Monday, March 30, 2015


John Wanamaker

The Cortland Democrat, Friday, September 27, 1889.

"Common Sense Views of Mr. Wanamaker."
   Under the above heading the Cortland Standard of last week gives, with editorial commendation, a reported interview with Postmaster General Wanamaker, which is rather remarkable for its misrepresentations, Pharisaic assumptions and bold defense of doing evil for righteous purposes.
   The interview makes Mr. Wanamaker say "We can't turn out more office –holders than the Democrats did. When we turn out as many Democrats as Cleveland did Republicans, we will have to stop." The plain meaning of which is that Cleveland made a clean sweep of it and turned out every Republican office holder. But Mr. Wanamaker, the editor of the Standard, and every one who knows anything about the matter, knows such a statement to be false. But the boldness of its admission and the hypocrisy of its pretences come out more plainly in another part of the interview. Speaking of money used in the campaign, Mr. Wanamaker said:
   "Our party believed that fair protection was best for the Republic, and that a low tariff would hurt our prosperity. We did not want the Republic harmed. We were honest in our belief. To prevent this harm of low tariff some made speeches, some wrote editorials, and some gave money to carry on the campaign against a foe of our country. I gave what I had. Vanderbilt gave a ship to save the Republic in the late war. History commends him for it."
   The plain meaning of the whole passage is a frank admission that the Republican party freely gave their money to purchase themselves into power, and that Mr. Wanamaker himself gave all that he had, or at least all that he could for this purpose, and that any amount of the corrupt use of money in this way is justifiable upon the old, but corrupt and corrupting plea which has often been exposed and condemned, that "it is right to do evil that good may come of it."
   "Vanderbilt gave a ship to save the Republic in the late war, and history commends him for it," therefore it is right and commendable that we, the honest and pious Republicans, should give our money to purchase votes and carry our party into power, and secure our own party measures.
   Is that the "common sense view of the political?"  If the "common sense" of the people accepts that view of the matter they must be prepared to admit that any party or set of men who are "honest in their belief," have a perfect right to resort to any amount of fraud and corruption in order to secure the triumph of their party and its measures.
   The plain and common sense understanding of Mr. Wanamaker's admission and argument would be that some of our richest manufacturers thought a high war tariff would be advantageous to themselves, and therefore they gave largely of their money to purchase votes for the continuance of such a tariff, feeling sure that they could compel the people to pay it all back to them, and Mr. Wanamaker "gave what he had" as the purchase price of an important and lucrative office.
   COM. [pen name]

   Brother Wanamaker is advertising for designs for the new two cent stamp which he proposes to issue. It is a little strange that it has not occurred to him that a portrait of himself, as he appeared on his way from Philadelphia to New York last fall, carrying a carpet bag containing $400,000 of boodle to corrupt the voters of this State would be about the thing. We would have the Hon. John's portrait and his method of corrupting elections constantly before us.

   Was Judge Smith a candidate for [Cortland] County Judge simply for the purpose of dividing the opposition to Eggleston? The Judge obtained the delegates in several towns where Eggleston couldn't get them, but it was a noticeable fact that they were all for Eggleston when the convention met. Those parties who expected to see Smith's and Bouton's forces combine were sadly disappointed. It turned out quite the other way. The forces of Smith and Eggleston combined against Bouton, and the result was disastrous to the latter. The old ring hasn't forgotten how to play the game of politics. Joe was Smith's candidate for Judge six years ago and time has not changed their relations in the least.

   The member of the Republican Committee for this district for the ensuing year is Mr. John C. Barry of this place. We can see no especial reason for the retirement of the old Committeeman Joseph E. Eggleston Esq. He will undoubtedly be at liberty to attend to the duties of the place.

A Large Purchase.
   M. L. Alexander and C. T. Stringham have recently purchased the Nelson Rowe estate on Homer avenue, opposite the Fair Grounds, having a fronting of 350 feet extending back to the D. L. & W. R. R. They expect soon to extend Miller street through this plat [a plot of land—CC editor] to Wm. Smith's and Morris avenue, from Homer avenue to D. L. & W. R. R. This with the plat they bought of C. S. and J. S. Bull, last spring, will make them about 100 good building lots, which is called Waverly place, and as Cortland and Homer are bound to come together and be a city they will help make it so by building a few good residences and selling lots for other parties to put up buildings on. We soon expect to see Waverly place covered with residences and it being in the centre of the city of Cortland and on the street railway, it will be the finest part of the town.

