Page images


The first strike in the United States occurred in New York city in 1803, when a number of sailors struck for higher wages. In 1827 the Workingmen's Party appeared in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and other cities. At the State election in New York, in 1829, the Workingmen's Party elected one candidate to the legislature, Ebenezer Ford, of New York. In 1831 the New England Association of Farmers, Mechanics, and Workingmen was formed, and in 1834 a mechanics' convention met at Utica, N. Y., and protested against convict labor.

The first National Labor Congress met at Baltimore, Aug. 20, 1866. The Knights of Labor were organized in Philadelphia, in 1869. From 1870 to the present time, the labor movement has grown to a large extent in the increase in its trades union membership: It has, by its strikes, lockouts, and settlements by arbitration, had considerable influence in the direction of labor legis. lation in political campaigns.

President Van Buren established the system of the ten-hour movement in the government navy-yards in 1840, and President Johnson signed the first eight-hour law for the benetit of government laborers, in 1866. Congress created a National Bureau of Labor in 1884, which became an independent part of the government in 1888.

The Trades Union organizations of the United States held a convention at Columbus, Ohio, in December, 1886, when a national organization was formed and a constitution adopted. The title taken by the organization was that of The American Federation of Labor, which, together with the Order of Knights of Labor of America, are the two principal national labor organizations of the United States. A new National Industrial Organization was formed at a convention held at St. Louis, in February, 1892.

Commissioner Wright, of the United States Department of Labor, reports the eight-bour law as prevailing in the following States:-California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Wyoming. In California, in the case of drivers, conductors, and grip-men of street cars, a day's work consists of twelve hours. In Illinois, the eight-hour law does not apply to farm work, nor does it prevent contracts for longer hours during the day, week, or month. In New Mexico, eight hours is a legal day's work upon mining claims. In New York, the law does not include

farm labor or domestic work, and overwork for extra pay is permitted. In Pennsylvania the law does not apply to farm work, nor to service by the month, year, etc. In Wisconsin the law does not apply to contracts for labor by the week, month, or year.

Boycotting by labor organizations is practically prohibited by law in Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Blacklisting is practically prohibited by law in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin. Both blacklisting and boycotting are prohibited by law in Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New York, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.

In regard to employees joining organizations, it may be said, that in New York, upon any one applying for a situation, it is a misdemeanor for any employer to exact an agreement, either written or verbal, from such party, that he will not join one or the other of such organizations.

According to the last reports, the National Trades Unions have the following membership. (The membership of the Knights of Labor is about 200,000.)





SHIP. Axe and Edge Tool-makers' Na

Hair-spinners' National Union of tional Union.. 1,200 America.

1,000 Journeymen Bakers' National

Saddle and Harness-makers' N. F. Union 17,500 of America.

2,000 National Union of Barbers. 1,200 Horseshoers' Association.

5.000 Blacksmiths' National Union.


Horse-collar-makers' Union. 3,000 International Brotherhood of Iron

Iron - moulders' Union of North Shipbuilders.... 10,000 America..

41,000 Federation of Book-keepers

2,000 Sheet - iron and Cornice - workers' Box Sawyers' and Nailers' Union.. 1,500 Inter. Union..

3,000 Brewery Workmen's National

Amalgamated Association of Iron Union 9,500 and Steel-workers..

60,000 Druggists' Ware Glass - blowers'

Building Laborers' and Hod-carLeague, East.

riers. National Union.

12,000 Druggists' Ware Glass - blowers'

National Association of Machinists 10,000 League, West

4,500 Machinists' International Union 2,700 Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen 16,000 Musicians' National League..

11,000 Inter. Bricklayers' and Stonema

National Pattern-makers League. 11,000 sons' Union

35,000 Brotherhood of Painters and DecBrotherhood of Carpenters and

orators of America

16,000 Joiners of America 65,000 Piano-makers' Union

6,000 Amalgamated Society of Carpen

Operative Plasterers' Inter. Union. 14,000 ters and Joiners..

2,800 Journeymen Plumbers' and GasfitCigar-makers' International Union 27,000 ters' Union

7.000 Carriage and Wagon-mak'rs' Union 2,000 International Typographical Union 28,000 Clerks National Protective Asso

German-American Typographia... 3,400 ciation

1,500 Quarrymen's National Union of National Union of Coopers of the


2,500 United States.

2,500 Atlantic Coast International Union 3,600 United Mine Workers of America. 20,000 Lasters' Protective Union

12,000 Order of Railroad Conductors, 10,000 Boot and Shoemakers' InternaAmalgamated Society of Engineers 3,500 tional Union.....

10,000 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engin

Nat. Federation of Silk-workers.. 1,500 eers... 30,000 Mulespinners' Union

9,000 Brotherhood of Stationary Engin

Stereotypers' Union, New York and eers.. 6,000 Vicinity

700 Electrical Workers' Union. 2,000 Stone-cutters.

1,400 Brotherhood of Locomotive Fire

Switchmen's Mutual Aid Associamen 23,317 tion.....

7,000 Furniture-workers' Union of Amer. 8,000 Tack-makers' Union.

400 United Garment-workers of Amer. 4,000 Journeymen Tailors' Union of Glass - employés' Association of


17,000 America...

750 United Brotherhood of Tanners Flint Glass-workers'Union of North

and Curriers of America..

900 America...

Brotherhood of Telegraphers..

800 Green Glass Pressers' Union.. 3,000 Textile-workers' Progressive Union Glass Packers and Sorters' Protec

of America...

9,000 tive Union

1,500 Mosaic and Encaustic Tile-makers' Table Knife Grinders' National

National Union...

3,000 Union ..

1,000 Waiters' and Bartenders' National Granite-cutters' National Union... 20,000 Union.. Hat-tinishers' International Asso

Elastic Web-weavers

300 ciation of North America... 5,500 Wood-carvers' National Union.. 800 Hat makers' International Asso

Machine - workers' International ciation of North America... 3,500 Union

2,200 Silk Hatters' Association..

1.000 Wool Hatters' Association... 2,000







Total vote.


1890.. Governor. Connecticut


Governor. Iowa

... 1889.. Governor Maine..

.1890.. Governor. Massachusetts.

1891.. Governor Michigan

1890.. Governor. Missouri.

..1890.. Justice Supreme Court New York..

1891.. Governor.. Ohio.

.1889.. Governor.. Wisconsin..

.1890.. Governor..... *Including Republican vote for Labor ticket. Socialist vote.

[blocks in formation]

For over half a century the prohibition movement has been agitated in this country, and for over forty years it has been a political issue in some of the States. Its agitation is as old as that of the slavery question. In Massachusetts from 1835 to 1838, the local option law had become prohibition in nearly all the counties; that is, the law prohibited the sale of less than fifteen gallons of liquors at one time, but this act was repealed the next year. In 1852 a prohibitory law was passed and remained in force with many amendments until 1875, except that a license law took its place for a year in 1868. In 1875 a license law was passed and has since remained in force, notwithstanding the annual efforts to renew prohibition. The Maine law-an “act to prohibit drinking houses and tippling shops," was passed in 1851 and has since been the law of the State, except for the two years, 1856–57, when a stringent license law took its place. Vermont passed the Maine law in 1852, and has since enforced it. New Hampshire passed it in 1855, and although retaining it since, has not entirely enforced it. Rhode Island passed it in 1852, and substituted license and local option in 1863–65, passed the Maine law again in 1874 and returned to license the next year. Connecticut passed the Maine law in 1854, never enforced it, and repealed it in 1872. New York passed the Maine law in 1855 and repealed it in 1857. The Ohio constitution forbids the passage of any license law by the Legislature—that is, the sale of liquor must be free or prohibited. The “ Scott Law” for taking sales of liquor was passed and pronounced constitutional in 1882–83. In Michigan the Maine law was passed in 1855 and repealed in 1875; in 1876 the no-license clause of the constitution was repealed. Iowa passed the Maine law in 1855. In 1882 a prohibitory amendment to the State constitution, having been passed by two Legislatures, was ratified by the people by a large majority. Kansas adopted a prohibitory amendment in 1880, and in 1881 the Legislature passed an act to enforce it. In 1882 Governor St. John, the leader of the Prohibitionists, was renominated by the Republicans. About 16,000 of his party voted against him, and he was the only Republican candidate defeated. In North Carolina in 1881, a prohibitory law proposed for popular ratification by the Legislature, was defeated by a vote of 166,325 to 48,370. In Nebraska at the election in 1891 for a Judge of the Supreme Court, Post, the Republican candidate, polled 76,447 votes, Edgerton, the Independent candidate, 72,311 votes, and Bittenbender, the Prohibition candidate, 7,322 votes. At the election for Governor in 1890, Paine, the Prohibition candidate, polled 3,676 votes. Nebraska is still a high license State, although strenuous efforts have been made to have a prohibition act passed by its Legislature. In the election contest, 1891, for Chief Justice, Colorado, Croxton, the Prohibition candidate, received 6,384 votes, the Democratic vote being over 30,000 and the Republican vote more than 40,900. Augur, the Prohibition candidate for Governor of Connecticut, 1890, polled 3,413 votes, the total vote cast being 135,298. Link, Prohibition candidate for Treasurer, Illinois, 1890, received 22,306 votes, the total vote cast being 676, 133. In Indiana, Blount, the Prohibition candidate for Secretary of State, 1890, received 12,106 votes, out of a total vote of 477,643. During the contest for governor, 1891, Iowa, Gibson, Prohibition candidate, received 919 votes out of a total of 420,152. Harris, nominee of the party in Kentucky, for governor, 1891, polled 3,293, the total for the State being 289,176. In Maine, Clark, running for the governorship, was credited with 2,981 votes, the total cast being 113,824. The states recording a Prohibition vote of more than 10,000 at the last State election, in addition to Illinois and Indiana, are New York (30,353); Ohio (20,190); Pennsylvania (18,429); Tennessee (11,082) and Wisconsin (11,246).


THE question of Woman Suffrage, like that of Prohibition, has been agitated for many years by that school of women of which' Susan B. Anthony is the leading champion. This lady has often presided at Woman Suffrage conventions held in various portions of the United States, and she has, with woman's wit and woman's logic, impressed more than one Congressman of the righteousness of the cause for which she has so long and ably labored. She has, like other distinguished exponents of special issues that have arisen since the foundation of the Republic, met with both successes and reverses, and now, venerable in age, she is still pressing onward to the goal of her ambition “universal woman suffrage,” with unimpaired vigor, and ever sanguine of her ultimate triumph.

Agitation against slavery in the United States gave prominence to the question of “Natural rights." The first Woman's Rights Convention was held at Seneca Falls, N. Y., July 19, 1848. It based the claims of woman on the Declaration of Independence and demanded equal rights. The first National Woman's Rights Convention was held at Worcester, Mass., Oct. 23, 1850.

Its advocates argued that it is a natural right and that “the consent of the governed ” is not “the governed property holders nor the governed voting men, nor the governed married men, but all the governed men and women;" that taxation without representation is tyranny; that the voting of males is no longer conditional upon military service; that no class is as safe a guardian of the interests of another class as that other class itself, and that woman needs a vote to adequately protect and advance her interests.

In 1866 the American Equal Rights Association presented the first petition ever laid before Congress for Woman Suffrage. In 1868 the New England Woman Suffrage Association was formed and the first systematic effort begun for memorializing Legislatures and Congress, obtaining hearings before these bodies, holding conventions, publishing and distributing tracts and documents, and securing lecturers. In Massachusetts, in 1870, Lucy Stone and Mary A. Livermore were admitted as regular accredited delegates to the Republican convention. The Massachusetts Republican State Convention of 1871 endorsed Woman Suffrage, and the National Republican Convention of 1872 and 1876 resolved that the subject "should be treated with respectful consideration.”

Since 1870, women have voted in this country. In the Senate of the United States, February 7, 1889, a select committee reported in favor of amending the Federal Constitution so as to forbid States to make sex a cause of disfranchisement. Congress adjourned, March 4, without reaching the subject.

Twenty-nine States and Territories have given women some form of suffrage. In Arkansas, women vote (by signing or refusing to sign petitions) on granting liquor licenses. In Delaware, a law for school suffrage for women was enacted in 1889; and in some places municipal suffrage is exercised. In Kansas, women have suffrage with men in all municipal elections. In Missouri, women vote (by signing or refusing to sign petitions) on liquor licenses. In Montana, the new State Constitution guarantees women the power to vote on local taxation. In New York, women vote at school elections, at water-works elections, and on questions of paving, grading,

drainage, street lighting and other local improvements; 47 women voted at the State election in 1887, and were not punished. In Pennsylvania, a law was passed in 1889, under which women vote on local improvements (paving, etc.) by signing or refusing to sign petitions therefor. In Utah, women voted in the Territory until excluded by the Edmunds law. They have organized in large numbers to demand the repeal of this law. In Washington, women voted in the Territory for five years and until excluded from the suffrage by a decision of the Territorial Supreme Court. In adopting a State Constitution, the question of allowing women to vote was submitted separately to the vote of the men. It was not carried. In some places women were excluded from voting for members of the constitutional convention, or on the adoption of the Constitution and the suffrage clause. Many women claim that they were illegally excluded and will appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. În Wyoming, women have voted on the same terms with men since 1870. The convention in 1889 to form a State Constitution unanimously inserted a provision securing them suffrage. The Constitution was ratified by the voters at a special election by about a three-fourths majority. Congress refused to require the disfranchisement of the women, and admitted the State, July 10, 1890.

« PreviousContinue »