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The Hand-Workers of the Mississippi Valley

In order to be practical we must both study and think. We must study the past, and think about the future, that we may make the best of our circumstances, and guide our steps in our daily walk.

We must know and use what comes to us from the past, and know and avoid the mistakes of those who have lived and labored before us.

The period between the sixth and sixteenth century — between ancient Rome and the time of the Reformation — is called the Dark Ages; yet, as Emerson says: "These ‘Dark Ages’ have given us ‘the feet on which we walk, the eyes with which we see,’ — the mariners' compass, and the lens for our microscope and telescope." To this period we are also indebted for printing, glass, paper, and many other things now deemed indispensable. From the Dark Ages we received the "Magna Charta," all the principles of which are by no means practically applied. Friar Roger Bacon, who was feared and hated by the populace, as one leagued with infernal associates, produced from his laboratory gunpowder, which enabled the Thrall to cope with the iron-clad Knight; and finally gun-powder abolished the feudal system.

Six Hundred Years Ago,

Friar Bacon, penetrating the future even to Liverpool, New York and Chicago, predicted that the time would come when ships would be propelled by machinery faster than by many rowers, needing only a pilot to steer; and that carriages would also be driven upon the land, by the power of machinery, faster than any animal could run. He thus recognized the possibilities of the steamship and the railway. He was not a popular man in his day; he was feared and hated, as a magician and one leagued with Satan, by the ignorant masses, and was imprisoned and persecuted, as a subversionist and a dangerous character, by his superiors in office.

We are proud of

The Nineteenth Century,
Of its achievements, its progress. It is true that we have realized Bacon's prediction in the steamship and the railroad. We have improved the printing press, so that it can print and perfect newspapers at the rate of fourteen miles of papers in an hour. We have the electric telegraph, the sewing machine, and improved farming implements. We no longer thresh out wheat by beating it with two sticks tied together with a thong. We have the steam engine as our slave to do our painful labor — our toil.

We have machinery which, if placed under society, would raise it to a higher grade, as five thousand jackscrews placed under a great hotel in Chicago raised it to a higher grade without producing any shock or disturbance of its guests, or interrupting its business. Much has been done in the nineteenth century; but for these mechanical inventions which are most conspicuous, and regarding which we feel the most pride, we are indebted to the poor and obscure Hand-Workers.

Great progress has been made in the invention of appliances for changing the raw material which Nature has supplied us with in inexhaustible abundance, into things useful to man; into

Food, Shelter, Clothing,
Furniture, and means of instruction, and in the means for transporting these products through space; but corresponding progress has not been made in improving the means of interchange and proprietary distribution.


We have made little progress in the improvement of civil government, either as to efficiency or economy. We have yet to realize a government "of the people, for the people, and by the people." We now have a government of the people by a class and for a class. We do not all realize that we are governed by an oligarchy composed of professional office-holders and office-seekers, that our elections are usually merely contests between two sections of this class, and the result merely a decision as to which section of the oligarchy shall govern, and enjoy the emoluments arising from the control of government.

Neither do we sufficiently realize that a government of the people by the real representatives of all classes is practicable, and that it has been proved to be practicable by many years' experience in another country.

Proportional Representation

By the preferential vote is a system under which the majority rules, but under which the various interests, opinions and desires of all are proportionately represented; a system under which law-making bodies become society in miniature, and laws the accurate and orderly expression of public opinion.

I addressed the Illinois Farmers' Association one year ago on the subject of government and the possibilities of its improvement. I shall not, therefore, dwell upon that subject at this time, further than is necessary to illustrate the importance, in that connection, of improving the physical, intellectual and moral condition of the units which compose the State, in order to improve the State.

Lord Macaulay,

In a letter to a gentleman who was writing the life of Thomas Jefferson, declared that he had no sympathy for Mr. Jefferson's views, and had never expressed any, even on the hustings; on the contrary, he declared that he believed a government, by the votes of a numerical majority, composed of the poorest and most ignorant, was utterly impracticable. John Adams, Gouverneur Morris, James Otis, Stephen Hopkins, Alexander Hamilton, and other able and patriotic Americans of the Revolutionary times, doubted the ability of the people to govern themselves under a system as popular even as our existing national government. Mr. Hamilton thought the British government, just as it was in his time, the best form that had ever been devised. Hamilton, up to the time of his death, had little faith in the permanency of our constitution; he considered it too weak, too popular. He urged, in the convention, a plan which required the President to serve for life; United States Senators to serve for life; Congress to have power to legislate on all subjects without any restraint but its own pleasure and judgment; Governors of States to be appointed by the federal government, to serve during good behavior, with power of absolute veto of all laws passed by State legislatures.

Mr. Hamilton believed that the great majority of the people were poor and ignorant, and incapable of exercising the elective franchise with intelligence and freedom.

The argument

Against Popular Government
Has always been that the great mass of the people were poor and ignorant. Lord Macaulay, and the American statesmen to whom I have referred, were intelligent, well informed men. We cannot say that they were wholly mistaken, both as regards the facts and the conclusions therefrom. It is, perhaps, true, that in all countries the great majority of the people are poor, and extreme poverty is apt to be accompanied by ignorance. What, then, is the solution of this matter? Shall we recognize as a fact that the majority are poor and ignorant, and adapt governments to those conditions, or shall we ascertain the causes which render the mass of people in all countries poor and ignorant, and ascertain how far this condition is caused by the mal-administration of those affairs that are managed by governments, and the feasibility of so modifying the government as to reverse those conditions, and enable the majority of the people to be well provided with those things that are essential to their welfare, physical, intellectual, and moral? My theme to-night is,
"The Hand-Workers
Of the Mississippi Valley — Their Power and their Responsibility." I claim that they have the power to understand this great social problem, and that they have the power to inaugurate movements which will ultimately solve it in a practical way, not only for ourselves, but for all peoples; and I may add that that movement has been commenced, and has made some progress already.

Let us keep

The Problem
In view. Admitting that poverty and ignorance is the common fate of a great majority of the people in all countries, and that by reason of their poverty and ignorance they are incapable of self-government, the problem is how to reverse these conditions so that the great majority of the people shall no longer be poor and ignorant, and may become capable of self-government.

But why appeal to the Hand-Workers of the Mississippi Valley as having the power and responsibility to secure the solution of this great problem? My answer is, that for these purposes those who invent, make and manage mechanical machinery, are more capable than any other class of society in understanding the relations of a part to the whole, and the necessity of perfect adjustment and reciprocal action of the parts with each other, to secure results by the combined and co-operative action of all the parts; that


the invention, making and use of mechanical machinery affords a necessary preparation for the invention, making and management of another class of machinery — machinery by which wealth is most readily or economically produced, and interchanged between producers, and by which the rights and duties of individual members of society are marked by laws, and protected by governments.

You Occupy a Vast Plain,
Extending from the Appalachian range and the Alleghanies on the East, to the Rocky Mountains of the West; from the genial climate of the Gulf of Mexico, the land of cotton, rice and sugar, spanning the great wheat belt, and extending to the snows of Dakota; with its mighty streams, navigable for many hundreds of miles, the Mississippi, Missouri, Red, Arkansas, Tennessee, Ohio, Cumberland, and the Illinois rivers. With its thousands of miles of railroads, and washed by the waters of the great lakes, and connecting with the great water system of the St. Lawrence, with its many roads to the sea. You occupy also the great highway between Europe and Asia. The Hand-Workers have been the great power that gave persistent and efficient force to our Revolution, and have been the balance-wheel that has preserved Democratic-republican institutions in this country, and prevented the absorption of power by the general government, and its withdrawal from local governments and the people.

I claim for the Hand-Workers of the Mississippi Valley that they are less incapacitated for this work by poverty and ignorance than any other people in the world, and have the power also, by their numerical majority, to dictate who shall make and administer the laws of eighteen out of the thirty-eight States of the Union, and have power, moral and political, to influence the making, and administration of the laws of the nation.

Mr. Young, of the Bureau of Statistics at Washington, divides the population of the country engaged in the different pursuits into about six millions of agriculturists, three millions of wage workers, upwards of a million and a half engaged in the professions, and less than a million and a half engaged in trade and transportation, i. e., the commercial class. It is easy to see where the numerical majority resides.

The metropolitan press has, almost without exception, been controlled in the interest of

Which is always popular with the money power, and the mercantile classes. Notwithstanding that the masses have had few great newspapers, no periodicals, and few greatly lauded leaders to advocate their cause, they have, nevertheless, by their votes for the most part, controlled the government of the United States throughout its history.

Great political convulsions, like the slavery agitation, disintegrate parties and make new divisions of their atoms; but the individuals must eventually subside into the two great parties—one contending for the welfare of the many, and the other for the aggrandizement of the few.

Your power can only be exercised when the possession of it is realized, and the necessary organization and concert of action is secured. Of your power, Hand-Workers of Illinois, under these circumstances of organization and concert of action, we have this day, and in this capital, beheld a crowning manifestation!

Two years ago you decided to organize and to bring your voting power to bear upon the political affairs of your State. Through the efforts of this and kindred associative organizations, a concert of action was secured between the farmers, miners and mechanics of the State. You nominated, voted for and elected, four members of the national House of Representatives, more than five members of the Illinois State Senate, and more than twenty members of the Illinois House of Representatives; also the superintendent of public Instruction in your State, and a judge of the Supreme Court of Illinois, as well as numerous county and municipal officers. And to-day your representatives in the General Assembly have, on joint ballot, "broken the slates" of both the "Democratic" and "Republican" politicians and elected the man of your selection Senator of the United States. All this, be it remembered, however, is the result of the

and effort of two years ago. Since which you have almost wholly abandoned your political organization, and have for the most part been driven into the ranks of one or other of the political parties by their "whippersin." You, therefore, have an experimental knowledge of your power when organized, united, and active; and of your weakness when unorganized, divided, and inactive. You have power, and if the spirit of this annual meeting of the Farmers' Association meets with sympathy and support, the farmers of Illinois will not permit the power, which they evidently possess, to remain latent and unused.

The mere use of power to secure office for ourselves or friends, for the mere sake of official emoluments, is not worth an effort. But persistent labor for the advancement of true civilization and the full development of the manhood of our people, by the removal


of those obstacles that have been placed in the way by government, and can therefore be removed by the action of government, should command your whole energy and activity.

Without undervaluing or overlooking the advantages of our present civilization and our form of government, no thoughtful person will deny that there are great societary evils existing among us to-day, for which governments are responsible and for which they are providing no remedy. In the old world these

Evils and Dangers
Are of the most appalling nature, and the evidence of the premature decay of our own young civilization is manifested by great numbers of tramps in the country, and paupers, and those who are unwillingly idle in our cities, and other signs indicate that evils peculiar to old and decaying civilizations are growing upon us here.

In England, for example, we have the monstrous paradox of a nation of enormous and growing wealth, in which a large and increasing portion of its people are ground down under the hardest poverty, to physical, intellectual and moral deformity. We behold a nation which, during its continental wars, was able to raise easily vast sums, annually, to support and subsidize armies and navies, the great majority of whose people have scarcely food to eat or clothes to wear; a nation where

Is rising like a swelling flood, encroaching continually upon and engulfing classes who thought themselves on safe ground, being skilled, industrious, and frugal; a nation whose labor-saving machinery does the muscular work of many millions of men, and yet whose children, scarcely out of the cradle, have to work day and night, kept awake by the whip, and crippled in their tender limbs by unnatural toil. Such
Friends of Humanity
As Alex. McDonald, the Hand-Workers' representative in Parliament, are endeavoring, it is true, to rescue them, and with some success, after many years of agitation and effort, through laws regulating the age and the hours of work of operatives; and Arch is engaged in the same work, with less fruition, for the benefit of the poor children and laborers of the "farm gangs." A nation overflowing with wealth, doing the business of the world, whose merchants and traders all fail, at some time in their career, almost without exception; containing, also, many hundreds of thousands who would gladly toil all day for food and a night's shelter, who can get no work to do. It is a nation, to use Mr. Carlyle's striking illustration, in which a "horse is sure of comfortable support for the work he does, but a man who is willing to work may starve."

It is not strange that Lord Macaulay declared a government by a numerical majority of such a people as impracticable; and it is not strange that our own people are becoming each year more and more like the people of that country in the poverty and degradation of the majority, produced by similar causes, which must be removed if representative government is to succeed here. Our English professors in colleges, and our English law makers, declare that systems of law regarding revenue and finance, which have been principally instrumental in bringing the majority of the people of Great Britain to this deplorable condition of poverty and degradation, are alone scientific and orderly, and hence desirable for this country and this people. You have entered your protest against the unphilosophical and

Unreliable Financial System
Of Great Britain; you have denounced the resumption of a system by which all who incur debt, promise that which is impossible, to pay in gold, when there is not gold coin enough in the commercial world to much more than pay the annual interest on the government debts of the world.

Mr. Fawsett estimates the amount of gold coin in Europe at $1,900,000,000, and the annual interest on public debt $1,600,000,000. There is no hard money system in any commercial country. The same authority shows that in Europe there is in use, as money, the following amounts:

Gold coin $1,900,000,000
Silver and base metal 2,000,000,000
Paper 2,000,000,000
Total $5,900,000,000

Per capita, $21.40, which he estimates at one dollar and forty cents per capita more than we have in the United States, including coin and paper at this time, while the cry from our "political economists" and statesmen of the English school is, Contract the currency and resume that ruinous system — promises of coin that does not exist; resume a system of periodical suspensions of payment when payment is demanded in coin, and general financial and commercial collapse occurring at least once during each decade.

In the Dominion of Canada they have the English system of specie banking in its most perfect form — a system under which, in the year 1876, one man in every thirty-two doing business in Canada failed. These figures are from the commercial agency of Dunn, Winans & Co., of Montreal.

The Hand-Workers of the Mississippi Valley have declared their

Opposition to a Resumption
Of the English financial system of promises to pay everything in coin, which does not exist in sufficient quantities and cannot be had. They desire to preserve the United States legal-tender notes, which did us such good service that sagacious governments,


like the German, are introducing like notes in their own finances. Western anti-resumptionists were pronounced by the people in the Eastern States as ignorant,
Financial Lunatics;
Men who knew nothing of the true, scientific and well tried systems of finance — and they refer to systems under which the mass of the people are impoverished to the verge of pauperism — while ninety-seven in a hundred merchants and traders die bankrupt. And while they were ridiculing the Western "inflationists," these very Eastern merchants and manufacturers were having their foundations undermined, and have been ever since passing into the abyss of bankruptcy and ruin.

You insisted that it was

Not Desirable to Resume
The system of forced promises to pay all debts in gold as the only legal tender. You insisted upon the preservation of the United States legal-tender notes. You claimed that as paper currency must exist in every country and must exist here, that a paper currency consisting of evidences of government debt, and receivable for all public and private dues, and interchangeable with United States interest-bearing obligations, equivalent in value to coin, would be a better paper currency than promises of banks to pay coin on demand — a promise that can not be, and never has been met when general demand was made.

You Insisted
That the power to contract and expand the volume of the circulating medium, involved the power to contract and expand the market price of all property, and that this power should not be delegated to any particular class of corporations or individuals, or even to government officials; but that the power of every holder of government debt-obligations, legal tender and not bearing interest, redeemable in interest-bearing obligations of the government, and re-exchangeable at the pleasure of the holder, would automatically regulate the volume of the currency according to the needs of business, from time to time, as the supply of steam is automatically supplied or withheld from an engine by its governor.

You claimed that the government of the United States would be unable to redeem its outstanding legal-tender notes on demand in gold coin, as the coin could not be had, and that at a recent date the government did not have to exceed thirteen millions of coin which was available for redemption, while its outstanding legal-tender notes exceeded three hundred and fifty millions of dollars. That the true policy was to make the legal-tender notes convertible into United States interest-bearing bonds or certificates, which should be interchangeable.

Time is gradually proving that

You were Right.
The Secretary of the Treasury, in his recent report, admits that the coin redemption of the United States legal-tender notes in circulation is impracticable—that redemption in bonds is practicable.

The National convention of Bankers, recently held at Philadelphia, by resolution, coincided in this view, and practical bankers in the East are beginning to agree with you that these bonds offered in redemption

Must be Made Interchangeable;
That a permanent and irrevocable funding of United States notes would produce a financial and commercial earthquake.

You saw the solution of this financial problem, because your class alone had passed to the third stage of industrial and practical education. Your knowledge of and use of machinery; your habit of instantly acting and correcting derangements and irregularities, had fitted you to detect the derangements and irregularities that have existed in financial systems for the last two hundred years, and enabled you to suggest a mode of improvement.

You realize that, in order to enjoy popular government, our people must be rescued from want and ignorance; that one of the leading causes that keep the great majority of the people in poverty and ignorance is, that the manipulation of the currency under the English system operates as

A Pump,
Which draws wealth away from those who produce it, and transfers it to a few who control the pump. You propose to do away with the pumping system, and have a financial currency system which will correspond to the water
Currency System of Nature;
That the demands of commerce shall evaporate from the bonded debt what is needed in the form of current money; that this current money shall seek, as the clouds seek, places where currency is wanted; that any excess of currency shall drain back, by conversion at the United States Treasury, into the bonded national debt, as an excess of rain, after saturating the soil, flows back to the ocean through the water-courses that the Almighty has provided to dispose of the excess of water. In more than one sense the proper study of mankind is man. A man cannot be comfortable, however well his body be clad, if his feet are naked and plodding through freezing mud.

Society can not be Comfortable
If a part of it is suffering from cold and destitution. Society has often been compared to a man; the navigable waters and railroads, with their double tracks and traffic both ways, are likened to the arteries and veins in the human body. The arteries convey the blood from the heart to all parts of the human body; the flow in a healthy man is abundant; it goes to every part, and allows each to absorb all that it needs; it passes through the minute capillaries to every cell and tissue. A pin prick will find blood


everywhere. The excess passes through, the capillaries to the veins, thence into the lungs, where it is combined with other ingredients received from the atmosphere, and again passes into the heart, from which it is forced into every part. So great cities represent the
Heart and Lungs of Society.
The lungs — the manufacturing cities — prepare the blood in the form of clothing, boots and shoes, hats and caps, furniture — things for the use and comfort, and education and recreation of man; these pass down the railroads and streams (the arteries), they branch off at every station and landing, and the stream subdivides on the country roads (the capillaries) and reach every homestead, and every human being (every cell); then back through the veins, returning to the city (the heart), come wheat, and corn, and meat, through the veins into the lungs (the manufacturing districts) to feed the operatives, in order that they may prepare (as the lungs) new arterial blood for re-distribution; and the red and white corpuscles of the blood represent money.

If the circulation of blood should cease, the man would die. If the circulation is irregular or deficient, the man is sick.

The telegraphic wires correspond to

The Nerves
Of the human body — the conveyance of intelligence to sensation. If a man's foot is wounded, his head receives a dispatch instantly, conveying the intelligence, and the radiating nerves convey the sensation to every other part; and if one part suffers, all parts feel the pain, sympathize and put forth efforts to repair and heal. As it is thus with a healthy man, so must it be with a healthy society. All parts must be in intimate relation with every other part; all must co-operate for the common good. It must be realized, that if one part of the people are in want and ignorance, all parts of the body politic must suffer. We must also remember that as every human body has many parts, each adapted to its especial work and function, and happy in that work, so there must be various parts and organs to the body politic or social: feet, head, hands, heart, lungs, limbs, muscles, nerves, veins — all of which are especially fitted to perform special service for all, and for which all are performing reciprocal services. Such is not the present state of society in any country, but we are slowly approaching it. I said you had reached the third stage of
Industrial Progress and Education.
The first stage of industry is that in which war alone is considered the proper vocation of a free man. Women and slaves must do the field work, and weave, spin, knit, and sew for the soldiers.

Many small tribes or nations are, by conquest, finally consolidated and held within the second stage of industry is reached, life being comparatively secure, wars less frequent, and only a portion of the men required for the army.

Men now engage in industry and trade at first reluctantly, however; then comes division of labor, the second stage. The division of physical labor among uneducated men, people whose brains contain no pabulum, nothing to digest while at work, is stupefying and degrading. A man who is occupied all his life in making the thirteenth part of a pin, with nothing to think about, is evidently not living as he ought. Though Spinoza, while engaged in earning a scanty living by polishing spectacle glasses, worked out in his head his wonderful system of philosophy, he was educated before he went to polishing glasses.

The third stage of industry is that in which the Hand-Worker has received some education, so that while he works with his hands he builds in his head a machine to do what his hands are doing; he becomes an inventor, a machinist, and a manager of machinery. This is the stage in which you are to-day, for every farmer is now a machinist;

Every Farm Has Its Workshop,
Great Or small. Many an intelligent farm lad can run the steam engine that drives his father's threshing machine, and all have at least a common school education, the tools for acquiring all human knowledge.

You all use complicated machinery; you all know when it is out of order. If you hear some unusual rattle or squeaking, you stop your machine instantly, ascertain the cause, and apply the remedy.

You have found that the governing machinery of your country and its

Financial Machinery
Is continually out of order; that it does not perform its work; that it is continually either breaking clown or rattling and jingling, indicating derangement. You have been told that these great machines are too complicated for you to understand or handle. You say, If it is not more complicated than my threshing machine, or my harvester, I can understand it; you examine it, especially the English financial machine; you study its construction, and its history, and its work; you find it is a machine or system that promises to pay gold when it has no gold to pay, and can not get it; it is a system under which, while the nation has become nominally rich, the people have become correspondingly poor and deformed in body and mind, that more and more of the children of each overworked generation become too weak to snatch a living in the midst of fierce competition, and drop off into
The Poor House or the Prison;
You find that under that system trading and professional callings are deemed more honorable than the labor of production; that producers are degraded, because of the small


share they receive of what they produce that undue competition between the member of an overcrowded commercial class have caused "business" to become a system of war or a game of chance; you find that the best merchants and the candid students and writers of England declare their financial system a failure, and the Bank of England an overloaded, overworked, and inefficient machine. That the continual raising and lowering of the rate of interest in order to keep coin in England, is continually changing the market value of all commodities, so that he who carries on a legitimate manufacturing business is subjected to all the uncertain ties and risks of gambling. That of those who engage in trade and commerce, a large majority die after a career of labor and anxiety, leaving no provision for their families, and that it is exceptional to find a merchant who has not failed at some time As you investigate, you wonder that the mercantile classes have not discovered that the
Prime Cause of these Evils
Is in their financial system. You become doubtful of the correctness of your own conclusions as to the cause of these difficulties social derangements, and suffering; you in quire of merchants whether they have examined the matter; most of them say no, that it is too complicated, that they can not understand it; you accompany a merchant through his great establishment; you admire, understand, and are interested in the steam engine which is used to elevate or lift his goods; you are quite likely to find that he does not understand the parts or the workings of his own steam engine; he tells you, perhaps, that it is too complicated, that he can not understand it, that he leaves that to his engineer, as he leaves the subject of
Finance to the Rothchilds.
The fact is, that merchants and businessmen are very acute, and very quick, and are intelligent in certain ways, but they make pack-horses of their brains in their everyday work, so at night when they put the tired pack-horse in its stable, they do not care to study the steam engine or another machinery.

Professional men, in cities at least, are so engrossed with their special lines of thought and effort, that few give much attention to the grand machinery of society; they do not realize, like Emerson, that "Our state of society is one in which the members have suffered amputation from the trunk, and strut about so many walking monsters—a good finger, a neck, a stomach, an elbow, but never a man. The priest becomes a form, the attorney a statute-book, the mechanic a machine, the sailor a rope of the ship."

You examine and find
That there was a system of finance practiced in, the Middle Ages — the "Dark Ages," under which government debt supplied the circulating medium; that the government debt evidences were for centuries worth a premium over coin; that for centuries there was nothing in Venice corresponding to a suspension of specie payment, financial crises, and the troubles and vicissitudes which are experienced now in business life; you discover that what is familiarly called the greenback, is a government bond; that its delivery transfers shares in the national debt, which, by law, is made a legal payment; you find that the government itself now discredits these notes and makes them worth less than coin, because it refuses to receive them for custom dues, for which it demands gold instead; and you find, further, that the government has rendered these notes irredeemable by repealing the provision of law under which they were issued, which provided that they should be receivable by the government at par for interest-bearing obligations of the government.

You Demand —

1st. That greenbacks shall be received for customs and all other dues to government the same as gold.

2nd. That the silver dollar shall be restored to its old rank in the list of coins, and that the products of our American silver mines shall be coined, as well as the products of the British gold mines.

3rd. You demand that if any person has greenbacks — United States notes not bearing interest — and desires to exchange them for government notes bearing interest, that the interchange should be made at the sub-treasuries, and that the holder of the interest-bearing obligation may re-exchange it for greenbacks at par and interest at his pleasure.

You demand that without suddenly disturbing existing conditions, the policy of this government shall be to supply, in the form of evidences of its own debt, the paper currency of the country, instead of farming out the privilege to corporations to supply the paper currency to consist of evidences of their debts.

While managing your ploughs, your drills, your harvesters and your threshing machines, farmers of the Mississippi Valley! you have time and opportunity to think. Your education has been sufficient to give you control of all historical and scientific facts, and while tilling your farms, you may find the proper relation of these facts and build better machinery for the social use of mankind.

The People of the Mississippi Valley
are, in number, twenty-one of the forty-six millions of our population. In this great central basin of the continent, we have one-third of the acreage of the United States. A steamer leaving the Gulf may pursue her uninterrupted course to the head waters of; the Missouri — more than four thousand and five hundred miles. We have within this grand region an abundance of iron, coal, lead, copper, zinc, silver and gold; and wood and timber, both hard and soft, in great abundance and variety; a soil of unsurpassed richness; a people in whose veins are mingled


the blood of the Puritans, Cavaliers, and Huguenots, the Dutch, the Celts, the Germans and the Scandinavians, who sought this continent during the last century, and of those of later immigration. If the mingling of the blood of the most energetic specimens of the best nations can produce a superior race, we have it here.

With a Territory
Extending through twenty degrees of latitude we have the best varieties of climate.

Emigration, which for four thousand years has been flowing westward, here meets the current coming eastward. We have area enough to contain the principal countries of Europe; and we have, in forest, mine and soil, resources sufficient to shelter, feed and clothe all the inhabitants of those countries, in addition to our own.

With all these resources, with an intelligent and skilled people, the majority are poor, and nearly all are deforming body or mind, or both, in efforts to provide shelter, food, clothing, and other necessaries of civilized life, for themselves and their families.

We have sufficient raw material, and men, with skill, to make and operate machinery enough to make all those things needed, to the extent of the reasonable desires of our whole population; yet men and women able and willing to do this work are idle and suffering; machinery stands unused or works sluggishly, and this is largely owing to the want of a proper system of exchanging products and commodities. The machinery of production and of interchange stands idle for want of oil to lubricate it. The Rothchilds of the world have a monopoly of the

Financial Oil.
A distinguished Englishman recently remarked that when on the Atlantic coast he felt quite as much at home as though he was in a British colony, but when he crossed the Alleghany Mountains, he felt that he was in America, and among a different people.

The Eastern people are accustomed to look eastward across the Atlantic for precedents, and to follow them closely and look for foreign applause for having done so. Let the people of the West think and act as Americans.

In this great central plain our steamboats and our railroad trains move like shuttles,

Weaving the Fabric of a New Society.
Here we have both the woof and the warp; our lines run north and south, as well as east and west; we are a moving people; we come into contact from every direction; we modify each other's habits," both in thought and action. We may be as
Rich as We Desire
In all that contributes to the physical and intellectual well being of man; we have the raw material, and the men and machinery to change its form. We have position and power. Let us realize our responsibility, and fully and properly use our power, first, to improve our own social condition, and by our influence and example, and moral force, to improve the condition of mankind. Let our government be made to
Protect our People
from being impoverished by foreign legislation, and let us solve the transportation question by bringing the factories to our farms.

Let us change our raw material into houses, clothing, food, means of instruction and recreation, so that all shall be supplied. Let us secure a system of interchanging what is produced, so that all who produce may be supplied in exchange with what they need or desire. Let those who cannot work or will not work be placed in infirmaries.

We have received much from those who lived in past centuries; let us add our quota to the fund to be transmitted to future generations.

Young Men!
Yeomanry of the Mississippi Valley! Hold the Fortress, the Citadel of the Civilization of the Nineteenth Century. Hold the best stronghold of Representative Government, and let not our civilization be plowed under like those that have preceded it.

Make every school house a rallying point for enlistment and drill. Organize a Company in every school district, a Battalion in every township, a Brigade in every county, a Division in every congressional district, a Corps in every State. With your right resting on the Rio Grande, and your left on the Pembina,
To victories to be gained not with shot and shell, but with well-aimed ballots.

Six hundred years ago,

Friar Bacon
Ventured to predict the advent of the steam-ship and the railroad. May we not venture to predict that the time will come when civilized men will be as well off as the savage, who, with a day's hunting and fishing, which is but recreation for him, may supply himself and family not only with the necessaries of life, but also with all that they have learned to desire?

Hand-Workers of the Mississippi Valley, you have power to greatly improve your own social condition, and thereby to advance the condition of all peoples!

You are individually responsible for the full and proper use of your superior advantages! MAY YOU REALIZE YOUR POWER AND YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.



1. The Supreme Court of the United States has decided in substance: "That the common law power of the State Governments to regulate ferries, common carriers, hackmen, bakers, millers, wharfingers, inn-keepers, etc., applies to railroads and grain elevators, and that it has in no way been diminished and restricted by the constitution of the United States, and that the State Legislatures have the right to decide by statute, if they please, what are ‘reasonable rates’ of transportation." This is called the "Granger" decision, and confirms the Granger laws. Under it the farmers cease to be serfs.