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"VOL. 1.-ITO. 35.
KNIGHTS OF LABOR.
Air—"Scotts Wita ITae."
Knights of Labor who would bleed
For the cause ye nobly plead.
For the justice that ye need—
0, list ye now to me !
Monopoly, with heart of steel,
Monopoly, with iron heel
Would crush us all beneath the wheel
Of In-art less tyranny!
Who a traitor now would be.
To the wild woods let him flee,
Drown himself beneath the sea,
Or nobly with us fall!
See the chieftains Gould controls.
Haughty, proud and guilty souls;
Whilst the thunder roars and rolls
*| Let these swaggerers brawl!
With your purpose well defined,
With stout hearts and stubborn mind,
Steadily your axes grind,
And calmly wait your time !
Calmly wait, with lips compressed;
Calmly firm, with arms at rest.
Saw wood and do your level best,
And do no act of crime !
Then, by all in heaven and earth;
Then, by your heritage and birth,
Only honesty and worth
Will in the end succeed !
Though our common foemen jeer.
Though they slight our cause so dear.
Call us conspirators and sneer,
They'll yet come to their feed !
Fight on ! fight on ! " Lay on, Macduff! '"
T'ntil Jay Gould, that wealthy tough—
Until your foes cry, Hold ! Enough !
Strike now your heaviest blows !
Rouse ! and by the Eternal Power.
House, my comrades; never cower;
Soon shall come sweet victory's hour—
The battle soon will close !
— The Companion.
ALICE »HTHERTON'S*GRRY WORLD.
BY BEETHA BEBTON.
A gray sky overhead, leafless trees
swaying with the chilly breeze, and
sear, brown leaves rustling al«ng the
brick sidewalk and gathering in piles
in alleys and corners; and at a window
looking out upon the dreary prospect,
stood a girl of eighteen summers. Her
slender fingers were tattooing the re
frain of an old song upon the window
pane, and the mournful expression of
her large hazel eyes seemed out of place
in a face so young and fair.
"A gray world this is, surely," she
said at last, half to herself, half to the
othfer occupant of th?room.
. " And what of that ? the sun is shin
ing beyond the clouds, you know," a
pleasant voice responded.
Alice Atherton turned around in as
tonishment. She had heard the office
door open, and, sure that her friend
Kittie Vinton had run in, in her usual
unceremonious way, she had spoken
without looking to see who had en
A faint flush dyed her cheek, for the
stranger had intuitively understood the
sad feeling that prompted her words;
but she recovered herself and came for
ward, for just inside the door stood a
gentleman, tall and commanding in
figure, interesting in feature and ap
pearance, and he smiled pleasantly at
"I thought it was Kittie Vinton,"
she said simply, and then she waited
for his order, for she was an agent for
a dyeing establishment, and thus her
little office was open to the public.
The gentleman seemed almost to
have forgotten his errand, though in
his hand was a small parcel, and after
an instant's waiting, Alice Atherton in
quired if he wished to leave an order.
Yes, he had brought a parcel for his
sister, —some silk, which was to be
dyed azure blue, —and Alice took up
her order book and wrote explicitly the
directions, and while her head, with its
rich covering of nut-brown hair, was
bent over the little desk, Arthur Charl
ton watched her intently, as if trying
to solve a mystery.
She designated the time when the
' work would be done, and still the gen
"Excuse me," he said pleasantly,
" but your remark, that was addressed
to another, arUlsed my cariosity, for
men have curiosity as well as women.
It may seem impertinent, and yet I do
not mean it so, but, is the world par
ticularly gray this morning ? "
And in his questioning blue eyes was
a look so honest and sincere that, quite
unlike herself, Alice Atherton answered
with like sincerity.
"I fancied that it did seem more
lowering, for business is so dull that I
must close the office, I fear; " and in
spite of an effort to speak bravely, her
voice had a pitiful little quaver that
told plainer than words how much de-'
pended upon that same office.
" Yes," the gentleman replied, "11
know that business is exceedingly dull,
but for that very reason we may expect
a change ; and there was never a sky
so gray, nor clouds so murky, but that
the sun burst through, and so it will!
again. Don't grow faint hearted,
" Atherton," she supplied the blank, '■
and Arthur Charlton started involun '
tarily as he heard the name.
