Pictures and Illustrations.
General Message on Assembly of Legislature.
Executive Department, Springfield, Ill., January 9, 1895.
Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives:
In compliance with the requirements of the Constitution, I respectfully submit the following information in regard to the condition of the State, and also such recommendations as seem to me to be expedient.
As the affairs of the State had been continuously controlled by one political party for thirty-six years, both the reasonable expectations of the public and the existing political conditions called for great changes in the personnel of
898the administration. In consequence of this, so large a number of new men became connected with the management of public affairs that it was deemed wise to lay down the general principles which this administration aimed to carry out, and also such definite rules as would facilitate the carrying out of these principles.
As there was great pressure for place all along the line of the public service, the following specific instructions were given to all the trustees and superintendents of public institutions:
First — Do not put a man upon the pay-roll who is not absolutely needed.
Second — Do not pay higher salaries in an institution than the service or ability which you get would command outside.
Third — Do not keep a man an hour after it is discovered that he is not just the right man for the place, no matter who recommended him, or what political influence he may possess.
Fourth — Require vigilance and careful attention of every employe, and promptly discharge any appointee who is guilty of brutality toward patients, or who is guilty of any serious neglect of duty.
These instructions have been reiterated at various times with emphasis, and, I believe, have, in general, been observed.
The trustees and superintendents were instructed that our great institutions were not founded to make comfortable homes for officials, but to take care of the unfortunate, and that the energies of the management must be directed toward giving the inmates the very highest degree of care and comfort that is possible. Further, that the people of this State are liberal and want all who are thrown upon public charity to be properly fed and clothed, and that therefore the standard of diet and of clothing must in no case fall below that of the average self-supporting citizen of this State, and I will say here that I believe the standard in most of our institutions is higher than this.
The system prevailed in this State, which is still found in most other States, of having in each institution an officer who was known to the public as the purchasing agent. This man went into the market and bought where and of whom he pleased, and no matter how honest he may have been, he was still under suspicion. It was observed a number of years ago that the great corporations which have to buy large quantities of supplies had entirely abolished this system, and had introduced in its stead a system of buying on bids of the lowest bidder. Good economy and the highest moral consideration, as well as public policy, required that the State should purchase its supplies in the same way, and thus reduce the possibility of favoritism, corruption and scandal to the minimum. Therefore the following instructions to govern all institutions in this State were given:
First — Make out a list of articles that will be needed for a given time, describing each article fully, and have the typewritist make ten or twelve copies of this.
Second — Send these copies to as many different business houses dealing in the line of goods required for bids, to be accompanied by samples where
899necessary. Then accept the lowest and best bid, reserving in each case the right to reject any goods that may be deemed unsatisfactory.
Third — File these bids, together with the list upon which they were based, for a reasonable time, so that they can be inspected by any State officer, if desired.
In a number of institutions the old superintendents remained in charge until the expiration of the quarter ending July 1, 1893, and, as the other officers were new, no general effort was made to carry out these rules until after that time, and in some cases the new officers were reluctant to introduce them, but they were told that this was the policy of the administration, and that if they were not in harmony with it a new set of men would have to be appointed who would be in harmony. By degrees the new methods were generally adopted and are now fully grounded and established in every public institution in this State. We have been running for nearly a year and a half under the new system, and the result has been a surprise to all, and a gratification to every one favoring business methods. It was soon found that the bids from the most responsible houses upon articles that were considered staple varied from 10 per cent to 25 per cent. This difference was, in nearly all cases, a net gain to the institution, and I have to report the following general results of the new method:
First — The office of purchasing agent has been abolished in every institution in the State, thus effecting a saving in salaries of nearly $25,000 a year.
Second — The appropriations made by the last Legislature for current expenses of all of the State charitable institutions was only $3,800 in excess of the appropriation made for the same purpose two years before. But owing to the hard times or to other causes there was an average increase of 1,114 in the population of all these institutions over the average of the prior two years, and the cost of maintaining these 1,114 for eighteen months was $237,282. Yet, notwithstanding the cost of maintaining the increased number of persons, there was on January 1, 1895, a surplus in the treasuries of the various institutions amounting to $243,000. This sum added to the cost of caring for the increased number makes a total comparative saving of $476,482. Several of the treasurers have been directed to retain a small amount of the surplus for possible contingencies, and all of the remainder, amounting to $233,482, has been turned back into the State Treasury. The physical condition of the various institutions is better than it ever was, while the standard of living is not excelled anywhere. It is apparent that no matter what the State may desire to buy in the future, whether cheap goods or expensive goods, the new system of purchasing if adhered to is going to make an annual saving to the State for all time to come of nearly half a million of dollars, and I respectfully recommend that this money be expended in providing for our people the means of higher education, a subject to be referred to later.
After the new business methods were fully established, early in December, 1893, the superintendent of each institution was requested to make a thorough examination of the methods, the most advanced theories, and the results of the experiments in similar institutions in this country and in Europe, and to see wherein such institutions differed from ours, and it anything was found elsewhere that was thought to be an improvement upon the methods pursued
900here, to at once adopt it; also to submit a full report of such investigation on or before April 1st, 1894. Accordingly, last spring each superintendent submitted his report, giving the result of his investigations. These reports have been printed in a separate volume, and I herewith submit a copy of them. A number of them are very able, and contain valuable suggestions which have been, so far as possible, acted upon. It is confidently believed that our institutions are conducted on as high a scientific plane as any in the world, and that, while some of the European institutions have the advantage of more elaborate and expensive buildings and equipments, yet in other important particulars, relating to the care of inmates, ours are superior.
There was also established at Kankakee a laboratory, and a pathologist was employed, who gives all of his time to making microscopical and other scientific investigations, and who devotes at least one hour a day to a general discussion with the physicians of that institution. The result has been to arouse a new interest and create the highest aspirations throughout that great institution. There is every reason why Illinois should lead in this line of scientific work. I believe this pathological work to be of such importance that the trustees of each of the other insane asylums have been requested to establish a laboratory and employ a pathologist for the benefit of said institutions.
In this Home there has been friction between the superintendent and the trustees, due, in part, to the discipline which the superintendent enforced and which the trustees regarded as being too severe. In consequence of these differences, the superintendent resigned early in November, and the trustees appointed a successor. The business affairs of the Home, however, as well as the physical condition of the Home, are practically perfect, and it should be said, that prior to taking charge of the institution by the outgoing superintendent, more than 160 of the inmates of the Home had been expelled for insubordination, for persistent violation of the rules of the institution and for bad conduct. After being thus expelled, they found themselves penniless by the wayside and nearly all drifted into the alms-houses of the country. Believing that this condition of affairs ought not to continue, the superintendent re-admitted all of the men who had been so expelled and nearly all of them are still in the Home. Many of them have been a constant source of annoyance and trouble and made discipline a necessity, yet I believe that the act of taking them back was humane and right. The trustees have shown the greatest vigilance and care in watching over this institution, and have done everything in their power for the relief and comfort of the old soldiers. I recommend a liberal policy toward the Home. This great State owes these unfortunate veterans a debt of gratitude and we must see to it that their declining years are not only peaceful but comfortable.
The last General Assembly made an appropriation to found an Industrial Home for the Blind, in which these unfortunate people could earn a living and thus cease to be beggars on the street or inmates of alms-houses. In pursuance of this object, ground was secured near Douglas Park in Chicago, and a four-story shop with a steam plant attached has been erected, and near it a large four-story brick building, arranged for residence purposes, has been
901completed and opened. This will enable many of the blind of the State to become self-supporting.
The last General Assembly also made appropriations to establish a Reformatory for girls. To carry out this provision, a board was appointed, a building was rented, and a reform school, in harmony with the act, was opened, and steps were taken to erect a new building. A charming site for this purpose was secured on the banks of Fox river, near Geneva, in Kane county, and the new building is now under roof and will be ready to be opened in the spring.
On the night of January 3, 1895, a fire destroyed a large part of the main building of the Southern Hospital for the Insane. No lives were lost and all the patients have been properly housed and cared for. I have not the exact data on hand, but recommend that the necessary appropriation be made at once to rebuild the part destroyed.
It would make this message entirely too long for me to refer in detail to the salient features of each State institution, and I am, therefore, obliged to refer you to the reports made by the trustees, and also to the report of the State Board of Charities, all of which are herewith submitted. I must, however, direct your attention to the fact that, with the exception of the school for the education of the deaf and dumb, at Jacksonville, every State institution is overcrowded. I am informed that there are several thousand insane persons in the alms-houses of the State. The institution for the feeble-minded at Lincoln has between 600 and 700 inmates, and there are now that many applications for admission by people for whom no room can be found.
We need, at once, more room for the feeble-minded and a new asylum for the insane. Those who have given the matter most consideration advise an asylum for epileptics and the hopelessly insane, to which this class of patients from the other four institutions should be removed, their places being filled by those for whom there may yet be hope — that is, make the new institution an asylum and have existing institutions do the work of the hospitals.
In the fall of 1893, and again in the spring of 1894, all of the superintendents and trustees were convened in convention at Springfield, for the purpose of being more fully advised as to the policy of the administration, but more especially for the purpose of discussion and interchange of ideas. While this was a new departure, it was a pronounced success, the discussion in particular being of great benefit and assistance to all present, both in the dissemination of new ideas and the creation of higher aspirations.
The last General Assembly passed an act for the appointment of three local visitors in each county, to serve without fee, but having power to inspect both the jails and the alms-houses in the county. The State Board of Charities made these appointments and already the condition of many of these places has been greatly improved. It is found that there cannot be too much light thrown into the alms-houses and jails; while many of them are kept in the very best
902condition, others are sickening in their filth and wretchedness. In one of the alms-houses a member of the State Board of Charities found a number of children that were not sent to school, and were growing up in utter neglect. In another this member found a number of insane men and women practically living in one apartment — and that filthy. It is believed that with the added machinery for inspection, those conditions will soon disappear from our fair State.
This board has held two conventions of the local health officers of the State with a view of getting in touch with every neighborhood, so as to be in the best position possible to arrest the spread of any epidemic or contagious diseases. These conventions have been very instructive and beneficial. The board has also raised the standard of education necessary before beginning the study of medicine. The State has, for a number of years, been laboring to raise the standard of the medical profession, and now it is regarded as the highest in the Union.
The State Printer Expert has revised the methods of estimating the amount to be paid the printing contractor so as to make them conform to the law, and has thereby saved to the State about $10,000. I call your attention especially to his recommendations as to the revisions of the law governing State printing.
The Insurance Superintendent has at the cost of a great deal of labor prepared a revision of the laws relating to both fire and life insurance, and I commend this for your consideration. He has also collected as fees, since taking charge of his office, about $15,000 during the balance of the year 1893, and $135,000 for 1894, making $150,000 — which has just been turned into the State Treasury.
As our population increased and new machinery was added, a great many thousands of children were employed in certain factories of large cities to do the work formerly done by adults. They received only a pittance, and while the work in some cases was light, they all worked long hours and it was soon found that they became dwarfed in both body and mind, often being already old before reaching the age of maturity. In some factories there were no safeguards against accidents, and employes were being crippled and sometimes killed. In others the sanitary conditions were such as to not only breed disease but to foster immorality, boys and girls being often obliged to use the same filthy closets. Again it was found that the working of long hours in a factory by women, in the end unfitted them for the duties of home and of motherhood, in consequence of which their children were weak and often deformed, and there was growing up a generation of young men and women who were inferior both physically and mentally, and the standard of American womanhood and manhood was being lowered. These conditions called for a remedy. The question was not new. All civilized countries have had to deal with it. England found all these conditions seventy-five years ago and Parliament passed acts to remedy them. Those acts were based on the ground that it is the duty of government to prevent degeneration of its people, that the law of self preservation
903alone requires this, for an interior people must go down before a superior, both on the field and in civil life. These acts of Parliament were resisted by nearly all the wealth and by the Church of England. It was claimed they would ruin the British Empire, but Parliament made new investigations and passed still more stringent measures, until after a struggle of fifty years it had perfected the most comprehensive system of factory legislation in the world. Some of her greatest statesmen now consider this one of the grandest achievements of the empire. All the civilized countries of the old world, and the older and more advanced States of our country have adopted similar legislation.
