|Rufus T. Peck|
The Cortland Democrat, Friday, May 2, 1890.
In the issue of April 18th, the DEMOCRAT stated that the bill introduced by Mr. Deyo of Binghamton, to repeal the law fixing the compensation of laborers on State work at $ 2 per day had passed the Assembly and that Mr. Peck of Cortland voted in favor of repealing the law. We simply stated the fact without comment. The Cortland Standard of last week in referring to the matter, says:
"The narrow and malicious partisanship of the Cortland DEMOCRAT has never been more clearly shown than in its treatment of Hon. R. T. Peck."
The Standard's idea of narrow and malicious partisanship is decidedly queer to say the least. Does our neighbor believe that the simple statement of a fact published in all the city papers, exhibits "narrow and malicious partisanship?" Is there any reason in the world why the DEMOCRAT should be condemned for publishing without comment, a fact that is of interest to the people of this county, and which had already been published in all the Syracuse, Utica, Albany and New York papers? If the DEMOCRAT exhibited narrow partisanship those Republican and Independent papers in other parts of the state which published the same fact, certainly are guilty of narrow partisanship of the same sort.
The DEMOCRAT neither condemned nor commended Mr. Peck for his vote on the bill in question and it wasn't necessary for the editor of the Standard to rush to that gentleman's defense so long as he had not been even threatened with assault. If the editor of the Standard is satisfied with Mr. Peck's vote on the bill in question, why don't he come out like a man and say so. The DEMOCRAT has not accused him of any wrong-doing and our neighbor should remember that "the guilty flee when no one pursueth."
The Standard closes its fault finding article as follows:
"Of the DEMOCRAT'S desire to injure Mr. Peck there is no question, but it ought to adopt more manly methods—or give up the job."
The Standard knows better. The DEMOCRAT has no desire to injure Mr. Peck in the least, but the absence of a desire to injure him does not require the DEMOCRAT to be constantly singing his praises. The Standard man is spoiling for a row and is bound to find some pretext to accomplish its purpose.
During the first year of President Harrison's administration there have been removals and other changes in offices as follows: Ordinary postmasters removed, 33,000 (in round numbers); "presidential" postmasters nominated to the Senate, 1,600; other nominations to the Senate, 1,200; total, 35,800 changes during the year. It will be instructive to compare these figures with those of the corresponding year of Mr. Cleveland's administration: Ordinary postmasters, 18,700; "presidential" postmasters, 900; other nominations to the Senate, 962; total, 20,500. Another instructive comparison: Until the last months of Mr. Cleveland's term the Railroad Mail Service was not protected by the civil service law, and during his four years 1,909 changes were made; during Mr. Harrison's one year, when this service is supposed to be protected by the law, there have been 2,434 changes. These figures speak for themselves and need no comment.—New York Examiner.
Does Protection Protect?
EDITOR OF THE DEMOCRAT:—Now that the discussion of the tariff question is again opened by the McKinley bill, which proposes in some instances to increase existing duties, a few illustrations of what the tariff is already doing for manufacturer, workman, and consumer may not be out of place. In the report of the New York State Board of Mediation and Arbitration for 1890, transmitted to the Legislature and published by State authority, I find on page 19, the following:
E. S. Higgins & Co., carpet manufacturers, reduced the wages of their employes on the 17th of December, 1888. The employes remained at work after that date, and tried in vain to induce the firm to restore the old wages. On the seventh of January they went on strike. The striking carpet workers claimed that 1,000 hands, including nearly all the skilled operatives, had left the factory. On the other hand, Higgins & Co. claimed that only about 500 of their employes had gone out, and that they still had all the skilled operatives that they required.
There was no change in the condition of affairs on the twenty eighth of February, when the Board received the following letter:
NEW YORK, February 27, 1889.
To the State Board of Arbitration:
GENTLEMEN: —We respectfully request your honorable body to investigate the present trouble (or strike) and the causes that led to the same, in the factory of E. S. Higgins & Co., corner of Forty-third street and North river.
