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From Hon. Iqnatius Donnelly, President of the State Farmers
Alliance of Minnesota, to the Members of the Local Farmers Alliances . Brothers: The time has come when I feel it to be my duty to speak directly to the members of our great organization, throughout the state. I therefore request the secretary of each local alliance, as soon as he re vives this, in circular form, or through the columns of the reform press, to call a special meeting of his local alliance, within the next ten days there after and send notice, either by postal card or verbally, to every one who is, or has been, in the past, a member of the alliance, to attend at the time and place designated by him. I also respectfully request the different reform newspapers, and all other journals friendly to our cause, to copy this communication in their columns. When the meeting is so held, of the local alliances, I desire that this ad dress shall be read to those present, by the secretary or president, or such person as they may select. I would also suggest that arrangements be made in advance, to have speeches delivered at the same meeting, by men friendly to our cause. We are approaching the culmination of the labors of years. An im portant crisis is upon the farming population. It must be met now or the opportunity is lost for aver. What was it caused the establishment of the Farmers’Alliance, with between 1,400 and 1,500 branches in this state, and several million mem bers throughout the nation? It was the conviction, in the minds of all intelligent men, that the farm ers and workmen of the cities were both plundered of the fruits of their in dustry, by rings, combinations, corporations and trusts; and that both the old political parties had stood by and beheld these robberies, for a quarter of a century, without making the slightest effort to prevent them or pun ish the robbers. In many cases the prominent thieves were the prominent politicians of both the oM parties; and managed to work their way into the highest offices in the gift of the state. We saw the leaders of Wheat- Rings made governors and U. S. Senators and congressmen. We beheld a prominent republican miller, and speculator, as president of a railroad com pany, sign seventeen million dollars of bogus stock, and divide the same among the officers of the company, a t seven cents on the dollar; although the laws of the state declared this to be a criminal act, punishable by im prisonment in the state penitentiary; and we saw this violator of the law elected by a republican legislature by a nearly unanimous vote, to the U. S. Senate! On the other hand we have seen the leading Democrat of the state build up a fortune of twenty millions of dollars, of “watered stock,” not one penny of which represents any capital actually invested; but is simply fraudulent securities, made good by taxing the industry of all the people, and especially that of the farmers. And we have seen this man con trolling bqth the old parties; furnishing campaign funds to both; and selecting the candidates of both for governor, attorney general and judges ©f the supreme court; his purpose being to deprive the people of their own machinery of government, elected and paid by themselves; that all the rob beries of the people may continue for years to come. And the better to ac complish this work we have seen him resorting to contemptible appeals to race-prejudices, so that the people might be plundered in the name of a natural national sentiment; thus utilizing the tenderest feelings of the hu man heart for the work of universal robbery. No man can doubt the object of all these efforts. It is simply to prevent the people from defending them selves against the thieves; to bring self-government to naught; to paralyze the right arm of justice and make the laws of the land of no avail to the people. The leading republican paper of the state, the Pioneer-Press, in April last, published an editorial, in which it admitted that, for four years past, from ten to thirteen cents a bushel had been stolen from the price of every bushel of wheat sold in this state and North and South Dakota, by a ring of elevator-owners reaching from Liverpool to the Red River Valley. This represents from $5,000,000 to $6,500,000 taken annually out of the pock ets of the farmers of Minnesota, in the first place; and, in the second place, taken out of the pockets of the merchants, mechanics, professional men, in fact of all classes; for the money so stolen from the farmers goes to non residents, and will never find its way back to the business circles of the state. But while the Pioneer-Press admitted this steal, of from ten to thir teen cents per bushel, its statistics showed that it had understated the price of our wheat in Liverpool, and overstated the cost of eretting it there, and that the robbery is really on its own figures, from thirty to thirty-three cents per bushel, upon every bushel of wheat sold in these north-western states; and that when the farmer gets 67 cents per bushel for his wheat it is really worth $1.00; and the difference is stolen from him by men who ought to be in the state prison. Why are they not sent there? I secured the submission of an amend ment to the state constitution, in 18S7;—-and it was adopted by the people in November of 1888, —which declares that all combinations to interfere with the freedom of our markets are “criminal