Following these examples, the last General Assembly passed an act to remedy the evils complained of. It has now been in operation a little over a year and a half, and while it is in many respects crude and imperfect, and may, in a few exceptional cases, have done an injustice, yet it has accomplished much for humanity. The foul sanitary conditions have almost been wiped out. More protection against accidents has been enforced, and the scene of thousands of little children stunting their lives by working ten hours a day in a factory, doing the work of adults for a mere pittance, no longer disgraces the State.
This board has prepared a complete list or catalogue of all the papers and books in the library, and realizing that on account of the romantic history and wonderful achievements of this State, and its rapidly increasing greatness, its history must soon attract general interest, the board has made zealous efforts to procure all the papers, books and documents that tend to throw any light on the early development of our State and the Northwest country, and it now invites correspondence from all who have any documents of this character in their possession.
This board has been exceedingly vigilant, and has been able to prevent the spread of any contagious diseases among the horses and other animals of the State. But it was found that the State inspection which we were maintaining at Chicago for the purpose of preventing traffic in diseased cattle was a farce. The inspection was largely for its effect on foreign markets, the city of Chicago having its own inspectors, who were supposed to look after the meat used by the city. Owing to the vast extent of the Union Stock Yards, and the hostility of many of the merchants there to any interference by the State, but little could be done without an army of men. In company with the board, I attended a meeting of the stock yard merchants, and they were informed that as this inspection was largely for their benefit, they must either cooperate with the State or the inspection would be withdrawn entirely. Thereupon the Stock Yard Exchange adopted new regulations and proceeded to cooperate with the State authorities, and it is believed the traffic in diseased cattle has been substantially broken up. Some legislation, however, is urgently needed to enable the board to deal more effectively with men who defy the authorities; also to enable the commissioners to inspect all places wherein any cattle are confined.
This administration has taken a new departure by appointing a number of women on important boards and to other positions. While this was not good politics, from either a personal or party standpoint, it was believed to be eternally right, and was done solely on the ground of justice. The army of women who are obliged to earn their own bread is constantly increasing. At best they have a hard struggle to maintain themselves. Justice required that the same rewards and honors that encourage and incite men should be equally in reach of women in every field of activity. And I am glad to report that they have met every reasonable expectation. As a rule, they have done their work well.
Owing to the panic and the consequent paralysis of business, every State in the Union has met with very great difficulty in keeping its prisoners employed. In a number of States in which the contract system still prevails, convicts, have been offered at forty cents a day without meeting with any employer. Some of the officials of this State visited a number of the large penitentiaries in the States east of us, and everywhere found hundreds of convicts idle. The health of the prisoners, as well as the highest moral and economic considerations, require that they should work. In Illinois every convict has been kept steadily at work with the loss of scarcely a day. The contract system has been prohibited by the Constitution, but before this was done a number of contracts had been made which did not expire until October, 1894. Formerly, from 250 to 400 men were sometimes employed in one industry, thus producing an amount of goods which seriously affected the market, and thus competing directly with outside free labor. The commissioners and officers appointed in the spring of 1893 were instructed that they must: First, comply with the Constitution and abolish the contract system entirely; second, that the prisoners must be worked on State account, and, third, that enough new industries must be introduced into the prisons so that the number of convicts working at any one industry might be reduced to as nearly 100 as possible, thus making the competition with outside free labor the minimum. This policy has been carried out. Owing to the severe business depression, it was exceedingly difficult to establish new industries; the great majority of manufacturing establishments outside of prisons were obliged to shut down because they could find no market for their products; but in spite of these obstacles, the prison officials were obliged to go ahead and they have met with a remarkable degree of success.
It is to be deprecated that convict labor should in any way, even in the slightest degree, be brought in competition with tree labor. To reduce this competition to the minimum, the present system has been adopted. Every consideration of humanity emphasizes that the convicts should not be allowed to remain in idleness, and if this consideration did not control it would be unjust to the tax-payers to make no effort to secure some revenue from the work of the prisoners. If the Legislature can suggest a plan better than the one now in force, and which will make less the competition with free labor, we will be most happy to cooperate in its enforcement.
The present commissioners have given to the discharge of their duties more time than was ever before done in the history of the State. At Joliet
905one of them has given all of his time, and the other two from a third to a half of their time.
The prison at Chester has never been self-sustaining. The annual deficit has always been about $100,000. A number of industries are carried on there, brick-making being one of them, and a superior quality of brick is manufactured. New ovens have been put in for this purpose, and the entire prison has been remodeled and is now in excellent condition. There are at present 694 convicts confined there, and the commissioners report that by the introduction of better business methods they have so far reduced the expense of the management that they will need only $50,000 a year to meet the deficit, instead of $100,000, as heretofore, and they believe that in the near future the prison can be made self-sustaining.
The insane asylum connected with this prison has been entirely remodeled. A new water supply has been put in and it is now lighted by electricity and heated by steam. Formerly it was lighted by oil lamps and heated by stoves, which stood in the rooms occupied by insane criminals.
For a better understanding of the present condition of this penitentiary and the changes made there, I refer you to the report of the commissioners, herewith submitted.
The former commissioners of this prison on October 1, 1892, reported to the Governor as follows: "Balance of cash now on hand and in banks, $63,494.91. This institution is self-sustaining."
They then continued in charge of the prison until toward the end of January, 1893, and before retiring they spread a statement upon the records of the prison. Among other things they said:
"There was, as on October 1st, 1892, cash on hand and in banks, $63,494.91, and on January 24th, 1893, cash on hand and in banks, $39,017.70, a falling off of $24,477.70." And the January bills were still unpaid. They also spread on the records an explanation of this difference, claiming that about $1,850 was spent in repairs, but the principal reason was "the expiration of high-priced contracts," meaning contracts for convicts.
In other words, the prison was running behind. Making allowance for the sum of $1,850, which they claimed had been put into permanent improvement, it still left a deficit of $22,627.70 between the earnings and expenses of the penitentiary, which had accrued during the months of October, November and December. They did not pay the bills for January, but the same conditions existed during that month, so that during the last four months that the old commissioners had charge of the prison there was a monthly deficit between the earnings and expenses of the prison of about $7,542 per month, making in the neighborhood of $90,000 a year if continued, or $180,000 for two years. It is true that the prison had once been self-sustaining, and among other reasons given by the old commissioners in attempting to account for this deficit, was the fact that since the prohibition of contract labor, contractors felt insecure, and therefore the commissioners could not get as high wages for the convicts as they formerly did. The present administration took charge of the prison toward the end of January, 1893, and found nearly all the prisoners at work at prices which had been fixed by the former commissioners, and found
906that under this arrangement the prison must continue to run behind more than $7,000 per month, just as it had during the last four months that the old commissioners ran it. At that time there were 1,372 convicts in the prison, and at present there are 1,566 convicts there. The business depression already referred to was felt most keenly in the prison. The city of Joliet itself is filled with manufacturing establishments, all of which were idle; yet, in spite of this, the commissioners have introduced five new industries and changed five others to State account, so that there are now ten industries carried on there on State account, and two are still in the hands of contractors. Under contracts which were let eight years ago, 539 convicts were bound to contractors until some time in October last. Owing to the want of funds with which to start new industries, 321 convicts are still working under old contracts. The introduction of new industries involved for a time a loss to the institution. It took time to install them, time to make the necessary arrangements, to get the right kind of material, and time for the convicts to learn the new work, so that there was necessarily a falling off in the earnings during that period. Again, the first work produced by the convicts working at a new trade was not of the highest order, and in consequence had to be sold as inferior goods. This also seriously affected the earning capacity of the prison, but all of these obstacles have been overcome in connection with the industries now established. It appears from the report of the commissioners, herewith submitted, that the difference between the earnings and the expenses of the prison from October 1, 1892, to October 1, 1894, is $129,144.48. Of this sum, $76,807.10 accrued from October 1, 1892, to October 1, 1893, and $52,337.38 during the last year. Of the $76,807.10 of shortage which accrued during the first year, about $29,872.18 accrued during the months of October, November, December and January, during which time the old commissioners had charge. The present commissioners believe that with a revival of business the prison will be made entirely self-sustaining under the new system. In their report they say they will need about $100,000 for this purpose. It this is granted them, they will put the last convict in the institution at work on State account, and thus finally put an end to the old convict contract system, a system which made reform impossible by degrading and hardening the convict into a brute, while it yielded fortunes to the contractor.
The penitentiary having been long in charge of contractors who could not be expected to spend any money in improvements, it was found that very expensive repairs in the way of making new floors, roofs, etc., were necessary. Then it was found that the State had no steam plant to speak of and no power plant whatever. The new commissioners have put in a shop, have built a power house, and have built a complete steam and electric light system. The State now has at Joliet one of the very best power plants to be found in the country. The power used in the shops is electricity. I respectfully suggest that in accordance with the custom, your honorable bodies will appoint a commission to visit this, as well as the other institutions, and make a special inspection of the changes and improvements which have been made.
In connection with what is said about our penitentiaries, I feel it my duty to urgently call your attention to the subject of pardons, and of the inequality of sentences growing out of the present method of administering our criminal
907laws. The present system of having a fixed, ironclad sentence for each offense, without regard to the age or character of the offender, or to the degree of his criminality, is a relic of barbarism. Under this system, it frequently happens that the young are sentenced for a long term of imprisonment because they happen to be poorly defended, or there is a vigorous prosecution, while the hardened criminal, tried in another county, receives a short term of imprisonment for the same offense, because he happens to be well defended or there is a weak prosecution. As each case is tried by a different jury it is impossible to have system or regularity about it. My attention has been repeatedly called to cases where boys not yet twenty years old were sentenced to the penitentiary for fifteen years, while scores of hardened and very dangerous criminals were sentenced for two or three years for the same offense, and were then turned loose upon society. At present all are turned out of the prison without reference to their ability to maintain themselves. It is difficult for a man who has not been in prison to get work, and it is infinitely more difficult for him who is weakened by the degradations and humiliations of a prison experience. If he tells where he last worked he is jeered at and ordered away. He is obliged to lie at the start. If he gets work he is found out and discharged. Sometimes he is blackmailed, very frequently he is literally forced back into crime, and with this his hope of an honorable life dies out. At this point there is born for society a desperate criminal, whose bloody hand will always be near its throat, and when it thereafter shivers at the sight of his awful deeds, can it then truthfully say it did not help beget him?
The entire system should be changed. The court and jury should do nothing except ascertain the guilt of the defendant and simply sentence him to prison, and the release of the prisoner should then depend upon circumstances. The young and those who are not yet hardened, who sinned in a moment of temptation or excitement, or in a moment of weakness, should be detained the minimum length of time and then released, but not until after employment and a home has been found for them. Experience shows that prison officials can get work for discharged prisoners when the latter can not. The hardened criminal and those who are natural enemies of society should be detained the maximum length of time. This system was strongly urged by my immediate predecessor in office, in language more eloquent than is at my command, but I wish to urge it with the same earnestness.
During the twenty years immediately preceding my administration there were, altogether, 1,673 pardons and commutations granted, making an average of 84 2/3 pardons and commutations for each year. Governor Cullom, during the six years of his incumbency, granted 447 pardons, or an average of 72 Ë per year. During the two years of my administration I have granted 144 pardons and commutations, being an average of 72 per year. I have thus fallen below the average in the granting of pardons and commutations. On the other hand, the number of prisoners and consequently the number of applications for pardons have greatly increased. We frequently receive from three to five applications for pardons a day, and the work this entails is so great that it cannot be properly attended to by one man. Besides, in many cases, this is not the proper method of getting relief, whereas, if prisoners were released
908under a system of parole already discussed, every prisoner would stand on his own merits.