Then he remembered that he was ex
ceeding the limits of a business call,
and with the check which she had given
him for his sister's parcel, he descended
the stairs and took his way down the
¥m_ LABOR HERALD.
OFFICIAL ORGAN OF DISTRICT ASSEMBLY, No. 84, KNIGHTS OF LABOR.
" Alice Atherton, as I live!" he so
liloquized; " for she resembles Hal so
closely I cannot be mistaken; and to
think that, after all my searching, I
should find her in such an odd way—
in such a place, too! Well, I think I
can change the appearance of her gray
world; at any rate, I am willing to
make an effort."
And then Arthur Charlton went
home, and in his own luxuriously fur
nished room he seated himself before
a richly carved rosewood desk and be
gan to sort out papers.
At college Hal Atherton had been
his most intimate friend, and the light
hearted fellow had been inTne habit of
making of him a confidant in all mat
! ters of his daily life.
He had told him of his sister Alice*
and had sometimes read to him snatches
of her lively and interesting letters, so
that he seemed almost to be acquainted
Their paths had diverged when col
lege days were over, for Hal Atherton's
business had taken Lira abroad.
He had died after amassing a com
fortable fortune; he had died suddenly,
leaving only a message to his old friend,
Arthur Charlton—an earnest request
that he would see that his property
should be given to his sister Alice.
A friend who was with him in his
last hours had sent this message to
Arthur Charlton, and had also for
warded to him his personal effects, and
he would have gladly fulfilled his
friend's dying request, but when he
strove to discover the residence of Hal
Atherton's sister, he could find no
clew; unaccountable though it seemed,
there was not even a letter among his
papers that would furnish the desired
More than a year had elapsed since
his death, and for the first time Arthur
Charlton felt certain 'that he was on
Ec right track.
He had never seen a picture of his
end's sister, but the strong resem
ince of the girl whom he had just
met in the office, together with the
name, was almost positive proof.
But-did she know of her brother's
death ? If she did not, the unexpected
fortune would hardly be welcome if it
must come through a loss so great.
Then he resolved to write to this girl
-and ask for
Hal Atherton, and he did so without
The answer came next day, in a
graceful feminine hand—a brief note
that told of Hal Atherton's death in a
foreign country, but just where, his
sister had never been able to learn;
but that she was aware of his death
was all that Arthur Charlton cared to
know, and without delay he called
again at the office of the pretty dyer.
At her desk, and busy with her ac
counts, she raised her eyes to see that
the gentleman who had left a parcel of
silk had called, and coming forward,
she explained that there was some mis
understanding, as she had specified a
day of the following week when the
goods would be done; but Arthur
Charlton had called on more important
business, and wonderingly, Alice Ather
ton proffered a seat.
Then he proceeded to tell her of the
fortune left in trust for her by her
brother. An allusion to her brother
awakened sad memories, and she could
not refrain from tears, but soon she
grew calm, and listened with surprise
to the information.
It seemed that Hal Atherton had
been so deeply ingrossed with business
that he had grown neglectful in writing
to his sister, and after he had made
several changes of location, she had at
last lost all trace of him.
Then a rumor came of his sudden
death; later it had been confirmed, and
while the young girl had mourned
deeply her brother's death, she had
grieved also at his seeming negligence.
Arthur Charlton was able to impart
some information regarding his last
hours, but Alice was greatly surprised
that her brother had amassed such a
lo the lonely girl, who scarcely
earned enough to keep the wolf from
her door, it was, indeed, a blessing.
When Arthur Charlton was about to
leave the office, Alice expressed her
gratitude with tearful eyes.
"Do you remember what I told
you?" he asked, holding her small
hand a trifle longer, perhaps, than was
necessary, and looking down in the
sweet young face that had already be :
gun to take on a careworn expression.
"Oh, yes," she answered, glancing
up shyly to his fine, manly face. " You
said that the sun was shining beyond
the clouds; but, indeed, I could see
nothing that morning but a lead-colored
sky, and a sear, brown earth."
" Well, you see a change, and I hope
that your future life may have more
sunshine than shadows; " then he went
The business which had been in
trusted to his care was soon arranged,
and Alice Atherton learned to put
great confidence in her brother's friend.
