|William H. Clark, editor and proprietor of the Cortland Standard.|
Independent to Brother Bill.
GREETINGS:--The mental condition of an editor who fails to discover the substitution of l for d in an obvious misprint of the word "stupidity" is such as to excite either pity or contempt. But one who devotes a column and a half to ringing the changes on such misprint as brother Bill did last week, is too far advanced in degeneracy to excite anything but disgust; yet his article entitled "A Witness Against Himself," compares favorably with the frivolous trash which appears from week to week in the columns of the Standard, except when the barrenness of Brother Bill's intellect makes a resort to the columns of the Tribune a necessity, when the grave and elaborate platitudes "cribbed" from the metropolitan organ does duty as editorial in the Standard.
But what can be said of the absurd egotism and vanity of one who appropriates a charge of this nature as a compliment?
The Standard says: "It does not irritate us in the least to be accused of furnishing our readers with editorials which are mistaken for the Tribune’s."
Why; bless you Brother Bill; no one ever mistakes one of your slangy, vituperative and witless diatribes for a ponderous Tribune article. Your composition is no more to be mistaken for that of a writer upon a metropolitan journal than the malignant squeaking of a trapped rat is to be attributed to a roaring lion.
Brother Bill asks one civil question which is entitled to an answer. He says: "How about the long list of articles which this bill (the Mills bill) places on the free list? Just this about it. All are in the interest of the masses of mankind and to the just detriment of no one. It deprives a favored few of unjust advantages and every article in the [tariff] list is either a necessary of life or a raw material employed in the manufacture of useful commodities. There is not a superfluity or a luxury on the list. The addition to the free list will enable the people to have cheaper bread, clothing and shelter, but not cheaper whisky or vice of any kind, nor free oleomargarine as proposed by the republican platform.
Having answered Brother Bill's query as to the apparently greater daily wages of the American as compared with the European workman in a former article, and conclusively shown that it was not due to our higher taxes and our monopoly fostering and surplus producing tariff, his only reply is, "this argument can safely be trusted to take care of itself." Brother Bill, wisely for him, does not undertake to reply to the answer to his question, for obvious reasons.
He goes on to say, "we will give Independent credit for one sound and forcible statement the effect of which he must have failed to calculate. It is this."
"Free trade is indispensable to densely populated countries like England and Belgium, for such populations must produce a large surplus and must find a market for it beyond their own borders. True every word of it," says Brother Bill.
Where the conditions are the same the principles of political economy are alike applicable to every country. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Many parts of the United States are now as densely populated as portions of England or Belgium and our population, thanks to a monopoly tariff, is increasing far more rapidly than theirs. Free trade, the "pauper labor of Europe," and prohibitive duties on all they produce has brought to us large accessions of the poor and miserable of foreign countries; and this has reduced the wages of the American workingmen, until they have been compelled to organize for self protection and some disorders have resulted from it and more are sure to follow if our past foolish policy is persisted in.
As an illustration of the best, most disinterested and most patriotic thought of the country we cannot forbear to quote a single paragraph from the admirable address of James Russell Lowell, delivered before the Reform Club of New York City a few months since; not so much to show that "Independent" had calculated the effect of his language quoted by the Standard; but because no one however reckless he may be in the use of epithets, intended to be opprobrious, will charge him with being a "free trade bourbon" and because it is a pithy statement of a very alarming truth.
"But the tendency or excessive protection which thoughtful men dread most is that it stimulates an unhealthy home competition leading to overproduction and to the disasters which are its tainted offspring, that it fosters over-population [imported labor—CC editor], and this is of the most helpless class when thrown out of employment. I confess I cannot take a cheerful view of the future of that New England I love so well when her leading industries shall be gradually drawn to the South as they infallibly will be, by the greater cheapness of labor there. It is not pleasant to hear that called the American system which has succeeded in abolishing our foreign commerce. It is even less pleasant to hear it advocated as being for the interest of the laborer by men who imported cheaper labor till it was forbidden by law. That protection has been the cause of our material prosperity is refuted by the passage I have quoted from Burke."
Not only has our population became so dense that we must commence to export the products of our industries, not because three Americans produce more than five Europeans on an average, we must so much the more export the products of their labor to relieve our glutted markets, and to do this we must remove some of the restrictions from our foreign commerce and lessen its burdens. Africa, Mexico, Central America, Australia and the South American States would furnish us profitable markets for the products of our skilled labor, if we would but accept some of their products in return for ours and transport and exchange the commodities which they and ourselves desire to use. They paying us the balances sure to be in our favor in cash and thus build up our languishing commerce to the immense advantage of all the people of the United States.
This is no visionary scheme. Its soundness is attested by history and proven by the principles of political economy. The difference in race does not alone account for the contrast in the condition of China and England. It is largely due to the misnamed protective policy of the one and the free trade of the other; neither of which is adapted to the conditions existing in the United States.
We cannot close this article with a better statement of the case than was made by the majority of the committee on ways and means, in explanation of the reasons for putting wool on the free list. It deserves to be stamped on the minds of the tax ridden American people in letters of gold. It is good enough to be read before prayers and after benediction. Here it is.
"We say to the manufacturer we have put wool on the free list to enable him to obtain foreign markets and successfully compete with the foreign manufacturer. We say to the laborer in the factory we put wool on the free list so that it may be imported and he may be employed to make the goods that are now made by foreign labor and imported into the United States. We say to the consumer we have put wool on the free list that he may have woolen goods cheaper. We say to the domestic wool grower we have put wool on the free list to enable the manufacturer to import foreign wool to mix with his own and thus enlarge his market and quicken the demand for the consumption of his wool while it lightens the burden of the taxpayer. The duty on wool now prevents nearly all the better classes of wools from coming into the country, when the domestic product can only supply about one half of amount required for home consumption."
These remarks are equally applicable to many other articles placed on the free list by the Mills bill. It is an argument which can be safely trusted to take care of itself, as Brother Bill aptly says.
INDEPENDENT. [pen name]
Forepaugh’s monster circus and menagerie exhibits in this village Sept. 6th.
"Hail Holy Light, offspring of heaven, first born," sang Milton, but the ladies sing None Such Baking Powder.
Students, or any one wishing rooms near the business part of town, can be accommodated at No. 5 Greenbush street.
Landlord Bauder, of the Cortland House, is making another improvement by laying a broad stone walk from the front of his house to the street car track.
The Protective Police have received their new uniforms, which are very handsome. They are made of blue cloth, ornamented with brass buttons, and have a decided cop-like look.
There are at present over 900 electric lights in town, and the demand is growing so fast that the Hitchcock Co. are considering the project of the enlargement of their plant, and its possible removal to some more central point.
Mr. W. S. Seman, the hustling advance agent of the Forepaugh’s great show, was in town last Monday making arrangements for the appearance of the company here, Sept. 6th. The show will pitch its tents on Miller’s flats on North Main street.
Freeville people are somewhat excited over the prospect of the I. A. & W. branch of the Southern Central passing into the control of the D. L. & W. railroad, in which event it is expected that that part of the road from Freeville to Asbury will be abandoned and the track torn up.—Dryden Herald.
Dr. E. O. Kingman has erected a large hall near his bathing house for the accommodation of his patrons. The building is divided off into compartments with keys to each. A large assortment of bathing suits have been added, and everything about the place is fitted up in excellent order for all who may desire to take a swim.
About 2,000 pounds of Paris green were required this year to slay the potato bugs in Brutus and Cato, New York.
Several simpletons of the female sex have made themselves ridiculous by decorating with flowers the grave of Deacons, the Rochester murderer who was hanged last week.
There was a hurricane in the White mountains on Thursday. Five inches of snow fell on Mount Washington. The temperature was eight degrees below the freezing point.
The Chicago police have just unearthed a plot of the Anarchists to murder the Judge who conducted the Anarchist trials and several other officials who are specially obnoxious to them.
The other day a spring of water suddenly bubbled up in the yard of St. Peters Catholic church in Brooklyn. It was regarded as a holy well and the water was drank by many pilgrims and was carried home to cure the sick. Yesterday it was discovered that the water came from a broken main.
The Real Issue.
The issue of the campaign is falsely stated by the Republican convention. No proposition has been made for free trade. The issue is: Shall there be a high tariff or a low tariff! Shall all the people be burdened that some number of the people shall enjoy exceptional and dishonest prosperity or shall there be equal justice for all? Shall the excise tax on whiskey and tobacco be maintained to the end that the direct and indirect tariff tax on the necessities and comforts of existence shall be reduced, or shall it be abolished in order to make wearing apparel and those things without which existence is misery, expensive?
The democratic party and its candidates stand for a low tariff as against a high tariff, for reduced taxation as against excessive taxation, for the maintenance of imposts upon whiskey and tobacco rather than upon articles of general and necessary consumption. The democratic party stands for reasonable economy and a reasonable surplus, not for wild extravagance which, continuing excessive taxation, will dissipate the surplus. Cleveland and Thurman, a fair tariff and no favorites, will win by the voice of a swinging majority of 12,000,000 over taxed electors of the republic against free whisky, free tobacco, taxed clothing and the nominees of a convention presided over by a railroad jobber of Nebraska.
The residents of the eastern part of this village, particularly those living on Garfield street, were thrown into a frenzy of excitement last Friday by a rumor to the effect that Mrs. Charles Simpson, a blooming lady of forty eight summers and an equal number of winters, had eloped with Mr. Charles Livingston, whose mustache the zephyrs of sixteen long years have fanned.
The happy pair are now supposed to be in the wilds of the Keystone state, where they will doubtless meet with the reception due to the talent required for the conception and execution of so brilliant a feat. The funds necessary for the excursion were furnished by Mrs. Simpson, who seems to have been determined to spare no expense to carry her plans to a successful and happy termination. May they live long and flourish.
The Cortland Contrarian does not have access to the tariff and campaign editorials of William H. Clark. We are sure that Mr. Clark gave as well as he took in this cross-town political rivalry. Readers who have access to these editorials are urged to submit them as comments to this post.