 30th, 1886, one hundred and thirteen Wheels were organized. These were confined to the counties of Weakly, Henry, Obion, Carroll and Gibson. In July, 1885, at a County Wheel meeting at Adams' school house, in Weakly county, the State Wheel of Tennessee was organized. J. R. Miles was unanimously elected president, and J. M. Adams, secretary. The records of this meeting were not all preserved, and it is impossible to give a full account of its transactions. The Constitution and By laws of the State Wheel of Arkansas were examined and adopted with but slight change. The proper steps were taken to procure a charter and seal. At this time, July 5th, 1885, there were one hundred and fifty-four Subordinate, and five County Wheels in the State. During the next year the Order increased with wonderful rapidity, and at the State Wheel meeting, which was held at Public Wells, January 7th and 8th, 1886, a larger representation was present than had ever before assembled. At this meeting much important business was transacted. A


system for cooperative trade stores was adopted which has since given general satisfaction. In the meantime the opposition to the Order had not subsided, but was more bitter and intense than ever. But the iron will of the officers and members defied opposition, and the Wheel continued to make rapid progress. Men of intelligence and prominence, perceiving that the Wheel had "come to stay," now joined, and people began to look upon it with more respect than formerly. As its principles were better understood it became more firmly established. The next annual meeting of the State Wheel was held at Tumbling Creek Church, Weakly county, July 1st, 1886. The usual routine of business was transacted. The Toiler, a paper published at Fulton, Kentucky, was adopted as the special organ of the Order. J. M. Adams resigned his position as State Secretary, and W. T. Davis was elected to fill the vacancy. C. C. Adams, who had been successively elected State Lecturer from the organization of the State Wheel, was still retained in that position. The following year was marked with an unprecedented growth of the Wheel in the State. From July 1st, 1886, to July 1st, 1887, seven hundred new Wheels were organized. By this time the people were beginning to understand the objects and aims of the Order, and were rapidly availing themselves of the opportunities which it offered. State Lecturer Adams was being constantly and urgently solicited to visit various parts of the State and lecture on the objects of the Order. Realizing the necessity and importance of his work he labored incessantly; unselfishly devoting the whole of his time to the work, often receiving barely enough to pay his traveling expenses. To him, perhaps, more than any other one member of the organization, the Wheel is indebted for the rapid progress it made, and its present respectable condition. Mr. Adams held his position until July, 1888, when he refused to be re-elected, and J. F.


Tillman was elected to perform the duties which he had so ably and faithfully discharged.

On July 26th, 1887, the State Wheel again met at Walnut Grove, Gibson county. At this meeting twenty-nine counties were reported as organized, and all were represented. The delegates were addressed by G. B. Pickett, vice-president of the Farmers' Alliance. The question of a State organ was again discussed, and the Toiler, edited by J. H. McDowell, of Union City, was adopted. The State Wheel, of Jackson, edited by T. B. Ruff, was also adopted as one of the official organs.

Delegates were chosen to attend the National meeting of the Farmers' Alliance and Cooperative Union, to be held at Shrevesport, Louisiana, on the second Wednesday in October, 1887. Delegates were also chosen to represent the State in the National Wheel at McKenzie, Tennessee, in November, 1887. The next meeting of the State Wheel was held at Clarksville on the 24th of July, 1888. At this meeting a committee was appointed to assist the colored Wheelers to organize a State Wheel. President J. R. Miles, who had so faithfully and efficiently discharged the duties of his office, was again re-elected. A vote of thanks was tendered C. C. Adams for the valiant and efficient services he had rendered the Wheel, and by action of the State Wheel he was allowed $575 for his services.

At the same meeting the committee on "State of the Order " made the following report:

"The Order is growing rapidly and strengthening every day. One year ago twenty-nine counties were represented in the State Wheel, while today representatives from thirty-seven counties are present, while five County Wheels are not represented. At the last State Wheel, one year ago, the Order covered the territory from the Mississippi to Dickson and Hickman counties — now it reaches


as far as Smith county, with two Wheels in Putnam, and five in Jackson county, a progress of 150 miles in twelve months. The number of subordinate Wheels has increased from 875 to 1,333, a gain of 458. The Colored Wheel, which was not then in existence, now has 177 subordinate Wheels, and nine County Wheels, which have been, since the meeting of this body, formed into a State Wheel by our National Organizer, J. J. Matheny. We report that 42,700 Wheelers are here represented, and the number in Tennessee is not far from 50,000. The principles of Wheelerism are growing, and not only are the subordinate Wheels increasing in strength, but their members are being educated in the cause, and becoming more able and willing to uphold the Order. A willing spirit is manifested in all quarters, and we believe that this spirit will, in time, enable us to overcome all opposition, and finally lead to the reform which we desire to secure. During the last year the State Business Agency has been started, and has already done some good, though like all new departures, the system has yet to be perfected, and we believe that the united intelligence of the Order will be able to cope with the subject, and finally bring about the great results of which it is capable. The different counties are doing all they can to better the condition of the producers, by establishing large warehouses, which are already helping the farmers in the distribution of their crops. Co-operative stores are also a success in some of the counties, and we recommend that they be run as much as possible in conjunction with the State agency. The one dollar assessment has been met, to some extent, and we believe that as Wheelers get to understand the principle better, the payment will be more general.

The office of the Commissioner of Agriculture is, to a great extent, attributable to the action of the State Wheel


of Tennessee. In July, 1886, the Wheel passed a resolution petitioning Congress to create the office. The petition was sent to quite a number of Congressmen, and to Commissioner Coleman. A bill was introduced by Hon. P. T. Glass, of Tennessee. It died in the committee room, but Mr. Glass, being returned to Congress, called the matter up and pressed its passage until it became a law. This alone was quite a victory for the agricultural classes.

The next annual meeting of the Tennessee State Wheel was held at Nashville, beginning on the 24th day of July, 1889. At this meeting the Wheel and Alliance, after ratifying the Constitution adopted at Meridian, were consolidated. The election of officers resulted in selecting Hon. John P. Buchanan for President, and E. B. Wade, Secretary. The Order in Tennessee has three State Agencies, located respectively at Morristown, Nashville and Memphis. The membership has increased very rapidly in the last twelve months, and the organization in this State ranks among the strongest of the organized States.


The first subordinate Wheel in the State was organized in Mississippi county, on the 7th day of November, 1886, by J. J. Matheny, of Henry county, Tennessee. The first County Wheel was organized in Texas county, March 14th, 1887, by T. P. Bryan, of Howell county, Missouri. The State Wheel was organized at Gainesville, in Ozark county, February 2d, 1887, by S. T. Grinnett, of Howell county. W. G. Conner was elected President; J. C. Caldwell, Vice-President; T. P. Bryan, Lecturer, and W. R. McCallister, Secretary. S. T. Grinnett, T. P. Bryan, W. J. Hopkins, J. R. Vanzant and James Nelson were appointed State organizers. The first


annual meeting of the State Wheel was held in the city of West Plains, on the 12th to 15th of October, 1887. The following officers were elected: President, H. W. Hickman; Vice-President, W. G. Conner; Lecturer, S. H. Beshears; Secretary, J. W. Rogers; Treasurer, J. W. Smith.

The next annual meeting was held at Dexter, Missouri, September 19th to 22d, 1888. H. W. Hickman was re-elected President; R. B. V. Nipper, Vice-President; J. W. Rogers, Secretary; S. H. Beshears, Lecturer; J. D. Satterwhite, Chaplain, and J. W. Smith, Treasurer. At this meeting an executive board was elected, delegates were chosen to represent the State in the National Wheel, and much other business of importance transacted.

The next animal meeting of the State Wheel was held at Springfield, in August, 1889. The work of the National Wheel, at Meridian, was endorsed, and the Constitution ratified.

At this meeting the Alliance and Wheel, in the State, were consolidated. The consolidated Order took the name Farmers' and Laborers' Union. H. W. Hickman was elected President and J. W. Rogers, Secretary. Since this meeting the growth of the Order in the State has been wonderful, and the membership increased to over 120,000. Much good is being accomplished in the line of cooperation and the Order is making its influence felt in the the way of securing needed legislation. The Order has saved its members many thousands of dollars and has had a very beneficial influence on the general condition of the farmers of the State. There are now many co-operative stores and mills in operation and others in process of erection. On the whole, the Order is in a thriving and prosperous condition. The work of organization is being pushed, and at no distant day the State will be thoroughly organized.



The first subordinate Wheel was organized by J. H. Bogard, Fanin county, Texas, at Bennington, a country church, twenty miles east of Caddo, August 2d, 1886. Mr. Bogard went into the Territory at the solicitation of A. H. Nuttall and organized two Wheels. Mr. Nuttall was then appointed deputy organizer, and in a few weeks had organized twelve other Wheels. Delegates from these met at Caddo, April 1st, 1887, and organized a Territorial Wheel with the following officers: President, A. H. Nuttall; Vice-President, M. M. Impson; Secretary, H. C.. Bouton; Treasurer, Wiley Stewart; Chaplain, M. C. Clark. In November, 1886, the Blue County Wheel organized and adopted a store in Caddo. The store consisted of a small grocery, the larger houses refusing to have anything to do with the Wheelers. This store, owned by C. A. Hancock, a shrewd young business man in Caddo, was subsequently enlarged and a good stock of dry goods and farming implements added. In the meantime the Wheel continued to prosper. The first annual meeting of the Territorial Wheel was held at Pleasant Hill, July 27th, 1887. All the deputy organizers made favorable reports and much important business was transacted. The second annual meeting of the Territorial Wheel met at Kiowa, July 25th, 1888. About one hundred delegates were present. A. H. Nuttall was re-elected President; Gus C. Schueler, Vice-President; D. S. Ivins, Secretary, W. G. Ward, Treasurer. At a called meeting at Caddo, October 1st, 1888, J. W. B. Lloyd was elected a delegate to the National Wheel at Meridian, Mississippi. The Wheel in Indian Territory deserves great credit for its success.


John Hanson, of Maple Valley, Wisconsin, was appointed deputy organizer, and organized the first Wheel in


that State, January 11th 1887, with seventeen charter members. This number soon increased to over forty. The growth of the Order in this State has been rather slow on account of a want of efficient organizers. The organization, however, is reported to be in a thriving condition and rapidly spreading. No State Wheel has yet been organized, and but little done in the way of cooperation.


Early in 1885, the propriety of the organization of a National Wheel was freely discussed. It was not, however, until July, 1886, at Litchfield, Jackson county, Arkansas, that the organization was accomplished. The States of Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas were represented by regularly authorized delegates to this meeting. Members of the Order from other States were present and encouraged the organization. A Constitution and By-Laws was adopted and ratified by the State Wheel of Arkansas, which was in session at the same time and place. At this meeting the question of eligibility of the colored race came very near proving disastrous to the organization. But cool heads and wise counsels prevailed and it was provided that the colored people have separate organizations. The Wheel was now assuming proportions that would enable it to reach out and grasp opportunities which it had hitherto been unable to do. The prospects for the future were growing more encouraging. A new impetus was given to its growth. The wisdom of a National organization was proven by the rapid strides of progress which followed. Hon. Isaac McCracken was elected President of the National body; A. E. Gardner, Secretary Treasurer, and Isom P. Langley, Lecturer. Within twelve months from the organization of the National Wheel the States of Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and the Indian Territory were chartered


and seven other States had applied for organizers. Unfortunately, however, the provisions of the By-laws placed the annual dues so low that the funds were not sufficient to push the organization, or comply with the demands everywhere for organizers. The greater part of the work done in organizing new territory was solely "a work of love."

It is hardly necessary to state that the usual obstacles were to be overcome in perfecting labor organizations. Cooperation was a grand and distinctive feature of the Order. Among the possibilities in this line were cooperative stores, purchasing and sales agents and cooperative manufactures. The merchants fought it because it was interfering with their business. The commission men opposed it because it was an encroachment upon their established trade; and the manufacturers boycotted it because it was premeditated war upon high prices and enormous profits. But there were other and greater obstacles which the Wheel had to combat. The tone of its preamble and objects as set forth in the Constitution, and the ring of resolutions passed in its meetings indicated that the farmers had begun to grasp the whole situation. That they had not only concluded to practice economy at home in buying and selling, and to educate themselves to a knowledge of better methods of farming, but that class legislation must cease; that monopolies must go; that privileged classes must content themselves with even chances with others in the race of life and the "pursuit of happiness." In other words, they demanded equality and justice, and the practice of rigid economy in the administration of government affairs. They did not pretend to come into the field as a new political party — they were composed of all political parties — but they boldly discussed in their meetings all questions of political economy. They taught that it was the duty of the citizen to educate himself


upon all questions of an economical nature, and that it was his right, nay his duty, to try to secure the ends of justice through the medium of the ballot by the intelligent use of the right of suffrage. Hence they formed their demands. They may have been rudely constructed, as the brains that conceived them and the hands that penned them were not trained in the arts of the wily politician. But they were prompted by honest hearts and founded on the bedrock of eternal justice. The men who drew up those demands were prompted by no selfish motives. The body that adopted them were inspired by patriotic impulses. They were the outgrowth and legitimate result of a false system and corruption in high places. They boldly published them to the world. They were sufficiently plain that politicians saw a new factor rising in the domain of politics. They saw the demands of men whose interests they had neglected.

The plodding farmer who was slow to revolt against the methods which had surrounded him for years was awakening from his lethargic sleep. He beheld the Star-eyed Goddess weeping at the encroachments made against liberty. This plain plodding man, who had been as docile as a lamb, whose vote counted as much as a Gould's or a Vanderbilt's, was rising up, and with the dignity of an American citizen and freeman, was demanding his rights. Some of these men might be threatened, coaxed or cajoled for a time, but the professional politician, the subsidized press and recipients of privileges from class legislation saw that their doom was sealed if this movement was not crushed. They prepared themselves for the struggle. They set the press to work. They secured the aid of the jack-legged lawyers. Through flattery they secured the help of petticoated farmers. They were aided and abetted by bankers, lobbyists, railroad magnates, bondholders, thugs, thieves and


sluggers. They denounced; they bought; they threatened; they lied. They done everything in their power to fire the mind of the public against the movement. But like all other great reforms, the more they fought it the faster it grew. The tearing up of a root here only served to strengthen a branch in another place. It was like a rubber ball, the harder they kicked it the higher it bounced. The very nature of the contestants proved an advantage to the organization.

On one side were arrayed the parasites who lived off of the labor of the producers, the professional politicians and hordes of monopoly. On the other hand were the people, the producers of wealth — the swarthy sons of toil and the pride of the Republic. It is true that the manipulators of trusts and the managers of combines were well equipped with money which they could well afford to spend to retain their grip upon the public, and the contest was unequal from a money standpoint. But the farmers met the conflict bravely. In some places along the line they were compelled to recede; the redoubts of the enemy were too strong; and, strange as it may seem, it was too frequently the case that they had treachery in their own ranks. But on the whole they have advanced. They have met opposition with courage and overcome obstacles with persistence. They have combatted and removed almost insurmountable difficulties with a manly courage, devotion and patriotism equal to the heroes of the Revolution. In the face of all these difficulties the Wheel continued to spread with wonderful rapidity.

The year 1886 rolled by. It will long be remembered by labor organizations as one auspicious for their growth. Not less encouraging, however, was the year 1887. It, too, brought its trials and vicissitudes; but the organization was now established on a firm footing and the fierce conflict of the previous year had given way to local skirmishing.


But our enemies were only preparing for a more deadly encounter. Their redoubts were being strengthened and their agents busy sowing seeds of discord in the ranks of our organization. Much good work, was done this year. Business agencies were established in several States. In persuance of a resolution passed by the State Wheel at Litchfield the previous year, the delegates chosen by that body met the delegates of the Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union, in convention at Shreveport, in October. Delegates from other State Wheels were also present. The Alliance plan of cooperative trade was adopted by the Wheel; the Alliance degree was also conferred upon its members. Decided steps were taken towards uniting the two Orders. In November the National Wheel met at McKenzie, Tennessee. Much important business was transacted. The importance of a united effort upon the part of the agricultural and laboring people was becoming more apparent each day. The farmers were suffering from combinations on every hand. The price of their cotton and other farm products was subjected to the manipulations of speculators and gamblers. A resolution was passed that the next annual meeting of the National Wheel be held at Meridian, Mississippi, "for the purpose of meeting with the Farmers' Alliance and Cooperative Union of America," with a view to consolidating the two bodies.

The next meeting of the National Wheel was held at Meridian, Mississippi, in December, 1888. The States of Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Wisconsin and the Indian Territory were represented. The meeting of the Farmers' Alliance occurred at the same time and place, with a full representation.

The utmost enthusiasm prevailed at this meeting during the entire session, which lasted four days. A committee consisting of W. S. Morgan, E. M. Nolen and H. W. Hickman, were appointed by President McCracken on the


part of the Wheel, to confer with a like committee, consisting of L. L. Polk, G. B. Pickett and C. T. Smithson, on the part of the Alliance. The committee met early on the first day and agreed upon the following report:

"We, your joint committee, appointed to consider a plan for the consolidation of the National Agricultural Wheel and the National Farmers' Alliance and Cooperative Union of America, beg leave to submit the following report:

1st. We most heartily recommend the proposed consolidation of the two Orders.

2d. We recommend that the name of the consolidated Order shall be the National Alliance Wheel and Co-operative Union of America.

3d. We recommend that the two bodies meet in the Court House, in this city, at three o'clock this afternoon in joint session, or in committee of the whole, to be presided over by the President of the National Alliance.

4th. We recommend that on all questions or matters relating to the organic laws of such consolidated body, each body shall be entitled to an equal number of votes, and on all committees appointed to perfect such consolidation, the two bodies are to have equal representation, to be determined by their respective Presidents."

The report was adopted by both bodies, and at the stated time they met in joint session. President Macune appointed the following committee on Constitution and By-Laws: G. B. Pickett, S. B. Alexander, R. T. Love, J. P. Buchanan and A. T. Hatcher; and President McCracken appointed W. S. Morgan, R. H. Morehead, J. M. Coulter, T. W. Rogers and H. C. Brown to serve on the same committee.

The committee reported a Constitution and By-Laws, which were adopted with but little change. The Constitution and By-Laws, as amended and adopted at St. Louis, and which now govern the Order, will be found in another chapter. The meeting at Meridian was harmonious in every respect, and a consolidation of the two Orders effected, subject to ratification by the organized States, a majority of which did ratify and send delegates to the St. Louis meeting. From this time forward the Wheel was merged into the largest labor organization in the world, which the Meridian Convention named The Farmers' and Laborers' Union of America. The following officers were then elected:

President, Evan Jones, Dublin, Texas; Vice-President, Isaac McCracken, Ozone, Arkansas; Secretary, A. E. Gardner, Dresden, Tennessee; Treasurer, Linn Tanner, Cheneyville, Louisiana; Chaplain, J. D. Satterwhite, Bonne Terre, Missouri; Steward, G. L. Clark, Texas; Doorkeeper, F. G. Blood, Illinois; Assistant Doorkeeper, Lee Clow, Ozone, Arkansas.


Chapter IV. History of the Farmer's Alliance.

The First Farmers' Alliance, having a permanent existence, was organized at Poolville, Parker county, Texas, July 28th, 1879. It seems, however, that the name originated in Lampasas county, Texas, about four years previous to the organization at Poolville. The organization in Lampasas county was for the purpose of protecting the farmers from the depredations of the wealthy cattle kings, who preferred that the country should remain in an unsettled state. The existence of this organization, however, was of but short duration. Among its members was W. T. Baggett, of Coryell county, who, in 1879, moved to Parker county, and there organized the first Alliance at Poolville. It seems that the organization in Lampasas and adjoining counties, though originally organized for the protection of the farmers, had become, through the selfishness of some of its members, a means by which they expected to secure political prominence and lucrative positions. This proved fatal to its existence and the organization soon died out. At the time of the organization at Poolville everything of a partisan political nature was eliminated from the original declaration of principles, and from this small beginning the Order was destined to become one of the grandest agricultural organizations in the world. The declaration of principles has been but slightly changed since. The second and seventh articles have been added to those adopted by the Poolville organization. From this organization the Order gradually spread through Parker and adjoining counties. In a short time twelve Sub-Alliances met at Central, in Parker county, and organized a State Alliance. Several meetings, of this body were held during the year 1879, but the work of perfecting a new constitution and ritual was not completed until the close of the following year. Like all new organizations, but little interest was manifested in the Order by the public during the early stages of its existence. But strong, true-hearted and brave men nobly battled for the principles it set forth. They were deeply impressed with its importance and determined to impress their convictions upon the minds of their brother farmers. For years they had borne burdens and impositions, which had taxed their patience to the utmost extent, and from which they were determined to free themselves. It is useless to recount their grievances, as they have already been recorded in another part of this volume. Individual effort could accomplish nothing. Organization was their only relief. It was a noble effort, these few men battling against such fearful odds. But a spirit of unrest was pervading the whole agricultural community. The yoke of bondage was becoming more galling every day. The Order at first grew slowly, but its growth was of a character that gave it strength and respectability. The following declaration of purposes indicate the principles upon which the Order rests:


1. To labor for the education of the agricultural classes, in the science of economical government, in a strictly non-partisan spirit.

2. To indorse the motto, "in things essential, unity; and, in all things charity."

3. To develop a better state, mentally, morally, socially and financially.

4. To create a better understanding for sustaining civil officers in maintaining law and order.

5. To constantly strive to secure entire harmony and good will among all mankind and brotherly love among ourselves.

6. To suppress personal, local, sectional and national prejudices; all unhealthful rivalry and all selfish ambition.

7. The brightest jewels which it garners are the tears of widows and orphans, and its imperative commands are to visit the homes where lacerated hearts are bleeding; to assuage the sufferings of a brother or a sister; bury the dead; care for the widows and educate the orphans; to exercise charity towards offenders; to construe words and deeds in their most favorable light, granting honesty of purpose and good intentions to others; and to protect the principles of the Alliance unto death. Its laws are reason and equity, its cardinal doctrines inspire purity of thought and life, and its intentions are "peace on earth and good will towards men."

It would be a wonder if an order promulgating to the world such a grand declaration of principles, did not attract to its ranks the thousands of farmers who felt that the iron hand of monopoly was each succeeding year tightening its grasp upon the productive interests of the country, and threatening to undermine the very foundations upon which the business of the country was supposed to rest. In their declaration of purposes they breathe the inspiration of liberty. In this new document was embodied the very essence of the declaration of American Independence. In it were contained the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. The authors of this declaration were inspired by a patriot-ism and wisdom not surpassed by any body of men of any age or time. There was no attempt at ostentatious affectation; no demagogism. Simple in language, it contains "thoughts that breathe and words that burn."


These men beheld with dismay the absolute indifference everywhere manifested of the dangerous tendencies of the times, arid boldly declared themselves ready to labor "for the education of the agricultural classes, in the science of economical government." But knowing the rock upon which other organizations had split, they were willing to lay down party prejudice and "labor in a strictly non-partisan spirit;" to take for their motto: "In things essential unity, in all things charity." They desired to better their condition, "mentally, morally, socially and financially." They believed in the universal brotherhood of man. They held that the producers of wealth should enjoy the fruits of their toil. They abhorred sectional strife and labored to secure harmony. They deprecated class legislation, but avowed themselves in favor of "maintaining law and order." Of the Order, they declared that "the brightest jewels it garners are the tears of the widows and orphans," and that its imperative duty was "to visit the homes where lacerated hearts are bleeding, and assuage the sufferings of a brother or a sister." They proclaimed that "its laws are reason and equity, its cardinal doctrines inspire purity of thought and life, and its intentions are ‘peace on earth and good will towards men.’"

Proclaiming these doctrines to the world it went forth fighting for equal justice for all. The only wonder is, that, with these grand principles, based upon human rights, it met with any opposition. The purity of its purposes might have been sung by the angels of Heaven, but they would have met with opposition from the demons of hell. An organization founded upon these grand principles was not to succeed without being tried in the crucible of stubborn opposition. The emissaries of Satan are always busy. Not only was its progress greatly impeded by the determined and obstinate opposition from without, but at times its very existence was threatened with commotion


from within. Different interpretations were held as to the character and extent of its objects and the limit of its powers. This was the natural result of the formation of a new organization. Then, selfishness, malice and envy are elements in the nature of man that are never entirely eradicated, no difference how grand the objects of the organization to which he belongs, or noble the purposes which inspire him. Man is not only selfish but sensitive. This latter element in his nature leads him to resent the least appearance of being slighted, or not being properly appreciated. Then, constitutions, notwithstanding much pains may be bestowed upon their construction, and wisdom and foresight displayed in their formation, are never perfect. All these elements, though easily bridged over while the Order was in its infancy, presented, at a later date, serious questions and obstacles with which the organization had to combat. One of the most serious obstacles with which the Alliance — and all other labor organizations — had, and still has to combat, was the lack of education among the masses upon those questions which mostly relate to their interests. Passions and prejudices are the natural outgrowth of ignorance. These elements are inconsistent with the teachings of the Order, and greatly impede its growth. To conciliate our differences we must have intelligent as well as harmonious discussion. This, the Alliance has sought to do. With what results let the present harmonious condition, and remarkable success of the Order testify. The Alliance does not war against individuals, only as those individuals represent systems which are at variance with the best interests of the masses of the citizens of the Republic. It is these false systems which it seeks to correct. It would be useless to recite the many objects of the Order, or the reasons for its existence. They are substantially the same as those of the Wheel, which have already been discussed, and a rehearsal


would only prove tiresome to the reader. The great success which has attended the organization in the past is the best evidence that the agricultural classes appreciate the good purposes of the Order and are availing themselves of its benefits. For more than a year after the first Alliance was organized at Poolville, they worked without a charter. It soon became evident, however, that to successfully carry out the objects of the Order and secure the confidence of the public, it was necessary to become a chartered institution. On the 6th of October, 1880, the following charter was secured:


State of Texas, J. N. Montgomery et al. State of Texas, County of Parker.

Know all Men by these presents: That we, L. S. Tackitt, J. H. Dover and G. M. Plumlee, citizens of the State and county aforesaid, and such others as they may hereafter associate with them, have heretofore, to-wit: On the 12th day of August, 1880, formed themselves, with J. N. Montgomery, J. C. Gilliland, J. W. Sullivan, L. G. Oxford, Andrew Dunlap, J. S. Welch, William Thompson and others, into an association and organization under the name of "Farmers' Alliance," said association being formed for the purpose of encouraging agriculture, horticulture, and to suppress personal, local, sectional and national prejudices, and all unhealthy rivalry and selfish ambition. The business of said corporation is to be transacted in the city of Weatherford, county and State aforesaid. The term of existence of this association is fixed at twenty-five years, from August 12th, 1880.

The Trustees to-wit: J. H. Dover, W. T. Baggett and L. S. Tackitt, residents of Parker county, were duly elected for the first year, ending August 12th, 1881.

Said society has no capital stock, and the estimated


value of the goods, chattels, lands, rights and credit owned by said association is fifty dollars.

The following persons were elected officers for twelve months from August 12th, 1880:

President, J. N. Montgomery; Vice-President, W. T. Baggett; Secretary, J. H. Dover; Assistant Secretary, J. C. Gilliland; Lecturer, L. G. Oxford; Assistant Lecturer, A. Dunlap; Treasurer, J. W. Sullivan; Doorkeeper, J. S. Welch; Assistant Doorkeeper, William Thompson.

In witness whereof, we, as citizens of the State of Texas, have on this the 6th day of October, 1880, subscribed our names.


L. S. Tackitt.

J. H. Dover,

G. M. Plumlee.

At this time the organization had not extended beyond a few counties, and had confined its efforts to remedying social conditions and local business affairs. The great need of the Order was proper literature for the education of the masses. The want of such literature was sorely felt and proved a great drawback to the progress of the organization. The farmers were everywhere discouraged and almost indifferent to their condition, which they could readily see was growing worse each year. In February, 1881, the State Alliance convened at Poolville, in Parker county. The secretary was authorized to issue charters to all Sub-Alliances. The Weatherford Herald was selected in which to publish matters of general interest to the Order, and the secretary of each Sub-Alliance was authorized to act as an agent to increase its subscription. August 9th and 10th, 1881, the State Alliance met at Goshen; J. N. Montgomery, president. A form for burial service and a regalia were adopted and much other business of importance transacted. In February, 1882, the State Alliance


again met, in Weatherford, Texas. Andy Dunlap presided over this meeting, and C. M. Wilcox was secretary. At this meeting the eligibility clause of the constitution was amended, restricting the membership to white persons only. The three degrees in which the Order had been working were simplified and combined into one. This placed the members upon an equal basis, and permitted the humblest to enter any of the meetings of the Order. The Alliance was, perhaps, the first secret order that ever adopted this method. The next meeting of the State Alliance was held at Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto county, Texas, August 8th, 1882. Up to this time there had been 120 Sub-Alliances organized. As this was the year in which the State election was to be held the subject of politics came before the body, and the result of the discussion was the passage of the following resolution:

"Resolved, That it is contrary to the spirit of the Constitution and By-Laws of our Order to take part in party politics, and we will not nominate or support any man or set of men for office as a distinct party or political organization."

The officers had up to this time performed their duties without remuneration, but the work of the secretary had increased to such an extent that he was now allowed a salary of one hundred dollars per year for his services. The next meeting of the State Alliance was held at Weatherford, Texas, August 7th, 1883. Although the Order had now spread over Parker, Wise, Jack, Palo Pinto and Hood counties, and a number of new Alliances organized since the meeting of the previous year, there were, at this meeting, the least number of delegates in attendance of any of the State meetings since 1880. It appeared as though the predictions of its enemies and the fears of its friends were about to be realized, and the Alliance


suffer disintegration. S. O. Daws, Lecturer, and C. M. Wilcox, Secretary, were the only officers present. Many causes are attributed to this apparent decline of the Order. The organization was now entering its trial period. Men's souls were being tried in the crucible of adversity. But they were equal to the task. They rose with the occasion. These hardy pioneers of reform were not to be so easily discouraged. Many of their attempts at co-operative trade had been unsuccessful. Their efforts in this direction had been treated with contempt. Altogether the year had not been an auspicious one for the Order. Many who had attached themselves to the organization through selfish motives, or thinking its object was the formation of a new political party, dropped out when they discovered its real objects and interests. A number of Sub-Alliances went down. But those that were left multiplied themselves. They now put forth greater efforts than ever. The zeal of the old members was rekindled and new ones added to the organization. At the next meeting of the State Alliance, held in February 1884, at Chico, Wise county, there were about fifty Sub-Alliances represented. W. L. Garvin was President and C. M. Wilcox, Secretary. One month prior to this meeting President Garvin had employed S. O. Daws as Traveling Lecturer. Mr. Daws reported the organization of seventeen Sub-Alliances as the result of this month's work. The body confirmed the appointment made by the President and elected Mr. Daws Traveling Lecturer for the ensuing year. Up to this time the trade system had not given the satisfaction desired and the body passed the following resolution:

"Resolved, That we encourage the formation of joint stock companies in Sub and County Alliances for the purpose of trade and for the personal benefit of the members financially."

The State Alliance convened again at Weatherford,


August 5th, 1884. There were present at this meeting one hundred and eight delegates. On the cloud that had looked so dark the year before now began to appear a silver lining. The farmers were becoming aroused from their lethargic indifference and were inspired with new hope. In most all of their attempts to deal directly with wholesale establishments and manufacturers they had met with a cool reception. They began to realize how completely they were in the hands and power of merchants and commission men. The State Alliance recommended to the farmers the importance of establishing cotton yards of their own with a view to act in concert and sell direct to the factories. This movement was met with great opposition from those who had hitherto speculated on this important staple. However, they succeeded to an extent that demonstrated the saving of many thousands of dollars to the farmers of the State. The next meeting was held at Decatur, Wise county, August 4th, 1885. J. A. Culwell presided, and C. M. Wilcox was Secretary. The Order had now began to assume an importance and develop a strength which was surprising, even to its most enthusiastic friends. Over six hundred delegates were present and the greatest enthusiasm prevailed. Co-operative trade was discussed in all its relations to the interests of the farmers. Resolutions were adopted recommending to the County Alliances the importance of concerted action in the sale of the products of the farm, and plans devised to further perfect the system of co-operative trade. Provisions were also made to guard against such a large delegation, restricting the counties to three delegates. The next meeting of the State Alliance was at Cleburne, Johnson county, August 6th, 1886. At this meeting eighty-four counties were represented. The Order had met with much opposition during the year, but on the whole it had redounded to its benefit. The farmer was brought to see


plainer than ever the monstrous evils with which he had for years been afflicted. He also saw, in this determined opposition, a remedy for these evils. To break these combinations and free themselves from the shackles that bound them to a system which annually robbed them of millions of dollars, they now earnestly set to work.

The committee on sale and shipment of cotton reported as follows:

1. Recognizing that cotton is the most important crop — financially considered — that concerns the farmers of this great State; that its value for last year having been $80,000,000, as paid by the spinners, and $64,000,000 paid to the producers, leaving a margin of $16,000,000, over half of which immense sum was marginal profits; that this year the crop will not vary much from that of last year; hence, if concerted action is not taken by the producers of Texas, eight or nine million dollars will again be swallowed up as marginal profits, over and above all fair charges, to liquidating expenses of transportation, sampling, weighing, inspecting, classifying, handling, etc. Eight or nine million dollars are lost each year to the producers of Texas, principally through false weights, defective sampling, cliques and corners, and enormous charges for transportation. Therefore, your committee recommends, after careful consideration, that the cotton-yard system be adopted by the County Alliances as the surest and most immediate relief to the producers of the State.

2. It is recommended by your committee that the County Alliances (either singly or where a number of counties lie contiguous to an oil mill) make the best terms possible for the sale of cotton seed, and that each County Alliance making such arrangement shall report terms of such to the secretary of the State Alliance for transmission


to all the County Alliances of the State, if that officer deem said report of sufficient importance.

3. Your committee recommend that each County Alliance in the cotton district hold a called meeting for discussion and action on the cotton problem as soon after receiving notice of this recommendation as possible.

4. Your committee suggests that the State secretary or corresponding State secretary, if such an officer should be elected, shall write to the general agent of the pooled railroad lines in Texas as to the best rates that said pooled lines will give on cotton shipments, and report such answer to each county secretary. Also, to get statements concerning best rates on cotton from railroad lines not in the pool, for transmission to the County Alliances. E. D. MACREADY,



Much important business was transacted at this meeting, the details of which would prove of but little interest to the reader. During the year many co-operative enterprises had been established with a success which demonstrated that the efforts of the organization had not been in vain. The Southern Mercury was adopted as the official organ of the State. Shortly after the Cleburne meeting, President Andy Dunlap, Vice-President, J. D. Eddleman, and John H. Harrison, chairman of the executive committee, resigned their offices and C. W. Macune became president of the Texas State Alliance. He at once set about to perform the duties of his office, which by this time had increased in extent and responsibility. Mr. Macune at once saw and grasped the situation. He early conceived the idea of a National organization of the farmers. With this view he sent Hon. Evan Jones as a delegate to confer with the Farmers' Union in Louisiana.


He then issued a call for a meeting of the State Alliance for the purpose of electing a President, Vice-President and Chairman of the Executive Committee, to perfect plans of co-operation and to elect delegates with a view to organizing a national body. This called session was held in the city of Waco, on the 17th day of January, 1887, C. W. Macune President pro tem., and J. H. Moore, Secretary. Hon. Evan Jones was elected President of the State Alliance; B. F. Butler, Vice-President, and J. H. Harrison member of the Executive Committee. Delegates were also elected to meet with representatives of the Farmers' Union of Louisiana, for the purpose of consolidating the two bodies. The Union of Louisiana was an organization having the same objects in view as those of the Alliance. The first Union was organized at Antioch Church, March 10th, 1886. To Samuel Skinner and J. A. Tetts, perhaps, more than any others belong the credit of originating and perfecting the organization. The Order spread rapidly throughout the State, and when the Waco meeting was called, sent delegates there to aid in the organization of a National body. The convention for that purpose was held on the 18th day of January, 1887, and the organization effected. C. W. Macune was elected President; J. A. Tetts, of Louisiana, First Vice-President; G. B. Pickett, of Decatur, Texas, Second Vice-President, and E. B. Warren, Secretary. A National Constitution was framed and adopted and much other important business transacted. President Macune, realizing the importance of organization, now began to send organizers in other States and the Order rapidly spread over most of the Southern States. Everywhere the farmers were realizing the importance of organization and united action against those who were encroaching upon their rights. During this time the Alliance in Texas was taking effective steps towards putting their co-operative


plans into practical operation. A Cotton Congress was held in the city of Waco, on the 4th of May, 1887. Plans for manufacturing woolen and cotton goods were considered, and many business enterprises discussed, which have since been put in practical operation. A short time after this session the Alliance purchased, for $50,000, the celebrated Marble Falls, situated in Burnett county, Texas. These falls, said to possess over 2,300 horse power, are centrally located in the State and surrounded by a country rich in the production of raw materials. Here it is proposed to erect woolen and cotton mills. The wisdom of this enterprise is unquestioned. With the savings of freight, storage, commission and middlemen's profits thus effected, the farmers of Texas will be profited many thousand dollars. Besides the water power the purchase includes extensive quarries of the finest granite, immense beds of variegated marble and large deposits of coal and iron. Partly on account of an oversight and for other reasons we have unfortunately failed to obtain the proceedings of the State Alliance for 1887. On the 21st day of August, 1888, it met in the city of Dallas. Hon. Evan Jones had been re-elected President and presided over this meeting. A large delegation was present and the greatest enthusiasm prevailed. The address of President Jones was able and pointed. He reminded the delegates of the responsibilities resting upon them. "You represent here today," said he, "one of the greatest industries, one of the most powerful organizations in the world; an organization founded on equity and justice, whose cardinal doctrines inspire purity of thought and life, and whose intentions are ‘Peace on earth and good will towards all mankind.’ * * At no meeting ever before held in the history of our Order has the Farmers' State Alliance been confronted with graver questions or business of greater importance than the one now in regular session assembled. As a result


of the rapid growth of our organization and success of our gigantic undertakings in business, we have encountered great opposition, and no effort will be spared by that opposition to thwart our efforts to free ourselves from the iron grasp of monopolistic oppression and slavery. In dealing with these great questions it is of vital importance that you lose sight of all selfish ambitions, remembering that the weal or woe of more than 250,000 honest trusting farmers is dependent upon your action."

The report of the committee on industrial depression is so clear and pointed that we feel it best to append the report in full:


To the President, Officers and Members of the Farmers' State Alliance of Texas:

"We, your committee to enquire into the cause of industrial depression, beg leave to submit the following report, assuring you, however, that the time at the disposal of your committee is entirely inadequate to make a thorough investigation of the subject. We gather the more prominent facts from authorized statistics, with the most rational deductions we are able to make there-from and present them for your intelligent consideration:

"It is a fact which can not and should not be longer disguised, that there is among the laboring and producing people an alarming destitution of the means of maintaining a progressive civilization. The masses of the people who are engaged in productive industries, are being driven, year by year, and day by day, nearer a condition of serfdom and tenantry. Where is the responsibility for this condition? Is it the failing energy and enterprise of the people? Has the increase of population outstripped the


industry, intelligence and enterprise of the toilers of this nation, upon a continent rich in all the natural elements of production, blessed by Providence with every variety of climate and soil demanded?

"The total meat product in the United States in 1884 was 1,497,356,943 pounds; in 1885, 1,577,932,305 pounds; in 1887, 1,619,126,582 pounds, an average annual increase of five and one-third per cent. ; at this ratio the meat product would double itself in eighteen and three-fourths years. The total production of cotton in the United States in 1867 was 2,019,774 bales; in 1868 it was 2,593,993 bales; in 1869 it was 2,439,030 bales; in 1885 it was 5,669,021 bales; in 1886 it was 6,550,215 bales; in 1887 it was 6,513,624 bales, an increase in production of over two hundred and fifty per cent. in twenty years, while the average increase of population for the same period of time is only sixty-six and two-thirds per cent. We are presented then with this anomalous condition. We find the ratio of increase of production to the ratio of increase of population two to one, the ratio of transportation facilities is equal to the ratio of production. We find that the people with greatly enlarged production and every facility for transportation and communication, are growing poorer. We conclude, therefore, that the cause of depression and poverty among the producing classes is not a lack of industry and attention to business; it is not because a generous soil has refused to respond to the efforts of the agriculturist; it is not because the earth has refused to yield up her precious ores; it is not because our forests are exhausted; it is not because fat kine are not upon the thousand hills; we must look elsewhere for the present depressed condition of the masses of our people. This great increase of production results in a corresponding increase of national wealth; but where is the wealth? It is not with the producers; it must be with some other


class. We again examine the statistics. The total net earnings of the national banks for the year 1887, were $64,506,868,66. The net earnings of the national banking associations of the United States for the past seventeen years is $857,639,430. 66. This is the net profits of these institutions, during a period of seventeen years, on a circulation of notes that contain not an element of safety, nor a monetary function that is not injected into them by the statutes of the general government. During the last twenty years the people have paid in interest on the national debt, the enormous sum of $2,153,691,193. The total amount of interest paid by the people in the past twenty years, as interest on a bonded national debt, and on a national circulation based thereon, will in the aggregate amount to over $3,000,000,000, or $50 per capita. Here is $3,000,000,000 that have gone into the coffers of a class known as bondholders and national bankers.

"The public debts of the states in 1880, amounted to $1,056,583,146. This draws from the people, not less than $74,000,000 annually in interest.

"The people paid to the railway companies of the United States in 1887, in gross earnings, $822,191,949. Their net earnings for the same year were $300,602,565.

"At this point we beg leave to refer you to an address to his Excellency, Governor L. S. Ross, dated Austin, Texas, April 4, 1888, signed by thirty-two members of the Texas Legislature:

"First — For six years or more the people of the State have been demanding legislation to restrain the rail-road corporations of this state, from violating plain povisions of the constitution, and to restrict the powers of the same to impose upon the products and merchandise of the country, burdensome and extortionate charges for the transportation of the same.

"Second — To every legislature for the past six years


have the people looked and appealed in vain for relief from this form of taxation, so grievous and oppressive in some counties that the revenue collected therein for the support of State and county governments sinks into insignificance compared with that annually gathered by the railroads of the state for transporting the products of the country to market.

"We submit that what is true in Texas in this regard is true throughout the States of the Union.

"The net earnings of the Western Union Telegraph Company for the past twenty years aggregate the sum of $85,840,089. If we add to these vast sums the interests and profits that are paid to other corporations and trusts, together with the vast amount of interest on private indebtedness, it is easy to discover why the condition of labor is daily becoming more intolerable. The substance of the people is eaten out by usury. The public debt of the United States at the close of the war between the States was $2,773,236,173. 69, or $50 per capita, principally in the form of treasury notes circulating among the people as money, and costing them no interest. These served a beneficent purpose. They furnished an abundant circulating medium. The people were individually out of debt. Productive labor and legitimate business enterprises prospered. The people were making and gaining homes, not losing them. Churches and schools were well sustained.

"The government entered upon a contracting policy at the close of the war, in order to resume specie payment. The treasury notes were converted into interest bearing bonds and national bank notes, and gradually substituted for them in circulation. This contracting policy, coupled with the hoarding policy, ostensibly maintained to success-fully maintain resumption, has withdrawn the circulation from the people and congested it in the United States


treasury and money centers of the country, until there is no money among the masses to enable them to effect exchanges without submitting to the tolls and exactions of the organized money trusts in this country. The people have been forced to the expedient of doing business on chattel mortgages or bills of sale to the sweat and blood of labor instead of legal tender currency. The above facts unmistakably point out the causes of industrial depression. We therefore recommend the following legislative remedies:


1. That the national banking system shall be abolished.

2. That the money of the country shall consist of coin and United States treasury notes, all a full legal tender for all debts, public and private, and in sufficient volume to do the business of the country in cash.

3. That there shall be unlimited coinage of silver as well as gold.

4. That there shall be constitutional amendments submitted to the States prohibiting forever hereafter the issuing of interest-bearing bonds, or the chartering of banks with the power to issue notes that shall circulate as money, and requiring that the President and Vice-President of the United States and postmasters be elected by a popular vote.

5. That the inter-state commerce act be so amended as to secure to the whole people the benefits of railway transportation at just rates, and rigidly enforced by a railroad commission.

6. The passage of a law prohibiting the formation of trusts and combinations by speculators to secure control of the necessaries of life for the purpose of forcing up prices on consumers, imposing heavy penalties.


7. The passage of a law prohibiting alien ownership of land in the United States.

8. That corporations holding grants of public lands from State or National Government be required to alienate to bona fide settlers in small bodies, not exceeding three hundred and twenty acres to each purchaser, all lands within a period of twelve years from date of grant, or forfeit of title.

We demand of our State government the following Legislative reforms:

1. That all questions involving the outlay of public money for any purpose beyond the current expenses of the county, or bonding the county for any purpose whatever, a vote of the qualified voters shall be had, and commissioners' courts shall act in accordance with a majority vote.

2. That unimproved lands be assessed for taxation at the same value per acre as improved lands of same quality and locality, or market price, and that the land commissioner rigidly enforce the law requiring actual settlement of the lands sold by the State.

3. That the homestead law be not tampered with.

4. That the State establish maximum freight and passenger rates on railroads chartered by the State, upon a basis that will allow no more than a reasonable income on the money actually invested in the road and to defray the cost of repairs and operating the roads.

J. M. PERDUE, Chairman;



Committee on Industrial Depression.

C. W. GEERS, Chairman;



Committee on Good of the Order.


While the growth of the Order was remarkable in Texas, it was also rapidly extending into other States.


In the spring of 1889 President Macune sent organizers into the State of Alabama. Prior to this, however, S. T. Jacobs had come from Texas to North Alabama and organized a number of subordinate Alliances. The first of these was organized at Beech Grove, Madison county, and received its charter March 30th, 1887. Organizations in Jackson, Marshall and Limestone counties quickly followed, and when President Macune's organizers reached the State, they found a State Alliance already organized. J. P. Oliver, the efficient Secretary of the State Alliance says: "The Alabama State Alliance called a convention to meet at Cave Spring, Madison county, August 2d, 1887. This was their second convention. The first had met when they applied for incorporation. In the meanwhile the men sent out by the National organization had done good work in Chilton, Russell, Lee, Tallapoosa, Coosa, Bibb, Shelby, Bauderdale, Talladega, Perry, St. Clair and Elmore counties. These counties, learning of the Alabama State organization, decided to send delegates to their convention at Cave Spring."

These delegations were admitted to the State Alliance.

W. J. McKelvey was the first President of the State Alliance, and G. W. Jones the first secretary. At the second meeting of the State Alliance, S. M. Adams was elected President, and J. W. Brown, Secretary.

This convention elected five delegates to represent Alabama at the convention of the National Union to be held in Shreveport, Pa., the second Wednesday in October, 1887, and to apply for admission of the Alabama Alliance into that body. The admission was granted, a charter issued, and thus Alabama became a part of the National organization.


The remarkable growth of the Order is best shown by the following statistics furnished by the Secretary: "In January, 1887, the Order was totally unknown to the general public. When incorporated, February, 1887, there were 500 members; at the August convention, 1887, there were represented 200 primary Alliances and 1,500 members; by December 31,1887,279 lodges and 4,000 members; by August convention, 1888, 823 Alliances, and 17,000 members; by December 31, 1888, 1,289 Alliances and 35,000 members; by August convention, 1889, 1,555 Alliances and 50,000 members; at present (October 24, '89), 1,600 Alliances and 64,000 members And this army of men, banded together in a common cause, is increased by members of the "Wheel" in north Alabama, to 80,000. There are now sixty-two of sixty-six counties in the State fully organized, and there is partial organization in all of the other four counties.

The third annual meeting of the State Alliance was held at Camp Branch, in Shelby county, August 7th, 1888. Here a number of resolutions were passed demanding needed legislation. As a result of this action, Mr. Oliver, the present State Secretary, says: "Now, the multiplicity and variety of these resolutions (most of them made public for the first time) may cause a renewal of the charge that the farmers do more "resoluting" than anything else, and that they frequently meddle with matters which do not concern them. Let us examine: One of the above resolutions appears to have been worth $100,000, for that amount was appropriated to common schools at the first session of the General Assembly after it was offered. Representatives in Congress have begun exertions to have the national banking laws amended, so it seems that the resolution on that line was loaded with buck shot and didn't hang fire."

One of the resolutions was that the organizations in the


different States should be represented at Congress by a Committee on Demands, for the purpose of securing legislation to protect the interests of agriculture. The Legislative Committee constituted by the National body at St. Louis, in December, 1889, indicates that other States were in line with Alabama on this important question. At this convention S. M. Adams was re-elected President and J. P. Oliver was chosen Secretary.

The next meeting of the State Alliance was held at Auburn, in August, 1889. The great absorbing question was the consolidation of the different agricultural organizations. This convention, in addition to many other resolutions, passed one asking that the government loan money to farmers, on real estate at half its value, at two per cent. interest per annum. Bills to that effect have since been introduced in Congress by Senator Stanford, of California, and Congressman Featherston, of Arkansas.

Alabama has a State Exchange with a large capital and is saving the members of the Order many thousand dollars each year.

The union of the Wheel and Alliance was perfected October 15th, 1889. The Order in Alabama has educated the people on political and economic questions, has taught them improved methods of farming, has brought about concert of action among them, and has united them in feeling, in desire and in determination.


The organization of the Farmers' Alliance in Dakota began in 1884. In response to an informal call a number of influential farmers assembled at the city of Huron, December 19, 1884. The number assembled was small, but they fully comprehended the need of an organization, and the benefits to be derived from it. Several local Alliances had been previously organized and


were represented by delegates. Mr. N. E. Reed, of Huron, was chosen Chairman and W. F. Eastman, editor of the Dakota Farmer, Secretary. After adopting a series of resolutions, the meeting adjourned, to meet in Huron, February 4th, 1885.

At this meeting a Territorial organization was perfected. The following officers were elected. President, J. L. Carlisle; Vice-President, S. R. Montague; Secretary, W. F. T. Bushnell; Treasurer, A. D. Chase. The work of organizing local Alliances went on rapidly and the growth has been constant and healthy.

At the beginning of the year 1890, there had been upwards of 900 Alliances organized in both Dakotas, the membership ranging from seven to one hundred and more. The year 1890 has witnessed a remarkable revival in Alliance work in Dakota. The oppressions of monopoly and the extortions of trusts have aroused the people to the necessity of united action.

The prospect of an early union with the great National Alliance and Industrial Union has had a beneficial influence. The Dakota Farmers' Alliance has saved many thousands of dollars to the members. They have attempted several lines of business with a marked degree of success. They have a corporate company with an al-lowed capital of $200,000. They are handling nearly all kinds of farm machinery, twine and coal. They have made a marked impression on the price of these articles. They have organized insurance companies, and are now carrying fire, hail and life insurance risks. The reputation of their insurance companies is second to none in the State. The losses have always been promptly paid and their adjustments given such entire satisfaction that they have never yet been obliged to resort to litigation. Their plan of insurance has been indorsed by the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, and it is expected


that a National insurance organization will be made, with headquarters at Washington and branches in all the States. When this is accomplished it will be possible to carry insurance at actual cost. The last annual meeting of the State Alliance was held at Aberdeen, South Dakota, November 26th, 1889. Owing to the division of the Territory into two parts, and their admission as States, the Alliance was divided. The South Dakota Alliance elected the following officers: President, H. L. Loucks, Clear Lake; First Vice-President, C. V. Gardner, Postville; Second Vice-President, C. A. Soderberg, Hartford; Secretary-Treasurer, Sophia M. Harden, Woonsocket. The Ruralist, published at Huron, E. B. Cummings, editor, was made the official State organ. At present there is a wonderful amount of enthusiasm among the farmers of Dakota and organizing is very much easier done than ever before. At the Aberdeen meeting the North Dakota State Alliance elected Walter Muir, President, and M. D. Williams, Secretary.


In the summer of 1887 Oswald Wilson went from Texas to Florida and began organizing Alliances. So successful were his efforts that in August of that year a State Alliance was organized. Oswald Wilson was elected President, and Thomas A. Hall, Secretary. Since then the Order has spread rapidly over the State. In the way of trading they have the Farmers' Alliance Exchange of Florida, which buys and sells for the members and saves them thousands of dollars. The Exchange is located in Jacksonville. It consists of a cotton and orange department, with a special manager over each. In addition to this it handles all products of the farm, and purchases for the members direct from the manufacturers. The membership in December, 1889, was 25,000. It has


increased rapidly since that date. The last meeting of the State Alliance was held in January, 1890. R. F. Rogers was elected President; A. P. Baskin, Secretary; C. S. Young, Treasurer, and J. B. Young, Lecturer. The annual meeting of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union for 1890 will be held at Ocalla, Florida.


In March, 1887, J. B. Wilkes was sent into Georgia as a National Organizer. He organized the first Alliance at Antioch, in Troup county, with only thirteen charter members. On December 20th, 1887, the State Alliance was organized at Fort Valley, with fourteen county organizations, and one hundred and eighty Sub-Alliances. Eight months afterward, at Macon, Georgia, the first annual meeting of the State Alliance was held. Between the time of the State organization and this meeting, there were but few facilities for pushing the organization; yet, at that date, August 21st, 1888, there were 1,059 Alliances, with a male membership of 28,000, and 6,000 females. From this date the organization was rapidly advanced, and at the annual session, August 20th, 1889, there were 2,062 Alliances, with a membership upon which dues had been paid of 54,528, and a female membership of 15,089; total, 69,617. The State of Georgia is perhaps in the best shape financially and otherwise of any of the organized States. The members are loyal and determined, using, almost exclusively, cotton bagging during the fall of 1889. The State Exchange has been organized upon a business and smooth working basis, with a paid-up capital of $70,000. It has caused a universal reduction in prices of all commodities purchased by farmers — none more perceptible than that of commercial fertilizers. In a letter of recent date, L. F. Livingstone, the worthy and efficient President of the State Alliance, says:


"Every effort is being made to create a distrust in the Order against the Exchange. There seems to be two salient points of attack at this time from the outside. First, the Exchange. Second, any "Political" affiliation or co-operation among the membership. Those that oppress and grow rich at the expense of the many find that the Exchange is very much in their way. And those that have so long controlled the legislation of the State are wonderfully exercised over the probability of the farmers taking a hand in future legislation.

"Co-operative stores, ware-houses, gins, oil-mills, guano factories and other useful enterprises are common in many localities in Georgia, owned and controlled by Alliance men. The State is in a better condition financially than for many years past. A much larger per cent. of farm supplies were produced in 1889 than formerly. But little in this line will be purchased in 1890. The masses are being educated more rapidly than we ever expected to see. They have a better understanding of their business and how farming stands related to other callings, and especially to the real reasons of oppression and debt all over our land. The monetary system of the country is being thoroughly understood and universally condemned by the membership; transportation as it affects the farmer is being looked into, and a demand is being made in Georgia that railroads shall no longer be used to build up centers at the expense of the rural sections of the State; and no denial will be taken until this evil is done with. The Alliance people of Georgia are reading and thinking, and this is one of the most hopeful signs of the Order and its success. We have endeavored to keep a lecturer in the field all the time, and this has been a great agency in the education and perseverance of the brotherhood, as well as to cause the outside world to view us from a different standpoint. Alliancemen in Georgia are strong in faith and hope that the Order will


accomplish all that for which it was intended. The fight on jute bagging began in Georgia, and has been successfully waged in every section of the State. That much good has been done is the universal admission on all hands. And much more remains to be done."

The Georgia Alliance certainly deserves much credit for the great work it has accomplished. D. F. Livingston is President and R. U. Burk, Secretary of the State Alliance. The officers of the State Exchange are W. L. Peek, President, and W. S. Ledbetter, Secretary.


During the year 1887, a member of the Alliance in Texas, whose name we have been unable to obtain, was visiting some kin-folks in Cowley county, Kansas. During his stay in that county he succeeded in organizing a few Sub-Alliances, and from this beginning the Order took its start in the State. Sometime after another organizer by the name of Shives came into the State and effected a number of organizations in Harvey and adjoining counties. About the same time W. P. Brush went into Cowley county and succeeded in organizing many Alliances in that and adjoining counties. The first County Alliance was organized in Cowley county. Others followed soon after, and in November, 1888, W. P. Brush was empowered by the National authorities to call a meeting and organize a State Alliance. This organization was effected in December, 1888. B. H. Clover was elected President, and J. B. French, Secretary. B. H. Clover, the worthy President of the Kansas State Alliance and Vice-President of the National Alliance, writing of the situation at that time, says "Immediately after the State organization the work commenced in earnest, and the alarming business situation caused a stampede into the Alliance ranks, in order to formulate some plan of relief from the power of monopolies."


In a short time fully one-half of the counties in the State were organized and at the next State meeting, held at Newton on the 14th day of August, 1889, a large and enthusiastic representation was present. B. H. Clover and J. B. French were re-elected to fill the same positions.

Delegates were elected to the National meeting to be held in St. Louis in December following. Since the St. Louis meeting and the publication of the Demands there adopted, the membership has more than doubled. There are at present about 3,000 Sub-Alliances in the State with a membership of over 100,000.

The Alliance of Kansas has many strong advocates among the public press. In this respect it stands, perhaps, ahead of every other State. Many of these papers have an extensive circulation and are ably conducted. The Order is in good shape and ready to make a strong fight for industrial freedom. At a recent meeting of representatives of the Alliance, Grange, Knights of Labor and other organizations it was decided to put out an independent ticket in the State. The struggle will be fierce and the result watched with great interest throughout the nation.


Before the Alliance made its appearance in Louisiana, Samuel Skinner, J. A. Tetts and others had organized what was known as the Farmers' Union. This organization had the same objects in view as the Farmers' Alliance. In its early existence the Union occupied the territory east of Red River.

The first Alliance was organized west of Red River by J. W. DeSpain and J. Groves, October 7th, 1886. On the following day they organized another Alliance in Desoto Parish. This territory had been previously canvassed by T. J. Guise, and as a result Desoto Parish was


rapidly organized; all of the Alliances being chartered by the State Alliance of Texas. In May, 1887, the organized Alliances and Unions united, forming the State Union of Louisiana. The Alliances surrendered their charters and received charters from the State Union. The Order now increased rapidly throughout the State until at the present time (February, 1890) there are thirty-nine parishes organized, with about seven hundred subordinate Unions. On the 18th day of January, 1887, the Farmers' Union of Louisiana consolidated with the State Alliance of Texas and formed the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America.


In the latter part of April, 1887, J. W. DeSpain and J. Groves made their appearance as organizers in Butler county, Missouri. Early in May following Mr. Groves organized Liberty Alliance in Butler county, which was the first Alliance organized in the State. Other Alliances were soon formed and in a short time a County Alliance was organized.

About the same time A. H. Bryson and P. G. Cotton were commissioned by President Macune and sent into Southwest Missouri.

During the summer of 1887 organization was continued rapidly till seven counties were organized and a call was issued for a State meeting. Representatives from the seven counties met in the city of Poplar Bluff on the 4th day of October and formed the Missouri State Alliance. A constitution was adopted and officers elected. A. B. Johnson was chosen President and Frank Farrell Secretary. The membership at this time was about 2,000. On the 24th day of April, 1888, upon the call of President Johnson, the State Alliance convened in extra session at Reed's Station in Jasper county. At this meeting


steps were taken to extend the Order into unorganized territory.

The second annual meeting of the State Alliance was held in the city of Nevada, commencing on the 21st day of August, 1888, and continuing for three days. J. W. Anthony was elected President and G. W. Register, Secretary. Up to this date 615 charters had been issued and the membership was over 13,000. From August, 1888, till December of the same year, but little was done in the way of organizing. The position which the Order took upon certain matters pertaining to legislation provoked considerable opposition from the professional politicians of both parties, who did all they could to sow seeds of discord among the members of the Order. After the elections were over and the politicians had done with the people, the Order again prospered and built up more rapidly than ever. The third annual meeting of the State Alliance met at Springfield on the 23d day of August, 1889. Thirty-eight counties were represented in this meeting and the membership numbered over twenty thousand. This was one of the most interesting meetings the Order had ever held in the State. The Missouri State Wheel had been called to meet at the same time and place. At this meeting a consolidation was effected of the Wheel and Alliance, which took the name of Farmers' and Laborers' Union. H. W. Hickman was chosen President and J. W. Rogers, Secretary. The membership in the State at the present time (May, 1890,) is about one hundred and fifty thousand. There are nearly four thousand subordinate Unions in the State. In the way of co-operative enterprises but little has been done until recently. Some co-operative stores are in successful operation, and a number of mills being built or contemplated. The Order has a Business Agency established at St. Louis, with J. B. Dines as manager. On the whole the outlook for much


good being accomplished by the Order in Missouri is very bright.


The Farmers' Alliance first started in Maryland in the spring of 1889. It made but little progress, however, until the September, following, when a State Alliance was organized on the 25th of that month at Marlboro. At that time the membership was only about three hundred. Since that time it has rapidly increased, and the outlook is favorable for the complete organization of the State at no distant day. Hugh Mitchell, of Port Tobacco, is President, and T. Canfield Jenkins, of Pomonkey, Secretary.


In February, 1887, President Macune commissioned S. O. Daws, W. P. Price and others as National Organizers and sent them into Mississippi in response to a request from W. E. Hull. On the 3d day of March, following, S. O. Daws organized the first Alliance in the State at Oak Hall in Carrall county. On the 7th of March, W. F. Price organized an Alliance at Wade Oak. The State Alliance was organized on the 24th of August, 1887. So rapidly had organization progressed that at this meeting thirty-two counties were represented. At this session R. T. Dove was elected President, a position which he held for two years. C. T. Smithson was also elected Secretary and has since been re-elected at each State meeting.

At the present time (March, 1890), sixty-eight counties are organized with 1,366 subordinate Alliances and a membership of about 40,000. The Order has a State Exchange located at Winona, Miss., with a branch office at Memphis, Tenn., which is doing a good business and saving the members money. There are some co-operative


stores over the State, but the members do the bulk of their trading through the Exchange. Nearly every county in the State either owns or has stock in a warehouse. The State Alliance has purchased and paid for the Canton Cotton Mills and had it refitted for the purpose of manufacturing cotton bagging. The Order in Mississippi has accomplished much good and has a bright future. Robert C. Patty is President, and C. T.. Smithson, Secretary.


The appearance of the Alliance in North Carolina was at a most opportune time. The Grange had failed when the people were in a more prosperous condition and they had come to see, as the times grew more oppressive to agriculturists and money became scarcer, the necessity of a stronger and more complete organization. Cotton was bringing, in the local markets, only from 8 to 9 cents per pound, and there was a general depression in every branch of business except the money lenders.

That untiring worker, Col. D. D. Polk, had already begun the publication of the Progressive Farmer, and was advocating the organization of farmers' clubs. Members of the professions laughed and politicians sneered at him, but it is due to his manly courage and untiring energy that quite a number of farmers' clubs had been organized in the State before the advent of the Farmers' Alliance.

The organization of these clubs was an important auxilliary in organizing Alliances, as they furnished timber already hewn into shape for the new Order.

In many instances these clubs were changed in a single day into full-fledged Alliances. Their members had already, through the columns of the Progressive Farmer, received the rudiments of an Alliance education. The first Alliance in the State was organized on the 20th day


of April, 1887, in Robeson county, by M. T. Seely, and was called the Ashpole Alliance. In about a month's time Mr. Seely succeeded in organizing eighteen subordinate lodges, and on the 28th day of May the first County Alliance was organized in Robeson county. Some time in May of the same year J. B. Barry came from Texas and organized quite a number of Sub-Alliances in Wake county in which a County Alliance was organized on the 20th of June. Other counties were rapidly organized and on the 4th of October, 1887, a State Alliance was organized at Rockingham, in Richmond county, with S. B. Alexander as President, and P. P. Polk, Secretary. The Progressive Farmer was endorsed as the State organ, and has occupied that position ever since. At this time there were only 132 subordinate Alliances and eight counties represented.

The next meeting of the State Alliance was begun on the 4th day of August, 1888, in the city of Raleigh. President Alexander and Secretary Polk were re-elected. The report of the Secretary showed that fifty-two County and 1,018 subordinate Alliances had been organized in the State and that organizers were at work in eleven other counties. The membership at this time numbered about 42,000.

A number of important resolutions were passed at this meeting and the fight on the jute bagging trust begun. It is worthy of note that the members through-out the State made a gallant fight on the trust, many of them refusing to use the "trust bagging" under any condition. One year later the third session of the State Alliance was held in the city of Fayetteville. At this meeting Elias Carr was elected President, and L. L. Polk was reelected Secretary. Capt. Alexander was made Chairman of the Executive Board. Steps were taken to place the State Business Agency on a better footing, and


W. H. Worth was elected Business Agent. The Business Agency has prospered and saved the farmers of the State thousands of dollars. At this meeting arrangements were made to place an able corps of lecturers in the field. The number of Sub-Alliances had increased from 1,018 to 1,815, with organizations in eighty-nine counties, representing a membership of 72,000. The consolidation of the Wheel and Alliance on the basis of the agreement at Meridian, Miss., was ratified and delegates elected to the National meeting at St. Louis. The following named persons were elected: S. B. Alexander, L. L. Polk, Elias Carr, W. A. Graham, E. A. Moye and A. J. Dalby. This delegation took an active part in the deliberations of the National body and contributed no little to the success of that meeting. Upon the election of Col. Polk to the position of President of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union he resigned his position as Secretary of the North Carolina State Alliance, and the Executive Committee elected E. C. Beddingfield to fill the unexpired term. Under his able management the Alliance has continued to prosper. Every county in the State has been organized except two, and they have subordinate Alliances. The Alliance in North Carolina is in a prosperous condition and its prosperity is due in a great degree to the able leadership of such men as S. B. Alexander, L. L. Polk, Thaddeus Ivey, Elias Carr and others, whose energies and patriotism have been directed in the proper channels.


The Farmers' Alliance first made its appearance in South Carolina in the Fall of 1887. Green Sea Alliance, No. 1, was organized in October of that year, by M. T. Seely, of Texas, who was acting under a commission from the National Organizer. This Alliance is in the


eastern part of the State. The Order rapidly spread through the eastern and northern part of the State until at the organization of the State Alliance, July 11th, 1888, there were 153 subordinate Alliances, with a total membership of about three thousand. The State Alliance was organized by L. L. Polk, of Raleigh, North Carolina. The Order spread rapidly throughout the State, and at the second annual meeting of the State Alliance, held in July, 1889, there were 740 subordinate Alliances. This number has since increased to over one thousand, with a membership of over thirty thousand.

At the organization of the State Alliance E. T. Stackhouse was elected President, and J. W. Reid Secretary. They were both reelected at the second session, held in 1889.

The Alliance has built a number of warehouses in different parts of the State, with good prospects of success. It is fair to state that the Order in South Carolina is fairly started on the road to success and has a bright future before it. With the efficient management, which the present corps of energetic and enterprising officers will give it, the membership should have no fears but that success will crown their efforts.


The first Alliance in Tennessee was organized in Wilson county, in March, 1887, by J. F. Alsup. He found a great many difficulties in the way, but by perseverance and hard work he organized nine Sub-Alliances in one county. The Agricultural Wheel having some time previous to this gained quite a hold in the State, the progress of the Alliance was not so rapid as in some of the other States. However, a State Alliance was organized in March, 1888. This meeting was held in the city of Nashville. Hon. John P. Buchanan, was elected President.


At a joint meeting held at Nashville, July 23, 1889, the Wheel and Alliance in Tennessee were consolidated under the name of the Farmers' and Laborers' Union. John P. Buchanan was elected President and E. B. Wade, Secretary.

Efforts in the way of business cooperation are being gradually extended throughout the State and are attended with no little success. The State has a Business Agency established at Nashville, with branches at Morristown for the eastern part of the State, and at Memphis for the convenience of the members in the western part of the State. This Agency is backed by a considerable fund raised by an assessment on the members of the Order. A number of warehouses and mills have been erected in different parts of the State, and efforts are being made to build at other points. The numerical strength of the Order in the State is estimated at 100,000, and organization is being pushed on every hand.


The first Alliance in Virginia was organized at Ottobine, Rockingham county, in September, 1887, by Jos. S. Barbee, with G. T. Barbee as President. These two brothers then proceeded in the world of organization together, and succeeded in organizing some eighteen or twenty Sub-Alliances in Rockingham, Page and Rappahannock counties, when J. S. Barbee was compelled to abandon the work and return to his home in Texas. Col. G. T. Barbee continued to push the wok of organization, and with the assistance of deputies made as rapid progress as the existing conditions would permit. The people generally mistrusted the Order and would not take hold of it until they were thoroughly satisfied that it was the only way through which they could obtain relief. The first County Alliance was organized at Luray, Page county, in


January, 1888, by Col. T. Barbee. On the 12th of July, 1888, delegates from twenty-eight Sub-Alliances met at Luray and organized a State Alliance. G.. T. Barbee was elected President, and J. J. Silvey, Secretary.

The Progressive Farmer,published at Raleigh by L. L. Polk, was adopted as the official organ of the Order. At this meeting President Barbee commissioned a number of deputies to push the work of organization in different parts of the State. At this time it seemed that the prospects for the organization in the State were dark enough. But three counties had been organized. Ninety-seven yet remained to be enlightened and enlisted in the cause of justice. Secretary Silvey, writing of this period, says:

"During this dark period, when all seemed doubtful and uncertain, Col. L. L. Polk of the North Carolina Alliance, with a few devout followers, came to its rescue; an act deserving the gratitude of the Alliance men of Virginia.

"By the efficient work of these brethren many new Alliances were formed, and from this time on the Order assumed a new phase, the clouds of doubt and despair began to roll away and the bright and cheering sun of a new era arose."

The impetus which the organization received in the aid of these brethren has placed it in a prosperous condition in the State, and since that time it has grown with wonderful rapidity; many who opposed it at the beginning now espouse its principles and are its warmest supporters.

The second annual meeting of the Virginia State Alliance was held in Luray, Page county, on the 6th, 7th and 8th of August, 1889. Thirty-five delegates were present, representing thirty-two counties and 460 Sub-Alliances, with a total membership of nearly 8,000. Most of the old officers were re-elected, among whom were the worthy President, G. T. Barbee, and Secretary J. J. Silvey. Delegates were elected to the National meeting to take place in


St. Louis, December 3, 1889. The The Rural Messenger, an agricultural paper published at Petersburgh, Va., was adopted as the official organ of the State Alliance. A committee was appointed to devise some means by which a State Exchange could be established for the convenience of the members in the State. Some progress has been made in the way of co-operative business enterprises, among which is a manufacturing company with a capital of $50,-000, located at Iron Gate. The object is to manufacture all kinds of implements necessary to the farming industry. Since the time of the last State meeting the Order has had a wonderful growth in the State. There are now over seventy County organizations with over 1,000 Sub-Alliances, representing a membership of over 30,000. Co-operative manufacturing companies and Alliance stores are being located in many parts of the State. In her rapid strides of progress the Old Dominion has taken her place abreast in her onward march to industrial freedom with her sister States, and bids fair to outstrip some of them in the success of her achievements.


The first Alliance in New Mexico was organized by A. D. Wallace, April 25, 1887, in Lincoln county. This was followed by the organization of other Alliances, and, on the 3d of June, Mr. Wallace organized the Lincoln County Alliance, which was the first County Alliance organized in the Territory. R. R. Phelts and W. L. Breece were then deputized to complete the organization in Lincoln county. Mr. Phelts did not enter in the work, so the burden fell upon Mr. Breece to organize the county. The peculiar difficulties of this work can be imagined when it is known that Look Out Alliance, on Black River, being the most distant one formed, is 175 miles from where the first Alliance was organized, and there being but six neighborhoods


or American settlements in the interval. Alliances were organized in all these settlements but one. The present worthy Secretary and former organizer writes: "From these facts we may conclude that the sparse settlement of our Territory by American farmers, has made organizing rather more expensive than remunerative, and has made it difficult to the work of organizing done." Alter a time Mr. Wallace again returned to the Territory and renewed his work of organizing. The work was extended into other counties. The sparsely settled Territory presented many obstacles in the way of successful organization and the establishment of co-operative enterprises, and several attempts in this direction were attended with failure. The work of organization, however, went on and on the 22d of July, 1889, a Territorial Alliance was organized at Santa Fe, with J. N. Coe as President and W. L. Breece, Secretary. Since the meeting of the Territorial Alliance, the "ups and downs" of the Order have been of pretty much the same nature as in some of the States, but the "true and tried" members have — use the language of their efficient Secretary — "met the enemy and he is theirs." They have bought a press and office fixtures and are now issuing their own official organ, the Liberty Banner, Alliances are wheeling into line.


The Alliance first made its appearance in the Indian Territory in 1886. The first Alliances organized were under the jurisdiction of the Texas State Alliance. On the 12th of April, 1887, representatives of the Sub-Alli-ances met at Buckhorn, in Tishomingo county, and organized a Territorial Alliance, with Z. Gardner Presdent and M. E. Gottgh, Secretary. Under the administration of Mr. Gardner the Order continued to flourish. The next meeting of the Territorial Alliance was held at Armstrong


Academy in August, 1888. At this meeting — Hatchkins was elected President and M. M. Gough was re-elected Secretary. The third meeting of the Territorial Alliance was held at Stonewall, in August, 1889. At this meeting H. C. Randolph was elected President and Lyman Friend, Secretary. The Order is in a prosperous condition, the worst obstacle in the way of its more rapid progress being the floating population.


