Henry George, World Citizen

Anna George De Mille

[Condensed and edited in 1981 by Mildred J. Loomis. The original book
by Anna George DeMille was published in 1930]

To the difficulty of adequately summarizing the life-story of Henry George, the visionary 19th Century American, is added the emotional depth and complexity of the author being his daughter, who closely shared with her father his struggle with poverty, principles, and fame. Her inspiring record depicts her father's influence in Australia, New Zealand, China, Germany, England, Scotland, western Canada, as well as his own United States.

Anna, the youngest daughter, was born when Henry George was thirty-eight years of age, and already a world figure. From birth she saw great persons in their home. When she was three, she accompanied the family when her father's lecture tour shook the British economic structure. In her teens, she saw him grapple with very powerful figures in his own country. And when she was twenty, her father died a martyr's death, and was given a hero's funeral by New Yorkers. Anna's own daughter, Agnes George DeMille, verifies that her mother's life was stamped by her father's sacrifice.

Like other women in the George family, Anna George believed in her father's cause. She formed clubs, went on lecture tours, was trustee of the Henry George Schools, attended conferences around the world, talker with whomever would listen. Her enormous correspondence included Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Einstein, and countless editors and secretaries of editors with whom her father had worked. A crank? Possibly, but great ideas are carried forward by such - the Apostles were not exactly half-convinced. She believed her father was a great man; she believed the world would go to ruin it if it did not pay heed, and it all but has, exactly as he said it would.

Anna George has presented her father's blazing personality with historical coolness. Every fervent sentence is meaningful and objective. She worked incessently, with very little help. During her last week, in a hospital, she asked for the English land reform laws of 1884, so she could complete her manuscript. Before her death, she learned that the North Carolina Press would publish her book.

Henry George was born in 1839 in Philadelphia, third largest city of the U.S., boasting the U.S. Mint, ready access to the ocean, the U.S. Navy Yard, and the first and most used library in the Western Hemisphere. The George home as a small, comfortable brick dwelling at 413 South 10th St. (Since 1940, the building has been headquarters of the Philadelphia Henry George School.) He was born there September 2, a first child - a strong, blue-eyed red-haired boy, baptized as "Henry". George's father was a sea-captain, an Episcopalean publisher, and a book merchant. Life was pleasant and simple. The family had a hired servant, but all the children helped with the housework and amused themselves with history, travel, poetry, daily Bible:, reading, boating, skating, church attendance, and schooling in the Episcopal Academy.

Being the oldest child, at twelve Henry felt he should help support the family. Jobs were few, but he earned $2 a week for ten-hour days as an errand boy for a china shop. Henry loved the wharf- he made model brigs, and became a clerk in a marine adjuster's office. At age 14, had a chance to take a yearned-for cruise. After 137 days of service to a tyrannical captain, they landed in Australia. Times were hard, and thousands of people were out of work. Wherever they stopped - in India, China, and the Mediterranean - George noted extremes of riches alongside squalor and negligence.

Henry's letters to his family foreshadowed a literary style to flower later. In a year, he returned tanned, experienced, with a pet monkey on his shoulder. He regaled his family with stories and model ships. He apprenticed at low pay to a printer, who confirmed that wages are low in old countries, higher in newer countries. Why should this be? pondered Henry. Why, where people are many and activity varied, should wages be lower than in sparsely-settled countries?

George sailed to Boston with the full pay of an able seaman. But shore work was scarcer than ever, and he longed to go West, where he believed he could earn a living. The economy was in bad shape: a business recession in 1855, followed by a flurry of prosperity. Then in August, 1857, banks and corporations crashed; railroads were bankrupt; land values dropped sharply; construction stopped. The Depression lasted a year. In spite of good crops, city workers were starving. The jobless held protest meetings continuously; mobs threatened to raid banks. A huge protest March enveloped Wall Street.

Henry George left for the West as steward at $40 a month aboard the Shurbick for the long passage around the Horn. George described the terrible squalls, pitching cargo overboard to lighten the load, death of shipmates, and six months later, passage into the Golden Gate.

Although the gold rush had started nine years earlier, San Francisco still had the air of a boomtown - there were few women or children, and there were many roughly-clad miners and lumberjacks in search of a fortune. George's search for work was futile. He took another sea trip to pan gold in Canada. An old miner said, "Wages in California will go down. As the country grows, as people come in, wages will go down." To a boy of nineteen, there seemed no answer.

Finding gold or job was impossible. Henry borrowed money for steerage back to San Francisco. Again hi a print shop, he earned $16 a week, and paid $9 of that for living in a "What Cheer House" with a good library. His routine was Spartan, with much writing and study. At times, he was unemployed. There were delayed reports of Harper's Ferry and of civil war.

When he turned 21, Henry George joined a Methodist Church and a typographical union. He also found a job, and sent money back to his family in Philadelphia. With a friend, he attended a party in the spacious home of Henry McCloskey - and there met the McCloskey grand- daughter, Anna Corsoin Fox. George pressed his suit with gifts, books, and attention. Anna returned his affections. George showed her a 50-cent piece, saying, "This is all but my love for you that I have. Will you marry me?" Annie accepted - they eloped and were married. With friends, Henry George set up a newspaper, The Union, in Sacramento. Only 23, his many responsibilities left little time for philosophy.

Although she was fragile, Annie George never complained of the hardships. Secretly, she pawned her jewelry. When her second child was born, the doctor told Henry, "The mother is starving. Feed her!" The only food was a loaf brought by a neighbor. George paced the streets. He approached a well-dressed stranger, saying, "I need $5.00. My wife has just been confined, and I have nothing to feed her." Afterwards, George said, "If he had not given me the $5, I think I was desperate enough to have killed him."

In odd moments, Henry studied and practiced composition. "I need means to better cultivate my mind, to more fully exert my powers, to minister comfort to those I love." But he added, "To secure any given result it's necessary to apply sufficient force. …I have only myself to blame for at least part of my non-success." He continued writing, specializing in letters to newspapers. His pleas for The Super-natural appeared in The Californian and later in the Boston Evening Gazette. In a dark period, Henry George learned that he could write.

In December, 1868, Henry George stage-coached East to seek membership in the Associated Press for The San Francisco Herald. En route, he pondered the 12-million acres Congress had given the Union Pacific Railroad. In a letter to the New York Tribune, he criticized Wells Fargo for reckless handling of mail, and the Central Pacific for its excessive freight charges. "There might be some excuse if the railroad had been constructed by private means," he said. "The Central is being built literally and absolutely by the money of the people; it influences political conventions, manages legislatures, and has its representatives in both houses of Congress."