The facts of the case are as follows:
June 23, 1888, the mill of E. S. Higgins & Co., shut down and remained closed for seven weeks; and the mill then resumed with one-half of their usual force. On or about September first the mill started up with the full force of hands. November 7, 1888, they laid off one-half of their employes. The firm then commenced to violate the enclosed agreement, which they had made with their employes, by reducing several departments. We protested, but to no avail. On or about the 1st of December, 1888, a notice was posted up in the different departments that a reduction would take place on December 17, 1888—a reduction of from ten to seventeen per cent. About the same time the price of carpet advanced. A committee of employes tried every honorable means to settle the trouble, but failed. After thoroughly discussing the matter, the people decided to strike, and on January seventh they did strike, and are on strike up to date.
Since January 7, 1889, a great number of our people (both men and women) have been arrested for the active part they have taken in this strike.
We believe the reduction is unjust, for the following reasons:
First. Because the price paid by this firm is lower than the price paid by other firms.
Second. It was shown in the Webster and Higgins lawsuit that the annual profit of the company has been over $800,000.
Third. The selling price of carpet has advanced.
Fourth. The cost of production to this firm is less than to other manufacturers.
We respectfully request your Board to attend to this matter immediately. Respectfully yours,
THE COMMITTEE OF STRIKING CARPET WORKERS OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK.
After the receipt of this communication, a member of the Board called at the office of E. S. Higgins & Co. to ascertain if anything could be done to bring about an amicable settlement of the trouble. He was informed that there had been no difficulty of any nature in their factory, and that they anticipated none.
The Board met in New York city on the eleventh of March, Commissioners Robertson and Donovan being present. A committee of the striking carpet workers attended the meeting and briefly stated their grievances. From this statement it was evident that the difficulty could not be amicably settled, and the Board were of opinion that no good would result from further inquiry into the causes of the strike.
The duty on carpets nearly doubles their cost to American purchasers. Where the increased profit goes to is shown by the fact that an income of $800,000 yearly is shown for the manufacturer, while the workman is driven to strikes by reduced wages. It is a fair question whether an industry that affords a single concern nearly a million dollars profit a year needs protection, yet the direct effect of the McKinley bill is estimated by those familiar with the carpet trade to put an addition of 22 cents a yard on Brussels carpet. Every carpet sold in the country will then cost more than twice what it could be bought for under a tariff adapted to the legitimate revenue needs of the government.
On page 159 of Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia for 1888, I find the statement that pig iron is made at Birmingham, Ala., at a cost of $9.00 a ton. It is unquestionably made now for less money than in 1888. Southern coke No. 1 pig iron was quoted in Chicago April 24th, at $17.00 to $17.50 per ton. It is believed that the actual cost of labor on a ton of pig iron is less than $2.00. When there is a profit, as shown above, of nearly 100 percent, how much protection does pig iron need? No. 1 pig iron is worth in Glasgow $18.59. How high a tariff is needed to prevent the iron merchant from buying in Glasgow for that price, paying his own freight to Chicago and selling for $17.00?
No looking glasses are made in this country. Who is protected by the tariff on them? No tin plates are manufactured here. Who is protected by the tax on them?
Without using unnecessary words "the American system of protection" may be defined as a process of law by which private property (money) is taken from one person and given to another for his private use and benefit.
The number of persons benefited by the present excessive duties is comparatively small. I do not believe that a single manufacturer of Cortland county is benefited by the present high schedule. Will you not invite any of your readers who does believe that one single manufacturer in our community is benefited by it, to name the concern over his signature. A single well authenticated fact is worth a great deal of theory.
LEWIS S. HAYES. [Mr. Hayes was the proprietor of Cortland Folding and Adjustable Chair Company, located at South Main Street and South (Railroad) Avenue. See numbered buildings on map below.—CC editor.]
|E. C. & N. R. R. Station (Lehigh), No. 1, Wickwire Bros. Wire Cloth Mills, No. 14, Cortland Folding Chair & Cabinet Co.--1894 map.|
Order of the Iron Hall.
Branch 213, O. I. H. has just paid to one of its members, Geo. A. Wilber, (who is suffering with chronic mylitis) the sum of two hundred dollars for sick benefit. This is in addition to a previous payment of one hundred dollars for the same sickness.
ARTHUR HOLT, Acct. of 213.
What Has Been Accomplished.
The legislature set out in January to give the people of the State:
1st. Ballot reform.
2d. The World's Fair.
3d. Rapid transit for New York.
