Friday, September 30, 2016


Ellis Island, New York harbor.
Cortland Evening Standard, Tuesday, March 7, 1893.

The Relation of Immigration to the American Farmer.

   The following is the very admirable paper delivered by Mr. Henry Howes of Cuyler at the Farmers' institute in Cortland last week:

Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen:
   It has been said, and I think very wisely, that "The highest duty of a nation is self preservation," and, if this be true of a nation, it should apply equally as well to a class or an individual. I do not believe that any nation has a right to exterminate other nations for the purpose of building itself up or that any class or person has that right, but that every individual class or nation has the right of self protection and they should exercise that right. The last census of the United States showed that our country was increasing rapidly in population, and that as a whole it had gained more in wealth in the preceding ten years than it had in any other ten years of its existence. This is something for every one of us to be proud of, but, while we have viewed with satisfaction the growth and prosperity of our country as a whole, we as investors and laborers in a business that for the ten years from 1880 until 1890 was far from prosperous or profitable have had some cause for sorrow. The depreciation in the value of eastern farm property during those years was at a greater per cent than ever known before, not excepting the ten years immediately after the close of the war.
   Now what was the cause of this unfortunate condition of the farming industry? We know that there have been many. But one which has not seemed to attract the attention of farmers very much has in my opinion been one of the chief causes. It has been the policy of our government to stimulate immigration. The whole world has been given to understand that this was a free country and it has been demonstrated that it was nearly so. Now the question uppermost in our minds is, can we keep it so or are we to become yoke wearers and burden bearers to be controlled at some future day by this element which we have allowed to be planted here? To the honest manly immigrant anxious to become an American citizen in all that the name implies and sturdily able to support himself, as unwilling to wrong others as to suffer a wrong at their hands, we cordially extend our hands now as we have in the past.
   We receive every year scores of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of immigrants whose presence is a boon to the land, who themselves become good citizens, as good as any in the country and whose children are Americans of the best type. But we also receive scores of thousands and it is to be feared under certain conditions we may receive hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are as emphatically a curse to us as their fellows are a blessing. They may be a curse in any one of several ways. If they refuse to assimilate with us, and are indeed incapable of such assimilation then they should be kept out. Again, if the immigrant can be assimilated, but if it must be the work of many generations, he should only be admitted in small quantities and not tax too severely the national digestion, and again. if he is of immoral character, he should be kept out entirely. Murderers, convicts and felons of every kind should be rigidly excluded and we have no place here for the anarchist, the dynamiter or the socialist. Over this country there is room for but one flag, and of all flags there is none more alien to the Stars and Stripes than the bloody flag of anarchy. Again if the immigrants are morally unobjectionable, if they are used to low scale of living—and nearly all who land here now are of this class—they should not be allowed to come here and practically given our best farming lands and immediately brought into direct competition with us, their mode of living being such that they can subsist where an ordinary farmer would starve.
   The United States has been offered as an asylum for the oppressed of all nations, but this should be withdrawn when the oppressed of other nations become our oppressors.
   The people who come to our country now may be derived into three classes: viz., the thrifty immigrant who by the most rigid economy in his foreign home has been able to save a little money and on his arrival here, as I said before, is given land and comes directly in competition with us and has helped to cause an overproduction in every farm product.
   The second class—I hardly know what to name them—they are the men who at home in their native land are plotting to overthrow their government, they become afraid to stay there and so come to this free country to try to educate the people as to what freedom means.
   The last class is the pauper class which is a very large class. I want to give you an extract from the report of the New York State Board of Charities and Correction. They say after giving statistics, "It may be well to add that it is the general impression of those most familiar with the subject that the extraordinary flood of immigrants coming to our shores of recent years do not so much represent voluntary immigration as that which is stimulated.
   "Foreign steamship lines have found that there is no cargo so profitable as a human one that loads and unloads itself and virtually imposes no cost for care. With this view little care if any apparently is paid by the lines to the kind of passengers, whether fitted or unfitted for self support and it is said that to secure steerages full of passengers special efforts are made by runners and agents scouring the interior and remote parts of Europe to induce all they can to go to America even if in so doing they sell their little possessions and have but mere pittances for their support on landing here in a strange land, strange in tongue and with ways and activities that they cannot in their day and generation assimilate with or become accustomed to, especially while they congregate as they do into city districts and form so to speak separate bodies of different nationalities retaining and using their own language and maintaining their native habits with hardly a perceptible effort to become 'Americanized.'
   "On their part much as we should like that process to become spontaneous and universal to all claiming citizenship with us what wonder then that so many find their way to become beneficiaries of the public and other charitable institutions that its cities and the state of New York itself now abound with covering all forms of relief. Yet all perpetually crowded, requiring new ones annually to be built or existing ones enlarged or expanded with branches to accommodate increasing patronage."
   Now pardon me for one more extract this from the committee on foreign relations at the national grange held at Concord, N. H., last November. "Your committee views with alarm the constant flow of immigrants from the European nations though we welcome with hospitality the industrious and the worthy. Yet when we consider that more than half a million landed on our shores within the last twelve months and when no one doubts or denies that the status of manhood and womanhood of these immigrants are getting lower in the scale of humanity each year as compared with the former days of our Republic, it has become alarming. Thousands upon top of thousands of the scum, the drift, the debris of pauperized depravity continue without any abatement. They are a threat to morality, an injury to our honest wage earners. They vitiate the sanctity of the ballot and sow seeds of discontent. This Republic will prosper just so long as the man who labors is self-respecting, hard-working, thrifty and a fairly successful citizen and the minute he ceases to be such, that minute the whole country is in danger."
   I do not think we need to be alarmed about our lawyers, clergymen or professional men being brought into unfair competition with immigrants entering the same profession, but we have every reason to believe that the standard of the men who till the farms, dig the mines and build the houses is lowered by undue competition with the multitudes poured upon our shores through the steerage cabins of the countless European steamships.
   Now what seems to be for the best interest of the farmer to encourage competition and over production, to allow people to come here to advance theories entirely opposed to good government, to keep our gates wide open and become the asylum, poor house and jail for the whole world (China excepted) or to use our influence as a class to bring about some relief from this one evil?