During the past two years there have been seven men hanged in this State, and I have commuted the death penalty to imprisonment for life in two other cases. I respectfully submit for your consideration the question as to whether the death penalty does any substantial good, whether we are any better off than they are in those States where they long ago abolished it, whether it is not barbarous and degrading in its effects, and whether it would not be better to have a more rational system of managing our prisons, and then abolish capital punishment entirely.
Formerly this was a reform school for boys who did not exceed sixteen years of age. Four years ago, the General Assembly passed an act making it a State reformatory for all offenders under twenty-one years of age.
Under the new law, prisoners are sent there under an indeterminate sentence; that is, the court simply determines whether they are or are not guilty and sentences them to the institution where they have to remain at least a year or may be held for a number of years. The managers are in possession of all the information that can be had touching the previous character and career of the young offender, his education, habits of industry, etc. After the expiration of one year, they may parole a prisoner for a time, provided they first find him a home and suitable employment. If, during this parole, he does well, he is ultimately released, if not, they have the power to take him back. If the prisoner is vicious or for other reasons it is not deemed for the best interests of society to put him on parole, he is kept in the institution for the maximum number of years the law fixes as the penalty for the offense he has committed.
In this institution the aim is to give every young man the rudiments of an English education, such higher and moral instruction as may be practicable, and also, as far as possible, to teach him a trade; above all, to inculcate habits of industry and morality.
Owing to the want of harmony in the board and the failure of some contractors, practically nothing was done towards changing the institution until about eighteen months ago. Since that time three new buildings have been erected and the old ones have been considerably changed and remodeled. There are now nine schools and nearly twice that many workshops or schools, for mechanical training, in operation. Every inmate is compelled to devote certain hours to study and recitation, and certain other fixed hours to work in a shop learning the use of tools. In addition to these hours of study, the older prisoners are required to work at the manufacture of articles for sale, so that the institution is at once a large prison, an English school, a collection of workshops in which instruction is given, and a manufacturing establishment. A good band has been organized among them, and the superintendent and managers have been requested to employ a competent officer to drill the boys in military exercises every day, first as a means of physical exercise, but more particularly for the development of a higher spirit and a better tone among them.
There are now 812 boys and young men there. During the last year, 266
909prisoners were paroled under the provisions of the law. Homes and employment were found for all of them before leaving the institution and the officers of the prison continued in correspondence both with the prisoners and with their employers, and the results have been gratifying beyond the hopes of the friends of the institution. Out of the 266 paroled, 231 are reported as doing well. The remaining are reported as follows: Returned to prison, 10; ran away or ceased to report, 24; died, 1. The theory upon which the reformatory was founded, while not entirely new, had had no trial in the west, and only a limited trial anywhere in the world. Feeling that Illinois should have a reformatory that was second to none, the aim has been to place on the board of this institution men imbued with the highest motives, who are familiar with the literature relating to reformatories and the experiments which have been made, and who felt an enthusiasm on this subject. And the aim has been to keep a man in immediate charge who should not only be familiar with all the learning relating to the subject, but who should bring to the institution the experience of a business man, a prison manager, an educator, and a man thoroughly familiar with the practical methods most successfully employed in modern reformatories. As a result of the combined efforts of these men, we now have a State reformatory which is the equal of any in this country, and is moving along lines which will soon make it one of the very best in the world. In this connection, I recommend that the maximum age of young men eligible to this institution be changed from twenty-one to thirty years, so as to make it in this respect correspond to the New York Reformatory, at Elmira.
The excellence of the public schools of the State has for years been a matter of congratulation with our people, and some years ago the General Assembly provided for establishing in this State two normal universities in order to furnish the young men and women of the State, who desired to follow school teaching as a profession, an opportunity to prepare themselves for this work. One was located at Carbondale and the other at Normal, and both of them have been maintained at State expense, and have been in fairly prosperous condition. Some complaint was made that too many children were admitted, merely because they paid tuition, and there was a tendency for the institutions to become neighborhood high schools rather than normal universities. It was deemed proper to impress upon the officers of these institutions the importance of arresting this tendency, and of admitting only such children from the neighborhood as were necessary to form model schools, and outside of this, to invite the attendance only of such as expected to follow teaching. Both of these institutions are now in a more prosperous condition than they were at any prior period in their history, and as they have much to do in determining the character of the common schools of the State, I recommend a most liberal policy toward them.
While we have laid broad and deep the foundations of our educational system, and have built well thereon, we have thus far not afforded the young men and women of the State the means of a higher education that other States offer, and as a consequence, thousands of our young men and women annually go away to neighboring States, or to Eastern States to get these advantages.
910We have a large number of private colleges which are doing excellent work and should be encouraged, but they have not the necessary means to procure the extensive equipment that is now essential to a higher institution of learning. This can only be supplied by institutions which have been richly endowed by private munificence, or which receive support from the State. Most of the large educational institutions in the Mississippi Valley are, at least partially, maintained by the State. This is notably so in Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri and Iowa.
For many years there has been maintained at Champaign, in this State, partly at State expense, a university, now know as the University of Illinois. For some reason our people do not seem to know much about it. By many it is regarded as an agricultural school. It has, however, for years, had some of the most eminent men in the country among its faculty, and has been doing a high grade of work. There is an agricultural experiment station maintained there, which is only incidental to the university and gives the students that much of an additional advantage, giving them the facilities for acquiring knowledge in regard to tree planting and in regard to everything pertaining to agriculture, without extra expense. A United States military officer is stationed there, who gives instruction in military science, so that the student gets the benefit of military training in the form of exercises, without additional expenditure or loss of time. The equipment of the University for teaching the modern sciences is very good, and the number of students in the engineering department has so increased that the last General Assembly made a large appropriation for constructing an engineering building. This building has been completed and is now in use, and I am informed by men who have examined the equipment of other large educational institutions of this country that the University of Illinois has now the best arranged and the best equipped engineering department, especially electrical engineering department, that there is in the Mississippi Valley, and as good as any in the country. The University had large scientific collections and obtained a very large addition to its museum from the World's Columbian Exposition, but it has not now the room to place these specimens. Large quantities have to be kept in boxes, and there is urgently needed a library and museum building. The number of students at the University has now reached nearly 800 and is rapidly increasing. Steps have been taken to bring the institution more fully to the knowledge of the people of the State, and it is believed that the number of students will double in a very short time. Inasmuch as Illinois is now one of the wealthiest and greatest States on the globe, as its people lead all others in nearly every field of human activity, and as we have not only invited the attention but won the admiration of the world by our achievements, I submit that Illinois should have one of the greatest educational institutions on earth. We have the wealth, the people and the enterprise to make it. We should have a university that will remain free from the dilettanteism now found in some sections of the country, that will continue to inculcate those principles of a rugged, sturdy manhood and honest devotion to country, those principles of civil liberty and of free government which have made our country great and glorious in the sight of the world, and I most earnestly urge a liberal policy toward this institution of learning.
During the last two years, thirteen new buildings have been erected for the State, the most important being the Engineering Hall at the University.
I would here suggest that there is urgent need of legislation in regard to the civil service that will relieve executive officers, both State and municipal, of the constant and overwhelming importunity for place. In a great State like ours, and in a great city like Chicago, this importunity is so constant as to test the powers of physical endurance, besides taking up so much time as to seriously interfere with public business. Owing to the large number of men who were out of employment, the last two years have been especially trying in this respect. I doubt the wisdom of a system that forever keeps the same men on the pay-roll, for it is not calculated to produce the highest degree of efficiency. Every executive officer or head of department, whether State or municipal, being responsible for the conduct of his office, should, subject to some general rules, have the power of discharging any employe when, in his judgment, it is best for the service; but when he does so, the place should be filled by taking the first from a list of names selected on the ground of merit by an examining board. This would take away the temptation to remove in order to make room for favorites, and, at the same time, it would relieve the officer of the embarrassing importunities on the part of that limitless number of good men who want to find places for friends. We must strike a mean between the retention of incompetents and the distribution of spoils.
The trustees and superintendents have all been instructed to include in their reports the complete pay-rolls of their institutions, giving the name of every man or woman to whom money has been paid, the amount paid each, and what service has been rendered. These reports are printed, so that every tax-payer in the State can see who is drawing money from the State Treasury. This never before has been done, but it is believed that when once firmly established it will be a great protection to the public.
It gives me pleasure to report that the canal commissioners have offered to pay $50,000 into the State Treasury, which will be done at once. Nothing of the kind has occurred for nearly twenty years. The canal depends largely on the carrying of building stone to Chicago. This business was good until about two years ago, but almost dead for more than a year, yet the commissioners have effected such a saving in the operating expenses that the net earnings of the canal greatly exceed those of more prosperous years, so that after turning $50,000 into the State Treasury they will still have a surplus of $38,000 to meet possible contingencies. This $50,000 added to $150,000 from the Insurance Department, $233,484 by the charitable institutions and $92,000 by the Illinois World's Fair board, hereafter mentioned, makes over $525,000 that has been or is ready to be turned into the State Treasury since January 1, 1895.
As land becomes more valuable there is a constant effort on the part of speculators to make new land in the lake along the shore on the north side at Chicago, and some riparian owners, in violation of law, build piers into the water for this purpose. This shore should be saved for the public, so far as possible. As Lincoln Park is already much too small to accommodate the multitudes of people who seek pure air and recreation there, and as it can only be extended by utilizing the shallow waters of the lake for that purpose, I recommend such legislation as will enable the park commissioners to acquire the riparian rights and to extend Lincoln Park and the drives to Evanston. This would protect the shore and make the grandest park in the world.
Our election machinery has been greatly improved during the last ten years, but there are yet very grave defects in it. Until we place every candidate for office before the public on his own merits, and enable every citizen to cast his ballot without any hindrance or embarrassment of any kind, we will not have done our duty. This State should have the most perfect system for giving expression to the popular will that can be devised, and I recommend a careful revision of our election laws.
The condition of business in the courts of Chicago almost amounts to a denial of justice. It takes years to get a case finally settled by the courts, while the expense, annoyance and loss of time involved in watching it are so great that the poor cannot stand it and business men cannot afford it. Litigants are worn out and the subject matter of dispute often becomes useless before the courts get done with it. This is not the fault of the judges, but of the system, which in its practical workings often discourages the honest man and encourages the dishonest one, for it enables him to wear the former out.
Urged by the bar, the number of judges was greatly increased by the last General Assembly, but the conditions are almost the same. We now have twenty-eight judges in Cook county alone, while there are only thirty-four in all England, Ireland and Wales. In England, most cases are disposed of at once. The dishonest man does not find it to his interest to go into the courts there, while we, with our system of distinctions and delays, almost offer him a premium to do so.
We borrowed our system of jurisprudence from England more than a century ago, when it was loaded down with absurd distinctions and formalities. We have clung tenaciously to its faults while England long ago brushed them aside. Three-quarters of a century ago that country began to reform its judicial procedure by wiping out all useless distinctions and formalities and making all procedure simple and disposing of each case promptly on its merits, and their appellate courts now revise cases only when it is shown that an actual injustice has been done and not simply because some rule or useless formality has been disregarded. As regards the administration of justice we are to-day three-quarters of a century behind that country from which we borrowed our system. We may be great in politics, but do not yet lead the way in
913statesmanship. The whole system should be revised and simplified so that it will give our people more prompt and speedy justice and less fine spun law.
