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The American journal of politics, Volume 5 online

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paign of 1892, or that he was going to squeeze them by ''cutting



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PULLMAN AND ITS LESSONS. 196

wages to the last notch'' in order to see *'how they like if
Mr. Pallman was now all honey and dew in talking to the
deputation. The cruel, callons man, who had apparently
resolved to use his power to crush out all opposition or " to
bull or bear '' the labor field in favor of the political party for
which he was an active and devout partisan, was now the
generous philanthropist and the self-sacrificing, benevolent
despot. He actually told the men, as an excuse for the freezing-
out tactics, in his interview with them on the 9th of May, that
the Pullman Company was losing $20,000 a month by employ-
ing them at all, that the cars they were working on were being
built at a loss of $79 each, and that he was only keeping the
works running just to oblige the employees. He refused the
concessions the men demanded and, as the first act of retaliation
for having dared to approach him on the subject, he laid off
three men whose intelligence entitled them to act as spokesmen
for the others, and two days later (May 11) two thousand of the
men employed quit work. They had been pledged not to
permit the three men who acted, to be immolated on the altar of
Mr. Pullman's vengeance, and it was solemnly pledged, more-
over, on the part of Mr. Pullman, that the committee approach-
ing him would not be punished or disturbed in any way. The
compact was no sooner made than it was broken by the Pallman
authorities, who promptly laid off the three men.

This breach of faith, coupled with the causes already men-
tioned, was the direct and immediate irritant which produced
the strike of the two thousand men. The American Eailway
Union was now called upon by the men thus forced out, and, on
May 16, all the members of the American Eailway Union were
assessed at the rate of three cents each x>er day in order to ;
assist those who had quit work at Pullman. After the lapse of •
four days, the men, on May 20, offered to arbitrate the matters in ;
dispute — rent, etc. But Mr. Pullman's response was still in the
line of his old policy ; it was, ** there was nothing to arbitrate."
Several days now elapsed during which there was no attempt
at violence or intimidation in any form. But matters were not
mending any. The Pallman Company was determined to starve



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196 THE AMERICAN JO URNAL OF POLITICS.

oat its men, and to reduce them through sheer physical suffering
to its terms, when^ on June 15, President Debs called a national
convention of the American Bailway Union. At this conven-
tion a special committee was appointed to confer with Mr.
Pullman. The next day, June 16, the general manager of the
Pullman Company told the committee of the Bailway Union,
which now took up the management of the case, what Mr.
Pullman had formauy told the men themselves, that there was
nothing to arbitrate. Matters again dragged along until June
22, when the American Bailway Union, being loath in the de-
pressed condition of the country to order a general strike, again
pleaded with the Pullman authorities for a settlement, and
were again refused. The terms of the reply were still that there
was <' nothing to arbitrate." This phrase appeared to have
been agreed upon by the Pullman authorities as about the only
safe reply they could give the men or the public. It was, how-
ever, another way of telling the men that they had no status in
the case; that they had no rights large corporations need
respect ; that there was only one side to the controversy, and
that the Pullman Company alone was the arbiter. One is
tempted to remark here that the stock-in-trade phrase ''there is
nothing to arbitrate," which was used on all occasions by the
Pullman officials before the trouble assumed national im-
portance, and by Mr. Pullman himself afterward, should hence-
forth be inscribed on the Pullman crest, particularly as the city
of Pullman is likely to become as famous in America as
Bunnymede has become in English history. '* There is nothing
to arbitrate" may yet become the Magna Charta of American
industry. What were the men to do under these circumstances
but to strike or to starve ! Trod upon, even a worm will turn.
All this time Mr. Pullman was dealing with his employees by
deputy. He was himself complacently watching the situation
develop from his palace windows on Prairie Avenue. To every
appeal for settlement he turned a deaf ear, and from his safe
retreat the sleeping-car magnate watched without emotion the
sufiferings of his workingmen and the ruin which his selfishness,
or his partisanship, or his pride, had precipitated. He was



