RCC Honors History Project

Archive for April, 2009

April 27

Posted by rccaahistory on April 27, 2009

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Announcements | Leave a Comment »


Posted by amissi on April 27, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Chicago Times, 6 May 1886 Newspaper article denouncing the Socialist agitators of the Haymarket Riot.

Posted by amissi on April 27, 2009


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Sedition Act

Posted by kvictoria on April 27, 2009


An act in addition to the act intituled, “An act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States.”

[Approved July 14, 1798.]


SECTION I. Punishes combinations against United States government.
1. Definition of offence:

Unlawfully to combine or conspire together to oppose any measure of the government of the United States, &c. This section was not complained of.
2. Grade of offence:

A high misdemeanour.
3. Punishment:

Fine not exceeding $5000, and imprisonment six months to five years.
SECTION II. Punishes seditious writings.
1. Definition of offence:

To write, print, utter or publish, or cause it to be done, or assist in it, any false, scandalous, and malicious writing against the government of the United States, or either House of Congress, or the President, with intent to defame, or bring either into contempt or disrepute, or to excite against either the hatred of the people of the United States, or to stir up sedition, or to excite unlawful combinations against the government, or to resist it, or to aid or encourage hostile designs of foreign nations.
2. Grade of offence:

A misdemeanour.
3. Punishment:

Fine not exceeding $2000, and imprisonment not exceeding two years.
SECTION III. Allows accused to give in evidence the truth of the matter charged as libellous.
SECTION IV. Continues the Act to 3d March, 1801.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled. That if any persons shall unlawfully combine or conspire together, with intent to oppose any measure or measures of the government of the United States, which are or shall be directed by proper authority, or to impede the operation of any law of the United States, or to intimidate or prevent any person holding a place or office in or under the government of the United States, from undertaking, performing, or executing his trust or duty: and if any person or persons, with intent as aforesaid, shall counsel, advise, or attempt to procure any insurrection, riot, unlawful assembly, or combination, whether such conspiracy, threatening, counsel, advice, or attempt shall have the proposed effect or not, he or they shall be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanour, and on conviction before any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, and by imprisonment during a term of not less than six months, nor exceeding five years; and further, at the discretion of the court, may be holden to find sureties for his good behaviour, in such sum, and for such time, as the said court may direct.

SECT. 2. And be it further enacted, That if any person shall write, print, utter, or publish, or shall cause or procure to be written, printed, uttered, or published, or shall knowingly and willingly assist or aid in writing, printing, uttering, or publishing any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either House of the Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or either House of the said Congress, or the said President, or to bring them, or either of them, into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them, or either or any of them, the hatred of the good people of the United States, or to stir up sedition within the United States; or to excite any unlawful combinations therein, for opposing or resisting any law of the United States, or any act of the President of the United States, done in pursuance of any such law, or of the powers in him vested by the Constitution of the United States; or to resist, oppose, or defeat any such law or act; or to aid, encourage or abet any hostile designs of any foreign nation against the United States, their people or government, then such person, being thereof convicted before any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, and by imprisonment not exceeding two years.

SECT. 3. And be it further enacted and declared, That if any person shall be prosecuted under this act for the writing or publishing any libel aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the defendant, upon the trial of the cause, to give in evidence in his defence, the truth of the matter contained in the publication charged as a libel. And the jury who shall try the cause shall have a right to determine the law and the fact, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.

SECT. 4. And be it further enacted, That this act shall continue and be in force until the third day of March, one thousand eight hundred and one, and no longer: Provided, That the expiration of the act shall not prevent or defeat a prosecution and punishment of any offence against the law, during the time it shall be in force.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Espionage Act 1917

Posted by kvictoria on April 27, 2009

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled

Title I


Section 1


(a) whoever, for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the national defence with intent or reason to believe that the information to be obtained is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, goes upon, enters, flies over, or otherwise obtains information, concerning any vessel, aircraft, work of defence, navy yard, naval station, submarine base, coaling station, fort, battery, torpedo station, dockyard, canal, railroad, arsenal, camp, factory, mine, telegraph, telephone, wireless, or signal station, building, office, or other place connected with the national defence, owned or constructed, or in progress of construction by the United States or under the control or the United States, or of any of its officers or agents, or within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, or any place in which any vessel, aircraft, arms, munitions, or other materials or instruments for use in time of war are being made, prepared, repaired. or stored, under any contract or agreement with the United States, or with any person on behalf of the United States, or otherwise on behalf of the United States, or any prohibited place within the meaning of section six of this title; or

(b) whoever for the purpose aforesaid, and with like intent or reason to believe, copies, takes, makes, or obtains, or attempts, or induces or aids another to copy, take, make, or obtain, any sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blue print, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, document, writing or note of anything connected with the national defence; or

(c) whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, receives or obtains or agrees or attempts or induces or aids another to receive or obtain from any other person, or from any source whatever, any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blue print, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note, of anything connected with the national defence, knowing or having reason to believe, at the time he receives or obtains, or agrees or attempts or induces or aids another to receive or obtain it, that it has been or will be obtained, taken, made or disposed of by any person contrary to the provisions of this title; or

(d) whoever, lawfully or unlawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blue print, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defence, wilfully communicates or transmits or attempts to communicate or transmit the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(e) whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blue print, plan, map, model, note, or information, relating to the national defence, through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be list, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment for not more than two years, or both.

Section 2

Whoever, with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury or the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation, communicated, delivers, or transmits, or attempts to, or aids, or induces another to, communicate, deliver or transmit, to any foreign government, or to any faction or party or military or naval force within a foreign country, whether recognized or unrecognized by the United States, or to any representative, officer, agent, employee, subject, or citizen thereof, either directly or indirectly and document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blue print, plan, map, model, note, instrument, appliance, or information relating to the national defence, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than twenty years: Provided, That whoever shall violate the provisions of subsection:

(a) of this section in time of war shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for not more than thirty years; and

(b) whoever, in time of war, with intent that the same shall be communicated to the enemy, shall collect, record, publish or communicate, or attempt to elicit any information with respect to the movement, numbers, description, condition, or disposition of any of the armed forces, ships, aircraft, or war materials of the United States, or with respect to the plans or conduct, or supposed plans or conduct of any naval of military operations, or with respect to any works or measures undertaken for or connected with, or intended for the fortification of any place, or any other information relating to the public defence, which might be useful to the enemy, shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for not more than thirty years.

Section 3

Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall wilfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies and whoever when the United States is at war, shall wilfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall wilfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of the service or of the United States, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both.

Section 4

If two or more persons conspire to violate the provisions of section two or three of this title, and one or more of such persons does any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be punished as in said sections provided in the case of the doing of the act the accomplishment of which is the object of such conspiracy. Except as above provided conspiracies to commit offences under this title shall be punished as provided by section thirty-seven of the Act to codify, revise, and amend the penal laws of the United States approved March fourth, nineteen hundred and nine.

Section 5

Whoever harbours or conceals any person who he knows, or has reasonable grounds to believe or suspect, has committed, or is about to commit, an offence under this title shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not more than two years, or both.

Section 6

The President in time of war or in case of national emergency may by proclamation designate any place other than those set forth in subsection:

(a) of section one hereof in which anything for the use of the Army or Navy is being prepared or constructed or stored as a prohibited place for the purpose of this title: Provided, That he shall determine that information with respect thereto would be prejudicial to the national defence.

Section 7

Nothing contained in this title shall be deemed to limit the jurisdiction of the general courts-martial, military commissions, or naval courts-martial under sections thirteen hundred and forty-two, thirteen hundred and forty-three, and sixteen hundred and twenty-four of the Revised Statutes as amended.

Section 8

The provisions of this title shall extend to all Territories, possessions, and places subject to the jurisdiction of the United States whether or not contiguous thereto, and offences under this title, when committed upon the high seas or elsewhere within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and outside the territorial limits thereof shall be punishable hereunder.

Section 9

The Act entitles “An Act to prevent the disclosure of national defence secrets,” approved March third, nineteen hundred and eleven, is hereby repealed.

Secretary of the Soviet N. Gorbunov

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

The RailRoad Strike of 1877

Posted by kvictoria on April 27, 2009

In the year 1877, the United States was in the depths of the Depression. That summer, in the hot cities where poor families lived in cellars and drank infested water, the children became sick in large numbers. The New York Times wrote: “…already the cry of the dying children begins to be heard. Soon, to judge from the past, there will be a thousand deaths of infants per week in the city.” That first week in July, in Baltimore, where all liquid sewage ran through the streets, 139 babies died.

That year there came a series of tumultuous strikes by railway workers in a dozen cities; they shook the nation as no labour conflict in its history had done.

It began with wage cuts on railway after railway, in tense situations of already low wages ($ 1.75 a day for brakemen working twelve hours), scheming and profiteering by the rail companies, deaths and injuries among the workers—loss of hands, feet, fingers, the crushing of men between cars.

At the Baltimore & Ohio station in Martinsburg, West Virginia, workers determined to fight the wage cut went on strike, uncoupled the engines, ran them into the roundhouse, and announced no more trains would leave Martinsburg until the 10% cut was cancelled. A crowd of support gathered, too many for the local police to disperse. B&0  officials asked the governor for military protection, and he sent in militia. A train tried to get through, protected by the militia, and a striker, trying to derail it, exchanged gunfire with a militiaman attempting to stop him. The striker was shot in his thigh and his arm. His arm was amputated later that day, and nine days later he died.

