The Hazzard Circular

The Pirates Plot
And the Road to Ruin
by
Benjamin S. Heath
editor of
The Chicago Express
author of
Labor and Finance Revolution

192 Madison St., Chicago, Ill.

R.R. McCabe & Co.,
68 Wabash Avenue, Chicago
1887


"The commerce of the country is now in the power of the Bank of England, as it was before in the legislature.  For legislative enactment we have substituted the decision of the Bank Parlor;  for a responsible government we have substituted an irresponsible body composed of twenty-four Directors, and a Governor and Deputy Governor.  To these we have confided the commerce of this mighty empire.  Instead of a mercantile system supported by merchants and manufacturers and agricultural interests, we have now the monetary system endangering the welfare of merchants, manufacturers, and agricultural interests -- for the benefit of the fund-holding classes."
--Mr. Seley of London




THE HAZZARD CIRCULAR


This circular was issued in 1862 by English capitalists and circulated "confidentially" among American bankers.  After it is carefully read, no one need be at a loss to solve the mystery of the finance legislation which has followed, or whose interest Congress in all these years has been laboring to forward:



The Infernal Document.

Slavery is likely to be abolished by the war power and chattel slavery destroyed.

This, I and my European friends are in favor of, for slavery is but the owning of labor, and carries with it the care for the laborer;  while the European plan, led on by England, is capital control of labor, by controlling wages.

THIS CAN BE DONE BY CONTROLLING THE MONEY.

The great debt that capitalists will see to it is made out of the war, must be used as a measure to control the volume of money.

To accomplish this, the bonds must be used as a banking basis.

We are now waiting to get the secretary of the treasury to make this recommendation to Congress.

IT WILL NOT DO TO ALLOW THE greenback, as it is called, TO CIRCULATE AS MONEY any length of time, for WE CANNOT CONTROL THAT.

IS IT GENUINE ?

This question has frequently been asked.

Old party politicians will deny it as infidels deny the truths of Scripture.  The author has seen a copy of the original furnished to an Iowa banker, to whom it was sent in "confidence."

Col. Jesse Harper, of Danville, is either in possession of an original copy, or can vouch for the genuineness of the foregoing.  It is as susceptible of proof as any document of history.





THE PIRATES' PLOT.
Change Alley and Wall Street Conspire
TO ROB AMERICAN LABOR -- THE HAZZARD CIRCULAR ANALYZED IN THE LIGHT OF SUBSEQUENT EVENTS -- THE NEW SYSTEM OF SLAVERY FOR THE TOILING MILLIONS OF THE NEW WORLD.


About the middle of the present century Sir John Lubbock, of England, declared that "there is likely to be an effort made by the capital class to fasten upon the world a rule through their wealth and by means of reduced wages place the masses upon a footing more degrading and dependent than has ever been known in history.  The spirit of money worshipers seems to be rapidly developing in this direction."

In the summer of 1862 the money pirates of London saw an opportunity to extend their infernal slave system to American labor, and accordingly embodied their scheme in a "confidential" circular, and commissioned one Hazzard, a London banker, to propagate it among the American bankers, with a view of having the finance legislation of Congress pave the way for its final adoption as the settled policy of the nation.

How nearly the English plot has been carried out let the subsequent record demonstrate.

We print the circular in full on the preceding page, which should be cut out and preserved for future reference.

After predicting that slavery would be abolished and chattel slavery destroyed by the war power, Mr. Hazzard informs his American allies that "this is just what I and my European friends are in favor of, for slavery is but the owning of labor, and carries with it the care of labor."

Slave labor was too expensive, and it imposed too great a responsibility and care upon the owners to satisfy their greed.  What then does Mr. Hazzard propose to substitute ?

The European plan, led on by England, is CAPITAL CONTROL OF LABOR, BY CONTROLLING WAGES.

How can a few money-mongers who never employ labor control the wages of other men's employes ?

Simply by controlling the money volume of the nation.

The slightest diminution in the volume of the circulating medium depresses prices and wages.

The Congressional Monetary Commission in its Report (page 55) says:

The worst effect of a shrinking volume of money, and consequently of falling prices, is upon laborers whom it deprives of employment and consigns to poverty.

This vast poverty-stricken army will continue to increase as long as falling prices continue.

Mr. Hazzard and his European friends understood this, for they had abundant experience in enriching themselves and enslaving all English labor after abolishing labor ownership through their finance policy after their last great wars.

The great debt that the CAPITALISTS WILL SEE TO IT is made out of the war, MUST BE USED AS A MEASURE TO CONTROL THE VOLUME OF MONEY.

To accomplish this the bonds must be used as a banking basis.  We are now waiting to get the secretary of the treasury to make this recommendation to Congress.

This was the fall of 1862, when the greenbacks were becoming more and more popular with the army and with the people, and which, under the efforts of Secretary Chase, were rapidly displacing bank currency, which the secretary recommended be taxed out of use.

But the money pirates "waited" to get the secretary to change his mind, and before Congress met in December of that year, Mr. Chase had turned a financial somersault and came out in his report with a strong recommendation for the passage of the national banking act, in which he said:

The central idea of this measure is the establishment of a sound uniform currency throughout the country, upon the foundation of national credit [national debt], making this the settled policy of the country.

According to the program, slavery was abolished by the power of war, and chattel slavery destroyed Jan. 1, 1863, by proclamation of the President.

One month after slavery was abolished, John Sherman introduced in the Senate the national bank bill, which, after three days, was passed by a vote of 32 to 21.  Then it was hurriedly sent to the House and passed the next day by a vote of 88 to 64, and five days later it received the President's approval.

Such was the haste to rush this measure through that the opposition did not have time to prepare and make a protest.

Mr. Collamer, of Vermont, barely had time to say:

To induce the people to take $300,000,000 of bonds on interest to set up these banks, put out their circulation as a "national currency," and we guarantee its payment !

Wherein is that any better than the greenback ?

I will ask gentlemen to put that question to themselves.  Is it any better ?  What is it founded on ?  United States credit !  United States bonds !  Whom do the bill-holders look to for their final redemption ?  The United States treasury !

We say we will redeem them.  The system has no other foundation.  All these fictitious contrivances about the responsibility of individual stockholders amounts to just nothing.

As to the proposition to retain 25 per cent. out of their circulation, they can put that in their pockets whenever they please, and there is nobody to question them.

It is simply and singly founded upon public responsibility, and Mr. Sherman thinks that is its great feature of excellence.

Instead of circulating that amount of our own [greenback] currency, upon our own responsibility, and paying nothing, we are to hire these banks to circulate that amount of our currency, and pay them twelve millions of dollars a year for doing it.

Yankee as I am, I am unable to perceive how it is possible that it can be a good trade for us, or how any shrewd man would think of entering into an agreement of that kind.

Two points of the British plot were now secured -- the abolition of labor ownership, and the establishment of a bankers' currency based on the public debt.

The next point was to get rid of the greenback and the treasury note, and the cannon's boom at Petersburg had hardly died away when Congress passed a bill for the rapid extinction of the money which alone had saved the Union.

In his first annual report after the passage of the contraction bill in 1866 the secretary of the treasury said:

The process of contracting the circulation of the government notes should go on just as rapidly as possible WITHOUT PRODUCING A FINANCIAL CRASH.

Such was the secretary's zeal to serve his Wall street and London masters that even the bankers saw that he must be cautioned, lest the people become alarmed.  So E.G. Spaulding, a New York banker, wrote to him to "contract slowly, so as to maintain a TOLERABLE EASY MONEY MARKET FOR AT LEAST A YEAR TO COME."

That year there were but 632 business failures in all the country, but as contraction continued failures multiplied, and labor was thrown out of employment until in 1877-8 there were over 10,000 failures, and 3,000,000 men were tramping for work.

But even this did not give the money power entire control of the currency.  Silver was being produced in great abundance, and its coinage was unrestricted.  This must be stopped.  So another British emissary, armed with half a million of British corruption money, invaded our Congress and captured enough marketable "representatives" to secure the demonetization act.

But their scheme was not yet perfected.

The national bank act, in order not to alarm the people, limited the bank note circulation to $300,000,000, and the act of Congress, March 3, 1864, permitted the secretary of the treasury, at his discretion, to increase the greenback circulation to $400,000,000.

In his circular Mr. Hazzard said:

It will not do to allow the greenback, so called, to circulate as money for any length of time, for we cannot control that.

So, on the 14th day of January, 1875, John Sherman introduced a bill which was passed and became a law, authorizing the national banks to expand or contract the volume of their currency at will, without regard to limit;  also that from and after January 1, 1879, the greenbacks should be redeemed and retired as fast as presented for that purpose in sums of not less than $50.

Thus the record shows that the Hazzard circular has been adopted by our lawmakers, and has been the rule of action for both the old political parties, and that it has been carried out to the letter as far as legislation is concerned.

It is true it received a check in 1878, by a law authorizing the coinage of a limited number of silver dollars and the preservation of the greenback circulation, but these acts intended to head off the worst features of the English policy, have been rendered nugatory by the dishonest and illegal management of the public funds, and the evasions and misconstructions placed by the treasury officials upon the unmistakable intentions and requirements of law.

So, under the ruling policy of both Democratic and Republican parties, the Hazzard circular has become the financial policy of the nation.

And it has been adopted for a certain purpose, to-wit:  "CAPITAL CONTROL OF LABOR BY CONTROLLING WAGES."

What is the result ?

It has driven labor to pauperism, and is fast concentrating the lands, the machinery and the wealth of the nation in the hands of a monied oligarchy whose headquarters are in London and Wall street.

Instead of better times we may look for worse and worse, as money becomes more and more under the control of the conspirators, and as wages continue to fall and prices to decline.

Employment for labor, skilled and unskilled, will become more and more difficult to obtain.

The people are already appalled by a profound gloom, darker than ever before overshadowed civilization, for man sees clearer his possibilities.

It keeps property and wages down to hard-pan prices, by limiting the money to the coin basis, because when money is scarce prices must be low, and when prices are low the bondholder's interest is able to absorb and eat up all the proceeds of labor, and prevent the people from ever ridding themselves of the burden.

To perpetuate this system, to keep the masses in bondage to them, that they may rollick and luxuriate in idleness on the labor of the masses, they tell us that nothing but gold or silver is or can be money -- that anything else is a humbug, a snare, and will bring ruin upon the country -- that inflation is worse than the cholera or the plague.

And, notwithstanding they roll in their millions, with fabulous incomes themselves, they tell us that an average of fifty or sixty dollars apiece for the common folks would lead to speculation, dissipation, recklessness and wild extravagance.

This sad condition will continue and intensify until the chains of the money control are broken, and that element of industrial life is permitted to flow freely and unobstructed through the life channels of industry.





UNITED STATES BONDS.
The Most Gigantic Fraud Of The Age.
THE NATION SAVED FROM DEATH BY MORTGAGING ITS SOUL TO THE DEVIL.
No Necessity for Bonds -- They were conceived in iniquitous fraud, and wrenched from the government without contributing one dime to its relief.



At the breaking out of the rebellion, the government found itself destitute of the means necessary to carry on a gigantic war, and unable to procure such means from ordinary sources.

It applied to the great banks of the country, and found that aid from that source was too limited, and too uncertain, to be depended upon.  The banks finally agreed that, if specie payments could be indefinitely suspended, they would supply the government with an unlimited amount of their promises to pay -- their non-interest bearing bank notes -- in exchange for the government's interest bearing promises to pay -- coin bonds.

When the government saw that the war had got to be carried on without the use of coin -- with paper money based upon credit -- it conceived the idea that its own credit, coupled with its sovereign power of conferring the legal tender quality upon its evidences of indebtedness, was far better, cheaper, and more reliable than that of the banks.

This idea was embodied in the first legal tender act, and reported to the House by the ways and means committee, Jan. 7, 1862.

Its constitutionality received the approval of the attorney general, and its announcement met with popular and unparalleled favor, as it was destined to meet the nation's needs.

But before it had passed the threshold of legislation, it was met by the money sharks of Wall street.

There were no stealings in it for the money power.  There was no seam left open for the grappling irons of the financial pirate.  There was no tap from which the usurer could suck the blood of toil.

It met with violent and organized opposition.

From whom ?

From the soldier who was risking his life in defense of his country ?  No.

From the farmer who supplied food and mules ?  No.

From the manufacturer who furnished guns, wagons, army blankets, or ships of war ?  No.

Not one of all the employes, or creditors of the government, from the President down to the army teamsters, but what rejoiced at the prospect of receiving the government's own legal tender money in exchange for anything he had to sell, or any service he could render during the war, be it six months or seven years.

Who, then, opposed the coinage of free legal tender money ?  Why, the banks, and the money power.

What interest was it to them ?

What had they to do with this new money ?  Had they anything to sell to the government ?  Not a thing.  Were they going to enlist, and wanted pay other than greenbacks ?  No;  not a recruit from that quarter.

We will show you how and why they opposed it.  We are told that on the 11th of January, only four days after the introduction of this bill, the wolf howl that had, during the time, echoed from bank to bank, called to Washington a convention of the money power, consisting of four delegates from the New York banks, three from Philadelphia and three from Boston.

They saw in the legal tender bill a scheme that would cut off all future chance for them to rob the people.  They saw it would transfer the monopoly of the money from their hands to the control of the people.

They saw in it a precedent which, if permitted to be tested, would ever afterward enable the government to relieve itself and the people, without being obliged to submit to the extortions of the usurer.

In short, they saw the handwriting of their downfall, and the emancipation of labor and production, written on the legal tender greenback.

If the nation's necessities compelled it to resort to its own bills of credit, they must go forth with a bond attachment to enable the money power to rob the people, while the greenback was out fighting the battles of the country.

What arguments were used, or what undue influences were brought to bear upon the law-makers of the government, will probably never be known.  The result is a matter of record.

Every greenback that went out to fight the nation's battles was accompanied by a bond-shark to gobble it up as soon as it had performed its service.

The act of 1862, authorizing the issue of the first $500,000,000 of greenbacks, authorized a like number of bonds to absorb them.

To say that the bonds were issued and sold to raise money to carry on the war, is absurd and false.

The first legal tenders were issued under the law of Feb. 25, 1862, by which law, $500,000,000 of bonds were authorized to be sold.  Nearly a year and a half elapsed, before a bond was put upon the market, and when they were so offered, it was not because the government needed the money, but as a matter of speculation for Jay Cooke & Co.

This we are prepared to prove.

On March 3, 1863, the secretary of the treasury was authorized to issue $900,000,000 of legal tenders -- $300,000,000 for the then current year, and $600,000,000 for the year following.

Here was provided an abundance of money to carry on the war, without selling a bond.

But, in May, 1863, only two months after the treasury had been supplied with $900,000,000 of a new issue, Jay Cooke commenced his scheme of selling bonds and gobbling up greenbacks, and such was his success that before January, 1864, he had disposed of the entire issue of 5.20s, not because the government needed the greenbacks obtained for them, but because bankers and gold brokers had succeeded in buying up millions of dollars of legal tenders, at 30 to 60 cents on the dollar, and the Law had provided them with a bond into which to convert them at par.

Even when the war closed, there were still in the hands of the treasurer yet unappropriated, over $250,000,000 of legal tenders authorized under previous acts.  There never was a day after the passage of the first legal tender act, but what the government was in possession of all the money it needed of its own creation, without borrowing a dollar or selling a bond.

The only object of the bond was to enable the money sharks again to get control of the money of the country, which they never could do without the bond.

The government established the fact that it could meet all its obligations, purchase all its supplies, and defray every expense, with its own legal tenders;  and if so, what was the necessity of borrowing ?

You answer, that the bonds were necessary to absorb the excess occasioned by the extraordinary demands of the war.

We deny that there ever was an excess.

Let only him dare assert it who had more than he could find use for.

Even if there was an excess, the bonds did not diminish it.  The excess hat only been transferred from the pockets of laborers and wealth producers to those of usurers, importers and international dealers. Every bond is used as money.  They were used by English capitalists to buy American cotton and breadstuffs, and by American dealers to purchase imports, and glut our market with what our own labor should produce, but could not, for the want of the very money which was destroyed, that these bonds might live.

Just in proportion as the people's money was contracted, that of the money king has been inflated.

Just as contraction and specie limitation weakens and impoverishes the masses, bond inflation strengthens and enriches the few.

That their inflated paper bond money may be current all over the world, they require it to draw interest, and that they may be relieved of the burden of such interest, they compel labor and its products to pay all the taxes.

The difference to the people of America between the greenbacks, before they were converted into bonds, and the bonds is as follows:

The $1,500,000,000 of greenbacks earned their owners nothing while lying idle.

To be profitable every $500 had to give a laborer a year's employment, and the total amount kept 3,000,000 laborers constantly at work.

In bonds, they earned the owner fully as much, while resting in his safe;  but threw 3,000,000 men out of employment, and compelled property owners, who received no benefit from them, not only to support the 3,000,000 idle laborers and their families, but to pay the bondholders the interest annually, for the fun of the thing.

The people and taxpayers have got tired of this thing.  If they are to be taxed to support the government, they claim the benefit of the government and taxation.  When bonds are given for the loan of money, and that money circulated among the people, they can afford to bear the burdens of the debt;  but when such bonds are given to absorb and destroy the people's money, thus creating new burdens by destroying the very means necessary to bear those already existing, the sufferers will refuse to submit to the outrage and will certainly take the first opportunity to relieve themselves. It matters not what the result may be, the American people have drank too deep at the fount of liberty to submit to be enslaved by the bond fraud schemes of Europe, and now give fair notice that the time is not far distant when the entire public debt will be reconverted into non-interest currency for the benefit of the people.

But the pirates had laid their plot, and the politicians faithfully aided them in carrying it out.





THE ROAD TO RUIN.
WHAT THE PIRATES' POLICY DID IN TEN YEARS.
The record for each year, and the end has not been reached as yet.


On the 12th day of April, 1866, Congress passed a law authorizing the secretary of the treasury to sell 5-20 bonds, and with the proceeds retire United States currency, including greenbacks.

On Dec. 4, 1866, E.G. Spaulding, a Buffalo, N.Y., banker, a member of Congress, wrote to Secretary McCulloch as follows:

You, no doubt, now, to a certain extent, have control of the currency of the country, and I think you will, of necessity, contract moderately, so as to preserve a tolerable easy money market.  There may be occasional spasms or tightness for money, but generally I shall look for plenty of money for at least one year to come.

When this letter was written the country was in possession of $1,906,687,770 currency.

During this year, there were but 520 business failures in the whole country, involving a loss of but $17,625,000.

Labor was well paid and fully employed.

1867.

    This year the work of contraction was vigorously pushed, and there were 2,386 failures, with a total loss of $86,218,000.
   
1868.

    During this year, $473,000,000 of money was destroyed, and failures increased to 2,608, with a loss to creditors of $63,774,000.  Money began to be tight, and financial “spasms” were frequent.
   
1869.

    During this year over $500,000,000 of money passed into the cremation furnace, producing 2,799 business failures, and a loss of $75,054,900.  Money growing tighter and wages lower.
   
1870.

    This year $67,000,000 of money was destroyed, and 3,551 failures took place, involving a loss of $88,242,000.  Money very scarce and wages of labor were reduced all over the country.
   
1871.

    Thirty-five millions of money this year is retired, with 2,915 failures and a loss of $85,250,000.  More men out of work and wages cut down.
   
1872.

    Only about $12,000,000 was destroyed this year, but such had been the strain upon the business of the country for the past five years that this proved the last straw to 4,069 business firms, involving a loss of $121,058,000.  More cutting of wages and strikes talked of.
   
1873.

    This year the storm reached its climax.  Business had hoped that, with every returning season, prospects would brighten and money would become plenty.  Instead of this, however, notwithstanding but $1,609,000 were destroyed, the people became panic-stricken, and 5,183 business firms were precipitated, with a loss of $228,499,000.  Five hundred thousand men are thrown out of employment, wages cut down all over the country, and strikes are of frequent occurrence.
   
1874.

    Notwithstanding the terrible results of the last year, the wine-press of contraction still creaks on its hinges of death, as round and round it sweeps out of circulation $75.484,000 certificates of indebtedness, which have been made legal tender money, $85,760,000 treasury notes, $6,335,045 legal tenders, $3,000,000 fractional currency, and $1,000,000 bank notes, producing 5,832 failures, and a loss of $155,239,000 to creditors.  A million idle men began to tramp in search of work.  Wages still decline and strikes more numerous.
   
1875.

    The volume of currency, this year, was contracted $40,817,418 and the failures reach 7,740, with loss to creditors of $201,060,000.  Two millions of laborers out of work.  Famine and hunger begin to stare them in the face, and “tramping” becomes a profession.
   
1876.

    According to the most reliable estimates, the contraction of the currency this year, in the destruction of greenbacks, and the withdrawal of bank currency amounts to about $85,000,000, with 9,092 failures, and $191,000,000 loss, during the first quarter of the year.  The aggregate failures of the year reached over 10,000, with losses not less than $300,000,000.  This does not include losses to stockholders, by foreclosure and sale of railroads.

What a record for ten years !  Who wonders times were hard, and men idle ?  Still with all this array of wreck and ruin, with the finger-board of contraction at the close of each year, pointing to the cause, the people were asleep, or on their knees praying for some interposition of Providence in their behalf, while John Sherman went marching on with the torch of death, to burn the remaining $300,000,000 of the the people’s money.
    Three million men are out of employment.
    Bankruptcies multiplying with great rapidity.
    The tramp nuisance culminates.
    Wages are cut down to starvation prices.
    Strikes, riots and general consternation seize the people, and the circulation is cut down to $606,000,000.


1877.

The red torch of the vandal lighted up the country from Pittsburg to Chicago.  These are the footprints of the red-mouthed despots, the money power, which is still forging chains for the limbs of American industry, with a view to enslaving the American populace by robbing them of their homes and firesides, and thus controling their life, liberty, and pursuits of happiness by controling their wages through the control and monopoly of money.




Conclusion.


With these official facts before you, ask not if the Hazzard circular is genuine.

Was not chattel slavery abolished by the war power and was not chattel slavery destroyed ?

Did not chattel slavery carry with it the care for the laborer ?

Is not white slavery cheaper than black slavery ?

Jefferson Davis in a recent speech says it is, and that the South, under the present financial policy of the government, would not return to chattel slavery if it could.

Does not capital control labor by controlling wages, through its control of money ?

Did not the pirates burden the nation with a large bonded debt as the basis of their devilish scheme ?

Did they not in 1873 demonetize silver so that the volume of money might not be increased ?

Did they not in 1875 pass a law to retire and destroy the fractional currency and the greenbacks ?

Did not the same act grant to the banks the power to expand and contract their own currency at will ?

Is it not a legal fact, that while the volume of greenbacks is limited to $400,000,000, and the coinage of silver to $2,000,000 a month, all restrictions are removed, so that bank currency may be inflated without regard to limit ?

Then did not the pirates attempt to create a vast standing army to protect them in carrying out this diabolical scheme ?

Of this the Greeley Howitzer says:

"Every sensible man in the country ought to know that when Congress concluded to take the course marked out by the Hazzard circular, a military bill was offered in the House of Representatives to make our then militia system a part and portion of the regular U.S. army and under the command of U.S. army officers, but it raised a cry of opposition and was modified into a recommendation that the States should proceed to organize as many military companies, regiments, etc., as possible, and put the officers thereof under pay, and not allow any military or other organization to have arms and parade with them unless they were mustered into the service of the State and officers legally commissioned.

"That was one of the first steps taken to put down the storm which their policy was expected to engender -- 'workingmen with half a breakfast' for they know that John Sherman told the truth when he pictured the distress that was coming in consequence of their action.

" But we will not pursue the subject further now, for it makes us sick at heart even to think of the infamous work that has been done -- legislation secured by knaves and paid for by a confiding people."

How long will the people allow themselves to be enslaved by masters of their own choosing ?

How long will they allow their partisan bias to stand between their suffering families and the enjoyment of the blessings of plenty and prosperity ?

If the people submit to these outrages two years longer, the next move on the board will be to deprive them of their ballot, and to treat freedom of speech and of the press as treason, with the death penalty attached.  This is the goal we are nearing, and shall soon reach, unless we halt and right-about-face soon.

These are solid frozen facts of history, and it matters not who may ignore them, or how many may deny them, they stand in letters and figures of blood upon the official records of the nation.





UNION LABOR PARTY PLATFORM.
ADOPTED AT CINCINNATI, FEB'Y 22, 1887.
PREAMBLE.



The delegates of various industrial and reform political organizations have assembled from thirty-one States and Territories, on this anniversary of the birth of "The Father of his Country," to view the situation of public affairs and advise proper action.

A general discontent prevails on the part of the wealth producers.  Farmers are suffering from a poverty which has forced most of them to mortgage their estates, and prices of products are so low as to offer no relief except through bankruptcy.  Laborers are sinking into greater and greater dependence.  Strikes are resorted to without bringing relief, because of the inability of employers, in many eases, to pay living wages, while more and more are driven into the streets.  Business men find collections almost impossible;  meantime hundreds of millions of idle public money which is needed for relief is locked up in the United States treasury, in grim mockery of the distress;  land monopoly flourishes as never before, and more and more owners of the soil are daily becoming tenants.  Great transportation corporations still succeed in extorting their profits upon watered stock through unjust charges.

The United States Senate has become an open scandal, its seats being purchased by the rich, in open defiance of the popular will.

A trifling fisheries dispute is seized upon as an excuse for squandering public money upon unnecessary military preparations, which are designed to breed a spirit of war, to ape European despotism, and to empty the treasury without paying the public debt.

Under these and other alarming conditions we appeal to the people of this whole country to come out of old party organizations, whose indifference to the public welfare is responsible for this distress, and help us to organize a new political party, not sectional, but national, whose members shall be called Commoners, whose object shall be to repeal all class laws in favor of the rich, and to relieve the distress of our industries by establishing the following principles:


PLATFORM.
I. Land.


Every human being possesses a natural, inalienable right to sufficient land for self-support, and we desire to secure to every industrious citizen a home as the highest result of free institutions.  To this end we demand a graduated land tax on all large estates, especially those held for speculative or tenant purposes;  the reclamation of all unearned land grants;  the immediate opening of Oklahoma to homestead settlement;  the purchase of all unoccupied Indian lands, and the settlement of the various tribes upon land in severalty;  also, laws preventing corporations acquiring real estate beyond the requirements of their business;  and alien ownership of land.  The systems of irrigation in States and Territories where necessary shall be under such public control as shall secure the free and equitable use of the waters and franchises to the people.


II.  Transportation.


The means of communication and transportation should be owned or controlled by the people, as is the United States postal system, and equitable rates everywhere established.


III.  MONEY.


The establishment of a national monetary system in the interest of the producer, instead of the speculator and usurer, by which a circulating medium in necessary quantity and full legal tender shall be issued directly to the people, without the intervention of banks, or loaned to citizens upon ample security at a low rate of interest, to relieve them from the extortions of usury and enable them to control the money supply.  Postal savings banks should be established;  while we have free coinage of gold we should have free coinage of silver.  We demand the prompt payment of the National debt, and condemn the further issue of interest-bearing bonds, either by the National Government or by States, Territories, counties or municipalities.


IV.  Labor.


Arbitration should take the place of strikes and other injurious methods of settling labor disputes;  the letting of convict labor to contractors in public works should be abolished;  the hours of labor in industrial establishments be reduced commensurate with the increase of production in laborsaving machinery;  employes be protected from bodily injury, equal pay being given for equal work for both sexes;  and labor, agricultural and co-operative associations be fostered and incorporated by law.  The foundation of a republic is the intelligence of its citizens, and children who are driven into workshops, mines and factories are deprived of education which should be secured to all by proper legislation.

We desire to see labor organizations extended throughout all civilized countries, until it shall be impossible for despots to array the workingmen of one country in war against their brothers of another country.


V.  Soldiers and Sailors.


In appreciation of the services of United States soldiers and sailors, we demand for them justice before charity.  The purposely depreciated money paid them during the war should be made equal in value to the gold paid the bondholders.  The soldiers were promised coin or its equivalent, and paid in depreciated paper.  The bondholders loaned the Government depreciated paper and contracted to take it back, but were paid in gold.


VI.  Income Tax.


A graduated income tax is the most equitable system of taxation, placing the burden of government on those who can best afford to pay, instead of laying it on the farmers and producers, and exempting millionaire bondholders and corporations.


VII.  UNITED STATES SENATE.


The capture of the United States Senate by millionaires and tools of corporations, who have no sympathy with free institutions, threatens the very existence of the republic.  We demand a constitutional amendment making United States Senators elective by a direct vote of the people.


VIII.  CHINESE.


Such State and National laws should be passed as will effectually exclude from America the Mongolian slave and Asiatic competition.


IX.  Armed Men.


The employment of bodies of armed men by private corporations should be prohibited.


X.  EQUALITY.


The right to vote is inherent in citizenship, irrespective of sex.


XI.  TEMPERANCE.


Excessive wealth, resulting in luxury and idleness on the one hand, and excessive toil and poverty on the other, leads to intemperance and vice.  The measures of reform here demanded will prove to be the scientific solution of the temperance question.





UNION CLUBS.
Art. 1.  Organization.

This organization shall be known as the Union Labor Club of


ART. 2.  Purposes.


1.  The objects of this club shall be to agitate, educate, and propagate the measures of public policy embraced in the Union Labor platform.

2.  To diffuse such papers, documents and literature among the people as shall lead to a clear understanding of the ways and means to be used in the advancement of our social and intellectual life.

3.  To diminish the antagonism between capital and labor, and to secure to each man and woman equal rights and a just share of life's necessities.

4.  To discourage all attempts to hamper the liberty of industry.

5.  To acquire the power to combat any special monopoly which may threaten our industrial interests, whether in legislation, transportation, commerce, or exchange.


Art. 3.  Membership.


Any person may become a member of this club by subscribing to this constitution and platform.


Art. 4.  Officers.


The officers of this club shall be a president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer, and such other officers as the by-laws may provide for, all of whose duties shall be prescribed by the by-laws of this club.


Art 5.  Order of Business.


1.  Call to order.
2.  Reading minutes of last meeting.
3.  Reports of special and standing committees.
4.  Unfinished business.
5.  Admission of new members.
6.  New business, essays, debates and discussions.
7.  The good of the cause.
8.  Adjournment.