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THE organization known as the Farmers' Alliance has assumed such vast proportions, and attracted such widespread attention, that a detailed, authentic history of its origin, growth, aims, and purposes, has become a necessity. At the urgent solicitation of many of the brethren, and moved by a desire to serve the best interests of the order, I have undertaken the task of placing before the public, and within reach of all, a work of this character.

In doing so, I have enjoyed exceptional facilities for obtaining correct information and original documents and records, and have also had the hearty co-operation and aid of many of the best members of the order. The number and value of the contributions from this source, found in this book, will bear testimony to these statements. I have thus been enabled to drink at the fountain-head of all Alliance information, regarding its conception, advancement, and its present status. All this I have tried to present faithfully and truthfully, for the consideration of my readers.

The history which I have given proves the saying that "Truth is stranger than fiction," and that the hand of Providence can be seen in the shaping of the conditions of men.

This book is written to make men and women better; to teach them their duties as citizens; to inculcate brotherly love and neighborly kindness; to propagate truth and discard wrong; to increase the power of education, and thereby decrease the disasters of ignorance; to clearly show that the doctrine and


teachings of the Alliance are in perfect harmony with such sentiments. I have had no foes to punish, or friends to unduly reward, but have given every one a fair hearing, and endeavored to be just to all.

Believing that my position enabled me to perform the task as well if not better than many others, I have conscientiously tried to discharge my full duty, firmly believing that my brethren in the order, and my friends outside the order, would in the end appreciate my efforts. Realizing the difficulties which wait upon authorship, yet having an abiding faith in the ultimate triumph of truth, I consign this book to the care and consideration of my brethren and friends.

Articles not written by me bear the names of their authors.


May 1, 1891.


Division I.


Chapter I.


RECENT investigations among the tombs and monuments of antiquity disclose the fact that, as far back as 700 B.C. trades-unions existed in great numbers. History also reveals the fact that these trades-unions have continued to exist until the present time. Their methods, purposes, and results have differed, and their seasons of prosperity and adversity have alternated; yet, in some manner and in some form, the ideas of trade-unionism have been preserved. Not so with organizations relating to agriculture. C. Osborne Ward, in his researches touching this subject, has found indisputable evidence that agricultural organizations existed in great numbers at this time, and actually confederated with the trades-unions in matters of mutual benefit. The number of inscriptions found on the old tombs and tablets confirms the idea that these organizations among farmers were not only numerous but important. Of course nothing of detail can be found, but the fact of their existence at this early period, and their subsequent extinction, is an indication that the ancients were, after all, far in advance of the recent past in some respects. It is a fact worthy of notice that, from the beginning of the Christian era to the present century, no trace of agricultural organizations can be found.

After the fall of Rome, and during the Dark Ages, nothing is known of special interest concerning agriculture, save what has been handed down through the records of the Church, and


these contain no mention of such organizations. The feudal system seemed to mean a social organization based upon the ownership of land. It was in reality a condition in which public relations were dependent upon private relations, and political rights upon landed rights, and the land was concentrated in the hands of a few persons. While this situation admitted of little or no chance of organization among those who tilled the soil, it is quite clear from the old records that at certain times, and in many countries, their protests have been heeded and their demands granted. These movements, however, were in no sense political. So far as agriculture is concerned, the conditions have always been unfavorable to combinations or organizations, for any purpose whatever, among farmers in Europe. The system of government, social relations, and tenure of land, have conspired to keep the farmer out of politics, and relegated him to the task of feeding and clothing those who did make the laws, and as a rule, compelled him to bear the burden of taxation as well.

Just in proportion as the people have been granted political rights and privileges, the agricultural portion of the community has made its influence felt in public affairs. It is a conspicuous facts, acknowledged by all, that agriculturists have uniformly manifested good judgment and a spirit of conservatism, in all their political efforts. In nearly every European country reforms have been demanded, at various times, by the rural population. Such demands have often been followed by bitter contentions, because they were usually of a special or class character, requiring the redress of special grievances, or the granting of special privileges. For centuries before the discovery of America, an undercurrent of unrest is traceable among the rural population, and, as the enlightenment which waited upon the progress of civilization became more and more diffused, this discontent increased. There is no doubt that the hard times which had fallen to the agriculturists of Europe hastened the settlement of the New World. Political and religious freedom seemed to be the object of nearly all immigration to this continent. Agriculture being the basis upon which this structure of human liberty was to be built, the founders of the nation, as well as the Pilgrim Fathers before them, granted to the farmers equal


rights with all other citizens. These rights have been recognized since the first settlement in America, and were plainly and solemnly consented to by the compact entered into on board the Mayflower. These rights should be maintained inviolable, because, when once invaded, that portion of American citizenship is made to serve and not to share.

It is nevertheless true, as has been charged, that a certain amount of aristocratic ideas found their way to the shores of the New World, and became a factor in its first settlement. This clement has been permitted to thrive to a greater or less extent, and remains with us at the present time. As a rule, however, it has been confined to the Atlantic seaboard, where it first located, and has not as yet extended very far into the interior. It is rarely seen, in its full un-American sense, except in large cities, where business relations are in constant touch with the East. One of the relics of aristocracy that has been handed down to us is the United States Senate, a branch of our government whose uselessness is only equalled by its aristocratic notions. In connection with this old-time, blue-blooded aristocracy, and supplemental to it, has sprung into existence, in almost every part of our country, another species of aristocracy, which follows the acquirement of large fortunes. It has come to be an accepted idea, that the accumulation of money will, in some manner, divorce its possessors from the taint of plebeian birth, obscure beginnings, or former social relations, and at once change the inner as well as the outer individual.

Aristocratic ideas, backed up by intelligence and refinement, may serve a good purpose in toning down the untamed spirit, and broadening the nature of a native American; but when this station in society is reached through the medium of a bank account, human nature revolts, and the average person becomes disgusted. This spirit of avarice, or desire to make money, has become the bane of our social relations, and threatens the perpetuity of the government itself. The desire for wealth is increased as the power and privileges which it brings become more clearly understood. When the brains of a Webster or a Calhoun must wait unnoticed in the anteroom, while the plethoric pocket-book of some conscienceless speculator, monopolist, or trickster, brings to its owner the privileges of the parlor,


and the softest scat at the feast, intelligence and moral rectitude will always be at a discount, while fraud and corruption will bring a premium. In order that such conditions may exist, some portions of the people must suffer. This becomes a self-evident truth to all who will give the matter even the least consideration. The possession of wealth may be assumed, as a rule, to bring about the differences that are seen in society, and, because of this, becomes the essential object for which a large portion of our people are contending.

It is evident that all cannot be rich, and it is also true that none should be poor because of economic conditions. All economists agree that labor is the sole producer of wealth. If this proposition be true, it might be proper to ask: Why does not the producer of this wealth possess it, after production? What intervening cause steps in between the producer and this wealth, and prevents his owning and enjoying what his brain and brawn have created? No one seems to question the right or justice of each individual enjoying the fruits of his own labor. But the recognition of this right does not prevent the separation of production and possession, nor does it indicate a remedy for the evil. The idea of labor in production, at the present time, is associated with only a portion of our people. It represents, under the prevailing ideas of society, an undesirable condition, from which all, or nearly all, seek to be freed. The man or woman does not live who desires to labor every day in every year of their whole sojourn upon earth. Such a desire would be unnatural, a sin against the future, and a libel upon the past. Nine-tenths of the labor performed at the present time is done with the belief that this hard labor will bring about future ease and comfort. But when these efforts are honestly and earnestly continued for a series of years, and the anticipated reward does not come, and the plain fact is demonstrated that labor brings no reward, some give up in despair, while others determine to ascertain the cause, if possible.

It was to satisfy the American farmer that his calling had either become obsolete, or his environment unnatural, that agricultural organizations, for political or economic purposes, were brought into existence. Up to 1860 the economic privileges of the farmer were somewhat near a parity with other



have been discovered, throughout the length and breadth of the land, by those who were interested, those who sympathized, to be the politician and the demagogue; but the discovery produced little or no effect. It remained for the farmer himself, after several ineffectual attempts, to solve the problem, and in so doing challenge the respect and admiration of the thinking world. The solution of this question, and the demand for its enactment into law, have no parallel in all history. It is an uprising of the conservative element of the people, the brain and brawn of the nation. It is a protest against present conditions; a protest against the unequal distribution of the profits arising from labor in production; a protest against those economic methods which give to labor a bare living, and make capital the beneficiary of all life's pleasures and comforts. It is a protest against continual toil on the one hand, and continual ease and comfort on the other. It is a protest against forced economy, debt, and privation to the producer, and peace, plenty, happiness, and prosperity to the non-producer.

The farmers have learned the secret, that organization, unity of action, and continuity of purpose, on their part, will in the end unite all sections, enrich all communities, and make every citizen equal before just laws. Intelligence to organize, fellow feeling enough to unite, and manhood sufficient to stand firm, are the necessary requirements to bring this about. Organization is now the order of the day. It is the motive power that rules and guides the world. Without it the best of causes will not succeed, while with it the worse cause may prosper for a time. In the great struggle of life, as society is now constituted, organized evil must be met with organized good; organized greed with organized equity. In the combination of kindred forces lie the astonishing results of modern undertakings.

Individual enterprises are at a discount in the commercial world for many reasons. The individual may die and the whole business pass necessarily into the hands of those less competent to direct; or the individual may make a false move and thereby jeopardize the entire venture through an error in his single judgment; or, again, he may fall under the influence of bad habits and wreck the business through neglect or fast living. All these contingencies are impossible with an organization


properly constituted. Members of the organization may die, but the organization continues. The aggregate business intelligence of the whole membership is used, and not the single ideas of one. Organizations go on, live on; gathering experience which is stored up; gathering special information which is safely put away; increasing in wealth of which the outside world has no knowledge; using their power when least expected, and for objects that require years of patient waiting and calculation to perfect and mature. These considerations not only recommend a system of organization to all progressive minds, but make them absolutely necessary for success in modern business. One thing is certain, — organization as a factor of our modern civilization has come to stay. It cannot be eliminated, but may be, to a greater or less extent, confined in its operation within legitimate bounds. Its benefits will be sought under all conditions and by all classes of people, and those who ignore its power or underestimate its strength are sure to have cause for regret in the end.

The difficulty of organization among farmers is not wholly confined to a want of information, but shows itself in neighborhood factions of numerous kinds, individual or local jealousies, family or political differences, and a multitude of other insignificant but annoying obstructions that have to be avoided, smoothed over, or settled. These are never met with among men who organize from a business standpoint. The farmers, as a class, have been betrayed in almost everything, with a regularity truly astonishing. They have struggled against all odds, and have submitted to the result with a fortitude absolutely wonderful, but the time has come when something must be done. Some united action is demanded in defence of their own rights, and the maintenance of agriculture. This fact is too plain and too imperative to be longer ignored. It is a question now between liberty and serfdom, and must be decided without delay. Some will ask: What shall we organize for? For the-same reasons that our enemies do; for individual benefits through combined effort. Organize to watch them, to consider their motives, and, if possible, checkmate their designs, when aimed at you or your business. This is a selfish world, and they who fail to realize this fact are quite sure to find it out


when too late. Organize for better laws; for through legislation comes prosperity or adversity.

During the past quarter of a century, the farmers of this country have labored, and others have made the laws. What has been the result? The non-producer has thrived while the producer has grown poor. Not only have the non-producers organized against the farmers, but almost all other producers. There is hardly a manufactured product, or even a raw material, that is not subject to the guidance of an organization or combination of the whole, excepting the products of the farm. This means the spoliation of all who cannot meet this force with similar power. That being true, the farmer becomes the easy prey of all, and receives the treatment his own neglect brings upon him. All non-producers are the avowed enemies of producers, and should be so considered in all propositions of economics. When they organize, it is for the purpose of increasing their strength, which in turn makes them a correspondingly more dangerous enemy, and increases the necessity of stronger defence. In the vast amount of national legislation of the past twenty-five years, there is not one single act which was passed in the interest of the farmer. Search through the whole mass, and not one will be found that was introduced, passed, and put upon the statute books, for the sole benefit of agriculture. Until this is changed, and labor in production is made to bring a reward, industry is useless and economy is folly.

Because of these facts and conditions, some action on the part of the farmers toward legislative reform became necessary. The National Farmers' Congress, which was organized in 1875, seems to have been the first to formulate ideas in conformity with such a proposition. At each annual session, the necessity for some change in agricultural legislation became more and more apparent. This congress, which may be considered the pioneer, gave way to the Farmers' Alliance, of which we shall now undertake to give a history.


Chapter II.


The origin of the Farmers' Alliance is not so clearly defined as to leave no room for conjecture. Nearly every other reform movement can date back to some particular time when the first efforts were made that resulted in forming the organization. The Knights of Labor, the Grange, the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, the Wheel, the Farmers' Union, all have the satisfaction of giving the details of their initial meeting. Not so with the Alliance. Until recently, it has been an accepted theory that it started in the States of New York and Texas at about the same time, in 1874 or 1875. It was believed that the Alliance, originating in New York, found its way to the west, and that it is now represented by what is designated as the Northwestern Alliance; while the one which originated in Texas was taken east and north, and is now known as the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union.

This coincidence of origin has always appeared unnatural and considerable speculation has been indulged in the attempt to clear up the seeming mystery. But nothing tangible has been reached until recently. Whether this is a true solution or not remains to be more clearly proven. It seems quite plausible at least, and the reader can take it for what it is worth. Mr. G. Campbell, of Kansas, claims that the Alliance originated in that State, and makes the following statement to substantiate its correctness: —

"It will be remembered that, early in the sixties, Congress granted the M., K. & T. and the L. L. & G. railway companies a tract of land in and through the State of Kansas, to aid in the construction of their roads. At the time this grant was made, there was a tract of land lying in the southeastern part of the State, known as the Osage ceded lands, which was reserved from the operation of the grant, inasmuch as it was not a part of the public lands of the State. When the roads were built, however, these lands had been treated for and were a part of the public domain, and were patented to the respective railway companies.


"The settlers in the meantime settled upon these lands in '64, '68, '69, and '70, in good faith, thinking that they were government lands, and were so informed by the Interior Department at Washington, D.C. Many of the settlers made valuable improvements on what proved to be lands covered by the patents from the government to the railway companies, either as lands included in the original grant, or indemnity lands, and the railway companies required the settlers to pay the value of their own improvements, besides a high price for the lands. This the settlers refused to do, and prepared to resist the railway companies in the courts, and with physical force if need be. The legal point involved, briefly stated, was this: The railway companies claimed that their grants took effect when their roads were built in and through the State of Kansas, and that when these roads were constructed, the Osage ceded lands were a part of the public lands of the State, and subject to their grants. The settlers, on the other hand, claimed that these lands were open to pre-emption settlement, by the proclamation of the President of the United States; that in pursuance of such proclamation they had entered upon these lands as innocent parties in good faith, and had erected lasting and valuable improvements thereon, and that the grants of land to the railway companies did not extend beyond the limits of what was the public lands of the State of Kansas at the time the grants were made by act of Congress. This is the case briefly stated: The settlers organized openly at first to resist the encroachments of the railway companies upon their rights; but the companies were posted as to all the settlers' movements and defeated them. The closed organization was then adopted, early in '72, which was called ‘The Settlers' Protective Association,’ but which was generally known as the Settlers' League, or Alliance. They took upon themselves political action; they instructed and pledged their congressmen, and through the members of the Legislature their senators. The result was that an act was passed by Congress, early in the seventies, known as the ‘Enabling Act,’ which authorized the settlers to bring an action in the name of the United States to set aside the patents issued by the government to these railway corporations, so far as they related to the Osage ceded lands, and the United States District Attorney was instructed, in company with the settlers' attorneys, to prepare the case for the United States court.

"About this time, George R. Peck, who was a railway lawyer, was appointed United States District Attorney, which greatly incensed the settlers, and under the pretence of consulting the Hon. George R. Peck, the ‘Grand Council’ got him to come to Parsons, and the settlers ‘pledged him.’ I shall not say how it was done; he can tell if he desires; but I will say that be was true to his pledges, and to the interests of the settlers, and is entitled to a greater reward than that he has received at their hands. I sent our plan of organization to New York, my native State, where they attempted to organize, but with little success, as they were soon swallowed up by the Grange; but they preserved their identity, and after the Grange movement had subsided it began a growth as a trade organization. The agent who transacted the Alliance business in New York State, I believe, bore the name of Johnson


and resided in New York City. Several families who were members of this league, or alliance, went from this section during our controversy and settled in Texas, and a man by the name of Tanner, who lived west of this city, is said to have organized the first Alliance in Texas, as a trade organization, which was one of the features of this movement; and hence we hear it said that the Alliance originated in Texas and New York at the same time while the facts remain that it originated in Kansas.

"This Alliance never did take up the questions of money, transportation, and land, and confined itself to purchasing its supplies at wholesale, and was alliances which sprang into existence in different parts of the country, east, west, north, and south; but there was no central organization; in other words, it was without a head, and that is the case yet in some localities.

"In the spring of 1875 we got our decision from the Supreme Court of the United States, setting aside the patents granted to the railway companies to the Osage ceded lands, and opening them to pre-emption settlement. Many of us were very poor at this time, having spent what little we brought with us in the fight for these lands, and the price of all property was greatly depressed in consequence of the panic of '73, brought on by the contraction of the currency. As a sample of the prices prevailing for property at that time, I remember of husking my corn and hauling it sixteen miles to Parsons with my team of oxen, and then could not sell it for ten cents per bushel in cash, and had to get it stored until such time as it would sell, or haul it back. I preferred the former. In this dilemma we began to say that the government ought to give us this land, or make some arrangements by which it would loan us money to pre-empt with. Finally the government came to our aid, and allowed us to pay $50 on the quarter section, and gave us one, two, and three years on the deferred payment, by paying $50 a year and 5 per cent interest. This was virtually a loan of $150 on each quarter section at 5 per cent interest, and this was the first 5 per can money the people of Kansas ever borrowed, and this is the first instance that I now call to mind where the government has ever loaned its money to the people. But it demonstrated the practicability of such a system, and in 1876 I issued a circular, and set forth the system that New York had adopted in loaning its school fund to the farmers, upon real estate security, and demonstrated the practicability of such a system for the United States.

"I selected one post-office in each county of the United States, and sent a few of these circulars, to be handed out by the postmaster, and I had the satisfaction of seeing farmers' clubs springing up in all parts of the country. This circular is the first, so far as I am informed, ever written and circulated since the Constitution of the United States was adopted, advocating government loans to the people, upon real estate security."

This statement bears the marks of candor and directness, that will no doubt convince many of its truthfulness. Be that as it may, it discloses an attempt to correct economic evils in that


State, at an early date. The movement thus inaugurated continued to increase in strength, and finally culminated in the campaign of 1890. There is not a single one of the many great States organized into this grand agricultural demand for "Equal rights to all and special privileges to none," that would take from Kansas an iota of the credit she may justly claim. If this Alliance Movement originated in Kansas, well and good; she has proved herself worthy of that honor.

The history of the movement in New York has been given in another chapter, and will doubtless be read with interest in connection with the above. It is to the Alliance in Texas that the attention of the reader is invited. To the brethren in Texas, belongs the credit and everlasting honor of placing the Farmers' Alliance before the country and the world. To them the toilers of the earth can bow in gratitude, for originating, through distress organizing under great difficulties, and perfecting with consummate wisdom, the most powerful reform organization that has ever been known in the history of the race. All hail to the grand State of Texas, the mother and protector of the Alliance!

The wave of civilization and development swept the world, from east to west; and when it reached the western border, it was reflected back as a great reform movement. It is the reflex wave of a higher civilization which promises to improve all existing countries, as the present civilization improved upon barbarism; the difference being that the march of civilization apprised the world of the use of power, and this great reform movement is to teach the world the power of justice.

The credit due to those who participated in the first struggles of the Farmers' Alliance is not as great as the present size and importance of the order would indicate. It was started as a local organization, for local purposes, and has developed by the work it has been called upon to perform. The earliest conception of its object seems to have been to organize landowners to resist the efforts of land-sharks, who set up fraudulent titles to their lands, and brought suit to either dispossess the owner or secure from him a payment for a compromise. A great amount of land litigation of this kind was rife in Texas, on account of grants claimed to have been issued by the Mexican government, prior to the independence of Texas.


The next purpose of this order seems to have been to organize cattle and horse rescuers, so as to enable them to detect and catch thieves, and to find estrays. At that time one of the declarations of purposes was, "To assist the civil officers in maintaining law and order." This was very important to the whole people of Texas. At that time gangs of horse-thieves were stealing horses and running them through the country. It was necessary that the sheriff should know whom to trust. The Alliance had in its secret work a formula for catching a horse thief. It is not now in use. Sheriffs knew that Alliance men could be depended upon to help them. If a horse-thief stopped for the night with an Alliance man, he always entertained him, and if the sheriff was on his track, he did not have to confer with the Alliance man to secure his co-operation. They had signals and hailing signs for that purpose.

For the purpose of finding estrayed cattle, the State Alliance of Texas adopted a brand which all members placed on the necks of their cattle, in addition to their regular brand. If a stray came into a neighborhood/with the Alliance brand upon it, it would be reported at the next meeting of the Alliance, and the secretary would send a list of such strays to the State Secretary, who, by referring to his record of brands, was enabled to notify the owners where to go to get their cattle.

As the Alliance spread into districts more devoted to farming, its members were not so much exercised about their lands or their stock, but felt most oppressed by the excessive prices which they were compelled to pay for the commodities they bought, and the low prices they received for the produce they had for sale. The great discrepancy between the markets of the world and their home markets led them to believe that organization and co-operation on their part would enable them to buy cheaper and sell dearer. The universal establishment of the credit system had abolished all competition in merchandizing, and had given the merchant who possessed the necessary means, or the credit, a practical monopoly in both buying and selling. Like all other monopolists, such merchants found themselves constantly deciding, on the one hand, between their greed and avarice, and, on the other, how much oppression the people would bear. This naturally


but surely developed conditions destructive to the perpetuation of such a system.

The conditions under which the people were living were so unequal and distressing that the idea of relief from some source became the general theme of conversation. It was discovered at all times and under nearly all circumstances, and resulted in an effort to bring about the reforms that were unmistakably needed. The Alliance of Texan originated in Lampasas County, about fifteen miles north of the present village of Lampasas. The date of the first organization is given as some time in 1874 or 1875. There is considerable vagueness about the date of its formation, which doubtless is unknown at the present time. It was probably the result, as an old member states, of an attempt to formulate a plan for purchasing supplies, that was, made directly after the panic of 1873. This attempt led to a partial organization of a sort of farmers' club, which enabled those early settlers to consult together in matters of mutual interest.

The financial disasters of that period drove many northern people to the West and South, and quite a number settled in this portion of Texas. The feeling engendered by the war had not fully died out, and there was a certain restraint between the newcomers from the North and the old settlers, which was quite plainly seen at certain times. Soon, however, a common danger threatened all alike. What is known as the land-shark made his appearance, and with him came litigation over land-titles. Expensive law-suits followed, which the impoverished settler could not stand. Settlements were made with one set of these people, only to be repeated by others of similar character, until forbearance ceased to be a virtue, and a determination to unite upon some plan of defence began to obtain among them. Nothing was more natural than recourse to those trade clubs, which had fallen into disuse to a large extent. After discussing the situation thoroughly, it was decided to use peaceful means, if possible, but to defend their homes at all hazards. Here were men from-the North and South banding together for mutual protection, under the name Land League, which soon took the more proper designation of Farmers' Alliance. The old members of these organizations point with pride to the fact


that this was the first formal burial of the "bloody shirt," and the first acknowledged alliance between the sections. The land-sharks were told in plain terms that further difficulties would be settled with Winchesters and revolvers. These organizations soon made use of the safeguard of secrecy, and formulated certain signs, grips, and passwords. These were improved upon as time passed, until a ritual with three degrees was adopted, together with a declaration of principles, constitutions, and by-laws.

The question of land-titles was not the only one that confronted these pioneers. Cattle and horse thieves infested the country and committed depredations continually, to the great loss and annoyance of the people. A united action against these outlaws was instituted through these organizations, and pushed with vigor. One of the degrees of the Alliance, at that time, consisted of a minute description of the methods of capturing a horse-thief. It described the duties of the officer in pursuit, and the farmer at whose house the thief might be stopping; just what the wife must do, how she must hold the candle so as to guide the officer to the room of the thief, and at the same time shield him from view; the signals that could be given at certain times, and the firing of a gun or revolver, or blowing a horn at others, in order to caution and give information. Many a horse and cattle thief has known to his sorrow how completely and successfully the lesson of this degree has been acted upon

Of course it required some time to perfect the organization, crude as it was. The first three clubs, as they were called, were organized in Lampasas County; the fourth club was organized in Hamilton County, joining Lampasas on the north at some point on Partridge Creek. This club took the name of Partridge Creek Alliance, and is believed by many to have been the first to adopt that name. It must be remembered that it was purely an organization of farmers, and they being few in numbers, and much scattered, its growth was necessarily slow Its effects were felt at once by the lawless, adventurous portion of the community, being the first moral and material support that the officers of the law could depend upon in that border county.

Captain L. S. Chavose seems to have been a prominent organizer


in this movement. He did much in bringing about the development of the order in Lampasas, Hamilton, and Coryell counties. Having originated in Lampasas County, its greatest increase was in that county. In fact, this first attempt at organization never extended beyond the three counties named above. The first meeting of the Grand County Alliance was held at Pleasant Valley, Lampasas County, February 22, 1878. Captain L. S. Chavose, President; W. C. Gober, A. A. Carter, D. T. W. Nance, W. B. Weir, John R. Allen, W. T. Baggett, and William Thompson were also members of this County Alliance. These gentlemen were officers in the County Alliance; also a committee to form a Grand State Alliance. Their respective offices I am unable to give. One old member puts the number of alliances in this county at nineteen, and another at thirteen. Doubtless neither is absolutely correct. Captain L. S. Chavose turned over the work in Hamilton County to J. H. Myers, who succeeded in perfecting an organization on Little Cowhouse Creek, and another on Neel's Creek. After these were organized, the first County Alliance was held with the Partridge Creek Alliance. This was in the spring of 1878. The officers were, Yancey Pierce, President; H. Carter, Vice-President; T. E. Glover, Secretary; J. H. Myers, Lecturer and Organizer.

Some time after this a co-operative meeting was held with the Lampasas County Alliance, on School Creek, at which meeting considerable business of importance was transacted, and an organizer sent into Coryell County, who succeeded in organizing a few alliances there. I have been unable to find the names of the County Alliance officers, and it is said that there never was a county organization perfected in that county. Evan Brooks, D. White, W. White, W. T. Baggett, and H. Lankford were members of the order in that county. As said before, the order was confined to these three counties.

The Grand State Alliance was organized at Pleasant Valley, Lampasas County, May 4, 1878, with the following officers: L. S. Chavose, President; J. W. Reeves, Secretary; W. W. Saylor, Treasurer; W. T. Baggett, Doorkeeper; W. Rodgers and H. Dobbins, Delegates. The constitution called fur two other officers called "Grand Smokeys." These were kept secret from


all save the president. Their peculiar functions have been forgotten.

This Grand State Alliance held another meeting, in 1879, which proved to be the last. This body adopted a declaration of principles, which forms the basis of those upon which the Alliance stands to-day. It adopted a constitution which conformed to the times, and the three degrees of the order. Had it not been for an unwillingness on the part of the members to wait the results of education, it might have prospered instead of being a failure. Politics was permitted to, creep in, and the usual disaster followed. The Greenback campaign of 1876 started a movement in Texas which culminated in 1878. Our pioneer brethren mistook the dangers of agitation for the real fruits of education, and some of them cast their lot with that reform movement. This made bitter dissensions in the, order, and led to its immediate destruction. These brethren were actuated by right motives, but their methods were unfortunate. As soon as their determination to enter politics was known, the dominant party took effective measures to crush the life out of the movement. This disaster has served a good purpose, as a warning to the present organization.

There are many incidents that might be given, in relation to this initial movement, that would no doubt be interesting, but space will not permit their relation. Suffice it to say, that these pioneer brethren were honest, earnest, and brave; that they laid the foundation upon which the present grand superstructure has been built. This first effort was necessary, and no doubt its failure was a blessing in disguise. When the final triumph of ultimate truth shall be proclaimed throughout the land, no one will refuse to render to these brethren the full need of praise to which they are so justly entitled.

In the spring of 1879, W. T. Baggett, a member of one of the first alliances in Coryell County, moved into Parker County, taking with him some of the printed matter connected with these organizations. He began teaching school at Poolville, and also to discuss matters relating to the Alliance in the section from which he came. The failure in Lampasas County, and the political tendency of the order, made it very difficult to do anything in the way of organization. Finally, in connection


with J. N. Montgomery, J. W. Sullivan, J. T. Reeves, Jefferson, Womack, George W. McKibbens, and a few others, the preliminary meeting was held at Poolville, Parker County, July 29, 1879. The old Lampasas declaration of principles was amended so as to eliminate the political features, and the Alliance started out as a non-partisan organization.

Parker and adjoining counties were largely settled by enterprising farmers from the North and East. These men watched earnestly the progress of the organization, until they were convinced that it must do good, and intended good to their fellowman, and that it had already accomplished much good, and could accomplish more if they would join in the well-begun work, which they did, and thus was the Alliance formed, and from that day to the present it has retained the name Farmers' Alliance. A second Alliance was soon formed at Central, Parker County, and a third in Jack County. From this the order grew in numbers, until it was thought best to perfect a State organization.

It will be noticed that there were no county organizations. It was at that time thought best to conduct it with a machinery similar to that of the Knights of Labor. This idea was abandoned, probably on account of the establishment of county trade agencies. There were a number of meetings held during the summer of 1879, previous to the State meeting, but they are hardly worth the space for details, as the meetings of the State Alliance, which convened monthly, disclose all their methods and purposes. The men who founded the last Alliance profited by the disasters which overtook the first, and thereby rendered a service to the present organization, for which they deserve the thanks of all those who labor, wherever found.


Chapter III.


HAPPILY for those who may desire an authentic history of the early days of the Alliance, I have been so fortunate as to obtain possession of the original record books of the State Secretary, dating from December 27, 1879, to February 5, 1884, containing full and complete data concerning those early times. It is a matter of pleasure as well as of curiosity to note the incipient efforts made, seemingly with but little forethought, that have finally culminated in the grand movement for agricultural reform, that is to-day the wonder of the age, and the admiration of all who labor in production.

Shakespeare says: —

"There's a divinity that shapes our ends, Rough-hew them how we will."

In contemplating the inception, the first failure, the second attempt, the trials, repulses, dismal prospects, and final triumphs of the Alliance, all must admit that the hand of Omnipotence can be clearly discerned. No cause unaided by God could have withstood the mistakes, bad management, vicious foes, and traitorous friends, and come out purified, stronger, and better for the ordeal, as has the Alliance. Whatever its future may be, whatever may be the results of its teachings, those of the present, as well as those who are to come after us, are and will be interested in its early history and methods.

The record that lies before me states that "The Grand State Alliance met at Central, December 27, 1879. President J. N. Montgomery called the house to order, and declared the body ready for business." No further minutes of this meeting are recorded. Immediately follows the statement that the Grand State Alliance met at Poolville, January 10, 1880; at New Hope Church, January 24; at Central, February 21; at Shiloah, March 13; at Shiloah, April 10. The next meeting was at Jasper


Creek, of which there is a complete record. It should be remembered that only twelve Sub-Alliances had been organized during the entire year, or, from the date of the first meeting, July 29, 1879, to June 12, 1880. To be sure, the meetings had been frequent, but the results had not been satisfactory, in regard to the increase in numbers. An old member writes that party prejudice, and the failure in Lampasas County, made organizing almost impossible; that the meetings were poorly attended, and a sort of general distrust prevailed against the order.

Under these conditions, the growth of the order was of necessity slow. Brother S. O. Daws, a member of Alliance No. 13, in his excellent "History of the Origin of the Alliance," says that the first State meeting of the Alliance was held at Central, Parker County, late in 1879. That meeting is doubtless the one referred to as being held December 27, of that yeaR. The minutes of these meetings are said to be in existence, although the fact is disputed upon good authority, and the charge made that all such data have been manufactured since the order has assumed considerable proportions. Be this as it may, it is a matter of but little importance. The first officers of the Grand State Alliance, from January 1, 1880, to July of the same year, were as follows: W. T. Baggett, President; J. N. Montgomery. Vice-President; J. H. Dover, Secretary; George McKibben, Assistant Secretary; G. B. Patton, Lecturer; John W. Sullivan. Treasurer; William Shadle, Doorkeeper; A. E. Robertson, Assistant Doorkeeper; J. F. Hood, Chaplain; C. C. Pope, Assistant Chaplain. Below is the full text of the first bond given by an officer of the Alliance, and it will doubtless be read with interest. Its amount — $250 — seems rather small when compared with the last bond given by the National Treasurer. Its date places it within the first seven months of the existence of the order. It is doubtless the oldest authentic document relating to the business of the Farmers' Alliance.


"Know all men by these pretents That I John W Sullivan at Principal and A E Robertson and J S Reeves his assurities are held and firmly bound unto the Grand State Alliance in the sum of $250 Dollars to the payment of which


well and truly to be made we bind ourselves our heirs and legal Representative Jointly and severely & firmly by these presents In Witness where of we have hereunto subscribed our Names and affixed scrolls for seals this the 21st day of February AD 1880

"The conditions of the above obligation are as follows to Wit where as the above bounden principal John W Sullivan shall and truly well pay over all money belonging to the grand State Alliance and make Reports of all money that may be paid into his hands to the Secretary of the Grand State Alliance this bond shall be null & void otherwise to Remain in full force & effect

"The above bond examined and approved this February the 21st AD 1880
"W. T. BAGGETT, Pres.
"J. H. DOVER, Secretary."

It must be remembered that the Grand State Alliance consisted more in its title than in its membership or importance, since it sometimes held its meetings at a country school-house, with perhaps five or ten delegates from adjacent Alliances. Business was completed usually in one day, and the outside world took but little interest in its affairs. It gradually grew in members and developed a plan of campaign, as well as a code of principles that began to attract the attention of the best class of farmers in that part of the State. Organization among the agricultural portion of the people was such a prime necessity that no effort in that direction, of very long continuance, could remain unsuccessful. Our early brethren acted upon this belief, and seemed to be more anxious to start right, with proper rules, regulations, and sound doctrine, than to gain members. They fully realized, no doubt, that correct methods and just principles would bring a sufficient membership, and ultimately lead to success; while a large following, guided by an ill-advised system and a false doctrine, must sooner or later end in disaster. That these brethren acted wisely, the present status of the order is ample proof.

It must also be remembered that these brethren were farmers, compelled to do their thinking amid the daily efforts of hard labor; that they were not trained in the school of political economy, and were, therefore, unacquainted with the fine-spun


theories which emanate from such a source. They were taught in that greater school of experience, nurtured and broadened by grim necessity; and they formulated certain methods to better their condition, through such means and by such guides as a kind Providence has given to deserving men. Their business was conducted with a directness that admitted of no mistake, and their resolutions and demands were drawn with that candor which admitted of only one construction. They practised direct methods, and, as a natural result, met with deserved success. The minutes of the first recorded meeting are given below: —


"President W. T. Baggett called the house to order. The Assistant Doorkeeper being absent, J. S. Welch was appointed in his place, and ordered to take up the word, finding all persons correcT. The Alliance was opened in due form. W. T. Baggett, President, J. N. Montgomery. Vice-President, J. H. Dover, Secretary, G. B. Patton. Lecturer, A. E. Robertson, Doorkeeper, answered to roll calL. J. W. Sullivan, Treasurer, absenT. Excuse rendered by W. T. Baggett. William Shadle, Assistant Doorkeeper, no excuse: fined 50 cents. George McKibbins, absent; excuse rendered by W. T. Baggett. President appointed committee to examine credentials, consisting of J. N. Montgomery and G. B. Patton, who reported for No. 1. nothing; No. 2. B. F. Hemphill, G. M. Plumlee. and W. P. Stone. James W. Sullivan, excuse rendered and received; No. 3. S. M. Welch and W. H. Chancelor; No. 4. blank; No. 5. defunct; No. 6. J. S. Reeves: No. 7. blank; No. 8. F. Fridley, present, Y. M. Pullen, absent: fined 50 cents; No. 9. J. A. Culwell; No. 10. blank; No. 11. C. K. Kinconon; No. 12. blank.

"On motion of G. B. Patton and G. M. Plumlee. J. S. Cox was permitted to represent Boon's Creek, No. 4. On motion of Fred Fridley and J. S. Reeves, lecturing was postponed until business was over. On motion of F. Fridley and A. E. Robertson, each Sub-Alliance was appointed a committee to revise the constitution, and report the same at the next meeting at Goshen. On motion of J. S. Reeves and G. M. Plumlee, all Sub-Alliances failing to send up marks and brands of their members, and estray lists, would not be allowed representation in the next meeting of the Grand State Alliance. Adjourned for dinner.

"After dinner financial reports showed: —

Jasper Creek, No. 3, paid..........$.50
Garrett's Creek, No. 4, paid...........2.00
Mt. Pleasant No. 9, paid............2.75
Peaster's Springs, No. 6, paid.............20
Wright's School House, No. 12, paid........1.75


Goshen, No. 8, paid............$3.35
Shiloah, No. 7, paid...............60
Central, No. 2, paid..............2.00
Total amount paid.............$13.15

"On motion of G. M. Plumlee and J. S. Reeves, the Secretary was ordered to buy books, stationery, etc., useful to his office, with the money on hand. On motion of G. B. Patton and A. E. Robertson, the Secretary was allowed one dollar per month, from January, 1880. On motion of J. A. Culwell and John Stratton, each member was allowed to retain one dollar for each Alliance organized by hiM. On motion of J. N. Montgomery and J. A. Culwell, voted that each member that had organized Alliances be paid. W. T. Baggett had organized about 9, but only claimed $2.25 which he had spent, which was ordered paid. On motion of J. A. Culwell and J. H. Dover, L. G. Oxford was empowered to organize Alliances until July 16. On motion of C. F. Kinconon and J. S. Cox, Fred Fridley was empowered to organize until July 16. On motion of G. M. Plumlee and John Stratton, J. S. Welch was empowered to organize until July 16. There being no other business, the Alliance adjourned to hear a public lecturer, to meet at Goshen, July 15 and 16, 1880.

(Signed) "W. T. BAGGETT, President,
"J. H. DOVER, Secretary."

The above is a literal transcript of the minutes of the Grand State Alliance of Texas, as recorded in the Secretary's book. It discloses but twelve Sub-Alliances, with four of them unrepresented. The methods of doing business, while somewhat peculiar, were straightforward, and appear to have been quite satisfactory. The names and location of these twelve Sub-Alliances were: —

Poolville, Parker County........No. 1
Central, Parker County......"2
Jasper Creek, Jack County......."3
Boon Creek, Jack County......."4
College Hill, Parker County......"5
Peaster's Springs, Parker County......"6
Shiloah, Parker County........"7
Goshen, Parker County......"8
Mt. Pleasant, Wise County....."9
Springtown, Parker County......."10
Garrett Creek, Wise County....."11
Wright's School House, Parker County......"12

From this it is seen that the order had made but little progress outside of Parker County. The next meeting was held at


Goshen, on the 16th of July, 1880. Four new Alliances had been organized since the last meeting, three in Wise County, and one in Parker. Considerable business of importance was transacted at this meeting. A test oath was formulated, and a large number of amendments to the constitution were offered, and laid over, under the rules, until the next meeting. The following are the minutes as taken from the record: —

"The Grand State Alliance met at Goshen, Parker County. July 16th, 1880. W. T. Baggett, President, called the house to order and ordered the word taken up. Finding all correct, opened the Alliance in the third degree. Roll call; W. T. Baggett, President, J. N. Montgomery, Vice-President, J. H. Dover, Secretary. J. W. Sullivan, Treasurer, answered to roll calL. G. B. Patton, Lecturer, absent; excuse rendered by G. C. Span, and the same received by the Alliance. George McKibbins absent; fined 50 cents. A. E. Robertson absent; fined 50 cents. William Shadle absent; fined 50 cents. The Secretary ordered to notify William Shadle he was due 50 cents for non-attendance at Jasper Creek, June 12th. Appointed a committee to examine credentials, consisting of J. N. Montgomery and J. W. Sullivan, who reported, for No. 1, nothing; for No. 2, W. J. Sullivan. B. F. Hemphill, F. M. Brown, and J. W. Potts; No. 3, J. S. Welch and R. Lyons: No. 4. — ; No. 5. — ; No. 6, Sam Guerry; No. 7. A. S. Brown: No. 8, J. C. Gilliland and J. M. Parker; No. 9. L. G. Oxford and J. A. Culwell; No. 10, nothing: No. 11, T. M. Culwell; No. 12, G. C. Span; No. 13. O. G. Peterson; No. 14, W. P. Gilllland; No. 15, — ; No. 16, --. Lecturing by W. T. Baggett. Adjourned for dinner, to meet at 2 o'clock P.M. Met at 2 P.M. A committee consisting of Fred Fridley, John Boss, H. Rechburgh, to examine and compare estray list. Then a letter from George McCormick, Attorney General, was read.

"New business, amendment to Art. 1, Sec. 1, by L. G. Oxford, on motion of O. G. Peterson and J. A. Culwell, tabled; by O. G. Peterson to Art. 3, Sec. 2, 3, and 4 tabled; by L. G. Oxford to Art. 4. Sec. 2 tabled; by O. G. Peterson, resolution, tabled; L. G. Oxford to Art. 4. Sec. 5. tabled; by Dr. O. G. Peterson, supplement, tabled; next, by O. G. Peterson, supplement, tabled; next, amendment of J. N. Montgomery, tabled: (April the 10th brought up and became a law). Adjourned to meet at 7 P.M.

"After supper roll call dispensed with. Estray list read by Fred Fridley. On motion of G. C. Span and J. H. Dover, non-members of the Farmers' Alliance pay 50 cents per head for finding stock through Farmers' Alliance; next by Dr. O. G. Peterson, supplements, tabled; by Dr. Peterson, resolutions, tabled. A motion to adjourn to meet to-morrow at 9 A.M. Met at 9 A.M. Saturday. Roll call; four officers absent; six delegates absent. On motion of J. S. Welch and Dr. Peterson, to rescind an act passed yesterday, charging non-members 50 cents a head for finding stock. Resolution by J. S. Welch, tabled. On motion of J. H. Dover and Dr. Peterson, the President be


empowered to appoint to organize Farmers' Alliances until December, 1880. On motion of Dr. Peterson and J. H. Dover, the President appointed a committee to frame a test oath. Test oath received and committee discharged. By J. N. Montgomery, a supplement, tabled. The President appointed a committee to criticise the constitution and correct it, — L. G. Oxford, J. N. Montgomery, G. B. Patton, and Dr. O. G. Peterson. W. T. Baggett added. Election of officers. W. T. Baggett was nominated and elected by acclamation. For Vice-President, J. N. Montgomery, 3 votes; L. G. Oxford, 3 votes; O. G. Peterson, 3 votes. For Secretary, J. H. Dover, 15; G. W. Bond, 4; Assistant Secretary, G. W. Bond, 13; J. C. Gilliland, 6. Lecturer. L. C. W. Patton, 2; J. A. Culwell 8, and Dr. O. G. Peterson, 2; J. C. Gilliland, 2. Assistant Lecturer, J. C. Gilliland was nominated and elected by acclamation. Treasurer, J. W. Sullivan, 12; and J. N. Montgomery, 6. For Doorkeeper, J. S. Welch, 9; and G. C. Span, 9. The President gave the casting vote to J. S. Welch, 9: and G. C. Span, 9. The J. N. Montgomery, 10; B. F. Hemphill, 2, G. C. Span, 4; John W. Potts, 2. Names of members appointed by the President to organize Alliances: Dr. O. G. Peterson, G. M. Plumme, Fred Fridley, S. M. Guerry, to organize till August 6th, 1880. No other business appearing, the Alliance was closed in due form to meet again at Friendship Church, in Wise County, Texas, August 5th, 6th, and 7th, 1880.

(Signed) "W. T. BAGGETT, President,
" J. H. DOVER, Secretary."

The next meeting was held August 5, 1880. This meeting proved to be the most important of all that had been held, as it marked out a course that the Alliance has since pursued. Officers were elected for the term of one year. A constitution was revised and ordered printed. The number of Alliances had increased, and the work of organization had been carried into an adjoining county. The minutes of the meetings, as taken from the record, are as follows: —

"The Grand State Alliance met at Friendship, Wise County, Texas, August 5, 1880. W. T. Baggett, President.; House called to order by the President and opened in the third degree. Delegates present: No. 9, J. B. Roberts and H. C. Richburg; No. 12, A.M˙ Green and G. C. Span absenT. No. 14, W. P. Gilliland; No. 8, J. M. Stacks, J. W. Brisco absent.; No. 6, C. H. Dodson: No. 13, B. F. Heasley; No. 17, J. W. Patterson; No. 7, H. M. Jones; No. 3, W. C. Thompson and J. E. Harris; No. 18, A. L. Kiter; No. 19, J. H. Gains; No. 11, J. W. Culwell.; Sundry Laws, which were tabled at last Grand State Alliance were adopted and marked such. Adjourned till Friday morning at eight o'clock.

"The Grand State Alliance met Friday at 8 A.M., August 6th. President called the house to order and renewed business in the third degree. Roll call:


W. T. Baggett, President; G. W. Bond, Assistant Secretary; L. G. Oxford, Vice-President; J. A. Culwell, Lecturer; J. C. Gilliland, Assistant Lecturer; J. W. Sullivan, Treasurer. J. H. Dover was absent and fined 50 cents. Minutes of previous meeting read and adopted. On motion such business as is necessary to go in the constitution is to be made a law from date. Resolution offered by Dr. O. G. Peterson passed and became a law from date, to elect officers for one year, etc.; resolution by Dr. O. G. Peterson, that officers be elected Tuesday after the first Sunday in August of each year, or as soon after as possible; resolution offered by H. C. Richburg made a law from date: resolution offered by L. G. Oxford that each subordinate Farmers' Alliance be required to purchase one copy of ‘Cushing's Manual of Parliamentary Usages,’ made a law from date. On motion, a committee was appointed to get up new work on the secrets of the Alliance, consisting of A. Dunlap, L. G. Oxford, O. G. Peterson, J. N. Montgomery, J. S. Welch, and W. T. Baggett: on motion, agreed to fine a member of the committee on secret work two dollars, should he fail to meet the committee at Peaster's Springs, September 10, 1880; on motion, adjourned till 2 P.M. Grand State Alliance met at 2 P.M.

House called to order by President.; Alliance Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5, 15 and 16, the above numbers absent, their delegates fined 5o cents each for non-attendance.

On motion, the corrections made m the constitution by the committee appointed for that purpose, were received by Grand State Alliance committee L. G. Oxford. G. W. Bond. O. G. Peterson, J. N. Montgomery, and W. T. BaggetT. A committee was appointed to scrutinize the constitution and prepare it for the press: G. W. Bond. J. A. Culwell; and on motion J. M. Stacks and J. N. Montgomery were appointed to contract for the printing of 1000 copies of the constitution. On motion, J. M. Stacks and J. N. Montgomery were ordered to borrow the money to pay for the printing of the constitution, in case they could not get it done on time and we, as a Grand State Alliance, stand good to them for the money they may borrow for that purpose. On motion of O. G. Peterson, went into the election of officers, which resulted in the election of J. N. Montgomery, President: W. T. Baggett, Vice-President; J. H. Dover, Secretary; J. C. Gilliland, Assistant Secretary; L. G. Oxford. Lecturer; Andy Dunlap, Assistant Lecturer: John W. Sullivan, Treasurer; J. S. Welch. Doorkeeper; W. G. Thompson, Assistant Doorkeeper.; The next meeting of Grand State Alliance to be at Peaster's Springs, September 11, 1880.

"No other business; the Alliance was closed.
(Signed) "W. T. BAGGETT, President,
G. W. BOND, Acting Secretary."
"J. H. DOVER, Secretary.

The officers elected at the previous meeting in July were chosen for the usual term of six months, but under the resolution passed at this meeting a new set of officers was elected at this August meeting, to serve for the term of one year; hence the seeming conflict of electing officers in July and August. It


will be noticed that the Alliance met each month, but it should be understood that the Grand State Alliance was confined almost entirely to one county. The next meeting was at Peaster's Springs, Parker County.

The following is a copy of the declaration of purposes ordered printed by the Grand State Alliance, at its meeting held in Friendship, Wise County, August 5, 1880. It should be read by all who are interested in the history of the Alliance, as it shows plainly the germ that has sprouted and grown into the present grand organization.


"PROFOUNDLY impressed that we as the Farmers' Alliance, united by the strong and faithful ties of financial and home interest, should set forth our declaration of intentions, we therefore Resolve:

"1. To labor for the Alliance and its purposes, assured that a faithful observance of the following principles will insure our mental, moral, and financial improvement.

"2. To endorse the motto, ‘In things essential, Unity, and in all things Charity.’

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

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

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

"6. To suppress personal, local, sectional, and national prejudices, all unhealthy rivalry and all selfish ambition.


"The Grand State Alliance assembled at Peaster's Springs, Parker County, Texas, September 11, 1880, at ten o'clock A. M˙ House called to order by President J. N. Montgomery. The doorkeeper being absent, the president appointed F. M. Brown doorkeeper pro tem, and ordered the word taken up. Finding all correct, the Alliance was opened in the third degree. Roll call: J. N. Montgomery, President: J. H. Dover, Secretary; L. G. Oxford, Lecturer; J. W. Sullivan, Treasurer: W. C. Thompson, Assistant Doorkeeper, answered to roll calL. W. T. Baggett, Vice-President; J. C. Gilliland, Assistant Secretary; Andy Dunlap, Assistant Secretary; J. S. Welch. Doorkeeper, were Alliance. Baggett Dunlap, Gilliland, were fined 50 cents each. Delegates from Wise County Alliance: W. L. Garvin and J. A. CulwelL. Culwell was absent, and fined 60 cents. For Parker and Jack Counties: Alliance No. 1, H. H. Nookes; CentraL. No. 2, J. W. Potts and J. M. Brown, present;


W. B. Shults and G. M. Plumlee, absenT. Plumlee's excuse rendered and received. Shults fined 50 cents. Jasper Creek, No. 3, R. Lyons and M. F. Gray. Gray absent; excise rendered and received. Boon's Creek, No. 4, suspended; Shiloh, No. 7, blank; Goshen, No. 8, R. E. Tackett and J. R. Montgomery. Montgomery absent, and fined 50 cents. Wright's School House, No. 12, R. A. Wright and J. S. Erwin; East Grindstone, No. 19, blank; fined 50 cents; Springtown, No. 10, suspended.

"Minutes of last meeting read, amended, and adopted. On motion of J. W. Potts and F. M. Brown, G. W. Bond was fined 50 cents for negligence of duty in leaving J. N. Montgomery's excuse out, and leaving out the name of J. S. Welch, and not charging him with a fine, etC. Next the president appointed a finance committee to examine the books of secretary and treasurer of Grand State Alliance, consisting of L. G. Oxford, R. E. Tackett, and W. L. Garvin. On motion of L. G. Oxford and R. Lyons, that the Grand State Alliance adopt some form of burying the dead, carried. The president appointed R. Lyons, Andy Dunlap, and Dr. O. G. Peterson to get up the work and report at the next meeting of the Grand State Alliance, November 13, 1880. The committee appointed at Friendship, on secret work, made their report, which was received, and the committee discharged. With the twining around stricken out; first, Peace; second, Social; third, Love.

The Finance Committee reported that they found the secretary's and treasurer's books in good condition. On motion of R. E. Tackett and L. G. Oxford, each Subordinate Alliance was taxed $1.25 to pay for the printing of the constitution, etc.; the same to be paid by the first of October, 1880. W. L. Garvin, A. J. Caston, and W. J. Womack were authorized to organize Farmers' Alliances till February, 1881. There being no other business, the Alliance was closed with usual ceremonies, to have a called meeting at Garrett's Creek, Wise County, Saturday, November 13, A.D. 1880, at ten o'clock A.M˙

Said meeting was called for the purpose of receiving the report of the committee appointed to get up the work on burying the dead, and any other business that may come before the Grand State Alliance.

(Signed) "By J. M. MONTGOMERY, President.
"L. H. DOVER, Secretary."

Brothers Dawes and Garvin, in their history further say: —

"It will be seen that the Farmers' Alliance, when first organized, was not a chartered institution; but it was soon learned, meeting with so many obstacles arising from deep prejudices which existed in the minds of so many people against a farmers' organization, that they could not perpetuate and carry out successfully the great and grand objects of the order with open doors to politicians and demagogues; hence an application was filed with the Secretary of State, asking for a new charter, that the Farmers' Alliance might become a chartered institution, and receive that protection and enjoy the benefits accorded to all other chartered institutions. A charter was granted, and the Farmers' Alliance took its place in the world's history as the first


organization that active, operative farmers ever formed for their own protection, benefit, and enjoyment, acting under the following original charter: —

"State of Texas. Charter.; J. N. Montgomery et aT.


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

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

"‘Said society has no capital stock, and the estimated value of the goods, chattels, lands, rights, and credit owned by said association is fifty dollars.

"‘The following persons were elected officers for tweleve months from August 12, 1880: —

"‘President — J. N. Montgomery.
"‘Vice-President — W. T. Bagget.
"‘Secretary — J. H. Dover.
"‘Assistant Secretary — J. C. Gilliland.
"‘Lecturer — L. G. Oxford.
"‘Assistant Lecturer — A. Dunlap.
"‘Treasurer — J. W. Sullivan.
"‘Doorkeeper — J. S. Welch.
"‘Assistant Doorkeeper — William Thompson.
"‘In witness whereof, we, as citizens of the State of Texas, have on this the 6th day of October, 1880, subscribed our names.
(Signed) "‘L. S. TACKITT,
"‘J. H. DOVER,


"‘Before me, J. M. Richards, Judge of the County Court of Parker County, State of Texas, this day personally appeared L. S. Tackitt, J. H. Dover, and G. M. Plumlee, citizens of Texas, to me personally known, and acknowledged that they signed the above and foregoing instrument of writing after the contents of the same had been fully made known to them, and that they voluntarily signed the same for the purposes and association therein expressed.


"‘In witness whereof I have thereto signed my name and set my seal of office, this 6th day of October, 1880.

(Signed) "‘J. M. RICHARDS,
[SEAL˙] "‘County Judge, Parker County, Texas.


"‘Charter of the "Farmers' Alliance" of Parker County.
"‘Filed in the Department of State, October 8, 1880.
(Signed) "‘T. H. BOWMAN,
"‘Acting Secretary of State.’


"‘I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true copy of the original charter of the "Farmers' Alliance" of Parker County, with the indorsement thereon now on file in this Department.

"‘Witness my official signature and the Seal of State, at the city of Austin, the 9th day of October, A. D. 1880.

"‘Acting Secretary of State.’

"Our readers should bear in mind that, up to this time, the Farmers' Alliance was local in its character, imperfectly organized, with no literature or means of educating its members, and nothing wherewith to push its organization, save patriotic hearts and willing hands. Hence, it devoted itself to the social conditions and local questions affecting its members, pointing out the evils from which the farming classes were suffering and which all acknowledged, but there was no remedy to be found for them outside of a thorough organization of the farmers. The Grange had been disorganized, the farmers were scattered, divided in opinion, almost indifferent to their condition, the means employed in valuing their products, and without any means of expressing or enforcing their views as a class. And thus the Alliance employed what feeble means it had to effect an organization of the farmers.

"Called meeting of Grand State Alliance, at Garrett's Creek, November 13, 1880. All officers being absent but the secretary, on motion and second, F. M. Culwell was elected president pro tem. House called to order by President Culwell, and J. W. Culwell was appointed doorkeeper, and ordered to take up the word. Finding all correct, the Alliance was opened in due form.; Roll call: J. N. Montgomery, W. T. Baggett, J. C. Gilliland, Andy Dunlap. J. S. Welch, and W. C. Thompson were fined $1.00 each. L. G. Oxford and J. W. Sullivan were absent, but excuse rendered and received by the Alliance. President appointed J. A. Culwell and J. H. Dover to examine credentials. Report for Wise County Alliance. J. A. Culwell and H. C. Richburg; for Jack County, Lost Creek. No. 21, J. E. Overhuls: for County Line, No. 14, J. M. Rowe and S. F. Gilliland; Poolville, No. 1. W. H. Thompson. Next, call for the report of the committee appointed at Peaster Springs, September 11, consisting of Andy Dunlap. R. Lyons, and O. G. Peterson, all absent, and, on motion and second, fined 50 cents each. On


motion of C. H. Richburg and J. A. Culwell, the signs and words of the three degrees were changed.

"‘Resolved, That any person on entering an Alliance, the doorkeeper of said Alliance shall give to such person the number of the degree in which the Alliance is at work, after which men person shall give to the doorkeeper the word of that degree,’ etc. On motion and second, the same adopted. On motion and second, trade sign changed. On motion and second, the president pro tem. was empowered to appoint or authorize members to organize Alliances till the next meeting of Grand State Alliance. The president appointed, for Jack County, J. E. Overhuls and Dr. H. C. Burns; for Wise County, J. A. Culwell; for Parker County, R. E. TacketT. No other business appearing, the Alliance adjourned, to meet at Poolville, Parker County, Texas, Tuesday, February, 1880, at ten o'clock A.M˙

(Signed) "F. M. CULWELL, President pro tem.,
"J. H. DOVER, Secretary.

"State meeting of Texas, Grand State Farmers' Alliance, held at Poolville, Parker County, Texas, February 8, 1881. House called to order at ten o'clock A.M., Vice-President W˙ T˙ Baggett in the chaiR. The Alliance was opened in due form, and declared ready for business. Roll call of officers: all officers present except three, — J˙ C˙ Gilliland, Assistant Secretary; L˙ G˙ Oxford, Lecturer; Andy Dunlap, Assistant Lecturer.; Oxford's excuse rendered and received. Gilliland and Dunlap fined 50 cents each. All subordinate Alliances were represented except Nos. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22. Committee on Credentials was appointed, consisting of J˙ M˙ Montgomery, W˙ C˙ Thompson, and J˙ R˙ Oxford, who reported all credentials correct.; Minutes of last State Alliance were read and approved. The secretary was ordered to have charters prepared for all subordinate Alliances, and was also duly authorized to affix the signature of president to the same. Alliances that were not represented, and those due reports, were allowed an extension of three months' time, in which to make out reports as required by Art. 6 of constitution of Farmers' Alliance, and forward the same to secretary of Grand State Farmers' Alliance.

"The question of the advisability of selecting a newspaper that would give free publication to matters of interest to the order, in consideration of the united patronage of the members throughout the State, being under discussion it was resolved that the Weatherford Herald, a live and influential newspaper, published every Friday at Weatherford, Parker County, Texas, by Messrs. Curl and Wood, be adopted; and to facilitate the rapid increase of its circulation among the members of the order, all secretaries of subordinate Alliances were instructed to act as agents for the Herald, in securing subscriptions from members of their respective Alliances. The resignation of Grand Lecturer L˙ G˙ Oxford was received and accepted. The following amendment was proposed by A˙ G˙ Culwell, to Art. 6 of the constitution of the Farmers' Alliance, that it shall be changed to read Each and every subordinate Alliance on record shall make out its returns, and send them to Secretary


of Grand State Alliance, against the stated meetings of the Grand State Alliance, etc. No other business appearing, except fines of officers for non attendance, J. N. Montgomery paid $1.00; J. A. Colwell, 25 cents; J. H. Dover, 25 cents; and Vice-President Baggett pocketed the money, etc. Moved and seconded to meet at Goshen, Parker County, Texas, August 9, 1881 at ten o'clock A.M.
(Signed) "J. H. DOVER, Grand Secretary."

A copy of the record of each meeting up to date has been given, in order to show the methods and earnestness of our earlier brethren, and to form a basis for comparison with the present system, and rapid growth of the order. These records disclose an honesty of purpose well worthy the emulation of all. They prove that these brethren were guided by the principles of right and justice that only come through a desire to better others besides themselves. It is upon the solid foundation of truth and love, laid deep and strong by these pioneers of the Alliance, that the present magnificent structure of agricultural organization has been built. All honor to those noble men, who lived and acted fully up to the light that a Divine Ruler had been pleased to show them! Their sphere of action was circumscribed, and their efforts at the time counted for but little; yet the effects on future conditions no man will ever be able to completely comprehend.

The next meeting was a called session held at Central School House, April 2, 1881, for the purpose of perfecting arrangements for charters, and putting a deputy grand lecturer in the field. The meeting was not largely attended, but the business was satisfactorily completed. The general situation was discussed, and all seemed impressed with the idea that better times were near at hand.

The next meeting of the Grand State Alliance was held at Goshen, Parker County, August 9, 1881. More delegates than usual were present, including those from the County Alliances of Wise and Jack. It was evident that the Alliance had come to stay, and that a rapid growth was assured. Much interest was therefore taken in the proceedings, and a general desire to avoid mistakes and correct any possible errors seemed to prevail.

The burial service, as reported by Brother O. G. Peterson was


adopted. The form of a regalia to be worn by officers and members was also considered and adopted. The following officers were chosen for the ensuing year: Andy Dunlap, President; W. L. Garvin, Vice-President; C. M. Wilcox, Secretary; B. G. Gilliland, Treasurer; D. B. Gilliland, Lecturer; M. A. Denton, Assistant Lecturer; W. H. Pearce, Doorkeeper; W. P. Dent, Assistant Doorkeeper.

Arrangements were made to revive dormant Alliances, and to push the work more vigorously, Brother J. H. Dover, Grand Secretary, was allowed $18 for his services during the past twelve months. This was not a very large salary for one of the principal officers, Alliance No. 1, at Poolville, had died out, and a resolution was passed Instructing the deputy lecturer of Parker County to visit that Alliance, and either revive it or take charge of its books and papers. This seems to indicate that the so-called "Father of the Alliance" had lost interest in his offspring. A committee was appointed to investigate certain charges against Senator Maxey; which seemed to indicate a determination to scrutinize the acts of public servants. A motion prevailed, striking the word "Grand" from the charters of County Alliances. A report showed that the different Alliances were in arrears to the Grand State Alliance to the amount of $24.69. The whole amount received at that meeting was $61.60. From these figures it will, be seen that economy was one of the virtues practised by the Grand State Alliance.

The next meeting was held at Weatherford, Parker County, February 7, 1882. All the grand officers present, except Vice-President W. L. Garvin. The membership had increased satisfactorily, and the work of organizing was being conducted quite successfully. A large increase in the attendance over previous meetings cheered the hearts of those who had stood "the heat and burden of the day." The following important resolution was adopted: —

"That the Committee on Secret Work condense the three obligations into one, and report the same to the president of the Grand State Alliance, in time for printing with the amended constitution."

This action greatly simplified the work and eliminated much useless ceremony. A resolution was also adopted, giving


"contributing members of any Alliance the right to vote in electing members in any Alliance, but no other vote as visiting members."

This proved a wise measure. Brother A. B. Woodward was appointed general lecturer at large for Northern Texas, for the purpose of extending the work in that direction.

One of the early members, writing of this meeting, says: —

"From its inception, women were admitted as members of the Alliance. As it grew ill numbers, the social feature became a strong bond of union. In order to preserve this, without even a pretext of disapproval, the Alliance at this meeting inserted an amendment in its constitution, restricting to membership to white persons only. The wisdom of this measure is now admitted by all, both white and colored."

Heretofore the secret work of the Alliance had consisted of three degrees and three obligations. It was deemed by this body impracticable with a farmers' organization to make any distinction between members; that the work should be so simplified that the humblest members of any and all Sub-Alliances could enter the meetings of any County or State Alliance, and participate in the enjoyments and benefits to be derived from these meetings; therefore a committee was appointed to combine the three degrees and three obligations into one, placing all members upon an equal basis; which was reputed and adopted by this meeting, and the work thus simplified remains to this day, admitting any member to the meetings of the State or National Alliances. Thus the Farmers' Alliance became the first secret order having no privileged classes, controlled by different degrees of advancement; but any of its members can enter even its national meetings, and have a voice in their deliberations.

The Rural Citizen of Jacksboro was adopted as the official organ. That was probably the first official organ of the order. Also, on motion, Brothers Dunlap and Wilcox were appointed a committee to confer with the State Grange in regard to the sale of cotton. Here was doubtless the germ of the system of the State business agents, so prevalent at the present time. By resolution, the presiding officer of each Alliance was to be addressed as "President," and the word "Alliance" substituted for "Lodge." Arrangements were made for a more perfect


understanding regarding the brands to be used on cattle, and the manner of treating estrays. The 25-cent dues were ordered to be distributed as follows: 10 cents to Sub-Alliance; 5 cents to County Alliance; and 10 cents to State Alliance. The meeting was a grand success, and the order generally was greatly encouraged, and benefited.

The next meeting was held at Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto County, August 8, 1882, President Dunlap presiding. In his report, the secretary gave the number of Alliances in each county as follows: Parker, 34; Wise, 27; Hood, 21; Jack, 14; Somervell, 7; Palo Pinto, 7; Tarrant, 3; Bosque, 1; Denton, 1; Houston, 1; Cook, 1; Red River, 3; total, 120. Persons rejected, 37; persons expelled, 7.

The following officers were chosen for the ensuing year: Andy Dunlap, President; A. M. Chandler, Vice-President; C. M. Wilcox, Secretary; B. G. Gilliland, Treasurer; S. O. Daws, Lecturer; — Hodges, Assistant Lecturer; T. B. Smith, Chaplain; C. S. Maddox, Doorkeeper; H. F. Austin, Assistant Doorkeeper.

The following important resolution was adopted: —

"That it is contrary to the spirit of the constitution and by-laws of our order to lake part in politics; and further, that we will not nominate or support any man or set of men for office as a distinct political party."

This measure had n good effect, as it was the year for State elections. The topic of discussion was, the attitude of the Alliance to politics. A reward was offered for horse and cattle thieves. The salary of the secretary was fixed at $100 per year. President Dunlap was allowed $2.50 for postage and stationery during the past year. A new form of regalia was adopted. Adjourned, to meet at Granbury, Hood County, in February, 1883. The proposed semiannual meeting at Granbury was a failure, on account of a violent storm and intensely cold weather. The next meeting was held at Weatherford, Parker County, August 7, 1883. Brother Davis writes of this meeting as follows: —

"But before taking up the proceedings of that meeting we will notice briefly the growth of the order up to this time. At the meeting at Mineral Wells the report of the secretary showed that there were one hundred and twenty


Alliance. True, they were not all represented, and some were not taking the interest they should, yet it showed how rapidly the Alliance was coming into favor with the laboring class of people. Already it has spread over the counties of Parker, Wise, Jack, Palo Pinto, and Hood, and it was not altogether unknown in the counties of Somervell, Tarrant, Bosque, and Denton. It had spread south as far as Houston County, and east into Cooke, and even farther, into Red River County. There were fifty-six delegates in attendance, exclusive of the officers, that composed the Grand State Alliance, which shows very conclusively that the interest was rapidly increasing. There had been thirty-seven persons rejected as unfit for membership, which proves that the Alliance was not seeking to swell its ranks with any and every kind of men, but wanted good, moral men to enlist in her cause.

"At this Weatherford meeting of the State Alliance, all the State officers were absent, except S. O. Daws, Lecturer, and C. M. Wilcox, Secretary. Only thirty Sub-Alliances were represented. This was the least number of delegates in attendance upon any of the State meetings since 1880. Many were the causes of the decline of the order in the last year. The want of Alliance literature, the means to employ active lecturers to visit, instruct, and encourage the Sub-Alliances and institute new ones. In their efforts to co-operate in buying and selling, in the past, they had almost been treated with contempt by tradesmen and others, and so far had failed to achieve practical benefits from their efforts. Again, it had been a very sickly year throughout the counties where Alliances had been formed, and the year previous being a political year, a great many persons rushed into the order for the sole purpose of their own personal, political aggrandizement; therefore, after the passage of the non-political resolution at Mineral Wells, they and their personal friends lost their primary interest in the Alliance, which caused the disorganization of several Sub-Alliances during that year. While this temporarily checked the growth of the order, it fixed for all time to come the true status of the Farmers' Alliance on party question".

A resolution favoring the establishment of Alliance libraries was passed.

The officers elected for the ensuing year were: W. L. Garvin, President; J. A. Culwell, Vice-President; C. M. Wilcox, Secretary; P. M. Hodges, Treasurer; W. C. West. Chaplain; Dr. Riley, Lecturer; — Creekmore, Assistant Lecturer. Secretary C. M. Wilcox was allowed $24.75 for postage, stationery, and express during the past year. This was rather small compared with the present secretary's expenses. Assistant lecturers were allowed $5.25 for organizing Sub-Alliances. Motion adopted: —

"That when any stolen, lost, or strayed stock is reported to the secretary of the State Alliance, it shall be his duly to report the same to the secretary


of each County Alliance, and he shall report the same to the secretary of each Sub-Alliance in his county."

Bonds of treasurer fixed at $500. Rules were adopted to ascertain the efficiency of each lecturer, and regulating their commissions. This meeting, though small, did some good work, and made arrangements to recover lost ground.

The next meeting was held at Chico, Wise County, February 5, 1884, President W. L. Garvin presiding. Previous to this meeting the condition of the Alliance became alarming to the friends of the order, and vigorous means were used to bring about a reaction. Brother S. O. Daws was sent into the field as a travelling lecturer. His work proved a success, so that delegates from more than fifty Sub-Alliances took part in the meeting. As the "Trade Store" system was proving a failure, and for the purpose of encouraging co-operation in trade, the following resolution was passed: —

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

The president and secretary were allowed $10.50 for postage, etc. Brother Daws was continued as travelling lecturer, at $50 per month. The secretary was required to give a bond for $200. Meeting adjourned to meet at Weatherford, August 5, 1884. This meeting was rather a disappointment to the brethren, and a strong desire was manifested to push the work more thoroughly, which was done.

The next meeting of the Grand State Alliance was held at Weatherford, Parker County, August 5, 1884, President W. L. Garvin presiding. The good work of the previous six months was plainly seen, and the brethren were much encouraged. Over one hundred and eighty delegates were present, and the best of feeling prevailed. It was evident to all present that the Alliance was once more on the up grade. It looked as though the farmers of Texas had at last decided to give the Alliance a trial. Many new faces were seen at the meeting, and more than ordinary interest was manifested. Several amendments to the constitution were made, and the secret work was amended in a few minor particulars. The system of Alliance trade stores, or


agencies, was discussed at length, and its benefits and weak points exposed. A consensus of opinion prevailed that nothing could be done, except through vigorous efforts. In their efforts to perfect a trade system for their mutual good, through correspondence with manufacturers, they were always referred by them to their agents. In their communications to wholesale men, for trade, they were continually referred by them to the retail merchant. In the disposition of their cotton, in trying to reach the manufacturer, they were met by the "bulls" and "bears" in the cotton market. Hence the Alliance at this meeting, recommended to the County and Sub-Alliances the importance of establishing cotton yards of their own, for the purpose of bulking their cotton and selling, if possible, directly to the factories. This was done to some extent, but was violently opposed by the cotton buyers and speculators. In some towns, it is said that farmers could not purchase land to be used for such purposes, so strong was the prejudice of the merchants against the Alliance.

The officers elected at this meeting were as follows: J. A. Culwell, President; J. C. McConnel, Vice-President; Andy Dunlap, Secretary; Jacob Brown, Treasurer; W. R. Lamb, Lecturer; — Reeves, Assistant Lecturer; J. R. Masters, Chaplain; S. O. Daws, Lecturer-at-Large.

The next meeting was held at Decatur, Wise County, August 4, 1885, President J. A. Culwell presiding. Brother Daws writes: —

"This meeting was a great surprise, even to the members of the order who had been keeping up with its progress. More than six hundred delegates were in attendance, which was the greatest body of true agriculturists that had, up to that time, ever assembled in the State. The same discussions, as in the previous meetings, relative to the cotton market and mercantile trade, were continued, as shown by the following recommendations and resolutions: —

"Resolved, That the Grand State Alliance recommend to the County Alliances that the members of all Sub-Alliances act as a unit in the sale of their produce, and to this end the County Alliance set apart a day or days in which to put their produce on the market for sale. We further recommend that a committee of correspondence be appointed by the County Alliance, who shall, if possible, make arrangements for the combined sale of the produce of members of the Alliance. We further recommend that none but members of the Alliance be allowed in this combination. The secretary of the Grand State Alliance to notify each County Alliance.



"Resolved, That County Alliances appoint a committee of three discreet members from each County Alliance, whose duty it shall be to examine cost bills of freight bills of merchants with whom the Alliance has made contracts for sale of goods at specified rates per cent. A refusal to show such bills by said merchants shall terminate and make null and void such contracts with said merchants.

"Believing that the business of the Alliance could be better transacted by a less number of delegates, and to provide against a much larger delegation next year, the number of delegates was limited to three to each county."

The effect of this meeting was to place the Alliance in a good position before the public, and to attract to its aims and purposes some of the best men in the State. Many of the old hangers-on were relegated to the rear, and fresh blood was infused into the organization. Long will the brethren of Texas, especially the older ones, look back with feelings of pride and fondness to the "Decatur Meeting." A large amount of detail work was accomplished, some few changes were made in the organic laws, and a sort of general clearing up was indulged in.

The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: A. Dunlap, President; J. S. Morris, Vice-President; C. M. Wilcox, Secretary; J. A. Landers, Treasurer; J. H. Jackson, Chaplain; G. W. Belcher, Lecturer; Z. S. Lee, Assistant Lecturer.

The next annual meeting was held at Cleburne, August 3, 1886, and marked an era in the history of the Alliance. It was by far the largest gathering ever held by the order, and great interest was manifested in the result. Extensive preparations had been made for the meeting, and a general rally of the brethren was anticipated. Eighty-four counties were represented at the meeting, by delegates, many being present for the first time. The Alliance had assumed such large proportions, and was enjoying such a rapid growth, that the politicians of the State began to look upon it with some little anxiety. Their fear was then the same as now, that it might "go into politics," and that, if it did, some one might get injured. The press of the State began to warn the brethren against any such action, and at the same time predicted that it certainly would be done. This put many of the brethren, especially those who were politically inclined, in an attitude of suspicion, which became intensified as the business of the meeting progressed.


The meeting was called to order by President Dunlap, and, after an address of welcome by Mr. Crain of Cleburne, and a response by President Dunlap and Brother McWhorter, the usual routine of business was taken up.

The meeting took hold of the business before it in earnest. Among the many resolutions was the following: —

"It is the sense of this body that we put forth our best efforts as individuals, and also as an organization, to have the Commissioner of Agriculture elevated to the position of a cabinet officer in the government, and that we ask our representatives in Congress to urge the same."

Unanimously adopted.

The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: A. Dunlap, President; D. J. Eddleman, Vice-President; H. G. Moore, Secretary; J. A. Landers, Treasurer; J. M. Brooks, Chaplain; G. W. Belcher, Lecturer.

The following resolutions were adopted, to be added to the Declaration of Purposes: —

"1. That as an organization we do not antagonize other organizations, which have for their object the amelioration of the condition of any class of our citizens. But we will not form a coalition with any other organization.

"2. That as citizens we have a right to belong to any organization, political party, or church, we may see proper, but as a Farmers' Alliance we will not consider such subjects within our body."

[The constitution was subsequently adopted without these resolutions, thereby making them statutory law. — Committee of Revision.]

The Committee on Good of the Order and Demands made the following report:--

"We, the delegates to the Grand State Farmers' Alliance of Teas, in convention assembled at Cleburne, Johnson County, Texas. A. D. 1886 do hereby recommend and demand of our State and national governments according as the same shall come under the jurisdiction of the one or the other, such legislation as shall secure to our people freedom from the onerous and shameful abuses that the industrial classes are now suffering at the hands of arrogant capitalists and powerful corporations.

"We demand,

"1. The recognition by incorporation of trade-unions, co-operative stores, and such other associations as may be organized by the industrial classes to improve their financial condition, or to promote their general welfare.


"2. We demand that all public school land be held in small bodies, not exceeding 320 acres to each purchaser, for actual settlement, on easy terms of payment.

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

"4. That measures be taken to prevent aliens from acquiring title to land in the United States of America, and to force titles already acquired by aliens, to be relinquished by sale to actual settlers and citizens of the United States.

"5. That the law-making powers take early action upon such measures as shall effectually prevent the dealing in futures of all agricultural products, prescribing such procedure in trial as shall secure prompt conviction, and imposing such penalties as shall secure the most perfect compliance with the law.

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

"7. We demand that fences be removed, by force if necessary, from public or school lands unlawfully fenced by cattle companies, syndicates, or any other form or name of corporation.

"8. We demand that the statutes of the State of Texas be rigidly enforced by the Attorney-General, to compel corporations to pay the taxes due the State and counties.

"9. That railroad property shall be assessed at the full nominal value of the stock on which the railroad seeks to declare a dividend.

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

"11. We demand the substitution of legal tender treasury notes for the issue of the national banks; that the Congress of the United States regulate the amount of such issue, by giving to the country a per capita circulation that shall increase as the population and business interests of the country expand.

"12. We demand the establishment of a national bureau of labor statistics, that we may arrive at a correct knowledge of the educational, moral, and financial condition of the laboring masses of our citizens. And further, that the commissioner of the bureau be a cabinet officer of the United States.

"13. We demand the enactment of lawn to compel corporations to pay their employees according to contract, in lawful money, for their services, and the giving to merchants and laborers a first llen upon the product of their labor to the full extent of their wages.

"14. We demand the passage of an interstate commerce law, that shall secure the same rates of freight to all persons for the same kind of commodities, according to distance of haul, without regard to amount of shipment.


To prevent the granting of rebates; to prevent pooling freights to shut off competition; and to secure to the people the benefit of railroad transportation at reasonable cost.

"15. We demand that all convicts shall be confined within the prison walls, and the contract system be abolished.

"16. We recommend a call for a national labor conference, to which all labor organizations shall be invited to send representative men, to discuss such measures as may be of interest to the laboring classes.

"17. That the president of the State Alliance be, and he is hereby, directed to appoint a committee of three to press these demands upon the attention of the legislators of the State and nation, and report progress at the next meeting of the State Alliance. And further, that newspapers be furnished copies of these demands for publication; and be it further

"Resolved, That the president of the State Alliance have fifty thousand copies of these resolutions and demands printed and distributed to the Sub Alliances, through the respective county secretaries.

"Resolved, That each delegate to the State Alliance present a copy of these resolutions to each candidate for a legislative office, State or national, and endeavor to secure his indorsement and assistance in carrying them to a successful issue.

(Signed) "W. M. MATHES, E. B. WARREN,

The Committee on Sale and Shipment of Cotton reported as follows: —

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

"2. It Is recommended by your committee that the County Alliances (either singly or where a number of counties lie contiguous to an oil mill) make the best terms possible for the sale of cotton seed, and that each County Alliance


making such arrangement shall report terms of such to the secretary of the State Alliance for transmission to all the County Alliances of the State, if that officer deem said report of sufficient importance.

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

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


The following resolutions were read and adopted: —

"Resolved, 1. That E. D. Macready is hereby appointed corresponding secretary of the Farmers Alliance.

"2. That said E. D. Macready be allowed thirty dollars per month for the period of six months.

"3. That the salary of the Secretary of the State Alliance shall be one hundred dollars per month."

Committee on Constitution and By-Laws reported, offering a substitute for the present constitution, and recommending the creation of the office of corresponding secretary for the purpose — in addition to the cotton correspondence — of keeping the order posted as to the best markets for the sale of all kinds of produce and the purchase of all kinds of commodities; and that suitable steps be taken by this body for the extension of the work into other States, with the view of organizing a National Alliance; and that suitable steps be taken to procure an amended charter, as the present one seems to be inadequate.

On motion, the report of the committee was received. The constitution was then unanimously adopted.

The following resolutions were then adopted: —

"Resolved, That no person who is an officer or owns stock in any banking corporation is eligible to membership in the Farmers' Alliance, and any such persons who belong to the organization are hereby requested to withdraw; otherwise such persons shall be dropped from the roll.


"Resolved, That we recognize the right of the laboring classes to organize, and condemn any effort on the part of any man, or set of men, who seek to proscribe the right of any man exercising his freedom by joining any labor organization having for its object the bettering of the laboring man's condition.

"Resolved, That we establish an Alliance brand; that we first establish the statutory county brand as our county brand, and in addition we establish an Alliance brand to be placed on the jaw of animals.

"Resolved, That we now proceed to the election of the executive committee provided for in the constitution just adopted."

Brothers C. W. Macune of Milam County, Evan Jones of Erath County, John H. Harrison of Falls County, were duly elected. Brothers J. R. Johnson of Dallas County, E. D. Macready of Grayson County, and C. W. Macune of Milam County, were appointed by the president as the committee to revise, correct, and have printed the constitution and by-laws.

The Alliance adjourned at 5 P.M., August 8, 1886, to meet in Waco, August 1, 1887.

A. DUNLAP, President State Farmers' Alliance. H. G. MOORE, Secretary State farmers' Alliance.

During the entire meeting there was a kind of restlessness and suspicion that could not be kept down. When the Committee on Demands reported, the storm broke, and a general heated discussion was the result. After the demands had been adopted, some were led to believe that the Alliance was about to launch into politics. Acting upon this, a secret meeting was held, and another set of State officers was elected, consisting of John H. Harrison, President; D. J. Eddleman, Vice-President; C. C. Camp, Secretary; and J. A. Landers, Treasurer. This action was kept so quiet that but few knew of it until an application was made for a charter by this new organization. They had chosen the same name as the regular Alliance, and had chosen the same vice-president and treasurer. Taken as a whole, it looked very much like a bad piece of business. President Dunlap at once called a meeting of the executive committee, and the matter was fully discussed. It was evident that only thorough work and good judgment could save the Alliance


from a long, bitter feud, and perhaps total destruction. President Dunlap, either from a want of nerve, or distrust of his ability to deal with the difficulty, resigned as president of the Alliance, which was quickly followed by the resignation of D. J. Eddleman, vice-president. This placed the entire responsibility upon the chairman of the executive committee, Dr. C. W. Macune. It was in this manner and under these conditions that Brother Macune began his career of service to the Alliance. A man with less courage would have given it up as a hopeless task. Not so with Brother Macune. Believing in the ultimate triumph of truth, relying on the just principles of the Alliance, and strengthened by that faith which comes through an honest purpose, he began at once to act vigorously in his attempt to save the Alliance. He held a conference with the dissenting brethren, and succeeded in persuading them to hold in abeyance the organization they had begun, until after a State meeting, which should be called in the near future. This was accomplished after much persuasion, and a candid discussion of the whole situation.

