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Industrial Freedom. New Series, No. 9 EQUALITY COLONY A Brief History Shewing Cur Ctjects ar.d Pres ent Condition Cooperative Colonies Are Not All Failures The Brotherhood of the Cooperative Commonwealth was initiated at the time of the populist convention in St, Louis by some of the socialists who went there as delegates of the populist party. The object of the association was to organize the workers into cooperative colonies and by pooling their capital, labor and money, build homes lor themselves instead of working lor cap italists and building homes for the other felloW, The organization was perfected in September, 1896, by the election of a board of trustees consisting of Myron W. Reed, president; N. W. Lermond, secretary; Dr. C. 1". Taylor, treasurer; Eugene V. Debs, organizer; Prof. Frank Parsons, dean; A. S. Edwards, editor; W. L. Smith, master workman, and \Y. W. White, distributor. These offi cers were to purchase land and ma chinery and hold it in trust for the as sociation, carry on an active propa ganda and act lor the association in all its dealings. Through the untiling efforts of the secretary, X. W. Lermond, the Broth erhood "grew rapidly. Local unions were organized in nearly every state and territory. Pledges ol money and machinery to help start colonies liter ally rolled in until over $100,000 was pledged and Comrade Lermond start "'■ ed \ on' a search for a location for col -"."• \',v \ Aft^r looking ov k er«cyeraJ states In finally selected a location neor the head of navigation of the White river, in Arkansas. Pending his report to the board of trustees, a convention of the American Railway Union was held in Chicago and he was requested to attend in the inter ests of the B.C. C. While there he made an agreement with the Debs fac tion of the A. K. U. to join forces in colonizing a state with socialists and Washington was selected as the best state in which to try the experiment, so the Arkansas proposition was dropped; The first move toward stalling a colony in Washington was sending 0. E. Peltonto this state in September, 1807, to select a site. After looking over a number of proposed locations, that on which Equality is now situ ated was chosen, and the watchword was "On to Washington!" An option was taken on 280 acres of fine land and the final purchase was made in December following. This land was unimproved, being covered thickly with brush and Standing and fallen timber ami about 200 acres had to be drained, The price paid was $10 per acre. , Equality colony was organized No vember 1." 1897; "at the home of Com rade Carey Lewis. The original mem bers ere l."> in number, woo! whom arc dead, two still members and the rest scattered far and wide, working for the cause of socialism. The first work undertaken by the colonists was building a dike on the •-acre lot of Comrade Lewis to keep ut the tide water; next an apart tent house was built a; the same lace for the accommodation of pros pective colonists, ho were coining in at the rate ol bald a dozen a day. The clearing of land and building lot houses cm the colony site was carried on with great enthusiasm end during the winter of 1887-8 not a day was lost; men wailed through mud in the rain'before daylight and alter dark to and lrom work. Machinists, tailors, EQUALITY, SKAGIT COUNTY, WASH., NOVEMBER 1, 1901 engineers, carpenters, blacksmiths, school teachers and preachers all used the saw, axe and grubhoe to make a showing before spring, when the na tional board was to come from the east with a large printing outfit and thousands of dollars in cash to help develop Equality's natural resources and establish other colonies through out the Sound country. Spring came and with it the nation al board, but, somehow, the cash tailed to materialize; though a worn out printing outfit was shipped here and $400 freight paid on it, but the press was never set up. Soon after he arrived Comrade Lcr mond purchased a printing outfit in Seattle, paying $1500, and the first copy of Industrial Freedom was is sued May 7, 1898. During the summer of '98 nearly 200 members joined Equality. Some were very practical, useful members, others were very idealistic, useless members; all were good people and their inten tions were of the best, but not having had experience in pioneering and al ways having worked lor capitalist masters who had unlimited capital to furnish all necessary machinery lor production they hesitated to assume the responsibility that would natur ally rest on them and so gave up the fight and went back to the "fleshpots ol Egypt." Small lots of cultivated laud were rented at various places the first sum mer and planted to vegetables which helped to support the resident mem bers during the winter of 1898-9 and the process of clearing land went on rapidly i George Savage, of this county, brot'i his portable sawmill, set it up, and, 1 i .-.'!..'.. .'!> LoiiiL ,i^Ui_viJ'~oLv^-i-ttj^h*(ts«> --t- expiration of that time he '-con cluded that Equality life did not suit. him and left, and his labor and the use of the mill for the six months were donated to the colony. Several hundred thousand feet of lumber were cut by this little mill and was used as fast as cut. Two large apartment buildings were erected the first summer, also a large barn and several smaller buildings. About 40 acres of land were slashed, consider able ditching done and several acres of land put in condition lor planting. The national executive hoard of the B. C. C. was at Edison, some two miles southwest of Equality, collect ing and disbursing the monies of that organization and had ideas of estab lishing new- colonies, regardless of the fact that the dues and donations were insufficient to sustain the colony al ready started. It became necessary tor the members of Equality, to insure the continuance of its existence, to protest against the use of any of the funds towards starting new colonies until Equality was somewhere near self supporting. This protest, after a number ol intensely interesting meet ings between the colony members and the national board, resulted in the complete autonomy of Equality/and a division of the funds of the B. C. C. When the government of Equality was thus taken rom their hands the national board resigned, one by one, and members of Equality were ap pointed to till their places, On ac count of the misrepresentation of the colony to outside members of the B. C. C, the membership in our national organization rapidly dropped from 3500 to 250 or 300. The national headquarters were moved to Equality ami occupy a large building built for