The first Alliance in Kentucky was organized by F. T. Rogers, in Trigg county, in December, 1886. Mr. Rogers was commissioned in Texas and sent into Kentucky as an organizer. The growth of the Order, though not as rapid as in some other State, was of a solid character. On the 7th of June, 1888, a State Alliance was organized at Ezel, in Morgan county, by B. F. Davis. On the 29th of August, 1889, the Alliance and Wheel were consolidated into one body under the name of the Farmers' and Laborers' Union. S. B. Erwin was elected President of the consolidated body and B. F. Davis, Secretary. The organization has established a number of co-operative enterprises in different parts of the State, most of which are meeting with marked success and saving the members many thousands of dollars. Organization is progressing rapidly, there being nearly 1,500 Sub-Alliances, with a total membership of about 75,000.


In May, 1889, W. W. Wilson, a National Organizer from Texas, began the first work in the State in Martin county. From Martin county the work spread into Green, Montgomery, Lawrence, Orange, Madison, Henry and other counties, but the progress was slow in the beginning, owing to the fact that the F. M. B. A. was strongly organized


in the most counties where the Alliance first mad its appearance, yet there is entire harmony and good will between the two organizations. It is altogether probable that in the near future there will be a consolidation of all kindred labor organizations in the State. Beginning with the year 1890, after the St. Louis Convention, the Order progressed more rapidly, and on the 26th day of April, 1890, Ben. Terrell, National Lecturer, effected a State organization. This meeting was held in the city of Indianapolis, and 100 subordinate lodges were represented through seven County Alliances. Thomas W. Force, of Shoals, Indiana, was chosen President and Willard W. Prigg, Secretary. Since the organization of the State Alliance, work in the Order has been very much systematized, and organizations are springing up in almost every county in the. State. The outlook for the Order in Indiana is flattering, and, though it is yet in its infancy in that State, the farmers are taking hold with an earnestness that will soon place it side by side with that of her sister States in the great battle for human rights.


The first Alliances organized in Colorado were among settlers on the so-called Mexican Land Grants in Las Animas and Costilla counties, in the Spring of 1888. The outrages which the Government allowed to be inflicted upon these honest, hard-working settlers caused them to organize themselves into Alliances in order to work more systematically in their endeavors to obtain a hearing before Congress.

This organized effort, though futile, gave the Farmers' Alliance a start, from which the organization has spread all over the State.

The bloodshed and violence which resulted from the attempt of the Maxwell Land Grant Company to drive


the people from their homes cannot be charged to the Alliance, but was simply an outburst of righteous indignation, on the part of the people, against wrongs perpetrated which would have caused the patriotic blood of any honest American citizen to boil.

R. W. S. Overstreet was commissioned by the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union to organize in New Mexico and Colorado, and formed a number of organizations in Costilla, Los Animas and Huerfano counties. In these counties, however, the population was not sufficient to secure the immediate results and awake the enthusiasm anticipated, but the necessity of organization was growing more apparent every day, and the knowledge disseminated by the Alliance worked a wonderful change in the minds of the people.

In the year 1888 eastern Colorado had an unusual amount of rainfall, and emmigrants from the East, attracted by the level plains and fertile soil, settled in that part of the State near the Kansas line. This part of the State was considered productive without irrigation and was, therefore, designated the "Rain-belt," and filled up rapidly with home-seekers. It is putting it mildly to say that these good people failed to see their fond hopes realized, and many, having little to start with, were reduced to almost destitute circumstances. Coal was high, no wood to be obtained, and almost everything to buy, rigid economy was of course necessary, In this extremity the idea of co-operation suggested itself, and the National Farmers' Alliance, offering them a source of relief, Kit Carson county was thoroughly organized during the spring of 1889. J. H. Brammier took a leading part in the work as an organizer for the National Fanners' Alliance. A few scattering organizations were also made in adjoining counties. A


the State Alliance, December 17th, 1889, the Northern Alliance numbered about five hundred members in the State, and the Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union perhaps twice as many. The sanguine hopes of the organizers induced them to unite their forces and push the work of organization until it had extended a helping hand to every farmer in the State. A call for a meeting of delegates to organize a State Alliance was responded to by a sufficient number to effect a State organization. The two forces were combined and a State charter obtained from the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union. J. H. Brammier was elected President, and W. S. Starr, Secretary, of the State Alliance, The Alliance has joined other labor organizations in placing an Independent State ticket in the field.


As we have before remarked, a National organization was effected in the city of Waco in January, 1887, with C. W. Macune as President. We have also seen that Mr. Macune commissioned and sent out organizers in many different States. Further steps were now taken to perfect and extend the National organization. Invitations were extended to the Wheel in different States to send representatives to meet the Alliance in Shreveport, Louisiana, in October, 1887. The object was to establish a uniform plan of co-operative effort throughout the whole country. The convention met on the 12th day of October. The States of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and North Carolina were here represented. President Macune delivered his annual address, containing many suggestions, and forcibly presenting the importance of more perfect organization among the farmers. "It seemed," said he, "to be an admitted fact,


that organization was the only hope of the farmer, and as the Alliance was presented as strictly a farmers' organization, its ranks were rapidly filled with all those who felt disposed to unite and resist the encroachments of other organizations, and who realized that it required organization to meet organized power." He called the attention of the delegates to the many important questions which would perhaps be brought before the body, and reminded them of the deplorable condition of the farmers, and the causes which led to the necessity of organization. "This," said he, "is a gathering of representative men from States, men who represent the greatest of all industries, assembled here, not merely for the pleasures and emoluments to be gained by their attendance, but, I trust, imbued with proper conceptions of the great responsibility resting upon them, thoroughly alive to the conditions of the times, and firmly resolved to work out the proper and true solution of how to relieve the depressed condition of agriculture in our beautiful southland, and, when found, to stand shoulder to shoulder in one solid phalanx till the effort is crowned with victory." Delegates representing the Wheel from several States were present at this meeting and took part in the proceedings. The following Declaration of Purposes was adopted:

Declaration of Purposes of the Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America.


"WHEREAS, The wealth, strength and permanency of a government depends mainly on the prosperity and success of its agriculture and labor, and in these being kept in a healthy state, lies a vigerous germ of all true patriotism, and that pure and elevated moral public sentiment necessary to vitalize and keep in active operation t the time of the organization of


the principles and teachings that alone will preserve and perpetuate republican institutions and the blessings of human liberty; and,

"WHEREAS, One of the prime objects of good government should be to promote the intelligence, loyalty and conservatism of its citizens, and afford them the highest possible facilities for securing and enjoying the full measure of liberty, prosperity and happiness; and,

"WHEREAS, Viewing with alarm the tendency in this government to reverse these cardinal conditions — a republican form of government and a free and prosperous people — by the concentration of its wealth and power in the hands of a few, to the impoverishment and bondage of the many, and the rapid growth of centralization and aristocracy; and,

"WHEREAS, Believing that if these baneful influences and tendencies are not checked and overcome they will subvert the government, destroy its form and spirit, and in the end utterly impoverish and enslave the people; and,

"WHEREAS, Believing further, that the overthrow and certain destruction of the growing and menancing dangers to the institutions of the country and the liberties of the people depends on agitation, education and co-operation, carried on by the means of a thorough organization of the masses, and especially of the agricultural classes, established on just and correct principles, non-partisan and non-sectarian in character, with clear and well defined objects and purposes; therefore, we, the Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, in National convention assembled, in order to better perfect our organization and meet the necessities of our class and a public want, adopt and publish the following Declaration of Purposes:



"Regarding the education of the people as fundamental to good government in sustaining its institutions and multiplying its blessings, as well as an essential qualification for accomplishing our purposes, we shall at all times advance and encourage it in the highest possible degree among farmers and laborers, and their children, by every means in our power. Through the means of investigation and discussion in our Alliance meetings, our press and public speakers, we propose to examine the various methods and systems of education in use, with the view to determine the best adapted to the wants and conditions of the agricultural and laboring classes, believing the correct theory, when established, will embrace the moral, physical and industrial, as well as mental training of our children in every grade of schools; that this system will strengthen the attachment of these classes to their profession instead of alienating them from it, as the prevailing methods have a tendency to do; that it will better qualify them for success and happiness in life; will render the farm more attractive and remunerative; give the means and time for more general thought and useful study; increase the opportunity and inclination to adorn the home and practice the social virtues; broaden, the spheres of their knowledge and usefulness, and give character and influence to husbandry and labor; and for these reasons we are specially friendly to industrial education, and shall labor to advance and build up the agricultural and mechanical schools of the country by extending them every possible encouragement and support at our command.


"In business matters we believe the prevailing system is in many particulars wrong, and that between the producer


and consumer, the buyer and the seller, the methods should be changed, the process shortened and the expenses reduced, and plans adopted that will more justly and satisfactorily distribute the profits and give to labor a fair share of its earnings. We believe that in co-operation a remedy may be found for most of the evils and inequalities growing out of the methods now in general use; that in co-operation exists, as we believe, the very essence of justice, fairness and equity; that when well understood and closely observed, its principles, by intelligent and honest management, may be successfully applied to most, if not all, of the business pursuits and enterprises of the country; that it possesses the elementary forces for solving the vexed question of capital and labor, and for breaking the power of monopoly; and, hence, we shall urge the study and practice of co-operation in the Alliance as a mighty lever that would lift the burdens and weight from labor and the productive industries of the country that are lying with such crushing force upon them, and by which the possibilities of the Alliance for carrying out its good work may be increased and strengthened.


"Without disturbing political party lines or party affiliations, or provoking partisan feelings or strife, we shall boldly enter into the discussion and investigation of all laws, public measures, and governmental policies that have a direct or remote bearing on the productive industries of the country and its material welfare generally; approving the good and condemning the bad, offering through the ballot and other means in our reach such remedies for existing evils and threatening dangers as we believe the public interest demands.

"We shall teach unfaltering hostility to all class legislation,


the tyranny and oppression of monopoly, excessive taxation, the lavish expenditure of public moneys, and to every species of wrong and abuses practiced in government affairs, and shall denounce and expose fraud and corruption in public official places, whenever discovered, no matter from what source they may come.

"We shall encourage and strive to increase the facilities among ourselves for a closer study and better understanding of the organisms, powers and purposes of government; more attention to the laws of the country, local and general, the better to understand their scope and meaning, their influence on society and the public good, and thus educate ourselves in the science of economical government, elevate the standard of citizenship, and qualify ourselves, without bias, to judge correctly of the merits of candidates for office, their efficiency after elected, and then to co-operate with them in the execution of the law, that it may be respected, order maintained and society improved.


"We shall discourage law-suits and litigation between members of the Order, and shall teach and insist that all differences and misunderstandings shall be settled and adjusted by arbitration in the Alliance; and in general we shall strive to cement our brotherhood in the closest bonds of a common interest, and perpetuate our Order by frequently meeting together on all matters that relate to our mental, moral, social and financial interest, and to educate, train and discipline ourselves to work together in carrying out the laudable objects of our Order.

"We shall teach and strive to induce our membership to act upon the important truth that no great under-taking and reform like the Alliance movement can be successful without a clear understanding of its principles,


purposes and plans, and an earnest and intelligent devotion to the cause; that harmony of feeling and action, coupled with a persistent effort, based upon the great central thought or fundamental idea, that in things essential there should be unity, and in all things charity and brotherly kindness to one another, and good will to all mankind, are necessary to insure strength, influence and final triumph to our cause; that the evils of which we complain and the condition we would improve are the growth of many years, aided largely by class legislation, and that it will require bold efforts and long and continuous struggles to change and better them; that it must be accomplished largely through a change of public sentiment, produced by agitation, that will arouse and enlighten the masses, and that those who desire and intend to aid in the glorious work must enlist in the war.

"We shall constantly strive to suppress personal, local, sectional and national prejudices; all unhealthful rivalry and all selfish ambition, and teach that, as citizens of one government, we should feel a common interest in its affairs, and that our patriotism and good will for one another should not be measured by sections or geographical lines to suit the purposes of politicians.

"By our frequent meetings we confidently believe we shall be able to break up the isolated habits of farmers, improve their social condition, increase their social pleasures, and strengthen their confidence in and friendship for each other.

"We propose to make the study and improvement of practical agriculture in all its branches a part of the Alliance mission, that its standard may be raised, its profits increased and its followers made more prosperous and contented.

"We shall encourage more diversity of farming; the production of less cotton, more grain and meat; selling


less raw material and more in manufactured articles. "In our meetings and through our press we shall discuss and examine into the best and most approved methods of farming; the preparation of the soil; planting, cultivation, harvesting, handling and marketing of crops and farm and agricultural products generally; also the raising of live stock, dairying, fruit growing, gardening, etc. ; and, in short, every branch of agriculture that goes to make up the full line of farm life and render it pleasant and profitable.

"Through our organization we shall endeavor to furnish facilities for and shall encourage the study of the laws of business and trade, the best methods for buying and selling, and the transaction of all kinds of business it may be found desirable for farmers and laborers to engage in, and under all circumstances shall discourage the credit system.

"We propose to attend to our own business affairs in our own way, and make no fight against any legitimate business, but shall oppose methods found to be contrary to justice and equity.

"Believing that a strict observance and practice of these teachings, principles and purposes will insure our success, we submit our cause to a fair and impartial public, invoking the blessings of heaven upon our undertaking."

In addition to the above declaration of purposes they also made the following demands upon Congress:

"Resolved, That we, the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, in convention assembled, advocate and indorse the following principles as in accord with the sentiments and demands of the tillers of the soil:

1. We demand, first, the recognition, by incorporation, of trades unions, co-operative stores, and such other


associations as may be organized by the industrial classes to improve their financial condition or promote their general welfare.

2. We demand that all the public lands be held in small bodies, not exceeding 320 acres to each purchaser, for actual settlers, on easy terms of payment.

3. That large bodies of laud, held by private individuals or corporations, shall be assessed for taxation at such rates as they are offered to purchasers, on credit of one, two or three years, in bodies of 160 acres or less.

4. That, whereas, large bodies of our public lands have been sold to foreign capitalists, thus tending to the establishment of land aristocracy in this country, similar to that which reduced the people of Ireland and other monarchial governments to a condition of abject serfdom; we demand the passage of laws forbidding the ownership of lands by aliens, whose allegiance belongs to other nations, and that the public domain be held as the heritage of our own people and our children after us.

5. That all lands forfeited by railroads or other corporations immediately revert to the government and be declared open for purchase by actual settlers, on the same terms as other public lands.

6. We demand that all fences be removed, by force if necessary, from public lands unlawfully fenced by cattle companies, syndicates, or any other form or name of monopoly.

7. We demand the extinguishment of the public debt of the United States by operating the mints to their fullest capacity, in coining silver and gold, and the tendering the same without discrimination to the public creditors of the nation, according to contract.

8. We demand the substitution of legal tender treasury notes for the issues of National banks; that the Congress of the United States shall regulate the amount


of such issue by per capita circulation, that shall increase and keep pace with the growth of the country's population and the expansion of her business interests. We further demand the repeal of the present National banking system.

9. We demand that the Department of Agriculture be made one of the Departments of State; that it shall be increased in scope and efficiency, and in connection there-with, there shall be established a bureau of labor statistics.

10. We demand the enactment of laws to compel corporations to pay their employees, according to contract, in lawful money for their services, and the giving to mechanics and laborers a first lien upon the products of their labor to the extent of their full wages.

11. That the law relating to the suppression of the transmission of immoral, profane or obscene literature through the mails be made more stringent, and be extended so as to suppress the transmission of such literature by any public carrier.

12. We demand that the United States government purchase, by right of eminent domain, the telephone and telegraph lines, and operate them as adjuncts of the United States postal service.

13. That in view of the fact that the delegates to this body represent a majority of the cotton producers of the cotton belt of America, which belt produces over two-thirds of the cotton of the whole world, and in view of the further fact that two-thirds of the cotton in the cotton belt is demanded and used for export to a foreign power, which fixes the price on every pound of our cotton; and in view of the fact that the said power is debarred from returning to this country a single yard of manufactured cotton, thereby making said power interested in crowding down to the lowest figure the price of cotton, we hereby demand that the United States government adopt a speedy


system of reduction of the import duty on manufactured cottons, in such a way as to do justice to this, the greatest of all classes of producers.

14. We demand such a revision of the tariff as will lay the heaviest burdens on the luxuries, and the lightest on the necessaries of life, and as will reduce the incomes from imports to a strictly revenue basis.

15. That as a remedy against the unjust accumulation and encroachment of capital we demand a graduated income tax.

16 That as upon the intelligence of the people depend the stability and perpetuity of our own free government, we demand for the masses a well-regulated system of industrial and agricultural education.

17. That we oppose the continued influx of pauper labor from the monarchies of Europe, whose anarchic views and communistic doctrines are breeding discontent and disloyalty to law, order, peace and good government, and by an overplus of worthless labor, reducing our own laboring classes to starvation, we therefore demand more stringent laws to prevent this country being further used as an asylum for the communists and paupers of other countries.

18. We demand that the Constitutions, both State and National, be so amended as to provide for the election of United States Senators by direct vote of the people."

C. W. Macune was elected president, and much important business was transacted at this meeting, the details of which would prove of but little interest to the reader. New life and vigor was infused into the Order and hundreds of business enterprises have been organized as a result. The next meeting of the National Alliance was held at Meridian, Mississippi, December 5, 1888, Thirteen States were represented by full delegations. One of the objects of this meeting was to consolidate with the


Agricultural Wheel, which was holding its annual National meeting at Meridian, at the same time. An account of the consolidation is given in another chapter. As the great event of this meeting was the consolidation of the two bodies, the business which they transacted was necessarily limited. Steps were taken with a view to establishing a plan by which the cotton raisers could control the sale of their cotton. C. W. Macune was re-elected President, and steps were taken to carry out the plan of consolidation. Thus the organization had grown from the single Sub-Alliance at Poolville, in 1879, to its present magnificent proportions, representing thirteen States and almost a million members. Of the grand work which it had accomplished it is almost impossible to make anything like an accurate estimate.

Co-operation is the distinctive feature of the Farmers' Alliance. The objects are fully and clearly set forth in the Declaration of Purposes. Its principles are founded upon equity and justice. It has entered the conflict against monopoly, and on its banners is inscribed its motto: "In things essential, unity; in all things, charity." It can not afford to turn back. It is in the fight. Its position is exposed. The enemy's guns are turned upon every vulnerable point. It will not do to stand still. Nothing but an aggressive warfare will win. Monopoly and privileged classes are intrenched behind fortifications which the farmers have builded for them. The fight on the one side is waged to retain the privilege to rob and plunder; on the other hand, it is made to regain constitutional rights. The fight on the part of the farmer is being made, not only for himself but for generations yet unborn. It is a fight for liberty, equality and a just reward for his labor. To lose is to be dependent, poor and miserable. To win is to be free, comfortable and happy. To banish monopoly of every description is


to give new vitality to every industry, and strengthen the foundations of government. To fail, is to drift into centralization, where money and aristocracy will rule and land monopoly be the prevailing system. No, brethren, we cannot afford to turn back. To do so is death, darkness and despair. Revolution would follow and the land be bathed in blood. Other battles have been fought upon these same questions within the past twenty years with more or less success; but their importance was small when compared with the present effort. Upon the part of the producers a mighty and almost universal effort is being made to free themselves from the iron grasp of privileged classes. It is the final struggle for the peaceful solution of the great issue between the people and Shylock. If this effort, this last hope, more sweet than the grapes of Eschol, fail; if it burn to ashes upon fallen altars, nothing short of a desperate revolution will ever save the Republic. It is the duty of every citizen to do all in his power to avert such a dreadful catastrophe. We must press forward. Our numbers are overwhelmingly in our favor if we can only extend our organization and secure the co-operation of our brethren. Shall we falter? Shall we heed the jeers of our enemies, the minions of Mammon, Shylock and the Devil? Or, shall we press forward to victory? That the latter shall be the watch-word of every true Alliance man is the hope of the author. And that victory may crown the noble efforts of the Order, is the prayer of millions who are watching this contest with a degree of anxiety that indicates the danger of the situation and the depressed condition of the people.


Chapter V. The Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union.

As the reader has, perhaps, already anticipated, the harmonious work accomplished by the two National bodies at Meridian, Mississippi, in December, 1888, could only result in their final Consolidation. By the 15th of September, 1889, nearly every organized State had met and ratified the constitution. A proclamation to this effect was issued by the Presidents of the Wheel and Alliance and the consolidation declared to take effect on the 1st day of October, 1889. This was a grand step in their onward march. The new Constitution set the time of meeting for the National body on the first Tuesday in December. The place chosen for the first National meeting of the consolidated organization was St. Louis, Missouri. Delegates were chosen to this meeting from the following States: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Indian Territory, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Maryland, North Carolina, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, eighteen in all. Representatives were also present from the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association. The meeting of the National Farmers' Alliance of the Northwest convened in the city at the same time. Also the National Colored Farmers' Alliance.

T. V. Powderly, Grand Master Workman, and Ralph Beaumont, Chairman of the Legislative Committee of the Knights of Labor, and A. W. Wright, also of the Knights


of Labor, were there to arrange for cooperation on such legislative measures as could be agreed upon. This was without doubt the largest representation of labor ever convened.

At 10 o'clock A. M. the delegates assembled at Entertainment Hall in the Exposition building, where they were entertained by addresses of welcome by Governor Francis of Missouri, and Mayor Noonan of St. Louis. Appropriate responses were made by J. H. McDowell of Tennessee, and A. J. Streeter of Illinois. The Convention then adjourned until 1:30 P. M.

Promptly at that time President Jones called the convention to order, and prayer was offered by J. D. Satterwhite, of Missouri. The proper officers were appointed as provided for by the Constitution and the convention then proceeded to the transaction of business.

First Day's Proceedings.

Communications were received from the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association and from the Farmers' Alliance of the Northwest, looking towards cooperation and consolidation. Committees of conference were appointed by President Jones to meet like committees from those organizations to arrange a basis for consolidation and cooperation.

President Jones then delivered his annual address. He said:

"This is certainly an auspicious occasion, it being the first meeting of our organization; an organization that today stands without a peer in its influence for good — not to the farmers and laborers only, that you represent, but to every legitimate and necessary interest of a free and independent government; and upon the perpetuation of its principles and their influence upon our people depend


the prosperity and liberty of all classes, and the stability and power of our nation. An organization whose fundamental principles are founded upon equity and justice and whose cardinal doctrines inspire peace on earth, a love of liberty and good will to all mankind; an organization whose rise and progress is without a parallel, and which is destined in no distant day to embrace the entire agriculture and laborers of the world, and whose power and influence shall protect their liberty and interest from the encroachment of rings, trusts and soulless combinations, which are absorbing all of the profits of labor, and thereby paralyzing the industries of our country.

"The wonderful growth of our order during the brief period of ten years, and the rapid strides it has taken in establishing its various business enterprises, based upon fair and equitable principles, have had a salutary influence upon commerce and excited the admiration and respect of the business world.

"It has also aroused the hostility of the greedy and avaricious trusts, rings and monopolistic combinations to such an extent that great and persistent efforts are put forth by them to thwart us in every attempt at reform or effort to correct the prevailing evils that now environ and threaten the destruction of our industrial classes.

"Ours is no common effort. We are approaching a period of social and political development that will test the wisdom and patriotism of our whole people, and will demand the most guarded and conservative action of our greatest statesmen.

"The weal or woe of our nation depends upon the intelligent action of the industrial and conservative classes through organization, education and cooperation.

"Brethren, in view of the above facts, and recognizing you as representing the intelligence of the various State organizations in this, our highest legislative body (a


creature of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America and the National Agricultural Wheel, the consolidated power and influence of which makes it one of the greatest organizations in the world), would call your attention to the gravity, magnitude and importance of this occasion, and impress upon you the necessity of the most guarded, intelligent and conservative action. ********


"The advancement of civilization, the development of the natural resources of our country, the promotion and perpetuation of our free institution, the stability, power and influence of our republican system of government, the creation and successful operation of all our gigantic enterprises, which gives strength and influence to government, depends largely, if not wholly, upon the intelligent application of the true principles of cooperation. The most, if not every failure of all the various business efforts of our order, is due to a want of a proper understanding and a strict adherence to the business principles of co-operation.

"It is the foundation that underlies the whole super-structure of our noble order, and a strict adherence to its principles will lead the membership to a degree of prosperity that shall gladden the hearts of all, and bring joy and contentment around the family circle.

"I would recommend that you spare no effort in providing the necessary facilities for the better education of the membership in these great principles.


"The monopolization of finance has been, and now is, the fountain from which all monopolies, rings, trusts and oppressive organizations draw their support, strength and power.

"Money in shringing and insufficient volume remits labor to idleness, reduces the price of products, plants


mortgages on the homes of our people, bankrupts those who are forced to borrow, paralyzes our industries, and produces hard times and great privations among the masses.

"It is impossible to have an equitable adjustment of capital and labor so long as money is contracted below that which is adequate to the demands of commerce, hence, if we would correct the abuses and powers that are now prostrating and enslaving onr industries, lift the mortgages from the homes of our people, restore peace and prosperity to our now paralyzed and almost ruined agricultural and laboring people, we must have a circulating medium in sufficient volume to admit of transacting our business upon a cash basis.

"I would therefore recommend that you demand at the hands of the law-making functions of our nation a monetary system that shall conform to the interest of the producing and laboring classes as well as the speculator and usurer.

"That the coinage of silver be as free as gold, and that gold and silver be supplemented with treasury notes (which shall be a full legal tender for all contracts), in a sufficient amount to furnish a circulating medium commensurate to the business necessities of the people.


"There is, perhaps, no question that demands more serious attention at this time than the present condition of our land.

"From its many resources flow all the wealth of our nation; and upon its proper and just distribution depend the prosperity, contentment, and happiness of the yeomanry — a class upon whom all nations must largely depend for strength and support.

"During the greatest prosperity of Rome, about 85 per cent. of her population owned titles in land. It was


then that she was founded upon a rock, and was mistress of the world; but in the course of her history, through the monopolization of her lands by the few, through unjust legislation, the homes were wrenched from the hands of the masses, and when the dark death ford was reached, upon which civilization was to die, less than 2 per cent. of the people controlled the land; and it is said that about 1,500 men controlled the wealth of the world.

"Today we find in America millions of acres of her fertile lands, bought by the lives and efforts of our forefathers, which should have been held sacred for homes for their posterity, squandered upon railroads and other corporations, and millions more are owned and controlled by domestic and foreign syndicates; while a large per cent. of our homes are hopelessly mortgaged, and about 50 per cent. of our sons are tenants.

"This wholesale absorption of land by aggregated capital must be checked, or it will finally enslave the honest yeomanry of our country, and inevitably destroy our much loved republic.

"The hope of America depends upon the ownership of the land being vested in those who till the soil.

"Give the people homes, theirs to improve, theirs to cultivate, theirs to beautify, and theirs to enjoy, and our grand republic will stand as the acme of modern civilization and national greatness.

"I would recommend that you demand legislation for the better protection of the lands and homes of our people, and a law prohibiting the alien ownership of land in America.

"Lands of America should be owned and controlled by citizens of America.


"As a means of developing the many natural resources of our great and powerful nation and the distribution of our


products for the use and comfort of our people, the railroads take the lead as a benefactor of the human family if properly used, but the avarice and greed manifested on the part of these great corporations, have through their unjust manipulation of transportation destroyed all competition, and become oppressors rather than servants of the people for which they were created. These corporations have rights that should be protected; a right to business, to legitimate profit, to property and restricted power.

"It is not the railroads of which the people complain, but the abuses of their powers, chartered rights and privileges.

"Everything they have and enjoy hangs like a plummet to its cord upon law alone; and, as the law derives its strength solely from the will and obedience of the people, every rail, car, stock, bond and charter has its security and protection chiefly from that tender homage and reverence which emanates from the hearts of our law-abiding and liberty-loving agriculturists; and in oppressing them, they are chafing the cords upon which alone hangs their profits, franchises and existence.

"I would recommend that you demand such legislation, both National and State, as shall regulate and control rates and classifications of freights on all lines of transportation, that fair dealing and justice may be secured to all.


"While our Order, as an Order, is strictly non-partisan in politics, yet Section I in our declaration of purposes says: ‘That we shall labor for the education of the agricultural classes in the science of economic government, in a strictly non-partisan spirit.’

"It is an evident fact that the origin and power to perpetuate the existence of the various rings, trusts and combines that now oppress our people and threaten the overthrow of our free institutions is due to unjust legislation


and the intimacy and influence that still exists between our representatives and these powerful corporations and combines, are such as to give good reason for serious alarm.

"We have reached a period in the history of our government when confidence in our political leaders and great political organizations is almost destroyed, and the estrangement between them and the people is becoming more manifest every day.

"The common people are now beginning to see that there is no just cause for the now almost universal depression that pervades the laboring classes of every section of our country, and are disposed to attribute the same to the corrupting influence that these great combines and corporations exert over our leaders and political, moral and social institutions.

"So long as our people neglect to inform themselves upon the great issues of the hour, and continue to follow blindly machine politicians to the neglect of their own interest, they will continue to lose their individuality, influence and power in our political institutions, and be wholly at the mercy of the soulless corporations that are now wielding such an influence over our Government.

"The very existence of our free institutions and republican form of government, the very life and prosperity of the agricultural and laboring people depend largely, if not wholly, upon financial, land and transportation reformation.

"It is a conceded fact that a republican form of government lives alone in the hearts of the people; and its destiny depends entirely upon the purity of the ballot, and, as this is in the hands of every man, there can be no safety, except as is guaranteed by its intelligent use.

"This is the fortress of our nation's strength; and if our Order would reach that high degree of usefulness for which it was created, it must through a well-defined system


of economic questions, produce this intelligence and virtue, thus preparing our people for an intelligent use of their franchise."

A number of special committees were appointed, among which were: Committee on President's Address, Committee on Demands, Committee on Constitution, and Committee on Cotton Tare and Bagging.

Second Day's Proceedings.

The following additional committees were appointed: Committee on the Monetary System of this Country, Committee on the Landed Interest of the Country, and Committee on Transportation.

During the day representatives from the Farmers' Alliance of the Northwest and of the Mutual Benefit Association were seated in the hall and listened to an address by C. W. Macune. The day was principally taken up in discussion of resolutions and reports of committees.

Third Day's Proceedings.

A number of resolutions were read and referred to the appropriate committees.

The report of the Joint Committee on Conference with Northwestern Alliance was read and adopted as follows:

"The Joint Committee of the National Alliance and National Farmers' and Laborers' Union, appointed to formulate a plan to secure practical cooperation of said organization and of other kindred organizations for the accomplishment of the objects common to all, recommend the adoption of the following resolutions, to wit:

"Resolved, 1. That the Presidents and other authorized representatives chosen by the Executive Board of


each National and State agricultural and industrial organization in the United States be requested to assemble in the city of Washington, on 22d day of February, A. D. 1890, to consider and agree upon a basis for a federation of such organizations for the purpose of securing needed reform and remedial National and State legislation, and for the promotion of such other objects as may be found to be of common interest to such organizations; it being understood that such plans as agreed upon shall be submitted to the various National and State organizations participating therein for ratification and adoption.

"2. That an Executive Committee of two each on the part of the National Farmers' Alliance and the National Farmers' and Laborers' Union be appointed, with authority to take all necessary steps to carry out the foregoing resolution, and to arrange for an immediate federation of said organizations, if same be now possible.

"3. That the President of the National Farmers' Alliance and National Farmers' and Laborers' Union and the General Master Workman of the Knights of Labor, now in this city, be authorized and requested to take all necessary steps to carry out the foregoing resolutions, and to arrange for an immediate federation, if the same be now possible."

The following resolution relative to taking census was read and adopted:

"WHEREAS, Statements are often made and the belief is growing, that we are becoming a nation of landlords and tenants, and that the homes and farms of the country are very largely under mortgage, and

"WHEREAS, Exact knowledge on this subject is of great importance in the study of the social and economic questions of the day; therefore, be it resolved by the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union,

"1. That Robert P. Porter, Superintendent of the


Eleventh Census, be respectfully requested to collect evidence in the next census, what percentage of the people in this country occupy their own homes and farms, and what porportion are tenants; and of those who occupy their own homes and farms, what proportion have their property free from debt; and of the homes and farms which are under mortgage, what percentage of the value is so mortgaged, and also what proportion of such indebtedness is for purchase money.

"2. That if the present law providing for the census enumeration does not include provisions to take a complete census of farm indebtedness, we request the Congress of the United States to so amend the present law as to provide for the above enumeration, and, further, that the publication setting forth the above facts shall be the first report given to the public.

"3. That the Secretary forward a copy of the above resolutions to the Superintendent of the Census and each member of Congress and Senate."

During the day T. V. Powderly, Ralph Beaumont, A. W. Wright and Gen. J. B. Weaver addressed the convention.

On motion the following resolution was adopted:

"WHEREAS, Our Order has no suitable music or collection of songs for use; therefore,

"Resolved, That a committee of five, viz., W. S. Morgan, Elias Carr, N. A. Dunning, B. H. Clover, W. J. Northen, be, and they are hereby appointed to investigate the advisability of securing the publication of such a work and report to this body."

On motion the following resolution was adopted:

"That it is the sense of the Farmers' and Laborers' Union of America that the benefits of the Weather Bureau should be extended to the agricultural districts throughout these United States by means of signals displayed from


every telegraph office in the United States at 1 o'clock in the day, and that sufficient appropriation be made by Congress for that bureau to perfect the gathering of the necessary information to make it subservient to the purporse of the agricultural interests."

On motion the following resolution was adopted:

"WHEREAS, Bro. W. S. Morgan has written and published a History of the Wheel and Alliance;

"WHEREAS, Said history has been endorsed by many of the leading and most eminent members of the Order; and

"WHEREAS, This convention recognizes the fact that the circulation of the book as an educator will contribute much to the advancement of the great principles of our Order; therefore, be it

"Resolved, That this convention endorses this book as a reliable history of the Order and a true exponent of its principles; and we commend it to all members of the Order. We take especial pleasure in commending this book to all members desiring information regarding the history of the Wheel and Alliance and the great Impending Revolution."

Fourth Day's Proceedings.

Committee on Constitution reported amendments, which were taken up by sections, discussed and passed, then adopted as a whole, as follows:


WHEREAS, The general condition of our country imperatively demands unity of action on the part of the


laboring classes, reformation in economy, and the dissemination of principles best calculated to encourage and foster agricultural and mechanical pursuits, encouraging the toiling masses — leading them in the road to prosperity, and providing a just and fair remuneration for labor, a just exchange for our commodities and the best means of securing to the laboring classes the greatest amount of good; we hold to the principle that all monopolies are dangerous to the best interests of our country, tending to enslave a free people and subvert and finally overthrow the great principles purchased to the fathers of American liberty. We, therefore, adopt the following as our declaration of principles:

1. To labor for the education of the agricultural classes in the science of economical government, in a strictly non-partisan spirit, and to bring about a more perfect union of said classes.

2. That we demand equal rights to all and special favors to none.

3. To endorse the motto, "In things essential, unity; and in all things, charity."

4. To develop a better state mentally, morally, socially and financially.

5. To constantly strive to secure entire harmony and good will to all mankind and brotherly love among ourselves.

6. To suppress personal, local, sectional and National prejudices; all unhealthful rivalry and all selfish ambition.

7. The brightest jewels which it garners are the tears of the widows and orphans, and its imperative commands are to visit the homes where lacerated hearts are bleeding, to assuage the sufferings of a brother or sister; bury the dead, care for the widows and educate the orphans; to exercise charity toward offenders; to construe


words and deeds in their most favorable light, granting honesty of purpose and good intentions to others, and to protect the principles of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union until death. Its laws are reason and equity, its cardinal doctrines inspire purity of thought and life, its intention is, "On earth, peace, and good will to man."


SECTION 1. This organization shall be known as the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union.

SEC. 2. This organization possesses and shall exercise such powers as are delegated to it by charter from the Government of the United States, and such further powers as are herein expressed.


SECTION 1. The powers of this organization shall be divided into three branches, to wit: A Legislative, an Executive and a Judicial Department.

SEC. 2. The Legislative Department shall be supreme in authority, and its sessions shall be known as the Supreme Council of the Order.

SEC. 3. The Executive and Judicial Departments shall be of equal power and authority, and subordinate only to the Legislative.


Section 1. The regular annual meeting of the Supreme Council shall be on the first Tuesday of December of each year, and at such place as may be determined by majority vote of the body.


SECTION 1. It shall be the duty of the Supreme Council to make laws, rules and regulations governing its meetings and usages.

SEC. 2. The Supreme Council shall be composed of


the officers of the organization and delegates from the various State organizations elected by the States upon such basis of representation as the Supreme Council may prescribe. It shall be the duty of the Supreme Council to adopt rules governing such representation: Provided, That the delegates to the Supreme Council shall be not less than 21 years of age; and the basis of representation shall not allow more than two delegates from each State and one additional delegate for each 10,000 active members or majority fraction thereof. Active members under this section are such members only as have paid the regular yearly dues of 5 cents each.

SEC. 3. The Supreme Council shall elect at each regular annual session the following officers, who shall hold office until their successors are elected and qualified: A President, a Vice-President, a Lecturer, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.

SEC. 4. The President shall be presiding officer of the Supreme Council and the official head of the Executive Department.

SEC. 5. The Supreme Council shall provide laws and rules prescribing the powers, duties and methods of the officers, and may limit the term of office, fix salaries, etc.


SECTION 1. The President shall be the chief executive officer; he shall have power to direct and instruct all executive officers and all executive work in this department subject to the laws and regulations made by the Supreme Council.

SEC. 2. The President shall have authority to interpret and construe the meaning of the laws of the Order by official rulings, and such rulings shall have the force and effect of laws and be promptly presented to the Judiciary Department for consideration, and if the Judiciary


approve the ruling it shall then be the final construction of the law; but if the Judiciary refuse to concur in a ruling, then, and in that case, such ruling shall be held in abeyance until the next meeting of the Supreme Council, which shall decide the matter.

SEC. 3. The President shall be the custodian of the secret work, and shall provide for its exemplification and dissemination. He shall be authorized to issue special dispensations and be held responsible for the same, all of which shall be matters of record.


SECTION 1. The Judiciary Department shall be composed of three Judges, one of whom shall, after the first year, be elected annually by the Supreme Council. Three Judges shall be elected the first year, one of whom shall be for a term of one year, one for two, and one for three.

SEC. 2. The regular term of office for the Judges of the Judiciary Department shall be three years.

SEC. 3. No person shall be eligible to office as Judge in the Judiciary Department who is under 30 years of age.

SEC. 4. The Senior Judge shall be called the Chairman, and shall be the presiding officer of the court.

SEC. 5. The Judiciary shall have authority to act upon the rulings of the President; to try and decide grievances and appeals affecting the officers or members of the Supreme Council; to try appeals from the State bodies.

SEC. 6.The decisions and findings of the Supreme Judiciary shall be a matter of record, and shall be preserved in the archives of the Order, a careful report of which shall be made to the regular annual session of the Supreme Council.

SEC. 7. For the purpose of carrying out the above


provisions and rendering the workings of the Judiciary Department effective, the Supreme Council shall provide rules and regulations.


SECTION 1. The Supreme Council shall fix such salaries for officers as may be a fair remuneration for services required, and for such expenditures of the various departments as may be consistent with strict economy.

SEC. 2. A per capita tax of 5 cents shall be paid for each male member into the National Treasury by each State organization on or before the 1st day of November of each year.

SEC. 3. The Supreme Council shall at each session fix the mileage and per diem to be paid the actual delegates to the body, subject to a limitation of not over 3 cents per mile each way by the nearest and most direct traveled route, and not over $3 per day for such days as are actually spent in actual attendance at the session.


SECTION 1. No person shall be admitted as a member of this Order except a white person, over 16 years of age, who is a believer in the existence of a Supreme Being, and has resided in the State more than six months, and is, either: First, a farmer, or a farm laborer; second, a mechanic, a country preacher, a country school teacher, or a country doctor; third, an editor of a strictly agricultural paper.

Provided, That each State and Territory shall have the right to prescribe the eligibility of applicants for membership in reference to color within the limits of the same. Provided, further, That none but white men shall be elected as delegates to the Supreme Council.

SEC. 2. It shall be the duty of the Supreme Council to enact a uniform eligibility clause for the various State


Constitutions, also to enact laws defining the eligibility of persons of mixed or unusual occupations or residence, subject to all the limitations of this article.


SECTION 1. A State organization may be chartered by the President in any State having as many as seven county organizations, provided, that any State containing less than seven counties may be chartered when one-third of its territory is organized.

SEC. 2. It shall be the duty of the President to issue a charter to any State organization qualified under section one of this article, when they shall file evidence that they have, first, adopted a Constitution that does not conflict with this Constitution, second, that they adopt the secret work and acknowledge the supremacy of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union.


SECTION 1. All rights and powers not herein expressly delegated are reserved to the State organizations severally.


SECTION 1. This Constitution can not be altered or amended, except upon a written resolution clearly setting forth the changes or additions to be made, which must be read in open session on at least two separate days and adopted by two-thirds majority.

The statutory laws were taken up, and, after discussion and amendment, were adopted, as follows:


SECTION 1. The basis of representation of the State organizations in the Supreme Council shall be as follows: Two delegates from each State and one additional delegate for each 20,000 active members or majority fraction thereof.


SEC. 2. Delegates to the Supreme Council will not be entitled to seats in the body unless settlement of the National per capita dues of 5 cents for each male member has been made by the State Secretary, accompanied by the proper amount of money to the National Secretary, and State Secretaries shall make such remittance and report promptly on or before the 1st day of November.

SEC. 3. The annual election of officers by the Supreme Council shall be by ballot.

SEC. 4. The President shall appoint from the actual delegates to the session of the Supreme Council a Chaplain, Assistant Lecturer, Door-keeper, Assistant Doorkeeper, Seargeant-at-Arms, and such other executive officers as the business of the session may require. The term of office for such officers shall expire at the close of the session; such appointed officers to receive nothing in addition to mileage and per diem as delegates.

SEC. 5. The President shall be the presiding officer of the Supreme Council and shall conduct the business according to the accepted rules of parliamentary usages and the requirements of the ritual.

SEC. 6. The President shall have authority to call upon any executive officer or committee to make reports and showing of the business entrusted to him at such time as in his judgment it seems best.

SEC. 7. The President may, when notified of any deriliction of duty or violation of the rules of the Order suspend any officer or committee and summon them to appear before the Judiciary Committee to make showing to the Chairman either by oral or written evidence as to their guilt or innocence of the charges.

SEC. 8. The President shall have full authority to enforce order and decorum during the sessions of the Supreme Council.


SEC. 9. The President shall have power to call a meeting of the Supreme Council at such a time and place as in his judgment is for the good of the Order. When petitioned by one-fourth of the State Presidents in the jurisdiction of this Order, he shall call a meeting of the Supreme Council. He shall state in the call specifically for what purpose the meeting is convened.

SEC. 10. The Vice-President's duties shall be to assist the President, and in his absence to perform his duty. SEC. 11. The order of succession in vacancy shall be: President to Vice-President, and Vice-President to Chairman of the Executive Board.

SEC. 12. The Secretary's duty shall be to keep a record of the proceedings of the Supreme Council, conduct its correspondence, to receive all money of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union and pay it over to the Treasurer and take his receipt for the same, to read all communications, reports and petitions in open Supreme Council when necessary, to affix the seal of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union to all documents requiring the same, to prepare for publication a copy of the proceedings of each annual or called session immediately after adjournment. He shall have charge of the seal, books and papers of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union. His books shall at all times be open to the inspection of the President, or any committee appointed by the President to inspect the same, to keep a correct account between each State and the Fanners' Alliance and Industrial Union. He shall furnish the Secretaries of each State Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union with a blank book properly ruled, with suitable column heads for classifying and recording the contents of the reports from the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union. Also suitable blanks for making reports to his office and to the


Chairman of the Executive Committee. He shall also make a list of all the officers, standing and special committees of the Supreme Council, with name and post office address, which list shall be a part of the printed proceedings of the Supreme Council.

SEC. 13. The Treasurer's duty shall be to receive all money from the Secretary approved by the President. He shall file with the Secretary a bond for double the amount of money that is likely to pass through his hands.

SEC. 14. It shall be the duty of the Lecturer to visit each State in the jurisdiction at least once a year and hold himself in readiness at all times to visit such localities and perform such duties as may be designated by the President.

SEC. 15. There shall be elected by the Supreme Council an Executive Board composed of three members, who shall be an Advisory Board of the President, and shall represent the Supreme Council during recess. The Chairman of the Executive Board shall be located at the official headquarters of the Order in the city of Washington, and be ex-Officio Chairman of the Legislative Committee.

SEC. 16. It shall be the duty of the Executive Board to require and pass upon the bonds of Secretary and Treasurer, to audit all bills and accounts, to examine and audit the Secretary and Treasurer's books, and in a general way perform detail of executive work.

SEC. 17. The Secretary of the Executive Board shall be the crop statistician of the entire Order, and shall make such crop reports to the President as he may require.

SEC. 18. Each State body in this jurisdiction is requested to select and report, by the 1st day of January, a State crop statistician, who shall require such reports from county statisticians and make such reports himself as may be required by the Secretary of the Executive Board.


SEC. 19. The regular term of office for members of the Executive Board shall be three years, but of the Board first elected one shall be for one year, one for two years and one for three years, and thereafter one shall be elected each year.

SEC. 20. The eligibility clause of the Constitution is hereby declared to apply to persons of the following classes and conditions as herein expressed: Persons engaged in farming, who live upon their farms and whose greatest interest is that of farming, may be admitted and retained as members, even though they conduct a small mercantile establishment located upon the farm, which receives the support and endorsement of the nearest Sub-Union, and be controlled by an Executive Board of Sub-Unions. Farmers, in fact, who are personally engaged in farming shall not be debarred from membership, even though they may own stock in a banking or other corporation as a means of investment, but in no wise devote their personal attention to the business of such corporation; provided, that the bank stock owned shall not exceed more than one-fifth of agricultural investment. Persons selected to buy and sell as agents of the Order are eligible, but persons engaged in the practice of law, banking, insurance, railroading, manufacturing, speculating, merchandising, brokerage or commission are not eligible. Merchandising under this section shall mean such persons as give their personal attention to mercantile pursuits as a means of profit and leading source of revenue, as distinguished from those who conduct stores on the farm for the benefit of those in the neighborhood, and controlled by a Board of the Order. Land agents, canvassers and all kinds of solicitors for machinery or commodities, or purchasers of farm produce for speculative purposes are ineligible.

SEC. 21. All persons who are ineligible for membership


who make application should be notified of the facts in the case, and no ballot or action taken. When members of the Order engage in an occupation that would have rendered them ineligible before initiation, they shall, upon sufficient evidence, be immediately dismissed by motion of the President in open lodge, and shall be granted a withdrawal card.

SEC. 22. Each Supreme Council shall, when convened, fix the mileage and per diem of its members, subject to the restrictions of the Constitution.

SEC. 23. The salary of the President of this organization shall be $3,000, office expenses and $900 for a stenographer, with headquarters at Washington, D. C., and traveling expenses.

SEC. 24. The salary of the Secretary shall be $2,000 and office expenses.

SEC. 25. The salary of the Treasurer shall be $500.

SEC. 26. The salary of the Lecturer shall be $3,000 and actual traveling expenses.

SEC. 27. The salary of the Chairman of the Executive Board shall be $2,000.

SEC. 28. The salary of the members of the Executive Board shall be $500 each, and actual expenses while in actual service.

SEC. 29. No State Organization or member of this Order shall, under any circumstances, be allowed to print or distribute the rituals of the Order, except as the Executive Board shall cause them to be, and they shall be distributed as the President may direct.

SEC. 30. All charters for State, County and subordinate bodies in unorganized States must emanate from and contain the signature of the National President, and those for bodies under State jurisdiction shall be issued by the


President and Secretary of the State body having jurisdiction over them.

SEC. 31. It shall be the duty of the Executive Board to secure from each of the States copies of their forms of reporting from Sub, County and State Secretaries, and endeavor to secure a uniform system of quarterly reports throughout the entire Order.

On motion the convention proceeded to the election of officers, with the following result:

L. L. Polk, of North Carolina, was elected President; B. H. Clover, of Kansas, Vice-President; J. H. Turner, of Georgia, Secretary; H. W. Hickman, of Missouri, Treasurer; Ben. Terrell, of Texas, Lecturer.

On motion a committee from the Northwestern Alliance was received, and considerable time given to a conference with this body.

Brother Polk was asked to take the chair to receive the committee.

Adjourned to meet at 7:30 P. M.

Convention called to order at 7:30 P. M. President L. L. Polk in the chair.

On motion the body proceeded with the completion of the organization.

The election of three Judges resulted as follows:

R. C. Patty, of Mississippi, for a term of three years; Isaac McCraken, of Arkansas, two years; Evan Jones, of Texas, one year.

The Committee on Demands made the following report on confederation with the Knights of Labor. Adopted.



"St. Louis, Mo., Dec. 6, 1889.

"Agreement made this day by and between the under-signed committee representing the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union on the one part, and the undersigned committee representing the Knights of Labor on the other part, Witnesseth, The undersigned committee representing the Knights of Labor, having read the Demands of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, which are embodied in this agreement, hereby endorse the same on behalf of the Knights of Labor, and for the purpose of giving practical effect to the demands herein set forth, the Legislative Committees of both organizations will act in concert before Congress for the purpose of securing the enactment of laws in harmony with the demands mutually agreed.

"And it is further agreed, in order to carry out these objects, we will support for office only such men as can be depended upon to enact these principles in statute law uninfluenced by party caucus.

"The demands hereinbefore referred to are as follows:

"1. That we demand the abolition of national banks and the substitution of legal tender treasury notes in lieu of national bank notes, issued in sufficient volume to do the business of the country on a cash system; regulating the amount needed on a per capita basis as the business interests of the country expands; and that all money issued by the Government shall be legal tender in payment of all debts, both public and private.

"2. That we demand that Congress shall pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the dealing in futures of all agricultural and mechanical productions; preserving a stringent system of procedure in trials as shall secure the


prompt conviction, and imposing such penalties as shall secure the most perfect compliance with the law.

"3 That we demand, the free and unlimited coinage of silver.

"4. That we demand the passage of laws prohibiting the alien ownership of land, and that Congress take early steps to devise some plan to obtain all lands now owned by aliens and foreign syndicates; and that all lands now held by railroad and other corporations in excess of such as is actually used and needed by them, be reclaimed by the Government and held for actual settlers only.

"5. Believing in the doctrine of ‘equal rights to all and special privileges to none,’ we demand that taxation, National or State, shall not be used to build up one interest or class at the expense of another.

"We believe that the money of the country should be kept as much as possible in the hands of the people, and hence we demand that all revenues, National, State or County, shall be limited to the necessary expenses of the Government economically and honestly administered.

"6. That Congress issue a sufficient amount of fractional paper currency to facilitate exchange through the medium of the United States mail.

"7. We demand that the means of communication and transportation shall be owned by and operated in the interest of the people as is the United States postal system.

"For the better protection of the interests of the two organizations, it is mutually agreed that such seals or emblems as the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union of America may adopt, will be recognized and protected in transit or otherwise by the Knights of Labor, and that all seals and labels of the Knights of Labor will in like manner be recognized by the members of the


National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union of America.

S. B. ERWIN, Chairman,
N. S. HALL, Secretary,
Committee on Demands of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union.


Committee Representing the Order of the Knights of Labor.

The Committee on Cotton Tare and Bagging reported as follows:

"MR. PRESIDENT — Your Committee on Cotton Bagging and Tare on Cotton Bales beg leave to submit the following report:

"We recommend to this body that you demand that all future cotton crops be sold at net weight with actual tare and the advance in price over the present tare that is just and equitable; and that each State Alliance or Union in the "Cotton Belt" secure from their respective Legislatures such legislation as will enforce this demand.

"Your Committee further recommend that all cotton producers connected with this organization be required to use cotton bagging as a covering for cotton, or any other fiber than jute, and that said cotton bagging shall be 44 inches wide and not less than twelve ounces per yard in weight, and of the same texture as the Odenheimer cotton bagging.


"And we further recommend that each State Alliance or Union be required to manufacture or secure bagging sufficient for the use of their respective States, and that the President, for the time being, shall be charged with the appointing of all committees or other necessary arrangements to secure said bagging for their respective States.

"We suggest also that seven yards of bagging be used as a covering for a bale of cotton, and that all pack-ages shall be neatly and securely fastened at the ends of the bales.

"We most earnestly protest against the wasteful and extravagant method of sampling cotton; also the unjust weights and classification of cotton, as now being practiced.

"We also recommend and require of our National and State Legislatures to enact such laws as will effectually and entirely prevent the selling of cotton or grain futures except when actual delivery and a bona fide sale shall have been made, or intended delivery shall be expressly a condition of such sale.

"Your Committee further recommend that cotton producers be advised not to contract any debt in the future that will obligate them to deliver their cotton on a given day, sooner than the 25th of December.

"Your Committee also recommend that no cotton from an Alliance man or Union, grown or controlled, shall be shipped or sold to any point or party antagonistic to our demands hereinbefore set forth.

"We hereby tender the thanks of this committee to the Cotton Exchanges of this country that endeavored to assist us this season, and respectfully invite all Cotton Exchanges in the United States to join us in the future in securing our demands as hereinbefore set forth.


"Your Committee desire, through this body, to congratulate the brotherhood that so faithfully adhered to cotton bagging for the present season, and thereby demonstrated that farmers could and would make any reason-able effort or sacrifice to maintain the high ground taken by the National Alliance and Co-operative Union at Birmingham.

"Your Committee recommend that the foregoing enactments and resolutions be published in our official organs at the earliest period practical, and a copy sent to each State President calling his attention to his duties in the premises; also to the Presidents of the Cotton Exchanges of the United States.

L. E. LIVINGSTON, Georgia,
R. J. SLEDGE, Texas,
R. F. KOLB, Alabama,
ELIAS CARR, North Carolina,
B. M. HORD, Tennessee,
W. S. MORGAN, Arkansas,
T. J. GUICE, Louisiana,
E. G. STACKHOUSE, South Carolina
R. F. RODGERS, Florida,
A. M. STREET, Secretary, Mississippi.

Fifth Day's Proceedings.

Committees on Constitution reported on the monetary system, which, after an animated discussion, was adopted by a large majority.

"We, your committee on the monetary system, beg to submit the following report, and recommend that 50,000 copies of this report, with complete arguments in support of the same, be published and distributed to the members of our Order and to the country, under the supervision of the National Economist, provided the printing and distribution shall be done at actual cost by said journal, to be paid on the 20th day of November, 1890.




"The financial policy of the general Government seems today to be peculiarly adapted to further the interests of the speculating class, at the expense and to the manifest detriment of the productive class, and, while there are many forms of relief offered, there has up to the present time been no true remedy presented which has secured a support universal enough to render its adoption probable. Neither of the political parties offer a remedy adequate to our necessities, and the two parties that have been in power since the war have pursued practically the same financial policy. The situation is this: The most desirable and necessary reform is one that will adjust the financial system of the general Government so that its provisions cannot be utilized by a class which thereby becomes privileged and is in consequence contrary to the genius of our Government,, and which is today the principal cause of the depressed condition of agriculture. Regardless of all this the political parties utterly ignore these great evils and refuse to remove their cause, and the importunities of the privileged class have no doubt often led the executive and legislative branches of the Government to believe that the masses were passive and reconciled to the existence of this system whereby a privileged class can, by means of the power of money to oppress, exact from labor all that it produces except a bare subsistence. Since, then, it is the most necessary of all reformes, and receives no attention from any of the prominent political parties, it is highly appropriate and important that our efforts be concentrated to secure the needed reform in. this direction, provided all can agree upon such measures. Such action will in no wise connect this movement to any partisan effort, as it can be applied to the party to which each member belongs.


"In seeking a true and practical remedy for the evils that now flow from the imperfections in our financial system let us first consider what is the greatest evil, and on what it depends. The greatest evil, the one that outstrips all others so far that it is instantly recognized as the chief, and known with certainty to be more oppressive to the productive interests of the country than any other influence, is that which delegates to a certain class the power to fix the price of all kinds of produce" and of all commodities. This power is not delegated directly, but it is delegated indirectly by allowing such class to issue a large per cent. of the the money used as the circulating medium of the country, and having the balance of such circulating medium, which is issued by the Government, a fixed quantity that is not augmented to correspond with the necessities of the times. In consequence of this the money issued by the privileged class, which they are at liberty to withdraw at pleasure, can be, and is, so manipulated as to control the volume of circulating medium in the country sufficiently to produce fluctuations in general prices at their pleasure. It may be likened unto a simple illustration in philosophy: The inflexible volume of the Government issue is the fulcrum, the volume of the bank issue is the lever power, and price is the point at which power is applied, and it is either raised or lowered with great certainty to correspond with the volume of bank issue. Any mechanic will instantly recognize the fact that the quickest and surest way of destroying the power of the lever to raise or lower price is to remove the resistence offered by the fulcrum — the in-flexible volume of Government issue. The power to regulate the volume of money so as to control price is so manipulated as to to develop and apply a potent force, for which we have in the English language no name; but it is the power of money to oppress, and is demonstrated as follows: In the last four months of the year, the agricultural


products of the whole year having been harvested, they are placed on the market to buy money. The amount of money necessary to supply this demand is equal to many times the actual amount in circulation. Nevertheless the class that controls the volume of the circulating medium desire to purchase these agricultural products for speculalative purposes, so they reduce the volume of money by hoarding, in the face of the augumented demand, and thereby advance the exchangeable value of the then inadequate volume of money, which is equivalent to reducing the price of the agricultural products. True, agriculturalists should hold their products and not sell at these ruinously low prices. And no doubt they would if they could, but to prevent that, practically all debts, taxes and interest are made to mature at that time, and they being forced to have money at a certain season when they have the product of their labor to sell, the power of money to oppress by its scarcity is applied until it makes them turn loose their products so low that their labor expended does not average them fifty cents per day. This illustrates the power of money to oppress; the remedy, as before, lies in removing the fulcrum power — the inflexible Government issue — and supplying a Government issue, the volume of which shall be increased to correspond with the actual addition to the wealth of the nation presented by agriculture at harvest time, and diminished as such agricultural products are consumed. Such a flexibility of volume would guarantee a stability of price based on cost of production which would be compelled to reckon the pay for agricultural labor at the same rates as other employment. Such flexibility would rob money of its most potent power — the power to oppress — and place a premium on productive effort. But how may so desirable a result be secured? Let us see. By applying the same principles now in force in the monetary system of the United States with only a slight


modification in the detail of their execution. The Government and the people of this country realize that the amount of gold and silver, and the certificates based on these metals, do not comprise a volume of money sufficient to supply the wants of the country, and in order to increase the volume, the Government allows individuals to associate themselves into a body corporate, and deposit with the Government bonds which represent national indebtedness, which the Government holds in trust and issues to such corporation paper money equal to ninety per cent, of the value of the bonds, and charges said corporation interest at the rate of one per cent. per annum for the use of said paper money. This allows the issue of paper money to increase the volume of the circulating medium on a perfectly safe basis, because the margin is a guarantee that the banks will redeem the bonds before they mature. But now we find that the circulation secured by this method is still not adequate; or to take a very conservative position, if we admit that it is adequate on the average, we know that the fact of its being entirely inadequate for half the year makes its inflexibility an engine of oppression, because a season in which it is inadequate must be followed by one of superabundance in order to bring about the average, and such a range in volume means great fluctuations in prices, which cut against the producer, both in buying and selling, because he must sell at a season when produce is low, and buy when commodities are high. This system, now in vogue by the United States Government, of supplementing its circulating medium by a safe and redeemable paper money, should be pushed a little further and conducted in such a manner as to secure a certain augmentation of supply at the season of the year in which the agricultural additions to the wealth of the nation demand money, and a diminution in such supply of money as said agricultural products are consumed. It is not an average adquate


amount that is needed, because under it the greatest abuses may prevail, but a certain adequate amount that adjusts itself to the wants of the country at all seasons. For this purpose let us demand that the United States Government modifiy its present financial system:

"1. So as to allow the free and unlimited coinage of silver or the issue of silver certificates against an unlimited deposit of bullion.

"2. That the system of using certain banks as United States depositaries be abolished, and in place of said system, establish in every county in each of the States that offers for sale during one year $500,000 worth of farm products; including wheat, corn, oats, barley, rye, rice, tobacco, cotton, wool and sugar, all together; a sub-treasury office, which shall have in connection with it such warehouses or elevators as are necessary for carefully storing and preserving such agricultural products as are offered it for storage, and it should be the duty of such sub-treasury department to receive such agricultural products as are offered for storage, and make a careful examination of such products and class same as to quality and give a certificate of the deposit, showing the amount and quality, and that United States legal-tender paper money equal to eighty per cent. of the local current value of the products deposited has been advanced on same on interest at the rate of one per cent. per annum, on condition that the owner or such other person as he may authorize will redeem the agricultural product within twelve months from date of the certificate or the trustee will sell same at public auction to the highest bidder for the purpose of satisfying the debt. Besides the one per cent. interest the sub-treasurer should be allowed a trifle for handling and storage, and a reasonable amount for insurance, but the premises necessary for conducting this business should be secured by the various counties


donating to the general Government the land, and the Government building the very best modern buildings, fire-proof and substantial. With this method in vogue the fanner, when his produce is harvested, would place it in storage where it would be perfectly safe and he would secure four-fifths of its value to supply his pressing necessity for money at one per cent. per annum. He would negotiate and sell his warehouse or elevator certificates whenever the current price suited him, receiving from the person to whom he sold, only the difference between the price agreed upon and the amount already paid by the sub-treasurer. When, however, these storage certificates reached the hand of the miller or factory, or other consumer, he, to get the product, would have to return to the sub-treasurer the sum of money advanced, together with the interest on same and the storage and insurance charges on the product. This is no new or untried scheme; it is safe and conservative; it harmonizes and carries out the system already in vogue on a really safer plan because the products of the country that must be consumed every year are really the very best security in the world, and with more justice to society at large. For a precedent, attention is called to the following.

"In December, 1848, the London Times announced the inevitable failure of the French republic and disintegration of French society in the near future, but so wise was the administration of the statesmen of that nation that two months later it was forced to eat its own words — saying in its columns February 16, 1849:

"‘As a mere commercial speculation with the assets which the bank held in hand it might then have stopped payment and liquidated its affairs with every probability that a very few weeks would enable it to clear off its liabilities. But this idea was not for a moment entertained by M. D'Argout, and he resolved to make every effort to keep alive what may be termed the circulation of the


life-blood of the community. The task was overwhelming. Money was to be found to meet not only the demands of the bank, but the necessities, both public and private, of every rank in society. It was essential to enable the manufacturers to work, lest their workmen, driven to desperation, should fling themselves amongst the most violent enemies of public order. It was essential to provide money for the food of Paris, for the pay of troops, and for the daily support of the industrial establishments of the nation. A failure on any one point would have led to a fresh convulsion, but the panic had been followed by so great a scarcity of the metallic currency, that a few days latter, out of a payment of 26,000,000 fallen due, only 47,000 francs could be recorded in silver.’

"‘In this extremity, when the bank alone retained any available sums of money, the Government came to the rescue, and on the night of the 15th of March, the notes of the bank were, by a decree, made a legal tender, the issue of these notes being limited in all to 350,000,000, but the amount of the lowest of them reduced for the public convenience to 100 francs. One of the great difficulties mentioned in the report was to print these 100-franc notes fast enough for the public consumption. In ten days the amount issued in this form had reached 80,000,000 francs.

"‘To enable the manufacturing interests to weather the storm at a moment when all the sales were interrupted, a decree of the National Assembly had directed warehouses to be opened for the reception of all kinds of goods, and provided that the registered invoice of the goods so deposited should be made negotiable by indorsement. The Bank of France discounted these receipts. In Havre alone 18,000,000 were thus advanced on colonial produce, and, in Paris, 14,000,000 on merchandise; in all, 60,000,000 were made available for the purposes of trade. Thus the great institution had placed itself, as it were, in direct contact with every interest of the community, from the Minister of the Treasury down to the trader in a distant outport. Like a huge hydraulic machine, it employed its colossal powers to pump a fresh stream into the exhausted arteries


of trade, to sustain credit and preserve the circulation from complete collapse. — From the Bank Charter Act, and the Rate of Interest, London, 1873.’"

"This is proof positive, and a clear demonstration, in 1848, what this system could accomplish when a necessity existed for resorting to it. But since that time every conceivable change has tended toward rendering such a system easier managed and more necessary. The various means of rapid transportation and the facilities for the instantaneous transmission of intelligence, make it no disadvantage for the produce of a country to be stored at home until demanded for consumption, and the great savings that will follow the abolition of local shipments shows what great economy such a system is. In this day and time, no one will for a moment deny that all the conditions for purchase and sale will attach to the Government certificates showing amount, quality and running charges that attach to the product.

"The arguments sustaining this system will present themselves to your minds as you ponder over the subject. The one fact stands out in bold relief, prominent, grand, and worthy the best effort our hearts and hands; and that is ‘this system will emancipate productive labor from the power of money to oppress’ with speed and certainty. Could any object be more worthy? Surely not; and none could be devised that would more enlist your sympathies.

"Our forefathers fought in the Revolutionary War, making sacrifices that will forever perpetuate their names in history, to emancipate productive labor from the power of a monarch to oppress. Their battle cry was ‘Liberty.’ Our monarch is a false, unjust, and statutory power given to money, which calls for a conflict on our part to emancipate productive labor from the power of money to oppress. Let the watchword again be ‘Liberty.’"

On motion the convention proceeded to the election


of the Executive Committee. Brother C. W. Macune was elected chairman of said committee for the term of three years; Brother Alonzo Wardall, for the term of two years; Brother J. F. Tillman, for one year.

Committee on Demands reported as follows:

"1. We, the Committee on Demands, hereby recommend that this National Farmers' and Laborers' Union of America appoint a National Legislative Committee of two to act in concert with a like committee of the Knights of Labor, to the end of securing industrial freedom.

"2. That we recommend to the different State organizations that they discuss the Australian system of voting, and press upon their State Legislatures to enact the same or some similar system.

"3. Resolved, That this committee recommend that we press to the front as the most important the three problems of finance, land and transportation.

"4. Resolved,That all internal revenue tax on tabacco be repealed.

"5. Resolved, That we condemn the purchase of Government bonds at a premium, and demand that they be redeemed and called in according to the law, as provided in section 3,693 of the Statutes of the United States."

For want of space and lack of general interest, much of the proceedings of the St. Louis convention are necessarily omitted. On account of some complications, efforts to consolidate with the Farmers' Alliance of the Northwest and the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, were unsuccessful. The State organizations of Kansas and South Dakota, however, ratified the National Constitution, and were admitted into the organization. It is to be hoped that in the near future all the agricultural organizations will be united in one solid and compact organization.


Chapter VI. Organic Law of the Union.

For any body of men to be effective they must be organized, and every organization, to be perfect, must have a head and a corps of able officers. This fact is realized and put into effect by men of professions. Lawyers, teachers, physicians, bankers, brokers and tradesmen of all classes have their organizations through which they expect to protect their interests, become more proficient in their respective callings and wield a more perfect and powerful influence. Then why not the farmers and laborers adopt the same methods? Until of late years it has been the practice of farmers when meetings were had to call upon some lawyer or doctor to address them on questions relating to their interests and tell them what he knew about farming. The Union proposes to correct these practices. They prefer to discuss their own affairs in their own way. They have never been invited to participate in the meetings of lawyers and bankers, for the obvious reason that it was not their calling. For the same reason they have concluded that it is best for them, in the future, to manage their own business affairs. For this reason, and in order to secure among its members, in the internal working in the Order, the greatest degree of harmony, confidence and security, they have made it a secret organization. For the purpose of accomplishing the desired efficiency, extension and unity, they have organized and adopted a Constitution and By-Laws.


They have realized the importance of unity of action and identity of interests. Many objections have been expressed against the Union on account of it being a secret organization. It is proper to remark that most of these objections are made by parties who would much rather see no organization of farmers of any character; from men whose interests are served by frustrating the accomplishment of the objects of the Order. In fact, if we trace all the objections made against labor organizations, we would discover that it is not so much the character or form of the organization as it is that which it is intended to accomplish that gives rise to the numerous criticisms to which they are subjected. That the Union is a secret organization is not for the purpose — as our enemies would indicate — of taking undue advantage of merchants and tradesmen, or for secretly caucusing against some political party, but simply for their own protection. They have made up their minds to discuss matters relating to their interests among themselves, free from interference by men engaged in other occupations, and the Babel that would ensue thereby from a conflict of interests. The original object of the Order was to restrict the membership exclusively to those who were actually engaged in farming. It was afterwards extended to include mechanics who did not employ more than three hands. Its membership, however, includes most all classes of individuals who are engaged in rural pursuits. No political or religious test is necessary.

The organic law is founded upon the principles of a Democratic Republic. Each member is endowed with equal privileges, is entitled to admission to all meetings, National, State, County and Subordinate, and has the right of trial if charges are preferred against him. This privilege is extended to the right of appeal from the Subordinate to the County Union, and from the County to


the State Union. Provisions are made in the Constitution for a National body; also for State, County and Subordinate organizations. Each of these organizations have their powers expressly defined in the Constitutions governing them. The Subordinate organizations, also those of the County and State, are privileged to form their own Constitution and By-Laws, provided they do not conflict with those to which they are subordinate. The National body has jurisdiction over the State Unions, and the State Unions over the County and Subordinate Unions. Each of these organizations are duly chartered and invested with legislative and executive powers. Each Subordinate Union has jurisdiction over its own members. The members have the right of appeal from the decision of the presiding officer. Each body is entitled to the following officers: A President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Chaplain, Seargeant-at-Arms, Lecturer, Door-keeper and Assistant Door-keeper. They may also have a Board of Trustees, an Executive Board and the usual necessary committees. Organizers are appointed by the Presidents of the State Unions on the recommendation of the County Unions. The State Union exists by virtue of a charter from the National Union. Representatives from seven counties are required to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business in the State Union. The annual dues for each member is fixed by the State Union. The State Union is required to pay into the treasury of the National Union a per capita tax of 5 cents for each member in the State. The National Union is composed of its officers and two representatives from each State Union and one additional representative for each ten thousand members and majority fraction thereof. They are elected annually by the State Union. The National Union meets annually — unless an extra session is called by the President — on the first Tuesday in December, at


such place as shall be determined by a majority of representatives present.

The meetings of the State Unions are determined by that body — usually once a year. The State Union is composed of its officers and such representation from each county as it may provide for. The representatives are elected by the County Unions. The effect of the plan of organization is to enable the Order to concentrate and unite the efforts of all in the same direction. The State Business Agent may buy for a single member of the Order as well as for Subordinate and County Unions and Co-operative Union stores. He is also authorized to sell the products of the members of the Order. While it cannot be claimed that the organization has attained to perfection in the way of co-operation and the means of accomplishing the objects in view, it has, nevertheless, made wonderful strides in the right direction. Much, however, remains yet to be done to place the farmer in a condition that will render him independent of the middlemen who manipulate the price of the products of his labor.

For the convenience of State, County and Subordinate Unions, while sitting as deliberative bodies, we publish the following Manual of Parliamentary Rules which we take from the National Economist Almanac. The table of rules preceeding the Manual is designed to show the power and precedence of any motion at a glance, which will greatly facilitate any one in the study of the same, making the time in mastering them about half what it would be otherwise. The numbers designate the rule governing the motion. All officers, as well as members, should be familiar with the text and power of motions so that all business can be smoothly and speedily transacted. The rapid transaction of business gives spice and animation to a meeting.



Especially Prepared for Use in Farmers' Alliances, Wheels and Unions.

To fix time to which to adjourn, 4.
To adjourn, 5.
Questions of privilege, 6.
Orders of the day, 7.

Appeal (questions of order), 8.
Objections to considering a question, 9.
Reading of papers, 10.
Withdrawal of a motion, 11.
Suspension of the rules, 12.

To lay on the table, 13.
The previous question, 14.
To postpone to a certain day, 15.
To commit, 16.
To amend, 17.
To postpone indefinitely, 18.

Principal motion, 19.

To reconsider, 20.
Filling blanks, 21.
Renewing motion, 22.

These motions have power and take precedence generally in the order in which they are placed in the above list, except the miscellaneous class, which vary in power according to circumstances. A motion of the fourth-class


when properly before the house does not prevent the introduction of any of those above it in the list, but it does prevent the introduction of another motion of equal power to itself, and so on with each of the different motions and classes. Usually when a motion is made its position in the above list indicates that no motion below it is in order, and any motion above it may be in order. The three motions given above as the miscellaneous class are not strictly a separate class, since they always, when introduced, belong to one of the first four classes named; e. g., a move to renew a motion, if applied to a motion to adjourn, becomes a motion of the first-class, or a motion to fill blanks, if applied to a motion to read papers, becomes a motion of the second-class, etc.