Six months on the Atlantic Coast exposed conditions even worse than in the West. Wealth was more advanced, yet men begged in sweatshops in the shadow of magnificent churches and luxurious homes. In the East, a very small group owned less land than in the West, but wielded unbelieveable power over most of the people in crowded cities. Churches, corporations, and individuals financed benevolences by extracting high rents from the people. Henry George saw fortunes made and lost in Wall Street more pernicious than those made in the West digging for metals. Through bribing of legislators, Boss Tweed contrived to get, at low cost, title to the valuable waterfront of Manhattan, as well as franchises to rights-of-way and public utilities.

Where one railroad was taking its toll in California, in the East a chain of railroads was making levies on industry, corrupting courts and state governments. In both East and West, an unscrupulous few preyed upon the weak many - the rich got richer, the poor got poorer. Human beings starved in the midst of plenty. "No beneficient Creator could will it so," mused Henry George. "Some natural law must be being broken; else, why this unequal distribution?"

What should he do? Attack the political dishonesty - or seek out the cause of privilege? Why should he, who wanted comfort for his family and time to travel, read and write, why should he attempt this struggle? Not yet 30, small, slender, shabby, he roamed the streets, seeking answers to gnawing questions. The shocking contrast between wealth and debasing poverty influenced his decision. He would put aside comfort for himself - he asked only to be shown the way to relieve this suffering and the strength to do it. From a quivering experience in the street, he made a vow - to seek out the cause that condemned people to unwanted squalor and misery, and to seek out the remedy.

Back in California, he plunged into new work. He wrote editorials for the Evening Bulletin and sought a Democratic nomination for the State Legislature. But he refused to pay the assessment asked by the party's managers. California's governor, H.H. Haight, had seen in the New York Herald George's long article about Chinese labor on the West Coast, and suggested that George become editor of The Oakland Transcript. George did, and reprinted this article and parts of a correspondence with John Stuart Mill in the Oakland paper.


Horseback-riding over the unused hills near Oakland, George asked a passing teamster, "What's land worth here?"

"A man over there where the cows are grazing will sell some land for $1,000 an acre."

"A thousand dollars? It's worth only a small fraction - this soil is no more fertile than thousands of acres further away, not so near the growing colonies of people."

Quick as a flash, George knew he had touched the answer to his troublesome riddle! When settlers came, when population increased, land grows in value. Without a stroke on the part of the owner (who could live in Siam, if he wished) these idle stretches near Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco would become worth a fortune. In anticipation of this rise in value, the owner was now holding his land for $1000 an acre. Soon he would be able to collect the value that he had had no part in creating.

Suddenly, it was clear to George that land value is not the result of a person's activity, but of the growth of the community and the development of its activities. Morally, he reasoned, this unearned gain "belongs to all." To permit a few individuals to take this wealth that is created by the community thereby forces the community to levy exactions upon labor and thrift for the maintenance of community services. This very process, while penalizing labor and thrift, offers rewards to the few for withholding land from use to the many. Its rewards accrue to the speculator, a profiteer in land - land which is absolutely necessary to human life. Here were fundamental reasons for the increase of poverty along with increase of wealth.

"I then and there experienced what mystics and poets call the 'ecstatic vision'."

Governor Haight arranged for Henry George to assist in the fight against subsidizing the Central Pacific Railroad, the "Great Absorber" as it was known under the manipulation of the Big Four, one of which was Leland Stanford. But Stanford became governor, as well as president of Central Pacific. The Big Four strategized to have Congress pass the Pacific Railroad Act, which deeded vast tracts of land to the railroad, and gave it huge government loans at 6% interest. The entire railroad was constructed with scarcely a dollar of their own, and it became a national scandal. The Big Four openly purchased votes, corrupted legislators, bought legal decisions, underbid and destroyed ship and stage transportation - and then jacked up freight rates.

To his delight, George was asked to take the editor's chair on the chief Democratic paper, The Sacramento Reporter. There he attacked the Central Pacific's plea for further subsidies. But the Big Four bought The Reporter and demanded a policy with which George could not agree. So, he resigned to write a pamphlet, The Subsidy Question and the Democratic Party. George's name became famous in California, and also more of a target for the powerful railroads. But George countered with a 130-page pamphlet, Our Land and Land Policy. Besides picturing the reckless land grants and exorbitant land-holdings, George proposed his remedy:

"Wages are high in new countries where the land is free, but in the old countries where land is monopolized, wages are low and poverty is great. The return for the use of land [economic rent} should be collected and employed for social needs, and no taxes at all need be levied on the products of labor. "

"The value of land is something which belongs to all. In taxing land values, we are merely taking for the use of the community something which belongs to the community. The mere holder of land would pay just as much taxes as the user of the land. . . Land prices would fall; land speculation would receive its death blow; land monopolization would no longer pay. …Imagine how demand would spring up, how trade would increase. …Would there be many industrious men walking our streets or tramping over our roads in the vain search for employment?"

Our Land and Land Policy was well received, but not as fully as George had hoped. He would cover it more thoroughly and in a much larger book..


In 1871, William Hinton invited Henry George to launch The San Francisco Post, the first penny newspaper in the West. They supported Horace Greeley against General Grant for president, hammered the California Big Four, and attacked the corruption of Tammany in New York, as well as pressing for education in land-use and land distribution. George urged self-improvement of workers, fought for shorter work days, reported the eight-hour-day law in Australia, and championed women's rights:

"Open the ranks of true competition without regard to sex. Let those who are best qualified be chosen, whether male or female."

Henry George loved The Post for the opportunity it gave him to correct injustice, corruption, and privilege. But a severe fire in a mining region brought a drop in mining stock, suspension of San Francisco banks, and the demise of The Post.

Though again flat broke, Henry George wrote:

"The aggressiveness and radicalism of The Post was its strength. It has perceptibly affected public thought; it has planted ideas which will some day bloom into action."

William Irwin, then governor of California, appointed George to be State Inspector of Gas Meters, with a modest salary and some leisure. Now married for 15 years, George said, "There's no happier home than mine." Four children were active and learning from - though not indoctrinated by - their parents. Henry George travelled about the state inspecting meters and writing for the Sacramento Bee. At public gatherings, he emphasized:

"The Federal tax-gatherer is everywhere. In each exchange by which labor is converted into commodities, there he is, standing between buyer and seller to take his toll. …It is ominous that in this centennial year, states that were a hundred years ago primeval forest now hold conventions to consider the 'tramp nuisance' and chronic pauperism. What can any change of men avail so long as the primary cause of these evils is unchanged?"

George's prowess as a speaker developed. In an address on "The Study of Political Economy" before students and faculty of California University at Berkeley, he said:

"Political economy includes all that relates to wages of labor and the earnings of capital, all that affects the wealth which a community can secure, and the proportion that is distributed between individuals. If you trace out the laws of production and exchange of wealth, you will see the causes of social weakness in laws which selfishness has imposed on our ignorqnce, but entirely within our own control. . . And you will see the remedies - not through red destruction nor lead-strings to an abstraction called the 'State', but to simple measures sanctioned by justice. Political economy is not the science of government, but it is essential to the science of government."