A Good Performance.
   There was a fair sized audience at our cosy little Opera House last evening to witness for the first lime the presentation of the "Two Old Cronies," The entertainment combined a large number of good specialties. The dialogue fairly bristled with funny sayings and witty repartee which kept the audience in a continual roar during the entire evening. John B. Wills and Monte F. Collins in the title role created no end of amusement and their "make up" would have caused a graven image to laugh. Miss Norma Wills, captured the audience by the rendition of several popular airs in a highly pleasing manner. The support was all good, Misses Madelain Marshall and Violet St. Clair being especially worthy of mention.
  One of the best and most rapid stage shifts of scenery ever seen in Cortland was made when the incandescents were turned out for a few seconds on scene on board the ship Columbia and when they were re-lighted an Indian encampment appeared, as if by magic, on the stage. Taken all in all—the new songs, dances, music and specialties and the originality of the action—it was thought by some who were there to be one of the best performances given here this season.

Judge Parker's Order on Brewer and Brown Injunction.
   Some of the parties interested in the legal complications in which the Cortland Top and Rail Co. is now involved have called our attention to the fact that the paragraph in our yesterdays issue in reference to Judge Parker's decision in the matter of the injunction granted E. H. Brewer and D. H. Brown was not a full statement of that decision.
   The order reads as follows: "I do hereby order that said injunction order is hereby set aside, vacated and annulled as to the judgments and the executions thereon in favor of George Bennett and John Bennett and Charles Kinley against Cortland Top and Rail Company, Limited, and that the sheriff of Cortland county be and is hereby authorized to proceed under such executions, such order otherwise to remain in full force and effect. And it is further ordered that plaintiffs in this action, within ten days from this date, execute and deliver and file a good and sufficient bond or undertaking in form, substance and with sureties to be approved by the county judge of Cortland county, in the sum of $5,000 in lieu of the bond or undertaking presented upon the application for said injunction order; such undertaking to be for the benefit of the said defendants other than John Bennett and
George Bennett and Charles Kinley, and in default thereof said injunction order is wholly vacated and annulled."

The Village Ticket.
   The Republican village ticket this year is a more than ordinarily strong one.
   Calvin P. Walrad, the nominee for president, has already filled that office very acceptably for one term, and stands (among our most solid, judicious and trusted business men. During his long mercantile career and as treasurer and president of the Cortland Savings bank he has gained a wide acquaintance and won the confidence of the community. When nominated before for the office the Democratic convention put no candidate in the field against him—a recognition of fitness such as is rarely made.
   Harry Swan, the nominee for trustee in the First ward, is a representative working man, and is now holding the office for which he is again a candidate. He has many elements of popularity, and during his present term has been diligent and faithful in the performance of his duties. His renomination he can fairly claim as an endorsement of past service and as a promise of future support.
   T. C. Scudder, Jr., nominee for trustee in the Third ward, is a resident of Cortland of many years standing, widely known, and universally respected. He is an accurate, careful, common-sense man, and will be a valuable member of the village board.
   Wm. Corcoran, for police justice, is one of the most prominent Irish Republicans of Cortland, and was president of the Tippecanoe Marching club last fall. He is one of the younger members of the Cortland county bar, has good natural abilities and legal acquirements, and popular manners. He has served acceptably one term as town clerk of Cortlandville and was reelected to that office at the last town meeting.
   N. J. Parsons, for assessor, is an admirable selection. Mr. Parsons is an excellent judge of property, candid and judicial in forming his conclusions, and given to doing whatever he undertakes with energy and thoroughness. He can be trusted to perform the somewhat difficult and delicate duties of the office to which he is called with eminent success.
   Mr. P. J. Peck, for village treasurer, is as well fitted for the place as any one who could be found in Cortland. As the popular and efficient book-keeper and cashier of the National bank of Cortland he has had just the training necessary for the discharge of the duties of the office, and the accounts will come from his hands neatly and systematically kept and balancing to a cent.
   W. E. Phelps, for collector, is a popular and in every way satisfactory nomination. Mr. Phelps will look after the work of the office himself and can be trusted to do it thoroughly and energetically.
   Of the nominees for Commissioners of Union Free School district No. 1 for full term, Messrs. D. P. Wallace and F. W. Kingsbury are old members of the board, of tried and proven efficiency, and Mr. W. J. Perkins, who takes the place of F. E. Whitmore, is too well-known as one of our leading business men to need commendation. Mr. Wallace was one of the first men who came upon the school board by election, and has for several years been its valued and valuable presiding officer. Mr. F. D. Smith, who is nominated for two years to fill out the unexpired term of Mr. E. Frank Squires, resigned, has already served on the board by appointment, and shown himself a useful member. Mr. A. S. Brown, nominated for one year to fill out an unexpired term, is the present popular county treasurer of this county, and to his experience in that office he adds the training gained in an active and successful business career. He fills the measure of the idea conveyed by the word "hustler," and can be trusted to do any work that falls to him "with neatness and dispatch."
   Though the usual Democratic raid will probably be made on one or two candidates, the Republican line would seem to be strong enough to resist a great deal of hard pounding.

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