But Arthur Charlton forgot all about
his sister's commission, until one morn
ing, when she placed in his hand the
check that he had brought home; then
"THAT IS THE MOST PERFECT GOVERNMENT IN WSICH AN INJURY TO ONE IS THE CONCERN OF ALL."
; _Z_ • '
>- he looked so confused that she fedf ed
o something had happened to her goods.
0 However, he brought the siUfa few
1 hours later, and when she eroressed
_ her delight at having found/ome one
I who could suit her in dying, he mv
v formed her that the lady was about to
0 retire from the business.
Alice Atherton resigned her position
t as agent for the Chemical Dye Works,
.. and engaged board in a private family,
c on a quiet street. The winter passed
,_ pleasantly, for Arthur Charlton, her
brother's friend, sympathized with the
a lonely girl, and through his kindness
; . j she was enabled to enjoy whatever was
f! rich aud rare of tha entertainments of_
; _ the season ; and when another summer
rolled round, she had learned to be
h lieve fully in Arthur's assertion, that
8 the sun did shine; she had also learned
D that in her brother's friend, she had
1 found her ideal of a noble man, and in
response to his earnest pleading, she
became his wife.
Keep Cool and on the Right Track.
Progress is a sublime necessity, a
, science and an art, and may be had by
, fits and starts, alternately and strangely
t influenced by hopelessness and mad
f impatience. A mule, briskly walking
along, suddenly stops for some unac
-3 countable reason. After considerable
) kicking and other manifestations of ill
■ temper, it suddenly condescends to
I move on. So we may move on after a
i mulish fashion, first all indifference and
s then all excitement and riot. It is best
I not only to have some things but also
> to keep them, and many useful and
, valuable articles we might well keep.
ißy all means let us keep cool. Let us
[ keep on the right track, organizing and
agitating, and not forgetting that with
s out effort there can be no practical re
• suits. The writer is again crawling
i out of his shell, having withdrawn from
the field to wait for the introduction of
i the next grand national move that is to
follow upon the eight-hour campaign.
He thought it best to use his brains
i and pen simply to start every new
step, every successive plank of the
Knights of Labor platform constituting
a progressive step. The vast army of
united labor iB rather large and cum
bersome and difficult to general, and is
spread over a wide territory. We be
lieve strictly in order, and hate disorder
and confusion as a cat does
Take up every plank of the Knights of
Labor platform, one by one, systemati
cally and with a will. It seems plain
enough that the multitude of toilers
cannot proceed precisely like so many
grasshoppers, that is, doing nothing
for a while and then suddenly bouncing
as if by electricity. Let us not turn
"labor reform" into a fever-ague. The
The St. Louis men are getting some
what " Frenchy," Parisian, you know.
Why not have it eight hours through
the country until we come to the next
move! Eight hours will take the un
employed out of the labor market and
thus strikes will be less endangered.
One thing at a time, though not one
thing all the time. True statesmanship
and sound political economy consist in
tending to the greatest general neces
sity for the time being. That having
been attended to, we must consider
the next necessary step, and so on,
through the whole platform, orderly
"and all united in a solid body. If this
be nonsense, then discard it at once.
The writer is not infallible. But if it
be good sense, then men must be fools
indeed not to act accordingly. The
next step after the eight-hour move is
the abolition of child labor and strict
compulsory education for all. This
step has already been made a fact in
the Connecticut Legislature. Of course
the factory lords did their best to
oppose and kill this great onward and
upward move. In Massachusetts the
same attempt was made, but with less
success. It is best not to attempt to
unite the vast army of toilers upon too
many issues at one and the same time.
Ours is a movement of movements, a
reform made tip of no many arnarlet :'-*
forms; smaller, yet each grand and
essential in itself. Therefore, as this
greatest of modern movements is so
complex, taking in so much and cover
ing so vast a ground, let us be steady
and firm and have a clear understanding
of the master science of human progress
Let us bear in mind that local union
should be subject to national union,
and that to make every successive step
a success we mnst move nationally.
* - ■—► • -•» —
Powderly's latest circular to the \
Knights of Labor is the bugle-blast j
calling upon the people to prepare for
the battle against monopoly and wrong, j
Every man who earns an honest living,
as a workman or any legitimate busi
ness, is expected to fall in at once.