William L. Wilson
The Tariff the Great Mother of Trusts.
   The existing tariff imposes a tax averaging nearly fifty per cent on the value of all the dutiable goods brought into this Country, which in many cases, as in refined sugar and cotton bagging, we have already seen is entirely prohibitory. Indeed, it is avowedly an extreme protective tariff; that is to say, its duties are not laid to bring money into the treasury, but for the very purpose of keeping out foreign products that might compete with like products made at home. It is, therefore, the nursing mother of trusts. Almost any high-protected article where production may be centralized, like that of refined sugar, in a moderate number of establishments, can be made the basis of a trust as readily as sugar. Now the hard condition of the consumer is that the very purposes for which these tariff taxes are laid requires that they shall be laid on the plain necessaries of life.
   It is a familiar maxim that "Protection, to be available, must be got out of the belly and the back of the great masses of the people." It is, therefore, chiefly in the highly-taxed commodities that supply his primary wants, and which he cannot, therefore, forego, that the citizen is finding himself to-day levied upon by the trusts.
   The theory of the protective tariff of Alexander Hamilton, and afterwards of Mr. Clay, was that it gave a premature and temporary assistance to young industries to get them on their feet earlier than they could of their own strength if subjected to foreign competition. And Mr. Hamilton expressly opposed excessive rates as tending to monopoly, and said that if after a reasonable time any industry still needed protection, it was proof that there were natural impediments to its building up in the country, and it should be abandoned.
   In our centennial year, tariff rates are six or seven times higher than Mr. Hamilton first arranged them in the infancy of the country and in the beginning of manufactures. Moreover, there is not an instance in all that hundred years of any industry once admitted into the government hospital that has not at once become a professional "old soldier," and forever afterward whined with terror or shrieked with rage at the suggestion that it should again face active competition in the ranks. And by both Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Clay protection was granted on the fundamental condition that those engaged in the fostered industries would honestly compete among themselves, so as to give the consumer, whose taxes supported them, the benefit of their cheapest production, provided he might be relieved as soon as possible of the burden of carrying them.
   But the theory of those who defend the existing rates is not that of Hamilton or Clay, but of Henry Carey, to whom protection meant not a temporary aid to home industries until they could get firmly on their feet, but a permanent and complete prohibition of foreign products the like of which could be produced in this country. He believed and taught that it would be beneficial to us to have the oceans, which encompass us, turned into a sea of fire.
   If my venerable friend. Judge Kelley, who has done me the honor to write me that he is reading these papers, happens to peruse this paragraph, he will not object, I believe, to my saying that both his teaching as a statesman, and his practical work as a lawmaker in framing our tariffs since 1861 have been in accord with the doctrines of Mr. Carey.
   But the tariff is otherwise responsible for trusts. The high bounties it offers in many industries cause an extraordinary rush into them on the part of those who are tempted by the promise of greater profits than can be made in industries pursued under normal conditions. This rush leads sooner or later to excessive production, and then, to escape the loss threatened by an overstocked market, resort is had to some kind of combination to maintain prices to control supply.
   This circle is, first, excessive stimulation; next, excessive production; and lastly, combinations against the consumer. I know it is strenuously denied by defenders of our tariff that it is chargeable with the great movement in the United States in recent months toward the formation of trusts, and we are told that we are not the only people who are victims of these combinations. I have already said there may be natural monopolies, as when a single country or region produces the entire supply. In such a case—whether that region be one of our states, or England, Holland or even the petty republic of San Marino— it is perfectly feasible for producers to form a trust if consumers must and will still buy their products at artificial prices.
   Combinations of some kind or attempts to form them are as old as the history of trade. I do not deny that a trust such as the Standard Oil or the whiskey trust might arise in any country under the same conditions, tariff or no tariff. But such combinations as our trusts in the prime necessaries of life, in food and clothing, which are produced by no one people, but freely in many countries, can he formed only in a country that surrounds its producers with a wall of protecting duties against supplies from without. The impracticability of forming an international combination among producers of an article found in many countries is shown by the collapse of the recent copper pool, carrying with it the second strongest bank in France, but, as I suspect, not affecting the power of the owners of the great Michigan copper mines to continue exacting from American consumers the excessive prices made possible by the high tariff rates they secured from Congress over the vote of Andrew Johnson.
   The recent movement of the paper manufacturers in England to form a "ring" was met by publishers with the threat that they would get their paper from other countries if their own mills attempted to combine to squeeze them. As the government does not shut off the outside supply it is clear that consumers were in no danger of having to pay monopoly prices.

   The Prohibitionists hold their County Convention and Mass Meeting in this village Oct. 1.
   Capt. John W. Strowbridge has been appointed constable in place of Wm. W. Swartz, resigned.
   A nearly new 15 horse power steam boiler with complete fixtures, for sale cheap, by J. S. Bull & Co.
   The Screen Door and Window shops commenced work last Monday, after a two months' vacation.
   The smoke stack on the desk factory fell Monday night, and the shops have shut down until it is put in place.
   A meeting of the King's Daughters will be held at Mrs. W. W. Brown's, 15 Reynolds Ave., Saturday, Sept. 28th, at 3 P. M.
   The Patriarchs militant went to Binghamton yesterday. The Hitchcock Manufacturing Company's band went with them.
   The Gormans, a first-class minstrel organization, will appear in Cortland Opera House on Tuesday evening, October 8th.
   Jas. I. Spencer, Esq., of this town, left a pumpkin at this office last Saturday that weighs 35 pounds, and measures four feet and five inches in circumference.
   M. Bickford, of the Telephone company, has caused a telephone wire tower to be erected on the corner of the Welch block, which rises ten feet above the [roof] of the block.
   The Regents of the University have issued a circular which sets forth that hereafter there will be but two instead of three regular Regents' examinations each year, excepting in case where for the best interests three are required.
   Persons who have served as firemen and are desirous of being exempt of jury duty are compelled to file a certificate to that effect with the Clerk of their respective counties in order to make it effective. The Clerk must then at once hunt up and destroy the ballot containing the name of the applicant. This law was passed by the Legislature last winter.

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