Six hundred freight trains now jammed the yards at Martinsburg. The West Virginia governor applied to newly elected President Rutherford Hayes for federal troops, saying the state militia was insufficient. In fact, the militia was not totally reliable, being composed of many railway workers. Much of the U.S. army was tied up in Indian battles in the West. Congress had not appropriated money for the army yet, hut J. P. Morgan, August Belmont, and other bankers now offered to lend money to pay army officers (but no enlisted men). Federal troops arrived in Martinshurg, and the freight cars began to move.

In Baltimore, a crowd of thousands sympathetic to the railway strikers surrounded the armoury of the National Guard, which had been called out by the governor at the request of the B&0 Railroad. The crowd hurled rocks, and the soldiers came out, firing. The streets now became the scene of a moving, bloody battle. When the evening was over, ten men or boys were dead, more badly wounded, one soldier wounded. Half of the 120 troops quit and the rest went on to the train depot, where a crowd of two hundred smashed the engine of a passenger train, tore up tracks, and engaged the militia again in a running battle.

By now, 15,000 people surrounded the depot. Soon, three passenger cars, the station platform, and a locomotive were on fire. The governor asked for federal troops, and Hayes responded. Five hundred soldiers arrived and Baltimore quieted down.

The rebellion of the rail workers now spread. Joseph Dacus, then editor of the St. Louis Republican, reported:

Strikes were occurring almost every hour. The great State of Pennsylvania was in an uproar; New Jersey was afflicted by a paralysing dread; New York was mustering an army of militia; Ohio was shaken from Lake Erie to the Ohio River; Indiana rested in a dreadful suspense. Illinois, and especially its great metropolis, Chicago, apparently hung on the verge of a vortex of confusion and tumult. St. Louis had already felt the effect of the premonitory shocks of the uprising.

The strike spread to Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Railroad. Again, it happened outside the regular union, pent-up anger exploding without plan. Robert Bruce, historian of the 1877 strikes, writes (1877: Year of Violence,) about a flagman named Gus Harris. Harris refused to go out on a “double-header,” a train with two locomotives carrying a double length of cars, to which railroaders had objected because it required fewer workers and made the brakemen’s work more dangerous.

The decision was his own, not part of a concerted plan or a general understanding. Had he lain awake that past night, listening to the rain, asking himself if he dared quit, wondering if anyone would join him, weighing the chances? or had he simply risen to a breakfast that did not fill him, seen his children go off shabby and half-fed, walked brooding through the damp morning and then yielded impulsively to stored-up rage?

When Harris said he would not go, the rest of the crew refused too. The strikers now multiplied, joined by young boys and men from the mills and factories (Pittsburgh had 33 iron mills, 73 glass factories, 29 oil refineries, 158 coal mines). The freight trains stopped moving out of the city. The Trainman’s Union had not organised this, but it moved to take hold, called a meeting, invited “all workingmen to make common cause with their brethren on the railroad.”

Railway and local officials decided that the Pittsburgh militia would not kill their fellow townsmen, and urged that Philadelphia troops be called in. By now two thousand cars were idle in Pittsburgh. The Philadelphia troops came and began to clear the track. Rocks flew. Gunfire was exchanged between crowd and troops. At least ten people were killed, all workingmen, most of them not railroaders.

Now the whole city rose in anger. A crowd surrounded the troops, who moved into a roundhouse. Railroad cars were set afire, buildings began to burn, and finally the roundhouse itself, the troops marching out of it to safety. There was more gunfire, the Union Depot was set afire, thousands looted the freight cars. A huge grain elevator and a small section of the city went up in flames. In a few days, twenty-four people had been killed (including four soldiers). Seventy-nine buildings had been burned to the ground. Something like a general strike was developing in Pittsburgh: mill workers, car workers, miners, labourers, and the employees at the Carnegie steel plant.

The entire National Guard of Pennsylvania, nine thousand men, was called out. But many of the companies couldn’t move as strikers in other towns held up traffic. In Lebanon, Pennsylvania, one National Guard company mutinied and marched through an excited town. In Altoona, troops surrounded by rioters, immobilised by sabotaged engines, surrendered, stacked arms, fraternised with the crowd, and then were allowed to go home, to the accompaniment of Singing by a quartet in an all-Negro militia company.

In Harrisburg, the state capital, as at so many places, teenagers made up a large part of the crowd, which included some Negroes. Philadelphia militia, on their way home from Altoona, shook hands with the crowd, gave up their guns, marched like captives through the streets, were fed at a hotel and sent home. The crowd agreed to the mayor’s request to deposit the surrendered guns at the city hall. Factories and shops were idle. After some looting, citizens’ patrols kept order in the streets through the night.

Where strikers did not manage to take control, as in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, it may well have been because of disunity. The spokesman of the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company in that town wrote: “The men have no organisation, and there is too much race jealousy existing among them to permit them to form one.”

In Reading, Pennsylvania, there was no such problem—90%were native-born, the rest mostly German. There, the railway was two months behind in paying wages, and a branch of the Trainman’s Union was organised. Two thousand people gathered, while men who had blackened their faces with coal dust set about methodically tearing up tracks, jamming switches, derailing cars, setting fire to cabooses and also to a railway bridge.

A National Guard company arrived, fresh from duty at the execution of the Molly Maguires. The crowd threw stones, fired pistols. The soldiers fired into the crowd. “Six men lay dead in the twilight,” Bruce reports, “a fireman and an engineer formerly employed in the Reading, a carpenter, a huckster, a rolling-mill worker, a labourer A policeman and another man lay at the point of death.” Five of the wounded died. The crowd grew angrier, more menacing. A contingent of soldiers announced it would not fire, one soldier saying he would rather put a bullet through the president of Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron. The 16th Regiment of the Morristown volunteers stacked its arms. Some militia threw their guns away and gave their ammunition to the crowd. When the Guardsmen left for home, federal troops arrived and took control, and local police began making arrests.

Meanwhile the leaders of the big railway brotherhoods, the Order of Railway Conductors, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, the Brotherhood of Engineers, disavowed the strike. There was talk in the press of “communistic ideas . . . widely entertained . . . by the workmen employed in mines and factories and by the railroads.”

In fact, there was a very active Workingrnen’s party in Chicago, with several thousand members, most of them immigrants from Germany and Bohemia. It was connected with the First International in Europe. In the midst of the railroad strikes, that summer of 1877, it called a rally. Six thousand people came and demanded nationalisation of the railways. Anarchist and Haymarket Martyr-to-be Albert Parsons gave a fiery speech. He was from Alabama, had fought in the Confederacy during the Civil War, married a brown-skinned woman of Spanish and Indian blood, Lucy Parsons, worked as a typesetter, and was one of the best English-speaking orators the Workingmen’s party had.

The next day, a crowd of young people, not especially connected with the rally of the evening before, began moving through the railroad yards, closed down the freights, went to the factories, called out the mill workers, the stockyard workers, the crewmen on the Lake Michigan ships, closed down the brickyards and lumberyards. That day also, Albert Parsons was fired from his job with the Chicago Times and declared blacklisted.

The police attacked the crowds. The press reported: “The sound of clubs falling on skulls was sickening for the first minute, until one grew accustomed to it. A rioter dropped at every whack, it seemed, for the ground was covered with them.” Two companies of U.S. infantry arrived, joining National Guardsmen and Civil War veterans. Police fired into a surging crowd, and three men were killed.

The next day, an armed crowd of 5,000 fought the police. The police fired again and again, and when it was over, and the dead were counted, they were, as usual, workingmen and boys, eighteen of them, their skulls smashed by clubs, their vital organs pierced by gunfire.

The one city where the Workingmen’s party clearly led the rebellion was St. Louis, a city of flour mills, foundries, packing houses, machine shops, breweries, and railroads. Here, as elsewhere, there were wage cuts on the railways. And here there were perhaps a thousand members of the Workingmen’s party, many of them bakers, coopers, cabinetmakers, cigarmakers, brewery workers. The party was organised in four sections, by nationality: German, English, French, Bohemian.

All four sections took a ferry across the Mississippi to join a mass meeting of railway men in East St. Louis. One of their speakers told the meeting: “All you have to do, gentlemen, for you have the numbers, is to unite on one idea—that the workingmen shall rule the country. What man makes, belongs to him, and the workingmen made this country.” Railroaders in East St. Louis declared themselves on strike. The mayor of East St. Louis was a European immigrant, himself an active revolutionist as a youth, and railroad men’s votes dominated the city.

In St. Louis, itself, the Workingmen’s parts called an open-air mass meeting to which five thousand people came. The party was clearly in the leadership of the strike. Speakers, excited by the crowd, became more militant: “…capital has changed liberty into serfdom, and we must fight or die.” They called for nationalisation of the railroads, mines, and all industry.

At another huge meeting of the Workingmen’s parts a black man spoke for those who worked on the steamboats and levees. He asked: “Will you stand to us regardless of colour?” The crowd shouted back: “We will!” An executive committee was set up, and it called for a general strike of all branches of industry in St. Louis.

Handbills for the general strike were soon all over the city. There was a march of four hundred Negro steamboat men and roustabouts along the river, six hundred factory-workers carrying a banner: “No Monopoly— Workingmen’s Rights.” A great procession moved through the city, ending with a rally of ten thousand people listening to Communist speakers: “The people are rising up in their might and declaring they will no longer submit to being oppressed by unproductive capital.”

