Tuesday, April 21, 2015


The Cortland Democrat, Friday, December 13, 1889.

Protection vs. Free Trade.

Editor Cortland Democrat:

   DEAR SIR.—We are sorry to see by your late issue that any of our citizens can be so blind as 'Fair Play" seems to be to the justice, fairness and general advantage of the little scheme of "a little coterie or cabal of retail merchants, grocers and market men" to have the Board of Trustees of our village pass an ordinance, or ordinances which shall relieve them from the effects of legitimate business competition and give them the exclusive right to retail the necessaries and comforts of life in Cortland, and compel purchasers to pay the prices they may combine to fix or agree upon among themselves.
   Fair Play's blindness to the wisdom and beauty of such a kind and benevolent exercise of fatherly "Protection" on the part of our city fathers is very surprising to us. For we have often thought and have sometimes remarked that, if a high protective tariff is such an advantage to the whole nation,—if it tend to vastly increase the wealth of the nation as a whole, we could not see why smaller sections of our country, states, counties and even cities and villages might not adopt the principle to their own special and local advantage.
   We have never found a high protectionist who could give us any good reason why the protective plan should not, and could not, be brought down to the smallest municipalities with advantage to all business enterprises and manufacturing establishments located within their borders and to the general enrichment of the whole community, except that the Constitution of the United States does not allow the thing to be done. And if it were not for that unwise and unfortunate clause which our forefathers put into the constitution, we should hear a loud and urgent demand for a high State tariff protecting us against the competition of all the West and East and South, as well as against the cheap products of Canada.
   But if our dear grandfathers—the old fogies—made such a mistake as to incorporate such an article in our Constitution, let us do what we can to correct the error and begin right here in Cortland. Let our wiser city fathers pass an ordinance which shall exclude all foreigners or non-residents from offering any thing for sale in our retail markets.
   We are sure that our neighboring farmers will not object to such a measure, for many of them seem to think it best for their interests to have to sell their products at Free Trade prices and buy all that they need to buy at high protective prices. At least many of them vote for just such a plan nationally, and why should they object to it locally? Certainly they cannot do it consistently.
   Of course, if we happen to have a short crop of potatoes in this region, we shall expect our grocers and provision merchants to send out to other parts of the country and bring in car loads of potatoes to our markets, and our meat markets are generally supplied with meats brought from the great slaughter houses of the West, which are sold for good, round prices while our farmers cannot sell the beef of their own producing, for any living price; but we will not have these same farmers coming into town and going around our streets, selling the products directly to the consumers. And if any man shall propose to rig up a cart and buy home raised meats or other products, and go about selling them from house to house, let him pay a prohibitory tax, or else be arrested and imprisoned at once.
   But this is not all. We propose to be consistent and thorough in this matter. Our dry goods merchants need protection as well as others. And the fact is, that a good many of our citizens have the bad habit of occasionally running up to Syracuse or down to Binghamton and making quite large purchases of dry goods and various kinds of merchandise, which thing ought to be stopped. Let us have then, officers appointed to board every train that comes in from every direction and levy a proper assessment upon all the purchases which our citizens have made in other markets. This would make the whole system complete and consistent, and according to the usual high protectionist argument, it would enable our merchants to realize higher prices and larger profits, and the consumers to get their goods very much cheaper. And thus all, seller and buyer would be greatly benefit.
   Now, do you not see the wisdom and the advantage of the scheme, Mr. Fair Play?  To be sure the constitution of the United States is said to stand in the way of carrying out such a local measure to its full and necessary completion; and when some of the southern states undertook to empower their cities and towns to adopt such a plan of local protection, some of our northern wholesale merchants and manufacturers resisted it and the higher United States Courts sustained them in defying such city ordinances. But, what of that? Have we not a Board of Trade that knows what is law and what is best for the community, better than the United States Courts do or the framers of our constitution did? The idea of such local protection is only the logical and consistent carrying out of the whole protective tariff argument, and so let us adopt it in full, that the people may see the wisdom and advantage of it. Yours Truly,

Cortland's 2nd Courthouse and Jail, located at corner of Court and Church Streets--the current location of the library.

  •    Cashier C. E. Silcott of the House of Representatives at Washington is wanted badly. He turned up missing last week and $71,800, that he had in the safe, took its departure at about the same time. He has not yet been found.

  •    Washington dispatches announce that the speaker of the House has appointed Jas. J. Belden, a member of the Committee on Appropriations. "Jim" will be quite at home on this committee.

  •    There ought to be no politics about the job of painting the Court House. The committee of the board of supervisors appointed to look after the matter, reported the other day, that they had ascertained the amount that Mr. Geo. Crossman would charge for the job. Are there no other painters in this village competent to do the work? The DEMOCRAT begs leave to inform the committee that there are any number of painters in this village that would be glad to do the work in a workmanlike manner and at a fair price. You make printers bid for county work and why should not painters do the same?

  •    Jefferson Davis, ex-President of the Southern Confederacy, died last Friday at New Orleans. Mr. Davis' earlier years gave promise of great future usefulness. He was a brave and intrepid officer in the war with Mexico and served with distinction on many fields. As a statesman he commanded the respect of his opponents. He had the courage of his convictions but the mistake of his life time was in being the head and front of the rebellion. He undoubtedly believed he was right and many who condemn him now in the bitterest terms, might have believed and acted as he did under the same circumstances. Men have passed judgment upon his course quite freely for the past twenty-five years. A wiser power will judge him hereafter.

They Hope to Serve the People.