George added some evaluation of educational machinery "which crams learned fools with knowledge which they cannot use ... all the more pitiable because they pass with themselves and others as educated men."

While the University did not invite George to its chair of political economy, San Francisco citizens chose him for orator at a July 4th celebration. In a long, scholarly address, George antedated the League of Nations:

"Is it too soon to hope that the mission of this Republic may be to unite all the nations of English speech in a league, which, by insuring justice, promoting peace, and liberating commerce, will be the forerunner of a world-wide federation that will make war the possibility of a past age, and turn to works of usefulness the enormous forces now dedicated to destruction?"

Of this oration, the "opposition" said, "The gas measurer spoke on the Goddess of Liberty and other school-reader topics. Most newspapers strongly condemned it, but a workingman's group nominated George for state senator. This George declined because the group was strongly anti-Chinese. Continuing his state inspection work, George withdrew from public life, read history and wrote an inquiry into recurring industrial depressions.

With this essay, his friend, Dr. E.B. Taylor, private secretary to Governor Haight (once mayor of San Francisco and then dean of University of California Law School), was much impressed. He urged George to expand it into a book. On September 18, 1877, an entry in Henry George's diary read: "Commenced Progress and Poverty."

Hard times describes the winter of 1877-78. Troops were called out to quell railroad strikes in Eastern cities; drought cut California's crops, output of mines was reduced; the Central Pacific Railroad proposed a wage cut. George's income was reduced; he began lecturing to eke out a living.

His friends formed the Land Reform League of California to propagate his teachings; groups met to study Our Land and Land Policy; they sponsored George's lecture, "Why Work is Scarce, Wages Low, and Labor Restless". To a small audience March 26, 1877, George prophesied:

"'The standard I have tried to raise tonight may be torn by prejudice and blackened by calumny; it may now move forward and again forced back. But once loosed, it can never again be furled. "

The lecture caused little stir in San Francisco, but was welcomed in other sections of the state. "An attempt," one commentator said, "to put into popular form a great truth which marries political economy with common sense. Once appreciated, it is the key to all social problems of our time."

Henry George added:

"Where I once stood alone, now thousands stand with me. The leaven is at work. The struggle will be long and fierce. It is now only beginning.

To an audience five months later in the Young Men's Hebrew Association, George lectured on Moses:

"Moses knew that the real cause of the enslavement of Egypt was the possession by a class of the land upon which and from which all people must live. Moses saw that to permit in the land the same unqualified private ownership [that by natural right attaches to things produced by labor, would be inevitable to separate the people into the very rich and the very poor. This would inevitably enslave labor - to make the few the masters of the many, no matter what the political forms. It would bring vice and degradation, no matter what the religion."

Dr. Taylor considered the speech the finest George had ever given. He urged George to complete Progress and Poverty. But George took time to help organize the Free Public Library of San Francisco, which became the most complete library west of the Rockies. George was secretary of the original board of trustees.

He also ran for delegate to a convention for amendment to the state constitution. George wrote to the voters:

"Justice is the firm foundation of the state. I shall, as I have power, endeavor to amend the constitution that the weight of taxation may be shifted from those who produce wealth to those who merely appropriate it, so that the monopoly of land and water may be destroyed, and an end put to the shameful state of things which compels men to beg who are willing to work.''

Support developed that indicated his nomination. However, at a Workingmen's ratification, he was asked to acknowledge the leadership of a political boss and accept his platform. George did not like several planks in the platform, and he refused to have any man his master. At the polls, George's Democratic ticket was beaten, but George received more votes than any other candidates of the party.

The George family moved to the exact spot where the Oakland Bridge now begins. Under reduced circumstances, they lived simply and Henry George worked prodigiously. At last, in March, 1879, after nearly 18 months, Progress and Poverty was finished. The work had not been easy. He strived for clarity and simplicity, but as he said, "What makes for easy reading is hard writing." Four years later in a letter to Father Thomas Dawson of Glencree, George wrote:

"Because you are my friend and a priest, I say something I have never told anyone. Once, in daylight, in a city street, there came to me a thought, a vision, a call. Every nerve quivered. There I made a vow. I would follow that vision. Whatever I have done or left undone, to that I have been true. It was that which impelled me to write Progress and Poverty . . . and when I had finished the last page in the dead of night, I flung myself on my knees and wept like a child. The rest is in the Master's hands. That is constantly with me. It has been to me a religion of which I never like to speak, or make any outward manifestation. Yet that I try to follow. "

Publishing the book was another matter. D. Appleton Co. was his first choice. Their rejection slip read: "Your MS. on political economy has the merit of being written with great clearness and force, but it is very aggressive. There is very little to encourage the publication of any such work at this time." Other rejections followed.

George's printer friend, William Hinton, suggested that they themselves set up the "plates". George and several friends joined Hinton at the printer's case to set the type. Someone said, "All the bum printers of San Francisco claim the distinction of having set type on the editor's edition of Progress and Poverty." Of 500 copies of the book, a first copy went to the author's father in Philadelphia, with George's inscription:

"It is with a deep feeling of gratitude to our Father in Heaven that I send you this copy. …It will not be recognized at first . . . but ultimately, it will be published in both hemispheres and translated in many languages. This I know, though neither of us may ever see it here. But the belief that there is another life for us makes that of little matter."

With the plates of Progress and Poverty, Appleton agreed to bring out a commercial edition. But the year before it appeared was difficult for George. The meter inspector's job went to a Republican incumbent. Copies of the book to eminent people brought little response. American publishers did not show interest, yet some foreign publishers responded.

Emile deLaveleve, a Belgian economist, in Parisian Revue Scientifique, said, "Progress and Poverty is worth being added to De Tocqueville's immortal work." A month later, a half-page review appeared in the New York Sun. Other reviews brought a demand for a paper edition.

But financial return to George had not yet paid off his debt for the original plates. Word of a possible position with the New York Herald took George back East again, but the job did not materialize. He sent brave letters back to his family in San Francisco, and considered going back to the printer's case. Then A.S. Hewitt, a wealthy manufacturer and member of Congress, engaged George for some temporary research. Sale of Progress and Poverty picked up. German notices were good; the book was being discussed in colleges. Leland Stanford reported he had "become a disciple of Henry George". By mid-year, George paid back his old loan. With some of his old lightness, George wrote a friend, "Send me all the paper accounts which abuse me. To be abused and not know it is almost as bad as not to be abused at all."

A young friend, John Russell Young, who had not converted to George's philosophy, shared this difficult year and wrote, "It was a daring experiment - this unknown gentleman with nothing in his carpet bag but one book of gospel, coming at 42 to make his way to the heart of mighty Babylon. The more I studied George under heavy conditions, the more I admired him. His ability, his honesty, independence, and intellectual power were those of a leader of men. …It was the courage which makes one a majority."


In 1879, the land question was a burning issue in Ireland. Peasants ground down by poverty and oppressed by landlords (most of whom were absentee owners) were being evicted. The Irish National Land League worked to reduce what Ireland called "rack rent" - a rent fixed by competition at short intervals. Charles Parnell and Michael Davitt were leaders of the Irish Land League. Visiting New York, Davitt met Henry George, and read Progress and Poverty. George soon produced a new book, The Irish Land Question. In it, he said:

"To relieve Ireland of rack-renting, it is necessary to spare industry and thrift from taxation, to free the land by taking the rental value of land alone for the community needs. Under such a system, the laborer would get what he created; no one would have an advantage as a mere land-holder. Even though the land-holder might be an Englishman in England, the value of the land of Ireland would accrue to the Irish people. "

D. Appleton Co. brought out this book in March, reporting, "First edition exhausted the first day. Orders still coming in." Editions were printed abroad. George lectured for the Irish Land League in New England and Canada. On a business trip to California, he met an overflowing crowd in the hall where three years before he had spoken to a handful. George paid all his debts.

Back in New York, a one-cent daily, Truth, edited by Louis F. Post, was reprinting Progress and Poverty in installments. In England, Alfred Russel Wallace was endorsing the book. Patrick Ford, editor of The Irish World (N.Y.), editorialized: "The strength of land agitation in Ireland will be in exact proportion to how it accepts the incontrovertible truth that the land of Ireland was not made for the landlord class, or any other class, but for all Irishmen."

George welcomed going to Ireland, and reporting the situation to the American Irish World. In Ireland, he worked with the Ladies Land League (Many of the male land leaders had been imprisoned) and interviewed Bishop Thomas Nulty of Meath, who said, "The people in their public corporate capacity are and always must be the rightful owners of the land." To this, George added:

"The value of land which is not due to the individual exertion of the occupier or improver, constantly increases with the growth of society. Dr. Nulty sees - as everyone must see who recognizes the true relation of this fact - a most beautiful relation of creative design."

The Ladies Land League broadcast these ideas over Ireland. The Tory papers called it an "outrageous official declaration of communism from a Catholic bishop." In the persecution that followed, the Land League paper was seized, and special plates were rushed to England for printing.

Henry George's family joined him hi London, where they were entertained by noted people - H.M. Hyndman, a famous socialist; Herbert Spencer; Walter Wren, a celebrated Oxford coach, and novelist Walter Besant. When Herbert Spencer said, "Imprisoned Land Leaguers have got what they deserved. They are inciting the people to refuse to pay to landlords what is rightfully theirs - rent," Henry George walked away, bitterly disappointed in a man whose work he had revered.

Conflict, imprisonments, assassination of government authorities by fanatics, all were part of George's experience in Ireland. The "government" abandoned its lenience toward the Irish Land League. Henry George was several times arrested. The old dreary round of coercion was resumed, and vigor for "land for the people" swung back to the vague program for "home rule". All told, the publicity given George's arrests, the spread of cheap editions of his book, and newspaper evaluations brought George's theories to the forefront of popular discussion. When the Times of London reviewed Progress and Poverty, the English publisher sold every copy on hand.

Back in London, George addressed a meeting that changed the life of young George Bernard Shaw - "it fired him to enlist as a soldier in the liberative war of humanity."

Shortly, when George left England, he announced a new 20,000 edition of Progress and Poverty. He replied to an invitation to return that "the movement now is strong enough to go on without me."

In New York after his year abroad, Henry George found himself "nearly famous". Newspapers heralded his arrival, and an overflow banquet at Cooper Union was toasted by noted persons. George was greeted with cheers from the large crowd. (Many of those present thought Henry George was an imprisoned Irish patriot.) George responded:

"I read in the papers that I am a communist, a disturber of social order, a dangerous man, and a promoter of all sorts of destructive theories. What is this terrible thing I do? I want in the first place to remove all restrictions upon production of wealth and in doing this I want to secure that fair distribution of wealth which will give every man that which he has fairly earned. What I contend for is that the man who produces, or accumulates, or economizes, the man who plants a tree or drains a marsh or erects a building, should not be fined for so doing. It is to the interest of all that he should receive the full benefit of his labor, his foresight, his energy, and his talents. In other words, I propose to abolish all taxation which falls upon the exertion of labor or the use of capital, or the accumulation of wealth. I propose to meet all public expenses out of that fund which rises, not from the exertion of any one individual, but from the growth of the whole community. Consider, gentlemen, how enormously wealth would grow if all taxes were abolished which now bear on production.

The Reverend Fr. Edward McGlynn, rector of the largest Roman Catholic church in New York City, came out openly for George's solution to questions of economic justice. Of Irish parentage, he had enjoyed a brilliant career in the priesthood. His outspoken support of George could not go unnoticed by enemies of the Irish cause. Soon came a notice from a Catholic cardinal for the priest: suspension unless the New York cardinal ruled otherwise. Father McGlynn conceded by making no more speeches for the Land League.

On both sides of the Atlantic, George's work was growing swiftly. Progress and Poverty and The Irish Land Question were still selling well. In the U.S., T.V. Powderly, Grand Master of the Order of Knights of Labor, said, "The all-absorbing question of the hour is the land question. The eight-hour day, child labor, the currency question, are all weighty, but high above them all stands the land question. You make the laws, and own the currency, but give me the land and I will absorb your wealth and render your legislation null and void. Give heed to the land question."

George wrote thirteen published papers and debated with Dr. F.A. Walker of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which (with later additions) constituted a book, Social Problems. They received $1300 before the book appeared - a great difference from Progress and Poverty.

English friends having implored him to return, George was greeted by a large delegation from labor organizations - some of whom leaned toward the doctrines of Marx. Friends emphasized distinctions: "George's philosophy was one of freedom against regimentation, individual liberty as against collectivist restriction. He believed with Jefferson that the best-governed people were those the least bound by governmental restrictions. When the state stepped in to regulate capital or labor, it thereby interferred with the rights of the individual. Instead of regulating wages, George wanted to release natural opportunity - land - which determines wages. Since all wealth, and therefore all capital, comes from the application of labor to land, he argued that land would afford for labor a just return if freed from private speculation and monopoly.

George advocated his own theory:

"An equitable principle already exists in natural law which, if left unobstructed, will, with a certainty that no human adjustment could rival, give to each who takes part in the work of production, that which is justly his due. "

Karl Marx conceded that George was a "writer of talent", but with "repugnant arrogance and presumption which inevitably mark all such panacea breeds." Marx called Progress and Poverty "the capitalist's last ditch."

George wrote Hyndman that he considered Marx unscientific and "a most superficial thinker, entangled in an inexact and vicious terminology."

In January, 1884, on his second trip to England, George talked without manuscript to crowded St. James Hall, London. At the end, George asked:

"How can Englishmen defend the right of a few to own the land on which all men must live? Make England truly the home of free people - people equal in their rights to land who know their duties and will perform them, not for their country alone, but for the whole world."

The approving ovation was followed by widespread newspaper comment, including some offense by Tory papers. Addresses followed in many towns. In Glasgow's City Hall, in Scotland and Scotsman, George said:

"You people in Glasgow erect church after church, and subscribe money to send missionaries to the heathen. I wish the heathen could subscribe money to send missionaries to so-called Christian communities like Glasgow, to point to the luxury ands ostentation on the one hand, and to the barefooted, ill-clad on the other. …In this great city are men who cannot get employment. The same state exists in America. …

"When you seek out the reason, you will come, I believe, to the great fact that the land, which and from which all mankind must live, has been the private property of a few. …As man is a land animal, land being absolutely necessary to his life, the man who commands the land commands other men. …Proclaim the great great truth that every human being born in Scotland has an inalienable and equal right to the soil of Scotland. …It is not necessary to divide the land. You can easily take the revenue that comes from the land for public purposes. There is nothing radical in this - it is a highly conservative proposition. "

Five hundred persons remained to organize the Scottish Restoration League. At a second meeting, 2,000 persons enrolled. While John Bright inveighed against the "wildest reform imported by an American inventor", supporting societies sprang up all over Scotland. At Oxford University, George's lecture was interrupted by hecklers, chief of whom was his host's son. He had not read Progress and Poverty, and was ignorant of the subject. Yet this did not end the friendship between George and the heckler's father, F. Max Muller. At Cambridge University, George influenced a large and dignified audience, including Mary Gladstone, daughter of the Prime Minister.

Many speeches and strenuous work followed in the next four months. Inspired and encouraged, George wearied, and lapsed into periods of forgetfulness. Leaving a railroad station, he discovered he had another's luggage with a woman's work shoes instead of his manuscripts. Trying to recover his own, he was accosted with having "stolen a pair of valuable shoes and stuffed in their place a bunch of waste paper."

George was always genial, rarely sarcastic. Unknown to a critic who called George a "pestilential agitator", George would argue against his own ideas, that the erstwhile antagonist would come to defend the idea he had at first condemned. Introduced to Cardinal Manning, George said, "My love of the people brought me to Christ as their best friend and teacher."

"And I," said the Cardinal, "loved Christ and so learned to love the people for whom he died."

George greeted his American friends in April, 1884, by a speech at Cooper Union which surprised them with his his newly-developed eloquence. But the audience was small - George was no longer a novelty. People saw him as a menace to vested interests and special privilege. Fearful of altering the status quo, many were shying from a man bent on a fundamental change in the economic order. So George set himself to writing again, this time to defend himself from an attack in the April, 1884, Nineteenth Century by the Duke of Argyll. The Lord Privy Seal of London had termed "the Prophet of San Francisco" "a communist who hates the name of Malthus."

George set the Duke straight. Far from being a communist, George disagreed with Malthus "that a population would overtake subsistence." George emphasized the difference between possession and ownership of land. Under land-value taxation, an individual's right to ownership of his earned property would be inviolable - more so than under today's system. The Duke must have overlooked the passage in Progress and Poverty:

"The value of the land expresses in exact and tangible form the right of the community in land held by an individual. Rent expresses the exact amount which the individual should pay to the community to satisfy the equal rights of all other members of the community. Thus if we concede to priority of possession the undistributed use of land, collecting rent for the benefit of the community, we reconcile the fixity of tenure which is necessary for improvement, with a full and complete recognition of the equal rights of all to the use of land.

"Let the individuals who now hold it still retain, if they want to, possession of what they call their land. Let them buy and sell and bequeath and devise it. It is not necessary to confiscate land - it is only necessary to confiscate rent."

While the Duke maintained that "the world has never seen such a preacher of unrighteousness as Henry George," George replied, "The Duke declares it has not been his aim to argue. I wish it had not been his aim to misrepresent." In Scotland, George had ample proof of poverty caused by landed privilege, and he was invited to reply to the Duke in many journals. His "Reduction to Inquity" in the Nineteenth Century, later spread through England as "The Peer and the Prophet" and in America as "Property in Land".

George returned to America, and withdrew to a friend's farm on Long Island to write Protection and Free Trade. Before its completion, he returned to England, now to speak to overflow crowds of seven, ten, or more thousands of persons. One who heard him was Chamberlain, who had been electrified by Progress and Poverty. The Royal Commission on Housing (including the Prince of Wales, Cardinal Manning, and Lord Salisbury, recommended that a tax of 4% on the selling price of land be placed on vacant or inadequately-used land. However, this was quashed by Tory members.

Tom L. Johnson, a young Clevelander, had been impressed by George's Social Problems, and had asked his lawyer to assess it. The lawyer marked several points of which he was doubtful, but on restudying it, he said to Johnson, "I've read that book three times, and have rubbed out every damn point." Later, when Johnson was head of Johnson Steel Co., he visited George and said, "I can't write. I can't speak. But I can make money. Can I help?"

George answered, "Money can help, but you will never know whether you can write or speak until you have tried." Johnson ordered copies of Protection and Free Trade (which George had completed in 1885) sent to every lawyer and minister in Cleveland.

In the summer of 1886, events directed George's life into politics. A committee representing 165 labor organizations asked him to be their candidate for mayor of New York City. George replied that he could not interrupt his writing. They repeated their invitation. Again, George declined, saying labor was not strong enough to "break Tammany Hall". The committee closed its ranks, and assured George on their third invitation that 50,000 members were solidly behind him.

Father McGlynn, Louis Post, and others of George's friends encouraged George to run. Believing that his next response would end all discussion of the mayorality, George said he would run if 30,000 persons would sign a petition of their support.

George's candidacy was a threat not only to Tammany, but to the Democratic Party which had become a corrupt faction in New York politics. William Ivans, on behalf of the Democrats, asked George to withdraw his candidacy, assuring George "that he could not possibly win."

"If I cannot win, why do you then urge my withdrawal?" George asked.

"You cannot win, but your running will raise hell," Irwin said.

"You relieve me," replied George. "I do not want the work and the responsibility of being mayor of New York City. But I do want to raise hell. I will run."

George wrote his friends, "The campaign will do more than any writing to bring the land question into the public."

George was chosen the candidate of the Trade and Labor Conference on the first ballot. They accepted his platform: taxation of land values, abolition of all other taxes, municipal ownership of railroads and telegraph, and a reformed secret ballot.

A growing resistance to Tammany and its Democratic Party followers known as Irving Hall, welcomed Henry George's nomination. Leading ministers and clergymen, including Father McGlynn, endorsed George. Father McGlynn was told by his bishop that he was "in violation of your earlier promises", and that he was "not to associate with George and his socialism." McGlynn replied that his understanding of earlier commitment was "to make no more speeches about the Irish land question."