David Burbank, in his book on the St. Louis events, Reign of the Rabble, writes:

Only around St. Louis did the original strike on the railroads expand into such a systematically organized and complete shut-down of all industry that the term general strike is fully justified. And only there did the socialists assume undisputed leadership. . . . no American city has come so close to being ruled by a workers’ soviet, as we would now call it, as St. Louis, Missouri, in the year 1877.

In New York, several thousand gathered at Tompkins Square. The tone of the meeting was moderate, speaking of “a political revolution through the ballot box.” And: “If you will unite, ‘we may have here within five years a socialistic republic. . . . Then will a lovely morning break over this darkened land.” It was a peaceful meeting. It adjourned. The last words heard from the platform were: “Whatever we poor men may not have, we have free speech, and no one can take it from us.” Then the police charged, using their clubs.

In St. Louis, as elsewhere, the momentum of the crowds, the meetings, the enthusiasm, could not be sustained. As they diminished, the police, militia, and federal troops moved in and the authorities took over. The police raided the headquarters of the Workingmen’s party and arrested seventy people; the executive committee that had been for a while virtually in charge of the city was now in prison. The strikers surrendered; the wage cuts remained; 131 strike leaders were fired by the Burlington Railroad.

When the great railroad strikes of 1877 were over, a hundred people were dead, a thousand people had gone to jail, 100,000 workers had gone on strike, and the strikes had roused into action countless unemployed in the cities. More than half the freight on the nation’s 75,000 miles of track had stopped running at the height of the strikes.

The railroads made some concessions, withdrew some wage cuts, but also strengthened their “Coal and Iron Police.” In a number of large cities, National Guard armouries were built, with loopholes for guns. Robert Bruce believes the strikes taught many people of the hardships of others, and that they led to congressional railroad regulation. They may have stimulated the business unionism of the American Federation of Labor as well as the national unity of labour proposed by the Knights of Labor, and the independent labour-farmer parties of the next two decades.

In 1877, the same year blacks learned they did not have enough strength to make real the promise of equality in the Civil War, working people learned they were not united enough, not powerful enough, to defeat the combination of private capital and government power. But there was more to come.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906

Posted by kvictoria on April 27, 2009


Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906

United States Statutes at Large (59th Cong., Sess. I, Chp. 3915, p. 768-772)


For preventing the manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated or misbranded or poisonous or deleterious foods, drugs, medicines, and liquors, and for regulating traffic therein, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That is shall be unlawful for Columbia any article of food or drug which is adulterated or misbranded, within the meaning of this Act; and any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and for each offense shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not to exceed five hundred dollars or shall be sentenced to one year’s imprisonment, or both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court, and for each subsequent offense and conviction thereof shall be fined not less than one thousand dollars or sentenced to one year’s imprisonment, or both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

Sec. 2. That the introduction into any State or Territory or the District of Columbia from any other State or Territory or the District of Columbia, or from any foreign country, or shipment to any foreign country of any article of food or drugs which is adulterated or misbranded, within the meaning of this Act, is hereby prohibited; and any person who shall ship or deliver for shipment from any State or Territory or the District of Columbia to any other State or Territory or the District of Columbia, or to a foreign country, or who shall receive in any State or Territory or the District of Columbia from any other State or Territory or the District of Columbia, or foreign country, and having so received, shall deliver, in original unbroken packages, for pay or otherwise, or offer to deliver to any other person, any such article so adulterated or misbranded within the meaning of this Act, or any person who shall sell or offer for sale in the District of Columbia or the Territories of the United States any such adulterated or misbranded foods or drugs, or export or offer to export the same to any foreign country, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and for such offense be fined not exceeding two hundred dollars for the first offense, and upon conviction for each subsequent offense not exceeding three hundred dollars or be imprisoned not exceeding one year, or both, in the discretion of the court: Provided, That no article shall be deemed misbranded or adulterated within the provisions of this Act when intended for except to any foreign country and prepared or packed according to the specifications or directions of the foreign purchaser when no substance is used in the preparation or packing thereof in conflict with the laws of the foreign country to which said article is intended to be shipped; but if said article shall be in fact sold or offered for sale for domestic use or consumption, then this proviso shall not exempt said article from the operation of any of the other provisions of this Act.

Sec. 3. That the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Commerce and Labor shall make uniform rules and regulations for carrying out the provisions of this Act, including the collection and examination of specimens of foods and drugs manufactured or offered for sale in the District of Columbia, or in any Territory of the United States, or which shall be offered for sale in unbroken packages in any State other than that in which they shall have been respectively manufactured or produced, or which shall be received from any foreign country, or intended for shipment to any foreign country, or which may be submitted for examination by the chief health, food, or drug officer of any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia, or at any domestic or foreign port through which such product is offered for interstate commerce, or for export or import between the United States and any foreign port or country.

Sec. 4. That the examinations of specimens of foods and drugs shall be made in the Bureau of Chemistry of the Department of Agriculture, or under the direction and supervision of such Bureau, for the purpose of determining from such examinations whether such articles are adulterated or misbranded within the meaning of this Act; and if it shall appear from any such examination that any of such specimens is adulterated or misbranded within the meaning of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall cause notice thereof to be given to the party from whom such sample was obtained. Any party so notified shall be given an opportunity to be heard, under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed as aforesaid, and if it appears that any of the provisions of this Act have been violated by such party, then the Secretary of Agriculture shall at once certify the facts to the proper United States district attorney, with a copy of the results of the analysis or the examination of such article duly authenticated by the analyst or officer making such examination, under the oath of such officer. After judgment of the court, notice shall be given by publication in such manner as may be prescribed by the rules and regulations aforesaid.

Sec. 5. That is shall be the duty of each district attorney to whom the Secretary of Agriculture shall report any violation of this Act, or to whom any health or food or drug officer or agent of any State, Territory, or the District of Columbia shall present satisfactory evidence of any such violation, to cause appropriate proceedings to be commenced and prosecuted in the proper courts of the United States, without delay, for the enforcement of the penalties as in such case herein provided.

Sec. 6. That the term “drug,” as used in this Act, shall include all medicines and preparations recognized in the United States Pharmacopoeia or National Formulary for internal or external use, and any substance or mixture of substances intended to be used for the cure, mitigation, or prevention of disease of either man or other animals. The term “food,” as used herein, shall include all articles used for food, drink, confectionery, or condiment by man or other animals, whether simple, mixed, or compound.

Sec. 7. That for the purposes of this Act an article shall be deemed to be adulterated:

In case of drugs:

First. If, when a drug is sold under or by a name recognized in the United States Pharmacopoeia or National Formulary, it differs from the standard of strength, quality, or purity, as determined by the test laid down in the United States Pharmacopoeia or National Formulary official at the time of investigation: Provided, That no drug defined in the United States Pharmacopoeia or National Formulary shall be deemed to be adulterated under this provision if the standard of strength, quality, or purity be plainly stated upon the bottle, box, or other container thereof although the standard may differ from that determined by the test laid down in the United States Pharmacopoeia or National Formulary.

Second. If its strength or purity fall below the professed standard or quality under which it is sold.

In the case of confectionery:

If it contain terra alba, barytes, talc, chrome yellow, or other mineral substance or poisonous color or flavor, or other ingredient deleterious or detrimental to health, or any vinous, malt or spirituous liquor or compound or narcotic drug.

In the case of food:

First. If any substance has been mixed and packed with it so as to reduce or lower or injuriously affect its quality or strength.

Second. If any substance has been substituted wholly or in part for the article.

Third. If any valuable constituent of the article has been wholly or in part abstracted.

Fourth. If it be mixed, colored, powdered, coated, or stained in a manner whereby damage or inferiority is concealed.

Fifth. If it contain any added poisonous or other added deleterious ingredient which may render such article injurious to health: Provided, That when in the preparation of food products for shipment they are preserved by any external application applied in such manner that the preservative is necessarily removed mechanically, or by maceration in water, or otherwise, and directions for the removal of said preservative shall be printed on the covering or the package, the provisions of this Act shall be construed as applying only when said products are ready for consumption.

Sixth. If it consists in whole or in part of a filthy, decomposed, or putrid animal or vegetable substance, or any portion of an animal unfit for food, whether manufactured or not, or if it is the product of a diseased animal, or one that has died otherwise than by slaughter.

Sec. 8. That the term, “misbranded,” as used herein, shall apply to all drugs, or articles of food, or articles which enter into the composition of food, the package or label of which shall bear any statement, design, or device regarding such article, or the ingredients or substances contained therein which shall be false or misleading in any particular, and to any food or drug product which is falsely branded as to the State, Territory, or country in which it is manufactured or produced.

That for the purposes of this Act an article shall also be deemed to be misbranded:

In case of drugs:

First. If it be an imitation of or offered for sale under the name of another article.

Second. If the contents of the package as originally put up shall have been removed, in whole or in part, and other contents shall have been placed in such package, or if the package fail to bear a statement on the label of the quantity or proportion of any alcohol, morphine, opium, cocaine, heroin, alpha or beta eucaine, chloroform, cannabis indica, chloral hydrate, or acetanilide, or any derivative or preparation of any such substances contained therein.

In the case of food:

First. If it be an imitation of or offered for sale under the distinctive name of another article.