I must again call attention to the conditions surrounding the police and justice courts of Chicago. They are a disgrace, and we will not rise to the demands of the occasion if we do not devise some remedy for these evils. I also again call attention to the subject of permitting any officer connected with the administration of justice to keep fees. This is the very foundation upon which the whole structure of fraud, extortions and oppression rests. No man's bread should depend upon the amount of business he can "drum up" around a so-called court of justice. Both of these subjects are discussed at length in my message to the last General Assembly, and I refer to it for further discussion.
In June, 1891, the General Assembly passed an act to enable the State to participate in the World's Columbian Exposition, at Chicago, and it authorized the State Board of Agriculture to erect a building and make such exhibit as would illustrate "the natural resources of the State, together with the methods employed and results accomplished by the State in its municipal capacity throughout its various departments, boards, commissions and other agencies in the work of forming the moral, educational and material welfare of its inhabitants." Under this law the board was authorized only to make an exhibit. Subsequently, when it was more fully realized that we were in a sense the host, some of our people regretted that provisions had not been made for the social and hospitable amenities. A very complete and magnificent exhibit was made, however, of the resources and products of the State, and of the workings of our civil institutions, and the whole enterprise was conducted with such fidelity on the part of the board that, contrary to the usual experience in such cases, instead of ending with a deficit, the board has on hand nearly $89,000 of the moneys which were at its disposal, and this is now ready to be turned into the State Treasury. The same law which created this board also provided for the creation of an Illinois Woman's Exposition Board for the purpose of exhibiting the industries of the women of the State, and 10 per cent of the $800,000 which was appropriated for exposition purposes, that is $80,000, was set apart for their use. The women on this board worked hard for several years, and succeeded in making a collection and an exhibition which reflected great credit upon them and upon the women of the State, and they managed the business part of it with such care and ability that they have left over $3,000 to be turned into the State Treasury. Special boards were created to exhibit the dairy, clay, fruit and apiary products of the State. Many of the exhibits made by the State of Illinois were the best on the ground. Since the Columbian Exposition the State Board of Agriculture has permanently located the State Fair at Springfield. It has already erected one very large building, and is about to erect others, and a very successful fair was held by it this last fall. This State Fair has become a State institution and promises to be one of great importance. It may be a satisfaction to our people to know that, owing to the vast extent and great variety of our resources and of the high order of our exhibits, the State Fair of Illinois is
914now regarded as the best in this country, and the dates for holding the fairs of other States of the Union are fixed so as not to clash with the State Fair of Illinois. The State Board of Agriculture has also recently held in Chicago a Horse, Fat Stock and Poultry Show, which was very successful. The effect of these industrial exhibitions, displaying not only our products and the superior character of our domestic animals, but to a certain extent the skill and the genius of our people, can scarcely be estimated as an educative force which constantly elevates our standard and creates that emulation which seeks still greater and greater excellence. The World's Columbian Exposition brought us to the attention of the whole civilized world and won for us the admiration of all men. In consequence of this we now occupy a position where the eyes of the world are upon us, and where we can neither retrograde nor stand still without experiencing a sense of deep humiliation. We must move on in order to hold the high position we have taken. In this connection I would suggest that we need in Chicago a large building in which to hold expositions, conventions, and for accommodating other great gatherings that are of a semi-public character and outside the line of mere entertainments. The State now pays annually a large sum as rental for the use of armories for the First Brigade of the Illinois National Guard. If the city of Chicago will give enough ground on the lake front for that purpose, and if the public-spirited citizens will contribute enough money to meet any deficit, then I would recommend an appropriation for the purpose of erecting such a building of an amount equal to that upon which the rental we now pay would yield five per cent interest. This, of course, with the understanding that the National Guard have priority in the right to use such building for armory and other purposes, and to use it exclusively in times of trouble or public disturbances.
Whatever may be said of the theory of our revenue system in this State, it is, in its practical workings, a giant of injustice. Under it the great concentrations of wealth contribute comparatively little, while the owners of small and moderate sized properties are forced to bear nearly all the burdens of the government. The personal property of the very rich is scarcely taxed at all. There are thousands of men in this State who have great fortunes invested in stocks, bonds, and other forms of personal property, upon which they do not pay a dollar, yet they enjoy all of the educational facilities, all of the protection and other advantages of the government just as much as their neighbors do, and, curiously enough, these are very often the men who have most to say about patriotism and the duties of citizenship. The failure to assess personal property is due in part to the fact that there is no method of compelling every man to honestly state what he has. Again, in the assessment of real estate the greatest inequality is found between the assessments of small and the assessments on valuable pieces of property. For example, in Chicago the store of the small merchant and the home of the mechanic or man of moderate means is assessed at from 25 to 40 per cent of its cash market value, while large business blocks held by very wealthy men are assessed at from 15 to 20 per cent, and the large and magnificent residences are assessed at from 8 to 15 per cent of their cash market value, while their luxurious contents, often worth from $50,000 to $100,000, are scarcely mentioned upon the assessor's books at all. Most of the injustice in the assessment of tangible property, such
915as real estate, is directly due to corruption. It is found that large holders of real estate first employ agents to manage it and to keep the taxes down. These agents have a go-between who arranges with some assistant assessor, whereby, for a consideration, the assessment on certain pieces of property is lowered so that the property owner saves from five to ten times the amount he advances to the assessor. The result of all this is that the men of moderate means, the men of small holdings, pay from two to four times as much in proportion to their ability as do the very wealthy, who do more in every way to increase the expense of the government. The moderate property-holder rarely ever calls for extra police protection, and never for military protection. The large property-holders use both. It is always a most difficult matter to legislate against corruption, but it is believed that if greater publicity could be given to assessments it would have a good effect. I am informed that in some cities assessments are published in the newspapers by blocks, giving in each case the name of the owner and a description of the property, together with the amount of the assessment. This has been found to work well.
Another source of great injustice is the fact that almost every great interest has managed to get special legislation changing the method of listing its property. This makes uniformity of assessment between different kinds of property impossible. If the present system could be entirely wiped out, and a simple statute enacted providing that everything that has a market value shall be assessed, either at that market value, or at a certain fixed per cent of its market value, it would, at least, make fair assessment a possibility. It is the wilderness of legislation as to detail that has produced the present monstrosity. A prominent citizen of Chicago has prepared a statement which I attach as an exhibit because of remarkable tacts it contains and because it suggests a plan for uniform assessments that may be of value.
Under our law the corporations are assessed by the State Board of Equalization. This board is composed of one member from each congressional district of the State. Theoretically a board thus composed is supposed to labor simply for a fair and equal assessment throughout the State and then to levy an assessment upon the corporations which will be in keeping with the assessment levied upon other property, but in practice the board has been almost the opposite of this, and has demonstrated conclusively that a fair equalization between the different counties of the State by a board thus composed cannot be had, and second, that a fair assessment of corporate property, by such a board, seems to be an impossibility. So far as it does anything on the subject of equalization, it is simply an effort by one or more sections of the State to throw the burden onto some other portion of the State. Upon this subject I respectfully submit that, the State tax being now only 31 cents on $100, while the local taxes in the various counties range from 350 to 750 cents on $100, there is no longer any need of the Board of Equalization. If the assessment of property in some counties were to be a little lower than in others, the difference made in the State tax would be scarcely perceptible, and, as nearly all the counties in the State are obliged to keep their assessment up to a reasonable point in order to raise the needed local revenue, if the State tax were levied directly upon whatever assessments the counties made, very little, if any, injustice would be done, while the present system has from the
916beginning been a source of wrong. Again, while the property of most of the corporations of the State, especially of the smaller ones, may be assessed its fair proportion, large amounts of property belonging to the more wealthy and powerful corporations are shielded from taxation by this Board of Equalization. A few of the members do their best to make an honest assessment, but the majority ignores them. There are in Chicago alone a few corporations which between them possess more than $200,000,000 of property, over and above what is assessed, that escapes all taxation of every kind and character-property, the value of which can be ascertained just as readily as if it were real estate, and there is not a farm in the State but what is taxed. One corporation alone, which subjected the State to a large expense last summer to protect its property, has in the neighborhood of $40,000,000 of property upon which it pays no taxes whatever. Indeed, it is the corporations that shirk the payment of their taxes that are the first to call upon the State or the local authorities for protection. When an officer elected as a member of the Board of Equalization, and sworn to do his duty, comes to the Capitol and labors night and day, resorting to every means within his power to shield some particular corporation from assessment, and, by making combinations with other members, is enabled finally to save a corporation anywhere from $100,000 to $400,000 in taxes, the public must form its own conclusions as to the character, the color and the size of the argument which led to the betrayal of an official trust. Most of the business, the manufacturing and the other great interests of the State are now carried on in the name of corporations. These corporations should be treated with the same consideration that is shown private individuals.
They should not be excessively taxed because they are corporations. On the other hand, they should not be permitted to escape bearing their share of the public burdens simply because they are great and powerful. Experience has shown that a division of responsibility is the mother of corruption. As long as a dishonest man feels that the public gaze is on him individually, he will keep up at least a semblance of honesty, but when a dozen men are associated with him he will brazenly pocket the wages of corruption. So far as the assessment of corporations is concerned, some State officer should be designated to ascertain and place upon his books the fair market value of the stock of corporations and upon this such an assessment should be made as would harmonize with the assessment placed upon other property in the State. But in any case it has been demonstrated that the State Board of Equalization is not only a failure, but an obstruction, and it should be abolished.
At present there is no adequate provision for taxing corporations that are organized in other States. There are a number of such corporations that do an enormous business in our State and make money off our people, but contribute scarcely anything to support our government. Under the law as it now stands, we can only assess such tangible property as they see fit to keep here. I am informed that there are several corporations that were once organized under our laws and after some years they surrendered their charters and organized under the laws of another State in order to escape their share of the taxes here, and as nearly all of their business is done here they pay but little tax in the State where they are now organized, thus escaping almost entirely. This should be stopped. While the men who manage these corporations are all
917honorable men, it will require carefully drawn and stringent legislation to make good citizens of them in this regard.
While most corporations are assessed by the State Board of Equalization, there is upon the statute books an act which provides that companies formed for certain purposes, one of these being the publication of newspapers, shall be assessed as the property of private individuals is assessed. This at first blush looks harmless, but when more carefully examined it is found that only the tangible property, such as presses, etc., can be assessed, and under this clause many corporations which have not much tangible property, but do have a large business good will that would sell for cash in the market, and which make enormous profits, practically escape taxation. If their capital stock were assessed its market value would have to be considered, and that would be partially determined by the dividends. For example, one of the oldest daily morning papers of Chicago has for very many years annually earned net profits amounting to upwards of $250,000, which would be large dividends on between $3,000,000 and $4,000,000. During last summer the owners of this paper refused to accept a cash offer of $3,000,000 for that property, thus showing that they valued it at a still higher figure. Yet the company which owns this paper pays taxes on an assessment of only $18,000. In the case of small papers this law may not work so great an injustice, for the tangible property may represent nearly all there is of value, but in the case of corporations having an established business which has a market value and could be sold in the open market, this is not the case. The publishers of this great paper assume the right, almost, to dictate to the community upon every public question. They assume the right to denounce whomsoever they please. They are in a sense above and beyond the law, for a poor private individual has no practical remedy against an unjust attack upon its part, and yet they manage to throw the burden of supporting our government upon the shoulders of others.
A number of the older States of the Union, notably Pennsylvania and New York, recognizing that large concentrations of capital, especially personal property, do not pay their share of taxes, have adopted what is called an inheritance tax, whereby the estate of a deceased person has to pay a certain per cent into the State Treasury before it can be distributed, this per cent being generally on a sliding scale, small estates being entirely exempt and large estates paying a high percentage. Under the operation of this law these States annually collect large sums of money. In the State of New York nearly a million of dollars was collected from one estate. I respectfully urge the adoption of similar laws here, and the abolition of all State taxes.