the' purpose. A machinery fund was established about this time, contributions called for, and nearly $2000 resulted. With CONTINUED ON PACK I THE MOSSBACK Preaches an Anniversary Sermon Words of Wis dom From Comrade Eddy—Exper imental Stage Passed Your uncle the lighting change ar t!jt is going to preach you anni versary sermon. He is positive that -ere is nothing too good for an I qualityite and he wants each of yon to resolve upon this anniversary of its founding that for,, the ensuing year you will strive .to obtain for the col <>.y and lor yourself the best that it is possible to achieve. So far as is consistent with future .ability he advises you to "blow yourself" for present comforts; bcliv rag that in so doing you will best .serve the interests of the colony as -Bellas your own welfare. Don't, I beg of you, deny yourselves comlorts i my that luture members, people who t.re now wasting their substance in riotous living "on the outside," may ■•' vel in luxury at some luture time. '•Be good to yourselves" lellows and "maw down" some of the pay .i r the years of privation and toil you have gone through with. Adopt my "mean, selfish" advice and put your current income, so far as consistent with business judge •nt, into the creature comlorts of , 6-day, for to-day. "Let the other fellow walk the floor" - i.d resolve that if he will persist in laying in outer darkness that you v o'nt sacrifice your present comoft Zr.id convenience to his future welfare. 9 'The expermental stage of Equality ' J/?'dd be, doubtless is,.passed, -From Esw on the mgncsi possible &cTnu7i».^r di,living is the best policy. You have home to the point where selfishness and unselfishness do not clash, but coincide. The [better and brighter you can make (life in Equality colony the bet ter and brighter the prospects for co operative effort and the welfare of the toiling masses. I shall never feel just like an "out sider" again with regards to the wel fare |)f Equality colony. I wish I was enough ol an "insider" to officially promulgate as its doctrine from now on that its first, and last, aim was the happiness of its members now there on the ground. Nothing succeeds like success, and in just so much as you make condi tions better under cooperative efforts than they arc under individualism you prove your ease. The most of mankind arc in the kindergarten class in economics and one small object lesson is worth more than volumes of theory. Comrades, your whole duty is to yourselves, and what might under other circumstances lie selfishness is in yon the highest and noblest type of unselfishness. Now if my advice is good, and I'm list darned egotistical enough to think it is, don't let it go in at 01 i ear and out at the other. Act on it. Apply it practically as you there pres ent and familiar with conditions can act on it. And now anniversary greetings and may the fullest blessings of peace, prosperity and happiness be with you all until your next anniversary. Amen and amen. Bit*.] I.mo . All women interested in forming a Woman's Social League, tor the promulgation of socialist principles; are requested to address: Imogcne C. Falcs, 12G Macon street, Brooklyn, N. V.; Marion 11. Dunham; Burling ton, lowa, or Wenonah S. Abbott, Oakland; Calif. 25 Cents per Year MEDITATIONS Of an Old Socialist -The Individual a Parasite on Society Fellowship The business of the slave makers is now, and ever has been, resolution of human thoughts, relations and de mands into finalities, whatever is to be done with the so called final thing afterwards they will do it for you. If it is liberty they will make it con stitutional, they will interpret it. If an organization, they will be its ex ecutive. If a property relation, they will hold the deed. It it is a religious relation, they will make the doctrine; or it an ethical relation, they will de fine it. And if it is a social relation, they will prepare and present the scientific formula. But from the out set the process is invasive as to the subsequent liberty of the individual mind. If I might dare reduce the art of in tellectual self-defence to anything re sembling a formula, I would say: "In all matters pertaining to human affairs, whatsoever is declared final is therefore premature." When mci» are no longer able or permitted to think for themselves, let us hope that the race may receive due warning of that coming calamity, and then we will call in the tormulators. But till then, let us do our own thinking. Among things that are not finalities, I name here a few. First: The struggle for in dividual superiority over others competitive struggle of ego evolution ists. In such a struggle, the whole ques tion of the relatitie value of this, or that, depends upon some foreseen li nality, which, to the evolutionist <■ niUIVH.U.d till I»U., .- n'txffl Z,'!',' individual over some or all others. The survival of the fittest. To me it seems that it is not the thing that is final. And even this evolutionist him self apologises for its obvious inade quacy as a final consideration by as serting that it tends, in a cosmic sort of way, at last, to bring the 1 est groups to the top, to bring the best to all by the smaller and earlier pro cess of bringing the best out of till. Hence even the Spencerians abandon the theory of individual supremacy as the' final good, by justifying it as only leading to the larger good of all; which is therefore itself the thing that is final. "Necessity is the mother of inven tion," says the capitalist. "We find invention profitable; we must have-in vention. Therefore also we must have necessity." But invention,is not final, nor profits; neither is necessity the final condition for the inventive mind to work its best works. "How to get the best of life for all of us," is the- true mother of inrention, and this alone justifies, as it mathe matically includes all other good. The greatest perplexity of life today is to ascertain relative value's. And it is a perplexity, because it is consid ered within the bounds of minor rela tions, and not from the one final ab solute view point- the good "i all. Truth now is a matter of habit anil training; of struggle toward this final view point; and no more. When the mind is habituated to that one paint of rieie, all the perplexities of relative values will then pass away. 1 know of no better reason for writ ing these nights than as a process of training for you and the to get on to that point o! view, and to habitu ally recognize the general well being of "nil the manhood of tho world as the thing that is final for the individ ual, as well as tor the social activities. e-OSTI.STKU ON I'AGE -I