Second. If it be labeled or branded so as to deceive or mislead the purchaser, or purport to be a foreign product when not so, or if the contents of the package as originally put up shall have been removed in whole or in part and other contents shall have been placed in such package, or if it fail to bear a statement on the label of the quantity or proportion of any morphine, opium, cocaine, heroin, alpha or beta eucaine, chloroform, cannabis indica, chloral hydrate, or acetanilide, or any derivative or preparation of any such substances contained therein.

Third. If in package form, and the contents are stated in terms of weight or measure, they are not plainly and correctly stated on the outside of the package.

Fourth. If the package containing it or its label shall bear any statement, design, or device regarding the ingredients or the substances contained therein, which statement, design, or device shall be false or misleading in any particular: Provided , That an article of food which does not contain any added poisonous or deleterious ingredients shall not be deemed to be adulterated or misbranded in the following cases:

First. In the case of mixtures or compounds which may be now or from time to time hereafter known as articles of food, under their own distinctive names, and not an imitation of or offered for sale under the distinctive name of another article, if the name be accompanied on the same label or brand with a statement of the place where said article has been manufactured or produced.

Second. In the case of articles labeled, branded, or tagged so as to plainly indicate that they are compounds, imitations, or blends, and the word “compound,” “imitation,” or “blend,” as the case may be, is plainly stated on the package in which it is offered for sale: Provided , That the term blend as used herein shall be construed to mean a mixture of like substances, not excluding harmless coloring or flavoring ingredients used for the purpose of coloring and flavoring only: And provided further , That nothing in this Act shall be construed as requiring or compelling proprietors or manufacturers of proprietary foods which contain no unwholesome added ingredient to disclose their trade formulas, except in so far as the provisions of this Act may require to secure freedom from adulteration or misbranding.

Sec. 9. That no dealer shall be prosecuted under the provisions of this Act when he can establish a guaranty signed by the wholesaler, jobber, manufacturer, or other party residing in the United States, from whom he purchases such articles, to the effect that the same is not adulterated or misbranded within the meaning of this Act, designating it. Said guaranty, to afford protection, shall contain the name and address of the party or parties making the sale of such articles to such dealer, and in such case said party or parties shall be amenable to the prosecutions, fines, and other penalties which would attach, in due course, to the dealer under the provisions of this Act.

Sec. 10. That any article of food, drug, or liquor that is adulterated or misbranded within the meaning of this Act, and is being transported from one State, Territory, District, or insular possession to another for sale, or, having been transported, remains unloaded, unsold, or in original unbroken packages, or if it be sold or offered for sale in the District of Columbia or the Territories, or insular possessions of the United States, or if it be imported from a foreign country for sale, or if it is intended for export to a foreign country, shall be liable to be proceeded against in any district court of the United States within the district where the same is found, and seized for confiscation by a process of libel for condemnation. And if such article is condemned as being adulterated or misbranded, or of a poisonous or deleterious character, within the meaning of this Act, the same shall be disposed of by destruction or sale, as the said court may direct, and the proceeds thereof, if sold, less the legal costs and charges, shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States, but such goods shall not be sold in any jurisdiction contrary to the provisions of this Act or the laws of that jurisdiction: Provided, however , That upon the payment of the costs of such libel proceedings and the execution and delivery of a good and sufficient bond to the effect that such articles shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of contrary to the provisions of this Act, or the laws of any State, Territory, District, or insular possession, the court may by order direct that such articles be delivered to the owner thereof. The proceedings of such libel cases shall conform, as near as may be, to the proceedings in admiralty, except that either party may demand trial by jury of any issue of fact joined in any such case, and all such proceedings shall be at the suit of and in the name of the United States.

Sec. 11. The Secretary of the Treasury shall deliver to the Secretary of Agriculture, upon his request from time to time, samples of foods and drugs which are being imported into the United States or offered for import, giving notice thereof to the owner or consignee, who may appear before the Secretary of Agriculture, and have the right to introduce testimony, and if it appear from the examination of such samples that any article of food or drug offered to be imported into the United States is adulterated or misbranded within the meaning of this Act, or is otherwise dangerous to the health of the people of the United States, or is of a kind forbidden entry into, or forbidden to be sold or restricted in sale in the country in which it is made or from which it is exported, or is otherwise falsely labeled in any respect, the said article shall be refused admission, and the Secretary of the Treasury shall refuse delivery to the consignee and shall cause the destruction of any goods refused delivery which shall not be exported by the consignee within three months from the date of notice of such refusal under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe: Provided , That the Secretary of the Treasury may deliver to the consignee such goods pending examination and decision in the matter on execution of a penal bond for the amount of the full invoice value of such goods, together with the duty thereon, and on refusal to return such goods for any cause to the custody of the Secretary of the Treasury, when demanded, for the purpose of excluding them from the country, or for any other purpose, said consignee shall forfeit the full amount of the bond: And provided further , That all charges for storage, cartage, and labor on goods which are refused admission or delivery shall be paid by the owner or consignee, and in default of such payment shall constitute a lien against any future importation made by such owner or consignee.

Sec. 12. That the term “Territory” as used in this Act shall include the insular possessions of the United States. The word “person” as used in this Act shall be construed to import both the plural and the singular, as the case demands, and shall include corporations, companies, societies and associations. When construing and enforcing the provisions of this Act, the act, omission, or failure of any officer, agent, or other person acting for or employed by any corporation, company, society, or association, within the scope of his employment or office, shall in every case be also deemed to be the act, omission, or failure of such corporation, company, society, or association as well as that of the person.

Sec. 13. That this Act shall be in force and effect from and after the first day of January, nineteen hundred and seven.

Approved, June 30, 1906.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

WWI Newspaper Article Declaring war

Posted by kvictoria on April 27, 2009


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

John Mitchell to Mother Jones, 15 September 1902

Posted by amissi on April 27, 2009


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Labor Senate Hearings

Posted by nrohr on April 27, 2009

Samuel Gompers

Testimony of a Labor Leader

[Mr. Gompers:] Mr. Ira Steward has remarked that improvements in machinery and the fact of its invention discharges labor faster than new industries are founded and tends to increase the hours of labor; and that among the reasons for this may be named the following:

“Capital must reproduce itself and bear interest” is the first and main maxim of modern industry. What does this mean? It means that capital is the accumulated value of past labor employed in production for the purpose of further accumulation; and when invested in machinery or other enterprises must reappear in its original form as money, not alone to an amount equal to the amount invested but in an increased amount. The individual possessor of capital invested in any industry wants his interest, and the corporations have a more artificial term for it; they term it dividends. The question is how is this result to be obtained by machinework? It is a well settled fact that the only producer of value is labor; there is a well established value in labor; hence, if machinery displaces manual labor and performs the labor itself, it must create some value; but what is the amount of it, especially taking into consideration that human labor and that of machinery are always combined?

Q. You adopt that view as your own, I suppose?

A. I do. Otherwise I would not read it. I intend to speak of the hours of labor, and that is why I use this as a preliminary statement. The hours of labor have been discussed by many thinkers on the labor question and by many from different standpoints. During my attendance upon this committee I have heard a good many questions asked and answered, and in my humble opinion some of the answers were not what they ought to have been. I maintain that the hours of labor ought to be reduced. From every standpoint the hours are too long in modern industries, more especially where the individual, the worker, is but a part of the machine and is compelled to keep in motion in accordance with the velocity with which the machine turns. The production of goods is not, as many have been led to believe, lessened by a reduction of the hours of labor; but, on the contrary, the productivity of labor increases. In all countries, in all states in this country, in all factories where in certain branches of trade the experiment has been made, wherever the hours of labor have been reduced, there the productivity of labor has become greater.

By the Chairman:

Q. Absolutely, or in proportion to the time occupied?

A. Absolutely.

Q. One day with another, more goods produced?

A. More produced, one day with another. I am saying that the productivity of labor has increased, not from the desire, or probably not from the ability, of the laborer to produce more in the shorter number of hours but as a consequence of the fact that, owing to the reduction of the hours of labor, machinery has been improved, new tools have been made, and the different industries have been divided and subdivided, so that as a consequence of the reduction of the hours there has come increased production.

Q. Then the increased productivity is the result of the improved machinery and not of the shorter hours of labor?

A. But the improved machinery is the result of the reduction of the hours of labor.

Q. But we are speaking of the direct cause; and the reduction of the hours of labor is not the direct cause of the increased production, you say, but the reduction of the hours of labor has led to invention and improved machinery, and by the machinery, combined with shorter hours of labor, more is produced?

A. Decidedly.

Q. Then you attribute the invention not to genius alone but to genius and opportunity?

A. Yes, sir, I hold that the necessity for inventions brings them forth, and that they do not come forth without that. A man might go to China and live there a hundred years and probably never think of a Morse telegraph machine.

Q. But do you think that the inventors of this country are stimulated to invent by reason of the reduction of the hours of labor?

A. I think that the necessity created by reduction of the hours of labor for other means of supplying wants that need to be satisfied is the cause of inventive genius becoming active.

Q. Then your ground is this, that the immediate result of the reduction of hours of labor is decreased production, and that that creates the necessity of supplying that deficiency of production by improved machinery?

A. Let me answer by saying, as one of our greatest economists says, that there is but one sure and permanent way by which the customs and habits of the people can be improved. Or rather that, if you wish to improve the condition of the people, you must improve their habits and customs. The reduction of the hours of labor reaches the very root of society. It gives the workingman better conditions and better opportunities, and makes of him what has been too long neglected — a consumer instead of a mere producer.