We will soon see whether stock
gambling robbers or the people shall
rule.— Champ ion.
Hoxie, in his reports to Gould, an
nounces day after day that the strike is j
virtually ended. If these reports were !
true, there would be no need of tele- \
graphing the matter more than once or :
twice; as it is, there can be no reason
able cause for such waste of time and
labor but the desire to dupe the public.
_i_^:c_E_c^d:oi-T_D 5 -v__v., i, isse.
id : AMERICAN WORKINGMEN ARE CALLED
s. | UPON TO ARM THEMSELVES.
An Old Soldier Utters A Cry of Warning,'
to i Private Capital Demands Its Pound of
Flesh at the Point of the Bayonet.
s, Slaves or Freemen! Which? r
d I Comrades: You have heard the cryf
sr "To arms! To arms!" What repl£
ie I shall we give ?
18 i . Shall we Jgnore it with a sneer ajgj
• ; the vaporings of European fevoltttaei
)f-f ists who do not understand the genjjr*
;r of our institutions ; shall we deride it
3- as the catch-word of professional agi
rt tators; shall we continue to flatter
d ourselves that as Americans—sons of
d patriot sires—we have no wrongs which
n we may not redress by the ballot ?
c Let us face the problem. Let us ask
ourselves if there be indeed any valid
reasons for alarm. Let us consider for
a moment whether, as with advancing
a years, our position is growing brighter
y or more hopeless; whether gaunt fam
y me and distress lurk near our door
3 ready to swoop down upon our loved
.. In all our industrial centres the Red
c Flag of the International is unfurled;
 from every quarter comes the wail of
D despair from the pinched lips of starved
a wives and children, and the low, mut
-3 tered curse of the idle breadwinners;
t on every breeze is wafted these signafe
0 of social discontent, and men fin 3
j their skill, their will, their brawn pow
,. erless to protect their dependent ones.
s It is not an European question, but
j an American one I ask you to consider.
. How near are you to the same brink '
i. How many weeks of enforced idlenesi
y separate you from utter destitution?
, 52? 26? 13?
f You work for wages. Are they
D increasing ?
Is your position a guaranteed one,
g or is it dependent upon the state of the
f market or the law of demand? Are
B you to-day satisfied, or are you hoping
, for something better ?
f In fine, it is a personal question A
. very few years ago such questions would
1 have been idle; to-day they find recep
. tive years. Is there not in this fact a
r j pregnant meaning ? Do you not realize
yourselves that times have <*$*3Mi
f since our civil war, if your menß^'
. goes back beyond that event ?
! You are a mechanic. Have you the
3 opportunity now that there was then
■ for the man of small means to start in
, business for himself? Is not the small
, manufacturer, the small trader being
, driven to the wall ? Can the capital of
3 a few hundred dollars compete with
. that of millions ? Is not your routine
in life become a fixed one ?
Let us leave on one side all theoreti
t cal questions of abstract rights for the
I You feel the lines drawing yearly
more closer which hold you in the rat
5 of wage-labor; you realize more aad
, more the lack of opportunity to escape
, by raising yourself above your com
. rades; you look ahead to old age and
. can see no relief unless it be a seat ke
. side a son's or daughter's hearth, who
is following the same weary round
, where your strength was worn out.
, As an American, you, of course, read
the papers. You read of strikes and
; lockouts; of suffering communities
, struggling for better remuneration; of
, families in need of the common neces
, saries of life. In your walks you meet
j idle men who would work as gladly as
, you if the l»w of demand would p«r
--i mit. You are familiar with the tene
, ment-house quarters of our city, per
i haps necessarily so. You know its
[ influence on health, on the morals of
, your children, on the happiness of your
I family circle.
, As an American, I ask you is this
i continued discontent cropping out
everywhere, the necessary outcome of
, our republican institutions ? Is there
virtue in the Constitution to heal |he
[ growing division between capital in,!
, labor; is there power in legislation to
i remove the causes which compel you to
bring up your children in a human bee
, hive; will the ballot restore the faded
. cheek of your wife or preserve the
i bloom of health on the faces of your
, children ?
Letjis consider these questions first.
, Let us weigh existing "remedies"
before considering new ones.