   There seems to be a disposition upon the part of those who desire the republican nomination for Police Justice to take "time by the forelock." The election does not occur until March and yet the following candidates are said to be in the field: Jerome Squires, Enos E. Mellon, William Corcoran and Lewis Bouton. The fight for the place bids fair to be a very warm one and there is likely to be some feeling exhibited. It is claimed that Squires, whose term as Justice of the Peace expires soon, is a candidate for renomination and also wants to be Police Justice. His opponents say he wants to make a sure thing of having one of the places, and to this end he will be a candidate for Justice of the Peace in February and whether he is successful or not he will be a candidate for Police Justice in March.

   The office of Police Justice has a salary attached of $1000 per annum, with very little to do, and is considered a better office than Justice of the Peace where some work has to be performed.
   Corcoran is the candidate of the Independent Irish Republican Club, which probably numbers not more than 20 or 30 members all told. The club was organized for business—political business purposes—and its members intend to be recognized or they propose to know the reason why. It is said that they have already served notice that they propose to have most of the mail carriers and it looks now as if they would get about what they demanded.
   Mellon, thinks he is entitled to the place because of his legal learning and great party services, and he would undoubtedly make a lively officer. He proposes to give the other boys a hot tussel for the place.
   If Lewis Bouton was a better politician he would stand a good chance to get the nomination. In these days, to be successful in politics, it seems to be necessary to be a first-class liar and here is where Bouton is a big failure. Sometimes all signs fail, however, and he may get the place. But it matters little who gets the nomination on the Republican ticket, for on election day, the Democrats propose to be in the field with a good clean candidate who will win.

   H. W. Seaman has opened a barber shop in the Corwin block.
   The winter term of McGrawville Academy commenced on Monday with a full attendance.
   Lucius Babcock, an old and highly esteemed citizen of this place, had a partial shock of paralysis on Saturday last. He is reported to be gradually gaining.
   Fred Parker who has been confined to the house with typhoid fever for the past six weeks, has so far recovered as to again appear on the streets. He expects to again resume his position with Warren & Tanner about January first.
   The popular drama "The Soldier of Fortune" will be produced at Academy Hall on Tuesday evening, December 17, for the benefit of McGrawville Lodge No. 330 I. O. O. F. The drama is highly spoken of and no one should miss the opportunity.
   NEPOS. [pen name]

   F. E. Sager is able to be out again, after being confined to the house for two or three days with a severe cold.
   The hop given by the Solon boys at Palmer's Hall, Friday evening, passed off pleasantly, thirty five couple being present; music by Palmer's orchestra.
   School commenced in the new school house here on Tuesday last, after a long delay. We congratulate the district on having as neat and comfortable a school house as is to be found in any country district.
   Work has been completed on the Catholic church at Solon. The church looks greatly improved and the church people should feel well repaid for the money and labor expended.
   Cards are out for the wedding of Miss Gertie Smith and Mr. Miles J. Peck, both of Solon.
   Mr. Wm. Blowers attended the funeral of his mother at Taylor on Wednesday.
   C. [pen name initial of correspondent]
   Mrs. Austin Barker, who has been very low for some time, is thought to be slightly improved.
   The funeral services of Samuel Bush's little child was held Monday. Interment at Cheningo.
   Miss Clara McLane has been obliged to discontinue her school for a few days, on account of sickness.
   Mrs. Louisa Brown was taken to the county insane asylum, Tuesday. Her mental faculties have been failing for a long time.
   Elwyn Cass is cutting ash and cherry timber which he purchased of William Skinner, for which he pays $9 per thousand in the tree.
   Among those who attend school at the Cincinnatus Academy this term, are Libbie McLane, Madge Elwood, Earl Faint, and Will Allen.
   CALUMET [pen name]

   Mrs. Frank Barnes is failing all the time.
   Mr. Samuel Mott lost a horse last week with lock jaw.
   Mrs. John Seamans and son, of Messengerville, is visiting her sister, Mrs. Frank E. Price.
   Mrs. John Bays is suffering very severely with erysipelas in the foot and knee. Dr. Muncey attends her.
   A daughter has taken up her abode with Mr. and Mrs. Rodolph Price. Its weight is about 10 pounds.
   The social event of the season took place on Wednesday, December 4, at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. James Stafford, on the occasion of the marriage of their daughter, Miss Jennie M. Stafford and Mr. John C. Griswold. The ceremony took place in the presence of fully one hundred or more of the relatives and friends of the contracting parties, at 12 o'clock, the Rev. O. J. Purington of the M. E. church officiating. Congratulations followed. The wedding feast was partaken of and the happy pair, amid the proverbial shower of rice, departed for Syracuse and a tour of Niagara Falls and other points of interest, previous to settling down to the realities of life. The presents were costly and numerous.
   TOPSY. [pen name]

   It is estimated that 4,000,000,000 cigars are consumed in this country annually.
   American tourists have spent no less than $17,000,000 in Europe during the past summer season.
   The Speaker of Congress gets $3,000 added to his pay as member—$8,000 in all. He earns it, usually.
   The Syracuse Driving Park Association is to build a new half-mile track on a farm owned by Mayor Kirk.
   The late great Boston fire seems to have demonstrated the fact that an absolutely fire-proof building cannot be made.
   The Glens Falls paper mill, said to be the second largest in the world, will probably pass into the hands of an English syndicate.
   Henry M. Stanley has sold his forthcoming book outright to the Sampson Low company of publishers for the sum of $200,000.
   The first fast overland mail train, from New York to San Francisco, crossed the continent in 4 days, 9 hours and 45 minutes, actual running time.
   The postal service employs at present 47,466 clerks, 10,835 carriers. 5,640 men in the railway service, 19,190 contractors, 6,434 messengers and 928 special delivery messengers, 59,838 postmasters and 604 employees in the Department, making a total of 150,935.

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