conspiracies;” and nearly two years ago a law was passed to enforce this amendment, and send all of fenders to prison. But not a man has been prosecuted or punished, although the whole people have been taxed to pay the officers who were to do this work. If a man robs a bank of ten dollars he is promptly clapped into prison; but he can rob the whole population of the state of millions of dol lars and walk off, scot-free, with his plunder. The laws for the protection of corporations are strictly enforced; while those for the protection of the people, against the corporations, are a dead-letter on the statute books. Another gigantic trust has taken possession of the cattle-markets of the state. In one year it broke down the price of cattle one-half, while the price of meat is kept up to the consumers, in the cities and villages. Another trust controls the price of our barley crop, despite all the ef forts of the people to protect themselves. Another trust, of six corporations, owns all the anthracite coal lands of the United States, and they have, this year, put up the price of their 44 million tons of coal, the annual out-put, one dollar per ton; thus taking forty-four million dollars out of the pockets of the consumers , without a particle of excuse or apology; while they beat down the wages of the men who mine the coal to an average of sixty cents a day, the year round. Another trust has taken possession of all the kerosene oil of the • nation. Another trust manipulates all the sugar supplies of the United States. In tact we are surrounded by these gigantic combinations, and we can- not escape from them even by dying, for a trust fixes the price of our coffins! All the railroads of the United States are combined in a huge “pool,” to prevent competition and keep up the rates of transportation, in the inter est on watered stock. The bogus capitalization on railroads, in this na tion, amounts to seven billions of dollars; and taxes us for four hundred and twenty millions annually, nearly as much as the whole cost of our na tional government. In Minnesota the railroad companies, not satisfied to plunder the peo ple themselves, have entered into a combination with the elevator-ring, to keep dp that steal of 33 cents per bushel, by refusing cars to any buyer who will offer more than “the list price,”—that is the price agreed upon' by the scoundrels who are plundering the state. In the town of Nelson. Douglas county, Minnesota, last fall, a farmers warehouse company put up the price of wheat 4 cents per bushel, and they were at once notified by the officers of the Great Northern R. R. Co. to put down the price, to “the list price,” or they could not have carsl And not a man has been prose cuted for this outrageous crime against the people; although the state gov ernment was elected and is paid by the people to protect them from such wrongs, and has no other reason for being in existence. It were in fact, AN ADDRESS better that the people should have no state government at all than one that helps the men who roW them; for if there was no such state govern ment the people would take the land in their own hands and hang their op pressors to the telegraph poles. In the face of these foots we find a couple of lawyers, nominated by the old parties, for governor, going aroiutd the state talking about the iaiiff, with which the state government has no more to do than it has with the satellites of Mars; for it is exclusively a national, congressional question, and at the same time we see them studiously avoiding ail reference to state issues, and to the gigantic frauds practiced upon the people. If they are so afraid of their masters that they do not dare to discuss these issues, even while soliciting your votes, do you think they will have the courage to tackle them when once securely elected to office? Do they even go through the form of promising to correct these evils? No, they are as silent as oys ters about them. The mpn who furnish the campaign funds fo»* the old par ties are profiting by these rascalities, and would not contribute one dollar of their money if their robberies were denounced; and the candidates know this —hence their silence. The whole issue, so far as state politics is concerned, in Minnesota, this year, is, whether the people shall control the state government, for their own protection and profit; or whether the corporations, rings and trusts shall control it for their protection and profit. In other words:— can the people be humbugged into continuing, for, two years longer, the system by which they are plundered and the rogues are enriched? And up on what plea is this sacrifice demanded? Upon the plea of race-prejudice; enforced by a lot of hireling speakers, most of them lawyers, and many of them brought here from abroad, to pull the wool over the eyes of the voters.