Q. You think, then, that he will consume more in consequence of the reduction of the hours of labor?

A. I do, positively.

Q. In a certain way he will have more time to consume in?

A. Yes, sir. And another thing. A man who goes to his work before the dawn of day requires no clean shirt to go to work in, but is content to go in an old overall or anything that will cover his members; but a man who goes to work at 8 o’clock in the morning wants a clean shirt; he is afraid his friends will see him, so he does not want to be dirty. He also requires a newspaper; while a man who goes to work early in the morning and stays at it late at night does not need a newspaper, for he has no time to read, requiring all the time he has to recuperate his strength sufficiently to get ready for his next day’s work.

I agree with Mr. Ira Steward in his view. I have regretted very much that his work has not been so widely circulated as it deserved to be. I say this because I think it contains the fundamental truths of the labor question. The reduction in the hours of labor reaches the lowest stratum of society. I say I agree entirely with Mr. Steward, and I think he is (or rather has been, for he is dead now) the ablest thinker on the economic question, more especially in regard to the application of the reduction, of the hours of labor and to the movement and its effects upon society in general. That labor deserves a reduction of the hours of toil I believe hardly anyone will dispute, unless when he is on “the other side of the house” and labor is seeking to enforce such a reduction against his interest, as he thinks.

The general reduction of the hours of labor to eight per day would reach further than any other reformatory measure; it would be of more lasting benefit; it would create a greater spirit in the workingman; it would make him a better citizen, a better father, a better husband, a better man in general. The “voting cattle,” so called, those whose votes are purchased on election day, are drawn from that class of our people whose life is one continuous round of toil. They cannot be drawn from workingmen who work only eight hours. A man who works but eight hours a day possesses more independence both economically and politically. It is the man who works like his machine and never knows when to stop, until in his case perpetual motion is almost arrived at — he is the man whose vote you can buy. The man who works longest is the first to be thrown out on the sidewalk, because his recreation is generally drink. …

Q. Do you believe … that a law of the United States or of the states reducing the hours of labor to eight per day would be or could be actually enforced in this country?

A. For private employers, do you mean?

Q. Yes; for corporations and factories — private employers?

A. I think, first, that the general government, under the Constitution, possesses no such power. I am speaking upon this question because I believe that it is a wrong that, with all our modern inventions, the working people should be called upon to work the long hours that they do; and while in this instance I am not seeking redress from the general government, or asking it to reduce the hours of labor generally, I do say that it is more than negligence, more than wrong on the part of the government to permit its own statute on that subject to remain unenforced. The government has adopted a national eight-hour law for all government employees. If that law is wrong it should be obliterated from the statute books; but as it is good, it ought to remain; and so long as it is a law it is worse than neglect on the part of any officer of the government to set the example of ignoring or violating it.

Q. The real difficulty comes in here: government employment and other employments must have more or less relation to each other, and the government employee does not like to take eight hours’ pay when another man outside may work a little longer and get ten hours’ pay.

A. That may be true; but the fact is that the operatives in the government employ were paid ten hours’ pay for eight hours of labor until the panic arose; and that then, for what reason I cannot say, the eight-hour law was construed to mean a reduction of wages, in spite of the fact that two proclamations of President Grant had been issued setting forth that no reduction in pay should result from the reduction of the hours of labor from ten to eight. That was during the panic and when the labor organizations were considerably crippled.

Q. I admit your point as against the apparent evasion of what would seem to be the intent of the law; but the other difficulty, which is a substantial one, still remains. Can any such law be properly enforced so as to reach the great mass of laborers or wage workers of the country in private employ?

A. I do not think it can under our present competitive system.

Q. Then the suggestion of an eight-hour law would seem to be of no use?

A. No, sir. I do not take that view. I hold that our representatives, possessing more than the average intelligence, or at least the average intelligence, should be in the van, should in a measure teach the people, and should adopt the eight-hour law for the government employees, not so much to benefit those employees as to set an example to be imitated by private employers, to be requested by the employed, to be agitated for, to be organized for, to be attained. That law ought to be enforced to enable the workingmen to look to the government as an example and say, “Here, our government has adopted the eight-hour law, and it is worthy of imitation.”

Q. Do you think that private employers would be much influenced by sentimental considerations of that kind?

A. Probably not all; but I know that a good many employers would.

Q. A portion of the employees would refuse to work more than eight hours probably; but would not they find as a result that they would have to take the eight hours’ pay?

A. They would not refuse to work more than eight hours until the movement became somewhat general, at least in their own trades.

By Mr. Pugh:

Q. A law of Congress is an expression of public opinion. Now, would not that expression of public opinion in favor of the national eight-hour law have necessarily a great influence upon the same question between individuals?

A. Yes, sir. I think it would.

Q. That would be its moral effect, and the force of public opinion would compel conformity to it in practice in the course of time?

A. That is what I have been attempting to get at.

By the Chairman:

Q. Here is this law, more than a dozen years old, still on the statute book, but entirely disregarded; so that that theory is absolutely disproved by the fact.

A. And the national legislature is continually banged at to have that law enforced.

Q. Yes; the mass of public opinion would seem to be the other way, or else congressional action is not an expression of public opinion. But here is a law on the statute book, and yet not only is its principle not adopted among the people at large but even the government itself fails to enforce its own edict.

A. It is a very peculiar government in that respect.

Q. Now, I have suggested the question whether an eight-hour law, or any law regulating the rates of wages, in order to be of benefit must not reach not only the employer but also the employed, with penalties attached, so that no man should be allowed to work more than eight hours, under penalty of fine and imprisonment; and if an employer permitted him to work for more than eight hours he also should be subjected to punishment. With such a law enforced you would have something which would make room for this surplus labor in regard to which there has been so much testimony here. But just so long as compensation depends upon the amount of labor performed, and just so long as the individual is capable of doing his ten hours’ work, he will work his ten hours, and, by private agreements between himself and his employer, they will increase wages and production by the evasion of any general law which applies only to the employer.

A. If the eight-hour law were enforced by the government, and at least it ought to enforce its own edict —

Q. [Interposing.] Do you mean that the government should go into the labor market just as any other employer does, and see what it can obtain service for; or that, finding that competent labor for ten hours a day can be obtained at a certain price, it should hire that labor, work it only eight hours, and pay it the same price as for ten hours’ work? Would that be fair toward private employers?

A. I do say that the government of the United States ought to be in advance of its people. It is the duty of a legislator, as I understand it, to frame and adopt measures for the welfare of the people. I believe that the duty of the legislature is to propose laws for the benefit of the people. The Constitution of the country, I believe, does not give our national government the right to adopt a law which would be applicable to private employments; yet for its own employees it ought to be in advance; it ought not to enter the labor market, as you have suggested, Mr. Chairman, in competition with all other employers, but ought to be in advance. The selfish, mercenary, or other such motives which govern individuals in their struggle to accumulate wealth ought not to exist in our government, although they do exist to a morbid degree in too many of our employers.

The government having adopted the eight-hour law, it seems to me to be hardly a debatable question, the efficiency or the good of the reduction of the hours of labor; and the government having adopted that law, it should be faithfully executed, not as someone during the panic did construe it, or as others do now, but in accordance with its language and spirit. Of course I will bow in submission to a decision upon the law, but I cannot for the life of me see how that eight-hour law was construed to mean anything but what it plainly says on the face of it. It seems to cover and imply everything that is needed, and not only was that the first construction that was placed upon the law, but several of the executive officers were desirous of reducing the wages of the government employees when the law came into force, and President Grant, in a proclamation which he issued; quoted the law, and stated that from its plain language and meaning it was clear that no reduction of wages could or should ensue from the reduction of the hours of labor. There was a subsequent proclamation to that same effect. Yet, in violation of (1) the law and (2) the two proclamations of the President — and it is to be presumed that the President upon a question of construction of law is not going to issue a proclamation without having his legal adviser advise him as to whether the construction is correct or not — that law was disregarded!

As representatives of the organized trades and labor unions of this country we have met in council within a few days, and on next Tuesday we shall meet in our third annual session in this city. From time to time we have formulated our demands and requests for things that we thought ought to be done by legislation or otherwise. We know very well that the government of the United States and the legislative power cannot be more probably than a step in advance of the people. If they go much further they are apt to have the platform pulled away from under them, leaving them floating in the air without any support. That is not the intention of organized labor; but we do say that our legislators ought to be at least that one step in advance of the general public. Now, if they will have the national eight-hour law enforced, we do not ask anything further of them in reference to the reduction of the hours of labor. Let the question of endeavoring to enforce a reduction of the hours of labor among private employers be a question to be settled amicably, if possible, between ourselves and our employers, and I think it will not be many years before it will be generally settled. This seems to me to be the question of questions, the reduction of the hours of labor. …

The remedies that I suggest, and which I think the government can and ought to adopt, are the following:

Strict enforcement of the national eight-hour law. The workingmen of this country, in all their organizations where they have come together, either in private or in public, either as local, state, national, or confederated unions, have set forth that demand for the enforcement of the national eight-hour law.