After further consultation, it was agreed to call a meeting of the State Alliance on January 18, 1887, at Waco. In accordance with this agreement, Acting President Macune issued his proclamation for the called session. In the meantime the politicans had not been idle. They had sown the seed of discord and distrust wherever possible, and the whole order was in a state of ferment. As the time for the called session drew near, he feeling became more intense, and the danger of serious divisions seemed imminent. In the midst of all this difficulty, Brother Macune was doing a noble work in allaying the fears of some, strengthening the faith of others, and trying by every means in his power to bring the brotherhood to a proper sense of the duties and responsibilities which devolved upon them as members of the Alliance. He succeeded in this effort so far that, to a considerable extent, the best men in the Alliance rallied to his support, and gave him their aid and advice.

Nor did his labors stop with Texas. Hearing of the Farmers' Union in Louisiana, he wrote letters to find out exactly what it was, and sent Brother Evan Jones to that State with a proposition of consolidation, which in the end proved successful.


Plans were also formulated to perfect a national organization and carry the order into other States. It was under these conditions, and for the purpose of arranging the difficulties growing out of the split in the organization, that the called session at Waco was convened. It was a remarkable meeting. A prominent member of that session says: —

"The meeting began with nearly every one ready, and expecting serious difficulty. It continued for nearly two days in a turmoil of excitement and bad feeling, and finished its labors on the fourth day amidst a regular love-feast, and with the brightest prospects."

The declaration of purposes, up to the Cleburne meeting, in 1886, consisted of six divisions. At this meeting, division number one was changed and number seven added. As will be seen in the old constitution, division one read as follows: —

"To labor for the Alliance and its purposes, assured that a faithful observance of the following principles will insure our mental, moral, and financial improvement."

The one great danger which threatened the Alliance was the introduction of partisan politics. Brother Macune, realizing the true condition, and believing that future success demanded a proper beginning, introduced the following as a substitute for this section: —

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

This gave rise to a lengthy debate, but was finally adopted, and has proved what Brother Macune declared it would, the foundation rock on which the superstructure of the Alliance has been built. The wisdom of this declaration is being demonstrated daily, and its necessity is recognized by all.

Section number seven was added without much debate, and was considered at the time of no great importance. It was written and presented to the committee for consideration, by Brother W. H. H. Shook, a school teacher from Grayson County, Texas. It has grown in favor with the Alliance, until now no member can read it, or hear it read during service, without a feeling of honest pride in being able to belong to an order that promulgates such noble sentiments. In accepting this section,


the Alliance did as in many other matters, — it built for the future.

As the proceedings of the Farmers' State Alliance of Texas, held at Waco, in January, 1887, must be of interest to every member of the order, we feel justified in giving them in detail.

"Pursuant to call issued by C. W. Macune, chairman of Executive Committee and acting president, the Farmers' State Alliance met in the Court House, Waco, Texas, ten o'clock A.M., Tuesday, January 18, 1887.

"Brother Macune occupied the chair, and opened the Alliance in due form.

"Brother B. J. Kendrick, of McLennan County, was appointed vice-president pro tempore.

"The acting president stated that he would order the call of the roll, and that if he found a quorum present, he would explain the object of the meeting. He then explained his decisions and rulings in regard to apparently conflicting meanings of certain clauses in the constitution, in reference to the manner in which the Farmers' State Alliance may be reconvened.

"The roll was then called by the secretary, and it was found that seventy-one counties were represented.

"The chair ruled that all officers and numbers of standing and special committees are entitled to seats during the session.

"Brother O'Byrne of Gregg raised the question whether those officers who resigned their positions in the Farmers' Slate Alliance are still members of this body. The chair decided in the affirmative. An appeal from this decision was taken by Brother O'Byrne, which, after some discussion, was withdrawn.

"The acting president then explained the embarrassment of his situation, and asked that the Alliance relieve him by electing a temporary chairman or president, to preside until President Dunlap's successor shall be elected. But it being clearly the wish of the Alliance that Brother Macune should occupy the chair for the perios mentioned, no action was taken in the premises.

"On motion, the chair was authorized to appoint a committee of twelve on Credentials. The following were appointed: —

"W. M. Reed, chairman, McLennan County; J. M. Smith, Bell; Nat Draughan, Red River; J. B. Larry, Bosque; S. W. Hilliard, Burleson; A. S. Simmes, Leon; J. A. Ramsdale, Burnet; C. H. Alden, Travis; A. P. Cagle, Montague; J. A. Buford, Coleman; John O'Byrne, Gregg; T. M. Collie, Stevens.

"On motion, a committee consisting of Brothers Jones of Erath, and Pickett and Dunlap of Wise, was appointed to receive and introduce the visiting brothers from the Louisiana Farmers' Union.

"At 12:22 o'clock, the Alliance adjourned until half-past one.

"The Alliance met at 1:45 o'clock.

"A communication from Rev B. H. Carroll, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Waco, inviting the members of the Farmers' Slate Alliance to hear


his lecture on ‘Personal Liberty,’ to be given at the church at 7:30 P.M., was read, and on motion the invitation was accepted.

"Brother Jones of Erath County was called upon to tell something about the Louisiana Farmers' Union. He stated that he visited the Union in session at Ruston, Louisiana, in pursuance of an order from the acting president of the Farmers' State Alliance, where he received a most cordial reception, and found that the aims and purposes of the Union were similar to those of the Alliance.

"Some interesting communications from the president, vice-president, and lecturer of the National Alliance, which recently met in Chicago, were read by the chair. On motion, a vote of thanks was tendered Brother Macune, for the interest he manifested in obtaining the information above referred to.

"A communication from Mr. J. A. Tetts, the corresponding secretary of the Louisiana Farmers' Union, was read; also a communication from the Union, which had been sent by the hand of Brother Evan Jones.

"After spending the remainder of the day and much of the following forenoon in useless discussion, considerable ill-feeling was shown, and a desire to obstruct proceedings was manifested to an extent not to be mistaken. Finally, the acting president declared that he would entertain no further business until he had stated the object of the meeting, and called upon the body to elect a temporary president. He then read a message, stating the object of the meeting, and making some recommendations.


"All the different classes and occupations of society are engaging in organization for mutual advancement and protection to a greater extent than ever before in the history of the world. In fact, we may say that every calling is organized. This thorough organization has created a new order of things. Problems in regard to a calling or an occupation are constantly being presented, as that occupation becomes more thoroughly organized, and others are being presented as other occupations with which they have dealings become organized. The peculiar relations of large organizations to their own members, to the government, and to other organizations, is a subject worthy of the most profound study by all who exercise the right of citizenship.

"However, the general relations and objects of organization we all understand, and are pledged to support. Whatever other objects an organization may have, especially an organization like our own, the grand central object, around which all others revolve, and from which they draw life, is co-operation for mutual effort and advancement. I hold that co-operation, properly understood and properly applied, will place a limit to the encroachments of organized monopoly, and will be the means by which the mortgage-burdened farmers can assert their freedom from the tyranny of organized capital, and obtain the reward for honesty, industry, and frugality, which they so richly deserve, and which they are now so unjustly denied.

"Take for example a freight question as illustrated in this way: A car-load of lumber from Galveston to Waco will probably cost you about forty dollars


freight; but if you load that very same flat car with cotton and ship to Galveston, the freight will cost about one hundred and fifty dollars. Here is a tribute that the cotton fields pay the corporate monopolies for nothing; but I hold that we have an adequate and complete remedy in co-operation. Nothing would whip them quicker or more completely than for the farmers of Texas to build cotton mills enough to manufacture what cotton goods they want to use; then plant only as much cotton as they want to manufacture, and spend their spare time in raising a diversity of products for the supply of home consumption, thus rendering themselves independent. But the possibilities of this organization exceed those of any or all other organizations combined, when we take into consideration the fact that in no part of the globe does cotton grow to that degree of perfection that it does in the cotton belt of the United States; that the necessities of the world absolutely demand the exportation of a large per cent of the crop raised in this favored section every year; and if the farmers of the cotton belt were all to unite into an organization, they could force the world to pay a just and fair price for the labor expended in raising this staple. There is no necessity for the condition that now exists; no reason why the price of your next year's crop is now set In London, by the knowledge whether the Jews — who control the money market of the world — go on the market or not. The possibilities for good by enlightened co-operation are without limit.

"For some two and a half months I have been acting as your president, in order to discharge duties of that office which would otherwise have been made vacant by the resignation of President Dunlap and Vice-President Eddleman. I issued the call for this meeting. Whether I had the authority to call the meeting or not, you have responded by your presence, and I now wish as my last act in this capacity to explain the object of this meeting, and then call upon you to elect a chairman for your temporary organization. The objects of the meeting as expressed in the call are: —

"I. C. W. Macune, chairman of the Executive Committee, and ex officio president of the Farmers' State Alliance of Texas, do hereby issue this, my official call, for an extra session of the Farmers' State Alliance of Texas, to convene in the city of Waco, Texas, at ten o'clock A.M., on the third Tuesday, it being the eighteenth day of January, 1887, for the following purposes, to wit: —

"First. The election of officers to fill vacancies.

"Second. To consider the report of the ‘Conference Committee’ that convened in Waco, November 10, 1886, at the request of said Executive Committee, which report is to be published in the Dallas Mercury, and to be sent to the secretaries of the various Alliances throughout the State, to which attention is hereby directed.

"Third. To devise a method of sending representatives into other States of the Union, for the purpose of organizing and co-operating with other agricultural societies.


"Fourth. To consider and determine upon the propriety of adopting a second or co-operative degree, which has been considerably promulgated among the Alliances.

"Fifth. And for such other purposes as the absolute necessities of the order may imperatively demand.

"All duly accredited delegates to the regular meeting of the said State Alliance held in August, 1886, at Cleburne, Texas, are hereby notified to attend this above-called session of said State Alliance, and will be recognized as the members composing said called session, as provided in Art. II. Sec 6, of the constitution of said Farmers' State Alliance of Texas.

"Chairman of the Executive Committee and ex officio President of the Farmers' State Alliance of Texas.

"Thus you see this is a business meeting, and I will not consume your time by speaking. These objects need no explanation, unless it be the last. I would like to say a few words upon that.

"While filling my position as chairman of the Executive Committee, and acting as president of this association, I have been the recipient of a great number of letters from the different parts of the State, asking information or instruction in Alliance work, or offering suggestions etc. The result has been that the imperfections and necessities of the order have been made visible, and it is to the result of information and experience gained in this way that I now wish to call your attention.

"Under the head of: ‘Such other purposes as the absolute necessities of the order imperatively demand’ the following suggestions are made: —

"There should be a code of laws enacted by this body, which would constitute the statutory law of the order. The constitution, as the organic law, can only express principles, and should be supplemented by a statutory law that will explain and provide for a uniform and certain method of carrying out the principles enunciated in the constitution. Resolutions, such as it has been the custom of this body to pass, do not seem to meet the demand, and it is suggested that resolutions be passed when it is desired to express a sentiment, or as advisory measures, but that all commands of this body, prescribing anything or prohibiting anything, be enacted as laws, and have a uniform style of caption; e.g. ‘Be it enacted by the Farmers' Stale Alliance of Texas, in regular (or called) session assembled.’

"The statutory law should embrace clear and distinct provisions defining the duties, powers, and responsibilities of the president of the State Alliance, and of every other officer, or chairman, or member of the standing committee of the State Alliance. It should prescribe a method of trial, by which the State Alliance may try a County Alliance, and one by which a County Alliance may try a Sub Alliance. There should be a legal form for the commissions of all officers and committee-men. The present method of appointing and commissioning organizing officers has resulted in some sections having too many, and some sections are yet unorganized, and does not seem to meet the


demands of the order. It is suggested that the number in each congressional district be limited to one, and that he receive his commission upon passing a satisfactory examination before an examining board, composed of the president, secretary, and Executive Committee of the State Alliance, and that his commission be good for a specified and limited time, and that he have power and authority to appoint as many as one deputy in each county, who shall be deputies under him, and all of whose acts shall be done on his responsibilities. That the law defining the duties, powers, and responsibilities of organizing officers and their deputies, be made complete and explicit, and so changed that they may be more interested in getting good material than large numbers in the organizations, and that they be not allowed to take fifteen men as charter members without a ballot. Also the organizing officers be made members of the State Alliance.

"The order has grown in the last year and a half from 700 Alliances to about 3500, now organized; and perhaps the most potent argument that organizing officers have used in securing this rapid accession to our ranks has been the individual benefits that would accrue from concentration of trade in purchasing supplies, and the bulking of products when offered for sale. Letters of inquiry are being constantly received, asking information as to trade contracts and trade arrangements. Brethren who have joined with sanguine hope of the benefits that would come from co-operation within the order, should not be disappointed; if they are, they will leave our ranks in disgust, and our numbers will decrease as rapidly as they have increased. This body should, therefore, enact laws defining and establishing a bureau, or making it the duty of the executive or some other committee, to collect and classify the wants and desires of the order and ascertain the very best means of supplying. those wants; and they should at all times be ready to give the very best information attainable as to trade contracts, and they should also keep a record of the different trade contracts and arrangements; they should also keep a record of the different contracts, and note on same the amount of success and satisfaction that attend it in its working, in order to classify same as statistical evidence as time progress, to the end that we may determine, from the teaching of experience, which is attended with the very best results.

"This body should take effective and adequate steps to support and assists, to direct and concentrate, the efforts being made by County Alliances to regulate and reform the system of purchasing supplies and sale of products.

"There should be a plain law as to the admission of infidels, and if they are excluded, which it is hoped they will be, that the question also be settled as to whether they should be allowed to remain after they have gained admission to the order.

"Under the laws of Texas, the charter of an incorporated association rests in the Board of Trustees; and it is hereby requested that provision be made for the election of a Board of Trustees, to be composed of at least fifteen members, and that the Board of Trustees shall, when a vacancy occurs in the office of president and vice-president, fill the vacancy by appointment for the unexpired term, unless they shall deem it expedient to hold a called


session of the State Alliance; and they should as soon as possible be intrusted with the power of deciding when a called meeting of this body is necessary.

"There should be a law defining the manner of consolidating two or more Alliances, when they shall so desire.

"Respectfully submitted,
"Chairman, Executive Committee."

The message had a quieting effect, and seemed to satisfy the brethren that the Alliance had been in safe hands, and that the best interests of the order had been conserved. The idea began to obtain that the difficulty which at one time threatened the perpetuity of the order had, under the guidance of honest and discreet officers, prompted by a sense of duty and responsibility, been made to serve the best interests of the order, and promised to be a blessing in disguise. Brother Macune was, on motion, made permanent chairman, until the successor of President Dunlap had been selected. One hundred and four counties were represented at this meeting, which showed a rapid growth during President Macune's administration.

The following officers were elected to fill vacancies: Evan Jones, President; R. F. Butler, Vice-President. W. M. Mathes and B. F. Rogers were elected members of the Executive Committee, to fill vacancies.

On motion of Brother Daniels it was

"Resolved, That we extend to Brother C. W. Macune our grateful thanks for the able manner in which he has conducted the affairs of the order since the resignation of President Dunlap, and assure him that perfect satisfaction has been given."

The following was adopted: —

"Whereas, The manner of selling our cotton, as adopted by the County Alliances, has proven unsatisfactory, and as some of the County Alliances have requested that the State Alliances adopt some plan which will bring the producer and consumer nearer together, and dispense with so many middlemen; therefore be it

"Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed to report upon the expediency of securing an agency for the sale of the coming cotton crop in the manufacturing centres."

Brothers R. J. Sledge, H. W. Wade, and B. J. Kendrick were appointed said committee.


The committee appointed to consider the Conference Report now presented their report, which was a satisfactory solution of the differences heretofore existing in the State Alliance. The report was unanimously adopted by a rising vote, amid cheers and other manifestations of deep feeling. It was felt that harmony had been fully restored, and the main object of this called session had been accomplished.


"We, to whom were referred the proceedings of a number of Alliance brothers, calling themselves a Conference Committee, which met in Waco, November 10, 1886, beg leave to submit the following resolutions, which we earnestly recommend the Alliance to adopt, without debate, and in the spirit of brotherly love and kindness, as a settlement of the seeming dissatisfaction among our brothers: —

"Whereas, There is no warrant in our constitution for any committee of conference; therefore be it

"Resolved, I. That the proceedings of said Conference Committee be not recognized by the Farmers' State Alliance.

"2. That the official action of the Executive Committee in accepting the resignation of President Dunlap, Vice-President Eddleman, and Executive Committee-man Harrison, is hereby approved; also all other acts in accordance with the constitution of the Farmers' State Alliance.

"3. That we re-indorse and reaffirm the demands passed at the Cleburne session, with the construction that they are non-partisan in a political sense.
"W. F. PETTY, Committee."

The committee on Acting President Macune's report said: —

"We have examined carefully the report of Brother Macune, and find it full and explicit, and in keeping with law, justice, and economy, and we recommend its indorsement. We further recommend that he be sustained in his action in calling this session, as we conceive it has been the means of protecting and preserving our noble order."

In this is found the complete vindication and approval of what had been considered by some an invasion of the rights of the order, and is a fixed example of the reward which usually follows patience and well-doing.



"We beg leave to make the following report: —

"1. We respectfully recommend that each County Alliance establish at least one co-operative store, cotton yard, and lumber yard.

"2. We recommend the selection by the Executive Committee of a person of ability and competency, in every sense of the word, who shall be the State Alliance business agent, whose duty it shall be to negotiate the sale of cotton and other products as may be placed under his charge by the Alliance, and to purchase from first hands as near as may be the supplies for the Alliance co-operative stores, recommended above; who shall be an officer of the State Alliance, holding his office until his successor is elected and qualified; subject to suspension for cause by the Executive Committee, with right of appeal to the State Alliance; entitled to the counsel and assistance of the Executive Committee, whenever necessary; his books and papers always open to the inspection of the Executive Committee, whose duty it shall be to examine them at least every quarter; under a good and sufficient bond made to the Executive Committee, for the faithful performance of the duties of his office; with such salary as the Executive Committee may deem proper, and the reception of any emolument from any other source than the Farmers' State Alliance to be sufficient cause for dismissal from office and forfeiture of bond.

"Respectfully submitted,
"B. J. KENDRICK, Chairman.

After transacting a large amount of detail business, the meeting adjourned, to meet in Waco, in regular session, the first Tuesday in August, 1887. At this point we will take leave of the history of the State Alliance of Texas, and follow that of the National Alliance. The State Alliance of Texas is at this time standing in the front ranks, amid the thirty-three sister States and Territories, that she can now point to with pride and truthfully say, "These are my children." It was the mother of the Farmers' Alliance, its protector while young, and its defender in more mature years. Every true Alliance member should think of the Lone Star State with gratitude, and always accord to her the need of praise. God bless the State Alliance of Texas! May it ever prosper; may its noble brotherhood continue in the faith, and at last reap the reward in reserve for those who endure to the end; so say I, and so says the brotherhood everywhere.


Chapter IV.


During the morning session of the third day of the called meeting of the Texas State Alliance, at Waco, on January 20, 1887, the following preamble and resolution were adopted: —

"Whereas, One of the objects of this called session is to devise some method of sending representatives into other States of the Union, for the purpose of organization and co-operation with other agricultural societies; therefore, be it

"Resolved, That this body elect two of its members from each congressional district in the State, as delegates from the order, to meet Brother J. A. Tetts, a delegate from the Louisiana Farmers' Union, and organize a National Farmers' Alliance, with instructions to procure a charter from the government of the United States, if practicable, for a National Farmers' Alliance, or some modification of that name, and to organize themselves by electing the necessary officers and adopting a constitution and by-laws, to be submitted to the order for ratification; and, that they inaugurate an efficient system of extending the order rapidly in other States."

Prior to the passage of this resolution, considerable talk had been indulged in with reference to the formation of a national organization. Brother C. W. Macune, Acting President of the State Alliance, had corresponded with the officers of the Farmers' Union of Louisiana, and had ascertained that their objects, purposes, and membership were similar to those of the Alliance. Relying upon his own sense of the natural fitness of conditions, he had sent Brother Evan Jones to Louisiana, for the purpose at arranging a basis of consolidation. His mission was so successful that Brother J. A. Tetts was sent to the meeting at Waco, with full powers to act, as the following correspondence will show.

"RUSTON, LA., January 12, 1887.
"To the State Farmers' Alliance of the State of Texas; Greeting:

"Your distinguished representative, Brother Evan Jones, bearing credentials from Hon. C. W. Macune, ex officio president of your honorable body, honored our meeting with propositions that we send a delegate to meet your


body at Waco, at a called meeting to be held on and after the 18th of January.

"We, the State Union of Louisiana, appreciate the consideration shown us, and hope that the cordial relations between the two sister orders may continue to a closer union of interest and a complete harmony of action, in the near future. Having such a hope, we have submitted an outline of a union to your esteemed representative, and to further the movement have selected Brother J. A. Tetts, our corresponding secretary, to meet you at Waco, during the meeting to be held at that place.

"Brother Evan Jones gave a very clear outline of the principles and objects of your order, which we cordially adopt in our order though (we regret to say it), not as fully comprehended as they seem to be in your older and much better posted organization.

"As the objects and principles of the two orders are identical, we see no, reason why they should not be united under the same national government, and work in harmony.

"Hoping that all may work to our mutual satisfaction and benefit, we refer you for further details to Brother Evan Jones and our delegate elected to meet you.

Respectfully submitted,


"JOHN M. STALLINGS, "President of the State Union of Louisiana. "L. E. RICHARDS, Secretary pro tem."

"RUSTON, L.., January 13, 1887.
"To the Officers and Members of the State Farmers' Alliance of the State of Texas; Greeting:

"This is to certify that Brother J. A. Tetts, a member in good standing of the Farmers' State Union of Louisiana, was duly elected at a called meeting of the State Farmers' Union, of Louisiana, to represent our Union at the meeting called at Waco, January 18th, of your honorable body.

"This election was held in accordance with an invitation from the chairman of your Executive Committee, extended through Brother Evan Jones, who honored us with a visit in behalf of your organization.

"Brother J. A. Tetts is empowered by the State Farmers' Union, of Louisiana, to treat with your body in our behalf on the subject of a union of the two orders, either in the form of a union of work, or a connection through a national alliance of farmers' orders or organizations.

"JOHN M. STALLINGS, "President of the State Union of Louisiana. "A. J. TAYLOR, Secretary pro tem."


"WACO, January 12, 1887.
"To the Farmers' State Union of Louisiana; Greeting:

"Brothers and co-laborers with us in our common cause: It is with profound pleasure that we acknowledge and receive your duly accredited delegate, Brother J. A. Tetts, from your grand body to this grand body, now in session in the city of Waco, Texas. We are profoundly impressed with his earnestness, zeal, and ability to represent both your grand body and the noble cause which he represents, and through him we desire to return fraternal greetings to your great body, and trust this friendship thus begun may ever continue.
"D. J. EDDLEMAN, Committee."

Brother Macune recognized, at this early date, the necessity of a unity of action among reform organizations. At the evening session of the same day, the matter of delegates to the National Farmers' Alliance was taken up. The different congressional districts reported their lists as follows: —

1, J. J. Fairchild, W. K. Deason; 2, W. B. Briggs, B. F. Rogers; 3, J. M. Perdue, John O'Byrne; 4, D. B. Hale, Nat Draughan; 5, A. Dunlap, Geo. B. Pickett; 6, J. B. Barry, R. F. Butler; 7, Joseph Carter, A. C. Russell; 8, Ben Terrell, E. B. Warren; 9, W. M. Reed, C. W. Macune; 10, J. W. Goodwin, W. D. Branum; 11, S. P. Burns, D. M. Rumph.

The delegates thus selected were confirmed, and these brethren, with Brother J. A. Tetts, constituted the members of the first meeting that formed the National Alliance.

The first meeting of these delegates was held the succeeding day, January 21, 1887, and the following officers were elected: C. W. Macune, President; J.. A. Tetts, First Vice-President; G. B. Pickett, Second Vice-President; J. M. Perdue, Third Vice- President; E. B. Warren, Secretary; R. F. Butler, Treasurer.

These were the first officers of the National Alliance. Work was at once begun on the formation of a National constitution. The declaration of purposes of the Texas State Alliance was selected, and the following constitution was prepared: —


organized into an association, let forth our declaration of intentions, we therefore resolve:

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

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

3. That we return to the old principle of letting the office seek the man, instead of the man seeking the office.

4. To indorse the motto, "In things essential unity, and in all things charity."

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

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

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

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

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

Article I.

Section 1. This body shall be known as the National Fanners' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, with power to make its own constitution and by-laws.

Sec. 2. The National body shall be composed of delegates from the various organizations holding charters from, accepting the secret work of, and conforming to the constitution and by-laws of this National organization.

Sec. 3. Each State organization that complies with the above requirements shall be entitled to one delegate for each four counties, or fraction of four counties, organized in that State.

Sec. 4. No person shall be eligible to membership in the National body until he shall have attained the age of twenty-five years.

Article II.

Section 1. The regular annual meeting of the National body shall be on the second Wednesday in October of each year, at ten o'clock A.M., and at such place as may from time to time be decided by the body, or such officer or committee as they may delegate that duty.

Sec. 2. The officers of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative


Union shall be a President, Vice-President, an additional Vice-President for each State organized, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Chaplain, a Lecturer and Assistant Lecturer, a Doorkeeper and Assistant Doorkeeper, and a Sergeant-at-Arms.

Sec. 3. They shall be elected at each annual meeting, from members of the body, and shall be entitled to hold office until their successors are elected and installed; at which time the retiring officers shall immediately become honorary members of the National body, for that session only.

Sec. 4. The duties of the officers of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union shall be the duties usually incumbent upon and performed by officers of the same name in similar organizations.

Sec. 5. The President shall be the presiding officer.

Sec. 6. The Vice-Presidents of the body shall constitute the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees.

Article III.


Section 1. Each State organization, under the jurisdiction of thin body, shall pay, at each annual session of the body, five per cent of the gross cash receipts of the State organization.

Sec. 2. The members of the National order are expected to present, at the regular annual meetings, reports of the numerical strength and condition of the order in the State they represent, and of the success attending their efforts in co-operation; also mental and moral improvement.


Section 1. The President, Secretary, and Chairman of Committee on Secret Work shall constitute a board for the examination of brothers who wish to become organizing officers.

Sec. 2. A brother wishing to become an organizing officer shall present to the above board of examination a recommendation from the President and Secretary of his State organization, or some other creditable authority, as to his integrity and moral character, and that he is not addicted to the excessive use of intoxicants; upon the receipt of which, it shall be the duty of the examining board to examine the applicant as to his qualification and adaptability to the work.

Sec. 3. If he shall pass a satisfactory examination, he shall be commissioned as organizing officer by the President, which commission shall be attested by the Secretary.

Sec. 4. There shall not be more than one organizing officer commissioned in each Congressional District, in States having no State organization.

Sec. 5. The organizers shall work under instructions from the above-named examining board, and shall report to the National Secretary.

Sec. 6. It shall be the duty of the President to Issue a charter, attested


Declaration of Purposes.

Profoundly impressed that we, the farmers of America, who are united by the strong and faithful ties of financial and home interests, should, when


by the Secretary, to each Alliance organized according to law and instructions, by organizing officers.

Sec. 7. It shall be the duty of the President to issue charter, attested by the Secretary, to any State organization, or any farmers in the State, when they comply with the following requirements: —

A. That they admit to membership no person unless eligible to membership, under the constitution of the State Alliance of Texas, or the State Farmers' Union of Louisiana.

B. That they have organizations in as many as three counties in the State for which the charter is desired.

C. That they will adopt and use the secret work of this National association.

D. That they will not adopt laws or usages contrary to the constitution of this National order.

E. That they have adopted a constitution and by-laws, and present a copy of same to be filed with the National Secretary.


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


Section 1. This constitution cannot be altered or amended, except upon a written resolution, clearly setting forth the change or addition to be made, which shall be read in open session on at least two separate days, and adopted by a two-thirds majority, and not then unless it be ratified by three-fourths of the State organizations of the order within one year.


J. J. Fairchild, B. F. Rogers, John O'Byrne, G. B. Pickett, R. F. Butler, C. W. Macune, S. P. Burns, W. K. Deason, W. M. Reed, D. B. Hale, Andrew Dunlap, E. B. Warren, W. D. Branum, D. M. Rumph, W. B. Briggs, J. M. Perdue, Nat Draughan, J. B. Barry, Ben Terrell, J. W. Goodwin, J. A. Tetts.

At the evening session on January 21, the above constitution and report of organization were submitted to the Texas State Alliance, and received a unanimous ratification. The minutes of that meeting further show that the officers of the National Alliance, being called upon, made appropriate addresses, thanking the Alliance for the honors conferred upon them, and portraying hopes of a bright future for the cause.

Brother Harrison also, being called upon, responded in a feeling speech.


On motion of Brother Pickett the following was passed: —

"Resolved, That should it became necessary, the secretary of the Farmers' State Alliance is hereby authorized to draw his draft upon the treasurer of the Farmers' State Alliance for any amount not to exceed $500, as a loan to the National Alliance, to enable its officers to organize, said amount to be refunded as soon as a sufficient sum accumulates in the treasury of the National Alliance."

The Farmers' Union of Louisiana also ratified the constitution and report at its next meeting. In this manner the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America began its eventful career. These brethren builded better than they knew, and brought into existence an organization that has not only proven the wonder of the age, but has developed so rapidly, through the living principles which it embodies, that its own members and followers are hardly able to keep pace with its progress. No one has been found bold enough to attempt its completion, or venture an opinion as to its final results. It is a growth, a development, that increases in size and force as the obstacles it encounters increase in numbers and importance. It is the economic conundrum of the nineteenth century, and no one has as yet fully comprehended its mission.

Directly after the close of the meeting, President Macune obtained the following charter from the General Government: —

"Acts of Incor. Liber. 4, folio 159 et seq.


"KNOW ALL MEN that the National Trade Union known as the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, being an association of working people having two or more branches in the States and Territories of the United States, does by these presents file its Articles of Incorporation in the Office of the Recorder of the District of Columbia, as follows, to wit: —

"1st. This Association is known to the trade under the name of National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America.

"2d. Under this name it shall have the right to sue and be sued, to implead and be impleaded, to grant and receive property Real, Personal, and Mixed, and to use said property and the proceeds and income thereof for the objects of said Corporation as in its charter defined, and to do any and all Corporate Acts.

"3d. The legal residence and general business office of this Association is the City of Washington in the District of Columbia, United Slates of America


but the general meetings of the Association, or of the Board of Trustees, or of the offices, may be at such places as may be prescribed by the Constitution or Regulations of the Association.

"4th. The term for which it is to exist is ninety-nine years.

"5th. The number of Trustees shall be three, and G. B. Pickett, who resides in Wise County, Texas, J. M. Perdue, who resides in Upshur County, Texas, and J. A. Tetts, who resides at Ruston, Louisiana, are the trustees for the first year.

"6th. This Association shall have no Capital Stock.

"7th. This Association is formed for the purpose, A, to promote the science of Agriculture and Horticulture; B. to labor for the education of the Agricultural classes in the sciences of economic government in a strictly non-partisan spirit, and to bring about a more perfect union of said classes; C, to develop a better state mentally, morally, socially, and financially; D, to create a better understanding for sustaining our civil officers in maintaining law and order; E, to constantly strive to secure entire harmony and good will to all mankind and brotherly love among ourselves; F, to suppress personal, local, sectional, and national prejudices, all unhealthful rivalry and selfish ambition; G, to aid its members to become more skillful and efficient workers, to promote their general intelligence, to elevate their character, the protection of the individual rights of its members, the raising of funds for the benefit of the sick, the disabled, or the families of deceased members, and to form for these purposes a more close union among all white persons who may be eligible to membership in this Association. This declaration is executed and filed by authority of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union.

"Witness our hands and seals, using scrolls for seals, this the 27th day of January, A.D. 1887.


"President of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America.

"E. B. WARREN, "Secretary of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America.


"Before me, the undersigned authority, on this day came and personally appeared C. W. Macune, President of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union, known to me to be the person who executed, and whose name is subscribed to the foregoing instrument of writing, and acknowledged to me that he executed the same for the purposes and considerations and in the capacity therein set forth and expressed.

"Given under my hand and seal of office, the 29th day of January, A. D. 1887.

(471, vol. 1, p. 158.)
"B. I. ARNOLD. "Notary Public Milam Co., Texas.



"Before me, the undersigned authority, on this day came and personally appeared E. B. Warren, Secretary of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, known to me to be the person who executed, and whose name is subscribed to the foregoing instrument of writing, and acknowledged to me that he executed the same for the purposes and considerations and in the capacity therein set forth and expressed.

"Given under my hand and seal of office, this the 27th day of January, A. D. 1887.

[NOTARIAL SEAL.] "C. H. JONES, J. P. L. C. B. 1204,
"Ex officio Notary Public, Lee Co., Texas.


"I, James C. MATTHEWS, Recorder of Deeds of the District of Columbia, do hereby certify that I have compared the annexed copy of Act of Incorporation with the record of the original thereof, recorded in this office on the 23d day of February, 1887, at 10:30 A.M., in Acts of Incorporation No. 4, one of the Land Records of the District of Columbia, on page 159 et seq., and that the same is a correct transcript there from, and of the whole of said record.

"IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have here hereunto net my hand and affixed my official seal this 23d day of February, 1887,
"Recorder of Deeds, District of Columbia,"
At the meeting at Waco, a resolution had been passed, instructing the president to extend an invitation to all labor organizations to send delegates to the next meeting of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, to be held at Shreveport, Louisiana, during the fall of 1888. Acting upon this, President Macune sent Brother G. B. Pickett to visit the organization known as the Agricultural Wheel, then attracting attention in Arkansas and adjoining States. His mission proved so successful that delegates were sent from the National Wheel to attend the meeting at Shreveport. With his usual vigor, based upon the belief that the farmers of the South were ready for co-operation in any plan that promised relief, he sent into the various States well-trained, careful organizers. It was the custom at that time to grant no one a license to organize, until he had passed a rigid examination as to his qualifications for that work. By this means the moral and intellectual standard of the men sent out among strangers to


propagate the work, was kept up, and confidence in the results of their efforts was well founded. It is well worthy of notice that these brethren received no salary, their only remuneration being the fee for organizing, which, though small, was enough to make them self-sustaining. A similar condition was never before known.

In the spring of 1887, President Macune sent these organizers into the States of Missouri, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, and Tennessee. Here was an attempt to organize eight States, with only $500 in the treasury, and even that was a loan from the State Alliance of Texas. The venture was very successful, and fully met the expectation which President Macune, in his good judgment, had anticipated. From this time until the National meeting at Shreveport, the work of propagation was incessant and effective. Cheering news came in from nearly all the States, and a large National meeting became assured. As this was the first meeting after its organization, it was looked forward to with some anxiety. Visions of the fate of the Grange frequently came up, and prophets were not wanting who predicted quick and certain destruction. Filled with a determination to discharge every duty faithfully and well; anxious to avoid the rocks and pitfalls that had proved the Waterloo of other efforts of a similar nature; and, above all, trusting to the honesty, fidelity, and integrity of one another, the brethren, representing nine States, met together in regular annual session.

The brethren were unacquainted with one another, and not exactly certain of the proper methods, or the most important purposes to serve. But the meeting soon developed a large number of able men, who have since proved themselves as such, by their fidelity and constancy to the cause of the Alliance. Among these were Colonel L. L. Polk and S. B. Alexander, of North Carolina; R. T. Love, C. T. Smithson, and W. R. Lacy, of Mississippi; Moore and Ansley, of Arkansas; Oswald Wilson, of Florida; S. M. Adams and H. P. Bone, of Alabama; Tanner, Pratt, and Stallings, of Louisiana; Johnson and Despain, of Missouri; McDowell and Gardner, of Tennessee; the usual number of old reliables from Texas, and many others.


I give below the proceedings in detail.

"The National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America met in regular session, in Shreveport, Louisiana, October 12, 1887, at ten o'clock A.M.

"The following officers were present: C. W. Macune, President; J. A. Tetts, First Vice-President; G. B. Pickett, Second Vice-President; J. M. Perdue, third Vice-President; E. B. Warren, Secretary; R. F. Butler, Treasurer; Ben Terrell, Lecturer; B. F. Rogers, Assistant Lecturer; Nat Draughan, Sergeant-at-Arms.

"The President filled vacancies by appointing the following brethren temporarily: W. S. Rushing of Mississippi, Chaplain; J. A. Green of Texas, Doorkeeper; O. M. Wright of Louisiana, Assistant Doorkeeper.

"The Alliance was opened in due form.

"The President announced the following Committee on Credentials: MaGee of Mississippi, Polk of North Carolina, and Jones of Texas.

"By consent, T. B. Ruff of Tennessee, a member of the Agricultural Wheel, was duly initiated into the Farmers' Alliance.

"The following committee on order of business was announced: G. B. Pickett of Texas, Linn Tanner of Louisiana, Oswald Wilson of Florida.

"The Committee on Credentials reported as follows:

"We, your committee, find the following brethren entitled to seats in this body:

"Mississippi: J. G. Hamilton, R. S. MaGee, T. E. Groom, Hazelhurst; W. B. Mosley, Chester; T. L. Darden, Fayette; W. S. Rushing, Carthage; T. W. Sullivan, Carrolton; E. L. Martin, Jackson; R. T. Love, Chester; C. T. Smithson, Newport; W. R. Lacy. Carthage.

"Arkansas: W. H. Moore, Belfont; John A. Ansley, Prescott; George Martin, Sulphur Rock; Joseph Tisdale, Texarkana.

"Florida: Oswald Wilson, Marianna.

"North Carolina: L. L. Polk, Raleigh.

"Alabama: J. M. Robinson, S. M. Adams, I. N. Gresham, and J. M. Langston; Six Mile Alliance, H. P. Bone.

"Louisiana: J. C. Jones, Ruston; W. M. Vickars, Shreveport; A. T. Hatcher and L. C. McAlpin, Lula: R. L. Tannehill, Winfield; E. McDonald, Rayville; Linn Tanner, Cheneyville; P. F. B. Pratt, Bastrop; J. M. Stallings, Ruston.

"Missouri: A. B. Johnson, W. D. Ham, Poplar Bluff; J. W. DeSpain, J. Graves.

"Tennessee: J. A. McDowell, Union City; A. E. Gardner, Dresden.

"Texas: J. S. Massey, F. Hoffheinz, A. M. Turnbull, J. A. Green, W. P. Hancock. J. M. Renick, R. A. Binford, J. J. Fairchild, T. M. Smith, R. P. Briscoll, N. H. C. Elliot, C. E. Cade, D. C. Whitman, L. L. Sloss, D. J. Eddleman, C. A. Leverton, Evan Jones, I. Stoddard, R. J. Wallace, R. M. Kay. S. O. Daws, Matt S. Wallace, R. J. Sledge. John O'Byrne, H. C. Maund.

"The Alliance adjourned until 1:30 P.M.


"1:30 P.M. President Macune in the chair. The Alliance opened in due form.

"President Macune delivered his annual address, which was full of interesting facts and suggestions.


"Brethren of the Farmers' National Alliance and Co-operative Union of America:

"This is indeed an auspicious occasion. It is the first session of this body; and this body is the first organization of the real cotton-raisers were inaugurated on a plan calculated to assist the poor man. It is a time in the history of cotton-raising when the price of that staple is not equal to the cost of producing it. This is a gathering of representative nun from ten States; men who represent the greatest of all industries, the agricultural, assembled here, not merely for the pleasures or emoluments to be gained by their attendance, but, I trust, imbued with the proper conceptions of the great responsibility resting upon them, thoroughly alive to the conditions of the times, and firmly resolved 10 work out the proper and true solution of how to relieve the depressed condition of agriculture in our beautiful southland, and, when found, to stand shoulder to shoulder in one solid phalanx, till the effort is crowned with victory. As the first legislative body ever convened in the order, you will have a great work to perform, and the future prosperity of this great movement is, therefore, largely in your hands. Your attention is called to the causes that, combined, created the necessity for this organization; the plan on which organization has been effected, comprising the organic law of the order, both written and unwritten; also the objects and conditions it is expected to achieve, in the event that success attends the effort. The laws to be made by this body will be statutory, and will be based upon and explanatory of the organic law; they should be prompted by the necessities that gave rise to the existence of the order, and executed with a spirit of devotion to the objects we seek to achieve, bounded only by the limit of possibility.

"Mr. Garvin, in his history of the Alliance in Texas, says that it was started somewhere between 1870 and 1875, in Lampasas County, by a number of farmers, who associated themselves together in a defensive league, to resist the encroachments of land-sharks, who proposed to rob them of their homes. The history of the move, from its inception up to 1886, was not attended with much interest. It had grown by August, 1885, to the number of about 700 Subordinate Alliances, and had changed its objects and workings, until they resembled very closely those of the present. From August, 1885, to August, 1886, a most prodigious growth was recorded; the increase was about 2000 Sub-Alliances. Among the reasons for this rapid growth, and probably one of the most potent, was the fact that all other occupations were either organized, or were rapidly organizing, and the farming interest was unable to cope with them, unorganized; therefore the necessity for organization for self-defence. Again, the results of combination had reduced the price of


all products the farmer had to sell to such an extent, that in many cases they would not pay hireling's wages to the one who produced them, and were really grown at a loss. The rule was, that a year spent in the most vigorous labor and rigid economy would with good management yield a bare subsistence, and in many cases it yielded less; and would finally result in a surrender of the farm to the mortgagee merchant, and the addition of one more family to the army of renters. It seemed to be an admitted fact that organization was the only hope of the farmer, and as the Alliance was presented as strictly a farmers' organization, its ranks were rapidly filled with all those who felt disposed to unite and resist the encroachments of other organizations, and who realized that it required organization to meet organized power. Such large numbers joining a secret organization in so short a time rendered proper instructions as to the principles and objects of the order impossible; consequently many joined who were not as well posted as they should have been, and vast differences were entertained as to the policy to be pursued in order to accomplish with speed and certainty the objects of the order.

"Some contended that the only hope was in the ballot-box, and that united political action w.ts the only way for the Alliance ever to accomplish anything; others, realizing the danger to American institutions, by the introduction of a secret political party, contended that we must eschew politics altogether, and that the Alliance was a social and benevolent organization, calculated to make man a better farmer and a better neighbor. Others had different conceptions: some, that it would make all farmers' boys orators; some, that it would stop horse-stealing; some, that it would make all its members truthful and honest; and the contention between the different factions was beginning to assume alarming proportions, as a family quarrel, when the called session of the Farmers' State Alliance of Texas was held in the city of Waco, in January last. One object of that called meeting was to devise some plan of extending the work into other States. The Louisiana State Union, which had met just prior to that time, had elected and sent to that meeting a delegate, to co-operate with the State Alliance of Texas in the extension of the work. It was there shown that there was already in existence an organization in the northwestern States calling itself the National Farmers' Alliance, but that it was a very loose organization, and was non-secret, that the door to membership was too wide for it to meet the wants of the times in the South. It was the prevailing sentiment that none but those most interested in fanning should ever be admitted. It was, after a full investigation, decided that the organization as it existed in Texas, and the other States of the South, to which it had spread from and by the authority of the Texas Alliance, could accomplish nothing by joining the National Farmers' Alliance of the Northwest, and in view of the fact that the cotton belt of America was a circumscribed country, there was a necessity for a national organization of those residing in the cotton belt, to the end that the whole world of cotton-raisers might be united for self-protection. This was a grand conception, and one susceptible of results beyond our expectations. It was, therefore, decided to organize, in connection with Louisiana, a National Farmers'


Alliance and Co-operative Union of America; to make it a strong national order, with the one great battle-cry of co-operation as the universal principle upon which all could unite; co-operation in its broadest sense, that is, that we will assist one another, that we will stand shoulder to shoulder in bearing the crosses and burdens of life, that we will intelligently pull together in everything; in buying and selling, in producing and consuming. There is a necessity for enlightened co-operation in everything, leaving local issues for local or State Alliances to settle.

"The necessity for the extension of the work lay in the fact that other States were in as bad a condition as Texas and Louisiana, and that, as the interests of the cotton-producers were identical, and the evils from which they were suffering general, the greatest good could not be effected without uniting the whole cotton belt. It was necessary to the local business experiments already commenced, that they be made general, and be participated in by all, in order that they prove a greater success. Single towns or counties could not inaugurate a move that would affect the cotton business much, and a whole State could not accomplish as much acting alone as it could in conjunction with the other ten. It will be seen, then, that in the organization of this national association, the object was to organize the agriculturists of the cotton bell for business purposes; and that purpose has been carried out, and has been found to give sufficient scope to the ability of all, and that the dissensions spoken of in the early history of the order, in regard to politics and other subjects, have entirely died out, and given place to an enlightened effort to accomplish something grand — a business organization.

"If we look back through the history of this and other countries, we will see that some branches of industry have always been knocking at the doors of legislation, and when weak, begging for class laws that would assist their business efforts; if they were strong, they would either demand or buy such favors; but in either case they have too often been successful. It is proverbial that the other two great classes of production, the manufacturing and the commercial, which include railroads and transportation lines, have been largely built up to their present condition of wealth and prosperity by government favors and assistance. Now, if this be true, at whose expense has the government done this, as there are only three classes of producers? It must evidently have been at the expense of the third class, which is the great agricultural. The agricultural class, then, has not only received no government favors, but has been bled to enrich other classes. This is now fully realized, and is productive of a determination on the part of our people to submit to such wrongs no longer. They do not organize a new political party to carry out their plans; they call upon the government to correct the evils, or provide protection, as the case may be. It is realized that class legislation is a great evil, because it builds up two classes at the expense of the third. Then either let the third class be the recipient, or do away with all class legislation. If a party was organized for that purpose, the party would die when that purpose was accomplished.

"Under our system of government, we should not resort to a new political


movement to carry out every reform necessary. We have the two great principles and conceptions of the genius of our institutions, as contended for by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, as a basis for a division into two great political parties; that should suffice: let every one carry his ideas of reform to the party to which he belongs from principle. And as the agriculturists comprise a large majority of all the voters, they will necessarily comprise a majority in each party. But their greatest influence in politics can be brought to bear, not at the hustings, but in the halls of legislation, by the proper and judicious exercise of the right of petition. There they step forward as Alliance men strong and united, and demand that the government redress wrongs committed by it; but in partisan politics the members of our order should participate, not as Alliance men, but as citizens, because politics is for the citizen.

"Let the Alliance be a business organization for business purposes, and as such, necessarily secret, and as secret, necessarily strictly non-political. This is somewhat of a digression, but is made in order to show the ideas that were entertained at the time this national association was launched forth on the sea of experiment as a business organization of the farmers of the cotton belt. The plan on which organization has been effected is to some extent new; and while it perhaps contains nothing original, it is experimental, in that it combines the features of several different systems. Being a secret organization, it is necessarily to some extent like the father of all secret organizations, monarchical in form; but being a chartered association, under the law of our country, for business purposes, and being composed of a people who are familiar with, and devoted to, a republican form of government, its written law is in conformity to that system. You will, therefore, find in the construction of a code of statutory law that you must provide for a membership who occupy a dual relation to the order; that is, the constitution is the written organic law, and outlines a republican form of government. The secret work is the unwritten organic law, and is co-ordinate with the written, and outlines a limited monarchy. By keeping these ideas in view, you will avoid confusion, and will find questions of law much easier of solution.

"It is a great pleasure to be able to congratulate you on the rapid extension of the work under the plan outlined. There are now State organizations in eight states, and in many States the work is progressing in a very satisfactory manner, as the report of the secretary will show. The plan of organization seems to meet the necessities, with perhaps a few modifications. There appear to be no prominent defects in the plan as a national enterprise, and as complete jurisdiction is surrendered to the State Alliances when organized, it rests with them to make laws to meet local conditions. There is a feature of the Alliance that is very important, and has always been a part of the unwritten work, that it might perhaps be well to introduce some laws and regulations in the written work, in order that it may be more universally understood. That in the trade system, and the co-operative efforts being made to act in harmony in the sale of products and purchase of commodities. On the success of this feature much of the prosperity of the order depends;


hence, some general laws and recommendations should be in print, in plain and was-to-be-understood language, so that all may understand, and tend towards one and the same object. Much might be said as to the future of this great movement, and still it is all expressed in the single sentence, ‘There is no limit to the possibilities,’ However, I call your attention to the fact that our people, owing to money pressure and the fact that cotton is our great money crop, are disposed to rely too much on it, and purchase many things that should be produced at home; therefore this body should strongly recommend more diversity of farming, to the end that our people become more self-sustaining, and therefore less dependent.

"State Alliances should be called upon to take steps to assist their members in procuring the facilities for diversifying their products, and to assist them in the sale of their surplus; and further, these States raise 7,500,000 bales of cotton yearly; a little over two thirds of this enormous crop is sold in Europe, and the price not only for that, but for all that is used in America, is fixed in Great Britain; and yet out government does not allow one yard of cotton cloth imported without a tax of about sixty per cent of its value. This enables American spinners to undersell the British looms, and prevents the importation of British cloth, but does not prevent British spinners from discriminating against American cotton in every conceivable manner, and in constantly crowding the price of the staple down, so as to enable them to compete with the American spinner. The condition simply is that the British spinner fixes the price on every pound of cotton raised, and the effect of our law is no make him virtually interested in reducing the price of our cotton. Were it not for this tariff-law discrimination against him, by an ad valorem tax, be would as soon see cotton high as low; and would, perhaps, prefer it high.

"Our people occupy the ridiculous position of not only paving the New England spinner about fifty per cent more for the cotton cloth than it is worth, but they, by submitting to that law, allow conditions that very naturally reduce the price of every pound of cotton they raise.

"It is no claimed that as cotton-planters and Alliance men we should demand the abolition of all tariff; that would not be our province in that capacity. We may do that as citizens, if we choose: but as cotton-raisers and an Alliance business organization, we have a right to demand the correction of evils that afflict and sap the very life-blood from our business. Merchants, bankers, insurance men, and all others do the same. But in so doing we should be careful that we do not inflict wrongs on others, or on other interests.

"It is claimed by many intelligent and honest thinkers that if we reduce the tariff on manufactured cotton goods we would ruin American manufacturing; and we might with propriety reply: Which is the most essential, that the few American factories keep on paying a dividend of from twenty to forty-five per cent, and that the many farmers become tenants, serfs, and slaves: or that the manufacturer be placed upon a level with the agriculturist, and that each be allowed the fruits of his own labor, and a fair interest on the money invested? But our object is to show the effect that a reduction of the cotton tariff would have on the mills. In the first place, there is no surplus of cotton


raised in the world, and this is proven by the fact that there is no accumulation of it. Now, it is true that the old doctrine of price being regulated by demand and supply holds good in this instance, but in a country where every seventh person is either a pauper or is the recipient of public charity in some shape, the demand is very materially modified by the ability to purchase; and that whenever the ability to purchase is enhanced, the demand will be very materially increased.

"Now, if by reducing the tariff, English cotton goods were introduced, cheaper goods would increase; the ability to purchase and the increased demand would act upon the limited cotton supply by increasing the price of the raw cotton, which would, in turn, raise the price of the cloth to its present price, or perhaps higher, and still keep up the increased ability to purchase by the increased amount of money put in circulation by the cotton-producers, who would be receiving an increased price for cotton. Therefore, the result would be, not to lessen the price of cotton goods, but to increase the price of raw cotton; and it is held that the increased demand would, as far as justice is necessary, compensate the mills for the loss of profit.

"In conclusion, it is hereby recommended that this body formulate some plan of universal co-operation among our people, whereby each Sub, County, and State Alliance shall have an agent, and that a national agent be chairman of a board composed of the different State agents, and that a system be established for conducting the production and disposition of the cotton crop. Such a board could have accurate and reliable information every month, as to the condition of the crop in every neighborhood in the eleven Southern States. They could negotiate and consummate arrangements tending to an increased price; and should all negotiations prove of non-effect, they could adopt a graduated scale for the reduction of the cotton crop, which would be an injustice to none. This plan in simply offered as a suggestion, and it is hoped that something of this character will be adopted.


"A memorial to the Congress of the United States, touching the questions of protective tariff, silver, and bonds was referred to the Committee on Demands,

"A printed letter from the Knights of Labor was read, and on motion referred to the Committee on Resolutions.

"The following, offered by N. H. C. Elliot, was adopted: —

"Whereas, The farmers of North Carolina have an organization known as the State Farmers' Association, the declared objects and purposes of which are in accord with the general principles and purposes of the Farmers' Alliance; therefore,

"Resolved, That a committee be appointed to present to that body, at its next annual meeting in Greensboro, on the second Wednesday in January, 1888, the general objects, purposes, and principles of the Farmers' Alliance, to the end that the said Fanners' State Association may be induced to adopt the same and become thoroughly affiliated with us.

"Whereupon the president appointed N. H. C. Elliot of Texas, L. L. Polk and S. B. Alexander of North Carolina, said committee.


"The following paper, offered by Martin of Arkansas, was read, and on motion received and concurred in: —

"Believing that all labor organizations should be a unit in their efforts to bring relief to the toiling masses, whenever they are satisfied that their rights are infringed upon by organized capital; therefore be it

"Resolved, That the Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union will at all times oppose any unjust or oppressive move of any corporation, the object of which is to do an injury to any of the sister labor organizations. And,

"Resolved, That we will, in an honest, legitimate way, assist any labor organization to throw off the oppressive yoke of organized capital.

"The following, offered by J. A. Ansley of Arkansas was, on motion, adopted: —

"Resolved, That the chair appoint a committee of four on the part of the Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union, to confer with a like committee to be composed of one member from each State, sent to this body as delegates or representatives by various State Agricultural Wheels. Said committee will formulate a plan upon which said bodies may consolidate. Should any plan be agreed upon, the same shall be sent by a delegate from this body, and submitted for the consideration of the National Agricultural Wheel, at its annual meeting in November next.

"The following were announced as said committee: R. F. Butler, B. F. Rogers, and Evan Jones, of Texas, and J. C. Jones of Louisiana.

"On motion of G. B. Pickett of Texas, the regular order of business was suspended, and H. C. Brown, Secretary and Treasurer of the State Agricultural Wheel of Kentucky; S. B. Erwin, President State Agricultural Wheel of Kentucky; S. H. McDowell, Secretary National Wheel of Tennessee: Alf E. Gardner, Secretary and Treasurer National Wheel, Tennessee, were introduced and initiated into the Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, preparatory to a conference between the States represented by these brethren, pointing to a union of these orders.

"The Conference Committee made the following report: —

"Resolved, That we, as delegates of the Farmers' Alliance and Agricultural Wheel, agree to accept, as a basis of union, the secret work of the Alliance and the national constitution of the same; each State accepting this basis of union to retain such name as they now have, if they so desire.

"Resolved, That the eligibility clause in the National Alliance constitution be explained by statutory enactment, showing that the State Alliance of Texas, or the State Farmers' Union of Louisiana, have no power to change this eligibility.

"J. H. MCDOWELL, Tenn..
"Agricultural Wheel. "B. F. ROGERS, Tex.,
"R. F. BUTLER, Tex., "EVAN JONES, Tex., "J. C. JONES, La.


"The time having arrived to which the election of the offices had been set, John O. Byrne of Texas moved that each State be admitted to cast the whole number of votes to which they were entitled. Carried.

"The delegates from Florida asked the privilege, in behalf of Florida, to place in nomination C. W. Macune, as a candidate for president of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, who was, on motion, unanimously elected by a rising vote.

"A motion prevailed that Brother L. L. Polk of North Carolina inform Brother C. W. Macune of his election.

"Nominations were then declared in order for vice-presidents and such other officers as are provided for by the constitution of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, in regular order, which resulted in the election of the following brethren to the respective offices: —

"First Vice-Presidents, L. L. Polk, North Carolina; R. T. Love, Mississippi; S. B. Alexander, North Carolina; H. P. Bone, Alabama; Linn Tanner, Louisiana; W. H. Moore, Arkansas; S. B. Erwin, Kentucky; A. B. Johnson, Missouri; J. H. McDowell, Tennessee; M. D. K. Taylor, Texas; Oswald Wilson, Florida; E. B. Warren, Secretary, Texas; A. E. Gardner, Treasurer, Tennessee; J. C. Jones, Chaplain, Louisiana; Ben Terrell, Lecturer, Texas; J. A. Tetts, Assisiant Lecturer, Louisiana; I. N. Gresham, Doorkeeper, Alabama; H. C. Brown, Assistant Doorkeeper, Kentucky; T. E. Groome, Sergeant-at-Arms, Mississippi.

"A motion prevailed to select the place for the next meeting of this National Alliance. Whereupon, Meridian, Mississippi, was duly and constitutionally selected as such place.

"A motion by Love of Mississippi prevailed, that a committee of one from each State represented here, be appointed to report at the next meeting of this body some plan by which we can own our organ; also, in addition, our printing establishment, for the publishing of everything necessary to the needs of Alliances, such as school-books, etc.

"The president announced as the Committee on National Organ J. H. McDowell of Tennessee, Ansley of Arkansas, E. L. Martin of Mississippi, L. L. Polk of North Carolina, Oswald Wilson of Florida, Tannehill of Louisiana, A. B. Johnson of Missouri, and Lane of Alabama.

"Resolved, That this National Alliance and Co-operative Union of America adjourn to meet in Meridian, Mississippi, on the second Wednesday in October, 1888.


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

"1. We demand, first, the recognition by incorporation, of trades-unions, co-operative stores, and such other associations as may be organized by the


industrial classes, to improve their financial condition, or promote their general welfare.

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

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

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

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

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

"7. We demand that extinguishment of the public debt of the United States by operating the mints to their fullest capacity, in coining silver and gold, and the tendering of the same discrimination, to the public creditors of the nation, according to contract.

"8. We demand the substitution of legal-tender treasury notes for the issues of national banks; that the Congress of the United States shall regulate the amount of such issue by per capita circulation, that shall increase and keep pace with the growth of the country's population and the expansion of her business interests. We further demand the repeal of the present national banking system.

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

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

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

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


"13. That in view of the fact that the delegates to this body represent a majority of the cotton-producers of the cotton belt of America, which belt produces over two-thirds of the cotton of the whole world; and in view of the further fact that two-thirds of the cotton in the cotton belt is demanded and used for export to a foreign power, which fixes the price on every pound of our cotton; and in view of the fact that the said power is debarred from returning to thin country a single yard of manufactured cotton, thereby making said power interested in crowding down to the lowest figure the price of cotton, we hereby demand that the United States Government adopt a speedy system of reduction of the import duty on manufactured cottons, in such a way as to do justice to this, the greatest of all classes of producers.

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

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

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

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

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

The meeting closed amid universal satisfaction, and a general determination to take the order into all the cotton States. In fact, the formation of the cotton-growing States into one grand agricultural organization was as much as the most sanguine expected. It was argued that the cotton belt of the United States produced seven-tenths of the cotton of the world, and that the producers of the raw material, through combination, could force prices to where they would return a fair profit on production. Such a position was logically correct, and no doubt could be made effective. It was with this idea that many of the States joined the organization. However, it soon began to appear that the wheat and cattle raisers of the West were in the same position, and dominated by the same power. A sort of fellow-feeling was engendered through mutual distress, that


finally took shape and led to the introduction of the order into the Western States.

President Macune was fortunate in the selections for vice-presidents in the different States; also in securing the services of Brother E. B. Warren, who made a most excellent secretary. But above all, for the prosecution of such a work, he had the assistance and hearty co-operation of Brother Ben Terrell, as national lecturer. Brother Terrell labored incessantly, going anywhere and everywhere that the judgment of the president deemed necessary. Under such management, and with such coadjutors, failure was impossible. The work of organization spread rapidly. Further negotiations were held with the National Wheel, looking toward consolidation, with good success; and Brother Terrell was sent to attend their national meeting at McKenzie, Tennessee. Mutual explanations were made, and it was decided to hold a meeting at the same time and place, and try to consolidate. Meridian, Mississippi, was the place selected.

It would fill a volume to detail the immense amount of labor performed by President Macune and his corps of assistants, in the propagation of the principles of the order. Brother Macune saw clearly the benefits arising from active, effective, and successful work in the line of organization, and bent his whole energy to further that end. He seems to have been the guiding and decisive power, with every one willing and ready to assist. New States were organized, business agencies were established, and the progress of the Alliance was without a parallel in history.

Under such conditions, the time for the third annual session of the Alliance drew near. The meeting at Shreveport was a sort of getting together of the scattered forces of the Alliance into one compact organization, with mutual understandings between those who, though belonging to the same order, were comparative strangers. The meeting held at Meridian was an attempt to further extend the field of operation, by consolidating with an organization similar in character, aims, and purposes, but made up of almost entire strangers. Under these circumstances, the more timid were reluctant to run any chances of making a mistake. President Macune had looked over the ground thoroughly, and carefully considered the matter in all


its bearings, and concluded that the consolidation of these two forces into one would form a power for good that, in the end, would be irresistible. Having come to this conclusion, he made every exertion possible to accomplish this result. In this he was ably assisted by Brothers L. L. Polk, J. H. McDowell, and others.

The annual meeting at Meridian was composed of full delegations from twelve States and Territories, every one in earnest, and all flushed with the victories of the past year. I give the most important acts of that meeting, in the synopsis which follows: —

"The National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America met in regular session in the city of Meridian, Mississippi, December 5, 1888, with the following officers present: C. W. Macune, President; L. L. Polk, First Vice-President; R. T. Love, Vice-President for Mississippi; S. B. Alexander, Vice-President for North Carolina; H. P. Bone, Vice-President for Alabama; Linn Tanner, Vice-President for Louisiana; A. B. Johnson, Vice-President for Missouri; J. H. McDowell, Vice-President for Tennessee; E. B. Warren, Secretary; A. E. Gardner, Treasurer; Ben Terrell, Lecturer; H. C. Brown, Assistant Doorkeeper; T. E. Groome, Sergeant-at-Arms.

"The president filled vacancies by appointing the following, pro tem,:
J. W. Beck of Georgia, Chaplain; T. J. Bounds, Doorkeeper.
"Alliance opened in due form.

"Committee on Credentials appointed, consisting of Quicksall of Kentucky, Dimmick of Louisiana, Tracy of Texan, Bone of Alabama, and Payne of North Carolina.

"The following officers were appointed temporarily: Evan Jones, Vice-President for Texas; W. A. Wilson, Vice-President for Georgia; H. McRae, Vice-President for South Carolina; W. M. Huey, Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms; G. L. Clark, Assistant Doorkeeper. J. W. Reid, B. J. Hubbard, and J. C. DeLoach were appointed secretaries.

"While waiting for the report of Committee on Credentials, President Macune read his annual message as follows: —

"Brethren: In presenting to you this, my annual message, to the third regular session of this body, at the expiration of my term of office, I have much to say, and feel deeply impressed with the importance of a full and free expression to you as to the past and present condition of the order, and the necessities of the future. Ours is no common struggle; upon it depend, in a great measure, the future prosperity of agriculture and the liberty and independence of those engaged in that pursuit and, indirectly, the perpetuity of our system of government must be largely affected by our success or failure. This is true because the people whom we seek to relieve from the oppression of unjust conditions, are the largest and most conservative class of citizens of this country; they are the greatest producers, and are the permanent, stable,


and solid class, on which the prosperity of all others depends, and to which all must look to judge of the future of the land.

"Causes that tend to depress and enslave this important element of our country, which may be well designated as the foundation of the superstructure, mast surely endanger the very structure itself, and tend towards ultimate dissolution and loss of all control. Strange as the assertion may sound, it is nevertheless true, that we have two classes of anarchists in this country: one the avowed anarchists, who oppose all law and order, and the other a blindly selfish class, who would loudly disclaim anarchy, but advocate conditions that so surely sap the vitals of productive labor, that the result is ten times more productive of results ripe for anarchy than all the agitation of the avowed anarchists. If our order means anything, it means justice, right, law, and order, and therefore must be the very antipode of all forms of anarchy, both avowed and disguised. So just a cause may well command great devotion and energy; but when, in addition to the justice of the principles involved in the movement, its magnitude and importance and the necessity for action are considered, the command will be recognized and accepted as imperative by all those who have allied themselves to the order. As to the magnitude and importance of the business, you, as the representatives of the membership at large, are lo be congratulated upon the wonderful growth the order has made in so short a time. As will be shown by the report of your secretary, there are now about ten thousand Sub-Alliances; these are associated into abort eight hundred County Alliances, and represent an individual membership of about four hundred thousand. Twelve States are working under charters, from this body, and three or four more are about ready to be chartered. While this is a good showing for the time and means employed, it is but a start compared will, what may be done in the same field, and may well and forcibly impress you with the importance of providing a more efficient system of securing laborers and means with which to prosecute the work. As to the necessity for action, all will perhaps admit that it exists, and that it calls for immediate activity. All other occupations are organized and are constantly striving to draw the lines of their organization closer, and the progress of material development has brought about such peculiar conditions in this day and time that to avoid organization is to refuse the benefits of enlightened co-operation, and suffer from the evil effects of trusts and combines, that seem to have no limit to their greed, and heed no resistance except organization. That this is understood and recognized by the masses is evinced by the avidity with which they embrace an opportunity to unite with the organization, and this should be carefully noted as an indication of the responsibility resting on this body to provide such laws and rules within the order as will insure to its members the benefits of enlightened co-operation in fact: and such laws as will assist them in acting as a unit to resist the encroachments of opposing organized power.

"Questions of great delicacy and Importance will be presented lo this body for solution, and, unfortunately, the limited time that the majority will probably agree to stay may render a proper consideration and discussion of all


the subjects impossible. It is therefore suggested that you try to get all the business presented to the body on the first day and referred to the committees; that the committees be made small and expected to work and report promptly. So great an amount of work as you have before you must necessarily be done largely by committees, unless much time is consumed in its execution.

"One of the most important subjects to be considered is the basis of an organic union with the National Agricultural Wheel. This was discussed at your last regular meeting, and the national lecturer appointed to visit the National Agricultural Wheel at its regular session in Nashville, Tennessee, In December, 1887, and make overtures tending toward such union. He was courteously received and highly honored by that body, and his propositions and negotiations treated with all the respect due his important mission from this honorable body. As a result, the National Agricultural Wheel adjourned its regular session at that time and place, to meet with the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, at this meeting. That arrangement has been carried out, and they are here to-day, and should have your immediate attention and consideration until you have, if possible, agreed upon a basis that will place these two great orders, that are working and striving for the same ends by the same methods, under the same jurisdiction; so that as a unit, they may press forward, shoulder to shoulder, united in one solid phalanx: one motive, right; one thought, victory; and one sentiment, fraternal love, actuating both.

"Your attention is called to the necessity of adopting and publishing the policy that will be pursued as to the extension of the organization into the Northern States.

"It will be remembered, at the time of the organization of this order as a national trade-union, the prime motive was to secure a strong organization of the producers of the cotton belt of America. It was argued that an organization of that district meant virtually an organization of the world, so far as the production of cotton was concerned; and that, therefore, in that direction was the best field to demonstrate the power and benefits of co-operation and organization. In pursuance of this doctrine, the work has been pushed with most vigor in the cotton States, until each has now a State Alliance. Other States are knocking at the door, and it seems that there can be no good cause for denying them admission. But the extension of the work into new territory, where new conditions and issues are to be met, is attended with great responsibility and danger. The danger is, that the objects of the order and the methods it proposes to work by will be misunderstood. It should be remembered that the evils which now afflict agriculture are of a general character, and have been for years developing, and consequently no spasmodic effort will relieve, neither can an effort directed by one idea alone be adequate. The relief measures must be general in character and must be applied in every possible way, and contended for with a persistence and determination that will be content with slow and partial results for the present generation, and insure the grandest benefits to posterity. Consequently, great care


must be exercised that the ship of slate be kept sailing in the open waters of general reform, ready to respond to and take advantage of any favorable wind that may be presented. The shoals and rocks of special ideas must be avoided, as containing the elements of disaster.

"While all will admit that nothing will be of as great service in promoting the objects the Alliance seeks to achieve as certain legislative enactments, still nothing could be more disastrous to the order than to tie it to that one channel of reform, because by directing all effort in that direction, it would soon be recognized as the chief object of the order, and when that was accomplished, the necessity for the existence of the order would no longer remain, and it would naturally go to pieces. He who teaches as a panacea for all, either a party reform, a money reform, a land reform, or any other special reform for general conditions, must not be accepted as a guide, All the special reforms that contain good should be contended for as methods of the Alliance, but great care should be taken not to confound them with the principles which are general and are founded on ultimate truth, and as such, and in that capacity, are alone capable of meeting the general adverse conditions to be contended with. Hence the necessity, in the extension of the work into new territory, of being able to define the issues on which the methods to be pursued will depend, in plain and simple language, so that all will understand readily and indorse fully. In the cotton belt, co-operation in regulating the price of that product has been an idea that all could grasp at once and indorse it; but other sections are not favored with a product of which they have a comparative monopoly in the production, and the danger is that without some strong object of peculiar class to act as a ballast, they may attach too much importance to partisan political methods, and getting them mixed with the principles of the order, seriously injure the movement. It must therefore be extremely hazardous to extend the order into new territory without using great caution, and giving full notice to all who contemplate joining its ranks, that its objects are: ‘To teach the principles of economic government in a strictly non-partisan spirit’; ‘To bring about a better understanding among agriculturalists’; ‘To promote mental, moral, social, and financial prosperity’; ‘To bury the dead, relieve the sick and afflicted, to comfort the distressed’; and that it means ‘Peace on earth and good will to man.’ While it is every man's duty to his family and country, under our form of government, to be a partisan, the proper place for him to receive a true education is not in a partisan school. Let the order be the great school of truth, in which, by a thorough exchange of ideas, all may be truly educated. Let it there be agreed what great principles shall be indorsed. Leave partisanship to the individual, but study and discuss political economy as a class, and arrive at true conclusions. There need be no apprehension as to what will be the partisan policy of any people who believe and think alike, from enlightened understanding of the same subject. They would then act together and be beyond the reach of those who would try to array them to do battle on account of class prejudice. It is therefore suggested that this body, as the representative of all the Alliances now organized, pass such laws as


will prohibit Alliances from taking organized action In partisan politics or sectarian religion, under penalty of forfeiture of charter, and that all Alliances to be hereafter organized be notified of that law before charters are issued to them.

"Your attention is called to the necessity of defining — both for the information of the membership and as a guide for your executive — the genius of your laws, both organic and statutory: this will be found a task worthy of careful execution. It seems that the order is under two distinct systems of law and government, and must necessarily be so as long as it is a secret order with a written constitution — the charter from the United States government and the constitution adopted at the first meeting of this body, composed of delegates from two States and ratified by those States — comprises the organic law. Under it each State is a separate autonomy, limited only by the rights and powers expressly delegated to the national government in the constitution, thus making the order like the government of the United States, a confederated form of republican government, and authorizing its legislative branch to make laws to the extent expressly delegated by the constitution only.

"The other system of laws that governs the order, and to which it is subject, is similar to that of all other secret societies, and is of the nature of a limited or constitutional monarchy, and must ever be so as long as the secret work emanates from the general government. By authority of this system, you have in your legislative capacity, while in session, powers co-ordinate at least with the constitution. No constitution has ever prescribed a penalty for violating the obligation, still any Sub-Alliance or any president, by virtue of this last system of laws, to which the order in subject, would, on sufficient evidence, expel a member for that offence, and expulsion is the extent of punishment possible under the constitution, Your powers, then, as a legislative body, are supreme under the one system, and are only limited by the constitution under the other. You will therefore be at liberty, should you so decide, to pass a system of statutory laws, and to offer the State Alliances constitutional amendments for their adoption. It will be found a great convenience to adopt a uniform rule when enacting statutory laws; have them read by caption, numbered, and referred to appropriate committees; also require that they all commence in the same form, as, be it enacted; This will save time from being wasted in useless discussion before the body. Statutory laws enacted by this body, by virtue of the authority of the unwritten law or secret work, should be supreme, controlling and being recognized and enforced by all subordinate divisions of the government. That is to say, should this body pass a law by that authority which affected the individual membership, all State, County, and Subordinate Alliances would immediately be subject to that law and responsible for its execution.

"The organic law, as embodied in the constitution, should express nothing but general principles, and should leave the provisions for applying those principles entirely to legislative enactment. This is peculiarly necessary in our form of popular government, where amendments to the constitution have to be ratified by three-fourths of the State Alliances before becoming laws.


Hence the necessity of having the constitution contain as few provisions as possible, and restrict it to a simple expression of principles so general and permanent that they will need no change; and to a definition limiting the rights and powers of all concerned. Your present constitution, therefore, needs very few changes; there are, however, three constitutional amendments submitted to your attention, as of sufficient importance to be submitted to the States, and you are requested to consider the advisability of so doing.

"First, a change as to the manner of raising, and the amount of, the revenues now derived from the States, as five per cent of the gross receipts. There is no necessity for any special elaboration on this point, as all will admit that the revenues are not adequate to meet the running expenses which must be incurred, and that this condition must seriously hamper the work. Your secretary has had a hard fight with short funds; he has received less than one thousand dollars, and is over one thousand dollars in debt. That office is economically managed when the gross expenses do not exceed thirty-five hundred dollars per year, including stationery, postage, printing, etc. But the funds coming in under the present system have been so irregular and vague that the secretary has been compelled to manage along, relying upon other resources for the greater part of the year. He had a right to expect that in the end he would receive enough from this body to pay all indebtedness. No other officer has been allowed any expense during the past year. But all of your officers have been compelled to advance the funds from their own pockets to defray their expenses in attending this meeting. This is a hardship, and is not just; the laborer is worthy of his hire, and should at least get his own money returned to him. However, the greatest necessity for revenue is to provide a fund for the elaboration and extension of the work into new fields.

"The second amendment is in regard to representation, which, under the present plan, is cumbersome and sometimes unequal. One delegate from every four counties is not based on any ratio is to extent of territory or numerical strength of constituency. This should be remedied, so as to always keep the size of the body within the bounds of reason, and at the same time provide some uniformity as to the amount of interests represented by each member.

"The third amendment suggested is one providing for a supreme judiciary, to be co-ordinate in power with the executive and legislative branches, with appellate jurisdiction in matters of controversy between the Stale Alliances, and in trials for impeachment of officers of the National Alliance. Such appeals, in the latter class of cases, being taken from the findings of special committee appointed by the president, when competent; and when not. to be appointed by the Legislative Department when in session; and when not, to be appointed by the Supreme Bench. The Supreme Judiciary should hare original and final jurisdiction in cases involving the constitutionality of any statutory laws, and in cases defining the legal relations of the order with other organized bodies.

"The statutory laws of the order will depend entirely upon your wisdom, and should clearly define and provide for the effective operation of every


principle of the constitution. You are to be congratulated upon having one vice-president from each of the States, and that the vice-presidents form the Executive Committee, and it is suggested that you constitute them a diplomatic council, with power to meet at any time on call of the president, and define and carry out a plan of consolidation with any kindred organization, subject to ratification and approval by the Supreme Judiciary. This would enable such business to be dispatched at all times of the year.

"It is suggested that a law be passed regulating the printing of rituals and charters, and that States should not be allowed to have that work done. A reason for this is that the National Alliance, by having large numbers made, can secure better work for less money; and further, it might, by being restricted to the National Executive Committee, be made a source of revenue.

"There is great necessity for a statutory enactment that will be the means of securing full and accurate crop reports at least four times a year; and some action should be taken by this body that will impress the people with the importance of this business and secure the co-operation of all to perfect a bureau that will be absolutely correct, and can at all times be relied upon to represent the interest of the producer, whether it be simply to inform him of the best time to sell, or contradict some falsehood circulated by speculators to reduce the price of produce.

"Your attention is called to the fact that the laws of the United States, under which this National Trade Union is chartered, require that the headquarters of the corporation be in the District of Columbia, and it is suggested that you consider the propriety of opening an office in Washington, to be the home of the corporation. The order seems now to have grown large enough to make this necessary and advisable.

"If the people of this country suffer from the effects of class legislation, if class legislation has been the result of influences and importunities brought to bear by certain classes upon the law-making powers, it seems that it might be well fur agriculture to have a small, but competent and inexpensive committee to watch the motions of Congress, and present and push the influences and importunities that may be thought advisable in behalf of the members of that great class, and sound the alarm when offensive class legislation seemed probable.

"The different State Alliances, during the past year, have been organizing their business efforts and are endeavoring to co-operate on the exchange plan. This plan is pure and simple co-operation, with no joint-stock features whatever, and differs from similar plans before introduced, in several important particulars. It is calculated to benefit the whole class, and not simply those who have surplus money to invest in capital stock; it does not aspire to, and is not calculated to be a business for profit in itself, but is intended to be strictly auxiliary and supplemental to the farming efforts. Another distinctive feature of the exchange plan is that, instead of encouraging a number of independent stores scattered over the country, — each in turn to fall a prey to the opposition, whenever they shall think it of sufficient importance to concentrate a few forces against it, — this plan provides for a strong central State


head, and places sufficient capital stock there to make that the field for concentrating the fight of the opposition, and a bulwark of strength and refuge for the local store efforts. The opposition to the central exchange under this system is of course very determined and very bitter, but it has been found vastly better than the scattering fight, and certainly has a much greater advantage in repelling the attacks of the opposition, and seems competent to conquer all the attacks of the external opponents, if properly sustained by the constituency. The greatest danger comes from bombs thrown by the enemy that cause dissension and dissatisfaction among the membership. Of course a big majority will be found firm and steadfast, but a few are always waiting anxiously to be struck by such bombs. This system has been tried longer and more extensively in Texas than any other State, and has been attended with no little strife and opposition. In the effort made in that State, it was thought best last winter to deviate from the true exchange plan; the business was just being started and did not have its capital stock paid up sufficiently to enable the central exchange to stock up with goods, and the exchange plan proper was held in abeyance, intending to develop it fully when the capital should be sufficiently paid in; and a plan was offered by the Alliances, and by them adopted, by the provisions of which a system of joint notes, made by the Sub-Alliances and secured by mortgages on the cotton crop, are given by the Sub-Alliances direct to the central exchange, under the supervision and approval of the county business agent. These joint notes ranged in amount from one hundred to five thousand dollars, and were intended to represent the amount of credit purchases that each Alliance desired to make on time during the year. All the notes were made due November 15th, and as the previous custom of the country had been October 1st, that was intended as a step toward lengthening the season for marketing the cotton. The effort contemplated making nothing fall due, on the following year, prior to the first day of January. The exchange was expected to use the joint notes, which were negotiable paper, as a basis of credit, and borrow money upon them to be used in purchasing the supplies for the makers of the notes.

"The effort was only partially successful, owing principally to the small amount of capital paid up. The notes, if ever so good, could not be used at their face value in borrowing money; the borrower must have some capital or ability to pay of himself. The amount of notes made in favor of the exchange was about four hundred and twenty thousand dollars; the amount of goods put out on credit was about two hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars: the amount of stock paid into the co-operation was about seventy-six thousand dollars; but at this time the exchange was in its greatest trouble, and received the criticisms through the press that crippled it and interfered the most with its success; it had only received about seventeen thousand dollars cash capital on which to operate, and had put out in the neighborhood of two hundred thousand dollars' worth of goods to the brethren, or nearly twelve times its capital. The result of the effort in Texas has probably demonstrated that that plan should not be attempted by an exchange, unless it has a large paid-up


capital. However, that plan, if carried out, is calculated to assist greatly in handling the cotton crop, because it enables the poor man to make a crop without mortgaging to the merchant. The exchange plan of Texas is now more forcibly than ever demonstrating its success. The brotherhood of the entire State have paid up their indebtedness to the exchange, closer than ever before known in a credit business, and the exchange has been enabled to liquidate its indebtedness faster than most any corporation or mercantile concern in the State. It had paid, on the first day of September, one hundred and fifty thousand dollars; and while the commercial reports every day showed private mercantile concerns, in different parts of the State, making consignments, giving mortgages, closing out, etc., in greater numbers than had been known for years, the exchange was, every day, growing more solid and getting its business in a healthier condition, and one fact that stands out prominent, and is a subject of congratulation, is, that not a single Alliance or co-operative store, that traded with the exchange, has failed.

"With a State exchange system in each State, it is quite probable that you will be called upon to consider bills for the establishment of a National Exchange, for the purpose of harmonizing the efforts of the State exchanges, and to assist and direct their enterprises. In so doing, you should exercise the greatest conservatism and extremest caution. An investigation of the subject will impress you with its magnitude and importance. Nothing visionary should be for a moment tolerated. You should not provide for a National Exchange simply because there may be a demand for it; better let it pass unless you can see positively how it will do great good, and be an efficient, successful, working enterprise, and see it so plainly that you can demonstrate it to a certainty. If a system of national co-operation can be made a success, it must, under our form of government, depend largely upon the perfection and success of the State systems that compose it; and they in turn upon the county systems; and they in turn upon the people. Therefore, there is a danger of establishing a national system too early (before it has a proper foundation), and the result of such action would be an inefficient and inoperative enterprise, from which half a million people would expect wonders, while it found itself powerless to accomplish anything, and, as a result, great injury to a just and worthy cause. Examine, therefore, carefully into the condition ot the co-operative effort in each State, before considering a national plan, and should you decide to adopt one, leave no possible chance for a failure. Do this by prohibiting it from undertaking more than it can surely accomplish, and do not place a responsibility without bestowing power to discharge it.

"Your attention is called to the recent troubles in regard to a combination in cotton bagging.

"There seems no good reason why jute butts, from Calcutta, should be the only substance used to wrap the cotton crop. The effort, however, to use burlaps or corn husks as a substitute, seems to be a failure, but a bagging made of cotton is now by many regarded as a success in every way except price. If this body could take steps towards inducing the British purchaser


to abolish hi. custom of docking American cotton six per cent for the bagging, provided it was wrapped in good substantial bagging made of cotton, it would seem to solve the question entirely. Perhaps the true solution would be to establish the cotton mills in the cotton-growing districts; but that will take time, effort, and changes in many present customs, laws, and conditions. One of the most important inducements to manufacturers is cheap money, and one of the greatest aids to cheap money are insurance companies; they control vast sums, that, for absolutely safe investments, are content with low rate of interest, and interest on the money invested in a plant of three or four millions is of more importance than the freights on the cotton or coal they use. Cheap money will have to be secured before many factories are located.

"The importance of an Alliance Insurance Company, therefore, is not to be overlooked. From the moment the farmer sells his bale of cotton, it is not only insured, but everything it touches and every man that owns it is insured, and the cotton pays it all. Everything and nearly everybody in this country pays tribute to the insurance companies. Why not, then, have the strongest stock insurance company in America, with two departments, one life and one fire, the capital stock of which would be used in loans to cotton factories in the cotton States? It is certainly worthy of consideration.

"You can perhaps accomplish much good by adopting suitable memorials to Congress, expressive of your sentiment in regard to the various questions in which our order is deeply and financially interested. This important method of bringing the wants and necessities, as well as the wishes, of the petitioners before Congress, is prosecuted with vigor with other classes, and has long been neglected by the agriculturists.