* And upon what does their hope of success rest? That the farmers, after having clamored and fought for years, for practical reform and great er prosperity, will now, just as victory is within their reach, be switched aside and side-tracked, bn the plea that one of the candidates, of this two headed conspiracy and combination, was born in Norway, and the father of the other was born in Ireland! And this is all they have to offer you in exchange for that 33 cents a bushel on wheat; the steal of one-half the price of your cattle; the demonetization of silver, the trusts and combines that encompass you in every direction; the robbery of ten million dollars a year; in this state alone, to pay interest on the watered-stock of railroads; the non-enforcement of the laws designed for the protection of the people; and the subversion of our supreme court under the power of corporations, so that while we pay them our enemies use them,—we feed the cow and they milk it. They say the farmers have got the stomach-ache, and repent them of their Alliance heresies; that they are ready to swallow all the convictions, and march humbly behind a lot of village bankers, lawyers and politicians, with fife and drum and sky-rockets, to the tune of “The Rogues March,” and the battle-cry of “The Tariff!” In this procession clap-trap and hur rahs and bombast are to make up for the substantial comforts of life and the luxuries of a higher civilization, which are to be denied you as the price of victory. The farmer who will forsake the alliance on such grounds ought to be enrolled, for all time to come, in an everlasting catalogue and Doomsday-book of fools. Remember that the alliance is pledged to prosecute that wheat-ring, which is taking 33 cents a bushel from you. "We raised $440 for that pur pose, and then resolved that instead of paying two sets of taxes:—one to the state government to defend us, and the other to private attorneys to defend us; we would take possession of the state government, and use the funds of the state,'derived from the taxation of the people, to prosecute the thieves and protect the people. That is what this campaign means. You have nominated me for governor: ar.d if elected, as I will be if you stand by me,l will put the lascals into the state prison or know the reason why. But to do this you must give me an attorney-general that will stand by me; a lieutenant-governor that will appoint the right kind of commit tees in the Senate; a secretary of state and state treasurer who will sup port me; three judges of the Supreme Court who will not be the tools of the corporations; and above all a legislature that will pass all necessary laws for your defense. A governor, standing alone, surrounded by hostile ele ments, is practically powerless. We nominated Daniel Buch, Thomas Canty and W. N. Davidson as our candidates for judges of ihe Supreme Court. The democrats endorsed Buck and Canty, but refused to endorse Davidson. Instead they endorsed Wil liam Mitchell, who had bf en nominated by the republicans. The election of Buck and Canty is certain; but they will be but a minority of the Supreme Court,—two out of five. To reform that court, and place it squarely on the side of the people, we must elect Mr. Davidson. This will be up-hill work, for Mitchell is now the candidate of both the republicans and the demo crats. You must therefore explain this matter to your neighbors and friends, and ask those who cannot yote for the rest of our ticket to vote at least for Davidson; and thus give the people a majority of that court. We do not want to pack that court against the corporations, but we do not want to see it packed in the interest of the corporations. As a rule courts now-a-days are the subservient tools of wealth. One word more: Do not in your zeal for the peoples party permit the farmers alliance to suffer. Remember that the alliance is the back-bone of all reform in this state. The peoples party may be taken possession of by the rings; the Farmers Alliance cannot, for none but actual farmers can be members of it. The Farmers Alliance is the last entrenched camp of liberty in America. When it falls the cause of humanity will be set back, for many years, on the dial of time. If lam elected governor I propose to labor to double the number of local alliances in Minnesota, during my term: and to heln our sisterhood of societies all over the Union. While it is true that the alliance has already saved the farmers of Minnesota many hundreds of thousands of dollars, by creating a public opinion which has compelled a reduction of railroad rates; and bv bringing down the price of twine, in the last ten years, about one-half, especially through setting the convicts to manufac ture it, the good results of the alliance have but begun to be accomplished; and they will yet be numbered, if we persevere, in the good work, by mil ions of dollars. And so I urge upon you not to weary of well-doing. Call upon your county lecturers to speak to you during the winter; organize debates, es tablish libraries; be sociable and friendly with each other. Help each other. Let the tie of brotherhood count for a great deal among you. Bring your neigbors into the society. Send your delegates to our annual meeting. In the pending political campaign be active and zealous. You should meet every week during tie last four weeks of the campaign, and bring in all the doubtful ones to the support of uiir ticket. Appoint committees to talk to the unconverted. Write to our State Central Committee, (L. Han son and R. Eckford, secretaies.) room 307 Lumber Exchange Building, corner 7th and Cedar streets, St. Paul, Minn., to get you copies of peoples party documents, especially Mrs. Emery’s “Seven Financial Conspiracies,” a wondeful little pamphlet,* that can be got for 10 cts. each, $6 00 per hun dred; and when bought see that they go from hand to hand all through your neighborhood. I feel very confident that our whole ticket, national and state, will have a plurality in November; the laboring men of the cities are coming into our ranks almost in a body; they realize that the same crew of thieves that are plundering us are robbing them; that we are simply the two great wings of the army of labor. But every man must do his duty. Do not rest satisfied with casting your own vote for the cause; bring one other vote with you. There is no man who cannot influence at least one other man, if he sets himself to the work. Remember that the peoples party is an out growth of the Farmers Alliance; and it depends upon the Farmers Alliance to support it. There are two things to be especially looked after by your local alliace, and by every member of it: 1. Make all the conveys you can. Make the vote of your township as nearly solid as possible. 