The passage of a law by Congress giving the trades and labor unions the right to become chartered under the general laws of our government. The laws written and now in operation to protect the property of the capitalist and the moneyed class generally are almost innumerable, yet nothing has been done to protect the property of the workingmen, the only property that they possess, their working power, their savings bank, their school, and trades union; and we ask that our existence as organizations may be legalized, not for the purposes of strikes, as has been said, but for such reasons and objects as have been recognized in England and France. …

We ask also, for the purpose of procuring information for the legislators of our country (who frequently find a very good excuse for nonaction by saying that they are ignorant as to the true condition of the working people), the establishment of a national bureau of labor statistics. Such a bureau would give our legislators an opportunity to know, not from mere conjecture but actually, the condition of our industries, our production and consumption, and what could be done by law to improve both. Our state governments would undoubtedly follow the lead of the national Congress and legislate in the interest of labor; but we see that so long as our national legislators have an excuse for saying that they do not know the condition of labor, there is very little chance of obtaining legislation. …

There are several other measures to which I might call attention and which I might suggest as remedies, but the best organized trades unions of the world are eminently practical. They are composed of men who are desirous of obtaining reforms by gradual means, and in that spirit we ask the adoption of these measures which I have set forth here, because we believe and know that they will redound to our benefit as workingmen and to the benefit of society. If the legislators of this country are desirous of acting in this matter and alleviating the distress that is too prevalent, and if they desire to assist those who are working in this cause to mount a step higher, let them adopt these measures and they will receive the thanks of the working people of the world and of all posterity. But in any event, they ought not to continue to be so indifferent to the condition of labor as they have been in the past.

Thomas L. Livermore

Testimony of a Factory Manager

Mr. Pugh. I understand that you have been a lawyer in your time, and I wish you would now proceed, if you please, to give the committee such facts and information and such opinions as you consider pertinent to the subject of investigation … and without waiting for any special question. You may proceed in your own way and state anything in the shape of facts from your own personal knowledge or from information which you regard as reliable, or any opinions which your experience may suggest to you … first stating, if you please, your residence and occupation, and what opportunities you have had to understand the subjects under investigation, so as to give force and effect to your statements.

The Witness. I live in Manchester, N.H., and am agent in this place for the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. I have the management of the affairs of the corporation here. I have had that management as agent for four and a half years. …

Q. How is it as to the supply of labor here generally, so far as you know — of manufacturing labor?

A. The supply of labor in this place, so far as I know, has generally been good; it has been sufficient. That, I have no doubt, is due in a degree to the proximity of this place to the Canadian border and to its being situated upon a railroad which brings down many Canadians; but I think it is due in a greater degree to the wages which are paid here, which are greater for the same kind of work, I am informed and believe, than are paid, for instance, in Lowell, our nearest manufacturing neighbor, in Massachusetts; and I have been led to believe that this difference is due mainly to the fact that the hours of labor are unlimited here, while in Massachusetts there is a ten-hour law, for it seems to be certain that no law can bring it about that eleven hours’ pay shall be paid for ten hours’ work. And very recently, in determining whether my scale of wages was one that ought to be maintained, I went to Lowell and had careful inquiry made among several of the leading manufacturing establishments there as to their rates of wages; and upon the information which I got in that way, I was led to believe that we were paying here at least an increase proportioned to the hours of labor; in some cases a little more; that is to say, we were paying wages, as compared with theirs, in the proportion of 10 3/4 to 10, which are the respective hours of labor in the two places. I have no doubt that the ample supply of labor here is to be attributed, in some degree, also, to the favorable character of the place for a residence and to the tenements which are kept for the people. I have been informed that during the last year, when labor was not scarce here, it was scarce in Lowell and Lawrence in reputable mills, where all conditions, excepting, perhaps, wages, were as good as those here. I attribute that to the difference in the hours of labor. …

By the Chairman:

Q. Suppose a system were introduced of paying, substantially, by the hour or by the piece, and it prevailed all through your entire system of work, and then the proposition was made to the operatives to absolutely limit the hours of labor to ten, nine, or eight hours. Do you think that the operatives themselves would approve of that proposition, or would they prefer to work longer and get more pay?

A. I do not think they would approve of it.

Q. If it were submitted to them, you think they would decide adversely?

A. Of course, if the operatives were persuaded that by the reduction of the hours of labor the manufacturers would be compelled to pay more per cut so that they could earn as much in the nine hours as they could in the eleven hours, I suppose they would willingly agree to it; but taking things as they are, with economic laws governing the prices to be paid, I do not think you would find one in a hundred who would agree to the reduction of hours under the circumstances which you suppose.

Q. Then in order to enact a ten-, or say, an eight-hour law — it would be a matter of indifference as to the number of hours in excess of ten — to be really enforced, the compulsion would have to extend to the operatives as well as the manufacturer, would not that be so?

A. I see no other way.

Q. No one should be allowed by law to work more than that number of hours?

A. Yes. If you were to make a thing optional with the operatives, and part of the work were piecework and part were daywork, I do not see myself how the law could result in any good, because it would either result that all the operatives would agree that they wished to work eleven hours, supposing that be the number that was deemed advisable, or else part would want to work eleven and part eight or nine; and the manufacturer could not afford to supply the increased quantity of machinery to those who wished to work eight hours to keep up with those who wished to work eleven, I should think. That is something, however, that I have never figured out, but I should suppose that that would be so.

Q. How would it operate upon the interests of the manufacturer and how upon the working people, in your judgment, if hours could be reduced so that the machinery could be employed, say, for illustration, sixteen hours a day, and two sets of hands employed, each working eight, would such a system as that be practicable, and, if so, what would be the effect upon the wages of each individual operative do you think?

A. I do not know whether it would be practicable. I can see objections to it, but whether they would be insuperable I am really unable now to say. The three chief objections to it which I see now are these: With two sets of hands running the same set of machinery it would be very difficult to place the responsibility for the care of the machinery upon either; that is a very important factor in maintaining a mill. Then it would be very difficult to find time to repair that machinery, and it would all have to be done in the nighttime. You would have to keep a set of workmen in the nighttime, which would be more expensive and troublesome. Then the risk of fire would be increased very largely by reason of the lighting of the mills at night. At the present time the insurers object to running the mills beyond 10 o’clock at night, for instance.

Q. The danger of fire increases later in the nighttime, does it?

A. Yes, on account of the gas and the difficulty of seeing around under the machinery for hot bearings, and all that sort of thing, which induces fire. Whether those expenses would be so great as to make it too expensive to manufacture could only be told, I suppose, by trial.

Q. There would be this about it, that the machinery, which is perhaps the cheapest production in the mills, would work twice as long.

A. Not twice as long, but it would work sixteen hours a day. It would be twice as long if you worked twenty-two hours a day. Then there is this further consideration to be taken into account — whether machinery would in the course of a year do twice as much work by working twice as long. Some mechanics think that machinery needs rest; and the item of repairs of machinery is a very great item in the cost of running a mill. We read of people who make very large profits in running their mills for a year or two or three or four or five years, we will say, and then suddenly, for some reason which is not obvious to the public, the mills become bankrupt, when the real reason is that they are worn out. It is not safe to calculate that you can run a mill without spending on an average 10 percent per annum on the value of the machinery on repairs and renewals of machinery, and that is a subject which requires very careful attention in running a mill. I know a mill which ran night and day — a cotton mill — it is the only one I think, that I ever saw do it. That is the mill at Atlanta, Ga., and they thought it succeeded, but I believe the mill was not a financial success. I think it failed. Whether the failure was due to that I do not express any opinion.

Q. Is that recently?

A. Yes. I should not suppose, however, that that was the origin of the difficulty, because I think that was done after it went into the receiver’s hands.

Q. Do you think it would be possible to get the necessary number of laborers to supply the working interests of the country where machinery was employed largely if more than one relay of hands was used?

A. That I do not know. Take the case of Lowell and Lawrence that I have instanced, where they have had a scarcity of labor for their present hours, it would seem as though that scarcity would be multiplied by running twice as many hours. It would be perhaps remedied by paying higher wages.

Q. But that would interfere with the marketing of the production?

A. Yes; and it is a question whether, if you paid higher wages, you could afford to run the mill.

Q. Or to employ anybody?

A. Yes.

The Chairman. I asked the question because the suggestion has been made by many labor reformers, as they are termed, that even six hours, considering the increased productive power of machinery or of the human being and machinery combined, would be as long as laboring people ought to be expected to work, as long as the interests of society require that they should; and inasmuch as there are many unemployed people, a reduction of the hours of labor would give something to others to do. The question whether it could be made to work practically is the serious thing.

The Witness. I do not believe at all in such theories. I think that at least in a free country like this, with thousands of miles of land to be taken up in a vast area of country which is inhabited by people occupied in industrial pursuits and the great variety of employments to be found in this country, it is perfectly safe for at least the lifetime of this generation to leave the question of how a man shall work, and how long he shall work, and where he shall work, and what wages he shall get to himself. It is as certain that wages in a country situated as ours is will adjust themselves to the level required by the demand and the market as it is that water will seek its level. I do not believe that anyone has ever yet seen in this country a time when distress on the part of the laboring people was universal. It has occurred in certain industries and in certain places without any question, but every time the tremendous field which is afforded to the laboring man in which to find employment has come to his relief, and, with a little foresight, a little forehandedness, and a little energy, he has been able to find some employment in which he could earn his living and a little more.

By Mr. Pugh:

Q. The complaining demand often comes for a particular kind of work in a particular place at higher wages?

A. Yes.

Q. They want to stay in the cities and do the work that they are accustomed to?

A. That is true.

Q. There is a great opposition to change; they cannot get rid of the charm of city life, although it be in tenement houses and frequently without pure air or food?

A. That is true.

By the Chairman:

Q. Won’t you please tell us your experience with the question of child labor; how it is and to what extent it exists here; why it exists, and whether, as it is actually existing here, it is a hardship on a child or on a parent; or whether there is any evil in that direction that should be remedied?