I call your attention to the reports of the various State officers. The Auditor has weeded out the rotten building and loan associations, and the examination of State banks is so thorough that not one out of the 126 State banks tailed during the late panic, while many private and National banks did. Under new legislation the Secretary of State turned about $40,000 more fees
918into the State Treasury last year than ever before. Both of these officers make important recommendations.
The railroad interest is one of the most important in the State. They represent so much capital and employ so many men that they call for special consideration at the hands of the goverment. The last two years have been, in a general way, unprofitable for railroading, and the State administration has aimed to pursue a liberal policy toward them. It was not considered a good time to meddle with carrying charges. While the Railroad and Warehouse Commission has made a thorough inspection of all the railroads, and has insisted on a prompt compliance with the law, it has endeavored to avoid everything that had the appearance of being of a harassing character. But numerous cases of unjust discrimination arose, which were ruinous to some of the citizens of Illinois. For example, the rate allowed in this State on a certain class of goods from Chicago to Rock Island and Mississippi river points is 28 cents per 100 pounds. But some of the eastern roads made an arrangement with parties in Cleveland to carry the same line of goods from Cleveland via Chicago to Rock Island and Mississippi river points for 20 cents per 100 pounds. This discrimination must in time drive the Illinois man out of business. Cases of this character arose all over the State, the railroads giving such an advantage to certain merchants and manufacturers in cities east of us as to make it almost impossible for our merchants to do business in our own State. The railroads were appealed to to stop this discrimination, but they replied that it was an inter-state matter and did nothing about it. The Federal government tried long ago to stop discrimination on inter-state roads, but a powerful railroad lobby and the Federal courts have thus far rendered that government almost impotent to deal with the problem or to give any relief to the public. Thousands of men have been ruined by this railroad discrimination, and many of the great private fortunes of the country have been made through it. The Railroad and Warehouse Commission determined to protect our people against this wrong if possible. The fact that roads running through our State are carrying the goods for the eastern roads and prorating with them on reduced rate of freight and have been doing so for a long time seemed to warrant the conclusion that these rates must be profitable. At the expense of a vast amount of labor, the commission is now revising the entire schedule both as to classification and as to rates. They are endeavoring to fix a rate that shall be just between shipper and carrier, and stop the discrimination against our people. The commission expects to render its decision in a few weeks, and it is hoped that this will put an end to the wrong complained of. So far as I am at present advised, no legislation is needed to regulate the relations between the public and the railroads in their capacity as common carriers. The laws now on the statute book are believed to be sufficient, if enforced. But I do recommend such farther reasonable legislation as will tend to give the highest possible protection to the lives of the operatives as well as of passengers.
During the last twenty years the prices of all commodities as well as the carrying charges of railroads have been reduced from 30 to 60 per cent, but
919our people still have to pay the old extortionate rates for sleeping-car service, which has become a necessity of modern travel just as much as railroads are. The travel on sleeping cars has increased so enormously that this fact alone, aside from the general fall in prices and carrying charges, long ago called for a large reduction in sleeping-car rates. The people of this great State should long ago have been protected against this extortion, and I recommend legislation on this subject and the establishing of rates that shall be just to both the carrier and the public.
Owing to the division of labor, the building of railroads and the great consolidations that have taken place in the mercantile and industrial fields, many of the theories of government applicable fifty years ago are now utterly inadequate. In the great division of industries each has become dependent on the other and none can shut down without affecting all. The whole American people have adjusted their affairs to the continued operation of railroads. Any interruption affects the entire public. Again, all of our industries depend on the regular supply of coal, and if this is interfered with it injures not only those connected with some mine, as was once the case, but the whole community. Our civilization makes us all inter-dependent. Government must keep pace with the progress of the age and meet the changed conditions, for it is the duty of government to protect all. Whenever any men are pursuing a course injurious to the rest of the community, the government should deal with the question on the lines of justice and not simply join hands with the strong to crush the weak. In recent years we have repeatedly had labor disturbances in the form of strikes and lock-outs that almost paralyzed the country. It will no longer do to say that this is the business of employer and employe, for while these are fighting, innocent non-combatants may be ruined. The question of dealing with these conditions is a most difficult one, and no complete remedy has yet been devised. Many advocate compulsory arbitration, but no practical method of enforcing a decree or award in every case of this character has yet been found. There is, however, no difficulty in the way of making a compulsory investigation in every case, and this alone would be a great preventive as well as corrective. This method has been tried elsewhere and has worked well. Promptly ascertaining and making public the actual conditions in each case arouses a moral sentiment that often forces a settlement, and the fear of such an investigation will sometimes do this. I strongly urge legislation on this subject, and I would suggest that the law would provide for a new board in each case, allowing each party to select an arbitrator and the two thus selected to name the third, or, if they disagree, then let the county judge name the third. If a permanent board was created, the more powerful interests would soon seek to get their friends appointed on it, and no matter what it did it would soon lose the confidence of the workers and of the public, and with this its usefulness would be gone. Again, nearly all the great interests of this country, except farming, are controlled by combinations. Often one of these combinations collects together thousands of laborers representing many thousand people, at a point where it is almost the only employer and where they would otherwise not have settled. These are absolutely at its mercy. It for any reason it turns them out; they become a charge upon the State, that is, upon the public; the corporation at once washing its hands of
920all responsibility. The public, being the State, has the same right to protect itself that individuals have, and these evils must, in some way, be met, for a government that cannot deal with new problems as they arise is unworthy of a free people. There should be some legislation to prevent laborers being brought into the State by squads, for they generally have to displace an equal number, who, being suddenly thrown out, become a charge upon the public. Some years ago a number of non-resident capitalists bought large tracts of coal lands at Spring Valley, in this State, and opened a number of mines. Several thousand miners were induced to move there, a very large per cent of whom were Americans, many of whom were induced to buy lots of the company. The company then pursued so greedy and unconscionable a course towards its employes, through truck stores and other devices, that the men became restless. Thereupon it displaced almost every American laborer with foreigners, who had been brought or induced to come there. This left the former employes out of work in a locality where none was to be had, and naturally led to disturbances. By degrees the new men, finding themselves reduced to intense poverty by the exactions and greed of the company, became sullen and discontented, and last summer the public heard much about the dangerous foreigners at Spring Valley. Last year the company employed a large number of negroes, who are displacing that many of the former employes, who now find themselves without work and without bread, for no matter how hard they worked they could barely keep their families alive, and could save nothing. This company has been a curse and a bill of expense to the State from the time it commenced operations. Almost every administration for a number of years has had to send a military force there to preserve order and protect the property of this concern that was really causing the trouble. Although it has nearly 40,000 acres of coal lands and its property is estimated at over $3,000,000, it is assessed at only $136,084, and pays taxes on this sum. While we welcome every honest enterprise and industry, we cannot allow our State to become merely a foraging ground for wolfish greed. We want no more enterprises of this character.
The events of last summer have again demonstrated what was brought to the attention of the world in the sixties, that is, that a volunteer soldiery, coming from the walks of civil life, imbued with the spirit of free government and of free institutions and having an appreciation of the duties of citizenship, is the best in the world, because made up as a rule of a higher grade of men than can be found under any other circumstances. They are steady; they are energetic; they are brave; they have a high sense of duty and they obey orders. In times of peace, even more than in times of war, the most important feature of military service is celerity of movement. Our State is nearly four hundred miles long and two hundred miles wide. It cannot maintain a great army, and for a small force to be effective it must move quickly. We have less than six thousand men on the rolls. They draw no pay except when on active duty. They are all engaged in private business pursuits just as other citizens. This being the case, there was impressed upon the officers the importance of making their arrangements for calling their men together so perfect that they could be collected at any hour of the day or night from their homes and places of business, without the loss of a minute, and I am proud to say that the
921highest requirements in this regard have been met. During the coal strike and the railroad strike we sent troops to more than fifteen different points in the State. It often happened that the situation had become suddenly threatening, and the local officers called for immediate assistance. Orders have been issued repeatedly at eleven o'clock at night for certain companies to report to a sheriff at a point 100 miles away, and they never failed to be at the seat of trouble and on duty the next morning. In several instances entire regiments were mobilized and carried to the seat of trouble from two hundred to two hundred and fifty miles away in from fourteen to sixteen hours after orders were issued at Springfield, and the bearing of both officers and men was in the highest degree commendable. In many cases, especially in Chicago, the conditions under which they had to do duty for many weeks were very severe, but they bore all hardships like veterans. It may be a satisfaction to the people of Illinois to know that they have one of the best military establishments in America, and that it is maintained at small expense. In this connection I must call your attention to the fact that the expenses incurred during, first, the coal strike, and then the railroad strike were far in excess of the appropriation which had been made, the appropriation not covering any such contingencies as arose. When the trouble was over in the summer, while there was money in the treasury, there was no appropriation under which these expenses could be paid. To have convened the legislature in special session to make such appropriation would have entailed an expense of upwards of $50,000 upon the State, and, as the regular session would convene in a little over four months, I was naturally anxious to avoid this extra expense, and as many of the men to whom the State was indebted for service, were dependent upon their wages for the support of their families, and needed their money, the money was finally advanced by private individuals for the payment of a large part of these bills. This was done with the understanding that there should be no discount to the men, but that the State would pay interest. Inasmuch as the liberality and patriotism of these men has saved the State a large amount of money, I respectfully submit that the honor of the State requires that an appropriation be made immediately to pay these bills, together with six per cent interest from the time they accrued. There was a time during the strike when it seemed that the trouble might spread and be protracted. Deeming it wise for the State to be prepared for any emergency, the Adjutant General was directed to at once purchase enough arms to put ten or twelve more regiments in the field if necessary. Although arms could not be found in large quantities in any one place, in less than forty-eight hours over 6,000 stands were in the possession of the State in Chicago, and we have these in addition to those the troops have. In my judgment the State is now prepared for any emergency.
In the spring of 1894, the now famous coal strike in the bituminous coal fields of America began, started for the purpose of establishing living prices for the mining of coal and more uniform rates for the sale of it. The mining population had found its condition getting steadily worse for a number of years, until those who had worked hard all their lives and had been sober men found their families in rags and often without bread. They vainly hoped to be able. by means of a universal strike, to bring about a change whereby they and their children might be able. by honest effort, to at least make a living.
922Work was suspended in most of the mines in this State, as well as in other States. Many of the operators were anxious to make an adjustment upon a basis where both operator and miner, could live. Other operators would have been glad to effect such an adjustment, but found insurmountable difficulties in the way of doing so, while still other operators cared nothing about the miner and his family, but looked upon miners as tools with which to make money. These resolved not to shut their mines, but to defeat the strike by importing other men. The strike continued until the country was almost paralyzed for want of coal. While the majority of the miners were anxious to preserve law and order, a very small per cent. of them, recruited by the more vicious elements of society, created disturbances. In some States these lasted for weeks and were so extensive as to paralyze the operation of certain railroads and do serious damage. Our coal field is the largest in America, being 250 miles long and over 100 miles wide, having mines all over it, yet during the entire strike both the local and the State officers were so vigilant that there was no interference with the operation of a railroad but what was at once stopped, and there were only two serious cases of destruction of property, one at Centralia and the other near Pekin. In both of these cases the mob had slipped in stealthily from an adjoining county, and committed the acts of violence almost before the local peace officers learned that there was any trouble. But in these cases, as well as in every other case where there had been any violation of law, the offenders were promptly arrested and lodged in jail. No difficulty was experienced anywhere in maintaining the supremacy of the law. Considering the desperate condition in which most of the miners found themselves and their families, they displayed a remarkable love of order and respect for the law by everywhere discountenancing these acts of violence. During this strike arms were sent to every civil officer in the State who asked for them, and troops were sent promptly to every point where it appeared that there was any reason for sending them. We endeavored in all of these cases to send a personal representative onto the ground in order to be correctly advised of the situation. While troops were refused many places, it was because it was known that there was absolutely no danger there, and events showed that in all of these cases we were correctly advised.