2. See that every man who is ready to vote with us, the old and the sick and those remote from the voting place, get to the polls, on election day. One vote may decide whether Jim Hill shall own this state for two years longer or not. Appoint committees to go with wagons to bring in all those who may not otherwise be able to come. Now, my brethern, let me say in conclusion, you are either in earnest in your efforts to improve your condition in life or you are not. If you are Dot, I have nothing further to say to you. If you are, then I tell you to be up and doing. One hour of energy now will be worth one hundred after the election. Remember you are fighting the battle of free institutions in America; the battle of liberty for all the world; the battle of prosperity for yourselves and your children. Fraternally yours, Ignatius Donnelly. President of the State Farmers Alliance. CAMPAIGN RATE GREAT WEST. This stalwart apostle of humanity will be sent until November 15th in clubs of five or more, for TEN CENTS FOR EACH SUBSCRIBER. Single subscription forwarded throush authorized local canvasser, 15c each. Now, friends, let us get udimmediate move on us and roll the Gospel of liberty out upon the world. FOR THE Highest of all In Leavening Power.—Latest U. S. Gov’t Report ABSOIJUTBUr PURg THE JUDICIARY. Why a Change in Our Supreme Court Is Desirable . The necessity for a change in the judges of our supreme court was recognized by the state convention of the peoples party, and three gentle men, who were known to be friends of the people, and not partial to mon opoly > were nominated. We were about to prepare an article showing a necessity for this change when our attention was called to the following from the St. Paul Trades and Labor Bulletin” for the present month of September: The several political parties have made their nominations for national and state officers, and their respective candidates are now before the peo ple. Our purpose here is not to discuss the claims of these candidates, but to present to the readers of the Labor Bulletin, for their serious consid eration, certain facts in which the wage-earner and employe is vitallv in terested. These facts pertain to the selection of proper persons for judicial officers. As is well known, the peoples party state convention (the first held) ■ nominated Hon. Daniel Buck, of Mankato; Judge Thomas Canty, of Min neapolis, and Hon. W. N. Davidson, of Luverne, Rock county, for iudges of the supreme court; and the republican state convention, held "soon after, renominated Judges Yanderburg, Dickinson and Mitchell, now upon the supreme court bench; but not (it must be said) without serious opposition. The democratic state convention also nominated (after a contest) Hon. Daniel Buck and Judges Canty and Mitchell. As nominated, Hon. Daniel Buck and Judge Canty are the nominees of both the peoDles and demo cratic parties, and Judge Mitchell is the candidate of both' the republican and democratic parties; while Judges Yanderberg and Dickinson are only on the Republican ticket, and Judge Davidson is the candidate of the peo ples party only. These offices have heretofore been regarded as non-politi cal, and they are still so regarded, but it is apparent that serious dissatis faction has arisen with the conduct of these judges. The two conventions that refused to nominate Judges Yanderbergand Dickinson represent what is no doubt a large majority of the voters of the state; and their action is of sufficient importance to justify us in considering the reasons given by those who are opposed to the re-election of Judges Yanderberg, Mitchell and Dickinson. The judiciary is the reliance and main stay of the people, aud its con duct should be such that there would be no doubt as to its fearlessness, in corruptibility and independence; and such that the poor man could stand be'ore it feeling that his rights would there be as sacred as the more wealthy, influential cr powerful. In a word: Our courts !-hould be—like Caesar’s wife—“not only pure but above su-picion;” and the facts just stat ed show that they have lost the confidence of many. We regret to say that we are of that number, and will submit to our readers the reason why so many believe that this change in the supreme court is necessary. That reason may be said to be (in a concentrated form) that the court has, by its decision, shown itself more disposed to favor the corporations sued thaa the person suing them; especially in suits for damages on ac count of injury to, or death of, employes. This branch of lit igation in our courts has become so extensive that it is attract ng the attention of the thinking men and writers of our country. The friends of these corpora tions seek to create a pub ic prejudice against this class of actions, on ac count of their being so numerous, although they know there are no more of them than is reasonably proportionate to the number employed; and unless these men, who are compelled to labor in continual peril oflife and limb, are supported in their demands by their brethren of organized labc-? r they vs ill soon be without redress, or remedy, for their wrongs. Let us be gin by considering this matter as applicable to railway employes. In an article of the Forum of June last, by Henry C. Adams, statis tician of the interstate commerce commission, entitled “The Slaughter of Railway Employes,” we find that the total number of railway employes on June 30th, 1890, was 749,301, and that the number killed during the year preceding was 2,451, and that the number injured was 22,396; which means one killed foi every 306 and one injured for every thirty men em ployed. By reference to the report of our own railroad commission, we find that the number o? employes reported by railroads doing business in Minnesota for the year ending June 30,1891, was 76,818, and that the proportion for Minnesota was 20,101; and that, during the same time, there were 44 of these killed and 415 injured in Minnesota alone. Recog nizing the fact that the rail'oad companies are derelict in their duty—in not providing proper and safe appliances for these men to work with—our railroad commission in that report says: “It is hoped that congress, during the present session, will adopt some measure for the regulation of railroads, whereby this branch of the busi ness shall become less hazardous, as was recommended.” The interstate commerce commission recently received a petition signed by 10,000 railroad employes asking for this; and the president in a mes sage to congress last January, upon this subject, said: “It is a reproach to our civilization that this class of American work men should, in the pursuit of a useful and necessary vocation, be subject to peril of life and limb as great as that of a soldier in time of war.” In the North American Review of February last, Hon. Henry Cabot Lodge wrote upon the same subje-t, and published a classified table show ing the number of railway employes who were killed or injured during the year of 1890; and referring to it he said: “The totals in these tables are really appalling. Twenty-two thousand men were killed and injured in the railroad service of the United States in 1889, and 20,000 in the following year. Of these, in round numbers, 2,- 000 were killed in 1889 and 2,500 in 1890.” * * * * * , * “The object of the trainmen is to carry on safely the railway traffic of a great country. Yet they suffer as if they were fighting a war, and the peicentage of loss to numbers employed, if not as high as with sold ers, is frightful enough. For the year ending June 30th, 1889, among all rail road employes there was one death for every 357 and one injury for every 35, while amoDgst: trainmen alone there was one death for every 117 and one injury for every 12.” After revewing the defects in the railroad appliances, and what is needed, he says, in conclusion, as to the remedy: “The case is such a plain one that it hardly seems to need argument. No possible political feeling can be involved in it, and no very complicated legislation is required to bring about the <‘esired result, without placing a ruinous expense on the railroads. It i t simply inhumanity not to take prompt action. The total number of killed and wounded is increasing from year to year, and so is the proportion of loss to the total number of men employed. * * * The congress of the United States alone has the power to pass such legislation, and it is high time that the power was exerted.” In view of the foregoing facts, it can not be successfully gainsaid that our courts should, in all actions for damages, resulting from injury or death, caused by such alleged negligence, hold the companies to the strict est accountability and responsibility. The maimed figure, or death, of the employe, should carry with it the presumption that the party was not killed or injured through his voluntarv act; but the complaint is that our supreme court has acted and decided as if this presumption was the reverse. The charge is boldly made that it discriminates against labor and in favor of capital. By the law of all civilized countries it has always been he’d that the master is responsible for the wrongful act of his servant in the course of their employment. In 1837 tfce English courts made an exception to this* rule, when wrongful acts of one servant resulted in injury to another in the same employment. Soon after several of the American courts followed this. Several reasons were given for this exception to the general rule. It was held, that when two servants worked side by side, they stood on equal footing as to each other, that each had better opportunity to observe the conduct and habits of the other than the master had, and that each one should be responsible to the ether for his wrongful acts, and the master should not be responsible for the wrongful acts of either as against the other. We will not now attempt to say that this, in this simple form, was not fair and reasonable; but as corporations and vast undertakes and enter prises grew, this doctrine of “fellow-servant” has been applied to servan's who are not fellows; to servants who did not work side by side; to servants Contimned on page 4.