Motions of the fourth-class are plain, simple motions of any kind, and are here called principal motions; they do not take precedence over anything but like motions of the same class, hence the old rule that "a motion is not in order when another motion is pending;" it, however, applies to principal motions only.

Motions of the third-class are motions which modify or affect action upon a motion already before the house. They are usually called subsidiary motions. They must always be disposed of before the question they are introduced to affect.

Motions of the second-class are motions which are incidental to the business in hand, and which should be disposed of before the pending question receives further consideration. Motions of this class are called incidental motions, and are in order when a question of the third or fourth-class is before the house.

Motion of the first-class are motions affecting the meeting or its members, and of such general or necessary scope as to be allowed precedence over either of the other


classes of motions. They are called privileged motions, and are always in order when properly introduced.


1. A motion is not properly introduced unless the person making it has first risen to his feet, addressed the President by saying, "Mr. President," and been recognized by the President as having the floor.

2. If a motion has been before the house and lost, the same motion cannot again be entertained at the same meeting unless it be a privileged question, and not then unless other business has intervened.

3. No person has a right to speak more than once to a question, except he who introduced the motion, until all have spoken. The mover of a question has a right to open and close the debate. A person desiring to speak more than once to a question should ask permission of the Chair, who will generally say, "If there is no objection offered by the house the brother will be allowed to speak again." If no one objects the brother is allowed the floor, but if objection is raised the President will take the vote of the house (without motion) and announce the result as a majority may decide.

4. A motion "To Fix the Time to Which to Adjourn" is not a motion to adjourn. It is generally expressed thus, "I move that when the body adjourns it adjourns to meet on the — day of — , 18— , at — " If the motion is introduced when another motion is before the house, it is a motion of the first-class, a "privileged motion," and is not debatable. It may, however, be amended as to time only. It is in order after a vote to adjourn has been taken, provided the result has not been announced by the President. If this motion be introduced when there is no other motion before the house it loses its power as a privileged motion and becomes simply


a principal motion, with only such force as attaches to motions of the fourth-class.

5. A motion "To Adjourn," if unqualified, belongs to the first-class or privileged motions. It cannot be amended or debated. A motion, "That this body proceed to close in due form," is an unqualified motion to adjourn, and is the best manner of moving adjournment in a secret society having closing exercises. When a motion to adjourn is modified, as, to adjourn to a certain time or place, it is not a privileged motion but a principal motion, and belongs in the fourth-class, and is subject to all the laws governing the fourth-class.

6. "Questions of Privilege" should not be confounded with privileged questions. A question of privilege may be general, i. e., relating to the welfare or comfort of the whole body, or special, relating to the welfare, comfort, or rights of the individual. In either case it is a motion of the first-class, and the person introducing it after rising and securing the floor in the regular way says, "Mr. President, I rise to a question of privilege." The President then requests him to state his question of privilege. He should then simply state why the question he desires to introduce is one of privilege, and the President will rule whether it is or not. If it is ruled a question of privilege he has a right to make the motion, even though another may have the floor and be in the midst of a speech. Final action on the question is not, however, imperative. A question of privilege may be amended and is sometimes debatable.

7. "Orders of the Day" are general and special, and belong to the first class. To make any business a "Special Order" requires a two-thirds vote and gives it the preference over General Orders. Special Orders cannot be taken up before the time specified, except by a two-thirds vote. Orders of the Day may be postponed by a majority vote.


The call for Order of the Day does not require a second, and cannot be debated or amended, neither can any of the third-class of motions be entertained pending a call for Order of the Day. When the time set for any general or special orders of the day arrives, it matters not what may be before the house the President should announce that the time has arrived for considering them by saying, "Shall the orders of the day be taken up?" If there is no objection the pending business is stopped and the orders taken up, but if there be objection made then the President puts the question to the house without motion, "Shall the orders of the day be taken up?" It is decided by a majority vote, and if in the negative the order of the day stands postponed till the pending business is disposed of.

8. APPEAL. — Is a second class or "incidental" motion. An appeal from the ruling of the President on a point of order is not debatable, but if the ruling is on a question of law it may be debatable. It cannot be amended. It must be seconded. A motion to lay it on the table or a motion to reconsider may be entertained, and a motion for the previous question applies if the appeal is debatable. If a motion to table an appeal prevails it does not affect the ruling from which an appeal was taken; the appeal Only is disposed of.

9. OBJECTION TO CONSIDERING A QUESTION. — Second-class. Does not require a second; cannot be debated or amended; cannot have any third-class motion applied to it. Must be made when the question is first introduced or before it is debated, and requires a two-thirds vote. To make this motion, a member gets the floor in the proper manner and says, "Mr. President, I object to the consideration of this question." The President then immediately, and without any second, puts the question to the house, "Shall the question be entertained?" If decided in the negative the whole matter is dismissed for


the entire session. The object of this motion is to keep out such questions as may be unwise or improper.

10. MOTION TO "READ PAPERS" — Second-class. Cannot be debated or amended. Any member has a right to have papers read before he votes, and the President should have papers read on the call of one person unless objection is made. When, however, someone objects, the vote of the house should be taken without debate.

11. WITHDRAWAL OF MOTION. — Second-class. A motion once properly made is the property of the house, and can only be withdrawn by the mover when there is no objection, but should there be an objection offered to withdrawal, then a motion to withdraw duly seconded is necessary, and cannot be debated or amended.

12. SUSPENSION OF THE RULES. — Second-class. Requires a two-thirds vote. Cannot be reconsidered or have any third-class motion applied to it. Is not debatable. Cannot be repeated for same purpose.

13. TO LAY ON THE TABLE. — Third-class. Cannot be debated or amended. If carried in the affirmative cannot be reconsidered. Does not admit of any other third-class motion. Removes the subject only till taken from the table. A motion to table an amendment or a substitute carries with it the main question and everything appertaining to it; all goes to the table together. This, however, does apply to cases of appeal or to reconsider or amend the minutes. The object of a motion to table is to postpone action on the subject in such a manner that it can be taken up at any time, which is done by making a motion to take the question from the table. This requires a second, and is not debatable. A motion to lay on the table may be entertained even after the previous question has been ordered up to the time of taking the last vote on the main question.


14. THE PREVIOUS QUESTION. — Third-class. Cannot be amended or debated. Does not admit of any third-class motion except to lay on the table. Applies to questions of privilege and to all debatable questions. Must be seconded. Requires a two-thirds vote to carry. May be confined to an amendment. Member may offer resolution and move previous question at same time. Much confusion of understanding sometimes exists as to this motion. It does not apply to any motion previously introduced, as its name would seem to imply, but is called previous question because it requires the question or vote to take precedence over the debate. It applies to the question before the house, whether it be main question, amendment or substitute, and is practically a motion to stop the debate and call for the vote. If a question and amendment is pending when a motion for the previous question is carried the President at once proceeds to take the vote, first on the amendment to the amendment, second on the amendment as amended, and then, third, on the main question as amended or not, as the case may be. All this is implied by the previous question unless the mover limits it to the amendment, which he has a right to do and which exhausts the previous question when the vote is taken on the amendment, and leaves the main question open for debate the same as when originally introduced. The previous question is also exhausted on a motion to reconsider, and therefore does not shut off debate on the main question after the motion to reconsider has prevailed. It is not exhausted on a motion to commit, which, therefore, when decided in the negative, requires the vote on the main question without debate. It is exhausted on a motion to postpone, and the main question is debatable when the motion to postpone is lost. It is also exhausted on a question of privilege. Bear in mind that regardless of the name of this motion its object is simply to stop the


debate and bring the house to a vote; it may therefore be made when only one motion without any amendments or modifications is before the house; in fact, a member may introduce a motion that he does not want debated by moving the previous question at the same time he introduces the resolution. The proper way to move the previous question after having secured the floor in the the regular way is to say, "Mr. President, I move the previous question;" if this meets with a second the President will immediately take the vote of the house by saying, "Shall the main question be now put? Those in favor of the motion will manifest it," etc. If decided in the negative the discussion goes on as before; but if decided in the affirmative (which requires two-thirds of the votes cast), then the President proceeds to take the vote on the amendments and questions as above.

15. THE PREVIOUS QUESTION. — Third-class. Cannot be taken up before that time except by a two-thirds vote. Previous question is exhausted on this motion and does not affect the main question. Different questions postponed to different times and not reached on time should be considered in the order in which they were postponed. This motion only admits of debate on the merits of postponement.

16. TO COMMIT. — Third-class. Can be amended; is debatable and opens main question to debate. The usual form for this motion is, "I move to refer the subject to — ."

17. TO AMEND. — Third-class. An amendment can be amended, but an amendment to an amendment cannot be amended; no further modification of this subject can be allowed without a vote. A substitute, however, may be offered for the whole business. Amendments should be in writing if requested by the President. When the President takes a vote on a question to which an


amendment and an amendment to the amendment has been offered he will take the vote of the last amendment first and announce the result. He will then take the vote on the first amendment and announce the result. He will then take the vote on the main question. This sometimes causes confusion because the adoption of the amendments seems to settle the question. For example, say the following motion is introduced: "I move that the regular meetings of this body be changed to Thursday night;" and the following amendment is offered: "I move to amend by saying Wednesday night in place of Thursday night;" and this, in turn, is sought to be changed by an amendment to the amendment saying, "Wednesday night at 8 o'clock." The President calls for the first vote on the amendment, which is carried. Now at first glance it would seem that the whole business was disposed of and that the regular meetings were changed to Wednesday night at 8 o'clock. But such is not the case, because the vote simply means that if the meetings are changed to Wednesday night, then they are to be at 8 o'clock; consequently the President takes the vote on the amendment as amended, saying, "The vote now recurs on the amendment as amended." This is also carried and the status of the question now is, "If the regular meetings are changed they are to be changed to Wednesday night at 8 o'clock." But no vote has been taken on the original motion to change the meetings. The only questions decided are, that it is the will of the body that the form of the motion be changed. Consequently it is necessary for the President to say, "The vote now recurs on the original motion to change the time of meeting as amended;" and when this question is decided the question is disposed of, and not till then.

18. TO POSTPONE INDEFINITELY. — Third-class. Cannot be amended. Is debatable and opens main question


to debate. The previous question is exhausted on this motion and does not, therefore, shut off debate when indefinite postponement is lost. When this question prevails it removes the question for the entire session.

19. PRINCIPAL MOTION. — Fourth-class. It does not take precedence of anything but another principal motion, and therefore it yields to everything except another principal motion, and cannot be made when any other question is before the house. It should be in writing when requested by the President.

20. TO RECONSIDER. — Is one of the miscellaneous motions and may belong to either the first, second, third or fourth-class of motions according to circumstances. It cannot be reconsidered. It may be introduced when another question is before the house, but cannot be acted on till the question is disposed of. No question can be twice reconsidered. A motion to adjourn, or suspend the rules, or an affirmative vote to lay on the table, or take from the table, cannot be reconsidered. It may be laid on the table. The previous question partly executed, or any vote which has caused action that cannot be reversed, cannot be reconsidered. It must be made on same day that the motion to be reconsidered was passed, and must be offered by one who voted on the prevailing side. It is always in order till the vote on adjournment has been announced by the Chair, must be seconded and only requires a majority vote. When it is made while other business is pending that would make action or consideration of the question to reconsider out of order, the person introducing it should introduce the motion to "reconsider and spread upon the minutes." This arrests all force or action in pursuance of the motion sought to be reconsidered until such time as the motion to reconsider is called up and disposed of. By courtesy no one calls up the motion to reconsider except the one making or seconding


same. This motion is debatable if question to be reconsidered is debatable, and then it opens main question to debate. A motion to reconsider a vote on a third-class motion takes precedence of a fourth-class motion pending, and yields to first and second-class motions, except orders of the day. Previous question is exhausted on a motion to reconsider. Amended motions must be reconsidered before the amendment can be. If a motion to reconsider is adopted it places the original question in the same position it was before it was passed. The motion to reconsider requires but a majority vote. If a question requiring a two-thirds vote to adopt be voted on and lost, a motion to reconsider would have to come from one who voted in the negative, because that was the prevailing side. If a motion to reconsider a question prevails a member who exhausted his privilege of debate during first consideration of the question is not again entitled to the floor, but he has a right to the floor to discuss the question on its merits while the motion to reconsider is pending, and this rule is often utilized by members who have exhausted their privilege of debate on the question, and enables them to get in another speech.

21. A MOTION TO FILE BLANKS. — A miscellaneous motion, but generally of the third class. The largest sum and longest time should first be put to vote.

22. RENEWING A MOTION. — A miscellaneous motion, and frequently of the first-class. It sometimes happens that a member will, through courtesy, yield the floor to another having something urgent to offer, and as soon as that business is disposed of the first will claim the floor for the purpose of renewing his motion.

23. Every member of the Alliance, Wheel or Union, if he expects to keep posted on the work of the Order, should be a regular subscriber to his State organ of the Order, which is The National Economist.


When a meeting convenes with neither President nor Vice-President it is the duty of the Secretary to call the house to order and request them to elect a President pro tem. An appointment or election pro tem expires with the first adjournment thereafter. When a called session convenes it is the duty of the Secretary to state that it is a called meeting and read the call.

A meeting is only the assembling of the membership one time, as is usual in the subordinate bodies that have regular meetings in which all the business is transacted before an adjournment. A session may have one — or more meetings, as the County, State or National bodies, which, when assembled, have several days' work to perform, and hold adjourned meetings from time to time till it is finished. All these meetings taken together comprise the session. The single meeting of the subordinate body is also a session.

The President should rise to put a question, but may state it sitting. He should always refer to himself in the third person, as "the Chair decides," etc., not "I decide," or "your humble servant believes," etc. A motion referring especially to the President should be put to vote by the Vice-President. The Secretary should hand to each Chairman of a committee a list of the committeemen and a written statement of the business they are to perform. If it is found, even after the President has announced the result of a vote, that a member arose and addressed the Chair before the negative was put, he is entitled to be heard, and if he has a right to the floor and discusses the question on its merits, the vote had counts for nothing and the question is in the same condition as if no vote had been taken.

The maker of a motion may vote against his own motion, but he cannot speak against it.


A committee is one or more members selected to act as a small assembly. The first person named on a committee is regarded as the Chairman until the committee meets, when their first duty is to elect a Chairmen. A committee (except a committee of the whole) may appoint a sub-committee. When the business of a committee is finished a motion is not made to adjourn, but "that the committee rise," and the Chairman or some one selected report to the assembly. As soon as the body receives the report the committee ceases to exist, unless it be a standing committee.

When a report or communication is allowed to be read it is "received" without the formality of a motion, unless some one objects, in which event it is not received by the house until a motion to that effect has been passed.

The form of report for standing committees is "beg leave to submit the following report," but special committees should state what business was referred to them in their report, A minority report should state "the undersigned, a minority of the committee to which was referred," etc.

When a report contains several sections it is the custom for some member to move that it be adopted by sections, and the proper way to adopt by sections is to first have the entire document read through without interruption, then commence at the beginning again and have the first section read and pause to give any member a chance to amend that section; if any amendments be offered they are considered and voted on at once, but the adoption of the section is not then voted on. After the amendments are disposed of, or if no amendments are offered, the President says: "If there are no amendments the Secretary will read the next section." After it is read a pause is again made, and so on till all the sections have been read and offered for amendment. The President


should then notify the body that the entire document has been read and considered by sections, and that before calling for the vote on its adoption as a whole it is open for amendment in any of its parts; the vote is then taken. A list of officers reported by a committee is treated as a different section for each name.

A member is guilty of contempt and should be reprimanded who will attempt to influence the business, by sitting in his seat and shouting, "I move we adjourn," or, "I move the previous question" on any other motion. No motion is in order till the mover gets the floor in a proper manner, and such interruptions are very discourteous.

A member may establish his usefulness and influence in the meetings by heeding the following suggestions:

Never ask the floor of the house unless you have something very important to offer. A man has more influence who seldom speaks, but when he does speaks to the point, than one who is always jumping up.

When he desires to introduce a motion or resolution he should first consider it well, and after deciding that it is very necessary, arrange in his own mind the arguments by which he will sustain it, then think over the assembly and if there is any person present whom he has reason to suppose will fight his motion he should consider the propriety of first seeing such man for the purpose of disarming him.

Never introduce a motion or a resolution unless you are very sure it will pass, because nothing weakens your prestige like defeat.

If you have a right to the floor and claim it do not yield to any interruptions, but demand that the President sustain you in your rights.

Never indulge in any discussion that can be avoided, and never insist on any measure to which you see there is a strong opposition.


Chapter VII. Objects of the Union.

No one thing, perhaps, has been more detrimental to the steady and rapid growth of the Order than a misconception of its objects. And this is not confined alone to those who are not members, or to its enemies, but unfortunately, many who sit in its councils, and partake of its benefits, have but a small conception of the possibilities which the Order is intended and calculated to accomplish. During the earlier stages of its growth, when the toiling masses were suffering from the terrible encroachments of monopolistic greed, the farmers hailed the advent of the Order as a harbinger of joy, and many persons seemed to conceive the idea that it was an instantaneous cure-all for every evil which inflicts humanity. These were persons who were the goody-goody members, and made more noise than anybody. Where are they now? Pike the Arabs, "They have folded their tents and silently stole away."

Some of them had an impression that the Order had a mission to redress a specific private grievance. Some thought that the paramount object was to wage hostile war upon the one-horse country merchants, and hailed it with delight as the means by which said merchants were to be driven out of business. Others who had been swindled by commission men, conceived the idea that its special mission was to displace this class of tradesmen. Still others, who were riding some political hobby, thought


they saw their opportunity to use the organization for the purpose of airing their views, and, possibly, riding into some lucrative office on this promising young steed. Many others had a vague idea that something was going to happen. They did not know exactly what, or how, but saw there was a great popular uprising which would revolutionize things, and they permitted themselves to be carried along with the current, not knowing where or why, and really too lazy and indolent to make the proper effort to learn. "It takes all kinds of people to make a world;" and it might truly be said that we have, or did have, a sample of each kind in the Union. But of all classes of so-called members, we have the greatest contempt for that class who had some little private imaginary wrong which they desired to revenge, or some political axe to grind, and when they learned they could not use the organization to accomplish their purpose, turned their backs upon it, and, Judas-like, went over to the enemy. There is another class of individuals, however, for which the word contempt fails to express our feeling. It is for the man who, by his own acts and professions of loyalty, secured the confidence of the organization to the extent that it placed him in a position of trust, and he then turned and "burned the bridge that had carried him over the stream." It is little wonder that with all these characters in the organization, and fierce opposition without, that it "tried men's souls" to stand at the helm and preserve the organization intact. But the Order has passed its "trial period." It is now established on a firm foundation — the solid rock of human rights.

One of the chief causes for a lack of the proper understanding of the objects of the Order, has been the want of means to keep lecturers in the field to instruct the members. Another prominent cause is the lack of newspapers devoted to the interests of the organization; and still


another is the infamous lying sheets, which, while pre-tending to represent the interests of the masses, are fawning upon the minions of monopoly, and doing their bidding under the cloak of hypocrisy.

Were we asked to define the objects of the Order in as few words as possible, we would answer, "it is a school of education." Here the farmer discusses all questions which pertain to his welfare. Its grand objects are not only general improvement in husbandry, but to increase the general happiness, wealth and prosperity of the country. It is founded upon the axiom that the products of the soil comprise the basis of all wealth; that individual happiness depends upon general intelligence and mental culture of the producing classes. The object is to accomplish a thorough and systematic organization among farmers, horticulturists, and those engaged in rural pursuits throughout the United States, that will secure among them intimate social relations and acquaintance with each other, for the advancement and elevation of their pursuits, with an appreciation and protection of their true interests. By such means may be accomplished that which exists throughout the country in all other vocations and among all other classes — combined co-operative association for the individual improvement and common benefit. Among the advantages which may be derived from the Order, are systematic arrangements for procuring and disseminating, in the most expeditious manner, information relative to crops, demand and supply, prices, markets, and transportation throughout the country; also for the purchase and exchange of stock, seeds and desired varieties of plants and trees, and for the purpose of procuring help and furnishing situations for those seeking employment; also, for ascertaining and testing the merits of newly invented farming implements, and those not in general use, and for detecting and


exposing those that are unworthy, and for protecting, by all available means, the farming interests from fraud and deception, and combinations of every kind. To accomplish all this requires time, patience and money. Newspapers are needed to educate the members of the Order to the importance of these things. A bureau of statistics and information is required, from whence can be issued blank reports, for stating the condition, acreage, price and value of crops; the number and value of live stock, experiments with new seeds, and all other information necessary to equip the farmer to make his arrangements and calculations for the future. These reports can be condensed, printed in pamphlet form, and distributed among the members of the Order. Co-operative buying and selling, which is fully discussed in the chapter on co-operation, is another prominent feature of the organization, and which, carried into effect, will save the farmers of the United States many millions of dollars. Co-operative manufacturing is not only among the possibilities, but has been successfully demonstrated, where properly tried. Not least among the objects of the Order is that of the protection of the farmer in his rights. This can only be accomplished through organization and united action. Farmer Smith and Farmer Jones may each have the same grievance, but each has a different remedy, and neither able to apply it. These two men are brought together in the Union, and discuss, not only their grievances, but a proper remedy. "In a multitude of council there is wisdom," and, "In union there is strength." Through discussion and exchange of ideas the members arrive at clear any well defined views of the evils from which they are suffering, and at once set about to devise a remedy. The farmers, with their usual frankness, admit that they are partly responsible for their present condition. Hence, they have begun to apply themselves to the study of better


methods of husbandry. But, he reckons wrong who flatters himself that they have not also perceived that they are not wholly responsible for the present depressed condition of agriculture. Excessive rates of transportation, usury, taxes, finance, tariff, bonded indebtedness, and other evils which can only be reached through legislation, are rightfully engaging their attention, and marking out new avenues for the direction of their efforts in the cause of reform. It is but natural that they should make the suppression of these gigantic frauds upon the people one of the principal objects of the organization. It is proper to state, in this connection, that they do not seek to overthrow any particular political party and institute a new one; they desire to accomplish the desired objects through the existing political organizations. But it must not be presumed that they will permit the continuance of the existing evils; that he and his family shall be robbed of their earnings and turned out of a home; that his allegiance to his party is stronger than the ties which bind him to his own interests, and to the proper discharge of his duty to his family, his fellow-man, his country and his God. Slow to move, but when once the spirit of revolt is stirred within him by a knowledge of his wrongs, the farmer is terrible in his wrath.

We do not wish to be understood that the Order is hostile to transportation companies, merchants, commission men, bankers, and others engaged in legitimate business. None are more ready than the farmer to admit the usefulness of these agents of commerce; but it the is false system upon which they are based, and the legalized frauds which they practice upon the public; the excessive charges, extortionate rates of interest and exorbitant profits which the public is compelled to pay into their hands, that they war against. They realize that there is an unequal division of the opportunities and privileges; that the avenues of trade


and profitable employment are closed against them; and that franchises and privileges are conferred only upon the rich and those who possess political influence.

The Union constitutes itself the protector of the farmers and their interests, and thus, at the outset, appeals to their sympathy and secures their co-operation. Its acts are the result of the combined wisdom. Its deliberations insure the avoidance of rash and hot-headed action. Nothing is done until all means are discussed. The farmer is conscious that he has powerful and unscrupulous enemies, and needs protection against them; self-interest prompts him to join the organization. However much the farmers of the country may have differed in the past as to the nature of the evils they were compelled to endure and the real causes of their depressed condition, it seems now to be an established fact that they have settled down and agreed upon the real and leading causes of depression, and the chief object now is to agree upon a remedy. They claim to be the best judges of the wisdom and efficiency of measures of relief and decline to allow their enemies to decide the question for them. Such opposition as it has met, has come from the monopolies and their supporters; but as one of the objects of the Order is the destruction of these frauds, this opposition is natural, and was to have been expected. It cannot be expected, however, that the changes which the Order proposes to make and the objects it desires to accomplish can be effected in a month or a year. It has not yet perfected its system of operations. The evils it seeks to combat are so well established and fortified that years may be required to remove them. Let us hope that the remedies employed will not only thoroughly eradicate the evils, but forever prevent their recurrence. It is to the patient, persevering and untiring energies of men of iron nerve, stout hearts and unswerving integrity that we must look for the consummation of this grand work.


Chapter VIII. Co-operation in the Union.

It is strange that a feature so important as co-operation should engage so little of the public attention. It is one of the grandest themes for the contemplation of mankind. It is harmony in nature, perfection in science and success in governments. Its universal practice would bring health, happiness and comfort to the human family. Its harmonious actions are clearly defined in the mechanism of the heavens, and in the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms. It is the perfection, the aggregate success of all other laws. Competition is the reverse of co-operation.

"Civilization rests upon and is dominated by the competitive system. This system is the outgrowth of the selfish propensities inherent in humanity, and it is in the social world what the law of the "survival of the fittest" is in the animal creation. Through the struggle for existence the human family has moved onward and upward from one stage of development to another until a great industrial civilization has been attained, of which the con-trolling forces are capital and labor. Capital is the accumulated wealth of labor, and labor is only another term for the energy of the race; one is a passive instrument — the other — the living, vitalizing force of humanity. Under a right business system the apparent distinctions which the names imply would cease to exist, for capital would be


recognized as a form of labor, and labor as the source and creator of capital. As it is, however, growing divergence and conflict characterize the relations of these two forces. A few words can outline the cause of this disturbance. In the course of two decades the wealth of the country has increased to such an extent as to become the marvel of the world. But not only has this accumulation of wealth not been accompanied by a corresponding improvement in the condition of the toilers, but during the past five or six years, wages in many instances have fallen. This reduction has forced women and children from their homes to take part in the struggle for existence, thus still further intensifying the strife of competition.

"It must be remembered that labor is hired by capital; that apart from organization it has no governing power over its wages, no voice in the control and management of business; no ownership in the means of production; it is simply hired by capital, and its abundance or scarcity determines its market value. Now this is the condition of labor. Let us see what are the industrial conditions. During the past twenty-five years machinery has multiplied until its productive power here and in England is equal to the working power of a thousand million men. This new force that has been thrown into industrial life if owned wholly by capital, and acting under the law of demand and supply is in direct opposition to the interests of labor. For whenever the supply of labor exceeds to any great extent the demand and men compete for work, wages must fall.

"This is what political economists call the "iron law of wages." They saw that the natural increase of population would — under the competitive system — make the supply of labor greater than the demand and that the result would be increasing concentration of wealth, and the keeping of wages down to the mere point of subsistence. That this is the tendency of the present wage


system, save as it is modified by other influences, there can not be the shadow of a doubt, and this tendency is aggravated by the introduction of machinery, and the great tide of immigration that for many years has been pouring into the country. These three forces, the natural increase of population, machinery and immigration, render the continuance of the competitive wage system a constant menace to society and a fruitful source of peril. There can be no lasting peace, no stability of social institutions so long as the land, the mines, the woods, the machinery, the whole of the means whereby wealth is produced, are in the hands of a few people and the great majority of mankind are forced to compete for starvation of wages.

"The same pressure, however, that drove capital to organize its forces — and institute joint stock companies for mutual protection and benefit — is also compelling wage earners to form labor unions and kindred associations. These organizations, necessary as they are to the welfare of workingmen, are yet apt to occasion trouble and conflict. Union men, perceiving that industrial salvation lies in organization, often refuse to work with non-unionists, and employers, unable to discern the changed conditions of industrial life, refuse to be dictated to by their men. Thus a spirit of antagonism is engendered between employer and employed. As labor organizations increase in strength and power, and the good of one becomes the good of all, a reduction of wages in one direction, or the importation and employment of foreign labor, may occasion a strike of such magnitude as to seriously effect the industries of the entire country. The industrial question is a complicated one, and needs to be carefully studied. The growth of society must be recognized, and the changes now impending seem to be intimately connected with the growth.

"We are in a transitional period in every sense of the


word, and changes from one order of life to another are always fraught with danger. We must learn what the law of competition is, and how and why at the present time it is operating banefully upon society. Then we will begin to understand the meaning of labor organization, that it is the effort of human reason to control the operation of what is known as a "great natural law." Then we will also see that the effort on its inception is apt to occasion the troubles referred to — business depression, strikes and concomitant evils; but we will also see, that no matter what the difficulties may be, incident to the organization of labor, that the movement must go on. For under the condition of things as they are today, with capital solidified into great corporations; with machinery constantly superseding human labor; with the markets of the world being opened, and competition from Asia to the United States acting with unlimited license, there would be without the counteracting effects of labor organization, a social system of wretchedness, vice and crime engendered such as the world has never seen.

"It should never be forgotten that all the available wealth of the world has been produced by labor, and that capital is only the accumulation, the stored up energy of labor. Without the vitalizing power of labor, civilization would cease to exist. Labor is to the business world what the soul is to the body — its vitalizing, constructive force. Up to the present time the full value and power of labor have not been adequately recognized. From age to age it has been held in bondage, controlled and directed by the power that its activity has called into existence.

"The wondrous wealth of resources with which God has endowed the world, has been brought forth in every conceivable shape of use and beauty, but only the favored few have profited by the prodigality of nature. To the great majority life offers nothing better than endless


toil, penury and suffering. Now, however, labor has the power through the great principle of co-operation, to fund its savings, and thus obtain capital for larger undertakings. Mr. Holyoake, writing on this subject, says: ‘When I first knew Rochdale all the working people needed relief. All who could get it had it, and the chief fear of others was that the work-house might not be too full when their turn came. Now, they subscribe to relief funds, to hospitals, present fountains to the town, and in all things give like gentlemen. It is co-operation which has enabled them to do this.

"The annual report of the chief registrar of the co-operative societies in Great Britain shows that 984 societies made official returns to the central board in 1885, and that the membership of these societies in that year was 687,482, and that their sales for the year amounted to $425,616,425, or nearly $500,000,000.

"Distributive co-operation, which pays on an average a rebate on purchases from 10 to 14 per cent. and 5 per cent. on capital invested, is well established in England and is rapidly spreading. ‘Leeds’ has upwards of 20,000 members. It has so many branch stores, and is so continually erecting new ones, that they keep a staff of builders who move from place to place as new stores have to be built. During the last twenty years the business done by the working men there is estimated at over a thousand million of dollars, and the profits of about one hundred millions have gone into their own pockets. Out of the retail stores has grown the wholesale, with its trading capital of nearly $4,000,000. And now, productive co-operation, with the men as their own employers, is developing naturally from the ‘seed-bed’ of the distributive societies. The most prosperous cotton mills in Great Britain are those run on co-operative principles. The yearly co-operative congress of 1886, held in Manchester,


was attended by over a thousand representatives from the various distributive societies of the kingdom. Last year the congress was held at Carlisle, and dele-gates from Wales, Scotland, France and the United States participated in the proceedings. In France, owing to the heroic efforts and examples of Godin and Leclaire, the system of profit sharing is gaining ground. The largest and most successful store in Paris, the Bon Marche, divides profits with every employe in the establishment. The shares of profits are conditioned upon the sales, and the shares are not, as with Leclaire and Godin, converted into shares of stock. It is simply a system of profit sharing with no attempt at industrial partnership.

"David Dudley Field, in an article in the North American Review upon the relations of capital and labor, says, ‘Is there any reason why corporations created for profit, that heretofore have been the aggregations of capital only, should not be made also aggregation of capital and labor. Suppose a manufacturing corporation to be formed with a capital of half a million dollars, divided into shares of five dollars each, three-fifths of them payable in cash and the other two-fifths in prospective labor; the former to be invested in lands, buildings, machinery, materials for manufacture and supplies for the consumption for the working shareholders; one hundred workmen to be received as members of the corporation, the skilled workmen to be allowed wages, say $3 a day, the others 1. 50, and each one to be inscribed on the books for four hundred shares. If the earnings were 6 per cent. on the capital, each skilled workman would be credited in twelve months with about $900 for wages and $120 for profit. Deducting say $500 for food, clothing and lodging, there would be a net balance to his credit at the end of the year of $520, which would pay for 104 shares of the stock. In less than four years he would pay for all the 400 shares of marketable stock.


The fixing of the rate of wages, the purchase of supplies, the admission or dismissal of working members, and the discipline of the establishment should be vested in the hands of all the members, but the financial department, the purchase and sales, should be in the hands of the actual shareholders.

"In the development of any great movement or social tendency, a natural law produces four distinct stages; first, the birth of the idea; second, its propagation by missionary work; third, its embodiment in practical forms; and, finally, the growth of these forms into permanent institutions. In regard to co-operation in this country, only the second stage has, in reality, been reached. For although distributive societies exist in various places, they are more the result of individual energy and thought than any common social impulse. But the thought — the idea — is in the world, and it has come to stay. And there is this to be remembered for encouragement to those seeking to develop co-operative industry in the United States; fifty years ago, co-operation, in the sense in which the word is now used, was almost an unknown term — now it is on the lips and in the thoughts of millions. Forty years ago the principle for the first time was being out-worked by twenty-eight men in Rochdale, driven almost to desperation by want and suffering, and with only faith in God and the immutable laws of right to sustain them in their undertaking, and the result of their labors stands before the world to aid and inspire the action of others. The germ planted by the men of Rochdale and nurtured by the warmth and consecrated devotion of Kingsley, Maurice, Owen, Neale, Holyoake and others, is bearing rich fruit, and is destined to transform the existing industrial system and bring in a new social order based upon principles of equity. The work here in the United States


is to sow the seed and make known the moral and economic benefits of co-operation. The harvest is sure to come, and the different enterprises of a co-operative character that are coming to life in all parts of the country, are yet to unite their forces and become permanent institutions." — Imogene C. Fales in Industrial News.

One among the more important branches of co-operation which farmers' and laborers' organizations are adopting is that of establishing co-operative stores. Many of these have been organized of late years with a degree of success entirely commensurate with the plan adopted, and the earnestness with which they were supported. It would seem from a careful survey of the past experience of co-operative stores, that the failures and only partial successes were, mostly, if not altogether, attributable to a lack of proper education among the people upon this question. There has been too much dependence on the business manager to make it a success. He would be a shrewd man indeed who could make a success of a co-operative business, when the people for whose benefit the business was organized would not, or could not, see the importance of co-operating with him, at least to the extent of giving him their patronage. There are some things which the people must see, and, seeing, must carry into effect, if we would be successful in our efforts to emancipate ourselves from the iron grasp of those who manipulate our trade. The great trouble is that we do not teach far enough. We explain to a member how, by the co-operative system, he will be enabled to buy his goods cheaper, and obtain better prices for his products. He grasps the idea readily enough. But his conception of co-operation does not extend beyond the locality nor into the future. By not being more comprehensive we lay the foundation for failure. We leave a gap down for our enemies to enter. The store is established on this principle. We


have fierce competition to meet. Other competitive stores will put the price down on articles to a point, perhaps, under cost. We cannot afford to meet their prices. Here is where the trouble comes. We have started out on the narrow and single plank that "it is best to buy where you can buy the cheapest and sell where you can get the most." We have made co-operation a side issue. We have failed to impress the patrons with the idea that this is "our store," and that it is the means to loosen the shackles which bind us to a false system of trade. The men whom we have taught to "buy where they can buy the cheapest," and on whom we depended for our patronage, go elsewhere to buy, never pausing to think of the difference in the objects of the two concerns. The object of the co-operative store is to do a legitimate business; to furnish goods at living profits. The object of the other stores is to break down the co-operative plan and re-establish high prices. The very fact that they offer to sell goods at, or below, "cost," is evidence of a sinister design, and the member that "bites" at such a transparent "bait" "sells his birth-right for a mess of pottage." We must start out on a broader basis. We must instruct our members that we are bound hand and foot by a system of trade over which we have no control, and no chance of control, except by being true to ourselves, and through united action and individual effort. Each individual forms a link in the chain of effort to throw off this yoke. When he fails of his duty the force of the effort is broken, and failure is likely to ensue. "Well, but I save money in buying where I can buy the cheapest," is the excuse for patronizing other stores. But it is not true. You do not save money in the end, but lose. By with-drawing your trade from a business that was established for both your present and future benefit, you destroy the very means which enabled you to save money in a single purchase. You "kill the goose that laid the golden egg."


Do you suppose the merchant is going to continue selling goods at that rate? "Oh, then I'll go back to the co-operative store." You will? You goose! You've got no co-operative store now. You've killed it by your neglect. You've got no more sense than the man who sat on the wrong end of the limb and sawed it off.

"But didn't those other fellows keep up the co-operative store?" No. They went and acted a fool like you did, and now you are again at the mercy of high prices. O, fools of men! When will we have sense enough to set a goose on a hillside? These things are transpiring every day. People are paying millions of dollars exorbitant profits into the hands of greedy middle-men, and persist in saying they are satisfied with this condition of things. The merchant fixes the price on what he sells you. Do you fix the price on what you sell him? If it is cotton the price is fixed in England and each middle-man must have a slice off of that. If it is beef or pork the price is fixed by a combination of packers. So with all other things which the producer has to sell. The financial condition of the farmers is such that they cannot hold their products for better prices. Merchants take advantage of this. They take the farmers' cotton, hold it at their pleasure, and buy goods on it as security. Why not the farmers organize business enterprises and do the same thing? All these things prove that we must work on a broader ground and go to the deeper roots of the problem. We cannot hope to obtain justice for the toilers while the elements of production and distribution remain under the control of the few. Neither can we hope to get control of these elements in any other way than by co-operation. The evils of which we complain are as largely due to defects in our industrial and social system, as they are too dishonest in our political system, for the former is the foundation and the latter is a structure resting on it, and when the source


is a cut-throat competitive game of ‘get money any way you can,’ the structure must necessarily be the same. The producers must learn that exact justice gives to every producer the full fruits of his toil and nothing more. Under such a system, no intelligent, moral, industrious person would be very poor, and none would be very rich. But the work must commence with the producers themselves. "It must be based upon principles of sound morality, conducted by lofty intelligence and the wheels must glide in the celestial grooves. There is no place in it for the bummer, self-seeker, jealous disturber or political parasite. The very nature of the work to be done must exclude these parasites. Genuine co-operation has no attraction for them. It is the one industrial and social organization whose principles, objects, aims and methods should exclude the parasites. The immoral, wilfully ignorant element can no more exist in a genuine co-operative association than can a fish live on dry land. If he accidentally gets in and fails to destroy the organization, he soon drops out and remains the tool and football of monopoly to help enslave honest industry."

For various reasons, which we have not space to discuss here, the progress of genuine, thorough and successful co-operation will necessarily be slow. The power of selfishness, greed, jealousy, envy and ignorance, which induces workingmen to stand aloof from each other while the combined monopolies fleece and enslave them in detail will prevent that union of action which would lead to a speedy eradication of monopolies of every description. These evil passions must be educated and turned into new channels of thought and action.

"Co-operation is so little understood by the average workingman, that it is no wonder that it is a hard matter to start an enterprise of the kind among them that will come to anything more than talk. Hundreds of enterprises


have been started which have never succeeded in getting beyond the mere spoiling of the white paper upon which the names of a few subscribers are inscribed. Several things are requisite for the workingmen to learn before they can successfully start or carry out co-operation.

1st. They should study the subject in all its bearings. Become familiar with all the workings of co-operation-not in one particular form, but its general scope. That cannot be done, except by a course of reading and study, and that course will also give them an insight into other matters which will be of great value to them.

2d. Cultivating that spirit of mutual confidence which should obtain among them at all times and in all things. That is a virtue that is sadly lacking among workingmen, and its absence acts as a bar to anything they may undertake to build themselves up. The debris scattered along the pathway of time, records the wrecks of many assemblies, caused by this lack of mutual confidence.

3d. They must disabuse their minds of the erroneous impression that co-operative enterprises pay them something for nothing; that their one dollar's investment will pay them five dollars every thirty days; that they have done their share of the work after they have paid in their money, and that it is not necessary for them to do anything else to assist in building up the enterprise. Co-operative enterprises are like all business — they require working up to a paying basis.

4th. Decide on what kind of co-operation you wish to invest your money in, and then go to work to raise the necessary capital. After that is done and the money is in bank, then organize by selecting your directors and manager. Right at this point is the beginning of the end, and oftentimes the end of many co-operative enterprises. They are so suspicious, and so ignorant of business, that they proceed at once to bind up the manager in such a net-work


of rules and provisos that, no matter how good a business man he may be, he is powerless, and dare not act promptly in cases of emergency, where the good of the business demands, without consultation, thereby losing valuable time.

5th. After the business has been inaugurated, then let each one go to work to build up."

Co-operative enterprises are business enterprises, and as such must be entered into and carried out in like manner. They can be made the means of relieving the workingmen of much of the oppression under which they suffer.

The following Constitution is suitable for co-operative societies for the transaction of most any kind of business. The wording can be arranged to suit the enterprise.


ARTICLE I. The object of this Co-operative Association is to improve the social, moral, intellectual, physical and financial condition of producer and consumer, especially wage workers and farmers.

ARTICLE II. We shall associate our talents, energies, capital and labor in production and distribution and do equal and exact justice to all, giving the poorest an equal opportunity with the wealthiest, and ever giving to each such portion of the savings as his labor or patronage produced.

ARTICLE III. Industrial and moral worth, not wealth, shall be and ever remain the indispensable qualifications of membership. No person addicted to indolence, dishonesty, drunkenness, falsehood, jealousy, disturbance, or calumny, shall ever be admitted to membership in this association.

ARTICLE IV. Such interest as shall be provided in


the by-laws (not to exceed six per cent. ) may be paid on capital, but no dividends shall be declared on capital stock.

ARTICLE V. The by-laws shall limit the amount of stock which each member can hold, and no member shall draw any portion of the dividends hereinafter provided for until he has acquired the full limit of stock allowed to each member.

ARTICLE VI. Each member shall be entitled to a certificate for all paid up stock, and he shall have one vote and no more, and the by-laws shall provide the amount of stock which each member shall have before he is entitled to a vote.

ARTICLE VII. No person shall ever be debarred from participation in the benefits in this association on account of poverty. The board of management shall therefore provide a card of membership and shall furnish the same, at a cost not to exceed one dollar, to any person eligible to membership who desires to patronize the enterprise and such person holding such card shall be entitled to the same dividends on his purchases paid to the shareholder, and the same shall be paid to him in shares of the stock until he has acquired the limit of stock.

ARTICLE VIII. All investments in the enterprise, or accumulations of money over and above the limit of stock which one member can hold, shall be considered "loan capital," and it shall bear such rate of interest as shall be fixed by the by-laws, and the by-laws shall also provide for its withdrawal.

ARTICLE IX. After all expenses, including interest on share and loan capital, if there be any, are provided for, the net gains shall be distributed as follows:

1st. Not less than five per cent. shall be set aside as an educational fund, to be used to spread sound co-operative and economic ideas.


2d. Not less than five per cent. shall be set aside for deterioration of stock.

3d. Not less than five per cent. shall be set aside as a fund for the relief of distressed members.

4th. Not more than ten per cent. shall go to employes in proportion to their compensation.

5th. All remaining dividends shall go to customers under the conditions provided in the by-laws.

ARTICLE X. All goods and wares shall be purchased as far as possible from the manufacturers, and the business shall be conducted as near as possible on a cash basis — in no case giving credit to anyone in a sum greater than one-half his paid up stock.

ARTICLE XI. The business of this association shall be under the control of a board, of not less than five and not more than nine directors, who shall be elected annually at a meeting of the stockholders, and a majority of all the votes cast shall be necessary to elect. The secretary shall give thirty days' notice of the time and place of holding of such meeting, to each stockholder, by mailing the same to his address. The board of directors shall choose from their number a president, secretary and treasurer; prepare by-laws for their government and the conduct of the business; select a business manager and take a bond from all custodians of funds, and make such other and further arrangements as are necessary for the successful conduct of the business, and at all times exercise such supervision over the affairs of the association as shall protect the members from loss, and as far as possible insure the success of the enterprise.

ARTICLE XII. Shareholders removing, or desiring to withdraw from the association shall surrender their shares to the secretary who shall pay for the same, in accordance with the provisions of the by-laws, the market value, which shall in no case be greater than the face


value and such dividends or interest as may be due the member, but all assessments, fines, dues or other obligations due the association by such member shall be deducted from the amount paid such member on transfer or surrender of stock.

ARTICLE XIII. The board of directors shall require the business manager to make a quarterly statement showing the assets and liabilities of the association, and a copy of the same shall be furnished to each member, together with such suggestions as in their opinion will benefit the members and inure to the success of the business.

ARTICLE XIV. At the same meeting at which the board of directors is elected, and in the same manner, the stockholders shall elect a board of education of not less than three nor more than nine members, who shall disburse the educational fund in lectures, the distribution of tracts, and other co-operative literature, and in such other ways as may seem best to increase membership and interest in the work of co-operation, and report annually to the stockholders.

ARTICLE XV. This constitution can be altered or amended only by a two-thirds vote of the stockholders present at a meeting, the time and place of holding which, and the amendments or alterations to be acted upon, due notice shall have been given to the stockholders, as provided for in Article XI of this constitution.


I, (name) . . . . . . . . . . . . ., a (occupation) . . . . . ., (age) . . . years of age, (married or single) . . . ., do hereby apply for membership in the (People's Provision Company). I have read the constitution and indorse all of its provisions, and I hereby agree to abide


by the constitution and by-laws, give all possible patronage to the enterprise; devote my talents and energies to this great educational work; discountenance dishonesty, indolence, intoxication, calumny, violence, and any and all other forms of immorality; and I further agree, to at all times cheerfully do and perform such work as may be assigned me for the advancement of social, industrial and political co-operation, the best and surest remedy for the emancipation of honest industry from monopolies of all kinds.

(Name) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The above constitution embodies all the vital provisions of the Rochdale and other successful co-operative associations, all technical and mystifying verbiage being eliminated.

As the by-laws relate principally to the management of the enterprise, they can be arranged for that specific purpose. We give below by-laws suitable for a retail supply store:


ARTICLE I. — Name and Location. This association shall be known as the. . . . . . Co-operative Company, and its principal office shall be in. . . . . . . . . .

ARTICLE II. — Object and Aim. Its object shall be to conduct a retail family supply store; furnish its patrons good, pure articles, full weight and measure, and give the savings to the patrons.

ARTICLE III. — Capital Stock. The capital stock shall be $5,000, divided into 1,000 shares of $5. 00 each, and the rate of annual interest on paid up capital shall be five per cent.

ARTICLE IV. — Limitation of Shares. Each member shall be entitled to ten shares of stock and no more, and all interest on capital, dividends accruing to a member on


purchases or labor, shall be applied to payment on stock until he has ten shares fully paid up.

ARTICLE V. — Membership. Any person of good moral character and sober and industrious habits, is eligible to membership in this company, upon signing the constitution and agreeing to give the greater portion of his patronage to the company and complying with the rules, regulations and by-laws.

ARTICLE VI. — Representation.Each stockholder shall be entitled to one vote and no more, no proxies shall be allowed, and no one shall be considered a stockholder unless he has one share fully paid up.

ARTICLE VII. — Meetings of Stockholders. The regular meetings of the company shall be held quarterly, on the second Monday in January, April, July and October, and the January meeting shall be the annual meeting for the election of directors.

ARTICLE VIII. — Board of Directors. — Section I. The affairs of this company shall be under the control of a board of seven directors, who shall be elected at the annual meeting in January, and hold office one year, or until their successors are duly elected and qualified.

Sec. 2. The board shall elect a president and secretary from their number, who shall prepare stock certificates and issue and sign the same, and make all transfers.

Sec. 3. The board shall select and fix the compensation of a treasurer and business manager, who shall be the same person, but not a member of the board, and who shall give bond in a sum to be fixed by the board, but in no case less than one-half of the capital stock, which bond shall provide that said manager and treasurer shall well and truly account to the company for all moneys and property coming into his hands, and that he will turn the same over to his successor unimpaired.

Sec. 4. The board shall also provide a membership


card, to be furnished to any person eligible to membership, and who shall make a regular application for membership, agreeing to give the greater portion of his patronage to the store and take his dividends in stock until he shall have ten shares paid up. The price of said card shall be fifty cents, which sum shall go to the educational fund.

Sec. 5. The board shall prepare semi-annual statements showing the financial condition of the company, and report the same to the company in April and October.

Sec. 6. The board shall appoint two stockholders who shall audit the books and accounts of the company immediately prior to the publication of the semi-annual statement.

Sec. 7. The members of the board must all be stock-holders in the company, and it shall have power to fill any vacancy that may occur by resignation, or otherwise, until the next annual election of directors.

ARTICLE IX. — Officers and their Duties. — Section I. The president shall preside at all meetings of the company or board of directors, but in his absence a chairman may be chosen. He shall also have general supervision of the business, have access, when necessary, to books, bills, and papers, inquire into finances, and require from the manager statements and information concerning the condition of the company, and call special meetings of the board, or of the company, when, in his judgment, it is necessary, or when a majority of the board, or of the company, require it.

Sec. 2. The secretary shall have charge of the stock book, and other books, papers and documents of the company, and shall keep a correct record of the proceedings of all meetings of the company and of the board.

Sec. 3. In addition to the duties enumerated in Article VIII of the by-laws, the business manager shall


employ all his assistants and fix their compensation, subject to the approval of the board. He shall devote his entire time to the business, and manage it to the best of his ability, and in the true interests of the company, and the advancement of the great principles of co-operation.

Article X. — Transfers of Stock. Members desiring to dispose of their stock shall first offer their shares to the company at their par value. In case the funds of the company will not permit the purchase of the same, or the seller will not accept the price or terms offered by the board, then the seller may dispose of his stock to any one eligible to become a member, and in case he cannot so dispose of it, then the board shall post a notice of the sale of such stock in a conspicuous place in the store, and at the expiration of ten days shall sell such stock to the highest bidder who is eligible to membership.

Article XI. — Loan Capital. After a stockholder has ten shares paid up he is entitled to draw out any interest or dividend annually, but in case he permits the same to remain with the company, or in case he advances money in starting the business, over and above his limit of stock, such dividends, interest or advances of money shall be considered loan capital, and he shall be paid such annual rate of interest for the same as the board may agree to pay, not to exceed six per cent.

ARTICLE XII. — Applications for Membership. All applications for membership must be signed by the applicant and by a stockholder and shall be carefully investigated and acted upon by the board, a majority vote electing the member.

Article XIII. — Dues. All members shall pay one dollar on application, and not less than twenty-five cents a week regular dues until such payments and his dividends on purchase or labor and interest on paid up capital shall


have fully paid up ten shares of stock, but this article shall not debar those who take a membership card and who cannot afford to pay regular dues. To aid such persons is one of the grandest works of co-operation.

ARTICLE XIV. — Quorums. In all meetings of this company one-third of the members in number or one-fifth in interest shall be a quorum, and in all meetings of the board a majority of their number shall be a quorum.

ARTICLE XV. — Complaints. The board, on receiving in writing suggestions or complaints in relation to the quality or price of goods supplied at the store, or respecting the conduct of any of its employes, shall investigate and take measures to have rectified whatever may be found wrong.

ARTICLE XVI. — The Profits. The net profits accruing to this company shall be disposed of according to the constitution, giving to non-members one-half the dividend paid to members.

ARTICLE XVII. — Amendments. Any alterations or amendments to these by-laws must be proposed in writing one meeting, at least, previous to action being taken thereon, and can only be adopted by a two-thirds vote of a quorum of the board.

The above by-laws contain the essential provisions for the organization and management of a retail family supply store. Of course, each company would change name, amount of capital, etc., and perhaps make some alterations to adapt them to various circumstances.

"Co-operation is a science and not a passing incident of the industrial movement, to be discarded or supplemented by something better after it has served its purpose. It is the highest of social sciences — it deals with the social and industrial relation of man in all their ramifications — it is the normal condition of man under a high state of civilization — it is practical Christianity.


"The science of co-operation cannot be mastered in weeks, months, or years. At present many regard it as a scheme to make money only, and engage in it in that spirit, but persons having no higher conception of co-operation are not likely to succeed — such persons should uncover their head and wash their feet before entering even the vestibule of true co-operation.

"Co-operators can't be held together by signs or passwords, or verbal obligations, or-constitutions or by-laws on paper; sound morality, a spirit of justice and lofty intelligence are the cohesive principles which hold true co-operators in bonds of unity. For this reason, in admitting members, the greatest care should be exercised in carrying out Articles two and three of this constitution.

"Correct ideas always precede successful action, there-fore a thorough knowledge of the causes of industrial and social evils, and the power of co-operation to remedy them, should be acquired by the members before attempting any co-operative project. Knowledge and not capital is the potent agency which will ultimately make co-operation a success.

"To secure this knowledge the people must look more to themselves than to lecturers. The lecturer may awake a few sleepers, but he is expensive, as half the money necessary to give a lecture would flood the whole community with co-operative literature that would do infinitely more good than the lecture."

The beauty of the plan here given is, that it excludes no one on account of poverty and the dividends are made to the purchaser according to the amount of goods purchased. Every member thus becomes interested in the success of the enterprise. The goods are sold at a reasonable price, much below the usual figure, but still at a per cent. of profit that will pay interest on the money invested by the stockholders, the running expenses of the enterprise,


and liberal dividends to the purchasers. The patronage of those not members — who are induced to trade by the low prices and quality of goods — helps to swell the dividends of the purchasing members. The employees are also provided for in the distribution of profits. Where the enterprise is organized by the Wheel, Alliance or other organization, provisions should be made in the by-laws to have two-thirds of its stockholders members of the Order. The management can then be kept within the control of that organization and can become a part of the grand system of co-operation which we hope to see at an early day. Great care should be exercised in the selection of a business manager. He should be a man in whom the utmost confidence can be placed, and of unquestioned business capacity. He should be particularly qualified for the business which he is expected to take charge of. He should be experienced. The difference between the wages of a first-class business man and one of indifferent qualifications is a mere bagatelle in the matter. It is better to economize anywhere else than in the wages paid the business manager. His ever watchful eye, his ability, energy and spirit will contribute more than any one thing to the success of the enterprise. He can not be expected to work for less wages than his labor will command in the market. If a man can be obtained that can command a salary of one hundred dollars per month in the market — if other mercantile establishments can afford that sum — it is evidence of his fitness, and little fear need be entertained on account of the business management of such a man. We are aware of the fact that there are men who are penurious enough to begrudge a man such wages, and will urge that the principles of the Order are opposed to high wages. But it is exactly the reverse. The object of the Order is to establish a price on everything according to its merits and real worth, and independent of unnatural and unjust manipulation.


"penny wise and pound foolish" nonsense that is standing in the way of legitamized and necessary reform. It has its origin in selfishness and a lack of proper appreciation of the real merits of things.

The sooner people see that it is better to pay a practical business man a salary of one thousand or twelve hundred dollars a year to make an enterprise successful and save them thousands of dollars, than to pay an inefficient one three or four hundred dollars to make it a failure, the better it will be for them. If a farmer has a horse to sell that is worth one hundred dollars in the market, he may hardly be expected to sell him for fifty dollars. It is possible to make a mistake and pay a three hundred dollar man a thousand dollar salary, but you will hardly be able to obtain the services of a man worth one thousand dollars, and who can command that salary in other stores or make it by establishing one of his own, for three hundred dollars. We do not wish to be understood that all enterprises of this nature will have a sufficient volume of business to justify the payment of a thousand dollar salary. In many instances the business will be limited, and the expenses must necessarily be so. But in cases where enterprises are centrally located and sharp competition is to be expected — where it is possible to do a large trade — a good practical business manager is indispensable. Men may say that they do not make that amount of money on their farms. We answer, they never will until successful co-operation is established, and monopoly and high prices are abolished. Another very common mistake is to employ a manager and then to proceed with him as though he were a thief or a fool, by tying him up and restricting him to such an extent that he is almost powerless to accomplish any good. This method has been practiced to such an extent that the manager could hardly make an order for a dozen spools of thread without


convening the board of directors. Such a narrow and contracted policy is almost sure to result disastrously. It is evidence of the incapacity of the directors. If you think your manager is going to steal, or don't understand his business, discharge him and get one in whom you have confidence. If you can't find such a man you had better employ yourselves to run the business. If the plan given is adopted, and the people are thoroughly in earnest and secure a good manager, restricted with a liberal code of rules, there need be no fear whatever of its success. The outsider is benefited by the low price of goods, and every member, whether a stockholder or not, is interested in giving the enterprise the largest volume of trade possible. This plan will suit those who are cautious and hesitating, as they can take it in broken doses until their constitution will stand larger ones. It gives them a chance to test the efficacy of co-operation without any risk or responsibility. It will be a true test of the sincerity of those who make loud professions of being "Agricultural Wheelers," and apostles of co-operation. It will lay bare the selfish ambition of those who have an "axe to grind." If it is desired to establish an enterprise on a different basis, one in which the stockholders alone shall share the profits of the business, we give below a form of articles of association for that purpose.


Of … Co-operative Society, County of … State of …

Section I. The object of this Association shall be to buy and sell goods, wares and merchandise, perform and transact a general mercantile business.

Sec. 2. This association shall have the power to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered, to make a common seal, to alter or break the It is this


same, and to do all things of right, done by individual citizens of the State of …

Sec. 3. The capital stock of this association shall be $… and shall be composed of … shares, of $25 each, and the business may be commenced when. … per cent. of the capital stock shall have been subscribed, and … per cent. of the subscribed stock paid in, and shall continue until dissolved by a majority vote of the capital stock.

Sec. 4. Any person may become a stockholder of the capital stock of this association to the amount of … shares, and no more; but two-thirds of the subscribed stock shall belong to members of the AGRICULTURAL WHEEL, or other labor organization.

Sec. 5. Each share of the capital stock shall entitle the owner thereof to one vote in the election of officers of the association: Provided, THAT IN NO CASE SHALL ANY VOTE BE CAST BY PROXY, and no one shall cast more votes than the number of shares of stock to which members are limited.

Sec. 6. The domicil of this association shall be determined by a majority vote of the capital stock, at the first meeting after the requisite amount of the capital stock has been subscribed, and a sufficient amount paid in to authorize the organization, and when located, may, at any time thereafter, be removed to any other location by a two-thirds vote of the capital stock; Provided, Sixty days' notice of the proposed removal be given to the stockholders, by publication in some newspaper printed in the county.

Sec. 7. It shall be the duty of the stockholders of this association, at their first meeting, and afterwards on the last Saturday in each year, to elect not less than five, nor more than eleven of their number, each of whom shall be a member in good standing of the Agricultural Wheel or other labor organization, as a board of directors, who shall


serve for one year, except the first board of directors, who shall serve until the last Saturday in the year of their election; and the board of directors, upon their election, shall at once organize by electing one of their number president, and another secretary of said board of directors.

Sec. 8. At the first or second meeting, the board of directors shall elect a business manager, who shall have a good English education, and be a stockholder in this association, who shall hold his position during the will of the board of directors, or for a specified time, and who shall give a good and sufficient bond to the board of directors for the faithful accounting of all merchandise, and payment of all sums of money that may come into his hands by reason of his position as business manager; but no percentage or perquisites shall be allowed him.

Sec. 9. The board of directors shall establish rules and by-laws for the collection of subscriptions to the capital stock, and do any and all necessary acts pertaining to the management of the affairs of this association; they shall supervise and control the business; inspect the books of the business manager; make settlements with him at least once in six months; fix the rate of per cent. to be charged on the goods; declare dividends; call meetings of the stockholders; fill vacancies in the office of business manager; employ assistance for the business manager, and fix the wages to be paid them, etc., etc.

Sec. 10. Subscriptions to the capital stock of this association may be taken as follows:

1st. In cash.

2d… per cent. of the capital stock subscribed for in cash, and the balance in notes to this association, payable in one and two years, bearing interest at the rate of ten per centum per annum from date, and secured by deeds of trust upon improved unincumbered real estate, worth at least twice as much as the amount of


the notes; which done, the stock shall be certified on the books as paid up stock.

3d. … per cent. in cash, and the balance in installments, as they may be called by the board of directors.

Sec. 11. The association shall issue certificates of stock, signed by the president and secretary, and attested by the seal of the association, which may be in the following form:

No. …

… 18. …

THIS CERTIFICATE entitles the holder thereof to … shares of the capital stock of the MERCANTILE CO-OPERATIVE ASSOCIATION, of … in … county, State of … President.Secretary.

Sec 12. No stockholder shall hold stock in the name of any other person, and any stockholder who holds stock for another, and votes said stock, shall forfeit to the association all the stock he may own, and all stock voted in violation of this section shall be forfeited to the association.

Sec. 13. Any person purchasing capital stock of this association of individuals, shall notify the secretary of the board of directors, at least ten days before the annual meeting of the stockholders, and have his name enrolled on the books of the association as a stockholder, and no stock shall be allowed a vote that is not enrolled in the name of the proper owner.

Sec. 14. A majority of the shares of stock actually sold shall constitute a quorum of the stockholders, and a majority of the board of directors shall constitute a quo-rum for the transaction of business.

Sec. 15. Any person who by reason of inheritance,


or otherwise, who shall become the owner of capital stock of the association in excess of the limitation under the laws of the association, shall report the fact, with the amount of stock held above the limit, to the board of directors, who may buy the stock, at not exceeding its par value, for the benefit of the association: but under no circumstances shall said excess of stock be entitled to representation in the annual election; provided, however, said stock shall share in the profits of the association the same as any other stock.

Sec. 16. The stockholders, by a two-thirds vote of the stock represented at the annual meeting, may amend these articles of association, and may increase or decrease the capital stock of the association.

Sec. 17. No stock dividend shall ever be made.

Sec. 18. No credits shall be given to any person by this association, except upon ample security. The board of directors may give credit to stockholders upon the deposit of their stock with the association as security, to the amount of fifty per cent. of their paid up stock and no more.

Sec. 19. No dividends or interest shall be paid to any person indebted to this association in cash; but all such dividends or interest shall be credited upon their indebtedness.

Sec 20. Any stockholder of unpaid up stock of this association, who shall fail to pay assessments made by the board of directors within . . . . days after the same shall be due and payable, notice of such assessment having been given by publication in some newspaper published in the county, shall forfeit to the association the said unpaid stock, or the same shall be sold, or a sufficient amount thereof (if more than one share) to pay said assessment, as the board of directors may elect.

Sec. 21. No stockholder shall receive a dividend on


a larger amount of money than he has actually paid in.

Sec. 22. We, the undersigned, agree and bind ourselves, severally, to take the amount of stock set opposite our respective names, in the CO-OPERATIVE ASSOCIATION of … in the County of … State of … and pay all assessments thereon made by the board of directors:

NAMES. No. of Shares. Am't. REMARKS.

The wording can be changed to suit any kind of business, and such by-laws adopted as the business requires and the stockholders think proper.

As a means of rendering more efficient the co-operative stores and other enterprises throughout the country, every State should organize at some point, convenient and centrally located, a State Exchange. The importance of such exchanges cannot be overlooked if we would make a success of co-operation. They add financial strength and credit to the other co-operative business enterprises in the State, and command the confidence of the commercial world. In the shipping of cotton and sale of the products of the farm they are almost indispensable. At a meeting of the State Business Agents at Meridian, Mississippi, during the time of the meeting of the National Wheel and Farmers' Alliance, the Exchange system of Tennessee was recommended as the best, and the co-operative system of the Arkansas State Agency adopted. For many reasons, some of which are set out by the Arkansas State Executive Committee in the organization of an Exchange for that State, every State should have an Exchange. We also give the articles of association of the Arkansas State Exchange.

WHEREAS, The Agricultural Wheel and other labor organizations of the States of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi,


Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Florida have established Exchanges by which the farmers are enabled to save the vast profits on merchandise, and the sale of their products that now go into the pockets of middle-men; and,

WHEREAS, Cotton, corn, wheat and other products of farmers cannot be handled by farmers and direct trade had with manufacturers and consumers without an Exchange; and,

WHEREAS, An Exchange is absolutely necessary to give financial standing in the commercial world to the State, county and subordinate agents, so that in any case of rejection of cotton or other products sold for the reason of overgrading, loss of weight, or unsoundness, financial reparation can be had without delay or doubt; and,

WHEREAS, Said agents cannot purchase many articles direct from manufacturers and supplies from farmers and other State Agents without the assistance of an Exchange; and,

WHEREAS, It has been and is demonstrated that in the selling of cotton and other produce, the farmer can save all commission and expenses that now go to the middle-men, and sell and ship direct to manufactories in this country and Europe through the use of an Exchange.


We, the Executive Committee of the State Wheel of Arkansas, and the Exchange Committee appointed for the purpose of revising the Georgia plan of Exchange so as to apply to the convenience and necessities of the people of Arkansas, do, by the authority vested in us by the State Wheel of Arkansas, hereby adopt the following plan and laws to govern the Exchange:

1. The name of the corporation shall be the Farmers' and Laborers' Union Exchange of Arkansas.


2. The purposes for which this corporation is organized are: To conduct a general mercantile business. To act as agent for the purchase and sale of all kinds of farm and orchard products, and general forwarding agent for all kinds of commodities. To erect, manage and operate warehouses, stockyards, grain elevators and packing establishments. To manufacture guano or other fertilizers, and all such other enterprises as may be found necessary or advisable to profit and betterment.

3. This corporation shall have the power by and under its corporate name to enjoy the following rights and privileges, to-wit: It shall be capable in law to purchase, receive and hold and enjoy, lands, goods, chattels and property of any kind and effects whatsoever; the same to grant, sell, mortgage and dispose of, sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, contract and be contracted with, to make a common seal, to alter or break the same, to establish and put in execution by-laws governing the the corporation, to issue and float debenture or other bonds, and to do a printing and publishing business.

4. The capital stock of this corporation shall be $100,000, divided into four thousand shares of $25 each — 25 per cent. of stock subscribed to be paid in during the year 1889, the remainder in three installments of 25 per cent. annually, and when $10,000 is paid in the Board of Directors shall begin operations.

5. The term for which this corporation shall exist shall be ninety-nine years.

6. Subscriptions for shares of capital stock shall be made by Wheels, Alliances, Unions and members of the same, and shall be accompanied by 25 per cent. in cash of the amount of subscription.

7. It is hereby understood or agreed that each Wheel, Alliance or Union adopting this exchange system, and thereby ratifiying this plan, is firmly bound to subscribe


for and make settlement on stock as above specified, to the number of shares due from it under the following schedule of ability, to wit: Those having less than twenty-five members shall be apportioned one share; twenty-five to fifty members, two shares, fifty to seventy-five members, three shares; seventy-five to one hundred members, four shares; all above one hundred members, five shares; provided that this shall not prevent any subordinate body from taking as many shares as they choose.

8. Each subordinate body or member, holding one or more shares of stock in his Exchange, shall be entitled to one trustee stockholder, who shall be elected annually at the regular election of officers [except individuals who shall represent their own stock]. He shall represent such subordinate body in the county meeting of trustee stockholders, and shall be entitled to as many votes as he represents shares of stock. The county convention of trustee stockholders shall, at a regular annual meeting, elect from their number, one delegate for all shares of stock owned in that county, who shall be known as county trustee stockholder, and authorized to represent the stock held in that county in the State meetings of the trustee stockholders of the corporation, and shall be entitled to as many votes as he represents shares of stock. Each trustee stockholder shall be the representative of the Exchange in his Wheel, Alliance or Union, and shall give bond to the amount of one-half of the stock held by such subordinate body for the faithful performance of duty.

9. For the purpose of giving this movement tangible form and insuring its success, the Executive Committee of the State Wheel, together with the Committee of Exchange, the President of the State Wheel and President of the Farmers' Alliance of Arkansas, shall constitute


a Board of Directors to carry into effect the plan here adopted. They shall designate a General Manager and elect a Treasurer, both of whom shall give bond in sufficient amount to cover all monies and effects which may come into their hands, said bond to be approved by the Board of Directors. A majority of this Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. As soon as $10,000 of the capital stock has been paid in, the Treasurer shall make the same known to the President of the Board of Directors, and he shall thereupon issue a call for a meeting of the County Trustee Stockholders, in the city of Little Rock. At this meeting, the stockholders shall proceed to organize the Exchange, for the purpose of transacting such business as is set forth in the purposes for which it was organized. They shall elect from their number a Board of Directors, composed of two from each Congressional District and one from the State at large. They shall also adopt such by-laws for the government of the Exchange as they see proper.

10. The State meeting of the County Trustee Stockholders shall be held annually at the same time and place as the regular annual meeting of the State Wheel or Union.

11. The Board of Directors shall elect from their number a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. They may employ or discharge such assistants as is necessary, taking sufficient bonds to cover all responsibility reposed. They shall enact such suitable laws and regulations as the exigencies of circumstances require, subject to approval by the next meeting of stockholders, but all such by-laws and regulations shall have the full force of law until the stockholders shall have refused to concur in them.

12. At the written request of five of the Directors, the President of the Board shall call a special meeting of


the Board of Directors to meet any emergency that may arise between the regular annual meetings of the County Trustee Stockholders.

13. All moneys arising from subscriptions to stock, dues and initiation fees, shall be forwarded to the Treasurer selected, first by the Board of Trustees, and afterward by the stockholders, who shall issue his receipt for the same, together with a certificate stating the amount of stock subscribed and the amount paid in, to the Secretary of the subordinate body subscribing the same; and the business manager shall issue to each member of said body, who has contributed $1 or more, a certificate of membership in the Farmers' and Laborers' Exchange of Arkansas, and said certificate shall entitle such member to all the benefits of the Exchange together with a vote in the selection of its Trustee Stockholder. Said certificate shall not be transferable, and any members using it or permitting it to be used for the benefit of any other person not entitled to the benefit of the Exchange, shall forfeit the same with all the privileges to which said certificate entitles him.

14. No person who has not contributed $1 or more to the Exchange fund shall be entitled to the benefits thereof. And no member who has contributed more than $1 shall be entitled to any special privileges, either in voting for Trustee Stockholders or extra privileges in trade.

15. The money raised for the purpose herein set forth shall constitute a trust-fund, which shall be used for the purposes herein mentioned, and for no other purpose. It shall at all times be subject to the disposal of the Board of Directors and the General Manager of the Exchange, who shall act under and in accordance with the instructions of the Board of Directors. A two-thirds majority of the Stockholders shall have power to dissolve this corporation;


in which event, or any other event that may terminate in the dissolution of this Exchange, all funds on hand after all debts are paid, shall be returned pro-rata to the subordinate bodies and individuals holding the stock of said corporation.

16. Under no circumstances shall any cash dividends be declared until the capital stock shall have reached the authorized amount of $100,000. But at the end of each fiscal year, which shall terminate on the 30th of June, the Directors shall have prepared a statement of the financial condition of the Exchange, which statement shall be sufficiently explicit and comprehensive to be easily understood by the stockholders.

17. When the Exchange shall have been in operation four years, or at the end of the fiscal year 1893, the profits accruing from the business shall be the basis of a distribution of new stock among those then holding the stock of the corporation, to wit: To those who have sub-scribed stock in 1889, 50 per cent. ; to those who subscribed stock during the year 1890, 25 per cent. ; to those who subscribed stock in 1891, 15 per cent. ; and to those who subscribed stock in 1892, 10 per cent. Said distribution to be made on the basis of capital actually paid in.

18. Until further arrangements are made, the funds of the Exchange shall be deposited in the bank at Little Rock and shall not be drawn out except upon the order of the Board of Directors."

The above Constitution can be altered or amended so as to suit the condition of members in any State, and such by-laws adopted as will be necessary to carry out the provisions of the Constitution.

Space forbids us here to give this subject the attention which its importance demands. If properly discussed


it would fill a large volume. The possibilities of co-operative work are absolutely without limit.

Next in importance, to the farmer and laborer, to the subject just treated is co-operative manufacturing. The necessity of this is obvious to all. Enough has already been done in this direction to demonstrate its success and utility. When the farmers, especially those of the South and West, get tired of paying three and one-half dollars for a pair of boots that cost in the East one dollar and fifty cents to manufacture, they will begin to see the importance of this branch of co-operation. When they once realize the silliness of shipping their cotton, hides, hemp and other raw materials from the farm, over the railroads at which they make such loud complaint on account of exorbitant rates of freight, then shipping them back again, besides paying various profits to commission men, manufacturers, merchants and others who handle the goods, they will cease to kick at one dollar assessments and other plans of raising means to emancipate them from a system that is, to say the least, no credit to intelligent men to continue for any considerable length of time. We sometimes think the farmers and laborers ought to follow the example of the young man who permitted himself to be influenced by his "best girl" to spend five dollars for ice cream, candy and other little trifles which her feminine taste prompted her to ask of him. Returning home he held an indignation meeting, "reconsidered the matter" and unanimously passed a resolution that he had acted a "gol darned fool." He then tied himself to the bed-post and administered a sound thrashing, accompanied by such ejaculations as, " You go and act a (whack) fool again (whack), will you? You spend five dollars (whack) on a girl again because she has pretty eyes (whack) and rosy lips! You idiot (whack), let me see you going (whack) to another picnic (whack) this


summer! You're a pretty (whack) fellow to be caught with (whack) such small bait Now take that (whack, whack, whack) and go and hide yourself for the rest of the day, you born fool!"