A. There is a certain class of labor in the mills which, to put it in very common phrase, consists mainly in running about the floor — where there is not as much muscular exercise required as a child would put forth in play, and a child can do it about as well as a grown person can do it — not quite as much of it, but somewhere near it — and with proper supervision of older people, the child serves the purpose. That has led to the employment of children in the mills, I think. …

Now, a good many heads of families, without any question in my mind, were not sufficiently considerate of the mental and physical welfare of their children, and they put them to work in the mills, perhaps too early, and certainly kept them there too much of the time in former years, and the legislature had to step in and protect the children against the parents by requiring that they should go to school a certain number of months or weeks in a year, or else they should not be allowed to work in the mills; and at the present time there is a very severe law in this state applicable to children — I think some under twelve and some under sixteen. I do not remember the terms of it, but the child has to have a certificate of the authorities in control of the schools that he has been to school the time required by the stature before the mill manager is able to employ him. I think the mill manager is subject to a very considerable penalty for noncompliance with that law.

In this city in our mills, and as far as I know in the rest of the mills, we have been very particular to observe the statute. I do not know how it is outside of the city. I suppose that it may depend a good deal upon public sentiment. If public sentiment supports the law, it will be enforced; if it does not, it will not be. I think public sentiment does support it here to an extent, although I think it extends a little too far in preventing children up to sixteen working in mills more than a given time. … The city authorities here have an officer who makes it his business to go through the mills to see whether the law is complied with or not.

Now, I think that when it is provided that a child shall go to school as long as it is profitable for a workman’s child (who has got to be a workingman himself) to go to school, the limit has been reached at which labor in the mills should be forbidden. There is such a thing as too much education for working people sometimes. I do not mean to say by that that I discourage education to any person on earth, or that I think that with good sense any amount of education can hurt anyone, but I have seen cases where young people were spoiled for labor by being educated to a little too much refinement.

Q. You have known something of farm life and the necessity that a boy is put under of learning to farm while he is still a boy?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, with reference to the acquirement of the necessary skill to earn a living, without which an education would amount to little — a man having enough knowledge to starve upon has not much advantage — do you think that the child should be withheld from the educating idea in the industrial line to so large an extent as the law now requires?

A. I do not.

Q. Is there danger of too much abstention from that sort of practical education which enables a child when grown to earn his living?

A. I think so. I will state that in our machine shops we take apprentices to learn the trade of a machinist, which is one of the best trades that any man in this country can have. We agree that if they will agree to serve three years for pay which enables them to live, we will teach them the trade of a machinist; and it is a curious illustration of the effect of very advanced common schools that our foremen prefer for apprentices boys from the country, who have worked on farms and been to a district school a little while, to boys that have been educated in the city. They say that the city boys do not stick to their work as the others do. They are a little above the employment.

Q. Is this employment that you speak about in the mills in which children are engaged of a character to tax their muscular or physical frame more than it ought to during their growing period?

A. No, sir; I don’t know of any such employment in the mills being put upon children. …

By Mr. Pugh:

Q. How do you compare your ability to sustain yourself in competition with foreign manufacturers of the same kind of goods?

A. As far as I have been able to judge, there are some few kinds of goods in which the great proportion of the value consists in the material, and a small portion of the value consists in the labor, that we could compete with the foreign manufacturers in. … Denims … are perhaps an illustration of that. They are very coarse goods, into which little labor, comparatively, enters; but when it comes to finer goods, such as our ginghams, which constitute one-half of our product, I do not think we could run our mills upon them without a protective tariff.

Q. How much benefit do you get from a protective tariff in the prices? What percent is added to the price of your fabrics in the American market on account of the tariff?

A. I suppose that all our profit is due to the tariff.

Q. All your profits are derived from the tariff?

A. Yes; on that class of goods. In other words, I think if there were no tariff, there would be but little trade on that class of goods where there was a large amount of labor. We could not sell them in competition with those which could be imported.

Q. Did you express any opinion as to the power to consume in this country being equal to the power of production, with all the inducements to invest in manufacturing industries?

A. I did express an opinion. It was this: that, at the present time, the cotton mills exceed in productive capacity the power to consume.

Q. But you think the increase in population will supply that inequality?

A. Yes, very soon, as I remember it now, according to Mr. Atkinson’s statistics, which appear to be well-founded, it took an increase of several hundred thousand spindles a year to keep up with the increase of population, and we exceeded that limit a little the last year or two; but it will not take more than a year or so more to restore the equilibrium.

Q. Well, will there ever be a change in the conditions of labor and capital and of consumption and production in this country from what they are now?

A. I think there will. When all the cheap lands are taken up so that there is no employment, like that of farming, into which the overflow of labor can pour; but I suppose that time will be a long time removed. As long, however, as the abundance of cheap lands affords the means of livelihood and of profit to all those who choose to engage in cultivating them, as is the case now, so long labor will always be in demand in this country and will always bring a good price, I suppose.

Q. What is your judgment as to the ability of our manufacturing industries to live without the benefit of a protective tariff?

A. I do not believe that with the labor market as it is now, and as I suppose it will be until the lands are all consumed, the cotton manufacturing industries could, in general, compete with those abroad without protection. …

By the Chairman:

Q. Do you know, as matter of fact, of any manufacturer in this country whose profit is beyond a reasonable return upon the capital invested and used at the present time?

A. I do not.

Q. I mean any article whatever. I use the word “manufacturer” in the broadest sense — including every kind of manufacturer of which you have knowledge.

A. As far as I have knowledge, I do not. I must qualify my answer by saying that my knowledge is confined pretty exclusively on that subject to cotton manufacture.

Q. Take the woolen trade; what is your understanding of the general condition of business in that trade in the country? Is it making large profits or excessive profits?

A. I got the impression that they were rather suffering.

Q. And the iron trade?

A. I have the same impression about the iron trade. I have heard that their mills were stopped.

By Mr. Pugh:

Q. That has been the result under the operation of a high tariff?

A. Well, that is a sequitur which one must draw for himself. I suppose it will be true in this country as it is in every other country where there is capital to be invested, that when it is apparent that considerable profits are made in any industry people immediately put their money into that industry, and that has a tendency to reduce profits; but I do not think the fluctuations of any industry from one year to another afford any basis for a solution of the question of tariff, because when prices are down in any one year they are up another year.

You can probably never adjust the growth of machinery to the population, sometimes one may be ahead and sometimes another. This year we may have reason to plume ourselves on profits and next year to mourn because nobody is making any. And it seems to me that he who would really draw a conclusion upon which to base an opinion to be adopted for guidance in the regulation of tariffs must look back to the operations of a long series of years.

Timothy D. Stow

Testimony of a Physician

By the Chairman:

Q. You are a physician?

A. Yes.

Q. You live at Fall River?

A. Yes.

Q. Won’t you state how you happen to appear before the committee, what your object is in coming here, and at whose request you come; and then give us the benefit of any observations you choose to lay before us?

A. Mr. Robert Howard, of our city, called on me yesterday and desired me to appear here today before your committee to give whatever testimony I could relating particularly to the physical and mental and perhaps the moral condition of the operatives and laboring classes of Fall River. I have made no notes, and I hardly know what your plan is; but I would as soon answer questions as to make any detailed statement.

The Chairman: We want to find out how the working people of Fall River are living and doing. You can tell us that in the way in which one gentleman would talk to another, the one understanding the subject and the other not understanding it. Just tell us the condition of the operatives there, in your own way, bearing in mind that we would rather have it without premeditation than as a prepared statement.

The Witness: I have been in Fall River about eleven years, though I have been one year absent during that time. As a physician and surgeon, of course, I have been brought into contact with all classes of people there, particularly the laboring classes, the operatives of the city.

With regard to the effect of the present industrial system upon their physical and moral welfare, I should say it was of such a character as to need mending, to say the least. It needs some radical remedy. Our laboring population is made up very largely of foreigners, men, women, and children, who have either voluntarily come to Fall River or who have been induced to come there by the manufacturers.

As a class they are dwarfed physically. Of course there are exceptions to that; some notable ones. On looking over their condition and weighing it as carefully as I have been able to, I have come to the conclusion that the character and quality of the labor which they have been doing in times past, and most of them from childhood up, has been and is such as to bring this condition upon them slowly and steadily.

They are dwarfed, in my estimation, sir, as the majority of men and women who are brought up in factories must be dwarfed under the present industrial system; because by their long hours of indoor labor and their hard work they are cut off from the benefit of breathing fresh air and from the sights that surround a workman outside a mill. Being shut up all day long in the noise and in the high temperature of these mills they become physically weak.

Then, most of them are obliged to live from hand to mouth, or, at least, they do not have sufficient food to nourish them as they need to be nourished. Those things, together with the fact that they have to limit their clothing supply — this constant strain upon the operative — all tend to make him, on the one hand, uneasy and restless, or, on the other hand, to produce discouragement and recklessness. They make him careless in regard to his own condition. All those things combined tend to produce what we have in Fall River.

Now, first, as to the moral condition of the operatives of Fall River. I think so far as crime is concerned we have quite as little crime there as in any city of its size. We have a population rising on 50,000. There is a disposition at times, and under certain pressure, for some operatives to violate the law, to pilfer, or something of that kind, and I think it grows out of not what is called “pure cussedness” but a desire to relieve some physical want. For instance, a man wants a coat and has not the means of earning it, and he is out of employment, and being pinched with the cold, and with no prospect of getting employment, or of getting a coat by honest means, he steals one. Or perhaps he steals food on the same principle.

