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Book.



SEMINARY NOTES.



VOL. I.



State University.



MAY, 1 89 1.



S^i '-JQ



No. 1.



V ,



Lawrence, Kansas.



SEMINARY OF HISTORICAL AND POLITICAL SCIENCE.



All students connected with the department
of Amencan History and Civics (James H.
Canfield), and that of History and Sociology
(Frank W. Blackmab), are. by virtue of
such connection, members of the Seminary.
All students having two or more studies in
either or both of these departments' are re-
quired to take the work of the Seminary as
part of their work in course.

The meetingsof the Seminary are held every
Friday, in Room 15, University Building.
Public meetings will be held from time to
time, after due announcement.

The work of the Seminary consists of special
papers and discussions, on topics connected
with the two Departments mentioned; pre-
pared as far as possible from consultation of
original sources and from practical investi-
gation of existing conditions, under the per-
sonal direction of the officers. of the Seminary.

Special assistance in choice of themes,
authorities, etc., is given members of the
Seminary who have written work due in the
two departments forming the Seminary, or in
the Department of English, or in any of the
literary societies or other similar organiza-
tions in the University; on condition that the
results of such v.'ork shall be presented to the
Seminary if so required.

In connection with the work of the Semi-
nary, a Newspaper bureau is maintained. In
this- the leading cities of the United States
are represented by some twenty daily aiad
weekly newspapers. Th^ piincipal object of
the Bureau is to enable students to form
habits of systematic reading, to keepinl'ormed
on the current topics of the day, to study the
best types of modern Journalism, to learn to
, discriminate between articles of temporary
value only and those of more permanent
worth, to make a comparative study of edi-
torial work, to master for the time being the
current thought on any particular subject,
and to preserve by clippings properly filed and
indexed, important materials for the study of
current history and public life— to make his-
tory by the arrangement and classification of
present historical matter.

Special investigation and study will be
undertaken during each year, bearing on some



one or more phases of the administration of
public affairs in this State; the purpose being
to combine service to the State with the reg-
ular work of professional and student life.
In this special work the advice and cooper-
ation of State and local officials and of
prominent men of affairs is constantly sought,
thus bringing to students the experience and
judgment of the world about them.

Graduates of our own University, or other
persons of known scholarly habits, who have
more than a passing interest in such work as
the Seminary undertakes, and who are willing
to contribute some time and thought to its
success, are invited to become corresponding
members of the Seminary. The only condi-
tion attached to such membership is, that
each corresponding member shall prepare
during each University year one paper, of not
less than two thousand five hundred words,
on some subject within the scope of the Sem-
inary; and present the same in person at such
time as may be mutually agreed upon by the
writer and the officers of the Seminary, or in
writing if it be found impossible to attend
a meeting of the Seminary.

Tlie library of the University and the time
of the officers of the Seminary are at the
service of corresponding members, in con-
nection with Seminary work — within reason-
able limits.

More than twenty gentlemen, prominent in
official and professional circles, have already
connected themselves with the Seminary, and
have rendered very acceptable service during
past years.

The officers and members of the Seminary
will gladly reader all possible assistance to!
any public officials who may desire to collect
special statistics or secure definite informa-
tion on such lines of public work as are
properly within the sphere of the Seminary.

Any citizen of Kansas interested in this
work is invited to correspond with the Semi-
nary, and to be present at its meetings when
possible.

JAMES H. CANFIELD,

DiREOTOR.

FRANK W. I3LACKMAR,

ViCE-DlKEOTOR.



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



D/
.64



THE WORK OF CORRESPONDING MEMBERS.

During the University year 1890 91, the following papers have been presented by corresponding members
of the Seminary: The Shelby Expedition in Mexico, by Mr. Scott; Wages and Wage-Earners, by Mr. Betton;
The Limitations of Legislation, by Mr. Ayres; Puritainsm in old England and in Nev? England, by Mr. Peck;
The Inter-State Commerce Commission, two papers by Mr. Humphrey; The Possibilities of Further State
Legislation Respecting Marriage, by Mr. Rowland; Irrigation, by Mr. Emery; James H. Lane, by Mr. Green;
The Proposed Constitutional Convention, by Mr. Alf ord ; and The Romance Literature of the Social Move-
ment, by Mr. Berkowitz. In addition, Hon. W. H. Rossington of Topeka presented a paper on The Ethics of
Party Allegiance ; and Professor G. N. Grisham of Kansas City, Mo., answered the question, What does the
Afro-American think of his present and of his future? It has been thought best to preserve abstracts of these
papers, as far as abstracts could be obtained; though keenly realizing that justice is done neither the themes
nor writers.



The Shelby Expedition to Mexico.

K^OME fifty thousand men composed
C^the fighting force of what was known
as the Trans- Mississippi Department, C. S.
A., in the April days of 1865. They were
scattered from Louisiana to Arkansas
when the news of the great surrender came
from Appomattox, but they concentrated
as if by intiution, meeting at Marshall,
Texas. Gen. E. Kirby Smith, Gen. Joe
Shelby, Hawthorne, Buckner, Preston and
Walker were among the most prominent
officers who gathered in council to deter-
mine what course should be pursued.
Gen. Shelby was the first to speak and
the plan he urged was this: Displace
Gen. Smith with some other man in whom
the troops have greater confidence, con-
centrate everything on the Brazas river,
march to Mexico and there espouse the
cause of MaximiUan or that of Juarez.
"Surrender is a word neither myself nor
my division understand." The plan was
approved and it was decided that Gen.
Buckner should be put in Gen. Smith's
place. But after twelve hours of delibera-
tion Gen. Buckner weakened, Gen.
Smith resumed command, and in a short
time the order came that the troops
should be marched to Shreveport and
there surrendered to the Federal com-
mander. Instead of obeying, Shelby
rode to the front of his division aud called
for volunteers for Mexico. One thou-
sand men responded,— the most reckless



men of a most reckless army. Shelby
was chosen Colonel, and. after suitable
preparation in the way of arms and com-
missary, the march to the Rio Grande be-
gan.

There were no Federal troops in the
way. But there were guerillas and free-
booters, the plundering offscourings of
both armies, so there was fighting enough,
mostly by night, sudden, desperate and
ending always one way.

The Rio Grande was reached at last.
The troops of Juarez were on the farther
shore and their commander made the
American general tempting offers to enlist
in his service. Shelby urged his men to
accept the offer, but they were Imperialists
and preferred to fight for Maximilian, — a
decision influenced, doubtless, by the
thought that in helping to establish the
Empire they were continuing their war on
the United States. Shelby acquiesced;
and, selling his artillery to the Mexicans,
resumed his march.

It was his intention to reach Guaymas,
there recruit his command up to twenty
thousand men, and with these at his back
advance to the city of Mexico and sustain
the Emperor on his throne. Marshal
Bazaine was distrustful of him however,
and sent orders that he must either march
direct to the city, or withdraw from the
country. Shelby chose the former alter-
native and after three months of toilsome
marching, giving almost daily battle to the
guerillas who lay in wait for him at every



SEMINAR Y NOTES.



3



turn in the road, reached his destination
and reported to Maximilian. His propo-
sition was to recruit his division up to
forty thousand Americans, and with these
he promised the Emperor to make his
throne secure, warning him that without
such assistance his reign would be brief.
The Emperor declined his offer — and
Avent to his death at Queretaro.

Shelby's expedition ended with this
reply of Maximilian. With no chance for
any more fighting the cohesive force that
had held it together was gone, and each
man went the way that suited him best.
The leader became a freight contractor
until that ceased to be remunerative.
Then he obtained a grant of land in the
southern part of the Empire and attempted
to colonize it with Americans. But that
project also failed and at last he returned
to his old home and is living to-day near
Adrian, Mo., a wealthy and contented
farmer. Of his followers, some settled on
land set apart for them near the capital
city and cultivated fruit and coffee.
Others enlisted in French regiments and
fought after all for the Empire. Others
marched away to Guaymas and there took
shipping for California, for China, for
Japan, for the Sandwich Islands. Event-
ually many of them found their way back,
as their leader had done to ways of pleas-
antness and paths of peace in the country
which was great enough to forgive, if not
to forget, the wrongs they had done her.
6; ^. ^ciAAi^,



Wages and "Wag-e-Barners.

fROBABLY no subject admits of a
wider range of discussion than does
that of "Wages and Wage-Earners."

In a sense we are all wage-earners,
whether the income at our command is the
result of direct personal service or not.
But popular interpretation applies the term
"wage-earners" mainly to that portion
of our people engaged in occupations
requiring manual labor, and in that .light
we must consider it.



Wages have been paid, in some form,
whenever man has engaged the services of
his fellow-men. The slave had to be
clothed, sheltered and fed, or he could not
work; and for ages this was about all the
laborer received. For centuries the laborer
was a slave. The fruits of his toil and his
life even were at the mercy of some local
despot.

About the time of Francis I, of France,
Trade Guilds were granted certain privi-
leges. It is claimed that these guilds were
the fore-runners of modern Trades-unions,
and with some show of reason. Master
and journeyman were of the same class.
Socially they were equals. The barons
regarded them as of less importance than
the retainers who followed them in their
plundering forays.

With the introduction of steam as a
motive power, the development of
machinery and the establishment of the
factory system, labor experienced a radical
change. The master, represented by his
machines, ceased to be a workman; the
journeyman was transformed into a machine
tender; and the question of an equitable
division of the joint product became para-
mount.

The wealth of the world has ever been
distributed through competition — the right
of every factor to take all it can of the
products.

AVages is the largest single factor in the
cost of production. The wage-earners, at
present, are receiving about three-fifths of
the total production. Wages range from
six per cent, to seventy-seven per cent, of
the total cost of production. The wage
system has been accepted as the natural
way of determining the value of labor. The
labor is bought as the raw material is bought
— at the lowest market price. The machine
is carefully watched and cared for, as
replacing it costs money; but if the laborer
breaks, another takes his place.

An hour's labor will to-day buy more
and better clothing and food than it would
fifty years ago. Comparing the wages of
1760 with those of 1883, we find that the



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



average daily earnings of laborers in Mass-
achusetts advanced from 29 cents to $1.31.
In 1883 wages were 62 per cent, higher in
Massachusetts than in England, while the
cost of living was 17.29 per cent, higher.
Of this 11.49 per cent, was due to higher
rent. Excluding rent it was only 5.80 per
cent, higher. In other words it cost the
English workman 1 7 per cent, less to live,
and he got 62 per cent, less wages than the
workman of Massachusetts, a difference in
favor of the Massachusetts workman of
45 per cent.

As a rule wages show an upward ten-
dency from the earliest time to the present.
The average increase of wages of the decade
ending with i860 as compared with the
decade ending with 1830, was 52.3' per
cent., while the cost of living increased
only 12.7 per cent. But, although wages
have been constantly increasing, they have
not kept pace with the increased product-
iveness of labor.

Trades-unions h^ve been bitterly de-
nounced, but they have taught employer
and employees many valuable lessons.
They have shortened the hours of labor,
maintained a stability in wages, and
elevated the laboring classes. The Ameri-
can Unions, being younger, have not
accomplished so much as those of England.
There are about two hundred Unions in
Kansas. '^prx*^<- 73 uttry^ .



The Limitations of Legislation.

-grPHE bad effects of too much legislation
,^^and too many laws are beginning to be
seriously felt in this nation. It is, there-
fore, necessary to consider how the evils
may be checked or abated. Experience
has proved that unwise, oppressive and
excessive legislation cannot be sufficiently
prevented by the organic law, as found in
Federal and State constitutions. The organ-
ic law cannot assume to prevent unwise
laws; and those which are excessive or
oppressive may not come within its scope.
There are certain well known restrictions
in the Constitution which limit the law-



making power of the Congress; but
within the limits perscribed there is a wide
field for discretion. In the States, severally,
we find the governments practically su-
preme, excepting in those few matters
which have been peremptorily withdrawn
from the legislatures by the Federal Con-
stitution. To indicate the vast sweep of
this power it may be sufficient to point to
the fact that in most of the states the legis-
lature can, if it will, alter the whole
system of municipal law and change its
mode of administration.

The statute books are largely invaded
by laws which fall under the following
classification:

1. Sentimental laws.

2. Partisan laws.

3. Useless laws.

4. Laws of which the primary and
ultimate effects cannot be foreseen.

5. Laws on simple matters, so con-
structed as to be difficult of interpretation.

6. Laws which from some inherent de-
fect or want of charity cannot be enforced.

7. Laws which directly interfere with
the operation of the common law.

The analysis is given, not as being ex-
haustive, but suggestive of certain kinds of
laws which ought not to be made at all; or
if made, then passed only after the most
searching scrutiny and under pressing and
obvious necessity.

The examples quoted and the argument
against excessive legislation cannot be re-
produced within the limit of this abstract.
Assuming that the evil is acknowledged
generally, in greater or less degree, the
writer points out that we cannot look to the
organic law for any substantial help in the
matter. Unfortunately all free peoples are
too fond of law making; and if they can
find no others to enslave them, and dis-
cover no arbitrary laws to touch all
imaginable cases, they will proceed to en-
slave themselves, each person wishing his
own new law, and perhaps trading with
others that his may somehow prevail.

The remedy, if there be one, must be
found in so educating or selecting legislators.



SEMINARY NOTES.



5



that they will be wise enough to make only
'such laws as shall be known in advance to
be necessary, beneficial, conservative, and
imposing the lightest possible burden upon
individuals for whose best interests all laws
should exist. Human society in its pro-
gression in enlightenment and morality,
lives; the law that seeks to guide it must
live too. Therefore no statutes should be
made (unless under strongest present
necessity) which shall interfere with the
common law, which lives with and in the
people, moves and breathes and feels with
them. If, as most lawyers will admit, it
would be an evil day when the law of
judicial decision should be superceded by
a code, it is only a modified evil when
legislative enactment encroaches too far in
attempting to interfere unnecessarily with
the living and flexible law which is sufficient
to deal with the common rights of men.

There are many who firmly believe that
if the congress and state legislatures would
for a while be determined to restrict them-
selves to routine, business legislation, the
nation would move rapidly, with free step,
to unexampled prosperity, peace and
happiness. If we continue in the course
we are taking with accelerated speed, we
shall forge heavy chains for ourselves and
for our children.

state Legislation and Marriage.

fOHN Ruskin is always entertaining and
often wise. He is both in one of those
fascinating letters in which he maintains
that marriage is not a privilege to which
every one is born, but a distinction to be
sought; and when attained, it is to be con-
sidered a proof not only of good character,
but of good sense, and industrious habits.
While the privilege should be put within
the reach of all, it should be rigidly with-
held from those who are incapable or un-
willing to make the necessary effort to de-
serve it.

I believe this position is sound. If
there is any thing in the law of heredity it
shows that many marriages are entered



into unadvisedly and lightly and that
much of the poverty and helplessness of
mankind may be traced directly to this
source. The thoughtless multiplication of
human beings perpetuates the struggle for
existence, and no device for the abolition of
honesty can possibly succeed until the
human race is taught self restraint.
"Social phenomena have their roots in
organic phenomena." Doubtless the
environment has much to do with the
question of poverty; but the character,
the habits, the natural endowments of
the ijidividual have far more to do with it.
The energetic and competent take the
foremost rank. The quick-sighted have
an advantage over the dull, the industrious
over the lazy, the frugal over the improvi-
dent, the ambitious over the spiritless, the
self-restrained over the intemperate and
sensual. The proportion of the active,
the vigorous, the determined and clear
sighted, to the careless, the wasteful, the
stupid and irresolute, is not very great.
A certain number of men in every hundred
the world over, cannot take care of them-
selves, and there will be a considerable
proportion of the rest who can do it only
indifferently. They have not the qualities
which make men independent and self
supporting. Even as young men they are
without spirit, contented to live from hand
to mouth, earn but little and spend it the
day they receive it. And yet such shift-
less young men find young women like
themselves, and our unwise laws permit
them to commit the wicked folly of mar-
rying with no sense whatever of their per-
sonal responsibility to feed and clothe and
educate their children. Men are permit-
ted to marry who are barely able to earni
their own wretched livelihood and who
cannot possibly support a family. I have
seen it stated that sometimes persons are
married while inmates of county houses.
Until marriage is forbidden to imbeciles
and semi-imbeciles, to those who are
barely able to escape being a public
charge, to those who have neither visible
or prospective means of support, no con-



,6



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



ception of the responsibilities of parentage
and whose children are ever to have no
energy of character but grow up like their
parents and bring into existence a half
dozen more helpless families and continue
this generation after generation in a terri-
fying mathematical progression, — until the
State, I say, or the prudent part of man-
kind puts a stop to this, the principal
source of poverty and wretchedness will
remain.

The State must require of the man who
asks for a marriage license a good charac-
ter, and he must prove before a compe-
tent board of inquiry that he can take care
of a family. Marriage is the most import-
ant social concern of mankind, and if the
State is to regulate any thing whatever it
is such a momentous thing as this.

Irrig-ation.

aCPHE present practical exhaustion of all
,^^that portion of our public domain
which will make good farms, emphasizes the
popular demand for the reclamation, by
irrigation of the arid lands of this
country. The estimate is, that the
agricultural lands of the arid regions of
the United States, those which admit of
reclamation by artificial irrigation, most
easily amount to the round sum of loo,-
000,000 acres. And of the total
area of our country fully two-fifths
if we exclude Alaska will need to be
artificially irrigated in order to reclaim its
soil. Nor will this estimate seem large
when the fact that two-thirds of the agri-
culture of the globe at the present day is
•dependent for success wholly or in part
upon artificial irrigation. The total arid
region of our own country lies mostly
west of the one hundreth meridian of west
longitude, and is chiefly pasturage land in
character and is put by the statisticians
at the enormous figure of 1,000,000,000
acres. Of this, 100,000,000 acres can be
more or less well irrigated and be brought
under cultivation in part, and in part
rendered desirable for pasture. It is to



this tenth part of our arid region that pub-
lic attention is now being drawn for the
purpose of opening it up to that growing
army of home-seekers which is to-day
pressing up against the very foot hills of
the everlasting mountains.

The irrigation idea is an old one in his-
tory, but a new one to us in America.
The schools of our land teach nothing as
to hydrology or the science of water in
motion. If we would study river hydrau-
lics, we must go back to Italy where
students of the subject have written the
books we are obliged to consult. The
Mississippi river problem and something
that has been done in California with a
little in Colorado and Utah constitute and
sum up about all we know of water in
motion. And our civil engineers widely
disagree as to the methods the Washington
government is pursuing in the outlay it is
making, ^ in trying to manage the waters
of that great river as well as deepening the
sand bars in Galveston harbor.

The government is now engaged in as-
certaining, through a system of surveys,
where and how large the artesian basins
are located by nature throughout the arid
tract. It is not everywhere that an arte-
sian well will bring flowing water to the
surface. Indeed good flowing wells are
scarce, the world over. The French have
reclaimed vast tracts in Algeria by sink-
ing artesian wells. The high mountain
ranges afford the presure needed to throw
the water to the surface. But Western
Kansas can never be watered in this way.
The presure is wanting. Yet up in the
Dakotas is perhaps one of the best arte-
sian wells to be found in America.
The catchment is sufficient and the presure
ample to produce flowing wells of great
capacity.

The government will also locate reser-
voir sites, determine their capacity, and in-
dicate by proper surveys, the lands that
may be irrigated from water stored in
such reservoirs. When such surveys are
completed, it is probable that all these
arid lands will be turned back to the



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



7



States and Territories where they may be
located for such States and territories to
provide for irrigation districts and the
construction of irrigation works. When
this is accomplished the home-seeker will
be allowed to buy his home — not a large
one, of his state under legal regulations
as to getting the water upon his lands
for his crops. Then will come the time of
little farms well watered; but the price per
acre will be high, made so by the cost of
artificial irrigation. '



James H. Lane.

ET is not time to do justice to the
achievements of this stormy life.



Online LibraryKansas. UniversitySeminary notes published by the Seminary of historical and political science → online text (page 1 of 62)