The farmers can hardly fail to see the importance of establishing co-operative business enterprises. The subject of co-operation presents a wide field for the employment of the talent and means of labor organizations. We frequently hear it urged that co-operation is a failure and the experience of the Grange is cited as an example. It is unfortunately true that the history of co-operation in the Grange abounds with failures, and but few of the many enterprises which it established are still stemming the tide. But these few are evidence that when properly managed co-operation is a success. The history of the failures of co-operative enterprises in the Grange should furnish a lesson to the Wheel, Alliance and other organizations that they will do well to profit by — that of learning and shunning the rocks which wrecked the efforts of the Grange. The trouble with the Grange — and the same may be said of other organizations — was that is was born of the necessity of the hour and sprang up like a mushroom, giving the people no time for preparation to accept the new situation and educate themselves in their new relation to trade. It was want of education and experience. The Wheel, Alliance and other organizations have the lamp of past experience to guide their feet, and are proceeding with a caution born of knowledge of past failure. We shall be surprised if their intelligence does not conceive methods which will be crowned with success. True, there will be failures, but each failure will discover some new obstacle to overcome, and we doubt not that the wisdom of the Order will be abundantly able to apply the proper remedy.


Chapter IX. Social Features of the Union.

Another important feature of the Union which renders it almost indispensable to the farmers, is the opportunity it offers themselves and families to cultivate the social relations, and attain to a higher degree of civilization. Few who have not been residents of the country can rightly understand the monotony of the farmer's life.

Day after day he and his family pursue the same appointed round of toil. There is no change, save the regular recurrence of the Sabbath, and attendance upon religious services, when such privileges are accessible. During the busy season, constant toil leaves but little leisure on the hands of any member of the household; but when the long winters set in, and several months of comparative inactivity is forced upon them, the monotony is hard to bear. It is always felt, even by the dullest. Visiting is rare, and as a rule is not encouraged. Strange to say, the majority of our farmers do not value social intercourse, yet no one needs it more. He usually lives a lonely and secluded life, rarely going beyond the limits of his farm, except to town, the country store or post-office on business. Occasionally a circus, or some traveling show draws the farmer and his family out of their seclusion, but with this exception the monotony is unbroken. No wonder, then, that with constant toil and unbroken solitude as his only companions, the farmer should be a careworn, prematurely old man. No human


being can exist without a certain amount of recreation and change. If these be denied, the whole mental and moral nature must suffer. To change this indifference of the farmer to social pleasure and relaxation is one of the grand objects of the Order. But, however oppressive this isolated condition may be to the farmer and his sons, it is immeasurably more so to his wife and daughter. Women are much more dependent upon society than men. Monotony affects them more quickly and more powerfully, and they need more relaxation and amusement than men. Yet how dreary is the lot of the farmer's wife and daughter. Theirs is a life of constant toil — the same, routine day after day, week after week — with scarcely a break in it. A funeral, or a wedding, or a county fair, are great events in their existence, as they bring them together with their neighbors and afford them some little society. But, as a rule, the loneliness of their lives is unbroken. They are, for the most part, confined to the limits of the farm. It is not because the farmer and his family are not calculated to enjoy themselves in each other's society, as well as other people. Who that has attended a county fair, picnic, or other public gathering, where amusement was the object, has failed to mark the noisy and, what city folk would term unnecessary mirth of the farmers' wives and daughters? These outbursts of mirth and loud peals of laughter may, to some, seem ridiculous; but they are natural. They are the assertion of the protest of nature against the long and dreary restraint that has been put upon them, and the mirth of these women is as natural and irresistible as the song of the long imprisoned bird escaping from its cage. They laugh and enjoy themselves because they have been silent and care-burdened so long. Such occasions, such opportunities for enjoyment come rarely to them, and they are quick to take advantage of them. Their time for pleasure


is brief and they make the most of it. Then they go back to their dreary monotony at home, for no matter how comfortable the home, how liberal the provisions of the husband and father, there is a monotony and loneliness about it which the most loving wife and dutiful daughter feels most keenly. To the watchful care, the unremitting and unselfish efforts of the cleanly housewife depends all the comforts of home. Few women but what like to render home as attractive as possible; this requires work and care, and the wife is obliged to make a slave of herself, working from daylight to bedtime through the long hot summer days until nature itself fairly gives way. I do not exaggerate; I have seen the haggard looks and heard the weary sighs of overworked farmers' wives. I have seen broad acres of highly cultivated land groaning under the abundant crops, good houses and barns, and fine stock, but the order and cleanliness that reigned in-doors in harvest time, when twenty hungry men sat around the fanner's table, were too often purchased at the price of the premature old age of the wife. Anything that will break in upon this tread-mill life which, though not quite universal, is altogether too common, should be hailed with joy by the farmer and his family.

The Order, proposes to change this state of affairs, and render the farmers and their families one of the greatest services towards making his life happy that can be done for him. It offers them the means of improving their social intercourse, of adding to their pleasures, and of improving their condition mentally as well as socially.

Mankind, in their natures, are social beings, and when in solitude all pine for social and friendly intercourse. This being an organization designed more especially for farmers than any other class, we say that its social features are particularly pleasing, and well adapted to meet the necessity which exists for some method to bring them and their


wives and families together, so that they may know each other better, and be brought into a closer connection and sympathy than now exists. If there is anything which tends to break up the humdrum life which the farmers have been living, and are living, it should be fostered with every possible means. Of all the evils that fetter and hamper this class of our people, there is nothing so destructive to that happiness human beings were permanently destined to enjoy, as the seclusion in which they drag out their lives. Isolated from the arena of business life, with nothing to stimulate thought, they too often live and die strangers to those finer and nobler feelings which are so readily nurtured by commingling of society. To whatsoever cause it may be accredited the farming class are not as socially inclined as they were in the early history of the country when they would walk ten miles to attend a house-raising of a week-day or preaching on Sunday. This disposition of itself tends to a neglect of the common interests, and the nurturing of those passions and prejudices so frequently manifested during times of political excitement. In the monthly meetings of the subordinate Unions, the farmers of a community are brought together twelve times a year if no oftener, and should be accompanied with their wives and daughters. The ordinary proceedings of each meeting should be such as to interest and instruct them, and place them in a happy frame of mind for the cultivation and promotion of social relations. Acquaintances are made, new friendships are formed, and old ones strengthened. The farmer is taught that the world does not end for him at the boundaries of his farm; that there are hopes, fears, joys and sorrows beyond his domain in which it his duty to take an interest; that the fields for the cultivation of the intellect are broader than his acres of wheat, and more extensive than his fields of corn; that there is a moral, an intellectual, and social side to farm life. That if he would


make his boys perfect men he must give them opportunities of social intercourse and intellectual development. He must teach them that the fields of ambition, the places of trust, the rewards of society are as open to the honest, upright and intelligent farmer as they are to other classes. The entire farming community is bound together by the bonds which unite men working for a common cause. A few hours is spent in pleasant intercourse. The week or the month has one bright spot in it for those who have taken part in the meeting. The farmer is taught that social relaxation and pleasure are a necessity of human existence, and the duty of granting these to his family and dependents is made an obligation which he is bound to comply with. The social condition of the farmer hereto-fore has been anything but satisfactory. But few have realized the importance of social relaxation; a less number have taken it or granted it to their families. The tendencies have been for the farmers to transform themselves and families into wheat, corn and cotton producing machines; to consider himself and help as he did his mules and horses, as capable of producing so many bushels of wheat or corn or so many bales of cotton. Of business methods they have studied but little. It is rare that a farmer is able to tell how much it cost him to produce a bushel of corn or of wheat, a pound of beef, pork or butter, or a ton of hay. Such a state of affairs can not be corrected in a month or a year. These evils have taken root and are deeply seated. Young men who have grown up on the farm, and are naturally timid, shrink from mingling in the society of those who have had opportunities to cultivate those traits which enables them to appear in public with that ease and grace which opens to him avenues of success which his less favored brother does not reach; while on the other hand the more ambitious young man of the farm, tired and disgusted with its hum-drum life,


tears himself away from the home-nest to seek his fortune in the city. The history of the wrecks of many lives of noble young men who might otherwise have been successful, attests the many obstacles in the way of those who have thus sought to better their condition. But the Union and other labor organizations have it in their power to eradicate these evils. The greatest obstacle to the accomplishment of this is the farmers themselves. The regular meetings of the Order are doing much towards accomplishing this object. In the first place it brings together the farmers of a neighborhood, old and young, men and women, and, if it did nothing more, it would not have been established in vain. A portion of the time, however, is spent in the discussion of topics that are of special interest to the farmers. The best crops for particular lands, the best methods of cultivation, the experience of different members, the cost of different kinds of crops, those which pay the best — any questions, the solution or discussion of which tend to make better farmers, are discussed. The women may read essays or choice selections on the various duties of their departments, and thus learn to be better housewives. The exercises from month to month can be varied — sometimes social and moral questions may be considered, and at others, questions of a literary character.

Some who are inclined to see a humbug in every new movement, no matter what its character, are opposed to the admission of women into the Order. Upon what grounds this opposition is based depends, to some extent, on the character of the individual who makes it, and the extent of his observations as to the influence which woman has, in all ages, exerted on the cause of reform. In all meetings of the Order, in all its gatherings for pleasure, the two sexes are brought together, and placed upon an equality, and the farmer is thus quietly and forcibly reminded that his wife and daughters are ladies, entitled


to all the courtesies and attentions of polite society, and not mere drudges, charged with the household work.

The field for usefulness of women is gradually and justly widening, and many avenues of trade and the professions, which were formerly closed against her, are now thrown open. In many of these she has entered and attained a degree of success, which has proved the fallacy of the theory, that woman's only and proper sphere was to wrestle with pots and skillets and perform the drudgery incident to the kitchen. Woman's presence exercises a moral influence in all the exercises of the Order, which makes itself felt in the attainment of its objects. We know of no reason which can be urged against the admission of women in the organization which cannot, with equal propriety, be urged against the majority of men.

"A woman of true intelligence is a blessing at home, in her circle of friends, and in society. Wherever she goes, she carries with her a health-giving influence. There is a beautiful harmony about her character that at once inspires a respect which soon warms into love. The influence of such a woman in society is of the most salutary kind. She strengthens right principles in the virtuous, incites the selfish and indifferent to good actions, and gives to even the light and frivolous a taste for food more substantial than the frothy gossip with which they seek to recreate their minds."

Thackeray says: "It is better for you to pass an evening, once or twice a week, in a lady's drawing room, even though the conversation is slow, and you know the girl's song by heart, than in a club, a tavern, or a pit of a theater. All amusements of youth, to which virtuous women are not admitted, rely on it, are deleterious in their nature. All men who avoid female society have dull perceptions, and are stupid, or have gross tastes, and revolt against what is pure. Your club swaggerers, who are


sucking the butts of billiard cues all night, call female society insipid. Poetry is uninspiring to a jockey; beauty has no charms for a blind man; music does not please a poor beast who does not know one tune from another; but as a pure epicure is hardly tired of water, sauces, and brown bread and butter, I protest I can sit for a whole evening talking with a well regulated kindly woman about her girl Fanny, or her boy Frank, and like the evening's entertainment. One of the great benefits derived by man from a woman's society, is that he is bound to be respectful to her. The habit is of great good to your moral men, depend upon it. Our education makes us the most eminently selfish men in the world."

"No community has ever exhibited the refinements of civilization and social order, where women were held in contempt and their rights not properly respected and reserved. Degrade woman and you degrade man more. She is the fluid of the thermometer of society, placed there by the hand of the great Creator. Man may injure the instrument, but can neither destroy or provide a substitute for the mercury. Her rights are as sacred as those of the male sex. Her mental powers are underrated by those only who have either not seen, or were so blinded by prejudice, that they would not see their development. Educate girls as boys, put women in the business arena designed for men, and they will acquit themselves far better than boys and men would, if they were placed in the departments designed for females. As a species, the perception of woman, especially in cases of emergency, is more acute than that of the male species; unquestionably so designed by an all-wise Creator, for the preservation and perpetuity of our race. Her patience and fortitude, her integrity and constancy, her piety and devotion, are naturally stronger than in the other sex. If she was first in transgression, she was first in the breach. Her seed has


bruised the serpent's head. She stood by the expiring Jesus, when boasting Peter and the other disciples had forsaken the Lord. She was last at the tomb, embalmed his sacred body, and the first to discover that he had burst the bars of death, risen from the cleft rock, and triumphed over death and the grave. Under affliction, especially physical, the fortitude of woman is proverbial. As a nurse, one woman will endure more than five men.

"That she is more honest than man, our penitentiaries fully demonstrate. That she is more religiously inclined the records of our churches will show. That she is more devotional, our prayer meetings will prove." We frequently hear it urged that women know nothing about business matters. Then educate her. She can become a helpmate. If she is left alone — as thousands are — she is equipped and qualified to make her way through the world. In cases of adverse fortune and extreme poverty the heroic fortitude and unselfishness of woman is sublime. Many of our readers will, perhaps, remember the touching tribute paid to this trait in woman's character by that best of American writers, Washington Irving:

"I have often," says he, "had occasion to remark the fortitude with which women sustain the most over-whelming reverses of fortune. Those disasters which break down the spirit of man, and prostrate him in the dust, seem to call forth all the energies of the softer sex, and give such intrepidity and elevation to their character, that, at times, it approaches to sublimity. Nothing can be more touching than to behold a soft and tender female, who had been all weakness and dependence, and alive to every trivial roughness, while threading the prosperous paths of life, suddenly rising in mental force to be the comforter and supporter of her husband under misfortune, and abiding with unshrinking firmness, the bitterest blasts of adversity.


"As the vine, which has long twined its graceful foliage about the oak, and been lifted by it into sunshine, will, when the hardy plant is rifted by the thunderbolt, cling round it with its caressing tendrils, and bind up its shattered boughs; so is it beautifully ordered by Providence, that woman, who is the mere dependent and ornament of man in his happier hours, should be his stay and solace when smitten with sudden calamity; winding herself into the rugged recesses of his nature, tenderly supporting the drooping head, and binding up the broken heart."

"The treasures of the deep are not so precious
As are the concealed comforts of a man
Lock'd up in woman's love. I scent the air
Of blessings, when I come but near the house
What a delicious breath marriage sends forth —
The violet bed is not sweeter!" — Middleton.

May woman's presence ever shed its genial influence over the grand work which the Union and Alliance are destined to accomplish.

A custom that has grown extensively since the beginning of farmers organizations, is that of holding festivals, picnics and mass meetings. While it is impossible for the farmer to leave his business for a month in the summer and visit the sea-shore or some fashionable watering place, he can, however, take a day now and then during the season, and with his family attend a gathering of his brother farmers, for the purpose of pleasure and relaxation. These meetings are always well attended, and the mirth of the youngsters engaged in some innocent amusement affords a pleasure to the older ones which they are not slow to appreciate.

It is usual at such meetings to have speaking and music. One feature of these meetings which marks the progress of intelligence among the farming class is, that


unlike former times when the speaker was usually a lawyer, doctor or other professional man, the speaking is usually done by the tanners themselves. This is a feature that the organization will do well to extend, and spare no efforts to cultivate the talent which its ranks afford. It is upon the honest, intelligent manhood of the hardy sons of toil, that success in all the affairs which render a nation happy and prosperous depends.


Chapter IX. Is the Union a Political Organization?

In the consideration of this branch of our subject, we are aware that we are treading on grounds, every inch of which has been hotly contested. In the outset, we desire to state that what we shall say on this subject is done with a spirit of due deference to the opinions of those who may see cause to differ from us. We hope in treating this subject that we are prompted by a desire to do justice to all. Politics in the wheel — as also in other labor organizations — has been a great bug-bear since its organization. The trouble is not so much in the fact that the Union has something to do with politics, as it is for the want of a proper understanding as to the true meaning of the term, and the relation which the Order should assume in carrying out its cherished objects. The fact is too frequently lost sight of that there is a wide difference between the terms partisanship and politics. If we were asked the question, "Is the Union a partisan organization?" we should answer, No. But if asked, "Is it a political organization?" we should answer, Yes.

We cannot express our reason for this any better than to quote the language of T. V. Powderly, as applied to the organization of the Knights of Labor: "The world as knighthood would make it, would take up more time than I could give it here tonight. ‘Thy will be done, thy kingdom come.’ These are the words spoken by all


denominations, in prayer. Do you mean what you say in these words? Men say Knights can never attain what is aimed at in their declaration of principles. Then they go to church and pray for better things than the Knights ever dreamed of. Knighthood would not pave the streets with gold, and men who pray that this earth be made as the kingdom of heaven would deny us a place in the legislative halls. These places are not the kingdom of heaven. The men who make these prayers lie when they make them. They are hypocrites. Knights of labor respect the law and they intend to take a hand in making the laws. How many millionaires are there in this room to-night? [laughter] Not one. Well, how many men and women of moderate means? I would not ask you to stand up, for that would get you all on your feet. We intend to educate our people so that they will be able to go there. They should be educated so that they will be able and fit to take high positions in life. Our organization is not a partisan organization; but in the true sense of the word it is a political organization. The man who studies with us will be able to vote intelligently; if he is not there is something wrong with his head. We are an organization. Nothing ever is still but a corpse, and we have ‘kickers.’"

These were noble words. They were prompted by a spirit of independence that should characterize every American citizen. With a firm reliance in the power and intelligence of his organization, Mr. Powderly tersely stated what they must do to secure their rights. There was no spirit of partisanship there; no cringing cowardice or fear of party bosses. He did not say "we will educate our members in the ranks of the Democratic or Republican party so that they will be able to fill positions of trust." He did not intimate that they would be educated according to the creed of this party or that one, or be bound by the caucuses of either. The same can be said of the Union.


It is made up principally of farmers. They propose to think and act for themselves. If the laboring man was to remain silent on questions of political economy, take what was given them and ask for no more, there would be none of this hue and cry against them which the ring bosses and a subsidized press raise at each election.

So long as the professional politician was allowed to do the thinking for the laboring masses everything went along smoothly. But when they assert their right to think and act for themselves without consulting the political bosses, the English language is incapable of furnishing epithets strong enough, and mean enough, to apply to those who thus assert their rights. If the farmers and others in the country see fit to withdraw their support from a party which they have long trusted in the vain hope that it would do something to relieve them, whose business is it to question their act? Must they go to the boss of some court house ring to apply for this privilege? Have the farmers any independence, intelligence and manhood of their own? Who is to look after their rights if they do not? Of what use is the right of suffrage if they must vote as dictated to by machine politicians? Is it not to secure these rights that we are organized? What rights are we demanding? What wrongs are we suffering? What is the nature of the evils with which we are afflicted? How are we to act intelligently unless we discuss these matters among ourselves? The preamble to our constitution says that "all monopolies are dangerous to the best interests of the people," and "calculated to enslave them." The National banking system is a monopoly. A trust is a monopoly. These things are chartered by law. They are fostered by the government. To discuss them and a remedy against the evils which they impose, would be intrenching upon the domain of politics. It would be the


discussion of politics in the Order. Dare we do it? Are we willing and ready to surrender our rights as American citizens the moment we enter the sacred precincts of our Order, for fear that the mere mention of these evils will hurt some poor brother's feelings? Away with such non-sense. The men who, for years, have been suffering from the evils of vicious class legislation, are strong enough to "eat meat." We have never yet seen the man who was opposed to the Order going into politics, provided it was his politics, or the politics of his party, they were about to embrace. This "milk and cider" and "sugar-teat" way of breaking the ice must be abandoned. Tell the truth. Tell it like a man, boldly, bravely, resolutely. If it is bad, tell it. If it is good, tell it. "Hew to the line, let the chips fall where they may." Is it any harm for a member to say that National "banks are more dangerous than standing armies?" "Yes," says one. "Why?" "Because history records the fact that the Republican party instituted the system, and our Republican brethren will think you are making war upon their party." ‘Fudge! Then history records that other fact that Democrats have taken kindly to the system, fostered it, and loaned them more free money than the Republicans ever dreamed of.’ But that is not the question. Is the statement true? If so, then National banks ought to be abolished. To accomplish this requires a plan. To discover these remedies, and apply them, requires something to do with politics. Without discussing these questions and the proper remedies, we could not proceed intelligently. The greater part of the trouble about this booger-boo, "politics in the Union," is from a popular misconception of the real definition of the word politics. In Chamber's Encyclopedia, Volume VI, page 341, the following definition is given:

"That branch of ethics which has for its subject the


proper mode of governing a state, so as to secure its prosperity, peace and safety, and to attain, as perfectly as possible, the ends of civil society. Among the subjects which political science embraces, are the principles on which government is founded, the hands in which the supreme power may be most advantageously placed, the duties and obligations of the governing and the governed portions of society, the development and increase of the resources of the state, the protection of the rights and liberties of the citizens, the preservation of the morals, and the defense of the independence of the state against foreign control or conquest. While the philosophy of governing constitutes the science of politics, the art of politics consists in the application of that science to the individual circumstances of particular states."

Now, if we are to prohibit the discussion of politics, we prohibit the discussion of any and all of the subjects embraced in the above definition. That it would be best to exclude all these matters from consideration and action none will be so bold as to claim. The impression is too widely prevalent that politics consists in one man getting up and calling another a liar or thief. That the manner of conducting campaigns have furnished good grounds for this belief can not be denied. It would seem from the real definition of the words as given by Mr. Chambers, that the Wheel, Alliance, and other labor organizations, are the only genuine political organizations in the country. The modern definition of politics as interpreted by the acts of the existing parties ought to read: "The art of getting there if you can." If the existing labor organizations could, through their influence, induce the two political parties to "go into politics" right, the necessity of said labor organizations would soon cease to exist. The Union is, and should always remain non-partisan in its character. The reasons for this is obvious to every intelligent reader.


An organization that makes the success of any particular party a paramount object, would sow the seeds of contention among its members and disintegration would be sure to follow. Its members should be willing and ready to lay aside all partisan prejudice, to abstain from all sectional strife, and to labor to secure the objects of the Order. It should be so strictly non-partisan that its members would sever their allegiance with all parties, and be able to cast their vote as a unit for the party (no matter which one), that would be first to indorse its demands and carry out its measures. This should be done without friction or contention, an easier matter than many are willing to admit. We do not wish to be understood that any constitutional provisions, by-laws or previous obligations, shall bind its members to vote for measures and candidates which they can not conscientiously endorse. To do this would be to adopt a system of which we now have just grounds of complaint. But we should arrive at the point of unity of action by thorough education. We should teach our members that we are all striving for the same object, that our interests are identical, and that "the general condition of the country imperatively demands unity of action on the part of the laboring classes," and to bear "in mind when exercising the right of suffrage that many of the objects herein set forth (in our constitution) can only be obtained through legislation." That there should be uniform and concerted action on the part of the members of the Order in buying and selling, in the establishment of co-operative enterprises and the advancement of our social and financial condition, no one has ever for a moment doubted. Why, then, the same unity of action is not as desirable and as imperative in the overthrow of the vast monopolies that are fattening on the profits of our industry, is a question that remains yet to be satisfactorily answered. If it is necessary to unite in order to eradicate a system of vicious


class-legislation that is filling the country with want, poverty and crime, who will take the responsibility to say no? Shylock and his tools. There are only two sides to the question. On which side are you, my kind reader? With Shylock or the people? "True," says one "but how is this to be accomplished? You can not get Republicans to vote the Democratic ticket, nor is it possible to induce Democrats to vote the Republican ticket, These men must be allowed to vote as they always have done in order to preserve peace and harmony in the Order." We must admit, with the existing prejudices, ignorance of better methods of government, selfish ambition and the power of the party lash, that this objection is not without foundation; and unless we can instruct our members that the success of the Order and the accomplishment of its objects are above all other considerations and paramount to all other things, it would be impossible to unite them in this direction. But give us men who can say: "I am a free born American citizen, with guaranteed constitutional rights, breathing the inspiration of liberty from the Declaration of Independence of my fathers; I belong to no party, worship at the shrine of no man's ambition, and fear no party lash. I owe allegiance only to God, patriotism to my country, devotion to my family and duty to my fellow man." Breathing, living, acting these sentiments, men will be able to lift themselves above the low, cringing, and deplorable condition of serfs. They will loathe corruption, despise hypocrisy, and ignore the efforts of the politicians to engender strife and spread dissension. With such men it would be an easy task to accomplish the objects in view. "Then" says one "the logical result of this is the formation of a new party and the disorganization of the old. We can never consent to that. What! The party of Jefferson and Jackson; of Lincoln and Stevens to be scattered to the four winds, after all they have


accomplished! It will never do! We will never consent to it." "O ye wicked and false generation!" How long do you expect these parties to live on what Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Stevens have done?

But no, my dear brethren; don't get scared just yet. If these parties are saved at all, it will not be for any good they have accomplished within the last twenty years. Pull off your hats now and let us have a little talk about it. You came very near getting angry just now. But don't do it, at least not until we get through with this chapter. If these grand old parties are saved, it will be by the laboring men of the country, for they "are the salt of the earth, and if the salt lose its savor, wherewith shall it be salted?" "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not." How often have we "asked for bread and been given a stone? " "for a fish and been given a serpent." We have started on the road to reform. If anybody is going our way, they are welcome in our ranks. We have invited our dear and grand old parties to travel with us in this direction. But they have refused. If they persist in their refusal and prefer to wander in the wilderness, we are not responsible. If they get in our way we will be compelled to clear the road. They have not killed our prophets, but they have crucified the truth, slandered justice, and rejected the teachings of the fathers.

There are three things which we are bound to consider if we arrive at a proper understanding of the real situation, and a correct remedy for the evils with which we are burdened:

First. Our Condition.
Second. The Cause.
Third. The Remedy.


To some extent these three propositions have already been discussed. They will be more thoroughly treated in Part Second of this volume. With regard to the condition of the country we are all agreed. Upon the cause there is but little difference of opinion. If we can agree upon the remedy the battle is already half won. If we fail to agree our effort will have been in vain. If we delay the application of the proper remedy, the evils of which we complain will assume a more aggravated nature, and the bonds of slavery be more securely fastened. We have already clear and well defined views of our wrongs and their cause. We are aware that we must have some legislation to remedy them. How are we to secure this without going into politics? If we had nothing to do but reduce our grievances to writing, and indicate our desires, and hand them over to some party that was willing and ready to enact the measures into law, it would be an easy task. But where is that party? We have adopted the conservative method. We have formulated our demands and published them to the world. They were consistent, just and reasonable. They were in line with the teachings of Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Stevens. As such they should have been endorsed by the grand old parties, and incorporated into their platforms. They were presented in printed form to both these parties, with a request that they be adopted or indorsed. How were they received? They were ignored; treated with silent contempt. We "asked for bread and they gave us a stone; for a fish and they gave us a serpent." Now, what are we going to do? "Keep out of politics," say some of our good brethren, "and ask for another fish." But we do not need another serpent. We have got "more snakes now than we can kill." What did we mean by making those demands? Was it mere child's play? Did we mean business? Did we consider them to be just? If so, there is only one of


three things to do. "We must fight, run or surrender." We have the power of numbers, the force of intelligence and the means at hand to carry our demands to a successful termination. Do we lack the manhood? Are we wanting in courage? If parties have left the highways of statesmanship, of honesty and justice, are we compelled to follow them for fear some imaginary foe will set upon them and rob them of a success which they have forfeited by their neglect of the rights of the people? Must we condone their wrongs? Is party success so dear to the American farmer, as to be purchased at the price of hard labor for life, and perpetual financial bondage to his children? Is the success of the demagogue more desirable than the overthrow of monopolies? Can the siren songs of the wily politician be harmoniously blended with the groans of the hungry, naked and distressed? Does allegiance to a party fostering a system that robs the poor, ignores the cries of the oppressed, and laughs at crime, harmonize with the teachings of Christianity, and render sweeter to the ear the songs of Heaven? What is the matter with the people? They have all got pitch-forks and want to pitch the blame on some one else. For shame! Be men, at least long enough to compare the platforms of your party with the demands of labor. Read the speeches of your Senators and Congressmen. Not the speeches they send out to you, but the ones they don't send out; the ones which they prefer you should not read.

"Oh, our party has not had a chance," says one. Hasn't it? Did it have a chance to make its own platform, and define its policy? Did it have a chance to embody your demands therein? Did it have a chance to leave the old nominating political machine in the closet for once, and allow a representation of farmers in the legislative halls in proportion to their numbers and interests?


Did it have a chance to say to old-time convention manipulators, "stand back and let the laboring man have a fair show?" No. What did it say? "Stick to the grand old party. Don't bolt the convention, or scratch a ticket. Don't act independent, you'll be one of the other fellows if you do. Vote 'er straight. Don't kick. Help us this time. If you don't see what you want in our platform, ask for it. Wait till we get there, and we'll show you how 'tis done. Whoop 'em up down in your neighborhood. Use dynamite and lay it on the other party. Use whisky. Vote 'em wherever you find 'em, niggers and all. Cry negro domination; low tariff; high tariff; radical; reconstruction; Powell Clayton; rebel; liar; thief; scoundrel; anarchist; bloody shirt; war; rebellion; blood and thunder. Anything to get up an excitement, and rouse men's passions. If you can't carry your point that way, buy voters, bribe judges, stuff, steal and burn ballot boxes. It's all right. The other fellows do it, and we must get there this time or the country will go to the dogs."

Great questions can never be settled by men calling each other thieves and rascals. It is more like the acts of children than men. Being Republicans doesn't make men honest; nor does 'being Democrats make them dishonest. Human nature is the same. If you elect a Democrat to office, and he is a thief, he will steal or take a bribe if he has the opportunity. The same is true of a Republican. Then why all this tirade of abuse which people indulge in during times of political excitement. Men go wild over the success of candidates who only use them as stepping-stones to position. "Oh, but my party has a different policy from the other; that is what distinguishes it," says one. This is the cry everywhere. How do you know it has a different line of policy? The proper and only


correct way is to judge by the platforms and acts of these parties. How many do that? How many men who voted for Harrison and for Cleveland read the platform of both parties. How many read their letters of acceptance? How many know how the representatives of their parties voted on the bill to re-charter National banks? On refunding the National debt? On contraction of the currency? On the bill to abolish trusts? On the Oklahoma, inter-state commerce, silver coinage, free deposits in National banks and other bills which relate to matters of interest to the people? How many speeches have your congressmen sent you in favor of abolishing National banks, establishing free coinage of silver, abolishing trusts and regulating railroad traffic? Or to do any of the things which the demands of labor require? It becomes us as men to look at these matters in their proper light. Not as Republicans or Democrats, but as citizens. The Dutchman's politics of "two glasses of beer for five cents, and fifty cents per bushel for corn," is not so bad. The principle is good enough politics for the farmer. A man's own interest and his politics should mean the same thing. What does it matter to you, to the Wheel and Alliance, which party gives us the relief asked for, provided we get it? What are we going to do if neither party will grant it? There is only one of two things that we can do, get it ourselves, or do without. Which are you going to do? Your party has ignored your demands. Are you going to continue to ask for fish? "But this will be going into politics!" Just step over to your neighbors and borrow a little courage of some "old granny" until we talk to you a little bit. Certainly. Yes, it will be going into politics. Don't we go into politics when we undertake to secure this legislation through our respective parties? Did we not go into politics when we made our demands and presented them to these parties? Are we now asked to stay out of politics


since they have so silently ignored them? Are we going to follow the example of the celebrated

"King of France with twenty thousand men,
March up the hill and then march back again?"

O faithless and perverse generation of men! A pup gets its eyes open in nine days. How many years will it take the people to see their own interests? "But how is this to be brought about without organizing ourselves into a political party?" Is the American Banker's Association a political party? Are the associations of brokers, merchants, millers, lawyers, doctors and other trades and professions, political parties? Yet they secure legislation by being represented by men of their respective vocations. Corporations secure legislation by being represented by men who are in their paid interests and by bribery. We must put our intelligence against their trickery, and our manhood against their money. We must demand and obtain representation in the legislative halls in proportion to our numbers and our interests. We should not stop for a moment to inquire to what party a man belongs. Is he honest? Is he able? Is he a farmer whose interests are identical with ours? Will he work to our interests? These are the questions which should present themselves to the mind of every man. These are the qualifications which should be demanded of the man who seeks to obtain our suffrages. The writer has in mind the name of a man who was the regular nominee of the Democratic party. The following questions were asked during the campaign: "Is he honest ?" Answer, "No, but he is a good Democrat." "Is he able?" "No, but he has sense enough to vote with his party." "Is he a farmer?" "No, he's a lawyer, but he'll do as well as the rest of them." And he was elected simply because he was a Democrat. Thousands of Republicans have been elected in the same manner.


We should ignore partisan politics altogether. Stay away from the machine conventions. If the nominations suit us — and the names of our preferences may be sent into the convention — vote for them; if not, bring out and vote for a man that does suit us. We have been dancing to other people's music long enough. Let them dance to ours awhile. Being a Democrat or a Republican is no qualification for office. If it was we could go to the penitentiary for candidates and make an improvement, for that matter, on some that we get from the convention machine. It is natural for men to legislate in the interest of that branch of industry in which they are engaged. Hence the farmer, as well as others, should be properly represented. But he has not been for twenty years. Every class of trades and professions are better represented than him, and he has been considered the legitimate prey of all other classes.

There is only one obstacle in the way of obtaining justice. It is party prejudice. The men who persist in being controlled by unchristian, unreasonable and unholy passion to the exclusion of the enjoyment of the privileges and immunities of a free, happy, and prosperous government, has not even the consolation that His Satanic Majesty had when hurled from the battlements of Heaven into the Stygian pool:

"To reign is worth ambition though in Hell,
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven."

They do not reign but serve for the "crumbs that fall from their master's table."

Ask a free, independent American citizen how he is going to vote next year. He will tell you for the men and party that represent the true principles of government, and have the backbone to incorporate them in their platforms and proclaim them in their acts. Ask the man who is controlled


by prejudice and he will tell you, "for his party; he never scratches a ticket."

And he means what he says, and will vote for the veritable "yaller dog" if said dog was the nominee of the party. The Hindoo mothers exercise the same admirable and heroic devotion when they sacrifice their children to the crocodiles of the Ganges. A story is told that in the canton of Berne, in Switzerland, the people had grown up under the system of keeping a bear at the public expense; and had been taught that if the bear died there would be some great national calamity fall upon them. So they kept the bear notwithstanding the expense and the fact that he would frequently inflict fatal injuries on the children, and make raids on the pigs and lambs that came within his jurisdiction. But one day he sickened and died. Great efforts were made in vain to secure another bear. "During the interim the people were amazed and delighted to see that the sun continued to shine, the corn to grow and the vintage to flourish, and everything went on the same as before, saving the danger and expense of the bear, so they came to the sensible conclusion not to keep any more bears." There are those in this country who insist that it is necessary to keep two bears, and maintain that if either dies the country will go to wreck and ruin. And not only that, but they still further insist that one portion of the fanners and laborers shall worship one bear and the balance the other. We may be dull of comprehension, but we have been studying the color, size, weight and habits of these two animals for fifteen years and hope we may be excused if we can not discover any material difference in the two, except that at times one gets more to eat than the other and appears fat, sleek and contented, while the other keeps up a continuous growling, and acts "worse than a bear with a sore head." We can not see how the death of either one or both of these — provided


some other useful animal could be substituted in its place — would be a great calamity. For our part we are in favor of either compelling them to work in the harness or giving place to some useful animal that will work, and not stand and growl at one of its own species. The following from the Tennessee State Wheel is so appropriate to the subject under consideration that we cheerfully quote it.

Some men speak alarmingly of the prospects of the Agricultural Wheel going into politics, and say that it will overthrow the dominant party.

"The Wheel is determined to keep out of corrupt politics, and equally determined to keep politics out of it. If the two ruling parties were purged of all corrupt and hackneyed politicians and purified from all their venal tenets, there would be no cause for alarm; nor would there be a necessity for the existence of an organization of the agricultural elements of both political parties to demand their rights as citizens of a government that guarantees equal rights and equal privileges to all classes.

"We are not arrayed in the opposition to any party, nor do we express antipathy to any political organization, but we are organized against a class of evils hostile to the agricultural interest of the country, which both parties have fostered for twenty years by a system of class legislation. Our wants have been ignored, and our repeated petitions to our law makers, both in Congress and the Legislature, have been unheeded. We stood in the broken lines and drew a picture of our sufferings, and asked that the discriminations that proved a hangman's halter to the farmer and a golden girdle to monopolists, be removed, and we be placed on an equality before the law, but we were not in a position to command recognition, because we were not in such as to wield power. Now we present an unbroken line and demand our rights, and the cry is, we are going into politics. Let politics get out of


the way. We think the country of more value than any party, and the farmers are no longer willing to be sacrificed upon the altar of their country, simply to vindicate a party and to place some man in office, to become the hired servants of monopolists and the enemy of the men who elevated them to place and position.

"All political parties have a code of principles upon which they go before the people with pledges of all necessary reforms, and when placed in power their pledges are forfeited; the constituency left to suffer, and all the interests antagonistic to the farming classes strongly protected.

"Farmers have no interest in any political party that secures them no relief, and should hold themselves aloof from any organization that has repeatedly deceived them. Our object is not to go into politics, nor to be controlled by the corrupt influences that belong to political organizations, but we propose to place ourselves in such position as to be recognized as an element of power, and make such demands as tend to our interest and to the purification of the politics of the country.

"If we represent the mountain to which the political Mohammed must go, we will content ourselves by holding the balance of power and wield it for the common good.

"The interest of the farmer is greater than any politician, and to emphasize our position, we repeat that the agricultural interest of the country is worth more than any political party, and it is for this class we are laboring, and if the destruction of a party becomes necessary in order to subserve the interest of the whole people, let the party go, and let the country rise in prosperity upon its ruins.

"The principles and pledges upon which the political factions of this country are founded are sound enough, and if carried out would distribute the burdens of taxation equally among all classes, and there would be little


room for complaint except with the professional politician. But the policy of all has been: ‘Give us offices with all the honors and emoluments, and we will distribute the burdens equally among the farmers and laborers and protect the capitalist, the monopolist and the railroad magnate, because these are the elements of power in their organized capacity.’ Their system of class legislation has created the breach of which they now complain. They accuse us of arraying one class against another, when the guilt lies at their own door, through broken pledges, forfeited promises and corrupt dealing.

"Wheelerism means equal burdens, equal taxation, equal rights, equal privileges and equal protection to all classes of citizens, whether laborer, mechanic, banker or speculator, and the party that will purge itself of corruption, and go before the country with these principles and with the assurance of good faith, will receive the co-operation of every tiller of the soil."

Similar expressions from many sources might be quoted. They are the honest expressions of sincere hearts. They are the low rumblings in the distance which indicate the coming storm.

Many of the agricultural, mechanical and other trade organizations have persistently ignored politics and forbidden the discussion of political questions in their associations, and the result is they have never accomplished a thing for which they have been contending.

They have met, organized, contributed money, made able speeches and written voluminous documents setting forth their grievances, only to be laughed at by their oppressors, and ridiculed by a subsidized press. They regard the issue between themselves and capitalized monopoly as moral and not political, and they labor for a moral reformation of capital rather than to control it by legislation.


They seem to forget, or not to comprehend, the fact that all the power possessed by capital to oppress labor is derived from legislation. They seem not to know that politics is the vital force of capital, the holy religion of combinations of wealth and corporate monopoly.

If they will study the records of Congress, and even State Legislatures, they will see that nine-tenths of the legislation is in the especial interest of capital and corporations to fortify them against the growing murmurs of labor and to grant them special powers and privileges to rob and oppress individual enterprises. Because labor organizations have ignored political action, political parties have ignored the laborer, and hence he has neither voice or representation in Congress. Without political action the labor organizations are as helpless as are the Chinamen, or as were the slaves at the south.

The average Congressman fears nothing but the ballot, and respects nothing but well-directed and ably-conducted political action.

Five million laborers in rank and file, shooting resolutions and moral essays at Jay Gould, would only amuse him, and perhaps encourage him to give the thumb-screw another turn. But let five hundred thousand, or even half that number, shoot ballots at his nefarious schemes and privileges of robbery, and he will turn pale and tremble like an aspen leaf.

The agricultural districts, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, have their industrial and economic associations and alliances. They have for years met and discussed their grievances, they are all familiar with the pernicious laws which have enabled capital to oppress them, they are unanimous in their hatred of law-created monopolies, and are agreed generally upon the proper remedies, but because they have ignored political action, the evils increase and multiply, as they go from their anti-monopoly council-halls


to the polls and cast their ballots, half-and-half for the two old parties of monopoly.

If their votes are thus to be equally divided between the political parties, which are the authors and instigators of the evils and abuses which they meet month after month to denounce and resolve against, how can they expect relief?

In the present reorganization of the laboring and useful classes, it is to be hoped that their resolutions and principles will be backed up by practical and united political action. Without such action all their efforts to secure relief will be as futile as would be the efforts of a million unarmed soldiers, attempting to batter down the walls of a fortress by proclamation.

It can hardly be expected that the walls of the modern Jericho can be thus beaten down.

"This is theoretically a government of the people, a delegated democracy, the power being conferred by the constitution upon certain citizens who are elected by the people to enact the laws under which we live. If the laws now in force are unjust and bear inequitably on a majority of the people, we, being the majority, certainly have the power to effect their repeal, if we be sufficiently enlightened to know which special laws should for that reason be repealed. In the past, instead of studying these questions, so as to enable us intelligently to perform the duty of citizens and let our votes express absolutely our convictions of justice, we have been absorbed in our home work, leaving these important duties, such as shaping the policy of the party to which we might happen to belong to some one else, often for no better reason than that our fathers did, perfectly content to vote for the regular nominee, often without knowing or caring what special policy he stood pledged to pursue; placing party name above principle and blindly following its behests. The result is that


this nation to-day is dominated by money. What little we have left in circulation has been gathered into the hands of a few, giving them a power so vast that before it our servants (our law makers) crouch and cower, and forget the rights of the people, their masters and their political creator. So vast and unscrupulous has the money power become by a failure of the people to intelligently contend for their rights at the polls, that one of the grand old tribunes of the people has been led to almost lose faith in the power of the people to ever, without revolution, free themselves from their thraldom. If we did not know that the spirit of inquiry is abroad, and that the people are examining and investigating, determined to find where the wrongs exist, and when found make their vote demand its correction; to support and recognize a party by the principles it represents — we say if we did not see and believe this, we would share the opinion above quoted — no reformation without revolution (that is, force.) But when we see, as surely we do, that we are oppressed by the law known as the national banking act, and that only a few of the millions of the nation are benefitted by it, we certainly can unite at the polls in demanding its repeal. When we look around and see all values prostrated, except the use of money, we know that with an increased circulation the price of our produce would increase and the price of money decrease, so that a just ratio should exist between the two. Knowing that a larger circulation would help to bring that about, we should certainly be able to unite on that demand at the polls. When as farmers and wageworkers at the end of the year we cast up accounts for the year and find we have hardly retained enough of what we have raised to enable us to live, while the rail-roads that carried our produce to market, and in turn brought back goods for our consumption, have performed a needed work, we know that during 1887, the last


authentic statement at hand, they charged so largely for it that after paying all expenses for running the road, interest on bonds and all other interest for which they were liable, rents and $20,000,000, called by them a miscellaneous fund, they still had $80,000,000 to divide among themselves and leave in the treasury almost $20,000,000 as surplus. When we think, we know we furnished the produce which they hauled, and bought the goods they brought back, and that we paid to them the surplus millions, and this was the result of waiting many years for railroad competition to regulate charges, we ought to be able to unite in demanding by our votes that these giant corporations be controlled in their charges in both freight and passenger traffic, fixing them at such rates as will pay the owners a reasonable percentage upon the money actually invested in them. When we unite in our demands at the ballot box for these changes we will get them, and not before. When we get them the nation will receive a new lease of prosperity, the wheels of industry and commerce will start anew and the people will be content and happy."

Men who are nominated and elected on wishy-washy, meaningless and ambiguous platforms are not bound to any direct line of action. The Order has demonstrated its wisdom by making its demands on the existing parties, and pledging itself to support only those who would promise faithfully to carry out those measures. But it has fell short of its own pledges, in many instances, by supporting, for party's sake, men whose interests were antagonistic to their own. And this, in many cases, where they had the opportunity of voting for one of their own brethren. Many have thus done what they condemn in the law-makers — served the interests of Mammon. But a new era is dawning. The people are taking greater interest in the political affairs of the country, and demanding relief from


the hands of legislators with an emphasis and earnestness that cannot be ignored. Time has fully demonstrated the wisdom of such a policy. It is positive proof that the members of the Union regard their own preservation and protection as paramount to party success. This surrender of partisan prejudice gives evidence of an independent manhood which never can be shackled by the chains of slavery. For an organization to accomplish a reform, it must be united upon all measures of public policy. And when there is a union of sentiment in regard to measures, there must be harmony respecting the manner through which the principles can be put in operation. If both parties have left the highway of reform, there is no alternative left for those who are seeking the good of equal rights and justice, but to turn away from following after false guides. If parties place themselves in the way of carrying out the necessary reform, they court their own destruction. Those who have honestly and loyally adhered to their own party, through its trying vicissitudes in the great battle for human rights, will not be expected to continue their allegiance when its policy and its efforts are directed against their own interests. If its leaders who dictate its policy and manipulate its conventions persist in fostering evils which impose unjust and unnecessary burdens upon the largest and most respectable class of citizens, they must do so at their own peril, and at the risk of defeat and overthrow. If they are in sympathy with the demands of labor, the Union, or any other organization, "going into politics" will not hurt them, unless it be to deprive some of them of the monopoly of office, on which they seem to hold a life tenure. You can always tell, when standing on the tail of a dog, how much it hurts by the amount of noise he makes. If parties are honest in their professions of sympathy with labor, how is it going to ruin their organization to elect a


few farmers who will aid them in their battle against monopoly? The farmers are tired of unredeemed pledges and broken promises. They want to go to the front where the fiercest battle wages. If they use their own brains, and have moral courage, they are abundantly able to take care of themselves. The Order has persistently ignored partyism. The organization has never permitted itself to be the tail to anybody's kite. But nothing has been farther from their intentions, from the start, than ignoring politics. It was the evident, avowed, and expressed intention to exert an influence on legislation that would eradicate class laws from the statutes, overthrow monopoly and enact laws that would guarantee equal rights and protection to all. In ignoring partyism they have acted wisely.

"But is politics nothing but partyism? Is there no politics except such as is embraced in the platform of one or the other of the old-time parties? As a matter of fact there is very little of real politics in the old parties. It is little less than a struggle of ‘ins’ to keep in and of the ‘outs’ to get in. We believe that politics, in its truest and highest sense, involves totally different problems. It is the science of government. It has for its aim, to administer the laws, and otherwise conduct the affairs of government on the principle of the ‘greatest good to the greatest number.’ This ought to be the sole aim of any party which bids for popular favor. Any man who asks for the vote of the people on any other ground, ought to be denied the votes of even his friends. Honesty and efficiency ought to be the sole requirements in a candidate, and no man should vote for another merely on personal grounds, any more than he ought to do it for a five dollar bill or drink of whisky. When the Wheel and the Grange and the Alliance go into politics of this sort, and stand by each other like men, and will not sell out, the farmers can accomplish what they please in reforming


the government. But if they are so narrow as to eschew politics altogether because they cannot distinguish between partyism and politics, they will remain the slaves of monopoly and place-hunters forever. By no means permit the Wheel, Grange or Alliance to become a mere political machine; if it does it will be no better than the other parties; but if it refuses to consider those matters relating to law and government, just as vital to the farmer as to any other class, then they might as well ‘shut up shop’ for all the good they will do."

If farmers would read more from papers endorsed by the Order, and devoted to their interests, the obstacles in the way of united action would soon be overcome.

Newspapers that look to corporations and election committees for the greater part of their support, should not be patronized by members of the Order. From the very nature of things, they will pander to the policy and interest of those whose patronage they mostly enjoy. Their mission is to engender party strife, and keep the people divided on the important issues. They are the nurseries of party prejudice. They have a way of measuring a gnat so that it will appear as large as a mountain. They represent all the bad in one party and all the good in the other. They insinuate themselves into the home of the laborers and breathe their deadly poison upon the sacred precincts of the family altar. Their information is altogether one-sided. Like a poisonous vapor they permeate the whole country with their deadly influence, spread dissension, arouse the passions and smother the nobler instincts and sentiments of manhood.

Worse even than the seven plagues of Egypt, the seeds of error they succeed in sowing are left to germinate among the generations yet to come. The power of the press is wonderful. One of the leading objects of all reform organizations should be to furnish its members


with pure and wholesome reading. One of the first duties of the member should be to subscribe and pay for a paper devoted to his interests. If the truth will overthrow some of our cherished theories, or antagonize our favorite party, let it come.

"Truth crushed to earth will rise again,
The eternal years of God are her's."

Let every man study political economy. Let him teach it to his children, expound it to his neighbors and proclaim it to the world. Let the sword of justice fall. The arm is already lifted to deal the blow. The bright blade gleams in the sunshine of Liberty, Equality and Justice. Its dazzling brightness is felt flashing in the face of monopoly. The minions of Mammon are trembling behind their strong intrenchments. "Justice is mine, saith the Lord."


Chapter XI. Portraits and Biographies of Prominent Members.

The history of an organization would be incomplete without some reference to the lives and merits of those prominently connected with it. It has ever been characteristic of human nature to want to know something of the lives, the circumstances and traits of character of those who stand at the helm of a grand movement and guide it safely through the rough channels of dissension within and opposition without.

It has been the purpose of the author to gather such information regarding the lives and traits of the prominent members of the Order, as would be of general interest to the reader. It is not to be expected, however, in a work of this kind, that mention can be made of all those who have labored with heroic courage to advance our cause. Many are necessarily left out who have done valiant service. In the preparation of a work of this kind, the author is governed, to a great extent, by circumstances.

As a rule, we have made mention only of those who are holding official position. It is natural that the attention of the public mind is turned toward this class with a desire to know something of their lives. In following this rule, we hope we may be excused for omitting mention of many who have done much towards strengthening the Order and disseminating its principles. We have the consolation, however, of knowing that it is not public print that makes men great, but grand and generous deeds.



Leonidas L. Polk, President of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, was born in Anson county, North Carolina, on the 24th day of April, 1837. He was the only child by the second .marriage of his father. He is a descendant of the Mecklenburg family of Polks, to which belonged Col. Thomas and William Polk of Revolutionary fame, and James K. Polk.

His parents died when he was 14 years old, and he begun the struggle, single-handed, in the battle of life. Having been reared on a farm, he most naturally adopted farming as his profession, and which he prosecuted with


success until 1877, when he was called to another sphere.

He was married at 21, and soon thereafter a nomination for the Lower House of the General Assembly was tendered him and he was elected by a flattering vote. He served the regular and two extra sessions, 1860, 1861, and volunteered and went to the war a private, declining the Captaincy of a splendid company. He served in the Twenty-fifth and Forty-third North Carolina Regiments, until the fall of 1864, when his comrades in the army nominated him as the "Army Candidate," and elected him again to the Legislature. In 1865, although he earnestly besought his people not to put him forward, he was triumphantly elected to the State Constitutional Convention, called by President Johnson. On the day of the election he remained at home and ploughed, and until his election as Commissioner of Agriculture for his State, in 1877, he was found on his farm at work — not directing it, but doing it.

He took a prominent and leading part in advocating the establishment of a Department of Agriculture as early as 1870, and continued to agitate and discuss it until it was accomplished in 1877. The Legislative Committee drew him away from his farm to aid in constructing the bill. He was elected, and served as Commissioner of Agriculture until 1880, when he resigned. He has been a fearless friend of the farmer and of the masses.

In 1886 he began the publication of the Progressive Farmer, and with it began the organization of Farmers' Clubs; and when in 1887 he was induced to espouse and advocate the Farmers' Alliance, he had organized nearly five hundred clubs in his State. His paper also began, in its first issue, the agitation of an Agricultural and Mechanical College and the restoration of the Land Script Fund to that purpose, which was then applied to the State University, and his plan was adopted against strong opposition


from most influential quarters. His paper was the first to bring the Alliance before his people, and so faithfully did it labor that it was adopted as the official organ of the Order, at its organization in 1887, and Col. Polk was elected State Secretary of the Alliance, to which position he was re-elected in 1888, and again in 1889.

He attended the National Alliance for the first time in 1887, and was unanimously chosen as First Vice-President of the great Order. He was chosen as a delegate to the National Convention held in St. Louis, in December, 1889, and took an active part in the work of that meeting.

In 1887 the Interstate Farmers' Association, composed of delegates from all the cotton States, was organized in the city of Atlanta, and Col. Polk was made President by acclamation. This was a most distinguished honor, coming as it did from one of the finest bodies of representative men ever assembled in the South. He was again elected, at its annual meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1888, and again at Montgomery, Alabama, in 1889 — each time by acclamation.

Col. Polk has always been identified with the agricultural interests of his State, and always among the foremost in advocating whatever he conceived to be for its advancement. He has the courage of his convictions. He has opinions and is bold to express them whenever necessary. He is one of the most zealous and indefatigable workers in the Alliance cause. He has been a member of the Baptist Church from his youth. In politics he was an old Henry Clay Whig, until the proclamation of President Lincoln, since which time he has been a Democrat.

At the meeting held in St. Louis, in December, 1889, Col. Polk was elected President of the National body. His administration has been wise and conservative. Under his management the Order has spread with wonderful rapidity. The work of organization has been pushed in new territory,


and quite a number of new State Alliances have been formed. President Polk possesses a magnetism that renders him extremely popular with the people. His tour through the Northwestern States was a perfect ovation. At Emporia, Kansas, he addressed an audience of 20,000 people. His speeches in those States have done more to allay existing sectional prejudices than any other influence. The attacks upon his personal reputation — to which all great men are subject — have fallen like pointless darts upon an armored Hector. As the representative of the great industrial masses he stands without a spot upon his reputation or a blemish upon his character. He is a true representative of the American citizen. His firey eloquence wins the hearts of the people and his invincible logic convinces their judgment. The administration of President Polk has proven that the St. Louis Convention made no mistake in choosing him as their standard bearer.

Col. Polk, aside from his recognized ability as a writer, has two qualifications which have largely added to the deserved success he has obtained. They are his gifts as a public speaker and as a presiding officer. He has in a remarkable degree the tact of entertaining and instructing an audience, and in pleasing and thrilling them as well. He not infrequently rises to the highest oratory and enthuses his hearers. He never fails to impress them and win their applause.

He has had much experience as a presiding officer. To preside well and impartially is a talent given to but few men who are accomplished public speakers. Col. Polk has the experience, the knowledge of parliamentary law, the grace and tact needed for presiding over a large body of men. He never loses his head, nor forgets a rule, nor fails to recognize the proper man on the floor. He is one of the foremost of the wise Alliance leaders in the South.


Benjamin H. Clover, Vice-President of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, was born in Franklin County, Ohio, in 1838. He lived there until he as 25 years old. Was married at the age of 21, and has five sons and two daughters, all of whom, together with their mother, are living exponents of the doctrine of "Equal rights and exact justice for all, and special privileges for none." In the spring of 1865 he moved from Ohio to Douglas county, Illinois, where he remained for five years. From here, in the fall of 1870, he moved to Cowley county, Kansas, and settled on the claim," where


he now lives. This was before the land was surveyed by the Government. Mr. Clover, in his usually characteristic manner, writes: "Here I endured the privations of a new country and find it was Heaven, compared to the glorious civilization begotten of monopolistic greed and the newly advanced doctrines, that, taxing a man makes him rich, and putting him in a condition to compel him to borrow money from Shylock makes him prosperous and happy. At the age of 52 years, after a long life of toil, economy and self-denial, I find myself and family virtually paupers. With hundreds of cattle, hundreds of hogs, scores of good horses, and a farm that rewarded the toil of our hands with sixteen thousand bushels of golden corn, we are poorer by many dollars than we were years ago. What once seemed a neat little fortune and a house of refuge for our declining years, by a few turns of the monopolistic crank, has been rendered valueless."

Mr. Clover was elected President of the first State Alliance in Kansas, which was organized in 1888. At the second annual meeting, in 1889, he was re-elected. From the first he has been one of the foremost Alliance men in the State. He is a man of extraordinary industry and ability, and is brilliant in common sense. He is a good practical farmer, an occupation he has followed all his life. In 1889 the State Alliance sent him, as a delegate, to the National Convention at St. Louis. He took an active part in the work of that convention, and his abilities were properly recognized by his unanimous election as Vice-President of the National body. He could have had the nomination for Governor of his State on the "People's" ticket but he refused. At the earnest request of the members of the Order he accepted the nomination, on the "People's" ticket, for Congressman of the Third District.


J. H. Turner, Secretary of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, was born on a farm in Troup county, Georgia, July 23, 1855. While not at work on the farm he attended the common schools of the county until 1871, when he entered the Farmers' High School. Here he remained until the fall of 1873, when he was appointed to a scholarship in the Mechanical and Agricultural College in the State University of Georgia, where he pursued his studies until 1875. On account of hard times he was compelled to leave college and return to the farm. In November, 1885, he concluded to seek


his fortune in the West, and went to Tarrant county, Texas. The first six months of the year was employed teaching a County School near Fort Worth. That fall he removed to Johnson county, near Alvarado, where he remained, teaching and farming, until October, 1881, when he returned to the old homestead of his childhood. He was married in 1883 to Miss Lilla E. Smith, and their union has been blessed with four children. Being an old-time Greenbacker, he had studied the causes which produced the depressed condition of the country, and he gladly hailed the advent of the Farmers' Alliance into Georgia. He joined the State Line Farmers' Alliance, No. 2. He was commissioned as Deputy Organizer and began at once the work of organization. Before the organization of the State Alliance he had organized three or four counties. He was a delegate to the convention that organized the Georgia State Alliance, at Fort Valley, December 20, 1887; was Secretary of the Committee on Constitution, and was elected State Organizer. When he assumed his duties as Organizer, there was not a cent in the treasury and many other obstacles confronted him. But he prepared for the work, appointed his Deputies and pushed the work of organization, night and day, until the next meeting of the State Alliance. During this year the number of Sub-Alliances increased from 181 to 1,100. At this meeting he was again put on the Committee on Constitution and re-elected State Organizer, which position he held until the State Alliance met in 1889. The Sub-Alliances had increased to over 2,000, He was a delegate from his State to the National meeting held at Meridian, Miss., in December, 1888, and was heartily in favor of the consolidation of the Alliance and Wheel. He was a delegate to the National meeting held at St. Louis in December, 1889, and was there elected Secretary of the National body, with headquarters at Washington.


Capt. H. W. Hickman, Treasurer of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, was born in Humphreys county, Tennessee, on the 2d day of December, 1832. In December, 1835, his father moved to West Tennessee, in Obion county, and remained a citizen of that county until his death, which occurred in 1877. At the age of 20 Capt. Hickman went to Laclede county, Missouri, where he spent three years farming and teaching school. He then returned to his native State and again located in Obion county. In 1855 he was married to Miss Mary Louisa Howard. He then purchased a >

296 and remained until after the surrender. After the war he returned to Texas and began farming in Gaudeloupe county, where his parents had moved during the war. Becoming dissatisfied with the political condition of his native State he went to Mexico, and stayed five years, when he returned to Gaudeloupe county and again engaged in farming. In 1876 he was married to Miss Katie Heaner, of Gonzoles county, whose parents were natives of South Carolina. He continued the occupation of farming until November, 1886, when he joined De Laney Alliance as a charter member, and was its first Lecturer. He was sent as a delegate to the County Alliance at its January meeting, in 1887. From here he was sent as a delegate to a called meeting of the State Alliance, which met at Waco in the same month. He was also a delegate from his county to the regular meeting of the State Alliance, which was held in Waco in August, 1887. At this meeting the National Alliance was organized and he was elected National Lecturer. He was also elected one of the Executive Committee of the State Alliance and an Exchange Trustee for the Seventh District. At a meeting of the trustees he was elected one of the Directors of the Exchange. At the first meeting of the National Alliance, held at Shreveport, Louisiana, he was re-elected National Lecturer, and at the National meeting at Meridian, Mississippi, was again elected to fill the same position. When the Alliance and Wheel consolidated and met at St. Louis in December, 1889, Mr. Terrell was again re-elected to the position of National Lecturer, a place that he had for three consecutive years filled with honor to himself and credit to the organization.

Mr. Terrell is a man of strong personal characteristics. His speeches, while not remarkable for oratorical power, are eloquent in common sense. There is a magnetism


in the man that captivates the audience. As a speaker, he is cool, calm and deliberate, but every sentence is delivered with telling effect. Courteous in his manner, conservative in his views and invincible in the presentation of living truths, he is such a man as the Order has reason to be proud of. The choice of Ben. Terrell as National Lecturer is another exemplification of the fact that the St. Louis convention of farmers knew what they were doing and how to do it.

The choice of a Lecturer is a matter of grave importance. His responsibilities are even greater than those of any other officer. He is at the head of the educational department. He is regarded as the representative exponent of the principles of the Order. While he is expected to take the principles laid down in the platform or declaration of purposes, he has at the same time opportunities for doing the Order great injury. In his field of reform work, Mr. Terrell has been governed by the demands laid down by the National body. In doing this he has voiced the sentiment of the majority of the members of the Order. His work, on the whole, has culminated in much good. He has visited almost every organized State and Territory and his lectures are highly complimented by the press and the people.


Among the many active, able and efficient members who have rendered the Farmers' Alliance, one of the most successful and remarkable organizations in the world, none have contributed more to that result than its President,
C. W. Macune. He was born on the 20th day of May, 1851, at Kenosha, Wisconsin, where his parents had just moved from Canada. His father was of Scotch and Irish descent, was a blacksmith by trade and also acted as a local Methodist preacher. His mother was a McAfee and her grandfather was one of the McAfees who crossed the mountains with Daniel Boone in the early settlement


of Kentucky. His mother, on her mother's side, was of Dutch extraction. The father of the subject of our sketch died on his way to California in 1852, at Fort Laramie, of cholera. Being thus left at the tender age of 1 year with a widowed mother he received but a limited common school education at the public school of Freeport, Illinois. At the age of 10 years he went to work on a farm to assist in providing for a widowed mother. He went to California in 1869, and to Kansas in the fall of 1870. From there he went to Texas in the summer of 1871. He occupied his spare time for five years in the study of law and medicine. In the fall of 1875 he married Miss Sallie Vickrey, of Salado, Bell county, Texas, a very estimable and accomplished lady who was born in Kentucky. In 1887 he commenced the practice of medicine which occupation he followed until the work of the Alliance claimed all of his time. He became a member of the Farmers' Alliance in the spring of 1886, in Milam county, Texas. "The same year he was called to active service as Chair-man of the Executive Committee of the State Alliance of Texas. In this capacity he developed that executive ability which won for him the admiration and high regard of the membership of the Order. By the resignation of the President and Vice-President of the State Alliance he became Ex-officio President of the Order, in the fall of 1886, which position he filled, in addition to his duties as Chairman of the Executive Committee, until the called meeting of the State Alliance in the city of Waco, on January 18, 1887. It was during the session of this body at Waco that the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America was organized and the subject of this sketch elected President."

In the summer of the same year he was made the business manager of the Texas Alliance Exchange at Dallas, and in the following October was re-elected President


of the National Alliance at Shreveport, Louisiana. His report to the Texas State Alliance on the business of the Exchange, and his messages bear evidence of a well cultivated mind of high order. His mature judgement and active and persevering industry have done more to firmly establish the Order in the Southern States than anything else. At the meeting at Meridian, Mississippi, in December, 1888, he was again re-elected to the office of President of the National Farmers' Alliance until consolidation could be completed.

At the National meeting held at St. Louis in December, 1889, he was unanimously elected Chairman of the National Executive Board. His management in this capacity has been wise and judicious. He is also a member of the Legislative Committee and has done some very important work in bringing needed measures of relief before Congress, chief among which is the Sub-Treasury bill. Much credit is due him for his untiring energy and industry in bringing this measure before Congress and the people.

Mr. Macune is a representative of the highest type of American manhood. At home he is a most considerate husband, affectionate father and respected citizen. His marriage has been blessed with five children. He is no office-seeker or vain caterer for public applause. The positions which he has occupied have been pressed upon him for the sole reason that his ability and discretion recommended him as the person to fill them with credit to the organization. And in this his brethren have not been disappointed. He is at present the managing editor of the National Economist of Washington, D. C. He is a member of the Methodist Church and has always been a consistent Democrat. His ability as an officer and his untarnished honor recommends him to the highest consideration of the members of the Order.


Alonzo Wardall, member of the National Executive Board, and also of the National Legislative Committee, was born in a log cabin near Union, Rock county, Wisconsin, January 12, 1845. At that time Wisconsin was yet a Territory, not having been admitted into the Union. His father was an Englishman and his mother came of Revolutionary stock, two of his great-grandfathers having served in the Patriot Army. In 1885, the family moved to Mitchell, Iowa, remaining there until 1850. From here the subject of our sketch moved to. Grant county, Dakota Territory, where he has since resided. In 1861


he enlisted in Company I, 3d Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served through the war. Returning home in 1865, scarcely 20 years of age, he entered Cedar Valley Seminary, Osage, Iowa, graduating from there in 1867. In 1868 he married Miss Elizabeth Murray, a graduate from the same school, and a bright and talented woman who has made him a worthy helpmate and who is a useful and energetic Alliance worker. Mr. Wardall is not only a reformer, but is a philanthropist, and can always be found on the right side and at the front. He was an active worker in the Grange movement for many years. He went into the Alliance at the beginning in Dakota and at once came to the front as an organizer and disciplinarian. He started the Alliance insurance enterprise, under instructions of the Dakota State Alliance, including fire, life and hail, each in separate departments, and has made it a grand success — saving to the members many thousands of dollars and giving unqualified satisfaction. By request of the National officers he is now perfecting a plan to extend the benefit of cheap and reliable insurance to the members of the Order in every State, under the auspices of the National Alliance. Mr. Wardall is a man of unusual ability and integrity, and possesses the confidence of all his associates. He is a member of the South Dakota Alliance Executive Board, and much credit is due him for the success of the Order in his State. In the fall of 1889 the Alliance supported him for United States Senator. He was a delegate to the St. Louis Convention in December, 1889, and did some good work in behalf of consolidation. He is a strong temperance man and a champion of equal suffrage. Personally, Mr. Wardall is a man of fine appearance, standing 6 feet and 3 inches high, and weighing over 200 pounds. He is the picture of vigorous health and boundless energy


"Evan Jones, President of the Farmers' State Alliance of Texas, was born in Woodford, Kentucky, June 19, 1846. In 1857 his parents emigrated to Schuyler county, Missouri. His father died soon after their arrival, leaving him at the tender age of 11 years to fight the battle of life in a strange land and among strangers. Fully aware of importance of an education and undaunted by the many obstacles in his pathway, he applied himself and succeeded in acquiring a good education. In 1866 he professed religion and joined the Methodist Church, and is still a useful and consistent member of that organization. Was married to Miss Mary C. Meador, daughter of Wm. C. and Angelina Meador, November 12, 1868; learned the tobacco manufacturing trade when a boy, but after marriage he settled on a farm in Schuyler county, Missouri.

"Here his early manhood days were spent. Having heard glowing accounts of the healthy climate and fertile soil of Texas, in 1876, as a health seeker, moved and settled on Green Creek, near Dublin, Erath county, Texas, where he still resides and is engaged in farming and stock raising. He is a charter member of Harbin Farmers' Alliance, No. 131, the oldest organization of the kind in


the county. He represented Harbin Farmers' Alliance at the organization of the Erath County Alliance, February, 1883; was appointed Treasurer in April and Vice-President in October of that year. He was elected President of Erath County Farmers' Alliance in 1884, which position he held until July, 1888. He also represented the Farmers' Alliance of that county in the State Alliance at Weatherford in 1884, and was one of the Committee on Constitution. He represented the Erath County Farmers' Alliance again in 1885, at Decatur, Wise county, Texas. Here he was appointed on the Finance Committee of the Farmers' State Alliance of Texas, for the ensuing year. He was elected a member of the Executive Board of the Farmers' Alliance at Cleburn, Texas, in 1886, which place he filled with credit until the called session in January, 1887. He represented the Texas State Alliance in the Louisiana State Union which convened at Rouston in called meeting, January 11, 1887, and presented to them propositions of consolidation, which brought the necessity of a National organization. For its flattering prospects the Farmers' Alliance is greatly indebted to Evan Jones. He, it was, who introduced the resolution in the State Alliance of Texas, providing for the organization of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America. He was elected President of the State Alliance of Texas in January, 1887, to fill the unexpired term of Brother Dunlap, who had resigned; was re-elected in August the same year.

"He was nominated by the Farmers' and Stock-raisers' Convention, July 3, 1888, for Governor of Texas, but, realizing the responsibility that rested upon himself as President of the Farmers' State Alliance of Texas, and as leader in the present great reform movement, he was of the opinion that he could do more for his country and people by continuing his work in the Farmers' Alliance


than to be Governor of Texas. Hence he declined to accept the honor conferred upon him by the people whom he represented.

"He was re-elected as President of the Farmers' State Alliance of Texas, at Dallas, August 24, 1888, by acclamation, which position he now holds. He represented the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America in the Northwestern Farmers' Alliance, and a meeting of the Executive Committee and National Officers of said body at Des Moines, Iowa, February 13 and 14, 1888, and presented to said body the necessity of co-operation in such a forcible manner that his mission resulted in the appointment of a committee of five to meet with the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America at its next meeting at Meridian, Mississippi, to perfect a plan of co-operation between the two great National bodies.

"At the annual meeting of the National Alliance in Meridian, Mississippi, a consolidation of the National Farmers' Alliance and National Wheel was affected, provided three-fourths of the States ratify the action of that meeting. Evan Jones was elected President of the new organization, the Farmers' and Laborers' Union of America. A wiser head could not have been found."

Mr. Jones is a man of quiet and modest manners, untiring industry and unimpeachable integrity. He possesses, in a large degree, the unflinching and unselfish patriotism which characterized the fathers of the American revolution. Amid the storm of opposition which assailed the organization in his State, of which he was President, he stood calm, cool and determined. His excellent judgment and executive ability did much towards adding to the strength and success of the Order in the Lone Star State. He is a forcible and logical speaker and a good parliamentarian. His well trained


mind grasps at once the deplorable condition of those whom he has the honor to represent and suggests the proper remedy. He has studiously and laboriously considered the whole situation and is fully abreast of the times. Though cautious and discreet he is nevertheless aggressive. Kind and affectionate in his disposition, he never lacks for friends. He is the ideal type of the American farmer.


The history of an organization is intricately inter-woven with the lives of the men who labor for the dissemination of its principles and the attainment of its objects. To the unselfish devotion of such men the world owes its present advanced condition in civilization. Among those who have actively engaged in the grand work, promulgating the principles of the Order, and placing it in the high position which it now occupies as a labor organization, none have, perhaps, figured more conspicuously, or accomplished greater good than Isaac McCracken, the President of the National Wheel.

"Isaac McCracken was born in Huntington, Canada East, in the year 1846, of Scotch-Irish parents. His parents lived in the little town in which he was born until Isaac was 8 years of age, when they moved to Lowell, Massachusetts. After having attended the common schools, his parents apprenticed him to a block cutter. Disliking the trade, and being of a roaming disposition, Isaac concluded to try a sea-faring life; this was in the year 1860. He shipped as a common seaman before the mast in a whaling vessel, and during three years he followed the sea. He visited Cuba, St. Domingo, Jamaica, the Bermudas and Western Islands, also the coast of Central America.


Upon returning home he was apprenticed to a machinist at which trade he worked in Lowell and Fall River, Massachusetts, Sparta and LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Minneapolis and St. Anthony, Minnesota.

"Mr. McCracken was married in the town of Sparta, Wisconsin, to a daughter of Hon. J. H. Allen, who now resides at Eau Claire, Wisconsin, President of the Commercial Bank of that place. He went to Arkansas in the year 1870, and settled upon the farm where he now resides, and has lived continuously upon the farm, except about two years spent in working as a machinist in the Iron Mountain shops, located at Little Rock. Mr. McCracken's first connection with a labor organization was with the Blacksmiths' and Machinists' Union. Upon laying down the hammer and the file for the plow, he saw the necessity of organizing the farmers, and proceeded to organize under the name of the ‘Brothers of Freedom,’ and at the time of the consolidation of the Agricultural Wheel and the Brothers of Freedom, he had succeeded in organizing 643 Subordinate organizations of the Brothers of Freedom, with a membership of 43,000. He worked for the consolidation of the two organizations, which was consummated in the fall of 1885.

"He has been honored with the position of President of his county organization, and also of the State organization of the Brothers of Freedom, as long as it had an existence, and upon the consolidation of the two organizations, he was chosen President of the body as consolidated, which was then known as the Agricultual Wheel of the State of Arkansas, which then had organizations in four States, and a National organization was formed in 1886. He was then honored with the position of President of the same, and was re-elected at the last meeting of the National organization, which was held at McKenzie, Tennessee."

Personally, Mr. McCracken is a man of plain and


unpretentious manner. He is firm in his convictions of right and unswerving in integrity. As a presiding officer he is without a superior. As an organizer he has displayed extraordinary skill. He possesses the qualifications of a leader without being hampered with the fault of selfish ambition. His sympathies are with the laboring classes. He is an enthusiastic advocate of united action upon their part. He is opposed to national banks, perpetual bonded indebtedness and all forms of class legislation. He believes if a party is sincere in their expressions of sympathy for the laboring masses, that they would incorporate the principles expressed in their demands into their platforms. He despises hypocrisy in all of its forms and takes pleasure in unmasking the schemes of political wire-pullers and machine politicians. At the meeting of the National Wheel at Meridian he was re-elected President of that body, making the third time he has been honored with that important position. At the consolidation of the Wheel and Alliance he was elected Vice-President of that body. In his calm, clear and cool judgment the people recognize a safe and successful leader.


S. M. Adams, President of the Alabama State Alliance, was born in Dallas county, Alabama, on the l0th day of December, 1853. His father died in the Confederate service, leaving Mr. Adams as the only means of support to his mother, two sisters and a younger brother. With the same devotion to duty and true manliness that has ever characterized his life, he labored faithfully to supply every want of his mother, to rear and educate his sisters and brother. As a result, his early education was almost entirely neglected, but after a hard day's toil he studied assiduously at night, and with these limited facilities


and a determination to acquire an education, he succeeded so well as to become a useful citizen, a faithful and successful minister of the Gospel, and a popular President of one of the most powerful organizations in the history of the State. He married a Miss Whatley in 1872, and joined the Baptist Church in 1877. He was Ordained to the work of the ministry in March, 1881, since which time he has preached almost every Sunday and baptised a large number of people. After he began to preach he felt the great necessity of a better education, and having neither money nor time to attend school, returned to the habits of his boyhood, and by the light of a pine-knot fire he acquired much useful information. He has a cosy little home in the town of Randolph, embracing ninety acres of land, and his business life beautifully illustrates one of the cardinal principles of the Alliance to "pay as you go," for he does not owe a dollar. Impressed with the deplorable condition of the farmers, and actuated by laudable desire to improve the surroundings of his fellow-beings, he became a member of the Farmers' Alliance in 1887, when it was first established in the State. In August, 1887, he was elected President of the State Alliance, and re-elected in 1888 and 1889. In August, 1888, he was elected a member of the Legislature from Bibb county by a large majority. Mr. Adams' career has been that of the typical American. I is struggles with and triumph over poverty, and the


acquisition of an education under very trying circumstances is suggestive of the men who, in the earlier days of the Republic made it powerful and famous, and his patriotism and love for his fellow — men increases the similarity between him and the pioneers of our civilization and greatness. As a Legislator, he was thoughtful, consciencious and painstaking.

The daily walk and conversation of but few men more pleasingly typify the grand principles of the Alliance than does that of Mr. Adams. And it is doubtful whether there is a member of the Order in Alabama who is more earnest, untiring and unselfish in his efforts to promote its welfare. His election at Auburn for the third time as President of the State Alliance was a just recognition of his fidelity and labor in behalf of the Order. And the brotherhood may rest assured that if he commits any errors in the discharge of his great trust, they will be of the head and not of the heart. To have been President of the Alabama State Alliance from its inception, and to have been a potent factor in enabling the Order to service all the dangers that beset it, is an honor of which any man might feel proud.


Elias Carr, President of North Carolina State Alliance, was born in Edgecombe county, North Carolina, on the 25th day of February, 1839. He was raised upon a farm, has always followed that occupation, and is considered one of the largest as well as one of the most successful farmers in the South. He attended the University of North Carolina; joined the Alliance in 1887, and was elected Chairman of the Executive Committee of the North Carolina State Farmers' Alliance at its first organization; was re-elected in 1888, and, in 1889, was elected President of the State Alliance by acclamation. Brother Carr refused to have his photograph taken


to send us, hence we go to press without being able to give to our readers a cut of his features. It is safe to say that no State has a more able, consistent, modest and unpretending leader than Mr. Carr.


Paul T. Davidson, President of the Arkansas State Alliance, was born in Clark county, Arkansas, April 21, 1852. He has resided in the same county all his life, has always followed the occupation of farming and raising stock. On account of the war his opportunities for education were limited; is a member of the Methodist Church and Masonic Fraternity. He was an active member of the Grange, Brothers of Freedom and Wheel. Was elected President of the State Farmers' Alliance in 1889, and re-elected in 1890. He has taken an active part to bring about a consolidation of the Arkansas State Union and State Alliance. He is one of the leading men in the State in the cause of industrial reform.

JOHN P. H. Russ.

John P. H. Russ, President of the Arkansas Farmers' and Laborers' Union, was born in Floyd county, near


Rome, Georgia, April 27, 1852. His parents moved from North Carolina to Georgia in 1851; moved back to North Carolina in 1859, and in 1860 moved to Alabama. At the close of the war, having lost all of his slave property, his father moved to Howard county, West Tennesse, and from there, in 1869, moved to White county, Arkansas, where the subject of our sketch has since resided. Mr. Russ joined the Agricultural Wheel in 1883, while it was yet in its infancy. He was as at once elected Lecturer, a position he has held ever since with the exception of one term that he served his subordinate Wheel as President. He has been a delegate to every State Wheel since its organization except two. He was present at the meeting when the Wheel consolidated with the Brothers of Freedom, and took an active part in effecting the union of the two bodies. He has held successively the positions of Sentinel, Steward, Conductor, Lecturer, member of the Executive Committee and President of the State organization. He was elected President of the State Union at Hot Springs in July, 1889. He was a delegate to the National meeting held at Meridian, Mississippi, in December, 1888, and took an active part in the work of consolidating the Wheel and Alliance. He is an active and consistent member of the Methodist Church. Politically,


he has always been a Democrat until of late years he has affiliated with the independent political element, and sincerely believes that reform can be effected through united independent political action upon the part of the laboring people. He was nominated, in 1890, for the State Senate, and was elected by a flattering majority.

Mr. Russ is a man of fine appearance and attractive manners. He is one of the leading men in the Order in his State. He is kind and obliging, and has a host of friends. The Order needs hundreds of more such men in the great fight against organized monopoly and a false system of class laws.


Leonidas F. Livingston,Leonidas F. Livingston, President of the State Alliance of Georgia, was born April 3,1832, on a farm in Newton father, Alfred Livingston, one of the most farmers in Georgia, both with slave and free labor, is still living and farming on the plantation on which his son, Leonidas, was born. The grandfather of Mr. Livingston came over with two brothers from Scotland to this county before the land Revolutionary, War. Two of the brothers settled in the State of New York and the other one in Georgia. Col. Livingston's


grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He is of Scotch — Irish descent. After leaving school he spent most of his time, prior to the war between the States, in overseeing his father's slaves — thus having the advantage of his father's direct and valuable instructions on the farm. He entered the army in 1861, at Richmond, Virginia, as a private in Cobb's Legion. In March, 1862, he joined the Western Army under General Bragg, and remained in the service of the Confederate States until the close of the war, receiving his parol May 24, 1865. Returning home, with nothing left but a wife and three children, he bought, on time, one of his father's plantations, and with free negros began what proved to be a successful farmer's life. He is still living on the same farm with many of the conveniences and luxuries of life surrounding him.

In 1869 he was elected a member of the Executive Committee of the Georgia State Agricultural Society, an organization of great power and good in Georgia until the organization of the Farmers' Alliance. In 1871 he was elected one of the Vice-Presidents of that association and was successively re-elected Vice-President from his Congressional District without opposition until February, 1884, when he was unanimously elected President, to which position he was re-elected for several successive years, finally resigning. He was elected Vice-President of the Georgia State Alliance in August, 1888, and in January, 1889, upon the resignation of Rev. H. R. Jackson, President of the State Alliance, became President. In August, 1889, he was elected President. His public life has been a success. He served his county in the lower branch of the State Legislature from 1874 to 1879. In 1882 he was elected to the State Senate. In all his legislative career he espoused the cause of the people against monopolies and combines and was considered the


leader and champion of every measure looking to the elevation and betterment of the fanners of Georgia. He filled in both houses of his State Legislature the Chairmanship of the Committee on Agriculture. In debate he is well versed in parliamentary law, and but few men can cope with him in public discussions. He never fails to carry his audience with him on any subject he may be discussing. He has long been an Elder in the Southern Presbyterian Church and has often represented his Presbytery (Atlanta) in the General Assembly of the Church. His debate with and defeat of Rev. S. K. Smoot, D. D. of Texas, in the St. Louis Assembly of 1887, on the question of closer relations with the Northern Presbyterian Church, gave him a national reputation of which he can well be proud. He is beloved and supported by his home people which is the highest compliment that can be paid mortal man. In this respect he is an exception to the rule that "a prophet is not without honor save in his own country." In 1890 the people of his district nominated him for Congress and will elect him by an overwhelming majority. Mr. Livingston is progressive and aggressive, with that large, broad and self determining will power so characteristic of the Scotch-Irish race. He is a power in both the State Alliance in Georgia and in the National Alliance. His speech on the Sub-Treasury plan before the Senate Committee on Agriculture was terse, logical and convincing. His determined and unrelenting fight against the "jute bagging trust" contributed more to its defeat, perhaps, than the efforts of any other man. He is diligent in his efforts to expose the wicked and oppressive monetary system of this country. He is forcing the fight in his State against the present monetary system, unfair and unjust railroad management and alien ownership of lands. As a public speaker he has but few equals. Personally, he is kind, obliging, liberal


and sociable. He is just such a man as the people can look to with confidence as a leader in the present struggle for industrial freedom.


Hugh Mitchell, President of the Maryland State Alliance, was born in Charles county, Maryland, August 9, 1838. He was educated at Charlotte Hall, Maryland, and Princeton College, New Jersey. Began farming in 1857; entered the Confederate army in June, 1861; served in the 1st Maryland Regiment as Lieutenant, and afterwards in the Signal Service; returned to his farm after the war and has and has resided on it since; joined the Grange in 1876, and was elected Master of the organization in his county; joined the Farmers' Alliance in September, 1889, and was elected President of the State Alliance at its organization.


Thomas Scott Adams, President of the Farmers' State Union of Louisiana, was born in Richland district, South Carolina, in the year 1840. In 1853 his father moved to Louisiana and settled on a plantation near Clinton,


East Feliciana parish. In 1859 the subject of our sketch was sent to Furman University, South Carolina, school in the early part of 1861. Soon after this he married Miss Holloway, a grand-niece of Col. Travis, of Texas fame. From this marriage there are five living children. When scarcely of age Mr. Adams entered a South Carolina regiment, known as the Hampton Legion. He served through the entire war and rose form private to captain. At the end of the war he returned home with shattered health and the remnant of his fortune scattered. Of the latter nothing was left him but the brave woman he married and two bright baby boys, born during the war. But he went to work with a will and is now the owner of a plantation home, and is engaged in cotton and general farming and stockraising. At the general election of 1884 he was elected to the lower house of the General Assembly. As a member of the Legislature he introduced many measures of reform, chief of which were: "An Industrial School for White Girls of the State," "Making Dealings in Futures a Felony," and a joint resolution "Remodeling the Judiciary System of the State." But the crowning act of his public career was securing the United States Barracks at Baton Rouge to the State, thereby turning


over to Louisiana nearly, if not quite, a quarter of a million dollars. This important measure he not only conceived, but planned and successfully executed by passing a memorial through both branches of the Louisiana Legislature and securing the co-operation of our members of Congress. At the close of his public life, Capt. Adams returned home disgusted with the corruption in politics, and though time and again importuned by his constituency, has persistently declined allowing his name to go before the public.

In August, 1888, he was elected Vice-President of the State Union, and in 1889 was elected its President. He has filled many other important positions in the Order. He is a man of sincere, honest convictions, courteous, modest and educated, and, above all, zealously devoted to the great progressive movement of the Farmers' Alliance.


Louis Porter Featherston, President of the State Wheel of Arkansas, was born at Oxford, Mississippi, on July 28, 1851. He desired to adopt the law as his profession, and with that end in view spent some time in its study, but, his eyes failing, he, at the age of 20 years engaged in farming, which has since been his vocation. In politics Mr. Featherston has always been a Democrat. He was elected to the lower house of the Arkansas Legislature in 1887, on the Democratic ticket, and during the time he served in the General Assembly of the State he was conspicuous in his efforts in behalf of the people as against the oppressive corporations which were grinding them down. He drafted and introduced the measure known as the "Featherston American Cotton Seed Oil Bill," and succeeded in effecting its passage in the House, but it was killed in the Senate. He assisted


materially in the passage of the "Anti-Free Pass Bill," and the "Three Cents a Mile Bill." He was also a strong supporter of the Balch railroad bill, which was also killed in the Senate. In July, 1887, Mr. Featherston was elected President of the State Agricultural Wheel of Arkansas, and unanimously re-elected the following the following year. He now hold the position and during his entire administration the Order has prospered and he has filled the position to the satisfaction of the fraternity. At the request of the representatives of the independent voters of the First Congressional District, in 1888, Mr. Featherston became a candidate for the Fiftieth Congress against Judge Gate, a lawyer and banker, and regular nominee of the Democratic party. After one of the most heated campaigns in the history of the district he was fairly elected, though the peculiar political methods employed in some parts of the district resulted in having a majority turned against him, and the will of the people was defeated. To his friends Mr. Featherston is as true as steel; to his enemies gentle and forgiving in an unusual degree. He is a natural leader among men. Brilliant in intellect, intense in his convictions, eloquent in speech, the soul of honor, a generous friend and an open foe, he is one of nature's noblemen. He not only possesses the courage of his convictions, but a rarer quality among


public men, the courage of his contempt. He hates hypocrisy, despises duplicity, scorns baseness and does not fear to show it. His manly courage, independent manhood and unswerving devotion to the interests of the people, have won their esteem and admiration, and placed him in the front rank among the reform leaders in the State. If it was necessary to say anything more, it could all be summed up in a few words: "He is the highest type of American manhood."


John P. Buchanan, President of the Tennessee State Farmers' and Laborers' Union, was born in Williamson county, Tennessee, October 24, 1847. Farming has been his occupation all his life. At the age of 16 he entered the Confederate army and served to the close of the war.

In 1878 he moved to Rutherford county where he has since been successfully engaged in farming and raising blooded stock. Mr. Buchanan is a self-made man who has by his energy, common sense and good judgment risen from the financial condition left him in by the reverses of war to that of a prosperous farmer. He is a man of firm and unwavering convictions and the courage to advocate what he conscientiously believes to be right. In 1886 he was elected from the plow handles to represent the county of Rutherford in the General Assembly of Tennessee, where he made character as an aggressive leader in upholding and defending the interests of agriculture and all matters affecting the public good. In 1888 he was again elected to fill the same position, and rapidly went to the front as an aggressive, able leader in debate, always watchful of the interests of his constituency. He was a member of both Wheel and Alliance, and in March, 1888, at the organization of the State Alliance, he was elected its first


President, and on August 14, following, he was re-elected by acclamation. He is a splendid parliamentarian, and presides with dignity and ease. He is firm in the discharge of duty, though courteous in demeanor, with naturally quick perceptions to catch a point and decide it. As President of the State Alliance in Tennessee he developed unusual ability as presiding officer. When the Wheel and Alliance consolidated he was chosen unanimously, by acclamation, as President of the consolidated body. He was a delegate from his State to the National Alliance which convened at Meridian, Mississippi, in 1888, and was in hearty sympathy with the effort to consolidate the two bodies. He was a member of the committee that prepared the Constitution and By-Laws of the National Farmers' and Laborers' Union, and took an active part in securing their adoption. He was a delegate to the St. Louis Convention in December, 1889, and contributed much towards the successful work accomplished there. His recognized ability as a leader, coupled with his sterling integrity, brought him prominently to the front and he was pressed to become the Alliance candidate for Governor of Tennessee. Notwithstanding a strong effort was made by the tools of monopoly to defeat him, his friends made such a


gallant fight that they secured his nomination. He will be the next Governor of Tennessee, and the rights of the people will be secure in his hands and protected so far as he has the power. With such men as Hon. John P. Buchanan in the Gubernatorial chairs, and in the National and State Legislatures, monopoly and corporate greed would soon receive their death blow and intolerable burdens lifted from the shoulders of the producers.


J. H. Brammier, President of the Colorado State Alliance, was born in Cedar county, Iowa, on the 10th day of Novemeber, 1851. He received a common school education, in, in both English and German, after which he attended the Wilton (Iowa) Academy. In 1870 he moved, with his father, to Mills county, Iowa. He was raised on a farm and has been engaged in that occupation all his life. He was a member of the Grange and took an active part in what is known, in Iowa, as the "Anti-Monopoly" campaign of 1873. In March, 1874, he was married to Miss Maggie A. Traucht, of Williams county, Ohio. His wife dying in 1883, he was was again married in 1884 to Miss Emma M. Danford, of Henderson, Iowa. In March, 1887, he moved to


Elbert county, Colorado. Was a member of the School Board of Commissioners for that county in 1888. In 1889 the county was divided and he was elected Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for Kit Carson county. He was a charter member of Pioneer Alliance, No. 2, and in December, 1889, was elected President of the State Alliance of Colorado. He took an active part in bringing about a conference meeting between the Grange and Alliance as to what political action it was best to pursue, which resulted in a call for a delegate convention in which all industrial organizations were invited to be represented. This convention met in a two days' session in Denver, August 20 and 21, 1890, and nominated an Independent State ticket. Mr. Brammier was nominated by acclamation for Lieutenant Governor.


Robert F. Rogers, President of the Florida State Alliance, was born in Darlington county, South Carolina, in 1846. His parents emigrated to Florida and settled in Columbia county in 1857. He was born of poor parentage and raised on the farm, and, therefore, deprived of the advantages of a classic education. He was too young to serve in the war between the States, except towards the close he served in the Florida Militia. He married quite young and has been blessed with a large family of children. Since reaching his majority he has always been regarded as a leader among men. A wide circle of friends and acquaintances has enabled him to grow in popular favor, and his fidelity to the interests of agriculture and the principles that tend to elevate and dignify the vocation of farming has long since raised him to the point where he has but few peers in his adopted State. The county where he has resided from childhood has


honored him with office of almost every kind in the gift of her citizens. In 1875 he was elected Secretary of the Florida State Grange. He served that Order with credit to himself and constituents until 1878, when the Grange, in Florida, became extinct. In 1885 he was elected to the State Constitutional Convention, and has the honor of creating the office of Commissioner of Agriculture, provided for in the State Consitution. In 1888 he could have been nominated for Commissioner of Agriculture, but declined the nomination to accept, from the hands of his county, the nomination for State Senator, to which office he was elected by the largest majority ever given anyone in his county. In the State Senate of 1889 he introduced and carried through the bill organizing the Bureau of Agriculture and the Bureau of Immigration. He was the author and prime mover of many other measures looking to the elevation of farming. At the annual meeting of the State Alliance in January, 1889, he was elected President, and the Order so prospered under his administration that at the annual meeting in January, 1890, he was re-elected without a dissenting vote. He is a logical and forcible speaker and a Christian gentleman of dignified appearance. He was a delegate from Florida to the Convention of the National Farmers' Alliance at St. Louis in December, 1889, and worked hard to secure the next meeting of the National body in


Jacksonville, Florida, which was accomplished. On his return home he went to work to make ready for the reception of the National Farmers' Alliance. Through his untiring efforts the Florida Farmers' Alliance will meet the National Alliance in 1890 with a generous welcome and a magnificent exhibition of agricultural and horticultural products of Florida.


J. D. Fields, President of the Texas State Farmers' Alliance, was born in Abingdon, Virginia, April 19, 1845. Attended the common schools until he was 15 years old, when he was sent to Abingdon Academy, where he remained until the war broke out. He entered the Confederate Army before he was 17, serving under Gen. John S. Williams as Lieutenant of scouts. He afterwards served under Gen. John H. Morgan until he was killed at Greenville, Tennessee. He was wounded five times during the war, and fell into the hands of the Federals four times, always succeeding in making his escape until the last time, when the war ended. He joined the first Alliance organized in his neighborhood, and was elected President. Served as County President two years, and in August, 1889, was elected President of the State


Alliance. He was also elected President of the Exchange, but resigned. Mr. Fields is a man of unusual ability and energy. The consummation of the consolidation of the Wheel and Alliance in his State, under his administration, together with the increased interest in the order, reflects great credit upon his management. With such men at the head of the organization the Texas Alliance will do credit to the fact that the Lone Star State is the home of the Alliance movement.


E. T. Stackhouse, President of the South Carolina State Alliance, was born on a farm near where he now lives in Marion county. He received only a common school education. He taught school between the ages of 19 and 23 years. He then settled down to farming and has since devoted his whole business life to his chosen occupation. He has been three times elected to represent his county in the State Legislature. At the organization of the State Alliance he was elected President, and was re-elected at its first annual meeting in 1889. A representative of the Atlanta Journal, who visited the home of Col. Stackhouse, says: "During a day spent at the home of Col. E. T. Stackhouse, the President of the South Carolina Farmers' Alliance, I ate absolutely nothing that was not raised on his farm. (In order to make this statement I refrained from drinking coffee) — but I fared, nevertheless, as sumptuously as a king. Col. Stackhouse's surroundings show him to be a model of independence. He is 65 years old; was born and raised on a farm in Marion county, near where he now lives, has devoted his whole business life to farming and farm improvement; is a leader in the intensive system; belongs to all the organizations in his


State looking to agricultural development, and has recently been elected a Trustee of the Clemson, or State Agricultural College. During the late war he served in Longstreet's corps, and surrendered as Colonel of his regiment.

He fertilizes heavily, spending annually $6 to the acre, and has always made money farming. For the last thirteen years he has averaged on his wages farm, 660 pounds of lint cotton to the acre. Last year the 180 acres cultivated on his home farm yielded 179 bales. This season he picked thirty-six bales from thirty acres. His wages farm, during the last thirteen years, has yielded an average of forty bushels of corn to the acre. Since the war he has doubled the increase of corn to the acre, but has not been able to make much improvement in cotton. He has no bottom land. He fertilizes corn heavily and plants it 6 feet in the row and 18 inches in the drill. He believes in giving good distance to cotton, and thinks that the importance of grass crops are rapidly becoming known.

A man of character and intelligence, he admirably fits his position as President of the Farmers' Alliance.


Jasper Newton Coe, President of the New Mexico Territorial Alliance, was born in Marshall county, Virginia


(now West Virginia), March 21, 1848. When 9 years of age his father moved with his family to Washington county, Iowa. Not liking the country he remained there but one year, when he removed to Schuyler county, Missouri, where he purchased a farm and settled upon it. Here the subject of our sketch was reared. As Missouri was at that time a comparatively new country his opportunities for attending school and acquiring an education were limited. In 1868 he crossed the plains with a train of wagons. After visiting different parts of the Great West and working at various occupations he finally settled in New Mexico, where he had a brother living. At that time but few Americans lived in the Territory, and lawlessness and crime were common and almost every day occurrences. At times, the few pioneers, who had settled there for the purpose of making it their home and acquiring property in a legitimate way, were compelled to resort to arms to drive out lawless characters. In most instances the determined will of the honest frontiersmen prevailed. With the exception of three years spent in California, Mr. Coe has lived in New Mexico since 1869. He has always been a farmer and is proud of his calling. He has always been earnest and persistent in his efforts to elevate and dignify the occupation. In the winter of 1872-73 he returned to his old home in Schuyler county, Missouri, to visit his old friends. While there he improved the time courting Miss Ada Saunders, whom he married in August, 1873. Soon after he returned with his wife to New Mexico. He owns a good farm and, besides making a comfortable living, is giving much of his time to Alliance work in the Territory. Mr. Coe has been an active member of the Alliance since its first advent into the Territory in 1887. Although the obstacles in the way of the progress of the Order in New Mexico have been almost insurmountable, the persistent and untiring efforts of


President Coe, aided by his efficient Secretary, Mr. Breece, has placed the organization a solid basis. The political sentiments of President Coe are best expressed in his own words, contained in a letter from him of recent date. He says: "My politics are, vote for the men who are willing to pledge their sacred honor and their all to labor for the emancipation of the toiling millions."


H. L. Loucks, President of the National Alliance (Northwestern) and also President of South Dakota State Alliance, was born in Russell, Ontario, Canada, in 1846. He lived on the farm most of the time until he was 19 years of age, then spent two years in the iron regions of Michigan. He then returned to Canada, where he remained twelve years. He then moved to Missouri in 1879, where he engaged in contracting and steamboating until the spring of 1884, when he moved to his farm in Dakota where he has since lived. Having no political ambition, Mr. Loucks has never been a candidate for any office, and hence has no political record. His opportunities for education were limited to the country school. In 1877 he was elected G. W. C. T. of the I. O. G. T. of Quebec, and re-elected in 1878, resigning when he came West. He was elected


President of the Dakota Farmers' Alliance in 1885, and has served in that capacity continuously ever since. When, at the last annual session, it was decided to divide, he was elected President of the South Dakota Alliance. At the meeting in St. Louis in December, 1889, he was elected President of the National Farmers' Alliance of the Northwest. President Loucks is a man of unusual energy and ability, and much of the success of the Order in Dakota is due to his untiring and well-directed efforts. His style as a writer is clear cut and logical, and his pen is ever ready to be wielded in the cause of suffering humanity.


Benjamin Franklin Davis, Secretary of the Kentucky Farmers' and Laborers' Union, was born near West Liberty, Morgan county, Kentucky, September 13, 1856. He attended the common schools of the county; began teaching school at the age of 16, and taught of falls and winters for ten years, working on the farm during the summer months. In 1872 he moved with his father to Ezel county. He became a member of the Grange in 1873, and served as Secretary in that Order as long as it continued in active operation in his county. In April, 1877, he married Miss Corrella E. Wheeler, of Mennefee county, which union has been blessed with five children.

He became a charter member of Pine Grove Alliance No. 17, August 3d, 1887. This was one of the first Alliances in the Northern part of Kentucky. He was elected Secretary of the organization and has since continued to hold that position.

In the winter of 1888 he was commissioned as organizer by the President of the National Alliance, and contributed largely in starting the Alliance work in Kentucky.


He organized the Kentucky State Alliance at Ezel in June, 1888, and was elected Secretary at its organization, a position which he held until the consolidation of the Wheel and Alliance, at which time he was elected Secretary of the consolidated Union. He has served as Chairman of the Committee on Constitution and By-Laws, and held many other important positions in the Order. He was a delegate to the National meeting held at St. Louis in December, 1889, and gave his hearty support to the work of that convention. He has always lived on a farm and his sympathies are with the laboring people. Mr. Davis is a man peculiarly fitted for the position which he holds. Of his efficiency as Secretary the Labor Journal of Fulton, Kentucky, says:

"We have found in no body a more capable or efficient officer than Secretary B. F. Davis of the State Alliance. He seems to know just how much to say and no more to record properly the proceedings of the meeting." Personally, Mr. Davis is kind, considerate and courteous. His close attention to his duties and the success attending his efforts in the capacity in which he has served his people, has made him many warm friends. He is a man of sterling integrity and staunch patriotism. Mr. Davis is one


the young men in the Order who will, doubtless, live to realize the ultimate success of his efforts and fruition of his hopes.


W. L. Breece, Secretary of the New Mexico Territorial Alliance, was born on a farm near Coshockton, in Coshockton county, Ohio, on the 20th of November, 1853. In 1865 he removed with his father to Effingham county, Illinois. Here in the winter of 1875 he taught his first school. In 1876 he went to Texas where he divided his time between the farm and school-room until June, 1884, when he removed to New Mexico, where he engaged in farming, occasionally teaching a school. On the introduction of the Alliance in the Territory he at once became an active member and worker. He was appointed organizer, and at the organization of the Territorial Alliance was elected Secretary, a place which he has held ever since.


H. C. Randolph, President of the Alliance of Indian Territory, was born in Grayson county, Texas, in 1845. He was raised on a farm and has followed that occupation


all his life. He moved to the Indian Territory in 1874, and has belonged to the Alliance since its first organization in the Territory. He is an active and efficient worker in the Order, a consistent and upright Christian gentleman, and a man whose sympathies are strongly enlisted in the cause of industrial reform.


E. C. Beddingfield, Secretary of the North Carolina State Alliance, was born on the 10th of October, 1862, in Wake county, North Carolina. His father was a Confederate soldier and died in the hospital at Gordonville, Virginia, in 1863, leaving his wife and son dependent upon the care of her father, who was a plain, substantial farmer, at that time over 70 years of age. Sherman's Army having left the country in a destitute condition, it was with considerable sacrifice that they managed to send young Beddingfield to a subscription school for a few months in each year until he was old enough to plow. A corrupt Legislature having robbed the public school fund of several million dollars there were no public schools in North Carolina at that time. As soon as he learned to read, however, he manifested a great fondness for books, and through the kindness of friends was enabled to borrow and read many


which he could not otherwise have done. Every leisure moment was thus employed in reading standard works of history, fiction and poetry, and his young mind was thus stored with useful information, which, in after life, served him a good purpose. When he was 14 years old he managed, through the kindness of an uncle, to attend an Academy for one year. At the age of 16 he began teaching school a portion of the year, working on the farm the remainder of the year. Throughout his whole career he has kept up his habits of study.

In the fall of 1881 he married a Miss Peebles, by whom he has five children. For several years he served as magistrate and a member of the Democratic Central Committee in his county. In 1888 he was, with four others, nominated as a candidate for the State Legislature. Up to this time he had never delivered a public speech in his life, but he soon showed considerable ability as a speaker and was able to hold his own with the old political orators. His canvass of the county was a brilliant one and he led his ticket by a hundred votes, being the only Democrat elected. Mr. Beddingfield at once took a prominent position in the Legislature, and no man in that body, perhaps, exercised a wider influence. He has stood for Alliance principles on every occasion. He aided materially in passing the bill to establish a Railroad Commission, and drew and introduced a bill against "trusts" which passed both Houses, and should be read by every member of the Order. His career in the Legislature was a success. When Col. L. L. Polk resigned his position as Secretary of the State Alliance he was appointed by the Executive Committee to fill the unexpired term. In this position he has shown the prudence, wisdom and ability that has always characterized his course, and the Alliance in the State continues to prosper under his management.



ISOM P. Langley, Chaplain of the Arkansas State Wheel, was born September 2, 1851, in Clark county, Arkansas. His early life was spent on a farm, where he was actively engaged until 25 years of age. At the early age of 16 years he made a profession of religion, and joined the Missionary Baptist Church. He was licensed to preach September 1, 1877, and the following year was ordained a minister of the gospel. His early opportunities for education were limited, on account of the war. About fifteen months will cover his career as a student in the very inferior schools of his county at that date. He married Miss Martha A. Freeman, August 20, 1870. He began the, study of law in 1873, and was admitted to the bar December 11, 1875. In February, 1876, he began the practice of law at Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and soon rose to distinction as a criminal lawyer. In 1880, in connection with Capt. J. W. Miller, he began the publication of the Arkadelphia Signal, a Democratic paper. In 1882 he published the Arkansaw Clipper, a Greenback paper. A short time after he established the Hot Springs daily and weekly News. He gave up the practice of law. In 1885 he joined the Knights of Labor, and was chosen editor of the Industrial Liberator, the official organ of the State


Assembly. He became a member of the Agricultural Wheel in 1886, and from that date has been an active defender of the Wheel Demands and the principles of organized labor. He was the editor of the National Wheel Enterprise from May 1 to December 1, 1888. Was President of the Famous Life Association, of Little Rock, Arkansas, from October 20, 1887, to January 1, 1889. The association, under his management, was a grand success. He has filled many of the leading pulpits of his church in the State. He assisted in the organization of the National Wheel at Litchfield, Arkansas, and was a delegate to the National Wheel at Meridian, Mississippi, when the question of consolidation with the Farmers' Alliance came before that body. Mr. Langley is a man of fine personal appearance. Possessed of an energy and firmness that fits him for work among the great army of reformers, he has lifted himself up from the humble plowboy to take his place among men of rank. As a speaker and writer he has but few equals. His style of delivery is pleasing, and commands the entire attention of his audience. His telling argument convinces the most obdurate. His written articles are full of pith, and abound with good sense. As a satirist and critic, he wields a two-edged sword. He is a self-made man. Warm-hearted, and with broad and liberal views, he ranks among the foremost men engaged in labor reform.


"J. W. Rodgers, Secretary of the State Wheel of Missouri, is a native of Tennessee, and was born in Haywood county, in that State, on the 25th day of November, 1845. In the year 1854 his father moved to Dyer county, in the same State, where he remained and worked on his father's farm until the great civil war broke out. In


1863 young Rodgers left Tennessee and went to Madison, Indiana, for the purpose of attending school in that city, but becoming imbued with the spirit of patriotism he volunteered and entered the 52d Regiment Indiana Infantry Volunteers, serving until the close of the war. He was discharged at St. Louis, July 10, 1865, and again entered his life-long occupation — that of f arming — settling in Williamson county, Illinois. In 1873 he moved to Clay county, Arkansas, where he bought a new farm and followed the plow-handles through crop time for five years. Getting in very bad health, in 1883 he moved to Stoddard county, Missouri, where he has since resided. He was elected delegate to the State Wheel in September, 1887, the annual meeting of which convened at West Plains, Missouri, October 12, 1887. While attending this meeting his business abilities were recognized and he was elected Secretary of the State Wheel. Under his able control the Missouri State Wheel is fast taking rank among the most able, efficient and best conducted State Wheels of America. He is always ready and willing to work for the best interests of the Order. At the annual meeting of the State Wheel at Dexter, Missouri, on the 19th of September last, he was unanimously re-elected Secretary for another term of one year, and also elected a delegate to the National Wheel,


which assembled at Meridian, Mississippi, on December 5, 1888, and was a member of the Committee on Constitution and By-Laws. By his close attention to business he has won the confidence and esteem of the Missouri Brotherhood, and the thousands of letters he has filed away attest the confidence and high regards of the writers. His correspondence is simply immense and occupies his whole time and attention."


Willis W. Prigg, Secretary of the Indiana State Alliance, was born on a farm near Middleton, Indiana, July 29, 1855. His education consists of what could be secured in a country school at the period of his school age and part of two years attendance in High School. At the age of 20 he began teaching, and for thirteen years was regarded as one of the most prominent teachers in his county. The highest tribute to his ability as a teacher is the fact that for seven years he held the position of Principal of the High School of his native town. During most of this time he has carried on farming under his personal direction. At the organization of the State Alliance in April, 1890, he was elected Secretary.


J. J. Silvey, Secretary of the Virginia State Alliance, was born in Rappahannock county, Virginia, September 23, 1861. He graduated at the head of the class of 1884 from the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College. He was one of the first to join the Farmers' Alliance in his State, and was one of the delegates at the organization of the State Alliance, July 12,1888, at which time he was elected State Secretary. He was re-elected at the next State meeting by acclamation, and now holds that office. Mr. Silvey is a prominent member of the Order, an earnest advocate of its principles and a hard worker for the cause which he so dearly loves. He is one of the most efficient officers in the Order and is held in the highest esteem by the Alliance-men of his State. He has gained many friends by his courteous bearing and generous nature, and is much respected for his honesty and integritv.


W. S. Starr, Secretary of the Colorado State Alliance, was born in Baxter county, Missouri, June 12, 1863. In 1873 he moved with his father to Colorado, His education


. was limited to such as could be acquired in the common schools, and one year's attendance at St. Mary's College in Kansas. He has spent most of his life on a farm; taught school two years. He joined the Farmers' Alliance in August, 1889, and has taken an active part in its organization in Colorado. He was a delegate at the time the State Alliance was organized at Pueblo, December 17, 1889, and was elected Secretary of that body. He has given much of his time to the work, and deservedly popular with members of the Order. He is at present the Independent nominee for State Auditor in Colorado.


Mrs. Sophia, M. Harden Secretary of the South Dakota Farmers' Alliance, was born in Gainsville, Wyoming county, New York, August 1, 1846. She attended the district school until 16 years of age, when she entered the Gainsville Female Seminary and remained there until her school days were over. To her a school-room education was but the foundation for a higher and more practical knowledge which she afterwards, with diligence and industry, acquired, and her mind is a rich storehouse of useful knowledge. Her maiden name was Marsh. In


1868 she married James Harden, an honorably discharged soldier of three-years' service. In 1872 they moved to Michigan, and later to Iowa, where Mrs. Harden was her husband's assistant and constant companion in a school of which he was principal. While in Osage, Iowa, Mrs. Harden was elected President of the Woman's Suffrage Assocciation of that city. The belief that man and woman were created equal, and that with fair play and an equal chance in life's battle, woman would prove herself the equal of man, enabled her to fill the position with which she had been honored with great credit. In the meantime she edited a column in the interest of woman suffrage in one of the Osage papers.

In 1883 Mrs. Harden accompanied her husband to Dakota, where they settled upon a homestead, where they have since resided. At the annual meeting of the Farmers' Alliance held in Aberdeen, South Dakota, November 20, 1889, Mrs. Harden was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the State organization, a position which she is filling to the entire satisfaction of the members of the Order.

The personal traits in the character of Mrs. Harden are so truthfully and entertainingly described in a recent letter which the author received from Mrs. Nettie C. Hall, M. D., of Wessington Springs, South Dakota, who is her personal friend and acquaintance,


that we are pleased to publish liberal extracts. Mrs. Hall embodies in her letter, together with many other things, the following:

"A more delightful task could not have been assigned me than that of attempting to give a brief sketch of the life and doings of Mrs. Sophia Harden, in whom I have found combined the unfaltering devotion of a wife and mother, the trustworthiness of a friend, as well as executive ability, scholarly wisdom and the sweet graciousness of womanhood. * * * My first acquaintance with this family began in 1883 in Juald county, South Dakota, where they took a homestead in what was then a new country. I remember when I first met Mrs. Harden and found a woman of so much culture and refinement, and one so peculiarly adapted to the vocation of teaching, I was puzzled to know why she should bury herself and talents in what was then considered almost a desert. But her now cozy home, delightful for situation in a lovely grove of ash, box-elder and cottonwood, with the library with its scholastic air, revolving book-cases, easy chairs, piano, birds and flowers in profusion, in doors and out, all leave no lingering doubt as to the wisdom of her choice. One would naturally fall deeply in love with farm life did we visit many such country places, with its cheery home-like air, high-grade stock, hennery with its different departments, with heating-stove for the comfort of the fancy fowls; the sleek, well-cared-for horses, the farming implements all in good order, and well-kept grounds, all of which not only betoken thought and care, but has won for Mrs. Harden an enviable reputation as a farmer, which she well merits, because with her husband's unavoidable absence had she not known all the details of farm work and been able to assist by hand or voice, their home and farm to-day would not be such complete source of pride to the county as well as the owners.


"The horses miss her kindly ministrations if she is absent from home, as it is no uncommon occurrence for her to groom and care for five of them while the girl prepares the breakfast. I have been much amused at the impression some have who have never met the lady, but have heard of her exploits, and pictured her out in their own mind as of Amazonian proportions, and very much of a Bohemian, when, really, she is a dainty bit of femininty, weighing 100 pounds, wearing a No. 1 shoe, and so slight in build that when she mixes or kneads her wholesome bread (which is the envy of her neighbors) she is oblighed to place her bread-bowl on a chair. She is a woman with a style so gracious, mild, gentle and refined that no position in society would find her at a loss. She has, to my knowledge, ploughed a man's stint and then drove eight miles to deliver a lecture on the capabilities of woman, (herself the best exponent of her doctrine). The careful training she has given her son, superintending his education, entering into his boyish sports and ambitions has made the mother and son companions. Although Mrs. Harden is a general favorite wherever known, yet she has no more ardent admirers or appreciative, congenial associates than husband and son.

"Mr. Harden is in full sympathy with her on the woman question, and while tender and solicitous of her comfort, yet realizes that it is her privilege to spend her time according to her own tastes and desires. For years they held opposite political views, but since they began farming, and thinking and reading of the interests of the farmer they have joined hands on the broad platform of the Farmers' Alliance, working earnestly for all measures which tend to the benefit of the farmer and give to agriculture an uplift that will elevate the tiller of the soil and give him the position he so richly deserves."



John Wilson McFarland, Secretary of the Louisiana Farmers' Union, was born in the year 1848, in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, where he received an education upon which he afterwards founded a useful and practical knowledge. His opportunities there were limited to the Sparta High School, which was broken up by the war. When the war broke out his father enlisted and went to the front, and young McFarland was thrown on his own resources at the age of 14 years. He served a short time in the arsenal at Shreveport. At the close of the war he farmed for several years, after which he was engaged in the study of mechanics until 1878. Since that time he has followed farming and milling, and has been reasonably successful, seeming to have a natural inclination toward the science of agriculture. He was one the first men to join the Farmers' Alliance in Claiborne parish in 1887, and was elected President of his subordinate Union and Secretary of his Parish Union at their respective organizations. Both of these offices he has held by re-election to the present time. He was a delegate to the convention at Ruston, Louisiana, at the time of the consolidation of the Union and Farmers' Alliance. He has been a delegate to all the sessions of the State Union held in


Louisiana. Being a public spirited man he is ever ready to indorse all associations that have for their object the good of the State and the people.

He is a noted temperance man, a zealous Farmers' Union man, and has ever been a modest, unassuming Chaistian gentleman. He was married in the year 1873 to Miss Frankie Whitson, of Claiborne parish, and has enjoyed an exceptionally happy domestic life.


M. D. Williams, Secretary of the North Dakota State Alliance, was born on a farm in Bedford county, Pennsylvania, July 29, 1849. He attended the common schools for two or three months in winter and worked on a farm in the summer until 22 years of age, when he attended the State Normal School at Millersville, Pennsylvania, for three months. He then taught school for six or eight winters. He married in 1873, and in 1879 emigrated to Kansas, where he remained until the spring of 1882 when he removed to Dakota, locating near Jamestown, where he now resides. He has worked on the farm every summer except in 1876, when he was Inspector of Customs on the Centennial grounds at Philadelphia.


A. P. Baskin, Secretary of the Florida State Alliance, was born in Houston county, Georgia, January 20, 1844. His education was limited to that received through attendance at the common schools of the country. At the age of 17 years he enlisted in the Southern Rights Guards, 1st Georgia Regiment, and served through the war. After the war he began farming on the place upon which he


was born. In 1872 he removed to North Alabama and settled on the Coosa River in Cherokee county. By an overflow in 1874 he lost all he had accumulated after the war. He then moved to Marion county, Florida, where he has since resided, engaged in the fruit and vegetable business. In 1887 he was elected to the Legislature and re-elected in 1889.


C. T. Smithson, Secretary of the Mississippi State Alliance, was born in Charlotte county. Virginia, September 12, 1852. He moved to Mississippi in 1870; was married February 23, 1873, to Miss Julia Landrum, who died in 1888, leaving four children. He was married the second time January 22, 1890, to Miss Lula Turner, of Sallis, Mississippi. His profession, up to 1880, was book-keeping, since which time he has been farming in Leake county. He was elected Secretary of Canaan Alliance at its organization in June, 1887. In July, 1887, at the organization of the Leake County Alliance, he was made its Secretary, which office he still holds. At the organization of the State Alliance, August 24, 1887, he was elected Secretary, and has since been re-elected at each annual meeting to fill that important position.



S. B. Erwin, President of the State Wheel of Kentucky, was born in Gibson county, Tennessee, May 22, 1842. He moved with his parents to Kentucky in 1851. He was raised on a farm. In April, 1861, he left school to join the Confederate Army in which he served until captured by the Federals at Selma, Alabama, in April, 1865. After the war he returned to Paducah, Kentucky, and engaged in the mercantile business until the spring of 1867. He then returned to his home in Hickman county, Kentucky. Here he married one of Kentucky's favorite belles, Miss Annie V. Seay. He now turned his attention to farming and stock-raising, which occupation he has since followed. He has taken an active part in every farmer's organization that has been in Kentucky. He is a member of the only living Grange in the southern part of the State. When the Agricultural Wheel rolled over into the "Blue Grass" State, he was among the first to join it and extend the hand of welcome. At the organization of the State Wheel he was elected President, a position he has ever since held. At a meeting of the State Wheel in January, 1888, he was elected State Business Agent. He was one of the delegates from Kentucky to Litchfield, Arkansas, in 1886, to organize the National


Wheel. He was elected Second Vice-President of that body. At the meeting of the National Wheel at McKenzie, Tennessee, in November, 1887, he was elected National Lecturer, but shortly after resigned that position on account of his election as State Business Agent and his inability to attend to the duties of both offices. He was sent as a delegate from Kentucky to represent his State in the meeting of the National Alliance at Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1887. Was also a delegate in the convention of Labor organizations which met in the city of Cincinnati, February 22, 1887. On his mother's side, Mr. Erwin is of Irish descent. His grandfather on his father's side was a Captain under Gen. Green in the Revolutionary War. On his mother's side he is a direct descendant of the family of Alexander Hamilton. His great grandmother was a sister of Hamilton, and married a Davis. His grandmother was Margaret Davis, sister to Col. Joe Davis, of Kentucky; also of Sam Davis, his brother. William Hess, his grandfather, also served as Captain under Gen. Jackson at New Orleans. Mr. Erwin had only one own brother, who was killed at the battle of Belmont, Missouri, on the 7th of November, 1861. He had four half-brothers, two of whom were killed at the taking of the City of Mexico. One of his half-brothers, Marcy Welborn, of the 7th Kentucky Regiment, was killed at the battle of Shiloh in 1862. He is the soul of honor, and a true type of Southern manhood.


"Mr. S. O. Daws is an old citizen of Wise county, residing on his farm near the Parker county line, a few miles from Springtown, his post office. He was born in Kemper county, Mississippi, thirteen miles west of DeKalb, on the 28th day of December, 1848, making him now bout 42 years of age.


"The ancestors of Mr. Daws, on his father's side, are of Ireland, while his maternal forefathers came from the colder region of the Baltic. From the Emerald Isle cosmopolitan America draws mainly her genius of wit, quick intellect, sentiments of bravery, venturesomeness and irrational impulses, while the sturdy Teutonic blood soothes our nationality with industry, caution and the love of equal liberty in all its aims. Having been born of poor parents, it is readily conjectured that the facilities held out to him for an early education were limited, since in those days he did not have the advantages now given the poorest youth of this generation by beneficent laws to acquire a common school learning; but, as he says, by some hook or crook, he managed to acquire these rudiments, which only stimulated his mind with a thirst for a broader knowledge of the world and its highest creation — man. This desire he nourished by reading history, especially that of his own country. Later on he gave to agriculture his studious application, not only as a means for individual subsistence, but from a more intellectual standpoint, when finally important public topics, touching social and economic relations, attracted his inquiry. He is cheerful to acknowledge, also, the great benefits he derived, when a boy, from his regular Sunday-school attendance, and from the divine lessons of life as expounded from the pulpit to the congregations of God. Thus taught in his early life that


systematic application and a faithful discharge of any task imposed upon him was the most satisfactory way in which a duty could be performed, and though he may have demurred to the rule of his parents, requiring him to be afield at the break of day and to remain at his hoe or plow until the setting of the sun, this became at last a habit to which Mr. Daws now attributes, in no small degree, his health, his vigorous strength and the confidence reposed in him by his associates.

"Mr. Daws emigrated to Texas in August, 1868, where he resumed his life-long occupation, being now a farmer in Wise county.

"He was appointed in July, 1881, by J. N. Montgomery, President of the State Alliance, organizer for Parker county. At the annual meeting of the Grand State Alliance, held at Goshen, August, 1881, Mr. Daws was elected to the same position for Wise county, which is now one of the strongest Alliance counties in the State. In August, 1882, the regular annual meeting was held at Palo Pinto, when his tried ability was called again into a more extended service. Here Mr. Daws had conferred upon him by the growing organization the responsible office of State Lecturer. During the winter of 1883, the President, Secretary and other officers of the State Alliance, deeming it important for the best interests of the Order to extend more rapidly its principles, Mr. Daws was selected from among his brother members by W. L. Garvin, then filling the office of President, Traveling Lecturer for the whole State. At that time there were 152 organized Alliances, but fifteen of which were in actual working order. At the semi-annual meeting of the Grand State Alliance, held in February, 1884, at Chico, Wise county the Traveling Lecturer made a report, which was approved, and he was unanimously elected to continue his good work in that capacity for the remainder of the


year. The annual meeting of that year was held at Weatherford in the month of August, when Mr. Daws was re-elected, the number of Alliances being then 187.

"The Traveling Lecturer had large powers conferred upon him. He visited the various counties in North and Middle Texas, lecturing, appointing local organizers in each county, and acting as the general director and manager of the affairs of the organization, now grown to enthusiastic robustness. His labors day and night in its behalf, his growing solicitude for the cause, and his incessant devotion, were amply rewarded with the most satisfactory results, for his annual report at Decatur, in August, 1885, showed the Order to consist of 550 active Alliances working together in constitutional harmony. Six hundred delegates convened at that meeting, who manifested the greatest satisfaction over the success and work of their Order, not yet five years old, under the new regime. Again Mr. Daws was elected Traveling Lecturer for the ensuing year, and the immense strides and marvelous growth of the Order since January, 1884, in an immeasurable degree are due to the sound advice, the comprehensive addresses and practical directions given by the Traveling Lecturer to the officers and members of the subordinate Alliances in every county through which he has traveled in his official capacity, and in every instance the local Orders are in a healthy condition — zealous in their objects."

Since the above article appeared in the public press, January 15, 1886, S. O. Daws continued in the discharge of his duties as Traveling Lecturer until the meeting of the Grand State Alliance at Cleburne, August 6, 1886. His annual report showed an increase of 2,200 Sub-Alliances during that year. The Grand State Alliance this year discontinued the office of Traveling Lecturer, the Order being established on a firm basis in the State.


After the National Alliance was organized he served as National Organizer in Mississippi until the meeting of the National Alliance at Shreveport.

Since the meeting at Shreveport Mr. Daws has been almost constantly engaged in Alliance Work. He is one of the foremost members of the Order. In 1887, in connection with W. L. Garvin, he published a history of the Alliance, which has met the hearty approval of members of the Order.


John B. French, Secretary of the Kansas State Alliance, was born in Lawrence county, Indiana, in 1857. Having to depend upon his own resources from boyhood, his opportunities for education were limited. By employing all his leisure time, however, he succeeded in acquiring considerable general information, and by saving his money, earned by working on a farm, he was, in time, enabled to enter the Preparatory Department of the Indiana State University, from which he graduated in 1880. He then began teaching school, working during vacations on the farm and at the carpenter trade. In 1884 he went to Kansas and settled in Harvey county. He joined Sub-Alliance, No. 20, July 13, 1888, and at the organization of Harvey County Alliance, September 2, 1888, he was elected Secretary of that body. He was a delegate to the meeting that organized the State Alliance at Augusta, December 22, 1888, and was largely instumental in harmonizing differences and securing a harmonious organization. His efforts in this direction, together with his peculiar fitness for the position, secured his election as Secretary of the State Alliance at that meeting. He at once entered into the work with all the ardor of an enthusiastic nature and the rapid progress which the Alliance has made in Kansas is partly due to the active


efforts which he has made in its behalf. As a student of political economy he had long been aware of existing abuses and was at the time the Alliance made its appearance in Kansas an ardent advocate of reform. At the first annual meeting of the State Alliance after its organization Mr. French was re-elected to fill the position, which he had held with credit to himself and the organization. Mr. French is one of the hardest working and hardest worked Secretaries in the Order. When he was first elected, in September, 1888, there were but fifty-eight Sub and five County Alliances. In July, 1890, there were 2,735 Sub-Alliances in the State, 1,900 of which had been organized within twelve months.

Personally, Mr. French is kind, obliging and courteous. His devotion to the cause of industrial reform is one of the most distinguishing traits in his character. He possesses extraordinary business qualifications. The records of his office are kept with such method and precision that he can readily give any required information relating to the condition, growth and strength of the Order in his State. He is honest, upright and conscientious, a good citizen and is regarded as one among the best Secretaries in the entire Order. The members in Kansas have occasion to be proud of their State Secretary.



J. W. Reid, Secretary of the South Carolina State Alliance, was born at Reidville, South Carolina, August 11, 1862. He received High School training at the Reidville Male High School and entered Davidson College, North Carolina, in the fall of 1878, and graduated there in June, 1882, standing third in a class of twenty-one. He then taught school three years when he went to farming. He was elected Secretary successively of Reidville Alliance, No. 55, April 20, 1888; Spartanburg County Alliance, May 15, 1888, and South Carolina State Alliance, July n, 1888. He was appointed by the Governor a delegate to attend the eighth annual session of the National Farmers' Congress, which met at Topeka, Kansas, November 16, 1888. He was re-elected Secretary of the State Alliance in July, 1889.


Thomas Canfield Jenkins, Secretary of the Maryland State Alliance, was born September 30, 1864, at Pomonkey, Charles county, Maryland. His present occupation is farming; earlier in life he was a practical book-keeper and spent a portion of his life in Kansas City, J. B. Dines, President of the State Business Agents' Association and State Business Agent for Missouri, was born on October 12, 1850, in St. Louis county, Missouri. In September, 1871, he was married in St. Francois county, where he followed the occupation of farming until his business as State Agent called him to leave the farm and remove with his family to St. Louis. Mr. Dines joined the Alliance at its first organization in St. Francois county in the winter of 1886, and was elected President of the Sub-Alliance, serving two terms. When the County Alliance was formed, in the spring of 1887, he was elected its President, serving two terms there also. He was elected as a delegate to represent his county at the State meeting at Reed's Station, Missouri, in the summer of 1887. Again, in 1888, he was elected as a delegate to the State Alliance held at Nevada, Missouri, where he was elected State Business Agent. In March, 1889, he removed to St. Louis to better attend to his business as State Agent. In August, 1889, at the consolidation of the Wheel and Alliance at Springfield, Missouri, he was elected State Business Agent of the consolidated body. In December, 1889, at the National meeting of the State Business Agents in St. Louis he was chosen President of that organization. As State Business Agent Mr. Dines has done an extensive business and saved the farmers many thousands of dollars.


Ethel Barksdale Wade, Secretary of the Tennessee State Alliance, was born in Rutherford county, Tennessee, in 1844, where he has since resided. He served four years in the Confederate Army as a private until March, 1863, in the 18th Tennessee Infantry, after that time and until the close of the war on the staff of Gen. John B. Hood. He was elected Assistant Clerk of the Tennessee House of Representative two terms, 1871-1873, and was elected Principal Clerk of that body six terms, 1877 to 1889. He was elected Secretary of the Farmers' and Laborers' Union in July, 1889, and elected a delegate to the National Union at St. Louis at the same session. Mr. Wade is an efficient and able officer and the Order in Tennessee is prospering under his management.



Col. R. H. Morehead, Secretary of the Arkansas State Wheel, was born near Yorkville, Pickens county, Alabama, March 25, 1833. His father was a farmer and local Methodist minister. He grew to manhood on the farm, remaining with his parents until 24 years of age, at which time he married and continued the occupation of farming for himself. In 1861, when the political horizon was darkened and the war clouds gathered over the Nation, he enlisted in the 35th Regiment of Mississippi Volunteers and cast his lot with his native State. Entering the army as a private he rose to the rank of Second Lieutenant. He was distinguished both for his bravery and his devotion to duty. He participated in many hard fought battles and after a continuous service for three and one-half years was captured and paroled near the close of the war. He then returned home and again resumed the occupation of farming. In the summer of 1866 he was elected Circuit and Chancery Clerk of Choctaw county, Mississippi. When the new (Sharkey) Constitution was adopted he was re-elected to the same position. After filling the office for one year of his second term, wishing to again engage in farming, and better his condition, he resigned the office of Clerk and on the 3d of November, 1867, he moved to Prairie county, Arkansas, where he still continues to reside. Here he began farming on the shares and now owns a beautiful farm and is surrounded by a happy family. In 1874 he was appointed Colonel of the 5th Regiment of Arkansas Militia by Gov. Garland. He became a member of No. 1, the first Wheel ever organized, and has since been one of the most zealous workers in the State, and one of the most active advocates of labor reform. He was elected Secretary of the State Wheel of Arkansas in July, 1885, has been continuously re-elected ever since, and now holds the position for


the fourth time. As an officer Mr. Morehead has no superior. He is faithful, efficient and ever obliging. As a citizen he stands among the foremost in the State. He is strong in his convictions of what is right and has the manly courage to contend for them. He is an uncompromising enemy to fraud and deception of every kind and despises the cringing cowardice with which men bow to the dictates of political bosses. He was a member of the committee which drafted the Constitution and By-Laws adopted by the Farmers' and Labors' Union at Meridian, Mississipppi, was Secretary of that committee, and was one of the two who signed and contended for the minority report. He stands in the front rank in his organization as an active and earnest worker and efficient officer. As a friend he is everything that could be desired.


Book Second


The progress of the human mind, and of human society, is seldom marked by regular and successive steps. At some periods, civilization appears to be stationary; at others even to retrograde; at others again, to spring for-ward with rapid, gigantic, and almost convulsive strides. This irregularity of advance is, doubtless, ostensible rather than actual. Preparations are gradually made, ideas slowly matured, and the foundations of the future superstructure laid with secret and patient industry. But these subterranean workings are for the most part unnoticed, till in the fullness of time, a rich harvest of consequences is developed with apparent suddenness, from causes which have been accumulating in silence for many years. The fall of the Roman empire constituted one of these great eras. It was the demarkation between the old world and the new. From that period, society and nations alike assumed a new aspect, and the world commenced a new career. It was the moral deluge, upon the abatement of which a new condition of society, new systems of government, and new methods of thought sprang up. The reformation effected another mighty change. It introduced pure religion into the realm of almost pagan superstition, civil liberty into the empire of tyranny, and science into the depths of national ignorance. One of its immediate and most momentous consequences was the struggle for constitutional rights, in England, in the seventeenth


century — a struggle in which civil liberty and religious freedom and tolerance won their most substantial victory. The great rebellion against feudal and mental oppression in France which broke forth publicly in 1789, and resulted in the overthrow of the French throne, is among these memorable transitions, and is deeply interesting to the present generation, being nearest to our own time, more in harmony with the present condition of our people, besides being most extraordinary in character, and far reaching in its consequences. No period in history is more fertile in attractions than that of the French nation from the out-break of the revolution in 1789, to the downfall of Napoleon III in 1871; certainly none presents more scenes of thrilling interest, more subtle problems of character, more intricate intrigues, more truths of political philosophy, or more lessons of profound wisdom. No period is richer in materials for the contemplation of the statesman, the moralist or the Christian; none presents more warnings against profligacy in high places and an utter disregard of the rights, liberties and condition of the masses. The fall of the empires of the ancient world, exhibiting scenes of extensive suffering in their progress, and melancholy calamity in their consummation, bore a somewhat different character. The foreign sword helped to strike the diadem from the brows of tyrannical rulers already sinking under the weight of sovereignty, and the remains of empires mouldered away by the course of nature.

But the French monarchy was unassailed by any external violence. In the midst of what seemed to the eyes of Europe the full vigor of life, it perished in rapid agonies, for which the public experience had no remedy, and human annals scarcely a name. Like a body whose flesh and blood would turn into fire, it consumed with internal combustion, and at length, after an inter of indescribable torture, without a parallel in the history of


the world, sunk in ashes, and was no more. The circumstances which made this result appear more miraculous — and cause the powers of Europe to tremble for their own safety — was the agency of a new power by which it was consummated — a power which must inevitably prove stronger than the fortresses or armed legions of despots — the power of Opinion!

In the trials of the older empires, the motives of action were mainly confined to the higher ranks. Wars were undertaken by ambitious princes to extend their conquests, or they were occasioned by the rivalry of aspirants to sovereignty. The French revolution was of a different character. It was a warfare between the people and the sovereign — a rebellion against privilege and for equality. It was not a conflict to decide who should be recognized as the oppressor of the people, but it was a warfare against oppression itself. We call the attention of our readers to these facts because there is a closer analogy between the French nation in 1789 and the present condition of our country than many would suppose. It is true, that like the phantasmagoric effect of a magic lantern, the scene has been changed, and in place of a ruler we have adopted systems which, under the magic hands of a master produce the same effect, without, however, revealing the cause.

These systems are not new, but old under a new disguise, and, equally oppressive in the burdens which they impose and diabolical in the effects of their consummation.

In every age of the world it has been, on the part of the great masses of the people, a constant struggle for liberty, and, although there are periods when it seemed that every vestige of freedom and civilization had been blotted from the face of the earth, and rapine, plunder and vice in all its worst forms reigned supreme, the candle of liberty still burned with a feeble flame that


was destined to break forth with renewed splendor, and shed its light abroad over the nations of the earth. Such a period was that following the fall of the Roman empire. "During this period the most extraordinary and baneful changes took place in the condition of the world. Population dwindled and commerce, arts, wealth and freedom all disappeared. The people were reduced to poverty and misery and the most degraded condition of serfdom and slavery. The disintegration of society was almost complete. The conditions of life were so hard that individual selfishness was the only thing consistent with the instinct of self-preservation. All public spirit, all generous emotions, all the noble aspirations shriveled and disappeared as the volume of money shrunk and prices fell. History records no such disastrous transition as that from the Roman Empire to the Dark Ages."

The condition of the French people prior to the Revolution was scarcely less deplorable than that following the fall of the Roman Empire. The State was rotten in every department. The utmost licentiousness prevailed among the nobility; the king spread the contagion of his own example by riding in open carriage with his chosen mistress. The utmost extravagance was indulged in the expenditure of the revenues. The people were only regarded as things to be taxed; the life of a peasant was worth less than that of a wild boar. In the judicial department justice was bartered for money. Through the influence of the nobility, and for a price, men and women were thrown into the vilest dungeons on the slightest pretext and often without even the semblance of trial. The Bastile was crowded with victims of private animosity; these numbered 15,000 in the reign of Louis XV. The nobility, regardless of the social relations, debauched with impunity, the lower classes. The clergy shared in the general corruption; their salaries were excessive and their


wealth became enormous; they abandoned all pretensions to superior sanctity; many of them abandoned themselves to the utmost licentiousness; the few feeble sermons that were preached, were, as it is to-day in our own country, directed against the beggar on the street and the petty sins common among them. The Legislature was composed of infidels, who availed themselves of the abuses of the church and attacked its doctrines in open debate. Everything was demoralization, and it became a festering sore upon the body politic. Beneath all was the bulk of the population, of whom it might truthfully be said, possessed no rights except that of paying taxes. All the burdens of the State fell on the industrious and productive classes. The nobility and clergy were exempt from taxation. The most oppressive mode of collecting prevailed. Two-thirds of all the lands in the country were in the possession of the nobility and clergy, who, not content with their fiscal exemption, imposed upon the cultivators feudal dues and services of the most onerous and harassing description.

It was impossible that agriculture could flourish under such circumstances. Instead of being protected and encouraged in his indispensable calling, the husbandman was regarded as a species of drudge, appointed by nature to toil for the benefit of superiors. The king, the nobility, and the clergy, all considered him in this light, and contended which should wring from him the most in the various shapes of taxes, rents, dues, and tithes. Travelers, who visited France at this period, concur in representing abject poverty and wretchedness as the universal lot of the peasantry.

Nor was it any better in the domain of commerce. Industry was fettered by a thousand shackles. Rulers have, in every age and country, with strange perversity, marked trade for their legitimate prey. The right to monopolize a business was a matter of purchase; afterwards the price


of the business was charged to its customers. Everywhere and in every department corruption was apparent. Thus the French labored under a despotism to which the horrors of Hindoo servitude were comparative freedom. A volume would scarcely suffice to describe all the oppression to which the French subject was exposed. Debauchery and blasphemy, selfishness and disregard of right, in the high places, had done their worst. Nothing short of miraculous interposition could have saved France from the legitimate consequences of her own infamy. Revolution was sure to follow. And such a revolution! It is, perhaps, without a parallel in the annals of history. That it failed of its purpose, is not the fault of the revolution, but in the preparation of the public mind to receive it. The festering sores of corruption in high places had permeated the whole social structure of the people.

France was in turmoil. Her morals were no better than her government. She was able to tear down because to do so only required courage and physical strength; but to build required unity, wisdom, and a due regard for the rights and opinions of others. But the people were not properly educated. Every faction hated the king, but every faction despised every other faction, and the revolution failed because the people were not prepared to accept its results. Revolution itself is horrible; no great revolution can be accomplished without excesses and miseries at which humanity revolts. This is eminently true of the French revolution. It was a destruction of great abuses, executed with much inhumanity, violence and injustice. But notwithstanding the crimes of the revolution and the sufferings it caused, it effected a beneficial change. A revolution, at its best, is a painful and perilous remedy; at is worst, it is the severest trial a nation can undergo. It is well that such trials seldom occur. They are only justifiable in


cases where hopeless slavery and irreparable decay are the only alternatives.

Revolution is the natural outgrowth of oppression and is sure to follow when oppression reaches its maximum. The best remedy is to remove the cause — that is oppression. We have seen that revolution was the legitimate result of oppression, and were we to study the causes which have at all times, and in all ages, precipitated the people from a condition of comparative freedom and happiness, to one of abject poverty, degradation and despair, we would, undoubtedly, in a majority of cases trace them to the same source. Every period of distress and political disaster that has not been the immediate result of foreign invasion, continued famine or malignant pestilence, has, no doubt, been precipitated by a system of burdensome laws and unjust exaction of "the powers that be." That history will repeat itself is an axiom proven by the experience of the ages; and, "like causes will produce like effects," is a philosophical truth.

The condition of the laboring classes of the American people is not new; neither are the causes which have produced it. It would seem that all the abundant resources of a country endowed by Nature's God with extraordinary facilities of commerce, and replete in all the concomitants of wealth, that the American people should, not only be the most intelligent, the most prosperous, and the happiest on the face of the earth, but should present to the eyes of the world a government granting larger liberties in its constitution, more equitable justice in the administration of its laws, and greater protection to the weak in the application of its power, than any other in existence. If we are asked why, we answer: that from its very inception, nay, from the time the pilgrims first conceived the idea of braving the dangers of the mighty deep to take refuge in an isolated land, they breathed the inspiration of liberty.


It was engraven by nature on the rocks of New England's shore, and the wind whispered its sweet requiems among the boughs of the trees. It was inculcated in the hearts of the patriots of '76, consummated in their blood upon the batte fields of the Revolution, and consecrated in the self-denial, daring courage, manly endurance and long sufferings of the best, the bravest, and most heroic people of any age or time. Because we have the light of the experience of all ages to guide us in the administration of justice, and possess a country peculiarly fitted for defense against outward attack, and a people who are at once magnanimous, brave, intelligent and powerful.

Yet, with all these advantages there is in existence to-day, a deep-seated feeling of discontent, that, like some contagious disease, is becoming wide-spread throughout the Union, and to such an alarming extent that we may well pause to consider whether it is predicated on a real or imaginary foundation. If from the latter, if it be a fact that there exists no real cause for this growing dissatisfaction on the part of the masses, it would long ago have vanished for want of a foundation.

When, however, we examine the complaints that are constantly coming from all quarters, from among our laboring classes, we are inclined to believe, as we have already intimated, that there is some analogy existing between the condition of our people and that of the French nation prior to the Revolution of 1789. We have corruption in high places. Our trade and commerce is fettered and competition is strangled. We have extortion in transportation and communication and the most unjust exactions on all classes of producers. Crime is on the increase and suicides becoming more numerous. Our prisons are filled with criminals, and our alms-houses with paupers. Our houses, barns and fences are decaying, and our churches and school houses remain unrepaired. Every


productive industry languishes; tramps and idlers are becoming more abundant and our children are clothed in rags. Labor is oppressed on every hand, debts increasing with fearful rapidity, notes maturing, mortgages being closed and the people rendered homeless. From every quarter comes the cry of distress, and hope has almost gone down in the depths of despair.

These evils are not mitigated by the constant efforts of a subsidized press and dishonest politicians to make them appear imaginary or to conceal the real cause. To apply a false theory as to their real nature or the cause of their existence is but to aggravate the trouble by delaying the remedy.

Our condition, like that of the French, has become a festering sore upon the body politic and is preying upon the vitals of our whole social structure and undermining the foundations of constitutional liberty. It can not be explained away. It is here; and it has come to stay until the proper remedy is applied. It makes no difference how the people may differ as to the causes, they all agree that the condition — the effect, is real. To those who have suffered and toiled under the conditions which we have described it would be useless to add any further testimony than a mere recital of their wrongs. They realize the truth of their existence by coming in daily contact with their baneful effects. But there is a certain class who, from the peculiar position they occupy and surrounded by circumstances adverse to a clear comprehension of the actual condition of the poorer classes of our people and the real causes thereof, whose attention we desire to enlist on the side of suffering humanity. We refer to all those who, though not engaged in productive industries, are following vocations so directly and intimately connected with the success of these enterprises that their own weal or woe depends upon their rise or fall.


Aside from questions of humanity it is only surprising that these persons are not among the first to sound the alarm, and enlist their efforts in lifting the burdens from the shoulders of the producing classes.

Is it possible that these people "have been persuaded," (to use the mild expression of Thad. Stevens), to help rivet the chains of bondage on their fellow men? In order that we may not be thought to have overdrawn the picture in describing the present condition of our Republic, and our tendency toward that state of society which is the sure precursor of revolution, we present the following statements from eminent authorities:

"The labor movement in our politics grew out of a feeling among intelligent voters, by no means confined to the working people, that the government is being perverted from its real objects and that neither of the old parties is making such a stand as is needed against the dangerous tendencies of the times. If there were not some reason for such a feeling, it could not have become so general and so strong within so brief a period. This government was founded upon the principle of the equality of its citizens. Democracy is equality and equality is democracy. But things are no longer equal in a republic when a poor man cannot be elected to high offices. They are not equal when a constituency elects "John Doe" to Congress, and, through the influence of a great corporation's money, "Richard Roe" so "explains things" to the representative that he favors the corporation against the people. Thomas Carlyle explained Anglo-Saxon government as due to "respect for the constable," this official symbolizing the law. The foundation of good government is disturbed when citizens lose their respect for the law. And they are losing their respect for it in this country, owing to the prevalent belief, for which there is, unhappily, too many supports, that law-makers are corruptly


influenced, that even executives and judges are not free from partisan, from corporation or from money control. A money-bags Senate of the United States, with railroad presidents and attorneys and Standard Oil servants among its members, is not calculated to inspire confidence among the people. In the domain of business the perversion is equally plain. Under the forms of law corporations or combinations fix the production, and regulate the prices of coal, of iron, of oil and many other necessaries of life or essentials of industry. They have rendered it impossible for individuals to undertake many kinds of business that were formerly open to all. Combination has killed competition, and the conspiracy laws operate to punish men for striking against starvation wages. It was plainly time that an earnest protest should be made against this condition and the tendencies. As one party had no disposition to do it, and the other seemed to lack the courage or ability, the labor movement started." — New York World.

"The great American agricultural industries, which give employment to more than one-half the workers for wages, whose welfare is held up (properly so) as the highest aim of legislation, and whose products constitute at least 80 per cent. of our exports, receive no real consideration here, and are not even ranked among the industries of the country over which Congress is asked or expected to throw its protecting arm. * * * It seems as though it was thought to be the duty of Congress to see to it that the rich be made richer by making the poor poorer." — Senator Beck in his speech in the United States Senate, December 25th, 1885.

"The rapid growth of corporate power and the malign influence which it exerts by combination on the National and State Legislatures, is a well grounded cause of alarm. A struggle is pending in the near future between this overgrown


grown power, with its vast ramifications all over the Union, and a hard grip on much of the political machinery on the one hand, and the people in an unorganized condition on the other, for control of the government. It will be watched by every patriot with intense anxiety. Great corporations and consolidated monopolies are fast seizing the avenues of power that lead to the control of the government. It is an open secret that they rule States through procured Legislatures and corrupted courts; they are strong in Congress, and that they are unscrupulous in the use of means to conquer prejudice and acquire influence. This condition of things is truly alarming, for unless it be changed quickly and thoroughly, free institutions are doomed to be subverted by an oligarchy resting upon a basis of money and of corporate power." — Hon. David Davis, formerly Judge of the Supreme Court of the U. S.

"In my judgment the Republic cannot live long in the atmosphere which now surrounds the ballot box. Moneyed corporations, to secure favorable legislation for themselves are taking part in elections by furnishing large sums of money to corrupt the voter and purchase special privileges from the government. If money can control the decision at the ballot box it will not be long until it can control its existence." — Governor Gray, of Indiana, in his message to the Legislature.

"Amazed now at the power that corporations seem to have to embarrass necessary legal proceedings taken against them; that the increase of the influence of corporations in this country, and their ability to thwart the supervisory proceedings taken against them by the public authorities to prevent great monopolies or to subject them to proper restraints, are among the most alarming characteristics of the time, and constitute a danger to which all the people


must be aroused before, long if we would preserve our free institutions." — Attorney General of the State of New York.

At the request of the New York Chamber of Commerce, ex-Judge Black of Pennsylvania, than whom no other perhaps is better authority, has prepared a paper on railroads and their legal relation to governments. After reciting some of the abuses to which these corporations subjected the people, Judge Black continues:

"To perpetuate these abuses they seek political power. In many places elections in the face of this influence have become the emptiest forms. The railroads send their agents to the Senates and Assemblies of the States. Laws are passed or resisted as they dictate, and Governors approve or veto legislation at their bidding. In the House of Representatives they have their attorneys and in the Senate of the United States their confidential allies. The President can not ignore them and the politicians who nominate presidents curry their favor. They control thousands of votes in this and neighboring States, and order them to be delivered as if the suffrage were pork or pig-iron. * * * This, as we have said, so far from being in any sense a wild statement, is but a partial epitome of uncontradicted evidence laid before the public as the result of official investigations.

"The cheerful persons who keep on believing that things are running beautifully, though indeed they be running with all the feet they have in the worst possible direction, may still, as some do, persist in believing that there is no immediate danger, and by and by, if any evil does accrue, the people, in some way not specified, will find a perfect remedy; but those less given to consulting hope than their common sense, are not likely to remain idle much longer. There is a pretty general feeling that


the Continent of America was not discovered by Columbus, and civil liberty established by the Fathers of the Republic, to the end that fifty millions of people might be made tributary to a band of railroad magnates, or that farmers, artisans and merchants might, by hard work and keen competition, raise up a dozen Vanderbilts, with each several hundreds of millions of dollars.

"Those who entertain this feeling have become persuaded that the time has arrived for the industrious masses of this country to protect themselves, if they ever intend to do so. It will certainly not be easier after the adversary has grown stronger. In this contest every delay is to the disadvantage of the people. Let the issue be deferred for a few years, and nothing but a miracle or a revolution as violent as that of France will overthrow the oppression. Of all misleading delusions, there is none more mischievous than the notion that popular suffrage and popular power are synonymous. Given the means of bribing multitudes, of intimidating others, of wrecking opponents, coupled with actual possession of the government, and adverse sentiment must be paralyzed. In the face of such influences the right to vote is the veriest snare. Will the workman vote himself into the poor-house? Will the favored merchant vote against the capitalist to whom he owes his fortune? Does anyone expect the average politician to be so fired with patriotism as to oppose that which gives him office?

"The ballot is like a sword, utterly useless to the arm that cannot wield it. If the suffrage is to be our salvation, it must be applied sharply while there are still odds on the side of unbought and unterrorized manhood. * * * Into the general bearing and legal philosophy of all this, it is not necessary to go further at present. The subject is now fairly before the American people, and there is every reason for believing that they will not lose sight of it


until it has been settled in a proper manner. The era of sentimental politics is over. The right to earn a living and enjoy the fruits of industry is now up. We look with reasonable confidence to a solution which will be less favorable than the existing laws are to the accumulation by railroad owners, in the course of a few years, of fortunes as large as the Rothchilds point to as the result of generations of scheming and exertion."

The following is from the report of the investigating committee appointed by the New York Legislature to examine into the management of the Erie railroad. Testimony of Mr. Jay Gould:

"I do not know how much I paid toward helping friendly men. We had four States to look after, and we had to suit our politics to circumstances. In a Democratic district I was a Democrat; In a Republican district I was a Republican, and in a doubtful district I was doubtful; but in every district and at all times I have always been an Erie man."

The report of the committee says: "It is further in evidence that it has been the custom of the managers of the Erie Railway, from year to year, in the past, to spend large sums to control elections and to influence legislation. In the year 1868 more than one million dollars ($1,000,000) was disbursed from the treasury for extra and legal services.

"Mr. Gould, when last on the stand, and examined in relation to various vouchers shown him, admitted the payment, during the three years prior to 1872, of large sums to Barber, Tweed and others, and to influence legislation or elections; these amounts were charged in the India-rubber account. The memory of this witness was very defective as to details, and he could only remember large transactions; but could distinctly recall that he had been in the habit of sending money into the numerous districts


all over the State, either to control nominations or elections for Senators and members of Assembly. Considered that, as a rule, such investments paid better than to wait till the men got to Albany, and added the significant remark, when asked a question, that it would be as impossible to specify the numerous instances as it would to recall to mind the numerous freight cars sent over the Erie road from day to day."

The committee conclude their report as follows:

"It is not reasonable to suppose that the Erie railway has been alone in the corrupt use of money for the purposes named; but the sudden revelation in the direction of this company has laid bare a chapter in the secret history of railroad management such as has not been permitted before. It exposes the reckless and prodigal use of money, wrung from the people to purchase the election of the people's representatives, and to bribe them when in office. According to Mr. Gould, his operations extended into four different States. It was his custom to contribute money to influence both nominations and elections."

The following letters were brought to light in a trial in which General Colton's widow sued the Central Pacific railroad for services rendered by her husband:

NEW YORK, May 1, 1875.
Friend Colton:

* * * I notice what you say of Luttrell; he is a wild hog; don't let him come back to Washington; but as the house is to be largely Democratic, and if he was to be defeated likely it would be charged to us, hence, I think it would be best to beat him with a Democrat; but I would defeat him anyway, and if he got the nomination, put up another Democrat and run against him, and in that way elect a Republican. Beat him. * * *
Yours truly, C. P. HUNTINGTON.


NEW YORK, Jan. 14, 1876.

Friend Colton:

Yours of December 30, and the 1st inst., Nos. 120 and 121; also your telegram that William B. Carr has had for his services $60,000 S. P. bonds; then asking how much more I think his services are worth for the future? That is a very difficult question to answer, as I do not know how many years Mr. Carr has been in our employ, or how far in the future we want him. In view of the many things we have now before Congress and also in this sinking fund that we wish to establish, in which we propose to put all the company's lands in Utah and Nevada. It is very important that his friends in Washington should be with us, and if that could be brought about by paying Carr say $10,000 to $20,000 a year, I think we could afford to do it, but, of course, not until he controlled his friends. They could hurt us very much on this land matter, although I would not propose to put the land in for any more than it is worth, say $2.50 per acre. I would like to have you get a written proposition from Carr, in which he would agree to control his friends for a fixed sum, then send it to me. Between the business here and in Washington, I am worked to my capacity.
Yours truly, C. P. HUNTINGTON.

NEW YORK, May 2, 1876.

Friend Colton:
Herewith I send you a copy of telegraphic dispatches that came over yesterday. Who is this Webster? Is it not possible to control the agent of the associated press in San Francisco? The matter that hurt the C. P. and S. P. most here are the dispatches that come from San Francisco. Scott has a wonderful power over the press, which I suppose he has got by giving them free passes, for many years, over his roads. Yours truly.


We give the above as a sample of the letters written to Gen. Colton. The reader should bear in mind that Mr. Huntington was the principal manager of the Southern Pacific and Central Pacific railroads; and that Gen. Colton was his Western manager. Below we make short extracts from letters running from November 8, 1874, to September 30, 1878:

"Cannot you have Safford call the Legislature together and grant such charters as we want, at a cost, say of $25,000?

"I believe the Legislature could be called together by the people for $5,000 and such a charter granted."

"I had a talk with Bristow, secretary of the treasury. He will be likely to help us fix up our matter with the government on a fair basis."

"It cost money to fix things so that I would know that his bill would not pass. I believe that with $200,000 I can pass our bill, but I take it that it is not worth that much to us."

"The railroad committee of the House was set up for Scott, and it has been a very difficult matter, to switch a majority of the committee away from him, but I think it has been done."

"I notice what you say of Wigginton, Luttrell and Piper. The latter should be defeated at almost any cost."

"I am doing all I can to have the government take 6,000,000 acres of land and give the railroad company credit for $15,000,000, but the prospect of their doing it is not as bright as I wish it was. I wish you would have the newspapers take the ground that this land ought to be taken by the government and held for the people, so that when they wanted it they could have it, etc. Something that the demagogues can vote and work for."


"I told Senator Gordon of Georgia, if he would get up a party of the best men of the South, we would pay all their expenses, which, I suppose, would not be less, than $10,000, and I think it would be money well expended."

"I stayed in Washington to fix up the railroad committee in the Senate. Scott was there working for the same thing; but I beat him for once, certain, as the committee is just as we want it."

"Jay Gould went to Washington about two weeks since, and I know saw Mitchell, Senator from Oregon, since which time, money has been used very freely in Washington."

"The T. and P. folks * * * offered one member of Congress $1,000, cash down; $5,000 when the bill passed; and $10,000 of the bonds when they got them, if he would vote for the bill."

Note also the following:

"President Cleveland has filled out three-fourths of the presidential term, and the social extravagance and display in official circles at Washington are increasing ten-fold. The fashionable gorgeousness of Central Pacific railroad money and Standard Oil wealth has well nigh paralyzed the nation. The costly feasts that are reported in every daily paper would beggar a small principality. China plates valued at $100 each, with a gold table service, the price of a king's ransom, wines by the dozen kinds, and delicacies the most rare and expensive that money can buy, nightly spread for guests and officials to bewilder the silly minded legislator and tempt the greedy officeholder." — Atlanta Constitution.

The report of the railroad commissioners of the State of Georgia, says:

"The moral and social consequences of these corruptions are even worse than the political; they are simply appalling. We contemplate them with anxiety and dismay.


The demoralization is worse than that of war — as fraud is meaner than force, and trickery than violence. Aside from their own corruptions, the operators aim directly at the corruption of the press and the government. Worse even than a purifying storm is this malaria in the air, which poisons all the body politic, and corrupts the youth of the country by presenting the highest prizes of society to its most unscrupulous and unworthy members."

Were it necessary, volumes could be filled with the evidences everywhere manifested of the political, financial and social extravagance which pervades our body politic. Its permeations and deadly influences have reached, and are demoralizing the structure of our whole social system. A premium is placed upon dishonesty. While we have no crowned potentates or hereditary princes, clothed with regal power, we have a long list of money kings, railroad kings, Standard Oil kings, coal kings, and manipulators on 'Change that prey upon the people, levy taxes on transportation, on trade and commerce and exchange, with the same relentless and remorseless greed that characterized the kings and princes and feudal lords of Europe. It shall be our endeavor in the succeeding pages of this volume to examine into and unmask the systems by which it is accomplished. In the discussion of the subjects relative to the causes which have given rise to a general discontent among the producing classes throughout the country, we shall attempt to treat of the leading features of the demands of labor. For convenience and perspicuity we shall, as far as practical, arrange them under four distinct heads and discuss them in their regular order.

1st. Monopoly of Exchange.

2d. Monopoly of Transportation.

3d. Monopoly of Trade.

4th. Monopoly of Land.


Chapter I. Monopoly of Exchange — Money — Contraction.

MONEY is a medium of exchange. Its function is to circulate as such and to pay debts. It should be clothed with every attribute to facilitate the accomplishment of these ends. It is a ticket — a receipt from the great warehouse of American productions, entitling the holder to so many units in value of any of the products of labor. If every man produced everything he needed there would be no use for money, for he could then possess everything he needed by the application or exchange of his labor. But, then, every man would have to possess some knowledge of every trade, and his productions would, to say the least, be but rude models compared with the perfect products of the skilled artisans of the present day. "Every man to his trade," is one of the results of civilization. It is founded both upon laws of convenience and economy. A man's efforts directed to the prosecution of one object, and the production of one class of articles, is capable of attaining to greater perfection, as well as greater production. But this necessitates an exchange for something else that he needs but does not produce. Hence barter or trade was instituted in the early history of mankind


This was succeeded by fixing upon some particular commodity as a medium of exchange.

The character of this medium has assumed various forms during the successive centuries which have elapsed since the earliest history of the world. Cattle, slaves, shells, beads, gold, silver, copper, iron, paper and leather have each served the purpose as a medium of exchange. It is not our purpose to enter into a full discussion of the relative merits of the different materials which have been used as money. It would require a much more lengthy chapter than is necessary for the purposes of this book. We shall be content to confine ourselves principally to that feature of money which effects labor by fixing the price of its products.


That money is a medium of exchange of commodities is an axiom so well established no one will attempt to deny. It is as necessary to the prosperity of the country, to the development of its resources and the employment of labor, as the blood is to the health and vitality of the human body. Good money is as necessary as good blood; and the same reasoning will also apply as to quantity; but uniformity of volume is the great object to be attained. Expansion or inflation of the currency makes prices of the products of labor high, while contraction of its volume makes prices correspondingly low. The rise and fall in prices depends upon the rapidity with which the volume is expanded or contracted. Now we have the fundamental principles with regard to currency which directly affect the price of the products of labor.

We are aware of the fact that there are those among the cross-roads politicians, petty lawyers and "senile editors," who profess to be public educators, but who vigorously and persistently deny that money has anything to do


with prices; that the law of supply and demand (which we will notice in its proper place), fixes the price of the products of labor. As these self-constituted political economists and advisors of the people appear to be so obtuse that nothing short of a cyclone of facts and an avalanche of authorities will convince them of their error, we take pleasure in devoting several pages of this work to their special benefit.

The following extracts are taken from the report of the silver commission, a committee appointed by Congress on account of their peculiar ability, to inquire into the causes of the industrial depression in the United States.

"The effects of a decrease of the volume of money in a particular country arising from its abnormal outflow or withdrawal from the channels of circulation through the distrust which prevails, when unsound and speculative undertakings are breaking down, or when the country is convulsed by political disturbances, are the same as the effects of a general decrease in the volume of money. The result in both cases is a fall in prices. But in the first case the equilibrium is restored by a quickly-returning wave of prosperity, and the evils resulting are confined to individuals and to special localities; and those dealers are fortunate who purchase in the first stages of decline. But in the second place the cause of the fall in prices is radical, and must continue until prices go out of existence, unless the decrease in the volume of money is arrested. In the whole history of the world every great and general fall of prices has been preceded by a decrease in the volume of money. There never has been a decrease in the volume of money, unless accompanied by a stationary population and commerce, which has not sooner or later resulted in a general fall of prices, and there has never been a recovery there from except through a preceding increase in the volume of money.


After the volume of money has begun to decrease every dollar of credit extended at the old range of prices aggravates the disaster which must come sooner or later. Stagnation and panic are nothing more nor less than the results of a struggle to make prices express truly the relation between money and all other things." — Report of Silver Commission, page 38.

"Whenever it becomes apparent that prices are rising and money falling in value in consequence of an increase of its volume, the greatest activity takes place in exchanges and productive enterprises. Every one becomes anxious to share in the advantages of rising markets. The inducement to hoard money is taken away, and consequently the disposition to hoard it ceases. Its circulation becomes exceedingly active, and for the plain reason that there could be no motive for holding or hoarding money when it is falling in value, whilst there would be the strongest possible motive for exchanging it for property, or for labor which creates property, when prices are rising. Under these circumstances labor comes into great demand and at remunerative wages. This results in not only increased production, but increased consumption. The wants and expenditures of laborers increase with their earnings." — Report of Silver Commission, page 49.

"While the volume of money is decreasing, even although very slowly, the value of each unit of money is increasing in corresponding ratio, and property is falling in price. Those who have contracted to pay money find that it is constantly becoming more difficult to meet their engagements. The margins of securities melt rapidly away, and the confiscation by the creditor of the property on which they are based becomes only a question of time. All productive enterprises are discouraged and stagnate because the cost of producing commodities to-day will not be covered by the prices obtainable for them to-morrow.


Exchanges become sluggish because those who have money will not part with it for either property or services, beyond the requirements of actual current necessities, for the obvious reason that money alone is increasing in value, while everything else is declining in price.

This results in the withdrawal of money from the channels of circulation, and its deposit in great hoards, where it can exert no influence on prices. This hoarding of money, from the nature of things, must continue and increase not only until the shrinkage of its volume has actually ceased, but until capitalists are entirely satisfied that money lying idle on special deposit will no longer afford them revenue, and that the lowest level of prices has been reached. It is the hoarding of money, when its volume shrinks, which causes a fall in prices greater than would be caused by the direct effect of a decrease in the stock of money. Money, in shrinking volume, becomes the paramount object of commerce instead of its beneficent instrument. Instead of mobilizing industry, it poisons and dries up the life currents. It is the fruitful source of political and social disturbance. It foments strife between labor and other forms of capital, while itself hidden away in security gorges on both. It rewards close-fisted lenders and filches from and bankrupts enterprising borrowers. It circulates freely in the stock exchange. It has, in all ages, been the worst enemy with which society has had to contend. The great and still continuing fall of prices in the United States has proved the most disastrous to nearly every industrial enterprise." — Report of Silver Commission, page 33.

"The worst effect, however, economically considered, of falling prices, is not upon existing property nor upon debtors, evil as it is, but upon laborers, whom it deprives of employment and consigns to poverty, and upon society, which it deprives of that vast sum of wealth which resides


potentially in the vigorous arms of the idle workman. A shrinking volume of money transfers existing property unjustly, and causes a concentration and dimunition of wealth. It also impairs the value of existing property by eliminating from it that important element of value conferred upon it by the skill, energy, and care of the debtors from whom it is wrested. But it does not destroy any existing property, while it does absolutely annihilate all the values producible by the labor which it condemns to idleness. The estimate is not an extravagant one, that there are now in the United States three million persons willing to work, but who are idle because they cannot obtain employment. This vast poverty stricken army is increasing and will continue to increase so long as falling prices shall continue to separate money capital, the fund out of which wages is paid, from labor, and to discourage its investment in other forms of property. * * * ş However great the natural resources of a country may be, however genial its climate, fertile its soil, ingenious, enterprising, and industrious its inhabitants, or free its institutions, if the volume of money is shrinking and prices falling, its merchants will be overwhelmed with bankruptcy, its industries will be paralyzed, and destitution and distress will prevail." — Report of Silver Commission, page 55.

"The true and only cause of the stagnation in indusdustry and commerce now everywhere felt is the fact everywhere existing of falling prices, caused by a shrinkage in the volume of money." — Report of Silver Commission, page 121.

"We find that in every kingdom into which money begins to flow in greater abundance than formerly, everything takes a new face; labor and industry gain life, the merchants become more enterprising, the manufacturers more diligent and skillful, and the farmer follows his plow


with greater attention and alacrity. The good policy of the government consists of keeping it, if possible still increasing, as long as there is an undeveloped resource or room for a new emigrant, because by that means is kept alive a spirit of industry in the nation, which increases the stock of labor, in which consists all real power and riches. A nation whose money decreases, is actually weaker and more miserable than other nations, which possess less money, but are on an increasing hand." — David Hume, in Essay on Money.

"All intelligent writers on currency agree that when it is decreasing in amount, poverty and misery must prevail." — Wm. H. Crawford, Secretary of the Treasury, in his report, Feb. 1820.

"Diminishing money and falling prices are not only oppressive upon debtors, but they cause stagnation in business, reduce production, and enforce idleness. Falling markets annihilate profits, and as it is only the expectation of gain that stimulates capital to invest in operations, inadequate employment is found for labor, and those who are employed can only be so on diminished wages." — American Review.

"If a government contracted a debt with a certain amount of money in circulation, and then contracted the money volume before the debt was paid, it is the most heinious crime a government could commit against the people." — Abraham Lincoln.

"It is an undoubted fact that during the late civil war the activity of the work-shops, factories, mines, machinery, ship-yards, railroads and canals of the loyal States, caused by the issue of legal-tender currency, constituted an inexhaustible fountain of strength to the national cause." — Supreme Court of the United States, 12 Wallace 564.

"Any one who knows anything about finance will


tell you that the values of all property, the values of all labor, the value of all things in commerce is governed by the amount of money in circulation. If there is a full amount in circulation prices are high, and the prices of labor are high, but if you extract from the channels of trade all the money there is in circulation, there would be no sales; there would be nothing but barter, and that would be confined to little localities; business would be stopped and destitution and suffering would stalk through our ruined laud." — Roger Q. Mills in his speech at Chicago, August 25th, 1888.

"That prices will fall or rise as the value of money be increased or diminished, is a law that is as unalterable as any law of nature." — Prof. Walker.

"If the whole volume of money in circulation were doubled, prices would double. If it was only increased one-fourth, prices would rise one-fourth. The very same effect would be produced on prices if we suppose the goods — the uses for money — diminished instead of the money increasing, and the contrary effect if the goods are increased or the money diminished. So that the value of money — all other things remaining the same — varies inversely as its quantity, every increase in quantity lowering its value, and every diminution raising it, in a rate exactly equivalent." — John Stuart Mill.

"In the restless enterprise and activity which free and ready money among the people produces, is found that opportunity for labor and employment, and that impetus to business and production, which bring in their train prosperity to our citizens in every station and vocation. New ventures, new investments in business and manufacture, the construction of new and important works, and the enlargement of enterprises already established, depend largely upon obtaining money upon easy terms, with fair


security; and all these things are stimulated by an abundant volume of circulating medium. Even the harvested grain of the farmer remains without a market, unless money is forthcoming for its movement and transportation to the seaboard. The first results of a scarcity of money among the people is the exaction of severe terms for its use; increasing distrust and timidity is followed by a refusal to loan or advance on any terms. Investors refuse all risks and decline all securities, and in a general fright the money still in the hands of the people is persistently hoarded. It is quite apparent that when this perfectly natural, if not inevitable, stage is reached, depression in all business and enterprise will, as a necessary consequence, lessen the opportunity for work and employment, and reduce salaries and the wages of labor." — Grover Cleveland, in his letter of acceptance, 1888.

Mr. Gurney, member of the British Parliament, says. "The contraction of the paper circulation of the British empire from the results of the act imposing the resumption of specie payments on the Bank of England and 230 county banks was a reduction from Ł60,000,000 during the last years of the [Napoleonic] war to a little more than half that amount. Such was the calamity, and so extensive the distress that followed that it pervaded every part of the country. The landed proprietors could get no rents, the manufacturers no markets, the laborers no employment. Bankruptcy was universal. Fluctuations in prices were frightful, descending 50 per cent."

M. Ricardo says: "That commodities will rise and fall in price in proportion to the increase or diminution of money I assume as a fact that is incontrovertible. That such would be the case the most celebrated writers on political economy are agreed."

Like authorities might be quoted indefinitely, but it


would seem that the above is sufficient to convince the most obdurate and obtuse mind. Having seen that contraction, or a decreasing volume of currency, causes a fall of prices of property and labor, and produces stagnation of all industrial enterprises, it now remains to be seen whether we have had such contraction in the United States, and if so, if it has produced the effects indicated by the eminent authorities just quoted. We give below one of a series of the letters by the author, which appeared recently in the National Wheel Enterprise:

"Shylock, the devil and his co-conspirators having secured the aid of the people's mis-representatives in carrying out the programme laid down in the Hazzard circular in the interest of the capitalists, to the extent of incorporating the National banks in our financial system, and to the end that they might still further extend their power, influenced the Secretary of the Treasury to recommend to Congress the policy of contracting the currency, with the ultimate object of destroying the greenbacks; because Hazzard says: "It will not do to allow them to circulate as money any length of time, for we cannot control them."

We come now to a consideration of the history of the legislation that enabled them to carry out their diabolical scheme. Was there any necessity for it, or was it through ignorance of its effects or on account of "pure cussedness?" Did they know what they were doing? If not, we might exclaim in Scriptural language: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Read and judge for yourselves. In speaking of the resumption of specie payments Secretary McCulloch said: "The first thing to be done is to establish the policy of contraction." — Report to Congress, Dec. 4, 1865.

Satan had entered our garden of Eden.

On the 18th of the same month Congress said:


"Resolved, That this House cordially concurs in the views of the secretary of the treasury, in relation to the necessity of contracting the currency, with a view to as early a resumption of specie payments as the business interests of the country will permit, and we hereby pledge co-operation to this end and as speedy as possible."

David A. Wells said:

"Discarding all methods I would adopt what might be called the cremation process, or I would have it enjoined on the secretary of the treasury to destroy, by burning, on a given day of every week, commencing at the earliest practical moment, a certain amount of legal tender notes."

While this matter was pending, John Sherman, before he made up his mind to imitate that noted individual Judas Iscariot, gave this fearful warning:

"I wish to show, as we are governed in great measure by example, that the proposition made by the committee on finance, is in exact accordance with the course that has been passed in England, (See Hazzard circular, "Led on by England"), from 1819 to 1823. It is not possible to take this passage without the sorest distress.

"To every person, except a capitalist, out of debt, or a salaried officer, or annuitant, it is a period of loss, danger, lassitude of trade, fall of wages, suspension of enterprise, bankruptcy and disaster. What prudent man would dare to build a house, a railroad, a factory, or a barn, with the certain fact before him that the greenbacks he puts into his improvement will, in two years, be worth 35 per cent. more than his improvement is worth.

"When that day comes all enterprise will be suspended, every bank will have contracted its currency to the lowest limit, and the debtor compelled to meet in coin a debt contracted in currency. He will find the coin hcarded in the treasury, no adequate representation of


coin in circulation, his property shrunk not only to the extent of the depreciation of the currency, but still more by the artificial scarcity made by the holders of gold.

"To attempt this task by a surprise on our people by arresting them in the midst of their lawful business, and applying a new standard of value to their property, without any reduction to their debts or giving them any opportunity to compound with their creditors or to distribute their losses, would be an act of folly without an example of evil in modern times."

Speaking of its effects in England, he said:

"Small traders, debtors and laborers were reduced to the sorest distress."

It would be impossible for this man, with all his power and eloquence and knowledge of the history and examples of the past to have more truly depicted the actual condition of affairs which grew out of the criminal policy of contraction.

By the year 1878 the currency had been contracted from $1,996,658,770 to $765, 679,685.

Over $1,230,000,000 of the people's circulating medium had been destroyed or exchanged for interest-bearing bonds. In the meantime, we had the great financial crash in 1873, and a general suspension of enterprise. Prices of all kinds of produce fell so low that farmers and producers were obliged to sell at ruinous prices in order to pay even the interest on their debts.

Many were compelled to sell their hogs as low as $1.75 to $2 per hundred pounds, and wheat for 50c and 60c per bushel. The "honest dollar" had made little hogs. Farmers were compelled to sell wheat at 60c per bushel to obtain money to pay debts contracted when wheat was worth $1.50 to $2 per bushel. Farms were sold under


mortgage and 3,000,000 men were thrown out of employment. The "honest dollar" was asserting its power.

The banks were "controlling wages by controlling the money." The number of bankruptcies had increased from 632 in 1866, with liabilities or losses of $47,333,000, to 10,478 m 1878 with losses amounting to $234,383,132. "The sorest distress was everywhere among small traders, debtors and laborers."

Had it not been for the enormous crops of that year the people might have been bankrupted; but Heaven blessed the producers with an abundance and the heaviest burden fell upon the wage-workers thrown out of employment. Note the subjoined table showing the fall of prices from 1866 to 1887, in New York city:

ARTICLE. 1886. 1887.
Cotton 51 ˝ 12 ˝
Wheat 187 ˝ 147
Corn 95 ˝ 59
Hams 16 ˝ 10 ˝
Sugar 11 ž 9 5/8

Who bears the burdens of these falling prices? The agents of Shylock will say, "what a man has to buy is so much cheaper that it makes things equal;" but what a man has to buy some other man (or woman or child) has to make or produce, for they are producers likewise. Cheap clothing means cheap work for those who make them as well as cheap cotton and cheap wool for the producers of those articles. Cheap sugar makes low wages on the sugar plantation, and cheap productions is a benefit only to the man who has a surplus of the big "honest dollars" because they represent more property than they did before the currency was contracted and the consequent fall of prices.


But, suppose we admit, for argument's sake, that the Shylock theory is correct; what has that to do with the surplus of production over and above the amount actually needed for home use. Farmer Jones is in debt, and also has taxes to pay; he raises 300 bushels of wheat and five bales of cotton. It requires 100 bushels of wheat for seed and bread, and three bales of cotton to buy groceries and clothing, boots and shoes for his family; 200 bushels of wheat and two bales of cotton then represents his surplus to be sold and the money applied to the payment of his debts. Before contraction 200 bushels of wheat was worth $400 and two bales of cotton $240, making a total of $640 to be applied to the payment of his debt and taxes.

How is it now? Two hundred bushels of wheat brings him $140, and two bales of cotton $80, or a total of $320. Where has the difference gone? It has been squeezed into the "big" dollar to make it "honest," and Farmer Jones is robbed of $420 to enrich the banker and bondholder. Is it any wonder that Farmer Jones has come to the conclusion that Shylock "studies finance and gets rich without work, while he works and gets poor without studying finance." The average exportations of our products for the past fifteen years has been, in round numbers, $600,000,000 per annum, or a grand total of $9,000,000,000. This, at least, is a fair representation of our surplus productions for the fifteen years. It is safe to say that the fall in prices, as the result of the contraction policy, has been on an average 40 per cent. This would indicate a loss to the producers of $6,000,000,000. Add this sum to the net profits of National banks, already obtained in a former article, of $2,500,000,000, and we have the neat little sum of $8,500,000,000, or a sum equal to one-half the capital now employed in agricultural pursuits in the United States. Eight thousand five hundred million dollars to place against the burdens imposed by a wrong system of tariff


laws, which the people can charge to the account of the grand and glorious system of National banks, with their privilege to contract the currency at will.

"Those who endeavor to enrich one part of society at the expense of another, find it necessary to act with great caution and reserve, and to substitute artifice for open and avowed injustice. Instead of directly altering the stipulations in the contract, they ingeniously bethought themselves of altering the standard (making big "honest dollars") by which the stipulations were to be adjusted. They have not said in so many words that 10 or 20 per cent, should be added or deducted from the mutual debts of society, but they have, nevertheless, effected this by making a difference in the value of currency." — Prof. McCulloch in the Encyclopedia Britatinica.

"At the Christian era the metalic money of the Roman Empire amounted to the sum of $1,800,000,000. By the end of the fifteenth century it had shrunk to less than $200,000,000."

Allison says: "The fall of the Roman Empire, so long ascribed in ignorance to slavery, heathenism and moral corruption, was in reality brought about by a decline in the gold and silver mines of Spain and Greece."

The darkest period in history followed the fall of the Roman Empire, known as the dark ages.

The silver commission says: "Money is the great instrument of association, the great fiber of social organism, the vitalizing force of industry, the protoplasm of civilization, and as essential to its existence as oxygen is to animal life. Without money civilization could not have had a beginning; with a diminishing supply it must languish, and, unless relieved, finally perish."

My countrymen! You see your prototypes among the States of antiquity; your future condition is written in letters


of living fire in the history of financial legislation in modern times.

"History will repeat itself." If we travel the same road we cannot escape the same doom. The history of the pauper labor of the States of Europe will be the history of our children and their posterity; they will rise up and curse the day that we forged the chains that bind them to a condition of serfdom worse than slavery. The wealth of the nation, by the aid of class laws, is being centralized in the hands of a few individuals. Wealth is power, and the centralization of wealth is the centralization of power; avoid it, as you would avoid the bite of a deadly serpent. We have been warned by the teachings of Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Stephens. Statesmen have sounded the death warning in the legislative halls; philosophers have taught it in the schools of science; historians have emblazoned it on the pages of the world's history, and poets have reduced it to epic song.

"Ill fares the land to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates and men decay;
Lords or princes may flourish or may fade;
A breath can make as a breath has made;
But a bold peasantry, our country's pride,
When once destroyed can never be supplied."

But it must not be, oh, my countrymen; there is yet patriotism enough left to enable us to rise above the low plane of partisan prejudice and crush this monster monopoly."

As early as 1862 the capitalists of Europe foresaw that the civil war in the United States would involve the people in an enormous debt. They hailed the event with manifestations of devilish delight, as lit gave them the long sought opportunity of undermining the free institutions of America. Twice had the British lion been


vanquished on the field of battle. Lexington, Bunker Hill, Monmouth, Yorktown and New Orleans awakened no pleasant reflections in the minds of the British capitalists, who beheld with greedy eyes the fertile resources of America; but, who, on account of the freedom of our institutions, and our independence of British tyranny and British trade, could not fatten off of the profits of American industry. It was their golden opportunity. Immediately they laid their plans and formed their conspiracy. But it was necessary to have help; to secure the co-operation of traitors in our own land. They did not falter at this. As their ancestors had bribed Benedict Arnold nearly a century before, so these conspirators expected to find aid on American soil; men who would sacrifice the interests of their own country for the sake of gold. Well knowing the treachery which had always characterized the capitalists, when the safety and welfare of the nation was threatened, they issued the following circular to the bankers of America.

"Slavery is likely to be abolished by the war power, and chattel slavery destroyed. This, I and my European friends are in favor of, for slavery is but the owning of labor, and carries with it the care for the laborer; while the European plan, led on by England, is capital control of labor by controlling wages. This can be done by controlling the money. The great debt that capitalists will see to it is made out of the war, must be used as a measure to control the volume of money. To accomplish this the bonds must be used as a banking basis. We are now waiting to get the secretary of the treasury to make this recommendation to Congress. It will not do to allow the greenback, as it is called, to circulate as money for any length of time for we cannot control it." — Hazzard's Circular of 1862.

They had not long to wait for the secretary of the


treasury to make the recommendation. The willing tool in the hands of the conspirators, he issued the following:

"No measure, in my judgment, will meet the necessities of the occasion, and prove adequate to the provision of the great sums required for the suppression of the rebellion which does not include a firm support of the public credit, through the establishment of a uniform national circulation, secured by bonds of the United States." — S. P. Chase.

By act of Congress, March 25th, 1863, national banks were created. The capitalists had already, Feb. 25th, 1862, (as will be seen hereafter) "persuaded" Congress to cripple the greenback by limiting its legal tender qualities. So far all went well with the conspirators. For England it was a greater victory, and one of more momentous consequences than she had ever achieved upon the field of battle. To her capitalists it was the opening of a new field of enterprise that was destined to bring millions into their coffers. To America it was a direct blow at her free institutions.

Here we have a part of the hellish conspiracy "conceived in sin and born in iniquity," that was destined to rob the people of their just rewards by being empowered to put a price upon their labor — a league between the devil and the money gods of Europe and America; the golden calf in the wilderness of sin as compared with the tablets of the law guaranteeing equality and justice to a free and liberty loving people. England's opportunity to humble a proud and free race whose liberty was enlightening the world and giving the lie to the old barbarian doctrine that kings ruled by divine right. Bunker Hill, Trenton, Yorktown, and a hundred victories of a brave people avenged by the success of this hellish plot; the victory of New Orleans wiped out by the money of the Rothchilds.


But it "would not do to let the greenback circulate as money for any length of time, for we cannot control them," said Shylock of England to Shylock of America; and the American banker issued the following circular:


DEAR SIR: — It is advisable to do all in your power to sustain such daily and prominent weekly newspapers, especially the agricultural and religious press, as will oppose the issuing of greenback paper money, and that you also withhold patronage or favors from all applicants who are not willing to oppose the greenback government issue of money. Let the government issue the coin, and the banks issue the paper money of the country, for then we can better protect each other. To repeal the law creating National banks, or restore to circulation the government issue of money, will be to provide the people with money, and will therefore seriously affect your individual profits as banker and lender. See your member of Congress at once, and engage him to support our interest that we may control legislation.
JAS. BUELL, Sec'y.
No. 247 Broadway, Room 4.

The above circular was sent out to the bankers of the United States.

Was ever audacity so bold, or villainy so complete? Read it, ye who toil in sunshine and rain "from early morn till dewy eve," who have struggled for years to keep hunger and want from your door; who have witnessed the bare feet and naked limbs of your own children exposed to wintry blasts; who have watched the pale, wan face of her whom you have sworn to "love, cherish and protect," as she bends over the little one lying in a rude box cradle, and sheds bitter tears as she sees its young life


ebbing away for the want of means to save it. Read it and ask yourself if this is the rightful condition of the American citizen.

On December 4th, 1865, Hugh McCulloch, who had succeeded Salmon P. Chase as secretary of the treasury, in his report to Congress, said:

"The first thing to be done is to establish the policy of contraction. That the legal tender acts were war measures, passed in great emergency; that they should be regarded only as temporary; that they ought not to remain in force a day longer than would be necessary to prepare for a return to the gold standard; and that the work of retiring the notes, which have been issued, should be commenced without delay, and carefully and persistently continued until all are retired."

On the 18th of the same month the House passed the following resolution:

"Resolved, That this House cordially concurs in the views of the secretary of the treasury in relation to the necessity of contracting the currency, with a view to as early a resumption of specie payments as the business interests of the country will permit, and we hereby pledge co-operation to this end as speedily as possible."

Only six men voted against the above resolution. In further proof of the fact that the object of the conspiracy was to entirely wipe out the greenbacks, we quote again from this man McCulloch's Report:

"It will be observed that I favor the entire withdrawal and extinguishment of the greenback, I desire the Federal Government to get out of and abandon forever, and as soon as possible this whole business of creating and issuing paper money to be redeemable or irredeemable."

The law to contract the currency was not passed until


April 12th, 1866. The vote upon this bill will be seen on another page. The provisions of the law, (which may be found in Laws Relating to Loans and the Currency, page 75), were for retiring "any treasury notes, certificates of indebtedness, certificates of deposit, or other representatives of value, which have been or which may be issued under any act of Congress."

Our circulating medium at that time amounted in the aggregate to $1,996,000,000. We had also, of registered bonds, which could be used as banking securities $808,000,000. There is frequently a misconception or misrepresentation with regard to the 7.30 treasury notes, which are included in the above statement. As they were an interest bearing note, with coupon attached, it is claimed that they formed no part of our circulating medium. But the records show, without a doubt, that they were issued and circulated as money. In 1873, President Grant said:

"The currency has been contracted by the withdrawal of the 7.30 notes or bonds, for they were drawing interest as bonds, when the law said they could be paid in greenbacks."

The treasurer of the United States issued and paid out over $830,000,000 of these 7.30 notes, and when written to asking if they were put out as money to pay debts, he replied as follows:

"MOHAWK, N. J., August 17, 1876.

Dear Sirs:
Your letter of the 15th instant has been received. In answer I have to say, that the 7.30 treasury notes were intended, prepared, issued and used as currency.
Very respectfully yours,


The Chicago Inter-Ocean, June 29, 1878, said:

"So the shrinkage went on at the beck and bid of the money power, till the volume had been contracted $1,230,990,086, leaving a volume of money of $765,679,685."

Senator Stewart of Nevada, in reply to the question,

"What is the cause of so much dissatisfaction among the laboring men of the country?" replied:

"Contraction of the circulating medium * * * The price of labor has declined and this has been produced by contraction. * * * The system of contraction has been constantly going on. This is in pursuance of the cherished policy of the bondholders. They never have, in any one instance, since the war closed, suggested a measure of legislation which did not involve contraction."

If any further evidence is required that the currency has been contracted "let every man examine himself," and ask his neighbors if money is as plenty as it was twenty years ago. The answer will be conclusive.

It should not be thought, however, that this measure passed Congress without some opposition, or a full knowledge of the direful effect it would produce. As has been seen on a preceding page, John Sherman, before he became "persuaded" to serve the bondholders, uttered his note of warning against the infamous measure, which he said was an "evil without a parallel in modern times." The general effect of a diminishing volume of money has already been pointed out. We will now proceed to exhibit some of its effects on the American laborer within the past twenty years. The following table shows the amount of circulating medium per capita and its contraction from 1865 to 1877:


Amount of Currency in Circulation.
1865 $1,651,282,373 34,819,531 $47.42
1866 1,803,702,726 35,537,148 50&.76
1867 1,330,414,677 36,269,502 36.68
1868 817,199,773 37,016,949 22.08
1869 750,025,789 37,779,800 19.85
1870 740,039,179 38,558,371 19.19
1871 734,244,774 39,750,073 18.47
1872 736,349,912 40,978,607 17.97
1873 738,291,749 42,245,110 17.48
1874 779,031,589 43,550,756 17.84
1875 778,176,250 44,896,705 17.33
1876 735,358,832 46,284,344 15.89
1877 696,443,394 47,714,829 14.60

Below we give a table exhibiting the number of business failures and amount of their liabilities for the years 1860 to 1878 inclusive:

The reader will observe that while the population of the United States was rapidly increasing from year to year that the volume of money was decreasing in an inverse ratio. The baneful effects of a decreasing volume of money, even with the population and commerce remaining stationary, have already been pointed out. With the constantly increasing population and growth of business, good statesmanship, justice and common sense demand that, instead of contracting the volume of circulating medium, it should have been increased to keep pace with the development and growth of business naturally following. In the above and following tables the student of political economy will find food for serious reflection. The constant and rapid decrease of the circulating medium is co-existent with, and inseparable from, the industrial depression which has swept like a demon of destruction over the land.


Number of Bankruptcies.
1860 3,673 $64,394,000
1861 6,993 207,210,000
1862 1,652 23,049,309
1863 485 6,864,700
1864 520 8,579,000
1865 530 17,625,000
1866 532 47,333,000
1867 2,386 86,208,000
1868 2,008 63,774,000
1869 2,799 75,954,000
1870 3,551 88,242,000
1871 2,915 86,252,000
1872 4,069 121,056,000
1873 5,183 228,499,000
1874 5,882 155,339,000
1875 7,740 201,070,363
1876 9,092 191,119,786
1877 8,872 190,660,936
1878 10,478 234,383,132

The following table showing the fall in prices of staple commodities during the period of contraction, is compiled from official sources and shows the average prices ruling in New York City.

Year, Mess Beef. Butter. Corn. Cotton Hams. Oats. Wheat. Wool. Mess Pork.
  bbl. lb. bush. lb. lb. bush. bush. lb. bbl.
1861 $5 50 $15 $61 $19 $09 $38 $1 40 $0 33 $15 00
1862 8 00 18 63 44 07 52 1 42 52 13 00
1863 7 00 22 95 71 07 72 1 62 71 15 00
1864 10 50 35 1 61 131 14 94 1 75 92 31 00
1865 11 50 29 84 73 17 68 1 56 74 25 00
1866 16 25 42 1 06 42 16 70 1 80 26 27 00
1867 20 00 32 1 20 25 13 80 2 85 31 22 50
1868 18 00 44 1 21 25 14 80 2 65 35 25 00
1869 11 00 35 85 30 20 73 1 81 34 30 00
1870 10 50 32 85 20 11 60 1 65 40 25 00
1871 13 00 27 78 20 10 56 1 72 47 18 00
1872 8 00 30 70 21 08 50 1 87 56 14 50
1873 10 00 34 64 17 08 50 1 90 46 16 00
1874 10 00 27 68 17 09 45 1 15 42 19 00
1875 9 00 22 62 15 10 47 1 15 43 20 00
1876 9 75 24 44 12 10 32 1 05 34 19 00
1877 10 50 19 49 12 12 34 1 45 37 14 50
1878 11 25 13 52 11 10 37 1 07 31 11 50
1879 10 25 12 54 11 09 40 1 33 38 10 50


It will be seen by reference to the above tables that for the years 1862 to 1865 inclusive, during which time the volume of money was greatly increased, that there were but few business failures in the United States. The period of loss and "financial disaster" dates with the beginning of the process of contraction.

The following table shows the purchasing value of a dollar at different periods. In 1866 money was plenty, the per capita circulation being $50dot;76. The year 1879 was the date set to resume specie payments, for which it was thought necessary to contract the currency. The per capita circulation had been reduced to $14. One dollar would purchase:

YEAR. Butter. Corn. Cotton. Oats. Wheat.
1866. 2 ˝ lbs. 53 lbs. 2 ˝ lbs. 50 lbs. 33 lbs.
1879. 8 ˝ 93 lbs. 9 lbs. 80lbs. 50 lbs.

It will be seen by the above table that the farmer, in order to procure one dollar with which to pay his debts, taxes, etc., was compelled, at the time of specie resumption in 1879, to part with more than three times as much butter, nearly twice as much corn, almost four times as much cotton and fifty per cent, more wheat and oats. In other words, debts contracted and existing in 1866, would in 1879 require, on an average, about double the amount of the products of the farm to pay. In 1866, the average price of cotton in the New York market was forty-two cents. At that time the entire public debt of the United States amounted to $2,800,000,000. To have paid this debt at that time with money obtained for cotton, at the prices then ruling for that staple, would have required


13,333,000 bales. The debt has since been reduced to $1,700,000,000. At the prices now obtainable for cotton it would require 30,900,000 bales to pay this balance.

In other words, after paying over one thousand million dollars of the principal of the debt, besides interest during the whole time, it will now require more than twice the amount of cotton to pay what is left than would have been required to have paid the whole debt at first, or in 1866.

Take the period that it has pleased a partisan press and the "bosses" to style as "Powell Clayton's infamous Republican administration in Arkansas. Suppose a man's taxes were $50. Cotton was worth 20 to 25 cents per pound; wheat $2, and corn $1 per bushel. At that time 250 pounds of lint cotton, 25 bushels of wheat or 50 bushels of corn would have brought money enough to have paid the $50. Suppose that under the present administration these taxes are reduced one-half on the same amount of property, and are now only $25. The prices of cotton, wheat, and other products of the farm, have experienced a greater reduction in value, and to obtain the money at the present prices to pay the $25 taxes, the farmer is obliged to sell 300 pounds of lint cotton, 33 bushels of wheat, or 75 bushels of corn, and is actually worse off than he was before. In 1868, when times were "flush," money plenty, prices good, and labor remuneratively employed, a man came from one of the New England States and bought a farm for $2,000. He paid $1,000 down, the balance to be paid in yearly installments. He was in the prime of life and the full vigor of manhood. He had a right to expect that he would obtain prices commensurate with those then existing for such as he produced to sell.

At such prices he could easily make his payments. But, through unforeseen misfortunes and constantly falling


prices, he was only able to pay the interest and taxes. Contraction, over which he had no control, reduced the price and value of everything but his debt. That still remained. He beautified his home. His good, hard working wife adorned the yard with flowers and shrubbery. With unremitting care an orchard was grown and furnished them with its luscious fruits. Children were born to them and ripened into manhood and womanhood. All worked energetically to save the dear old home. The father, under the weight of debt and care for his family has grown prematurely old. But the mill of contraction grinds on. Through hard work and exposure the oldest son has sickened and died. The once raven black hair of the father has grown gray; his eyes are sunken and his form bowed with grief and care.

But the prices continue to fall. Shylock must have his pound of flesh. After a time the father too is taken sick. For days he tosses about on his bed scorched with malignant fever. He talks incessantly of his dead boy as though he were still alive. He speaks of the time when he was strong and active and full of hope. He talks incoherently of the mortgage hanging over the place and hopefully says to his son, "We can pay it off — we must pay it off." To-night, the doctor says, the crisis will arrive — a change for the better or for the worse. "My God!" exclaims the grief-stricken wife, "may it be for the better. Oh, my husband!" As though to hide its face from the scene about to be enacted, the sun has disappeared beneath the horizon, and the shades of night have fallen upon that once happy home. The family have gathered around the bed of the loving father. The physician sits holding the hand of the sick man, anxiously waiting for the moment that will tell him whether the small thread that still separates life from death shall be broken or receive new vitality. The care-worn wife sits on the opposite side of the bed


holding the other hand. The afflicted and grief-stricken children are waiting, with suppressed breath for the awful moment. The ticking of the clock only, disturbs the death-like stillness. The crisis arrives. With a look of disappointment and sympathy that could not be mistaken, the physician tenderly lays down the hand and leaves the room and the dying man. His spirit is being wafted to that other shore "where all is bliss and joy and love." No Shylocks can enter there. No tears; no mortgages; no taxes; no suffering to those who sing praises to the "Lamb of God."

But who can describe the agonies of that family? Who can compensate for the loss of that father and husband? The funeral is over. The family return to their home. Yes, their home. By every principle of justice and right; by every consideration of Christian charity; by every noble impulse of the human heart, that home belongs to them. But the mortgage was closed and the wife and children turned out of their home; the home that they had beautified, and from the land they had made "blossom as the rose." Contraction had killed the son; had murdered the father, and robbed the wife and children. "Thou shalt not kill." "Thou shalt not steal." "Thou shalt not covet that which is thy neighbor's." Stand up! Ye who have advocated this infamous system of contraction and be "judged according to the deeds done in the body." The blood of this man and of this boy is upon your souls; and the curses of the wife and children are upon your heads.

It is this system of contraction and power over the currency that is robbing labor of more than all other things put together. Our representatives in Congress have legislated in the interest of capital. The hordes and swarms of lobbyists that have thronged the corridors of our National capitol, and brought reproach upon American


legislation, have, through corrupt means, succeeded in fastening upon the producing classes a system of laws that are eating up the profits of industry and striking at the very foundation of constitutional liberty.

The act providing for the contraction of the currency was passed, and approved April 12th, 1866. The vote in the House, as shown by the public records, stood as follows:

For the bill: Republicans, 55; Democrats, 28; total, 83.

Against the bill: Republicans, 52; Democrats, 1; total, 53.

In the Senate but seven Republicans and no Democrats voted against it. Thus it will be seen that a majority of both parties voted in favor of this infamous system that has wrought ruin to millions of homes, consigned thousands to premature graves, filled our alms-houses and our prisons. Through its blighting influence crime has increased and insanity become more common. Idleness has been enforced and immorality induced.

Like a deadly pestilence, this monstrous robber has stalked through the land, laying its blighting hand on every industry, mocking the people in their poverty, laughing at their misfortunes, deriding their cries, ignoring their sufferings, scorning their appeals, and trampling with the audacity of tyranny upon their rights. It is the great grapple-hook of Shylock to gather in the profits of labor. Not the Shylock in the "Merchant of Venice," who only desired the pound of flesh and refused the principal; this modern Shylock, more exacting than his prototype, demands not only the pound of flesh, but the life of his debtor and the confiscation of his property.


Chapter II. Resumption of Specie Payments.

NEVER since the days when the doctrine that "kings ruled by divine right" prevailed, has there been a more stupendous fraud practiced upon an unwary people than the system of specie payments. To the end that specie payments might be resumed, the contraction act of 1866 was passed. In another chapter we have called the attention of the reader to some of the evils that followed. To say that specie resumption is right, is but to say that contraction, with all the evils that follow in its train, is right. To say that gold and silver is the only material fit for money is to propagate a stupendous lie; is to say that there is gold and silver enough in the country to furnish an adequate amount of circulating medium. The strongest advocates of the system will not for a moment claim this. They hold that it can and should be used as a basis, and that experience has demonstrated that one dollar in coin is a sufficient basis for three dollars in paper; that the foundation can be much smaller than the structure without danger of toppling over. This very confession shows the utter fallacy of the whole system. There is to-day in the United States Treasury one hundred million dollars in coin as a basis for the three hundred and forty-six million dollars of greenbacks in circulation.

This was an assumption on the part of the specie basis advocates that the fools which might exist in this country were in the proportion of the amount of greenbacks


in circulation. In other words that about one-third of the people would take their paper money to the treasury to get coin for it. But the sequel proved that they were mistaken. Instead of presenting paper money for redemption, millions of dollars of gold and silver were deposited in the treasury, and gold and silver paper certificates taken in preference. These certificates, though not clothed with legal tender qualities, circulate and perform all the functions of money, for the very simple reason that the people are willing to receive them as such. The question might naturally arise, is it necessary to keep all this coin hoarded in the treasury for a contingency that is not at all likely to arise, and if it should arise the inadequacy of the coin to meet the demand would only be an additional proof of the utter fallacy of the system?

Is it necessary to keep hundreds of millions of dollars of a commodity (for such is gold and silver) locked up in the treasury, that has a commercial value in the markets of the world, and could be converted into other forms of property that would confer a blessing on society, and be an auxiliary to the Nation's prosperity? One of the greatest objects to be attained with regard to the circulating medium, is uniformity of volume. This would be impossible if gold and silver were the only money, or if the other money is made convertible into gold and silver. The volume of currency would then depend upon the output of the present existing mines, or the chances of discovering new ones. The fact that gold and silver are unfit to be the sole medium of exchange has frequently been indicated by the supporters of the metallic system. In 1849 when gold was discovered in large quantities in California, closely following rich discoveries in Australia, the capitalists of Europe became so alarmed at the rapidly increasing supply, and the consequent rise in prices, and reduced value of the stock of coin on hand, that they


talked seriously of, and in some countries did demonetize it, It will be remembered that the discovery of the Comstock lode and consequent increased output of silver had a like effect. Several countries of Europe demonetized it. In 1873 the United States, yielding to the "persuasion" of Ernest Seyd, who is said to have been sent over here by English capitalists with five hundred thousand dollars for that purpose, demonetized silver.

So great, however, was the public clamor against this act, that in 1876, Congress restored its legal tender quality, but restricted its coinage. It will at once be seen, by any intelligent mind, that with the ever varying circumstances governing the production of these metals, the chances of discovering new mines, or the failure of the old ones, together with the constant danger of demands for exportation to foreign countries, that it would be impossible to preserve a uniform volume of currency, or one relative at all times to the constant and rapidly increasing population and extended business of the country. "It is the limitation of the quantity of money, without any reference to the cost of its production, that regulates the value of each unit of money, whether fiat or metallic. In the case of fiat money the limitation is imposed by law. In the case of metallic money, it is imposed by nature. The effect of limitation upon the value of money is precisely the same in both instances. In the one case the limitation is regulated by the wisdom and justice of man; in the other it is regulated by the variable and uncertain obstacles which nature opposes to the production of the metals. The value of money, of whatever kind, is measured by the cost of obtaining it after it has been produced, and not by the cost of its production, and this value is indicated by the general range of prices.

"The calculations of those who contract to pay money are always based upon the general command which


units of property and services have over units of money, and their expectations of meeting their contracts when they mature, rest upon their confidence in a steady continuance of that command and upon their knowledge that the services of property which they control will, at that rating, be sufficient. But such contracts can only be satisfied legally by the delivery of the specified number of the units of money.

"If in the meantime, population, commodities, and commerce should increase, and the stock of money should not increase in a corresponding ratio, or, if commerce and population remain stationary, and a large portion of the money in existence when the contract was made were struck down by legislation, the equilibrium between money and other things would be disturbed. The money unit would rise in value and prices would fall. The debtor would find that it required more labor and more property to meet the terms than it would to meet the equity of his contract. But the terms, not the equity, must be met, and the debtor must submit to the partial or entire confiscation of his property."

It would be hard indeed to state the case plainer than is done in the above extract from the report of the Silver Commission. From the facts therein set forth we may deduct the following conclusions:

1st. That the value of money is regulated by the limitation of its quantity and not by the cost of its production.

2nd. The quantity is regulated, either by law, fixing its volume, or by nature, governing the production of the material of which it is made.

3rd. The wisdom of man can fix the volume and regulate the value of paper money; but the quantity of gold and silver money depends solely on the ever varying and uncertain obstacles which nature opposes to the production


of those metals. Our position may now be briefly stated as follows:

1st. The limitation of the volume of currency regulates its value.

2nd. To preserve steady values and prices a uniform volume of money is indispensable.

3rd. The volume of gold and silver cannot be regulated by law or the wisdom of man.

4th. The law can issue and the wisdom of man regulate the volume of paper money.

5th. Paper money is better than gold and silver.

It would seem to be a settled fact that the volume of money governs the price of property and the products of labor. Experience has demonstrated it and authorities emphasize it. If the volume of money in circulation is diminished, prices fall and industry languishes. If the volume is increased, prosperity and general activity follows. It would very naturally occur, then, that governments should have the power over the currency, to fix the limits of its circulation by legal enactments, keeping pace with the advance of civilization, growth of business and population, and the consequent and ever increasing demand for a greater circulating medium. For this purpose Congress was given power over the currency. The great Daniel Webster, whose ability as a statesman won for him the title of "constitutional expounder," said in his great speech in 1837:

"The great interests of this country, the producing cause of all prosperity, is labor, labor, labor. The government was made to protect this industry; to give it both encouragement and security; to that very end, with this precise object in view, power was given to Congress over the currency and over the money system of the country." The justice and wisdom of this will at once be seen in the fact, that it looks more reasonable that a


body of representatives, elected every two years by the people, and responsible to them for their actions, sworn to do their duty and to support the constitution, would be better calculated to guard the interests of their countrymen by fixing and preserving a uniform volume of currency, in sufficient quantities to give life and activity to trade, commerce and the productive industries, and preserve a steady range of prices, than would a body of bankers and capitalists, who are responsible to no one, and whose every interest and inducement would lead them to do as they have done, increase the value of the money which they own by limiting its supply.

For the very reason that gold and silver does not, nor ever has existed in sufficient quantities to furnish an adequate amount of circulating medium, or an honest basis for a sufficient quantity of paper money, is one of the most potent arguments of the fallacy of the specie basis system with its twin brothers, Contraction and Resumption.

For a government to issue bonds to purchase coin as a basis for its own money, and thus entail an interest burden upon a people who possess real estate and other property enough to form a sound basis for twenty times the amount of money needed, is a fraud and inconsistency entirely out of keeping with the advanced intelligence and civilization of the latter part of the nineteenth century.

As far as gold and silver will circulate with an absolute, irredeemable, fiat paper money, well and good. Let everything issued as money be endowed with every attribute of money, and the purchasing and debt paying power will be as great and uniform in one as the other. We are not unaware of the fact that, in advocating the theory of fiat paper money, we are treading on grounds, every inch of which is, and has been for ages, vigorously contested. We feel certain, however, in being abundantly able to sustain our position. The fiat money theory is not


a new one; it is as old as civilization itself. It is the only method, and the only means that will ever break up the monopoly of a few bullionists, who, by controlling the material of which money is made, are enabled to furnish and control the currency also. It is the David of the people going forth to battle with the Goliath of Shylock.

Under our present laws, and controlled by a syndicate of bankers, money is our master. Issued and controlled by the people, it becomes their servant. Controlled by men whose only principle is greed, and who are moved by a spirit of avarice, it robs the producer by fixing a price upon his products. Controlled by wise legislation it becomes a lever in the hands of the people to increase prosperity; the key to unlock the resources of wealth. There are many reasons why an absolute, irredeemable paper money would take precedence to, and establish a more perfect, just and equitable system of exchange than metals whose production is too limited to furnish money in sufficient quantities to fill the necessary and wholesome demands of trade. We cannot, however, in the limited space of this chapter, enter into an exhaustive discussion of this subject. We shall content ourselves with a brief indication of some of the advantages which a money, composed of a material possessing comparatively no intrinsic value, would have as a circulating medium. As we have previously remarked, a variety of materials have, at different periods of the world's history, been used as money. The early inhabitants of America used wampum and cocoanuts, and the colony of Massachusetts, at one time, made wampum a legal tender for the payment of debts.

Britain at an early day had two kinds of money; "living money" and "dead money," or slaves and cattle, and land and metal.

"In the fourteenth century the Chinese used a money coined from the inner bark of the mulberry tree."


"At an early day deer and coon skins were a legal tender in Illinois."

"In 1574, large amounts of paste-board money were coined in Holland."

"Rome used both wooden and leather money about 700 B. C."

"Tin money was used by Dionysius I, tyrant of Syracuse."

The Spaniards used leather money as late as 1575.

Carthage and France also used leather money.

"Seneca tells us that Spartacus created money of leather, fixing the stamp to denote its value and by what authority issued."

"Homer never speaks of gold or silver money. He values the armour of Glaucus at 100 oxen and that of Damocles at nine oxen."

Jonathan Duncan, speaking of the exportation of coin as one of the obstacles to its use as money, said:

"One of the earliest plans adopted to surmount the difficulty was the creation of a national currency in each independent State, for internal trade; and its distinctive characteristic was the total absence of intrinsic value, WHICH EFFCTUALLY PREVENTED ITS EXPORTATION.

"This invention greatly economized the use of the precious metals, allowing them to be wholly employed in discharging the balance of foreign trade."

Lycurgus, the great "law giver," made money of iron, but deprived it of its intrinsic value by destroying its maleability.

Plato recommended two kinds of money in every Nation, one for home and one for foreign trade. He says: "A coin, for the purpose of domestic exchange and to pay wages to hired servants and settlers, for which purpose I affirm it must have value among the members of the State, but no value to the rest of the world." For visiting and


purposes of exchange in other States he proposed a coin having intrinsic or commercial value.

Xenophon says: "That most of the States of Greece have money which is not current except in their own territory."

It will be observed that according to the above authorities, gold and silver, having a high commercial value throughout the world, has at all times been subject to export from one country to another, thus creating a scarcity of money in the country from which it is exported. To overcome this obstacle, money composed of material having but little or no intrinsic value, has been resorted to in all ages of the world. That the recent improvements in the manufacture of paper, embracing lightness with firmness in texture, presents a material that fills all the requirements of a non-exportable currency is a well settled fact.

"Every requirement of a perfect system can be met more nearly and more certainly by paper money than by any other ever devised. Not paper money based upon gold, silver, or any fluctuating commodity, whose measure it should be, nor upon a promise of commodities, near or remote, definite or indefinite, of governments, or banks; nor like the French assignats, based upon lands; nor fastened to gold or silver by a chain sure to snap when the metals are wanted; nor convertible into bonds and thereby offering the bribe of interest for its withdrawal from circulation; nor of any use to its owner except when parted with; nor capable of yielding profit except when employed in the production and distribution of wealth; but an absolute money, whose value, conferred by the sovereign authority, and regulated by a pre-arranged and perfected system, and not by the passions and caprices of the hour, would rest impregnably on functions essential to civilization and progress.


"Such money would be portable, divisable, distinguishable and difficult of imitation. The power to regulate its value by fixing its volume would always be present because inherent in the people. It is produced without cost and destructible without loss to society. While the bullion value of gold and silver adds nothing to its value and uses as money, the world is deprived of its value as a commodity by affixing the stamp and creating money out of it. Society must bear this loss without compensation."

Thomas Law, an eminent writer on finance, gives seven reasons why a paper circulation is better than coin:

"1st. Because it can be regulated so as to always bear a proper proportion to the industry and property of a nation, whereas, coin, being an article of commerce fluctuates in quantity.

"2nd. Because the precious metals disappear, being hoarded or exported in times of difficulty when most required, whereas, the paper always remains.

"3rd. Because, as the value of fixed capital and the interest of money depends upon the quantity of money, it is requisite to have a sufficient quantity without excess.

"4th. Because paper money is more cheaply and rapidly transmitted from one quarter of the country to the other than specie.

"5th. Because by this facility of remittance it lowers the rate of internal exchange.

"6th. Because paper money permits the exportation of bullion for advantageous mercantile transactions without derangement of home trade and interchange of labor for money.

"7th. Because paper money increases manufactures and improvements and exports bring back specie."

"A currency would be in its most perfect state if it consisted wholly of paper money of the same value as gold and silver. It is impossible, however, to attain to this


degree of perfection so long as paper money is made convertible into coin, as such convertibility renders paper of the same value as metallic money, but it is defective inasmuch as it does not banish the latter from circulation, and does not save, therefore, the whole expense of a metallic currency." — McCulloch's Political Economy.

The great English financial writer, Thomas Atwood, says: "Contrast all the dangers, the changes, the fluctuations, the unjust ruin, the unjust aggrandizement attendant upon a metallic standard, with the security, the equality of prices and of values, the exemption from unjust losses, and from unjust gains, and the general stability of all profits and of all prosperity, which a non-convertible paper currency presents, self existent, self dependent, liable to no foreign actions, entirely under our own control; contracting, expanding, or remaining fixed according as the wants and exigencies of the community may require — a non-convertible paper currency presents every element of national security and happiness without the possibility of injuring any one class of the community. By it we may forever insure a wholesome range of prices, neither too high nor too low, but securing at all times the due reward of industry to the productive classes, and the due distribution of mutual rights and interests among all other classes of the community. I have reflected upon the subject for twenty years; I have continually turned it in my mind in a thousand shapes and ways, and I still most firmly retain the opinion above expressed. And one important fact I ought to mention, in confirmation of this opinion: I have never met one single individual who has had leisure and disposition to turn his thoughts to this subject who has not fully adopted the same opinion in the end."

"If these arguments are wrong, is it not strange that no one has ever been found to point out their error? All the experience that we have had in Great Britain confirms


their truth. Every shock that our circulating system has sustained from the year 1791 to this day can be directly traced to the pressure of the metallic standard. In 1816 and 1819 the very foundations of society were giving way. In 1826 the whole circulating system was suddenly falling upon our heads. In every instance the paper saved us, and nothing but the paper."

In the United States Senate, in 1838, Henry Clay said:

"Whatever a government agrees to receive in payment of public dues, is a medium of exchange — is money, current money, no matter what its form may be."

John C. Calhoun, the idol of Southern Democracy, and the most eminent statesman of which that party can boast, said: "It appears to me after bestowing the best reflections I can give on the subject, that no convertible paper, that is, whose credit rests on a promise to pay, is suitable for currency. On the other hand, a national currency, while it would greatly facilitate its financial operations, would cost next to nothing, but would give to every branch of industry great advantages. And I now undertake to affirm, without the least fear that I can be answered, that a paper issued by the government, with but the single promise to receive it for dues, would form a perfect paper circulation, which could not be abused by the government; that it would be as uniform in value as metals, and I shall be able to prove that it is within the constitution and power of Congress to provide such a paper, according to the most rigid rule of construing the constitution."

Thomas Jefferson said:

"Treasury bills bottomed on taxes, bearing or not bearing interest, as may be found necessary, thrown into circulation, will take the place of so much gold and silver."

Notwithstanding this array of evidence from the eminent authorities above quoted there will still remain some


" "doubting Thomas'." Men whose business consists principally of politics, and whose success, like that of the physicians and pharmacists who surround their prescriptions with the mystery of Latin names and abbreviations, depends on keeping the people in ignorance of the true inwardness of their party's doings, will sneeringly ask a score of unreasonable questions, and present a number of imaginary obstacles in the way of adopting an absolute paper money. To the mind of the party slave who would wear a collar with his bosses' name thereon, these questions and objections might appear plausible and even "smart" and "shrewd." Anticipating that the reader of this work, and the student of this branch of political economy will be subjected to such an ordeal, the author deems this chapter incomplete without subjecting some of these fancied objections to the light of reason.

One of the most common among these is, "This money will be worthless because irredemable." And it is often sneeringly remarked by the objector, "If I was to give you my note without any promise to pay what would it be worth?" The sweet, innocent, child-like ignorance displayed by some self-important and bigoted "cross-roads" politician, in asking this question, should commend him to our careful consideration. In the first place we are not aware that the note of the aforesaid politician would be worth anything with his "promise to pay" inscribed thereon. If he is not more honest in his business transactions than he is in politics, we are inclined to be a little doubtful of his paper.

In the second place, the premises are not well taken; as in the one case the giver of the "note" would be the government possessing absolute power, and clothing it with some of the attributes of money, while in the other case the giver of the note would be an individual forming the insignificant one sixtieth of a millionth part


of the government. Lastly, the whole proposition is incorrect; for it is not proposed to issue notes at all, and call them money; but to issue a full-fledged money in itself. Suppose that we subject gold and silver to the same test. Who redeems it? "Oh, it redeems itself," says the metalist. Let us see how far this is true. Government takes 412 ˝ grains of silver, worth in the market 75 or 80 cents, according to its fluctuations, puts a "buzzard" and the words, "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ONE DOLLAR" on one side, and the head of a man and "E. PLURIBUS UNUM" and the date on the other, and it passes as current money for one hundred cents in every State and Territory in the Union. The difference between the bullion value, or 80 cents, and the legal value, or 100 cents, are fiat; yes, fiat money. Now, who redeems that? It is redeemed in the same manner that it is intended that all money shall be redeemed, in the products and the labor of the country. A gold dollar is redeemed in wheat, corn, flour, beef, pork, prints, woolen goods, or anything its owner wishes to purchase. It is all the redemption it needs. A paper dollar is redeemed every time it passes from one individual to another in exchange for products or labor. It is redeemed in whatever the owner receives for it. It is all the redemption it needs. In such redemption and the payment of debts it has performed the functions of money, and that is all the use society has for it. Everybody is satisfied with it but the bullionist. To redeem it in coin and retire it from circulation brings us to the bond system in order to obtain the coin; to contraction and resumption with all their attendant evils.

Another common objection to a paper money is: "That it will not circulate in foreign countries."

This is one of the reasons why an absolute paper currency forms one of the most perfect circulating mediums. We are not engaged in making money for other nations;


never have been, nor do we wish to be. Neither do we desire that foreign nations shall have anything to do with controlling our own circulating medium. For the very reason that this money will not circulate abroad, we will always have it at home. It is like a good dog, the closer it stays at home the more useful it is.

By being able to keep our currency at home, we can preserve a uniform volume of circulating medium. If it would go abroad the volume of money would be subject to fluctuation — contraction and expansion. This is one of the greatest objections to gold and silver. It leaves us when we most need it. It goes abroad, not as money however, but as bullion, as a commodity; and like beef and pork or any other commodity, goes for what it is worth by weight, and at the market price then ruling. If the American traveler wishes to visit on the Continent, he does not provide himself with the money of his own country, but deposits his money of whatever form — it may be paper — in an American bank, and takes a draft or letters of credit on some foreign bank. When he arrives in England he must provide himself with the money of that country, pounds, shillings and pence. In France he must have napoleans and francs; in Germany, the thaler and florin; in Sweden, the ducat and rix dollar; in Russia, the rouble. And so in almost every country or nation, he must have a different form of money.

There is no such thing as "money of the world," as we frequently hear it applied to gold and silver. These metals are recognized by the different nations as a commodity, and a material out of which money is made, and as having a commercial value in the markets of the world, but the money of one nation is seldom recognized as the money of some other nation. If there is any such thing as God's money it is not one that is calculated to rob labor of its just reward, and bring starvation and ruin to millions


of people. This "so-called" God's money is the same that the Savior upset in the temple of Jerusalem and drove its owners, whom he very strongly intimated were a set of thieves, out of the house of God. "But if foreign countries will not receive this money how will we pay our foreign debts, and buy foreign goods?" In answer to the first question we would say, that unless we go abroad and negotiate loans, debts due to foreigners are payable in our own country, in its lawful money, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract. Does any one suppose that the bonds of the United States, purchased by foreign capitalists during and after the war, were paid for in gold and silver coin? The foreign capitalist, like his American "cousin," exchanged his coin for greenbacks at about fifty cents on the dollar, and exchanged these for United States bonds at their face value, and these bonds were payable at the treasury of the United States.

But suppose we agree to pay coin to foreign capitalists. The use of paper money does not exclude gold and silver; nor does it shut down our mines in the production of these metals, which can be used, not only in paying our debts, but in carrying on trade and commerce with foreign Nations. We would produce as much gold and silver from our mines if we had a paper circulating medium, as we should if we had a mixed currency, or one exclusively of coin. "Plenty as leaves on the trees." "Give it to everybody that wants it" "Back up your cart and get what you want." "It would be so cheap that you could not pack enough on a mule to buy a farm." "It would take $500 of it to buy a breakfast." "Print the debts to death," and many other wild expressions similar to the above are frequently indulged in by the "shrewd politician," and the subsidized press, for the purpose of alarming the people and to prevent them from doing anything that will destroy the business of those who have always had a monopoly on the


issue of the money, and by controlling it held an iron grip on the industries of the country.

The wildest dreamer of financial reform has never advocated a greater amount of circulating medium per capita than existed at the close of the war. At that time the circulation was exclusively of paper. There was comparatively no coin in sight. When the war broke out gold and silver, cowardly as its owners, slunk out of sight and hid itself until the danger was over. Then, it emerged from its hiding place, and, with an audacity that would have put Annanias to shame, it not only claimed the honor of suppressing the rebellion, but insisted that it had a right to crucify the real Savior of the country — the greenback. In 1861, when the slogan of war sounded, the government called upon the bankers for aid. They furnished $150,000,000 in coin and then every mother's son of them suspended specie payment. In the hour of the greatest need the capitalists proved traitors to their country. The system of specie basis failed, as it always does at the time something is expected of it. Then the government smote the rock of public credit. In the face of the opposition of the bullionists, a paper money, crippled with a fatal exception, and only partially clothed with the functions of money, sprang forth and gave new life and vigor to the arm of the nation. It equipped armies, built ships, and supplied provisions and clothing to the men who had gone to the front. It opened up the workshops, built new factories and supplied the munitions of war to a million of men in the field. When the war was over it permeated every State and Territory and helped to restore the waste and exhausted resources of the nation. Did any one say, at that time, that it was as "plenty as leaves," or that it "took $500 of it to buy a breakfast?"

As an organization we only demand a "volume sufficient for the business of the country." We have a respect


for the worm that crawls on the ground, only stinging when trod upon; for the dandy whose only glory is to dress well and act a fool generally; for the idiot who is not idiot enough to be placed in some charitable institution, but too much of an idiot to be of any use in the world, to himself or anybody else; but for the self-willed, self-imposed, self-important, blatant demagogue, whose brains would rattle in the hollow of the hair of a horse's tail, and whose soul is so small that a thousand of them could dance upon the point of a cambric needle, we have an unutterable, inexpressible contempt, that is perhaps a sin to manifest and a greater sin to attempt to conceal. Such are those who indulge in the above and like expressions. Absolutely ignorant of the first principles of finance, or with an utter and totally depraved disregard for truth and justice, they would sacrifice the interests of their country and their fellow-man upon the altar of their own unholy ambition and avarice.

"It is unconstitutional."

We are pleased to remark that in answering the above objection, we are dealing with a more respectable class than the one we have just paid our respects to.

From the early days of the Republic to the first years succeeding the close of the late war between the States, it seems to have been a mooted question among some of our ablest statesmen, as to whether the issue of legal tender paper money was constitutional. The object of the constitution is clearly stated in the preamble, which says: "We, the people of the United Slates, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America."

Section eight of the Constitution gives Congress the power "to coin money and regulate the value thereof."


We have already seen that the value of money was regulated by its volume; and, that upon the volume of money depends the prices of property, of the products of labor, and of labor itself; that the body that is empowered to "regulate the value," must also possess the power to control its volume; and that this power should be always present and exercised with wisdom and justice. In connection with this point, the great Daniel Webster has said:

"By denying the states all power of emitting bills of credit, or making anything but gold and silver a tender in payment of debts, the whole control over the standard of value and medium of payment is vested in the general government. Delegating this grant to Congress and prohibiting it to the States, a just reading of the provisions is this:

"Congress shall have power to coin money, emit bills of credit AND MAKE ANYTHING BESIDES GOLD AND SILVER A LEGAL TENDER IN THE PAYMENT OF DEBTS."

Thomas Jefferson said:

"And so the nation may continue to issue its bills as far as its wants require and the limits of its circulation will admit."

John C. Calhoun said:

"I shall be able to prove that it is within the constitution and power of Congress to provide such a paper, according to the most rigid rule of construing the constitution."

But whatever doubts may have existed in the past with regard to the constitutionality of the issue of paper money, they are now put to rest by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States. The celebrated cases of Parker vs. Davis and Knox vs. Lee were consolidated and brought before the court At the request of the


court the constitutionality of the legal tender acts was to be fully argued and finally settled by the court, so that the question should be forever put at rest. The best legal talent of the country was present, representing the bullionists of both Europe and America. The greatest efforts possible were made by capitalists to secure an adverse decision against the legal tender qualities of the greenback currency. We give below extracts from the opinions of the court.

"Before we can hold the legal tender acts unconstitutional we must be convinced they were not appropriate means, or means conducive to the execution of any or all of the powers of Congress or the government, not appropriate in any degree (for we are not judges of that degree of appropriation), or we must hold they were prohibited." — 12 Wallace U. S. Supreme Court Reports, page 509.

"The degree of the necessity for any Congressional enactment, or the relative degree of its appropriateness, is for consideration in Congress, not here. When the law is not prohibited, and is really calculated to effect any of the objects intrusted to the government, to undertake here to inquire into the degree of its necessity, would be to pass the line which circumscribes the judicial department, and to tread on legislative ground." — 12 Wallace, 542.

"The constitution was intended to frame a government, as distinguished from a league or compact, a government supreme, in some particulars, over States and people. It was designed to provide the same currency having a uniform legal value in all the States. It was for this reason the power to coin money and regulate its value was conferred upon the Federal Government, while the same power to emit bills of credit was withheld from the States. The States can no longer declare what shall be money, or regulate its value. Whatever power there is over the currency is vested in Congress. If the power to declare what is money is not in Congress it is annihilated. — 12 Wallace, 545.

"And generally when one of such powers was expressly


denied to the State only, it was for the purpose of rendering the federal power more complete and exclusive; how sensible, then, its framers must have been that emergencies might arise when the precious metals might prove inadequate to the necessities of the government and the demands of the people — when it is remembered that paper money was almost exclusively in use in the States as a medium of exchange, and when the great evil sought to be remedied was the want of uniformity in the current value of money, we say, that the gift of power to coin money and regulate the value thereof, was understood as conveying general power over the currency and which had belonged to the States and which they had surrendered." 12 Wallace, 546.

"The issue of the circulation commonly known as greenbacks was necessary and was constitutional. They were necessary to the payment of the army and navy, and to all the purposes for which the government uses money. The banks had suspended specie payment, and the government was reduced to the alternative of using their notes or issuing its own." — 12 Wallace, 377.

"The two houses of Congress, the President who signed the bill, and fifteen State courts, being all but one that has passed upon the question, have expressed their belief in the constitutionality in these (legal tender) laws." — Justice Miller 8 Wallace 338.

"It is not doubted that the power to establish a standard of value by which all other values may be measured, or, in other words, to determine what shall be lawful money and a legal tender, is in its nature and necessity a government power. It is in all countries exercised by the government." — Chief Justice Chase, 8 Wallace 615.

"If it be held by this court that Congress has no constitutional power, under any circumstances, or in any emergency to make treasury notes a legal tender for the payment of all debts, a power confessedly possessed by every independent sovereignty other than the United States, the government is without those means of self preservation which, all must admit, may in certain contingencies


become indispensable, even if they were not when the acts of Congress now called in question were enacted." — 12 Wallace 829.

It will be seen that the question involved in the above decisions, was the constitutional right and power of Congress to say what should be the lawful money of the country, and to issue paper money. The decision of the Court is not, as often claimed, exclusively as a war measure. The court held that the necessity of issuing a paper currency and making it a legal tender was not for it to decide, but for Congress. And if Congress thought the necessity existed it had a perfect right under the constitution to issue paper money and declare it a legal tender., The following is conclusive upon this point:

"There are times when the exigencies of the State rightly absorb all subordinate considerations of private interest, convenience, or feeling; and at such times the temporary though compulsory acceptance by a private individual of the government credit, in lieu of the debtor's obligation to pay, is one of the slightest forms in which the necessary burdens of society can be sustained.

"When the ordinary currency disappears, as it often does in time of war, when business begins to stagnate and general bankruptcy is imminent, then the government must have power at the same time to renovate its own resources and to revive the drooping energies of the nation BY SUPPLYING IT WITH A CIRCULATING MEDIUM. What that medium shall be, what its character and qualities, will depend upon the greatness of the exigency and the degree of promptitude which it demands. THESE ARE LEGISLATIVE QUESTIONS. The heart of the nation must not be crushed out. The people must be aided to pay their debts and meet their obligations. The debtor interest of the country represents its bone and sinew, and must be encouraged to pursue its avocations. If relief were not afforded universal bankruptcy would ensue, and industry would be stopped, and government would be paralyzed in the paralysis of the people." — 12 Wallace, 464,465.


There are other objections of minor importance sometimes urged by the advocates of the metallic system which we have not time, nor do we think it necessary for the purposes of this chapter, to consider. We have clearly demonstrated to the reader that, to retain and depend solely on a metallic standard, with paper convertible into coin, that we must have, from time to time, periods of contraction, expansion and resumption, with periods of financial distress, wide-spread ruin, and general bankruptcy that have ever been the results of that system; that by the adoption of the non-convertible, absolute paper system, and the issue of a sufficient quantity to satisfy the business demands of the country, and that volume to be kept uniform with, and relative to the growth of the population and business of the country, would be a remedy against the present prevailing financial distress, and against its probable recurrence in the future.

We believe, however, that this chapter would be incomplete, were we to omit the history of the position of the two great political parties in existence in the government to-day upon this all important question. As has already been seen, contraction was a measure preparatory to resumption, for which a majority of the representatives of both parties voted in 1866.

We now come to a consideration of the position of the two old parties on the Resumption Act of 1875, and on the principle of resumption in general. The Act of 1875, was passed by a strictly party vote; the Republicans voting for, while the Democrats voted against it. Both parties, however, favored the resumption of specie payments. The objection which the Democratic party had to the act of January 14, 1875, was that it fixed the time to resume about four years ahead, or January 1, 1879.

As it has been, and is still claimed by many Democratic speakers in the West and South, that the Democratic


party is in favor of greenbacks and opposed to resumption, it will be necessary to call attention to the record of the party while this matter was pending. It has already been shown that all the Democrats, except one, voted for the act to "contract the currency with a view to as early a resumption of specie payments as possible." This act was a preparatory measure to resumption.

The next place we find them on record is in the act of February 4th, 1868, which reads as follows:

"That from and after the passage of this act, the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to make any reduction of the currency, by retiring' or canceling United States notes, shall be, and is hereby suspended."

This act passed the House, December 7th, 1867, by 127 yeas to 32 nays, only 24 of those voting yea were Democrats.

In 1872 they declared in their platform that:

"A speedy return to specie payments is demanded alike by the highest considerations of commercial morality and honest government." — Plank 8 of platform.

Again, in 1876, we find them declaring as follows:

"We denounce the failure for all these eleven years of peace, to make good the promise of the legal tender notes, which are a changing standard of value in the hands of the people, and the non-payment of which, is a disregard of the plighted faith of the nation. * * * We denounce the financial imbecility and immorality of that party which, during eleven years of peace, has made no advance towards resumption; no preparation for resumption; but, instead, has obstructed resumption. * * And, while annually professing to intend a speedy return to specie payments, has annually enacted fresh hindrances thereto. As such a hindrance we denounce the resumption clause of the act of 1875, and we hereby demand its repeal."


Now, we are getting to the bottom of it. They denounce the resumption clause of the act of 1875.

What is that? Here we have it:

"And, on and after the first day of January, Anno Domini, eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, the Secretary of the Treasury shall, etc., etc."

The time was the only point of difference. The Republicans wanted resumption to take place in 1879; the Democrats wanted it sooner. That this is true, it is only necessary to call attention to the fact that at the Democratic convention, held in St. Louis in 1876, Mr. Ewing, of Ohio, offered as a substitute for that part of the platform which "demanded the repeal of the resumption clause of the act of 1875," one which "demanded the repeal of the whole resumption act forthwith."

Mr. Ewing's substitute was voted down by a majority of 550 to 219. Thus we see that both parties were in favor of contraction, and both were in favor of resumption, and the final destruction of greenbacks.

In further support of this fact, note the following:

"The retirement from circulation of the United States notes, with the capacity of legal tender in private contracts, is a step to be taken in our progress towards a safe and stable currency, which should be accepted as the policy and the duty of the government and the interest and security of the people in it." — President Hayes' Message, December 2d, 1879.

"It would seem, therefore, that now and during the maintenance of resumption, it (the legal tender clause), is a useless and objectionable assertion of power, which Congress might now repeal on the grounds of expediency alone." — John Sherman's Report, 1879, page 12.

"Resolved, That from and after the passage of this resolution, the treasury notes of the United States shall be


receivable for all dues to the United States, excepting duties on imports, and shall not be otherwise a legal tender." — Senator Bayard's Resolution, Dec. 3d, 1879.

"I am now for resumption, and the Democratic candidates for president and vice-president want the same kind of resumption that I do — a real and not a sham resumption. We want the resumption intended to be secured by the resolution I offered in the Senate last December. * * * It was a resolution right on the ancient pathway of constitutional Democracy, withdrawing from the treasury notes when paid and redeemed at the treasury, any power of enforced legal tender when re-issued." — Senator Bayard's New York Speech, September 23, 1880.

It will appear, from the above, that Hancock and English were in favor of destroying the greenback. Senator-Bayard was in a position that rendered him capable of knowing.

"It would be sound policy, therefore, for us to do our duty and wipe out the greenbacks. But whether we should succeed or fail, whether it is expedient or not, I would make the fight on this issue and on this line." — Letter of Wade Hampton, December, 1879.

Had it not been for over 300,000 men who voted for Gen. Weaver of Iowa, in 1880, the greenback would perhaps, ere this, have been destroyed.

It was a manly protest against any further contraction. We call particular attention to the action of the National Democratic Convention at St. Louis in 1876, that nominated Samuel J. Tilden for president. We present the planks adopted by that convention to the consideration of Democratic speakers and editors who seek to convey the impression that the Democratic party is opposed to resumption. Is it not inconsistent to abuse the Republican party for doing everything in its power to bring about resumption


when their own party platform in 1876, denounces them as having made no "advance towards resumption, no preparation for resumption, but, instead, has obstructed resumption." They then denounced them because they had not resumed. They denounced the greenbacks or legal tender notes as a "changing standard of value in the hands of the people." It cannot be denied that Mr. Tilden was a representative Democrat. In him the party trusted as its great leader. From a letter written by Mr. Parke Godwin — an intimate friend and supporter of Mr. Tilden — in 1875, we are enabled to learn more clearly the position of the Democratic party and its illustrious leader upon the question of resumption. Mr. Godwin, speaking of the financial plank, as quoted from the Democratic platform, in 1876, says:

"It is proper to recall before we scrutinize the scope and meaning of these phrases that were stoutly opposed, both in committee and convention, by inflationist leaders. Whatever their real purport, these men saw in them a flat contradiction of their own schemes.

"General Ewing and Mr. Voorhees, who spoke for the minority, denounced them as a complete surrender to the hard-money theorists. The former, in order to obtain a partial recognition of his ways of thinking, moved a substitute proposing a repeal of the whole Resumption Act ‘forthwith’ " Mr. Dorsheimer of the majority of the committee, refused to accede to it, saying: "I propose right here to make a straight issue between hard and soft money. By that we stand or fall." He was sustained by the convention, and the substitute rejected by a vote of more than two and a half to one — 550 to 219. The result was regarded as a decisive victory for the advocates of the sounder doctrines. I cannot doubt that such is the right interpretation of the result; for I discover that these


resolves are mainly a summary of the teachings of Gov. Tilden, to be found in his luminous messages to the New York Legislature, wherein he speaks in no ambiguous language. Governor Tilden was originally opposed to the issue of irredeemable notes, and counseled Secretary Chase against the expedient, which he averred would greatly enhance the cost of the war, and lead to the embarassments and disasters we have since experienced. When they were once issued he insisted that they should be held redeemable at all times in the interest-bearing obligations of the government, which Mr. Spaulding, the author of the Legal Tender Act, tells us was the original intention of its framers. At the close of the war, one of his grounds of quarrel with the party in power was, that it did not at once engage actively and efficiently in preparations for their redemption."

The above letter was endorsed by the National Democratic Committee and printed and circulated as a Democratic campaign document in the Tilden campaign of 1876.

In 1880 they declared for:

"Honest money. * * * consisting of gold and silver, and paper convertible into coin on demand."

It is useless to pursue this subject further. To the unprejudiced mind it must appear that both of the existing political parties are responsible for the present sad condition of the American laborer.

"To secure resumption of specie payments by the shrinkage of values has bankrupted two hundred thousand of the most enterprising business firms in this country. It has caused wide-spread stagnation of business and financial distress. It has caused forced sales of merchandise, of household goods and farming stocks, far below the cost of production — and has caused, besides, various sacrifices of landed property. It has caused a general suspension


of labor, the only legitimate source of wealth, by which thousands of our most useful citizens are rendered destitute of the means of living, and reduced to extreme poverty and despair. It has created criminals and organized an army of tramps — overflowing our prisons and alms-houses, and consequently increasing the burdens of taxation. Debts are inflated, while the means for paying debts are shrunk out of sight, all for the visionary hallucination of resumption of specie payments, which is only an idea and not a fact. Time is not long enough — the recuperative energies of the American people are not strong enough for the next ten generations to outgrow the blighting effect of this attempted resumption, which, in any event, is a fallacy — a fraud upon public credulity. The equalization of values may be effected, but to pay all individual and public dues in specie on demand is simply promulgating a monstrous lie. Resumption is a wide-spread — a withering curse, and is full of dead men's bones. It is chargeable with more distress upon the American people, more moral degradation, the destruction of more property and the creation of more misery in this country during the past years than all the combined work of all the villians and felons of the civilized world, during the same period of time. Yet, boasted statesmen — politicians and professed Christians, insist upon resumption and contraction, with their blighting curses — in trying to effect that which has not, and can not be, resumption. To attempt which has only resulted in that which the country has been suffering from these many long years, of business disaster and financial ruin — miseries for the many — good times for the few."


Chapter III. National Banks.

THE ACT incorporating the national banking system for twenty years was passed by Congress and became a law March 25, 1863. One of the obvious reasons why we demand the abolition of national banks is set forth in the preceding chapters. It is founded upon the specie basis system and has control of the volume of circulating medium. Besides this it has many other objectionable features. Government bonds, which the rich alone possess, is made a special and the only security, by which its benefits can be derived.

The banking law with its various amendments covers sixty-five pages. (See Laws relating to Loans and the Currency, pp. 153 to 218.) We give below some of its leading features.

It can issue its notes without limit:

"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled, That so much of section five thousand, one hundred and eighty-five of the Revised Statutes of the United States as limits the circulation of banking associations, organized for the purpose of issuing notes payable in gold, severally to one million dollars, be, and the same is hereby repealed; and each of such existing banking associations may increase its circulating notes, and new banking associations may be organized, in accordance with existing law, without respect to such limitation.


"Approved January 19, 1873. — See Laws relating to Loans and the Currency, p. 212."

SECTION 3. That section five thousand one hundred and seventy-seven of the Revised Statutes, limiting the aggregate amount of circulating notes of national banking associations be, and is hereby repealed; and each existing banking association may increase its circulating notes in accordance with existing law without respect to said aggregate limit; and new banking associations may be organized in accordance with existing law without respect to said aggregate limit. — Approved January 74, 1875. — See Laws relating to Loans and the Currency, page 144.

SECTION 5150. Every association, after having complied with the provisions of this title, preliminary to the commencement of the banking business, and before it shall be authorized to commence banking business under this title, shall deliver to the Treasurer of the United States, any United States registered bonds, bearing interest, to an amount not less than $30,000 and not less than one-third of the capital stock paid in.

SECTION 5. * * * The comptroller of the currency shall give to any such association powers of attorney to receive and appropriate to its own use the interest on the bonds which it has so transferred to the Treasurer.

SECTION 5171. Upon a deposit of bonds as prescribed by sections fifty-one hundred and fifty-nine and fifty-one hundred and sixty, the association making the same shall be entitled to receive from the comptroller of the Currency circulating notes of different denominations, in blank, registered and countersigned as hereinafter provided, equal in amount to ninety per centum of the amount of bonds at the par value thereof, if bearing interest at the rate of not less than five per centum per annum.

Be it resolved, etc., That the secretary of the treasury be authorized to anticipate the payment of interest on the public debt, by a period not exceeding one year, from time to time, either with or without a rebate of interest upon


the coupons, as to him may seem expedient. — Approved, March 17, 1874.

SECTION 2. * * * And all stocks, bonds, and other securities of the United States held by individuals, corporations, or associations, within the United States, shall be exempt from taxation by or under State authority.

It will be seen, by the above acts of Congress, that the prominent features of the banking system are:

1st. They are privileged to either extend or contract their circulation.

2nd. Government bonds are made the only security in the establishment of a national bank.

3rd. They draw interest on the bonds thus deposited, and this interest may be paid one year before it is due.

4th. They receive ninety per cent, of the amount of bonds deposited in currency, which they are enabled to loan to the people.

In addition to the above, they pay no taxes on their bonds, none on their capital or deposits, and only one per cent, on their circulation. Some of these banks are also designated as government depositories, and receive the benefit of the use of millions of dollars free of charge.

Notwithstanding all this legislation in the interest of the banks, it is claimed that they pay but small dividends on their capital. The report of the Comptroller of the Currency for the year 1887, places the dividends on the capital invested at less than eight per cent. These tables are made use of by the politicians to deceive the people with regard to the enormous profits of the system. We will now proceed to examine into the workings of the system and learn, if we can, where the profits go.

We quote the following from the Chicago Tribune of July 13, 1888:

"The National banks of Chicago are averaging not


far from ten per cent, on the capital stock, and are constantly adding to the surplus. Of course everybody recognizes the leadership of the First. It is the largest bank as to deposits in the United States. Its statements show that its SURPLUS FUND, PLUS THE DIVIDENDS paid to the stockholders during the last five years would amount to over $3,000,000, or 100 per cent. on the capital stock. A bank that earns for its stockholders an average of twenty per cent, a year is certainly doing well enough. There, however, seems to be no reason why all banking institutions in the city should not continue to grow as rapidly as they have heretofore. The new ones are all in a condition to pay dividends if they choose; but the policy followed is to secure a surplus first. The American Exchange is the only one that has come into the dividend list this year, and that pays three per cent, semi-annually. The Metropolitan earned twenty-one per cent, last year and thirteen per cent, the first half of this, and it is claimed that the Park earned ten per cent, in the twelve months ending June 30."

It will be seen by the above that "the policy followed is to accumulate a surplus" and not declare large dividends. And some banks are declaring no dividends at all, but transferring all their profits to the "surplus" fund. Yes! Why not? Poor bankers! They are eking out a poor, miserable existence on an 8 per cent, dividend, (according to the comptroller's report) and a few cents transferred to the surplus fund, all amounting to the mere trifle of 100 per cent, or double their capital in five years. And still they are yawping for more legislation in their interest, as will be seen hereafter. But how is it with the farmers, in the meantime, in the great State of which Chicago is the metropolitan city? The following table was prepared by Charles F. Mills, the secretary and statistician of the Illinois State Board of Agriculture, and shows the


loss to the farmers in the production of corn crops for the years 1882 to 1886. inclusive:

For the year 1882 $1,273,560.
For the year 1883 8,621,440.
For the year 1884 11,480,559.
For the year 1885 11,381,700.
For the year 1886 19,870,258.
Total loss in five years $52,377,528.

It is unnecessary to comment on the above comparison.

William H. English of Indiana, president of a national bank at Indianapolis, and the nominee of the Democratic party for vice-president of the United States in 1880, submitted to the stockholders the following report:

"I congratulate the stockholders of our enterprise. The bank has been in operation 14 years, under my control, with a capital stock of $500,000. In the meantime it has voluntarily returned $500,000 of capital stock back to its stockholders, besides paying them in dividends $1,496,250, part of which was gold, and I now turn it over to you with a capital unimpaired and $327,000 of the undivided earnings on hand. To this might be added the premiums of United States bonds, at present prices amounting to $36,000, besides quite a large amount for lost or destroyed bills."

The items of profit are as follows:

Returned to stockholders $500,000
Dividends to stockholders 1,496,250
Undivided earnings 327,000
Premium on bonds 36,000
Lost or destroyed bills 24,000
Total $2,383,250


The banks have another way of deceiving the people in the way of profits. Five or ten men form themselves into a banking association, make themselves officers, and draw salaries as follows:

1 President, salary $3,000.
1 Vice-President, salary 2,000.
5 Directors, salary 5,000.
1 Cashier, salary 2,000.
1 Assistant Cashier, salary 1,500.
1 Book-keeper, salary 1,500.
1 Policeman, salary 500.
1 Janitor, salary 500.
Rent 1,000.
Total $17,000.

It will be observed that the larger part of the above total goes to the owners of the capital while the bulk of the work is done by those who draw the smaller salaries. We have 3,049 of these banks, which cost on an average, perhaps, to operate, the above sum for each bank, or an aggregate of $51,833,000.

This immense sum is taken from the productive industries of the country to pay the salaries of the officers of the national banks of the United States. The average circulation of bank notes for the past twenty years has been about $300,000,000. The average rate of interest at which this money is loaned is, perhaps, not less than ten per cent per annum, or an annual interest burden of $30,000,000. Or $600,000,000 in interest paid on bank notes in twenty years, which the government has furnished to the bankers at one per cent, per annum. But the influence which this vast aggregation of wealth exercises over the political affairs of our government is worse, if possible, than the financial burdens it lays directly upon the wealth producers of the country. With a capital many times greater than


the old United States bank; with its arms stretched out in every State and Territory of the Union; with a firm grip not only on the political machinery, but upon the entire business of the country, it enters our legislative halls with an audacity that is alarming, and its immense power threatens the destruction of the liberties of the people. As the New York Tribune says, they are so well organized that "they can at a single day's notice, act together with such power that no act of Congress can overpower or resist their decision."

"It is the cheapest kind of foolishness to contend that National banks are oppressing the people to the extent that the wild-eyed orators and ranting newspapers of the Union Labor party are trying to make believe." — Beacon, Democratic paper.

"So there is not such a great boogerboo in the National banks after all." — Beacon.

"The banks are not oppressing the farmers who do not borrow their money. They were a public necessity at the time of their incorporation in order to furnish funds for the government. They are so closely connected with the business of the country that I do not think it would be advisable to abolish them at this time. They are not an issue in the campaign." — Sam. H. Davidson, Senator-elect from the 2nd District, Arkansas.

"It is the best banking system in the world." — Republican Party.

The above quotations are samples of expressions from Democrats and Republicans who give an honest opinion of the position of their respective parties on this important question. How different from the opinions of the pure and patriotic statesmen of the past! Let the people read the following authorities and judge for themselves whether Jefferson, Calhoun, Benton and others were fanatics, or


whether modern Democracy and Republicanism has drifted from their old time moorings.


"Resolved, That Congress has no power to charter a United States bank; that we believe such an institution one of deadly hostility to the best interests of the country; dangerous to republican institutions and the liberties of the people, and calculated to place the business of the country within the control of a concentrated money power, above the laws and the will of the people."

* * "I sincerely believe with you, that banks are more dangerous than standing armies. * * Put down the banks, and if this country cannot be carried through the longest war, against her most powerful enemy, without loading us with perpetual debt, I know nothing of my countrymen." — Thomas Jefferson.

In a letter to Mr. Gallatin, December 13, 1803, Mr. Jefferson said of the old United States bank:

"This institution is one of most deadly hostility existing against the principles and form of our constitution.

"The nation is at this time strong and united in its sentiments, and cannot be shaken. But suppose a series of untoward events should occur, sufficient to bring into doubt the competency of the government to meet a crisis of great danger, an institution like this, penetrating by its branches every part of the union, acting by command and in phalanx, may in a critical moment upset the government.

"I deem no government safe which is under the vassalage of any self-constituted authorities, or any other authority than that of the nation or its regular functionaries. What an obstruction could these banks be in time of war! They might dictate to us the peace we should accept, or withdraw their aid.


Ought we to give further growth to an institution so powerful, so hostile ? That it is hostile we know.

First. From a knowledge of the principles of the persons who compose the body of their directors and stockholders.

Second. From their opposition to the measures and principles of the government and those friendly to them.

Third. From the sentiments of the newspapers they support.

Should we not make a beginning toward an independent use of our own money, towards holding our own bank, and letting the treasurer give his draft or note for payment at any particular place, which in a well conducted government ought to have as much credit as any private draft or bank note or bill, and would give us the same facilities which we derive from banks.

Treasury bills or notes, bottomed on taxes, and thrown into circulation, will take the place of so much gold or silver, but bank paper must be suppressed, and the circulation restored to whom it belongs."

Jackson, in his farewell address, speaking of the United States bank, said: "The immense capital, the peculiar privileges bestowed upon it, enabled it to exercise despotic sway over the other banks in the entire country. From its superior strength it could seriously injure, if not destroy, the business of any one of them which might incur its resentment, and it openly claimed for itself the power of regulating the currency throughout the United States. In other words, it asserted (and undoubtedly possessed) the power to make money plenty or scarce, at its pleasure, at any time, and in any quarter of the Union, by controlling the issues of other banks, and permitting an expansion, or compelling a general contraction of the circulating medium, according to its own will. The other banking


institutions were sensible of its strength, and they soon generally became its obedient instruments, ready at all times to execute its mandates; and, with the banks necessarily went also that numerous class of persons in our commercial cities who depended altogether on bank credits for their solvency and means of business; who are therefore obliged, for their own safety, to propitiate the favor of the money power by distinguished zeal and devotion in its service.

"The result of the ill-advised legislation, which established this great monopoly, was to concentrate the whole moneyed power of the Union, with its boundless means of corruption, and its numerous dependents, under the direction and command of one acknowledged head; thus organizing this particular interest as one body, and securing to it unity and concert of action, throughout the United States, and enabling it to bring forward, upon any occasion, its entire and undivided strength to support or defeat any measure of the government. In the hands of this formidable power, thus perfectly organized, was also placed unlimited dominion over the amount of the circulating medium, giving it the power to regulate the value of property and the fruits of labor, in every quarter of the Union; and to bestow prosperity or bring ruin upon any city or section of the country, as might best comport with its own interest or policy.

"We are not left to conjecture how the moneyed power thus organized and with such a weapon in its hands, would be likely to use it. The distress and alarm which pervaded and agitated the whole country, when the Bank of the United States waged war upon the people, and in order to compel them to submit to its demands, cannot yet be forgotten. The ruthless and unsparing temper with which whole cities and communities were oppressed, individuals impoverished and ruined, and a scene of cheerful prosperity


suddenly changed into one of gloom and despondency, ought to be indelibly impressed on the memory of the people of the United States. If such was its power in a time of peace, what would it not have been in a season of war with an enemy at your doors? No nation but the freemen of the United States could have come out victorious in such a contest; yet, if you had not conquered, the government would have passed from the hands of the many to the hands of the few; and this organized money power, from its secret conclave, would have dictated the choice of your highest officers, and compelled you to make peace or war, as best suited their own wishes. The forms of your government might for a time have remained; but its living spirit would have departed from it."

At another time he said:

"The question is distinctly presented, whether the people of the United States are to govern through representatives chosen by their unbiased suffrages, or whether the power and money of a great corporation are to be secretly exerted to influence their judgment and control their decisions. It must now be determined whether the bank is to have its candidates for all the offices in the country, from the highest to the lowest, or whether candidates on both sides of political questions shall be brought forward, as heretofore, and supported by the usual means." — Message of December 3, 1833.

"The bank is in the field, enlisted for the war, a battering ram — not to beat down the walls of hostile cities, but to beat down the citadel of American liberty; to command the elections and elect a bank president by dint of bank power. The bank is in the field, a combatant, and a fearful and tremendous one in the presidential election. If she succeeds, there is an end of American liberty, an end of the Republic. The president of the bank and the


President of the United States will be cousins in the royal sense of the word. They will elect each other; they will transmit their thrones to their descendants." — Thomas H. Benton in U. S. Senate.

"The bank has thrown herself into the political arena to control the presidential election. If she succeeds in that election, she will wish to consolidate her power by getting control of all other elections. Government of States, judges of the courts, Representatives and Senators in Congress, all must belong to her. The Senate especially must belong to her, for there lies the power to confirm nominations and to try impeachments. To get possession of the Senate, the legislatures of a majority of the States will have to be acquired. The whole government will fall into the hands of this money power. An oligarchy will be established, but that oligarchy will in a few years ripen into a monarchy." — Thomas H. Benton, in U. S. Senate.

"Place the money power in the hands of a combination of a few individuals, and they, by expanding or contracting the currency, may raise or sink prices at pleasure; and by purchasing when at the greatest depression, and selling when at the greatest elevation, may command the whole property and industry of the community, and control its fiscal operations. The banking system concentrates and places this power in the hands of those who control it. Never was an engine invented better calculated to place the destiny of the many in the hands of the few, or less favorable to that equality and independence which lies at the bottom of our free institutions." — John C. Calhoun, in U. S. Senate.

The following able and eloquent speech made in the House, February 29th, 1888, by Gen. James B. Weaver, of Iowa, is so pertinent to the subject, and such a thorough exposition of the manner in which the people's money has, and still is being used, that we publish it entire. The bill


authorizing the purchase of bonds being under consideration, Gen. Weaver made the following speech:

Mr. Chairman:

In the commencement of my remarks, I wish now to disclaim any intention of making an attack upon any executive officer who may now be, or who may have been heretofore, in power. But I intend to tell what I believe to be true, let it hurt whom it may. The truth ought to be told, and told without apology.

Sir, this country is now within the grasp of a gigantic, cold-blooded money trust, which limits the money output, prescribes the conditions on which it deigns to accept the currency at the hands of the government, determines the channels through which it shall reach the people, and the terms upon which it shall be doled out.

This trust usurps the sovereignty of the nation, mocks at the suffering of its victims, and relies upon the painful "necessities" of the situation to keep them in subjection. [Applause.]

For a quarter of a century this trust has overawed Congress, and at this time is setting at defiance laws which it does not approve. It is a national organization, with ramifications everywhere. It holds annual sessions, has an executive council, which meets in secret, and is clothed with power to collect large sums of money and to disburse the same for purposes which are not made public. It is the architect of our present financial structure. They have built to suit the cupidity of the usurer and so as to administer to the devouring appetite of money ghouls, rather than to serve the legitimate wants of business and trade. They have made it a snare, a delusion, and a rack of torture to those who are content to accumulate wealth by production, and it has proved a bed of quicksand to business energy and honest thrift.

I regard the situation to-day as not presenting a contest between the people and any executive department of this government, but a contest between the people and the non-political moneyed oligarchy that controls all departments, and seeks to control all political parties.


Where is the money which this resolution seeks to pay out in the purchase of government bonds? It is not in the treasury. Fifty-nine millions of it are in national banks, and they are using it without interest. The secretary of the treasury has serious doubts about his authority under the law of March 3, 1881, to purchase bonds with the money. It is a little singular that some doubts did not arise in his mind as to his power to deposit this amount of money in the national banks.

Under what law did he deposit it? You will find the law on page 365 of Loans and Currency.

"All national banking associations designated for that purpose by the secretary of the treasury shall be depositories of public money, except receipts for customs, under such regulations as may be prescribed by the secretary, and they may also be employed as financial agents of the government."

Now, Mr. Chairman, when was that law passed? It was passed June, 1864, during the struggle for the preservation of the Union, when the government had to disburse large sums of money in various parts of the country in payment of the army and in payment for supplies. That was the necessity under which the law passed, and the necessity having ceased, the rule ought to have ceased also.

There was no design in the passage of that law to make the national banks depositories of government funds for their convenience and benefit. It was the convenience of the government that was uppermost in the minds of Congress, and when the necessity ceased, the deposit of money in the national banks should have ceased also. But, sir, it is true, that there are fifty or more national banks in this country that have been literally stuffed with government funds for the past quarter of a century; money wrung from the people by unjust and oppressive taxation has been stuffed into the banks, and by them loaned back to the poor wretches from whom it was extorted. Who on this floor will deny that? Fifty-nine millions? Where is it? Scattered promiscuously over the country, without regard to the convenience of the government, utterly in


defiance of sound policy, and solely with reference to the convenience and at the behest of the banks.

Let me give you a specimen or two. I find on the list I hold in my hand the Hamilton National bank, of Fort Wayne, Ind., which has nearly $100,000 of the public money. Whose bank is that? That is the bank in which an ex-secretary of the treasury (Mr. McCulloch) is largely interested. His salary as secretary of the treasury ceased long ago, but his profits from the use of this $100,000 of government money continues, and amounts to nearly or quite as much per annum as his salary used to be. He is using the people's money that has been wrung from them at the expense of their homes, at the expense of thousands of hungry children all over this country, who are half-clad, half-fed, and less than half educated. [Applause.] Who else have their clutches on this government money ? The Chase National bank, of New York, has $1,100,000 of it. Who presides over the Chase National bank? Mr. Cannon, late comptroller of the currency. He still has his hand in the treasury, and is using without interest $1,100,000 of government funds, the profit upon which far exceeds the salary which he received when he was comptroller of the currency. Then comes the First National bank of New York. That is the bank that was caught with $43,000,000 of the public money in it when Mr. Sherman was secretary of the treasury, and when its own capital stock amounted to less than a quarter of a million dollars. What kind of official honesty is this, and what an example to the country!

That bank to-day has $1,100,000 of government money which it has the use of without interest. While the farmers of my district and my State are ground down by their mortgages and crushed into the earth by their debts, this gentleman and his bank are the favored ones and have the free use of $1,100,000 of the people's money.

Then we have the National Bank of the Republic in New York, with $930,000 of the government money. Who presides over that bank? John Jay Knox, an ex-comptroller of the currency. He, too, has his arm into the treasury up to the elbow, and the profit which he derives from the use of this $930,000 of the government


funds far exceeds the salary which he received when he was comptroller.

Next we have the National Bank of the Republic in the city of Washington, a bank in the same city with the national treasury, and alongside of it. What necessity is there for a government depository here in Washington? Everybody knows that it is a mere gratuity to the bank, and I denounce it as a shameless exhibition of bad official morals.

This National Bank of the Republic is presided over, I am told, by ex-Postmaster General Creswell. It has $165,000 of public funds.

Mr. Bayne — Did the gentleman mention the National Bank of the Republic?

Mr. Weaver — Yes, sir; a bank here in Washington.

Mr. Bayne — That is not located alongside the treasury department.

Mr. Weaver — How far from it?

Mr. Bayne — Down on Seventh street. [Laughter.] One word more —

Mr. Weaver — No, sir; I do not wish to be further interrupted. My time is limited.

Mr. Bayne — Mr. Creswell is not president of that bank.

Mr. Weaver — Well, Mr. Creswell's bank is using government money, as I understand. If I have the wrong bank by the ear I have not the wrong ex-postmaster general by the ear. [Laughter.] I may have placed the right man in the wrong place.

Now, I come to the Western National bank of New York. That Bank, it will be remembered, was organized during the second session of the forty-ninth Congress, by three prominent treasury officials, concerning one of whom (peace to his ashes) I will not say a word; but two other treasury officials, the treasurer of the United States, Mr. Jordan, and the sub-treasurer of the United States, at New York, Mr. Canda, were prominent in organizing that bank and are prominent stockholders in it to-day. How much government money has this bank? One million one hundred thousand dollars. It deposited bonds to the amount


of $1,000,000 and received $1,100,000 of government funds, which are being used by this bank, as well as all these other ex-officials are using government funds for their own profit and advantage. F. O. Matheissen, one of the prominent characters in the infamous sugar trust, was conspicuous in organizing this bank and is a prominent stockholder in it. I examined the record with regard to this bank, and I want to give what it says. The book which designates the amount that these banks shall receive shows this order concerning the Western National, Mr. Jordan's bank: "Fill the bank from banks outside of New York."

Is not that good? [Laughter.]

I have a letter from the secretary of the treasury concerning this bank which I desire to read for the edification and instruction of this house. It is dated Washington, D. C., October 8, 1887, and is directed to the treasurer of the United States.

SIR: The Western National Bank of New York city has been designated as a United States depository, and the security fixed for the present at $1,000,000 of United States four per cent. bonds. In order to avoid the usual delay in obtaining a balance by accumulating revenue deposits, I will thank you, when the bonds are received, to cause to be transferred to said bank from national bank depositories other than those in New York city such amounts as may be deposited therein to the credit of your general account in excess of their authorized balances, until the sum of $1,100,000 is reached, which amount the Western National bank will be authorized to hold as a fixed balance. Respectfully yours,

C. S. FAIRCHILD, Secretary.

Now, this was an order to the treasurer of the United States, whereupon he issued his order to the banks outside of New York to transmit their balances directly to the Western National bank — not to the secretary of the treasury — but directly to that bank, and to telegraph the amount of their remittances to the secretary of the treasury.

And then at this session of Congress the secretary of


the treasury has sent in an item showing a deficiency in the telegraphic expenditures, and he states in his letter, that the deficiency is solely owing to the large amounts of deposits placed in the national banks. That is to say, the cost of telegraphing, both to and from the banks that are using this government money for nothing, is paid out of the treasury of the United States; and in order to meet the expense, an item has been allowed in the urgent deficiency bill, which passed this House. What excuse is there for this?

Mr. Bayne — What is the date of the letter just read by the gentleman?

Mr. Weaver — October 8th, 1887.

Then we have also the Third National bank at Buffalo, New York. Whose bank is that? It is a bank controlled by a gentleman prominent in the Standard Oil trust. Yes, the Standard Oil Company has its hand in the treasury also, through this and other banks. Think of the shame and disgrace of such a transaction. No wonder the people are losing confidence in the government.

This Standard Oil bank, the Third National bank of Buffalo, has $165,000 of the government money; and the Sea-board National bank of New York, in which Daniel O'Day, the general manager of the Standard Oil Pipe line, and J. J. Vandergrift, the president of the Standard Oil Pipe line, are prominent stockholders, has $515,000 of the government money.

The president and treasurer of the American Bankers' association are presiding over national banks which have been designated as depositories, and twelve out of the twenty-one members of the executive council of that "trust" are also connected with banks that are depositories, and are using government money.

Mr. Chairman, it is true that one and all these "trusts" that are to-day choking the very life out of the people of this country are, through their national banks, using to a greater or less extent the government money, and are using it to oppress the people. I say this is a public outrage and a villainous shame. Here Congress has been sitting for nearly three months, and not half a dozen voices have


been raised against it; not a move has been made to remedy the evil or to rebuke the crime. On the contrary, efforts have been made to extend the privileges of the banks. I denounce it, and trust I shall be pardoned by my Democratic brethren for my Jeffersonian and Jacksonian eccentricities on this subject. I think we have reached a time when the Democratic party can afford to be Democratic.

Now, Mr. Chairman, I have already indicated that this money is not in the treasury, but in the banks. The banks are simply the lenses through which, like a radiation, this money reached the people. It is now in circulation and the business of the country has adjusted itself to it.

Now, I repeat the question: Why has this money been placed in the banks in the first place? I know the answer, and the only answer that can be given. It was done to avoid a panic then pending. Let us grant that to be true. I assert here and now that if you recall that money as this bill is intended to do, you will inevitably precipitate a panic, and nothing can prevent it. You can not take it from circulation again through the banks without serious embarassment.

This bill will not have the effect which is desired, nor will the secretary of the treasury undertake to carry it out. He dare not. He may undertake to buy a few bonds with the surplus actually in the treasury, and not in the banks, or which may hereafter accumulate. He will not take the responsibility of calling the money into the treasury in the present stringency in the money market. The banks, sir, are the masters of the situation, and not the secretary; but, you will answer, we can demand the money of the banks or compel them to sell their bonds held for deposits. You can do nothing of the kind. They will say to you: Our bonds are valuable and we do not want to sell. If you want your money we will call in our loans and pay, but you, Mr. Secretary, must take the responsibility of a panic, which is likely to follow. That is what they will say. Another fact, Mr. Chairman: The secretary has increased the premium on these bonds by this enormous system of deposits, and this bill proposes to authorize him


to buy the bonds at the premium to which his wretched policy has boomed them. This is something worse than folly. By this policy he boomed the price of the bonds in the hands of the bondholders, and now you propose to buy these bonds back at the increased price.

Well, indeed, may the secretary of the treasury hesitate. He was authorized, if he saw proper, to buy under the law of March 3, 1881, but he was never authorized by any law to first boom the bonds and then buy them back at the increased premium.

If this proposition passes and the secretary undertakes to call in this money, I say to the business men of the country they had better prepare to stand from under. You all know that as well as I do. What shall be done then? Ah, I will tell you the remedy. What power have we over these bondholders? I wish I had every tax-payer of the country within the sound of my voice. What have we the power to do? More than $2,400,000,000 of interest have been paid by the people to the bondholders since the close of the war, and more than $1,600,000,000 of principal, making $4,000,000,000 a sum as great as the present national debt of England!

What is the present proposition? It is that we shall compel the people of the United States to pay over twenty-five per cent. premium on the bonds held by these bondholders. Why, that is not a statutory obligation. Have we ever contracted to pay it? We have the money in the treasury and we have the moral right to insist on payment at par under the sovereign power possessed by the government.

England at one time insisted upon this right and exercised the power. You will find the whole matter ably set forth in Senator Sherman's speech on the credit-strengthening act and the funding bill previous to the issue of these very bonds.

Mr. Chairman, at the proper time I will move as a substitute, that which I ask the clerk to read.

The clerk read as follows:

"Be it enacted, etc., That the secretary of the treasury is hereby authorized and directed to apply the


surplus money now in the treasury, and such surplus money as may hereafter be in the treasury and not otherwise appropriated, to the redemption of United States bonds at par until all of said bonds together with the accrued interest thereon, are called and paid; and from and after the date fixed in the call of the secretary of the treasury for the presentation and payment of said bonds, all interest thereon shall cease. And in making calls for bonds for redemption as aforesaid, the secretary shall first call the bonds held to secure government deposits."

Now, sir, I have the entire list in my hand of the national depositories which have been created under this policy of the treasury department, and they number 208, which number has probably been increased by the addition of eight or ten since the list was prepared. I append the list, and ask that it be printed in The Record.

Mr. Springer — When was this policy inaugurated?

Mr. Weaver — It was inaugurated in October, as I understand it — that is, the present extended policy; but the law was passed in 1864, and to a limited extent banks have been designated by all the secretaries. The policy, however, of depositing the par value of 4 ˝ per cent. bonds was inaugurated by the present secretary of the treasury during the last summer or fall. The policy heretofore obtaining only gave the banks from 80 to 90 per cent.

The above speech is part of the Congressional record, and the statements therein made have never been called into question. The policy of large free deposits was inaugurated in October, 1887, under President Cleveland's administration, by his own appointed secretary of the treasury. It will be observed that three prominent treasury officials, Manning, Jordan and Canda, all Democrats, were largely interested in the Western National bank of New York city, of which they were stockholders and officers, and which was using eleven hundred thousand dollars of government money, free of charge. It was of this bank that Secretary Fairchild wrote to the treasurer


of the United States, to fill it with funds from banks outside of New York, and without delay.

The Republican party instituted the national banking system, but if they ever dreamed of making such wholesale, gratuitous donations of the free use of the people's money, they did not put their plans in operation. The Democratic officials have certainly out-Heroded Herod himself. Upon this issue it is useless for the Democratic libertine to throw stones at the Republican harlot, for both are guilty. That the leaders of the Republican party are open and avowed advocates of national banks is not denied by their adherents. It is strange, however, that with inexcusable inconsistency, the large body of followers in the Democratic party, who claim to adhere to the time-honored principles and doctrines of the old constitutional Democracy as taught by such illustrious statesmen as Jefferson, Jackson, Calhoun and others, will still persist in the face of the records, and action of their leaders, in believing that their party is opposed to national banks. That such was the case up to 1860 there is not the shadow of a doubt. And as late as 1868, the party, assembled in national convention, adopted the following conservative plank in their platform:

"SECTION 5. One currency for the government and the people, the laborer and the office-holder, the pensioner and the soldier, the producer and the bond-holder."

It was the last intimation, as a national party, of any opposition to national banks. At that time, and for years afterward, August Belmont was chairman of the National Democratic Committee. Mr. Belmont was a banker and the American agent of the Rothchilds, who held millions of dollars of government bonds. He succeeded in side-tracking the Democratic party upon the National banking question. For a number of years, however, States and individuals made a gallant fight for this old


time principle. In 1878 several States passed resolutions in their platforms, condemning the National banking system and demanding its abolition. The Democratic party of Missouri said:

"We regard the national banking system as being oppressive and burdensome, and demand the abolition and retirement from circulation of all national bank notes and the issue of legal tender notes in lieu thereof, and in quantities from time to time sufficient to supply the wholesome and necessary business demands of the entire country, and that all greenbacks so issued shall be used in the purchase and retirement of the bonds of the United States, so that the interest bearing debt of the country may be lessened to the extent of the greenbacks thus put in circulation." — Missouri Democratic State platform, 1878.

The New York Day-book, a Democratic paper of the East, greeted the above declaration with the following unique and complimentary article:

"The Missouri Democrats are a set of poor ignorant fools to say that they are in favor of greenbacks. They ought to have sense enough to know that any honest man opposes a fraud, and all Greenbackers are frauds. However, we will allow them to amuse themselves with that childish idea during the campaign, as this election is of no importance — but in 1880 they will be compelled to fall in line with us. The Missouri Democratic platform is destitute of principle, and amounts to nothing more than a jumble of unmeaning and senseless words. We Eastern Democrats treat all such with kindness, because of their ignorance."

That party lashing was sufficient. The Missouri Democrats never made another protest against national banks. The next national Democratic platform, in 1880, contained the following plank:


"Honest money," gold, silver and paper convertible into coin on demand."

The first plank in the Missouri State platform that year read:

"We accept and indorse the principles embodied in the platform adopted by the National Democratic party in June, 1880."

"In 1880 they will be compelled to fall in line with us," said the New York Day Book, in 1878. And in 1880 they did fall in line and have never kicked since.

In 1878 the Democrats of Arkansas declared in their platform as follows:

"1st. We are in favor of making United States treasury notes a full legal tender for all dues where the terms of the original debt or contract are not expressly to the contrary, and that they shall be receivable for all duties and interest on the public debt.

"2nd. The national bank notes should be retired, their further issue prohibited, and United States treasury notes substituted therefor.

"3rd. The power to issue paper money and coin as a legal tender is vested only in the national government, and this power should be exercised from time to time so as to accommodate the necessities of trade, labor, and the general wants of the people of a growing country.

"4th. We are opposed to any plan of funding the debt of the country by which an unjust contraction of the currency, below the necessities of the whole people, can be established, and which has not for its object the funding of the debt at home."

It was the last protest of Arkansas Democracy, in State convention, against the infamous and damnable system of national banks. It was their last expression of


allegiance to the teachings of Jackson, Jefferson and Calhoun on this important question. She is as silent as the tomb. Indiana, Ohio and other States adopted like resolutions. They were the declarations of pure Democracy as the party drifted into the maelstrom of political corruption. Mammon had been set on the hill tops of liberty, and its leaders fell down and worshipped. The golden god which the Republicans had set up was worshipped by the followers of Jefferson and Jackson. Its dazzling brightness had bedimmed their vision. The gold of corporations had proven to be a more potent agent than the petitions of the people. Jackson's memorable words, "That it is not in a splendid government, supported by powerful monopolies and aristocratic establishments that they (the people) will find happiness, or their liberties protected, but in a plain system, void of pomp, protecting all, and granting favors to none. It is such a government that the genius of our people requires," has given way to the following proud boast of the leading administration paper of the National Capitol. The Washington Gazette (Democratic) in a recent issue, says:

"There has been, almost imperceptible in its progress but decidedly visible in its effects, one grand and important change in the constitution of the two great parties of the country. For many years the bankers of the country, the leading merchants, the very wealthy men were all, with very few exceptions, allied with the Republican party. The banks, the great manufacturing and commercial interests, all the varied forms of corporate and lucrative industry are not concerned with the success of party except as that party protects the interests of these industries. So while the moneyed interests of the country heretofore have been with the Republican party, averse to change, supporting it under all circumstances, content to endure the ills they had for fear of flying to evils they


knew not of, yet the Democratic party under Cleveland has proved itself so eminently calculated to take care of these great interests, so conservative, so cautious in its movements, that these great moneyed interests, recognizing the fact that the Democracy is in power, and that it has deserved well of them, have changed their allegiance from the Republican to the Democratic party. It is the latter now which the moneyed and commercial centers desire to keep in power."

The Gazette seems to have no fear but that the rank and file of the Democratic party will follow this new Shylock crowd with Cleveland as its bell-wether. It says:

"The Democratic party, as all men see, follows Cleveland. * * * They will continue to march to the music he has played for them. This fact is perceived by the moneyed interests of the country, and consequently we shall find the latter on the side of Democracy." "Like a lamb" the people are to be "led to the slaughter."

For twenty years the Democratic party has failed to have a plank in opposition to national banks in their platform. In not a single one of the various messages of President Cleveland has he recommended to Congress their abolition. Other matters of much less importance have been the theme of large and luminous messages; but on the question of national banks he has remained as silent as the tomb. If he is opposed to the system why does he not speak out as he has on the tariff question? Hon. John G. Carlisle is speaker of the House, and as such, has in his power the appointment of all the committees. By the appointment of men favorable to certain measures, he wields an influence over legislation that shapes the policy of his party. In the fiftieth Congress, Mr. Carlisle appointed as chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency, Mr. Wilkins of New York, who is a friend of


the banking system, as are also a majority of the other members of the committee. The bankers desired an amendment to the national banking law, that would enable them to draw the full face value of their bonds in currency, instead of ninety per cent, as under the existing law. Mr. Wilkins (Democrat) and the committee (Democrats) appointed by Mr. Carlisle (Democrat), reported the bill to the House in due time and recommended its passage. A preliminary skirmish indicated that the House (Democratic) would pass the bill. Mr. Weaver, who had previously given notice that he would defeat the measure if he had to resort to parliamentary tactics to do so, said: "I rise to move that this House do now adjourn."

"Mr. Anderson from Kansas moves that the vote be taken by ayes and nays, and then and there these men rise to fight on the issue for nearly a week, and Wilkins was wilted because he couldn't get a vote in a legal way to pass his measure through."

Some one had said that the Democratic party was opposed to national banks. It came to the ears of Senator Bayard of Delaware, who has since ornamented Mr. Cleveland's cabinet as secretary of state. No one has the hardihood to doubt his Democracy. He said in a speech made in New York City, September 20, 1880:

"I have seen it charged that the Democratic party were foes to national banks; but I am at a loss to know the authority for this. The platforms of the party contain no such suggestion and admit of no such construction, and it is very certain that for the second place on our ticket we have named Mr. William H. English, of Indiana, one of the ablest financiers and best business men in the whole country, whose management of the affairs of a national bank of which he was president was conspicuous for its success. This disposes of this charge at least."


In December, 1885, Senator Beck, of Kentucky, one of the most eminent statesmen of the Democratic party, in a speech made in the United States Senate, said:

"I desire to state, with great distinctness, that I am not making war on bondholders, or national banks, or bankers. I voted to renew their charters, to repeal all taxes on their capital and deposits, and will cheerfully vote for any and all measures necessary to add to their usefulness, either by increasing their circulation to par with the bonds deposited, or, if it can be done with justice to their competitors in business, repeal the tax on their circulation. When the vote was taken on the bill to recharter the national banks, but 56 Democrats out of 137 in the House, voted against it.

On June 2nd, 1888, Mr. Wilkins, (Democrat) chairman of the Committee on Banking, made the following report to the House:

"Owing to the success attendant on the national banking system and the recognized benefits it now affords the whole country, the question of its continuance to a period co-equal at least with the existence of government bonds, seems well settled by both Congress and the people."

From the report of W. L. Trenholm, Mr. Cleveland's comptroller of the currency, made to Congress in December, 1888, we quote the following extracts as an indication of the Democratic policy with regard to national banks. He says:

"The $346,000,000 of greenbacks are the weak point in our currency system. The gold coins and certificates stand first, the national bank notes next, the silver coins and certificates third, and the greenbacks last in the order of assured value, and it would be a great benefit to the whole mass of the country if this, its frailest element could be eliminated from it.


"The present state of things seems favorable to the substitution of national bank notes for greenbacks, and to that end I venture to submit for the consideration of Congress the following measures:


"1st. Funding into bonds the greenback debt of $346,681,016, or so much of it as may be presented at the treasury within a limited period of time, say three years.

"2nd. The bonds to be issued only to national banks presenting greenbacks for that purpose; to bear a low rate of interest, not exceeding 2 ˝ per cent, and to mature only upon the failure of the bank or upon its dissolution, whether voluntarily or upon the expiration of its corporate existence.

"3rd. The bonds so issued to be available only as a deposit to secure national bank circulation, and to entitle the banks depositing them to receive circulating notes to the amount of their face."

Mr. Trenholm adds, as his reason for the adoption of this policy, the following:

"The national bank system will be restored to healthy activity and stimulated to fresh growth especially in those parts of the country where they are most needed and are found in least numbers."

It is certainly evident to every thinking and unprejudiced mind that the two great parties have joined hands on this issue and are determined to perpetuate the national banking system. It is a part of the programme of the Hazzard circular.


Chapter IV. Free Coinage of Silver.

FOR the reasons set forth in the preceding chapters — the want of a sufficient volume of money — "we demand the free coinage of silver." It is useless to enter into an extensive discussion, why we should have unrestricted coinage of silver. The whole ground has been gone over in the chapter devoted to the subject of contraction. It might not be out of place, however, to show that the restricted coinage of this metal has contributed largely towards the hard times everywhere prevalent. We give below a series of resolutions presented by Senator Stewart, of Nevada, and adopted by the Industrial convention recently held in Washington, D. C.:

"Resolved, That the value of a dollar in money depends upon the number of dollars per capita in circulation, and not upon the material of which the dollar is made.

"Resolved, That it is the duty of the government to furnish the people for circulation the same number of dollars per capita at all times, and thereby avoid the evils of expansion and the calamities of contraction:

"Resolved, That gold and silver were used for more than two thousand years previous to 1875 to limit the amount of money in circulation, and for no other purpose, and that the only excuse for the use of the precious metals was that governments could not be trusted to place a limitation upon a circulation, but that the quantity of gold


and silver in existence, was a necessary limitation to avoid violent fluctuations.

"Resolved, That while gold and silver were scarce by reason of failure of production, the creditor class insisted upon their use as a necessary limitation, but as soon as there was a prospect for sufficient production to keep pace with population and avoid contraction, that class in 1875 consummated the demonetization of silver, and thereby reduced the supply of the precious metals over one-half and doubled the obligation of contracts.

"Resolved, That since the demonetization of silver the price of property and labor throughout the world has already depreciated about 33 1/3 per cent., and must continue to depreciate while the circulating medium is limited to the single gold standard.

"Resolved, That it is the duty of Congress to restore silver and permit a free use of both of the precious metals, or repudiate both and adopt some other means of limiting the circulation, which will be known to all the world.

"Resolved, That the time is past for the secret manipulation of money by the bondholders and bankers, either by influencing legislation or by secret negotiations in Wall street with the secretary of the treasury.

"Resolved, That the people have a right to know the amount of money in circulation per capita, and a right to demand that that amount shall not be diminished.

"Resolved, That there is nothing in the national banking system calculated to maintain a sufficient or regular supply of money, but on the contrary it is a temporary expedient whereby a favored few obtain double interest and expand and contract the currency in the interest of manipulators who are accumulating vast fortunes at the expense of the masses.

"Resolved, That it is the duty of the government to


issue all the money in circulation among the people, whether it is based on gold and silver, or whether it be national currency, called greenbacks, or both, and that the suggestion that it is necessary to do this through the agency of the national banks, or any other combination of speculators, is an assumption that the people are too ignorant to detect such a palpable fraud.

"Resolved, That the present depression of business, falling prices, growing discontent, labor strikes, and suffering among the masses, is the result of contraction, produced by legislation for the benefit of monopolies, and that a remedy for this intolerable evil is more important than all other questions demanding the attention of Congress and the administration.

"Resolved, That this convention is in favor of the passage of a law whereby both gold and silver may be deposited with the government and coin certificates issued therefor, according to their standard value, as now established by law, and that coin certificates and national currency, commonly called greenbacks, be made the only money in circulation, except such a limited amount of subsidiary coin, as may be required to make change, and that Congress fix by law what amount of money per capita shall be in circulation, and under no circumstances allow the amount so fixed to be reduced, and whenever coin certificates are insufficient to keep the requisite amount of money in circulation, greenbacks be issued to make up the deficiency."        W. M. STEWART.

The views of Senator Stewart as embraced in the above resolutions are pertinent to the subject, and emanate from one who, having thoroughly investigated the matter, has the honesty and manhood to maintain his position. We give below an account of an interview which a representative of the Washington Gazette had with the Senator.


It will, perhaps, give the reader a more comprehensive view of the silver question than we could convey in any other way:

"Senator, I think the people would be very much interested if they could see in cold type your views as to the cause of the ‘hard times,’ and I would be gratified if you will allow me to take them in short-hand and publish them. Have you any objection?"

"None in the world," was the courteous reply.

"Well, then," began the reporter, "what is the cause of so much dissatisfaction among the workingmen of the country? Why so many strikes and so much complaint in business circles?"

"Contraction of the circulating medium," promptly replied the Senator.

"What has produced the contraction?"

"The demonetization of silver."

"What do you mean by the demonetization of silver?"

"Both silver and gold were treated as money metals by all civilized countries for about 3,000 years, previous to the year 1875. During all that period either one of these metals could be taken to some government establishment, such as an assay office or a mint, and exchanged for money at a fixed value. For example: Up to that time in the United States 25 8-10 grains of gold, 9-10 fine, could be exchanged at the mint for a dollar. So also, could 415 ˝ grains of silver, 9-10 fine, be exchanged for a dollar. Between 1871 and 1875, by governmental action, each civilized country of Europe and America, refused to receive silver in exchange for money at any fixed price. This action reduced silver to a commodity and demonetized it."

"To put the business interest of the country in good


condition, the workingmen on a good footing, make them prosperous and contented once more, what would you suggest?"

"Remonetize silver," answered the Senator, "liberate the people from the tyranny of the legalized robbers — the bond-holders and the national banks — and prosperity is assured. That will relieve the producer and the laboring man of the terrible pressure of contraction, low wages, poverty and starvation. I have been a laboring man myself. It was by the means of the axe, the scythe, the pick, and the shovel, that I made a start in life. I chopped wood at fifty cents a cord, and many a cord at that. I have mowed grass at fifty cents an acre. I have swung the cradle at a dollar a day, and worked a good many days at it. I have made brick at $12 a month and worked twelve hours a day; and I worked in the mines for two years in the early days of California. I have always sympathized with the laboring man, and I am rejoiced that they are consulting their own interests by organizing and devising ways and means against the wicked conspiracy of the bond-holders to enslave them."

"What have the bondholders to do with it? Why are they to blame?"

"Because they are the authors of the unrest, depression, stagnation, low wages, and hard times now existing. You will understand that if the money of the world were doubled at once, prices would go up. You will also understand that if one-half of the money of the world were destroyed, prices would go down. The bondholders understand this perfectly. The man that goes in debt sells money short, in the language of Wall street. That is to say, he agrees to deliver something that he has not got. If he agrees to deliver a certain amount of money at a future time, and when that time arrives one-half of the


money has been destroyed, it makes it more difficult for him to deliver the money. The same as it would if he sold New York Central stock short, when there was, say 1,000,000 shares, and the stock should be so pooled, when the time for delivery came less than half of the stock was on the market. In that case, in the language of the street, he would be "cinched." This would be contraction of the circulating medium in the one case, and of the New York Central stock in the other.

"But how do you apply this to the bondholders?"

"In 1850 there were in the civilized world about $200,000,000 of gold and silver in circulation among the people. The discovery of gold in California and Australia occasioned a vast increase in the supply of gold. Prices of labor and commodities went up. It was easy to pay debts. The bondholders immediately declared that it was the duty of every government to stop using gold as money; that gold was a base and worthless metal; that the use of it would drive silver, which was the better metal, out of existence as a circulating medium. They employed Chevalier, of France, and Maclaren, of England, to write against the use of gold, in the same way that the bondholders are employing David A. Wells and Edward Atkinson to write against silver to-day. Germany and Austria, in 1857, demonetized gold by excluding that metal from their mints, and Belgium and Holland adopted the single silver standard. Chevalier and others contended that gold was not a legal tender in France, as others contend that silver is not now a legal tender in the United States."

"Why did they not continue the war on gold?"

"Because early in the '70's it became certain that the product of silver would equal, and probably exceed, that of gold, and silver would be the plentier material. At that time the national debts of the civilized world exceeded


twenty-five billions, and the other indebtedness such as states, municipal, railroad and other corporate debts, and mortgage securities, exceeded seventy-five billions, aggregating more than one hundred billion dollars throughout the civilized world. The persons who contracted these debts, at the time the obligations were incurred, had the privilege of paying in either gold or silver. The object in demonetizing silver was to make them pay in gold alone. You understand that it would be much more difficult to pay in gold alone, than it would be to pay in both metals, or to pay in either, at the option of the debtor. In other words, the reduction by one-half of the world's money, caused by the demonetization of silver, would more than double the days of toil of the working masses to procure this one hundred billions of gold, which would be required if the debtor were allowed to pay in either gold or silver, according to contract. This same process more than doubles the value of bonds. For example, a bond that cost 50 cents in coin during the war, upon which interest has been paid twenty-five years, is now worth 130 cents. More than one-half of the national debt has been paid, yet to-day it will take more days of labor, bushels of wheat, or other products of labor, to pay it than it would at the close of the war. This is the result of contraction."

"How long has this contraction been going on?"

"It commenced immediately after the close of the war; first, by the retirement of greenbacks to reach specie payment; and secondly by the demonetization of silver to reach a gold basis to enhance the value of bonds. The demonetization of silver was finally accomplished in 1885, when every mint in Europe and the United States was closed against silver. From 1850 to 1875 the product of gold and silver was nearly two hundred millions annually. The prosperity of the world progressed without a parallel,


notwithstanding the Franco-Austrian war, the Crimean war, the Austro-Prussian war, our own civil war, and the Franco-German war. Wealth and population increased throughout the civilized world more in twenty-five years than in any preceding century. Notwithstanding the destruction of eight billions of property in the war for the Union, and the contraction of more than one billion of the circulating medium to resume specie payments, the value of property in the United States rose from seven billions, in 1850, to thirty-one billions, in 1870. During this period there was a gradual rise in the price of labor and its products, which stimulated man to his noblest exertions, and produced these wonderful results."

"Have prices declined to any serious extent since 1875, and if so, why?"

"Yes, the price of labor and all its products has declined at least 33 1/3 per cent. and this has been produced by contraction. Since 1875, the annual product of gold and silver has been fully two hundred millions. Silver has been refused admittance into the circulation as money, denied access to the mints of the civilized world, and forced to find a market in Asia, thereby reducing the annual supply of the precious metals for use as money about one-half. The reduction would be more than one-half were it not for the compulsory act of Congress of 1878, requiring the coinage of about twenty-five millions per annum of silver. The annual supply of gold has been gradually decreasing. In 1875 it was one hundred and thirteen millions; in 1887 it was reduced to ninety-five millions, and if silver mining is stopped the reduction in the production of gold will be enormously great, for more than one-third of the entire product of gold is found in combination with silver, and obtained from the silver mines. The stoppage of silver mining will cut off this


supply. The inevitable result of the maintenance of the gold standard is perpetual contraction, while our population is constantly increasing."

"Do I understand you to say that as the population of this country increases, a system of contraction is constantly going on?"

"Most assuredly. This is in pursuance of the cherished policy of the bondholders. They never have, in any one instance, since the war closed, suggested a measure of legislation which did not involve contraction. The bonds originally payable in greenbacks, interest only payable in coin, were made payable by the act of March, 1869, in coin. Over a billion of greenbacks were destroyed to resume specie payments. In 1870, the funding act provided that the bonds issued thereupon should be paid in coin of the then standard value, viz: in dollars consisting of either 25 8-10 grains of gold, nine-tenths fine, or 412 1-2 grains of silver of the same fineness. The next move of the bondholders was to enhance the value of bonds by destroying silver as money and compelling payment in gold alone. The national bank system is organized on the principle of contraction. As the bonds are paid their circulation is being retired, and if no false or fraudulent legislation can be obtained to patch up the system, all the national bank circulation will go out of existence upon the payment of their bonds in a very few years. The system itself is a curious one.

"The United States has hundreds of millions of greenbacks in circulation drawing no interest. They issued a large quantity of bonds, say between three hundred and four hundred millions, and sold them for greenbacks, upon which the government has since paid interest. John Doe and Richard Roe, who bought these bonds, were allowed to deposit them in the treasury and continue to draw


interest on them. The United States, for the privilege of keeping these bonds in the vaults of the treasury without charging a cent, gave John Doe and Richard Roe 90 cents on the dollar of the face value of the bonds to loan to the people, and make the latter pay ruinous interest. The excuse for this proceeding was that the credit of the government was not good money, and it was argued that if the United States could get both John Doe and Richard Roe to endorse its paper we would have a sound and reliable circulating medium."

"If this contraction continues ten or twenty years longer, what in your opinion will be the result?"

"Universal bankruptcy and ruin. The symptoms of it are everywhere. Unrest among the people, paralysis in every enterprise, cheaper labor, and starvation and misery, are inevitable, unless a change of policy is immediately adopted."

"What is the remedy?"

"Use both money metals — gold and silver, stop the contraction, give us more money per capita. It has been reduced more than one-half by contraction. Double it, and do it at once, and you will have no more strikes, no more attempts to reduce wages to starvation rates. All existing enterprises will be revived; new enterprises of every description will be brought into existence, wages will be enhanced in value and restored to the standard of twelve years ago — before the demonetization of silver. Return to the good old times of high wages. When labor is well paid and the laboring man is content, prosperity is assured. Plenty of money; plenty work. Little money; little work. That's the whole story."

Perhaps the question most naturally occurring to the reader is: "Why do we not have free coinage of silver?" The answer is the "same old song." The leaders — the


men who shape the policies of both the great political parties have concurred in keeping its coinage restricted.

Both parties are in favor of the restriction of the coinage of silver.

"I would, however, strongly urge upon Congress the importance of authorizing the secretary of the treasury to suspend the coinage of the silver dollars upon the present legal ratio." — President Hays' Message to Congress. December 2, 1879.

"I have seen no reason to change the views expressed in my last annual message, on the subject of this compulsory coinage, and I again urge its suspension on the grounds contained in my former recommendation." — President Cleveland's Message to Congress, December 6, 1886.

President Cleveland is supposed to represent the views of, at least, a large majority of his party, especially its leaders, who control its policy. If my friendly Democratic readers have any doubt as to the truth of this, let them consider the further proof as contained in the following history of the position taken by the party upon the question:

In the Senate, December 21, 1885, Senator Beck of Kentucky, (Democrat), made an able and exhaustive speech relating to the President's, Secretary Manning's and the government's position upon the silver question. We make the following extracts from his speech:

"It seems as though it was thought to be the duty of Congress to see to it that the rich are made richer by making the poor poorer. * * * The present crusade against silver is only another evidence of the audacity of the organization of wealth. They have always secured all they demanded, however unjust their demands. They have succeeded in alarming the president and secretary of


the treasury, as they have done several preceding administrations.

"There is not an outstanding obligation which can not be legally and honestly discharged by the payment of the present standard silver dollar. It is simply an attempt to repeat the legislation of 1869, and the same pretenses are made now that were made then.

"An honest dollar for the working man was then, as now, held up as the patriotic object of those who repudiated the greenback. The last report from the treasury bureau of statistics shows that the silver dollar, which it has become fashionable to malign and denounce in aristocratic circles, will now purchase from twenty-five to thirty per cent, more of all the toiling millions of this country labor to produce, and of all that men need money to obtain, than it would in July, 1870. In the light of these official facts and figures why should it be stricken down?

"The president says: ‘A special effort has been made by the secretary of the treasury to increase the amount of our silver coin in circulation, yet not one dollar, so far as I am advised, has ever been paid in silver as interest on the public debt, or in the purchase of a single bond for the sinking fund. The public creditors have unjustly demanded gold for the interest on their bonds without any semblance of right. And every secretary of the treasury has disregarded the law and acceded to their demands. Our officials have thus aided and abetted the organization of the most powerful body of capitalists in the United States, against silver coinage — men who control the currency of the country and hold the obligations of all its business concerns; men who can contract or inflate the circulating medium on which all our commercial transactions depend." * * *

"These men control boards of trade, chambers of


commerce, and the best talent of the press; they can crush all who are in debt if they dare dissent from, or object to the demands they make. The reports of their conventions and speeches are laid before us with a parade and semblance of authority equal to the report of the secretary of the treasury, or the message of the president. * * *

"And now, having captured the executive branch of the government, the bondholders and their attorneys are besieging Congress to enforce their demand for gold alone in the settlement of their claims, all law, justice and equity to the contrary notwithstanding, by striking down the silver of the standard value of July, 1870, which they then demanded and inserted in the face of every bond they hold, as one of the coins in which the bond should be paid."

It would seem that the fact that no attempt is being made by the leaders of either political party to remove the restriction on the coinage of silver, while on the other hand there have been frequent and persistent attempts to suspend its coinage, is sufficient evidence that there is cause for alarm, and that if this spirit is not checked the day is not far distant when silver will be demonetized.


Chapter V. Over-Production — The Law of Supply and Demand.

THERE is, perhaps, no greater mistake made than the theory contended for by some of our cross-roads politicians and hair-brained editors, that money has nothing to do with controlling prices; that the law of supply and demand alone fixes the price of every commodity. If these self-appointed political economists were to allow the scales of prejudice to fall from their eyes long enough to examine the true principles which underlie and govern commerce, they would learn that "price" is simply the expression of the relation that exists between money and commodities or articles of commerce; and that they are as relative to each other as one commodity is relative to another; and that both are governed by this same law of supply and demand. Were it possible to remove the influence which this law exercises over money, and allow its actions to effect only the commodities of the country, their theory might be tenable, and we would have a true "standard of value." This school of political economists — and strange to say it includes many respectable and intelligent advocates — affirm that if wheat, corn, or any other product of labor is plentiful that prices will be correspondingly low; that if there is a large output of all the commodities there will be a general fall of prices. But they utterly fail to see that money is subject to the same law; that if it is plentiful it is cheap; that it does not take so much of the different commodities nor so much labor to procure it;


and if money is scarce it is dear and requires more of the products of labor to obtain it. Money is said by some to be a measure of value. This is only true in part; for a dollar does not measure the value of bushel of wheat any more than the bushel of wheat measures the value of the dollar. But their values are relative to each other and are both fixed by the law of supply and demand. Neither can it be established that gold or silver, or both, is a standard of value; for their price is fluctuating and quoted in the markets the same as other commodities; the price being governed by the law of supply and demand.

The dollar is only the unit of expression in fixing the relative value between money and commodities. If wheat is plenty and money scarce it takes more wheat to obtain a dollar than if wheat was scarce and money plenty. And this condition does not rest upon the fact that a bushel of wheat will make more flour or satisfy more hunger than when plenty, but simply because the relative conditions existing between wheat and money are changed; both being subject to the law of supply and demand. It is rather strange that those who are so ready to apply the law of supply and demand to the present condition of prices, and cry over-production, are so loth to apply the same law to the present supply of money.

As has been urged in the preceding chapters, and for reasons that will readily appear to the intelligent reader, the relation existing between money and commodities should be kept as near equal as possible, and this is only possible by keeping the volume of money uniformly apace with the increase of population and production. The result would be stable, and approximately uniform prices. The writers of both schools of this branch of political economy, that is, the advocates of the metallic and the paper system concur in the fact that plenty of money


means cheap money as measured by the commodities of the country.

This is an open confession, that commodities measure the value of money, as well as that money measures the value of commodities. Hence, the importance of a fixed relation between the two.

Things are neither equal or equitable, when the holders of money, and evidences of debt which must be liquidated in money, have exclusive power to control and fix the relation between money, and commodities which must be parted with to secure money to pay those debts. And this condition does and will exist so long as the holders of this indebtedness have control over the issue of the money, or over any considerable portion of it. This condition is based upon the inequitable theory, that the creditor has the right to say to his debtor, "You must give me two bushels of wheat, corn, oats, or two pounds of cotton, beef or pork, where you only contracted to pay me one." It may be building up a nation of "grandeur and pomp," and "increasing our credit abroad," but, it is wrong to root the grandeur of the nation in the poverty of the people.

Over-production is impossible so long as the wants of the human family are unsupplied. Rather call it under consumption. It is the proper term. The product of one thing creates a demand for another, inasmuch as the producer desires to exchange it for something else which he needs. This creates a demand for a medium of exchange and means of transportation. Medium of exchange and facilities for transportation are the two principal agents of distribution. These agents should exist in proportion to production. A proper system of distribution will overcome so-called "over-production."

It is to these two agents that the future statesman


must address his attention if he would overcome and relieve the distress everywhere prevailing. With the proper means of distribution production will be stimulated, but instead of producing wide-spread distress and poverty, as is claimed by some, would add to the wealth, the happiness and comfort of the producing classes. To have over-production is as impossible as to become too wealthy. We may have under-consumption by cutting off the means of transportation or having an inadequate amount of currency or medium of exchange, and the product of certain commodities may become gorged on account of a deficiency in the means of distribution, and that distress exist, which is felt in times of excessive drouth, which is produced, not by a scarcity of water, but by improper distribution of it.

To remedy this we must have what nature has provided in her economic system, compensating laws, or laws that will properly distribute that which has been produced. It is rather strange that it has never occurred to the advocates of over-production, that it is those who produce so much who are the real sufferers, while a rich harvest is reaped by those who provide and control the means of distribution. The farmer who produces large quantities of the cereals may suffer for want of the clothing and shoes of which the men who make them have large quantities on hand. And the men who make the clothing and shoes may suffer for the breadstuffs of which the farmer has plenty. But it is not on account of an over-production of these necessaries of life and comfort, but owing to excessive rates of transportation and want of a sufficient medium of exchange. There are two things which the future patriotic statesman will take into consideration.

The first is, to stimulate production by encouraging labor. The second is, to provide the proper means of distribution. On these two points the greatest writer of


the age, Victor Hugo, says: "For various reasons we can not discuss here, from the theoretical point of view, the questions raised by socialism, and we limit ourselves to an indication of them. All the questions which the socialists proposed — laying aside cosmogonic visions, reverie, and mysticism — may be carried back to two original problems, the first of which is, to produce wealth, and the second, to distribute it. The first problem contains the question of labor, the second, the question of wages; in the first, the point is the employment of strength, and in the second, the distribution of enjoyments. From a good employment of strength results public power, and from a good distribution of enjoyments, individual happiness. By good distribution we mean, not equal, but equitable, distribution, for the first quality is equity. From these two things, combined public power abroad and individual happiness at home, results social prosperity, that is to say, man happy, the citizen free, and the nation great.

"England solves the first of these two problems — she creates wealth admirably, but distributes it badly. This solution, which is completely on one side, fatally leads her to these two extremes, monstrous opulence and monstrous misery; all the enjoyments belong to the few, all the privations to the rest — that is to say, to the people, and privileges, exception, monopoly and feudalism spring up from labor itself. It is a false and dangerous situation to base public power on private want, and to root the grandeur of the state in the suffering of the individual; it is a badly composed grandeur, in which all the material elements are combined, in which no moral element enters. Communism and the agrarian law fancy that they solve the second question, but they are mistaken. Their distribution kills production, and equal division destroys emulation and consequently labor. It is a distribution made by the butcher who slaughters what he divides.


Hence it is impossible to be satisfied with these pretended solutions, for killing riches is not distributing them. The two problems must be solved together in order to be properly solved; the two solutions demand to be combined and only form one. If you solve but the first of these problems you will be Venice, you will be England; you will have, like Venice, an artificial power; like England, a material power, and you will be the wicked rich man; you will perish by violence, as Venice died, or by bankruptcy, as England will fall, and the world will leave you to die and fall, because it allows everything to die and fall which is solely selfishness, and everything which does not represent a virtue or an idea to the human race. Of course it will be understood that by the words Venice and England we do not mean the peoples, but the social constructions, the oligarchies that weigh down the nations, but not the nations themselves. Nations ever have our respect and sympathy. Venice, as a people, will live again; England as an aristocracy, will fall, but England, the nation, is immortal.

"Solve the two problems, encourage the rich and protect the poor, suppress misery, put an end to the unjust exhaustion of the weak by the strong; bridle the iniquitous jealousy which the man still on the road feels for him who has reached the journey's end. Adjust mathematically and paternally the wage of the laborer, blend gratuitous and enforced education with the growth of childhood, and render science the base of manhood; develop intelligence while occupying the arms, be at once a powerful people and a family of happy men; democratize properly, not by abolishing, but by universalizing it, so that every citizen without exception may be a land owner, an easier task than it may be supposed; in two words, know how to produce wealth and to distribute it, and you will possess at once material greatness, and moral greatness, and be worthy


to call yourself France. Such was what socialism, above and beyond a few mistaken sects, said; this is what it sought in facts and stirred up in minds; they were admirable efforts and sacred attempts." — Victor Hugo in Les Miserables, pp. 547, 548.

In treating of the cause of the "present universal derangement of commerce and industry," the Silver Commission says:

"The real cause of the present universal derangement of commerce and industry must be ascertained before the proper remedy can be devised. The causes assigned are various and contradictory. Many of them never had any existence in fact. Others are inadequate or absurd in themselves, or by reason of being confined to narrow localities or special interests, cannot have proved a mischief which reaches all places and all productive interests.

"Over-production is one of these alleged causes, although food, clothing, houses, and everything useful to mankind are, and probably always will be, in deficiency, as compared with the needs of them. The constant effort of the human race is, and ought to be, to multiply production.

"The aggregate effective demand for products, that is to say, the aggregate demand accompanied with the ability to purchase, always increases with production. Supply and demand mean substantially the same thing, and are nothing but two faces of the same fact. Every new supply of any product is the effective basis of a new demand for some other product. The capacity to buy is measured exactly by the extent of production, and there is practically no other limit to consumption than the limit of the means of payment. Over-production of particular things may occur, but that is soon corrected by the loss of profits in producing them. Over-production in the general


and in the aggregate is impossible. The contrary opinion will be held only by those who will regret the discovery of the steam engine, the spinning-jenny, and the sewing and threshing machines, and who believe that while mankind have the skill to devise methods of increased production they have no capacity to provide for the distribution of the products of industry.

"Production is the sole and only source of wealth, and in fact is but another name for wealth. Over-production must therefore mean superabundant wealth, and the idea that either superabundant wealth or the facilities for producing it can be the inciting cause of rapidly spreading poverty is repugnant to the common sense of mankind. All reputable authorities concur in treating the idea as the idlest of fancies, and wholly unworthy of serious notice." — Report of Silver Commission, pages 117, 118.

It would seem useless to continue the discussion of this branch of our subject further. To say that over-production is the cause of "hard times," is to say that the people are too industrious; that they could make a better living if they did not work so hard; that they have raised so much they are starving to death, and manufacturing so many clothes that they are compelled to go naked. It is a little strange that those who claim that the law of supply and demand alone fix the price of products and attribute low prices to over-production, are frequently heard to make use of that other common expression, "there are none so far from market as those who have nothing to sell," and the author has himself heard a speaker attribute the "hard times" to both causes in the same speech.


Chapter VI. Greenbacks and Bonds.

THE HISTORY of greenbacks and bonds is co-relative. The greenback was a necessity, growing out of the war, and, as seems to be evident to a great majority of the people, is a necessity still. A complete history of the present greenback would be highly interesting to the American citizen. Born of the necessities of the times, when the nation was struggling for existence, it was immediately fell upon by the banker and capitalist, and has been a bone of contention ever since. From the first it was looked upon as an intruder upon the old system, which allowed a syndicate of capitalists and bankers to issue and controls the paper money circulation for the people. It having become absolutely necessary for the government to issue its own notes as money, or use the banker's, it chose the former. When it became known to the bankers of Europe and America, that the United States would issue a legal tender paper money, the capitalists of both countries set to work to cripple, as far as was in their power, the usefulness of the greenback, and to reap a rich harvest for themselves in the way of government bonds. "It will not do to let the greenbacks circulate as money any length of time, for we cannot control them," they said through the Hazzard circular. Had the capitalists succeeded in their schemes — that is, after having used the greenback as a medium to secure the bonds of the United States at about one-half their face


value, and then caused the entire destruction of the greenback — it would have been, perhaps, one of the most consummate pieces of villainy ever perpetrated on the people of any government within so brief a period. How near they succeeded in doing so has been partly shown in previous chapters.

The Legal Tender Act for the first issue of greenbacks was passed by Congress and became a law February 25, 1862. The capitalists had already provided that for every greenback issued there should be a bond issued to catch it. The law of 1862 authorized the issue of $150,000,000 in greenbacks, and about $500,000,000 in bonds with which to fund them. Here was, perhaps, the first mistake of the government, as it was also the first success scored by the capitalists. The greenbacks authorized by this act were made exchangeable, at their face value, for the bonds which the secretary was authorized to issue by the same bill. Had the government continued to issue greenbacks as its wants required from time to time, and without bonds, we should not have been burdened at the end of the war with a large interest bearing debt, and the evidences of the non-interest bearing debt would have been in the hands of the masses of the people in the shape of a circulating medium. That such a plan was practical we have not the least doubt, and our convictions are strengthened by the utterances of one of the greatest of American statesmen. Thomas Jefferson says:

"And so the nation may continue to issue its bills as far as its wants require and the limits of its circulation will admit. * * Put down the banks, and if this country could not be carried through the longest war, against her most powerful enemy, without ever knowing the want of a dollar, without dependence on the traitorous classes (the capitalists) of her citizens, without bearing hard on the resources of the people or loading them with an indefinite


burden of debt, I know nothing of my countrymen." The object of the House in passing the legal tender act was to create and issue a full legal tender currency, which should be receivable in payment of taxes, duties, imports, excise, debts and demands of every kind due to the United States, and for all salaries, debts and demands owing by the United States to individuals, corporations and associations within the United States, the same to be lawful money and legal tender in payment of all debts, public and private, in the United States. In short, Money; as much so in every sense as gold and silver coin ever were. This Congress did for two reasons:

1st. Money must be had to carry on the War, and in such quantities as could not be procured from any other source. It was an absolute necessity, on which hung the success of the efforts then being put forth to perpetuate the union and save the nation.

2nd. Because it had the constitutional right to coin money out of any material it deemed best.

The whole grounds of expediency and constitutionality were thoroughly discussed in both branches of Congress. Mr. Spaulding, the author of the bill, said:

"The secretary of the treasury, in his annual report, does not recommend the issue of demand treasury notes, although he points out many advantages that would result to the government from the issue. He suggests two plans: First, the issue of demand treasury notes, and, second, a national currency, secured by a pledge of United States stocks to be issued by banks and associations, with proper regulations for their redemption by the banks themselves. On the propriety of the issue of treasury notes by the government, to be put in circulation, the secretary says: ‘It has been already suggested that the substitution of a National for a State currency, upon this plan, would be


equivalent to a loan from the government without interest; * * * * while the people would gain the additional advantage of a uniform currency, and relief from a considerable burden in the form of interest on debt.’"

"This is the capital, $16,000,000,000 in amount, on which your treasury notes and bonds rest. This claim of the government, in the hands of Congress, is direct and specific on the banks throughout the United States, including the gold and silver in their vaults; on commerce; on all kinds of production and business; on railroads, steamboats, and their passengers; on gas companies; on manufacturing companies of all kinds — in short, all real and personal estate of every kind is held subject to the payment of the treasury notes and bonds issued by the government. Congress is clothed with this mighty power to sustain the nation at this time.

"All governments fix the value of gold and silver, and without the government stamp gold would be a simple commodity, like all other things having intrinsic value. Some governments fix the value of coin higher and some lower, just as each for itself chooses to determine. Any other thing that should be stamped, and its value regulated by all the governments of the world, would pass equally well, in all commercial transactions, with gold and silver, although not intrinsically as valuable. Exchequer bills or treasury notes, whose value is fixed by government and stamped as money, would pass as money in the payment of debts within the jurisdiction of the government fixing such value.

"Congress may decide whether it will authorize the secretary of the treasury to issue demand treasury notes, and make them a legal tender in payment of debts, or whether it will put 6 or 7 per cent. bonds on the market, at ruinous rates of discount, and raise the money, at any sacrifice the


money lender may require, to meet the pressing demands upon the treasury. In the one case the government will be able to pay its debts at fair rates of interest; in the other it must go into the streets shinning for the means, like an individual in failing circumstances, and sure of being used up in the end by the avarice of those who may exact unreasonable terms.

"But, sir, knowing the power of money, and the disposition among men to use it for acquisition of greater gain, I am unwilling that this government, with all its immense power and resources, should be left in the hands of any class of men, bankers or money lenders, however respectable and patriotic they may be. The government is much stronger than any of them. Its capital is much greater. It has control of all the banker's money, and all the broker's money, and all the property of all the thirty millions of people under its jurisdiction. Why, then, should it go into Wall street, State street, Chestnut street or any other street, begging for money ? Their money is not as secure as government money. All the gold they possess could not carry on the government for ninety days. They issue only promises to pay, which if Congress does its duty, are not half as secure as United States treasury notes based upon adequate taxation upon all the property of the country.

"Why, then, go into the streets at all to borrow money? I am opposed, in our present extremity, to all shifts of this kind. I prefer to assert the power and dignity of the government, by the issue of its own notes, pledging the faith, the honor and property of the whole loyal people of the country to maintain their circulation and provide for their redemption. The demand notes put in circulation would meet the present exigencies of the government in discharge of its existing liabilities to the army, navy and contractors, and for supplies, materials, and munitions of


war. These notes would find their way into all channels of trade among the people; * * * These circulating notes in the hands of the people would enable them to pay the taxes imposed, and would facilitate all business operations between farmers, mechanics, commercial business men and banks, and be equally as good as, and, in most cases, better, than the present irredeemable circulation by the banks.

"The British government and the Bank of England remained under suspension from 1797 to 1821 — 2 — a period of twenty-five years. During this time England successfully resisted the imperial power of the Emperor Napoleon, and preserved her own imperilled existence. During all this time the people of Great Britain advanced in wealth, population and resources. Gold is not as valuable as the productions of the farmer and mechanic, for it is not as indispensable as food and raiment."

The bill finally passed the House and went to the Senate, where the great battle was fought over. On the 10th day of February, 1862, Mr. Fessenden, chairman of the Committee on Finance, reported the House bill very materially altered and amended as it had originally passed the House. The most important of these changes was, "That the legal tender notes should be receivable for all claims and demands against the United States, of every kind whatsoever, ‘except the interest on the public debt and duties on imports.’" In the long and heated discussion which followed it was made obvious to everyone that these amendments would weaken the legal tenders. The jeopardized interest of the country and the welfare of every productive and legitimate operation in the nation demanded that they go forth on their mission, clothed with all the power and strength Congress was able to bestow upon them.


But this power was what the Shylocks dreaded. Their strength and independence, as full legal tenders, would preclude the possibility of their being monopolized by the money ring. A full legal tender money created and issued by the government, would remove entirely the necessity for banks, and destroy the office and profits of banker. Alarm and dismay had seized the Shylocks, for, in the House bill they saw that, while it would save the country, it would ruin them; so acting upon the first law of nature, they determined at all hazards to save themselves, though the flag of the nation trailed in the dust, and the Goddess of Liberty sweat great drops of blood in her struggle to save the Union of States. They besieged the Senate.

They said: "We will be compelled to go into a foreign market to raise money to prosecute the war, and unless we provide to pay the interest on all loans in a currency recognized by foreign nations, we cannot do it. Therefore, to create these notes full legal tenders would be virtually to tie our hands and cut off all hope and chance of borrowing a dollar abroad. To provide for meeting this coin interest, all that is necessary is to lop off another leg of the legal tenders and ‘except duties on imports.’"

The original House bill had but few friends in the Senate. Senator Wilson saw that it was doomed, and made but little resistance. However, he left on record his opinion of the amended bill. On page 789, of the Congressional Globe of the second session of the thirty-seventh Congress he says:

"I look upon this contest as a contest between the curbstone brokers, the Jew brokers, and the money changers, and the men who speculate in stocks on one side, and the productive toiling men on the other." It was a struggle on the part of the Shylocks to maintain their ungodly ascendancy over the labor and liberties of the toiling masses; and while the latter were bleeding upon


the battle-field, starving and dying in prisons and hospitals, or toiling in the far off harvest fields, these money lenders, these sharks and ghouls, were plotting treason of the most damnable kind in the very temple of liberty, and laying deep and broad the foundation of a moneyed aristocracy, which should, eventually, as effectually rule over and enslave them, as ever did the Southern master over the dusky sons of the rice field and the cotton plantation. The bill passed the Senate, and thus mutilated and loaded with shackles was reported back to the House on the 14th of February.

On February 18th Mr. Stevens reported the bill as amended by the Senate, and said:

"I have no purpose of considering the bill at this time. I desire that it shall be referred to the Committee of the Whole, and be made the special order of to-morrow at one o'clock. I hope gentlemen of the House will read the amendments. They are very important, and, in my judgment, very pernicious, but I hope the House will examine them."

On Wednesday, the 18th, Mr. Spaulding opened the debate in opposition to some of the amendments in the following language:

"Mr. Chairman:

"I desire especially to oppose the amendments of the Senate, which require the interest on bonds and notes to be paid in coin semi-annually, and which authorize the secretary of the treasury to sell 6 per cent, bonds at the market price for coin to pay the interest. The treasury note bill, as reported first from the committee of Ways and Means as a necessary war measure, was simple and perspicuous in its terms, and easily understood. It was so plain that everybody could understand that it authorized the


issue of legal tender demand notes, to circulate as national currency among the people in all parts of the United States. I am opposed to all those amendments of the Senate which make unjust discrimination between the creditors of the government. A soldier or sailor who performs service in the army or navy is a creditor of the government. The man who sells food, clothing and material of war for the use of the army and navy, is a creditor of the government. The capitalist who holds your 7 3-10 treasury notes, or your 6 per cent. coupon bonds is a creditor of the government. ***

"I am opposed to all these amendments of the Senate which discriminate in favor of the holders of bonds and notes by compelling the government to go into the streets every six months to sell bonds at the ‘market price,’ to purchase gold and silver in order to pay the interest ‘in coin’ to the capitalists who now hold United States stocks and treasury notes heretofore issued, and that may hold notes and bonds hereafter to be issued; while all other persons in the United States (including the army and navy and all who supply them with food and clothing) are compelled to receive legal tender treasury notes in payment of demands due them from the government. Why make this discrimination? Who asks to have one class of creditors placed on a better footing than another class? Do the people of New England, the Middle States, or the people of the West and Northwest, or anywhere else in the rural districts, ask to have any such discrimination made in their favor? Does the soldier, the farmer, the mechanic, or the merchant ask to have any such discrimination made in his favor? No, sir; no such unjust preference is asked for by this class of men. They ask for a national currency, which shall be of equal value in all parts of the country. They want a currency that shall pass from hand to hand among all the people in every


State, county, city, town, and village in the United States. They want a currency secured by adequate taxation upon the whole property of the country, which will pay the soldier, the farmer, the mechanic and the banker alike for all debts due.

Who then, are they that ask to have a preference given to them over other creditors of the government? Sir, it is a very respectable class of gentlemen, but a class of men who are very sharp in all money transactions. They are not generally among the producing classes — not among those who, by their labor and skill, make the wealth of the country; but a class of men who have accumulated wealth — men who are willing to lend money to the government, if you will make the securities beyond all question, give them a high rate of interest, and make it payable in coin. Yes, sir, the men who are asking these extravagant terms, who want to be preferred creditors, are perfectly willing to lend money to the government in her present embarassment, if you will only make them perfectly secure, give them extra interest, and put your bonds on the market at the "market price," to purchase gold and silver to pay them interest every six months. Yes, sir, entirely willing to loan money on these terms! Safe, no hazard, secure, and the interest payable "in coin!" Who would not be willing to loan money on such terms? Sir, the legal tender treasury note bill was intended to avoid all such financiering and protect the government and people who pay the taxes, from all such hard bargains. It was intended as a shield in the hands of the patriotic people of the country against all forced sales of bonds, and all extravagant rates of interest. Legal tender treasury notes can be used for all business purposes, without compelling the government to sell its bonds at fifteen to twenty per cent discount to procure coin when it is entirely unnecessary."


Mr. Hooper said: "I am opposed to this amendment of the Senate, which requires the interest on government notes and bonds to be absolutely paid in coin, because its effect will be to depreciate these notes as compared with coin, by declaring them in advance to be so depreciated It creates a necessity for the government to obtain a large amount of coin by purchase, if it is not received in taxes and loans, which hold out an inducement to speculate or the necessity of the government, by collecting and hoarding the coin against the time that it will be required by the government to pay its interest; and because it is an unnecessary inconvenience to require the whole amount of the interest to be paid in coin, when only the small amount is necessary that is to be remitted to foreign holders of bonds, which could easily be obtained at small cost if the effect of the issue of the government notes should be what the friends of this bill expect. * * * * * If the opponents of this bill have proved anything they have proved too much in reference to the question now before the House, which is to make a distinction in favor of the holders of government securities, and pay what may be due to them in coined money, while all other creditors of the government shall be paid in what they have denounced to the country from the high places they occupy here as the meanest paper trash."

The closing remarks on the bill was made by Mr. Stevens, the chairman of the House Committee of Ways and Means. We make the following extracts from his speech:

"Mr. Speaker: —I have a very few words to say. I approach the subject with more depression of spirits than I ever before approached any question. No personal feeling or motive influences me. I hope not, at least. I have a melancholy foreboding that we are about to consummate a cunningly devised scheme which will carry


great injury and great loss to all classes of the people throughout the Union, except one. With my colleague, I believe that no act of legislation of this government was ever hailed with as much delight throughout the length and breadth of this Union, by every class of people, without exception, as the bill which we passed and sent to the Senate. Congratulations from all classes — merchants, traders, manufacturers, mechanics and laborers — poured in upon us from all quarters. The Boards of Trade from Boston, New York, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Louisville, Chicago and Milwaukee, approved its provisions and urged its passage as it was. * * * It was true, there was a doleful sound came up from the caverns of bullion brokers and from the saloons of the associated banks. Their cashiers and agents were soon on the ground, and persuaded the Senate, with but little deliberation, to mangle and destroy what it had cost the House months to digest, consider and pass. They fell upon the bill in hot haste, and so disfigured and deformed it that its very father would not know it. [Laughter.]

"Instead of being a beneficent and invigorating measure, it is now positively mischievous. It has all the bad qualities which its enemies charged on the original bill, and none of its benefits. It now creates money, and by its very terms declares it a depreciated currency. It makes two classes of money — one for the banks and brokers, and another for the people. It discriminates between the rights of the different classes of creditors, allowing the rich capitalist to demand gold, and compelling the ordinary lender of money on individual security to receive notes which the government had purposely discredited. * * *

"But now comes the main clause. All classes of people shall take these legal-tender notes at par for every article of trade or commerce, unless they have money enough to buy United States bonds, and then they shall be paid in


gold. Who is that favored class? The banks and brokers and nobody else. They have already $250,000,000 of State debt, and their commissioners would soon take all the rent that might be issued. But how is this gold to be raised? The duties and the public lands are to be paid for in United States notes, and they or bonds are to be put up at auction to get coin for these very brokers, who would furnish the coin to pay themselves by getting 20 per cent, discount on the notes thus bought. * * * *

"I have proposed an amendment to the Senate amendment upon the principle of legitimate parliamentary rules, that you may make as palatable as you can — an amendment which you do not like — before the vote is taken upon it. My amendment is offered for the purpose of curing a little the evils and hardships of the original amendment of the Senate. And though it may be adopted I shall vote against the whole as amended. My amendment is to except from the operation of the legal tender clause the officers and soldiers of the army and navy, and those who supply them with provisions, and thus put them upon the same footing with the government creditors who hold their bonds. I hope they will not be thought less meritorious than the money-changers. I trust it will be adopted as an amendment to the Senate amendment, so that if this pernicious system is to be adopted, if the beauty of the original bill is to be entirely impaired, those who are fighting our battles, and the widows and children of those who are lying in their graves in every part of the country, killed in defense of the government, may be placed upon no worse footing than those who hold the bonds of the government and the coin of the country." A Conference Committee on the part of the House was appointed to meet a similar committee from the Senate. They were unable to agree upon any compromise other than the bill as passed by the Senate,


Berkey says: "That the Senate was controlled in its action in regard to the legal tender bill by improper influences is not a matter of conjecture, but of history."

In a speech made by Hon. W. D. Kelley, at Philadelphia, January 15, 1876, he says:

"I remember the grand old commoner, Thaddeus Stevens, with hat in his hand and his cane under his arm, when he returned to the House after the final conference, and shedding bitter tears over the result. ‘Yes,’ said he, ‘we have had to yield. The Senate was stubborn. We did not yield until we found that the country must be lost or the banks be gratified, and we have sought to save the country in spite of the banks."

So the bill passed the House with the Senate amendments, and the President signed it.

Thad. Stevens knew that the New York, Boston and Philadelphia bankers had bought up the Senate. He knew those bankers' avarice, and the Senate's greed for money outweighed their loyalty or love of country. He knew that they would see the republic shattered into fragments, the government crippled and handcuffed and the soldiers unpaid and starving, rather than yield their grasp on the money monopoly of the nation.

"The money kings of Europe, who had made their billions from the war debts of the old country, looked to the fertile soil of American enterprise for a harvest.

"We had no bonds for them to set on, and absorb our increasing wealth. They looked with eager eyes to our growing prosperity, and licked their bloody chops to devour our increase. War was their only hope. War they must have. War would necessitate money — money would demand bonds — bonds would draw interest, even gold interest, with which they could fill their European coffers; and interest would prove a sickle with which they could harvest the annual crops of American industry.


"They had planned for years. England had commissioned and fed her Thompsons and other emissaries to scatter the fire-brand of dissension among our people. Sectional strife, hatred and animosity were created, engendered and encouraged. Slavery was made the bone of contention, and Northern and Southern ears were rubbed by the emissaries of the gold king, until both factions were wrought to a pitch of wild frenzy. The East began to see slavery with new eyes. Its enormous wickedness and ungodly form were magnified with every new rub of the ears. The South was goaded and lashed into fury at the growing anti-slavery sentiment of the East. When their ears had been rubbed up to battle pitch, but feared their weakness, the money king's agent, August Belmont, planted himself at the head of the Democratic party, and pledged slavery, a divided North and a Democratic alliance.

"In the North, the Goddess of Liberty and John Brown were carried to the front to intensify the patriotism of the soldiers of Mammon. The fires of the Revolution were kindled afresh upon the decaying altars of liberty. ‘Star Spangled Banner’ and ‘Hail Columbia’ were set to new voices to fire the blood of sons and sires."

Mothers and wives caught up the refrain and offered up their husbands and sons with the zeal and devotion of Hindoo mothers yielding their offspring to the crocodiles of the Ganges. The best blood and treasure of the South were yielded up. Planters and farmers were badgered into the support of the war through fear of losing their chattels. Laboring men fought to "protect their rights," and even slaves doubled their chains for fear of being captured and eaten up by abolition gorrillas. In the North it was said, that it would be a mere "breakfast spell" to quell the insurrection, while the people of the South were told that one Southern man could "whip five Northern men," and


the war would not last more than thirty, or sixty days at most. Billions of treasure and hundreds of thousands of lives were sacrificed, and this fair land, the pride and boast of its people, desolated and strewn with wrecks of homes and bones of the slain, whose dirge the buzzards and carrion crows of desolation croaked and sang, as American liberty and prosperity yielded their scepter and crown to the conquering bondholder at Appomattox. When the smoke of battle shall have cleared away — when prejudice shall have yielded to reason and judgment, when the trophies of victory shall have been compared with the sacrifices of the conflict, when the gilded honors of national triumph shall be placed in the balance with the woes, the sorrows, the anguish and the heart-wounds that cluster around a million graves and extend to every fireside in the land — when careful, dispassionate and unbiased investigation shall prove that the yoke which the slave king had placed upon four million blacks has been transferred by the money king to the necks of fifty million whites, people will discover that the battles of the rebellion were not fought in the interest of humanity, or to perpetuate the will of the people.

By the aid of the crippled greenback the North succeeded, and so did the money king. The North succeeded on the battlefield after the war had been purposely prolonged to satiate the bond-thirst of the Shylocks. The conspiracy of the money kings of Europe and America is thus made evident. To provoke war. War would create a necessity for money. But when the government sought to exercise her prerogative — the prerogative of every sovereign power — and issue paper money, Congress was besieged on every side. The government was induced to issue bonds and obligate itself to pay the interest in coin. Coin was scarce. This suicidal policy of the government created an abnormal demand for it. The bullion brokers


and capitalists held the coin. Importers and the government were compelled to have it. The brokers saw their opportunity, and they not only discounted the notes and bonds of the government 20 per cent., as was predicted by Mr. Spaulding and Thaddeus Stevens, but demanded and obtained them at a discount of 50 and 60 per cent. Gold rapidly rose until in 1864 it reached 2.85. The bonds and notes of the United States were exchanged at an enormous rate of discount. Six per cent, interest exchanged for greenbacks at the discounts amounted to 16 and 18 per cent. This was immediately converted into more United States bonds, and thus by compounding semi-annually the capitalists succeeded in obtaining control over the entire public debt. This policy of creating two classes of creditors, and of the government knowingly and inexcusably placing itself in an attitude of helplessness in the hands of the money kings, was a folly unprecedented in the financial history of any nation. But, notwithstanding the mutilated form in which the greenback went out from the Treasury Department, they performed a marvelous work.

The producing forces of the nation were set to work, and there was no longer any difficulty in rendering the resources of the people available to the government. Of this period, and the immediate effects of the greenback, Judge Kelley thus pictures the change which followed the passage of the bill. His picture will apply to what we might again realize by a full legal tender, and a restoration of a sufficient volume of currency to meet the demands of industry:

"But the patriots (Lincoln and Stevens) to whom I have referred had studied the constitution of the United States. They knew that it imposed upon them the duty of saving the nation. They knew that money was the sinew of war, and that it must be had. They knew that


the constitution authorized the coinage of a public credit into money. ‘They smote the rock of public credit and power and prosperity gushed forth.’ They called into existence the ‘Rag Baby.’ They said to every man that would work, ‘Here is your wages; this Rag Baby will pay you.’ They said to the ship owners, ‘Unfurl your rotting sails and open your hatchway; we have brought you grain from the farm; carry it abroad to buy us clothing and arms, for our industries are stricken and we cannot provide clothing and arms for the army that is to sustain the Union. The Rag Baby showered greenbacks upon them, and the ships spread their sails and carried rich cargoes to foreign lands, which were exchanged for clothing, arms and munitions of war. Industry was rife throughout the land. The farmers, who had been without an adequate or remunerative market for years, were getting good prices for their grain — were paying their local merchant, who in turn paid his to those of the great cities.

"A marvelous child was this Rag Baby. It lighted the fires in every forge and furnace in the country. It hired ships and bought others. It blockaded the whole Southern coast. It rallied an army of 500,000 men. We heard ringing through the streets the shout of well paid and well fed and clothed soldiers, ‘We' re coming, Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more.’ The Rag Baby was welcomed by every commissary, quartermaster and paymaster. It furnished transportation. It met all demands. The American people were prosperous as they never were before: I name it not the ‘Rag Baby.’ I take the derisive term from the door of the Presidential mansion."

Under the various acts from July 17, 1861, to March 3, 1866, the following amounts and kinds of money were issued:


Treasury notes, (Act March 2, 1861) $20,153,455
Demand notes, (Acts July 17, Feb. 12, 1872) 60,000,000
Non-interest bearing legal tenders, (Act February 25, 1862,) 400,000,000
Treasury notes, 7-30s, (Act March 3, 1866.) 806,900,750
Temporary loans, one year certificates 259,168,327
Treasury notes, payable in two years 153,471,450
Compound interest notes 193,756,080
Three per cent certificates 52,120,000
Fractional currency 45,961,295
Total, $1,991,541,357

"This amount was issued directly by the government, and was exclusive of State bank circulation, which was in 1863, according to Fawcett, $238,671,210. The largest amount of circulation outstanding at any one time was September 1, 1865, and was as follows:

United States notes $433,160,569
Fractional currency 26,344,742
National bank notes 185,000,000
Compound interest legal tender 217,024,160
Temporary loan certificates 107,148,713
Certificates of indebtedness 85,053,060
Treasury notes, 5 per cent 32,536,954
Treasury notes past due 1,503,920
State bank notes 78,826,575
Last issue 7.30s 830,000,000
Total 1,996,678,770

Such was the birth and growth of the greenback. We have already (in the Chapter on Contraction) indicated the beginning of its decline.

Another unjust and, we might add, criminal attack upon the greenback was the so-called Credit Strengthening Act of 1869. Upon the back of every note issued was the following sacred pledge of the government:

"This note is a legal tender at its face value for all


debts, public and private, except for duties on imports and interest upon the public debt."

No one doubted for a moment but that the principal of the public debt could be paid in greenbacks. It was so understood when the bill passed. No exception was made in favor of the principal. As has already been seen, a vigorous fight was made against paying the interest ‘in coin.’ With this understanding the people received them in exchange for their products, and their labor, though they were worth but forty to fifty cents ‘in coin.’ They were representatives of the war debt that was being piled mountain high.

They were paid out directly to the people who labored and to the soldiers and sailors who were fighting for the government. Not a dollar of them was ever paid to the bondholder or the bullion broker. The government had provided that they should have their pay ‘in coin.’ The bullionists and brokers bought the greenbacks at a ruinous rate of discount and exchanged them for interest bearing bonds at their face value. These bonds cost them ‘in coin’ but 40 to 60 cents on the dollar. Equity, justice, humanity and a decent regard for the rights of the people would forbid paying the bonds in money of greater value than that which the bondholder gave for them. But the avarice of this infamous, damnable and traitorous set of thieves knew no bounds, and was only equaled by the audacity with which they set about to carry into effect their hellish schemes. In 1866 they had secured the passage of the Contraction Act. The success of the Democratic party was, in 1868, the only thing that stood in the way of having the bonds payable ‘in coin.’ It was necessary to secure the defeat of Seymour and Blair. The convention that had nominated them declared in favor of paying the bonds in greenbacks. If a bill passed to pay them ‘in coin’ Seymour might veto it. August Belmont


was chairman of the National Central Committee of the Democratic party. Mr. Belmont was a national banker and agent of the Messers Rothchilds of England. Rothchilds held large amounts of the bonds of the United States, which they wanted paid ‘in coin.’ The sequel is easily guessed. The New York World, the leading Democratic paper, controlled by Belmont, "throwed up" the race. Gen. Grant was elected, and the first bill he signed was the one which stripped from the greenbacks the power to pay the bonds. The "grand old Republican party" has almost the sole credit of this stupendous steal. An act that is only second in infamy to the contraction and resumption acts. Early after the war the capitalists set about to have the bonds payable in coin. It was their original intention. The law for the payment of the bonds was this:

"And such United States notes shall be received the same as coin, at their par value, in payment for any loans that may be hereafter sold or negotiated by the secretary of the treasury, and be reissued from time to time, as the exigency of the public interests shall require."

In 1868 the Republican platform read :

"The national honor requires the payment of the public debt in the interest of good faith to all its creditors at home and abroad, not only according to the letter but the spirit of the law under which it was created."

This was put out as a feeler; "according to the spirit." What did that mean? It was the insidious work of the money power; it was "breaking the ice." Yet the masses of the Republican party would not believe that it indicated a change in the contract. Thad. Stevens "the grand old commoner," and the leading statesman and patriot in the Republican party, said: "When the bill (the five-twenty) was on its final passage, the question was


explicitly asked of the chairman of the Ways and Means committee, and as explicitly answered by him, that only the interest was payable in coin."


"I want to say if the loan (five-twenty) was to be paid according to the intention of the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Ross), if I knew that any party in this country would go for paying in coin that which is payable in money, thus enhancing it one-half — if I knew there was such a platform and such a determination this day on the part of any party, I would vote for the other side, Frank Blair and all. I would vote for no such swindle on the tax payers of this country. I would vote for no such speculation in favor of the large bondholders, the millionaires who took advantage of our folly in granting them coin payment in interest. And I declare — well, it is hard to say it — but if even Frank Blair stood upon the platform paying the bonds according to contract, and the Republican candidate stood upon the platform of paying bloated speculators twice the amount which we agreed to pay them, then I would vote for Frank Blair, even if a worse man than Seymour headed the ticket." — Congressional Globe, Pt. 5, page 147, July 17, 1868.

Upon this subject Ben Wade, another leading and influential Republican, said:


"WASHINGTON, D. C., Dec. 13, 1867.

"My Dear Sir — Yours of the 8th inst. is received, and I most cordially agree with every word you announce in it. I am for the laboring portion of our people; the rich can take care of themselves. While I most scrupulously live up to all contracts of the government, and fight repudiation


to death, I will fight the bondholder as resolutely when he undertakes to get more than the pound of flesh. We never agreed to pay the 5-20 bond in gold; no man can find it in the bond, and I never will consent to have one payment for the bondholder and another for the people. It would sink any party, and it ought to." — Wade's Letter to Denny.

Oliver P. Morton, whose patriotism to his country and devotion to the rights of the people was unquestioned, said, when the bill to pay the bonds in coin was on its passage:

"And now I propound the question: It is either intended by this bill to make a new contract or it is not. If it is understood to make a new contract I protest against it. We should do foul injustice to the government and people of the United States, after we have sold these bonds on an average of not more than sixty cents on the dollar, now to make a new contract for the benefit of the bondholders. It gives to those laws a construction I do not believe in and that I have shown is contradicted by at least four acts of Congress.

"Sir, it is understood, I believe, that the passage of a bill of this kind would have the effect in Europe where our financial questions are not well understood, to increase the demand, and that will enable the great operators to sell the bonds they have on hand at a profit. It is in the nature of a broker's operation. It is a bull movement to put up the price of bonds for the interest of parties dealing in them. This great interest is thundering at the doors of Congress and has been many months, and by every means attempting to drive us into legislation for the purpose of making money for the great operators. This is what it means and nothing else." — Speech in U. S. Senate.

Such was the language of the representatives of the great Republican party. Even John Sherman, the Janus-faced


Judas of the people's interests, before he was "seen" said:

"I say equity and justice are amply satisfied if we redeem these bonds at the end of five years in the same kind of money, of the same intrinsic value it was at the time they were issued. * * * Senators, sometimes, in order to defeat the argument of an antagonist, say this is repudiation. ‘Why, every state in the Union, without exception, has made its contracts, since the issue of legal currency, and paid them in currency." — Speech U. S. Senate, July 27, 1868.

He also, in a letter to Mr. Mann, dated March 20, 1868, said:

"Your idea is that we propose to repudiate or violate a promise, when we offer to redeem the principal in legal tender, is erroneous. I think the bondholder violates his promise when he refuses to take the same sort of money he paid for the bond. * * * If under the law as it stands, the bondholder can demand only the kind of money he paid, then he is a repudiator and an extortioner to demand money more valuable than he gave."

Just one year after writing the above the same John Sherman wrote the following:

"I do assert as a question of policy, that it is wise for us to declare that the 5-20 bonds and greenbacks alike shall be paid in gold and silver."

He had been "seen," and such was the persuasive influence of the bondholders' "logic," that he performed the astonishing feat of turning a complete somersault on the bond question. The bill was passed March 18, 1869, by almost strictly a party vote, the Republicans voting for and the Democrats against it. The vote stood as follows:

For the bill: Republicans, 96; Democrats, 1; total 97.

Against the bill: Republicans, 13; Democrats, 34; total 47.


The result of this infamous law was to increase the burdens of the people and put into the pockets of the bondholder about six hundred million dollars which the premium on gold would amount to at that time. If, however, we calculate the rates of discount at which they obtained the bonds it will exceed that amount. Senator Beck, in the Senate of the United States in 1869, said:

"The bondholders had, up to 1869, received one thousand million dollars of profit before they got the principal of their bonds made payable in gold. It can be shown by the treasurer's reports, from year to year, giving the amount of bonds sold each year, and the premium on gold from 1862 to 1869, that the purchase of the bonds with paper at its face value, and the purchase of the paper at the discounts, gave a profit to the bondholders as follows:"

1862 $28,138,989
1863 94,555,713
1864 306,551,552
1865 110,159,367
1866 53,747,183
1867 167,915,741
1868 153,159,765
On acc't of 5 per cent bonds 98,287,894
Total $1,012,536,204

The above represents the discounts which the government made good to the bondholder by the law of 1869. The whole scheme is now made apparent. The first thing was to cripple the greenback with the "exception clause." Get up a corner on gold. Buy greenbacks at a discount and exchange them at their face value for bonds. Institute a national banking system with bonds for a basis. Burn up and destroy the greenbacks and have the bonds made payable in coin. And through the national banks issue the paper money and control the volume of currency.


So far they had been eminently successful. Fearing, however, that the people might elect another Congress that would repeal the obnoxious law of 1869, the bondholders now set about to have the old bonds exchanged for new ones, and the contract written on the face of the bond. This was secured by the Funding Act of July 14, 1870. The debt was now payable in coin of a fixed standard of weight and value and no Congress had a right to annul the contract. One would naturally think that with the consummation of this infamous scheme, that the greed and avarice of the bondholder would have been satisfied. But they desired the banking system to be perpetual, and as the bonds were the basis of the system, the bonded debt also must be perpetuated. The only way to accomplish this was to make it more difficult to pay. In 1873 they secured the passage of the law demonetizing silver. This provided for the payment of the debt in gold only. The people, however, became so indignant at this assault on silver money that they elected a Congress that partially repealed the law and provided for a restricted coinage of silver. The fight upon greenbacks has also been continued in a manner that indicates that it is the purpose of the money kings and their tools — the leaders of the two old parties — to eventually wipe them out.

President Hayes, in his message to Congress December 2, 1879, says:

"The retirement from circulation of the United States notes, with the capacity of legal tender in private contracts, is a step to be taken in our progress toward a safe and stable currency, which should be accepted as the policy and duty of the government and the interest and security of the people of it."

On December 3, 1879, Senator Bayard (Democrat) offered the following resolution:


"Resolved, etc., that from and after the passage of this resolution, the treasury notes of the United States shall be receivable for all dues to the United States excepting duties on imports, and shall not be otherwise a legal tender; and any of said notes hereafter issued shall bear this inscription."

In 1880, Mr. Bayard said, in a speech in New York: "I am now for resumption, and the Democratic candidates for President and Vice-President want the same kind of resumption that I do — a real and not a sham resumption. We want the resumption intended to be secured by the resolution I offered in the Senate last December. It was a resolution right on the ancient pathway of constitutional democracy, withdrawing from the treasury notes when paid and redeemed at the treasury any power of enforced legal tender when reissued. There is great danger to us, and our posterity is, and will be, in great jeopardy, so long as the legal tender credit currency is in existence."

Thus talked the secretary of state under President Cleveland in 1880. We ask the question in all candors, can we reasonably expect reform in financial matters so long as such men are kept in the highest and most important offices in the land?

Again, hear what Wade Hampton has to say: "It would be sound policy, therefore, for us to do our duty and wipe out the greenbacks. But whether we should succeed or fail, whether it is expedient or not, I would make the fight on this issue and on this line. It is the line of consistency and principle, and we had better be whipped fighting for the right than to win upon any other ground." In 1881, $782,000,000 of the bonds fell due, or came within the option of the government to pay. The resources of the government to pay the debt were rapidly increasing.


It was evident to the holders of the bonds that even with limited coinage of silver the revenues of the government were so abundant that in a short time the debt would be paid. Something must be done. Willing leaders in both parties were ready to do the bidding of Mammon. Bills were introduced from both sides of the House to refund the debt in long time bonds. While this matter was pending, General Weaver of Iowa introduced the resolutions which we give below. The running debate following the introduction of the resolutions, and which we give also is part of the Congressional record:


Mr. Weaver. — I move to suspend the rules and adopt the resolution which I send to the desk.

The clerk read as follows:

"Resolved, That it is the sense of this House that all currency, whether metallic or paper, necessary for the use and convenience of the people, should be issued and its volume controlled by the government, and not by or through the bank corporations of the country; and when so issued should be a full legal tender in payment of all debts, public and private.

"Resolved, That, in the judgment of this House, that portion of the interest-bearing debt of the United States which shall become redeemable in the year 1881, or prior thereto, being in amount $782,000,000, should not be refunded beyond the power of the government to call in said obligations and pay them at any time, but should be paid as rapidly as possible, and according to contract. To enable the government to meet these obligations, the mints of the United States should be operated to their full capacity in the coinage of standard silver dollars, and such other coinage as the business interests of the country may require."


Mr. Garfield — Mr. Speaker, I never heard the provisions of this resolution until it was read from the desk a few moments ago. It has, however, attained some historical importance by being talked about a good deal in the newspapers, and by blocking the other business of the House for some weeks. As I listened to its reading I noticed that it is one of those mixed propositions which has some good things in it which everybody would probably like and vote for if separated; but the good things are used to sugar over what, in my judgment, is most pernicious.

There are three things in this resolution to which I wish to call the attention of the House before they vote. The first is a proposition of the largest possible proportion, that all money, whether of coin or paper, that is to circulate in this country, ought to be manufactured and issued directly by the government. I stop there. I want to say on that proposition to the majority in this House, who are so strongly opposed to what they call centralization, that never was there a measure offered to the Congress of so vast and far-reaching centralism. It would create the treasury of the United States into a manufactory of paper money. It makes the House of Representatives and the Senate, or the caucus of the party which happens to be in the majority, the absolute dictator of the financial and business affairs of this country. This scheme surpasses all the centralism and all the Cćsarism that were ever charged upon the Republican party in the wildest days of the war, or in the events growing out of the war. Now I say, without fear of contradiction, that prior to 1862, the wildest dreamer in American finance was never wild enough to propose such a measure of centralization as that single proposition implies. The government should prescribe general laws in reference to the quality and character of paper money, but should never become the direct manufacturer and issuer of it.


The second point involved in this resolution, is that the government of the United States shall pay all of its public debts in this manufactured money, manufactured to order at the treasury factory. Notwithstanding the solemn and acknowledged pledge of the government to pay the principal and the interest of its public debt in coin, this resolution declares, that in this legal tender paper the public debt shall be payable.

The third point I wish to call attention to — Mr. Ewing — Will my colleague allow me to interrupt him for a moment?

Mr. Garfield — Certainly.

Mr. Ewing — You certainly misunderstand the resolution. It declares that all public debts of the United States shall be paid in the money of the contract, and not in any coin or money the government may choose to pay them in.

Mr. Garfield — Any money the government may issue is by this resolution declared to be lawful money, and, therefore, is to be made the money of the contract by the legislation proposed to-day.

Mr. Ewing — That is a mere quibble, based on a total misconstruction of the resolution.

Mr. Garfield — Answer in your own time.

Now the third point in this resolution is that there shall be no refunding of the $780,000,000 to fall due this year and next, but all that shall be paid. How? Out of the resources of the nation? Yes; but the money to be manufactured at the treasury is to be called part of these resources. Print it to death — that is the way to dispose of the public debt, says this resolution.

I have only to say that these three make the triple-headed monster of centralization, inflation and repudiation combined. This monster is to be let loose on the country


as the last spawn of the dying party that thought it had a little life in it a year ago. It is put out at this moment to test the courage of the two political parties; it is offered at this moment when the roar of the presidential contest comes to us from all quarters of the country. In a few moments we shall see what the political parties will do with this beast. All I have to say for one is, meet it and throttle it; in the name of honesty, in the name of the public peace and prosperity, in the name of the individual citizens of this country against centralism, worse than we ever dreamed of, meet it and fight it like men. Let both parties show their courage by meeting it boldly and putting an end to its power for mischief Let the vote be taken.

Mr. Weaver — I yield two minutes to the gentleman from Pennsylvania.

Mr. Kelley — I cannot say much in two minutes. I can, however, say that the announcement of the gentleman from Ohio, (Mr. Garfield) that to require the government to make our money tended to consolidation was idle vapor, as there never was an honest dollar, or franc, or mark, or shilling that was not made by a government. No other power than government can make money. Currency there has been which government did not create, bank notes and notes of individuals promising to pay money; but money other than that made and issued by a government by its authority and upon its responsibility, has never existed here or in any other country. And all that the gentleman said on that point was, I repeat, balderdash. So was his allusion to the wildest dreamer that ever lived. In voting for this proposition I will stand with that wildest of dreamers, to borrow the gentleman's wild phraseology. Thomas Jefferson who, when portraying the dangers of using bank notes as money, as was the practice at the time he wrote to Mr. Eppes, said: "The power to issue money should be


takes from the banks and restored to Congress and the people, to which it properly belongs."

The gentleman also vociferated against the resolution because it proposes to put an end to the refunding of our debt. If there is to be no more refunding of maturing or matured bonds into those which are to have either thirty or fifty years to run, I will thank God with fervent thanks, for Secretary Chase never said a wiser thing than when he told Congress that the optional control of the debt was of vastly more importance than the rate of interest, unless he at some time exclaimed: "It is with nations as with men; out of debt, out of danger."

Just here I beg leave to tell the gentleman and the House that if we convert redeemable bonds into those which will have thirty or fifty years to run, as is proposed, we will pay in premium to the members of the syndicate, from whom we will be compelled to purchase them if our debt is not to be perpetuated, more than we will seem to save by having reduced the rate of interest on a debt, which, since the 8th of November last, we have been extinguish-at the rate of $9,000,000 a month.

Mr. Weaver. — I yield for a minute to the gentlemen from Indiana.

Mr. Calkins asked and obtained leave to print some remarks upon this subject.

Mr. Weaver. — Mr. Speaker, I reckon myself most happy in having an opportunity of witnessing a vote upon these resolutions which have so attracted the attention of this House and of the country for the past three months. I am not surprised at the opposition of the gentleman from Ohio, [Mr. Garfield]. I understand very well that that gentleman and his party stand in the road blocking the progress of the people toward financial reform.

He assailed these resolutions with two distinct propositions:


First, that they favored centralization; second, that they are in violation of the public faith of the nation, in that they propose to pay the public debt in "manufactured money," as the gentleman styles it. I call his attention to the resolutions themselves in response to that. There is not one word in these resolutions looking to a violation of the public faith or to the payment of the public debt, in anything not strictly in accordance with the contract. That is the language of the resolutions, that the bonds shall be paid as rapidly as possible and according to the terms of the contract. We all understand very well what the gentleman means when he raises the cry, that the public faith is about to be endangered. He means that it is a violation of the public faith to pay the public debt in silver dollars of 412 ˝ grains. That is what the gentleman means. The resolutions propose to pay the bonded debt in silver dollars, if the bondholders prefer coin. Every man of sense, in all this broad land, knows that the holders of these bonds do not want them paid in either, gold, silver, or greenbacks. They simply want them to be funded perpetually and be exempted from the burdens of the State.

I say here and now that the national Greenback party is opposed to the violation of the public faith, and is squarely opposed to the repudiation of any portion of the public debt. [Applause.] We are in favor of the payment of the debt according to the contract, and we are the only party that desires ever to pay it. And while we are in favor of that, we are determined that the moneyed interests of the country shall not repudiate again those features in the contract which are in favor of the people. We say that the bondholder having specified in the law that he would receive the silver dollar of 412 ˝ grains in payment for his bond, in all good faith he should be held to the strict


terms of the contract. He may have his pound of flesh, but not another drop of American blood!

We do not seek to compel the bondholder to receive the greenbacks in payment of his bond. The people once had the right to pay, but that right was ruthlessly and wickedly taken away by a change of contract in 1869, which took from the toiling tax-payers more than $600,000,000; more than half of which went to enrich foreign princes and usurers. These resolutions do not pretend to interfere with the contract, notwithstanding it was conceived in sin and fraud and brought forth in iniquity. It proposes to pay in standard silver dollars. Ah, it is not greenbacks, it is not silver, that you hate. It is the payment of the debt that so enrages you. But the gentleman charges, vehemently, that the resolutions tend to centralization and Cćsarism. It is well that the gentleman has announced to the House and to the country that the Republican party prefers to trust the national bankers, and the banking corporations, to control and issue the volume of the currency, rather than a Congress of the sworn representatives of the people. That he prefers the bankers of the country, not elected by the people, and not responsible to them, should have the power to control the volume of the currency according to their own will, rather than the representatives of the people, who are directly responsible to their constituents. Let that issue be sharply and squarely drawn. [Applause.] It is the great practical issue to-day in the American Republic. Who shall issue the currency and control its volume? Shall the bankers control it for their own selfish ends, or shall its issue and volume be, controlled by the whole people for the benefit of all?

That, I say, is the colossal issue, and in it is involved the very existence of this government and the freedom of the people. "Centralization!" The Congress of the United


States, chosen for two years, coming directly from the people and directly responsible to them for their conduct, are not to be trusted! But the bankers of the country, who are not chosen by the people, or elected by them, are to be trusted with the great power involving the happiness and welfare of fifty millions of people, and their countless posterity, without a murmur from the gentleman and with his express approval. Let me repeat it again, so that the American people may fully understand it. These bankers are to be trusted, says the gentleman, in preference to the people and their chosen representatives!

Is there no centralization, no Cćsarism here? In the name of public peace, in the name of honesty and fair dealing, in the name of the laboring millions, who toil and dig, and pay the taxes of the country, I invoke the soft money Democrats of the United States, and the hundreds of thousands of Republicans who have been long looking in vain for economic reform within their party, to join with us in a death grapple with this corporate monster. In the name of the humble poor who struggle not for office, and who simply want a fair chance in the race of life, I ask you to give one vote for the Republic. Let there be no dodging to-day, no hiding in the cloak room; you cannot serve two masters. You cannot avoid the issue if you would. It is vital, permeating all classes, and engaging the attention of the people as never before in our history. This is a supreme moment in the history of men and of parties in this House. Reflect well before you vote.

I ask the Congress of the American people to stand up and assert with Thomas Jefferson that the issue of the circulating medium should be taken away from the banks and restored to the government, to which it properly belongs. [Applause.] I ask my Democratic friends to stand where Jackson stood when he said in his farewell address that the banks could not be relied upon to keep the


circulating medium uniform in amount. [Applause.] I ask you to stand where Calhoun and all the other great leaders of your party stood in the past and purer days of your history.

And I ask my Republican friends here to repudiate the doctrine of the gentleman from Ohio. You owe it to your dignity and to the American people to repudiate the doctrine that you cannot trust yourselves as the people's representatives."

The yeas and nays were ordered.

The question was taken; and there were — yeas 85, nays 117, not voting 90.

The resolutions were lost, less than one-third of the people's representatives voting for them. We ask a close examination of the above resolutions. They are in exact accordance with the demands of labor organizations, yet there was no disposition on the part of Congress to carry them into effect. A bill to refund the debts into bonds of long time was passed, and now the government is buying her own bonds at 28 per cent, premium because those same long time bonds are not yet due. Was ever such infamous legislation inflicted upon a debt-ridden people?

And now, it is said, we have a surplus in the treasury that is endangering the stability of trade and commerce.

Out of 292 congressmen only 85 had the courage and honesty to vote for the above resolution.

Here is the only surplus connected with the present condition of the treasury we have ever been able to see:

A surplus of 207 dishonest, scheming, cowardly and inefficient congressmen; a surplus of ignorance or dishonesty; a surplus of lawyers and bankers; a surplus of rascally raiders upon the rights of the people; a surplus of fools in the guise of statesmen; a surplus of Shylock's agents robbing the people; a surplus of men wanting to


perpetuate a bonded debt for a basis of that most damnable system of robbery, the national banks.

And what excuse did they offer the people for their action? A saving of one-half to one per cent. That was seven years ago; they saved from three and one-half to seven cents on the dollar in interest, and now they are paying the bondholder twenty-nine cents premium on the bonds as they buy them in; net profit to the bondholder, twenty-two to twenty-six cents on every dollar.

Oh, we have got a set of smart statesmen! If we could persuade the old women to leave off making catnip tea for the babies long enough to go to Congress, for one session, they could beat all such legislation as that, and put in three-fourths of their time knitting.

The talent and purity of American statesmanship has gone to seed.

A surplus, indeed! What would be thought of a man who, owing a debt, would carry half enough money in his pocket to pay it, and complain of having a surplus? He would be considered a natural born idiot.

If President Cleveland is correct in his message, the business of the country is languishing for the want of the money locked up in the treasury, and great danger of financial collapse is threatened.

Senator Beck, in his speech in the Senate in 1885, said:

"A thief who steals and squanders an unneeded surplus, locked up in the treasury vaults, would inflict less injury to the country and its business, if the money he stole was put in circulation, than a secretary who holds and hides in vaults, currency which the people want, and refuses to use it to pay debts which the men who own this money owe. It is easy to raise a clamor about a surplus, but it will be difficult to explain to the people why such vast amounts of the money, they have been so heavily


taxed to furnish, is lying in the overloaded treasury vaults, and they deprived of its use, while interest is running against them on the bonds that can be, and ought to be paid."

This is perhaps the first time in the history of the world that a government has had a "surplus" of money that it did not know what to do with. It is now being used to "boost" the so-called campaign issue. It is claimed that this surplus is the result of a high tariff. It is a lie. We have had, practically speaking, the same tariff since 1867. A "surplus" was never heard of until after the bonds were funded and payment delayed until 1892 and 1897. If this money had been paid out in the discharge of the public debt it would have been put in active circulation and times would have been better. "The secretary who holds this money in the treasury is worse than a thief who-would steal it and put it in circulation." The Congress who by their enactment of laws, makes it possible to do so is particeps criminis in the matter.

All the enactments of law in favor of the bondholders, together with the combined efforts of a well paid press, have boomed the bonds until they command a premium in the market, and the bondholders are now reaping a rich harvest in the way of selling their bonds at a high premium. It is financial suicide; it is worse than folly; it is legalized robbery. It is the old story of the cats, a piece of cheese and the monkey. The cats had found a piece of cheese which they could not divide agreeably between themselves. They decided to appeal to a monkey as judge. The monkey proceeded to divide the cheese in such a manner that one piece was larger than the other. In order, as he said, to make them equal, he took an enormous bite off the larger piece. This reduced its size to such an extent that it gave him a pretext to take a bite off the other piece, the result of which was that it was now the smallest, and


the other piece had to be subjected to the same process of absorption. This continued until the monkey had eaten the whole. Equal rights was his pretext. The bonds were funded at a lower rate of interest ostensibly in the interest of the people. Now we are compelled to pay a premium to the extent of five or six times the amount of the interest saved. Do you see the point? A pup gets its eyes open in nine days; the people ought to get theirs open in nine years. O the bondholder is a patriotic citizen! He loves the clear people so well! But some of our Democratic politicians will say: "O that was the ‘dog-goned’ Republicans who did this." Were there 207 Republicans in the forty-sixth Congress? Were there only eighty-five Democrats? Was Fernando Wood, of New York, who introduced the bill to fund the debt, a Republican.

It was the members of both old parties who passed the law. These men are opposed to the organization of labor. They are opposed to the laboring classes uniting. Laboring men! You, who have toiled from early morn to dusky eve; who have felt the burning rays of the hot mid-summer's sun while you have worked in the cotton fields; who have gazed with tender sympathy on the pale and care-worn face of your faithful wives who toiled on by your side; who have looked upon your children half-clad, and less than half-educated, who were also compelled to work at an age when their young minds should be in training to prepare them to go out into the world to do battle for themselves; you, who have witnessed the financial wreck of thousands; the ruin of homes; the agony of despair; the increase of crime and the ever-growing poverty of your fellow-man; you, I say, who have witnessed all these things, while blindly following a party belonging body and soul to the moneyed aristocracy of the East, on which side are you enlisted in this great battle for human rights?


Chapter VII. Monopoly of Transportation.

WE HAVE heretofore remarked that the means for transportation was one of the agents of distribution. That upon a proper distribution of the products of labor depended individual happiness. We have already treated of the other principal agent of distribution — money, or the medium of exchange. We now address ourselves to the discussion of the question of transportation. It has almost ceased to be a question as to what the people are going to do with the railroads. It would, under the existing condition of things, be more proper to ask: "What are the railroads going to do with the people?

More than 100 years ago, Oliver Goldsmith, of whom it is said, "left no species of writing untouched by his pen, nor touched any that he did not embellish," wrote these lines:

"Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain;
Teach him, that states of native strength possest.
Though very poor, may still be very blest;
That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweeps the labor'd mole away."

It is an eternal and inexorable law of nature that everything gravitates toward a common center. To counteract the effects of this law, God in His infinite wisdom provided another, the law of inertia. Were it not so, the great solar or planetary system would come together, and we would have a crash of worlds. Water would all flow


to and remain in the ocean. But, Nature provides compensating laws; the great heating power of the sun transforms water into vapor, lifts it into the air where the warm breath of the ocean catches and carries it overland, until it meets a colder current and is again condensed into water, which falls and replenishes the earth. Otherwise, a great dearth would result in ultimate and universal death.

Money is the life-blood of the nation; if it does not flow freely back and forth in the channels of trade, the industries of the nation languish, sicken and die. Laws that operate to concentrate the wealth of a nation produce congestion, and stagnation of business.

Money is the great circulating medium of exchange of commodities. Wealth is the source of individual, temporal happiness. Money is the representative of wealth. Money is power. The concentration of money is the concentration of power.

All history teaches that power lodged in the hands of a few, is more dangerous, more tyrannical, than when in the hands of the many — the people.

Under an equitable system of laws, where labor is protected, where the proper compensating laws are provided, the people, the producers of all wealth, are happy and prosperous.

But in a government where the laws aid the rich to become richer and the poor poorer, the power passes from the hands of the people into that of the possessors of wealth. The grandeur of the nation is then rooted in the poverty of the people; and we have, as Victor Hugo says, "monstrous opulence" on the one side, and "monstrous misery" on the other. The government then becomes one of aristocracy; of glittering pomp and splendor; but there are "cracks in the foundation," the whole sub-strata of the social structure is in commotion; questions multiply themselves before the people in their fearful condition of


wretchedness; and, we have strikes; we have riots; we have revolutions, and the wrongs of the people are wiped out in the blood of the patriot. Such was the revolution of France; such the revolution of our fathers of 1776; and such will be the revolution in this country if our statesmen persist in ignoring the encroachments of organized capital upon the rights of the people.

Under the present condition of affairs a man may be allowed the "pursuit of happiness," but he will hardly attain to its possession.

"We hold to the principle that all monopolies are dangerous to the best interests of the country, and have a tendency to overthrow the great principles purchased by Washington and his glorious compatriots." Do we believe what we say in the preamble to our constitution and the declaration of our principles? Then we are threatened with a multiplicity of monopolies that menace our liberties. No country in the history of the world has ever been cursed with so many and such gigantic monopolies as free (?) America. Free, only in name. Free, only in the fact that we still have a glimmering hope of crushing this monstrous system of robbery by an intelligent use of the ballot; that failing, all hope is lost, except that last fearful resort — revolution. May the God of our fathers prevent it.

What are the natural results of railroad monopolies? Like all other soulless corporations, their only ambition is gain; and that gain must come from the producer. With this sole object in view, they are blind to the true principles of government, and, like all other tyrannical powers, regard not the rights of the people. They do not hesitate to buy our executive officers, corrupt our courts and prostitute our legislators to the attainment of their nefarious schemes.

The New York Times, of December 6, 1880, says:


"There is forming on the face of the territory comprised within the United States, a great confederacy of railroads, whose ultimate power it is not easy to forecast. However great the separate systems may be, and however far they may be rivals in the business of through transportation, they will have certain interests in common. They will have a common interest in resisting government control; in obtaining and maintaining laws favorable to their purposes, and in strengthening and guarding their power over the business of the country. By compacts among themselves they may lay what tribute they will upon the industries and commerce of the people. They rest like one gigantic despotism of iron upon the face of this land, and regulate the development of industrial interests, direct the current of trade, and exercise a control over all the energies of the people which they may be powerless to resist. The public can work only through legislation and the administration of laws, and the railroad confederacy will vie with each other in making and controlling legislatures and administrations. They have already entered into the contest here and there, and at one time and another, and not without remarkable instances of success."

Senator Windom said:

"The channels of thought and the channels of commerce, thus owned and controlled by one man, or by a few men, and what is to restrain corporate power or to fix a limit to its exactions upon the people ? What is then to hinder these men from depressing or inflating the value of all kinds of property to suit their caprice or avarice, and thereby gathering into their own coffers the wealth of the nation? Where is the limit to such a power as this? What shall be said of the spirit of a free people who will submit, without a protest, to be thus bound hand and foot?"


James A. Garfield said:

"The modern barons, more powerful than their military prototypes, own our greatest highways and levy tribute at will upon our vast industries. And, as the old feudalism was finally controlled and subordinated only by the combined efforts of the kings and the people of the free cities and towns, so our modern feudalism can be subordinated to the public good only by the great body of the people."

We have quoted the above authorities as evidence of the dangerous tendencies of the great corporations that now control our highways of commerce, and are seeking through the most corrupt means to extend and maintain their power over the business and industries of the country. In further proof of the baseness and venality of their practices, we quote below a few of the famous C. P. Huntington letters. These letters were brought to public notice through a suit tried at Santa Rosa, Cal., to determine whether the widow of Gen. Colton, who was Mr. Huntington's western manager, was being fairly dealt with by the managers of the Central Pacific railroad:

NEW YORK, December 23, 1875.

Friend Colton:

Yours, in relation to Messrs. Bird and Parrot, received. I can do nothing with the parties. The last time I saw Bird he was wildly mad. I spent an evening with Parrott; he did not show temper like Bird, but said they had been shamefully used, etc., and said that when we could satisfy Castle, he and Bird would be satisfied, etc.; now the business must be done, I think, on that side, but we all understand that we should have it if it can be got at a fair price, and that soon. Please let me know what arrangement we have had with Mr. Castle; how much we agreed to pay him for his services, and as to whether he has been


paid as agreed. Mr. Parrott says he has had no pay. Please answer at once.Yours truly,

NEW YORK, Nov. 20, 1874.
Friend Colton:
Yours of the 12th is received, and I am glad you have Luttrell under your charge, but you must be careful and not let him get anything to strike back with, as he is a cuss, and I do not think it safe for Stanford to talk with him on our matters, as it would be just like him to get up in Congress and lie about what S. said to him. He must have solid reasons, or he will go back on you.
Yours truly, C. P. HUNTINGTON.


NEW YORK, February 26, 1876.

Friend Colton:

I have been in Washington most of the time for several weeks past, which, with my other business, has kept me so very busy that I have neglected my correspondence with you. * * I do not write you much about matters in Washington, but I am having the biggest fight I ever had there, and expect to win it. Scott is doing his best, and has an army of men in the lobby to help him. He told me this week that he is sure to pass his bill. He said he would give us enough to do to take care of what we had without meddling with his. I said to him, with a smile, that I hoped he would do nothing that would interfere with my helping him on his Texas and Pacific. I have sent H. S. Brown with Judge Evans, (Mr. E. is a citizen of Texas,) to Texas to set the State right on the S. P., and I sent Doc Gwin to Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama to set some back fires on Scott. I expect to weaken


Scott much by this move. This fight will cost us much money, but I think it is worth it, as I have written you from time to time. I have been trying to work parties up that have interests in roads in Texas, outside of Scott's interest, and they told me, a few days since, that if I would get up a bill I could use their names, and I at once done so, and they now like it very much; and I think it makes us stronger than we were without. I send copy of the bill with this Senate bill No. 500. Your letter to Luttrell was good, and I noted its effects. Good articles in the California papers sent to our members of Congress would do good. They get many from our enemies which hurts. Wigginton gets nearly every thing bad that is said about us, I think. I have many things that I would like to say, but it is dark, and I quit.

Yours truly,


NEW YORK, July 26, 1876.

Friend Colton:
I have been working for the last two months to get a party of say twenty-five Southern members of Congress to go out to California and over the line of the S. P. and see what we have done and our ability to do. Of course I want no one to go except the best men of the South; men who will go for the right as they understand it, and not as Tom Scott or somebody else understands it. I told Senator Gordon, of Georgia, if he would get up a party of the best men of the south we would pay all their expenses, which I suppose would not be less than $10,000, and I think it would be money well expended. When would be the best time to come? I think it would be as well to take them over the S. P. before the connection is made between


Tehachapi and Los Angeles, as they could see what we have done better than if they should go all the way by rail. Then have the rail laid as far east as it could be, with men at work between the east end of the rail and the Colorado river: Give me your views on this. Yours truly,

NEW YORK, August 7, 1876.
Friend Colton:
Your letters, 190 and 191, are received. The dispatch as to suit between Central Pacific and Cohen or Robinson was published here about as you sent it. I think I wrote you some two weeks since that I was to meet Tom Scott and talk over S. P. and T. P. matters. I did not meet him. I could not get away from Washington at the time. I shall endeavor to meet him before I come to California. Scott is very ugly and strong in Washington; but if he keeps up this fight, we will live to see the grass growing over him. I think I am making friends in the South for the S. P. I have telegraphed to-day to have you get some of the prominent men in San Francisco to telegraph to Gordon, Senator from Georgia, with other Southern men, to go. While Gordon and some others are not afraid to go, Gordon tells me that some of his friends do not like to go on the invitation from the railroad company. If I can get the right men from the South to go to California, we can capture all the Gulf States for the S. P. We must win in this fight. I was glad to learn, as I did to-day by your telegram, that you would connect with Los Angeles in thirty days.
Yours truly, C. P. HUNTINGTON.

NEW YORK, Aug. 14, 1876.
Friend Colton:

Your two letters of the 5th, Nos. 195 and 196, are


received. I am glad you are getting along so well with S. P. I will send to-day six copies each of my S. P. report for 1873 and 1874. I left Washington on Friday, the 11th. I think our matters are safe there for the session. I saw Gen. Gordon just before I left. He had received a dispatch from some of the prominent men at San Francisco, and he said he thought they would get up a party of say thirty prominent Southern men, and visit California this fall, starting from this city about the 1st of September.
Yours truly, C. P. HUNTINGTON.

NEW YORK, November 15, 1877.

Friend Cotton:
Yours of the 2nd, No. 27, came to hand some days since, and would have been acknowledged before but for the reason that I have been very busy in Washington most of the time, and I return there again to-morrow night, as I have a hearing before the Judiciary Committee on Saturday. You can have no idea how I am annoyed by this Washington business, and I must and will give it up after this session. If we are not hurt this session it will be because we pay much money to prevent it; and you know how hard it is to get it to pay for such purposes, and I do not see my way clear to get through here and pay the January interest, with other bills payable to January 1st, with less than $2,000,000, and possibly not for that. I hear from all directions that Scott is very sure of passing his T. and P. bill this session. I do not believe it, but he has never before, I think, made the effort that he is now making. I think Congress will try very hard to pass some kind of a bill to make us commence paying on what we owe the government. I am striving very hard to get a bill in such a shape that we can accept it, as this Washington business will kill me yet, if I have to continue the fight from year to year, and then every year the fight


grows more expensive, and rather than let it continue as it is, from year to year, I would rather they take the road and done with it.
Yours, etc.,

We give the above letters as an indication of what is going on at the national capitol during the sessions of Congress. Corporations keep a well paid set of lobbyists there in their interests, to encourage special legislation in their behalf, or to oppose any laws that would be averse to their interests. Senators and Congressmen lend their aid to the accomplishment of the schemes of designing corporations with a zeal that would do credit to them were their efforts directed to a more honorable undertaking, and inspired by more patriotic motives. That railroad and other modes of transportation, properly constructed and operated, are a blessing to the human family, and necessary to a higher civilization, cannot be denied; and few things, perhaps, have been so conspicuous for rapidity of growth and expansion as the American railway system. There are plenty of men yet living who find no difficulty in remembering the time when the canal boat and the stage coach were the only means of communication between the various parts of the union.

"It was not until 1826 that capitalists became satisfied of the value of the railway as a means of communication between distant points. The first road of this kind in America was a mere tramway for the transportation of granite from the quarries at Quincy to the Neposett river, in Massachusetts. The total length of this road was about three miles. It terminated at the quarries in a self-acting inclined plane. It was built upon granite sleepers, seven and a half feet long, laid eight feet apart. The rails were laid five feet apart, were of pine, a foot deep, and covered with an oak plate, and this with a flat bar of iron. The


cars were drawn by horses." From this rude construction as a beginning, emanated the great system of American railways. The first locomotive, built by George Stephenson, at his works at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, arrived at New York in the spring of 1829.

Other engines were introduced in the same year. The first engine running on two trucks of four wheels each was introduced in 1831. The same arrangement was also applied to long passenger cars. From this date the improvement in railroads and railroad equipments was truly wonderful.

The following table will give the growth of our railways from the commencement to the year 1887:

1827 3  
1830 41 38
1840 2,797 2,756
1850 7,475 4,678
1860 28,771 20,296
1870 48,860 20,089
1880 82,140 33,280
1887 133,606 51,466

The following table shows the mileage, capital, debt and cost of railroads in the United States.

Mileage, Capital, Debt and Cost of Railroads.
New England 6,437 $202,673,477 $370,383,934 $335,636,655
Middle States 19,201 1,064,895,370 2,238,705,609 1,706,952,635
Southern States 21,376 467,097,903 489,778,278 916,487,016
Western States 78,948 1,998,696,761 4,222,120,854 3,817,865,486
Pacific States 7,642 266,144,997 505,691677 478,053,425