Was your father a wage worker be
fore you in this land of the free ? Is
i your condition better? If so, has it
\ been acquired by reason of your poKti
• cal freedom 1
, I You may attend church. Has reli
, gion done ought for your economic
. condition, other than teaching content
ment and submission? You know it
. has not, neither do you look to it for
| such relief. ■
Is it not equally true that political
freedom has done absolutely nothing to
• better your economic condition ? You
II know that neither the realm of religion
s i nor politics intersect that of economy
i under our present system.
You have mental freedom, but long
■ years of conflict and bloodshed ♦ere
I necessary to establish it. You fully
, recognize the right of every one to the
' free tbe of his reason; that there may
be no greater blasphemy than the denial
of freedom of thought; that what was
■ once the prerogative of God is now the
treasured right of self. In the world
the mental relations you deny authority
and proclaim liberty; in other words,
umirchy, the absence of government,
k You have inherited this as your
? birthright. The men who wrested this
I from the hands of authority did not
' 'obtain it by prayer, but by revolt.
\They relied on force to extort it from
ir fathers (for the writer is of Puri
tan and Revolutionary descent) achieved
it by their swords. It is a legacy of
which we are proud, nor would I un
dervalue it. Nor, on the other hand,
should we overvalue it.
Mental freedom ! Political freedom '
These are acquired. We need not
contend for these; they are ours.
But economic freedom ?
Have you advanced toward that?
Yon are nearer it because of the pre
vious conflicts; these issues are re
moved, and you are now face to face
with this alone. Otherwise they have
not helped you.
Is it not the direct line of progress?
The world's workers have risen slowly
from slavery to serfdom; from serf to
wage labor. Is this the end ? Do you
believe the onward march of personal
freedom will stop short of emancipa
tion—liberty ? Ask yourself the ques
tion. Interrogate your discontent,
your cravings, your wife's blanched
cheek, your child's peevish wail, who,
like you, feels that something is want
ing to the normal condition of happi
"But we can do nothing!''
Stop ! Do you admit that economic
freedom is desirable? That control
over the means of labor—and thereby
over your life and that of your family,
your material well-being—should not
be vested in the hands of a few ?
Do you believe that you have a right
to labor—that you should not be held
subject to arbitrary states of the mar
kets ? Will you assert that you have
an inalknable right to life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness, and that
whatever condition renders this right
nugatory is unjust ? Do you deny the
right of the possessor hi wealth to noKT
in his grasp the mean's of life, and to
permit you their use only so far as it
may conduce to his profit ?
Is not -possession of the means of
life as necessary to your well being, to
liberty, as free thought and free ballot?
This admitted, what follows ?
When our ancestors asserted a right,
they stood ready upon a suitable occa
sion to maintain it. We believe the
right we assert to be an outgrowth
from the tree they planted and watered
with their blood.
We have agreed that the end is a
desirable one. We have settled the
why, and the how comes next in order.
The occasion will never arise if all
refuse to look for it, but thousands of
your comrades are already convinced.
Here is one step gained. If you are
in sympathy with them, if you believe
in your theoretic right to labor, not as
a boon to be craved, a sop to be thank
ful for, but as a social right, join with
your comradeß who believe likewise.
In the first place learn to know each
other, organize meetings for the dis
cussion of these questions; seek to
understand the philosophy of the labor
movement; sift the arguments pro and
con; study Socialism, what it proposes,
its methods and aims. In all cases
preserve your personal independence;
hold fast to the cardinal principle of
liberty, and not overthrow one tyraunj
to erect another. '
Be yo r own man. Seek to own
In the second place, you will begin
to see that the conflict between labor
and capital is not to be settled by the
shrieks of alarmed plunderers who fear
the comingr day of jnrlam»"t, nut to
be allayed by the double leaded edito j
rials of journals dependent upon these
plunderers for bread and butter; not
to be quieted by the rose water ser
mons from mealy mouthed gospellers '
preaching to rich pew-holders.