But so far as crime is concerned, we have comparatively little. But what I do say, and what has been on my mind ever since I came to Fall River, with reference to operatives there, is the peculiar impress they seem to bear, a sort of dejected, tired, worn-out, discouraged appearance, growing out of the bad influences of long hours of labor, the close confinement of the mills, the din of the machinery, their exclusion from social intercourse, except at night.

And I think we can look for a solution of the problem which the country at large is endeavoring to solve — that with reference to the intemperate habits of the laboring classes and the operatives — in those facts that I have mentioned.

I have questioned many thoughtful men and women in regard to that. I have said, “Why is it that at night, particularly, you frequent the dram shops? Why is it that by day you drink; that you store enough even for the day in your houses?” The answer is, “Well, doctor, I tell you the fact is this, there is a sense of fatigue over us which we do not know how to overcome, and which we must overcome for the time being if we are to have any social qualities of an evening, and we can’t do it without taking something which will bridge over the time and make us equal to the emergency of the evening or the occasion.” For instance, the operative being in the mill all day long comes out at night, and it is the only time he has, unless he uses Sunday, and he uses that largely in which to visit his friends, who are scattered here and there all over the city.

Families are, of course, scattered in that way. They are either brought over here by the manufacturers or come of their own accord. One person finds a place in one mill and another in another mill. They have no means of communication with each other except at night or on Sunday. Now, they say to themselves, “How can we fit ourselves for this social intercourse — what we deem a necessity?” The result is that a man steps into a lager-beer saloon, or often into a place where he gets stronger liquor, and he takes a glass of it, and in a few minutes he begins to feel the stimulating influence of the liquor, and it braces him up. But I have said, “How does this make you feel? You say you have been feeling fatigued in the evening and discouraged; that your future does not look bright; how do you feel when you get the liquor?” “Why,” he will say, “it covers that all up; we lose all thought of that, and for the time being we feel well.” And so they go on from day to day, and from night to night.

Now, after all, I do not know of many drunkards in Fall River, but this is true; the operative spends his 5, 10, or 15, or 25 cents a night for liquor, and it is so much lost money to him, and yet he feels impelled to it because he does not know how otherwise to adapt himself to the circumstances of the evening. It does not seem to affect his constitution, and most of them keep up pretty well, but some succumb to it. Others who cannot succumb to the influences of lager beer often resort to stronger liquors, such as brandy, whisky, and so on, to stimulate them more, because they require more and more to keep up the effect. Those go down to the drunkard’s grave.

I should say that the average man there who reaches that condition gets to be a pauper at thirty-five or forty. The women, particularly the English women, brew their own beer to some extent, but they buy largely of the stores and keep beer in their houses for the day. It is a common thing for these barkeepers to peddle around beer and ale, to leave from half a dozen to a dozen bottles of ale a week at a house. Almost every Saturday some families will put in from a dozen to two dozen bottles of ale.

Now, it is invariably the testimony of the more intelligent men and women in answer to the question, “Why do you persist in drinking?” “It makes us feel better; we are relieved of the ennui of life; we are relieved of mental depression for the time being, and after the evening’s social engagements are over we get home and go to bed, and think nothing of it, and next day resume our day’s work.” And so it goes on from day to day. …

Q. Are there any means taken to give them amusements in the evenings by means of lectures or libraries, or anything of that kind?

A. Not very much. We have a city library and it is frequented very much by the operatives; for even if they do not read much they are a thinking class, and they are probing this matter to the bottom, and they are the ones that are finding fault with the system.

Q. I would like to know your idea about this: Many people say that the labor agitators are a set of men who are looking for their personal aggrandizement.

A. I do not believe that that is so, sir.

Q. What would you say about that — I mean the men who are agitating the labor question?

A. I do not know any agitator in Fall River who has anything at heart except the good of his fellowmen. I think the statements of those who stigmatize them as discreditable are entirely at variance with the truth and with the fact.

Q. You have some acquaintance with them, I take it?

A. Yes.

Q. What about their intellectual qualities?

A. Well, I do not know of more than half a dozen who may be called agitators in Fall River, and, indeed, I think that number may be reduced. The most prominent man there now among the laborers, that is, a man connected with the organization of laborers, is Mr. Howard. He is a man of intelligence, and has devoted much time and study to this labor question. He is of a very nervous temperament. So far as his ideas are concerned — his wish to benefit his fellows — they are all right; but he may have some ideas that are far in advance of his fellows.

By Mr. Pugh:

Q. I do not understand that the class of men that are condemned as agitators, mischief-makers, and organizers are actual workers but men on the “make” who appeal to the prejudices of their class for their own selfish uses in some outside matter. It is not the actual workers that agitate. I do not understand that that term covers the workers.

A. Well, that class may not do very much of that sort of work, but they think and aid the others. …

Q. If there were not other particulars as to the conditions you might raise the question of cure, having stated the cause?

A. Well, I do not know that I have stated the cause perfectly. I may be very radical in regard to these questions, and I try to get at the bottom of things. My opinion is that three or four of the main features of our political economy require to be materially changed before you can expect to benefit the masses.

In the first place, I think monopolies should be broken up, and that the monopolies of the many should be broken up or changed so that there could be no monopolization of it; and that the monopoly of transportation should be materially changed. Many other things would be necessary, but I think those features of our political economy —

The Chairman: [Interposing.] The land, money, and transportation?

The Witness: Yes — ought to be materially changed.

Q. In what respect?

A. I think that the land belonging to the government — land not sold — should be reserved for actual settlers, in quantities sufficient for their necessities, and no more.

Q. How large lots? You know that is the law now?

A. That would depend upon the quality of the land. I should think as a rule 50 to 100 acres would be sufficient for any person to have to cultivate.

Q. Would you apply the Homestead Law, but reduce the quantity so as to have some for the future?

A. I would reduce the quantity. Of course mechanics, men who follow mechanical pursuits, do not require as much land; but every man ought to be entitled to what would be necessary for a garden and a commodious building spot, so that his house should not be so near his neighbor’s as to be exposed to fire or pestilence.

That the government should see to. I do not know why this government should neglect that provision for each and every person. I think the violation of God’s laws in regard to these things has brought about all our troubles, and we have attempted to adjust them by weak and human laws, frequently taking away the liberties of the people and injuring them more than anything else.

The lands which have been so profusely given to railroad corporations, which they have not earned, and which it can be shown they have not earned, and have forfeited, should be restored to the people, and my impression is that as population advances it will be necessary to fix it so that here or in New York, or anywhere in Northern states where land is high the large estates should be broken up on the death of the occupant. It is difficult for a man to go from Fall River and get cheap land anywhere this side of the Rocky Mountains, and when he has got his family there he has not got much to get along with. This idea of parental government need not be brought up. We are all here to help one another in this world, and this should be seen to, or else it is government’s failure.

Q. You were going to say more about the land?

A. Nothing in particular, only about the quality of the land. Wherever in the location of land an individual strikes a valuable mine, I think there should be in the contract between him and the government a provision with reference to the sale of the land, whether he buys it or whether it is a gift to him, that the government should reserve the power and the right to hold that mining section for the benefit of the whole people, and not allow it to pass into the hands of any individual or clique.

In regard to the matter of transportation, in order to enable the population of our great cities — these great surging masses who are crowding each other every day in order to fill their stomachs — to be relieved from the pressure, the law should be so fixed that persons wanting to go out and get upon the land so subdivided should have access to that land instead of spending all they have laid by for a few months to get there. …

Q. You think that labor should be well taken care of before capital gets any profit?

A. I think that all that capital gets, it gets from labor, and it is for the interest, even of capitalists, that they should first, above all things, see that the laboring classes of the country are well paid, well clothed, well housed, and made comfortable in their work; that they should have access to public libraries and to parks and public improvements of every kind. I think this is necessary for the improvement of the individual, physically, morally, and mentally.

Q. And that this, for the safety of capital itself, should be first secured?

A. Yes, I do not see how you can maintain capital in this country, as it is now getting into the hands of a few men, unless you do that thing. The tendency seems to be to the aggregation of wealth by these processes. The most wealthy men seek to rob or fleece those below them by watering stock, etc.

Q. There is a great deal of that; but, after all, is not the great mass of capital in this country dedicated to wise, conservative industrial production?

A. I presume it is; I think it is.

Q. Is there any danger that we may confound the abuses attending the exception and identify those abuses with the great mass of capital which may be more conservatively and usefully employed?

A. Well, I should have to weigh that perhaps some little time to give you a very definite answer.

The Chairman: Well, I shall not ask you to go into it.

The Witness: It seems to me, however, that the tendency of the times is to a concentration of wealth, whether that wealth consists of money or of property.

Q. Yes, but the concentration of wealth for wise purposes and conservative uses is one thing, and the concentration of wealth for speculative uses is another. Do you not think that it may be that most of the abuses that attend its use are when it is dedicated to insane, and it may be almost malicious, speculation? You speak of the large fishes devouring those of a smaller size, and those again devouring fishes of a size still smaller. Society seems inclined to consume itself?

A. Yes, I think that is the tendency, and this tendency on the part of the few who have made power by hook or by crook to do all this, unless checked by some plan which shall distribute the products of labor to the masses, will, it seems to me, eventually break up the government.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »