The Single Tax and the Labor Movement
Peter Alexander Speek
[A Bulletin of the University of Wisconsin, No. 878,
1917, pp. 73-89]
Besides the taxes of the members of unions, another source was found
in individual donations by workingmen and in penny collections -- by
passing the hat -- at meetings of workingmen, especially at the
political mass meetings. But the money secured in this way was not
enough to meet the usual legitimate campaign expenses -- printing and
distributing ballots, and so forth. The deficit was met by several
close friends of Henry George, as, for example, Thomas G. Shearman and
Tom L. Johnson. Some money, though in small sums, came through the
mails from outside sympathizers. Most of the campaign work was done by
volunteers without pay. Everyone who sympathized with the campaign
tried to do or to give something for its success. In this way were met
the campaign expenses, which were really small as compared with those
of the opposing parties, but which were heavy in comparison with the
resources of the workingmen.
CAMPAIGN PRESS -- THE LEADER
At the starting of the campaign, the need of an English campaign
daily paper became a genuine necessity. This had been anticipated in a
resolution introduced by Ludwig Jablinowski, cigarmaker, at the
meeting of the Central Labor Union, July 11, 1886. The resolution was
realized very soon after the beginning of the campaign. A new labor
daily paper was called into life under the title of
The Leader. The Central Labor Union came again to the front
with a contribution of $1000, and the affiliated unions followed suit
-- the Carpenters' contributed $1500 and other unions $100 each for
the new labor daily. Among the individual contributors were
Socialists, labor unionists, Knights of Labor, Singletaxers,
Greenbackers, and many other sympathizers not affiliated with the
labor movement. However, the Central Labor Union and individual
unions, especially their radical wing, constituted the majority of the
contributors. The financial side of The Leader was organized
independently of any existing organization, in the form of the
shareholding Leader Company. This was incorporated under the New York
law for corporations without profit, each shareholder being entitled
to only one vote, irrespective of the number of shares he had -- a
democratic rule adhered to by the laboring people all the world over.
Louis F. Post was elected by the shareholders editor in chief.
The Leader at its beginning repudiated the idea that the
movement was a class movement. The struggle "is in fact between
the masses and the classes", meaning under the latter term the
political corruptionists of all sorts.
The circulation of The Leader fluctuated between 30,000 and
50,000. The first copy was sold in the number of 35,000 and the second
of 52,000 and it was almost self-supporting. The small deficit
which occasionally occurred was very easily covered by donations and
by the income from The Leader fairs and dances organized for
that purpose by labor unions.
The small Leader and the yet smaller Volkszeitung in
German and the Irish World constituted the sole campaign
press for organized labor. This was too weak as compared with the
rich, powerful and widely read press of the opposing parties,
Democratic and Republican.
The entire press of the old parties took a very hostile stand toward
the political movement of organized labor; especially did the Daily
Illustrated Graphic, the Evening Post and Harper's
Weekly severely attack the labor movement and its standard bearer,
Henry George, calling him another Jack Cade and expressing the fear
that he might "get a vote large enough to demoralize the officers
of the law and diminish the protection we now enjoy against the mob
violence." The Sun reported that Henry George had said
in a speech that the bloody French Revolution would now repeat itself
in America. This report was quoted by other papers, again and again,
for a long time, notwithstanding its inconsistency with the political
principles put forward by organized labor and in spite of direct
denials by Henry George.
In general, the press of the old parties under the issue ''to save
society from mob violence" branded the organized labor behind the
movement as "hordes of anarchists" and their standard bearer
in the campaign, Henry George, as "marauder," an "assailant
of other people's rights," a "leveller," a "robber
of the poor," a "revolutionist," a "man who
attacks the sacred foundation of property," a "recreant of
liberty," and an "apostle of anarchy and destruction,"
whose purpose is "to array workingmen against millionaires."
A story even was created by some San Francisco papers and readily
quoted by several New York papers to the effect that Henry George had
had some connection with piracy. As the tale was obviously too
ridiculous to be believed, it was soon dropped.
The Leader thus stood on firm ground when it pointed out that "Some
papers make out Henry George to be an insane man, with a torch in one
hand and a knife in the other, yelling for the rich man's blood.''
While the independent political movement of organized labor was so
pitilessly battered by the press of old parties it was not left
without critical attention by the other side, the Anarchists. The
widely known German Anarchist, Johann Most, wrote in his paper Freiheit:
"George's election would not change an iota In the
present social system. A man who desires to bring about an
Improvement must proclaim the overthrow of all existing laws,
and not the promising to carry them out, as George has done. And who
is George, anyhow? Only look at the gang who are supporting him:
Social quacks, Knights of Labor, Trade Unionists, school teachers,
professors, priests! A fine assortment, indeed. That is sufficient
for us. By a man's" company you may judge what he is himself."
In this manner the independent political movement of organized labor
was under a cross fire in the periodical press. From one side it was
bombarded by the powerful press of the old parties, from the other by
the Anarchists' paper.
At first the politicians of the old parties and their press refused
to take the independent political labor movement seriously. At least,
one gets such an impression from the reports in the large New York
dailies on the labor meetings at which independent political action
was then being discussed. But when the movement grew wider, especially
when the Labor Conference was organized, the preliminary meetings of
which were earnest, lively and fairly attended, and finally, when
Henry George was nominated as the representative of organized labor,
for whose candidacy more than 30,000 pledges were so easily secured,
the local Democratic and Republican leaders became greatly alarmed.
The joking mood of their press was changed to one of serious attention
to the new movement of labor.
The local Democratic party was divided at that time into two main
factions, Tammany Hall and the County Democracy, which quarreled with
each other. Their first joint move was an attempt to bribe Henry
George, not long before his formal nomination. This was attempted
through the agency of William M. Ivins, then Chamberlain of the city
of New York. A few days before his death Henry George made the
"Mr. Ivins insisted that I could not possibly be
elected mayor of New York, no matter how many people might vote for
me; that the men who voted knew nothing of the real forces that
dominated New York. He said that I could not possibly be counted in.
He offered in behalf of Tammany Hall and the County Democracy that
if I would refuse the nomination for mayor, they would run me for
congress, select a city district in which the nomination of the two
was equivalent to election; that I should be at no expense whatever,
but might go to Europe or anywhere I willed, and when I came back
should receive a certificate of election to the House of
Henry George refused the bribe. The Democratic leaders were not
afraid that Henry George could be elected, but they did not like that
the movement should ''raise hell," as they termed the
consequences of the near victory of labor. The Tammany Convention took
place October 11. A number of delegates favored the nomination of
Henry George, but the Tammany leaders paid no attention to those
voices. Yet they were somewhat afraid to put forward a candidate of
their own. Therefore they nominated and "steam-rolled" a man
of the other faction -- the County Democracy -- Abram S. Hewitt, of
the large iron manufacturing firm of Cooper, Hewitt & Company, who
had been congressman from New York for years. After the County
Democracy had indorsed his nomination, a joint committee consisting of
the leaders of both democratic factions visited Mr. Hewitt at his own
request. To this committee Mr. Hewitt read his letter of acceptance,
in which he said that a new issue had been suddenly sprung upon the
community. An attempt had been made to organize one class of the
citizens against all other classes, and to place the government of the
city in the hands of men willing to represent the special interest of
the laboring class to the exclusion of the just rights of the other
classes even though a large majority of all classes are owners of
property, either real or personal. Any attempt upon the right of
property is therefore directed by a small minority against the great
majority. The injurious effects, arising from the conclusion that any
considerable proportion of our people desire to substitute the idea of
Anarchists, Nihilists, Communists, Socialists and mere theorists for
the democratic principle of individual liberty, would react with the
greatest severity upon those who depend upon their daily labor for
their daily bread; that if the dreams of these theorists could be
realized, the chief sufferers would be the workingmen whose condition
they propose and undoubtedly hope to improve; that between capital and
labor there never is, and never can be, any antagonism; they are
natural and inseparable allies; but between capitalists, or those who
control capital, and laborers, there may be a conflict of interests,
which, like all other disputes, must be adjusted by mutual
concessions, or by the operation of law, that this was the issue,
"which as I understand the action of the Democratic
party in placing me in nomination, has forced its leading
organizations to a patriotic union which might otherwise have been
impossible. It behooves the people of this city to pass sentence of
condemnation in no uncertain tones upon the effort to array class
against class and to unsettle toe foundations upon which its
business and its security rest."
In conclusion he thanked the press for the manner in which his
nomination was received.
The above issue was repeated and expanded by Mr. Hewitt at the
Democratic ratification meeting, October 22, when he said in part:
"So far as my life is concerned, the riches which I
have accumulated have been used in giving employment to labor, and
-- let the record go down -- every dollar that I own today, without
exception, is employed in giving occupation to men who are willing
to work for their living.
If men worked more and talked less
there would not be half the trouble.
I am told that I am a
kind of millionaire and I saw it stated by Henry George
the millionaires of the city were willing to supply an unlimited
amount of money for this canvass. I have not yet seen or heard Of
any of these millionaires. But if this fight is to be fought as it
ought to be fought, so as to lead to a glorious victory, then every
millionaire ought to put up the cash."
Mr. Hewitt then went on to criticize the Republicans for taking an
independent part in the campaign, thereby splitting the vote against
Henry George. "There is not a man in this city who thinks that
Roosevelt has any chance against him. It is not a fight between the
Republicans and Democrats. This fight is between Henry George and
Abram S. Hewitt." (which meant between labor and capital).
Mr. Hewitt blamed Theodore Roosevelt, a "rich and well-born,
highly educated and absolutely honest man," for not attacking
Henry George and his doctrines. "These rich Republicans and these
rich millionaires -- nay, have they not at the Union League Club
indorsed Mr. Roosevelt?
I am the candidate of every honest and
respectable man in New York."
It thus becomes obvious that Mr. Hewitt was clear sighted enough to
recognize and understand the real nature of the independent political
movement of organized labor. To him it was a class movement, and meant
the struggle between labor and capital, taking the two latter not in
the sense of the physical agents of production, but in the sense of
employees and employers, or, in other words, wage earners and
capitalists. He, representing the interests of the latter, being
himself a big capitalist, naturally opposed the labor movement as
dangerous to his class interests, and fought it hard and condemned it
in harsh words. For him the class struggle between labor and capital
was the issue, although for practical reasons he preferred .to put it
in a different form: To save society from mob violence by Anarchists,
Nihilists, Communists, Socialists and mere theorists -- one way of
saving the employers' interests from the onslaught of labor. He
rejected the Singletax issue and almost entirely ignored the secondary
issue of political corruption which figured so prominently in the
Clarendon Hall platform. He fought the battle in the campaign under
his own issue "to save society!"
The Democrats invited the Republicans to unite against the labor
candidate. But the Republicans, as a party, refused to do so, and
nominated Theodore Roosevelt as their own candidate for mayor. As the
main battle was going on between Henry George and Abram S. Hewitt, Mr.
Roosevelt did not make much of a personal canvass. Most important are
the interviews given out by him for the news reporters. In these he
branded the labor theories as "crude, vicious and unAmerican";
denied that the masses of the American people were in such bad
condition as the labor leaders claimed, and also, denied that there
were classes in America. In reply
The Leader characterized his views as a result of his
ignorance. "While, he (Mr. Roosevelt) has been fighting Jake Hess
for control of the Republican machine in the twenty-first district and
shooting game out West, he has had no time to study social problems he
evidently knows nothing of political economy."
The Democrats tried to secure votes from the Republican ranks for Mr.
Hewitt, but their endeavors were not very successful. Mr. Roosevelt
fell only about twenty-five thousand votes behind the usual Republican
vote, a part of which went over to Henry George.
IRVING HALL DEMOCRATS
There was a small faction of Democrats which had separated from
Tammany in the days of Tweed. This faction nominated their leader,
Robert B. Nooney, for President of the Board of Aldermen, but the
united Tammany Hall and County Democracy ignored these so-called
Irving Hall Democrats and nominated Mr. Peckman as their own candidate
for that office. This fact led to the endorsement of Henry George by
the Irving Hall Democrats. They met in convention, October 19,
nominated Rufus W. Peckman for the court of appeals, and adopted a
resolution indorsing Henry George for mayor. Prior to this resolution,
Henry George was asked to give his opinion on such an indorsement. He
accepted it without giving any pledges, and said: "Whoever
accepts me must accept me as the candidate of organized labor."
A week later he addressed the Irving Hail ratification meeting,
saying in part, that "We are making history in this campaign.
Again, the true democracy, the party of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew
Jackson, is coming to the front." Henry George very often
referred in his speeches to the above-named former presidents as the
representatives of a true democracy, to restore which he considered to
be a prime necessity for the general welfare of the American nation.
HENRY GEORGE CLUBS AND DISTRICT ASSOCIATIONS
At the beginning of the campaign, especially after the nomination of
Henry George for mayor, there appeared, here and there in the city,
Henry George Clubs. They were mainly organized by radical men of
liberal professions for the purpose of studying the land problem from
the standpoint of the singletax, and also to help along the political
campaign of organized labor. Especially earnest in the campaign work
was the Henry George Bohemian Club. The District Associations were
organized for purely campaign purposes. They distributed literature
and ballots, organized mass meetings, and did other necessary campaign
If the strength of these clubs and associations can not be compared
with that of trade unions, nevertheless their help was useful for the
success of the campaign.
OPEN EXCHANGE OF LETTERS BETWEEN HENRY GEORGE AND ABRAM HEWITT
Henry George replied in an open letter to the attack upon the labor
movement made by Mr. Hewitt, and said in part as follows:
"The great bugbear in your mind seems, however, to
be that this is a class movement, which, because it is a class
movement, is a direct attack upon social order .
heard so much of the working class that you evidently forget that
the working class is in reality not a class, but the mass,
and that any political movement in which they engage is not that of
one class against other classes, but as one English statesman has
happily phrased it. a movement of the 'masses against the classes.'
I do not stand as the candidate of handworkers alone. Among the men
who have given me the most truly democratic nomination given to an
American citizen In our time are not only handworkers, but
workingmen of all kinds -- editors, reporters, teachers, clergymen,
artists, authors, physicians, store-keepers, merchants -- in short,
representatives of all classes of men who earn their living by the
exertion of their hand and head."
Henry George then proposed to Hewitt to discuss jointly before the
public the issues involved in the campaign. Mr. Hewitt in his written
answer to the above letter of Henry George, October 19, rejected the
challenge on the ground that he had sufficient trust in the voters of
New York without any personal canvass. He then criticised the
singletax theory, calling it "a system of downright robbery."
To this letter Henry George replied, October 20, attacking existing
evils, especially the corruption exercised by politicians, and again
stating that the labor movement was not a class movement at all. ''It
is, in truth, a movement against the domination of a class."
Mr. Hewitt in his next letter, October 21, once more stated that the
political movement of labor was "an unmistakable effort to array
class against class, the direful consequences of which no man knows
better than yourself. In your frantic desire for office you seem not
to hesitate to wreck society to its foundation." Then Mr. Hewitt,
in an indirect way, defended the politicians, the corruption of which
Henry George attacked. In conclusion Mr. Hewitt stated that "revolution,
confiscation and robbery (meaning the singletax) are not less ruinous
to honest labor when they are disguised as a fantastic combination of
poverty and progress."
In his final open letter Henry George rejected the personal attacks
upon him and disclaimed responsibility for the incorrect quotations
from his speeches. He regretted that Mr. Hewitt in his letters had
ignored the question of political corruption and that he had refused
to discuss jointly the issues at a public meeting.
Such an open and lively exchange of letters between two leading
candidates greatly helped to arouse public interest in the coming
election, and this was a considerable gain for the labor movement,
since the Democratic party hardly profited anything by it. Mr. Hewitt
obviously was at a loss on two points: when he ignored the political
corruption known almost to everybody, and when he declined to discuss
the issues before a public meeting. Henry George was shrewd enough in
his letters to return again and again to these weak points in his
opponent's letters and to emphasize them. The general impression which
one gets from the comparison of the letters of both sides is that the
moral strength was on the side of Henry George. His weak points were
that he could not force the singletax as the main issue of the
movement and that he did not understand the nature of the movement at
the head of which he happened to be.
DEMOCRATIC MEETINGS AND SPEECHES
At the beginning of the campaign Mr. Hewitt declined to make any
personal canvass. But soon after seeing the active and offensive
campaign led by his main opponent, Henry George, and especially after
his open correspondence with the latter, he decided to go out and make
public speeches. The Democratic meetings lacked enthusiasm and were
not numerous. Only one was held in the open air.
In his public speeches Mr. Hewitt added only some minor points to
those treated in the open correspondence. At the Tammany Hall
ratification meeting, October 26, at which a resolution was adopted
declaring that the duty of the Democratic party was to overthrow the
labor movement at the polls, Mr. Hewitt in his speech defended the
American two-party system, and blamed Henry George for creating a
third, unnecessary and even harmful for American liberty. He then
defended the Tammany Hall people, saying: "You have known Tammany
Hall for many years; and did they ever drive men to the polls like
slaves to vote for any man? What is the penalty of disobedience? They
are never more to be tolerated in the society of their
fellow-workingmen." After this he returned to the issue of
class movement, criticizing Henry George for not accepting it: "He
tells me there is no class movement. When I charged him that he said
that it was a class movement he denied it."
At the meeting at Steinway Hall, October 29, a resolution was adopted
beginning with the following statement:
"In the coming election, by the candidacy of Henry
George the business interests of the city are menaced; the security
of property is threatened, and subversion of law and order is openly
advocated under specious appeals to the passion and prejudice of
In his speech Mr. Hewitt pointed out that the differences in
capacities and wealth among the people were due to the laws of Divine
Providence and, therefore, the preaching to one class the doctrine of
hate ought not to take place. In his speech at a meeting of Germans,
on the same evening, Mr. Hewitt characterized the labor movement in
the following terms: "The demon of discord, hate, anarchy, and
the enemy of all mankind threatens and the anarchists and communists
are rearing their heads." But he expressed hope that Henry
George would not defeat "the purposes of the Almighty."
How much Mr. Hewitt gained by his public speeches is not easy to say.
Although his meetings were far from crowded, the press carried his
speeches far and wide. "While he did not add anything of
importance to the thoughts expressed in his letters, nevertheless he
apparently succeeded in frightening the business men with the labor
movement, which to them was daily assuming more and more alarming
CONFLICT WITH THE AUTHORITIES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Edward McGlynn was born in New York of Irish parentage. He studied in
the College of The Propaganda at Rome for priesthood, after which he
was ordained at first as assistant and afterwards as parish priest of
St. Stephen's Church, New York. He was converted to the singletax
theory by reading
Progress and Poverty. Later he met Henry George and they
became intimate friends. McGlynn was a strong personality and an
impressive orator. In the Singletax agitation he came, in importance,
next to Henry George.
At the Chickering Hall meeting, October 1, McGlynn delivered an
eloquent address, strongly indorsing the candidacy of Henry George.
After that, the United Democracy attempted to create a prejudice among
Protestants, saying that the Catholic Church, through Henry George,
was seeking to get control of New York politics. This rumor did not
have any effect. The Protestant supporters of Henry George were quite
numerous and knew the real situation. Realizing soon this fact, the
United Democracy undertook to make it appear that the Catholic Church
was opposed to Henry George, and that Fr. McGlynn had withdrawn his
support from the labor movement. To refute this rumor, Fr. McGlynn
gave out a lengthy interview in which he spoke strongly in favor of
Henry George and his land reform scheme. In regard to Henry George he
"Large as his head is, he has, if anything, a heart
bigger than his head. It is the wonderfully humanitarian,
charitable, and, I may say, with all reverence, Christlike character
of the man's heart that has given the peculiar bent and direction to
It is this that makes him the prophet and the
apostle of the magnificent gospel of justice to the poor, to the
disinherited, to the workingmen (to all who work, whether with their
heads or with their hands), to all those who have to pay rent to
I believe that Mr. George is destined to be, and at
no distant day, the President of the United' States."
This interview evoked great alarm among the Tammany Hall people.
Joseph J. O'Donohue, chairman of Tammany Hall's Committee on
Resolutions, wrote a letter to the Right Rev. Mon-signor Thomas S.
Preston, Vicar-General of the Catholic Church, asking from him
information if it was true that the Catholic clergy were in favor of
the candidacy of Henry George. The Vicar-General answered, October 25,
stating that there was no question as to the position of the Catholic
clergy in New York:
"The great majority of the Catholic clergy in this
city are opposed to the candidacy of Mr. George. They think his
principles unsound and unsafe, and contrary to the teachings of the
church. I have not met one among the priests of his archdiocese who
would not deeply regret the election of Mr. George to any position
of influence. His principles, logically carried out, would prove the
ruin of the workingmen he professes to befriend.
we never interfere directly in elections, we would not wish now to
be misunderstood at a time when the best interests of society may be
This letter was circulated in front of Catholic churches and among
Catholic worshippers on their return from service. The Tammany Hall
press and politicians saw to it that the letter was made very widely
known. Its sole purpose was to support the Tammany people as against
the efforts of organized labor and their candidate, Henry George. The
conflict between Henry George and the Catholic Church afterwards grew
much wider, as we shall see in the next chapter.
LABOR MEETINGS AND SPEECHES OF HENRY GEORGE
The mass meetings organized by labor organizations and their leaders
for campaigning purposes differed in character and size from those of
the other parties. They were numerous and usually large. Most of them
were held in the open air, usually on the street corners. From the
system by which one speaker followed another, speaking at several
meeting places in a night, the labor campaign got its nickname of the
"tail-board-campaign." The common people, women and men,
gathered in hundreds and often in thousands around a place from which
the shifting speakers addressed the crowd.
This was a real educational campaign. Labor conditions, political
corruption, democracy, singletax and other such topics were widely
discussed. After every address some questions were put by the
listeners and answered by the speaker. After his acceptance speech,
Henry George delivered his first campaign speech before a densely
packed mass meeting at Chickering Hall, October 22. He explained at
length his singletax theory and existing conditions under the private
ownership of land. In reference to the latter he stated: "Here is
the primary injustice -- the root of all that is evil in what is
commonly called the conflict between labor and capital." But
if the singletax should be realized then it would "more than
anything else, promote general prosperity, raise wages, and bring
about a condition of general comfort." After this lengthy and
eloquent speech the listeners asked some questions. Upon the question
what had the theories of Henry George to do with the campaign, the
latter answered: ''They have this to do with the campaign: Mr. Hewitt
says that I ought to be beaten on account of my theories -- that I am
a mere theorist. My election will forward those theories simply by
increasing the discussion on them."
Among the campaign stories manufactured by the United Democracy
against Henry George during the last few days of the campaign was one
to the effect that T. V. Powderly, then the General Master Workman of
the Knights of Labor, was opposed to the election of Henry George. At
the beginning of the campaign, and also at this time his absence was
easily explained as an indication of his opposition to Henry George.
When this rumor reached Mr. Powderly he immediately telegraphed to his
friends in New York to call a mass-meeting, which he wanted to
address. This meeting was called on the eve of the election of
November 1. Mr. Powderly spoke very favorably for the independent
political action, condemned political, corruption, and strongly
indorsed the candidacy of Henry George. ''Vote early tomorrow morning
for yourself, your family, your country, and your God, in the person
of Henry George."
THE ELECTION AND VOTERS
Election day was the second of November. In round numbers the votes
cast were as follows: For Mr. Hewitt 90,000, for Henry George 68,000,
and for Mr. Roosevelt 60,000.
There were many reports that Henry George won the election but was
counted out, and that numbers of voters were bought by the Tammany
people. Be this as it may, the main interest lies in the question,
who, of what social position, were those sixty-eight thousand voters
who stood for the labor candidate in the election? There is no doubt
that the vast majority of them were members of labor organizations,
wage earners, and that a comparatively small number were men of
liberal profession and a yet smaller number were radical merchants and
manufacturers. It was really a political movement of organized labor
-- a class movement in its nature, helped along by a small number of
Although the campaign did not end in formal victory, the unexpectedly
large labor vote created enthusiasm, confidence in the united and
organized efforts by labor and bright hope for the future. It was a
remarkable and even a unique campaign in the history of American
politics. In a short period of time, without money, press influence,
and proper political organization, to unite diverse elements, diverse
not only as regards occupation, nationality, culture and language, but
also philosophies and political belief, and nearly to defeat, in a
clean and honest way, both rich and powerful old parties headed by
trained politicians -- was not such a campaign record-making? And
truly previous to the campaign of 1886 and after it, till our time,
there has not been in American municipal elections such a political
campaign undertaken by organized labor, united into one body and one
effort, except, it may be, the more recent Milwaukee and Los Angeles
campaigns where labor fought under the leadership of the Socialists.
The success of the campaign in 1886 is explained by the existing
industrial, political and legal conditions -- by the crying need that
labor should better oppressive conditions, by the unifying educational
work done by the Central Labor Union in the previous years, and by the
popular and powerful leadership of Henry George, whose non-partisan
attitude created a possibility for diverse elements to unite under his
leadership. A union creates feeling of solidarity, self-confidence,
and a hope for success, and this psychological factor is one of prime
importance in mass movements. The success of the campaign also had
purely practical beneficial results. A change in the attitude of the
parties in power toward the demands for better labor laws took place
after the campaign. If one compares the spirit and purpose of the
labor laws enacted in the previous four or five years with the spirit
and purpose enacted in 1887, one finds a marked difference. While the
former laws meant a "grand legal round-up" of labor, the
laws of 1887 were, though vaguely, directly to protect labor. For
instance, there was enacted at Albany, in 1887, a law providing for
adjustment of disputes between employers and employees and authorizing
the creation of Boards of Mediation and Arbitration. Besides, there
was enacted in 1887 a law for tenement house regulation, a law
providing for the labeling and marketing of convict-made goods, a
perfected mechanics' lien law, a law regulating employment of women
and children, a law regulating the hours of labor on street, surface
and elevated railroads, and finally the notorious Penal Code was
amended by a law prohibiting employers, singly or combined, to coerce
employees not to join a labor organization.
Undoubtedly such a change in the attitude of the lawmakers was, at
least in part, due to the impressive labor strength demonstrated in
the campaign of 1886.
The leaders of the campaign derived great encouragement from its
successful results, and soon after the campaign they began to build up
a permanent political organization, preparing for the next national
NOTES AND REFERENCES
- The Public, Nov. 3,
1911, p. 1129.
- The Leader was
recognized as "the organ of the Central Labor Union" In
New York. No other organization was to control The Leader.
-- The Leader, Nov. 8, 1886, p. 1.
- The Leader, Oct. 20,
1886, p. 2.
- A paper very ably edited by
Patrick Ford for the Irish cause in Ireland and the Irish
immigrants in America. At the beginning of the mayoralty campaign
the Irish World strongly supported it.
- The Life of Henry George,
New York, 1904. p. 410.
- The Life of Henry George,
New York, 1904. p. 476.
- Ibid., p. 477.
- The Leader, Oct. 20,
1886, p. 2.
- The Leader, Oct. 28,
1886, p. 1.
- Published reply to statement
made in the newspapers by A. S. Hewitt, Oct., 1897. The Life
of Henry George, New York. 1904, p. 463.
- George-Hewitt Campaign,
New York. 1886, pp. 31-37.
- Ibid., 39-42.
- Ibid., p. 42.
- Ibid., p. 43.
- The Leader, Oct. 28.
1886. p. 3.
- Ibid., Oct. 26. 1886,
- George-Hewitt Campaign,
- Ibid., p. 126.
- Ibid., pp. 46-50.
- Ibid., p. 59.
- Ibid., p. 67.
- Ibid., p. 91.
- Ibid., p. 93.
- Ibid., p. 96.
- Ibid., p. 102.
- Ibid., pp. 129-132.
- Ibid., p. 133.
- Ibid., p. 79.
- Ibid., p. 88.
- Ibid., p. 120.
- Fifth Annual Report of
the Bureau of Statistics of Labor of the State of New York, 1887,