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PULLMAN AND ITS LESSONS. 197

donbtiess soliloqniziDg, in the language which is attributed
to him in the New York Herald — **Now let us see how they
like it" It was only when the strike extended from Pullman
City to Chicago ; when the general managers resolved to defend
railway traffic 5 when the lurid flames of burning freight cars
brightened up the skies ; and when the passions of the mob
were inflamed — it was only then that Mr. Pullman condescended
to move. But what did Mr. Pullman really do, even thent
He called for the police to preserve his pictures and his plate.
He rang for the obeisant darkey, who, even in this trying
and rebellious period, approached his master with a low salaam,
to order out his sumptuous palace car — ^the same that carried
the Qrand Duke Alexis of Kussia on his hunting tour in the
West, and, gorgeously attired, the Prince of Pullman, like Louis
XYI., fled from the x>opulace whose passions and whose x>ower
he defied. As fast as turning wheels could revolve, he sped
away, leaving riot, carnage, death, and desolation behind. To
use the words of an editorial in the New York World, "he fled
from the scenes and sequestered himself, first at Long Branch,
and then in his castle on the remote northern border." What-
ever might happen the nation, Mr. Pullman was at length safe.
He was actually on Oanadian soil, and could claim protection of
that famous fiag that the poets tell us braved for a thousand years
the battles of history and the breezes of a greater than Chicago's
mob. Mr. Pullman, far from the mainland and the maddening
crowd, could here converse with the gallant captain who, de-
lightiug in the spirit of war, fled on the twenty-sixth of June
and bade the rest keep fighting.

Such are, in brief, the facts that led to the recent disastrous
strike. Such were the methods and such the probable motives
by which the Pullman Company generated disorder, refused all
overtures for a settlement, and arrogantly defied the men. And,
finally, such was the personal heroism of the head of that firm,
when confronted by the trouble which he seems to have courted,
and which heroism on Mr. Pullman's part may aptly remind
Americans of how the country would be deserted by its million-
aires in case of any serious conflict between the forces of labor



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198 THE AMERICAN JO URNAL OF POLITICS.

and capital. The only other case of characteristic bravery and
benevolence that at all rivals Mr. Pullman's, was that exhibited
by a New York millionaire who, when recently attacked by an
anarchist in his office, pulled his clerk between himself and the
exploding bomb, and then refused to pay compensation to hiB
employee for blowing his body asunder, but actually had the
effrontery and the meanness to resist the boy's action for
damages in two conrts of law.

Now let ns turn from the strike and view Pullman City and
Mr. Pullman from another standpoint. Let us turn to this
model city and, in order that we may get a comprehensive view,
let us compare the experiment in community founding which
Mr. Pullman set np, the only one of its kind on this continent,
with the establishments of Herr Krnpp at - Essen, Germany,
of M. Colin at Guise, France, with that of Sir Titus Salt, at
Saltaire, or the celebrated Quaker community of the Messrs.
Macolmson at Portlaw, Ireland. At each of these places, towns
managed on the same principle as Pullman City have been
erected, and in all of these places, with greater public advan-
tage than in the case of Mr. Pullman, who has managed his men
and has exercised his i>ower of lord of the manor to a degree
more absolute than is now enjoyed by any European monarch.
Pullman City was born of a crude attempt to transplant to the
shores of Lake Michigan and to resurrect in the nineteenth cen-
tury the ideas of those medieval barons who took pride in foster-
ing villages in Europe beneath their castle towers, and from the
turrets of which they looked down in lordly condescension on
their humble retainers. The Chicago Herald speaks truly
when it says Mr. Pullman "set up in the town of Pullman a
modern satrapy — a survival of feudalism repugnant to the spirit
of the nineteenth century. He has endeavored to combine a great
industrial establishment with the hodgepodge of Bellamy social-
ism and Knssian autocracy. He has attempted to revive in
America an institution that has not been seen in Europe since
the fifteenth or sixteenth century." Indeed, in Europe to-day,
the lord of the manor, though retaining the title in certain
legal documents such as leases, is lord only in name, but in free



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PULLMAN AND ITS LESSONS. 199