Henry George accepted the nomination on October 5, 1886, at Cooper Union. He said:

"I prefer to go before politics - to lead the way with ideas; but if elected, I will uphold the rights of all men, as opposed to privilege. The value of the land of this city, by reason of the great population, belongs to us to apply to the welfare of all the people.

"I came from the West years ago, unknown, knowing nobody, but I saw and recognized the shocking contrast between monstrous wealth and debasing want. I vowed to seek out, if I could, the remedy. It is because of that, that I present myself tonight for the chief office of your city, espousing the cause not only of your rights, but of children and those who are weaker than you. "

George's opponent in the "regular" Democratic Party was A.S. Hewitt. The Republicans nominated a young man of ability and private means, Theodore Roosevelt. The press of New York arrayed almost solidly against the Labor candidate - except for Louis F. Post's Leader. Some called him a humbug and a busybody, a danger to civilization, attacking the sacred rights of property, of preaching anarchy and destruction. George replied:

"All this a man must expect if he does battle against a great social injustice. If he is wise, he will be content, knowing that 'never yet share of truth was vainly set in the world's wide fallow. "

As election approached, rumor spread that Father McGlynn had deserted George. But the priest stated to the press, "Each day, more and more earnestly, I desire to see George's triumphant election. I know of no man I admire and love so much. I believe he is one of the greatest geniuses that the world has ever seen, and that the greatness of his heart fully equals the magnificent gifts of his intellect."

Hewitt regarded the election of George and his "doctrine of confiscation" the greatest possible calamity to New York. He appealed for the Roosevelt vote, but Roosevelt (then 28) had no intention of throwing his vote to Tammany.

Roosevelt was quoted as saying, "I oppose Hewitt simply because he is a figure-head of the same party that has misgoverned this city for the last quarter of a century."

On the Saturday before election, George's supporters staged a giant demonstration. A crowd of some 50,000 paraded in, shouting acclaim past George on the reviewing stand. On Sunday, leaflets, newspapers, and denunciations from Catholic pulpits were directed at Henry George. That night, George said:

"A civilization cannot stand that which is not based on justice. …The campaign is over. I have done my part. It remains for you to do yours. I ask no man to vote for a candidate, but to vote for principle . …I am glad it has rested on me to begin what I believe is the grandest work ever begun in America, to lead in a movement for justice.''

But New York had no Australian secret ballot. Each party had to print its own ballots, distribute them, and provide its own voting booths. The new party was under a cruel disadvantage. The counting of ballots was careless and slipshod, easily open to mishandling and fraud. In some places there were no George ballots. Some places had no Labor Party watchers. One loyal George supporter tearfully told Mrs. George that he had seen 20 ballots for George counted for Hewitt.

Gustavus Myers testified that the vote of the Labor forces was so overwhelming that even piles of fraudulent votes could not overcome it. A final maneuver was left - to "count out" Henry George. According to numerous eye-witnesses, this was done. The Labor Party was deliberately cheated out of an election it had won, in the teeth of the fiercest and most corrupt opposition.

Charles Edward Russell recalled, "When the last vote had been deposited, Henry George was elected Mayor of New York. In the next three hours, he was deprived of his victory by the simple process of manipulating the returns."

Twelve years later, Richard Crocker admitted the manipulation: "They would not allow a man like Henry George to be Mayor of New York. It would upset all their arrangements."

The "official" vote reported was: A.S. Hewitt: 90,552; Henry George: 68,140; Theodore Roosevelt: 60,435. Henry George cheerily said, "I'll buy some pens and ink and go back to writing." Congratulations poured in from all over the world. New York newspapers were surprisingly sympathetic. Said Henry George:

"We have begun a movement that, defeated and defeated, must still go on. All the great currents of our time, all the aspirations of the hearts of men, are with us and for us. They never fall who die in a good cause."

After the mayoralty election, Henry George followed a life-long ambition and organized his own newspaper, The Standard. In the first issue, January 8, 1887, was his eight-and-one-half-inch column article on "The McGlynn Case", which proved to be a sensation. The Roman Catholic Church had declared the economist's teaching "unsound and unsafe" - and commended that Catholics be "on guard against theories and principles that assail the rights of property."

To this, Father McGlynn responded. In an interview with the New York Tribune he defended George's principles as not being contrary to the Church's teachings. The Archbishop suspended McGlynn for the remainder of the year, reported to Rome, and McGlynn was ordered to the Vatican for trial.

The priest replied that because of a heart illness and other grave reasons, he could not comply. The Archbishop extended the suspension until the Pope should act. In The Standard, George said:

"In taking part in politics, Fr. McGlynn has done nothing inconsistent with his duty as a Catholic priest. The Catholic Church does not deny the propriety of the priest exercising all the functions of a citizen [to say nothing of the past when bishops and cardinals held political offices in Germany, France, and Italy.]"

While George refrained from attacking the Church, he asked, "What chance has a simple suspended priest before a tribunal where united Ireland could barely get consideration?"

The Standard with this article attracted so much attention that in two editions, 75,000 copies were sold. Few other newspapers supported McGlynn. George fought on, asking, "Is it not time that we demand that American priests be released from the abuse which makes them political slaves?"

On January 14, 1887, Father McGlynn was removed from St. Stephens. The choir and the altar boys went on strike; engineers refused to make fire. Thousands of angry Catholics protested the McGlynn treatment at Madison Square Garden. Father McGlynn was silent until March 29, when, with many of his old parishioners, he helped form the Anti-Poverty League, open to all creeds and classes, "not to alleviate poverty by half-way measures, but to declare war against the cause of poverty itself." Father McGlynn was chosen president, Henry George vice-president. Said Henry George:

"Here is the marriage of what too long has been severed - the union of religious sentiment with aspiration for social reform. Widespread property is not in accordance with God's will, but in defiance of God's order - to urge men to the duty of sweeping away injustice."

Early in May, the Archbishop informed McGlynn that he had been summoned to Rome and that he had forty days to comply or be excommunicated. McGlynn stoutly refused, and a giant parade of 75,000 Catholic workingmen protested the order. Forty days later, on July 3, the church he had served for 25 years excommunicated Father McGlynn.