Toward the end of June, when the country was beginning to rally from the effects of the coal strike, one of the most extensive railroad strikes ever witnessed in this country was begun. The operatives on almost every railroad in the Mississippi Valley simultaneously stopped work, thus completely paralyzing nearly all of the great railroads upon whose daily operation the welfare of our people depended. Illinois being the greatest railroad State and Chicago the greatest railroad center in the Union, the effects of the strike were felt more severely here than anywhere else. The railroad managers soon endeavored to replace their old men with new ones. The old employes, partly out of respect for the law and partly because they believed that violence must defeat their ends, not only abstained from violence, but everywhere counseled against it. The National Commission, which has investigated this strike, found that only a very small per cent. of railroad men were guilty of violating the law, but the conditions were such as to attract crowds of idle people, and soon the lawless element, always found in great centers of population, resorted to rioting and
923destruction of property. Again, arms were sent at once to all civil officers who asked for them, and, on the application of the respective sheriffs and civil officers, troops were sent to almost every railroad center, outside of Chicago in the State, and order was everywhere maintained, and the railroads were operated wherever they could get men to man their trains. The majesty of the law was everywhere promptly and thoroughly maintained.
A large number of telegrams coming from all parts of the State were received and answered every day. The following few dispatches are fair specimens and show the attitude of the State government at that time.
On the evening of July 1st, a telegram, signed on behalf of five hundred passengers, was sent from Decatur; it stated that five hundred American citizens were at Decatur on tied-up Wabash trains, no effort being made by company to move them, and demanded immediate assistance. The following telegram was promptly forwarded to the sheriff:
Springfield, July 1, 1894.
Peter Peri, Sheriff, Decatur, Ill.:
I have dispatch purporting to come from five hundred passengers now detained at the depot in Decatur because trains are obstructed by strikers, and they ask for assistance. Wire me the situation fully. Are railroad officials making proper efforts to move trains, and are you able to furnish the traveling public the necessary protection and to enforce the law?
JOHN P. ALTGELD,
To which the sheriff replied that he had been able to preserve order so far, but could do so no longer, and asked for troops, and the following reply was sent:
Springfield, July 1, 1894.
Peter Peri, Sheriff, Decatur, Ill.:
Have ordered troops to your assistance. They should reach you before sunrise. See that all trains unlawfully held are released at once.
JOHN P. ALTGELD.
The Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railway Company, on July 1st, sent the following telegram:
Chicago, July 1, 1894.
For more than forty-eight hours past all mail trains on Eastern Illinois road have been tied up at Danville, forcibly prevented from moving by crowd of strikers and sympathizers. Sheriff seems utterly paralyzed and will do nothing, although repeatedly called on. We have full crews of competent men on mail trains and are trying to move trains now, but crowd of two thousand persons surround train and prevent its moving. Will you not help us?
W. H. LYPORD.
General Counsel Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad Company.
To which the following reply was sent:
Springfield, Ill., July 1, 1894.
W. H. Lyford, General Counsel of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Ry. Co.:
We can furnish assistance promptly if the civil authorities show that they need it. Thus far there has been no call for assistance from any of the
924officials of Vermilion county, either sheriff, coroner, mayor of town, or the county judge.
JOHN P. ALTGELD,
At the same time, the following was sent to the sheriff of Vermilion county, at Danville:
Springfield, July 1, 1894.
Sheriff of Vermilion County, Danville, Ill.:
Officials of the E. I. R. R. complain that their trains have been tied up at Danville for forty-eight hours by strikers, and that they cannot get sufficient protection to move them. Please wire me the situation fully. Can you enforce the law and protect the traveling public with such forces as you can command?
JOHN P. ALTGELD,
A similar telegram was sent to county judge and other local officers. The following reply was received from the sheriff:
Danville, July 1, 1894.
Governor J. P. Altgeld:
Your message received. Send me one hundred rifles and ammunition by first train and I will try to protect the C. & E. I. R. R. Co.'s men and property. As to the situation, there are from three hundred to seven hundred strikers on the ground and oppose the movement of any and all trains or cars excepting mail cars. They are usually quiet and duly sober, but very determined. I will advise you if I am not able to afford protection.
J. W. NEWLON,
On receipt of the above, the following telegram was sent:
Springfield, Ill., July 1, 1894.
J. W. Newlon, Sheriff, Danville, Ill.:
We have not got 100 stands of arms left here. From information we get, we consider the situation serious at Danville and, therefore, send you troops. They will be there early in the morning. All those trains unlawfully held should be moved before noon.
JOHN P. ALTGELD.
Where a railroad could not get men to man its trains, the State could give it no help, and in several instances where a road had asked military protection for its men, and troops were promptly furnished, it was found that the road had no men willing to work, and we had to find soldiers who could act as engineers and brakemen in order to transport the troops.
In Chicago nearly all of the large railroad yards are out on the prairies adjoining the city, some of the most extensive of them being some miles away from the city limits. The sheriff of the county applied for arms, and arms were promptly sent him. He swore in a large number of deputies and the mayor of the city greatly increased the police force, but the sheriff never asked for any other assistance and the mayor did not apply for assistance until the 6th of July. The strike did not seem to be any more serious than numerous others had been in prior years, when the local officers found themselves amply able to control the situation. This fact, together with the
925unexpected appearance of the federal troops, as hereafter explained, is no doubt the reason why the Democratic mayor did not sooner apply for aid from the State, and why the Republican sheriff never applied for it. Finally the mob resorted to rioting and the destruction of property, and as the railroad yards were scattered and covered so many square miles that it would be difficult for a very large army to protect them in such a manner as to prevent men from stealthily committing incendiarism, it followed that numerous cars were burned. While the rioting was no more serious than was witnessed at Buffalo, New York, several years ago, and at different points in Ohio during last year, and was not half as bloody as numerous disturbances that have occurred in the State of Pennsylvania, still there was a systematic effort made by a portion of the press, for partisan and sensational purposes, to exaggerate everything, and make it appear that the city itself was in danger and that there was scarcely a limit to the destruction of property. The United States Labor Commission, which investigated this strike, heard the evidence of railroad men and of all others who knew any of the facts on the subject, and reported as follows: "According to the testimony, the railroads lost in property destroyed, in the hire of the United States deputy marshals and other incidental expenses, at least $685,783." It will be observed that this sum includes the hire of deputy marshals and other incidental expenses. Consequently, the actual destruction of property was very much below this sum. The Chicago fire department, which officially investigated every case where there was a car or any other property burned, reports as follows: "During the first three days of the month of July, no efforts were made to damage the property of corporations. After that the destruction of property was as follows:
Subsequent examinations have shown that even this sum is exaggerated. It will be seen by the table that nearly all of this occurred on the 6th of July, and was due to the fact that a fire had broken out in a very large railroad yard south of the city, where there was no water and where the fire department was consequently powerless. It seems that most of the burning occurred in the evening after the rioting of that day in that locality had been suppressed and after both the police and the State troops had arrived on the ground, but owing to the absence of water but little could be done to arrest the flames. One fire engine put out over half a mile of hose, but was unable to reach the cars. A mere glance at the facts shows that the reports that were sent out as to the actual condition in Chicago during the strike were malicious libels upon the city. They have created an unfavorable impression in the East
926and abroad, and have done our people a great wrong. In some cases this was due to partisan malignity. In other cases men who knew little or nothing of the facts and who had very little, if any, practical knowledge of our institutions, slandered the city and our institutions for no other apparent reason than that it seemed to be popular for a while to do so, and that by doing so the smiles of a class could be won.
In order to understand the significance of some things that happened at Chicago, the dates of the various events are of vital importance. It will be noticed that according to the report of the fire department it was not until the 6th of July that the rioting became extensive. As it has been claimed that the intervention of the federal government by the appointment of a special counsel to represent the government at Chicago in this strike, and the subsequent sending of troops was largely for the purpose of moving and protecting the mails, I call attention to the following: On June 30th the superintendent of the railway mail service at Chicago, sent the following dispatch to Washington:
"No mails have accumulated at Chicago so far. All regular mail trains are moving nearly on time, with a few slight exceptions."
Yet, notwithstanding this dispatch, on the very next morning, before anything more had happened, Mr. Walker, a distinguished corporation lawyer, was appointed special counsel to represent the United States government by Mr. Olney, the Attorney General of the United States. After this, when the trouble became more serious, there was some delay in getting the mails in and out of Chicago, but the officials in charge displayed such ability and vigilance that the delay at no time was great. The superintendent of the railway mail service, upon whom the duty of getting the mails in and out of Chicago rested, when lately interrogated upon this point, writes, that while there were interferences and delays during a number of days yet, that
"With the exception of some trains that were held at Hammond, Ind., Washington Heights, Danville and Cairo, Ill., the greatest delay to any of the outgoing and incoming mails probably did not exceed from eight to nine hours at any time.
"LOUIS L. TROY, Superintendent."
Whatever may have been the delays and interferences at other points, it is apparent that there was nothing in Chicago in connection with the mail service that called for federal intervention. In fact, the strikers made it a point not to interfere with mail trains, but only to cut off Pullman sleepers, and in a number of cases, outside of Chicago, where a mail train was delayed it was because the strikers had cut off a Pullman sleeper and the railway officials then flatly refused to move the train until they could carry the Pullman sleeper. On July 2d, the day after the appointment of a special counsel and when there had been little, if any, destruction of property, the United States troops at Fort Sheridan were already under orders to be ready to march to Chicago at a moment's notice. Some days prior to this, the managers of all the railway lines centering in Chicago formed an organization to fight the strike, and they were in daily conference. At 6 o'clock p. m. of July 2d, after the troops at Fort Sheridan had been ordered to be in readiness, the managers of the various roads gave out a detailed report showing the conditions on their lines:
Wisconsin Central — All passenger and freight trains moving and business resumed its normal condition.
Chicago and Northern Pacific — Suburban trains all running about on time; freight moving without interruption; night suburban trains discontinued for fear of being stoned by loafers.
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy — Thirty-seven carloads of dressed beef loaded in Kansas City yesterday morning have passed over this road safely and delivered to Eastern lines this afternoon, and are now moving all right.
Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul — All passenger trains have arrived and departed on time; no freight moving here, but it is moving on other parts of the line.
Chicago and Northwestern — All through passenger traffic has been continued without interruption; suburban service practically suspended for the night; not trying to handle freight.
Lake Shore and Michigan Southern — No interruption to business; both passenger and freiglit trains have come and departed as usual.
Baltimore and Ohio — All passenger trains with full equipment met with no delay and all very nearly on time.
Chicago and Great Western — Passenger trains moving as usual with the regular Pullman equipment; freight service partially resumed on the Chicago division.
Chicago and Erie — All passenger trains are running out on time; not attempting to do freight business; have had trouble at Marion, O.
At 10 o'clock on the morning of July 3d, a consultation was held between the special counsel for the United States, the United States district attorney and several others, in which it was decided to urge the sending of federal troops, and a dispatch was dictated by the special counsel for the government for this purpose and was sent to the Attorney General at Washington, and in the afternoon of that day the United States troops at Fort Sheridan were ordered to Chicago and they arrived in that city that evening, and ostensibly went on active duty. Up to this time, no application had been made to the State authorities by anybody for assistance in maintaining order in Chicago. Both the local authorities as well as the State government were entirely ignored and neither was asked whether it could enforce the law or not.
Several weeks prior to this date, during the coal strike, the United States Court for the Southern District of Illinois issued an injunction against some of the coal strikers and then issued process for their arrest. The United States marshal met with resistance in attempting to serve these warrants. The United States' Judge wrote to the Attorney General in reference to having United States troops assist the marshal, and the Attorney General telegraphed an answer, reading as follows:
"Washington, June 16, 1894.
"Allen, U. S. Judge, Springfield, Ill.:
"Understand State of Illinois is willing to protect property against lawless violence with military force if necessary. Please advise receivers to take proper steps to procure protection by civil authorities of the State. If such protection proves inadequate, the governor should be applied to for military assistance.
"OLNEY, Attorney General."
This laid down the correct doctrine. Immediately after the date of this telegram, and again on several occasions thereafter, during the coal strike as well as during the railroad strike, the United States marshal for the Southern District of Illinois, finding that the local civil authorities could not furnish the needed assistance, applied to the governor for military aid to enable him and his deputies to execute these processes of the United States Court, and, in each instance, troops were promptly sent to his assistance, and inside of a few hours after being furnished the marshal discharged his duties promptly and thoroughly and without the loss of a single life, and in no case was there any delay in enforcing the law and the State administration stood equally ready to furnish the United States marshal for the Northern District of Illinois any assistance he might require. As the Attorney General had stated he understood the State of Illinois would furnish military assistance where necessary, and that civil authorities of the State must first be applied to for protection, and if they could not furnish it, then the governor should be asked for military assistance, and, further, as a number of such applications had just been made to the governor and had in each case been promptly granted, and all the assistance necessary had been furnished without a moment's delay, and the federal officials had in every case been enabled to discharge their duty thoroughly, it is apparent that the Attorney General would naturally refer the federal officials of Chicago to the State authorities it they needed assistance. And it is reasonable to assume that if the protection of property and the enforcement of the law was all that was aimed at, this would have been done. And the fact that it was not done, and, on the contrary, all State authorities were ignored and an entirely new and revolutionary policy was pursued, warrants the conclusion that some other and ulterior object was aimed at. The special counsel for the government apparently directed matters for the railroads, and assistance from the State was not wanted, but every energy was bent and every possible step taken, to establish a new precedent that might be useful in the future, that is, to have the federal government step in and take the corporations of the country directly under its immediate protection, so that no matter whether the local authorities were in any case amply able to enforce the law or not, the corporations could in the future ignore them and deal directly with the federal government and have federal troops at pleasure.
At about 6 o'clock on the evening of July 3, after the United States troops had been ordered to Chicago, the managers of the different railroads reported the conditions on their railroads briefly as follows:
Sante Fe — Six regular passenger trains on time; moving freight.
Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul — All passengers on time and without interference; moving freight.
Chicago and Alton — Trains stop for want of firemen.
Baltimore and Ohio — Trains moving; one engine detached by withdrawal of coupling pin; police detailed and protected train at once.
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy — Passenger trains running as usual; no freight handled, because firemen and engineers refused to work with new men.
Lake Shore and Michigan Southern — Trains moving as usual; freight trains delayed at Englewood, but prompt action by the police department raised the blockade.
Chicago and Eastern Illinois — Situation is better than yesterday.
Illinois Central — Ties found on track nearing crossing, but did not delay
929trains; matters getting along as nicely as could be expected under the circumstances.
Chicago and Great Western — Passenger trains all moving; freight train started: went through without trouble.
Chicago and Grand Trunk — Completely blockaded at Battle Creek, in Michigan; will send out no trains from Chicago until that is raised.
Monon Route — Men cannot be had to take strikers' places.
Chicago and Erie — Passenger trains moving all right on time.
Wabash — Account of trouble at other places, but none at Chicago.
Panhandle — Trains moving all right; none more than twenty minutes late.
Chicago and Northern Pacific — All day suburban trains on time; business being handled without interruption.
Rock Island — Trouble at Des Moines, Iowa; at Blue Island and at other places, but none at Chicago.
On the 4th day of July there was some disturbance, and on the evening of that day the managers of the railroads again reported the conditions on their roads briefly as follows:
Chicago and Alton — Local trains between Chicago, Joliet and Dwight are running; through trains are held at Bloomington by strikers.
Santa Fe — Everything in pretty good shape; passenger trains on time; ran five freight trains in Missouri and eleven in Illinois in past twenty-four hours, and have resumed local freight service between Chicago and Streator.
Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul — Trouble with firemen running on Council Bluffs line; with exception of a local train, all passenger trains departed and arrived on time; no trouble on the line between Chicago and St. Paul.
Baltimore and Ohio — Passenger trains on fairly good time; no delays due to strikers.
Nickel Plate — Regular passenger trains left and arrived on time; freight switching business is at a standstill.
Chicago and Northwestern — All through trains on the Galena division gotten out last night, but suburban traffic on that division was hampered by the inability to find engineers; are operating all passengers in and out of Chicago on Wisconsin division and are rapidly getting suburban traffic on Galena division running; handled no freight yesterday, but resumed to-day; brought in a train of fruit from the West and have several trains of beer coming in from Milwaukee; no acts of violence on our lines in city.
Wisconsin Central Lines — Passenger and freight trains moving and about on time.
Chicago and Northern Pacific — All suburban trains running regular except night trains; freight business is being handled promptly.
Michigan Central — Handled all freight that is tendered; moving all trains and doing regular work; a train of beef, consisting of forty cars, which was held at Halsted street, has been pulled through the jam and is moving eastward.
Illinois Central — The conditions on this line are more favorable than since the beginning of the strike; there is no suburban service to-day, but this service will be resumed to-morrow morning; handled 100 cars of merchandise and coal yesterday, placed on tracks for unloading.
Chicago and Eastern Illinois — Moving some passenger trains and resuming business gradually.
Chicago and Grand Trunk — Started out mail train for the East this morning; have no equipment at Chicago with which to make up through trains, as this is tied up by the strikers at Battle Creek, Mich.
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy — Had trouble in attempting to move a freight train; last night Pullman cars were cut from a passenger train, but with assistance of police were promptly recoupled and train moved forward; all other trains of last night and to-day are running without interference of any kind. The entire force of switchmen in St. Louis left the service of the road yesterday evening. We are not trying to handle freight to-day; everything is quiet.
On the 5th of July the conditions appeared to have been very much the same as on the 4th, but there were rumors of an extension of the strike. On the morning of the 6th of July, I sent word to the mayor of Chicago that if he could not easily control the situation the State would furnish him any assistance that might be needed. About the same time I telegraphed the officials of the Illinois Central Railroad Company, who complained that their property was being destroyed by a mob, to apply to the local authorities, and that if neither the mayor nor the sheriff could maintain order, and if both of these officials should refuse to apply to the State for aid, they should advise me of this fact and the State would then promptly do what was necessary to restore order and assist the local officers in executing the law. Toward noon of the 6th, the rioting having become more serious than on any previous day, the mayor applied for assistance. At this time, the federal troops had been on the ground three days. The effect of their presence, instead of overawing the mob and preventing trouble, had served as an irritant. On receiving the mayor's dispatch, five regiments of infantry, two troops of cavalry and two batteries were at once ordered to the scene, and before midnight they were nearly all on duty, although some of them had to go 150 miles, and in thirty hours after the arrival of the State troops all serious rioting had been suppressed and the destruction of property practically ended, except where it was committed stealthily. It is a matter of gratification to every patriotic citizen of Illinois who is proud of his State that it was our own troops who assisted the civil authorities and restored law and order in Chicago. While they were not petted by fashionable society, they did deal directly with the mob. During the trouble, thousands of men all over the State tendered their services to the executive, and I am satisfied that an army of 200,000 men could have been mustered in a few days it they had been called for. This spirit of patriotism was especially manifested by the old soldiers of the State. Inasmuch as there was at no time, according to the statement of the railroad managers above quoted, even on the worst days of the strike, any serious delay in the coming in or going out of the mails, and inasmuch as the special counsel for the government had been appointed the next morning after the superintendent of the railway mail service had telegraphed that there had been practically no delay in receiving or sending out trains, and as the United States troops were brought on the ground three days in advance of any serious rioting, and at a time when the local officers believed themselves absolutely able to control the situation, it is evident that there had to be some other pretext on the part of the federal government for its action than the mere protection of the mails or the supression of riots. That pretext was the enforcement of the processes of the federal courts. Although the United States marshal at Chicago had
931sworn in 4,402 deputy marshals, mostly on the recommendation of the railroads, still this did not answer the purpose that was apparently aimed at, that is, to establish a precedent for using the federal army. They must have federal troops, and these had already been applied for and were specially asked by the counsel for the government, who represented both railroads and government, On the morning of July 3d, and the processes of the courts which these troops were to enforce were not the legitimate processes of the United States Court, for it does not appear that any special trouble was experienced in serving any process of the courts issued in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the country, but these processes were warrants for arrest issued by federal judges charging men, not with the commission of a crime and not with the violation of a law, but with being guilty of a contempt of court.
Government by Injunction: During the last two or three years the usurpation of power on the part of the federal judiciary, which had been steadily going on for a long time, has assumed a form where is it destroying the very foundations of republican government. The Constitution divides the powers of government into the legislative, judiciary and executive, and contemplates that no two of these shall be lodged in the same person, but during the last two years the people of this country have repeatedly witnessed the operation of an entirely new form of government, which was never before heard of among men in either monarchy or republic, that is, government by injunction, whereby a federal judge, not content with deciding controversies brought into his court, not content with exercising the judicial functions of government, proceeds to legislate and then administrate. He issues a ukase which he calls an injunction, forbidding whatever he pleases and what the law does not forbid, and thus legislates for himself without limitation and makes things penal which the law does not make penal, makes other things punishable by imprisonment which at law are only punishable by fine, and he deprives men of the right of trial by jury when the law guarantees this right, and he then enforces this ukase in a summary and arbitrary manner by imprisonment, throwing men into prison, not for violating a law, but for being guilty of a contempt of court in disregarding one of these injunctions. During the last two years, some of these judges actually enjoined men from quitting the employment of a railroad. These injunctions are a very great convenience to corporations when they can be had for the asking by a corporation lawyer, and these were the processes of the court, to enforce which the President sent the federal troops to Chicago.
During the coal and railroad strikes last summer, the United States marshal for the Southern District of Illinois swore in altogether over 300 deputies, chiefly for the purpose of enforcing injunctions of this character issued by the United States Court and directed to the marshal to enforce, and about 191 men were arrested at Cairo and other points in the State and brought to Springfield in charge of officers, a distance of from 100 to 200 miles, and lodged in jail. Nearly all were charged with contempt of court and were tried not by a jury, but by the court whose dignity they were said to have offended; 121 were convicted and most of them sent to jail for from thirty to ninety days. Many had to be set free when it came to a hearing because it did not appear that they had even violated an injunction, let alone committed a crime, and nearly all when set free found themselves on the streets from 100 to 200 miles from their homes without money and without friends. In very many cases the United States marshal, prompted by the instincts of humanity,
932gave them something to eat and secured transportation for their, return, while some of the corporation agents who were responsible for it all appeared to regard the proceedings as a good lesson for the men. During the railroad strike the marshal for the Northern District of Illinois, who had already the necessary deputies to serve the regular and legitimate processes of the courts, swore in 4,402 deputy marshals almost for the sole purpose of enforcing some of these injunctions. Some of these injunctions were obtained as early as June 29th and 30th. They were issued without notice, they ran against all of the inhabitants of the three States comprising that judiciary circuit, and were not served personally, but in some cases were simply posted on some wall, and in others attempts were made to read them to a vast mob under circumstances that made the whole proceeding look farcical and indicated that the mob was not expected to obey them, but that these proceedings were had simply to lay the foundation for another step. After these injunctions had been issued the United States marshals, according to their own statements, arrested about 450 men, nearly all on the mere charge of being guilty of contempt of court, and so far as can be learned not twenty men have been convicted on any charge. These injunctions served as a sort of side-door convenience, and were used in some instances to terrorize the men. At different times men who could have been found at any hour of the day were arrested toward evening, in some cases on a Saturday evening, when the officers who could admit to bail had gone home, so as to compel the men to spend a night or a Sunday in jail. George Lovejoy, a trainmaster at La Salle, was a member of the A. R. U., and when the strike began he simply quit work, but did nothing more. A warrant was sworn out for his arrest. He was taken 100 miles to Chicago in charge of officers and remained in their custody two days and was then bailed out, and when the case was about to be heard it was dismissed with the simple statement that they did not care to prosecute. Had the machinery of justice been left in impartial hands, and had there been no other object in view than merely the enforcement of the law and the protection of property, it is manifest that these abuses would not have happened. The federal government had already the complete machinery of justice in Chicago which had been found to be sufficient for every and all purposes. It had never interfered on similar occasions in the past. Consequently, the fact that it should interfere at all here was remarkable, and that it should step in at such an early date was still more remarkable, but more significant than all these things was the selection which it made of a representative. There were in Chicago at that time thousands of able lawyers who had no personal interest to serve, but they were not wanted. The administration claimed to be Democratic and there were hundreds of Democrats capable of filling any office in the government, but they could not be trusted. A man was selected who was not only of opposite politics, but who was one of the most prominent corporation lawyers in the country, who was at that time the hired attorney of one of the railroads involved in the strike, and who was at that time personally engaged in fighting strikers, and therefore had an interest in the outcome, yet this man was clothed with all the powers of the government and he brought to the use of himself and his clients, without expense to them, the services of over 4,000 United States marshals, of a specially picked United States grand jury, of several United States Judges, and of the United States army. Never before were the United States government and the corporations of the country so
933completely blended, all the powers of the one being at the service of the other, and never before was the goddess of justice made a mere handmaid for one of the combatants. Surely, if there had not been a special object to attain, if there had been nothing wanted except to preserve order and enforce the law, then common decency would have suggested that the machinery of justice remain in impartial hands. It is evident that if the Attorney General of the United States did not outline and advise the policy that was pursued, it received his approval and was carried out through his assistance.
Referring again to Government by Injunction: Some of the federal judges based these remarkable orders on the Inter-State Commerce Law. This was an act passed by Congress some years ago for the express purpose of protecting the public against unjust charges on the part of the railroads, and particularly of protecting the fanners and the shippers of the country against ruinous discriminations. The railroads refused to obey this law and carried it into the federal courts, and these same federal judges proceeded to hold section after section of the law to be unconstitutional, until they had absolutely destroyed it for the purpose for which it was enacted and had made it as harmless as a dead rabbit. Then, after having thus nullified an act of Congress intended for the protection of the people, they turned around and made of it a club with which to break the backs of the men who toil with their hands-men whom Congress did not think of legislating against. Others of these judges have recently held that they have the power to make these orders independently of the Inter-State Commerce Law.
Another innovation is the operation of railroads by courts of chancery, whereby a court carries on a vast business enterprise, not simply for a short time, but frequently for years, and by an astounding fiction in the line of usurpation of power, the dignity and the sacred presence of the court is supposed to extend over the whole line of the road, and the road is said to be not in the hands of the receivers, as other property is in the hands of the owner, but in the actual possession of the court, and anything done to the railroad is treated as a contempt of court. If you commit an offense against a railroad that is in the hands of its owners, you will be prosecuted in the county where the offense is committed, tried by a jury, and, it proven to be guilty, may be sent to the penitentiary. But if you tread on the grass or throw a stone onto a railroad that has been robbed by speculators and then put into the hands of a receiver to freeze out some stockholders, you will be guilty of a contempt of some court sitting several hundred miles away, and you will be liable to be arrested and carried to where it is, there to be tried, not by a jury or a disinterested tribunal, but by that court whose awful dignity you have offended. If the courts must go into the business of operating railroads, then these absurd fictions should be abandoned and the roads held to be in the hands of the receivers just as other roads are held to be in the hands of their owners. It is in connection with bankrupt roads in the hands of a court that most of the outrageous orders or injunctions were issued during the last two years. These injunctions are outside of the regular machinery of government. So far as they are outside the law they are usurpations, and where not usurpations they are wrong, for the Constitution has created other machinery to enforce the criminal law. Courts of Chancery were not created for this purpose. Further, they do no good. In Chicago they were issued long in advance of any serious rioting or disturbances; yet they did not prevent the burning of a
934single freight car, nor the ditching of a single train. Our country has existed for more than a hundred years. During this time all our greatness and our glory has been achieved. Property has been protected, and law and order has been maintained by the machinery established by the Constitution; this machinery has at all times been found to be more than sufficient for every emergency. If both the Constitution and our past experience are now to be disregarded, and the federal courts are to be permitted to set up this new form of government, then it will be equally proper for the State courts to do so, and we shall soon have government by injunction from head to toe. All of the affairs of life will be regulated, not by law, but by the personal pleasure, prejudice or caprice of a multitude of judges.
Formerly, when a man charged with contempt of court filed an affidavit purging himself of the contempt — that is denying it — the matter ended, except that he could be indicted for perjury if he swore to a lie. But after thus purging himself, he could not be tried for contempt by the very judge whose dignity he was charged with having offended. In other words, when a man denied his guilt he could not be sentenced to prison without a trial by jury. But this protection of the citizen is now brushed away.
Federal Troops: The placing of United States troops on active duty in Chicago under the conditions that existed there last summer presents a question of the most far-reaching importance, and should receive the most serious consideration of every patriot and of every man who believes in free institutions. As already shown, they were put there without calling on the local authorities to enforce the law or making any inquiry as to whether any assistance was needed, and at a time when the local authorities felt they could easily control the situation. While the dates and the facts show that it was done in this case for the purpose of setting a precedent for having the federal government take the corporations under its immediate protection, the principle involved is much broader than even this violation of the Constitution, and contemplates the exercise of a power that cannot exist in harmony with republican institutions. This act was an entirely new departure in the history of our government, and a great Constitutional writer of the country in complimenting the President upon having taken this step, speaks of it as a great step taken in Constitutional construction and is thankful that it cost so little bloodshed, thus practically stating that this new departure was a violation of the Constitution as it had been understood for a century. The old doctrine of State rights is in no way involved. Nobody for a moment questions the supremacy of the Union. But it does involve the question whether, in connection with federal supremacy, there does not go hand in hand the principle of local self-government. These two principles, i. e., federal union and local self-government, have for a century been regarded as the foundation upon which the glory of our whole governmental fabric rests. One is just as sacred, just as inviolable, just as important as the other. Without federal union there must follow anarchy, and without local self-government there must follow despotism. Both are destructive, not only of the liberties, but of the higher aspirations and possibilities of a people. The great civil war settled that we should not have anarchy. It remains to be settled whether we shall be destroyed by despotism. If the President can, at his pleasure, in the first instance, send troops into any city, town or hamlet in the country, or into any number of cities, towns or hamlets, whenever and
935wherever he pleases, under pretense of enforcing some law, his judgment, which means his pleasure, being the sole criterion, then there can be no difference whatever in this respect between the powers of the President and those of Emperor William or of the Czar of Russia. Neither of these potentates ever claimed anything more. It is not a question as to whether the President must first get the permission of local authorities before he can interfere, but the question is whether the local and State authorities should first be called to enforce the law and maintain order, using for that purpose such local agencies and forces as the law has created, or whether he can ignore all these and bring a foreign force and station it in any community at pleasure. In this respect federal civil officers and the federal army do not stand on the same footing. The federal civil officers always have acted directly in the matter within their jurisdiction, but the American people, as well as all other free and intelligent people, are jealous of a central military power, hence great precautions have been taken to limit the use of such power, and these limitations have always been recognized in this country, and were recognized by the Attorney General so late as June 16, 1894. Again, the Constitution provides that the military shall be subordinate to the civil authorities, and in all cases where State troops are ordered out they are subject to the control of the local civil authorities and act under their direction, but the federal troops ordered to Chicago last summer did not act under any civil officer, whether federal or State. They did not act under the United States marshal, but directly under orders from military headquarters at Washington and were subject only to those orders. So far as they acted at all, it was military government. Local self-government is the very foundation of freedom and of republican institutions, and no people possess this who are subject to have the army patrol their streets and interfere in the affairs of government, acting not under but independently of the local authorities, and do this at the mere discretion of one man, or of a central power that is far away. Such local self-government as would be possible under these conditions may be found all over Russia. We grew great and powerful and won the admiration of the world while proceeding under a different form of government, and if we are to go on in the same line, then the American people must arrest and rebuke this federal usurpation. In all history no power possessed by government was ever allowed to lie dormant long. Either the man or the class soon appeared who, for selfish purposes, proceeded to exercise it. If the acts of the President are to stand unchallenged and thus form a precedent, then we have undergone a complete change in our form of government, and whatever semblance we may keep up in the future, our career as a republic is over. We will have a rapidly increasing central power controlled and dominated by class and by corporate interests. Holding these views and knowing that the law had been enforced, property protected and order maintained for a whole century by constitutional agencies, and feeling that the mighty State of Illinois needed neither assistance nor interference from any outside source, I considered it my duty, as the executive of the State, to protest against the presence of federal troops under the existing circumstances, and requested their withdrawal, and I herewith submit the correspondence upon that subject.
It is a matter of special regret to many of our patriotic citizens that this blow at free institutions should have been struck by a President who was placed in power by a party that had made local self-government a cardinal principle
936for more than a century. It was a stabbing of republican institutions and a betrayal of democratic principles.
The marked feature of this age has been consolidation. The large concerns swallowing the small ones or destroying them. This done, the large ones formed trusts, thus destroying all competition as to the public and as to labor. They arbitrarily fix the prices of goods on the one hand, and the rate of wages on the other, and neither the public nor the laborer have any remedy. The one is compelled to pay what is asked, for necessity is at its throat; the other is compelled to accept what is offered, for hunger is in his home. The Scotch brigands never had more effective weapons. The amassing of millions under these conditions is an easy matter, and as they grow more powerful these trusts get beyond the control of the government. Prompted by the instinct of self-preservation, the laborers of the country are endeavoring to form combinations. They see that standing alone as individuals in the presence of the mighty combinations of capital, they will be ground to atoms. That unless they can meet combination with combination, they and their children must soon be reduced to abject poverty and hopeless slavery, differing from African slavery in this, that while the African had a master who had to feed and, in the end, to bury him, the white slave will have only a master to take his earnings. Now, the men who formed the great combinations of capital are opposed to combinations among laborers, and the federal courts that have been the special guardians of corporations and combinations seem to be determined to crush labor organizations. Some of these judges, not being content with their decisions, drag their ermines over the land to preach against united action by the toilers. In recent years the Constitution seems to have become an insurmountable barrier to every measure intended for the protection of the public, while its most plainly expressed provisions for the protection of the liberty and the personal rights of the citizen are blown away with a mere breath. This subserviency on the part of the federal judiciary when dealing with powerful corporations, followed by usurpation of power, and the assumption of an awful dignity when dealing with the men who have to earn their bread by the sweat of their brows, is not calculated to create respect for either the law or its machinery, and does tend to create unrest among our people, for it is the height of folly to imagine that the people do not understand the character of these acts. At present the status seems to be this: Combinations by capital against the public and against labor have succeeded, no matter by what means, and the men who accomplished it are now patriots; while combinations among laborers for self protection have failed, and the men who advocate it are enemies of society. If these conditions are to continue, then the fate of the American laborer is sealed. He must be reduced to the lowest conditions of existence, and this must destroy that very capital which is now pushing him down; for with the destruction of the purchasing power of the American laborer will disappear our great American market, and whenever this happens — whenever the American laborer, like his brother in the poorer countries of the Old World, can only buy a little coarse clothing and some poor food and cannot afford to travel, then many of our great manufacturing and railroad properties will not be worth 50 cents on the dollar. Further, this process must produce discontent, disturbance and hatred and will increase the expense of watching