America and in the person of Mr. Pallman, he is still a terrible
reality. To do the baron justice, he still mingles with the peo-
ple at certain seasons of the year, particularly when marriage is
celebrated in their families or in his, at the coming of age of an
heir to the estate, and at Christmas and at Whitsuntide. Upon
all occasions of importance also, when any man has a grievance,
the European lord of the manor, with the claims of centuries of
exalted birth and of ingrained fine breediug to fall back upon,
can be approached by his people with far less ostentation than
Mr. Pullman is reported to display, who began life as a miner in
California, and who having bought some inventors' patents after
the war, floated a company to operate them, and who, claiming
the ownership of neither craft nor education, loves to be known
as one of the few rich men of the day. Kot one of the
European cities already mentioned in France, (Germany, or Eng-
land, could be managed like Pullman City. Let us take Salt-
aire as tiie model which Mr. Pullman himself adopted for imita-
tion in America, and which he followed so closely as, like Sir
Titus Salt, the famous alpaca merchant, to acquire and to accept
a tiUe. It is not a crime to have a title, but it is a crime to op-
press tiie poor or to use the title as a bandit uses his rifle.

In establishing Saltaire, Sir Titus Salt devoted himself to the
erection of a model town for artisans. His chief aim was to
combine the charms of comfort, the means of rational enjoy-
ment^ of domestic happiness, and of mental culture, with a well-
intentioned effbrt to aid the people to help themselves. As Sir
Titus Salt prospered in the world, his people in a becoming
measure prospered also. He joined them at meetings and mar-
riages, at sports and at banquets. As mayor of Bradford, he
fiuthfuUy discharged his municipal duties towards them. He
was BO unpretentious a man that, while holding the office of
mayor of Bradford, and enjoying the honors of an hereditary
dignity and a seat in Parliament, he was often known to give
a '^liff in his car to a poor workingwoman, carrying a bas-
ket of eggs to market. Sir Titus Salt thus made himself
both popular and familiar with the wants of the people. He
established a workingman's club, which was intended to sup-



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200 THE AMERICAN JO URNAL OF POLITICS.

ply all the advantages of saloons without their evils, and with
the opportunities for an essential companionship for the people.
He established technical schools to train young men and women
in the arts and sciences. He furnished a gymnasium for physical
exercise for the boys ; bagatelle and chess rooms for the men to
amuse themselves in the evenings after work ; reading rooms,
concert halls, and debating clubs were established. Every-
thing which could draw out and develop human character or
that furnished a meeting place for friendly resort for employer
and employee, was done by Sir Titus Salt at his own expense.
He purchased a park of fourteen acres on the banks of the
river Aire, had it planted with choice trees and shrubs, inter-
sected with pretty walks and promenades, tastefully bordered
with flowers. In the center of this park, which gracefully
sloped to the water's edge, was erected a raised pavilion that
was occupied by the village folk on summer evenings, who
were thus enabled to watch the children romp on the grass, or
play cricket or other outdoor games. When the aged folk grew
too old to work, or from any cause became destitute, they were
not let loose like American tramps, to disgrace the nation, or
to beg through the highways, or to sleep in hallways or in the
outer air. They were placed in almshouses, in front of which
were green terraces and flower beds; honeysuckles, roses, or
wild briar, peeped in at the windows in summer, while in winter
the inmates had plenty of wholesome food, and warm, comfort-
able, if small and plain apartments. A chapel and infirmary, a
postoffice, a savings bank, a horticultural society to educate the
people how to grow and appreciate flowers, a glee and madri-
gal society, several cooperative societies where the families of
the men purchased groceries or provisions and in the manage-
ment of which they figured as shareholders, a brass band for
the village — all these and many other things which I cannot now
enumerate, were done by Sir Titus Salt, and the ownership of
which was vested in a committee, one half the members of which
were appointed by himself, and the other half elected by the
employees.
How does Pullman compare with its headline, or Pullman



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PULLMAN AND ITS LESSONS. 201

himself compare with Sir Titns Salt t Fortanately, I can speak
of Pullman also from personal knowledge, having visited it in
1885 at Mr. Pullman's invitation. I was shown over the place
by his superintendent, who, notwithstandiug the secrecy with
which everything seemed to be involved, enabled me to glean a
good deal of its inner workings, of which nobody can learn
anything material except duly vouched for by the "lord of the
manor," or his private secretary, who was then a gentleman
named Oppenheimer, if I remember rightly, and whose place I
believe is now filled by a full-fledged Gtorman baron. I was
not then much impressed with Pullman City, the pivotal prin-
ciple of which seemed to be not to benefit the people, but to
make money for the owners, workmen being regarded as a
mere means to that end. Mr. Pullman seems to have started
out with excellent intentions, but they appear not to have carried
him very far. The tract which it comprises is three thousand
five hundred acres in extent, on the shores of Lake Oalumet,
nearly all swamp land. Most of it, I believe, was purchased for
lees than $200 per acre, and devoted to the Pullman works in
1880. By the aggregation of the houses of the people it is now
worth $5,000 per acre. After draining the land and laying off
the town, Mr. Pullman, unlike Sir Titus Salt, wanted first of
all to make money. He wanted, also, to take credit to himself
for bringing out, so to speak, an American edition of the Eng-
lish exx>eriment, particularly as most of the money in the Pull-
man Palace Gar Company came from English shareholders.

If Mr. Pullman could harmonize the interests of labor and
capital by some hocus-pocus jumble of seeming philanthropy
and real greed — a philanthropy which the world would boom,
and which, as an auctioneer would say, could be got " on the
cheap" — truly he could pose as a marvel of American genius in
the eyes of his English stockholders whenever he visited Lon-
don. It was an age of advertising, and Mr. Pullman was
shrewd. Accordingly, Pullman was laid out under approved
plans, with the obvious purpose of making the biggest possible
showing— a sort of maximum perfectionis for social man, with the
least possible expenditure^ of money. Miniature lakes, attrac-



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202 THE AMERICAN JO UBNAL OF POLITICS.

tive terraces, and fetncy buildings — mere shells in strnctore, and
occupying but little space, with no gardens in the rear and no
grass plots in the front — were put up by the company and dis-
/ played to the best advantage. The generous provision made at
, Saltaire for the social life of its people was condemned or cav-
v^ alierly cast aside at Pullman as '' not being adapted to our
American needs." Like Saltaire, however, a park was formed
and on the pleasant slopes of the lake beds were dug out and
set with flowers in letters that spelled out the owner's name,
and which, confronting the visitor at every turn, never fail to
remind him of the immortal name of Pullman. Pullman streets
are beautifully planted and, on the whole, the natural features
of the place, while by no means as inviting as Saltaire, half
redeem the dreary view which is so artificially perfected as to
give one the impression of a '^ machine-made" town. Mr.
Pullman is a great believer in SBSthetic notions, which prompted
Oscar Wilde to design the ''house beautiM," and he esteems
highly the advertising or commercial value of beauty. Accord-
ingly, the windows in Pullman, or at least those that visitors
are likely to observe, are tastefully ornamented with draperies.
Potted plants stand flowering on the window sills, and a very
unreal and false notion of the place is apt to be carried away by
the visitor who merely drives through the principal streets and
superficially sizes up the situation. For the truth about Pull-
man, one must live there and see with his own eyes ] take noth-
ing for granted.

The principal mercantile building in Pullman is a miscel-
laneous store termed the ''Arcade." It is 256 feet long, 146 feet
wide, and abutting on its rotunda are arranged various offices,
such as the Pullman Savings Bank, the public library, and the
theater. All these are under one roof, with a balcony running
all around the second story inside, from which, as from the
gallery of the stock exchange, one itiay view the housewives
of Mr. Pullman's employees making their purchases below.
This is the only store in the town. It is rented, as a matter of
form, at a stiff price to some of the "bosses" of the Pullman
works, and woe betide the poor man or his family who at some



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PULLMAN AND ITS LESSONS. 203

time or other fails to patronize the ^^ Arcade." The public
school^ which is not endowed by the Pollman Company, the
market honse, which is a sort of exchange not essentially
different from the Arcade, the Pullman hotel, which is the
saloon in the city and at which no i>oor man dare make his
appearance, the church, and the water tower, are the other chief
buildings in Pullman City. There is no workingman's club,
there is no common playground for the people and their
children, and no place for rational recreation, as at Saltaire. If
one visits the theater, the prices range from thirty-five to
seventy-five cents, and these rates, while seemingly moderate to
people of means in large cities, are excessive in the eyes of the
Pullman employees, who frequently have not one dollar a week
after i>aying rent and can seldom afford the luxury of a first
night. There are no almshouses where the infirm and aged, after
spending out their years of toil, may rest in calm repose in the
twilight of life. If they cannot work for Pullman, they may go
begging on the railroads, and thus swell the great army of four
million tramps — which our beneficent industrial system has
produced as a counterpoise to the four hundred Pullmans, who
practically own and rule this great country from ocean to ocean.
A material difference between Pullman and Saltaire is that
while everytliing done at the latter is for the enjoyment and
benefit of the people, and solely at the owner's exx>ense, most of
the things done at Pullman, though done by the Pullman
Company and exclusively owned by them, seem to have been
IMud for by extortionate rates, by excessive work, and by
exorbitant rents from the Pullman employees. The Pullman
Company owns Pallman ; the successive employees in the Pull-
man works ought to have the same share in the management of
the place as the village folk of Sir Titus Salt possess in Saltaire.
They have paid for the place at full cost The idea of central-
izing at Pallman is purely Pullmanesque. There is one store for
all the people, where they buy or not as they please ; if they do
not buy, they may take the consequences at the hands of the
bosses, who in Pallman are commonly called ^'spotters," and
who constitute more than ten per cent of the workingmen.



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204 THE AMERICAN JO URNAL OF POLITICS.

Pallman is probably the best ^'bossed" city on earth, and
Pullman bosses always look out for Pullman, and never for the
people. They famish reports that would be marvels of human
villainy if revealed to the pnblic, and pointers in methods of
red tape to the government clerks at Washington. The blight
of Pullman's satrapy is suspended like a black cloud over
Pullman City, and crushes out the spirit of fun, of humor, and
of independence from the hearts and thoughts of the people.
Mr. Pullman, to do him justice, does not know the half of what
occurs there, and, very much like an English king, he is the
victim of the wiles and schemes of his courtiers. I have said
there was only one store and one church in Pullman. There is
not in the whole city of 12,000 people a single independent
man — outside of Mr. Pullman, nor a single newspaper. Neither
could exist in Pullman for a single day. What wonder that the
men struck against a system which shames the very name of
America t What wonder that European statesmen, seeing the
vices of monarchical institutions reproduced in this country
without any of their dignity or their virtues, should to-day
I>oint across the Atlantic to America as the greatest argument
in favor of imperial institutions t What wonder that a dis-
tinguished public man should write of us thc^: ''I have
studied the rapid evolution of social democracy in England. I
have studied autocracy in Bnssia and theocracy in Eome, and I
must say that nowhere, not even in Russia, in the first years of
the reaction occasioned by the murder of the late czar, have I
struck a more abject submission to a more soulless desi>otism
than that which prevails among the masses of so-called free
Americans when face to face with the omnipresent power of large
corporations" t In striking against such a despotism as exists
at Pullman, Debs and his followers have simply erected the
first great finger-post of our time that distinctly i>oints to the
freedom and emancipation of the whole American people.

T. Burke Grant.



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MILITARY INSTRUCTION IN SCHOOLS, COLLEGES. AND

CHURCHES.

BY ALFRED H. LOVE.

LAFAYETTE Post of the Grand Army of the Eepublic, the
Grand Army of the Bepnblic itself, the Secretary of War
of the United States, and ex-President Benjamin Harrison, in
the January number of the Century Magazine^ have come for-
ward with resolutions, recommendations, and open letters for
military instruction in public and private schools.

Without elaborating upon the religious phase of the question
or more than quoting, ''Thou shalt not kill,'' ''Swords shall
be beaten into plowshares," "Men shall learn war no more,"
which should satisfy all believers in the Old Testament that war
is wrong ; and merely quoting from the New Testament, " Re-
turn good for evil;" "Love your enemies," "Put up thy
sword," "All who take the sword shall perish by the sword,"
and the teachings and life of the author of Christianity, which
ought to satisfy all believers therein that not only war is wrong,
but that the military system is inimical to the highest religious
authority, we reply that we are surprised and pained that in the
progress of the age, with national and international arbitration
taking the place of the military system and deadly force, there
should be any respectable effort made for military instruction,
and especially in schools and colleges, and we may add in
churches, for to the shame of so-called religious bodies, there are



Online LibraryNorth Carolina. Dept. of Mines North Carolina. Dept. of Labor and PrintingThe American journal of politics, Volume 5 → online text (page 20 of 64)