"The relations with other labor organizations are satisfactory and friendly, but have not been attended with as much intercourse as is probably advisable and necessary, to insure a thorough understanding of objects and methods. You are therefore requested to provide for a committee of one for each labor organization known to exist; to officially communicate with such orders and secure any information they may be willing to give as to their objects and methods, and that such committee-men report promptly all such information to your chief executive, to the end that he may at all times be informed as to the diplomatic relations of the order, and be competent to take such action as the exigencies of the situation may require. At your last session, a committee was provided for by the body, and appointed by the chair, to visit the executive officers of the Farmers' Alliance of the Northern and Western States, with a view of negotiating a basis on which a union might be achieved. Your president corresponded with the said officers, and made an appointment with them to meet said committee at Des Moines, Iowa, in January last. No report has been received from the chairman of the committee: consequently your executive has no information to guide him in taking any further action in regard to the Alliance of the Northwest.

"The influence brought to bear by labor agitation has been productive of action by Congress, that will probably result in the establishment of a cabinet


office for a representative of agriculture, and you, as a people, are deeply interested in the selection the new President will make to fill that position.

"The relations with the world at large are not as unfriendly as many suppose. The more intelligent of all other classes realize that all are interested in the prosperity of the agricultural producer, and that their true interests do not antagonize his; conditions which tend to depress and ruin his business, must, in time, be disastrous on those who depend on him for food and clothing. But there is an element of opposition in several other classes of our country, who oppose Alliance efforts from purely selfish motives, and will spare no labor to oppose and create confusion in the ranks. However, such opposition is an evidence of the justice of the cause, and must ever be met by the right on all occasions. The order will, therefore, pass on without heeding such opposition, to the accomplishment of its glorious mission — relieving suffering humanity and melting the chains, now forged to enslave posterity, into useful implements for the promotion of equality, justice, prosperity, and happiness to all who labor honestly.

"The Committee on Credentials reported the following list of delegates: —

"Alabama: H. P. Bone, T. M. Harbour, R. M. Honeycutt, J. H. Harris, H. G. McCall.

"Georgia: J. W. Beck, C. T. Zachary, D. W. Dyal, A. F. Pope, W. A. Willson, R. L. Burk, J. H. Turner.

"Kentucky: J. E. Quicksall, W. S. Stone.

"Louisiana: W. M. Mann, J. M. Stallings, A. Dimmick, W. R. Womack, A. T. Hetcher, T. A. Clayton, T. S. Adams.

"Mississippi: W. A. Boyd, Robert C. Patty, G. W. Dyer, W. M. Steel, J. W. Copeland, S. D. Lee, J. C. DeLoach, H. F. Simrall, F. M. Glass, D. R. Hearne, D. F. Chapman, J. H. Beaman, W. L. Mitchell, G. L. Donald, G. A. Tennison, H. H. Ratliffe. T. L. Darden, member Committee on Secret Work.

"North Carolina: J. F. Payne, W. M. White.

"South Carolina: J. W. Reid, A. C. Lyles, H. McRae.

"Tennessee: J. P. Buchanan, T. B. Harwell, J. B. Castles, W. T. Grant.

"Texas: W. T. Baggett, B. J. Hubbard, H. C. Stephenson, G. L. Clark, Evan Jones, W. D. Ivey, F. M. Sellers, B. J. Kendrick, R. M. Flowers, M. G. York. W. M. Huey, W. W. Durham, R. J. Sledge, C. M. Wilcox, T. M. Smith, Harry Tracy.

"Indian Territory: Charles Roberts.

"Missouri: M. V. B. Page.

"Kansas: W. P. Brush.

"The president gave notice that some few days ago he appointed a conference committee of three, consisting of G. B. Pickett of Texas, C. L. Smithson of Mississippi, and L. L. Polk of North Carolina, to confer with a similar committee from the National Agricultural Wheel, in reference to organic union of the two orders.

"The Committee of Conference on Organic Union being announced, reported as follows: —


"MERIDIAN, MISS., December 5, 1888.

"To the President of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America.

"We, your Joint Committee, appointed to consider a plan for the consolidation of the National Agricultural Wheel and National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, beg leave to submit the following report:

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

"2d. We recommend that the name of the consolidated order be The National Alliance Wheel and Cooperative Union of America.

"3d. We recommend that the two bodies meet in the court-house, in this city, at 3 o'clock this afternoon, in joint session or in committee of the whole, to be presided over by the president of the National Alliance.

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

"Farmers' Alliance Committee. Wheel Committee.

"Moved by Charles Roberts of Indian Territory, and seconded by J. S. Castle of Tennessee, that the rules be suspended and report be adopted.

"After some discussion, F. M. Sellers of Texas moved the previous question, which was agreed upon, and the vote being then taken on the original motion, it was carried.

"A committee from the National Agricultural Wheel being present at the door, bearing a message from their organization announcing their action in reference to organic union, the president instructed Brother Polk to bring the gentlemen in and introduce them. The committee, through their chairman, reported that their body had by a unanimous vote adopted the recommendations of their conference committee, which in substance means that they are in favor of union.

"The time having arrived to adjourn, for the purpose of meeting with the National Agricultural Wheel as a joint committee, the president announced that, previous to such adjournment, he wanted the legal situation understood, and held that, as a joint committee, the body in which they were about to participate would have no power to change any laws of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, and that all action taken by the joint committee would have to be re-enacted by this body to become a law in this order, and if such action modified the constitution, it would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the State organizations within one year.

"In the joint session of the Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union and the National Agricultural Wheel, the consolidation, recommended by the Conference


Committee, was unanimously agreed upon, and the name adopted for the proposed organization was THE FARMERS AND LABORERS' UNION of AMERICA. Pending the discussion of a constitution, the joint session adjourned to 10 A.M. tomorrow.

"The joint session resumed its work.

"The constitution was adopted seriatim, and an election of officers was held, with the following result: For President, Evan Jones of Texas; for Vice-President, Isaac McCracken of Arkansas; for Secretary, A. E. Gardner of Tennessee; for Treasurer, Linn Tanner of Louisiana.

"The constitution was then referred to the several State organizations of the two bodies for ratification, and it was ordered that, in the event of three-fourths of the Farmers' State Alliances ratifying the consolidation, the president of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union shall issue his proclamation making known said ratification, and that when three-fourths of the State Agricultural Wheels shall have ratified the consolidation, in accordance with the terms of this agreement, the president of the National Agricultural Wheel shall issue his proclamation of said ratification. The consolidation shall then be officially made known by proclamation of the president of the Farmers and Laborers' Union of America.

"It was further ordered that, in the event of the ratification of the proposed consolidation, the next meeting shall be held in St. Louis, at 10 A.M., on the first Tuesday of December, 1889.

"The constitution, as adopted by the joint session, is similar to that of the Farmers' Alliance, except that the eligibility of ministers of the gospel for membership is restricted to those living in the country.

"Motion made by Patty of Mississippi that a roll of States be called, in order to find out whether delegates were instructed as to organic union with the Agricultural Wheel. Prevailed, and one State declared itself instructed to form the union.

"Motion by Patty of Mississippi, that the Chair appoint a committee of one from each State and Territory, to take into consideration the question of organic union with the National Wheel, on the basis this day agreed upon in joint session, and the said committee report to-night before 12 P.M. Adopted, and committee appointed: R. C. Patty, Mississippi; Womack, Louisiana; Quicksall, Kentucky; Wilson. Georgia; Bone, Alabama; Alexander, North Carolina; Reid. South Carolina; Buchanan. Tennessee; Sellers, Texas; Roberts, Indian Territory; Brush. Kansas; Johnson, Missouri.

"The committee of one from each State, on the method by which the organic union could be perfected, made the following report, which was adopted: —

"To the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America: —

"Your select committee, acting under instructions, beg leave to report the following resolutions, to wit: —

"Resolved, 1st, That we approve the proposed constitution and by-laws this day adopted in joint session with the National Wheel, and that the same


be printed and transmitted with all convenient despatch to the several State and Territorial Alliance, for consideration.

"Resolved, 2d, That when as many as three-fourths of said State and Territorial Alliances shall have ratified said proposed constitution and bylaws, the president of the National Alliance and Co-operative Union shall make proclamation to that effect; and when concurrent action shall have been had by the National Wheel, the president this day elected by said joint session shall make proclamation providing for the organic union of State, County, and Sub-Alliances and Wheels respectively, in accordance with such regulations as he may prescribe.

"Resolved, That the present organization of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America be preserved intact, until such proposed organic union shall have been effected.

"Respectfully submitted,
"ROBERT C. PATTY, "Chairman, for the Committee.


"The report of the Committee on National Organ was received and adopted by unanimous vote. Their report was this proposition: —

"The undersigned hereby respectfully present the following plan and proposal for your consideration and adoption: —

"We will organize a company, with ten shares of $1000 each, paid-up capital, composed of good Alliance men, and will not increase the number of shareholders, and will hold all the shares or any part of them subject to purchase at full face value by the Farmers and Laborers' Union of America, when that body has funds for investment in that enterprise. Said company will start and run for a term of ten years, more or less, a newspaper, to be not less than a four-page seven-column paper, issued weekly, and devoted to the circulation of official news and the interests of agriculture, and the general dissemination of the true principles of political economy, strictly non-partisan in politics and non-sectarian in religion; to be a clean and neat paper of high moral tone, such as will be a source of true education to the youth, of emulation to those in active middle life, and of congratulation and comfort to the aged.

"The company will execute a bond to the president of the order and his successors in office, in the sum of $50,000, that all contracts by said corporation will, members of the order, either for subscriptions or advertising, will be strictly carried out. Said company will, should you accept this proposition, locate said paper in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, and put it into successful operation on or before the first day of April, 1889, and will furnish same to all yearly subscribers at one dollar per year.
"A. B. JOHNSON, Chairman.
"ROBERT C. PATTY, Committee.


"Resolutions by Warren: That when this body adjourns, it shall be to meet at Atlanta, Georgia, the first Wednesday in October, 1889, should such-meeting be necessary. Call sessions to be held at same place.

"A resolution was unanimously passed, thanking the good citizens of Meridian for their royal hospitality. It was just simply unparalleled. The entire delegation of nearly 200 were made guests of this heroic city for nearly a week.

"President National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union.

"J. W. DELOACH, "J. W. REID, "Recording Secretaries.
"Attest: "ED. B. WARREN, Secretary."


Chapter V.


The work done by the convention held at Meridian, Mississippi met with general approval. A fresh impetus had been given the order, and many of the benefits predicted at the beginning were being realized. The jute bagging trust was being successfully contested, and it seemed, for the first time in history, that the farmers were capable, and determined to take care of themselves. During the early spring, a national, organ, The National Economist, was established, at the city of Washington, District of Columbia, and during the summer an important meeting was called, at Birmingham, Alabama, for the purpose of considering the sale of cotton. At this meeting much important business was done; various plans for the relief of cotton-growers were formulated; and President Macune, President McCracken, and Chairman S. M. Adams were requested to issue a proclamation requesting the proper officers in the various State organizations to convene all the county organizations in their respective States, on the second Tuesday in June, 1889, for the purpose of taking proper action to carry out the plans of the convention.

At the Meridian meeting a plan of consolidation had been agreed upon and submitted to the States interested, for their action. As fast as the State meetings were held, the proposition for consolidation was ratified. When the required number had given their consent, the following joint proclamation was issued: —

"Know all men by these presents, that —

"Whereas, The National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America did, at its last regular meeting, to wit, on the 5th day of December, 1888, in the city of Meridian, State of Mississippi, agree upon a new constitution for the order, and that said constitution was twice read in open session on two separate days, as required by law, and then passed by a two-thirds majority, and then submitted to the States for ratification in conformity to Article VI. of the constitution now in force: and


"Whereas, The vote of the various State Alliances on said proposition is officially recorded as follows: Affirmative; Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Missouri, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Indian Territory: Negative; none reported. New Mexico has not reported at all, and the Slate Alliance of Texas ratifies conditionally. This record shows that the requisite three-fourths of the State Alliances have ratified said constitution; and

"Whereas, The National Agricultural Wheel did, at its annual meeting, which was held in connection with the National Farmers' Alliance and Cooperative Union of America, and the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association in the city of Meridian, State of Mississippi, formulate a new constitution for the government of the order, and the same has been submitted to the State Wheels for their ratification; and

"Whereas, The following State Wheels have ratified the same: Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Indian Territory, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Louisiana, Wisconsin, and Texas. This record shows that over three-fourths of the State Wheels have adopted the aforesaid constitution; and

"Whereas, The National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, the National Agricultural Wheel, and the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association did pass the following resolutions, to wit: —

"When as many as three-fourths of said State and Territorial Alliances shall have ratified said proposed constitution, the president of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America shall make proclamation to that effect, and when concurrent action shall have been had by the National Agricultural Wheel, the president this day elected by the joint session shall make proclamation providing for the organic union of the State County, and Sub-Alliances and Wheels, respectively, in accordance with such regulations as he may prescribe; and

"Whereas, The said organizations, acting in joint session, did provide for a new set of officers in case said constitution should be ratified, and did elect as officers for that purpose, Evan Jones, President; Isaac McCracken Vice President; A. E. Gardner, Secretary; and Linn Tanner, Treasurer: Now, therefore,

"We, the undersigned, C. W. Macune, President of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, and Isaac McCracken, President of the National Agricultural Wheel, and Evan Jones, President of the Farmers and Laborers' Union of America, do by the authority in us vested, severally and officially, issue this our proclamation to the order at large to wit: —

"First. The membership of the Farmers' Alliance are hereby notified that the new constitution has been ratified by the requisite number of States, and the same is hereby declared to supersede the constitution now in force, and to be in full force and effect from and after the thirtieth day of September, 1889.

"Second.. The membership of the Agricultural Wheel are hereby notified that the new constitution has been ratified by the requisite number of States, and the same is hereby declared to supersede the constitution now in force,


and to be in full force and effect from and after the thirtieth day of September, 1889.

"Third. The two national bodies now known as the National Farmers' Alliance and Cooperative Union of America, and the National Agricultural Wheel, are hereby declared to be merged and consolidated into one body, to be known as the Farmers and Laborers' Union of America, said consolidation to take effect and be in force from and after the thirtieth day of September, 1889, and to be in charge of the following officers, to wit: President, Evan Jones of Texas; Vice-President, Isaac McCracken of Arkansas: Secretary, A. E. Gardner of Tennessee; Treasurer, Linn Tanner of Louisiana.

"Given under our hands, in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, this, the 24th day of September, A.D. 1889.


By virtue and under the authority of this proclamation, the two great agricultural organizations became one. Consolidation had been accomplished, and the courage, labor, and persistency of President Macune had been crowned with success. In January, 1887, the State Alliance of Texas met at Waco, many predicted for the last time. In place of disaster came a great victory for the true principles of the Alliance. Instead of disintegration, the State Alliance was strengthened and the National Alliance brought into being. At once consolidation was secured with the Farmers' Union of Louisiana. October, 1887, the national meeting held at Shreveport laid the foundation for the consolidation of the Alliance and Wheel. The meeting at Meridian, in December, 1888, arranged the details, and the proclamation of September, 1889, confirmed it. Within two years and eight months from the birth of the National Alliance, three national orders had been united into one, all in excellent working condition, with a system well in hand, and a membership comprising eighteen States and Territories and numbering fully one million people. This was a vast undertaking, the most stupendous and far reaching that the agricultural people of the world had ever conceived possible to accomplish. It required courage, sagacity, patience, and, above all, an abiding faith in the objects sought, and a firm belief in the ultimate triumph of truth. The task was performed nobly, grandly, and conscientiously, and the one man above all others


to whom belongs the need of praise, and the credit of its accomplishment, is Brother C. W. Macune. Standing as he did like the tower of strength that he is, "four square to every wind that blew," he was enabled to hand over to his successor this grand organization, as the fruit of nearly three years of labor.

During this year much had been done by way of organizing and perfecting the system of spreading the doctrines of the Alliance. The new organization was beginning to attract the attention of the political as well as the commercial world. It grew rapidly, and as the next annual meeting at St. Louis approached, the interest in the order became intensified. The next annual meeting was held at St. Louis, Missouri. The following is a synopsis of the proceedings: —


St. Louis, Missouri, December 3, 1889.

Delegates assembled at Entertainment Hall, Exposition Building, at ten o'clock, A.M., and listened to speeches of welcome, made by Mayor Noonnn and Governor Francis of Missouri, and responses by J. H. McDowell of Tennessee, and A. J. Streeter of Illinois. Convention then adjourned to 1:30 P.M. The Farmers and Laborers' Union of America met at 1:30 P.M., President Evan Jones presiding. Prayer by Chaplain J. D. Satterwhite of Missouri. The following officers were appointed: Chaplain, J. D. Satterwhite of Missouri; Steward R. W. Tucker of Tennessee; Assistant Stewards, C. J. Higgins, Alabama; W. J. Talbert, South Carolina, and D. Ried Parker, North Carolina; Doorkeeper, J. H. Turner, Georgia; Assistant Doorkeeper, J. M. Ramsey, Kentucky; Sergeant-at-Arms, G. A. Gowan, Tennessee.


The following are the delegates, with their post-office addresses: —

Alabama: J. H. Harris, Oakbowery; C. J. Higgins, Logan; T. J. Carlisle, Brundinge; R. F. Kolb, Montgomery; S. M. Adams, Randolph; H. D. Lane, Athens.

Arkansas: L. H. Moore, Alston; John W. Lybrand, Grapevine; N. E. Chambers, Van Buren; Daniel Morgan, Magnolia; John A. Ansley, Prescott: E. F. Stackhouse, Little Rock, President State Alliance; I. P. Langley, Bee Bee; W. S. Morgan, Hardy; Isaac McCracken, Ozone, Vice-President Farmers and Laborers' Union.

Georgia: L. F. Livingston, Cora; Felix Corput, Atlanta; W. J. Northen, Sparta; J. W. Hogan, Valdosta; J. H. Turner, Lagrange.

Florida: Robert F. Rogers, Live Oak, President State Alliance; A. S. Mann Jacksonville; Oswald Wilson, New York, State Business Agent; H. C. Randall, Purcell,


Indian Territory: R. C. Betty, Dougherty.

Indiana: R. F. Peck, Shoals.

Kansas: A. E. Dickinson, Meriden; B. H. Clover, Cainbridge; Van B. Prather, Columbus; S. J. Atkins, Ruston; John S. McKinley, Wichita.

Kentucky: H. C. Brown, Clinton; S. B. Erwin, Clinton; W. T. Winn, Fulton; W. W. Gill, Olmstead; W. R. Browder, Olmstead; S. B. Penn, Slater; J. E. Quicksall, Ezell; B. F. Davis, Ezell; G. W. Comer, Peach Orchard.

Louisana; J. A. Tetts, Ruston; Daniel Morgan; T. J. Cuice; J. D. Hunnicutt: J. D. Hammond, Bastrop: T. A. Clayton, New Orleans, State Business Agent.

Missouri: J. S. Hall; H. W. Hickman, Puxico; J. W. Rodgers, St. Louis, 713 Olive Street, State Secretary; Thomas Day; S. F. Boyden, Neosho; George W. Register, Poplar Bluff; D. F. Eskew; Marcus W. Wood, Chairman Trade Committee; George A. Handley, Belton; W. A. Taylor, Versailles, Box 45; F. L. Hogard, Belton.

Maryland; N. A. Dunning, Washington, District of Columbia; Harry Tracy, Washington, District of Columbia.

Mississippi: R. C. Patty, Macon; H. F. Simrall, Vicksburg; J. H. Beeman, Ely: Frank Burkett, Okolona; F. M. Blount, Highland; A. M. Street, Boonville.

North Carolina: Elias Carr, Old Sparta, President State Alliance; S. B. Alexander, Charlotte, Chairman Executive Committee; I. I. Polk, Raleigh, State Secretary; E. A. Moye, Greenville, Member Judiciary Committee; A. J. Dalby, Oxford, Agent Tobacco Manufacturing Company; W. A. Graham, Macpelah, Trustee B. and F.; A. H. Worth, Raleigh, Business Agent North Carolina.

Nebraska; J.D. Hatfield, Clinton. Oklahoma: W. H. Barton, Guthrie.

South Carolina: W. J. Talbert, Holmes, Lecturer; D. K. Norris, Hickory Flat; T. P. Mitchell, Member State Executive Committee; J. W. Reid, Reidville, Secretary State Alliance and Member National Committee on Secret Work; W. W. Keys, Greenville, Editor Cotton Plant.

Tennessee: J. B. Buchanan, Murfreesboro; R. W. Tucker, Nashville; J. R. Miles, Ralston Station; J. H. McDowell, Nashville; J. F. Tillman, Palmetto; B. H. Hord, Nashville; E. B. Wade, Murfreesboro; A. E. Gardner, Dresden.

Texas: B. J. Kendrick, Waco; C. M. Wilcox, Waco; E. B. Warren, Weatherford; H. S. P. Ashby, Smithfield; T. J. Anderson, Paris.

Virginia; Robert Beverly, The Plains; Mann Page, Brandon; G. H. Chrisman, Chairmann.

The following communications were received: — From the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association: —

MOUNT VERNON, ILLINOIS, Novermber 25, 1889.

I certify that the following resolution was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly of the Farmers' Mutal Benefit Association, in session at Mount Vernon, Indiana. November 19 to 23, 1889: — To the Officers and Members of the Founders and Laborers' Union of America, in Session atSt.Louis:

The Farmers' Mutal Benefit Association sends heartiest greetings, and bids you God-speed. We congratulate you on your consolidation,


and wish you unbounded success. We are glad to state that our organization was never in a more flourishing condition. We are pushing the work of organization and education; our membership is encouraged and hopeful, and we will heartily join you in any effort you may make, or plan you may devise, for the amelioration of the condition of our people, or to redress the wrongs of the long-suffering and patient, but overburdened farmers and laborers of the country, and that our committee on co-operative trade be, and they are hereby, charged with the bearing of this communication to said meeting.

Given under my hand and seal of said association, the day and date above written.

JOHN P. STEELE, Secretary.

From the National Farmers' Alliance: —

To the Farmers and Laborers' Union of America:

GENTLEMEN: The National Farmers' Alliance, in convention, assembled, have duly elected a committee of conference, consisting of nine members, to meet with a like committee from your organization.
J. BURROWS, President National Farmers' Alliance.

Committee from the National Alliance of the Northwest was then announced in waiting. Brothers L. F. Livingston of Georgia, Mann Page of Virginia, and L. L. Polk of North Carolina were appointed a committee to receive the visiting committee and seat them on the platform. After an interchange of views, the committee retired, and on motion, the following Committee on Conference was appointed to confer with the National Alliance of the Northwest: H. W. Hickman, Missouri; Mitchell, South Carolina; Page, Virginia: Clover, Kansas; Lybrand, Arkansas; Patty, Mississippi; Tucker, Tennessee; Anderson, Texas; and Morgan, Louisiana.

Also the following committee was appointed to confer with the Mutual Benefit Association: Davis, Missouri; Clayton, Louisiana; Gowan, Tennessee; Bird, Alabama; and Worth, North Carolina.

On motion, a committee of conference on cotton tare and bagging consisting of one from each cotton State, was appointed.

The Committee on Conference thru made a report as follows: — The joint committee agree to recommend to our respective organizations the adoption of the following resolutions, to wit: —


First, That a joint committee of five on the part of the National Farmers' Alliance and a like number on the part of the National Farmers and Laborers' Union be appointed, with authority to formulate a plan for a confederation of said organizations and of other known agricultural and industrial organizations in the United States, to the end that immediate and practical co-operation may be secured for the accomplishment of the objects common to all.

Second, That the autonomy of said organization be preserved intact until such time as the way may be found clear to effect organic union, if the same should hereafter be found necessary.

A. J. STREETER (Ill.). Chairman, ROBERT C. PARRTY (MISS.), Secretary.


President Jones delivered his annual address: —

To the Officers and Members of the Farmers and Laborers' Union of American, greeting.

DEAR BROTHERS: This in certainly an auspicious occasion, it being the first meeting of our organization; an organization that to-day stands without a peer in its influence for good — not to the farmers and laborers only, that you represent, but to every legitimate and necessary interest of a free and independent government; and upon the perpetuation of its principles and their influence upon our people depend the prosperity and liberty of all classes, and the stability and power of our nation. An organization whose fundamental principles are founded upon equity and justice, and whose cardinal doctrines inspire peace on earth, a love of liberty, and good-will to all mankind; an organization whose rise and progress are without a parallel, and which is destined in no distant day to embrace the entire agriculture and laborers of the world, and whose power and influence shall protect their liberty and interest from the encroachment of rings, trusts, and soulless combinations, which are absorbing all of the profits of labor, and thereby paralyzing the industries of our country.

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

It has also aroused the hostility of the greedy and avaricious trusts, rings, and monopolistic combinations, to such an extent that great and


persistent efforts are put forth by them to thwart us in every attempt at reform, or effort to correct the prevailing evils that now environ and threaten the destruction of our industrial classes.

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

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

Brethren, in view of the above facts, and recognizing you as representing the intelligence of the various State organizations in this, our highest legislative body (a creature of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America and the National Agricultural Wheel, the consolidated power and influence of which make it one of the greatest organizations in the world), would call your attention to the gravity, magnitude, and importance of this occasion, and impress upon you the necessity of the most guarded, intelligent, and conservative action.

It is an evident fact that to free our industrial classes from the oppressions that now prevail so universally, will require a perfect concert of action of all sections; therefore, one of the most important subjects to be considered by this body is a basis of union or co-operation with all kindred organizations; and whereas there have been negotiations between the National Farmers' Alliance and the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association of the Northwestern States, looking to a consolidation of these two great agricultural organizations with the Farmers and Laborers' Union of America, and as delegates from the National Farmers' Alliance and National Mutual Benefit Association are now in the city; I would recommend that you give this matter your immediate attention, and, if possible, agree upon a basis of union, or at least co-operation.

I would call your attention to the necessity of more closely guarding State rights in our constitution.

Would recommend that the work of organizing should come under the jurisdiction of State organizations, provided, however, that, in unorganized States, the president of the Farmers and Laborers' Union of America shall appoint organizers and take general supervision of the work; and

Whereas, The constitution defines the duties of an executive committee, would call your attention to the failure of its providing for the creation of same; and


Whereas, The constitution, under the head of miscellaneous, now provides that all trials for offences shall be by the Farmers and Laborers' Union of America, while in session; and

Whereas, The time of holding said meetings is limited, and the expenses of the same great, would recommend the creation of a supreme judiciary, who shall hear and try all cases.

I would also call your attention to the necessity of bonding your secretary. Also to the more clearly defining Article VII., governing eligibility.

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

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

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

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

Money in shrinking and insufficient volume remits labor to idleness, reduces the price of products, plants mortgages on the homes of our people, bankrupts those who are forced to borrow, paralyzes our industries, and produces hard times and great privations among the masses.

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

I would therefore recommend that you demand, at the hands of the


law-making functions of our nation, a monetary system that shall conform to the interest of the producing and laboring classes, as well as the speculator and usurer; that the coinage of silver be as free as gold, and that gold and silver be supplemented with treasury notes (which shall be a full legal tender for all contracts), in a sufficient amount to furnish a circulating medium commensurate to the business necessities of the people.

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

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

During the greatest prosperity of Rome, about eighty-five per cent of her population owned titles in land. It was then that she was founded upon a rock, and was mistress of the world; but in the course of her history, through the monopolization of her lands by the few, through unjust legislation, the homes were wrenched from the hands of the masses, and when the dark death-ford was reached, upon which civilization was to die, less than two per cent of the people controlled the land; and it is said that about fifteen hundred men controlled the wealth of the world.

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

This wholesale absorption of land by aggregated capital must be checked, or it will finally enslave the honest yeomanry of our country, and inevitably destroy our much-loved republic. The hope of America depends upon the ownership of the land being vested in those who till the soil. Give the people homes, — theirs to improve, theirs to cultivate, theirs to beautify, and theirs to enjoy, — and our grand republic will stand as the acme of modern civilization and national greatness.

I would recommend that you demand legislation for the better protection of the lands and homes of our people, and a law prohibiting the alien ownership of land in America. Lands of America should be owned and controlled by citizens of America.

As a means of developing the many natural resources of our great


and powerful nation, and the distribution of our products for the use and comfort of our people, the railroads take the lead as a benefactor of the human family, if property used; but the avarice and greed manifested on the part of these great corporations, have through their unjust manipulation of transportation destroyed all competition, and become oppressors rather than servants of the people for which they were created. These corporations have rights that should be protected; a right to business, to legitimate profit, to property, and restricted power. It is not the railroads of which the people complain, but the abuses of their powers, chartered rights, and privileges.

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

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

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

It is an evident fact that the origin and power to perpetuate the existence of the various rings, trusts, and combines, that now oppress our people and threaten the overthrow of our free institutions, are due to unjust legislation, and the intimacy and influence that still exist between our representatives and these powerful corporations and combines, are such as to give good reason for serious alarm. We have reached a period in the history of our government when confidence in our political leaders and great political organizations is almost destroyed, and the estrangement between them and the people is becoming more manifest every day.

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


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

The very existence of our free institutions and republican form of government, the very life and prosperity of the agricultural and laboring people, depend largely, if not wholly, upon financial, land, and transportation reformation. It is a conceded fact that a republican form of government lives alone in the hearts of the people; and its destiny depends entirely upon the purity of the ballot, and as this is in the hands of every man, there can be no safety, except as is guaranteed by its intelligent use. This is the fortress of our nation's strength; and if our order would reach that high degree of usefulness for which it was created, it must, through a well-defined system of economic questions, produce this intelligence and virtue, thus preparing our people for an intelligent use of their franchise.

When the dissolution took place of the two national bodies that compose the Farmers and Laborers' Union of America, I found myself in a very awkward and embarrassing situation.

The responsibility of these two national bodies merged into one imperfect organization, with a defective constitution, and with demands coming from the various States for organizers, new rituals, secret work, and other printed matter, and having no funds in the treasury for defraying expenses, and being compelled to draw upon my own private funds for the defraying of all my office and official expenses, with considerable division and dissension in some of the States, and having no executive committee or supreme judiciary to share my responsibilities, I must confess that it was with great forebodings that I assumed my official duties.

Among my first official duties was to appoint an executive committee, composed of Brothers J. H. McDowell of Tennessee, G. L. Clark of Texas, and J. A. Tetts of Louisiana. I also arranged with Brother J. H. McDowell for the printing of 50,000 rituals and the new secret work — which were ready for distribution to State secretaries within thirty days from the issuing of our official proclamation.

During the two months of our organization, I have given the order my very best efforts, availing myself of every possible means for the harmonizing of the brotherhood in States where unity failed to exist, and to perfect our organization. There were brethren who were ever ready with their counsel and encouragement, which assisted me greatly in the


discharge of my arduous duties. To them I shall ever fed grateful for their assistance, fidelity, and patriotism to the order during these trying hours.

Brethren, never before in the history of organized labor have we been confronted with graver questions of business, of greater magnitude and importance, than will be presented to this convention. You virtually hold in your hands the destiny of our order, upon whose success or failure depends the weal or woe of the patient and long-suffering agricultural and laboring people of our nation. To-day all eyes are turned to St. Louis, while millions of anxious, waiting hearts are trusting to your patriotism and wise deliberation that shall pave the way for their relief.

Feeling confident that you will meet bravely, calmly, and unselfishly the great work which now lies before you, and realizing your responsibility and the necessity of having justice done to all respecting the humble as well as the highest members of the order, thereby strengthening the ties that now bind us together in one common brotherhood, I assure you as your chairman, that my motto shall be, "Equal rights to all, and special privileges to none."

Let us, therefore, as brethren, true to our God, cause, and families, enter upon the business of this meeting with full confidence in each other and brotherly love to all mankind, and may He who doeth all things well guide us in our deliberation to the perfecting and perpetuating of our order, free our nation from corporative power, and break the shackles that now bind our industries in iron chains.

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, December 4, 1889. The following resolution was adopted: —

Resolved, That the National Farmers' Alliance is hereby cordially invited to visit us in a body, to listen to the address of Ex-President C. W. Macune, on the aims and principles of the Farmers and Laborers' Union of America. Adopted.

After considerable detail business, Ex-President C. W. Macune, of the Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, delivered the following address: —

Brethren of the Farmers and Laborers' Union of America:

It is the custom when legislative bodies of this character convene, for the president to deliver an address, setting forth the exact condition of the order, telling what has been accomplished during his administration, and making such suggestions for consideration as he deems best. This has already been done by our worthy president. But this organization,


and consequently our president's active administration, is only about two months old, and prior to its formation the same interests were represented by two national organizations. As I had the honor to be president of one of those organizations, the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, not only during the five-sixths of the past year, but from the very first organization of that order in January, 1887, it seems to me appropriate that I too deliver you an address. In fact, so very important do I deem the message that I have to impart to you that I offer no apology for its presentation, believing that my familiarity with all the past methods of the National Alliance will enable me to point out to you the lessons taught by the critical periods in its history, to give a clear and full conception of the writing between the lines in its present strength and condition, and to suggest certain necessary lines of action worthy of a careful consideration. A further reason for the delivery of this address is that I have, up to this lime, been filling a responsible position as editor of your national official organ, the National Economist, and this position has brought me in direct weekly communication with the whole order, which has forcibly impressed me with many of the necessities of the order and shown the great importance of the consideration by this body of several questions which will be the means of outlining a policy for said official organ to be guided by during the coming year. This body, while discussing the situation and deliberating upon the policy to be pursued, should be thoroughly conversant with the history of the past efforts and the present condition of the order, and possibly suggestions as to the future by those who have filled executive offices may be of service. They are, at least, offered for consideration.

In 1886 the Alliance movement of the South was confined principally to the State of Texas. The State Alliance of that State had chartered a few Sub-Alliances in Indian Territory, and a small number in the State of Alabama. The report of the State secretary at the regular annual meeting of that year showed that the order had grown from about six hundred to over twenty-seven hundred Sub-Alliances during the year that ended in August, 1886. As a natural and unavoidable consequence of such rapid organization, the principles, objects, and methods of the Alliance were very imperfectly understood by the majority of the membership. It was an election year in that State, and partisan feeling ran high. Dissensions within the order were so great that a dissatisfied minority met and organized themselves into an opposition State Alliance, secured a charter from the State of Texas, and elected a corps of State officers. The outlook for the order at that time was indeed unpromising,


and utter dissolution seemed imminent and almost certain. I was at the time chairman of the Executive Committee, and by direction of the president I succeeded in securing a conference between the officers of the State Alliance and the officers of the element that had seceded, the result of which was that the seceders agreed to take no further steps, but hold their charter in abeyance till the next regular meeting of the State Alliance. Immediately after the conference, the president and vice-president resigned, and by virtue of my office I called a meeting of the State Alliance to convene in January, 1887, for the purpose of filling the vacancies and taking such other action as the necessities of the order demanded. I immediately wrote to Hon. A. J. Streeter of Illinois, who was then president of the National Farmers' Alliance, and Hon. J. Burrows of Nebraska, who was vice-president of that order, for information in regard to the origin, history, methods, and purposes of the National Alliance; also to Brother J. A. Tetts of Louisiana, who was prominent in the work of the Louisiana Farmers' Union, asking like information in regard to the Union. The Western Rural was at that time published as the official organ of the National Alliance, and its editor, Mr. Milton George, was the national secretary. I received the Western Rural regularly, and preserved the published rulings of the national secretary as to qualifications for membership, and the rules prevailing in the National Alliance governing charters, etc. The Louisiana Union showed by its constitution that it was practically the same organization then existing in Texas as the Fanners' Alliance, and that it differed only in name; and as I had notice that Louisiana would have a called meeting just prior to the called meeting in Texas, I appointed Brother Evan Jones a delegate to visit the Louisiana Union and make overtures in behalf of unity. He was well received, and a committee of one from the Union was elected to visit the called meeting of the Texas State Alliance, and empowered to act in behalf of the Union in taking steps for the extension of the work into new fields. All this may seem like dry detail, but it is necessary in order to properly understand the exact conditions that surrounded and controlled the formation of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-Operative Union of America, when there was already in existence a National Farmers' Alliance in the States farther north. It is unquestionably very necessary to show that the second National Alliance was not instituted in opposition to, or as a rival of, the National Alliance then in existence, if such be the case, and I believe it was.

The called meeting of the State Alliance of Texas, held in the city of Waco, in January, 1887, is a noted landmark in the history of the Alliance. At that meeting provision was made for the organization of


the National Alliance, and after it was organized its constitution was ratified. There were over four hundred delegates assembled at the meeting, and a more discordant and dissatisfied assemblage of equal size probably never convened; and yet, after a four-days session, a mure harmonious and completely unified body of equal size was perhaps never seen. In my address at the opening of the meeting, I called attention to the dissensions and dissatisfaction within the order, much of it the result of misunderstanding, and some the result of personal ambition and local prejudices. I took the position that if the order was a good thing, it was our duty to spread the light; that we must be aggressive; that if we considered Texas well enough organized, and concluded to fold our hands and enjoy the expected benefits of the Alliance, we would be doomed to disappointment, because dissensions and contentions would soon prove to be effective causes for disintegration and rupture.

The very existence and perpetuation of the order demanded that it must take an aggressive position in favor of an overshadowing effort for good in behalf of the membership, that would act as a nucleus and rallying cry, and be of so general a character that it would receive the indorsement of the entire membership. Without this the local issues, developed by local conditions and successfully met by the order, would assume undue proportions, and frequently produce confusion by being mistaken for the chief objects of the order. To prevent a great order that is scattered over a large extent of territory, and embraces people whose habits and occupations have developed a great many different local issues, from breaking up into detachments to each combat a local and fleeting issue, thereby placing it at the mercy of a better organized foe that would decoy each detachment into an ambush where it could be destroyed with case; to prevent such dire but certain consequences there must be a general issue to which each detachment will return after having sallied out to demolish a local issue, and in support of which all are agreed and united into a solid phalanx, thereby being able to meet either the detached or combined forces of the opposition. The general aggressive issue decided upon at the called meeting was "Organization of the Cotton Belt of America," and under the purifying and inspiring effects of that philanthropic object local issues and personal prejudices were crowded to the background, and every man took his place in the ranks of the aggressive, shoulder to shoulder, determined to succeed, and to-day we may note the grand result. Less than three years have elapsed since that day, and yet the entire cotton belt is well organized.


When the question of electing delegates from the Texas State Alliance, to meet with delegates from the Louisiana Union, for the purpose of organizing a national order, was pending, I presented to the body all the information in regard to the National Farmers' Alliance that I had received from the columns of the Western Rural and the correspondence with Presidents Slreeter and Burrows; a careful consideration of which showed that there were, at that time, at least three reasons why the Texas State Alliance was not willing to join itself to that order. The first was, the National Farmers' Alliance was a non-secret and very loose organization, with neither fees nor dues, and charters seemed to be sent out by the national secretary, Mr. George, to anybody who would request them, on very little evidence as to the qualifications of those applying. Second, the published rulings as to the qualifications of membership made colored persons eligible; and third, the national secretary published a ruling that any person raised on a farm was considered a practical farmer, and was therefore eligible, regardless of his present occupation.

The membership of the Texas State Alliance and the Louisiana Union were at that time unanimously opposed to each of these three methods, and therefore thought it useless to delay organizing a national body that would conform to the genius of the institution they had so grandly commenced to build. They did not propose to enter the territory of the National Farmers' Alliance, nor to oppose it in any way, but they thought it would be presumption, and perhaps a needless waste of time, to lose a year in order to ask the National Farmers' Alliance to modify its methods that they might join it; and therefore they organized their own national in their own territory.

From the date of the organization of the national, the order grew very rapidly, as the reports from the different State organizations at this meeting show. This rapid growth was largely due to the zeal of a membership, united in an effort thoroughly understood and indorsed by all, exerted at a time when the masses were ripe for the movement. The lines of argument that induced people to join the order are important and should be carefully considered, because they indicate in some degree what they expect the order to accomplish in their behalf and by their assistance.

After a very careful survey of the work, I find myself unable to avoid the conclusion that the leading and principal arguments used, and especially those that have been to any extent effective, have all had for their object, either directly or indirectly, conditions that would render farming more profitable from a financial standpoint. The methods


offered for acquiring this desirable state of affairs have been numerous, and often very ingenious, sometimes wild and impracticable. Some have held that organization would render farming profitable and prosperous by the benefits that would naturally flow from the more intimate social exchange of ideas and courtesies at the meeting, where each could learn the methods pursued in the detail of farm work by all the others, and that the dissemination of such practical data would render all more productive, and that, as a consequence, they would be stepping into the ranks of those who have been eulogized for having been able to make two blades of grass grow where only one grew before. It seems to me that more importance and value have been attached to this sentiment than its merits entitle it to receive. A proof of this is found in the fact that the cereal crops of the United States, in 1867, aggregated about a billion and a quarter bushels, and brought about a billion and a quarter dollars; and from that time the crop increased till, in 1885, it reached the enormous sum of over three billion bushels, and the whole crop sold for less than a billion and a quarter dollars. Others have held that organization could render farming profitable by the introduction of better business methods, in which all would unite and co-operate for the purpose of selling our products higher, and purchasing such commodities as we are compelled to buy, cheaper. Those who have made a special study of this feature of the effort realize that the purely technical effort of improving our methods of farming, by which we may possibly increase the amount of products we make in return for a given amount of labor and expense, although it be praiseworthy, desirable, and worthy of encouragement, is not a force or remedy nearly equal to the emergency, and that the influences that tend to depress agriculture and render the pursuit of that occupation unprofitable, have rapidly gained the ascendency over and neutralized the beneficent effects that should have followed the introduction of wise methods and new and improved machinery in the past, whereby the results of productive effort have been increased most wonderfully. It is deemed unwise to depend entirely on a remedy that has proved ineffectual on every occasion. They contend for something more efficient, by advocating a better system of handling and disposing of what we produce, and a more careful and economical method of purchasing supplies. This they expect to accomplish by securing, as nearly as possible, a direct sale of our products to those who consume them, thereby gaining the commissions paid to middlemen that do not appear to be necessary, and increasing the price of the produce sold. They will reduce the price of commodities purchased by encouraging cash transactions on a large


scale, thereby eliminating the loss and risk that attend the credit business, and getting the benefit of wholesale prices. The hope of ultimate success from this line of effort depends upon the ability to enhance the price of what we have to sell, and diminish the price of what we have to buy, thereby increasing the gains. The ability to do this, it is usually argued, depends upon the amount of devotion each member will exercise in favor of the object. This line of argument also holds, that if each would be willing to make enough sacrifices of prejudice, and time, and money, they would be certain to succeed. And yet if we admit all that is claimed in this direction, we must still realize that there is a limit to the power that can be enforced by these methods. For example, we cannot reduce the price of the commodities we purchase any below what it costs to manufacture them, neither can we raise the price of the produce we have to sell above a certain limit, without a tendency to have the demand supplied from other sources or by substitutes. The probabilities of success, therefore, by the business methods alone, will depend upon the power thus wielded being equal to greater than the tendency to depression that has proved so powerful in the past.

Still another method of advocating organization as a means of increasing the profits of farming is, that by organization a united effort can be brought to bear upon the authorities that will secure such changes in the regulations that govern the relations between different classes of citizens as are necessary to secure equal rights, equal privileges, and equal chances. Those mentioned, as advocating the second or business line of teaching as the remedy, seem to have drunk a little deeper at the fountain of thought and wisdom than the first class of teachers mentioned; and those of the third class, now under consideration, seem to have pursued the investigation even further than the second class. They recognize the generally known and universally acknowledged maxim of political economists, that a general rise in prices always attends an increase in the volume of the circulating medium of the country, and a general fall in prices always attends a decrease in its volume; and that the regulations governing the relations between the different classes of citizens in this country empower a certain specified class to issue over one-half of the circulating medium, and permit them to withdraw from circulation any or all of such money at their own pleasure, thereby allowing said class to regulate, as they may choose, the volume of circulating medium in the country, subject to a limit of about forty per cent; that is to say, should they choose to retire all their circulation, they would reduce the volume of the circulating


medium of the country to forty per cent of its present volume, and as a necessary and unavoidable consequence reduce the price of everything in nearly the same proportion. There is then absolutely no way of avoiding the conclusion that such class possesses the power to produce a general rise or fall of fifty per cent in prices, at pleasure. Those who realize this state of affairs contend that it is a waste of energy for all the farmers in this great land to combine and co-operate to raise the prices of a given product when, if their most sanguine hopes were realized, they would not augment the price over twenty-five per cent, while at the same time representatives of another class of citizens of this country could receive instructions from one office in a single hour which would depress prices fifty per cent. In fact, owing to the inflexible rigidness of such a system, the fluctuation in general prices is very great between the different seasons of the same year, and for the following reasons: Agriculture presents, during the last four months of every year, an actual tangible addition to the wealth of the nation, equal to five times the gross volume of all the money in actual circulation in the country; and all this agricultural product comes on the market to purchase money for the use of the agriculturist. Now it stands to reason that such an increase in the demand for money, when there is no increase in the supply, must augment its price, — which is its purchasing power, — and which means diminished prices for everything else. Now if, in addition to this powerful tendency, a certain class possesses the power to diminish the supply at that season, in the face of the augmented demand, the tendency to a rise in the purchasing power of money becomes certain and irresistible. The experience of every man in the agricultural districts of the West and South has no doubt often shown him a difference of fifty per cent or more in the price of an article during the fall season and the spring. And it is universally known that, in pursuance of the above phenomena, general prices are much lower in the fall than in the spring season. Great respect is due to the teachings of those who contend that the greatest power being exercised to depress agriculture to-day emanates from unjust regulations governing the relations between the different classes of citizens; and if, by a united effort, we can secure the correction of the evils they point out we will pave a way for the certain triumph of our business efforts, and the enjoyment of more satisfactory and prosperous social relations. It seems to me that there is much good in the teachings of all three of these methods, and that it will be found a duty of this body to encourage the effort to improve in farming from a technical standpoint, as a result of the pleasant social reunions enjoyed in the subordinate


organization. Also, to sustain and assist in every possible manner the efforts made to co-operate for business purposes, by the different county and State organizations, and to provide a plain, simple, and specific demand on the part of the national organization for the proper, just, and equitable regulation of the relations between the different classes of citizens.

These three classes of teachings, and modifications of them, have been the principal inducements offered people as reasons why they should join our ranks; and the fact that they have joined in such vast numbers indicates the necessity for action in the directions pointed out, and is a pledge that they will assist in carrying out such methods. Of the three different methods, that of relief from the business effort has received the most attention, and been by far the most prominent. This is due, probably, to the fact that the technical and social co-operation seems best adapted to the workings of the subordinate body, while the business efforts have demonstrated the necessity of the wider range of co-operation to be secured in the county and State organizations, and the co-operation necessary to secure the proper adjustment of economic relations seems peculiarly within the province of the national organization, as it is the very foundation upon which the whole class in all the States must depend. The prominence given to the business effort, by the different State organizations, has not been without important results, the full details of which, I suppose, will be reported to you by the different State delegations. They have, in nearly all the States, organized their business with a strong capital stock, ranging from $50 to $500,000. Texas has a capital stock of $500,000, divided into individual shares of five dollars each. Several States have their capital stock divided into shares of $100 each, and issue them to subordinate bodies only. I think this last method has many advantages, and would particularly recommend the plan of the exchange of Georgia as one that seems to me wisely prepared.

In my message to the last regular session of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, at Meridian, I pointed out the necessity for great caution in the formation of any national plan of co-operation for business purposes. I now desire to reiterate that caution, and say to those who wish to inaugurate a National Farmers' Exchange, that there is danger of such an enterprise being so placed that it cannot accomplish much, and still, when in existence, the people will expect much of it. There may, perhaps, be some plan formulated by which the different State exchanges can co-operate, but I doubt the wisdom of going any further than that, by organizing a national exchange,


or of incurring much expense on the part of the national for business purposes. It seems that the co-operation for business purposes, in order to be effective and reach its highest development, should be more extensive than can be obtained in the subordinate bodies alone, and that it absolutely requires co-operation between the subordinates in the counties, and co-operation between the counties in the State; but beyond the State organization there does not seem to be any prominent and conclusive reason for extending so strong and dose an organization, in which it would be necessary to lodge so much power and responsibility. Each State is a complete jurisdiction within itself, and usually has different and distinct conditions, customs, usages, and issues. It always comprises territory and business enough to develop all the branches of business, as manufacturers, jobbers, wholesalers, retailers, brokers, commission men, etc. From all these reasons, I conclude that while cooperation between the different State business efforts will probably be necessary and beneficial, stronger reasons than I have yet been able to discover should exist before a national exchange organization will be able to do much good.

From these considerations, it must now be plain to you that the order has, by means of the consolidation here to be consummated, reached a period of full development that places a responsibility upon it for efficient and aggressive action. The three effective lines of effort above specified, that have induced this vast army of brethren to espouse the cause and place their shoulders to the wheel, have each a proper field in which to operate. The national organization, by securing a better adjustment of the economic policy of the government, will insure that the regulations governing the relations between the different classes of citizens shall be just, fair, and equitable, and thereby lay a foundation on which the States, in their business efforts, will find it possible to reach complete success, but without which they would, as now, be contending with inevitable defeat, and the success of the business effort rendered certain by the exercise of the great powers possessed by the State Alliances, when they can be exercised under the just conditions which it is the province of the national to secure, will augment the social benefits and enjoyments that should result from the subordinate organizations. Each has its special field, and the success of the national renders success in the State effort possible, and the success of these two contributes to the true benefits which must finally flow to the subordinate body.

As we have seen, the order has made a most prodigious growth, and its business efforts have reached a high stage of development and usefulness.


Your attention is now called to the genius of the government of the order. It will be found in the highest sense interesting and peculiar. We have had a written law and an unwritten law. Two sets of laws and systems of government have been in force at one and the same time. Every individual member has sustained a dual relation to the order, and yet all have harmonized perfectly, and there has been to conflict or clash. The written law is comprised of the charter from the United States government; the constitution and legislative enactments of the national order; the charters, constitutions, and legislative enactments of the various State organizations; and the charters, constitutions, and legislative enactments of the various county and subordinate bodies. The form of government under the written law was democratic, the subordinate bodies each being a simple democracy in which the individual is the sovereign, and all members vote on all questions. The State and national bodies were each a confederated form of republican government, and every step from the people, who are the supreme power, lessened the power of the delegated body. The national only had such powers as were expressly delegated to it by the States, and the State only had such powers as were bestowed upon it by delegates from the subordinate bodies. Its form of government, under the written law, was modelled after, and was very similar to, the form of political government under which we live. The unwritten law is the secret work, and, like all other secret orders, it has necessitated and depended upon a form of government closely analogous to a limited monarchy. According to it, all power and authority must emanate from the recognized head, and permeate through the various branches to the individual membership. Under this system of law, this is a supreme body, and under the written law the membership of the subordinate were supreme, because, under the written law the membership could, by the exercise of their constitutional privileges, abolish the national body entirely; and under the unwritten law the national could, by the exercise of its power, abolish a subordinate body by revoking its charter. This system of dual sources of power and forms of government, that originate at opposite extremities of the order, and encompass it as two parallel kinds throughout its entire extent, is wonderfully calculated to add to its strength and efficiency, and furnishes a complete safeguard against any weak point in either system, by always having the strength of the other system present and ready to assist and maintain it. The necessity for this full and complete statement of the genius of the government of the order is twofold: First, an imperfect conception of these principles has often been the cause of considerable hesitation and embarrassment on the part of


State presidents, when called upon to rule on questions upon which the constitutional law was not very explicit; and second, delegates to the national frequently seem to think that the only way they have of offering new and necessary regulations to the order is by modifying the constitution or offering a resolution. Now the facts are that resolutions should be offered for nothing but as expressions of sentiment or advisory measures recommended to the order or others; that the constitution should contain nothing but the declaration of purposes of the order, an outline of the different branches of government, an expressed limitation of the powers of each branch and each officer, and such general provisions governing the laws and usages as are of universal application, and will be permanent and require no modification and change. Then, to provide rules for the conduct of the officers, and the carrying out of the provisions of the constitution and render the workings of the order effective and satisfactory, not resolutions, but laws should be passed, the difference being that laws would prescribe certain things while resolutions simply recommend them. Every bill should be refused consideration unless it commence according to an established form, as, "Be it hereby enacted by the Farmers and Laborers' Union of America," etc., and each bill should have a caption and be numbered. If the laws of the legislative body were expressed in this way, they would soon make a valuable code of statutory laws for the order, that would save much of the time now wasted in discussing resolutions that are simply a repetition of what may have been passed many times before, but is not in a shape to be of record. This will also obviate the necessity for making any changes or additions to the national constitution, which is very desirable, as every possible means should be resorted to that will tend to make the national organic law fixed and permanent; let it be too sacred to be modified except in cases of the plainest necessity.

Observation of the workings of the order in the past leads me to make the following suggestions: —

1. There should be an efficient and uniform method of securing reports as to the strength, financial condition, etc., from the entire order. The national secretary cannot now send out a blank asking for information and get a response that is satisfactory from half of the States, because the blanks used by one State secretary are entirely different from those used by another, and consequently the information they have is of a different character. To make statistics of the order valuable they should all be gathered in response to the same questions, and it seems to me that the best way to secure that end would be for this body to provide for a small but competent committee who should


call upon each State secretary to send them a copy of what he finds to be the best blank for subs to report to county organizations, and what for county to report to State organizations upon, and give this committee authority to consider all these forms, adopt the best as the standard for all, and get up the reports to the national, State, and county bodies in a complete system. They can then be printed from plates in large numbers, and thereby reduce the expense.

2. Independent of the secretaries' reports, a system of crop reports should be inaugurated, that will be more prompt, accurate, and reliable than the estimates made and published every year by the speculators, who are interested in depressing prices of our produce. This is of the utmost importance; and yet all efforts made up to this time have been signal failures. I would therefore suggest that the national, State, county, and subordinate bodies each elect a crop statistician, to be paid by the body electing him, and who shall be held responsible to make regular reports as required by the officers to whom he is to report, and that the national statistician report monthly to the president of the national body.

3. The national committee on secret work should alone be authorized to print the ritual, and all sub and county charters should emanate from the national, and be issued by the various States.

4. The regular annual meetings of the State bodies should be timed so as to come in rotation, thereby allowing national officers to visit them.

5. All written official documents of the national should bear the impress of the seal, and all printed official documents should have printed on them a fac-simile of the seal.

6. The secretary should be required, on the first of every month, to pay the treasurer all the money he has received, and the treasurer prohibited from paying out any money, except on a warrant drawn by the secretary and approved by the president, and the secretary should be prohibited from drawing a warrant on the treasurer, except upon a voucher or account that is audited and approved by such auditing officer as this body may provide.

7. There seems at present a necessity for a national lecturer, and as that necessity may only exist for a year or two, it might be provided for temporarily; and if it be, the lecturer should be an efficient officer, with probably a larger salary than any other national officer, and be required to do active work during his term.

8. Since education is one of the most potent agents at our command, the national should impress upon the membership the importance of every member reading his State and national organ.

9. The president should be authorized at any time to appoint committees


to confer with any or any other labor organizations, on questions relating to the objects and methods of organized producers, always reserving to this body the right to ratify or reject their action.

With these recommendations as to matters within the order, I will leave that feature of the work and call your attention to the relations of the national order to the government and people of this country at large. Our relations, as an organized force, with the people of the United States and with the government have been wonderfully improved during the last year, by the establishment and publication of your national organ, the National Economist, at the national headquarters. It has been the means of presenting the true, just, and equitable side of the movement to a class of readers who before never saw anything but misrepresentations of the objects of the order. It has fought for our rights from a high, dignified, and indisputable standpoint of right, and as a result we now see leading papers and periodicals in the large cities publishing articles in the interest of the masses that a few years ago they would not have allowed to come inside their doors. In fact, our national organ has been so conducted that the entire order has shown unmistakable evidences of the fact that they are proud of it, and that it has been a wonderful educator and benefit to the membership. Nevertheless, the national organ will never reach its highest development for good until it goes hand in hand with a good, efficient State organ in every State, and the State organs of the various States will not reach their highest development for good without a harmony of effort and concentration of forces. I therefore submit for your consideration the propriety of authorizing the national and State organs to organize themselves into a newspaper alliance for the purpose of, first, lessening their expenses; second, guaranteeing a uniformity of sentiment, officially indorsed by a national supervising committee; and third, increasing their usefulness and efficiency; and that this body make its president ex officio chairman of a committee of three, who shall pass upon and, if approved, place their stamp upon every article expressing editorial opinion as to doctrine which emanates from a central editorial bureau for publication in the various papers of such newspaper alliance. A thoroughly reliable and uniform expression of sentiment can in this way be secured in all parts of the country at the same time. Our State organs are at present doing a great work, and accomplishing much more for the order than is generally supposed. In nearly every State in which the order has a State organ it will be found, on comparison, to be the best farmers' paper in that State, and members who read their State and national organs are always too well posted to waver in their


allegiance to the order, on account of any of the arguments or false reports of the opposition. With such an alliance as an auxiliary, when the conflict of the national deepens, the full force and influence of twenty or twenty-five of the best papers in the country could be manipulated with great advantage to the true interests of our cause. This will be by far the most potent agent at our command in the impending struggle, since by it we can keep our own ranks thoroughly posted and unified, and at the same time we can meet the opposition at no disadvantage, in an effort to secure the influence of the great class that now stand comparatively neutral, but will sympathize with and assist us when convinced that our objects are right and our methods fair.

In considering our relations to the world at large, I believe it well to call your attention to what, after a long and careful investigation. I believe to be a fact, and that is, that all the evils which afflict agriculture to-day, and especially all which contribute to the present universal depression, arise either directly or indirectly from unjust regulations or privileges enjoyed by other classes under our financial system, or our system of laws in regard to transportation corporations, or our land system. In the consideration of these prime causes of the many abuses that afflict our class we as a national organization of farmers occupy a peculiar but not unsatisfactory position. It has been the custom for changes in any important feature of governmental regulations to be inserted in partisan platforms, and in this way brought before the masses. We compose at least fifty per cent of the strength of each of the political parties. The two oldest political parties have each had their turn at the administration of affairs, and neither has made a single move toward these questions that are now of more importance to our class than all others. Evidently we have been derelict in our duty to ourselves, because we have not made our influence felt in the party to which we belong. We have, from time to time, at our meetings passed resolutions making various and sundry demands of our law-makers, but up to the present time there are little or no visible results. I believe we have scattered too much and tried to cover too much ground, and that we should now concentrate upon the one most essential thing and force it through as an entering wedge to secure our rights. A political party is one thing, and we in our organized capacity are entirely different from it. In fact, we are the exact opposite. Partisanism is the life of party, and the more bitter it can be made, the more solid the party. We, by the dissemination of the true principles of economic government, set free the strongest influence for neutralizing partisanism, because if all thoroughly


understood perfect political economy, and all were honest, all would agree and therefore there would be no partisanism or party.

We are a complete opposite to a political party. We dissolve prejudices neutralize partisanism, and appeal to reason and justice for our rights, and are willing to grant to all other classes the same. Party appeals to prejudice, and depends on partisan hatred for power to perpetuate itself. The strength of a political party is its platform, which, when constructed with the highest modern art, seeks to pander to the prejudices of every section. It must contain a plank for every question that is agitated or discussed, and be expressed in such equivocal terms as to mean one thing to one man and the opposite to another. Now, since we are the very opposite of a political party, and have for our object, not to get control of the chief offices of the government with all their power and responsibility, and do nothing except perpetuate ourselves, but to accomplish some needed reforms in the regulation of the relations between the different classes of citizens, no matter which party furnishes us the servants that may occupy the offices, it must be plain that we would only weaken our cause were we to attempt to construct a platform after the custom of political parties. Our strength lies in an entirely different and opposite direction. We should unite every effort on the accomplishment of the one reform first necessary, and the most important, and rest assured that the accomplishment of that will insure us a development of strength sufficient to then carry other necessary reforms in their turn. With these thoughts as to the policy to pursue, let us carefully consider which is the most urgent, most important and necessary reform to be dignified as the battle-cry of the order temporarily, till accomplished.


Brother Tracy submitted the following: —

Committee appointed to wait upon Hon. Mr. Powderly reported that arrangements had been made to have him address this body at 3:30 P.M., with Messrs. Beaumont and Wright; which, on motion, was adopted.

On motion, the house adjourned to meet at 1:30 P. M.

Convention called to order at 1:30 P.M., President Jones in the chair.

The following resolution was read by Brother Patty of Mississippi: —

Resolved, That the National Farmers and Laborers' Union declare in favor of organic union with the National Farmers' Alliance.

That a committee of five be appointed to meet a like committee on


the part of the National Farmers' Alliance, to prepare a constitution and plan of consolidation for said organizations. Adopted.

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

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

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

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

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

3. That the secretary forward a copy of the above resolutions to the superintendent of the census and each member of Congress and Senate.


The report on constitution was read and accepted; after which the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: —

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

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

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

Adjourned to meet at 7:30 P.M.

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


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

The election of three judges resulted as follows: R. C. Patty of Mississippi, for a term of three years; Isaac McCracken of Arkansas, two yearn; Evan Jones of Texas, one year.

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


ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, December 6, 1889.

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

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

The demands hereinbefore referred to are as follows: —

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

2. That we demand that Congress shall pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the dealing in futures of all agricultural and mechanical productions; preserving a stringent system of procedure in trials as shall secure the prompt conviction, and imposing such penalties as shall secure the most perfect compliance with the law.

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

4. That we demand the passage of laws prohibiting the alien


ship of land, and that Congress take early steps to devise some plan to obtain all lands now owned by aliens and foreign syndicates; and that all lands now held by railroad and other corporations, in excess of such as is actually used and needed by them, be reclaimed by the government and held for actual settlers only.

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

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

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

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

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

S. B. ERWIN, Chairman,,
J. D. HATFIELD, N. S. HALL, Secretary,

Committee on Demands of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union.


Committee representing the Order of the Knights of Labor.



ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, December 7, 1889.

Committee appointed to wait on the Kansas delegation reported that delegation in waiting to be admitted. On motion they were admitted at once.

The delegation was escorted to the platform, and reported that they were ready to consolidate.

After much enthusiasm the following resolution was unanimously adopted: —

Resolved, That the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union hereby approve and ratify the consolidation of the Farmers' Alliance and Farmers and Laborers' Union of the State of Kansas. That J. M. Morris, G. Bosher, L. V. Herlosker, Perry Daniels, T. J. McLean, and Henry Shapscott be received and seated as delegates from said State, and that charter for the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union of the State of Kansas be issued to B. H. Clover and S. M. Morris and their associates. Committee on Constitution reported on the monetary system, which, after an animated discussion, was adopted by a large majority.

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



The financial policy of the general government seems to-day to be peculiarly adapted to further the interests of the speculating class, at the expense and to the manifest detriment of the productive class; and while there are many forms of relief offered, there has, up to the present time, been no true remedy presented, which has secured a support universal enough to render its adoption probable. Neither of the political parties offers a remedy adequate to our necessities, and the two parties


that have been in power since the war have pursued practically the same financial policy. The situation is this: The most desirable and necessary reform is one that will adjust the financial system of the general government so that its provisions cannot be utilized by a class, which thereby becomes privileged and is in consequence contrary to the genius of our government, and which is to-day the principal cause of the depressed condition of agriculture. Regardless of all this, the political parties utterly ignore these great evils and refuse to remove their cause, and the importunities of the privileged class have no doubt often led the executive and legislative branches of the government to believe that the masses were passive and reconciled to the existence of this system, whereby a privileged class can, by means of the power of money to oppress, exact from labor all that it produces except a bare subsistence. Since, then, it is the most necessary of all reforms, and receives no attention from any of the prominent political parties, it is highly appropriate and important that our efforts be concentrated to secure the needed reform in this direction, provided all can agree upon such measures. Such action will in nowise connect this movement to any partisan effort, as it can be applied to the party to which each member belongs.

In seeking a true and practical remedy for the evils that now flow from the imperfections in our financial system, let us first consider what is the greatest evil, and on what it depends. The greatest evil, the one that outstrips all others so far that it is instantly recognized as the chief, and known with certainty to be more oppressive to the productive interests of the country than any other influence, is that which delegates to a certain class the power to fix the price of all kinds of produce and of all commodities. This power is not delegated directly, but it is delegated indirectly by allowing such class to issue a large per cent of the money used as the circulating medium of the country, and having the balance of such circulating medium, which is issued by the government, a fixed quantity that is not augmented to correspond with the necessities of the times. In consequence of this, the money issued by the privileged class, which they are at liberty to withdraw at pleasure, can be, and is, so manipulated as to control the volume of circulating medium in the country sufficiently to produce fluctuations in general prices at their pleasure. It may be likened unto a simple illustration in philosophy: the inflexible volume of the government issue is the fulcrum; the volume of the bank issue is the lever power; and price is the point at which power is applied, and it is either raised or lowered with great certainty, to correspond with the volume of bank issue. Any mechanic will instantly recognize the fact that the quickest and surest


way of destroying the power of the lever to raise or lower price, is to remove the resistance offered by the fulcrum — the inflexible volume of government issue. The power to regulate the volume of money so as to control price is so manipulated as to develop and apply a potent force, for which we have in the English language no name; but it is the power of money to oppress, and is demonstrated as follows: In the last four months of the year, the agricultural products of the whole year having been harvested, they are placed on the market to buy money. The amount of money necessary to supply this demand is equal to many times the actual amount in circulation. Nevertheless, the class that controls the volume of the circulating medium desires to purchase these agricultural products for speculative purposes; so they reduce the volume of money by hoarding, in the face of the augmented demand, and thereby advance the exchangeable value of the then inadequate volume of money, which is equivalent to reducing the price of the agricultural products. True agriculturists should hold their products and not sell at these ruinously low prices. And no doubt they would if they could; but to prevent that, practically all debts, taxes, and interest are made to mature at that time, and they being forced to have money at a certain season when they have the product of their labor to sell, the power of money to oppress by its scarcity is applied until it makes them turn loose their products so low that their labor expended does not average them fifty cents per day. This illustrates the power of money to oppress; the remedy, as before, lies in removing the power of the fulcrum — the inflexible government issue — and supplying a government issue, the volume of which shall be increased to correspond with the actual addition to the wealth of the nation presented by agriculture at harvest time, and diminished as such agricultural products are consumed. Such a flexibility of volume would guarantee a stability of price, based on cost of production, which would be compelled to reckon the pay for agricultural labor at the same rates as other employment. Such flexibility would rob money of its most potent power — the power to oppress — and place a premium on productive effort. But how may so desirable a result be secured? Let us see. By applying the same principles now in force in the monetary system of the United States, with only slight modification in the detail of their execution. The government and the people of this country realize that the amount of gold and silver, and the certificates based on these metals, do not comprise a volume of money sufficient to supply the wants of the country; and in order to increase the volume, the government allows individuals to associate themselves into a body corporate,


and deposit with the government bonds which represent national indebtedness, which the government holds in trust, and issues to such corporation paper money equal to ninety per cent of the value of the bonds, and charges said corporation interest at the rate of one per cent per annum for the use of said paper money. This allows the issue of paper money to increase the volume of the circulating medium on a perfectly safe basis, because the margin is a guarantee that the banks will redeem the bonds before they mature. But now we find that the circulation secured by this method is still not adequate; or, to take a very conservative position, if we admit that it is adequate on the average, we know that the fact of its being entirely inadequate for half the year makes its inflexibility an engine of oppression, because a season in which it is inadequate must be followed by one of superabundance in order to bring about the average, and such a range in volume means great fluctuations in prices, which cut against the producer, both in buying and selling, because he must sell at a season when produce is low, and buy when commodities are high. This system, now in vogue by the United States government, of supplementing its circulating medium by a safe and redeemable paper money, should be pushed a little further, and conducted in such a manner as to secure a certain augmentation of supply at the season of the year in which the agricultural additions to the wealth of the nation demand money, and a diminution in such supply of money as said agricultural products are consumed. It is not an average adequate amount that is needed, because under it the greatest abuses may prevail; but a certain adequate amount that adjusts itself to the wants of the country at all seasons. For this purpose, let us demand that the United States government modify its present financial system, —

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

2. That the system of using certain banks as United States depositories be abolished, and in place of said system, establish in every county in each of the States that offers for sale during the one year $500,000 worth of farm products, — including wheat, corn, oats, barley, rye, rice, tobacco, cotton, wool, and sugar, all together, — a sub-treasury office, which shall have in connection with it such warehouses or elevators as are necessary for carefully storing and preserving such agricultural products as are offered it for storage; and it should be the duty of such sub-treasury department to receive such agricultural products as are offered for storage, and make a careful examination of such products, and class same as to quality, and give a certificate of the deposit showing


the amount and quality, and that United States legal tender paper money equal to eighty per cent of the local current value of the products deposited has been advanced on same, on interest at the rate of one per cent per annum, on the condition that the owner, or such other person as he may authorize, will redeem the agricultural product within twelve months from date of the certificate, or the trustee will sell same at public auction to the highest bidder, for the purpose of satisfying the debt. Besides the one per cent interest, the sub-treasurer should be allowed to charge a trifle for handling and storage, and a reasonable amount for insurance, but the premises necessary fur conducting this business should be secured by the various counties donating to the general government the land, and the government building the very best modern buildings, fire-proof and substantial. With this method in vogue, the farmer, when his produce was harvested, would place it in storage where it would be perfectly safe, and he would secure four-fifths of its value to supply his pressing necessity for money, at one per cent per annum. He would negotiate and sell his warehouse or elevator certificates whenever the current price suited him, receiving from the person to whom he sold, only the difference between the price agreed upon and the amount already paid by the sub-treasurer. When, however, these storage certificates reached the hand of the miller or factory, or other consumer, he, to get the product, would have to return to the sub-treasurer the sum of money advanced, together with the interest on same and the storage and insurance charges on the product. This is no new or untried scheme; it is safe and conservative; it harmonizes and carries out the system already in vogue on a really safer plan, because the products of the country, that must be consumed every year, are really the very best security in the world, and with more justice to society at large. For a precedent, attention is called to the following: —

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

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


the demands on the bank, but the necessities, both public and private, of every rank in society. It was essential to enable the manufacturers to work, lest their workmen, driven to desperation, should fling themselves amongst the most violent enemies of public order. It was essential to provide money for the food of Paris, for the pay of troops, and for the daily support of the industrial establishments of the nation. A failure on any one point would have led to a fresh convulsion, but the panic had been followed by so great a scarcity of the metallic currency, that a few days later, out of a payment of 26,000,000 fallen due, only 47,000 francs could be recorded in silver.

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

"To enable the manufacturing interests to weather the storm at a moment when all the sales were interrupted, a decree of the National Assembly had directed warehouses to be opened for the reception of all kinds of goods, and provided that the registered invoice of the goods so deposited should be made negotiable by indorsement. The bank of France discounted these receipts. In Havre alone eighteen millions were thus advanced on colonial produce, and in Paris fourteen millions on merchandise; in all, sixty millions were made available for the purposes of trade. Thus, the great institution had placed itself, as it were, in direct contact with every interest of the community, from the minutes of the Treasury down to the trader in a distant outport. Like a huge hydraulic machine, it employed its colossal powers to pump a fresh stream into the exhausted arteries of trade to sustain credit, and preserve the circulation from complete collapse." — From the Bank Charter Act, and the Rate of Interest, London, 1873.

This is proof positive, and a clear demonstration, in 1848, what this system could accomplish when a necessity existed for resorting to it But since that time every conceivable change has tended toward rendering such a system easier managed and more necessary. The various means of rapid transportation, and the facilities for the instaneous transmission of intelligence, make it no disadvantage for the produce of a country to be stored at home until demanded for consumption, and the great saving that will follow the abolition of local shipments shows


what great economy such a system is. In this day and time, no one will for a moment deny that all the conditions for purchase and sale will attach to the government certificates showing amount, quality, and running charges that attach to the product.

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

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

Delegation from Farmers' Alliance of the State of Dakota were admitted, and the following communication was received and unanimously adopted: —

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, December 7, 1889.
To the Farmers and Laborers' Union of America:

In pursuance of the joint action of the National Farmers' Alliance and the Fanners and Laborers' Union, providing for an organic union between the two bodies, the conditions being that when the new constitution should be jointly proposed, approved, and ratified by said Farmers and Laborers' Union, and by two-thirds of the State Alliances composing the National Farmers' Alliance, then by proclamation of the presidents of the two bodies the union should be declared completed, we the delegates from the State Alliance of South Dakota, by authority reposed in us, do hereby accept and ratify said constitution, as amended and agreed upon by the National Farmers' Alliance and the Farmers and Laborers' Union, to take effect upon acceptance and ratification of said constitution by two-thirds of the State Alliances composing the National Farmers' Alliance.
Attest: C. V. GARDNER,
Chairman of Delegation,
Secretary of Delegation.


Resolved, That C. V. Gardner, F. F. B. Coffin, A. N. Van Dorn, E. B. Cummings, Alonzo Wardall, and Mrs. Elizabeth Wardall be received and seated as delegates from South Dakota, and that a charter for the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union of South Dakota be issued to said persons and their associates. That Walter Muir be received and seated as a fraternal delegate from the State of North Dakota. Adopted unanimously.

On motion, the city of Jacksonville, Florida, was selected as the place of holding the next regular session.

Committee on Land made the following report, which was adopted: — Your committee on land submit the following report: —

The total number of farms in the United States is about 5,000,000; 1,280,000 are rented. Since 1880 there has been an increase in farm renting to the extent of twenty-five per cent. It is evident to the most ordinary observer that the farms are passing out of the hands of those who cultivate them. It cannot be urged that this is the result of incompetency or idleness on the part of the tillers of the soil, for statistics show that the wealth of the country has, during the past twenty-five years, increased more than one hundred per cent. No other nation has ever shown such an enormous increase of wealth in the same length of time. All this increase of wealth is the result of the active energies of the producers. It is a peculiar condition, that the producers of all this wealth have gradually grown poorer; but still the cold, hard fact stares them in the face that they are not only not living as well as they should, but their farms are gradually slipping from their grasp.

The natural and inevitable result of this accumulation of wealth into the hands of the capitalists, and at the expense of the producers, is the establishment of a land aristocracy on the one hand, and tenant farmers on the other; such a system an has obtained in many of the European countries.

Your committee have had neither the time nor the facilities to prepare as extensive a report as the importance of the subject demands. From the best and most reliable authority we can obtain, the amount of mortgaged indebtedness resting upon the farms and homes of the people is not less than $16,000,000,000. The interest on this vast sum, at eight per cent per annum, is $1,280,000,000. This is the annual tribute which the farmers of this country are paying to Shylocks. The immensity of this vast sum can the more readily be realized when we consider that it exceeds the value of the entire wheat, corn, and cotton crops of the United States for one year. Nor is this all. Other forms


of indebtedness, both public and private, swell the above sum to more than $30,000,000,000. When we consider the fact that the annual increase of all agricultural interests is less than three per cent, it does not take more than an ordinary observer to realize that it is only a matter of time when the eight per cent annual tribute will absorb all the land in the country, as it has certainly done in other parts of the world. Statistics show that more than 200,000,000 acres of land have been granted to various railroad companies. Foreign syndicates own more than 20,000,000 acres. In addition to this, the comparative statistics show that there is a tendency to increase the number of large farms in the United States, and that the number of small farms is growing less each year.

We recommend to this body that they take immediate action to furnish some relief to the many thousands of farmers whose only hope in being able to lift the mortgages from their homes and farms is through the early action of Congress, to devise some method to protect their interests and give to them the fruits of their labor.

J. F. TILLMAN, Chairman, S. B. ERWIN,

The following resolutions were read and adopted: —

Whereas, The National Economist, our adopted official national organ, has so boldly and fearlessly advocated our cause and defended our principles; therefore be it

Resolved by this national body, That we heartily approve of the course it has pursued, and recommend that every member of the order should subscribe and read the paper, as one of the best means of education in the way of industrial freedom.

The Committee on Secret Work reported and exemplified the secret work.

The meeting adjourned at 6 P.M., to meet the first Tuesday in December, 1890, at Jacksonville, Florida.


each other where it was possible, and the entire power of partisan machinery was worked to its utmost capacity. Opposition simply provoked increased efforts, and political trickery increased watchfulness, and the effective work of the independents continued amid it all. Education on economic lines had been doing its perfect work, and the people were filled with a desire to obtain further information. As a result of this, these reform meetings were the largest political gatherings ever seen on this continent. When the end came, and the smoke of battle had cleared away, the ground was found thickly strewn with the political corpses of the candidates of both old parties. In the South, the States of Georgia and North and South Carolina made the best showing; while in the West, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas led the others. The effect of this political contest will go down to future generations. It marked an epoch in the history of American politics. It was a deserved rebuke to old party methods, and a rugged notice that conditions must be changed. The lessons taught by this campaign will not soon be forgotten; neither will the power and advantage gained by, the people soon be relinquished.

During the summer and through the political canvass, vile and vicious attacks were made by the old parties upon the organization as a body, and its national officers in particular, Brothers Polk and Macune coming in for the largest share. Through all this the membership stood firm, with but here and there an exception. Of course the excitement incident to a political campaign retarded, to some extent, the work of organizing; but the seed sown during this time was destined to bring forth a rich harvest of new recruits, which is now being gathered. The success of this campaign increased the interest of the public generally, and the politicians in particular, in the national meeting that was to be held in December of that year. Taken as a whole, the year's work had proven very satisfactory indeed President Polk had visited nearly every State in person, and had contributed his full share toward the ultimate success attained. The reform press had been strengthened and encouraged, and was doing a truly wonderful work in the line of education.

The wisdom of having the national organ of the order located at Washington was clearly shown by the great benefit derived


by the entire brotherhood from the National Economist. This paper, under the guidance of Brother C. W. Macune, exerted a wide-spread influence for good throughout the entire nation, and demonstrated the fact that reform papers, in order to obtain and retain a standing among intelligent people, must take a dignified, conservative position. Education being the foundation stone of the order, everything possible was done to make progress in that direction. Newspapers, pamphlets, tracts, etc., were sent out in great numbers, and eagerly read by the brethren. The new principle of government loans direct to the people was thoroughly and intelligently discussed. The result has demonstrated the fact that the people, as a rule, are willing to learn the truth, and when once learned, are quite apt to act accordingly. This wave of education on economic questions spread with great rapidity, and its effects have been truly wonderful. The Sub-Alliances, through the discussion of financial and other matters, have brought men and women to public notice who are destined to fill important positions in the future conduct of this nation. The reform press is filled with letters from members of these subordinate Alliances, which are not only sound in principle, but full of good sense and practical ideas. Men and methods are no longer taken for granted, but must first pass through the ordeal of a thorough analysis in the Alliance. By this means, the trickster is discovered, the demagogue exposed, and the scoundrel avoided.

During the entire year, nothing but educational methods were considered. Every point in this regard was strengthened, and all undertakings encouraged. The national officers were continually at work endeavoring to show the people the necessity of understanding their own situation. The result was highly satisfactory to all concerned. The order grew rapidly during the year, in numbers and importance. It became more unified and accustomed to the methods and usages of organization. The necessity for united action became more apparent each day, and a general desire to work harmoniously for the good of all seemed to pervade the entire order. The success at the elections disclosed the power of united action, and gave universal encouragement.

The year began with a large organization, with untried machinery, considerable differences of opinion, and in some cases


a fear of the result. It ended with a larger membership, with an almost complete system of organization working smoothly, nearly all differences eliminated, and a record of triumphs all along the line. Such was the year 1890. Long will it be remembered by the brotherhood. As the time for the annual meeting approached, President Polk gave up lecturing and speaking, and took a general survey of the situation, preparatory to making his report. He found nothing but success and improvement on every hand. He had the proud satisfaction of giving to the brethren of the national meeting a most satisfactory account of his stewardship. While it had been to him a year of unremitting toil and anxiety, it had been to the order one of prosperity and rapid advancement.

At the St. Louis meeting, Brother Macune brought forward the sub-treasury plan, and the meeting indorsed it by an overwhelming majority. In fact, there were but seven voted against it. This measure, which has been fully explained in another part of this work, soon became the rallying cry of the order. By common consent, it was accepted an the one great principle of the Alliance, and it proved to be the greatest educator yet brought to notice. During the winter of 1890 a bill embodying its principles was introduced into both houses of Congress, and the contest at once began. The old party papers antagonized it, and the politicians went wild with rage over the innovation, as they termed it. Amidst it all, Alliance members and papers continued to argue in its favor; precedents and matters of legislation were gathered from every possible source, until all opposition was confused and confounded. Petitions by the thousands were poured into Congress, as well as letters and resolutions, until both the old parties became thoroughly alarmed at the outlook. Congress continued in session very late, and when the politicians finally reached home, they found the Alliance thoroughly entrenched and working for its principles. It is the sub-treasury plan, and the vivifying effects which followed its investigation, and the senseless ridicule of the opposition, that concentrated the hosts of the Alliance and brought substantial victories in the South; and the same may be said, but in a somewhat less degree, of the Northwest.

As the time for the Ocala meeting approached, the interest


of the politicians became apparent. Every possible effort was made to break down the Alliance, by dividing it upon the sub-treasury plan. A few political aspirants were found in the Alliance, ready to serve any power that promised political preferment. The recognized method of such was to oppose the sub-treasury plan. Of course there were a few who honestly considered the sub-treasury plan as wrong in principle, and that it would do harm in practice. Such were the exception, and not the rule. Under these conditions the annual meeting was held.

The annual meeting at St. Louis adjourned to meet at Jacksonville, Florida, but the citizens of that place failed to realize its importance, and neglected to make any provision for the session. Taking advantage of this apathy, the bright little town of Ocala, many miles in the interior, made such flattering propositions that the executive committee changed the place of meeting. As a consequence, the National Council of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union met at Ocala, December 2, 1890. A synopsis of the proceedings is given below.


Council called to order by the President, L. L. Polk, at 12 A.M., sharp, and opened in due form.

Prayer by the Chaplain, Rev. Isom P. Langley of Arkansas.

The following officers were appointed by the chair: Isom P. Langley of Arkansas, Chaplain; A. E. Cole of Michigan, Assistant Lecturer; H. M. Gilbert of Indiana, Doorkeeper; T. J. Guice of Louisiana, Assistant Doorkeeper; J. C. A. Hiller of Missouri and W. B. James of Kansas, Sergeants-at-Arms.

Moved by R. F. Rogers of Florida that an invitation be extended to Governor Flemming and other leading citizens of the State, to the meeting this afternoon, which shall be for the public generally. Carried.

On motion of S. B. Erwin of Kentucky, a committee of five was appointed on credentials: W. J. Talbert of South Carolina, Chairman; W. L. Peek of Georgia; M. D. Davie of Kentucky; G. T. Barbee of Virginia; P. B. Maxson of Kansas.


Convention called to order at two o'clock.

Brother Rogers introduced Francis V. Flemming, governor of Florida, who delivered the address of welcome.


Mr. J¨ F. Dunn of Florida was then introduced by Brother Rogers. Mr. Dunn made a telling talk, and gave words of encouragement and cheer to the farmers of America.

H. L. Loucks of North Dakota responded to the addresses of Governor Hemming and Hon. J. F. Dunn.

The annual message of the President was then read by the President, Hon. L. L. Polk, as follows: —

To the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union:

Congratulating you, and through you the great organization you represent, on the hopeful and encouraging auspice, under which you have this day assembled, I beg to submit for your earnest consideration such thoughts and suggestions, affecting the present and future of our great order, as may conduce to the successful prosecution of its noble and patriotic purposes.

Profoundly impressed with the magnitude of this great revolution for reform, involving issues momentous and stupendous in their character, as affecting the present and future welfare of the people; the public mind is naturally directed to this meeting with anxious interest, if not solicitude, and you cannot be unmindful of the importance and responsibility that attach to your action as representatives. Coming, as you do, from States and localities remote from each other, and differing widely from each other in their material and physiological characteristics, and marked by those social and political differences which must necessarily arise under our form of government, it is your gracious privilege, as it shall be your crowning honor, to prove to the world, by your harmonious action and thoroughly fraternal co-operation, that your supreme purpose is to meet the demands of patriotic duty in the spirit of equity and justice.

The great and universal depression under which the agricultural interests of these United States are suffering, is, in view of our surroundings and conditions, an anomaly to the students of industrial progress. No country or people in all history has been so favored and blessed with opportunity and favorable conditions for the successful and profitable prosecution of agricultural industries. With soils, climate, and seasons admirably adapted to the successful growth of all the great staple crops demanded by commerce; with a people justly noted for their industry, frugality, and progressive enterprise, and characterized by an aggressiveness in material development which has no parallel in history; with transportation facilities, inland and upon the seas, equal to the productive power of the country; with a development in railroad and


manufacturing enterprise, and in the growth of villages, towns, and cities — marvellous in its expansion; with the rapid accumulation of colossal fortunes in the hands of the few; — why, instead of the happy song of peace, commitment, and plenty, which should bless the homes of the farmer and laborer of the country, should we hear the constant and universal wail of "hard times"? To solve this significant and vital question in the light of equity, justice, and truth, is the underlying principle, the holy mission and inspiration, of this, the greatest industrial revolution of the ages.

To restore and maintain that equipoise between the great industrial interests of the country, which is absolutely essential to a healthful progress and to the development of our civilization, is a task which should enlist the minds and energies of all patriotic people — a task as stupendous as its accomplishment shall be grand and glorious.

The pathway of human governments is strewn with mournful wrecks of republics, whose ruin was wrought by and through the subordination and degradation of some one or more of their essential elements of civilization.

It has been truly said that agriculture is the basis of all wealth, and important and indispensable as it is in this relation, yet its higher character and function as the basis of all life, of all progress, and of all higher civilization, can be measured only by human capability and aspiration to reach the highest perfection of society and government. Standing as it does, by far the most important of our great industrial interests, and related as it is, in such important connection, with every individual and every conceivable interest in our country, its prosperity means the betterment of all — its decline means the decline of all.

Retrogression in American agriculture means national decay and utter and inevitable ruin. Powerful and promising as is this young giant republic, yet its power and glory cannot survive the degradation of the American farmer. Never, perhaps, in the history of the world has industrial and economical thought been more intensely engaged than for the past two years, in this country, in the investigation of the causes which have conspired to place agriculture so far in the rear in the race of material progress.

This investigation, earnest, sincere, and searching, has led to the general, if not universal conviction, that it is due in large measure and in most part to partial, discriminating, and grossly unjust national legislation. Were it due to false or imperfect systems of farm economy, we would be graciously allowed and liberally advised to apply the remedy by improved systems of our own devising; but thanks to the founders of


our government for the power and privilege of going beyond the domain of the farm to correct the evils that afflict us.

This great organization, whose jurisdiction now extends to thirty-five States of this Union, and whose membership and co-workers number millions of American freemen — united by a common interest, confronted by common dangers, impelled by a common purpose, devoted to a common country, standing for a common destiny, and guided by the dictaters of an exalted patriotism, will, in the exercise of conservative political action, strive to secure "equal rights for all and special privileges to none," and secure indeed a "government of the people, for the people, and by the people."

No patriot can view, but with feelings of gravest apprehension and alarm, the growing tendency, under the fostering care of our politico-economic systems, to the centralization of money power and the up building of monopolies. Centralized capital, allied to irresponsible corporate power, stands to-day as a formidable menace to individual rights and popular government. This power is felt in our halls of legislation, State and national; in our popular conventions, at the ballot box, and in our temples of justice; and it arrogantly lays its unholy hand on that greatest and most powerful lever of modem thought and action, — the press of our country.

Emboldened by the rapid growth of its power, it has levied tribute on the great political parties of the country, which must be paid in servile party subserviency to its greedy demands. High places in politics and in government have been intrusted to its chosen servants and suborned leaders, who scorn the will and the interests of the people; so that reflecting, patriotic men are confronted with the question whether this is really a popular government founded "on the consent of the governed," and whose "powers are vested in and derived from the people," or whether it is a party government, whose powers are vested in and derived from arrogant and unfaithful party leaders.

We are rapidly drifting from the moorings of our fathers, and stand to-day in the crucial era of our free institutions, of our free form of government, and of our Christian civilization. To rescue these inestimable blessings and interests from the impending peril should be the self-imposed duty of all patriots throughout the land.

Since our last annual meeting in the city of St. Louis, the States of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, North Dakota, California, Colorado, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma have been added to the roll call of our Supreme Council. Organizers are at work in the States of Washington, Oregon, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, and Arizona. And in


all these States the fields are ripe unto the harvest, but the laborers are few.

I cannot too earnestly urge upon you the importance of devising means and methods for the prompt occupation of these and other States, with competent and active organizers. During the year I have visited officially twenty-four States, and everywhere I found a zealous interest and harmonious spirit among the brotherhood. Indeed, the order was never in finer spirit or more united in purpose than it is to-day.

If asked what is the greatest and most essential need of our order, as contributing most to its ultimate and triumphant success, I should unhesitatingly answer, and in one word — Education; education in the mutual relations and reciprocal duties between each other, as brethren, as neighbors, as members of society; education, in the most responsible duties of citizenship; education, in the science of economical government; education, for higher aspiration, higher thought, and higher manhood among the masses; education, in a broad patriotism, which should bind the great conservative masses of the country in the strongest ties of fraternity and union. Hence I urgently commend to your most favorable consideration the importance of providing at once a plan by which competent lecturers can be actively employed and maintained in the field. Zealous, faithful, and untiring, as has been your national lecturer, Brother Terrell, yet the service rendered by him was not a tithe of what is urgently demanded from all sections of our territory. I commend to your consideration the policy of employing lecturers at fixed salaries, to be paid from the national treasury, or treasuries of the States in which they shall be employed, or from both, jointly, whose entire time shall be devoted to the work, and in sufficient number that the whole field may be canvassed during the year. Selected for their peculiar fitness, and employing their whole time, they would give us a service which, for efficiency, could be secured in no other way. In most of the States comprising this council, the entire service of at least two good lecturers could and should be constantly employed, even should it require the temporary abandonment of local or State enterprises.

Never, perhaps, in the history of this order has there been, or will there be, a period when the demand for this indispendable service will be so great as now: and never can the expenditure of money, if wisely directed, be so effectual and so profitable to our order. In view of its great importance and the urgent demand for it, I trust you will pardon me, if I most earnestly insist that this department of our work shall have your most deliberate and earnest consideration.


By far the most potent and influential power underlying this great revolution of industrial and economic thought has been the reform press. At the earliest moment practicable, the Supreme Council should digest and inaugurate a plan which ultimately will give to every family in our order a thoroughly reliable paper, devoted to the principles of the order. We have a national organ of high order, and several of the States have organs which are doing noble service in the cause; but as an order, we cannot claim to be properly equipped, nor need we hope for zeal, fraternity, and unity, so essential to success, until each State in our jurisdiction shall have at least one paper to represent us, whose dignity, and character, and power shall command the support of our members and the respect of our enemies. Let us place our aims, purposes, and principles at the hearthstones of our laboring millions, and thus arouse to activity the dormant brain power of the masses, that they may grasp the grand possibilities and duties of their existence.

Educate the people in the science of true economical government, and in the great principles of civil and religious freedom, and keep them informed as to the dangers which threaten these inestimable blessings, and we establish a safeguard for the liberties of the people. I respectfully suggest for your consideration the advisability and expediency at placing the ownership of the national organ with the national order, and the ownership of State organs with their State organizations, respectively. This plan would secure harmonious co-operation and a uniform policy through all the leading organs of the order, and would avoid any possible conflict arising from personal interest. Then the will of the order would be the law of the organ and its rule of action.

If the Supreme Council shall inaugurate plans or measures for the dissemination and inculcation of true Alliance principles among the people, its existence and power will be firmly established. Let the people read and hear the truth as we understand it.

Many of the State organizations have adopted business systems which are being operated with varying success. Some of them are eminently satisfactory and have made large savings to the membership. Existing conditions in the different States vary so widely as to preclude the adoption of any uniform system for the transaction of business, but I would respectfully suggest that this department of Alliance work could be materially aided through the investigations of a committee, appointed for the purpose, who shall examine the most successful methods now in operation, and present their conclusions in printed form, outlining their general features for the guidance of new State organizations, and as suggestive of improvements on the systems which have been found less


successful. A matter of such importance to our financial well-being should receive your careful and generous attention.

It is the fixed purpose of this organization to secure, if possible, certain needed legislative reforms. However urgent and emphatic may be our demands, experience teaches us that they are of no avail unless supported and enforced by such practical methods as will convince the law-making power of our determination and ability to prosecute them to a successful issue.

Let this Supreme Council, representing all parts of the country, and that great interest that pays over eighty per cent of all taxes of the country, assert and maintain its dignity and its solemn purpose to protect and advance the interests of its constituency, by declaring their legislative needs, and by showing to the American Congress that when its demands on paper are ignored, it can and will vindicate and maintain its claims at the ballot box. Our recent experience with that body, as well as with the leaders of the two great political parties of the country, should admonish us that the time has arrived when this great organization should take bold and determined action.

To this end, I respectfully recommend that this council authorize the organization of a body to be known as the National Legislative Council of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, to whom shall be committed the charge of such legislative reforms as may be indicated by your body. I would respectfully suggest that the Legislative Council be composed of your national president, who shall be ex officio chairman, and the presidents of all States represented in the Supreme Council; and that this body shall hold its annual meeting within sixty days after the adjournment of the Supreme Council, at such time and place as may be indicated by the national president; and that it be empowered and authorized to appoint such legislative committees as in its judgment may be wise; and that it be required to transmit to each of the States, in printed form, through the national secretary, for distribution to the reform press, lecturers, and membership of the order, all measures or bills (together with the arguments in their favor), as they may decide should be enacted into laws. Let it be required, further, that the Legislative Council shall keep a correct record of all its proceedings, which shall be submitted through its chairman to the next annual meeting of the Supreme Council.

This body composed, as it would be, of presumably the best and wisest men of our order, and coming fresh from the people of each State, and being thoroughly conversant with the measures of legislation proposed, and acting in harmonious concert on all questions for the


common good, without regard to sectional or geographical divisions, would wield a moral power which would enforce the respect of any legislature body to whom it would appeal, and enlist the earnest sympathy and co-operation of the great mass of the people whom it would represent Not only would its service in this direction be potential for good in securing harmony and unity of action among the people, and by crystallizing and concentrating that action upon any desired measure of reform, but the natural and harmonious blending of the moral force of such a body, with the influence of the reform press throughout the States, would establish and solidify a power which could not fail to exercise a most beneficent effect on public affairs.

We have reached that point in the development of our organization when we must address ourselves to the important and indispensable work of organizing and systematizing these various departments of our effort, to which I have briefly adverted.

Organize your lecture system so that we may have able and competent men constantly employed in advocating our principles and purposes throughout all the States within your jurisdiction; organize and establish a system through which we may reach the people through the columns of an able representative reform press; aid the membership, as far as we may be able, in devising and establishing the best possible system for conducting their business through county and State agencies; and place our demands for legislation, as an organization, in the hands of an able body of men representing each of the States, and no power, nor combination of powers, can prevent or thwart our ultimate and triumphant success.

I. I respectfully call your attention to the necessity of a change in Section 2, Article V., of our constitution, defining the relative powers and duties of the judiciary and executive departments, in the matter of official rulings by the president. The requirement that the president shall submit promptly all official rulings to the judicial department for consideration and action, is unnecessary and often impracticable. In cases of importance, the delay thus enforced, especially should the judiciary fail to concur in the ruling of the president, might work great injustice and incalculable damage. I suggest, respectfully, the expediency of so amending the section referred to as to authorize appeals to the judiciary from the rulings of the president — the decisions of the judiciary on such appeals to be the final construction of the law until the next meeting of the Supreme Council.

2. Section 2, Article VIII., of the constitution makes it the duty of the Supreme Council to enact a uniform eligibility clause for the various


State constitutions; also to enact laws defining "the eligibility of persons of mixed or unusual occupation or residence, subject to all the limitations of this article." In pursuance of this requirement, Section 20 of the statutory laws enacted at the last session of the Supreme Council, says, "That the question of eligibility be left to each State, subject to the limitations of the constitution." This conflict between the organic and statutory laws has caused confusion and embarrassment throughout the States. I recommend that Section 20 of the statutory laws be repealed, and that the Supreme Council enact a law in conformity to Section 2, Article VIII., of the constitution. I further recommend that the Supreme Council determine and fix definitely the question of the eligibility of mechanics living in cities and incorporated towns. Much confusion and irregularity has grown out of the ambiguity of the law on the eligibility of this particular class of our citizens, and it is important to the good of the order that the matter should be definitely settled.

3. Under Sections 17 and 18 of the statutory laws, the office of crop statistician is created and his duties defined. The functions and powers of this officer and his subordinates are so indefinite, and the machinery through which this service is to be performed is so imperfect, that I beg to direct your attention to it. The importance and magnitude of this work, if undertaken at all, require an expenditure of money and labor much beyond the scope contemplated by the law as it now stands. The value of the information sought depends upon its accuracy, and the promptness, often, with which it is disseminated to the membership. To secure this would require the constant service and entire time of the head of the department, and much of the time and service of his subordinates throughout the States. It will be observed that neither the chief officer nor any of his subordinates are required to give any specified time to the work, nor are they allowed any compensation for their services, nor any appropriation to defray expenses of printing, etc. Under existing laws this service must necessarily be voluntary and imperfect, and hence of little value; and I would therefore recommend that means and measures be adopted to render it effective and of practical value to the order, or that it be abolished.

4. I recommend, if it be practicable and expedient, that the office and duties of treasurer be transferred and merged into that of the secretary.

5. I respectfully suggest to your body the expediency and advisability of requiring any officer of your body who may be nominated or appointed to any civil office, to tender the resignation of his office promptly upon his acceptance of such nomination or appointment.


For a statement of the work and duties performed in the various departments, you are respectfully referred to the reports, respectively, of the officers in charge. And in this connection, I recommend, with the concurrence of all the officers concerned, the appointments of a competent committee, early in your session, who shall, with your national secretary, examine carefully and thoroughly the records of all receipts and disbursements, and report thereon before your adjournment.

It affords me pleasure to testify to the fidelity and efficient labor of all the officers connected with your national office.

An intelligent conception and comprehension of the relations and reciprocal obligations between the citizen and the government is one of the highest attributes of American citizenship; and under our form of government, one of the most important and responsible duties devolving upon the citizen is the attainment of this knowledge. Hence, first and foremost in our "declaration of principles," we announce that we are "to labor for the education of the agricultural classes in the science of economical government, in a strictly non-partisan spirit, and to bring about a more perfect union of said classes."

Were it the design of the framers of our organic law to impress our membership with the responsible and patriotic duty of reaching that exalted standard in citizenship to which all American freemen should aspire, and to assert that our organization was political in the highest sense of that term, they were fortunate in adopting the language used in this declaration. But while our organization is political, it cannot be partisan or sectional in its action. In support of this declaration, we proudly point to our whole past record and to the recent popular election, and particularly to the noble and patriotic bearing of the brotherhood in the States of Kansas and South Carolina.

It is as needless as it would be criminal to attempt to disguise the fact that, as an organization, we have reached a critical period in our existence. Insidious and powerful influences are seeking to divert us from the high purposes and grand objects for which we were organized. Flushed and elated with success, — marvellous in many of its aspects, and the most remarkable in the political history of this country, — let us not impair its prestige and power by indifference or inactivity on the one hand, or by grasping for the impracticable or unattainable on the other.

Strong as we are and strong as we must become, — strong enough, if united, to render our lines impregnable to any open or opposing force, — yet we are not strong enough, nor can we be, to withstand the intrigue and treachery of foes within. Our principles must find their "city of


refuge," and our cause its citadel of safety, in the loyal hearts of a devoted membership.

Let our primary bodies barricade their doors against unworthy and designing men; and if such be found already within the gates, let them at once be furnished a safe and speedy exit to the camp of the enemy. Let these primary bodies — standing as sentinels at the outer gates — be constantly on the alert, and watch with ceaseless vigilance, lest they admit dangerous emissaries from corporations, or political or monopolistic combinations. Let us, as an order, adopt as our rule of action the inflexible test of loyalty to Alliance principles, as the first and most essential prerequisite to membership and to our confidence. Apply this test in the selection of officers, from the steward of a primary body to the president of your national body. Apply this test rigidly to all men who aspire to represent us in any capacity, and especially to those — whether of high or low degree — who are to be intrusted with the duties and powers of legislation. And if, in the faithful and impartial application of this test, any reasonable doubt should arise, do not hesitate to give our cause the full benefit of such doubt. Place no man on guard who is not a loyal and faithful friend to our cause. Herein lie our strength and our safety.

Let us stand unitedly and unflinchingly by the great principles enunciated at our St. Louis meeting. In the light of our recent experience, the important work of discussing and elucidating these principles must devolve upon us. In Congress, on the hustings, in conventions, and in the partisan press of the country, there was a significant silence on these principles, except and only in cases where we forced their discussion. All propositions presented by us, looking to financial reform, and notably the measure known as the sub-treasury plan, were ignored by Congress, and even the discussion of this plan was suppressed, notwithstanding the petitions of hundreds of thousands of our members for financial relief in this direction. Neither of the great political parties of the country, nor indeed did the leaders of these parties, indicate a favorable inclination to heed the demands of these millions of oppressed and long-suffering farmers.

A careful review of financial legislation by Congress, for the past quarter of a century, together with the disregard manifested by that body to the just and urgent demands of the people for financial relief, has fixed upon the public mind the alarming apprehension that the seductive hand of monopolistic and corporate power has lifted the American Congress to that dangerous eminence from which they can no longer hear the cry of the people. But the decree has gone forth that this dangerous and


threatening state of things cannot much longer exist. Congress must come nearer to the people, or the people will get nearer to Congress.

Let us not be diverted, through the machinations of political intrigue, from the great and paramount issue now before the American people — financial reform. Let this be the slogan and the rallying cry of the people until relief shall come. We cannot hope for relief if we accept the financial policy adopted and practised for a quarter of a century by the two great political parties of the country.

Never in the political history of the country was there such universal interest among the people, and such urgent demand on the political parties for financial reform, as characterized the recent campaign; and yet the great effort of the leaders of each of these parties and of the partisan press, was to give overshadowing prominence to questions and issues partaking largely of a partisan character to the exclusion of the one great vital, living issue — financial reform. Indeed, the evasion of this great issue has been prominently characteristic of the two great parties for the past twenty-five years.

The great absorbing question, let me repeat, before the American people, is not whether the Democratic or the Republican party, with their evident subserviency to the will of corporate and money power, shall be in the ascendency; but the question is, whether under our republican form of government the citizen or the dollar shall be the sovereign. Thoroughly imbued with the magnitude and importance of this issue, the people who constitute the parties revolted against the designs and dictation of suborned leadership in the recent election.

A system of finance which recognizes and secures to every citizen of this country an equitable, fair, and just right to share its benefits, and which will furnish a volume of circulating medium adequate to the legitimate demands of the country, at a low rate of interest, is the greatest and most urgent need of the times. Let the people here represented continue to reiterate, and with increased emphasis demand: —

1. That silver shall be restored to its dignity and place as a money metal, with all the rights of coinage and all the qualities of legal tender which gold possesses.

2. That the currency of the country shall be issued direct to the people, at a low rate of interest and without discrimination, and shall be a legal tender for all debts, public and private.

3. That taxation shall be more nearly equalized, by requiring that all properly shall bear a just proportion of its burdens.

4. That alien ownership of land should be resisted and prohibited.


5. That public transportation should be owned and controlled by the government.

6. That no class or interest should be taxed to build up any other class or interest.

7. That public revenues should be limited to an honestly and economically administered government.

And for the further security of the public welfare, let them demand: —

8. A just and equitable system of graduated taxation on incomes.

9. The election of United States senators by a direct vote of the people.

These demands are the necessary and legitimate outgrowth of our rapidly advancing civilization, and the highest considerations for the public weal and safety should impel us to earnest and persistent endeavor to engraft them upon our governmental policy.

In all the broad field of our noble endeavor as an order, there is no purpose grander in design, more patriotic in conception, or more beneficent in its possible results, to the whole country and to posterity, than the one in which we declare to the world that henceforth there shall be no sectional lines across Alliance territory. Failing in all else we may undertake as an organization, if we shall accomplish only a restoration of fraternity and unity, and obliterate the unnatural estrangement which has unfortunately so long divided the people of this country, the Alliance will have won for itself immortal glory and honor. In the spirit of a broad and liberal patriotism, it recognizes but one flag and one country. Confronted by a common danger, afflicted with a common evil, impelled by a common hope, the people of Kansas and Virginia, of Pennsylvania and Texas, of Michigan and South Carolina, make common cause in a common interest. It recognizes the important truth, that the evils which oppress the agricultural interests of the country are national in their character, and that they cannot be corrected by sectional effort or sectional remedies. It recognizes the fact that the war ended in 1865; that chattel slavery is gone, and that the prejudices and divisions, born of its existence, should go with it.

Community of interests between the great States of the middle, southern, and western sections, is the mighty natural force which will draw them together in solid array in the impending struggle between the people and plutocratic power.

Causes other than political (potent and effective as the latter have been) have conspired to propagate and perpetuate sectionalism. The rich, powerful, and densely populated East must needs have an outlet for its aggressive enterprise, its rapidly accumulating wealth, and


its growing population. The dense forests and fertile plains of the magnificent and inviting West were transformed into rich and powerful States. Lines of immigration and enterprise, of wealth and of general development, were pushed forward with marvellous rapidity and success to the shores of the Pacific. Along these lines were transplanted from the East the prejudices and animosities engendered for a half-century. The South, traversed by no transcontinental line of communication, sullen and humiliated in her great and crushing losses, and by defeat in war, most naturally nursed the sectional animosities and prejudices of the past. What an inviting condition was thus presented for wicked sectional agitators; and how assiduously they utilized it, let the shameful sectionalism of the past quarter of a century answer. But the people of the awakening South and the people of the great agricultural West, aroused and inspired by a common danger, have locked their hands and shields in a common cause, the cause of a common country.

The lines of sectionalism have been cut in twain. The Alliance has planted its banner, on which is inscribed in characters of golden light, "Equal rights to all and special favors to none," from the State of New York on the east to the golden gates of the Pacific on the west; from the Gulf on the south to the Great Lakes on the north, embracing within its territory the great staple crops of the country, — the centre of population and the centre of political power.

We cannot fail to see the opportunity of the hour; and recognizing that opportunity, we must not forget that it carries with it corresponding responsibilities. The opportunity is for the great conservative, law-abiding, patriotic masses to assert and establish a perpetual union between the people. The sequent obligation is, that these great masses must discourage, discountenance, and discard from their councils the wicked demagogical agitators who for the last twenty-five years have sought to foster discord and dissension that they themselves might thrive. Ordinarily they are the men — North and South — who were "invisible in war, and have become invincible in peace."

Divided, we stand as a Samson shorn of his locks; united, we stand a power that is invincible. Cato fired and thrilled the Roman senate with the fierce cry, "Carthage must be destroyed." Must we, as citizens of this great republic, emulate such a vengeful spirit? Hannibal, while yet a tender youth, was placed by his father on his knees and made to swear eternal vengeance against the Romans. Must we, as Christian parents, entail upon our children the bitter legacy of hate? Hundreds of thousands of noble, aspiring, hopeful, and ardently patriotic young men all over the land are manfully enlisting in the responsible


duties of American citizenship. Born since the war, — thank God! — their infant vision was first greeted by the light of heaven, unobscured by the smoke of battle, and their infant ear first caught the sweet sound of hallowed peace, unmingled with the hoarse thundering of hostile cannon. Shall they be taught to cherish, and foster, and perpetuate that prejudice and animosity, whose fruits are evil, and only evil?

"Let the dead past bury its dead"; and let us, as an organization, with new hope, new aspirations, new zeal, new energy, and new life, turn our faces toward the rising sun of an auspicious and inviting future, and reconsecrate ourselves to the holy purpose of transmitting to our posterity a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people," and which shall be unto all generations the citadel of refuge for civil and religious liberty.

Adjourned until 7:30 P.M.


Committee on Credentials reported: —

Arkansas Alliance: L. H. Moore, J. E. Bryant.

Arkansas Farmers and Laborers' Union: D. E. Barker, I. P. Langley.

Alabama: H. P. Bone, J. P. R. Beck, B. W. Groce.

Louisiana: J. T. W. Hancock, T. S. Adams, A. D¨ Lafargue, T. J. Guice.

Mississippi: J. H. Beeman, Frank Burkett, W. S. McAllister, A. M. Street.

Indiana: W. W. Prigg, Thomas W. Force.

Illinois: M. L. Crum, H. M. Gilbert.

Missouri: J. S. Hall, N. J. Wallard, J. C. A. Hiller, L. Leonard, Ahira Manring, J. W. Gray. Gerogia: L. F. Livingston, W. L. Peek, W. A. Broughton, R. A. Wright, T. B. Trammell, W. S. Copeland, A. Q. Moody.

North Carolina: M. L. Wood, S. B. Alexander, Elias Carr, George Williamson, R. B. Vance, E. A. Moye.

South Carolina: J. W. Stokes, W. J. Talbert, S. C. Latimer, J. E. Jarnigan. Texas: J. M. Perdue, G. L. Clark, Sam. H. Dickson, S. O. Daws. Colorado: W. S. Starr, E. H. Bruton.

Tennessee: J. P. Buchanan, J. H. McDowell, E. B. Wade, W. C. Lightfoot. Maryland: Hugh Michell, J. W. Kerr. Kansas: James Blackeley, Frank McGrath, T. B. Maxson, D. H. Walker, Mrs. B. H¨ Clover, A. Terrell, J. M. Nevelle, W. B. James. Florida: R. F. Rogers, Thomas Hines, S. S. Harvey. North Dakota: E. M. Sanford, Walter Muir. South Dakota: H. L. Loucks, C¨ L. Hinckley, A. V. Vandorn. Kentucky: S. B. Irwin, M. D. Davie, W. T. Winn, P. H. Haney. Pennsylvania: A. W. Knepper, H. C. Demming. Michigan: A. E. Cole, A. N. Howe, George Northup. Indian Territory: J. W. Stewart, R. C. Betty.


Virginia: Mann Page, G. T. Barbee, G. Chrisman, Robert Beverley.

West Virginia: S. A. Houston, T. R. Carskadon.

New York: D. F. Allen.

Minnesota: W. E. Fish.

California: J. S. Barbee, D. C. Vestal.

The report was taken up in sections and adopted seriatim.

The report of the Committee on Credentials, where the dues were paid, was adopted as a whole, and said delegates seated.

Joseph S. Barbee of California handed in the application and fee for the charter for California State Alliance.


Resolution by Alonzo Wardall of South Dakota, adopted unanimously: —

Whereas, The National Council of the Colored Farmers' Alliance is now in session in this city; and whereas are are engaged in a common cause, and our interests are mutual: therefore,

Resolved, That a committee of five from this body be appointed to wait upon them with our cordial fraternal greeting, and extend to them our earnest invitation to join us in such action as shall tend to unite our strength in forwarding the cause we love so well.

The committee was appointed as follows: Alonzo Wardall, Chairman; George Chrisman; W. C. Lightfoot.

Resolution by Brother Beverley read and adopted, instructing committee on Constitution to consider the advisability of providing for congressional district Alliances.


The following resolution was adopted: —

Whereas, The President of the United Stales, in his annual message to Congress, recommends and urges the immediate passage of a measure known as the Lodge election bill; and whereas, the said bill involves a radical revolution in the elective machinery of this Union, both State and national, and its passage will be fatal to the autonomy of the States and to the cherished liberties of the citizens; and whereas, in the holy war which we have declared against sectionalism, the firesides of the farmers of the North, South, East, and West are the citadels around which the heaviest battles are being fought, and to the end that victory may crown our crusade, let fraternity and unity reign: therefore, be it

Resolved, By the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, in


national convention assembled, That we most solemnly protest against the passage of the said election bill, and we most earnestly petition our senators in Congress to employ all fair and legal means to defeat this unpatriotic measure, which can result in nothing but evil to our common and beloved country.

The following telegram was received and read, and response authorized: —

"Philadelphia, Pa., Dec. 2. L. L. Polk, President: Our fraternal delegates will convey greeting of the Knights of Labor to your convention on Friday, at any hour you designate.


Brother Livingston of Georgia arose and spoke to a question of personal privilege. He was followed by C. W. Macune and L. L. Polk, who spoke to the same question. The tenor of their remarks was: That newspapers and persons had circulated reports which reflected on the character and official arts of each. Brother Macune stated that it had been generally reported that charges would be brought against him, and he defied any man to bring any charges or adduce any evidence on which charges could be based. He was not on the defensive, and could not be put on the defensive. All three agreed in demanding a thorough and complete investigation, by a committee composed of one from each State. This was granted, and the following committee of investigation appointed: McDowell of Tennessee, Allen of New York, Demming of Pennsylvania, Mitchell of Maryland, Beverley of Virginia, Vance of North Carolina, Latimer of South Carolina, Wright of Georgia, Hine of Florida, Bone of Alabama, Burkett of Mississippi, Adams of Louisiana, Jones of Texas, Barker of Arkansas, McGrath of Kansas, Hall of Missouri, Winn of Kentucky, Crum of Illinois, Force of Indiana, Howe of Michigan, Houston of West Virginia, Vestal of California, Starr of Colorado, Stewart of Indian Territory, Sanford of North Dakota, Van Doren of South Dakota.


Report of State business agents read and referred to a special committee of five.

Resolution by Sister B. F. Clover of Kansas adopted: —

In view of the mountain of mortgage debt heaped upon our people through the unjust financial system enacted during and since our unfortunate civil strife, and the notorious unreliability of the United States census concerning the amount of that indebtedness; be it


Resolved, That this National Council of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union recommend to all County Alliances throughout the Union the appointment of a competent committee to examine the mortgage records of each county, and compile accurate statistics upon this subject, for information of the people.


Brother Pickler of South Dakota was invited to address the meeting. He said he visited the National Council to ascertain what legislation the farmers would urge in the present and next Congress, and that he was ready to serve them. He stated that the sub-treasury plan was in the hands of the Ways and Means Committee of the House and of the Finance Committee of the Senate, and he believed action would be taken when urged by this body or legislative committee. The sub-treasury plan was the best for the distribution of money yet proposed.

Resolution unanimously adopted expressing thanks to Brother Rogers for his untiring energy, real, and success in providing for the comfort and happiness of the delegates and visitors. Also, thanks to the city of Ocala for its bounteous hospitality and many courtesies so freely and fully bestowed on this large assembly.


Report of Committee on Confederation, making the following recommendations, was adopted: —

1. A confederation.

2. A joint committee on confederation, of five from each organization, which shall represent this confederation.

3. Each organization shall be entitled to as many votes as it has members who are legal voters in State or national elections.

4. The St. Louis platform shall be the basis.

5. Each shall stand pledged to assist when possible in all local efforts to better the condition of our people.

6. Fraternal delegates or correspondence shall never be denied the one by the other, so long as the confederation exists.

7. The joint committee on confederation shall have the power, by a majority vote, to admit other organizations with similar objects, upon application.

8. When plans are agreed upon by the joint committee on confederation for mutual co-operation, each organization shall be bound to support said plans fully and cheerfully.


9. Expenses accruing on account of the joint committee on confederation shall be defrayed by their respective organizations, as they may be incurred by each.

10. The joint committee on confederation shall have power to adopt such by-laws for the government of the joint committee as they deem best.

L. F. Livingston offered a resolution indorsing the St. Louis platform, and said: "I believe the people can stand on this platform forever. This platform is a declaration of our Supreme Council, and our enemies are stumping the States, declaring that it has not the following of the Alliance people, and I desire the platform read and a vote taken by States, so there will be no mistake as to how we stand."

Mr. Stelle, of the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, said: "I wish to state that the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association can stand squarely on the St. Louis platform."

Following are the resolutions: —

1. Resolved, That this National Convention of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union do hereby most earnestly and emphatically indorse the St. Louis platform adopted last December, and with equal sincerity and persistency demand that all subordinate bodies connected with this organization shall not only align themselves therewith, but co-operate with this national organization and sustain the same.

The vote on this was as follows: —

Alabama voted yes; Arkansas Alliance, yes; Arkansas Farmers and Laborers' Union, yes; Colorado, yes; North Carolina, yes; South Carolina, yes; North Dakota, yes; South Dakota, yes; Florida, yes; Georgia, yes; Illinois, yes; Indiana, yes; Kansas, yes; Kentucky, yes; Louisiana, yes; Missouri, yes; Mississippi, yes; Maryland, yes, with privilege of amending if colleague dissents; Michigan, yes; Pennsylvania, yes; Texas, yes; Tennessee, no, because the Committee on Demands are now considering this question; Virginia, yes; West Virginia, yes; California, yes.

2. That any national officer, or organ either State or national, that shall not conform fully with the foregoing resolution shall be suspended by the national president; and furthermore, we advise our people not to vote for any candidate for a place in our national Congress who does not pledge himself or themselves to the St. Louis platform.

3. That we demand that there shall be a rigid and just national and State governmental control of the means of communication and transportation. And if this does not cure existing abuses, we demand that the government own and control said lines of communication and transportation.



Report of the Executive Committee read by the chairman: —

Brethren: We, your Executive Board, hereby submit our annual report as follows: —

The first duty of your board, after the adjournment of the Supreme Council last year, was to secure bonds from the secretary and treasurer, and to start the officers in the execution of their duties in the city of Washington. The secretary, Brother Turner, made bond in the sum of $10,000, which was approved as good and deemed sufficient under the rules made by this board; that the secretary should promptly every day deposit all money received in the Second National Bank, in Washington, District of Columbia, which bank received such money under instructions not to pay out any portion of it, except on warrants signed by the secretary, approved by the president, and bearing the imprint of the seal of the order. With this careful method of handling the funds, a bond of $10,000 was considered amply sufficient for the secretary to give.

The treasurer, Brother Hickman, promptly made a good and sufficient bond, but the sureties having failed to make oath as to their solvency, it was returned to him for correction, and owing to the satisfactory working as to the present system of keeping the funds in bank, this board has not insisted on the bond being made by the treasurer. He was ready to give all the bond required, but the money coming in during the year has not exceeded the amounts necessary to meet the running expenses, and it would have been both troublesome and expensive to pay it into a treasury in Missouri, when it was immediately necessary to pay it out again in Washington. For these reasons the treasurer has not been required to perform the duties of his office, but the Supreme Council, at its last session, voted to that officer a salary of $500 per year. He has presented no claim for the salary and performed none of the duties. Your board desires instructions as to whether the salary shall be allowed him or not.

The gross amount of salaries voted by the last Supreme Council to the officers of the order, aggregated $10.500. The expenditure for delegates to the St. Louis meeting has amounted to $2687.94. The sum of $1000 was voted to the officers of the previous year, and president-elect was allowed $900 for a stenographer and office and travelling expenses. The secretary was allowed office expenses; the lecturer, travelling expenses; the members of the Executive Board, travelling expenses; and the national crop statistician, printing and postage expenses. All these obligations were incurred by the Supreme


Council, and no provision was made for funds with which to discharge them as they became due. In this emergency, the chairman of this Executive Board applied to the president for a ruling as to whether the per capita dues were payable in advance or not. He ruled that they were, but the Judiciary Committee refused to concur in the ruling, and according to the constitution that question has been held in abeyance to be decided at this session of the Supreme Council. The result has been great confusion. Eleven States, namely, Kansas, Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas Alliance, Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Maryland, reported their number of active members according to their strength on the first day of October, 1889, and paid on them for the year ending October 1, 1890. These payments were scattered throughout the year, and ten States, namely, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Texas, Arkansas Farmers and Laborers' Union, Colorado, and New Mexico, had not reported and paid in full on the first day of November, as the constitution expressly provides shall be done, Six States, namely, Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas Farmers and Laborers' Union, and New Mexico, had not reported or paid anything on the 25th day of November, at which date this board examined the books of the secretary. The gross expense for the year, including every item authorized by the Supreme Council, and all the running and incidental expenses necessary to carry on the work, has been $19,551.65. The gross receipts from the per capita dues for the year ending October 1, 1890, have been $11,231.27. The gain upon supplies sold by the national secretary was $1380.33, and the amount of fees and dues received from unorganized States was $918.95; making the gross receipts for the year ending October 1, 1890, $13,530.55, and leaving a deficiency of $6021.10. This deficiency has been reduced to $2862.75 by the use of $3158.35, which has been received on the per capita dues for the year ending October 1, 1891. The net deficiency, therefore, for the year, as shown by the secretary's books on the 25th day of November, was $2862.75. In view of these facts, your board respectfully makes the following recommendations: —

1. The salaries and expenses should be reduced to the very smallest possible amount on which the business can be conducted, and must be reduced until the expenditures do not exceed the income.

2. There exists no necessity for requiring the national president or the chairman of the Executive Board to live at the national head-quarters, because they can attend to the business just as well and live at home, where they will require less salary and incur less expense.


3. The salary of the president should be reduced to not over $1000 per year, and he should not be allowed an assistant, because the business of the office does not require it. The salaries of the chairman and members of the Executive Board and the treasurer should be abolished, and for such time and travel as may be found necessary each should be allowed mileage and per diem.

4. The Executive Board should have authority to curtail the expenses authorized by the Supreme Council, whenever the condition of the exchequer makes such curtailment necessary. With such a system of rigid economy inaugurated, the treasury would soon be in possession of funds that would enable effective work in the educational field.

5. The system of collecting per capita dues should be improved by having a stated time of year in which all State organizations should collect same. A State with a membership of 40,000, that is increasing at the rate of twenty-five per cent per year, would have $2000 to pay if it paid in advance; but should it defer the payment to the end of the year, it would have $2500 to pay on account of the accessions to membership; but on the other hand, if the State be decreasing in membership, it would be cheaper for them to pay at the close of the year. To avoid these fluctuations and establish the fairest and most uniform method, would be for all Stales to enumerate and pay at the expiration of the first six months of the year. To do this, it would be necessary for the subordinate bodies to report their active membership and pay five cents per capita dues with their April report to the county secretary. The county secretaries would have it all in and make their report and remittance to the Slate secretary in July, accompanying their regular reports to the State secretary, who would have plenty of time to receive and compile same by the first day of September, at which date the report and remittance from the State secretaries should be due, with the distinct understanding that the first day of November would be the last day of grace, and that all States which violated the constitution by not having made both report and remittance on or before that date, would have no right to demand representation in the Supreme Council.

This board has held three sessions during the year, the first in February, at the beginning of the year, for the purpose of establishing the work, approving bonds, etc. The second was in May, immediately after the expiration of the first half of the year. This meeting was called by the chairman, for the purpose of examining the secretary's books, and to see if the expenses could not be curtailed so as not to exceed the receipts. After a careful examination of the condition


of affairs, in connection with the president, it was decided that this board had no authority to curtail expenses expressly prescribed by the Supreme Council. A short summary of the condition was sent to each State organization then about to convene, showing that there would probably be a deficiency of nearly $6000, and calling their attention to the constitutional provisions requiring them to report and pay on the first day of November, in order to be entitled to representation. The prediction then made as to a probable deficiency has been verified, but the prompt response of the States has reduced the same very materially, and should the balance of the States pay their indebtedness, all obligations can be discharged, the expenses of this session met, and funds left in the treasury for the expenditures of the coming year on the economical basis herein recommended by this board; but otherwise it will not be sufficient. The third and last session of this board was held on the 25th of November, for the purpose of examining the books and closing up the business of the year.

The secretary has made a very ample and complete report, one that reflects credit upon himself, and will be appreciated by you on account of its simplicity and the readiness with which you can understand it and prove its correctness. A copy of the same is submitted with this report, and your attention is called to the various vouchers for the expense account of the secretary and other officers, by which you will see that economy has been the rule, and that no display or luxury has been indulged; also to the bill of printing, and supplies of books sold by the secretary, which will show the great help the national organ has been, by having facilities which enabled it to do the printing much cheaper than it could be procured elsewhere. Much credit is due your secretary for the efficient manner in which he has discharged his duties, and the economy with which he has conducted the work. During a large part of the time his wife has been compelled to assist him, and they have performed all the work pertaining to the office, with the help of a boy, made necessary by the large amount of packing and shipping of outfits and supplies. The gain-arising from the sale of supplies has more than paid all the expenses of the office, except the salary.

C. W. MACUNE, Chairman,

The chairman of the Executive Board then, as ex officio chairman of the Legislative Committee, continued his report, saying that the Legislative Committee had, at the beginning of the year, commenced work without


instructions and without a precedent; that they had been cautions and conservative; that the work had required a vast amount of work and expense, all of which had been paid by the chairman from his own salary; and that the growth of sentiment in Congress was the most forcible testimonial of the efficient work of this committee. He cautioned the order as to the great responsibility resting upon this body at this time, as to what action it takes in regard to the political situation. The order could never participate in any partisan political effort, and in the South it was opposed to giving its sanction to any independent or third party move on the part of the members, while in the West and Northwest the delegates claim that the order will retrograde if such sanction is not given. In this emergency he thought he had a compromise to offer that would meet the case exactly, and that was for this body to hereby say that it gives its sanction and call for a meeting to be held about February, 1892, to be composed of delegates from all organizations of producers, upon a fair basis of representation, for the purpose of a general and thorough conference upon the demands of each, and to the end that all may agree upon a joint set of demands just prior to the next national campaign, and agree upon the proper methods for enforcing such demands. If the people by delegates coining direct from them agree that a third party move is necessary, it need not be feared; and that the next session of this Supreme Council elect delegates from this order to represent it in said national conference of productive organizations, for political purposes.

Motion of Livingston of Georgia duly seconded and carried, that all of the above report be adopted, except such parts as modify the constitution, and that they be referred to Committee on Constitution.


On motion, special order was suspended to hear the report from the Investigating Committee, which was made by the chairman, as follows: —

Your committee appointed to investigate the rumors and reports published implicating the character, integrity, and fidelity to duty of the president of this organization, the chairman of the Executive Board, and the president of the Georgia State Alliance, and this at the earnest solicitude of the brethren named, state that they have discharged the duty assigned them to the fullest of their ability, and respectfully report —

1. That they have been unable to ascertain a single fart implicating in any way, shape, or form, the high character and standing and personal


and official reputation of our worthy president, L. L. Polk; but we regret the writing of the Norwood letter.

2. That as to Brother Livingston, president of the Georgia State Alliance, we do not find anything derogatory of his personal or official high standing or integrity, but your committee is not quite prepared to indorse the course of Brother Livingston in the Georgia senatorial contest.

3. That in the case of Brother Macune nothing has been found, after the most rigid investigation, to lessen our confidence in his personal integrity and loyalty to the order; however, we regret his official connection with the Georgia senatorial contest. Adopted.


L. L. Polk was elected President; B. H. Clover was elected Vice-President; J. H. Turner was elected National Secretary. Moved that the election of Treasurer be deferred until a report from the Committee on Constitution is received. Carried. J. H. Willits of Kansas was elected Lecturer; J. Fount. Tillman was elected to fill vacancy on Executive Board; A. E. Cole of Michigan was elected member of Judiciary Board.

The following were elected to constitute the Committee of Confederation with the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, and other organizations: Ben Terrell, L. F. Livingston, R. F. Rogers, H. L. Loucks, W¨ J. Talbert.



Various amendments to the constitution were offered and adopted.

Resolved, That this Supreme Council reindorse the National Economist, and actions of Brother C. W. Macune and his associates in said paper, and will do all we can to urge them onward in the good work of education.

Adopted unanimously, by rising vote.

Report of Committee on Salutation and Fraternal Relations between the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union and Colored Farmers' National Alliance and Co-operative Union: —

Your committee on above beg leave to report that we visited the Colored Farmers' National Alliance and Co-operative Union committee, and were received with the utmost cordiality, and after careful consultation it was mutually and unanimously agreed to unite our orders upon the basis adopted December 5, 1890, a basis between the National


Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union and the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association; to adopt the St. Louis platform as a common basis, and pledge our orders to work faithfully and earnestly for the election of legislators, State and national, who will enact the laws to carry out the demands of said platform, and to more effectually carry it into effect, recommend the selection of five men from each national body, two of whom shall be the president and secretary, respectively, who shall, with similar committees from other labor organizations, form a Supreme Executive Board, who shall meet as often as may be deemed necessary, and upon the joint call of a majority of the presidents of the bodies joining the confederation, and when so assembled, after electing a chairman and secretary, shall be empowered to do such things for the mutual benefit of the various orders they represent, as shall be deemed expedient; and shall, when officially promulgated to the national officers, be binding upon their bodies until reversed by the action of the national assembles themselves — political, educational, and commercial; and hereby pledge ourselves to stand faithfully by each other in the great battle for the enfranchisement of labor and the laborers, from the control of corporate and political rings. Each order to bear its own members' expense on the Supreme Council, and be entitled to as many votes as they have legal voters in their organization. We recommend and urge that equal facilities, educational, commercial, and political, be demanded for colored and while Alliance men alike, competency considered, and that a free ballot and a fair count will be insisted upon and had for colored and white alike, by every true Alliance man in America. We further recommend that a plan of District Alliances, to conform to District Alliances provided for in this body, be adopted by every order in confederation, with a district lecturer and County Alliances organized in every county possible, and that the lecturers and officers of said district and counties co-operate with each other in conventional, business, educational, commercial, and political matters.

Adopted, with understanding that joint Committee on Confederation should act for this order.


Report of the Committee on Demands: —

SECTION 1. We demand the abolition of national banks, and that the government shall establish sub-treasuries, or depositories, in the several States; which sub-treasuries shall loan money to the people on approved security at a low rate of interest, not to exceed two percent per annum: Provided, That real estate and non-perishable farm products shall be


considered approved security; and that the circulating medium be increased to at least $50 per capita, keeping the volume equal to the demand.

For this the following substitute was adopted, to which Wade of Tennessee had his name withdrawn from this portion of the report: —

I.a. We demand the abolition of national banks.

b. We demand that the government shall establish sub-treasuries or depositories in the several States, which shall loan money direct to the people at a low rate of interest, not to exceed two per cent per annum, on non-perishable farm products, and also upon real estate, with proper limitations upon the quantity of land and amount of money.

c. We demand that the amount of the circulating medium be speedily increased to not less than $50 per capita.

The vote by States, on the first proposition, was as follows: —

  Yes. No.   Yes. No.
Alabama 4   Virginia 4  
Arkansas Alliance 2   West Virginia 2  
Arkansas Union 2   New York 1  
Indian Territory 2   Kansas 8  
Florida 3   South Carolina 4  
North Dakota 2   Texas 4  
South Dakota 3   Colorado, not voting.    
Kentucky 4   Tennessee 1 3
Pennsylvania, not voting.     Maryland 2  
Michigan 3   California 2  
Louisiana 4   L.L. Polk, President 1  
Mississippi 2 1 B.H. Clover, Vice-President 1  
Indiana 2   J.H. Turner, Secretary 1  
Illinois   2 C. W. Macune, Chr. Ex 1  
Missouri 2 4 E. Jones, Judiciary Com Absent.  
Georgia 7   A. Wardall 1  
North Carolina 4        

Tennessee, in voting 1 aye and 3 no, explained that they would have voted 4 aye on the section as it came from the committee before it was amended.

2. That we demand that Congress shall pass such laws as will effectually prevent the dealing in futures of all agricultural and mechanical productions; providing a stringent system of procedure in trials that will secure the prompt conviction, and imposing such penalties as shall secure the most perfect compliance with the law. Adopted.

3. We condemn the silver bill recently passed by Congress, and demand in lieu thereof the free and unlimited coinage of silver. Adopted.


4. We demand the passage of laws prohibiting alien ownership of land, and that Congress, take prompt action to devise some plan to obtain all lands now owned by aliens and foreign syndicates; and that all lands now held by railroads and other corporations, in excess of such as is actually used and needed by them, be reclaimed by the government, and held for actual settlers only. Adopted.

5. Believing in the doctrine of equal rights to all, and special privileges to none, we demand —

a. That our national legislation shall be so framed in the future as not to build up one industry at the expense of another.

b. We further demand a removal of the existing heavy tariff tax from the necessities of life that the poor of our land must have.

c. We further demand a just and equitable system of graduated tax on incomes.

d. We believe that the money of the country should be kept as much as possible in the hands of the people, and hence we demand that all national and State revenues shall be limited to the necessary expenses of the government, economically and honestly administered. Adopted.

6. We demand the most rigid, honest, and just State and national governmental control and supervision of the means of public communication and transportation; and if this control and supervision does not remove the abuse now existing, we demand the government ownership of such means of communication and transportation. Adopted.

7. We demand that the Congress of the United States submit an amendment to the Constitution, providing for the election of United States Senators by direct vote of the people of each State. Adopted.

Moved by Brother Livingston, that the report be adopted as a whole. Carried.

By Brother Davie of Kentucky: —

Whereas, There is now a bill known as the sub-treasury bill in the hands of the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives, which should have been reported and acted upon at the last session, and which if enacted into law would bring the financial relief so much needed by all classes and industries: therefore, be it

Resolved, That this national convention of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union do most respectfully and earnestly ask that said bill be enacted into law as soon as possible, or some other measure that will carry out these principles and meet the necessities of the toiling masses.

Adopted by a rising vote, four voles being cast against it.



Resolution of Brother Guice; referred to general joint Committee on Confederation: —

Whereas, We have already adopted the report of the chairman of the Executive Board in part; and whereas, said report did recommend that this body authorize a call for a convention of all labor organizations to be held in February, 1892; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That this body elect a committee composed of one from each State here represented, to be known as the National Executive Committee, for the special purpose of conferring with like committees from other organizations, and deciding questions as to time and place of meeting, basis of representation, and to submit to their respective States the demands of all such other labor organizations as will probably be represented at such labor conference, each member to be ex officio chairman in his State, and to have authority to appoint congressional district chairmen, who in turn shall appoint county chairmen, for the purpose of bringing our demands and those of the other labor organizations squarely before the people during the coining year, and secure an expression from them as to what concessions they will make in order to secure general co-operation, and what methods they will adopt to secure the same.

Resolution of Brother Guice; read and adopted: —

Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed by the chair, whose duty it shall be to report on the practicability of the use of the small bale of cotton over that of the large bale, at the next annual meeting of this body.

Resolution of Brother Demming on summer encampment; read and unanimously adopted: —

That the president be requested to appoint a committee of three, with full power to act, to take into consideration the holding of a grand summer encampment: Provided, That in no event shall this organization be liable for any expense connected therewith.

Committee on Summer Encampment appointed as follows: H. C. Demming, Beverly of Virginia, and Mitchell of Maryland.

Moved, by Brother Wardall, that the matter of fire insurance be referred to the Executive Board for the purpose of formulating a mutual and feasible plan of fire insurance, and have it ready for report at the next meeting of the Supreme Council. Adopted.

Report of Committee on Insurance: —

Your Committee on Insurance report that we have carefully examined


the life plan of the Alliance Aid Association of Huron, South Dakota, and believe it will be a benefit to the order, and recommend its adoption. On fire insurance, we recommend that it be referred to the Executive Committee to prepare a feasible plan for mutual insurance, publish it in our official papers, and present it at our next annual meeting.

Laid on the table.

Resolution by Brother Cole; adopted unanimously: —

That, in connection with the post-office, the government should organize financial exchanges, safe deposits, and facilities for deposit of savings of the people in small sums.

Supreme Council then adjourned.

The following is the amended constitution of the order: —



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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


Division OF POWERS.

SECTION 1. The powers of this organization shall be divided into three branches, to wit: A legislative, an executive, and a judicial department.

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

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




The regular annual meetings of the Supreme Council shall be on the third Tuesday in November in each year.



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

SEC. 2. The Supreme Council shall be composed of the officers of the organization and delegates from the various State organizations elected by the States upon such basis of representation as the Supreme Council may prescribe. It shall be the duty of the Supreme Council to adopt rules governing such representation: Provided, That the delegates to the Supreme Council shall not be less than twenty-one years of age; and the basis of representation shall not allow more than two delegates from each State and one additional member for each 10,000 active members or majority fraction thereof. Active members under this section are such members only as have paid the regular yearly dues of five cents each.

SEC. 3. The Supreme Council shall elect at each regular annual session the following officers, who shall hold office until their successors are elected and qualified: A president, a vice-president, and a secretary-treasurer.

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

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



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

SEC. 2. The president shall have authority to interpret and construe the meaning of the laws of the national order by official rulings, and such rulings shall have the force and effect of laws until the next meeting


of the Supreme Council: Provided, Appeals may be taken from the interpretation and rulings of the president to the Judiciary Department, whose decisions shall he final.

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



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

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

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

SEC. 4. The senior judge shall be called the chairman, and shall be the presiding officer of the court.

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

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

SEC. 7. For the purpose of carrying out the above provisions and rendering the workings of the Judiciary Department effective, the Supreme Council shall provide rules and regulations.


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

SEC. 2. A per capita tax of five cents shall be paid for each male member into the national treasury by each State organization, on or before the first day of November of each year.


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


SECTION 1. No person shall be admitted as a member of this order except a white person, over sixteen years of age, who is a believer in the existence of a Supreme Being, and has resided in the State more than six months, and is, either: First, a farmer, or a farm laborer; second, a country mechanic, a country preacher, a country school teacher, or a country doctor; third, an editor of a paper which supports all national demands, and the demands of the State Alliance under whose jurisdiction he may live: Provided, That no Sub-Alliance shall initiate an editor until the county president and secretary shall indorse and the State president approve the application. Provided further, The State president may suspend any editor from membership for using or permitting his paper to be used against the Alliance until the next meeting of the State Alliance, when said Alliance may reinstate or expel him from the order.

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

SEC. 2. It shall be the duty of the Supreme Council to enact a uniform eligibility clause for the various State constitutions; also, to enact laws defining the eligibility of persons of mixed or unusual occupations or residence, subject to all the limitations of this article.



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

SEC. 2. It shall be the duty of the president to issue a charter to any State organization qualified under section one of this article, when they shall file evidence that they have, first, adopted a constitution that does not conflict with this constitution; second, that they adopt the secret


work, and acknowledge the supremacy of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union.



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



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


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

2. Delegates to the Supreme Council will not be entitled to seats in the body unless settlement of the national per capita dues of five cents for each male member has been made by the State secretary, accompanied by the proper amount of money to the national secretary, and State secretaries shall make such remittance, and report promptly on or before the first day of November.

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

4. The president shall appoint from the actual delegates to the session of the Supreme Council, a chaplain, assistant lecturer, doorkeeper, assistant doorkeeper, sergeant-at-arms, and such other executive officers as the business of the session may require. The term of office for such officers shall expire at the close of the session; such appointed officers to receive nothing in addition to mileage and per diem as delegates.

5. The president shall be the presiding officer of the Supreme Council, and shall conduct the business according to the accepted rules of parliamentary usage and the requirements of the ritual.

6. The president shall have authority to call upon any executive officer or committee to make report and showing of the business intrusted to him, at such time as in his judgment it seems best.


7. The president may, when notified of any dereliction of duty or violation of the rules of the order, suspend any officer or committee, and summon them to appear before the judiciary committee to make showing to the chairman, either by oral or written evidence, as to their guilt or innocence of the charges.

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

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

10. The vice-president's duties shall be to assist the president, and in his absence to perform his duty.

11. The order of succession in vacancy shall be — president to vice-president, and vice-president to chairman of the Executive Board.

12. The secretary-treasurer's duty shall be to keep a record of the proceedings of the Supreme Council, conduct its correspondence, to receive all money of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, and account for the same, to read all communications, reports, and petitions in open Supreme Council when necessary, to affix the seal of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union to all documents requiring the same, to prepare for publication a copy of the proceedings of each annual or called session immediately after adjournment. He shall have charge of the seal, books, and papers of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union. His books shall at all times be open to the inspection of the president, or any committee appointed by the president to inspect the same, to keep a correct account between each State and the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union. He shall furnish the secretaries of each State Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union with a blank book properly ruled, with suitable column heads for classifying and recording the contents of the reports from the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union. Also suitable blanks for making reports to his office and to the chairman of the executive committee. He shall also make a list of all the officers, standing and special committees of the Supreme Council, with name and post-office address, which list shall be a part of the printed proceedings of the Supreme Council.

13. It shall be the duty of the lecturer to visit each State in the jurisdiction at least once a year, and to hold himself in readings at all times to visit such localities and perform such duties as may be designated by the president.



14. There shall be elected by the Supreme Council an Executive Board composed of three members, who shall be an advisory board of the president, and shall represent the Supreme Council during recess. The chairman of the Executive Board shall be located at the official headquarters of the order in the city of Washington.

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

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

17. All persons who are ineligible for membership, who make application, should be notified of the facts in the case, and no ballot or action taken. When members of the order engage in an occupation that would have rendered them ineligible before initiation, they shall, upon sufficient evidence, be immediately dismissed by motion of the president in open lodge.

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

19. The salary of the president of this organization shall be $3000, office and travelling expenses, and $900 dollars for a clerk, with headquarters at Washington, District of Columbia.

20. The salary of the secretary-treasurer shall be $2250 and office expenses.

21. The salary of the lecturer shall be $2000 and actual travelling expenses.

22. The remuneration of the members of the Executive Board shall be three cents per mile each way for actual necessary travel, and five dollars per day fur actual time employed.

23. No State organization or members of this order shall under any circumstances be allowed to print or distribute the rituals of the order, except as the Executive Board shall came them to be, and they shall be distributed as the president may direct.

24. All charters for State, county, or subordinate bodies in unorganized States must emanate from and contain the signature of the national president, and those for bodies under State jurisdiction shall be issued by the president and secretary of the State body having jurisdiction over them.

25. It shall be the duty of the Executive Board to secure from each


of the States copies of their forms of reporting from sub, county, and State secretaries, and endeavor to secure a uniform system of quarterly reports throughout the entire order.

26. All resolutions that shall be adopted by this National Council shall be laws governing the membership of the order, and shall be codified and added to the existing laws of the order.

27. The Executive Board shall require the heads of the various departments to give them an estimate of their expenses for the ensuing year, and shall allow each department such an appropriation as they deem just: Provided, That at least one-fourth of the annual revenue shall be appropriated to the lecture department. (The chairman of the Committee on Constitution reports that the committee intended the above clause to be advisory, and not mandatory.)

28. The per capita dues shall be five cents, due annually in advance on the first day of November, with the last day of grace February first following.

29. It is hereby enacted by the National Supreme Council that, within sixty days of the adjournment of the Supreme Council, a meeting of all presidents of States composing the Supreme Council, together with the national president, who shall be ex officio chairman, and shall be held at such time and place as may be designated by the national president, and the meeting thus constituted shall be known as the National Legislative Council of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, and one-fourth of the membership shall constitute a quorum.

§ 2. That it shall be the duty of the National Legislative Council to formulate measures and devise such necessary methods in conformity with the principles, purposes, and acts of the Supreme Council, as may secure the enactment of such laws as may be indicated by the Supreme Council.

§ 3. It shall be the duty of the president of the National Legislative Council to keep in substantial form a correct record of the proceedings of each legislative council, to be presented to the Supreme Council of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union at its next meeting.

§ 4. It shall be the duty of the Legislative Council to cause to be printed any measures, bills, resolutions, or petitions which it may decide to present to Congress, and cause the same to be transmitted by the national secretary to all subordinate bodies in each of the States under the jurisdiction of the order, together with such other arguments or other information as in the judgment of the council should be given to the membership.

§ 5. It may appoint a national legislative committee consisting of not


more than three members, to be chosen from its own body, and require said committee to give such personal service as may in the judgment of the council be necessary to a proper presentation for the measures before Congress. Each member shall receive such compensation as may be provided by his State Alliance out of its treasury. The per diem and mileage of the legislative committee shall be fixed by the National Legislative Council, to be paid out of the national treasury upon the warrant of the national president.

30. Delegates from a majority of the States organized shall constitute a quorum of the Supreme Council.

31. There shall be a standing committee, consisting of the State business agents from the States composing the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, provided that each State exchange or State Alliance shall defray the expenses of said agent.

32. All measures presented for consideration may be discussed fairly, fully, honestly, and thoroughly, and when the action of a majority has been had, all who participate in the meeting are pledged to support such action. It is the duty of every member where the body has spoken to stand as a unit before the world.

33. No officer or member of the Supreme Council shall absent himself from the meetings unless excused by the president, under penalty of the forfeiture of all his mileage and per diem.

34. The following rules shall govern the confederation with the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, the National Colored Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union, and such other organizations as may be admitted to same: —

§ 1. A confederation.

§ 2. A joint committee on confederation of five from each organization, which shall represent this confederation.

§ 3. Each organization shall be entitled to as many votes as it has members who are legal voters in State or national elections.

§ 4. The St. Louis platform shall be the basis.

§ 5. Each shall stand pledged to assist when possible in all local efforts to better the condition of our people.

§ 6. Fraternal delegates or correspondence shall never be denied the one by the other so long as the confederation exists.

§ 7. The joint committee on confederation shall have the power by a majority vote to admit other organizations with similar objects, upon application.

§ 8. When plans are agreed upon by the joint committee on confederation for mutual co-operation, each organization shall be bound to support said plans fully and cheerfully.


§ 9. Expenses accruing on account of the joint committee on confederation shall be defrayed by their respective organizations as they may be incurred by each.

§ 10. The joint committee on confederation shall have power to adopt such by-laws for the government of the joint committee as they deem best.

35. The indebtedness of the various organizations which consolidated on the first day of October, 1889, to form the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, shall in no case be a debt of the consolidated order, unless by special act of the Supreme Council.


1. Calling the roll.
2. Reading the minutes.
3. Application for membership.
4. Report of investigating committees.
5. Balloting.
6. Initiations.
7. Is there any member sick or in distress?
8. Reports of standing committees.
9. Report of special committees.
10. Unfinished business.
11. New members.
12. Business with the County Alliance.
13. Business with the State Alliance.
14. Lecturing.

This was doubtless one of the most important gatherings, in many respects, that was ever held on American soil. Representatives from thirty-one State and Territorial Alliances were present, besides a large number of both friends and enemies of the order. Following, as it did, immediately after the close of a political campaign of remarkable surprises, it was compelled to bear a burden of pressure from both the old parties — one being driven by disaster to the verge of despair, and the other elated by success to the point of dictatorial assumption. The Republican party hoped that the meeting would result in certain indiscretions which would break the power of the Alliance, and permit that party to regain its waning strength. The Democratic party was anxious to have the Alliance recede from its


advanced position on economic questions, in order to make co-operation more probable. Again, there was a strong element from the West demanding independent action, and at the same time showing, as the result of such a movement, the fruits of the last election. This was met by a conservative force largely from the South, but really from nearly all the States represented, which considered it unwise and untimely. The wily politician was there also, and as usual dangerous to all honest purposes; the traitor and breeder of discord was not wanting; and they coward could be occasionally met with. All this tended to distract the brethren and destroy that continuity of action without which the results of the meeting would have been disastrous. Under such unfavorable circumstances the delegates began their work. For weeks and months certain newspapers and individuals had been poisoning the minds of the brotherhood with slanderous assaults upon certain members of the order, whose downfall would best serve the purposes of the politicians of cither party, and prepare the way for the overthrow of the order, if possible. These attacks were so bold and brutal that an investigation was at once demanded by some of the victims. This investigation disclosed the viciousness of the plot and the entire innocence of the accused.

The message of the president was temperate, well considered, and enthusiastically received. It was full of encouragement, and seemed to crystallize the scattered forces and bring the delegates together. The report of the secretary was thorough and complete, and inspired confidence in that officer. The report of the lecturer disclosed a year of hard work, and the addition of a large number of States to the order was proof of the efficacy of his labor. The report of the Executive Committee was thoughtful and logical, and contained much that was worthy of consideration. Taken altogether, the national officers made a splendid showing of the year's work, and the brethren were highly pleased. The real labor of the meeting was begun in earnest, and with the determination to do that which was best for the interest of the order, honestly and fearlessly. The old officers were re-elected, with the exception of Brother Willits of Kansas being chosen national lecturer in the place of Brother Terrell, who had held that position for the past four


years, and Brother Cole of Michigan being selected as a member of the Judiciary Committee. The salaries were changed in some particulars, and the membership confined strictly to the country. A Legislative Council was instituted, consisting of the national president and the president of each State Alliance. An understanding was arrived at concerning the duties of Alliance papers in the discussion of Alliance principles, which will no doubt be of great benefit to the order. A platform or declaration of principles was adopted that will stand as the crowning glory of the meeting. It will warm the hearts of all true Alliance members, inspire them with confidence, and nerve them to renews action. The schemes of the slander failed the plans of the traitors were destroyed, and the plots of the politicians disclosed, and the Alliance came out of the ordeal purified, stronger than ever, more united than ever, and more determined than ever to push on the work so grandly ant earnestly begun.

Such, in brief, was the important work of the meeting. To restrict its membership in future to the country was wise, and served to eliminate many annoying conditions, and at the same time made room for other fraternal orders to work without unpleasant complications.

The declaration of demands adopted at the meeting with challenge the admiration of every candid, thinking man throughout the entitle nation. Its demands are simple, plain, practical, and entirely within the provisions of the constitution. There is nothing revolutionary in their character, and they could be easily and cheaply administered. These demands are limited almost entirely to the three great questions, — land, transportation, and currency. Upon these it speaks with no uncertain sound. No backward step has been taken, but a long stride in advance has been made. The sub-treasury plan has been reaffirmed, with the addition of loans upon real estate. This makes the financial proposition complete, and will tend to greatly strengthen the whole. With loans direct to the people, upon land as the basis for a permanent addition to the circulation, and loans upon products to furnish that flexibility which all just systems of finance should possess, the Alliance can meet any and all objections with the most convincing arguments. The


demands in regard to the means of transportation and communication have been strengthened by explicitly stating, in terms not to be misunderstood, the ultimatum. It is a platform upon which every honest man can stand. It is a demand for reforms that all candid men will indorse, and, as a whole, it constitutes a declaration of purposes that will lead the people out of their distress, and in the end bring peace and prosperity.

Here ends the history of the Farmers' Alliance at the present time. Upon this history it must stand or fall. What its future may be, God alone can tell. It was born of necessity, nurtured amid want and distress, and stands to-day as the champion of the down-trodden of earth. It is not properly an organization — it is a growth; and they who would prophesy of its future must first know the wants and woes of the human family. Such a beginning, such years of probation, such opportunities for good, and such triumphs! He who holds the destinies of nations in his keeping, and does all things well, will never suffer to be brought to naught.

The Farmers' Alliance has a mission to fulfill that even those who are its leaders know not of. It has battles to fight, conquests to make, and victories to gain, that will fill the earth. It is the last, grand, peaceable assault by labor in production upon the intrenchments of plutocracy. It is the last appeal for justice, for "equal rights to all, and special privileges to none," that will be made through education and the ballot box. As well might we undertake to blot out the stars of heaven as to prevent the final triumph of this great movement. In some manner, and in the immediate future, labor in production is going to be free. The shackles it has worn so long will be stricken off, and the bands that have bound it to the chariot wheels of the oppressors will surely be loosened. The Alliance will yet prove the Moses that will lead the people out of their bondage and up to that condition which a kind Providence has vouchsafed to us all. It is sure to be the strong man who, at the appointed time, will proclaim, in thunder tones, reaching from ocean to ocean: "It is finished. Let the people go free."

The methods of the Alliance are based upon education, and are therefore conservative. They appeal to an intelligent sense of justice, and are therefore all the more potent. Every


demand it founded upon the full knowledge of an outraged equity, and every proposition cemented with the logic that comes through practical application. It is the conservative element of society, the long-suffering, slowly aroused portion, that is now in rebellion against the methods of plutocracy. It is a protest against that which is widening the gulf between Dives and Lazarus, which in the end, if not checked, will engulf the liberties of the people. There is nothing sensational or emotional about it. It is a deliberate conclusion, based upon study and reflection. It is not a theory; it is a condition, an one that must be met in the same spirit in which it is presented, or the end of the rule of the majority has been reached.

Let no one be deceived in this matter. Let no one think the Alliance is the creature of a moment. It is here. It has come to stay, until the armies against freedom and humanity are driven without the borders of this fair land. It is the uprising of the hosts of good government. Its purposes are expressed in the words of Lincoln: "That a government of the people, for the people, and by the people, may not perish from off the earth." It makes war on no one; it demands justice and not charity; equal rights instead of special privileges; and stands squarely upon the doctrine of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. It believes with the poet, who said: —

"See the sole bliss Heaven could on all bestow! Which who but feels can taste, but thinks can know: Yet poor with fortune, and with learning blind, The bad must miss; the good, untaught, will find; Slave to no sect, who takes no private road, But looks through nature up to nature's God; Pursues that chain which links the immense design, Joins heaven and earth, and mortal and divine; Sees that no being any bliss can know, But touches some above, and some below; Learns from this union of the rising whole, The first, last purpose of the human soul; And knows where faith, law, morals, all began, All end in LOVE OF GOD and LOVE OF MAN."

Founded upon such principles, and grounded in such belief, nothing can prevent the ultimate accomplishment of its purposes.


Here are represented four agricultural organizations in one. This fact alone points to it as a factor of destiny. About the same time, in different localities, four organizations were started in farming communities, — the Farmers' Alliance, in Texas; the Farmers' Union, in Louisiana; the Brothers of Freedom, in one part of Arkansas, and the Agricultural Wheel in another. They all began under similar conditions and because of similar reasons, and undertook to accomplish similar objects. The story of their origin and final consolidation reads like a romance. They seem to have been actuated by one motive, continued for one purpose, and held together by one common desire. We see the Brothers of Freedom uniting amicably and peacefully with the Wheel, and thereby increasing the power and efficiency of both. Then the Farmers' Union consolidates with the Alliance, for the mutual benefit of both; and last we find the two great organizations, the Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union and the Agricultural Wheel combining into one great body, under one name and one authority. The success of this consolidation effort has been phenomenal. It has astonished the thinking world, and is growing in wonder daily. The cause is easily found: it is an honest effort to accomplish a legitimate purpose through business methods. It is the plain result of intelligent organization, based upon a righteous cause, having as its ultimate result the emancipation from the power of corruption and vicious laws of all those who contribute to the production of the wealth of the nation.

The farmers are the only class who have not availed themselves hitherto of the benefits of organization. There seems to he among them a disposition to keep out of organizations themselves, and find fault with others who join. This comes through a lack of proper education upon that subject. If the farmers of America would organize as intelligently and solidly as the Standard Oil Company has, and then use the power of such organization as unscrupulously, they would in a few years become the dictators of the world. Nothing could withstand their power. Of course the Alliance and other similar organizations are doing a great work in this line of education, but there remains so much yet to be accomplished that the attempt,


looks almost hopeless, even to many who have long been in the movement. But the absolute necessity for organization among farmers is apparent to all thinking people. In the past many attempts have been made to accomplish needed results, but in the main they have all been preparatory. Stern necessity, the great educator of mankind, reaches the farmer last of all. Besides this, the agricultural portion of all governments are their conservative elements. They dislike innovation, deprecate a change, and cling to old customs and traditions. But when once aroused, when thoroughly convinced that their rights are being invaded, there is no factor of society more determined, less liable to make mistakes, and better acquainted with the source of difficulty and the needed remedy, than the farmer.

Organization, and that alone, will make these conditions possible, and that alone will save the farmer and his vocation from complete destruction. Is it not, therefore, the duty of every farmer to at once become identified with some organization, and make common cause against the oppression under which he is now suffering? Let the farmers of the United States organize, stand together, demand better laws, easier conditions, and more liberty. The power to do these things is with them. Let them do it wisely, but firmly.

In looking back over the history of the order, we note its first rapid growth from August, 1885, to August, 1886, during which time the order in Texas grew from about six hundred Sub-Alliances to about twenty-seven hundred. Perhaps the most potent argument used by the lecturers during that time was that there were too many merchants, and that the farmers could organize and co-operate, and by concentrating their trade on one, where the custom was to have five or six, they would save the expense of supporting so many. During the rapid growth of the order that year, this was the doctrine taught by the lecturers, and at the end of the year it was discarded as a fallacy, and a different policy, that of bulking the crops, advocated for the next year. In spite of this complete change of base, there was no check to the rapid growth of the order; it kept on growing through every change of public sentiment as to its objects, purposes, and methods. Nor is this all. The men who founded it have not remained in the lead during its


wonderful growth. Officers have been changed almost every year, and the constitution, the organic law of the order, has been several times completely changed.

What are we forced to conclude from all this? Evidently that the growth of this great order does not depend upon the wisdom and forethought of the men who founded it, or of those who have been put at the head of the column to act as officers; neither does it depend upon the provisions of the declaration of purposes or the constitution; and, as we have seen that a general popular misconception of its purposes, attended with futile and useless action, has in no case retarded its great onward march, we must conclude that it is a higher and a greater power than could possibly emanate from any or all of these sources. The Farmers' Alliance is a God-given institution that ranks above, and cannot be tied down to, any local or fleeting issue. It is the highest development of material progress, an ever-present and all-powerful influence for good. It is the farmers' sinking fund, or savings bank, on which he may draw for help to meet the evils that surround him now, or may surround him in the future. If it could be tied down or limited to the business effort, or to the political effort, or to any other effort of to-day, it would only last until that effort was gained or lost, for success would be as fatal to it as failure, since failure would discourage and dishearten its followers, and success would obviate the necessity for its existence. It is, however, on too high and too broad a plane for that. It can never be anchored to any special effort; it must ever remain a general and powerful influence for good, calculated to meet every emergency; and, as such, its mission will never be accomplished while evil exists or unjust conditions confront the producers, as such a defeat is local and cannot injure, and a victory only opens the way for other fields to conquer. Under this broad, this grand conception of the mission of our noble order, we realize that it is here to stay, and that its existence is not fleeting, that it is worthy of our very best efforts of hand, head, and heart.

In the light of this conception of our order, let us apply to this all-healing fountain for the crystal drops of ultimate truth and justice that shall quench the fires of evil and discrimination that surround us to-day. A comparison of the condition


of the farmers of America to-day with that twenty to twenty-five years ago, will forcibly illustrate the fact that there is at this time a depressed condition of agriculture. In spite of the fact that it has been an era of great productiveness and prosperity, farmers, on the average, are much poorer now than they were twenty years ago. Improved machinery has added to our power to produce, and the railways have brought the markets of the world to our very doors, and yet we have gone down in the scale of financial prosperity, until it is common to hear men say they would not farm if they could make a living any other way. Think of that! The noblest calling on earth made the least desirable of any! It is time we examined carefully into the causes for this condition, and having found them, stand shoulder to shoulder as a unit in demanding conditions that, shall reverse this order of things.

Production, distribution, consumption, and accumulation constitute the four great factors in business. The one governing factor is distribution. Production will take care of itself. It is simply an expression of human nature through a common desire to do something to promote personal gain or pleasure. Natural wants or fancied comforts, together with human frailties, will furnish ample ways and means for consumption. The real danger to be avoided is an excessive accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few people, through an unfair distribution of the products of labor.

"We demand equal rights for all, and special favors to none," says the great agricultural and labor organization of America. Such a demand implies the non-existence of these conditions. Equal rights mean an equal chance in the struggle of life; that no one may be compelled to bear the burden of his neighbor in addition to his own, thereby endangering success and jeoparizing escape from poverty and dependence. President Lincoln said: "I am here to make of myself the best intellectual, moral, and physical being possible. To do it, I am entitled to generous food, generous clothing, and comfortable shelter, and if any person or set of persons lays upon me a burden whereby I am required to use more than reasonable effort to feed, clothe, ar shelter myself, the person or set of persons so unreasonably burdening me is an enemy of God, and my murderer."


We may judge both the future and the present by the past. Applying this rule, we at once discover that our rights have not only been invaded, but in many cases absolutely taken from us. We find, on all sides, monsters in the guise of trusts, corporations, and monopolies, that not only despoil us of our rights, but grimly resist all efforts to regain them. The conditions of the present are a protest against the laws of the past, and a future invasion of our rights may be justly charged as a crime of the present. Thomas Paine said, many years ago: "When old men go to the poor-house, and young men to prison, something is wrong with the economic system of the nation." So say I. When one man dies in this country worth one hundred millions of dollars, and his neighbor is buried at public expense, something is wrong with the doctrine of equality before just laws. Nothing but a perversion of our rights could make the vast social differences of the present time. We look about us and find poverty and distress in the midst of plenty; hunger and nakedness amid bursting granaries and crowded warehouses. The wails of the starving are wafted into the banquet halls of the oppulent. The cry of the unemployed comes up amid the unused opportunities of God's bounty; and want and wretchedness confront us at every turn.

Prior to the war there were but two millionnaires in this country; at the present time 31,100 persons own $36,250,000,000 of the wealth of the nation. Estimating the national wealth at sixty billions, we find that these 31,100 persons own three-fifths. Think of 31,100 persons in this republic worth more than one million each, on the average! There are 616,000 miles of telegraph lines in this country, and one man controls it all. There are 156,000 miles of railroad, costing nine billions of dollars, yet seven men dictate its profits. We mine 120,000,000 tons of coal, yet five men determine how much we shall pay for it. We produce 6,000,000,000 gallons of coal oil, but one man establishes the price.

The above is but a partial record of the past twenty years. During that time prices have declined 67 3/4 per cent. Debts have increased from less than four billions in 1866 to more than thirty-six billions in 1890. Crime has increased 46 per cent; suicide, 97 per cent; insanity, 145 per cent; and bankruptcies,


from 520 to 12,340. One-half of one per cent of our population own three-fourths of the property of the country, and less than one thousand persons dictate a line of action to more than sixty-three millions. One firm establishes the price for the thousands of millions of pounds of beef and pork produced; and the board of trade gamblers fix the price on our 500,000,000 bushels of wheat, long before it is harvested.

The record is not yet complete. The public domain — the last hope of a free people — is being rapidly taken from us. The railroads have been given over 177,000,000 acres. Private parties and corporations own fully 40,000,000 acres more, and, worst of all, alien syndicates have gained posscssion of 63,000,000 acres of American soil. This wholesale appropriation of public lands has continued until there are now remaining less than three acres each per capita of population. These are the economic conditions that confront us at the present time. These are the results of a public policy we are asked to Indorse, and are expected to perpetuate. In view of the above, is it necessary to ask if equal rights and privileges have been granted alike to all? Our prisons are filled; our almshouses are running over; our streets are swarming with tramps; and three millions of our citizens are unable to obtain work.

Are these the legitimate fruits of over a century of freedom? If they are, the blood of our Revolutionary fathers was shed in vain, the patriotism of 1776 was ill-timed, and the statesmanship which followed a cruel farce. That these conditions are with us, no one will have the temerity to deny. The reasons for their being with us are evidently subjects for discussion. Various theories are advanced by way of explanation; meanwhile the work of depletion goes on. One popular theory is over-production; that our economic laws are too perfect; that, as a nation, we are suffering from a surplus of success, or are the victims of a reckless and persistent industry. If all our people were comfortably fed, housed, and clothed, there would be no over-production. Over-production is that amount of any commodity remaining after every use to which it can be applied has been fully satisfied. A surplus is that which remains unused from any cause whatever. There is no over-production of wheat or meat where people are hungry; or of boots and,


shoes where they are barefoot; or of clothes where they are ragged. Neither are there too many homes where people are compelled to live in damp cellars or cold attics, or with nothing but the blue dome of heaven for a shelter.

Let us go to the figures and amounts themselves, and ascertain how much this alleged over-production has been. Working from the rule that this surplus is sent abroad, we find that, in 1888, we exported in all, of beef, pork, and dairy products, 1,132,000,000 pounds, 120,000,000 bushels of wheat and flour (reduced to bushels), and that our whole exports amounted to $683,000,000. Had the 65,000,000 of our people consumed each day that year one ounce of meat more than they did consume, it would have taken 1,470,000,000 pounds, — 338,000,000 pounds more than was exported.

If they had consumed four ounces of flour each day, it would have required 148,280,000 bushels of wheat, — 28,280,000 bushels more than was exported. If they had expended three cents each day for products, in excess of what they did expend, they would have bought $711,750,000, — or nearly $29,000,000 more than was expended. Does any one doubt that our people could have consumed one ounce of meat or four ounces of flour each day more than they did? Go among the alleys, the by-ways, and almshouses, and be taught better. Could we not have expended three cents each day for the comforts or necessaries of life, more than we did? Stand on the street corner and notice the crowds as they pass by, and receive the answer. Where there is a demand, there is no over-production.

Extravagance and want of thrift are given as another explanation of the difficulty. Need I insult your intelligence by asking if you ever worked harder or practised economy more closely? I venture to say that nine-tenths of the people have labored more hours, and economized closer, this past year than ever before. The environment of labor in production, at the present time, defeats all its aims at financial progress. The fault is not in your labor, your calculations, or your saving. It lies in the system under which your efforts are directed. Labor in gross production was never better repaid, and yet in not results it shows a loss.

In 1867, 65,636,000 acres in cultivation produced 1,329,729,000


bushels of all kinds of grain, which sold for $1,284,000,000 while in 1887, twenty years subsequently, 141,821,000 acres produced 2,660,457,000 bushels, which sold for only $1,204,289,000. That is, the products of 1867, from less than one-half as many acres and half the amount, brought the farmer $79, 711,000 more. Can these figures be explained away by want of thrifty or extravagance?

Labor, the architect of all wealth and prosperity, is languishing to-day from similar causes. There is no other nation on earth where labor is despoiled as easily as it is in America. In other nations it requires a monarchy, a standing army, and the traditions of a brutal past to effect this robbery; but here it is accomplished almost by common consent. All economists unite on the proposition that "labor is the sole creator of wealth." If that be true, what agency steps in between the producer and the wealth he creates? In the answer to this question lies the whole labor problem. In the discussion of this point it is necessary to examine at least two others. What is labor? It is mental or physical exertion. Capital is wealth used in production, and wealth is the crystallized labor of the past. Again while all capital is wealth, all wealth is not necessarily capital. Wealth not used in production is not capital. There are also two kinds of capital, visible and invisible. The first consists in money, tools, merchandise, etc. The latter lies hidden in the brain and brawn of the individual, and is called labor.

It would seem that these two factors ought to live peaceably together, and many kind-hearted people insist that they do, that their interests are identical. This, however, is not true; their interests are diametrically opposed to each other. Instead of living in peace, they are at war; they have been in the past, and will be in the future, so long as the present system of economics continues. This contest began with the introduction of a medium of exchange, and has continued ever since. In the primitive state of the race, men labored simply for personal or family wants, and there was neither commerce nor exchanges. Each produced what would satisfy, and each enjoyed the full benefits of his labor. A few conditions of barbarism would be appreciated even now. If a man made a coat, it was his; he was not obliged to part with it to pay interest, or hide it from


the tax-gatherer. If he planted a field, he was not compelled to eat the refuse and sell the best to pay rent or to make a payment on the mortgage. If they were without schools churches, and railroads, it is no less a fact they were wanting in prisons, poor-houses, and tramps.

Soon barter, an exchange of commodities, began to take place between individuals and tribes. The fish of one section were exchanged for the fur of another section. It often became difficult to make these exchanges exactly balance. One class of products would possess more labor value than the other. For example, ten pieces of fur would have more labor value than ten fish, but not enough for eleven. This made the bargain unequal and entailed a loss. After a time they began to use shells and beads to represent this difference in labor value. These shells and beads had no value of themselves, but by common consent represented labor value. By and by some one hoarded up enough of these representatives of value to exchange entire for some of the fish or fur. Then the war between capital and labor began, and has continued until the present time. The man with the beads and shells wanted all the fur and fish he could obtain for them, while the hunters and fishermen wanted to give him as little as possible. The self-same struggle is with us to-day. The shells and beads of barbarism are the prototypes of the gold and silver of civilization. The owners of these shells and beads of barbarism are identical with the banker and bond-owner of civilization. The form and material have changed. The conditions and circumstances of exchanges have differed since that time. But the old idea of barbarism, the relationship which these representatives of value bear to each other and to all created wealth, has remained the same, has obeyed all these years the same general laws, and has been guided by the same unvarying rules. The same general laws govern the production and distribution of wealth to-day that did when production and distribution began. With an increase of these representatives of value, products are more justly distributed, labor is paid better, and prosperity makes its appearance. With a decrease, exactly the reverse of this is effected. This has proven true in all ages ut the world, and is proving true at the present time.


As long as this tool of exchange remains the instrument or incident, it is in every sense a blessing; but the moment it becomes the object of exchange, then it becomes the oppressor, as it now is. At this point I desire to direct your attention to two propositions: first, the price or commercial value of products is fixed by the amount of circulating medium. More money, higher price, and better times; less money, lower price, and harder times. As proof of this I desire to submit a few statistics.

While every demand made by the Alliance is founded upon ultimate truth, the necessity and correctness of the one asking for an increase of currency among the people can be at once demonstrated to the entire satisfaction of all candid-thinking individuals. The statistics of the past quarter of a century prove the following propositions beyond a question of doubt: —

1. That the per capita volume of currency has been constantly and materially lessened.

2. That bankruptcy and failures have rapidly multiplied in consequence.

3. That the national debt, during this period, has increased instead of being diminished.

It now remains for me to substantiate the above statements, which I will undertake to do as briefly and plainly as the facts and space will permit. The question of the amount of currency in circulation is one that necessarily involves a resort to certain estimates, which should be fairly and carefully considered. It has recently, however, become a prime factor in partisan politics and financial duplicity, which subjects it to all the misleading statements and false assumptions that usually accompany a discussion of financial propositions under such conditions. The Ordinary reader is many times led to mistake high-sounding Phrases and uncommon words for good argument, and, as a results, becomes settled in an opinion without being able to give the shadow of an intelligent reason therefor. Another mistake is frequently made in always considering the deductions drawn by government officials from government statistics as absolutely correct, because the exact reverse has been proven in many instances. If the farmer would apply the same kind of logic when considering the volume of currency that he does to his corn-crib or pork-barrel, approximately correct conclusions would


be easily obtained. If it was desirable to know how much had been fed to the stock or consumed by the family, it would be hardly fair to ascertain what remained in the crib or barrel, and assume that the difference had been used by the stock or family, especially when more or less had been loaned or sold to others. Just so with the government; it manufactures under fiat of law certain amounts of money, and when asked to give that portion which is circulating among the people, it subtracts the amount on hand from the quantity manufactured, and declares the difference to be in circulation. The plain fact is either overlooked or ignored, that certain stringent laws are on the statute books, which specifically demand that certain other portions of this currency shall be locked up and held as reserves, and consequently not in any sense in circulation; that other portions have been lost, destroyed, sent out of the country, or used for other purposes. When proper deductions are made to conform to the law, and reasonable allowances given for other factors which conspire to reduce the amount, the following table, with a brief explanation, will be found substantially correct: —

Circulation Per Capita.

1866 35,819,281 $1,863,409,216 $52.01
1867 36,269,502 1,350,949,218 37.51
1868 37,016,949 794,756,112 21.47
1869 37,779,800 730,705,638 19.34
1870 38,558,371 691,028,377 18.70
1871 39,750,073 670,344,147 16.89
1872 40,978,607 661,641,363 16.14
1873 42,245,110 652,896,762 15.45
1874 43,550,756 632,032,773 14.51
1875 44,896,705 630,427,609 14.04
1876 46,284,344 620,316,970 13.40
1877 1878 47,714,829 48,955,306 536,328,074 549,540,087 12.28 11.23
1879 50,155,783 534,424,248 10.65
1880 51,660,456 528,524,267 10.23
1881 52,693,665 610,632,433 11.51
1882 53,747,538 657,404,084 12.23
1883 54,812,488 648,205,895 11.82
1884 55,908,737 591,476,978 10.58
1885 57,016,911 533,405,001 9.35
1886 58,157,219 470,574,361 8.08
1887 59,320,393 423,452,221 7.13
1888 60,506,800 398,719,212 6.58
1889 61,717,936 306,999,982 4.97


The above table is corrected to conform to the population given by the recent census. I carefully prepared and published in my book, "The Philosophy of Price," a table from 1866 to 1885. I also made calculations from 1885 to 1889, based upon the increase of the census of 1880. I overestimated the population, as shown by the late census. This gives a small percentage of increase in the per capita amount over previous tables.

These tables will stand the most searching criticism. As a logical result of such rapid per capita contraction of the circulating medium, the following table of business failures is given. While these figures are appalling, they do not give more than one-half or one-third of the actual number or amount. The real estate mortgage failures, the chattel mortgage failures, and the deed of trust failures, cannot be given with any degree of accuracy, yet they are numbered by tens if not hundreds of thousands. Besides these, there are the railroad and corporation receiverships; the vast amount of compromised indebtedness, and other forms of liquidation which are but different terms for business failures. By comparing this table with the one above, it will be seen that the failures have kept pace with the reduction in the volume of currency, excepting the years which followed 1873 and 1878. At this last date, the year which immediately preceded specie resumption, all values were nearly eliminated and left no room for failures for some time.

The failures in the United States from 1865 to 1889 were: —

1865 520 $17,625,000 1879 6,658 $98,149,053
1866 632 47,333,000 1880 4,735 65,752,000
1867 2,780 96,666,000 1881 5,582 81,155,932
1868 2,608 63,694,000 1882 6,738 102,000,000
1869 2,799 75,054,000 1883 9,184 I72,874,172
1870 3,551 88,242,000 1884 10,968 226,343,427
1871 2,915 85,252,000 1885 11,211 267,340,264
1872 4,069 121,036,000 1886 12,292 229,288,238
1873 5,183 228,599,000 1887 12,042 335,121,888
1874 5,830 155,239,000 1888 13,348 247,659,956
1875 7,740 201,000,000 1889 13,277 312,496,742
1876 9,092 191,117,000      
1877 8,872 190,669,000 Total 161,332 $3,919,394,824
1878 10,478 234,483,132      


This table will not agree with Bradstreet's, because a certain per cent is added for failures of a smaller amount than that agency recognizes.

After a careful examination of these tables, the question must naturally present itself to every honest man: Was it necessary for 162,000 business men to pass through the horrors of bankruptcy, and suffer the torture which always waits upon such conditions, or that $4,000,000,000 of hard-earned property should be unnaturally and wrongfully transferred, because of the power of an inadequate volume of money to oppress? Has the experiment been a success, and is the nation greater or Stronger for having passed through this trying ordeal in order to make United States bonds bear a premium of twenty-five per cent? Human nature and honest convictions revolt at the plain facts contained in this statement, and the universal verdict must be that conditions which conspire to bring about such results must be unwise and unjust. While the first table given discloses "the power of money to oppress," the second table furnishes ample proof of its existence.

But there is other and stronger evidence of the destructive forces contained in the first table, that cannot be disproved. It is as plain as the noon-day sun, and is found in the increase of the national debt, notwithstanding the vast sums that have been paid as principal, interest, and premium. A careful and thorough analysis of the following statement and table is requested of the reader: —

The national debt in 1866 amounted to $2,783,000,000. We have paid on the principal of the public debt 1,599,665,312; and as interest on same, $2,540,726,049; and a further sum of $58,540,000 as premiums on bonds purchased; amounting in all to $4,198,931,361. Yet we find the debt of the nation has actually increased, if paid in the labor and products of the people, (any person of ordinary intelligence knows it cannot he paid in anything else); that is to say, it will take more labor products to pay what we now owe, at present prices, than it would have taken to pay the entire indebtedness in 1866, at the prices then. As proof of this, the table below is given. In regard to its correctness, reference is called to any authentic price lists of products for the years named.


Increase of the National Debt, if Paid in Farm Products.

Debt in 1866, $2,783,000,000   Debt in 1890 $1,183,334,688  
Beef (barrels) 129,000,000 236,666,937 107,666,937
Pork (barrels) 87,000,000 147,916,836 60,916,836
Wheat (bushels) 1,007,000,000 1,972,222,448 965,222,448
Oats (bushels) 3,262,350,000 5,917,773,340 2,755,423,340
Corn (bushels) 2,218,000,000 3,944,448,893 1,726,448,893
Cotton (pounds) 7,092,000,000 13,148,162,755 6,056,162,755
Wool (pounds) 4,281,538,451 4,733,338,752 551,800,301

This table clearly shows that, notwithstanding the national debt has been nearly twice paid in principal and interest, the portion which yet remains is larger than the original. This statement will not hold good when mere dollars and cents are considered, but is absolutely true as regards the amount of the products of labor that is necessary to purchase these different sums of money. Thus, had the debt been contracted to be paid in wheat, it would have taken, in 1866, 1,007,000,000 bushels.

We have paid on the principal BRUSHELS. 1,786,460,000
As interest 2,823,328,000
As premium on bonds 62,770,000
Total paid 4,652,558,000
We yet owe 1,958,389,034

Had the debt been contracted to be paid in cotton, it would have taken, in 1867, 7,092,000,000 pounds.

We have paid on the principal POUNDS. 16,077,683,000
As interest 25,407,260,000
As premium on bonds 565,000,000
Total paid 42,049,943,000
We yet owe 11,752,316,000

When it is remembered that all private indebtedness has gone through the same process; that a mortgage which was given prior to 1872, and remains half unpaid, is larger and


more burdensome than when first given; that the man who has worked hard and economized closely during all these years to pay one-half or two-thirds of his indebtedness is no better off, and in nearly every case more in debt than when he first began, measured by the remuneration received for his own efforts, — is there any wonder that wide-spread distress and discontent obtain among the wealth-producers of the country?

In order to show that money has become dear and the products of labor cheap during the past twenty-five years, attention is called to the following statement. Two neighbors had each $1000 in 1866, which they desired to invest in some kind of speculation. The one bought wheat and stored it, while the other locked up his money and let it remain idle. Each allowed his investment to remain until 1890, when the matter would be about as follows: —

Mr. A, cash   $1000
Mr. B, wheat 1890. bushels 500
Mr. A, with his $1000, can buy, at 60 cents per bushel, bushels 1666
Mr. B,with 500 bushels of wheat, can buy only   $300

These two statements present a subject for consideration well worthy the attention of every American citizen. If idle money can increase so alarmingly in its power over the products of labor, what may not money loaned at ruinous rates of interest bring about? Something must be done to even up the conditions between those who can command the use of money and those who cannot.

This can be done only by unity of action, unity of purposes, and an unselfish desire to promote the general good. To this end, the Alliance is doing its perfect work. The people are thinking, studying, and investigating. This will soon lead to action, and then, the end. The people are saying: —

"Swing outward, oh, gates of the morning!
Swing inward, ye doors of the past.
A giant is rousing from slumber;
The people are waking at last."


Division II.


Chapter I.


The Agricultural Wheel. — The origin of the Wheel is a matter of plain record, and has been written many times. It was founded in the distress of the people and made rapid growth, both in numbers and importance, because the farmers believed that its teachings were wise and just. The date of its organization, in 1882, was simultaneous with that of the Brothers of Freedom, with which it consolidated a few years later.

The Wheel was purely an agricultural organization, with definite aims and a proper conception of the rights and privileges of that class of American citizens. On the 15th day of February, 1882, at McBee's School-house, in the town of Des Arc, Prairie County, Arkansas, was held the preliminary meeting that led to its formation. The following persons were present: W. A. Suit, W. T. McBee, J. W¨ McBee, H. B. Lakey, J. T. Thrasher, J. W. Walls, and W. W. Tedford. These men were all farmers, unused to anything save hard labor; but all united in the belief that their condition might be improved through Home sort of concerted action. A determination was soon formed to make an attempt in that direction. A secret organization was decided upon, and a committee was appointed to draft the constitution, by-laws, and secret work. Their report was presented and adopted at the next meeting.


1. This organization shall be known as the Wattensas Farmers' Club.

2. Its objects shall be the improvement of its members in the theory


and practice of agriculture, and the dissemination of knowledge relative to rural and farming affairs.

3. The members shall consist of such persons as will sign the constitution and by-laws, anil who are engaged in farming.

4. Its officers shall consist of a President, two Vice-Presidents, Secretary, Chaplain, and Treasurer, who shall jointly constitute the Executive Committee, — also the Sentinels, — and shall be elected annually.

5. Its meetings shall be held on the first and third Saturday nights in each month, at McBee's School-house.

The secret work was adopted in part at this meeting, and perfected soon afterwards. A ritual was soon added, and the usual secret work of such orders, changed or amended as circumstances and experience demanded.

The following preamble to the constitution of the Wheel was adopted by Wheel No. 1, sometime during the spring or summer of 1882: —

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

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

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

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

We denounce, As unfair and unjust any set of men who sell at large profits, and gain the advantage over the laboring classes, and obtain the


product of their labor at greatly reduced prices, thus forcing patronage and constituting a hateful monopoly, nuking free and independent men slaves.


l. The objects of this order shall be to unite fraternally ťn acceptable white males who are engaged in the occupation of farming, also mechanics who are actually engaged in farming.

2. To give all possible moral and material aid in its power to its members, by holding instructive lectures, by encouraging each other in business, and by assisting each other in obtaining employment.

3. The improvement of its members in the theory and practice of agriculture, and the dissemination of knowledge relative to rural and farming affairs.

4. To ameliorate the condition of farmers in every possible manner.


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

We further believe, That any power or influence that tends to restrict or circumscribe any class of our citizens in the free exercise of these God-given rights and privileges, is detrimental to the best interests of a free people.

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

This constitution and declaration of principles, together with the usual by-laws, constituted the working plan of the initial member of this organization. Little did these men know the solid foundation upon which they built. Little did they realize that their efforts in the line of reform, joined with others, would in so short a space of time bring about the greatest organization in the interest of agricultural freedom that the world has ever seen. It is both just and proper to hand down to posterity their


names and deeds, and point to them as worthy efforts for emulation.

There has been considerable speculation as to the real cause for the selection of such a peculiar name for the organization. It is said that several other names were presented, but through some means and for some purpose now unknown, the name "Agricultural Wheel" was selected. It has served its purpose well, and no one who has ever been connected with the order need disown it. The officers of the parent Wheel were: W. W. Tedford, President; J. W. Walls and B. F. Slater, Vice-Presidents; W. C. Hammond, Secretary; W. T. McBee, Treasurer; H. B. Lakey and J. B. Thrasher, Sentinels; N. B. Massey, Chaplain.

Other Wheels were soon formed, and the idea of such organizations found ready converts among the farmers. Articles of incorporation were drawn up and numerously signed, and a charter, or certificate of incorporation, was granted from the State, in August, 1882. In April, 1883, or within about one year from the first meeting, a State organization was formed, with over 500 members. This State Wheel was perfected at the home of W. T. McBee, one of the original founders, with E. R. Mcpherson, President, and W. C. Hammond, Secretary.

The success of the movement was apparent to all who attended this meeting, and a common desire was manifested to push the work of organization in other parts of the State. This determination was carried out with vigor and success. The State Wheel met semi-annually for a time, or until it became so large that such frequent meetings were considered impracticable. In July, 1883, the State Wheel met at Goff's Cove, with a little over forty sub-organizations. The old officers were re-elected. At this meeting a move was made in the right direction, and the membership taken from the villages and cities, and relegated strictly to the country.

The next meeting was held at Stony Point, January 9, 1834. The order still showed a rapid increase, there being at this meeting representatives from about 114 sub-organizations, with a membership of fully 5000. At this meeting provision was made for the formation of County Wheels, and the meeting of the State Wheel was changed from semi-annual to annual. A National Wheel was also the subject of some discussion.


A resolution was passed, condemning the system of mortgaging stock and growing crops; also petitioning Congress to prohibit, by statute law, the dealing in futures, and demanding that the State Legislature should enact laws, "granting equal rights to all, without burdening any." It was a grand meeting, and showed the power and judgment that might be brought to bear through an organization of farmers.

The next meeting of the State body was held at Sulphur Springs, in July, 1884. Much work of a general character was done at this meeting, including an attempt to formulate some plan to nationalize the movement and extend the organization into Other States. The subject of consolidating with the Hrothcrs of Freedom was discussed. John R. Johnson was elected president of the Grand Wheel.

The State Wheel met next at Mount Carmel, in July, 1885. This proved to be a very enthusiastic meeting. Many were there from other States, and a general feeling obtained that great things were in store for the order. J. R. Johnson was re-elected President, and R. H. Morehead, Secretary. A thorough revision of the secret work, constitution, and by-laws was made at this meeting.

A called session of the State Wheel, for the purpose of consolidating with the Brothers of Freedom, was held at Greenbrier, October 15, 1885. After considerable discussion, the two orders combined, with Isaac McCracken, President, and R. H. Morehead, Secretary, the Hrothcrs of Freedom patriotically consenting to drop their name. At that time there were 462 Subordinate Wheels, and about 650 organizations of the Brothers of Freedom, making a joint membership of over 40,000. New constitutions by-laws, and secret work were adopted; organizations sprang up rapidly throughout the State; and other States, becoming interested, began to call for organizers also.

The organization had now reached the danger line. Education had done and was doing its perfect work. The membership could not refrain from giving expression to their views. And this resulted in the usual abuse and misrepresentation from the partisan press, which had the result of advertising the order, so that it prospered and increased rapidly in numbers, as a consequence. At its next meeting, at Litchfield, in July, 1886,


much work of a solid nature was perfected. Some changes in the constitution were made, one of which, the dropping of the word "white" from the eligibility clause, caused a spirited debate. A committee was appointed to confer with delegates from other States, to take into consideration the formation of a National Wheel. Regularly chosen delegations were present from the States of Tennessee and Kentucky, who, in connection with the delegates from Arkansas, met in convention, drafted a constitution and by-laws for a National Wheel, and elected Isaac McCracken, National President, A. E. Gardner, Secretary-Treasurer, and Isom P. Langley, Lecturer.

The question of eligibility was settled by making provision for separate organizations for the colored members. This action was immediately ratified by the State Wheel of Arkansas, and subsequently by the States of Kentucky and Tennessee. Isaac McCracken was also chosen president of the State, with R. H. Morehead as secretary. The formation of the National Wheel gave renewed impetus to the growth of the order. Soon the States of Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, and the Indian Territory were added to the list, while the work had been begun in several others.

The first meeting of the National Wheel was held at McKenzie, Tennessee, on November 8, 1887. It was disclosed at this meeting that the membership numbered fully 500,000, and was increasing with wonderful rapidity. President Isaac McCracken delivered the following address: —

Brother Wheelers of the National Organization, and Visiting Brethren:

This is indeed an occasion of great pleasure to me, to meet with as large and intelligent a body of Wheelers as I see before me, coming as you do from different States, and representing exclusively an agricultural constituency.

I feel and recognize the importance of a gathering together of farmers from the different parts of these United States, with a view to the amelioration of the condition of those following the oldest vocation in the world, and the only one of divine origin. Justly may we feel proud of the rapid strides Wheelerism has made since the formation of this national organization, less than sixteen months ago. We had, at the organization of the National Agricultural Wheel, but three State Wheels.


We now have seven States organized, and a Territorial Wheel; and as president of the national organization, I have appointed and have deputy organizers in the States of Wisconsin, Virginia, Kansas, and also Idaho Territory.

And I have appointed others as national organizers, upon the recommendation of the presidents of the different State Wheels.

I will now attempt to give you a very brief history of the origin of our organization. The Wheel was organized on the 15th day of February, 1882, in an old log school-house, eight miles southwest of Des Arc, in Prairie County, Arkansas. The causes for organization were monopoly and oppression. At about the same time an organization known as the Brothers of Freedom sprang into existence in the northwest portion of the same State; and in the year 1885 the two organizations were consolidated, retaining the name of the Agricultural Wheel.

Brother W. W. Tedford, one of the charter members of Wheel No. 1, gives the numerical strength of the Agricultural Wheel as follows: On February 7, 1882, there were 7 members; in 1883, 500 members; in 1884, 5000 members; in 1885, 10,000 members; in 1886, 50,000 members; in 1887, 500,000 members.

I will now enumerate sonic few of the many causes for the formation of the numerous organizations of farmers, since the financial crisis of 1873. One cause is the chartering of so many corporations, which have no souls, and never die, and that have received and are receiving, from both the State and national governments, privileges which individuals do not receive. The Standard Oil Company of the East, and the Cotton Seed Oil Company of the South and West, and other institutions of like nature, are examples.

It has been claimed that competition is the life of trade. Competition is the greatest enemy that the American wage-worker has to contend with; not only competition among themselves, but they have had to compete with foreign labor, the laborers having been landed here by shiploads under contract. And we see the results in some of our large trade-centres, — Chicago, for instance. All honor to those whose influence has put a slop to this pernicious system! It was supposed, in an early day, that competition would regulate the value of transportation; but no sooner is the country spanned by railroads, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the Lakes on the north to the Gulf on the south, than we next behold the vast system, commonly called pooling, by railroad magnates. Competition has ceased to be a factor with the moneyed men of our land; but it still continues in full force with the agriculturists and wage-workers.


In order to make a success of farming, we must necessarily sell more than we buy. The individual, the State, or the nation that buys more than it sells is on the high road to bankruptcy; or, in other words, if the balance of trade is in our favor, there is no danger of failure. But when one class of our citizens, and that class the largest numerically, produce a commodity, and the surplus of that commodity, which regulates the price of the whole amount, is sold in a free-trade country, while the same class of citizens have to buy in a high protectional tariff country, it would seem to me, to say the least, that there is something wrong in our laws. The necessaries of life should be placed on the free list. The value of the cotton alone that was exported in the year 1883, which is the last report I had to refer to, was the sum of $247,328,721, heading the list of all farm products exported.

The next was bread and breadstuff, $208,040,850; provisions of other sorts, $107,388,287; the next is tobacco, which will interest you Kentucky brethren, $22,095,229. The sum total of all agricultural products was $619,269,449. The value of all exports, other than products of domestic agriculture, was $184,954,183, showing that the exports are the products of the farm, to the extent of 77 per cent.

These figures, taken from Report No. 12, of the 48th Congress, show that farm products exceed all other exports by $434,233,632. Who dare say, in the face of these figures, that we as farmers are not a working people? And as cotton is much the largest of anyone farm product exported, and the one the Agricultural Wheelers raise the largest amount of it would seem to me that there might be some plan devised by our organization, with the assistance and co-operation of other organizations in the South, whereby we might reduce the acreage of cotton, and by so doing receive as much for 4,500,000 bales as we now do for the 6,500,000. Supply and demand in a measure regulate the value of a commodity. We find, by referring to a report of the Commissioners of Agriculture, that wheat declined in price from $1.05 to 77 cents per bushel, as the acreage increased; and we find that trust companies, which are a corporation of corporations, will allow very valuable plants worth, in some cases, thousands upon thousands of dollars, to remain idle in order to reduce the output of their product, that the supply should not exceed the demand. We have an illustration of this in the Cotton Seed Oil Trust Company in Arkansas. And instead of increasing the cotton area, as the farmers of the cotton belt did in 1885, about 5 per cent. if they would reduce it about 30 per cent. there would be fewer mortgages given, and it would then be raised as a surplus crop, and we should be independent, as we by right should be.


Brother Wheelers, we ore debarred, by our organic law, from taking any steps politically as an organization; and I thank the Giver of all good and perfect gifts that we are, as I firmly believe that, if we were to take any steps as a political organization, our order would soon cease to exist.

Hut it is a self-evident fact to me that the farmers of this broad land have been and are being unjustly dealt with by the law-makers, both State and national. If it were possible for the farmers to get representation according to their numerical strength, I feel satisfied that there would be but very little class legislation.

With your permission, brethren, I will quote a little from the address of President Macune to the Farmers' Alliance held at Shreveport, Louisiana. He says: "We have the two great principles and conceptions as contended for by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, as a basis for a division into two great political parties. These should suffice." I would infer that Brother Macune was opposed to a third party movement.

Now, Brother Wheelers, I am not going to advocate the third party movement; neither will I tell you that you can have all your wrongs redressed by remaining in either of the two old parties. No man holding the position that I do at this time, and under our laws, has a right to advise or suggest in his annual message anything pertaining to partisan politics. Hut as politics is the science of government, and it is necessary that every citizen should be well informed upon the economic questions of the day, in order to vote intelligently, I think it is the duty of this body to elect a committee, to consist of one delegate from each State Wheel, the said committee to be a Committee on Demands, and, if you elect, I would recommend that you make it their duty to formulate and submit to this body, before its adjournment, such changes in the national laws, if any, as they in their wisdom would deem to the interest of the agriculturists and wage-workers. And if two-thirds of this body can agree upon the said demands, I would most earnestly recommend that it be made the duty of the Executive Committee of each State Wheel to submit the same to the candidates for congressional honors in their respective States, whether they be Democrats, Republicans, Union Labor, or Prohibitionists.

I have come to this conclusion, that the time has arrived for the agriculturists to make their demands, and use every honorable effort to have those demands inserted as a plank in all of the national platforms, if possible. A law that will benefit a Republican farmer will not injure his neighbor farmer, though he be a Democrat or a Union Labor man.


And I would most earnestly enjoin upon you the necessity, regardless of what party you may belong to, of sending more farmers to your legislative halls, as their interests are your interests.

In conclusion, I would recommend some changes in our organic law.

Considerable important business was transacted at this meeting. The constitution was amended, the Wheel perfected, and the national machinery in a general way prepared for active work. Considerable attention was paid to the question of business agencies, and the whole field of aggressive work and sure defence was carefully and candidly considered. The National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union had held its annual meeting at Shreveport, Louisiana, in October, — just a month previous, — at which meeting delegates from the different State Wheels were present. Consultation among the delegates of the two organizations showed that their aims and purposes were the same, and that their methods were almost identical. The necessity for a union impressed every one, and steps were taken looking toward that end. The Alliance system of co-operative trade was examined and approved, and shortly afterward adopted. The report of these delegates was received by the National Wheel with much favor, and after due consideration and considerable discussion a resolution was passed, calling the next annual meeting at Meridian, Mississippi, for the purpose of meeting with the Farmers' Alliance and Cooperative Union of America, with a view to consolidation. This project was objected to by some, but the great bulk of the members heartily approved of it.

The following demands were adopted by the meeting: —

We, the members of the National Agricultural Wheel, in convention assembled, at McKenzie, Tennessee, November, 1887, do hereby demand of our national government such legislation as shall secure to our people freedom from the shameful abuses that the farmers and mechanics are now suffering at the hands of arrogant capitalists, powerful corporations, and the seemingly insatiable greed of Shylocks. We demand: —

1. That the public land, the heritage of the people, be reserved for actual settlers only, — not another acre to railroads or speculators, — and that all lands now held for speculative purposes shall be taxed at their full value.


2. That measures be taken to prevent aliens from acquiring title to lands in the United States and Territories of America, and to force titles, already acquired by aliens, to be relinquished to the national government by purchase, and retain said domain for the use of actual settlers and citizens of the national States, and that the law be rigidly enforced against all railroad corporations which have not complied with the terms of their contract, by which they have received large grants of land.

3. That we demand the rapid payment of the public debt of the United States, by operating the mints of the government to their full capacity in coining gold and silver, and the tendering the same without discrimination to the public creditors of the nation, according to contact, thus saving the interest on the public debt to the industrial masses.

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

5. That we demand that Congress shall pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the dealing in futures in all agricultural and mechanical productions, preserving a stringent system of procedure in trial that will secure prompt conviction, and imposing such penalties as shall secure the most perfect compliance with the law.

6. That we demand a graduated income tax, as we believe it is the most equitable system of taxation, placing the burden of the government on those who can best afford to pay, instead of laying it on the farmers and mechanics, and exempting millionnaires, bondholders, and corporations.

7. That we demand the strict enforcement of all laws prohibiting the Importation of foreign labor under the contract system, and that all convicts be confined within the prison walls, and that all contract systems be abolished.

8. That we demand the election of all officers of the national government by a direct vote of the people, and that all wilful violations of the election laws be declared a felony, and a part of the punishment be the prohibition of the party convicted from voting in all future elections.

9. That we demand the repeal of all laws that do not bear equally upon capital and labor, the strict enforcement of all laws, the removal


of all unjust technicalities, delays and discriminations, in the administration of justice.

10. That we demand the tariff laws be so amended as to remove all import duties on articles entering into our manufactures, and that the duties be levied mainly upon articles of luxuries, not above the importing point.

11. That we demand that the government shall protect the Chickasaws and Choctaws, and other civilized Indians of the Indian Territory, in all their inalienable rights, and shall prevent railroads and other wealthy syndicates from overriding the law and treaties now in existence for their protection.

12. That we are unqualifiedly in favor of the education of the masses by a well regulated system of free schools.

13. That we demand that no patents be renewed after the expiration of the time for which they were originally patented.

14. Resolved, That this body will not support any man for Congress, of any political party, who will not pledge himself, in writing, to use all his influence for the formation of these demands into laws.

The following preamble and constitution were adopted: —

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

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

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

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


Therefore, we have formed the National Agricultural Wheel of the United States of America for the purpose of organizing and directing the powers of the industrial masses, but not at a political party. In this organization are sentiments and measures for the benefit of the whole people, yet it should be borne in mind, when exercising the right of suffrage, that many of the objects herein set forth can only be obtained through legislation.



SECTION 1. This organization shall be known as the National Agicultural Wheel of the United States of America.

SEC. 2. It shall be the body to which all appeals shall be made, emanating from the State Agricultural Wheels.



SECTION 1. The objects of the order shall be to unite fraternally all acceptable citizens, male and female, over the age of eighteen years, who are actually engaged in the occupation of farming; also all mechanics who are engaged in the pursuit of their respective trades; provided that no lawyer, merchant, banker, nor the proprietor of any manufacturing establishment who employs more than three hands, shall be eligible to membership: and provided further, that there shall be separate organizaions for white and colored.

SEC. 2. To give all possible moral and material aid in its power to its members, and those depending on its members, by holding instructive lectures, by encouraging each other in business, and by assisting each other to obtain employment.

SEC¨ 3. The improvement of its members in the theory and practice of agriculture, and the dissemination of knowledge relating to rural and farming affairs.

SEC. 4. To ameliorate the condition of farmers, in every possible manner.



SECTION 1. Its meeting, shall be held annually, on the second Wedneday of October, and at such place as shall be determined by a majority of all of the representatives present in the National Agricultural Wheel.




SECTION 1. This national Agricultural Wheel shall be composed of the officers of this body and five representatives from each State Agricultural Wheel, and one additional representative for each fifteen thousand members and majority fraction thereof, to be elected or appointed by each State Agricultural Wheel under the jurisdiction of this body whose term of office shall expire at the close of the term for which they were elected.



SECTION 1. The officers shall be a President, a first Vice President, a second Vice-President, a Secretary, Treasurer, a Chaplain, one Steward, one Conductor, one Lecturer, one Sentinel; and the President shall appoint three Trustees annually.



SECTION 1. The officers shall be elected and installed at each annual meeting in each year.

SEC. 2. All elections shall be by ballot, where more than one name is put in nomination, and a majority of all votes cast shall elect.



SECTION 1. The fee for a State charter shall be $10

SEC. 2. A per capita tax of five cents shall be paid into the National Agricultural Wheel treasury, by each State Agricultural Wheel on or before the first clay of each annual meeting, to be paid out by direction of the executive board of this body for actual expenses of the National Agricultural Wheel.

Article VIII.


SECTION 1. Seven representatives shall continue a quorum.



SECTION 1. All vacancies that may occur by death or otherwise shall be filled by the executive board.




SECTION 1. The printing of all State charters, rituals, odes, cards, official receipts, funeral rituals, by-laws, and all other printed matter for the National Agricultural Wheel, belongs exclusively to said body, but the constitution of all State, County, and Subordinate Agricultural Wheels, secret work and rituals, shall conform to the constitution and laws of the National Agricultural Wheel.



SECTION 1. The National Agricultural Wheel only has power to change or amend its constitution and by-laws.

SEC. 2. This constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of the National Agricultural Wheel by a vote of two-thirds of all the members present, but all amendments must be presented in writing, and signed by three or more members.



SECTION 1. The President and first and second Vice-President shall constitute the Executive Board of the National Agricultural Wheel.



SECTION 1. The legally elected officers and representatives to the National Agricultural Wheel shall receive as a compensation for their services all actual necessary travelling expenses, to be paid out National Agricultural Wheel Treasury at the close of each session.

Isaac McCrackcn was re-elected President, and A. E. Gardner Secretary-Treasurer. The meeting adjourned amid good feeling and great enthusiasm.

The National Wheel met the next term at Meridian, Mississippi, December 5, 1888. This meeting was composed of delegates from the States of Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Wisconsin, and the Indian Territory. According to previous arrangements, the National


Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union met there at the same time. The order had prospered satisfactorily during the year, and the members everywhere were working earnestly for its further success. President McCracken addressed the meeting as follows: —

Brethren of the National Organization:

Again we have convened for the purpose of devising ways and, if possible, providing means to assist our brother farmers throughout the land. I fully believe that one great step in that direction will have been taken when we shall consolidate the farmers' organizations into one grand body, representing, as it will, millions of toilers. United we will be able to wield an influence, as farmers, never before known in the history of the world. One of the objects of this meeting is to unite in still closer bonds the different national organizations that have the same objects in view, and it will be necessary for all to make some concessions, that the greatest good may be done to the greatest number; and I believe that I voice the sentiments of the Wheel delegates in saying that it will not be our fault if the consolidation is not consummated. A harmonious, organic union of all farmers' organizations is now the watchword, as union and harmony of purpose on all great questions are of vital importance to the agriculturists of the nation.

The moral, industrial, and intellectual education of the farmers will make co-operation a success. There is now a greater necessity for organized effort on the part of the farmers than ever before, as monopoly in all its various forms is arrayed against the producer. And as Uriah A. Stevens so aptly said, nineteen years ago, at the formation of that noble order, the Knights of Labor, "When bad men combine the good must unite, or else they will fall one by one, a pitiful sacrifice, by the wayside."

I will now give you, brethren, a brief statement of my stewardship for the past year: I have issued commissions to nine deputies as national organizers; two in Georgia, one in Virginia, one in Michigan, three in Illinois and two in Missouri, and have suspended one indefinitely.

My correspondence has more than doubled. I have had applications from several States for organizers to visit and aid in establishing our order among them, and have been unable to comply, for lack of an appropriation for that purpose. Hut it affords me pleasure to be able to state that the organization is in a growing and healthy condition. We have passed through another political year, a period which I have found


to be very trying upon labor organizations; and will say that, in compliance with the instructions of the National Agricultural Wheel at its last meeting, I forwarded to Brother CarLee a communication with the National Wheel demands attached thereto (he being then in St. Louis), with the request that he have a sufficient number printed to supply the delegates to both the Democratic and Republican national conventions the one in St. Louis, and the other at Chicago.

Brothers, I feel the importance of all organized labor making demands upon our law-makers, both State and national. The farmers as a class have neglected this very important matter. We have submitted to us, once in every four years, by the different political parties, their respective platforms; and they contain measures that the formulators of the same promise to have enacted into law. Sometimes they are unable to fulfil their promises, and I think it would be money well spent, on the part of this organization, to have a committee whose business it would be to take up their residence in the city of Washington, and remain there during the session of our National Congress, or as long as the executive board of this body deemed advantageous, the said committee to devote their whole time and energy to the promotion of the interests of the tillers of the soil, and work in conjunction with like committees from other labor organizations, where the same would be to the interest of both parties.

I feel that the farmers are being discriminated against by both our State and national law makers, and if we don't look well after our own interest you may rest assured others will not do it for us. There will be three great questions discussed by the people during the next four years, land, money, and transportation, and I think that we, as farmers, should give forth no uncertain sound as to our position on these very important subjects. We, as farmers, should oppose any monopoly of the land, and more especially the holding of vast bodies of it, by foreign syndicates, for speculative purposes. I think it is full time that large representative bodies of farmers, such as I see before me, should make an effort to mould public sentiment, because, in a democratic form of government, we can accomplish nothing in the way of a reform movement without public sentiment on our side.

You are all aware of the fact that, though a law be enacted by a State legislature, and signed by the proper officers, if the same be not sustained by the public it becomes a dead letter on our statutes. Hence the necessity for us, as an organization of producers, to agitate such changes as will be of benefit to us. And, in conclusion, I wish to return my sincere thanks to the officers of the National Agricultural Wheel


for the very able manner in which they have assisted me during the past year in the performance of my duties as president

Below is printed the communication addressed to the different conventions, to which were attached the demands of the McKenzie meeting: —

JUNE 4th, 1888.

To the Chairman, Officers, and Delegates of the National Democratic Convention.

GENTLEMEN: We respectfully call your attention to the demands made, and resolution adopted by the National Agricultural Wheel, in Convention assembled, delegations being present from the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, and Indian Territory, and they recognizing the fact that our interests have been practically ignored in the formation of your party platforms in the past, and also by our representatives in Congress in their law-making capacity, and although as a class we produce over eighty per cent of our exports, yet we are growing poorer yearly, and are plundered by trusts and combinations of capital on every side. We desire a straightout approval of the demands; the ignoring of them will be considered as a rejection.

As an agricultural organization, we are non-partisan in politics, hence we make our demands from a non-partisan standpoint.

Hoping that severally as delegates, and collectively as a convention, you will give our demands your most careful consideration, we are,
Your obedient servants,
ISAAC McCRACKEN, Pres't N. A. W. of America.
Sec'y Executive Committee, Ark. S. A. W.

The principal work of this meeting was to formulate, in conjunction with the Alliance, a basis for consolidation. Differences of opinions had to be adjusted, personal pride and ambition had to be satisfied, and many other matters had to be reconciled, in order to bring about the much desired consolidation. After a number of days spent in earnest deliberation, a plan was adopted upon which both organizations agreed to act. This plan and its details have been given in the history of the Alliance, found in another part of this work. After re-electing the same national officers the meeting adjourned.


The result was as had been expected. The consolidation was effected and the name of the National Agricultural Wheel was eliminated. To drop the name was an act of patriotism, and should ever be held as such. It will be remembered by those who were present at its birth or assisted in its development, with loving kindness, and this short history of its rise and progress will no doubt be read with pleasure by its members and friends. It was a grand order, admirably equipped, strong in principles, and effective in its efforts. Hail and farewell to the National Agricultural Wheel!


Chapter II.


The Brothers of Freedom. — This organization originated in Arkansas in the year 1882, as the joint production of Isaac McCracken and Marion Farris. The name was suggested by an old revolutionary organization, known as the "Sons of Freedom." These two men began the formation of secret organizations among the farmers, for the avowed purpose of enabling them to obtain a just reward for their hard labor, and to incite a proper rivalry among merchants and dealers. The methods adopted were simple and effective. They first organized the farmers into subordinate bodies. These sent representatives to the common council. The common councils in turn sent delegates to the county council, and this county council would make contracts with merchants and dealers, in the benefits of which all members participated. A large reduction in the price of goods and merchandise was usually the result.

The success of the organization was assured from the start, as it promised aid and protection to a class of producers that was wanting in both friends and advisers. A Grand Council was soon formed, with Isaac McCracken, President, and Dr. James Gray, Secretary. This organization continued to increase in numbers and popularity, until October, 1885, when it consolidated with the Agricultural Wheel, another organization having fewer members but working for similar objects. At the time of consolidation, there were 643 subordinate organizations of the Brothers of Freedom that lost their identity and gave up their name in order to secure harmonious co-operation, and thereby push forward more rapidly the great work of reform.

Brother McCracken remained president during the existence of the order. But Brother A. J. Nichols served as secretary after the two years in which Dr. Gray acted in that capacity. In this manner has been lost to sight one of the pioneer efforts in the


building up of this grand agricultural reform movement. One of the old members, in writing upon this point, feelingly said: "But they who laid the foundation for these vast agricultural organizations knew at the time that they were unfit to adorn the upper stratum. They knew full well that other and abler men would be found to take up the grand work when they were unable to carry it farther, and guide it to ultimate success; but they also believed that the sturdy workmen who break the soul and lay the foundation stones are just as necessary as those who beautify and adorn the completed structure." It is out of just such pioneer organizations as this that the great Farmers Alliance of the present has been evolved.

The following is the declaration of principles and constitution of the order, which will be read with interest by all, as being among the first of its kind.

This constitution was framed by a few men before there was any organization of Brothers of Freedom; it was read to each applicant for membership, and he ratified the same upon becoming a member.


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

We further believe that any power or influence that tends to restrict or circumscribe any class of our citizens in the free exercise of these God-given rights and privileges, is detrimental to the best interests of a free people.

While it is an established fact that the laboring classes of mankind are the real producers of wealth, we find that they are gradually becoming oppressed by combinations of capital, and the fruits of their toil absorbed by a class who propose not only to live on the labors of others, but to speedily amass fortunes at their expense. Therefore, in order to protect ourselves from the oppression of said combinations of capital, and to secure the co-operation of the laboring classes in obtaining a just reward for the fruits of honest labor, we ordain the following constitution, by-laws, and rules of order: —




SECTION 1. This lodge shall be constituted by at least six members, including a president or vice-president, and shall be known as "The Brothers of Freedom."

SEC. 2. The legislative powers of this society shall be vested in a representative body, styled "The Grand Council of Brothers of Freedom."

SEC¨ 3. The Grand Council shall be composed of delegates from each County Council, to be elected and qualified as hereinafter provided. When deemed prudent, and for the good of the order, one delegate, or a minority of any committee, may be elected from among the brotherhood.

The articles which follow are in the usual form, and may be omitted here, for the sake of brevity.

The Farmers' Union. — One of the four agricultural organizations that formed what is known as the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, was the Farmers' Co-operative Union of Louisiana. The history of this union becomes interesting, as showing the condition of the farmers and the methods adopted in their efforts to obtain relief. It also discloses a patriotic willingness to join others in an effort of similar character, even at the sacrifice of relinquishing independent action. It is not only just, but the author considers it a duty, to record for future reference the efforts made by these and other pioneers in the movement for agricultural reform. The time will certainly come when these men will be honored and their labors duly appreciated.

Brother J. A¨ Tetts of Alexandria, Louisiana, one of the originators of the order, gives the following interesting account of its inception: —

To get an idea of the causes and incidents that brought about the formation of the Farmers' Union, It will he necessary to give a brief sketch of an attempt that was made to form such an organization as early as the year 1880. Some time during the spring of 1880 there was meeting held at D'Arbonne Church in Lincoln Parish, Louisiana, for


the purpose of cleaning up the graveyard. At this gathering the question of an organization among the farmers was discussed at some length, in a conversational manner, and, as a result, ten or twelve of those present agreed to meet in a short time and form what was to be known as a farmers' club.

It was the intention at first to make it a secret organization, but there were several who had agreed to come in that were members of the Primitive Baptist Church, which did not permit its members to join secret organizations. In view of this, and with a strong desire to retain them as members, the idea of secrecy connected with the organization was given up. The club grew rapidly, until it numbered forty or more members. It met twice each month, and discussed political, social, and agricultural questions. At these meetings the condition of the farmers and the best method of bettering their condition was a topic of frequent and earnest debate. That something was wrong, and an immediate change necessary, all were compelled to admit; but as to the best and surest manner of bringing about these needed reforms, there was, as is usually the case, a diversity of opinion. After a time, a want of interest in the meetings, or personal business, or some other reasons, caused one member after another to drop out, until the club virtually disbanded, after somewhat over a year's existence."

I give [says Brother Tetts] the history of this farmers' club because, from the experience gained during its brief existence, the foundation was laid for the Farmers' Union. Some of the same men who formed this club and remained with it to the end were foremost in the organization of the Farmers' Union. In the fall of 1884 I met Brother Samuel Skinner in the streets of Ruston, Louisiana. He had just sold his short crop of cotton for a short price, and was feeling none the best over the prospect for another year. I had also disposed of my crop, and found that my receipts did not meet my expenses. Brother Skinner and I had, on several occasions before, talked over the situation, the causes and remedies, and our views as a rule coincided. On this occasion, under such circumstances, we talked of the matter more earnestly than ever, and decided to take some steps toward organizing the farmers fur mutual protection and assistance.

After further discussion, it was agreed to make an effort to organize in Lincoln Parish. Brother Skinner promised to come to my home on Christmas eve, so we could consider carefully all the details and call a meeting for the first of January. For some reason he failed to keep his engagement, and it was not until March following that we met for that purpose. When he came, I furnished him a copy of the constitution


and by-laws of our old farmers' club, of which I had been secretary. These we changed in some respects to better serve the purpose of the proposed new organization. After further consultation a meeting was called for the 10th of March, 1885, at Antioch Church, Lincoln Parish. At this meeting there were nine who subscribed to the obligation. Later on the secret work was added to the first, which was simply a few signs, with no ritual.

The first organization took in members from a wide territory, and it was not long before we found it necessary to divide up and make our unions more convenient. I rode fifteen miles to attend, until I could work up a favorable sentiment in my own neighborhood, into which I had only lately moved. Our unions began to spring up all over the parish of Lincoln, owing to the enthusiasm of the members and the undoubted necessity for some relief. The first parish mass meeting was held at Vienna in July, and there we organized a central parish organization, with the following officers J. M. Stallings, President; J. A. Tetts, Secretary; W. J. Spinks, Treasurer; W. J¨ Smith, Lecturer; Samuel Skinner, Assistant Lecturer; Jesse Gooden, Doorkeeper; J. W. Simonton, Assistant Doorkeeper; Sim Nobles, Sergeant-at-Arms.

At this meeting J. A. Tetts, W. T. Smith, and W. J. Mitchell were appointed to draft a ritual and present it to a meeting to be held again in Vienna, the second week in August, 1885. J. W. Gooden and J. A. Simmons had also been authorized to have a thousand copies of our constitution printed. Up to this time each union that had been formed organized under a constitution written with a pen. There had been a copy of the Alliance constitution sent to our neighborhood by a Texas friend, and we adopted that with but little change, as it provided for some of the minute better than the one we had previously been working under. The committee on ritual took the defunct Grange ritual, and so curtailed it as to adapt it to initiation by one degree. This ritual was very impressive, and did much to keep our meetings interesting.

At the meeting in August, for the reason that we wanted to more swiftly extend the organization, we formed the first organization of the. State Union by voting the officers of the Parish Union to be the officers of the State Union. This was done with only one exception. J. A. Tetts who was secretary of his subordinate union and secretary of the parish union, claimed that he had already too much of the honor and too much work, considering that he was a farmer and had a large family to support. He resigned, and asked that O. M. Wright, who was teaching school, be appointed in his place. This was done. At this meeting the offered ritual was accepted and ordered printed. For a system of


organization, every president of a subordinate union was in authorized organizing officer. To faster extend the organization, the office of corresponding secretary was created, with authority to distribute the constitutions as widely as possible, and to correspond with such agricultural papers as would insert his communications. J. A. Tetts was elected to fill this office. No officer was allowed any salary, and only actual expenses incurred were paid. Even the organizing of sub-unions was done free of charge and as a labor of love. This first land of union men worked for their love of humanity and the cause they were in, without pay and cheerfully.

The State Union adjourned to meet again in October, 1885. At this meeting there were four parishes represented. I had made good use of my pen; had written communications to Home and Farm, and hundreds of private letters to parties inquiring about the order. At the October meeting I presented letters from many who had taken an interest in our order, and among others one from Brother Isaac McCracken, President of the Agricultural Wheel. At the close of my report, I was, by resolution, authorized to correspond with other agricultural societies, and try to bring about a consolidation. I had copies of the Alliance constitution of Texas, and on these were printed the names of the officers. I enclosed to Brother Andrew Dunlap a copy of our constitution, and stated the nature of my authority. Some time afterward I received a letter from Brother C. W. Macune, stating that Brother Dunlap and the vice-president of the Alliance of Texas had resigned, and that the correspondence for the president's office had fallen into his hands; that he saw no reason why the two bodies should not unite and form a national, as I had proposed to Brother Dunlap; that he had issued a call for the State Alliance to meet at Waco, on the 17th of January, 1886. I wrote him, asking him to send a delegate to meet with us on (I think) the 6th day of the same month, for the purpose of explaining the nature of the Alliance, and assisting us in arriving at a basis of union. Brother Macune requested Brother Evan Jones to meet us. He did so, and to him I proposed a plan I had previously submitted to our State Union. (Brother Jones did not reach Ruston on the first day of our meeting.) Brother Jones gave us an idea of the condition of affairs in Texas, and informed us that, as his State Alliance had not met, he was unable to act upon the part of the Texas State Alliance. Brother Jones' visit gave the union great encouragement, and it immediately elected me to go to the Waco meeting, on the 17th of January, and act for our State organization in the formation of a national organization.

At the Waco meeting the State Alliance elected one member from


each congressional district (or perhaps two), to meet with me on the part of Louisiana, and form a constitution to be submitted to that same meeting for ratification. This constitution, in its general principles, was strictly democratic, guarding and protecting the rights of States to control their own affairs. It also embodied a system of organizing, and, when submitted, was unanimously ratified. Just here set in a boom for the Alliance. It was but a short time until the whole South was organized. Brother Macune was chosen president, being put in nomination by myself. His energy and ability pressed the work, with what result you must he familiar.

It will be useless for me to follow the subject further, as it is already history. I will only add that the Farmers' Union dropped its own ritual and secret work and adopted that of the Texas Alliance. The Alliance work became the secret work of the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Order Union. The officers and members of that body honored me with positions of confidence and trust. They elected me first Vice-President at the organization meeting. At the first annual meeting I was placed on the Committee on Secret Work. At the second, when the Farmers and Laborers' Union was formed, I was made chairman of the Committee on Secret Work, and together with the balance of the committee helped form the present secret work of the order.

The complete details of the consolidation of the Union and the Alliance will be found in the history of the Alliance, in another part of this book. In this simple, plain statement of Brother Tetts is found the clearest evidence of devotion to the cause of distressed agriculture, and an earnest desire to promote its interest. This conscientious discharge of duty on the part of the pioneers of this movement is the bulwark of its power, and the unwritten source of its success. The members of this Union have always proved true; ready at any and all times to battle for the right as they saw it. Too much credit cannot be given them for their fidelity to the cause of agriculture. The following is a copy of the declaration of principles and constitution of the State Farmers' Union of Louisiana: —


ART. 1. This club shall be constituted of at least ten members, who shall be practical farmers, whose chief interest and dependence for


support is in farming, and shall be called Lincoln Parish Farmers' Club, No. 1.

ART. 2. This club shall hold regular meetings, at least once a month, and not oftener than once a week. Extra meetings may be called by the president at any time, to attend to important business.

ART. 3. Applications for membership shall be mode through a member of this club, who shall personally vouch for the applicant as being a farmer and of good mural character. The application for membership shall be referred to a committee of three members, which shall report at the next regular meeting, unless further time is requested. If the committee report favorably or unfavorably, a ballot shall be taken, which shall be by depositing a slip of paper bearing the word "yes" or bearing the word "no," the former for admitting to membership, the latter for rejecting. If two-thirds of the members shall vote for reception, the applicant shall be declared elected, otherwise rejected. If elected he shall become a member by signing this constitution.

ART. 4. The officers of this club shall be a President, a Vice-Presi-dent, a Secretary and Treasurer. The officers shall be elected at the first regular meetings in January and July.

ART. 5. At the first regular meeting after election, the president shall appoint the following standing committees, and require them to report whenever their several duties require: First, a finance committee, composed of three members, who shall attend to the financial affairs of the club and devise means for bearing its expenses, their plans to be subject to ratification by the club. Second, a query committee, composed of three members, whose duty it shall be to originate and select questions of interest to be discussed by the club. They shall receive and examine all questions presented for their consideration, and if found worthy, they shall be reported and be subjects for discussion by the club. All temporary committees shall be appointed as needed, and discharged when they have performed their duties.

ART. 6. The objects of this club are: First, to work for the elevation of agriculture to its true position among the industries of our country, by the mental, moral, social, and financial improvement of its members, which can be best effected by frequent meetings and free discussions, cultivating and developing their best talent for business; by experiments, adopting a more rational system of farming, — one guided by the use of more brains, — thereby commanding better returns for the labor expended; to encourage the practice of the cash system in buying and selling; to oppose special and class legislation and rebuke misguided and corrupt legislation; to endeavor to secure the nomination and


election of good men to office, and spurn, as dangerous to liberty and economy, all professional politicians; to denounce and destroy, wherever possible, all political rings and defeat all machine candidates. In this club the largest liberty shall be allowed for the discussion of all questions, political, financial, and domestic, which can possibly interest the real farmers of our country.

ART. 7. This club shall work for more favorable agricultural legislation, more equitable taxation, equal rights in transportation, lower rates of interest, cheaper administration of the laws, more respect for the true wants of the people, and especially more thorough representation in the halls of legislation.

ART. 8. By-laws not conflicting with this constitution may be made, and any article of this constitution may be amended upon three-fourths of the members voting for the same.

ART. 9. Any club or organization of farmers in our parish or State, having a constitution similar to ours, and enforcing the same restrictions in receiving members, will be fraternally recognized by us, and we request their co-operation in the pursuit of all the objects of our organization, and we offer them ours. We also request them to unite with us and assist us to spread and make permanent this organization throughout our State.


Chapter III.


The Northwestern Alliance. — The Northwestern Alliance, so called to distinguish it from the Alliance which originated in the South, was the result of considerable agitation among the farmers of that section regarding the depressed condition of agriculture. This agitation was forced upon the people by the teachings of the Greenback party, then in its prime, and the hard times which followed specie resumption and the contraction of the currency. This feeling of unrest among the farmers rapidly intensified during the years succeeding 1876, and hastened the formation of the organization which is the subject of this paper. The first Alliance in the West was organized in the office of the Western Rural, Chicago, Illinois, April 15, 1880, and named Cook County Alliance, No. 1, with G. A. Hauf, President; C. E. Tuerk, Vice-President; James W. Wilson, Secretary; and Milton George, Treasurer.

The national meeting at St. Louis in 1882 was not a success, and the one held in Chicago the year following was almost a failure. At this meeting it was determined that the officers elected should hold their positions until their successors were elected, and that the board of officers be empowered to act in the place of the National Alliance, according to its best judgment. In 1884 an attempt was made to hold a national meeting, but it failed. In 1885 no effort was made; but in November, 1886, a meeting was called at Chicago, which was fairly well attended. Hon. A. J. Streeter was elected President; J. J. Burrows, Vice-President; Milton George, Secretary; A. A. Arnold, Treasurer. Minneapolis was selected as the next place of meeting. Strong resolutions were adopted and the meeting adjourned.

The seventh annual meeting convened at Minneapolis, Minnesota, October, 1887. Six States were represented. Although the attendance was small, a feeling obtained that important


questions of public policy, as connected with agriculture, would soon arouse the farmers to greater activity.

Since 1887 the order has grown considerably in certain localities. It is not definitely known just how many members it has. A safe estimate would be from l25,000 to 175,000. At the present time its largest membership is in the States of Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota. This order is not necessarily secret, but confines its membership to the agricultural classes.


1. The free and unlimited coinage of silver.

2. The abolition of national banks and the substitution for their notes of legal treasury notes, and the increase of currency to $50 per capita.

3. Government ownership of all railroads and telegraphs.

4. The prohibition of alien ownership of land, and of gambling in stocks, options, and futures.

5. The adoption of a constitutional amendment requiring the election of President and Vice-Prcsident, and United States Senators, by direct vote of the people.

6. The Australian ballot system.

The Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association. — The order originated, it seems, in this way: In the fall of 1882 or 1883, (some give one date and some the other), five neighboring farmers of Johnson County, Illinois, of more than ordinary determination and independence of character, happened on the same day at their local wheat market, each with a load of wheat. The local buyers refused to take it, claiming that the market was so unsettled they dare not make figures. The farmers believed this was a method agreed upon between the buyers, for the sole purpose of depressing the market and plucking them. After a brief consultation, a committee was quietly sent to the telegraph office, and wired for the city market. The answer came, highly satisfactory, showing the market not only firm but actually rising. They then telegraphed to the railroad authorities to know if they could get a car. There happened to be a car already upon the track, which was not just then to be used, as the regular buyers had stopped buying for the time.


This the farmers were kindly given the refusal of. Returning to the buyers, the farmers again offered to sell their wheat at the price that had been paid the day before, and were again refused. They then told the buyers that if they (the buyers) would not take it, the farmers would ship it themselves.

This incident, of course, became the talk of the neighborhood, and set all the farmers to thinking of shipping their own produce. It was at once seen that, in order to do so, co-operation was necessary, as different persons must necessarily ship together. This led to the formation of clubs. Five such clubs were organized during the winter, very much on the style of the ordinary neighborhood debating society. It very soon became apparent that, if they devised any plans for their mutual benefit, secrecy was an absolute necessity, as they found themselves at once surrounded by prying enemies of their plans. A meeting of the five clubs, or lodges, was called at New Burnside, Johnson County, Illinois. At this meeting a constitution and by-laws were adopted, a secret work formulated, the meeting was termed a General Assembly, and the name Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association was chosen for the organization. The five lodges then organized drew lots of the numbers they should bear, from one to five. The General Assembly was to meet every three months, and each lodges, on petition from a sufficient number to form a new lodge. These new lodges were to be branches of the lodges organizing them, until the General Assembly should meet, when they could send their representatives and be admitted as regular lodges. The branch lodges, however, as soon as organized, could proceed to organize new lodges. No other method of organization was provided for.

July 4, 1887, the General Assembly met at Mt. Vernon, Illinois. This may be set down as the turning point in the success and growth of the organization. A committee was appointed to secure a legal incorporation, to revise the constitution and laws, and otherwise place the order on a firm basis, and give it a legal standing and rights in the courts.

In October, 1887, the General Assembly met at DuQuoin, Illinois. The Committee on Incorporation reported a general charter, granted under the corporation laws of Illinois, with


authority to work and charter subordinate lodges in any State or Territory in the United States. The next meeting of the General Assembly was held at Fairfield, Illinois, in December, 1887.

The next General Assembly was held at Murphysborough in October, 1888. Several important measures were discussed. A Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association Printing Company was formed, and general satisfaction seemed to prevail over what had been done in the past, and what might be done in the future.

The next General Assembly met at Mt. Vernon, Illinois, in November, 1889. Again a rapid and permanent growth was apparent on every side. The order had passed the turning point, and was now on the highway of prosperity.

The last meeting of the General Assembly was held at Springfield, Illinois, November, 1890. This order sent fraternal delegates to the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union at Ocala, in December, 1890.

Such, briefly, are the history, aims, and purposes of an organization that has done, and is doing, good and earnest work in the line of reform.

The Farmers' Political League. — This organization originated among the farmers of Massachusetts, during their contest with the manufacturers of oleomargarine. For a number of years the farmers had petitioned the legislature for a law to prohibit the coloring of oleo like butter, and, as is usual in such cases, these demands were entirely ignored. Early in the fall of 1889 it was suggested that a Farmers' Political League be organized to carry these reforms squarely into politics, and make them the issue in all primaries, caucuses, and conventions, of all parties. The idea met with instant favor. The Farmers' League of Massachusetts was temporarily organized in October, and there not being time enough to perfect permanent organizations in every township, in season for elections, the plan was adopted of circulating a pledge among the voters in agricultural districts, irrespective of party, whereby they bound themselves "to vote only for such candidates for governor and for the state legislature, as shall pledge themselves to work and vote for a bill to prohibit the coloring of oleo like butter." A State League


was formed temporarily in October and permanently some time later, with the following officer: F. A¨ Putnam of Dudley, President; G. M. Whitaker of 43 Merchants Row, Boston, Secretary; J. C. Poor of North Andover, Treasurer.

The League is not a secret organization. It has no ritual, signs, grips, or passwords. It is confined to farmers alone. The method of organization is simple in the extreme.

The membership of the League is confined almost exclusively to the States of Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New York, numbering in all something less than fifty thousand. At present its efforts are directed to the better protection of dairy products against fraudulent imitations. While it may accomplish beneficial results in that line, it is hardly organized with a continuity of purpose, or fixed limits of action, to become either large in numbers or effective in national affairs. However, it is a move in the right direction, and should be encouraged rather than depreciated in its work among the farmers. Any organization that will assist in bringing the farmer to a sense of duty in regard to his own relations to society will do good, no matter in what form it may appear.


Chapter IV.


The Alliance in the State of New York. — After much trouble, I have succeeded in obtaining the following statement regarding the origin of the Alliance in New York. It seems rather strange that the name should have been selected by an organization in Texas in 1873, and in New York in 1875, without one knowing of the existence of the other; yet this appears to have been the case. The history of the Alliance of New York is more interesting when it is known to have been the origin of what is now known as the Northwestern National Alliance, and clears up the early history of that organization. The following statement is kindly given me by Mr. F. P. Root of Brockport, New York: —


Dear Sir, — Your communication of the 5th inst. came duly to hand. In reply to your inquiries in relation to the early formation of a Farmers' Alliance, I will say: I have not the minutes of the first organization before me, but the proceedings are quite fresh in my memory. You may have noticed an article I communicated to the Albany Cultivator and Country Gentleman on the subject, published a few weeks since, in which the chief points of the early organization were given.

The only published notice I find, is the call for the meeting to organize, which was in February, 1875. In pursuance of that call, the meeting of farmers assembled, and the organization was effected. Since the publication of the article in the Cultivator at Albany, I have received a note from Rev. B. T. Roberts of North Chili, this county, saying that he claimed to be the originator of the Alliance; that he circulated the call for the first meeting, and that he framed the constitution and bylaws adopted. He says he presented the call to me, which I signed, but not without some objections, that such an effort might interfere with the Grange work, which I thought was already organizing farmers with much promise of good. Mr. Roberts says he replied that it would not be so, for he only proposed to take up their cause where the Grange left


it; that the Grange forbade all interference in politics, and this should be strictly political work, but not party.

Our meeting organized at the court-house in Rochester, and a committee was appointed to consider and report name, constitution, and by-laws for a farmers' organization. That committee consisted of the following men: Rev. B. T. Roberts, Prof. A. A. Hopkins, F. P. Root, John K. Garretson, and Jesse Deney.

That committee, after considerable discussion, reported the name of Farmers' Alliance, and constitution and by-laws, which were adopted by the meeting. I have not now a copy of the constitution at hand, but know that none but farmers were eligible; but all who were engaged in any branch of husbandry could become members, by the payment of an annual fee. The officers then elected, were: F. P. Root of Brockport, President; Mr. Ely of Rochester, Vice-President; and A. A. Hopkins of Rochester, Secretary and Treasurer.

This organization was in February, or the first of March, 1875. It embraced only the county of Monroe, but soon after a call was issued for a State meeting at Rochester, to organize a State Alliance. The call was responded to by representative farmers throughout Western New York, and an organization was effected to be known as the New York Farmers' Alliance. The constitution adopted by the Monroe County Alliance was also adopted by the State Alliance. The objects of this organization, as set forth, were to work out reforms in the State laws affecting the farming interest, and to urge an equal representation from our class in the legislation of the State. The course as most approved, and to which members were pledged, was to attend primary meeting of each political party, to which they were severally connected, and to urge the nomination of such men as were favorable to our interests; and when each party could succeed in their aim, each would vote their own ticket; but if one failed and the other succeeded, all should turn in and elect the candidate who favored us; otherwise, if neither candidate favored our views, an independent candidate should be nominated. The officers elected for the State Alliance were: President, F. P. Root of Brockport; Secretary and Treasurer, Prof. A. Dan of Wyoming County. The name of the Vice-president I have lost.

The next annual meeting was appointed at Syracuse, New York, which meeting was well attended, and an address was given by the president, and the objects and reforms most sought for were discussed during two days of the session. An election of officers for the ensuing year resulted as follows: President, Hon. Harris Lewis of Herkimer County; Prof. A¨ Dan was re-elected Secretary and Treasurer. The next annual meeting


was held at Utica, New York. At this meeting a delegation from the Board of Trade and Transportation of New York City was sent, and was accepted in consultation. The officers of the previous year were re-elected. The next annual meeting was held in the city of Rochester, at which Gen. A. Diven of Elmira, Chemung County, was elected President, and W.J. Fowler of Monroe County was elected Secretary and Treasurer.

General Diven was a man of considerable note, being ex-member of Congress, also ex-vice-presidunt of the Erie Railroad, but he could not afford the time necessary to advance the interests of the Farmers' Alliance, though heartily approving its work. He was twice elected President, with W. J. Fowler Secretary and Treasurer, but did not maintain the organization after the expiration of their official terms. I did not attend the last two meetings of the Alliance.

An organization of farmers, under the name of Farmers' League, was soon after effected, which is still in operation. Some time in the winter of 1880, a notice was issued for a meeting at Chicago for the formation of a National Farmers' Alliance. The purpose was carried out, and the Secretary of our Alliance, W. J. Fowler of Monroe County, New York, was elected President. Whether there were organizations under the head of Farmers' Alliance prior to the Chicago meeting, in any of the Western or Southern States, I am not informed; or whether the Alliance was anywhere known prior to our movement at Rochester, I do not know; but the organization was original with us. It was reported that an organization, copied after ours, was inaugurated in Germany, and also in England, previous to the Chicago meeting in 1880; but I have no positive knowledge of the fact.

This organization died almost, if not completely, out in the State, and is just at the present time being revived. It was never a secret organization, and did not reach a very high position either in effectiveness or utility; but it did, without doubt, lead to the formation of other and stronger organizations, and in this manner became the pioneer in the agricultural alliances of the North.

The Grange, or Order of the Patrons of Husbandry. — This order was founded in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, on the 4th day of December, 1867. The circumstances which led to its formation are as follows: In January, 1866, Mr. O. H. Kelley, in the Department of Agriculture, was sent on a mission of some sort through the South, by Mr.


Newton, the then Commissioner of Agriculture. Kelley went as far south as Charleston, South Carolina; thence to Savannah, Mobile, New Orleans, up the Mississippi to Memphis, across the country to Atlanta, and back again to Washington City, by the 21st day of April following.

Impressed with the disorganization of that peculiarly agricultural section, and grieved at the utter demoralization of its people, whom he found to be intelligent and trustworthy, Mr. Kelley conceived the idea that organization was necessary for the resuscitation of the country, and the recuperation of the farmers, whose wealth and resources had been swept away by the cruel hand of war. This, however, was but a transient thought, as applied to the farmers of the South; for a moment's reflection convinced him that there was vital need of organization among the farmers of the entire Union, North as well as South. In his soliloquy he asked himself why farmers should not join in a league peculiar to themselves, to which others should not be admitted. Such a union would be partisan; and, if partisan, it should be secret; and, if secret, it must have a ritual to make it effective and attractive.

This process of reasoning rapidly brought him to a conclusion, and forthwith he undertook to execute the ritualistic framework of such an organization. The task was, however, beyond his capacity, and he soon found himself sounding in deep water. But Kelley was a man not easily baffled; so, with ardor unabated, he resorted to the expedient of advising with counsellors. Mr. J. R. Thompson, an officer in the Treasury Department, and Mr. William M. Ireland, chief clerk in the Finance Division of the Post Office Department, to which bureau Kelley had been transferred in the fall of 1866, were two congenial companions, whose acquaintance he had made after his return from the South.

Mr. William Saunders, superintendent of the garden and grounds of the Department of Agriculture, was invited to join them, which he did. This quartet, unwilling to pass judgment upon the work of their own minds, invited the Rev. John Trimble, then an officer in the Treasury Department, to exercise the privilege of criticising their labors as they progressed. After a season, the Rev. A. B. Grosh, then a clerk in the Agricultural


Department, and Mr. F. M. McDowell, a vineyardist of Wayne, New York, were induced to labor with the five, and these seven constituted the founders of the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry, though several mutual friends, now unknown to the order, were at sundry times consulted. For nearly two years these seven men wrought, until they completed a well-devised scheme of organization, based upon a ritual of four degrees for men, and four for women. Having framed a constitution, adapted to this ritual, to govern them, these men met on the 4th day of December, 1867, in the little brown building now standing embowered in the trees of Four and a Half Street and Missouri Avenue, in the city of Washington, and then and there constituted themselves the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, with Sounders as Master, Thompson as Lecturer, Ireland as Treasurer, and Kelley as Secretary. The remaining offices were left vacant.

The constitution of the order required that every subordinate grange should be composed of at least nine men and four women, and that fifteen such granges might apply for the organization of a State Grange. In accordance with these provisions, a State Grange was organized in Minnesota, on the 23d day of February, 1869, and another in Iowa, on the 12th day of January, 1871. On the 3d day of January, 1872, the National Grange met in its fifth annual session, and, as an accession to its members, hailed with a welcome the presence of Dudley W. Adams, the master of the State Grange of Iowa, and the first member of the order who had ever met with the original seven.

Anterior to the fifth session of the National Grange, there had been organized, in the several States, about two hundred granges, whose charter fees had partially reimbursed the founders for the money advanced in the cause; but annual salaries had been promised to the master, the secretary, and the treasurer, not a dollar of which could now he paid, for there was, as yet, not a surplus penny in the treasury. During the year 1872, new life was infused into the order, and before its close 1074 granges had been organized, scattered over more than half the States of the Union. The founders continued to work most assiduously, and framed a degree peculiarly suited to the State Grange, and another higher one for the National Grange,


and still another for those patrons who had served twelve months or longer in the National Grange. They also appointed deputies to do work in the Grange field.

In the fall of 1872 the secretary mailed to all the masters of the State Granges, to the deputies, and to others who had labored for the cause, a letter of invitation to convene in Georgetown, District of Columbia, on the 8th day of January, 1873, in the sixth annual session of the National Grange. Seventeen delegates, in addition to six of the founders of the order (Brother Ireland was absent), representing eleven States, assembled on that day, at the place designated, six of whom were masters of State Granges, and the remainder deputies in the order. In addition to these, four ladies honored the body with their presence; and now, for the first time in its history, the National. Grunge began to assume the proportions of a national organization.

Thus the foundation was laid for active, energetic, progressive work during the succeeding year. The enthusiasm of the founders was imbibed by every delegate present, and each avowed himself a propagandist on his return home. To date (January 12, 1873), there had been organized nearly fourteen hundred granges, more than one-half of which were in the two States of Iowa and South Carolina. The years 1873 and 1874 were marvellously prosperous years for the Grange. In the former, 8668 subordinate granges were organized, and in the latter, 11,941. "Then it was," says a member, "that in our strength we exposed our weakness. Our debts had been paid, and our coffers were full. But we had grown suddenly too rich and powerful. We had leaped from poverty into affluence. From a struggling brotherhood of seven we had developed, with magic growth, into a fraternity of over twenty thousand subordinate granges, averaging a membership of forty, all adults, or well-grown male and female youths, and our numbers were increasing at the rate of thousands a month. But our ranks lacked discipline. Our leaders were afraid of the multitude, and chaos prevailed to a considerable extent throughout the order."

The Grange has been a great educator, and being the pioneer agricultural association, it has been compelled to stand the critism


which always waits upon preparatory efforts. It has had its seasons of great prosperity, and also its full term of adversity, and is again making headway in its endeavors to benefit the farmer. It is increasing in numbers, and promises to take a prominent part in the reforms which await the future.


Chapter V.


Official Directory of the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union. — President, L. L. Polk, North Carolina; Vice-President, B. H. Clover. Kansas; Secretary-Treasurer, J. H. Turner, Georgia; Lecturer, J. F. Willetts, Kansas. Executive Board: Chairman, C. W. Macune; A. Wardall, J. F. Tillman. Judiciary Department: Chairman, H. C. Demming; Isaac McCracken, A. E. Cole. Committee on Confederation of National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union: Chairman, Ben Terrell, 239 North Capitol Street, Washington District of Columbia; L. F. Livingston of Georgia; B. F. Rogers of Florida; W. J. Talbert of South Carolina; H. L. Loucks of South Dakota.

Alabama. — A. T. Jacobs, a member of the Texas Alliance, organized the first Alliance at Beech Grove, Madison County, in March, 1887. Other Alliances were rapidly formed in Limestone, Jackson, and Marshall counties. A State organization was formed, with W. J. McKelvey, President, and G. W. Jones, Secretary. Regular organizers had been sent into another part of the State by President Macune, and had done effective work. At the second meeting of the State Alliance, in August, 1887, all were united under one State organization, with S. M. Adams. President, and J. W. Brown, Secretary. Delegates to the National Meeting to be held at Shreveport, Louisiana, in October, 1887, were elected and instructed to apply for admission into the national order, which was granted. The union of the Wheel and Alliance was perfected October 15, l889. The organization in this State is strong, well organized, and increasing in number. It is one of the banner States.

Arkansas. — I. W. Maker, William Davenport, and D. B. Hall were commissioned as national organizers for this State by President Macune, in the spring of 1887. As the Brothers of Freedom and the Agricultural Wheel originated here, and


both had strong organizations, the Alliance made but slow progress. Several Sub-Alliances were organized, however, during that year. The complications which have followed an effort to consolidate are numerous and difficult to explain. At one time there were three separate organizations, each operating independently. After much trouble and discussion, the different State bodies met at Little Rock, February 12, 1891, and consolidated into one State organization.

California. — In the early part of 1890, Joe S. Barbee was commissioned national organizer for the State of California, and on April 11, 1890, the first Sub-Alliance was organized at Summerland, Santa Barbara County, with sixteen members and the following officers: President, H. L. Williams; Vice-President, Mrs. Agnes S. Williams; Secretary, C. T. Norcross; Treasurer, William Wales; Chaplain, A. C. Doane. The first County Alliance was organized at Santa Barbara, in Santa Barbara County, on May 3, 1890, with President, H. L. Williams, Summerland; Vice-President, S. K. Shilling, Lompoc; Secretary, H. F. Cook, Cathedral Oak; Treasurer, H. A. Nelson, Dos Pueblas; Chaplain, Henry Douglas, Goleta. The State Alliance was formed at San Jose, November 21, 1890.

Colorado. — The first Alliances were organized in this State in 1888, by R. S. W. Overstreet. On account of the sparsely settled counties, hard times, and land troubles, it was found difficult to push the work. In 1889 the organization took a fresh start. The Northern or Open Alliance had been at work in the State and had secured quite a membership. After carefully considering the matter, the two Alliances met together in joint convention in December, 1889, and perfected a State organization.

The Dakotas.--The Farmers' Alliance was introduced into the Territory of Dakota in the fall of 1884. A number of farmers met at Huron, now in South Dakota, on Decemboer 19, 1884, and after adopting a series of resolutions adjourned until the 4th of February succeeding. Several Sub-Alliances had been organized prior to this meeting, under a charter from the Northern or Open Alliance. At the meeting in February, a Territorial organization was perfected, and the following officers selected: President, J. L. Carlisle; Vice-President, A. R..


Montague; Secretary, W. F. T. Bushnell; and Treasurer, A. D. Chase. The last meeting of the Territorial organization was held at Aberdeen, South Dakota, November 28, 1889. About nine hundred Sub-Alliances were represented. The Territory having been divided into two States, the Alliance of South Dakota was organized, with H. L. Loucks, of Clear Lake, President; First Vice-President, C. V. Gardner, Postville; Second Vice-President, C. A. Soderberg, Hartford; Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. Sophia M. Harden, Woonsocket. North Dakota elected President, Walter Muir, Hunter; First Vice-President, Andrew Slotten, Wahpeton; Second Vice-President, James Dobie, Tyner; Treasurer, S. W. Unkenholz, Mandan; Lecturer, Ira S. Lampman, Valley City; Secretary, M. D. Williams, Jamestown. At the national meeting, at St. Louis, in 1889, both of these States joined the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union. Since that time they have increased in numbers rapidly. The same officers have been retained.

Delaware. — The Alliance was introduced into this State in the summer of 1889, by Rev. H. G. Cowan. Considerable time was spent in making a start. The first Sub-Alliance was organized in Kent County, in August, 1889, with President, William Johnson, and Secretary, J. W. Mix. Kent was the first county organized, by J. P. Kelley, January 29, 1891, with the following officers: President, J. M. Eisinburg; Vice-President, Alexander Simpson; Secretary, F. J. Prettyman; Treasurer, Robert Raughley; Chaplain, I. W. Poole. A State organization will be formed during the summer of 1891, as the order is spreading rapidly.

Florida. — The State Alliance of Florida was organized in August, 1887. Oswald Wilson was sent there by President C. W. Macune, as national organizer, and did his work so thoroughly that the State was organized at a rapid rate. The first officers were: President, Oswald Wilson; Vice-President, William Gomne; Secretary, Thomas A. Hall; Treasurer. I. W. Pooser; Chaplain, W. A. Bryan; Lecturer, I. B. Young; Assistant-Lecturer, W. B. Shephard; Doorkeeper. W. G. Coxwell The order has prospered since its organization, and is doing well at this time.

Georgia. — In the spring of 1887, three national organizers


were commissioned by the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union of America, and sent to this State. J. B. Wilkes commenced the work of organization in the Fourth Congressional District in March; and about the same time Brother Bairfield, in the Second Congressional District, and Brother Turner in the Third, began the work. All three of these organizers were from the State of Texas. In March, 1887, Farmers' Alliance No. 1 was organized by J. B. Wilkes, at Antioch, Troup County, with W. B. Whately, President, and Dr. W. G. Floyd, Secretary. The first County Alliance was organized at Franklin, in Heard County, August 6, 1887, with T. M. Awbrey, President, and J. H. Turner, Secretary.

About the first of October, the national President, C. W. Macune, issued his proclamation calling a meeting of delegates of all the organized counties in the State, to convene in the city of Fort Valley, December 20, to organize a State Alliance. Fourteen counties were represented, and the following officers were elected: President, R. H. Jackson, Heard County; Vice-President, W. C. Glenn, Schley County; Secretary, R. L. Burks, Harris County; Treasurer, W. B. Daniel, Sumter County; Lecturer, J. T. Green, Carroll County; and State Organizer, J. H. Turner, Troup County. The order in the State has prospered wonderfully, and is to-day among the first.

Idaho. — The Alliance came to this State in the latter part of 1890. The first Sub-Alliance was organized at Silver Creek, Logan County, February 7, 1891, by B. T. Templeton. The following officers were elected: President, L. E. Gannett; Vice-President, John L. Freeman; Secretary, B. T. Templeton; Treasurer, C. W. Catte; Chaplain, W. H. Loving.

There is no County Alliance as yet, but a number of organizers have just been started. They report good prospects for future work.

Illinois. — The first Sub-Alliance was organized at Noble, Richland County, December 27, 1889; F. G. Blood, organizer. The first County Alliance was organized at Clayton, Adams County, April 5, 1890. The State Alliance was organized at Morrison, Whiteside County, July 15, 1890, with a membership of about 3000; President, M. L. Crum; Vice-president, M. H. Gilbert; Secretary, F. G. Blood; Treasurer, Geo. H. Lee;


Lecturer, C. W. Stevenson. The same officers are serving now. The Alliance in this State is growing rapidly, and promises to be one of the best in the Union.

Indiana. — W. W. Wilson began the work of organization in this State in May, 1889. The order of the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association had been quite extensively organized in the State previous to this time. The Open Alliance also claimed a considerable membership. The work progressed slowly, and it was not until April, 1890, that a State Alliance was perfected, at the city of Indianapolis. Seven County and about one hundred and twenty Sub-Alliances were represented. T. W. Force was elected President, and W. W. Prigg, Secretary. The order is now rapidly increasing in numbers, and the prospects are good for a splendid organization.

Indian Territory. — The Alliance was introduced into this Territory in 1886. The organizer went from Texas, but I have been unable to obtain his name. The Alliances formed were chartered under the jurisdiction of Texas. Representatives of the various Alliances met at Brickhouse, in Tishomingo, April 12, 1887, and organized a Territorial Alliance, selecting Z. Gardner, President, and M. E. Gough, Secretary. The membership increased rapidly during the succeeding year. At the next meeting of the Territorial Alliance, at Armstrong Academy, in August, 1888, W. Hatchkins was chosen President, and M. E. Gough was again chosen Secretary. At the next meeting of the Territorial body, at Stonewall, in August, 1889. H. C. Randolph was selected as President, and Lyman Friend, Secretary.

Iowa. — On the 26th day of July, 1890, George R. Lang organized South Fork Farmers' Alliance No. 1, in Wayne County, Iowa, with seven members, and officers as follows: President, J. A. Duer; Vice-President, Warren Easley; Secretary, D. D. Southard; Treasurer, C. H. Lord; Chaplain, John Lord.

The first County Alliance was organized by Geo. B. Lang, in Wayne County, December 13, 1890, with the following officers: President, Charles Heckthorn; Vice-President, Theodore Wade; Secretary, Robert E. Gwinn; Treasurer, Ellis Shriver; Chaplain, C. N. Haworth

The State Alliance of Iowa was organized at Crouton, March 30, 1891.


Kansas. — Some time during the year 1887, a number of Sub-Alliances were formed in Cowley County, through the efforts of a visiting friend from Texas, who was stopping with a farmer in that county. It is from this beginning that the Alliance in Kansas took its start. Later, W. Shires, a regular organizer, came into the State, and started a few more Sub-Alliances. About this time Brother W. P. Brush went to Cowley County, and succeeded in organizing the first County Alliance. Authority was given Brother Brush to organize the State. A meeting was called for that purpose in December, 1888, and an organization was perfected by electing B. H. Clover of Cambridge, President, and J. B. French, Hutchinson, Secretary.

The growth of the Alliance in this State has been phenomenal.

Kentucky. — The first Farmers' Alliance was organized in Trigg County, by F. T. Rogers, in December, 1886. At first the work progressed very slowly, and was abandoned by some of the first who made the attempt. In February, 1888, Brother B. F. Davis was commissioned for the work, and began in earnest the difficult task. He succeeded so well that a State organization was completed at Ezel, Morgan County, June 7, 1888. J. E. Quicksall was chosen President; J. M. Raney, Vice-President; B. F. Davis, Secretary; Charles Pack, Treasurer; and Sherman Pack, Lecturer. August 29, 1889, the Alliance and Wheel consolidated, with S. B. Irwin, President; J. E. Quicksall, Vice-President; B. F. Davis, Secretary; Charles Pack, Treasurer; and J. F. Gale, Lecturer. The order has grown rapidly since that date.

Louisiana. — The Farmers' Union of this State had been quite extensively organized before the Alliance was introduced. The first Alliance was organized by J. W. DeSpain and J. Groves, in one of the parishes west of Red River. The second Alliance was organized in De Soto Parish, October 8, 1886. After this it spread rapidly throughout this portion of the State. In May, 1887, the Union and the Alliance united, forming the State Union, the Alliances surrendering their charters and taking out others from the Union. From this time on the order has grown rapidly. The first officers of the Consolidated Union were: President, J. M. Stallings, Venice; Secretary, O. W. Wright, Munnville; Treasurer, W. J. Spinks; Lecturer, W. J. Smith;


Assistant Lecturer, Samuel Skinner; Corresponding Secretary, J. A. Tetts.

Maryland. — The Alliance was introduced into this State in 1889, by Dr. Joseph A. Mudd.

The first Alliance was organized at Piscataway, Prince George's County, February 26, 1889, with the following officers: President, Dr. A. L. Middleton; Vice-President, Dr. J. H. Blanford; Secretary, James P¨ Elder.

The first County Alliance was organized by Dr. Joseph A. Mudd, at Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County, August 28, 1889, with the following officers: President, Dr. W. W. Waring; Vice-President, Dr. J. B. Langford; Secretary, A. T. Brooke; Treasurer, Geo. W. Brooke; Lecturer, W. B. Claggett; Chaplain, J. B. Perrie.

The State was organized September 25, 1889, by Dr. Joseph A. Mudd of Washington, State Organizer, at Upper Marlboro.

Michigan. — The Alliance was introduced into this State Under peculiar circumstances. The Alliance Sentinel was started at least three months before there was a member of an Alliance in the State. Even the editor, Brother J. M. Potter, was not a member of the order. Brother N. A. Dunning of Washington, District of Columbia, came to the State for the purpose of introducing the order. The very first night — February 19, 1890 — he organized an Alliance at Pine Lake, Ingham County, with the following officers: President, George Northrop; Vice-President, Hiram W. Baker; Secretary, Daniel B. Potter; Treasurer, Joseph I. Burtraw; Chaplain, William R. Norton.

Every person attending the meeting joined the Alliance, and all expressed entire satisfaction in regard to the aims, objects, and methods of the order as explained.

The State was organized at Lansing, September 17, 1890. The following officers were chosen: President, A. E. Cole, of Fowlerville; Vice-President, T. C. Anthony of Marengo; Treasurer, John D. Carlton of Dimondale; State Lecturer, Luther Ripley of Port Hope; Chaplain, Mrs. Emma Moore of Delta; Steward, H. W. Cobb of Perry; Doorkeeper, A. McKelvey of Delta; Executive Committee: Chairman, George S. Wilson of Horton; Thomas Nichols of Sanilac; Martin Smith of Okemos; B. F. McKellim of Bad Axe; J. W. Ewing of Grand Lodge.


Minnesota. — The Alliance first appeared in this State in the summer of 1890. The first Sub-Alliance was organized about July 1, 1890, by A. D. Ferres, at Pipe Stone, Pipe Stone County, with the following officers: President, H. D. Sanford; Vice-President, John Clark; Secretary, J. A. Bigelow; Treasurer, C. C. Goodnow; Chaplain, W. C. Barber.

Pipe Stone County Alliance was organized in January, 1891. Names of officers are not at hand. The order will be pushed during the summer of 1891.

Mississippi. — In February, 1887, President C. W. Macune commissioned S. O. Daws and W. F. Price to begin the work of organizing the State of Mississippi. The first Alliance was organized March 3, 1887, at Oak Hall, Carroll County. Others followed rapidly. The State Alliance was organized August 24, 1887. R. T. Love was chosen President, and C. T. Smithson, Secretary. Since that time the order has grown steadily, and is now among the best.

Missouri. — The Alliance appeared in this State in the spring of 1887 President Macune sent a number of organizers into the State at the urgent request of many of its people. In May following the first Sub-Alliance was organized in Butler County. The order spread with great rapidity that summer, so that a State Alliance was perfected October 4, 1887, at Poplar Bluff, with the following officers: President, A. B. Johnson, Ritchey, Newton County; Vice-president, W. B. Anthony; Secretary, Frank Farrell, Mill Spring; Treasurer, J. N. Tatem; Chaplain, J. A. Gross; Lecturer, M. V. B. Page. Since that time the order has grown rapidly.

Montana. — The Alliance made its appearance in this State in the latter part of 1890. The first Sub-Alliance was organized at Augusta, Lewis and Clarke County, January 10, 1891. The officers chosen were: President, D. J. Hogan; Vice-President, J. K. Smith; Secretary, T. G. Woods; Treasurer, W. H. Warden; Chaplain, R. Anchard. Organized by T. G. Wood, temporarily, and granted a dispensation until a regular organizer could be obtained.

New Jersey. — The first Alliance was organized in this State September 23, 1889, at Centreton, Salem County, with the following officers: President, W. W. Gilder; Vice-President,


Samuel Golder; Secretary, Jarvis Pedrick; Treasurer, John B. Cooper; Lecturer, C. P. Atkinson.

The first County Alliance was organized March 13, 1890, at Cohansey, Salem County, by Dr¨ C. P. Atkinson, with the following officers: President, J. M. Hitchman; Vice-President, E. F. Cook; Secretary, A. R. Thaup; Treasurer, L. M. Garram. The prospects are good for an increase of membership.

New Mexico. — The first Alliance in this Territory was organized in Lincoln County, in April, 1887, by A. D. Wallace. A few months after, this county was organized, being the first county organization in the Territory. For various reasons the work dragged. One great obstacle was the scattered situation of the settlements, and the difficulty of getting the farmers together. After a hard struggle, a Territorial Alliance was perfected, at Santa Fe, in July, 1889. J. N. Coe was chosen President, and W. L. Bruce, Secretary. The order is doing fairly well.

New York. — Early in 1890 D. F. Allen, a farmer from near Allentown, Allegany County, came to Washington City, and was initiated into the Farmers' Alliance. He was at once given a national organizer's commission for New York. April 3, he organized Wirt Farmers' Alliance, No. 1, in Allegany County, with sixteen members and the following officers: President, DeWitt Willis; Vice-President, Marion Keller; Secretary, Rufus Harwood; Treasurer, William Saunders; Chaplain, Chauncy Griffin, The first County Alliance was organized in Allegany County, June 3, 1890, with the following officers: President, M. Spencer; Vice-President, J. D. Rogers; Secretary, George A. Scott; Treasurer, D. C. Willis; Chaplain, N. R. Miller. The State Alliance was organized at Hornellsville, April 22.

North Carolina. — The Alliance in this State has had a wonderful growth. Having had a paper, The Progressive Farmer, advocating a doctrine similar to that taught by the Alliance, it was easy to organize the State. Colonel L. L. Polk, editor of The Progressive Farmer, entered into the work with earnestness and energy. The first Alliance was organized by M. T. Seely, April 20, 1887. In May J. B. Barry of Texas joined in the work. A State Alliance was formed October 4, 1887, at Rockingham, Richmond County, consisting of eight counties and one


hundred and thirty-two Sub-Alliances. S. B. Alexander was elected President, and L. L. Polk, Secretary.

Ohio. — The first Alliance was organized in Gallia County, June 5, 1890, by J. T. Jones, with eleven members and the following officers: President, S. H. Shaffer; Vice-President, M. B. Mala; Secretary, James R. Vires; Treasurer, William H. Vanden; Chaplain, John Leonard.

The first County Alliance was organized in Franklin County, near Columbus, October 4, 1890, by J. M. Richardson, with the following officers: President, H. S. Harris; Vice-president, W. R. Parsons; Secretary, H. M. Evans; Treasurer, Thomas Carpenter; Chaplain, Fred L. Johnson. The State Alliance was organized at Columbus, April 16, 1891.

Oklahoma. — January 10, 1890, the first Alliance was organized in this Territory, by George W. Gardenhire, at Stillwater, with eighteen members, and officers as follows: President, G. W. Puckett; Secretary, Irvin Whittaker.

The first County Alliance was organized by W¨ H¨ Barton, in Payne County, on the 20th day of March, 1890, with the following officers: President, D. Skinner; Vice-President, W. H. Hayden; Secretary, M. A. Hickcox; Treasurer, L. Gilges; Chaplain, M. B. Andrews. The Territorial Alliance was organized July 8, 1890, at Guthrie.

Oregon. — The Alliance was introduced into this State during the winter of 1890. There was no organizer, and a meeting was held at Independence, Polk County. A temporary organization was effected, and a dispensation was granted to them until they could obtain the secret work from the regular source. The following were the officers: President, Abram Nelson; Vice-President, J. Dorusife; Secretary, George Roges; Treasurer, J. W. Haley; Chaplain, J. Craven. Organized by Thomas C. Wilkin. There is no County Alliance at present.

Pennsylvania. — The Alliance was introduced into this State in the spring of 1890, by H. C. Demming, who came to Washington, took the secret work, and organized the first Alliance in his own county of Dauphin. In April following, after meeting with many obstacles, Brother Demming succeeded in organizing a State Alliance at Harrisburg, November 26, 1890. The officers elected were: President, Henry C. Snavely, Lebanon;


Vice-President, Curtis S. Clark, Crawford; Lecturer, J. S. Potts, Indiana County; Secretary, Henry C. Demming, Dauphin County; Treasurer, Valentine Hay, Somerset County.

South Carolina. — The first Sub-Alliance in this State was organized by M. T. Seely, an organizer from Texas, in October, 1887. The order grew rapidly, so that, in July, 1888, a State Alliance was perfected, with over one hundred and fifty Sub-Alliances and a membership exceeding three thousand. E. T. Stackhouse was elected President, and J. W. Reid, Secretary. The order has had a substantial and steady increase up to the present time, and its success is assured.

Tennessee. — J. T. Alsup, a national organizer of the Farmers' Alliance, began work in this State in the winter of 1887. The first Sub-Alliance was organized in Wilson County, in March following. At that time the Agricultural Wheel was also seeking to establish itself in the State; but by hard work and perseverance, a State Alliance was organized in March, 1888, with I. P. Buchanan, President. Both orders continued to grow, and at a joint meeting at Nashville, in July, 1889, the two organizations consolidated under the name of National Farmers and Laborers' Union, with I. P. Buchanan, President, and E. B. Wade, Secretary. Since then the order has grown rapidly, and is now reckoned among the best.

Texas. — The history of this State will be found in the general history of the Alliance. The first Alliance having been formed in Texas, a detailed statement of the organization must contain a full history of the Alliance in the State.

Utah and Arizona. — Organizers have been sent into these Territories during the present month (March, 1891), who report that success is absolutely certain; that the people are ready for organization, and eager to join the Alliance movement.

Vermont. — One organizer has been sent to this State, who reports the farmers anxious to organize for common defence. Applications have been received for organizers in the States of Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, which will doubtless be met during the present year (1891). The growth of the order has been, and doubtless will be, slow in the New England States. Yet the spirit of agricultural unrest is felt there, as in other parts of the country, and the time is "close at hand when every


State and Territory of the nation" will become members of this great agricultural organization.

Virginia. — The first Sub-Alliance was organized at Ottobine, Rockingham County, in September, 1887, by J. S. Barbee. The following officers were elected: President, L. T. Beall; Vice-President, William Evrvine; Secretary, St. Andrew Myers; Treasurer, Mrs. N. E. Ervine; Chaplain, G. W. Skelton; Lecturer, Dr. J. P. Coyner. The first County Alliance was organized November 26, 1887, with the following officers: President, Thomas Bradley; Vice-President, Isaiah Printz; Secretary, William M. Rosser; Treasurer, Warfield Vates; Lecturer, H. A. W. Holmes.

Washington. — Early in 1891 Brother Ahiva Mannering went from the State of Missouri to Washington as a national organizer. The first Sub-Alliance was organized at Garfield, Whitman County, February 14, 1891, with the following officers: President, A. J. Irwin; Vice-President, Alvin Manning; Secretary, L. C. Love; Treasurer, William Lemon; Chaplain, E. F. Mason. The work is being pushed with vigor, and is increasing rapidly.

West Virginia. — The Alliance was introduced into this State in the summer of 1887, by Joe S. Barbee. The first Sub-Alliance was organized by him at Franklin, Pendleton County, October 29, 1887, with the following officers: President, S. P. Priest; Vice-President, John A. Marshall; Secretary, J. H. Daugherty; Treasurer, J. T. Harold. The first County Alliance was organized at Franklin, Pendleton County, July 18, 1889, by G. T. Barber. The following officers were chosen: President, Jacob Henkle; Vice-President, W. C. Miller; Secretary, J. H. Daugherty; Treasurer, Solomon Cunningham; Chaplain, W. C. Keyser. The State Alliance was organized at Charleston, West Virginia, August 17, 1890.

Wisconsin. — The Alliance appeared in this State during the fall of 1890. The first Sub-Alliance was organized under dispensation, December 29, 1890, by Haybert Holmes, at River Side, Shawano County, with the following officers: President, Israel L. Pues; Vice-President, Joseph H. Hillister; Secretary, Lewis Peterson; Treasurer, John Westgord. There is no County Alliance as yet.


Chapter VI.



THE year 1865 witnessed the culmination of the mightiest contest of modern times. The brave and heroic men of the two armies, worn and wearied with war, returned to their homes, and beating "their spears into pruning-hooks, and their swords into ploughshares," addressed themselves, with a faith and a devotion that were sublime, to the solution of problems which would have appalled the hearts of any but those who had been educated in the terrible ordeal through which they had passed. The happy greetings of welcome of the loved ones at the threshold were more thrilling and inspiriting than were the wild shouts of triumph in victorious battle.

As a rule, the soldiers of the North and the South were willing and anxious to accept and abide by the result, in good faith. They knew they had fought like men, and they were willing to accept the result like men. Slavery was gone, and all true patriots fondly hoped that the prejudices, animosities, and divisions which were born of its existence would go with it.

But the selfish, sectional agitator again appeared upon the scene, and, with unholy purpose, spared not even the sacred dust of the heroic dead that he might inflame and keep alive the bitter recollections and animosities of the past. Social and financial chaos was abroad in the land, and he gloated in the opportunity thus afforded to prosecute his wicked designs. Ordinarily he was the man, North and South, who had failed to see, in four years of war, any opportunity to prove his devotion to his section. Ordinarily he was the man, North and South, who was "invisible in war, and had become invincible in peace."

The liberation and enfranchisement of four millions of human beings, the confusion incident to a long-protracted and terrible struggle, presented conditions peculiarly favorable to the propagation and perpetuation of sectionalism. Even our industrial development and expansion evolved conditions which were made to contribute to this unnatural and unfortunate estrangement between the sections. The rich, powerful,


and densely populated East must needs have an outlet for its aggressive enterprise, its rapidly accumulating wealth, and its growing population. The dense forests and fertile plains of the magnificent and inviting West were transformed into rich and powerful States. Lines of immigration and enterprise, of wealth and of general development, were pushed forward with marvellous rapidity and success to the shores of the Pacific. Along these lines were transplanted from the East the prejudices and animosities engendered for a half-century. The South, — traversed by no transcontinental line of communication, — sullen and humiliated in her great and crushing losses, and by defeat in war, most naturally nursed the sectional animosities and prejudices of the past.

Their fields were devastated, their homes desolate, their household goods destroyed; without money, without food, without implements with which to work; their credit gone, their labor utterly destroyed, their industrial systems wiped out, the accumulated wealth of generations swept away as by a breath; in the shadow of drear desolation and the blackened ruins of once happy homes, they were left friendless and unaided, to depend on those qualities of true manhood which are always evolved by terrible emergencies. Theirs was the noble and heroic task to remove the ghastly wreck which marked the feast of wargods, who had revelled in their high carnival of blood, of carnage, and of death.

What an inviting condition was thus presented for wicked sectional agitators, and how assiduously they utilized it, let the shameful sectionalism of the past quarter of a century, with its baneful fruits, tell. Whatever may be said of chattel slavery, with all its acknowledged evils, history nowhere records that it ever made a millionaire. Whatever may have been its effect upon our society and civilization, it produced no tramps. Hut we have developed another system of slavery, — the slavery of honest labor, — a slavery of sweat, and brawn, and brain, — a slavery more terrible and degrading in its effects than the African ever knew, and the legitimate outgrowth of which has cursed our country with an army of three millions of tramps, and has placed the greater part of the wealth of this great nation in the hands of one two-thousandth part of its population. It has made the eight millions of American farmers — once the proud possessors of the most princely heritage that God ever gave to man — virtually a nation of tenants, whose every possession, and whose every day of toil and labor, is forced to pay tribute to exacting, domineering, legalized monopoly. In all the discriminating partisan legislation which has disgraced the annals of the nation for the last quarter of a century, and in all the machinations


and intrigues which have conspired to destroy that essential equipoise between the great industries of the country, and which has robbed the many to enrich the few, and thus placed our republic and its institutions in imminent peril, no factor has been more potential than the wicked spirit of sectionalism.

We have thus been brought to confront forces, social, industrial, moral, and political, which are dangerous alike to the liberty of the citizen and to the life of the republic; and we stand to-day in the crucial era of our free institutions, of our republican form of government, and of our Christian civilization. Mighty problems confront us, and they must be met in a spirit of fairness, of manliness, of justice, and of equity.

The evils under which the great laboring millions of America are suffering are national in their character, and can never be corrected by sectional effort or sectional remedies. In all the broad field of our noble endeavor as an order, there is no purpose grander in its design, more patriotic in its conception, or more beneficent in its possible results to the whole country and to posterity, than the one in which we declare to the world that henceforth there shall be no sectional lines across Alliance territory, failing in all else we may undertake as an organization, if we shall accomplish only a restoration of fraternity and unity, and obliterate the unnatural estrangement which has unfortunately so long divided the people of this country, the Alliance will have won for itself immortal glory and honor. In the spirit of a broad and liberal patriotism, it recognizes but one flag and one country. Confronted by a common danger, afflicted with a common evil, impelled by a common hope, the people of Kansas and Virginia, of Pennsylvania and Texas, of Michigan and South Carolina, make common cause in a common interest. The order recognizes the fact that the war ended in 1865, that chattel slavery is gone, and that the prejudices and divisions, born of its existence, should go with it.

Happily for the country and posterity, the great mass of the people have become aroused to this truth, and they have severed sectional lines in twain. The ex-slave holder of the South, who believed that he held the slaves not only by constitutional but by divine right, and who bravely imperilled his life to defend the institution, to-day stands hand-in-hand with him who was born and reared an abolitionist, and who regarded slavery as an unmitigated evil and curse; and disregarding sectional folly and madness, they have solemnly pledged their alliance in a common cause — the cause of a common country.

We cannot fail to see the opportunity of the hour; and, recognizing


that opportunity, we must not forget that it carries with it corresponding responsibilities. The opportunity is for the great, conservative, law-abiding, patriotic masses to assert and establish a perpetual union between the people. The sequent obligation is, that these great masses must discourage, discountenance, and discard from their councils the wicked, demagogical agitators, who for the last twenty-five years have sought to foster discord and dissension that they themselves might thrive.

We are told in sacred history, that, in the olden time, one Jeroboam was crowned a king in Israel. He conceived the absurd idea that to strengthen his people he should divide them; that to fraternize them he should destroy their unity; and he forbade and abolished their annual national meeting at the city of Jerusalem. He erected a golden calf at a place in the north, and one at a place in the south, and directed that the people of the two sections should hold their annual meetings at these places, respectively. We are told that even in that remote age Jeroboam adopted some of the methods of modern politics, in that "he made high priests of the lowest people." The avenging hand of outraged justice was laid upon him. Does history repeat itself? Sectionalism, for purposes of greed and gain, decreed that the people of these United States should be divided; and to perpetuate that division it directed that idols should be erected for the people of the North, and for the people of the South. And has it not "made high priests of the lowest people"? And shall it not be rebuked and destroyed?

Divided, we stand as a Samson shorn of his locks; united, we stand a power that is invincible. Cato fired and thrilled the Roman Senate with the fierce cry, "Carthage must be destroyed." Must we, as citizens of this great republic, emulate such a vengeful spirit? Hannibal, while yet a tender youth, was placed by his father on his knees, and made to swear eternal vengeance against the Romans. Must we, as Christian parents, entail upon our children the bitter legacy of hate? Hundreds of thousands of noble, aspiring, and patriotic young men, all over the land, are manfully undertaking the responsible duties of American citizenship. Born since the war — thank God! — their infant vision was first greeted by the light of heaven, unobscured by the smoke of battle, and their infant ear first caught the sweet sound of hallowed peace, unmingled with the hoarse thundering of hostile cannon. Shall they be taught to cherish, foster, and perpetuate that prejudice and animosity, whose fruits are evil, and only evil?

"Let the dead past bury its dead," and let us, with new hope, new aspirations, new zeal, new energy, and new life, turn our faces toward


the rising sun of an auspicious and inviting future, and reconsecrate ourselves to the holy purpose of transmitting to our posterity a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people," and which shall be unto all generations the citadel of refuge for civil and religious liberty.



"In peace there is nothing so much becomes a man as modest stillness and humility." — RIENZI.

Following the thought of the famous Roman orator, I would fain maintain a "modest stillness"; but I see in our country a condition that never could have existed but for the false and pernicious teachings of those who stir up strife and keep alive the fires of sectional hate.

Do you ask for what purpose is this ceaseless arraignment of the North against the South, and the South against the North, kept up? One who has been chief in the strife, and loudest in his demands for "a solid North against a solid South," says that they have been "alienated by those who sought to prey upon them."

This is surely a frank admission. He further says that "invidious discriminations have robbed them of their substance, and unjust tariffs have repressed their industries." The objects of sectional agitators can not be more fully and tersely stated. Some of them, possibly by reason of their ignorance, were honest in their belief; but with the great majority self-aggrandizement, and the service of an oppressive and unscrupulous combination of public robbers, was the sole end in view.

So successful have been their efforts that the money power of the world has laid tribute upon honest industry, and the laborer, once king, finds himself a pauper, a wanderer, a homeless, nameless stranger in the land of his fathers. Samson, while listening to the siren song of the party Delilah, was shorn of his locks, of his strength, of his manhood, and virtually of his freedom. But some may say, Has sectionalism done all this? Gentle reader, let me ask, Could any other thing have kept the people so blinded to their interest, that, having the ballot in their hands they would have allowed the soul-and-body-destroying, monopolistic influences to wrap their slimy folds around each and every industry, and send the honest toiler shivering to a hovel, and elegant idleness to a palace?


Sectional hate and its other self, party prejudice, have been the means by which monopoly has been enabled to bind the people; and a blind subserviency to party and designing party leaders has been the means by which it has accomplished what in other countries it obtained by violence, bloodshed, conquest, and other forms of oppression.

The favorite method of those who "toil not neither do they spin," is to array those whom they wish to rob against each other. This once accomplished, the rest is easy. Nor is the robbery of industry and a virtual enslavement of the laboring people all the harm that has come from this the most blighting curse that ever came upon the people of free America. It has arrayed brother against brother, and made enemies of those who, by every tie that binds men's hearts together, should have been friends.

Neither time nor space will allow a detail of methods resorted to by those who "alienate the people only to prey upon them." It is through false politics, and politicians more false and designing, that they seek to accomplish their ends, and they have so far succeeded. All have heard the cry of the campaign howler. I shall not attempt to describe him. He is the bane of civilization, the enemy of liberty and humanity. His mission is to stir up old animosities, engender new strifes, fight over dead issues, and write platforms to be read before election and disregarded and forgotten afterwards. He is an "oily" fellow. He has been selected for his fitness for the work he is to perform. With him "it is lawful to deceive, to hire Hessians, to purchase mercenaries, to kill, to mutilate, to destroy," — anything for success. It makes him exceedingly "weary" should any one suggest that the politics of our country be placed upon a higher plane. He worships no god but his own ambition, and that ambition is to be the "cutest" trickster and slyest deceiver of his party; fur well he knows that those who prey upon the people and wealth producers will see his "transcendent ability" and pay well for his treason to the interests he is supposed to represent, and heap "honors" upon him.

There is no sympathy in his heart for the miseries of the millions who, by reason of his infamous schemes, are robbed of home, happiness, and all hope of the future. There is no tear in his eye as the hapless family — the heartbroken father, the sad-faced and weeping mother, and the sorrowing children — find themselves driven from their home to become helpless wanderers up and down the earth. He has never heard the sigh come up from the bosom of his wife as she listens to the reading of the foreclosure summons. Little cares he though tears may fall like rain, though hearts may break, though hope may go out forever from


the hearts and homes of his victims. In his mad rush for office and spoils he has forgotten that there is a just God, who has said: "Vengeance is mine, I will repay."

It is indeed a gloomy picture that the past thirty years present, in this so-called free land of America. Designing demagogues, sustained by the money and monopolistic power of the world, have so far succeeded in deceiving the people, and arraying them against one another, and despoiling them of their homes, the fruits of their labor, and their hope of the future. Liberty, with the great mass, has become an empty farce, and American independence an "iridescent dream."

This for the past; but what, of the future? The early fathers told us that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." Have we been vigilant? Do not political sins bring political death, as surely as moral sins bring moral death, or a violation of the laws of health brings on physical disease and death? The fathers taught us that in unity is strength. Have we as a people obeyed their injunction? Sectionalism, with its agitators, has stood guard over the bursting vaults of the public plunderer, and if any one raised his voice in protest against the infamous robbery, the "bloody shirt" was brought out on one side, and the "Yankee hireling" howlers split the air on the other; and the robbery of the people went on.

But I wanted to take a peep into the future; I wanted to write of the time when sectionalism shall be buried deep. Its grave is being dug now. The "great common people" of the South and of the North are realizing their condition and its cause, and they are meeting together, becoming acquainted, and wondering why they ever should have been enemies.

The stock in trade of the sectional agitator is going below par. He will soon be a thing of the past. He is now in his dying throes, and while some of them are bowing to the inevitable, others are nerving themselves for a last supreme effort. But their time has come. The people are awaking from their lethargy, and they find themselves made beggars while they slept. They are fast learning the truth. The "alienator" is out of a job. The "white rose of peace" is being planted over the grave of sectionalism. It is being watered by the repentant tears of the victims of this hideous monster — sectional strife.

The old leaders, who have been responsible for the sectional hate of the past, are being sent into retirement. New blood and new ideas are coming. The people are looking to the future instead of brooding over the past .They know that they have been robbed by infamous legislation, and that righteous legislation will give them back their homes and happiness again. They are refusing to be mere hewers of wood and


drawers of water for a favored class of money-changers. When the happy time comes that sectionalism is dead and buried out of sight, and is remembered only as a hideous nightmare; when the toiling masses of both North and South shall join hands and remember only that they are brothers, children of a common father, citizens of a common country, with one flag, one destiny, and that they are "Americans all"; and when patriots and not partisans shall rule in legislation, then shall the brotherhood of man be acknowledged, and fraternity, peace, and good-will will come among the people.

When I think of the past, and contemplate the present, and anticipate what may be in store for the common people in the future, if they will be friends and act wisely and contend for, instead of against, each other, I am constrained to quote again from the grand Roman, who, when he found his beloved country ruined and desolate, and his fellow-citizens ground down by the heel of oppression, cried out: "Rouse ye, Romans! rouse ye, slaves! our country yet remains."

Then he told them of that "elder day," when to be a "Roman was greater than to be a king." Shall not we look back with a patriotic longing to that elder day, when to be an American was greater than to be a king?

Though poor, though crouching at the feet of as arrogant and unscrupulous oppressors as ever robbed a widow or starved an orphan, let us remember that our country yet remains.

Brothers of the sunny South, after thirty years, is it not time that the past should be buried? Grant is dead. Lee is no more. Stonewall Jackson and William McPherson gave up their lives on the field of battle, and fill soldiers' graves. Almost the last one of the great commanders, and a majority of their followers, have gone where war is not known; and why should not we, in our memories, let them lie side by side, and over their graves clasp hands and say to each of them, —

"Soldier rest, thy warfare's o'er;
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking;
Dream of battle-fields no more:
Days of danger, nights of waking"?

Will not the proudest monument we can build to their memory be a just and righteous government, that will protect the weak, do justice to all, and be of, for, and by the people? Shall we not build a temple of liberty wherein the poorest and humblest shall have a seat, as well as the rich and arrogant, and where he can feel that he is heir to all the glories which the wisdom of the fathers and the unselfish patriotism of our country can give us? "Let us have peace."


Chapter VII.



This is a very broad subject, and deep as broad. A superficial observer may state, in a very few words, his conception of the objects and purposes of the Farmers' Alliance, but all such statements will be found very unsatisfactory and imperfect; in fact, the most elaborate essay from the most logical mind will not be perfect, because it is impossible for human mind to conceive in detail the objective development of a great moral and ethical force, evolved and perpetuated by conditions that will exist in the future. No man, therefore, can give a perfect definition of the purposes of the Farmers' Alliance; and he who attempts a definition simply gives his own personal conception of the subject, which may be more or less valuable, according as his field of observation and his accuracy of judgment are good or otherwise.

In a broad sense, the purposes of the Farmers' Alliance are — written or expressed and implied — present and future; they cover today a remedy for every evil known to exist and afflict farmers and other producers, and in the future should cover every contingency that may arise, presenting evil to be combatted by means of organization; they are accumulative and ever changing, as the enemy assumes a new guise.

They are written or expressed in the organic and statutory laws of the order, as they have from time to time been enacted and published, and briefly summarized in the declarations of purposes.

They are to be implied from the various positions the order has taken on the issues that it has from time to time met, both local and general, and from the position it may be fairly assumed it will take upon new issues as they may arise in the development of the commercial an educational growth of the country.

To attempt to describe in detail the objects and purposes of the Farmers' Alliance, as shown by the written or expressed laws of the order, and affecting the past and present issues presented, is peculiarly the work of the historian. The object of the present paper must necessarily be confined to such deductions as maybe fairly drawn from the history made, and to point out, in a general way, the principles that must


its action if it shall perpetuate itself as a permanent factor in the development of this great nation. An examination of the past purposes of the order will show that the earliest record we have of a fixed purpose, was that of banding men together to resist the encroachments of land thieves. This seems to have been, at that time, the sole purpose of the order, and was united in with all the vigor possible by the entire membership. In a very short time the whole object seems to have changed, and all the energy of the order was directed towards co-operation to secure lower prices in the purchase of commodities from merchants, and to this end all the lecturers were teaching the policy of concentrating their trade into channels, which by increasing the amount of trade given id special firms or individuals would decrease the profits, and thereby save money for themselves as purchasers. It should be noticed that, accompanying this change of purpose, there was no diminution in the growth or strength of the order. In another year, the object seems to have undergone almost as great a change, for that system of contracts with merchants was entirely discarded, and the whole energy of the order was directed towards establishing a strong business head, conducting its buying and selling, not for profit, but as an auxiliary to the farming effort. Orators, lecturers, and writers were all advocating this with as much zeal as the former object, and the people with one accord were co-operating to secure a new end. And even this change, us shown by the history of the time, was attended with a greater growth than in any preceding period; a growth at that time without a parallel, and an enthusiasm that was all the must ardent advocates could desire.

The history progresses, and in a year or two more this, the most important object, seems in turn to have been set aside, and public attention seems to have crystallized upon the belief that the greatest benefits of the order can only be secured by co-operating to secure the enactment of laws that will stop discrimination against agriculturists as a class. This new departure in the objects of the order, as it is sometimes called, but really this higher development of our conception of the objects of the order, was also attended with the most remarkable growth, far excelling any growth of a like period prior to that time. The conclusion to be drawn from this change in the public conception of the purposes of the order, without any abatement in the growth and development of the movement, must inevitably be, that the growth of the order does not depend upon the conception of those who are filling the offices and acting as leaders in the effort. It does not depend upon the wisdom of any man or set of men; it does not depend, in turn, on the constitution; the peculiar provisions of the organic or statutory laws.


This is evidenced by the fact that the organic law has from time to time been changed, and very materially changed. The statutory law has, at every meeting, been more or less modified and changed to meet new conditions as they arose. There is no way to avoid the conclusion that this great movement does not depend upon the wisdom of those who started it, upon the peculiar features of the organic or statutory law first enacted, or since modified and changed; neither does it depend in any great degree upon the intelligence, energy, wisdom, foresight, or capacity of its officers. The greatest mistakes have failed to retard its growth or development. The most serious misconception of its objects and purposes, by those acting in the most responsible positions, has in like manner failed to interfere with its grand onward march. The fact must therefore be recognized, that it is the highest evolution of modern development; that it is one of a series of steps in the evolution of material progress, in which the power, force, and benign influences of organization shall reach their height. This must evidently be true, because this organization contemplates securing the co-operation of far the most numerous and most conservative and most intelligent class in the universe.

This view of the genesis of the Farmers' Alliance is also calculated to give a correct and acceptable conception of what may be expected of the movement as it reaches higher stages of development. If this is a correct conception of what the Farmers' Alliance is, then it follows of necessity that it will, as time progress, be recognized by the farmers of this country as a great reserve force for good, a sinking fund of power, a savings bank of force and energy, a great, a powerful, and yet an invisible and ever-present something to which they can apply for power to overcome unjust conditions that may arise at every emergency. The co-operation of the conservative, the good, the honest, and the determined, must mean, when properly carried out, the enforcement of justice, equity, and equality.

This conception of the purposes of the order places it above any local or fleeting issue that may be presented, no matter how fierce the conflict may become. It is a co-operation by agriculturists for good and right, for equality and justice. Business contests or political fights may be incidental to these great ends, but they can never supplant them as the objects of the order; and herein lies the certainty of perpetuity, since good and right, equality and justice, are everlasting principles, and present a perpetual issue with error, vice, oppression, and discrimination. It is the old issue in which the Divine Master gave up his life as an example of the devotion due to principle, and on this issue the Alliance


can certainly be made by the farmers of America the great reserve force of the future, which shall, by wise and conservative methods, meet error and injustice in every shape and form. As such, the order is worthy the most sincere devotion and vigorous support of every member. It is a cause upon which every true philanthropist, as well as every member of the order, should ask the blessing of the Divine Ruler of the universe. It is a living, active, practical, and present embodiment of the cause of Jesus Christ. Every man should work for the cause. No man has yet taken the field and worked actively for the Farmers' Alliance who has not himself grown spiritually and morally. It improves every man to work for the right.

This view of the purposes of the Farmers' Alliance shows it worthy the best effort of head, heart, and hand, of every member, and enables us to comprehend the expression often made, that "it is a great educational movement," because it must depend upon education. Agitation and revolution are both calculated to defeat its development, as both must be entirely devoted to a temporary, a local, or a fleeting object that can be obtained, — it would be impossible to agitate or fight for an object that could not be obtained; — but we educate to contend for universal right and justice, which can never be obtained, and still the most good can be secured by striving for it. Hence, methods that contain the elements of agitation or revolution are not in accord with true Alliance methods. This shows that defeat in any direction will only tend to strengthen and stimulate the Alliance to greater efforts, and success will not intoxicate to indiscretion. If it depended upon agitation, defeat would discourage, and success would destroy it, because it would obviate the necessity for its existence.

No business effort could possibly be attended with emoluments enough to compensate for the time and energy employed in this great movement. The temporary agitation, therefore, of any business method as an object of the order, while it may for a time be very popular, must be followed by a reaction, because when it fails to satisfy it will discourage. The business effort is a method, and not an object. The lesson to be taught is, to battle for truth for truth's sake, and then the failure or success of methods will not interfere with the grand onward march of the order. The same may be said of the political efforts of the order; they cannot be its object, but they may be methods. This distinction should be carefully considered and thoroughly understood by every member, in order that each may be able to meet and combat the sophistry of the opposition that is always predicting the speedy dissolution of the order, when it incidentally takes a hand in politics, as it is


often found necessary to do. All men action is incidental to the great and grand object of the order.

In conclusion, the above taken together gives a fair idea of my conception of the objects and purposes of the Farmers' Alliance; and it is one in which there is great satisfaction and consolation. It will justify the greatest sacrifices for the good of the order, whether they are appreciated at the time or not. It will stimulate to renewed exertion in the face of defeat, and it will insure caution and conservatism when flushed with success. It bids us use business, politics, or any other laudable and effective agency necessary to secure the triumph of right and justice, and it heeds not the silly cries that prejudice may bring from the teachings of the doctrine of sectional hatred. Ponder it well, and let us remember that the last sentence in the declaration of purposes is a reiteration of the song of the heavenly hosts that praised God in the presence of the shepherds for the birth of Jesus Christ, saying, "On earth peace, good-will toward men."


Chapter VIII.



A CAREFUL consideration of the working people, farmers, and all other whose livelihood depends upon their labor, has satisfied the writer that this general prostration of trade is the fruit of our financial legislation; that the laws are based on a system wholly wrong and dreadfully vicious; and that the only wise, safe, and permanent remedy lies in the people taking charge of the finances of the country, making their own money in their own way, and issuing it through agencies established by the general government.

Is there anything unreasonable or dangerous in the request that money be issued by the government directly to the people? It must be remembered that the money of every nation is issued by the governing power. In this country Congress is authorized to "coin money and regulate the value thereof," and no other body is so empowered. Every American coin, every piece of money, whether of metal or of paper, which has been given to the people as money, was made and issued to them by authority and direction of Congress. Four hundred million dollars in treasury notes were so made and issued in 1862, and the national banking law was enacted one year later for the express purpose of giving more money to the people. At one time the aggregate amount of treasury notes (greenbacks) and national bank notes in use as money, was more than $700,000,000 dollars. Besides these, some of the bonds were used as money. The government issuing money to the people is not a new or untried proceeding. But what the farmers object to is, that the government unnecessarily uses a very costly channel through which to effect the distribution, and the people are charged with the expense; that is to say, the money is passed to the people through banks, and they — the banks — charge anywhere from ten per cent to twenty-four per cent per annum for making the transfer; whereas, if it were issued to the people directly, without the intervention of the banks or any other private agency demanding profit on the work, the expense would not exceed one to three per cent. If the money is intended for the people (and it is), why not give it to them at once


through government hands, as postage stamps, for example, are given? In the first place, money belongs to the people; the people's general agent, the government, makes the money, every dollar of it, by authority of the people and for them; why, then, should banks or any trafficking agency be permitted to trade in it before it reaches the people to whom it belongs, and for whose use it is intended? That practice is not adopted with respect to anything else which the government does for the people. Whatever else it delivers to them passes through government hands only. What reason can be assigned for delivering treasury notes to the people through banks, that would not apply with equal force to the issuing and delivering to them of patents to public lands, or postage stamps? The object in making and issuing money is, that the people shall have it to use in their business affairs. It would reach them quite as easily and early if sent out through direct channels from the treasury as it does by passing through banks, and it would not cost the people more than from one-tenth to one-eighth as much as the banks and loan agencies compel them to pay. It is believed that this exorbitant charge for the use of money, more than any other one thing, is responsible for the general depression of agriculture.

A change must come. It is inevitable. Farmers cannot pay the principal of their indebtedness if present rates of interest are continued. To pay interest and taxes absorbs all their profits and more. The interest on the indebtedness secured by farm mortgages in ten of the Northwestern States, — Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota. Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska, — it is estimated, is equal to a tax of three per cent on the assessed valuation of all the farms in those States. The estimate is based upon the assumption that one-fourth of the farms are mortgaged for one-third of their value. A large proportion of the farms are not mortgaged, and that makes it harder on the owners of the farms which are mortgaged. The average rate on loans in these States is eight per cent. The owner of the money loaned does not receive more than six to seven per cent perhaps, but the borrower pays at least eight; the difference goes to the loan agents. The average rate of taxation for all purposes is three per cent. To this add the interest tax, and it is plainly impossible for a two per cent business to pay out. The average net profit in western and southern agriculture, the last six years, has not exceeded two per cent. Some remedy is absolutely necessary, and one proposition is to reduce the interest rates to what farmers can afford to pay.

But there is a deeper foundation for the doctrine than this, a broader view of the subject, and there is a good affirmative reason for the


demand. The making and issuing of money is the exercise of a sovereign power, in the common interest of the people. All money so made and issued is intended for the use of the people of the particular country, and not for the use of the people of other countries. The first moneychangers supplied coins of different tribes or nations to persons who needed them, charging for the service, and from that came banks, used as channels through which money was sent to the people, retaining part of it as compensation. The proper function of money is to serve a public use. The principle involved in its issuance operates in the opening and maintaining of common highways, the erecting of public buildings, establishing water-works, ferries, mills, and schools. All these things are for the use of the people in common, and on equal terms. A postage stamp or a money order is issued through government agents to the people at cost, and without discrimination. People use the highway freely, but may not obstruct it or monopolize its use. And its use is given to them at cost. So it is in every matter which the government manages for the people, except only in the matter of money. It appropriates land of citizens for public use, and permits corporations to build and operate railroads on it for the public convenience, permitting them to charge a reasonable compensation, serving all alike and charging all alike. The object of the Interstate Commerce Law is to prevent discriminations, and give service to the people as nearly as practicable at cost.

Money is in no proper sense a commodity. It is a device which the people have made for their own convenience in trade. A merchant doing a cash business uses money just as he uses the street or the railroad, and he ought to be subjected to no more anxiety about a panic in the money market than he is about the closing of the highway. But it is claimed that banks are necessary for this very purpose of getting money to the people. Then the present banking system is a stupendous failure; for, while the number of banks is increasing yearly, which shows that more money is needed, the circulation of bank notes is constantly and steadily diminishing. The average annual increase in the number of banks during eleven years ending with 1890, is 159, and the bank circulation was decreased $225,000,000 between 1882 and 1890. The number of national banks in existence October 31, 1889, was 3319, the greatest number since the inauguration of the system, the Secretary of the Treasury said. The amount of national bank notes out on the 30th day of June, 1882, was $358,742,034, and the amount in circulation September 30, 1889, was $131,383,334. This was the amount secured by bonds. There were $72,279,398 in process of retirement, "represented by deposit of lawful money in the treasury," so that


this amount was actually retired permanently. The amount reported as in circulation was $203,662,732, but the $72,279,398 represented in the treasury, by "lawful money," must be deducted, leaving $131,383,344. This is conclusive evidence that the hanks are consulting their own interests, not those of the government or the people, in the work they do. A retirement of $225,000,000 in seven years is not a satisfactory way of getting money to the people. These banks not only charge high rates of compensation for transferring money from the government to the people, but as soon as bonds became more valuable than their own notes, they railed in the notes and took up the bonds.

It is conceded by all that some change must be made. The Treasurer of the United States, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the President, all call attention to this subject as one of very great importance, and more than twenty bills relating to the same matter have been introduced in the present Congress. The Treasurer, in his report for 1889, says: "In becoming practically the sole issuer of currency, the government has assumed the duty of supplying the needs of the public for a circulating medium." Precisely. That is what the farmers say — that the government has assumed the duty of supplying the needs of the public, not the banks, for a circulating medium. It is the public, and not the banks, that need a circulating medium, and the reason of it is, that the use of money is a public necessity. The proper use of money is not to be dealt in as an article of merchandise, like wheat, or coffee, or cloth, but to supply a public need. Then let banks be relieved from the duty of transferring money to the public, unless they are willing to do the work as government agents, and for actual cost. Let them be shorn of their power to expand or contract the "circulating medium" at pleasure, and let their operations be confined to the legitimate functions of banking under rules prescribed by Congress, so that charges shall not only be reasonable, but equal for similar service. Let them deliver government money to the people at cost, or let some other agency be established. And money, being prepared for a public use, ought to be free from taxation, just as a public road is.

The objection which is urged against the banks is not that they are banks, but that they are unnecessarily put between the government and the people at an enormous expense, which the people are compelled to bear. Let the banks become government agents, that part of their business being directed from one bureau at Washington instead of by a corps of expensive officers at every bank. If that be done, there need be no further objection. The people will then receive money at cost, and that is what they ask for. The way to ascertain when and where


the people need money, and how much of it they need, is to let them tell it themselves to persons who are authorized to furnish the money. When postage stamps or money orders are needed, the post-office, not a bank or a loan agency, is sought. The post-office is established expressly to do that class of business, and all persons fare exactly alike. There is no discrimination in the post-office, and there is no change when the "money market" is agitated. There are no "Black Fridays" in the postal business. The amount of money needed is not regulated by rates of interest, but the amount asked for or actually used depends largely upon what it costs. If it commands six to ten per cent in the market, much less will be used than if the rate were two per cent or one per cent, though the amount needed is the same. This rule is well understood, and as applied here it answers a question which is often asked: "How shall we get government money into circulation?" The way is easy, the method simple. Establish agencies to supply the people with money, leaving them to say how much they need, just as they do now; but let money go out at cost; then a great deal more of it will be used, and its effect will soon be seen in better prices and greater thrift among producers.

There are two classes of people needing money on loans, — those who want the use of it a long time, and those who want it but a short time. This distinction renders necessary two different classes of agencies for distribution, — one for short-time loans on personal security, the other for long-time loans on real estate securities. For the former purpose national banks, under proper regulation, will do as well as any other agency which could be devised, and probably better than any one of some which may be suggested. But for the latter something altogether different must be provided. For long-time loans let a loan bureau be established in the Treasury Department (under direction of the comptroller of the currency, who now has supervision of the banks), consisting of three commissioners, and agencies in the several States and Territories, with such clerical assistance as may be needed, the commissioners to apportion the work and superintend its execution. A central agency, located at the capital of a State, might be made the distributing point for that State; operating, through local agencies, at such convenient places as would best accommodate the people, not exceeding say five or seven in a State like Kansas, and twice as many in Texas, five in Pennsylvania, three in Massachusetts, and so on, extent of territory as well as population being considered in the apportionment. The persons in charge of these agencies would enter into bonds, as postmasters and other financial officers do. Long and abundant


experience proves that government money it perfectly secured by bonds which citizens can give. The mode of operation might be about the same as that now in practice by the most reliable and successful real estate and loan agencies, except, chiefly, that charges to the borrower shall not exceed what it actually costs to perform the work, — which to about one per cent per annum on the amount borrowed. The experience of the best loan companies shows that when considerable amounts are handled, one per cent it ample to pay all expenses. One example may be cited: A well-organized, well-managed Western loan agency has been doing an average business of $2,000,000 annually for some years, with an average force of twenty persons, whose salaries do not exceed $1,000 a year. This is equal to one per cent on the amount of business transacted. A considerable part of the work done by a private company would not be required in a government agency. No outside agents, except examiners, would be required; and if one examiner were kept in every county, to be transported from place to place by applicants for loans, the expense of that department might be materially lessened. One per cent will pay all expenses of the proposed plan as an entirety. The persons in charge of the agency should be strictly business men, — not politicians, — and appointed on recommendation of business men. The superintendent of the central agency might be appointed by the President, and he (the superintendent) should appoint all the local officers, who in turn would employ such assistants as might be needed, subject to approval of the general superintendent.

This scheme has all been thought out in detail, but there is not room here to give more than a general outline of it. It is altogether practical, simply applying existing methods in an improved plan. Even in the matter of foreclosing a mortgage, the government would be doing no more than it has done a thousand times in the same courts which would have jurisdiction in cases arising under the proposed plan, the difference being only that in one case the parties were both citizens; in the other, one of them would be the government. Land sold in favor of the government would become government land subject to public sale to the highest bidder.

For loans on personal security and for short time, this plan may be adopted: amend the national banking law so that lawful money, instead of bonds, may be deposited as security for circulation; let banks with small capital be established in small places, say as low as $15,000 to $20,000, limiting loans to small amounts. No loan shall be made for more than ninety days, charges not to exceed what would be equal to


one-fourth of one per cent for thirty days; five-twelfths of one per cent for sixty days; and one-half of one per cent for ninety days. Permit increase of circulation according to public needs. The withdrawal of bank notes from circulation would not affect the volume of currency, because the notes are secured by lawful money, on deposit, and as fast as notes are retired, an equal amount of lawful money is put out in their place; for this reason no restriction as to retirement of bank notes need be placed upon the banks.

From and after the inauguration of the proposed system, all moneys shall be non-taxable. If bonds are not taxed, — and they ought not to be, — then the money of the people ought not to be taxed in anybody's hands, except it be in cases where it is hoarded in large amounts, and thus kept out of circulation. Lands used for a public highway are not taxed, though lands adjoining are. Money used by the people in the transaction of their ordinary business, in facilitating exchanges of the value of commodities, ought not to be taxed, and the use of money as a commodity ought to be prohibited. No man has any more moral right to monopolize the use of money than he has to exact tribute from persons who travel on the highway, and the legal right ought to be taken away. Money is not to be used for purposes of private speculation, because it is made for the common use of the people as they need it. It is not proposed to keep money on tap for persons to draw at will, as they would draw water from a public fountain; but for those only who are willing to pay the cost of delivery, as is done in obtaining the service of a railway or ferry company. The fare must be paid, or the service will not be rendered. So in this case, money will not be delivered to persons who are not willing to pay the cost of handling it and secure the return of an equivalent at the time agreed upon. It is proposed only to issue money directly to the people as they need it, and as nearly as practicable at cost, on condition that they pay the expense and return a sum equal to that received. The only change from present methods in this respect consists in the lower rate of charges, and in the money being non-taxable. Working people will earn money just as they do now; but this scheme, if put in operation, will force money into productive industry instead of into mortgages, as now, thus creating new and permanent demand for labor; it will increase the value of products of labor, and that will be good cause for demanding advance in wages. Nothing is proposed which is not now being done in all parts of the country. The changes would be only two: (1) the government would take charge of the work, and (2) the people would get the use of their money at rates which they can afford to pay. It would not require a


force of more than about three or four thousand persons to operate all the agencies required in the whole country, and they would do as much work as is now done by nearly a hundred times that number, all living off of commissions which borrowers must pay. Three hundred agencies, with an average force of ten persons each, would be enough for some years to come, and one per cent would pay all the expenses of the loan bureau.

Money put out on short time and on personal security requires more time and closer attention, with some personal risk to the agent; the expense is necessarily greater, and for that reason the charges are higher. The banks would go right along as they are now doing, with the changes before suggested. If it be objected that there are too many details for the government to look after, compare it with the Post-Office Department, which consists of a central establishment at Washington, with 59,000 branches in different parts of the country, in charge of 150,000 persons, all looking after details, and doing a business amounting to more than $1,000,000,000 annually.

Where will the money come from to start this scheme? As before stated, the national banks have withdrawn from circulation, since 1882, $225,000,000 of their notes. The steady increase in the number of banks (average 159 yearly the last eleven years, as before shown) is evidence conclusive that, judged from the banks' own standpoint, the business of the country is increasing, needing additional banking facilities, and it would seem reasonable that a larger circulation would be needed as much as more banks. But the circulation was contracted by the banks to the amount stated, and this contraction covers precisely the same period in which farming has become discouragingly unprofitable. With the retirement of national bank circulation, prices of wheat, corn, cattle, cotton, and other farm products, and manufactured articles, except sugar, fell about thirty per cent. Let us restore that circulation, and add to it as much as would have been a reasonable expansion, — say $8,500,000 annually, — and issue treasury notes for the whole amount, — $300,000,000. On the first day of March, 1878, the national bank circulation was $313,888,740; and on the first day of October, 1882, it was $356,060,348, 060,348, showing an average annual increase of $8,434,321 during the period of five years. A like increase during the next seven years, to 1889, would have increased the volume of currency $59,040,247. To this add the $100,000,000 held as reserve for the redemption of treasury notes, and the cash balance, whatever it be, — say $50,000,000, — and we have about $450.000.000 available money to begin with. Repeal the resumption law so far as it requires the holding of a redemption fund; establish


free and unlimited coinage or use of silver, at present weight and fineness using the coin or bullion as basis for the circulation of paper certificates. This fresh money could be used for the immediate relief of persons whose homes are mortgaged — to secure debts which are due. They would pay their debts, and the money would at once begin to circulate where it is most needed, — among the toilers. Instead of being used for speculation, it would be used in building, in manufacturing, in mining, in transportation, in making homes, in erecting permanent improvements, and in every legitimate way, where poor as well as rich would receive equal benefit from its use. Being worth less as a commodity to traffic in, because production and traffic yield a profit greater than one per cent per annum, there will be no temptation to deal exclusively in money. And the banks will receive as much profit on the same amount of business as they do now, because relieved from all taxation on their notes and other moneys, and without risk of loss from "corners" and "runs" — the work of gamblers. Money not being taxable, the banks would enjoy an advantage from that source equal to an average of about three per cent per annum — in the new States a little more, in the old ones a little less.

This particular scheme is not presented as that of the farmers or of any association. It is an individual contribution to the discussion of the question, — how to get money from the government directly to the people, and at cost. As before intimated, the details have all been thought out, but it is not possible to give more than a skeleton of the plan in this place.

It may be objected that a sudden reduction of interest would be equivalent to the confiscation of a large amount of property now invested in money. That, too, has been considered. Did those who thus object estimate in advance the effect of contracting the currency to resume specie payment, increasing the value of money and reducing the value of everything else? Did they think about how much farmers would lose by the operation of that dreadful process? And if they did think of it did they care? When they now look out over the four and a half million farms of the country, and see that everything there is depressed by reason of low prices, and when they learn that this condition has been present some half-dozen years, are their hearts troubled, and do they feel that the debtor has been wronged and that they are responsible?

Millions of dollars have been sunk by this heartless forcing down of prices, adding to the gains of the already rich. The government is not under obligations to furnish investments for its citizens, but it is bound to supply them with money. The poor have lost enough. Let them have some benefit now from the just protection of the government.


What are the special advantages of the proposed plan?

First, It would dethrone the money power and make panics impossible.

Second, It would add twenty-five per cent to the value of all commodities in general use, — farm products and manufactured goods more particularly.

Third, It would save to their owners the homes of a million families within ten years.

Fourth, It would afford a good investment for persons of small means.

Fifth, It would force money into circulation and keep it there.

Sixth, It would aid poor people to obtain homes on the public lands.

Seventh, It would encourage the organization of building associations, securing homes for mechanics and other persons of limited means in cities.

Eighth, It would bring banking privileges close to the people.

Ninth, It would afford a ready means of relief to farmers who wish to hold their crops a few months; elevator and warehouse receipts would secure money at low rates on short time.

Tenth, A complete record of private mortgages would be kept.

Eleventh, It would establish a monetary system that with little change, and that to simplify it and lessen the cost, would be permanently satisfactory to the people.


Chapter IX.



SINCE President Lincoln issued his emancipation proclamation, January 1, 1863, no question has provoked more discussion and serious consideration than this one, and after twenty-eight years of discussion and legislation, until recently the question seemed no nearer solution than it did when the famous proclamation was issued. Writers of every character, both white and black, have taken a turn at its discussion, and have widely differed as to the means to be employed in its solution.

In writing this short article, I fully realize the gravity of the subject I have in hand, and will therefore remain near the shore. It is not my purpose to solve this question, but simply to give my experience with the negro in the South, coupled with such facts and suggestions as will enable those who know but very little of the real conditions that exist in the South, to form correct ideas in regard to the true conditions that exist between the great masses of the white and colored people of the South. I shall be perfectly satisfied with my effort, if I am able to elicit one thought, word, or deed that will help to bring about a better understanding all over this country, that will bring peace and prosperity to the great common people, both white and black.

I hope the reader will pardon me for alluding to myself in this connection just enough to state that I was born on a farm in middle Georgia. At the time I was born my father was a slave-owner. I have been intimately associated with the negro on the farm, all my life, and know something of the relation of the two races from actual experience. What I have to say on this subject shall be entirely free from all party spirit, and solely in the interest of truth.

After the war, when the negro found himself a citizen of the United States, he was besieged by a class of pretended friends (I allude to the carpet-baggers from the North) who have proven to be his worst enemies. To control them politically, these same carpet-baggers promised each head of a family forty acres of land and a mule, if he would vote right; that is, for the carpet-baggers. The poor negro was not only promised this, but social equality with the whites, and a great many other things


which, since he has found out better, he neither needs nor wants. The negro at that time followed willingly the lead of these fellows, because he had no one else to follow, politically. The white people of the Sooth ignored him politically, and hated him, because he followed those whom they knew to be enemies of good government. Under such circumstances, the negro was easily led to believe that his old master was his worst enemy, and would again enslave him if he could, though when he would get into trouble or business complications of any kind, the first man to whom he would apply for advice and counsel would be his old master, who would almost invariably give him the best advice, and very often protect and defend him in his business affairs.

Thus the two races lived for several years after the war. As years passed on, the negro found that the promises of the politician were made only to be broken. When this dawned upon him, he at once began to rely upon himself, and from that day he began to make progress. He realized the fact that, if he was ever independent and happy, he would have to educate himself and acquire property.

All the Southern States have public school systems. The whites and blacks are required to attend separate schools, though the black child receives the same amount of public school fund that the white child does. In my own State — Georgia — the colored children receive more money, in the way of public school funds, than the whole colored population in that State pays taxes of every kind; therefore they do not contribute anything toward supporting the State government. This statement will doubtless appear strange to those who are unacquainted with the facts, and have only heard the demagogue's side of the question. However, an honest investigation among the white and colored farmers (and they constitute a large majority of the population) will reveal many such facts.

The negroes are making a heroic effort to educate the rising generation, and will send their children to school, when the public schools are opened, whether they have anything to eat and wear or not. They will make any kind of sacrifice to send their children to school.

A great mistake has been made, and doubtless thousands of honest people have formed erroneous opinions in regard to the relations of the great masses of the two races in the South, basing their opinions upon the reports of riots and other disturbances in the towns and cities, in which, nine times out of ten, no one took any part except a few worthless negroes, who generally work by the day at some public work, and a few drunken white men, who lounge around the saloons and street corners, and whittle goods boxes. I have never heard of a race riot or


disturbance of any kind in the rural districts of the South, except two or three instances that occurred soon after the war, in what is called the Black Belt of South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

For partisan political purposes, these riots among the worthless whites and blacks about the towns have been paraded in the partisan press of the country for the purpose of keeping the old fire of sectional hate fanned into a flame. Such things have been used in the North by the politician, in the press and on the stump, to continue a solid Republican North, pretendedly that the Southern brigadier might be kept under; while the same class of politicians in the South has used the same thing to keep a solid Democratic South, pretendedly that negro supremacy might be kept down. The people of the North and South have listened to these politicians, while plutocracy has done its perfect work in robbing both.

The politician in the South has seemingly been in mortal fear of the negro in politics, all the while, but has so managed as to keep the negro in a solid political phalanx. If the negro was such a menace to good government, and the inferior race mentally, morally, socially, and naturally, why have such tactics always been used as would keep them in one solid political party?

The true answer to this question will perhaps shed more light upon this subject than a great many are willing to admit is true. It is admitting a thing that the evidence will not sustain, if we should claim that a superior race, that has enjoyed the blessings of civilization, education, and culture for ages, is unable to persuade an inferior race; and if persuasion were not the thing to use, there were various other expedients to which easy access could have been had, to divide their vote so that negro supremacy would have forever been out of the question.

To convince the reader that the negro vote could have been divided long ago, and will be divided in the near future, I will make a short quotation from a newspaper article, written last February, by Rev. J. L¨, Moore, a colored Methodist minister of Crescent City, Florida, who was a delegate to the meeting of the Colored National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union, which met at Ocala, Florida, at the same time the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union met there. The article quoted from was written in reply to an editorial that appeared in one of the partisan newspapers of Jacksonville, Florida, on the race question. It is as follows: —

"According to our privileges, I think we have helped the white men all they could expect under our condition; and we are not clamoring for social relations with the whites either. We do not want to eat at their tables, sleep in their beds,


neither ride in the cars with them; but we do want as good fare as the whites receive for the same consideration. As to the Alliance, in the language of Hon. R. M. Hawley of Missouri, we believe this to be its mission: —

"‘No protection to party favorites; no force bills to keep up party and sectional prejudices; no secret caucuses by members of Congress or members of the legislatures, to consider matters of legislation. Let these be abolished by law. Also abolish all party primary elections and party conventions for nominating candidates, and provide for a people's primary election, where every voter can write on his ticket the name of any person be prefers for any office, from President down to constable. Let the proper county, State, and national officers, who shall be designated by law, receive the returns, count up and authorize the result, which shall he that the candidate receiving the highest number of votes, and the one receiving the next highest number for each office shall be declared the contending candidates for final election. This would empty polities of party strife and all its concomitant evils, and lead to the representation of the leading industry of each district in Congress, and county in the State legislatures. Party blindness would be removed, and let in the clear light of the science of economical government. I believe that non-partisanism will not reach its full and natural results till these things are accomplished; and this I believe to be the mission of the Alliance.’

"But, Mr. Editor, can we do anything while the present parties have control of the ballot-box, and we (the Alliance) have no protection? The greatest mistake, I see, the farmers are now making, is this: The wily politicians see and know that they have to do something, therefore they are slipping into the Alliance, and the farmers, in many instances, are accepting them as leaders; and if we are to have the same leaders, we need not expect anything else but the same results. The action of the Alliance in this reminds me of the man who first put his hand in the lion's mouth, and the lion finally bit it off; and then he changed, to make the matter better, and put his head in the lion's mouth, and therefore lost his head. Now, the farmers and laboring men know in what manner they were standing before they organized: they lost their hands, so to speak; now, organized in one body or head, if they give themselves over to the same power that took their hand, it will likewise take their head.

"Now, Mr. Editor, I wish to say, if the laboring men of the United States will lay down party issues and combine to enact laws for the benefit of the laboring man, I, as County Superintendent of Putman County Colored Farmers' Alliance, and member of the National Colored Farmers, know that I voice the sentiment of that body, representing, as we did, 750,000 votes, when I say we are willing and ready to lay down the past, take hold with them irrespective of party, race, or creed, until the cry shall be heard from the Heights of Abraham of the North to the Everglades of Florida, and from the rock-bound coast of the East to the golden Eldorado of the West, that we can heartily indorse the motto, ‘Equal rights to all, and special privileges to none.’"

It is a pretty general custom with the Democratic party in the South, that when the county executive committee meets to arrange for and call a primary election, to nominate candidates for any office, it passes a resolution setting forth that no one except white Democrats will be allowed to vote in that election. This county executive committee is generally made up of the political bosses of the county, — the ones who are looking forward to the loaves and fishes. Why not let colored Democrats


vote in a primary election? The politician says to himself: "That would never do; for then we would soon have the negro vote divided, and the bugaboo of negro supremacy would vanish like the mist before the sunshine, and my occupation, like Othello's, would be forever gone."

Judging from the signs of the times, the professional partisan politicians, both South and North, have had their day, and honest, good men will soon rise up and administer the affairs of this nation in the interest of right and justice. Henry W. Grady uttered the true sentiments of the great mass of the Southern people, especially the farmers, when, in his speech before the New England Society of New York, he gave utterance to the following eloquent extract taken from that speech: —

"But what of the negro? Have we solved the problem he presents, or progressed in honor and equity toward solution? Let the record speak to the point. No section shows a more prosperous laboring population than the negroes of the South; none in fuller sympathy with the employing and landowning class. He shares our school fund, has the fullest protection of our laws and the friendship of our people. Self-interest, as well as honor, demands that he should have this. Our future, our very existence, depends upon our working out this problem in full and exact justice. We understand that, when Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation, your victory was assured, for he then committed you to the cause of human liberty, against which the arms of man cannot prevail [applause] — while those of our statesmen who trusted to make slavery the corner-stone of the Confederacy doomed us to defeat as far as they could, committing us to a cause that reason could not defend or the sword maintain in the sight of advancing civilization. [Renewed applause.]

"Had Mr. Toombs said, which he did not say, ‘that he could call the roll of his slaves at the foot of Bunker Hill,’ he could have been foolish, for he might have known that whenever slavery became entangled in war it must perish, and that the chattel in human flesh ended forever in New England when your fathers — not to be blamed for parting with what didn't pay — sold their slaves to our fathers — not to be praised for knowing a paying thing when they saw it. [Laughter.] The relations of the Southern people with the negro are close and cordial. We remember with what fidelity for four years he guarded our defenseless women and children whose husbands and fathers were fighting against his freedom. To his eternal credit be it said that, whenever he struck a blow for his own liberty he fought in open battle, and when at last he raised his black and humble hand, that the shackles might be struck off, those hands were innocent of wrong against his helpless charges and worthy to be taken in loving grasp by every man who honors loyalty and devotion. [Applause.] Ruffians have maltreated him, rascals have misled him, philanthropists established a bank for him, but the South, with the North, protest, against injustice to this simple and sincere people. To liberty and enfranchisement is as far as law can carry the negro. The rest must be left to conscience and common sense. It must be left to those among whom his lot is cast, with whom he is indissolubly connected, and whose prosperity depends upon their possessing his intelligent sympathy and confidence. Faith has been kept with him in spite of calumnious assertions to


the contrary, by those who assume to speak for us, of by frank opponents. Faith will be kept with him in the future, if the South holds her reason and integrity. [Applause.] "

The above was delivered before a Northern audience; and to show that Mr. Grady was perfectly sincere in every word he said on this subject, I will now give an extract from a speech delivered by him at the Augusta, Georgia, Exposition, in 1889, which is as follows: —

"As for the negro, let us impress upon him what he already knows, that his best friends are the people among whom he lives, whose interests are one with his, and whose prosperity depends on his perfect contentment. Let us give him his uttermost rights, and measure out justice to him in that fulness the strong should always give to the weak. Let us educate him that he may be a better, a broader, and more enlightened man. Let us lead him in steadfast ways of citizenship, that he may not longer be the sport of the thoughtless, and the prey of the unscrupulous. Let us inspire him to follow the example of the worthy and upright of his race, who may be found in every community, and who increase steadily in numbers and influence. Let us strike hands with him as friends — and as in slavery we led him to heights which his race in Africa had never reached, so in freedom let us lead him to a prosperity of which his friends in the North have not dreamed. Let us cute him know that he, depending more than any other on the protection and bounty of government, shall find in alliance with the best elements of the whites, the pledge of safe and impartial administration. And let us remember this — that whatever wrong we put on him shall return to punish us. Whatever we take from him in violence, that is unworthy and shall not endure. What we steal from him in fraud, that is worse. But what we win from him in sympathy and affection, what we gain in his confiding alliance, and confirm in his awakening judgment, that is precious and shall endure — and out of it shall come healing and peace. [Applause.]"

Every time the partisan politician speaks on this subject he purposely complicates and makes it worse; but thanks to an all-wise Providence for the power that now rests in the hands of the Farmers' Alliance, which has taken up this great question where the noble Grady laid it down. Until the advent of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union and the Colored Farmers, the negroes, as a class, have taken but very little interest in politics for several years. They lost their former faith in politics and politicians, which was very natural to one acquainted with the fact that they had always been loyal partisans, and for their devotion and zeal they had been paid off with a few appointments as postmasters in, most generally, third or fourth-class post-offices.

Since the negroes have been organized into the Farmers' Alliance, they have made considerable progress in the study of economic questions, and, judging from the utterances of their leaders, they are willing and anxious to sever all past party affiliations, and join hands with the white farmers of the South and West in any movement looking to a


betterment of their condition. The white farmers of the South, while they are more reluctant to cut loose from party, are perfectly willing and ready to take the negro by the hand and say to him: We are citizens of the same great country; we have the name foes to face, the tame ills to bear; therefore our interests as agriculturists are one, and we will co-operate with you, and defend and protect you in all your rights.

In proof of the above, I will simply submit the agreement entered into by the National Fanners' Alliance and Industrial Union and the Colored National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union, at their meetings in the city of Ocala, Florida, on the second day of December, 1890, which is as follows: —

"Your committee on above beg leave to report that we visited the Colored Farmers' National Alliance and Co-operative Union Committee, and were received with the utmost cordiality, and after careful consultation it was mutually and unanimously agreed to unite our orders upon the basis adopted December 5, 1890, a basis between the National farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union and the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association; to adopt the St. Louis platform as a common basis, and pledge our orders to work faithfully and earnestly for the election of legislators, State and national, who will enact the laws to carry out the demands of said platform; and to more effectually carry it into effect recommend the selection of five men from each national body, two of whom shall be the president and secretary, respectively, who shall, with similar committees from other labor organizations, form a Supreme Executive Board, who shall meet as often as may be deemed necessary, and upon the joint call of a majority of the presidents of the bodies joining the confederation; and when so assembled, after electing a chairman and secretary, shall be empowered to do such things for the mutual benefit of the various orders they represent as shall be deemed expedient; and shall, when officially promulgated to the national officers, be binding upon their bodies until reversed by the action of the national assemblies themselves — political, educational, and commercial; and hereby pledge ourselves to stand faithfully by each other in the great battle for the enfranchisement of labor and the laborers from the control of corporate and political rings; each order to bear its own members' expense on the Supreme Council, and be entitled to as many votes at they have legal voters in their organization. We recommend and urge that equal facilities, educational, commercial, and political, be demanded for colored and white Alliance men alike, competency considered, and that a free ballot and a fair count will he insisted upon and had, for colored and white alike, by every true Alliance man in America. We further recommend that a plan of district Alliances, to conform to district Alliances provided for in this body, be adopted by every order in confederation, with a district lecturer, and county Alliances organized in every county possible, and that the lecturers and officers of said district and counties co-operate with each other in conventional, business, educational, commercial, and political matters."

After the above agreement was entered into, the following communication was received from the Colored National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union: —


"To the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, convened at Ocala December 3, 1890. Alliance and Co-operative Union recognizes your fraternal greeting; gladly do we accept your right hand, and pledge ourselves to the fullest co-operation and confederation in all essential things."

To one who feels a deep interest in this matter, this looks more like a step in the direction of settling this question in the South thin anything that has ever been done since the question existed.

"God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform," and who knows but that he has raised up a Moses, in the person of these farmers' organizations, to lead us out of these our troubles? So mote it be.


Chapter X.



In the campaign of the fall of 1890, in Kansas, a new party sprang into power, which gained strength with a rapidity never before equalled. What was the cause that produced this sudden rebellion against the Republican party? What was the cause of the uprising of the farmers, and what is the remedy for the evils of which they complain? All these are questions pressing for answers; in fact, they must be answered correctly, and the remedy be applied, if this government is to continue to be a free government by the people. It is not always safe, perhaps, to trust a sick man to diagnose his own case; neither can you trust to quacks who profess to cure all ills to which flesh is heir with one quack remedy.

We seem to have once again entered one of those periods in which nations have been confronted with these same questions: like the riddle of the Sphynx, not to answer was to be destroyed. Never before in the history of the world were there such momentous questions; never before in the history of the world was the welfare of the human race so bound up in the solving of these problems. We must now and here settle whether or not we are capable of self government. We must grapple with, and master, this monster which has eaten up the substance of the producers of wealth in every land. The voters of Kansas are the best representatives of the agricultural class of a half-dozen of the best agricultural States in the Union; they have come West to better their condition; they are a part of that great throng which is always pressing ahead into new countries, trying to escape the oppression of the men who live off their labor; but they find that in Kansas, as in other States, it is impossible to get from under the load which is continually being shifted upon their shoulders, and which grows heavier from year to year. They have found that, in the last twenty-five years, the country, under the control of the great Republican party, has passed into the hands of the money power, the capitalists of the country, who have doubled the oppression of the agricultural classes. Having cried in vain for relief through the Republican and Democratic parties, they are at last driven


to desperation, and have resolved to take the political management of the State into their own hands. Out of the necessity to adjust these questions grew up the Alliance movement in Kansas.

They began to inquire how it is that in this new State, with its boundless resources, improved machinery, skilled labor, and its improved means of transportation, the farmers are getting deeper in debt each year; that this new State, that twenty-five years ago was without debt, is now so hopelessly encumbered that it would not sell for enough to pay its debts. This certainly is not caused by the failure of crops, for the crop of Kansas will average with that of any other State in the Union; and Kansas has each year a surplus of wheat, com, hogs, and cattle.

Some of our public men have said that it was over-production, that we have been raising too much wheat, corn, hogs, and cattle for the world's use. Others have said that it is because the farmers are too extravagant. Others that they are idle and spend their time in talking politics. Others that the farmers do not employ the best methods of farming, and do not understand how to make the soil produce the most with the smallest amount of land and labor. All of which is contradictory and unsatisfactory, and we must look further for the true cause. They made the discovery after they had lighted the lights in school-houses and began to study and discuss these economic questions. They learned that what a farmer wants when he raises a crop of corn and wheat and other products of the farm, is a trade his surplus of such products for the things which he needs; that he must produce on his farm what he must exchange for the products of the manufacturer, and turn them into money value, which represents the value of all articles. He found that, under the present system of trade, he was prevented from making this exchange with the men who would give him the best bargain; that he would be fined, in fact, from forty-seven to fifty-two per cent for his trade, and compelled to trade in the market where there is no competition, where competition has been destroyed by laws passed in the interest of the manufacturer; and through these laws he is forced to bargain with the men who will give him the least of the things he wants for the greatest amount of the things which he does not want, and so he grows poorer and poorer from year to year and consumes less. As this goes on, the manufacturer making the articles the farmer should consume soon learns that his custom is falling off, and that he must reduce the number of his employees and the wages of those retained. The laborers thus thrown out of employment must also reduce their expenses, and are forced to use less of the products of the farm and


factory. In this way is brought about what the political wiseacres call an over-production, which is in fact under-consumption. There is an over-production of too many farmers, laborers, manufacturers, professional men, merchants, railroads; in fact, too many of everybody. There are particularly too many fools who vote to keep up such a system of government, which obstructs trade and progress, and brings poverty and distress upon the whole land.

Then, again, when the farmer sends his surplus to market the railroads lie in wait fur him. In effecting his exchange he must use this great public highway, and he finds that what should be a public blessing is turned into an engine of oppression, and that all the benefits growing out of this great invention are given to the large corporations, which are enabled to rob the people through special privileges granted by laws passed by a Congress whose election has been secured by the free use of money wrung from the people by the charge upon watered stock.

Another cause of poverty among the farmers is our system of indirect taxation. Under this system a man is taxed on what he spends, and as the average income of the Western farmer is not more than $500 per annum, be spends at least $350 of this to support his family. One-third of this is taken from him by indirect taxation, or in bounties to capitalists or rich corporations. The balance of his income is used up in paying State and municipal taxes. To cover this loss that falls upon him from year to year, he is forced to take out a mortgage on his farm. Then it is that he falls a prey to the grandest robber of them all, the loan agent or shark, who demands upon a mortgage of $500, in some instances, as high as twenty per cent for securing the loan, and from ten to fifteen per cent for insuring the small buildings on the farm, and then raises doubts about the claimant's right to prove up on it at the land-office, and extracts ten or fifteen per cent for securing the poor settler's title to the land upon which he has lived and worked hard for over five years, in accordance with the homestead law.

The farmer, of course, demurs at this exaction; but the time has come when he must buy improved machinery, and pay debts previously contracted, and the government fees at the land-office before he can prove up. He and his wife, fearing that that they must give up the fruits of their labor and struggles to build up a new home, sign the papers, and, after the Shylock's exactions, receive from two to three hundred dollars out of the $500 twelve per cent mortgage, and divide the balance of the swag between the loan agent and the banker, who sells the mortgage, knowing how it has been obtained, to his neighbors, friends, or kinsmen in the East, for the full face of the mortgage, and swaggers around town


as a great financier. The mortgage usually contains the provisions that the buildings shall be kept insured, and the taxes paid on the farm, or foreclosure and eviction can be summarily enforced on the settler, leaving him and his family, with his homestead rights to take up public land gone, in a strange land without home or friends.

How could it be possible under such a system that the rich should fail to grow richer and the men of moderate means should rapidly fall into the ranks of the extremely poor? Then is it any wonder that the men who followed "old John Brown" into Kansas, on the principle that it was wrong to rob the black man of the fruits of his toil, should rebel when their own welfare is at stake? It can easily be seen that, after waiting year after year for the Republican party to come to their relief, and each succeeding year seeing relief further off, and that the State had fallen into the hands of the worst political crew that ever cursed any country, under the domineering rule of this arrogant party, controlled by this aristocratic ring of political office-seekers, who cared only for their own advancement, forbearance ceased to be a virtue, and the farmers were wise in resolving to take charge of things themselves. They made the discovery that for long years they had been blinded to their own interests by designing politicians, who kept alive the old war issues and prejudices. They resolved to cast aside the chief apostle of this doctrine of hate, John J. Ingalls, and thereby set an example to the rest of the country, particularly to the South. They saw that new issues would be brought to the front that were pressing for adjustment; therefore it was time to bury the old ones. With this new declaration of independence, called the "St. Louis Demands," they commenced a political revolution that bids fair to sweep from one end of the country to the other, and drive from place and power the men who fattened upon the labor of the people. That this will be no easy task all history will testify; for the oppressor never lets go without a struggle, whether he wields his power through military force, the Church, by controlling money, trade, commerce, transportation, through cunningly devised schemes of legislation, or by holding men in chattel slavery. All history proves that this is the selfish, brutal part of the human race, which knows in law but force.

Now this rebellion in Kansas is against this principle. The people have been driven to it by oppression from the moneyed class of this country. They have served notice upon the politicians of the country that, from this time on, the farmers of this country are going to take a hand in its politics.


Chapter XI.



The needs of the South are peculiar, rendered so by a combination of circumstances that the outside world is slow to understand. No other civilized and Christianized people have been so misunderstood and misjudged. Since the war between the States, the magazine correspondents, newspaper scribblers, and politicians, combined with those who knew the former power and greatness of the South socially, politically, and financially, and actuated purely by prejudice and jealousy, were determined that her reconstruction should never lead to her former prestige. These have all placed the South and her environments before an inquiring world in a false light. Nothing has been given so freely, "without money and without price," to the struggling South as advice. This, as usual, comes from people either ignorant of our needs or wilfully opposed to the betterment of our condition, and has proven as worthless as gratuitous.

It would prove an interesting chapter in the history of the South if this intermeddling in detail, and the real condition of the people, could be spread out before the civilized world. To do so in this article would neither be appropriate nor consistent with the object for which it is written.

We often come to correct conclusions more readily by looking at the negative side of a proposition. There are many things the South does not and never will need, and there are other things that she may, in her future development, require that are inopportune now. There are two great questions that effect her interest: What are her present and possible needs? and how are they to be obtained? To present this more clearly, we reassert, first, the things she does not need should be shown.

The South does not need a moneyless immigration. This has been a wild and visionary demand, both from home and abroad. The day may come when such immigration would be profitable. At this time it is a struggle on our part to decently support and educate the present population. Immigration, to be profitable to a country or section, must find an open road to labor, and cheap and ready means of supplying their


present necessities. To be contented and useful, their social and political surroundings must be to some extent similar to those formerly enjoyed. To be prosperous, they must find reasonable compensation from the output of their labor. None of these circumstances would meet the moneyless immigrant in the South.

It has been said of some of the populous European countries, that their greatest need was "more room and fresh air." This cannot be said of the South. We have millions of acres of fertile lands lying waste, and our climate is all that could be desired. Proper cultivation of the soil produces the varied cereals and fruits necessary to existence, health, and comfort of the human family. Peculiar to this South-land we have the cotton crop, upon which the world depends largely for cheap and durable fabrics. Nor do we need brains. The history of this country clearly demonstrates that, from colonial days to the present time, Southern men and Southern women have stood in the foremost rank, whether in the councils of the nation, in the pulpit, on the battlefield, telling the secrets of science, or tilling the soil. Our men have proven themselves equal to every emergency, and our women have been the admiration of the world for their hospitality, modesty, and intelligence.

With very few exceptions, she does not need additional transportation. Our whole country is checkered with railroad lines. We are surrounded, on the east and south, by the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, our great rivers penetrating the same, their navigable currents spreading themselves out over our vast territory.

To arrange and display the needs of the South in their order as to importance, we believe that the Alliance has well stated them: First, we need education. I use this word in its true and broad sense. Our people, since the war closed, have had but little opportunity, and less financial ability, for thought and study than any people in modern history. Outside of our cities and towns, our system of popular education has been largely a farce. This has depopulated the rural districts to a large extent, and crowded the thoroughfares of our cities, where a better system usually obtains. Of all the burdens a people can bear, in the way of taxes, ignorance far surpasses all others. We need, therefore, in the South a thorough, practical, and economical system of common-school education.

The development of the South means a development of the rural sections. To do this there must be an inducement held out to those who are domiciled outside of the cities and towns. By nature we are shut up largely to the pursuit of agriculture, and no greater mistake can be


made with our people than to conclude that the manufactories of the world or this country can or should be transferred to this locality. God never intended that one simple section of this world should ever be independent of other sections. We are tied together thus by nature, and the largest amount of happiness and prosperity depends upon the freedom and interchange of ideas and products; and when friendship reigns supreme between the States in this Union, then will this interchange of ideas become universal and profitable; and when absolute control by the government of the transportation of this country can be had, then an interchange of products, with the greatest possible profit to the producer, with no gambling or speculative prices to the consumer, will demonstrate that the products of the one section so peculiarly adapted thereto can be exchanged with other sections at a profit. These conditions, therefore, are necessary to the development of the agricultural South. We need a diversified agriculture to that extent, at least, that will cover the absolute necessities of life. This is rendered vital on account of the fact that transportation and gambling in prices — setting one side the question of supply and demand — are in the hands of those whose motto seems to be to enrich themselves at the sacrifice of the people. No country in the world will admit of greater diversity as to the necessities of life, and to this extent no people are wise and provident who discard the fact.

We need, in the South, justice and impartiality at the hands of our national government. Being purely an agricultural section, the burdens of taxation have largely fallen on our people. Indeed, the discrimination in favor of manufacturers, shipping, fisheries, internal transportation, capitalists, gamblers, and speculators, has been wicked and unlimited. This the South demands should stop: and with the help of the people from other agricultural sections of this Union we are determined it shall stop.

We need, in the South, a monetary system, established by the government, that will promote and protect the industries of the South; (in this we have a common lot with all industries in this great country;) a financial system not dependent upon that of European countries, a system not intended primarily to facilitate and build up capitalists from abroad, but a currency distinctly constituted, first for the benefit of American citizens and American enterprises; a flexible currency, owned and controlled by the government, not to be expanded or contracted by capitalists; a currency sufficient in volume to meet the demands of every citizen of the country, at all seasons of the year; a currency to be regulated in amount only by the demands of the people; a currency so cheap as


to force capitalists, and those who have the largest share of it, to embark in useful enterprises; a currency that is calculated to expand and foster the industries of the country instead of promoting isolated and sectional enterprises; a currency from which the government can derive sufficient revenue to enable them to abolish every vestige of taxation from the necessities and comforts of life; a currency that will not interfere with commercial transactions in this country.

We need, in the South, perfect friendship, political and financial, with every other section in this Union. This is indispensable. No nation can long prosper with bickerings and strife within. But while legislation and administration of law in favor of one section as against another, or in favor of one class as against another, continues, peace will never wreath her chain around this land of ours. "Let us have peace."


Chapter XII.



The Colored Farmers' Alliance had its origin in Texas. The first subordinate Colored Alliance was organized in Houston County, in that State, on the eleventh day of December, 1886. Immediately following this, a number of others were organized in Houston and adjoining counties. The necessity for general organization soon became apparent. Accordingly these several Alliances chose delegates to a central convention, which assembled in the Good Hope Baptist Church, at Weldon, on the twenty-ninth day of the same month. After some discussion and earnest prayer, it was unanimously agreed that union and organization had become necessary to the earthly salvation of the colored race. The convention then proceeded to adopt the following declaration of principles: —

"1. To create a body corporate and politic, to be known as ‘The Alliance of Colored Farmers of Texas.’

"2. The objects of this corporation shall be: (a) To promote agriculture and horticulture; (b) To educate the agricultural classes in the science of economic government, in a strictly non-partisan spirit, and to bring about a more perfect union of said classes; (c) To develop a better state mentally, morally, socially, and financially; (d) To create a better understanding for sustaining our civil officers in maintaining law and order; (e) To constantly strive to secure entire harmony and good will to all mankind, and brotherly love among ourselves; (f) To suppress personal, local, sectional, and national prejudices, and all unhealthful rivalry and selfish ambition: (g) To aid its members to become more skilful and efficient worker, promote their general intelligence, elevate their character, protect their individual rights; the raising of funds for the benefit of nick or disabled members, or their distressed families; the forming a closer union among all colored people who may be eligible to membership in this association."

This declaration was promptly signed by the following colored men, being all the delegates present: H. J. Spencer, William Armistead, R. M. Saddler, Anthony Turner, T. Jones, N. C. Crawley, J. W. Peters, Israel McGilbra, G. W. Coffey, Green Lee, J..J. Shuffer, Willis Nichols, Jacob Fairfax, Abe Fisher, S. M. Montgomery, John Marshall.


J. J. Shuffer was elected President, and H. J. Spencer, Secretary. Suitable committees were appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws, a ritual, and a form of charter. After receiving the reports of these committees, it was agreed that the Colored Farmers' Alliance should be a secret association.

R. M. Humphrey of Lovelady was elected General Superintendent, and to him was committed the work of organization. The new order had no money, no credit, few friends, and was expected to reform and regenerate a race which, from long endurance of oppression and chattel slavery, had become exceedingly besotted and ignorant.

On the 28th of February, 1887, a charter was obtained under the laws of Texas, and the organization assumed definite shape as The Alliance of Colored Farmers. The work now spread with great rapidity over the State of Texas, and was soon introduced into several of the neighboring States. The colored people everywhere welcomed the organizers with great delight, and received the Alliance as a sort of second emancipation.

On the 14th of March, 1888, a meeting of the States convened at Lovelady, Texas, and after some discussion, agreed to charter as a trades-union, in accordance with the laws of the United States. The new association adopted the Texas State work, with only such changes as were necessary to give it national character. The new charter was duly filed in the office of the Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia, in compliance with the laws of Congress, and will be found recorded in Book IV., at page 354, Acts of Incorporation, United States of America. Under this new arrangement, the Alliance continued to thrive.

About this time, leading minds among the colored people in the South began to realize the importance of a better system of co-operation. They were desirous, too, of utilizing and, as far as possible, extending the benefits of their organization. The national trustees addressed the following communication to the general superintendent: —

"LOVELADY, TEXAS, July 20, 1888.

"To the General Superintendent of the Colored Farmers' National Alliance.
"SIR: Upon receipt of this order you will at your earliest convenience proceed to establish such trading post, or posts, or exchanges, for the use and benefit of our order in the several States, as in your judgment will be most conducive to the interests of the people. We leave you to adopt such plans as in your opinion will be most effective.

"With much respect yours,
"J..J. SHUFFER, President.
"H. J. SPENCER, "Secretary Colored Farmers' National Alliance and Co-operative Union."


In compliance with this order, exchanges were established in Houston, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; Charleston, South Carolina; and Norfolk, Virginia, These institutions, with varying success, are still in existence, and have accomplished great things for the elevation of the colored race. Occupying as these posts do, the great centres of the country's commerce, we are not without hope that they will be, in the future as in the past, well supported by the people. Our method in their establishment is this: An assessment of $2.00 is levied upon each male member of the order, within prescribed boundaries, fur the benefit of the exchange within his territory. These small amounts paid by each member become a cash capital for the basis of our business operations. The money may be used to buy a stock of bacon, or to pay off a mortgage, and being at once replaced, is ready the next week for some similar investment. Being thus often turned over, it will, in a year, save many times its value as against the speculator, who always reckons the term of a credit at twelve months, and the rate of interest at fifty to one hundred per cent, though the actual time of such credit may be only from August till September.

Again, this kind of cash basis is not exhausted nor exhaustible; fifty or a hundred years hence it may be still present to do the same work it is now doing; or should the Colored Alliance cease or become extinct, the funds on hand might be turned to the endowment of schools or colleges for colored youths, and so render a perpetual service during all time.

With the beginning of 1889 the Alliance established a weekly newspaper, called The National Alliance. They designed it for the practical education of their members. It has been reasonably well supported, and is still published weekly, at Houston, Texas, each of its editions reaching many thousand colored families.

At this writing, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee have State Colored Alliances, working under State charters. Several other States expect to be chartered at an early day, while organizations of greater or less extent exist in more than twenty States. The total membership is nearly 1,200,000, of whom 300,000 are females, and 150,000 males under twenty-one years of age, leaving 750,000 adult males.

It is freely admitted by all that the colored people have made great strides forward in intelligence, morals, and financial standing during these years of organization. Thousands of their public free schools have been wonderfully improved in character of teaching, and the duration of their sessions much extended by the combining of the people,


and the payment by each member or the Alliance of small sum in the form of tuition. Very many Alliance academies and high schools have been opened in various sections of the country. In not a few communities the people, impelled by the higher cultivation of their social instincts, have built new places of worship, while the intellectual and moral grade of their pastors and teachers has been immeasurably advanced.

The relation of the colored people in the South to their white neighbors had been long a question of the last importance to both races. There were not wanting those who believed in rare conflict, race war and even rare extermination. These beliefs and opinions were shared by some of the best people on both sides, as, perhaps, painfully inevitable results which must follow from existing conditions; but there were others who were in apparent haste to put their views into practical operation, and who, if judged by their own testimony, were ready to baptize their prejudices in the blood of their fellow-beings, and dishonor themselves by the destruction of their country. The Alliances, both colored and white, were organized from the first largely with a view to the suppression of all prejudices, whether national, local, sectional, or race, and to create conditions of peace and good will among all the inhabitants of our great nation. On this account the "race question" was from the beginning a matter of profoundest interest to the order. At the first practicable moment steps were taken looking to the peaceful solution of that much-vexed and intricate problem.

December 3, 1889, the representatives of the Colored Farmers' National Alliance convened in the city of St. Louis. During this session they were visited by committees of fraternal regard from the Farmers and Laborers' Union, the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, and the National Farmers' Alliance. These visits were acknowledged with the utmost good will, so that the messengers from the several brotherhoods were looked upon rather as ministers of light and salvation. Like committees were appointed from our body to visit and bear our good will and fraternal greetings to these several organizations.

Again, in Ocala, Florida, at which place their National Council was held in December, 1890, they were visited by committees from the, Farmers and laborers' Union, and by officers of the Knights of Labor, and by members of other labor associations. They appointed committees to each of these bodies, as bearers of their good will and fraternal regard. They further proposed the holding of a joint meeting by these committees to form an association or confederation of the several orders represented, for purposes of mutual protection, co-operation,


and assistance. The committees, in their joint session, found themselves able to agree, and the matter of their agreement being reported back to their several orders, was heartily indorsed by all concerned. It recognizes common citizenship, assures commercial equality and legal justice, and pledges each of the several organizations for the common protection of all. This agreement will be known in future ages as the burial of race conflict, and finally of race prejudice. Its announcement has fired many hearts with renewed hope, has given a new impetus to progress among the people, and will exert tremendous influences in the healing of sectional and national misconceptions and prejudices throughout the entire country.


"The seventh section of the charter declares the object of this corporation shall be to elevate the colored people of the United States, by teaching them to love their country and their homes; to care more for their helpless and sick and destitute; to labor more earnestly for the education of themselves and their children, especially in agricultural pursuits.

"To become better farmers and laborers, and less wasteful in their methods of living.

"To be more obedient to the civil law, and withdraw their attention from political partisanship.

"To become better citizens, and truer husbands and wives."


Chapter XIII.



THE Farmers' Alliance originated in the Lampasas County, Texas, in 1875, but died out in a few years. In 1879 W. T. Baggett, a member of the old Alliance, organized in Poolville, Parker County, July 29, the first Sub-Alliance of the great organization that now embraces thirty-one States and Territories, and whose influence is now being felt throughout the nation. Great as this growth in numbers has been, in its business efforts, in the education of its members in their duties as citizens, in rekindling the fires of patriotism, in its general ability to accomplish results, the growth has been even greater. All of this has not been accomplished without determined and intelligent effort on the part of those composing the rank and file of the order, and to the earnest, intelligent, and faithful workers in the Sub-Alliances.

From the organization of the first Sub-Alliance, July 29, l879, the growth was slow, not so much from the opposition it encountered from moneyed and partisan interests — for it was too weak to provoke their opposition; but the failure of the Grange and the general apathy of the people were the enemies which in its infancy the Alliance was compelled to meet. In the latter part of 1879 there were only twelve Sub-Alliances in the State.

When it is considered that it required five years to arouse sufficient interest in the order to obtain a State charter and devise plans to extend it throughout the State, and that in all this time so little had been accomplished, we may well be amazed at the persistent determination of those hardy frontiersmen, the pioneers of the Alliance in Texas. Knowing that something was wrong, that labor was being discriminated against, that the doctrine of equal rights to all had become a mere theory, and not a condition in government, they worked on doggedly, determined to restore conditions that obtained in the days of the fathers of the nation.

That political reform, even in those early days, was the grand central idea of the Alliance movement, is made more than manifest by their declaration of purposes. From August, 1884, there commenced a


marvellous growth of the order, and at the next meeting, in August, 1885, there were 550 Sub-Alliances in good working order. The greatest growth of the order in Texas was from August, 1885, to August, 1886. During that year 2200 Sub-Alliances were added, making the number of subs in the State 2750.

At Cleburne, August, 1886, the celebrated Cleburne Demands were promulgated, and the declaration of purposes made what they are to-day; and from that time on the Alliance has been compelled to meet the opposition of the party politicians, and those who were interested in the continuation of class laws.

This rapid increase in number continued, and at the called meeting at Waco in January, 1887, there were between three and four thousand Sub-Alliances in Texas. Up to this time the order had not extended beyond the State; but the time had now come when, by joining with the Farmers' Union of Louisiana, the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union was formed.

During the year 1889 the Wheel and Alliance were consolidated, and the order was known as the Farmers and Laborers' Union. Delegates were elected to meet on the third day of December, 1889, at St. Louis. From December 3, 1889, to December 3, 1890, the growth has been without a parallel in the history of the world. At the Ocala, Florida, meeting, December 2, the following States and Territories were represented: Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, Maryland, Kansas, Florida, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indian Territory, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, California, with the order started in ten other States. The membership was, at that time, over 2,000,000.

In reviewing the progress of the order, these truths are plainly taught: First, there must be a necessity; second, the objects of the order must be just, and in the interest of those sought to be organized; and third, those placed in control must be patriots, working for the good of the whole, and not personal aggrandizement. These three conditions have so far been met by the Alliance. To-day, in looking over the entire order, I can see no sign of disintegration. It is, as a whole, stronger than ever before; and as long as the necessity continues, and its purity of purpose is maintained, the Alliance will continue to grow in numbers and power.

Let us notice the progress of the Alliance in the accomplishment of its purpose, as at first declared, — to labor for the education of the agricultural classes in a strictly non-partisan spirit.


When the Alliance made its entrance upon the world's stage of action, it found the farmers, as a mass, absolutely devoid of interest in, or knowledge of, government. They had tacitly given over to the politician the entire control of economic matters, and, as a rule, voted as partisans, without regard to, or consideration of, the consequences. Prejudice ruled their councils instead of reason, and the Alliance found them fighting one another over imagined differences that had no real existence. It would be hard to conceive of a condition seemingly more hopeless; but at the Cleburne meeting it was determined by the Alliance — as farmers, without regard to party — to make known its whiles in regard to the policy of government, and to that end the celebrated Cleburne Demands were made and published to the world.

Demands 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 13, upon which the State could legislate, have been complied with, and 9, so far as to greatly improve the condition from what it was when the demand was made. Demand 15 was not pressed by the State Alliance, they, after investigation, concluding that it would not be practicable. Demand 14, on the general government, has been complied with in name, but did not yield the results demanded and expected of it; and so it is continued, and finds expression in the present demand in regard to railroads, promulgated at Ocala, Florida, on December 2, 1890. Demands 10 and 11 form the basis of the present demand as to finance. Demand 4 is still continued, and finds expression in the demand opposing the alien and corporate ownership of land. Demand 5, to prevent dealing in futures, is still urged. Demand 6, the action of Congress, has become the law.

Thus it will be seen that all the demands made upon the State have been, in whole or in part, complied with. Of those made upon the general government, numbers 6 and 12 have been acted upon favorably, and we now have the Secretary of Agriculture a Cabinet officer, and all lands reclaimed by the government held for actual settlers.

When these demands were made in Texas, the Alliance was at once bitterly assailed by the partisan press, as a dark-lantern, secret, political order, dangerous alike to the liberties of the people and the best interests of the country. Every effort was made to cause dissension in the ranks, but the great mass of the Alliance stood firmly by its demands.

As in Texas, so in every State it has had the same conditions to meet. If the State was or had been Republican, then it was a Democratic trick, and the same torrent of abuse was heaped upon it by the Republican papers; if Democratic, it was abused by that party.

In looking back over the past four and a half years, since that ever-to-be-remembered


sixth day of August, 1886; taking into consideration the fact that the Alliance has had no money and, until latterly, no papers to champion its course; no trained speakers, no light of experience by which to guide its course; relying wholly upon the honor, integrity, and patriotism of the people; is it not strange that, opposed as it has been by the combined influence of money, — represented by the national banking system and railroad corporations, land monopolies, and other privileged interests, which it has boldly attacked and defied, — the press with all of its power, party prejudices; with all of this opposition, I repeat, is it not strange that it even existed? It is more wonderful still that it has attained to the great success which it now enjoys. History cannot show a parallel. In the next Congress there will be forty representatives, and four, if not five, senators who come pledged to its national demands. It has, through education, — by discussion in its Sub-Alliances upon economic questions, — made its power felt throughout the entire country. It is gaining in numbers, intelligence, and influence, with a rapidity almost incredible. It now has hundreds of newspapers defending its demands. It has developed from its own rank journalists of the highest order, and thinkers second to none. Its public speakers are now legion, and among them are some of the most eloquent and logical of the day. Could any people make more progress than the farmers have made through the Alliance in the last four years? In that time the Alliance has raised the farmer from a class absolutely without influence in the government, to one with more power to mould its policy than any one other in the land.

The order is now confederating with other labor organizations, having like objects, adopting demands upon which all can agree, remembering, "in things essential unity, in all things charity"; its influence is being widened, its power extended, and its effectiveness increased day by day. God grant that its progress may continue, and its efforts to educate in the science of economic government be so successful that all class laws may be wiped from the statute books, and equal and exact justice be maintained for all alike, from the highest to the lowest of our citizens. If wisdom guide, and patriotism lead, in the future as in the past the Alliance, by its education of the masses, will have created a public opinion that cannot be resisted.

The second declared purpose is to obtain equal rights to all, and especial privileges to none. When the Alliance effects this purpose, then all will have been accomplished that is possible or desired through political action; and that this grand consummation is much nearer than when the Alliance was organized in 1879, I believe no one will attempt to deny.


Another purpose of the order is to strive to destroy prejudice, local, national, and sectional. In the effort to accomplish this, the progress of the order has been greater than the most sanguine could have hoped. By their reading, thinking, and discussing, they have found the true source of trouble; and, as the light of information breaks through the dark cloud of ignorance, the prejudices are disappearing. It is not only these prejudices between industrial classes that have been given their death wound by the Alliance, but party prejudices have, in a great measure, been destroyed. Against this the Alliance has done battle from the very first, and great has been its victory. Its triumph is almost completed. Sectionalism is dead. With it there is no longer North, South, East, or West. We are one people, with one flag and one country. The famous chasm has been filled up; the scar is hidden by the beautiful white roses of peace and good will. For this all lovers of the country must say, "God bless the Alliance!" If it had done nothing more, and should die now, it would be enough to make one proud to have been a soldier in its ranks.

The progress of the order in its fight against prejudices of all kinds will never cease until the shattered forces of that arch-demon are driven from our beautiful and beloved country. Long may its pure while banner of peace and good will wave over the land of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, and may it continue to be the champion of equal rights to all, and especial privileges to none!


Chapter XIV.



This organization was the first serious effort to organize the farmers of the United Suites for the purpose of influencing national legislation. All efforts, heretofore, had been confined to State organizations. It was organized in 1875, at Atlanta, Georgia, with General W. H. Jackson of Tennessee, President. It made but little progress from thnt time until 1879. At this meeting C. J. Hudson of Mississippi was chosen President, and I was selected as Vice-President. Louisville, Kentucky, was chosen as the place of next meeting. At this meeting, Mr. Hudson being in poor health, I was elected President. Finally realizing the languishing condition of agriculture, I immediately issued the following address: —

"To the Farmers of the United States:

"At the recent meeting of the National Agricultural Congress at Louisville, Kentucky, honored by election to the presidency of that body, the duty devolves upon me of issuing this brief address explanatory of the aims and purposes of the organization, this earnest appeal to every farmer in the Union to extend to us his active and cordial sympathy and co-operation. Everything which can affect the dignity or prosperity of agriculture is a subject of national importance, and it entitled to the respectful attention of the government of the nation, so often vauntingly declared to be ‘the government of the people, by the people, and for the people’; yet the fact is utterly and scornfully ignored that the tillers of the soil are a clear majority of all the people.

"The ultimate aim and purpose of the National Agricultural Congress is twofold; viz.: First, to arouse agriculturists themselves to a realization of this great fact; and, secondly, to enforce a recognition of it upon the representatives of the people who have been delegated to administer the State and national governments. It is a fact which admits of no dispute, that no prominent and influential statesman in any department of the national government either possesses, or apparently desires to possess, even a superficial knowledge of agriculture in any of its aspects, relations, or interests. This great business, by which a majority of all the people live, and through which all have their bread, is practically unrepresented in any department of the people's government. In the executive branch they have a commissioner who ranks only with the clerks of other departments; in the Senate they have one, and in the House of Representatives twenty-seven members in a body of more than three hundred. When we propose to remedy this improper, unreasonable, and unjust state of


affairs, we are scornfully told ‘the word "agriculture" is not in the Constitution of the United States.’ We might retort: Neither is the word ‘lawyer.’ We might very properly reply: If, then, the word ‘agriculture’ is not in the Constitution of the government of the people, of whom we are a majority, then we mean to put it there. If as a class we possess no rights, as a majority, nevertheless, we posses, all rights and all power under the Constitution and the government as they stand.

"In order that agriculture may be placed upon an equitable footing in the executive branch of the government, it is believed, and we should demand, that it should be represented in the Cabinet by a minister of equal influence, honor, and dignity with any and all other Constitutional adviser of the President, to the end that its true relations to taxation, to commerce, to finance, and all other great industries, may be effectively studied and understood, and presented and defended with proper dignity in the councils of the nation. That such is now the case, it is but idle to pretend. Farmers of America, we put it to you that it is your bounden duty to yourselves and to your posterity to use the power which belongs to you to enforce this just recognition of your dignity and your rights! If the word ‘agriculture’ is not in the Constitution, you have always found, you will ever find, when voters are wanted, it is in every politician's mouth. We make no war upon any profession, calling, or pursuit; we know full well that the prosperity of each is the prosperity of all in any well-ordered community; we simply ask of our representatives a reasonable and proper recognition of our rights; and this, let us cause them to understand, is what we are resolved to have. We are fifty-seven per cent of the population of the United States; we need such organization as shall awaken us to a comprehension of the habitual subordination of our interests to those of every other class, producing and non-producing. Such organization and such intelligent comprehension of our situation as will secure a proper representation for us in the executive and legislative branches of the governments, national and State, under which we live, is one of the prime objects of our organization. It is only by and through effective organization in every county in every State that we can hope to act intelligently together to obtain practical recognition of our political powers and our political rights. Let your present representatives be made to know that some of the most extensive and important interests of agriculture are today seriously imperilled by their failure or refusal to provide remedies adequate to the danger; that you look to them and expect of them to provide proper and sufficient appropriations of the public funds to protect the great animal industries of the country from perpetual menace and imminent danger by contagious disease, constitutional qualms to the contrary notwithstanding. Let them know, also, that the agriculture of the country expects and requires at their hands that the benefits of the Signal Service be extended to the farming operations of the country, as well as to navigation, commerce, and other pursuits, and that whatever organization is required, and whatever funds are necessary for such a purpose, ought to be provided without further delay, so that information of approaching storms, cold waves, and inclemencies of the weather, threatening and causing destruction to agricultural products, may be timely sent to every community which railroads or telegraph lines reach, or to which warning signals can be conveyed by any means known to science. As one result already matured of the beneficent wisdom of the immortal Maury, the approach of destructive storms may now be foretold two days or more in advance; rarely agriculture, which bears the greatest burden of taxation, is entitled to the vast measures of protection which would accrue to her imperilled products from the general diffusion of such timely information, and thereby save to


our interest and to the nation thousands of millions of dollars. If the machinery and funds necessary for the collection and distribution of such incalculably valuable fore-warnings are lacking, it will be a shame to our representatives if, with an overflowing national treasury and a sufficient corps of trained scientists lacking employment at their disposal, the machinery and funds are not forthwith provided; and, as agriculturists, we demand it.

"We repeat it, that we entertain no purpose to assume an attitude of hostility to any of the great interests of the country; least of all do we entertain any purpose of assailing any actual voted right legitimately belonging to any of the great transportation companies; but we are deeply sensible of the vital importance to all agricultural interests of cheap, steady, and safe transportation of their products to the great markets of the world. In furtherance of this great national desideratum, we shall favor at all times any State and national policy which shall foster the creation and improvement of such great commercial highways as, for example, the Mississippi River and the ship canals across the Delaware and Florida peninsulas. Such, we feel, would be a better direction to give to the surplus of swollen revenues, thus employing some of our surplus and idle labor, than the anticipation of the demands of the public creditor by this generation.

"Space does not permit me to enter into elaborate details; but why should we not demand and receive appropriations from the national treasury for the protection of our imperilled interests, aggregating hundreds, yea, thousands of millions, of taxable values? Dose the Constitution stand in the way? Do we not know that peaceful machinery is provided whereby we who are a majority of all the people of all the States may alter or even abolish that instrument, and that our right to do so is ‘inalienable, indefeasible, and indisputable’? Look at the shoal of proposed amendments to the Constitution of your country thrust with unseemly haste upon the national legislature the very first day of the current session, proposed amendments which can in no case take higher rank than mere political and partisan schemes, and say that we must sit down powerless to protect our rights!

"In furtherance of purposes such as I have feebly and imperfectly set forth; in furtherance of every purpose which has for its object the advancement of the great calling we pursue, the National Agricultural Congress was itself called into existence. In furtherance of these great purposes and aims, we earnestly and respectfully invoke the action, co-operation, and cordial sympathy of every farmer of every section of this vast country — the home and the domain of the foremost, the mightiest, and most progressive nation on earth."

The next meeting was hold at Nashville, and certain rules were adopted governing representation. At this meeting seventeen States were represented. The next meeting was held at New Orleans, with nineteen States represented. Resolutions calling upon Congress to grant radical reforms were passed, and a general determination prevailed to work for their adoption. The next meeting was held in Washington, District of Columbia, January, 1887, which made an impression upon Congress, then in session. The next meeting was hold in Chicago, after which I retired, and Colonel Kolb of Alabama was chosen president. It is believed that this Congress was the forerunner of the Alliance, and prepared the way


for the grand work it is now doing. Since the only literature relating to this Congress now remaining consists of a few addresses made by me, while its president, I trust the reader will pardon my reference to them. As they show the trend of thought at that time, I will call mention to a few extracts: —

At the Nashville meeting, in 1884: —

"I congratulate you upon the increased interest, everywhere manifested by intelligent agriculturists, in the general policy of our State and national governments, in its broad relations to their own great calling."

"When we say that we mean to be heard with respect and attention by our own representatives, who hold their seals by our suffrage, let it be plainly understood we mean what we say."

"If it be made necessary, our candidates will be found opposing those of both parties, and of all parties opposed to our vital interests; for we mean to have our rights under our own government."

"We meditate no war on any of the great industries of the people; neither upon manufacturers, nor mining, nor transportation, nor commerce, nor any pursuit of business by which honest people earn bread. God forbid! When the farmer meets the mechanic, let him take him by the hand and hail him as a brother; shoulder to shoulder let them take their stand against unequal and unjust taxation is every form; against monopoly, the common oppressor of all."

"Whatever hurtfully touches any of the great employments of the great armies of bread-winners of the land injures and hinders each and all"

"The proposition was urged upon Congress by the chairman of your committee, viz.: ‘to create a Department of Agriculture.’ This proposition was received with contempt and sneers. We will not bow down nor worship whatever political fetish they may choose to set up for us. We who are a clear majority of the voters of the Union choose to decide for ourselves whether we will have a Department of Agriculture. It is for our representatives to obey the command of their constituents, and not to set up their judgment contrary to the instructions of the people."

"Farmers and mechanics, laborers and producers of every class, brothers in a common cause, let us stand as one man to oppose corruption and monopoly and oppression, in whatsoever form they come, by whatsoever name they may be called whatsoever disguise they may assume. Organize! I beg you, organize! Without organization you cannot cope with the trained legions of monopoly. Organize! organize! or they will tread you in the dust beneath their feet!"

Again, in 1885: —

"We have not claimed to have grievances, but rights. There are legislative measures and administrative reforms, essential not only to the best interests of our calling, but to the well being of the nation. A majority of the people must carry them against rings and monopolies, corrupt and shameless, and their astute attorneys, who, in cahoot with political ‘bosses,’ have so long misgoverned this country."

At a called meeting of the Congress in Washington, in 1887: —

"In our representative capacity we have no cause to be afraid of ashamed to put forth our opinions, wishes, and demands, touching matters which concern the great


interest and economics of agriculture, State, interstate, national, and international. It is for that very purpose we are here assembled."

Our interests require, we demand, an equitable readjustment of the whole system of taxation, federal, State, local: distributing its burdens equally among producers, distributors, consumers. No legitimate business can prosper until war taxation is reduced to a peace basis, without galling and grinding discriminations for the rich and against the poor; nor as long as we gather in the treasury an annual surplus of more than one hundred millions over and above every reasonable or honest public necessity."

Undoubtedly the most important meeting of the Farmers' Congress was the one held in New Orleans, at the time of the great exposition there. At that meeting were present and participating, delegates from nearly every State and Territory. Among them was scarcely a name not known throughout the country as a leading agriculturist. That this meeting exercised an important influence upon the rise and progress of the National Farmers' Alliance, it is impossible not to perceive.

Those who would discern the true intent and meaning of secret developments in industrial organization, those who would understand aright the significance of the demands now urged by these organizations, must not overlook the character and the significance of the work done by the Farmers' National Congress.

Among the accomplished results which must be credited to the efforts of the Congress are the enlargement of the scope and increase of the dignity and influence of the Department of Agriculture, and the final transfer of the Signal Service, or more properly the Weather Bureau, to that department, with the assurance of further increased precision, usefulness, and importance of the service. That the Interstate Commerce law was also the legitimate outcome of the agitation of the question set on foot by the Congress, seems to be true. But the great work on the Congress was its unconscious work in preparing the way for the Alliance. It was as a prime factor in the earlier evolution of industrial organizations that the Congress is important and interesting to the intelligent student of contemporaneous events. When the final outcome and the entire results are before the world, those who may be then living will be aware that human freedom was at this time rapidly unfolding one stage of its progress along the path of its divinely conducted evolution, — a path tending to that "one far-off divine event, to which the whole creation moves."


Chapter XV.



This article will deal more particularly with the situation in the States of Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, as the writer has been intimately and personally connected with those States for the past forty years; although the conditions that obtain there are very similar to what we find in Kansas and Nebraska, each of those States being engaged principally in agriculture, and with comparatively little manufactures. True, Minnesota has vast lumber interests, and mining for coal and the precious metals is being carried on to some extent in the other States; yet they are and must, in the nature of things, ever remain great storehouses for the food products of the world, and I shall confine myself to a view of the situation as related to agriculture and agriculturists.

The four States named are among the largest, most fertile, and most favorably situated in the Union, comprising some 290,000 square miles of the choicest farming land in the world, nearly every acre of which will produce abundant crops without the use of artificial fertilizers; favorably located, with healthful climate, a desirable class of citizens, and unequalled railroad and water transportation facilities. In area, they constitute one-ninth of the United States, exclusive of the Territories, and they raise over one-fifth the breadstuffs and one-eighth the meats produced, not to mention their contributions of butter, cheese, poultry, eggs, flax, and a multitude of other things that go to supply the necessities and comforts of life, which mount up collectively to a vast aggregate. And yet these States are in their infancy as regards material development; great tracts of fertile soil are as yet unvexed by the plow; millions of acres of choice wheat, corn, and grazing land are still unimproved.

Of Iowa's 36,000,000 acres, but 27,000,000 are in cultivation. Minnesota has but 16,000,000 acres reclaimed of her 53,500,000; of North Dakota's 47,500,000 but 3,000,000 are utilized; and South Dakota's 49,000,000 remain as nature left them, save a paltry 4,000,000, — hardly a scar on her broad bosom.


Let me recapitulate: Fertile soil, salubrious climate, convenient to the great markets of the work, abundant transportation facilities, an industrious, frugal, and temperate class of citizens, continuous good crops with local exceptions. Should we not be prosperous and contented?

What are the facts? With an area capable of supporting comfortably 12,000,000 people, we have less than one-third that number with the rural districts at a standstill or actually decreasing in population, farm values steadily decreasing, while farm and chattel mortgage are as steadily increasing. Census Superintendent Porter gives the land mortgage figures for Iowa at $199,000,000; $2,000,000 per country for land mortgages alone. A farmer's debts are by no means measured by the mortgage on his farm; on the contrary, his chattel and unsecured liabilities often exceed the real estate indebtedness. Minnesota and the Dakotas are in a worse condition than Iowa; and when to the totals of her land and personal debts are added the township, municipal, school, corporate, and State obligations, an aggregate is reached almost incomprehensible in magnitude, and appalling to contemplate, especially when an attempt is made to figure how the debt, principal and interest, is to be paid. Labor Commissioner Sovereign of Iowa was collected reliable information as to cost of production in Iowa, and profits thereon. Selecting twelve representative farmers in each of one hundred counties, and sending them a series of questions, including cost per acre of raising crops, price of products realized, profit or loss, rates of interest prevailing, etc., the almost unanimous report was that for the last six or seven years farming had been carried on in that favored State at an actual loss. Conservative judges estimate the total in debtedness, personal, corporate, municipal, and State, at $2,000,000,000 for the four States, bearing from six to twelve per cent interest, much of it even higher than that, and very little lower: seven per cent would be an average, making an annual interest tax of $140,000,000.

A system that brings about, or even renders possible, a debt of one billion in 1880, to increase to two billion in 1890, will permit it to swell to three or four billion in 1900 and so on, continually increasing, until out beautiful inheritance, of which we are so proud, will pass from us forever. As a result, the people are organizing as never before, and demanding an about-face in governmental policy, retrenchment in expenses, decrease of official salaries, more honesty in administration, the resumption of such national and State functions as have been improperly delegated to corporations and individuals, such as the control of finance and commerce, and the assumption f such additional functions as may be essential to the successful consumation of the


pledges guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States, where it reserves the right to do any and all things essential to the general welfare of the people. Usurious rates of interest are demanded far the use of money, ten per cent on personal security and eight to ten per cent on real estate being the prevailing rate in Iowa and Minnesota, and twelve per cent on personal and ten per cent on real estate in the Dakotas, with bonus and usury often amounting to twenty or thirty per cent, and thousands of cases could be given where it even exceeded the latter ruinous figure. I refer now to country loans; somewhat lower rates may be obtained in cities. Chattel mortgages on short time, and at high rates of interest and large bonus, with exorbitant attorney fees, in many instances actually exceeding the face of the notes, are placed on everything the farmer owns or expects to own, --teams, machinery, stock, furniture, crops for the current year, and for three, four, or five years in advance: these short loans are renewed at compound interest from two to six times a year; each renewal the poor debtor pays what he can, adds new bonuses, compounds interest, pays for making out and filing the mortgage.

The failure of crops must not be charged with this condition of affairs; for while there have been partial or local failures some years, the aggregate crops have steadily increased in quantity and decreased in value for the past twenty-five years. Multitudes of banks, loan agents, and money sharks have sprung into existence, swarming in every city and village, and fattening off the dire necessities of the people. Where one bank could easily transact all the legitimate business for a village or county, seven or eight are located, supplemented by double that number of loan agents, and all of them seemingly prosperous. I have before me a newspaper published in a small county in South Dakota, with forty-eight notices of foreclosure of real estate mortgages in it, covering over half the paper, and in which the attorney fees and publication fees exceed the face of the original mortgages by over fifty per cent; and while that it an extreme case, it is an indication of the relentless methods pursued. There are hundreds of cases where, in the course of five or six years, the poor debtor has paid more than the amount of the original loan in interest and usury, and found himself with a larger debt on his hands at the end than when he started.

Another serious bar to our prosperity has been excessive and discriminating freight rates upon our railroads. With the two great rivers of the continent and the Great lakes upon our borders, it would seem that competition would regulate that. But the facts are that, despite the Interstate Commerce law and our numerous lines of supposed-to-be-competing


railroads, it costs as much or more to draw our produce the few miles necessary to reach our general markets, — viz.: Minneapolis, Duluth, Chicago, or St. Louis, — as it does to carry it thence a thousand miles by rail through to New York, or even clear through to Liverpool; which practically amounts to the prohibition of shipments to heavy and bulky articles when the price is low; often potatoes, hay, corn, oats, wood, brick, coal, cost much more for freight than the producers originally received for them. Thousands of people burn hay, and other hundreds of thousands burn much less fuel, and consume less of the necessaries of life, on account of the additional cost resulting from excessive freight charges. A coalmine owner in Pennsylvania told the writer recently that he would be glad to put coal on the car at 75 cents per ton, and yet we, a thousand miles away, are compelled to pay $8 to $8.50 per ton for that same coal, or do without. Coal in Iowa, 300 miles from Huron, South Dakota, costs $1.40 per ton on board car. Delivered at Huron, $5, — 1 1/5 cents per ton per mile freight. Sworn statements by railroad managers before Congressional committees put actual cost of railroad freight transportation at two mills per ton per mile, which would reduce the freight to 60 cents per ton, and cost of coal to $2 per ton at Huron. Cheap bread and meat can never become a reality to the people so long as transportation companies have it in their power to "tax the traffic all it can bear."

Again, for long years the elevator companies were in combination with the railroad officials, being really a wheel within a wheel, officers and stockholders in the one occupying a similar position in the other, and by means of discrimination in rates and favoritism in securing cars, practically monopolized the shipping interest and controlled the prices.

North Dakota elects commissioners, but they haven't been in office long enough to accomplish much good, and are handicapped by an ineffective law, which the railroads take good care shall not be materially tampered with.

In Dakota the poor man who cannot afford to buy a two-thousand-mile ticket pays four cents a mile passenger fare, while the rich man rides at two cents, and the politicians, judges, and office-holders go free. The people are tired of all this, and in casting about for relief, realize that it must come through Congress, in the way of a greater volume of currency, divorced from the control of national banks or any individual or corporation, and in the ownership and control of our lines of transportation by the government, and run in the interest of the people at cost, the same as our postal system. But when we go to Congress with our petitions and demands, we are coolly informed that farmers do not


understand finance, and that money and transportation must be left in the hands of their friend; i.e. the bankers and railroad kings.

Between 5000 and 6000 Alliances, Knights of Labor, and Labor Unions have been organized during the past few years in the four States mentioned, and every one is a living and vigorous protect against the existing order of things; and if the politicians were not blind they would see the storm brewing, and trim their sails according. But none are so blind as those that will not see, and nothing but a political cyclone will open their eyes. The people have about despaired of securing relief from either of the old parties, being satisfied that they are hopelessly and helplessly under the domination of Wall Street and the great corporations, and are moving strongly for the organization of a people's party; and if they do, it is a safe prediction that they will sweep the Northwest with an overwhelming plurality.

In South Dakota the majority of the county officers, two-fifths of the legislature, and a United States senator were elected last year on an independent ticket.

Minnesota polled 58,000 independent votes, electing legislators enough, headed by the president of the State Alliance, Hon. Ignatius Donnelly, to control largely the legislature and elected one congressman by a large majority. North Dakota, while no electing her men, largely controlled the nominations of the other parties, resulting in the election of an Alliance congressman and a friendly senator.

In Iowa there was no general independent ticket put in the field, although a number of candidates were nominated and made a strong run, defeating the majority of the Republican congressmen in that old stronghold of Republicanism. But they are awake now, and will be heard from in 1892; and if the "situation in the Northwest" is not changed, politically at least, at that time, it will not be the fault of the State mentioned.


Chapter XVI.



In the past, woman has been secondary as a factor in society. She has been placed in this position because the people have been educated to believe that she is mentally inferior to the sterner sex. Only of late has the discussion of her social and political rights been brought prominently before the country. The male portion of our population, through a false gallantry, have assumed that they are the protectors of the "weaker sex": women have been led to believe that they had no political or social rights to be respected, and a very large majority of them have bowed in quiet submission.

History proves that the more crude and savage society is, the lower women are placed in the social scale. The men of savage races compel their women to do all the work; in fact, to be their slaves. When this social question is investigated from a scientific standpoint, the wonder is that man has ever been able to emerge from his original condition, while the situation of the mothers of the race has been such as to naturally impede intellectual progress. Only the plain manifestation of the laws of nature and the human mind has enabled man to raise himself above the crude forms of barbarism, and establish what is now termed civilized society.

Education concerning the effects of social conditions is demonstrating that most of the moral evils which afflict society are produced by the unnatural conditions which are imposed upon women. Nature has endowed her with brains; why should she not think? If she thinks, why not allow her to act? If she is allowed to act, what privilege should men enjoy of which she should be deprived? These are pertinent questions which society should begin to consider.

Go into the rural districts, and look at the position occupied by the wives and daughters of the farmers. They have, until of late occupied a social position which tended only to discourage intellectual effort. In most of the churches women have been allowed no voice; and the very moment some brainy woman in a community would rise above her surroundings and take an interest in public questions, the men, as well as the women, would begin to discourage her efforts. She would


be told by her father, brother, or husband, that such questions are not the concern of women. But the Alliance has come to redeem woman from her enslaved condition, and place her in her proper sphere. She is admitted into the organization as the equal of her brother, and the ostracism which has impeded her intellectual progress in the past is not met with, and men have begun to recognize the fact that, when the women are educated, the battle for human rights will have been fought and won.

Her position in the Alliance is the same as it is in the family, — the companion and helpmeet of man. In it she is given the opportunity to develop her faculties. She is made to feel that she is the equal of man and that she can make herself useful in every department of human affairs; that her mission in the world is more than merely to be called wife or mother (both of which are honorable), but her work is one of sympathy and affection, and her help is as much needed in the great work of reform.

Only in late years have women been considered a necessary factor in reform movements. This has been brought about by advanced thinkers, who have studied sociology and the science of intellectual and moral development. Society seems never to have thought of the fact that there is no progress without opportunity, and that depriving women of their social and political rights has taken from them the inducement to become educated upon great questions. The Alliance contemplates the opening of every avenue of intelligence, which will induce women to become educated, and capable of taking care of themselves in the struggle for existence, and the establishment of a social system which will guarantee to every human being the results of his labor. The condition of the wives and daughters of the farmers is but little better than that of the women who work in factories. In probably a majority of instances, in the South and Southwest, the women assist in cultivating and gathering the crops. Such a condition of industrial serfdom the Alliance, with other reform organizations, expects to overthrow.

In the effort for reform, none can be more interested than women, as they are the chief sufferers whenever poverty or misfortune overtakes the family. They are the ones to look after the welfare of the children of the family. They, more readily than the fathers, see what is necessary to make the family happy and comfortable. But, having been educated to believe that bad conditions are caused by Divine Providence, or are the result of mismanagement, many of them have borne the social evils in silence, and trusted for happiness after they shall have crossed "the silent river."


Through the educational influence of the Alliance, the prejudice against woman's progress is being removed, and within the last five years much has been accomplished in that direction. Women are now recognized as a prominent factor in all social and political movements. In the meetings of the Alliance she comes in contact with educated reformers, whose sympathies she always has. Her presence has a tendency to control the strong tempers of many of the members, and places a premium upon politeness and gentility. She goads the stupid and ignorant to a study of the principles of reform, and adds an element to the organization, without which it would be a failure. Being placed upon an equality with men, and her usefulness being recognized by the organization in all of its work, she is proud of her womanhood, and is better prepared to face the stern realities of life. She is better prepared to raise and educate her offspring, by teaching the responsibility of citizenship and their duty to society.

The meetings give recreation to the mind, and the physical being is for a time relieved from incessant toil. The entire being is invigorated, and the mind is prepared for the reception of much truths as fit her to be companion, mother, and citizen. As stated above, woman has not been considered a factor in great movements, until of late years, but she comes prominently to the front in the Alliance, and demands that she be allowed to render service in the great battle for human rights, better conditions, happier homes, and a higher civilization generally. In fact, she has come to the conclusion that she has some grievances for which remedies should be found, and that she owes it as a duty to herself and society to help work out the social and political salvation of the people.

I believe that there are remedies for most of the evils which afflict society; that poverty and want are the chief causes of crime; and the reason why so many people are found occupying unnatural conditions, is because of the violation of the principles of justice and right, by the government allowing the few to monopolize the land, money, and transportation, which deprives a large portion of the people of their natural right to apply their labor to the gifts of nature. Under such conditions, the people become dependent, hopeless slaves, — a condition which drives the last spark of manhood and womanhood from their bosoms, — and they become outcasts and criminals, and fill our jails and penitentiaries and other places of shame.

It is the duty of the Alliance to consider these questions, and none others are so much interested in the regeneration of society as women. When the battles of life are to be fought, she is always a valiant soldier, and many of them bear upon their faces the scars of the battle with


poverty and want. The faces and forms of many of the farmers' wives bear marks of premature age. Their sensibilities are deadened with the cares and toils of life. They have enjoyed but few of the benefits of modern civilization, and but few of the luxuries of life which they have helped to create. They have plodded along, while conscienceless greed has fattened upon their labor, and deprived them of the conditions which are necessary to make them happy and good, — their lives a blessing, their homes a heaven.

But this is a new era in human progress, when woman demands an equal opportunity in every department of life. She is no longer to be considered a tool, a mere plaything, but a human being, with a soul to save and a body to protect. Her mind must be cultivated, that she may be made more useful in the reform movement and the development of the race. It is an acknowledged principle in science that cultivated and intelligent mothers produce brainy children, and the only meant by which the minds of the human race can be developed is to strengthen, by cultivation, the intellectual capacities of the mothers, by which means a mentally great race may be produced. When I look into the hard and stolid faces of many of the mothers of the present, and know that they have been deprived of the opportunities which would have improved them, I am not surprised that we are surrounded by people who are the advocates of a system but little better than cannibalism.

Through a system of education, in the Alliance and kindred organizations, we are slowly but surely eradicating the false doctrines of the Dark Ages, and the traditions of the pagans, handed down to us through false teaching. To remove these evils is the grandest work of the age, and the woman who holds herself aloof from reform organizations, either through false pride or a lack of moral courage, is an object of pity, and falls far short of the duty she owes to herself, society, and posterity.

If I understand the object of the Alliance, it is organized not only to better the financial condition of the people, but to elevate them socially, and in every other way, and make them happier and better, and to make this world a fit habitation for man, by giving to the people equal opportunities. Every woman who has at heart the welfare of the race should attach herself to some reform organization, and lend her help toward the removal of the causes which have filled the world with crime and sorrow, and made outcasts of so many of her sex. It is a work in which all may engage, with the assurance that they are entering upon a labor of love, in the interest of the downtrodden and disinherited; a work by which all mankind will be blessed, and which will blew those who are to come after for all time.


The education of the masses is the hope of the world, and a healthy public sentiment must be created in the interest of labor. Poverty must be abolished, and the natural rights of the people must be respected. It is unnecessary for me to pay any tribute to, or heap any abuse upon, woman. She is precisely what her opportunities have made her, whether she is found in a palace or a hovel. She is flesh and blood, and whatever virtues or vices she may possess, can only be attributed to environment and opportunity.

What we need, above all things else, is a better womanhood, — a womanhood with the courage of conviction, armed with intelligence and the greatest virtues of her sex, acknowledging no master and accepting no compromise. When her enemies shall have laid down their arms, and her proper position in society is recognized, she will be prepared to take upon herself the responsibilities of life, and civilization will be advanced to that point where intellect instead of brute force will rule the world. When this work is accomplished, avarice, greed, and passion will cease to control the minds of the people, and we can proclaim, "Peace on earth, good will toward men."


Chapter XVII.



What influence will the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union have upon the religious institutions of our country? is becoming a question of about as much magnitude to the leaders of religious thought as the question of its political action is to the two great parties. The farmers are thinking and acting more independently than ever before. For some time the political and religious ties of the people have been growing less binding, and men and women have become more exacting as to the conduct of the leaders in both Church and State.

Politics being the science of government, we have the right to know the reasons for the conduct of our public servants. Science is what we know, and not what we may suppose. Supposition is the mother of all our mistakes. Knowing the principles upon which our government is founded, we have the right to call in question the authority of any one who may attempt to change the basis upon which our fathers established our institutions. Our government is intended to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people; and the people should be consulted on all questions involving their rights to life and property, it being the object of all just governments to secure the greatest good to the greatest number.

To secure these ends, the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union has been putting forth all its energy in educating the wealth-producers of the country in the science of economical government. The prediction has been made that this grand order would go to pieces and fail to accomplish any good; yet it continues to grow, and its principles, as they are better understood by the masses, become more popular.

The religious sentiments contained in the basic principles of the Alliance are giving it its wonderful power with the people. True religion, not sectarianism, is its crowning glory. This organization makes war upon vicious principles, and not upon men, and it will not permit any man or set of men to get in its way. Good government for the


people if its object. To form and perpetuate a good system of government, the people must be just and good.

This brings us to the question: What is religion? The true meaning of religion is, a high sense of moral obligation, and a spirit of reverence or worship toward God, with the desire that all mankind may be happy in this life, as well as in the life to come. No one can truly honor God, who does not desire the happiness of all. God, our common Father, makes no distinction between his children. Why, then, should human governments make such shameful distinctions among men? Jesus Christ fed the hungry thousands, that he might more deeply impress upon the minds of those who gathered to hear him, his great doctrine: "Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them." Any one may know whether he is a Christian by this great rule. Whenever any individual reaches the point where he is willing for others to do to him as he does to others, he can be sure that he has passed from death unto life. One of the main reasons why we have so many empty seats in our churches is the abundance of empty stomachs and unclad limbs. How to reach the people is the question that is being discussed by our ministry all over our country. There is only one solution. See to it that the people who produce the wealth of the nation get a fair share of the profits of their labor. You cannot reach a man's higher sentiments as long as he has an empty stomach, or is in need of decent clothing. Let our pastors and priests study the physical needs of their people more, and give them less theology, if they desire to Christianize the world. Religion is a principle that grows in a man. It remains with him seven days in the week. The true Christian is just as good on Monday as he is on Sunday.

Theologians boast of the Christian government of the United States; but where is the spirit of Christ in our national and State governments? Is that government Christian which creates millionaires and palaces on the one hand, and paupers and miserable homes on the other? Is that government Christian which licenses the liquor traffic? It is the duty of all governments to eradicate the evils of extreme poverty and vice, restrain the strong and vicious, and strengthen the weak and helpless. What are we doing, as a nation, on the line of equal rights for all, and special privileges for none? Name a government that permits the masses to be robbed more systematically than ours does.

Among the reasons we have given, in the past, for the superiority of our form of government, none had more weight with the public than the claim that here the few could not prey upon the many; yet, for the last twenty-five years, no people on earth have been more successfully


deprived of their honest earnings than the citizens of the United States. Competition is no longer the life of trade. It has grown into a system of combinations and trusts. Shylock rules the commercial world. The worst feature of the whole matter is, that the names of these modern pirates often can be found upon the records of some religious organization, and they are known as liberal contributors to our benevolent and religious institutions.

There was a time when you might make the masses believe that it was a part of the divine plan that some should be very rich and many very poor; but you cannot deceive all the people any longer on that line.

The members of our labor organizations know that it is God's plan that men and women who are able to work must live by their industry, and they are not the poor that "we have with us always," who are spoken of by Christ. He meant that those who were disabled so as to be unable to work should be cared for by alms or charity, and not those who were able to work.

The old rule was that those who could work and would not, should not be allowed to eat. But this ancient rule has been changed, and they who do the least now, get the most. Organized labor proposes to correct these abuses. The revellings of these modern Belshazzars an their thousand lords have been heard, and the expense thereof has been borne too long for the good of the whole. "Weighed and found wanting," is the writing on the wall; and the hand which writes is the hand of the Alliance, and the sentence is against our political and religious leaders. Let the religious organizations of this country practice what they preach before they dare to throw a stone at organized labor. Let all men who claim to be Christians vote as Christ would have them vote, and see how soon all wrongs would be corrected.

Labor in the creator of all wealth. What can capital do without labor? What was this country before the hand of labor seized hold of it? The Grand Matter Workman of the universe has arranged matters as we they could be, so far as natural advantages are concerned. Our country is a world within itself. Everything needful for man's happiness, in this life, is or can be produced within the limits of our country. But what was this country before the "keel of discovery" touched its shores?

With all its natural beauty, it was a waste, howling wilderness, inhabited by wild men, ferocious beasts, and venomous reptiles. What power wrought these mighty changes? Instead of the lonely wigwam of the aborigines, we have innumerable beautiful cottage homes, inhabited by millions of farmers and mechanics, the bone and sinew of the grandest government, ancient or modern. Instead of the mud village of some


war chief, we have magnificent cities and towns, scattered all over this vast territory, the centres of commerce, wealth, and refinement. Instead of the lonely pathway of the untutored savages, we have the highway of quick transportation, with its tracks of steel. Instead of the frail canoe of the red man, we have great floating palaces propelled by steam, links in our system of commerce and travel. Instead of the few small patches of half-cultivated maize of the poor Indian, we have thousands of well-tilled farms, the products of which are anxiously sought for the world over. Instead of a few crude shops where the red men manufactured their bows and arrows, we hear the hum of thousands of spindles, the ring of thousands of anvils, and the whir of a million saws. The contrast is indeed great. What brought about this mighty revolution? Labor. Labor, directed by the spirit of right, has banished the war songs of the savage, and on thousands of hills has erected altars where millions of voices can be heard singing, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow." It has erected school-houses all over the land, where the humblest child may obtain a liberal education free. It has demonstrated the fact that the best form of government is where the majority rules, and the rights of the minority are respected. Without labor the iron horse would stand still on the track; the hum of every mill would be hushed; the plow on every farm would stand idle; our churches and school-houses would be closed; and all our boasted glory as a nation would fade away like the flowers before the rays of the scorching mid-summer sun. The time has come for the religious world to put itself in line with the great principles of humanity, advocated by organized labor. If the Christian ministers of the United States had the moral courage to preach the religion of Jesus Christ instead of yielding to the influence of Mammon-worshippers, our political organizations would not dare to neglect the demands of the people. If all men who claim to be members of religious institutions would vote as their respective articles of faith indicate, the wrongs of which organized labor complains would be righted at once.

While the very spirit of true religion is found in all Alliance meetings, yet no sectarianism is manifested, or political preferment known. Its motto is, " In things essential, unity; in all things, charily." The question of "Solid North," or "Solid South," is never heard in any well-regulated lodge or local union. The one great question is: How can we better the condition of those who earn their bread by the sweat at their faces? "An injury to one farmer, or laborer of any trade, is the concern of all farmers, laborers, or mechanics," say our labor advocates. It is a true statement; for if a system will take something for nothing


from one toiler, it will reach them all, sooner or later, unless the system is corrected. The industrial reform does not contemplate the destruction of the rights of any one, but it seeks to deprive a few individuals of the special privilege of robbing the many.

What a shame it is that the churches of the country do not lead in these great reforms. But it is now as it has been in all ages, — reform does not begin in churches or parties. It originates in the mind of some one who will not be fettered by the dogmas of ecclesiastical organizations, and who is brave enough to bear the stripes of the old party lash. The leaders of our preterit reforms are men and women who would not submit to the dictations of either sectarianism or partisanism. They love humanity better than they love sect or party. It is the spirit of Christ that is arousing the people.

No Organization, religious or political, need be alarmed at the action of a body which is constantly striving to secure entire harmony and good will to all mankind, and brotherly love among its own members, laboring to suppress personal, local, sectional, and national prejudices, and all selfish ambition among its members and the people. The Alliance stands by the doctrine of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. It is ready to co-operate with all institutions that have for their object the betterment of humanity.


Chapter XVIII.



THE labor movement is not by any means a new movement. It is as old as history itself. Osborne Ward, the translator of the Labor Bureau at Washington, in his book entitled "The Ancient Lowly," traces it back to the days of Abraham; and James Bronterre O'Brien, in his work entitled "Human Slavery: the Way it Came into the World and the Way that it Should be Made to go Out," traces it back to the days of the patriarchs.

It is not my intention to refer to any of the many phases of the movement that may have taken place in those ancient times, but simply to make a brief record of its different phenomena, as I have observed them for the past twenty odd years in this country. The labor organizations that existed in this country prior to the war of the Rebellion were mostly of a local nature. This country, prior to that time, was what might be termed an agricultural country, and that, too, different from any other country on the face of the globe. In nine out of ten cases, the farm laborer was the owner of his own farm, and, in many instances in New England, they divided their labors between the farm mill, or workshop, and, as a result, were independent of their employers. Besides that, the manufacturing establishments were of a small character, as far as capital was concerned.

But with the war came the demands for increased productions on the part of manufacturing establishments, which resulted in the concentration of capital into large bodies. It is but a little over forty years ago when the New England cotton or woollen mill was the property of one or more individuals; from that it became the property of two or more; and from that to the corporation, consisting of several individuals, clothed by law with special powers. And from the corporation owning one or more mills, it became the corporation owning several mills, until to-day, in one city in New England — Fall River — may be found twenty-five or more mills, employing anywhere from three hundred to fifteen hundred operatives in each separate establishment, representing a combined capital of more than $30,000 000 The whole


business is concentrated into what is termed a Board of Trade, composed of one representative of each mill or corporation represented in the combination. And this again is concentrated down to an Executive Committee of five persons. And this combination of capital is of such a character that the little bobbin boy that pieces behind the mules cannot ask for a five-cent raise in wages, without causing a throb to go through the whole $30,000,000 of capital. And the same concentration of capital has been going on in all other manufacturing industries, as well as the cotton and woollen.

At the time these industries were in their infancy, the employees were all cither American or skilled English. The farmers' daughters, after they had finished their education in the common school or village academy, would come into the town or village, and work in these manufacturing establishments. Dickens, in one of his works describing one of his visits to the United States, says that he found a well-edited magazine published in Lowell, Massachusetts, and the articles were written by the operatives in the mills of that city. This was as early as 1840.

The moment a person becomes educated, that moment he demands a higher standard of civilization. That was the case with these New England mill operatives. They wanted magazines, daily papers, fine surroundings, shorter hours of labor, more leisure to devote to pleasure and study, better and more comfortable homes. The moment this was asked for, capital, which, under our present competitive system, treats labor as a commodity, and our civilization according to the doctrine of the survival of the fittest, rebelled against it, and said that the business would not warrant it; that fourteen hours was little enough for workmen to toil; and when this labor began to rebel by organization and combination, they began to place their boycott upon it.

There had been a race of people living in Ireland for over four hundred years, in a sort of semi-slavery bordering upon starvation. In 1848 this island was visited with a famine, and emigration began to set in towards the United States. The moment that these people set foot upon our shores, the capitalists looked upon them as their prey. They said, "There is a workman that does not need fine things. He has never had them, and he has no taste for them. Look at that frieze coat that he wears. He has worn that for ten years, and he will be content to wear it for ten years more." Then they offered this man twenty-five per cent less than the educated American was getting: but it was twenty-five per cent more than the Irishman had been receiving, and so was a step upwards for him. In the course of time the Irishman had children that grew up under our civilization; they were educated


in our common schools, and it created a demand on their part for better surroundings; and when they began to demand the wages that would secure them, these same capitalists refused on the same plea as before, that the business did not warrant the advance. Then the employing class made another flank movement, and went over to Canada and imported the Canadian Frenchman, who could neither read, speak, nor write the English language, and who, from his habits of living, was contented to eat lard instead of butter on his bread, and put him to work in the place of the Irishman and his children. It has now reached the point when these Frenchmen have raised a generation of children, who, after having been brought up in our civilization and educated in our common schools, are demanding at the hands of these capitalists those improved methods of living that are the product of our civilization. The capitalists are now substituting Italians and Hungarians for them. It would seem that system and business methods demand that there should be a class of workmen who are of a lower order of intelligence.

This system of substituting the ignorant workman in the place of the intelligent one has taught the intelligent ones that it is necessary for them to combine together to resist this process of despoliation. Because of this conviction, labor organizations sprang into existence.

There have existed in this country, since the close of the war, two different schools of labor reformers. One school was in favor of reform by political methods. The other was composed of those who were in favor of gaining the reform upon the line of what is termed the wage question. They accepted the capitalistic idea of economics, which was in substance that labor was a commodity, and that the law of supply and demand regulated the matter of wages. The political school insisted that, under an industrial republic like ours, it was more a question of legislation, and that by special enactments some were getting more of the products of human effort than they were entitled to. Those who adhered to the capitalistic idea proceeded to organize upon what is termed the "trades-union" principle, and to fight the battle upon that line, and there are a goodly number that adhere to that method to-day. Among the trades that first assumed a national character during the war were: "The Iron Moulders' International Union," of which William II. Sylvis of Philadelphia was the president; "The International Cigar-makers' Union," of which John J. Junio of Syracuse, New York, was the president; "The Machinists and Blacksmiths' International Union," of which John Fearinbach of Ohio was the president; "The International Typographical Union," of which John Farqhuar was president. Mr. Farqhuar in after years represented the city of Buffalo in Congress, and


in the fifty-first Congress was the chairman of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. There were other trades that were organized, but few of them attained any prominence of a national character.

In 1866 Newell Daniels of Milwaukee and a half-dozen other shoemakers founded what was known as the "Knights of St. Crispin." This organization accepted the capitalistic idea that wages were governed by the law of supply and demand, and they set about to regulate and curtail the supply. Upon joining the order, every member was pledged not to teach any new help. This had the desired effect. In the short period of two years the wages in the shoe trade went up twenty per cent, and all of the boys and apprentices disappeared in three or four years. The manufacturers were compelled to scour the country towns for men who had learned the trade, as none others were any use to them, as the men refused to teach or show them. Help was advertised for abroad, and it seemed that every German that came over to this country at that time was born with some shoemaker's tool in mouth, for every one of them that the manufacturers hired was a shoemaker in the old country, and that made him eligible to join the organization and receive instructions from the craft. This was necessary, as every one of them had to practically learn his trade over again, as the method of working was so different. And in many instances it took longer to instruct him than it would have taken to instruct a young man brought up here in this country. But under the rules of the society the young man was debarred by the pledge of the organization, while if the German had learned his trade in the old country, it did not prevent a member from teaching him over again. But when the panic of 1873 came, it broke the power of this organization to curtail help. There were so many thrown out of employment that the workmen had to compete with one another for work, and the organization went to the wall.

In 1865 there was a conference of some of the advanced thinkers in the labor movement, at Louisville, Kentucky. Captain Richard F. Trevellick, then president of the "Shipcarpenters and Calkers' International Union," was one of the leading spirits. This conference was the first step that was taken by the wage workers in this country, for advancing the work of labor reform in a manner different from that which had been practised by the Trades-Unionists. These men saw what the Trades-Unionists did not see; viz.: That the capitalists were using Congress and the different State legislatures to strengthen them in their fight against the laboring people; that they were obtaining special privileges, in the form of special laws, which gave them power to obtain more of the products of the joint labor of capital and labor than


they otherwise could do. These men, few as they were in number, set out to form an organization that would counteract the work of the capitalistic class in that line. They noticed that special privileges had been obtained by these capitalists to issue money, which enabled them to control its volume; that, while it was a good thing to have labor rely upon the natural law of supply and demand, in their opinion it was bad for money to do the same thing. Besides that, these men saw that the capitalistic class were also using the government law-makers to obtain large blocks of land that, in the near future, would be very valuable, on account of the increase in population in the country.

The preliminary steps taken at Louisville resulted in the calling of a convention in the city of Baltimore, in 1866. Among some of the men who were at that convention were Captain Richard F. Trevellick of Michigan; Thomas A. Armstrong of Pennsylvania, the founder of the Labor Tribune, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; A. C. Cameron, who at that time edited the Workman's Advocate, of Chicago, then about the only distinct labor paper in the country; John Oberly, who afterwards became Indian Commissioner and Civil Service Commissioner under President Cleveland. This convention appointed a committee to draw up a platform of principles, and then adjourned. But before it adjourned, it adopted the name of "The National Labor Union," and prepared to form subordinate unions throughout the country. The committee appointed to draw up the platform consisted of A. C. Cameron, Chairman, Thomas A. Armstrong, and several others. This committee met at Ionia, Michigan, on December 18, 1886, drew up a platform, and published it to the world. It may be said that the beginning of labor taking a hand in politics in the United States dates from the publishing of that platform.

The next time that the National Labor Union met was at Chicago in 1867, at which meeting William H. Sylvis, of the Iron Moulders' Union, was elected president of the body. The next meeting was at New York, in 1868. The publishing of this platform to the world caused others besides workingmen to interest themselves in its proceedings. Among those who came asking admission to the New York meeting were General A. M. West, who at that time was President of the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad; Britton A. Hill of St. Louis, one of the ablest legal minds of that city at that time; and General Samuel F. Cary, who afterwards represented the city of Cincinnati in Congress.

There were local tickets nominated upon this platform, in several different sections of the country, during the next four years. In Massachusetts there were several members elected to the legislature in both


branches, and as a result of this new factor in politics, came the first labor bureau ever established in the country (the Massachusetts bureau). In 1870 there was a State ticket run on this platform in New York. James S. Graham of Rochester was the nominee for governor, and Conrad S. Kuhn of New York City, who was at that time the vice-president of the "International Cigarmakers' Union," was the nominee for lieutenant governor. Alexander Troup, who at the present writing is editor of the New Haven Daily Union, was very prominent in this movement.

In 1872 the officials of the National Labor Union called a national convention at the city of Indianapolis, for the purpose of placing in nomination candidates for President and Vice-President. At this Convention Judge David Davis of Illinois was nominated for President, and Senator Booth of California, for Vice-President. Both of these gentlemen declined, and the Executive Committee did not see fit to place any new men in nomination. Judge Davis was afterwards elected to the United States Senate, over John A. Logan, by some workingmen who held the balance of power in the Illinois legislature. In 1876 the National Committee, elected at Indianapolis in 1872, called another convention at the same city, and placed in nomination for President, Peter Cooper, the New York philanthropist, and Samuel F. Carey of Ohio, as Vice-President, and something like 81,000 votes were cast for this ticket. This party was termed the Greenback party. The following is the platform as adopted at that convention: —

"The Independent party is called into existence by the necessities of the people, whose industries are prostrated, whose labor is deprived of its just reward by a ruinous policy which the Republican and Democratic parties refuse to change: and in view of the failure of these parties to furnish relief to the depressed industries of the country, thereby disappointing the just hopes and expectations of the suffering people, we declare our principles, and invite all patriotic men to join our ranks in this movement for financial reform and industrial emancipation.

"First. We demand the immediate and unconditional repeal of the Specie Resumption Act of January 14, 1875, and the rescue of our industries from ruin and disaster resulting from its enforcement; and we call upon all patriotic men to organize in every congressional district of the country, with a view of electing representatives to Congress who will carry out the wishes of the people in this regard, and stop the present suicidal and destructive policy of contraction.

"Second. We believe that a United States note, issued by the government, and convertible, on demand, into United States obligations, bearing a rate of interest not exceeding one cent a day on each one hundred dollars, and exchangeable for United States notes at par, will afford the best circulating medium ever devised. Such United States notes should be full legal tenders for all purposes, except for the payment of such obligations as are, by existing contracts, especially made payable in coin; and we hold that it is the duty of the government to provide such a circulating


medium, and insist, in the language of Thomas Jefferson, that ‘bank paper must be suppressed and the circulation restored to the nation, to whom it belongs.’

"Third. It is the paramount duty of the government, in all its legislation, to keep in view the full development of all legitimate business, agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and commercial.

"Fourth. We most earnestly protest against any further issue of gold bonds for sale in foreign markets, by which we would be made, for a long period, ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’ to foreigners, especially as the American people would gladly and promptly take at par all bonds the government may need to sell, provided that they are made payable at the option of the holder, and bearing interest at three and sixty-five per cent per annum, or even a lower rate.

"Fifth. We further protest against the sale of government bonds for the purpose of purchasing silver to be used as a substitute for our more convenient and less fluctuating fractional currency, which, although well calculated to enrich owners of silver mines, yet in operation it will still further oppress, in taxation, an already overburdened people.

In 1877 there was another movement that took root here in the United States. It was termed the "Socialistic Labor Party." It went further than any other labor movement that had ever come to the front in this country. It aimed to do away with competitions as means of advancing civilization. It believes that the next step in evolution is in the line of paternalism. The first national convention that was ever held in this country was in Pittsburgh, in 1877. One of the leading spirits of that body was Albert R. Parsons, who suffered death for his opinions upon this question. A great many persons have been led to believe that Parsons was of a bloodthirsty disposition, while the contrary was the case. He was of the kindest of dispositions, but he had studied the present unjust system until he had become a fanatic against it; and whenever he read of an injustice tinder it, he could not resist the temptation to condemn it in the most severe terms. This party has constantly placed tickets in the field at local and State elections. They have been the strongest in Chicago and New York. John Swinton of New York is one of the strongest advocates of this idea in the country, and at one time was their candidate for mayor of the city. They are gradually increasing from year to year. During the last campaign their candidate for governor, in the State of New York, reached nearly 14,000 votes. Osborne Ward, the translator of the Labor Bureau at Washington, in 1877 was the lecturer for that party, and travelled over the country in their interests, and, the same as all other labor agitators in the early days, received his pains for his services.

In 1877 there also came into prominence the organization known as the "Knights of Labor," with a platform similar in purport to the one adopted at Indianapolis. The members of this organization, as a general


rule, supported the candidates of the Greenback party at election times in 1877, and in the congressional elections of 1878 this party polled over 850,000 votes for congressional candidates, and succeeded in electing thirteen independent men to Congress. The result of this force in Congress compelled the government to reverse its financial policy, which had been to retire the legal tender money and put out bonds in its place. The government had also, in 1873, demonetized silver, and at this session of Congress, through this independent force, it was compelled to remonetize it. This same party held its next convention in 1880, and placed in nomination for President, General James B. Weaver of Iowa, who had been the Independent leader in Congress during two years, and B. J. Chambers of Texas for Vice-President, and that ticket received nearly 400,000 votes.

The Knights of Labor started out on different lines from the trades-union. They endeavored to be an educational organization, and for the space of twelve years accomplished more in that line than any other body of workingmen that had existed before that. But their work in this line was hampered by the fact that a large per cent of its numbers were of the wage working classes, and, as a result, the organization drifted, in the latter years, back towards the trades-union spirit. It could not carry both ideas and continue in operation. Those who maintained the trades-union sentiment could not see the value of spending money in education on the line of political action, which would manifest itself in the construction of the planks in the platform; while, on the other hand, those who believed in education along political lines could not see the benefit to be gained by contributing their money to make the fight in the line of strikes. The organization became weakened by this struggle between conflicting ideas. In 1884 the Independent party held a convention in Chicago, and placed in nomination for President, Benjamin F. Butler of Massachusetts, and General A. M. West, who was at the New York convention of the National Union, as Vice-President. In 1888 this party changed its name to the Union Labor party, and placed in nomination for President, A. J. Streeter, president of the Farmers' Alliance, and Cunningham of Arkansas, as Vice-President Every one of these presidential nominations was the outcome of the conference held at Louisville in 1865, and the main points of that platform, — land, transportation, and finance, — have never been deviated from from that day to the present, and the same principles are to-day embodied in the platform adopted by the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union and the Knights of Labor, at their joint conference at St. Louis in December, 1889. It was on this platform that the great political


upheaval in Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Dakota was produced, in the political campaign of the summer and fall of 1890, which resulted in the election of some fifteen independent members to the fifty-second Congress — a result which has profoundly astonished the leaders of the two old political parties. It has so revolutionized public thought that, at the time of the penning of this article, there is no living person who can prognosticate the political complexion of the coming presidential campaign of 1892.

These ideas have gained such a hold upon public opinion, that they bid fair to cause a complete change in our form of government, as far as its industrial conditions are concerned, during the next quarter of a century. It looks as though, before that period was passed, the government would assume control and ownership of all means of transportation in the form of railroads; that the government would adopt a system of issuing money to the people without the aid of banking institutions, and that a larger volume per capita would be in circulation than ever before in the history of any government in the world; that the local governments of cities and towns would assume control and complete ownership of all street railroads, gas and water works. In fact, it bids fair to be a radical revolution in the industrial affairs of government. It looks as though the days of individualism and corporations were doomed, and that the next step in the line of human advancement would be the adoption of the socialistic state of society.


Chapter XIX.



THERE is always a duty which follows every responsibility of life. This proposition will hold good no matter what station the individual may occupy, be he rich or poor, learned or unlearned, saint or sinner. That duties and responsibilities go hand in hand through all human efforts, and stand side by side in all human achievements, must be accepted as a cardinal truth. This duty may relate to the individual, or extend to those either near or far. It is always present, and, when properly understood, a faithful and unerring guide. Under ordinary conditions a majority of the race will perform a duty when made plainly known. The difficulties which prevent the performance of duty are usually want of information, or mercenary and selfish motives. The individual in his individual capacity can many times reconcile his conscience to certain actions when he has proven recreant to his duty as an individual; but the difficulties of such a settlement increase when this neglect affects the conditions or rights of others. When a person, by his or her own volition, joins with others to promote the advancement of any cause, or for the attainment of any purpose, this sense of duty should become more enlarged because the responsibilities have become greater.

In all organizations there should be definite objects to labor for. This should be followed by a unity of action on the part of every member. The Scripture says that "a house divided against itself cannot stand"; neither can an organization with divided efforts continue to grow and prosper. The duties involved in membership include a desire to advance the best interests of the organization; and this is only possible where a full understanding, backed up by mutual responsibilities, exists. It is true, however, that the degree of responsibility differs with almost every individual, but it is none the less a mutual undertaking. In the Alliance the duty of each member is, or should be, distinctly understood. The motto of the order, "Equal rights to all, and special privileges to none," furnishes a safe monitor for all who may wish an object lesson in that line. It conveys the idea of equality, that condition which is only obtained through brotherly love and fraternal solicitude.


A certain writer has defined a condition of perfect equality to be "where each produces according to his means, and consumes according to his wants." The Alliance goes farther, and seeks better results. It aims, as the ultimate fulfilment of duty, to have each member educated up to one common plane, as nearly its natural or acquired abilities will permit. It assumes that the whole human family can be made better. While admitting that some can make more rapid advancement than others, it holds to the belief that all can be improved. The common "fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man" would be the ultimate end of true Alliance doctrine. The duties of membership demand that the strong should help the weak; the educated, the uneducated; and the joyful, the sorrowing. Aid and fraternal assistance should include the financial as well as the moral and educational. A general desire to bring about peace, plenty, and prosperity to every member should actuate the whole. Herein lies the full duty of membership, and is indispensable to either success or progress.

In the Alliance all meet upon certain levels, and each is possessed of certain rights and privileges. These should be sacredly preserved, and fully recognized by every member. Those who through ignorance do not understand the full import of these conditions should be taught them at once, and not be deprived of their benefits. Duty makes every member his "brother's keeper," and formulates a condition of fraternal dependence that cannot be neglected or ignored. In all matters pertaining to moral, material, or intellectual growth, each member should be governed by one purpose and guided by one impulse. Nothing should interfere with continuity of action, in this respect, on the part of every member of the Alliance. They should stand together as a unit defending each other, and protecting the general welfare of the order. Nothing should be taken for granted, or believed to be true concerning a member, unless clearly and distinctly proven; and even then charity, "the greatest of them all," should be permitted to dictate the terms of judgment.

The motives of the organization may not be understood, and, as a consequence, they are liable to be impugned. Because of this, members become alarmed, and the cowards retreat. Not so with those who understand their duty. They seek to make plain their objects, and try to instruct the public in the principles of the order. To do this requires courage; but this courage is nearly always found in conjunction with a proper sense of duty, and in all cases makes the weak strong, and the triumph of truth complete. The Alliance furnishes a fertile field for those who desire to benefit their neighbors and friends. The opportunities


for doing good are never wanting, and all such efforts usually result satisfactorily; the farmers being, as a rule, an appreciative class, who hardly ever fail to profit by example or advice.

When difficulties are increasing, and the weight of oppression grows heavier, or the storm cloud of opposition becomes more threatening, the duties which are demanded of the membership become more burdensome and more exacting. At the present time the Alliance is on the up grade. It has required courage as well as fidelity to convictions to place it where it now is. More and greater efforts, stronger and more devoted friends, wiser counsels, and inure willing sacrifices must be made in the near future, to preserve the trophies which the Alliance has already won. Nothing but an abiding faith in the ultimate triumph of truth, and a fearless, conscientious discharge of every duty, will secure to future membership the privileges and prospects of the present.

The Alliance is now in excellent condition and splendidly equipped for aggressive work. Its methods are nearly, if not quite, perfected. Its declaration of principles is clearly defined, its membership is fully alive to the necessities of the times, and the country at large acknowledges the justness of its cause. The one factor absolutely necessary to complete success is a perfect performance of duty among the members. A strict adherence to duty will rid the Alliance of all factional strife, and eliminate the demagogue, the traitor, and the coward. It will add courage, strength, and power to the undertaking, and give dignity, wisdom, and standing to the order. It will cement the organization into one solid phalanx, whose ranks cannot be broken by envy, slander, or internal dissensions. It is not the assaults of the open enemy that now threaten the perpetuity of the order; it is the insidious attacks of an unseen and secret foe, — one who works through stealth, whose weapons are promises which satisfy the greed or ambition of the members; one who can stir up strife in the order, and then add fuel to the fire already lighted. These are the dreaded enemies of the order, and can only be defeated in their nefarious scheming by a rigid performance of duty. When one member can depend upon other members to fulfil their duties at all times, fealty to the order becomes absolute, and a determination to do right becomes unswerving. The Alliance is rapidly teaching its membership their duties and obligations to the order, and it is a pleasure to know that these lessons are bringing forth the rich, ripe fruit of obedience. Nothing indicates the power and ultimate triumph of the principles of the Alliance more forcibly than the manner in which the membership are standing by their duties. If this condition can be perpetuated, future generations will


have cause to rejoice. Whether it will continue or not, depends entirely upon the proper application of the sense of duty which obtains among the membership.

The Alliance movement, during its brief existence, has done more to educate the great mass of people in the principles of government than all the schools and colleges have in the past century. The people are, through the methods made use of by the Alliance, learning the rights and duties of citizenship with a rapidity and clearness truly alarming to the chronic politician. The Alliance has taught the wealth-producers of the North and South that their interests are identical; that it is their duty to eliminate all sectional feeling, and work together for the common good. It has done more. It has taught them to look upon all attempts to array one portion against another, or revive old animosities, as a cruel wrong, and intended to serve political purposes. They are learning to class the average politician as an enemy to labor in production, and in the near future will put this knowledge to a practical test. The fact is being made apparent that all labor, whether it be found amid the snow and ice of the North, the rough and rugged portions of the West, or the more mild and balmy sections of the South, must stand together for mutual protection. The Alliance is the initial movement which, if continued, will bring about a unification of sentiment based upon questions of national importance, that will benefit labor, wipe out all sectionalism, and prove a lasting blessing to the whole people.

The objects taught in the Alliance tend to make the membership better and stronger men and women, and fit them more properly for the duties and responsibilities they may be called to bear. In this lies the secret power of the Alliance, and with its increase come more certain prospects of future achievements. No matter what differences may at first appear in the Alliance, in regard to education, morals, social relations, or matters financial or material, a proper sense of duty, wisely and justly applied, will in time produce one united, self-respecting, self-reliant, and earnest organization of well-meaning, duty-loving members. As I have said before, the duties and responsibilities of membership are found together; they are almost inseparable, and demand not only watchful attention, but a strict adherence. No man or woman can long neglect either and maintain their position in ordinary society, much less as members of an organization. It therefore is incumbent upon every one, who has his own or others' welfare at stake, to see to it that every obligation is carefully discharged, and every duty fully performed.


Chapter XX.



A REFORMER has stood in all ages past, and will doubtless stand in all time to come, among his fellows misjudged and misunderstood. His motives will be impugned, his sincerity questioned, and his efforts unappreciated. He is one "who treads on the thorns and thistles of earth, while walking amid the stars."

The qualifications of a reformer are numerous and exacting, and without them success is impossible. Honesty, patience, and courage are the three most essential. Add to these a continuity of action, a full understanding of the proposed reform, and a willingness to labor without even a prospect of reward, and the necessary requirements of a genuine reformer are partially enumerated. The incessant, persistent exercise of those qualities constitutes, in part, the duty of a reformer. He who undertakes a reform must fight existing power, old conditions and practices, and the almost universal dread of innovations. The settled policies of years are to be changed; the prejudices of long standing are to be overcome; and last, but by far the most difficult, education must do its perfect work.

To be a reformer is to be a hero, perhaps a martyr, but seldom a beneficiary. It is only after the ground has been prepared, the seed sown, and the plant cultivated, that the harvest can be gathered. It is just so with a reform. The people must be prepared through want and distress; the cause must be discovered and pointed out; the remedy must be clearly shown; and a concert of action toward the demand for its application must be aroused; and after all this has been brought about, some eleventh-hour convert usually steps in and receives the reward. But the true reformer is satisfied to perform his duty if only rewarded by the consciousness of having discharged it honestly and well. His efforts are all directed toward the accomplishment of his purpose, without even a care as to what will become of him in the grand results attending success.

The history of reforms during the past demonstrates the fact that none were failures in the end. In the fulness of lime, the seeds sown


brought a harvest, of which the world eagerly partook. Men have died believing that their efforts at reform were futile, to whose memory a grateful people have erected monuments many years afterward. It may be true that

"The seed ye sow another reaps, The wealth ye find another keeps";

but it neither hinders the true reformer in the discharge of his duties, nor causes a single pang of regret in his reflections. It is not necessary to mention any particular reforms in order to designate certain lines of duty. Nearly all reforms originate under similar conditions, and are carried forward by the same forces. The battle may be bloodless, it may even be without confusion or tumult, and yet it may result in the weal or woe of the people of the entire world. Death and destruction to the people wait upon other methods than war. Carlyle says: —

"It is not to die, or even to die of hunger, that makes a man wretched; many men have died; all men must die. But it is to live miserable, we know not why; to work, save, and yet gain nothing; to be heart-worn, weary, yet isolated, unrelated, girt in with a cold universal Laissez-faire."

John Stuart Mill says: —

"If the bulk of the human race is always to remain as at present, slaves to toil in which they have no interest, and therefore feel no interest, drudging from early morning till late at night for the bare necessaries, and with all the intellectual and moral deficiencies which that implies — without resources either in mind or feeling; untaught, for they cannot be better taught than fed; selfish, for their thoughts are all required for themselves: without interest or sentiments as citizens and members of society, and with a sense of injustice rankling in their minds equally for what they have not and what others have, — I know not what there is which should make a person of any capacity of reason concern himself about the destinies of the human race."

What a fearful picture, and yet how true!

"The iron law of wages," says Ricardo, "is the natural price of labor which is necessary to enable the laborers, one with another, to subsist and to perpetuate their race without increase or decrease."

"Labor," says Karl Marx, "is bought at its exchange value, and sold at its use value. Exchange value is the least amount that will permit the laborer and his family to live, while the use value is all the employer can squeeze out of it."

"You believe, perhaps, fellow laborers and citizens," said Lassalle, "that you are human beings, that you are men. Speaking from the standpoint of political economy, you make a terrible mistake. You are nothing but a commodity, a high price for which increase your numbers, just the same as a high price for stockings increases


the number of stockings, if there we not enough of them — and you are swept away. Your number is diminished by smaller wages, by what Malthus calls the preventive and positive checks to population; jut as if you were vermin, against which society wages war."

Conditions, and not theories, bring about the necessity of reforms, and it is necessity, not theory, that brings out the reformer. His duty begins where equal rights are ignored, and never ends until justice and equity are obtained.

Emerson says: —

"What is a man born for, but to be a reformer, a re-maker of what man has made, a renouncer of lies, a restorer of truth and good, imitating that great Nature which embosoms us all, and which sleeps no moment on an old past, but every hour repairs herself, yielding us every morning a new day, and with every pulsation a new life? The power, which is at once spring and regulator in all efforts of reform, is the conviction that there is an infinite worthiness in man which will appear at the call of worth, and that all reforms are the removing of some impediment. The American, have no faith; they rely on the power of a dollar; they are deaf to sentiment: they think you may talk the north wind down as easily as to raise society. And no class is more faithless than the scholars or intellectual men. Now, if I talk with a sincere wise man, and my friend with a poet, with a conscientious youth, who is still under the dominion of his own wild thoughts, and not yet harnessed in the team of society to drag with us all in the ruts of custom, I see at once how paltry is all this generation of unbelievers, and what a house of cards their institutions are; and I see what one brave man, what one great thought executed, might effect. But the reformer not only beholds his heaven to he possible, but already to begin to exist; not by the men or materials the statesman uses, but by men transfigured and raised above themselves by the power of principles. To principles something else in possible, that transcends all the power of expedients."

The estimate put upon a reformer, in the true sense of the word, by Mr. Emerson, was in reality a tribute to all the virtues. How true this is! When the generations that come after look back upon the efforts of reform, the dark shades with which it was enveloped are turned into brighter beams, and the methods then considered doubtful become the maxims of future conduct. True reforms, true beneficence, and better conditions for the human race, are bound together in indissoluble bonds of union. Where one is found, all may be seen; and where either is wanting, neither need be expected.

The Alliance is the one grand reform of the nineteenth century. Its objects are to enlighten, elevate, and make better. It is founded upon the principle of equal and exact justice to all. It demands reforms in the conditions which obtain among those who labor in production, especially the farmers. Being the most conservative element of society,


they are the most confiding and the slowest to act. They are more suspicious of the acts of others than jealous of their own rights and are quite apt to impugn the motives of any one who seeks to bring about any innovations upon existing customs and usages. Reform in this direction can only follow education, and that is only brought about by patient efforts. While they may be slow to act, it is also true that their efforts are earnest and vigorous when once put in motion. It would be a blessing to the race if reformers were unnecessary; but the wish is useless, since, notwithstanding all the appeals that have been made in ages past, for God and hummanity, the tide of oppression seems to be augmenting as time rolls on, and the walls of the poor, needy and distressed are unnoticed, even in a land consecrated to liberty.

It in here that the herculean task of the reformer presents itself. It is here that he must choose between ease, comfort, and possible riches, and a life of self-sacrifice, deprivation, and possible want. It is here that he must choose between the soul and the body, between the man and the animal. If a reformer, he chooses the right and despises the wrong. Observation has already taught him that great reforms are of slow growth, and that all forms of selfishness must be buried in the great work in which he is engaged. The idea of reward, except in the great world to come, must not possess him. We would cheerfully grant to him the consoling thought that a life devoted to some good work is advancing heavenward.

The reformer must live in the future, and consider present discomfort, as the credit marks for coming appreciation. Emerson further says: —

"He who would help himself and others should not be a subject of irregular and interrupted impulses of virtue; but a continent, persisting, immovable person, — such as we have seen a few scattered up and down in time for the blessing of the world, — men who have in the gravity of their nature a quality which answers to the fly wheel in a mill, which distributes the motion equally over all the wheels, and hinders it from falling unequally and suddenly in destructive shocks. It is better that joy should be spread over all the day in the form of strength, than that it should be concentrated into ecstasies, full of danger and followed by reactions. There is a sublime prudence, which is the very highest that we know of man, which, believing in a vast future, sure of more to come than is yet seen, postpones always the present hour to the whole life; postpones talent to genius, and special results t character. A purer fame, a greater power, rewards the sacrifice."

Another point usually lost sight of is that all reformers begin at the bottom. It is the substratum of what is called society that furnishes the material out of which both reforms and reformers are usually produced. It is among the discontented, the distressed, and those who are not satisfied with their environment, that all reforms begin. Those who


are satisfied with their conditions are not, as rule, satisfied to divide with others, or consent without a protest to a change. Hence the reformer, in the discharge of his duty, runs counter to the interests of the rich, powerful, and educated. Reform, that are founded in philanthropy are quite certain to end in failure, while those based upon principle are always in the end triumphant. To meet with average courage all these obstacles; to fight manfully all opposition; to bear insult, suffer wrong, and bear reproach, — these constitute the plain duties of every true reformer.


Chapter XXI.



BEFORE beginning a discussion of this plan I will give the original bill in full, as it deserves to be handed down to history.

H. R. 7162 is the official designation of the bill introduced by Hon. John A. Pickler of South Dakota, embodying the demand of the Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union, which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means. Its title is, "A bill to establish a system of sub-treasuries, and for other purposes," the full text of the bill being as follows: —

"SECTION 1. be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there may be established in each of the counties of each of the States of the United States, a branch of the Treasury Department of the United States, to be known and designated as a sub-treasury, as hereinafter provided, when one hundred or more citizens of any county in any State shall petition the Secretary of the Treasury requesting the location of a sub-treasury in such county, and shall,

"1. Present written evidence duly authenticated by oath or affirmation of county clerk and sheriff, showing that the average gross amount per annum of cotton, wheat, oats, corn, and tobacco produced and sold in that county for the last preceding two years, exceeds the sum of $500,000 at current prices in said county at that time, and,

"2. Present a good and sufficient bond for title to a suitable and adequate amount of land to be donated to the government of the United States for the location of the sub-treasury buildings, and,

"3. A certificate of election showing that the site for the location of such sub-treasury has been chosen by a popular vote of the citizens of that county, and also naming the manager of the sub-treasury elected at said election for the purpose of taking charge of said sub-treasury, under such regulations as may be prescribed. It shall, in that case, be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to proceed without delay to establish a sub-treasury department in such county as hereinafter provided.

"SEC. 2. That any owner of cotton, wheat, corn, oats, or tobacco may deposit the same in the sub-treasury nearest the point of its production, and receive therefore treasury notes, hereinafter provided for, equal at the date of deposit to eight per centum of the net value of such products at the market price, said price to be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, under rules and regulations prescribed based upon the price current in the leading cotton, tobacco, or grain markets of the United States; but no deposit consisting in whole or in part of cotton, tobacco, or grain imported into the country shall be received under the provisions of this act.


"SEC. 3. That the Secretary of the Treasury shall cute to be prepared treasury notes, in such amounts as may be required for the purpose of the above section, and in such form and denominations as he may prescribe, provided that no note shall be of a denomination of less than $l, or more than $1000.

"SEC. 4. That the treasury notes issued under this act shall be receivable for customs, and shall be a full legal tender for all debts, both public and private, and such notes when held by any national banking association shall be counted as part of its lawful reserve.

"SEC. 5. It shall be the duty of the manager of a sub-treasury when cotton, grain, or tobacco is received by him on deposit, as above provided, to give a warehouse receipt, showing the amount and grade or quality of such cotton, tobacco, or grain, and its value at dale of deposit; the amount of treasury notes the sub-treasury has advanced on the product; that the interest on the money so advanced is at the rate of one per centum per annum; expressly stating the amount of insurance, weighing, classing, warehousing, and other charges that will run against such deposit of cotton, grain, or tobacco. All such warehouse receipts shall be negotiable by indorsement.

"SEC. 6. That the cotton, grain, or tobacco deposited in the sub-treasury under the provisions of this act may be redeemed by the holder of the warehouse receipt herein provided for, either at the sub-treasury in which the product is deposited, or at any other sub-treasury, by the surrender of such warehouse receipt and the payment in lawful money of the United States of the same amount originally advanced by the sub-treasury against the product, and such further amount as may be necessary to discharge all interest that may have accrued against the advance of money made on the deposit of produce, and all insurance, warehouse, and other charges that attach to the product for warehousing and handling. All lawful money received at the sub-treasury as a return of the actual amount of money advanced by the government against farm products as above specified shall be returned, with a full report of the transaction, to the Secretary of the Treasury, who shall make record of the transaction and cancel and destroy the money so returned. A sub-treasury that receives a warehouse receipt as above provided, together with the return of the proper amount of lawful money and all charges as herein provided, when the product for which it is given is stored in some other sub-treasury, shall give an order on such other sub-treasury for the delivery of the cotton, grain, or tobacco, as the case may be, and the Secretary of the Treasury shall provide for the adjustment between sub-treasures of all charges.

"SEC. 7. The Secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe such rules and regulations as are necessary for governing the details of the management of the sub-treasuries, living the salary, bond, and responsibility of each of the managers of sub-treasuries (provided that the salary of any manager of a sub-treasury shall not exceed the sum of $1500 per annum), holding the managers of sub-treasury personally responsible on their bonds for weights and classifications of all produce, providing for the rejection of unmerchantable grades of cotton, grain, or tobacco, or for such as may be in bad condition; and shall provide rules for the sale at public auction of all cotton, corn, oats, wheat, or tobacco that has been placed on deposit for a longer period than twelve months, after due notice published. The proceeds of the sale of such product shall be applied, first, to the reimbursement to the sub-treasury of the amount originally advanced, together with all charges; and. second, the balance shall be held on deposit for the benefit of the holder of the warehouse receipt, who shall


be entitled to receive the same on the surrender of his warehouse receipt. The Secretary of the Treasury shall also provide rules for the duplication of any papers, in case of loss or destruction.

"SEC. 8. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury, when Section 1 of this act shall have been complied with, to cause to be erected, according to the laws and customs governing the construction of government buildings, a suitable sub-treasury building, with such warehouse or elevator facilities as the character and amount of the products of that section may indicate as necessary. Such buildings shall be supplied with all modern conveniences for handling and safely storing and preserving the products likely to be deposited.

"SEC. 9. That any gain arising from the charges for insurance, weighing, storing, classing, holding, shipping, interest, or other charges, after paying all expenses on conducting the sub-treasury, shall be accounted for and paid into the Treasury of the United States.

"SEC. 10. The term of office of a manager of a sub-treasury shall be two years, and the regular election to fill such office shall be at the same time as the election for members of the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States. In case of a vacancy in the office of manager of the sub-treasury, by death, resignation, or otherwise, the Secretary of the Treasury shall have power to appoint a manager for the unexpired term.

"SEC. 11. The sum of fifty millions of dollars, or so much thereof as may be found necessary to carry out the provisions of this act, is hereby appropriated out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for that purpose.

"SEC. 12. That so much of any or all other acts as are in conflict with the provisions of this act are hereby repealed."

Amid the great confusion of thought as to the real object and effect of this important and much-abused plan, an article, be it ever so elaborate, could not be expected to sustain, by argument, all the propositions of the measure. If, in this communication, a forcible, clear, and conclusive presentation can be, made of (1) the necessity for the resort to such legislation at this time, (2) the true methods of the proposed sub-treasury system and their relation to agriculture and other lines of business, and (3) a conservative view of the inevitable effect of the introduction of this method to meet the necessity of the period, much will have been accomplished.

The necessity for something of this kind depends upon, and has been developed by, the onward march of material progress. The introduction of steam and electricity, the effectiveness given to effort, under the modern commercial methods, as the combined result of the introduction of improved machinery, and a more perfect application of the economic doctrine of the division of labor, with many other forces developed by discovery, research and education, have in the last fifty years produced great changes in almost every line of effort. These changes have probably affected the methods of agriculture and the


conditions that surround it, about as much as they have other lines of business, on average. It is important to note that, for the last twenty-five years, agriculture has, as compared with the other two great branches of production, — manufacture and commerce, — been rapidly becoming depressed and unprofitable. Political economists have long recognized the fact that a country could not reach a high degree of prosperity if it depended alone upon either one of the three great divisions of productive effort, — agriculture, commerce, or manufacture, — and that it requires a wise development of all these branches to produce the highest degree of prosperity in each. It must, then, be a source of concern to all, that agriculture is depressed. That the depressed condition of agriculture has been developed and intensified during the last twenty-five years, a period of material progress without a parallel in the world's history, the development of which should have produced a prosperous condition of agriculture, and through it reacted favorably upon commerce and manufacture, is indicative of a very potent cause, and one worthy the most careful analysis.

In a practical examination of this subject it must be remembered that it is a condition to be met, and not a theory; that things must be viewed as they are, and not as they should be. For this purpose, take two of the leading products of agriculture, wheat and cotton, and trace the changes made in regard to them, during that period. Twenty-fire years ago wheat was raised by farmers throughout the North generally, as one of their leading money crops. It was cut by reapers and bound by hand. The farmer had his granary on his farm, in which he stored it until ready to sell. It was threshed by itinerant horse-power threshers, that found steady work throughout fall, winter, and spring. Local mills, thickly scattered over the country, ground the flour for local consumption, and the balance was sold when the price suited the farmer. The farmers of the West then hauled their wheat to market, a distance of from ten to a hundred miles. All this guaranteed a moderately even sale of wheat by the farmer, from August until the next June or July, and it was very common for a farmer to have his wheat on hand for more than a year.

Note the difference now. The development of railway systems has brought the great West so close to market that wheat can no longer be profitably grown in the East and the local mills have long since been abandoned to the rats, or devoted to other purposes; while in the West, the great wheat-growing district, the wheat is cut and bound by machinery and eagerly lapped into the iron jaws of immense steam threshers everywhere present. There is no delay, and from the very thresher the


grain goes in hot haste into the elevator upon the railway, always close at hand, and the moment it strikes the elevator, it is, by means of the telegraph, on the markets of the world. Huge milling centres supply the country with flour and the farmer himself generally sells his wheat and buys his flour. The season in which the farmer realizes from his productive effort, instead of ranging from ten to twelve months, is now shortened to a period that does not, in its utmost limit, exceed three months.

Twenty-five years ago cotton was housed in cabins, built in the fields for that purpose, and slowly ginned out by horse-gins, and marketed throughout the year. Now, it is picked and put into wagons that take it to the large steam merchant gin, to be found in every neighborhood, and, as a rule, it may, by wire, be offered for sale in New York, Boston, or Liverpool, before night, on the very day it is picked. The season for marketing the cotton by the farmer has shortened as much as, or more than, that of marketing the wheat. These changes are brought about by the modern improvements that have substituted the railway train for the ox-cart, and the telegraph for the courier that carried intelligence.

Nothing is more certain than that these changes make some other changes necessary, the most important of which is the substitution of a modern for an ox-cart system of finance, to correspond to these new conditions. Under the old system, the demand for money to handle the products of the country being nearly the same throughout the different seasons of the year, the marketing of the products of agriculture produced no great effect upon the money market; but under modern conditions it produces a most powerful effect, which may be demonstrated as follows: The volume of money in circulation in the United States at this time, is variously estimated at from six to fourteen hundred millions; say one billion dollars, and represent that sum by the figure 2. The gross output of all manufacturing of all kinds is about five billion dollars. Now suppose that all the manufactured commodities change ownership between the manufacturer and the consumer three times; then the demand throughout the year, for the use of money on account of manufactured commodities, would equal four times that amount, or twenty billion dollars. Represent that sum by the number 40, and the relation of the volume of money to the demand for its use would be as 2 is to 40, and would only require that every dollar in circulation should be used twenty times in each year, to satisfy this demand. This relation is practically uniform throughout the year.

The gross value of agricultural products is about seven and one half billions of dollars. In order to be very conservative, suppose that one-third


of this product is used by agriculture for consumption and seed, and that two-thirds, or two and one-half billion dollars' worth, of agricultural products is marketed during the last three months of the year, and that they only change ownership three times. The demand thus created would be for the use of twenty billions of dollars, which, upon the above basis, should be represented by the figure 40, and which, added to the regular demand 40, makes the demand during that time 80. If the volume remains the same throughout the year, it is fair to say that, for nine months in the year, the relation of volume to demand is as 2 to 40, and during the other three months it is as 2 to 80. Of course this is the widest range in the relation of the volume, and it could not, in practice, be confined to any such lines. It must come and go gradually, but the actual relative volume must be and is reduced, during the short term for handling the crops, to one-half of its average during a part, at least, of the balance of the year. This may be denied, on the ground that a violent contraction of the volume of money to one-half of its normal relative volume would depress prices in nearly the same proportion. That is true; but there are reasons why it does not have effect to the full extent. First, the contraction produces an acceleration in the speed with which the money circulates. Second, the inadequacy of the volume, with the downward tendency in the prices of products, awakens the spirit of speculation, which floats a substitute in the shape of credit paper, which circulates as money. If the total amount of credit paper issued and circulated for the purpose of handling the crop during the short season will aggregate $250,000,000, as usually estimated, then on the above basis, 1/2 should be added to the ratio of volume, making it 2 1/2 during the short season, and making the ratio of volume to demand throughout the year as follows: —

Long season, volume 2, demand 40. Crop season, volume 2 1/2, demand 80.

This shows that the actual deficiency or contraction of the volume during the short season equals five-eighths of the volume during the long term, or 62.5 per cent. Third, there is an actual decline in prices, equal to 40 per cent. during the short season, thus proving the demonstration to be correct.

In support of this statement as to the fluctuation in price every year, the reader is referred to Spofford's American Almanac, where figures are given showing the fluctuations in price of many commodities for the last sixty-two years. During the war the fluctuations were very great; the fairest and best period, therefore, to consider is since the war. The


average annual fluctuations in price of the products affected by the sub-treasury system for twenty years, from 1868 to 1887, was 41 per cent. That is to say, there products have fluctuated 20.5 per cent above, and 20^dot;5 per cent below, the mean price, on the average, every year for twenty years. This practically means that if the farmer received 79.5 cents for a product during the three months in which he was compelled to sell, the mean price he might have realized, could he have waited a short time, was 100, and the price the consumer would have paid him still later was 120.5. These are not changes of price due to locality or service of any kind whatever, but due principally to the reduction of general prices that must follow the violent contraction of the relative volume of money, — a condition that is unavoidably the result of a fixed and inflexible volume meeting a great and suddenly augmented demand.

The conclusion from all this is very plain and forcible. The farmer makes his investment, in his productive effort, principally during the time between April and August, when the largest amount of the circulating medium and all the credit papers has been released from the products of agriculture, because the surplus has been exported or consumed, and consequently, the demand having diminished, the volume of money is relatively larger, and prices are higher. He realizes from his investment, during the season in which prices are depressed on account of the excessive demand for money meeting an inflexible supply. The result is, and has been for twenty years, that he sells at a time when prices are 40 per cent lower than they were when he bought. No business on earth could survive such an unfair discrimination, and the farmers could not, but fur the fact that nearly 40 per cent of the value of their products must have been labor, not capital investment; and as 40 per cent exceed, the labor investment, it shows the inroad made upon their capital by these losses, which are largely represented, at this time by mortgage indebtedness.

This is an actual, tangible discrimination against agriculture, of 40 per cent annually. It does not inure to commerce or manufacture, as both these great interests are very materially injured by it. No class is benefited except the exporter; but it is, or should be, the concern of all, because it is sapping the foundation of this government and, by the legal sanction of absolute wrong, producing a contempt for law and government favorable to the growth of sentiments of anarchy and socialism that threaten the stability of modern civilization. Every useful and productive interest in this country should be deeply interested in securing a flexibility for the volume of money that will be a guarantee against this


violent contraction. This regular and unavoidable contraction is the true cause for the depressed condition of agriculture.

The methods of the proposed sub-treasury system are such as will exactly meet this condition, and thereby benefit all classes of society. It is the settled and just policy of this government to forbid any issue of money except by the government itself. The government, therefore, either coins or prints all the legal-tender money. There are at present only two ways for the government to get it into circulation; one is to sell it, and the other is to lend it to the national banks and let them lend it to the people. As a modification of this, persons having a commodity called silver bullion are now authorized to deposit it in government warehouses, and the government lends them money on it. Now, if the sub-treasury system will enlarge one of these channels for the distribution of money, and provide for an emergency issue that will increase the volume, so as to keep pace with the suddenly augmented demand, created by dumping the year's product of agriculture upon the market, without increasing the relative volume of money above what is the normal mean average, and provide, also, that such emergency volume shall be of such a character that it will always pass current, on a par value with gold coin, then the sub-treasury plan must be admitted to be a conservative and efficient remedy for the financial question; otherwise and willing to yield. Surely an intelligent public will embrace so liberal a proposition.

The sub-treasury system is an enlargement of the present national banking law, the only modifications being that the loan of the bills by the government is not restricted to certain corporations, but is extended to all people who have the required collateral to deposit; and that the collateral so deposited, instead of being restricted to government bonds, a simple evidence of debt, is extended to a few leading products of agriculture that form the basis of the export trade of this country, — notably wheat and cotton, the most potential forms of value to man, --because the entire product is every year demanded by him for consumption, and therefore it is positive evidence of wealth. Surely nothing can suffer from such a conservative extension of the national banking system. The warehousing is not essential; it makes no difference whether the government or the people own the warehouses, or whether private warehouse are used under suitable guarantees; the objects is to base this emergency issue on those products which make such a sudden and augmented demand; because by so doing the violent contractions of the present system will be avoided. The best money now put in


circulation, so far as the wants of the people are concerned, is the pension money, because it goes into active circulation. Who will deny that the money issued by the Secretary of the Treasury to relieve the September squeeze would have prevented the December flurry if it had been issued direct to people who needed it and would have used it, instead of being issued, as it was, in thousand-dollar gold certificates that never changed hands afterwards?

Money put out under the proposed system could never augment the consumer's price, because it could never abnormally augment the relative volume. Take, for instance, any agreed ratio between demand and volume of money, independent of agriculture, and then dump the products of agriculture to create a greatly augmented demand; issue money to the full amount of one-third of the product of agriculture. which is more than those affected by the sub-treasury plan represent, and there will still be a deficiency in the ratio of the volume that must be supplied by its accelerated speed of circulation; therefore the highest prices, or those which now obtain with the consumer, would not be increased, but the tendency would be to bring the lowest prices, or those now realized by the producer, up to the mean price towards which the consumer's price must also tend.

This government now maintains about $346,000,000 of treasury notes, that circulate on a parity with gold, that are based on nothing but the government credit. Several members of Congress have recommended that the amount of such notes be increased. This may be done and the amount doubled, or very materially increased, without depreciating such notes from the gold standard; but all must admit that there is a limit, to go beyond which would depreciate such notes, and that such limit is constantly changed by circumstances, such as war, famine, and others. It is hereby claimed that the amount of treasury notes that would circulate, when based on wheat and cotton, would be self-limited to an amount that would always be on a parity with gold, and that none of the disturbing influences which affect government credit would have any tendency to depreciate such notes from the gold standard. In considering this proposition it must be remembered that the farmer is not compelled to deposit his wheat and cotton; it is entirely optional with him. It is a generally recognized fact that the price of these products is regulated by the export market. The price of the portion exported regulates and fixes the price of the gross product, including all that is consumed in this country. The foreign markets to which these products are exported, and from which quotations are received that regulate domestic prices, are using the


single gold standard of money; therefore the prices of the products to estimated would be gold prices, and whenever the increase in the volume of domestic currency augmented the general prices of commodities to an exact equality with such gold quotations for these products, the equilibrium of price would be established, and no more would be deposited by the farmers, because any further additions to the volume of the circulating medium would increase local prices in local currency, so that it would pay better to sell than to deposit, and the products would come out of the warehouses, and the money go into them, and consequently out of circulation, thus automatically tending to establish and maintain the equilibrium of stable prices. Absolutely no emergency could possibly arise that would depress such money below a parity with gold.

But, in this connection, there is a still more important consideration. If it be true that, of such products as are leading commodities of export, the domestic price is regulated by the export market, then this sub-treasury plan must be hailed as the discovery of a great economic truth. Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton must long since have grown restless in their graves at such economics and statesmanship as permit this country to suffer from the evils of having the leading products priced abroad, without claiming, at the same time, the natural benefit that should flow from that condition. The price of these products being fixed by the export price, it depends of course upon the supply of gold and the demand for its use in such foreign countries; therefore the fluctuations here do not correspond with the general level of local prices expressed in local money, and the producer and consumer are alike at the mercy of the speculator.

Nothing is plainer than the following: If domestic price is governed by foreign quotations, then effective measures should he inaugurated for preserving the same ratio between the supply and demand for money that prevails in the foreign markets. This is effectually done by utilizing the domestic product, which is priced abroad, as a basis for a domestic issue of currency. This system says, practically: "We have been hampered by having domestic prices of these products based on foreign gold, and we now propose to utilize foreign gold as a circulating medium in this country, for the purpose of handling these products which it prices." Now, certificates are issued against gold and silver bullion deposited in the government warehouses, while under the proposed system certificates would be issued against gold coin in circulation abroad but represented by wheat and cotton deposited in the government warehouses here. This must fully demonstrate the wisdom and conservatism of the system.


The effect of the introduction of this system, as has been foreshadowed above, is very different from what is generally supposed by those who have read only newspaper criticisms. There is no direct benefit to the farmer, only as it removes discriminations against him; no direct benefit to him in the warehousing feature. The present law is not considered to be made in the interest of the owner of silver or gold bullion or whiskey, on account of the fact that the government warehouses hold those products: and so it in with the sub-treasury; the benefit does not flow from the warehousing, but from the fact that money is put in circulation when it is needed to keep prices from falling. The result will be a powerful tendency towards stability of price. There will be no discrimination for or against any class, but an equal benefit to all. There are absolutely no favors extended to the farmer, but he is given a chance to help himself simply by having the present discriminations against him removed.

Of course there are many objections raised against the bill. Nearly all relate to its details. Upon the question of its constitutionality, I will quote from an article by N. A. Dunning, in the National Economist, which places that point beyond further controversy. He says: —

The favorite objection to the sub-treasury bill is its unconstitutionally, yet no one has ventured an argument upon that line. In view of the fact that this bill has been so widely discussed, more so perhaps than any other matter of legislation during the past twenty years, it is somewhat strange that the proof of its being unconstitutional has not advanced beyond mere assertions. So far all objections have been confined to the details of the plan, while its principles have been entirely ignored. The main points in the bill involve the right of the government —

"1. To purchase land.
"2. To build warehouses.
"3. To appoint agents.
"4. To receive deposits.
"5. To loan money.

"Upon the constitutionality of these propositions the sub-treasury bill must stand or fall. It has been said before, and it it well to repeat, that the most ardent supporter of this measure desires to have all its provisions strictly within the limits of the Constitution. The right of government to purchase land, build warehouses, appoint agents, and receive deposits of grain, merchandise, and the precious metals, is so clearly and fully set forth in the system governing the execution of the internal revenue laws, the customs laws, or those of the Treasury Department as to need no repetition at this time. No functions of government are more clearly defined or practically applied than are these, as shown by the following incident. Learning that the basement of the post-office at Kansas City, Missouri, was being used as a warehouse for whiskey, a communication was sent to the Commissioner of Internal

Revenue, which elicited the following response, dated July 12, 1890, from Assistant Secretary of the Treasury George S. Batcheller: —


"‘I have to acknowledge the receipt, by reference, of your letter of the 80th instant, addressed to the honorable Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and in reply to the inquiry therein contained relative to the authority under which the basement under the United States custom-house and post-office building at Kansas City, Missouri, is used for warehouse purposes, particularly for the storage of whisker, I have to refer you to act of Congress approved April 29, 1878, chapter 67, page 39, volume 20, U. S¨ Statutes at Large, and to section 2962, Revised Statutes.’

"The act of Congress referred to provided for the purchase of suitable grounds on which to erect a building to be used as a post-office, custom-house, bonded warehouse, and office of internal revenue collector. Section 2962 of the Revised Statutes in as follows: —

"‘Any merchandise subject to duty, except perishable articles, also gunpowder and other explosive substances, except firecrackers, which shall have been duly entered and bonded for warehousing, in conformity with existing laws, may be deposited at the option of the owner, importer, consignee, or agent, at his expense and risk, in any public warehouse owned or loaned by the United States, or in the private warehouse of the importer, the same being used exclusively for the storage of warehoused merchandise of his own importation or to his consignment, or in a private warehouse used by the owner, occupant, or lessee, as a general warehouse for the storage of warehoused merchandise; such place of storage to be designated on the warehouse entry at the time of entering such merchandise at the custom-house.’

"The above citations constitute the authority by which the government at this present time purchases lands, builds warehouses, and receives deposits for storage. The appointment of agents to perform these duties is a necessary sequence.

"In view of these facts, if the bill is unconstitutional, it is because of that provision which require, the government to loan money. If, therefore, it can be shown that the government has loaned money, and that the Supreme Court has decided it proper and legal, further objection, to the bill must be confined to its details.

"The act of February 16, 1876, placed in the hands of the Centennial Finance Committee $1,500,000 of government funds, to be used in completing the arrangement for the Centennial Exposition. This money was to be returned to the government out of certain moneys, after the close of the exposition. A bond in the sum of $500,000 was exacted for the performance of the provisions of the act. When the time for payment came, this committee refused to liquidate the debt to the government, setting up a different construction of the act. A suit was commenced, and finally taken to the Supreme Court, where it was argued at length. Chief Justice Waite giving the opinion of the court (U. S. Reports. S. C. 94, Otto IV, page 500), which it given in part: —

"‘The act of 1876 requires the payment of the United States before a distribution of profits to stockholders. Not a word is said about restoring capital; in fact, there is no mention of capital at all. The act of 1872 is not repealed. On the contrary, it is left in full force in every particular, save that the liability incurred to the United States is made payable those contemplated by the act of 1872 are satisfied in full. In this the United States made a concession to creditors, but not to the stockholders. Neither was anything taken from the stockholders, they retain all the rights which the act of 1872 gave them. If there had been no appropriation by Congress, the corporation would have been driven to the necessity of raising the required means by burrowing or a further sale of stock. If by borrowing, the debt so created would have to be paid with the others, before there could be any dividend


to stockholders. If by sale of stock, the new stockholders would come in pro rata with the old, upon the final division of assets.

"‘Congress might have advanced the money by loan, as well as upon the conditions it did impose. It might also have subscribed to the stock. If a loan had been made, and there had been no waiver of the legal rights of the government as a creditor, this debt would have preference over all others in the order of payment. If stock had been taken, the government would have participated in the final distribution like any other stockholder. It seemed best, however, not to adopt either of those plans and another was devised, by which creditor, were given preference, and the United States remitted for their indemnity to the fund which might remain after all the debts were paid. To this the corporation assented, and the stockholders cannot now complain. Creditors were protected, and the stockholders not injured. The decree of the Circuit Court must be reversed, and the case remanded, with instructions to enter a decree directing the payment of the sum of $1,500,000 into the treasury of the United States, by the commercial board of finance, before any division of the remaining assets of that corporation is made among the stockholders.’

"In 1884 an act was passed loaning $1,000,000 to the Cotton Exposition, to be held at New Orleans. This bill was fully and exhaustively debated, and finally passed by a vote of 132 to 87. The caption of the bill was: —

"‘An act to make a loan to aid in the celebration of the World's Industrial and Cotton Exposition.

"‘SECTION 1. That the sum of $1,000,000 be, and the same is hereby, appropriated out of any money in the public treasury not otherwise appropriated, as a loan to the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, to be used and employed by the board of management thereof, to augment and enhance the success of the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, in such manner as said board of management may determine.’

"In the course of this debate the matter was at all times treated as a loan, and in nearly every instance spoken of as such. In a question to Hon. W. D. Kelley, of Pennsylvania, Mr. Bland said: —

"‘I will ask the gentleman whether the provision is in the same language as the appropriation in the case of Philadelphia? In that instance the money was only recovered by the government upon suit in the Supreme Court. In other words, the city of Philadelphia refused to pay the money back to the government, and suit was instituted for it. And I remember that the gentleman from Pennsylvania argued on this floor that the Springer amendment did not reserve repayment of the money.

"‘MR. KELLEY. An amicable action was entered to determine whether it was a loan or a gift.

"‘MR. BLAND. The gentleman claimed that it was a gift.

"‘MR. KELLEY. The gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Springer] appeared before the court to argue that it was a loan. It was so decided, and the money was paid immediately.’

"Mr. Cannon, of Illinois, said: —

"‘The committee, desiring to guard the interests of the government, and to prevent the recurrence of the condition of affairs that happened at Philadelphia, namely, the squandering of great amounts in expensive buildings, to guard against the expenditure, say, of four or five million dollars, provides in this bill that no more than the one million which we loan, and the amount which has been subscribed and might be donated, should go into the buildings; and then the bill further provide, to secure


that no more than that amount should be expended, and that the whole assets of this corporation, after the current expenses from day to day are paid, shall be held sacred to pay this $1,000,000 to the government; provides for a bond, which at conditioned as the act states, and the setting apart of the surplus after the payment of current expenses, to indemnify the government.

"‘MR. KELLEY. An exhibition such as a proposed to be held at New Orleans, at which shall assemble the world in its best mechanical and commercial power, and in which convocation the American people shall be the active and predominant element, will pay the American people at a minimum estimate $100 for every dollar that may be lost, even if the government shall never receive back one dollar it may loan it.

"‘MR. HENDERSON of Iowa. Iowa is knocking at the door of Congress to-day, and I am but voicing her feeling when I ask that the government shall loan from its vast surplus in the treasury enough to put this great exhibition grandly, solidly, and successfully upon its feet. [Applause.]

"‘MR. SUMNER of California. As I am clear in my opinion that this is a constitutional proportion, I do not hesitate, but cheerfully and eagerly improve this two-minute opportunity to commend the bill.

"‘MR. LANE. I do this for this reason: I recognized the propriety of the loan to the Centennial Exhibition; it was the centennial year and was designed as a celebration of our one hundredth national anniversary. This, however, is not for that purpose.

"‘MR. CANNON. I was a member of Congress when the act passed authorizing a loan by the United States to the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia.

"‘MR¨ HORR. When the loan, as I understand it, was made to the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia, it was for a million and a half of dollars, I believe; is that correct?

"‘MR. BLANCHARD. That was the amount

"‘MR. HORR. Then we required a bond of only $500,000. Now, the bond is fixed here at $300,000 for a loan of $1,000,000 which, I take it, is about equivalent to what we did in the other case; and that bond is not to secure the repayment of the million of dollars, but as the bill itself will show, is for the purpose of securing the honest and efficient action of the people in charge of it and a careful expenditure of the funds intrusted to them and it is fully as large as the bonds which are usually required under our form of government, for any such purpose.

"‘MR. MCCORD. I favor this bill, and I am not deterred from supporting it by the constitutional question. It seems to me that gentlemen who question the power of Congress to legislate in this way could easily satisfy themselves by finding warrants in two or three of the granted powers delegated to Congress. The one which provides for the general welfare certainly has been constructed broadly enough to cover this.

"‘MR. BRECKENRIDGE. Mr. Chairman, in regard to the proposition now before the Committee of the Whole, it simply involves the requirement of security for the repayment to the government of this loan of $1,000,000, and the question of constitutional power in the premises. The amendment proposed is a hard evaction; it is an unprecedented exaction. This appropriation is not only justified by precedent, but it is also, in my opinion, clearly within the purview of the Constitution and the province of the Congress. That clause about which some gentlemen here stickle so much gives Congress power to raise revenue, and what does it say you may do with that revenue? It says you may pay the public debt, and you may provide for the general welfare by appropriation, of that revenue.


"‘MR. BAYNE. There is but one clause in the Constitution which authorizes the Congress of the United States to expend this million of dollars or to loan it. The clause which authorizes Congress to levy taxes to provide for the common defence and general welfare is the source from which Congress must derive its authority to loan this money or expend it.

"‘MR. MONEY. A new set of circumstances has now arisen, and if it seems proper to this House that the government should support this great enterprise by a loan to it of $1,000,000, I cannot see any valid objection to it.

"‘MR. WOLFORD. I believe it is perfectly constitutional, and I base that belief upon the power given by the Constitution of the United States to Congress to provide for the general welfare of the United States. I agree with Judge Story that that is a distinct power, and I believe that under that grant of power the Congress of the United States has authority to pass any law that will do good, that will bless the people, that will make them happy.’

"Discussing this proposition, Mr. Oates is on record as saying: —

"‘ This is not an appropriation proper; it is a loan. While it is an appropriation in form, it is nevertheless a loan upon security fur return. . . . This, mark you, is not an appropriation outside of the Constitution. It is a loan. It is competent for the government to make a deposit, and it docs it with hankers all over the country, wherever it thinks proper. That money is to be returned, and if this money is returned, what harm will be done? If it is outside of the power of Congress to do this, then the action of Congress would be hampered in providing sufficient legislation.’

"When the vote was taken upon the bill, it was passed by 132 to 87. The yeas were as follows: Adams, G. E., Atkinson, Anderson, Barksdale, Bayne, Belford, Belmont, Bennett, Bisbee, Blanchard, Boutelle, Breckenridge, Bremer, F. B., Brown, W. W., Buchanan, Cadwell, Campbell, I. M., Cannon, Clements, Collins, Crisp, Culberson, W. W. Cullen, Cutcheon, Davidson, Davis, G. R. Davis, R. Y., Dibble, Dibrell, Dorsheimer, Dunham, Dunn, Elliott, Ellis, Evins, I. H., Findlay, Follett, Forney, Funston, Garrison, George, Gibson, Glascock, Graves, Green, Hammond, Hanback, Hancock, Hardeman, Harmer, Hart, Hatch, H. H. Hemphill, Henderson, T. I., Henley, Herbert, Hewelt, G. W., Hitt, Hopkins, Horr, Houk, Houseman, Howey, Hunt, Jeffords, Jones, B. W., Jones, I. H., Jones, J. T., Jordan, Kasson, Keifer, King, Lewis, Lore, McCord, McCormick, Money, Morrlll, Morrison, Murphy, Neece, Nelson, Nicholls, Oates, O'Hara, O'Neill, Charles, O'Neill, J. J., Payson, Peelle, S. J., Perkins, Peters, Petibone, Phelps, Price, Pryor, Pusey, Randall, Rankin, Ranney, Reed, Reese, Rice, Rogers, J. H., Rogers, W. F., Rowell, Ryan, Shelley, Singleton, Skinner, T. G., Smalls, Spooner, Steele, Stevens, Stewart, Charles, Stone, Sumner, C. A., Throckmorton, Tilman, Tully, Van Eaton, Wakefield, Ward, Wellborn, White, Milo, Whiting, Williams, Willis, Wilson, James, Wilson, W. L., Wilford, Woodward, Young.

"After passing the House, the bill went to the Senate. It was referred to the Committee on Appropriations, and upon its recommendation was passed, with a few amendments and but little debate. The concensus of opinion in the Senate was so unanimous in favor of the bill that a yea and nay vote was not taken. The Senators spoke of it as a loan.

"Senator Plumb considered it a loan, and in his remarks said: —

"‘There are chances, and, I think, a majority of chances, that the government will be repaid the money.


"‘SENATOR MAXEY. When we made an appropriation in the nature of a loan to the Centennial Exposition, in 1876, we gave a million and half dollars, and there was no objection to that.

"‘SENATOR GARLAND. The bill has undergone the scrutiny of the entire Committee on Appropriations, and long and tedious investigation, and the Senator from Missouri [Mr. Cockrell], who is acute and alert as to these matters, had given it his careful attention, and he reports that it is perfect in this respect. The United States is in no danger in reference to getting back this million of dollars.

"‘SENATOR MAXEY. I suggested to the Senator from Kansas [Mr. Plumb], when he was on the floor, that we had loaned to the Centennial Exposition a million and a half dollars.

"‘SENATOR FRYE. I would be for it, if I knew the Exposition would not pay a dollar back.

"‘SENATOR MILLER. I would rather vote for the bill as it stands, loaning a million dollars, than to vote $500,000 as a gift.

"‘SENATOR ALLISON. We have restricted, so far as it is possible to restrict, the expenditures preparatory to this exposition, to the subscriptions, and to the amount of this loan.

"‘SENATOR ALLISON. I move to amend the title so as to make it read, "A bill to make a loan in aid of the celebration of the World's Industrial and Cotton Exposition.’"

"The opponents of the sub-treasury plan have assumed that it was visionary, impracticable, and unconstitutional. The friends of the measure have endeavored to show the reverse as being true. That it was well considered before given to the public is no longer denied. That it is practical, or with some modifications as to detail can be made practical, is being discussed in a manner that leaves no room for doubt upon that point. As to its being strictly within the limits of constitutional law, the amount and character of the evidence given in this article upon that portion of the question must be considered by all fair-minded persons as absolutely conclusive.

"What more can the friends of this measure do to obtain the assistance of those senators and representatives who prefer, and no doubt feel an interest in, their farmer constituents? The last valid objection is now removed, and nothing but detail remain. It is earnestly hoped and expected that all captious objections will now cease, and an honest effort be made to give the measure a fair trial."

In conclusion, let us consider the cost of the experiment.

The grain crop of the United States, for the year 1889, amounted to 2,660,457,000 bushels. At least two-thirds of it will be retained at home for consumption. This will leave 886,819,000 bushels that will be stored during the year.

These crops mature at different dates of the year, and the demand for their consumption is evident. It is, therefore, safe to say that not more than one-third of the whole amount will be in the elevators at any one time. This will amount to not quite 300,000,000 bushels. It is a well-known fact that those elevators will not cost exceeding fifteen cents per bushel. This amounts to $45,000,000/ To be liberal, we will say


that it will be necessary to erect 1000 warehouses, each costing $30,000. This will necessitate an additional expenditure of $30,000.000; that is to say, it will require to carry this plan into full and perfect operation all over the country, $75,000,000 — not twice as much as the deferred payments on whiskey. The question naturally comes in just here: Will this expenditure in any manner impoverish the treasury of the United States? By referring to the last monthly statement of the Treasurer of the United States, it will be seen that there is now, and has been since 1875, locked up in that treasury $100,000,000 in gold, and that it has been, and is still bring, held for the purpose of redeeming outstanding United States legal tenders notes. This money could be used for this purpose, as there is no law which placed it there. The benefits of this measure would be many. Among them might be mentioned the following: —

It will place about $550,000,000 in circulation and in the hands of the people, at an annual cost of $5,500,000. To get this amount of currency into circulation under present laws, the following would be necessary: A national debt of $610,000,000, upon which to base the issue of national bank currency, the interest upon which at four and one-half per cent amounts to $27,450,000. This would take the money from the national Treasury, and put it into the vaults of the banks. To get this money from the banks will cost the people at least $55,000,000 more. The two together make $82,450,000. By deducting amount of interest necessary under our system, we find the farmers will save $76,950,000 annually. Besides, under our system, the rate of fire insurance can and will be reduced at least one-half the present rate. This will add at least $20,000,000 to the savings. The economy in handling that will necessarily follow the carrying out of this plan cannot add less than $20,000,000 more.

Again, under the working of this plan the grain-raisers will save, at the very lowest estimate, ten cents per bushel on every bushel stored. This will add another saving of $88,68l,900, and not raise the prices that producers now pay for it; but, on the contrary, the price will be rather reduced. The cotton-raisers will save, by this system, at least one-half cent on each pound of lint cotton. This will add $17,347,000 to the savings, and not raise the price to the manufacturer one cent on fifty bales. The savings on tobacco, sugar, rice, and wool cannot be less than $8,000,000. All these savings together amount to the enormous sum of $220,978,000 to the farmers annually. Thus we see that, by investing $75,000,000 in erecting buildings that will last fifty years or more, we will be enabled to save annually, in the hands of the producer, $220,978,800 that now goes into the pockets of usurers and speculators.


The carrying out of this demand will confer as many and a rich benefits to every one engaged in any legitimate calling as it does to the farmers. All who are well pouted know that more merchant, have been ruined by speculating in produce than by anything else. The mercantile business in the agricultural towns has drifted into this unnatural and ruinous attitude by the credit system, this system becoming an imperative necessity by reason of the contraction of the currency. Our system relieves the merchant of this, his worst enemy, by saving $220,978,900 to his customers annually, which would soon enable them to pay cash.

The manufacturers under the present system are forced to enter the market and purchase within three months sufficient material to run their machinery the entire year, to prevent speculators from cornering the supply. To be able to purchase such large supplies at one time, they are compelled to apply for loans, mortgage their property, pay exorbitant interest, winch must be added to the manufactured article. This must, of course, augment the price, which in turn forces under-consumption, which in the end can only enrich the usurer and involve producer, manufacturer, and consumer in one common ruin.

This system will relieve the manufacturer of this as well as other useless expenses. Our unexcelled facilities for rapid transportation and instantaneous transmission of intelligence conspire to make the carrying out of this plan the more easy. The manufacturers will not be compelled to buy more than one month's supply ahead, knowing that a sufficient supply can be had at any time. They will not be compelled to borrow large sums of money at exorbitant interest for the manufacturers will find out at once that the crop will not be sold to speculators, but held for consumption. The eliminating of speculation will enable producers to carry more from the manufacturer; hence self-interest, if nothing more, will make the producer, manufacturer and consumer co-operate in supporting this demand.

It is a well-known fact that the railroads are blocked with freight for about three months during the year, by the haste now practised in marketing the crops. Railroads are compelled, in order to hold their trade, to buy large additions to their rolling stock, to stand idle upon he sidings for nine months in the year. This necessitates a large outlay of capital, which of course is added to the freights, and in the end is always charge, to the producer. This system will distribute the shipments through the entire year, and enable the railroads to give their employees regular employment; hence it is to the interest of railroads that our system should be put in operation.

This system will enable the millions of farmers of the West to purchase


thousands of tons of coal from the starving miners of the East, and feed the miner and his family on the corn that speculation now compels them to burn for fuel. What an absurdity to cry overproduction when those who raise bread burn it for fuel, while those who dig coal must quit because they cannot exchange it for bread! Our system will emancipate the true merchant, manufacturer, farmer, and laborer. That it benefits the railroads and every other legitimate industry; that the prosperity of our people demands it; that common sense, honesty, and fair play demand it; that every principle of humanity demands it; that the genius of advancing civilization demands it; that the perpetuation of free and just government demands it; that the plan is perfectly feasible; that its cost is insignificant; that its benefits will be enormous; that no more pressing necessity could exist for it; that it will make every industry prosperous; that no one will be injured by it; that no sound reason can be urged against its adoption, — for these, and many other reasons, every prompting of an honest heart demands that we adopt it. Let us align ourselves on the side of right, and forever free our people from the power of money to oppress, and march forward to a new civilization, thereby making our institutions the beacon light of liberty to the oppressed of all nations, and make of our people a nation of patriots, full of strength and prosperity. In such a country, every laboring man will own his own home, free from execution, across the threshold of which no usurer or other tyrant dare pass. Let us unite in making our country —

"The land of the free and the home of the brave, Where no man is master, and no one a slave."


Chapter XXII.


THE term "business," as now understood, contains numberless factors within its meaning that did not obtain in ancient times. These increased and kept pace with the advancement of civilization and will so continue as long as intellectual advancement is made. Primitive business was nearly, if not quite, a sort of limited barter, in which nothing but labor values were considered. It was a simple exchange of the product of one individual for the product of another, in which the amounts of patience and manual labor were the only factors, aside from desirability for use.

Under these conditions the products of individuals and tribes were exchanged. The fur of one tribe, for instance, was exchanged for the fish of another tribe in a different section. It soon became apparent that, in making these exchanges, one party or the other gained an advantage, as there was no method of dividing the different products so as to represent the exact divisions of labor values. In this dilemma resort was had to an expedient which proved so successful as to be accepted as an additional factor in all exchanges. By common consent certain shells, or beads made from shells or other materials, were endowed with the function of representing certain divisions of labor values. By this means, when a piece of fur was worth more in labor value than two fish, and not quite as much as three, the difference was evened up through the medium of these shells or beads. As exchanges multiplied the demand for these shells and beads increased, until, most unfortunately for the human race, some one accumulated a sufficient number to make an exchange without the aid of barter. Then began the difficulty between currency and labor, which has come down to us under the modern term of a "war between capital and labor." The shells and beads of primitive business are the prototypes of the dollars and cents of the present generation. And the same desire which actuated the furclad possessor of these shells and beads, in demanding as much fur and fish for them as possible, is seen to-day in his modern imitator, the money-owner, who is seeking by all means, fair or otherwise, to obtain as much of the fruits of labor in production as he can, in exchange for his dollars and cents. Through the introduction of this medium of


exchange, by which the necessity of barter was eliminated, an endless number of elements, conditions, methods, and factors has been added to the term now known as business.

In the evolution which time has brought about since the days of barter, many other materials have been used in the place of shells and beads, but the functions have remained the same. Usury soon made its appearance, and, as now, became a flourishing and remunerative occupation. Banks were operated with the usual results. Bank bills, or paper money, were invented, and the fine art of appropriating the substance of the people, without due course of law, has been carefully and successfully systematized. In all ages of the world the producer and consumer have protested against the demands and intrigues of capital. Sometimes these attempts have been successful, but as a rule they have resulted in failure. It would be both interesting and instructive to trace these different attempts, at different periods in the world's history, but space will not permit.

One of the most important parts of the declaration of principles of the Farmers' Alliance is the one that gives sanction to the idea that the membership are to strive for financial improvement. A belief seems to have prevailed in the order, from its earliest history, that direct financial improvement might be expected, as a result of co-operation in a business system by the membership. An outline of the effort made to secure this important result by that method, will be sufficient to show the principles involved and the lessons to be learned.

The first Farmers' Alliance was organized for business, and the entire order has been a business organization, for business purposes, from that day to the present, but the methods of co-operation to secure that end have been many, and often conflicting and expensive. The first effort at cooperation, to develop the business feature of the Alliance, seems to have been in the establishment of Trade Committees, us a part of the various County Alliances in the State of Texas. They usually consisted of five of the best men, chosen from different sections of the county. They were expected to meet the merchants and dealers in the county, and to receive, consider, and ad upon any trade arrangement that might be offered. The idea upon which the system was based was that often a country town contained six or eight stores and dealers, where two or three could transact all the business, without an increase of force or investment, and that, could the trade be concentrated so as to employ a less number of men and less capital, the saving thus made should accrue to the purchaser, in the shape of lower prices on the commodities purchased. The Trade Committees, therefore, sought to get one or two


merchants in a town to nuke a written proposition to tell merchandise to members of the Alliance in good standing, who held "trade cards" stating that fact, at a specified rate of profit, which was to be much less than the average rate of profit current at the time in that locality; and in exchange for such concessions on the part of the merchant, the Trade Committee, if they decided to accept the proportion, had full authority, and would agree that the trade of the entire membership would be concentrated and placed with such merchant. All complaints of overcharge or any violation of agreement, were made to the Trade Committee. This committee also had access to the merchant's books, and were in possession of his cost mark, and had access to his invoices; and it was their duty to frequently examine into his business, and see that he was complying with the contract. As a further precaution, it was generally stipulated and agreed to, that the merchant should employ at least one Alliance clerk, who should be at liberty to report any violations of the contract to the Trade Committee.

While this trade contract system was being extensively tried, an effort was also made to co-operate in the sale of the products of the farm, and in some counties Alliance cotton yards were established. This feature was thoroughly discussed at the annual meeting of the State Alliance in Clebume, Texas, in August, 1886, and the membership were advised to bulk their cotton and have sale days, to which buyers from the cities should be invited, to compete for the purchase; and when practicable, the Alliance was advised to establish their own cotton yards, for receding, weighing, sampling, grading, and shipping that product.

The plan of bulking large lots of cotton, so as to secure buyers from a distance to compete in the purchase, was not successful. For a while it acted as a spur to local buyers, and kept up prices; but after several lots had been bulked, and all buyers had combined against it, the sale was sometimes made at a loss, and the plan as a whole, after two years' experience, was gradually abandoned. While the bulking system has been abandoned, the Alliance cotton yards have largely been developed into Alliance warehouses, and they have stood the test, and will remain as an important and permanent feature of the business effort.

In January, 1887, the National Farmers' Alliance and Co-operative Union was organized. No national business system was provided for; but the State Alliance of Texas, which met at the same time, modified its constitution so as to provide for a State business agent, to be elected by the Executive Committee, and to be under the control of that committee. This is the first record of any attempt at State co-operation in business by the order. All previous action by the State Alliance had


tended to produce co-operation in county efforts, but the establishment of a State agency was calculated to secure co-operation between the counties in a State effort. C. W. Macune of Milam County was chosen by the Executive Committee to fill the important position of State agent, and to devise and put into active operation co-operation between the counties. He received the appointment about March 1, 1887, and immediately issued a circular letter to the different County Alliances, calling on them to select a county business agent, place him under bond, provide for his expenses, and empower him to represent the county business effort. He then visited Boston and Fall River, to try to make arrangements for the sale of the next cotton crop. It was found that the agency could handle cotton and sell direct to the factories, provided it had sufficient capital behind it to be responsible for its contracts, This was reported to the State Alliance, which convened in August of that year, and was one of the causes that led to the formation of the State Exchange.

After the report of the State business agent was received by the State Alliance of Texas, in 1887, the following action was taken, authorizing the establishment of the Farmers' Alliance Exchange of Texas.

Committee on Dr. Macune's plan of the Alliance Exchange was composed of the following gentlemen: Harrison, McLellan County; Mathes, Coryell County; Rogers, Anderson County; Cagle, Montague County; Eddleman, Denton County; Binford, Kaufman County; who reported as follows: —


"This corporation shall be known as THE FARMERS' ALLIANCE EXCHANGE OF TEXAS.

"The object of this corporation it to negotiate the sale of the cotton and other products, and stock, and such other property, personal, real, or mixed, as may be desired by the members of the Farmers' State Alliance of Texas; also, the purchase of all such commodities, machinery, and other things as may be desired; also, to erect suitable buildings, storehouses, and appliances for conducting such business, and furnishing the necessary hall room and offices for the offices of the said Farmers' State Alliance, and such other purposes as may be desired by the said order.

"The capital stock of this corporation shall be $500,000, divided into twenty-five shares of $20,000 each, and one-tenth of one per cent shall be paid on the subscription of the stock. The twenty-five stockholders of this corporation shall be elected by the Farmers' State Alliance of Texas, as follows: At this present August session of said State Alliance, of 1887, there shall be two elected from each congressional district in the State, and three from the State at large; and immediately after election, their names shall be placed in a hat and drawn one at a time: the first nine drawn shall hold office one year, the next eight shall hold office two years, and the last eight shall hold office for three years; and the term of office for each stockholder


shall hereafter be three years, and the said State Alliance shall, at each regular annual session, elect stockholders to fill all vacancies.

"Each stockholder shall hold one share of stock in this association, in trust for the benefit of the members of the Farmers' State Alliance, and shall discharge his duties as owner in trust of said stock, to the best interest of his constituents, and turn over all stock and every privilege accruing therefrom to his successor in office. The stockholders of this corporation shall elect from among their number an Executive Board of three members, who shall be the Board of Trustees, and who shall have the general supervision and management of all the business, and shall procure such charter or charters from the State of Texas as may be necessary to carry on the work and business desired to be done. They shall be governed by such general by-laws as the stockholders may from time to time adopt.

"In order to raise the capital stock above entrusted to the stockholders, for the benefit of the members of the Farmers' Alliance in the State of Texas, each Farmers' Alliance in the State of Texas is hereby called upon to vote an assessment of one dollar per member, both male and female, due and payable October 15, 1887; and one dollar per member, both male and female, due and payable December 1, 1887; and those voting in favor of said proposition shall immediately notify the State business agent of the fact; and the money on such assessment, when received, shall be sent to the secretary of this corporation, and a notice of the remittance sent to the secretary of the State Alliance.

"It is understood that, when as much as $50,000 have been paid to the secretary, each share of stock will be credited with ten per cent paid in, and for each subsequent payment of that amount a like credit will be made.

"Unanimously adopted at regular session, in Waco, Texas, August 12, 1887.
"EVAN JONES, President.
"H. G. MOORE, Secretary."

The Trustee-Stockholders met and organized, by adopting by-laws and electing officers and a Board of Directors. C. W. Macune, as State business agent, presented a proposition from the business men of Dallas, which he, in connection with R. J. Sledge, had secured after much negotiation.

This proposition was adopted by the Trustee-Stockholders, and the Executive Board was instructed to go to Dallas and close the contract, according to the terms of the proposition, and locate the headquarter in that city.

As we have now seen, the Alliance membership of the State were to pay in the capital stock by an equal assessment of two dollars each, and the State Alliance was to elect twenty-five Trustee-Stockholders, who should represent the stockholders in all meetings, and elect from their number a Board of Directors, composed of seven men, who should control and operate the business. In organizing the business, the Board of Directors found it necessary to have a business manager, and they selected and employed for that purpose Brother C. W. Macune, paying


him a salary, and requiring of him a bond in the sum of $25,000. He was not a member of the Board of Directors, nor a Trustee-Stock-holder; he was simply employed to do a certain work, as directed by the Board of Directors. It is deemed best to give the organization of the Texas Exchange in detail, because it was a precedent for the establishment of an Exchange in many other States, and the history of the Alliance business effort must be a compilation of the State efforts, since no national effort has fully materialized up to this time.

The effort made by the Exchange to handle the Alliance cotton crop during that fall, was worth many thousand dollars to the farmers of that State. It was a very simple and effective system. The Exchange fitted up a very large sample room, and notified the brethren of the order that they could bulk their cotton in their home cotton yards or warehouses, and send packages of samples to the Exchange, where they would be displayed, and the cotton sold with the guarantee of the Exchange that it was correctly weighed and sampled. In this way the Exchange sold cotton direct to the mills or to Liverpool, and had it shipped from its home depot on a through bill of lading, thereby saving all local freights and other expenses of handling. There can be no doubt that this effort, together with the information as to the current price of cotton, every day sent out by the Exchange, raised the price of cotton to the farmers of that State at least one-half of one cent per pound, on the average, for every pound of cotton sold. This, on the crop of 1,300,000 bales of 500 pounds each, was a saving to the farmers of $3,252,000 that had previously gone into the pocket of the speculator.

The people seemed to realize the great benefits they could derive from the Exchange, if they could only cut loose from the crop mortgage system, so as to be able to control their own cotton in the fall. But when it was mortgaged to the merchant, they could not sell it through the Exchange. In this emergency they began to appeal to the Exchange to provide a system of advancing on their crops, so as to enable the Exchange to control the cotton in the fall. In response to many such appeals, the Board of Directors agreed upon a plan, and instructed the business manager to submit it to the people of the State for ratification. This was done about the first of December, 1887, by a circular letter known as "Circular Letter No. 39." This plan and mortgage obligation are given on the opposite page.



County of ...
Know all Men by these Presents, That we the undersigned, hereby jointly and severally agree to pay the Farmers' Alliance Exchange of Texas, for value received, the sum of $... on the 15th day of November, 1888, for Goods, Wares, and Merchandise, purchased for and shipped agent for the undersigned.

Further, we the undersigned, hereby represent, for the purpose of obtaining credit for the above amount from the Farmers' Alliance Exchange, that the argues opposite our signatures, representing assets as designated by the column heads, are true and correct, and that we have and own the property thus indicated, and that they are in nowise a misrepresentation, and that we will mortgage the cotton and stock as specified: and that we agree to all the conditions expressed on back of this instrument.

Names. No. acres of land I own. Value of my real estate. Indebtedness on real estate. No. acres I cultivate. Acres in cotton. Acres in grain. Value of my stock. Amount of advances needed from April 1 to October 1. Number of bales I will mortgage. Amount I have paid on the assessment. REMARKS.


It is hereby expressly understood that the filling out of this blank by the members of Sub-Alliances in no way obligates the Farmers' Alliance Exchange to furnish any goods, wares, or merchandise, unless it has received the approval of the committee of acceptance, and notice returned to the Sub Alliance that the obligation is accepted and that the goods, wares, and merchandise will be sent.

It is further understood that the amount of the obligation is divisible into six equal parts, if the Exchange shall so elect, and in that event the Exchange will be under no obligation to advance more than one such one-sixth part thereof during any one month from and after the month of March.

It is further understood and agreed that all bills for advances under this proposition shall bear interest from the day of shipment until paid, at the rate of one per cent per month, and that payments are due and payable in the city of Dallas, Texas.

It is further agreed that, as this obligation is given jointly and severally, each signer thereof agrees to place at the disposal of the balance of the signer such a portion of its assets as may be necessary to secure them in joining him in the obligation, and should any one fail to properly work of gather has crop, he agrees that they may take possession of same and complete it to the best of his advantage.

It is further understood and agreed that the Exchange delivers all orders for goods, wares, and merchandise on board the cars in the city of Dallas, and that the partners signing the written agreement to receive and pay all freights on such goods, etc., so ordered, from the city of Dallas.


The resolution passed by the Board was as follows: —

"Plan of relief adopted by the Board of Directors of the Farmers' Alliance Exchange of Texas, for the purpose of assisting the members of the Farmers' Alliance of Texas in purchasing their supplies for the coming year, and selling their products to the best advantage.

"First. The members of all Sub-Alliances wishing to avail themselves of the advantages to be offered by the Exchange, shall make a full showing of their collective responsibility, and an estimate of the amount of commodities they will require advanced on time after April, 1888, and a satisfactory showing that they are able and willing to pledge cotton to at least two times the amount of advances asked.

"Second. The county business agent from each county desiring to avail themselves of the benefits of the Exchange, shall give a good bond to the president of this Exchange, in a sufficient amount to cover all the transactions he will be called upon to perform. And it shall be his duty to make a careful examination of the records and the securities offered by any Alliance in his county, and report on a blank form to the secretary of this Exchange every item in regard to the business that may be required. It shall be his duty to have recorded in his county all obligations taken therein, and send certificates of record to the secretary, and perform such other duties as may be imposed on him by the general business management.

"Third. The secretary and two other members of this board, as may be herein after chosen, shall sit as a Board of Acceptance, and it shall be their duty to examine the application of every Alliance desiring to do business with this Exchange; and when they are satisfied with the showing made by a Sub-Alliance, and report favorably, then the business manager shall be authorized to deal with that Sub-Alliance according to the terms of the proposition so accepted, but no further. And the business manager shall in no case advance more than he has been authorized by the said Board of Acceptance.

"The Board of Acceptance shall also make estimates of the amounts of purchases necessary to meet the demands of the accepted contracts, and shall demand of the business management purchase adequate to meet such necessities in a satisfactory manner."

As shown above, this was not a proposition to do business on time. It was a call upon the membership to make known their wishes as to whether they desired the Exchange to undertake the business as outlined in the circular letter. This letter was sent out about December 1, 1887, and responses came in so slowly that, on the first of January the time was extended. The membership clamored for more time in which time was extended. The membership clamored for more time in which to prepare the notes, and for advances to be made earlier than the first of April. To this clamor the Board of Directors yielded, and notes were received and accepted up to May, and goods were supplied freely in March. Had the business been carried out as outlined in the plan, the result might have been different; but the Board departed from that plan by accepting note obligations very much in excess of the prescribed limit of four times the actual cash capital paid in. When the Board of Directors met in March, they found that only about $17,000 of the


capital stock had been paid in, and that their Board of Acceptance had approved and accepted joint notes to the amount of about $128,000; and with the corporation thus overburdened they accepted a contract for the construction of a building upon their lots in Dallas, which increased their liabilities about $35,000 more. They continued to accept notes from the people, until their obligations to supply merchandise aggregated about $400,000, with a paid-in capital of about $56,000 that could be used in the business. To discharge this obligation required that the people be furnished merchandise to the value of over seven times the capital stock paid, and to do that it was necessary that the Exchange hypothecate these joint notes, at about eighty-five per centum of their face value. That was found impossible. On the avenge they had to be used as collateral, at about forty per cent of their face value; consequently the Exchange had undertaken more than it possibly could do, and it failed; not because the system was faulty, or the management bad, but because the people did not put in capital stock in proportion to the credit they asked, and because many of them did not pay their indebtedness. The following is the report of the committee, after a thorough investigation of all the facts: —

"To the Members of the Farmers' Alliance of the State of Texas:

"BRETHREN: In compliance with the request of a meeting held in the city of Waco, on the l5th day of May, 1888, by representative members of our order, from different parts of the State, requesting us to thoroughly examine the books and present financial condition of the Alliance Exchange of Texas, we, the undersigned, President and Executive Committee of the Texas State Alliance, beg leave to submit the following report: —

"We met in the city of Dallas on the 19th day of May, 1888, and, after a thorough and critical examination of the books and business generally, and the manner of conducting said business in all its departments, and those a charge of same, we are gratified to state that the entire business is, and has been, conducted upon sound, conservative, practicable business principles, and that the capital stock of said Exchange is intact, and that it has been self-supporting, and is entitled to your fullest confidence and support. The facts set forth in Brother Macune's report are true.

"We also find the Exchange has been crippled in its efforts to help the brethren, in consequence, of not being able to negotiate loans upon the mortgage notes of the brethren, placed in their hands for that purpose, and by the acts of designing enemies of our order. This you will find more fully explained by Brother Macune's report, hereunto attached, and made a part of this report.

"We are, after a diligent and fair investigation, made in Dallas, deeply impressed with the great importance of the brotherhood moving with all their united force at once to the support of our Exchange, that we, as an Alliance, have built up.

"It is with regret we have to chronicle the fact that any class of men should be found in this enlightened age, whose love of power and money, and the emoluments


growing out of such, would prompt them to form an unholy and unhallowed combination for the purpose of throttling a business venture, established for the purpose of inaugurating a just and equitable system of distribution. Yet it is true, and, unless each member evinces patriotic zeal and loyalty, and promptly rises to a full conception of the dignity and gravity of the situation, and royally assumes at once his part of the burden, our efforts will be much hampered.

"It is now time for each brother to realize the fact that faltering now means unconditional surrender; it means a perpetuation of the invidious discriminations which now deprive, and have in the past deprived, us of a just share of the proceeds of our labor.

"Our faith in the zeal, fidelity, love of justice, and patriotism in the order is so strong that we look to you to say, by your actions, that a combination of schemers, now formed for selfish purposes, shall not thwart the efforts of a quarter of a million free men, lighting the battles of truth and justice.

"With unfaltering confidence in your ability and loyalty, we urge you to move with one accord forward, and victory awaits you.

"Yours fraternally,
"EVAN JONES, President,
"Executive Committee."

The Exchange used the notes for the very purpose for which they were given, and did not sell or part ownership with one of them. True, some of them were forfeited as collateral, but that was no violation of the agreement on the part of the Exchange. That was a contingency that the makers of the notes took the chances of when they made the notes for that purpose.

The plan of business inaugurated by the Exchange was a great innovation upon the established usages and customs of the country at that time; it was therefore attended with the two great drawbacks that always attend the introduction of an innovation, — bitter opposition and great difficulty in being understood. The people had been for twenty years taught the Rochdale system of conducting stores, and, as it had for its object an entirely different purpose from that taught by the Alliance, the Exchange could not use that plan, and therefore was compelled to undertake the difficult task of introducing a new system, and combating the opposition from within the order, of many who were wedded to the Rochdale plan of joint-stock (miscalled co-operative) stores. The opposition of the merchants and dealers of the Slate was aroused against the Exchange plan, because it proposed to demoralize prices. A comparison will show the essential difference between the Exchange and the Rochdale systems. The latter proposed to establish stores, or rather to have the people in the different localities furnish the capital and start


stores, called co-operative, and sell commodities, as other merchants did, at the prices current in that place at the time. Then, at stated intervals of once or twice a year, the business would be balanced, and the profits, after paying the running expenses and interest on the capital stock, would be divided among the stockholders, on a basis of the amount of goods purchased by each. The object of this system was, therefore, to make a success of the business as a mercantile effort, so as to make money for its stockholders.

The Exchange did not encourage the people to establish stores. It taught them to consider, before embarking in the enterprise, what object they expected to achieve; to decide whether the venture should be a soccer as a mercantile effort, or a success as an auxiliary to the farming effort; and whether they should make money at the expense of their brother farmers, or whether they would make the same money by assisting their brother farmers to make equally as much. To make this perfectly plain, note the difference in the following comparison: A Rochdale store in a county in Central Texas, in 1888, declared a dividend to its purchasers, equal to fifty percent of its capital, on its first six months' business. Suppose it had maintained this degree of prosperity throughout the year, and it had a capital of $5000 paid in by a hundred stockholders, and that the gross trade of the county amounts to about $1,000,000. If the avenge profit on sales is twenty per cent, then this institution has sold $25,000 worth of goods, and returns to its stockholders $50 each as a dividend, and the gross profits of the other merchants of that county amount to $195,000, as a profit on the other $975,000 worth of business done in the county. This is very satisfactory to all the merchants and newspapers, lawyers and doctors, and especially to the stockholders in the co-operative store, who have got their original investment back, and begin to understand that merchandising pays better than farming. The manager is lionized, and becomes a great man in the county. He is recognized as having a great influence among the farmers. The store will have a fine reputation as a successful mercantile institution, and everybody will congratulate the farmer on having such a good store, and praise him for his co-operative effort.

Now had an Alliance store been started in the place of the Rochdale store, in the same town, at that time, with a like capital, different conditions would have prevailed, and a very different result would hare ensued. The Alliance store would have said: "We are strictly auxiliary to the forming effort, and therefore will not charge the membership the usual profits of merchants, and then return it to them as dividends. We will let them keep the profits in their pockets, by selling them the goods


could not be made to comprehend the fact that their stores, cotton yards, and Exchange were practically option houses, and that the less business they did, the less expense they would have and the better the result would be, provided general prices were kept down.

The Exchange did about $1,000,000 worth of business in 1888, and reduced general prices throughout the entire State of Texas, saving the farmers of the State, at the very lowest estimate, several millions of dollars. No one man had over $5 invested in the capital stock, and the final loss of the entire capital stock, amounting in the aggregate to less than $100,000, was a mere drop in the bucket to the gains that accrued to the membership from the reduction of general prices.

The business effort of the Alliance Exchange of Texas taught that profit was wrong; that a man was entitled to pay for his work, and to interest on his investment, but to no profits; and advised farmers in the different sections not to invest their money in stores, but to select an agent and provide a place for storage; have such goods as they were sure to need shipped to these "supply stations," as they were called, and have the agent there one or two days in each week, to divide out the goods to those who participated in making the note and ordering the goods. Whether the plan contained merit or not, its benefits, when compared with its expense, including the loss of the original capital, demonstrate it to have been the greatest financial success ever started in this country, and the only reason this fact is not recognized is because the benefits have been distributed in small amounts to the pockets of millions of farmers, instead of being placed to the credit of the bank account of one single capitalist.

In May, 1888, the business agents of the different States met as a committee of the National Alliance, for the purpose of organizing a State business agents' association. The matter was thoroughly discussed and a plan formulated. This plan formed the basis upon which many State Exchanges were started. The following plan, on which the State Alliance of Georgia has organized its Farmers' Alliance Exchange, will give a correct idea of the objects and methods by which the Exchange system is operated, and is a very good example of the way governing the Exchanges in the other States: —

"1. The name of this corporation shall be ‘The Farmers' Alliance Exchange of Georgia.’

"2. The purposes for which this corporation is organized are: To conduct a general mercantile business: to act as agent for the purchase and sale of all kinds of farm and orchard products, and general forwarding agent for ail kinds of commodities; to erect, manage, and update warehouses, stock-yards, grain elevators, packing


establishments; to manufacture guano or other fertilizers; and all such other enterprises as may be found necessary or advisable to profit and betterment.

"3. This corporation shall have the power, by and under its corporate name, to enjoy the following rights and privileges, to wit: It shall be capable in law to purchase, receive, and hold and enjoy, lands, goods, chattels, and property of any kind and effects whatsoever; the same to grant, sell, mortgage, and dispose of, sue and be sued, plead and he impleaded, contract and be contracted with; to make a common seal, to alter or break the same; to establish and put in execution by-laws governing the corporation; to issue and float debenture or other bonds; to do a printing and publishing business.

"4. The capital stock of the corporation shall be $1,000,000 — twenty-five per cent of stock subscribed to be paid in during the year 1888, the remainder in three installments of twenty-five per cent annually; and when $50,000 is paid in, the board of directors shall begin operations. The capital stuck shall be divided into 10,000 shares of $100 each.

"5. The term for which this corporation shall exist shall be ninety-nine years.

"6. Subscriptions for shares of capital stock shall be made by Farmers' Alliances, and not by individuals, and shall be accompanied by twenty-five per cent in cash of the amount of subscription.

"7. It is hereby understood or agreed that each Sub-Alliance adopting this Exchange system, and thereby ratifying this plan, is firmly bound to subscribe for and make settlement on stock, as above specified, to the number of shares due from it, under the following schedule of ability, to wit: Those having less than thirty-five members shall be apportioned one share; thirty-live to sixty-live members, two shares; sixty-five to ninety-five members, three shares; all above ninety-five members, four shares; Provided, this shall not prevent any Alliance from taking as many shares as they choose.

"8. Each Farmers' Alliance shall be entitled to one Trustee-Stockholder, who shall be elected annually at the time of the regular election of officers. He shall represent such subordinate body in the meeting of Trustee-Stockholders, from and for all the subordinate bodies in that county, and shall be entitled to as many votes as he represents shares of stock. The county convention of Trustee-Stockholders shall, at a regular annual meeting, elect from their number one delegate from all shares of stock owned in that comity, who shall be known at County Trustee-Stockholder, and be authorized la represent the stock held in that county in the State meetings of the Trustee-Stockholders of the corporation, and shall be entitled to as many votes as they represent shares of stock. Each Trustee-Stockholder shall be the representative of the Exchange in his Alliance, and shall give bond in the sum of — dollars for the faithful performance of duty.

"9. The next Trustee-Stockholders' meeting shall be at the time and place of the next meeting of the Farmers' State Alliance of Georgia, unless sooner convened by call from the Board of Directors of the Exchange.

"10. The Trustee-Stockholders shall elect annually eleven from their number, as a Board of Directors, to be chosen one from each congressional district in the State, and one from the State at large. Seven of these directors will constitute a quorum.

"11. The Board of Directors shall elect from their number a present, vice-president, and a secretary and treasurer. They may employ or discharge such assistants as necessary, taking sufficient bonds to cover all responsibility reposed. They shall enact suitable laws and regulations, subject to approval by the next meeting of stockholders:


Provided, all such by-laws and regulation shall have the full force of law, until the stockholders shall have refused to concur in them."

Just prior to the national meeting at St. Louis, a call was issued, inviting all State business agents to meet at the same time, to consider the propriety of forming a national organization. Business agents from nearly all the organized States were present, and a general discussion of the whole subject was entered into. The benefits of such an association were at once apparent, and immediate steps were taken for its formation.

The following business agents were present: J. S. Bird, Alabama; W. W. Holland, Kentucky; George A. Gowan, Tennessee; J. O. Winn, Georgia; Felix Corput, Georgia; T. A. Clayton, Louisiana; W. H. Worth, North Carolina; D. B. Hatfield, Arkansas; T. J. Galloway, Tennessee; W. K. Cessna, Florida; G. G. Grose, Dakota; Allen Root, Nebraska; J. D. Furlong, Minnesota; J. B. Dines, Missouri; August Post, Iowa; J. L. Seaver, Washington; S. M. Hoskins, Indiana; M. B. Wade, Kansas; S. W. Wright, Jr., Illinois; S. P. A. Brubaker, Virginia; B. G. West, Mississippi; T. W. Haynes, Kentucky; W. B. Collier, Missouri; Colonel I. May, Wisconsin; W. J. Cox, Indiana; J. A. Mudd, Maryland; A. S. Mann, Florida; Oswald Wilson, New York. Brother J. B. Dines was elected President, W. W. Holden, Vice-President, and Oswald Wilson, Secretary. A constitution was adopted, and other business of detail transacted to the satisfaction of all.

The association adjourned to meet with the National Alliance the following December.


OCALA, FLORIDA, December 1, 1890.

The States Business Agents' Association met in hall of Doonelton Phosphate Company, with the following officers and members present: —

J. B. Dines, President, St. Louis, Missouri; W. L. Peek, Vice President, Atlanta, Georgia; Oswald Wilson, Secretary, 335 Broadway, New York ; J. K. P. House, Kansas; M. D. Coffeen, Illinois; G. A. Gowan, Nashville, Tennessee; W. K. Cessna, Jacksonville, Florida; G. F. Gaither, Birmingham, Alabama; W. H. Worth, Raleigh, North Carolina; T. A. Clayton. New Orleans, Louisiana; A. R. Venable, Jr., Richmond, Virginia; J. J. Rogers, Norfolk, Virginia; S. S. Harvey, Pensacola, Florida; S. D. A. Duncan, Dallas, Texas; J. M. Moore, San Francisco, California; R. M. Humphrey, Houston, Texas; R. C. Betty, Indian Territory; B. G. West, Memphis, Tennessee; M. L. Donaldson,


Greenville, South Carolina; W. H. Holland, Louisville, Kentucky; Joseph A. Mudd, Washington, District of Columbia.

Much important business was transacted, the constitution was revised, and a general agreement was arrived at in regard to business methods among the different agencies. The meeting was entirely satisfactory to all concerned.

The following officers were elected: —

J. B. Dines, President; W. L. Peek, Vice-President; Oswald Wilson, Secretary; J. K. P. House, Treasurer; M. D. Coffeen, Member of Executive Committee.

Adjourned to meet at the place designated by the National Farmers' Alliance and Industrial Union for their next annual meeting.

No one can estimate the benefits which may be derived from this national association, if properly managed. It can protect the weak and bid defiance to the strong, and thereby save millions to the hard-working farmer. If space would permit, a report from each State business agent, as to the volume of business, benefits derived by the brethren, and the prospects for the future, would be both instructive and entertaining. Suffice it to say that a great work is being done by these agencies. Millions of dollars are being saved to the members, and true business principles are being taught to the order. In many respects these agencies are made an auxiliary of no little importance, in the education of the brethren, regarding the correct doctrine of the Alliance. That they are an important factor in the Alliance movement, no one should deny, and that they should be patronized and supported, every one should concede.


Division III.


Chapter I.


NOTHING, perhaps, would be more interesting to the American farmer than a correct detailed description of the agricultural methods of antiquity. It would serve to mark the progress that has been made in that pursuit, and disclose the fact, which many seem to doubt, that the steady, plodding farmer has performed his full share in bringing about the civilization of the present, by making rapid strides in the development of every branch of his vocation. It would also be gratifying to know how the nations of the long ago tilled the soil, sowed, planted, reaped, or gathered; what crops they cultivated, and by what methods they were converted into use. Such information, however, has been withheld, as the records which have come down to us are all but silent upon these topics.

The fact that agriculture, as an industry, antedates all others, is admitted by every one. The first want of man is food, and his first resource for it was the ground. Whether herbs or fruits were resorted to must have depended upon their relative abundance in the locality where, man began his career upon earth. Doubtless the fruits were preferred at first, until the use of fire, in the preparation of the herbs, was discovered. Upon this hypothesis, the first care and labor of man would have been bestowed upon fruit trees, and hence gardening may be said to have been the art of earliest invention.

But man is also a carnivorous animal, and this propensity of his nature would soon lead him to attempt to domesticate such animals as he found most useful in affording him milk, food, or


clothing, or would assist him in his labor. From this may have come the origin of pasturage, and the industry of raising stock. The invention of tilling the soil must have been coeval with the discovery of the use of the cereal grasses, and may be considered as the last step in the invention of husbandry, as well as the most important. Such conclusions, while simply conjectural, are nevertheless based upon sufficient reason to warrant a respectful consideration.

In the earlier stages of civilization, these branched of economy, in common with all the arts of life, would naturally be practised by every family for itself; but the great advantages of separating the occupations would soon present themselves, and the result, no doubt, is the present designations of farming, gardening, grazing, etc.

The importance of agriculture is obvious to every thinking person, not only by its affording the direct supply of our greatest wants, but as the parent of manufacture and commerce. Without agriculture, there can be neither civilization nor population. It is not only the most universal of all the arts, but the one which requires the greatest number of operators. The larger portion of the inhabitants, in every country, are employed in agricultural pursuits; and the most prosperous and enlightened nation is the one whose agricultural population are the best remunerated for their labor.

In the earlier ages of the race, before tillage was invented, doubtless the surface of the earth was held in common by all the inhabitants, and every family pastured its flocks, pitched its tent, or erected its hut where it seemed best; but when tillage came into use, it must have become necessary to assign to each family or tribe a portion of territory, and of this portion that family or tribe became the recognized proprietors and cultivators. From this, perhaps, came the beginning of property in land; of purchased cultivators, or slaves; hired cultivators, or laborers; of farmers, or proprietors; and the various laws and customs, in regard to ownership and occupation of landed property, which, in a modified or intensified form, obtain at the present time.

After a careful examination of numerous authors upon ancient agriculture, I have selected the writings of Mr. J. C.


Loudon, printed in England, in 1834, from which I shall make extended quotations.

Mr. Loudon says that the history of agriculture may be considered chronologically, or in connection with that of the different nations, which have successively flourished in different parts of the world; politically, as influenced by the different forms of government which have prevailed ; geographically, as affected by different climates; and physically, as influenced by the character of the earth's surface.

The first kind of history is useful, by displaying the relative situation of different countries as to agriculture; instructive, as enabling us to contrast our present situation with that of other nations and former times; and curious, as discovering the route by which agriculture has passed from primitive ages and countries to our own.

The political and geographical histories of the art derive their value from pointing out causes favorable and unfavorable to improvement, and countries and climates favorable or unfavorable to particular kinds of cultivation and management. Traditional history traces man back to the time of the deluge. After that catastrophe, of which the greater part of the earth's surface bears evidence, man seems to have recovered himself in the central parts of Asia, and to have first attained to eminence in arts and government on the alluvial plains of the Nile. Egypt colonized Greece, Carthage, and some other places on the Mediterranean Sea; and thus the Greeks received their arts from the Egyptians; afterwards the Romans from the Greeks; and finally, the rest of Europe from the Romans.

Such is the route by which agriculture is traced to our part of the world. How it may have reached the eastern countries of India and China is less certain, though, from the great antiquity of their inhabitants and governments, it appears highly probable that arts and civilization were cither coeval there, or, if not, that they travelled to the east much more rapidly than they did to the west. Very few facts are recorded on the subject, previous to the time of the Romans. That enterprising people considerably improved the art, and extended its practice with their conquests. After the fall of their empire, it declined throughout Europe, and, during the Dark Ages, was chiefly


preserved on the estates of the Church. With the general revival of arts and letters, which took place during the sixteenth century, agriculture also revived; first in Italy, and then in France and Germany; but it flourished most in Switzerland and Holland ; and finally, in recent times, has attained its highest degree of perfection in England.

The modern agriculture of America is copied from that of Europe; and the same may be said of the agriculture of European colonies, established in different parts of the world. The authors whose writings relate to the period under consideration are few, and the relations of some of them very contradictory. The earliest is Moses (B.C. 1600). Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, who wrote more particularly on the history and geography of Egypt, lived, the former in the fifth, and the latter in the sixth, century B.C.; and Hesiod, the ancient Greek writer on husbandry, in the tenth century preceding our era. It is truly remarkable that, in the eastern countries, the state of agriculture and other arts, and even of machinery, at that period, docs not appear to have been materially different from what it is in the name countries at the present day. Property in land was recognized, the same grains cultivated, and the same domestic animals reared or employed. Some led a wandering life and dwelt in tents, like the Arabs, and others dwelt in towns or cities and pursued agriculture and commerce, like the fixed nations. It is reasonable, indeed, and consistent with received opinions, that this should be the case; for, admitting the human race to have been nearly exterminated at the deluge, those who survived that catastrophe would possess the more useful arts and general habits of life of the antediluvian work. Noah, accordingly, is styled a husbandman, and is said to have cultivated the vine, and to have made wine. In little more than three centuries afterwards, Abraham is stated to have had extensive flocks and herds, slaves of both sexes, silver and gold, and to have purchased a family sepulcher with a portion of territory around it. Isaac, his son, during his residence in Palestine, is said to have sown and reaped a hundred fold.

Grain seems to have been grown in abundance in Egypt, for Abraham, and afterwards Jacob, had recourse to that country during times of famine. Irrigation was also extensively


practised there, for it is said that the plains of Jordan were watered everywhere, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. Such is the amount of agricultural information contained in the writings of Moses, fr