4th. High license. [tax on retail sales of alcoholic beverages—CC editor]
Only two weeks of a session that has covered January, February, March and April remain, and the defeat of the World's Fair is all that has been accomplished.—Albany Argus.
CHENANGO — The Pollard House at Afton was destroyed by fire, Thursday evening.
New Berlin's panther has been seen by four or five men this spring. A thorough hunt is proposed.
E. H. Porter, of Coventry, has a lamb one week old which weighs twenty-three pounds. It is of the Shropshire breed.
The celebrated Afton Base Ball Club is a thing of the past. The grand stand on their grounds has been removed, and the players are scattered. But the boys who composed that team have reason to be proud of their career as a club, with pleasant recollections of victories won.
On Monday, while Frank May was engaged in digging a cellar on what is known as York knoll [mound], near Norwich, he unearthed the skeleton of a man. The bones were all intact and, to all appearances, belonged to a man somewhat over six feet in height. The skeleton, after being exposed to the air, crumbled away somewhat. It is supposed to be that of an Indian, and no doubt has lain there a great many years.
MADISON.—Morrisville has the measles.
Sheriff Burroughs has purchased a fine sorrel team valued at $1,500.
Charles Kinney and Zeleroy Peterson had quite an experience, Monday, while drawing a load of hay from Mrs. Mary Bennett's to Henry Howes', where they were working in DeRuyter. A piece of sheet iron, placed over a hind wheel to protect it from the hay, was crowded against the wheel and became heated, setting the load on fire. They drove on unconscious of danger until some one called their attention to the flames, which progressed very rapidly. The horses were so frightened that it was almost impossible to release them from the wagon. Nine men who happened to be near by, arrived in time to overturn the wagon and remove it from the burning mass, only one wheel and a corner of the rack being injured.
TOMPKINS.—Genoa parties propose to lease, buy or build property in Groton suitable for a hotel.
Two girls, aged 12 and 14 years, respectively, fell out of a row boat into the Inlet, yesterday, and were saved from drowning by Henry Van Order. The younger girl was nearly gone when taken out.
At the residence of Professor Harris, on East Seneca street, Ithaca, an oil lamp was upset and broken a night or two ago. The oil ignited and before the fire could be extinguished a considerable amount of damage resulted.
For several days a man in the employ of the government has been engaged in the Tompkins Co. Clerk's office in making memoranda of all mortgaged property in the county. He does this for the new census. The records of every county office in the country is being examined in like manner. It is a question if the information gained will be worth the great cost to get it.
At the close of the cloud burst there was a large embankment carried away on the D. L. & W. R. R. near Caroline. Harland Snyder, a lad aged 15 years, discovered the same, and knowing that the Owego train was yet due, started on a run for Caroline station, and thus probably saved the train from destruction. A few days ago he was made happy by the receipt of a check from the railroad company for the sum of $50.
Election of Officers.
At a regular meeting of Lincoln Lodge, No. 119, I. O. G. T., held on Friday evening the following officers were elected for the ensuing quarter:
C. T.—L. L. Gillet.
V. T.—Mrs. Geo. Briggs.
F. Sec.—F. O. Salisbury.
K. Sec.—H. B. Roark.
Chaplain—Mrs. W. H. Bradt.
Treas.—S. W. Baldwin.
Sentinel—P. N. Peck.
S. J. T.—Mrs. F. O. Salisbury.
As the Free Methodist conference will be in session on Friday evening, the regular meeting was held Wednesday evening.
At the regular meeting of Harmony Lodge, No. 608, I. O. G. T., held on Saturday evening last, the following officers were elected for the quarter ending August 1:
C. T.—Warren Loope.
V. T.—Ella Howland.
Fin. Sec.—Frank Carpenter.
P. C. T.—Walter Stevenson.
S. J. T—Mrs. Rob't Culver.
L. D.—E. F. Baldwin.
To Rent. [paid advertisements]
Farm of sixty acres, situated on Tompkins street, one mile from Main. Large brick house and good barns, or will rent buildings and two or more acres of land without the farm if desired. Inquire of T. Blanchard. Cortland, N. Y. (2tf)
To Rent or for Sale.
The house of Dr. Miles G. Hyde. Inquire next door, 41 Tompkins St. (4tf)