George continued his political interests. The New York State Convention of the United Labor Party was held in August. The Socialists tried to swing the Party (and George) in their direction, but George refused - he did not advocate nationalization of land, nor the abolition of all private property. George did accept the nomination for Secretary of State, and waged an active campaign, supported by William Lloyd Garrison, son of the great abolitionist, and a convert to George's doctrines. Now Henry George, Louis Post, and others campaigned in what was known as the "Single Tax" movement. Major figures did not respond. Theodore Roosevelt said, "George's program is a step for land confiscation and anarchy." (The first George never advocated, and then to link him with anarchy implied contempt.) Henry George was defeated, as was Louis F. Post, candidate for district attorney. George inspired his followers, changing their tears to cheers. He ended with:

"When a truth like ours comes into the world, when it gets as far as this has done, then the future is secure. "

In late 1888, British member of Parliament William Saunders took George with him for his fourth brief and rousing tour of Great Britain. Under the auspices of the Henry George Institute, he asked in Glasgow in "Thy Kingdom Come":

"Why was Christianity persecuted? Because Christianity was a great movement for social reform - a doctrine of human equality. It struck at the base of that monstrous tyranny that then oppressed the civilized world - a monstrous injustice that allowed a class to revel on the proceeds of labor, while those who did labor fared scantily."

In the summer of 1889, George was in Paris for the International Conference for Land and Social Reform. In his opening speech, George again declared the land question the starting point for all reform:

"It is an error to believe the land question relates only to agriculture. It concerns directly all who have to pay rent, all who produce or exchange goods.

"Land monopoly is the primary cause of poverty. Land monopoly is the source of the accumulation of capital into the hands of a few. Through rents, royalties, tolls, and tributes of all kinds, through the increase of value of improvements, the landowner acquires capital. This he invests in the bank, in trade, in industry, in loans, mortgages, stocks, in government and municipal bonds. He builds up a tremendous financial corporation which presses heavily on the world of labor. It is from landed privilege that great fortunes have sprung. The concentration of capital is the child of land monopoly. "

After a few months in New York, Henry and Anna George set sail for Australia in January, 1890, in response to the Sydney Single Tax Association. George told his friends that taking his wife on trips paid for her expenses in the clothes and tickets she saved him from losing. In spite of her watchful eye, there were lapses on the cross-country trip. From St. Louis, she wrote her son, "Your father thus far has exchanged his own for other people's hats only five times."

The return of the Georges to San Francisco was a triumph. From the same stage in Metropolitan Hall, where twelve years before the "gas measurer" had made his first plea to an almost empty house, George faced an overflow audience. He was now a world citizen - a finished, polished orator. A hundred prominent citizens were on the stage, and there was a pandemonium of welcome at George's appearance. For two hours, he held his audience spellbound. In the swarm of praise and congratulations, George was absolute master of himself. Second and repeated meetings were necessary to reach all who wanted to hear and meet Henry George.

The visit in Australia had deep significance for the Georges. It was Anna's first visit to her native land since she left as a child. To Henry, who had been there as a cabin boy, Australia was the land of enlightenment - the country of the secret ballot, where railroads were publicly owned, where savings banks and parcel post were common. A bewildering succession of meetings, receptions, luncheons, interviews continued for three and a half months. The Sydney Herald reported, "George spoke without manuscript, notes, or other accessory, and achieved an intellectual feat."

The Australian Star discounted George's literary style and magnetic tongue and called his followers "deluded". Another reporter noted, "Out of thirteen different orations, there was no repetition of words or phrases, although in each case the central truth was portrayed with utmost earnestness."

In Melbourne, a protectionist stronghold, the Evening Standard said, "Henry George boldly attacked their favorite doctrine of protection not only with the arms of logic, but of withering scorn. That he not only carried with him the forebearance, but continuous and enthusiastic applause of an immense audience, is more than a testimony to the public admiration of genuine pluck."

In later meetings, audiences steadily increased, with more than 3,000 at his debate, "Free Trade vs. Protection" with a Member of Parliament. The Melbourne Telegraph reported, "Our local man was utterly lost."

Enroute to North America, George again lectured in Glasgow and England (his sixth visit). He and Anna arrived in New York September 1, 1890, for the first national Single Tax Conference at Cooper Union. George wrote a platform, made speeches, and constantly interviewed people. A lecture trip to New England followed, then a longer trip to the Southwest. He worked early and late, under continuing pressure. One day in December, the break came which his friends had feared. George admitted pain. Shortly afterward, he was stricken with aphasia. Nerve strain had resulted in a slight hemorrhage of the brain in the speech center.

George would not retire for rest and recuperation. Their friends financed a trip to Bermuda, where George enjoyed bicycling, and he returned to New York, encouraging his family and friends to join this sport, including the portly Tom Johnson.

For a succession of summers, the Georges lived in Sullivan County, N.Y., at Merriewold, on wild woodland near his friend, Louis F. Post.

In 1891, Pope Leo XII issued an encyclical letter. Many persons, including Cardinal Manning, felt this message was aimed primarily at the Georgist philosophy. At Merriewold, George prepared an answer to the Pope called, The Condition of Labor. He explained carefully how his views differed from anarchism or socialism, and what he advocated in the hope of economic reform. It was published simultaneously in New York and London, translated into Italian, and a special copy was presented to the Pope through the Prefect of the Vatican Library.

In 1892, George wrote:

"Whether Pope Leo XII has ever read my letter I cannot tell, but he is acting as though he not only read it, but recognized his force. He has quietly but effectively sat down on the toryism of his prelates. Their fighting the public schools has stopped. Dr. McGlynn is to be restored, and the fighting of the Single Tax as opposed to Catholicism effectually ended."

Archbishop Satolli visited the United States as a representative of the Pope to listen to arguments for reversal of Father McGlynn's excommunication. Written and oral examinations were found to contain nothing contrary to the teachings of the Church. Father McGlynn was not only reinstated, but he was given permission to teach the Georgist philosophy anywhere he chose. The next Spring, Father McGlynn made a trip to Rome, had an audience with the Pope, and received the Pope's blessing.

One of the most understanding reviews of The Condition of Labor appeared in the Swedenborgian periodical, The New Church Messenger, authored by the second wife of Louis F. Post.


George had earlier acclaimed Herbert Spencer's Social Statics far and wide. In 1892, however, George wrote a book analyzing Spencer's reversal of his earlier support of public use of land values. Titled A Perplexed Philosopher, George introduced his new book in The Standard by saying:

"Seven years ago in a London salon crowded with distinguished persons of literature, science, and politics, I met Herbert Spencer and heard him declare vehemently in favor of any amount of coercion in Ireland that was necessary for the tenants to pay their rents. . ."

This return to materialism by Spencer led George to say in The Perplexed Philosopher:

"The philosopher whose authority is now invoked to deny the masses any right to the physical basis of life is also the philosopher whose authority darkens to many the hope of life hereafter. …Mr. Spencer makes no change in his premises, but only in his conclusions, and now sustains private property in land. …It is due that I should make his rejections of those conclusions as widely known as I can, and thus correct the mistake of those who couple us together as holding views he now opposes."

While Perplexed Philosopher was widely read, it brought no response from Herbert Spencer.

Now that The Standard seemed no longer needed to introduce "our movement", George suspended publication and turned to his larger task of a full treatment of the science of political economy.

His other books were reaching a wide audience. Tom Johnson, now in the U.S. House of Representatives, had Protection or Free Trade put into the Congressional Record in six sections. (The high tariff Republicans retaliated by inserting in the Record a book which defended monopolies.) This matter was discussed all over the country and some two million copies of Protection or Free Trade were circulated (for two cents a copy) in its first eight years. No other work in economics, except Progress and Poverty, has such a record. George was in the gallery to hear Tom Johnson, whose business was manufacturing steel rails, argue in Congress to put his own product on the free list, and make an impassioned plea to abolish the tariff in its entirety. (Someone pointed in derision to the "master" listening - upon which many left their seats to climb the stairs to shake hands with the quiet listener.) Duty on steel rails was not lowered, however.

George objected strongly when President Cleveland (without local request) sent Federal troops to quell the Chicago railroad strike, saying:

"I yield to nobody in respect for the rights of property. But the principle of liberty is more important. I would rather see every rail torn up than to have them preserved by means of a Federal standing army."

Tom Johnson introduced in 1894 a Single Tax amendment to the U.S. Income Tax bill. It got six votes, but a rousing cheer for the six men when they stood up. In New York City, Henry George refused to join a move to replace East Side tenements with better housing, asking:

"You want 600 cubic feet of air for each resident? Where are the people turned out of these tenements to go? Into the streets, police stations and almshouse? The greatest quack is he who would substitute charity for justice - who tells you that in instituting reform, no one need be hurt."

A listening audience cheered loud and long.

Rather than using money to build better houses, George made it clear that taxing land according to its value would make it too expensive to use such land for slums. Untaxing improvements would automatically produce good buildings instead of human rookeries. These were the quickest, the most just, and the most fundamental means of slum clearance.

At 58 years, Henry George had enjoyed a life crowded with adventure and work. Not only had he known personal poverty and much personal worry, but he had launched a movement which had survived opposition, defended by his own unswerving faith and indomitable good will. In 1897, he grieved over the loss of his adored sister, Jennie. Later, however, he became cheered by the generosity of Tom Johnson and August Lewis, and he began to work again on Political Economy, a book which remains unfinished.

In 1897, Henry George knew he was not well. He was quietly putting his house in order. When reports came that he would again be asked to run for Mayor of New York on an independent ticket, his physician warned that such stress could be fatal. Henry George replied, "I've got to die, and what can be better than die fighting for the people?"

Pressure from radical Democrats to have George accept the nomination increased steadily. George called a meeting of thirty friends who knew he did not desire political place. Had he time to finish his book? Time to make one more appeal to the people? He silenced their concern for his physical condition. When they had spoken, he knew that his candidacy would bring again before the voters the ideals for which the group stood. Plainly, therefore, it was his duty to accept the nomination. One of his friends said, "We went away as one, fired with devotion to Henry George, and lifted to his plan for the hour."

George insisted that his wife should be consulted - should he accept even though it cost him his life? "You should do your duty at whatever cost," she replied quietly.

Henry George accepted the nomination of "The Party of Thomas Jefferson" on the night of October 5 at an overflow meeting at Cooper Union. Anna, and the younger daughter, also named Anna, sat on the crowded stage. They watched with fear as Henry George, with ashen face and frail body, stood as the audience thundered approval. George's voice gained volume as he promised to represent:

"... those who think men are created free to equal opportunity . . . No greater honor can be given to any man than to stand for that. What counts a few years? I accept the nomination without wavering or turning, whether those who stand with me be few or many.''

Three weeks of intensive work in the four-cornered fight for Mayor of New York followed - weeks of excitement and boundless enthusiasm for the Jeffersonian Democrats. Willis J. Abbot, later editor of Christian Science Monitor, chaired the campaign committee. Funds came from small contributions, larger ones from Tom Johnson and a few friends. People from other places came to New York to assist "this man with a large mind who can think better than most." The committee saved George's energy where it could, but many days he made four and five speeches. He seemed to thrive under the pressure, keener and stronger than he had been for months. Anna was always with him, at his request.

On the Thursday before the Tuesday election, George appeared at five audiences. "A figure of remarkable pathos," reported a journalist. ' 'He seemed more like a racked and wounded saint than a man stumping for political office."

George was introduced as a friend of labor, George replied:

"I have never advocated special sympathy or rights for the working man. What I stand for is the equal rights of all men."

At the Flushing meeting, George's friend, Daniel Carter Beard, was alarmed at George's fatigue, and urged him to return home. George refused:

"These people have come to hear me speak. So long as I can speak, I shall speak. I do not attempt to dictate to you. I hope, however, that you rebuke the one-man power by not voting for the candidate of the bosses. He would help the people - I would help the people help themselves."

The George party sped to the Manhattan Opera House. It was after eleven o'clock, and George had almost to be carried to the stage. A cry arose, "Hail, Henry George, friend of the laboring man!"

George corrected: "I am for man!"

Not until one a.m. did the Georges reach their home. Toward morning, Anna noted that her husband had left the room. She found him standing with one hand on a chair. His face was white, his body rigid, his head up, his eyes penetrating, his voice repeating, "Yes!" with more and more vigor. Mrs. George drew him to a couch, and friends hurried for Dr. Kelley. His physician knew that nothing could revive George. He tried to comfort Anna, but this often cynical and tender-hearted friend fell weeping into a chair.

Henry George was dead.


Within an hour, the news was on the streets in extra editions. Everywhere people were visibly affected. Many wept. Only at Tammany Hall were people laughing and joking. Said the New York Sun, "Since the Civil War, few announcements have been more startling than that of the sudden death of Henry George." The press of the world, friendly or antagonistic, united in speaking of his integrity and purpose.

An editorial in the New York Journal concluded, "George was undoubtedly the most popular economic writer that ever lived. New York mourns her great citizen."

In the New York Times: "He coveted neither wealth nor leisure; ambition did not move him. His courage, moral and intellectual, was unwavering, prompt, and steadfast."

Tom Johnson could hardly speak. He put his hands on Henry George, Jr.'s shoulders and murmured, "They have nominated you in your father's place."

Young George turned pale, but after a silence, he said, "I stand for the principles for which my father stood. I pledge myself to carry them out."

The coffin, drawn by sixteen horses, moved toward Brooklyn among an unbroken line of people, five deep, uncovered, silent, sorrowful. The march passed City Hall where this man might have governed. It was dark and empty, no sound except the tolling of a bell. On the bridge, all traffic stopped. The next morning, the body was laid to rest on the hillside in Greenwood, under the broad sky looking toward the ocean.

Father Dawson of Dublin added the final tribute: "He was one of the really great - pure of heart, loving his fellow-men, a citizen of the world."

On Henry George's gravestone appears:

"The truth that I have tried to make clear will not find easy acceptance. If that could be, it would have been accepted long ago. If that could be, it would never have been obscurred. But it will find friends - those who will toil for it, suffer for it, if need be, die for it."