Before settling the How, before the
inevitable Occasion shall rise, you need
arms. Already the blood of your com- !
rades has been shed, wives widowed
and children made fatherless. On!
every hand you witness an incraased
reliance on the militia to protect "vested
The " glorious republic " for which ]
our fathers bled is powerless to-day to
settle the issue of the present; it relies
on force to maintain "constitutional
Yon are not blind. You see all these
signs of the times. You are a wituess
of this increased reliance on force to
uphold American freedom! You see
the old garment of the constitution
stretched to cover emergencies never
dreamed of by its framers. You are
forced to reflect that graver issues are
now before us than the legislation of
the last century had knowledge of, and
demanding a new and different settle-'
ment. Yon like thousands of others, I
have vaguely felt that that antique work
is not as elastic as human progress;
that as a reservoir of the political wis
dom of the eighteenth century it may
jbe a matchless work of art, but when
!it becomes a dam to the course of pro
gress toward freedom, you, like thou
sands of others, will be tempted to
join in their cry and damn the consti
The necessity for arms is thus
answered on every hand by the signs of
the times —it is in the air!
Finally —the occasion.
When Paul Revere galloped out from
Boston in April, 1765, to carry the
I news that the British were moving in
fofTUe, he was told by a sofdier: "Do not
make so much noise."
" Noise." replied Paul Revere, "you'll
have noise enough before long. The
regulars are coming out." So he gal
loped on from house to house, arousing
the inmates from their slumber to mi
mediate action. The farmers grasped
their flintlocks; Lexington, Concord
and Bunker Hill followed.
If the great railroad strike of 1877
were to be repeated to-day, would it
not be such an occasion! Let another
commercial panic—those periodical
visitations of a bourgeois providence—
throw vast numbers of our workers
into idleness, would not a spark as
small as the filing of the militia on the
unarmed populace of Lemont be an
We are told that panics and com
mercial depressions are necessary, and
must be accepted. When armed we
will not only accept it—but wait for it.
Hungry bellies will make occasion I
Have no fear that the occasion will
not arise— it will arise. Then you—
though now undecided and satisfied
that your pay is secure—homeless and
hungry will be looking around to see
where you can seize a gun and join
your more far-sighted comrades.
You realize that the discontent of
labor is growing in intensity, in bitter
ness ; that its expansive power will be
greater the longer it is repressed.
Here we all agree.
You realize that the avaricious greed
of the capitalist is also increasing in
like ratio; that the greed for wealth
was never greater; never more disposed
to stalk over all obstacles for individual
enhancement; never more reckless of
j tinman suffering and misery; never
more ostentatious in its display of
Here, again, we all agree.
Under such conditions will not the
possession of arms be a provident fore
Get them now, before your economic
masters use the ballot to deny you even
that privilege. It will not be money
thrown away. A rifle or revolver is a
"handy thing to have about the house."
Some day you may meet a robber, who
knows ? You may find it a convenient
article against the banditti of "law and
order," —some thief who has robbed
you may be tempted to enforce a new
demand upon you.
It is well to be prepared for emer
Sons of patriot sires, greater perils
than your fathers faced are before you!
Will you shirk the assertion of a right;
neglect preparation for the maintenance
of what you believe; dodge the inevit
able issue that must be fought out on
American soil ? Be not alarmed lest
some views you are not prepared to
admit will triumph. Neither you nor
I can forecast the exact course of pro
gress—we can but do our share to re
move barriers. Humanity is greater
than leaders ; the wisdom of the whole
will prevail over any folly of a few.
To arms! To arms ! V"■ victis! (
Chew 0. H7cT"Tobaeco.
Smoke Sunbeam Cigars. -
m m —_?—
If the quinsy had got' the best of
Powderly, millions of the people would
have sincerely regretted his decease.
If Jay ttouia mliuuKi lugcto
piece of tough beef crosswise in his
gullet and fail to disloge it, the mour
ners would be confined to the immediate
family connection. That is not the
only difference between Powderly and
Gould, but it is one of the most
striking.— Cleveland Leader.
The idea advanced by some people
that we have to consult the other nations
before putting a stop to immigration,
is an absurd one. The fact is, that this
is the United States, and is owned,
controlled and governed by the people,
or should be, and if the people decide
that it is to their interest to do a thing,
who is going to interfere? Let the
tables be once turned and emigration
from this country thrown upon the
European countries, and they would
undoubtedly object most emphatically;
but even if they did not, that is no
sufficient reason why we should not, as
this country is emphatically and entirely
a country of the people, and the safety
and success of the government is de
pendent upon the greatest good to the
greatest number of its citizens and not
outsiders. This can only be secured
by putting a stop to present immigra
k A COMMISSION ON LABOR.
'" THEPRESIDENTS REMEDY FOR THE
- He Thinks the Federal Government Ought
to do Something Toward Reconcil
ing Capital and Labor.
To the Se„(tf t > mid House of Rapre
* The Constitution imposes upon the
President the duty of recommending
to the consideration of Congress from
a time to time, snch measures as he shall
c judge^^'" 1 :i "7?* d expedient.
a* 1 I s.m t-:' with the';
t of immediately and thought
fully meeting the problem which recent ■
11 events and a present condition have'
c thrust upon us, involving the settle- j
- ment of disputes arising between our!
? laboringmen and their employers, that
I am constrained to recommend to Con-1
1 gress legislation upon this serious and
I pressing subject. Under our form of;
Government the value of labor as an
i element of national prosperity should
t be distinctly recognized, and the wel
t fare of the laboringman should be re
-1 garded as especially entitled to legislative
-lative care. In a country which offers
s to all its citizens the highest attainment
9 of social and political distinction, its
s workingmen cannot justly or safely be
i considered as irrevocably consigned to
the limits of a class and entitled to no
- attention and allowed no protest
1 against neglect. The laboring man,
b bearing in his hand an indispensable
'• contribution to our growth and pro
t gress, may well insist, with manly
1 courage and as a right, upon the same
- recognition from those who make our
1 laws, as is accorded to any other citi
1 zens having a valuable interest in
B charge; and his reasonable demand
I should be met in such a spirit of ap
preciation and fairness as to induce a
f contented and patriotic co operation in
- the achievement of a grand national
While the real interests of labor are
not promoted by a resort to threats
1 and violent manifestations, and while
i those who, under the pretext of an ad
i vocacy of the claims of labor, wantonly
1 attack the rights of capital, and for sel
-1 fish purposes, or the love of disorder,
f sow seeds of violence and discontent,
r be encouraged nor con
i ciliated, all' legislation on the subject
should be calmly and deliberately un
dertaken, with no purpose of satisfying
i unreasonable demands or gaining par
- tisan advantages.
The present condition of the relations
-tions between labor and capital is far !
i from satisfactory. The discontent of!
f the employed is due in a large degree i
i to the grasping and heedless exactions
of the employers and the alleged dis
> crimination in favor of capital as an;
t object of governmental attention. It
1 must also be conceded that the labor
-1 ing men are not always careful to avoid
> T causeless and unjustifiable disturbance.
Though the importance of a better ac
- cord between these interests is appar
ent, it must be borne in mind that any
I effort in that direction by the Federal
! Government must be greatly limited by
; constitutional restrictions. There are
3 many grievances which legislation by
- Congress cannot redress, and many
i conditions which cannot by such means j
t be reformed.
) lam satisfied, however, that some
r thing may be done, under Federal au !
- thority, to prevent the disturbances!
- which so o/ten arise from disputes be
: tween the employers and the employed,
J and wjnch at times seriously threaten
. thejmsiness interests of the country;
W in my opinion the proper theory !
>ropon which to proceed is that of volun
tary arbitration as the means of settling
But I suggest that, instead of arbi- j
trators chosen in the heat of conflicting
claims, and after each dispute shall
arise, for the purpose of determining
the same there be created a commission
of labor, consisting of three members,'
n'xmmHk* i>e legumi omcers oi the'
' Government, charged, among other
duties, with the consideration and set
' tlement, when possible, of all contro-,
! versies between labor and capital.
A commission thus organized would
' have the advantage of being a stable
body, and its members, as they gained
experience, would constantly improve
> in their ability to deal intelligently and
> usefully with the questions which might
be submitted to them. If arbitrators
i are chosen for temporary service as
. each case of dispute arises, experience
i and familiarity with much that is mi
i volved in the question will be lacking,
i extreme partisanship and bias will be
! the qualifications sought on either sides,
i and frequent complaints of unfairness
i and partiality will be inevitable. The
imposition upon a Federal Court of a
; duty so foreign to the judicial function
1 as the selection of an arbitrator in such
i cases is at least of doubtful propriety.
The establishment by Federal au
thority of such a bureau, would be a
just and sensible recognition of the
i value of labor, and of its right to be
i represented in the departments of the
I Government So far as its conciliatory
offices should have relation to distur
! bances which interfered with transit !
PR/ICE 5 CENTS
and commerce between the States, its
existence would be justified under the
provisions of the Constitution, which
gives to Congress the power " to regu
late commerce with foreign nations and
among the several States.'' And in the
frequent disputes between the laboring
men and their employers, of less extent
and the consequences of which are con
fined within State limits and threaten
domestic violence, the interposition of
j such a commission might be tendered,
upon the application of the Legislature
I or executive of a State, under the con
j stitutional provision which requires the
i General Government to "protect" each
I p* :=s 'Ts£sgs valence."
If such a con. were
: ganized, the risk of a loss of popular
support and sympathy resulting from a
I refusal to submit to so peaceful an in
strumentality would constrain both
parties to such disputes to invoke its
I interference and abide by its decisions.
There would also be good reason to
| hope that the very existence of such an
agency would invite application to it
for advice and counsel, frequently re
sulting in the avoidance of contention
If the usefulness of such a commission
is doubted because it might lack power
to enforce its decisions, much encour
agement is derived from the conceded
good that has been accomplished by
the railroad commissions which have
been organized in many of the States,
which, having little more than advisory
power, have exerted a most salutary
influence in the settlement of disputes
between conflicting interests.
In July, 1884, by a law of Congress,
a Bureau of Labor was established and
placed in charge of a Commissioner of
Labor, who is required*<to " collect in
formation upon the Bubject of labor,
its relations with capital, the hours of
labor, and the earnings of laboring men
and women, and the means of promo
ting their material, social, intellectual,
and moral prosperity."
The commission which I suggest
could easily be engrafted upon the
bureau thus already organized by the
addition of two more Commissioners
and by supplementing the duties now
imposed upon it by such other powers
and functions as would permit the
Commissioners to act as arbitrators
when necessary between labor and
capital under such limitations and upon
such occasions as should be deemed
proper and useful. Power should also
| be distinctly conferred upon this bureau
to investigate the causes of all disputes
as they occur, whether submitted for
arbitration or not, so that information
j may always be at hand to aid legislation
! on the subject when necessary and de
i sirable. Gkoveb Cleveland.
m i m i «.
No more certain evidence can be ad
duced to demonstrate the progress of
the labor movement than the change of
j public sentiment in relation to the ac
tion of workingmen by combining into
Labor Unions. A few years ago all
I combinations of workingmen having
for their object any increase of wages
' was met by almost universal condem
nation, outside the few, who had the in
telligence to foresee the good that
: might be accomplished and the courage
j of their conviction to boldly proclaim
I it. The law everywhere held that if
two or more workmen mutually agreed
to act in concert and quit work to com
| pel an employer to raise their wages it
i was conspiracy and punishable by a
fine and imprisonment.
Within a few years statutes have
been enacted in most States to legalize
or abrogate the common law in relation
to combination of workingmen, and
■ now, we doubt if there is a State where
a jury of men can be found to convict
I for this cause, and if those who are en
trusted with the direction of organized
labor are discreet, the next few years
will produce still greater modifications
of popular sentiment in relation to the
rights of all producers. All progress
1 comes by the increased knowledge of
' mankind respecting me things sought
after; this is true in ethics as in ma
terial things, and when we shall have
created a healthy public opinion upon
! the subject of labor, we shall have a
very different state of society than we
have at present. A healthy public
opinion would respect the rights of the
laborer; under such a sentiment there
would be no possibility for a man to
obtain wealth by false methods. Men
like Jay Gould could not obtain the
control of commerce by means such as
he has used; employers of labor who
did not pay a fair compensation to their
employees would find no market for
Self-respect would prompt men to
refuse to buy a shirt, when they knew
it was made for sixty-cents per dozen.
Other considerations than mere cheap
ness would determine its value. When
industrial and moral wealth, not wealth,
shall determine the measure of indi
viduals and become the standard in
business transactions, society will de
mand to know whether the articles they
consume were honestly made. That
feeling which prompts us to seek the
cheapest market to buy in, may be the
means of imposing a very burden upon
1 our brothers and sisters of toil— Ex.