William Dealtry.

The laborer; a remedy for his wrongs; or, A disquisition on the usages of society online

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The Laborer:

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(Cabinet Maker,)

Author of "The History of Money; its Evils and Remedy.'

" Oh mankind, what noble creatures you ought to be ! You have keys to all
sciences, arts, and mysteries, but one ! You can not frame a tolerable law
for the life and soul of you. You lay down rules it is impossible to com-
prehend, much less to obey. You call each other monsters because
you can not conquer the impossibility! You invent all sorts of
vices, under pretense of making laws for promoting virtue. You
make yourselves as uncomfortable as you can by all sorts of
galling, vexatious institutions." BULWER'S PAUL CLIFFORD.

WM. DEALTRY, Compositor; R. ALLISON & Co., Stereotypers.


Entered, according to an act of Congress, in the year 1869, by


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the
Southern District of Ohio.



collection of
opinions and his-
torical facts are affec-
tionately dedicated to the

and those Senators who "can not solve
the labor question," and also to those who
believe the hours of labor can be short-
ened by industry, frugality, and the
use of machinery; to those par-
ents who wish their chil-
dren saved from un-
necessary labor;
to those American youths
who wish to become acquainted with
their duties as citizens of the GREAT REPUBLIC.
This book is kindly given by an humble laborer,
with the earnest hope that it may teach them this.


The author is indebted to these and others for his facts.

Raynal's History of the East and West Indies, six volumes.

Encyclopedia Britannica, Edinburgh edition of 1780.

Abbott's French Revolution.

Mildmay's Financial History of England.

Smith's Wealth of Nations.

Wade's History of the Middle and Working-classes.

Giddings' Exiles of Florida.

Chambers' Repository and Papers for the People.

Godwin's Political Justice and Inquirer.

Rev. Sidney Smith's Works.

Knight's Biographical Dictionary, six volumes.

Hume's History of England.

Randle's Life of Jefferson, three volumes.

Glimpses of the Dark Ages.

Carey's Social Science, three volumes.

Bulwer's England and the English, two volumes.

Stanton's Sketches of Reforms and Reformers.

De Toqueville's Old Regime and the French Revolution.

Ramsey's History of the United States and South Carolina.

Hildreth's History of the United States, four volumes.

Disraeli's Curiosities of Literature.

Turner's Sacred History of the World.

Miller's Schools and Schoolmasters.

Lord Kame's History of Man, four volumes.

Wesley's Works, thirty volumes, edition of 1780.

Kay's Social condition of England.

Pridden's History and present condition of Australia.

Hewitt's Rural Life in England.

Abbott's life of William the Conqueror.

Winterbottom's, Rochefoucalt's, De Warville's, Weld's,

Melish's,Volney's and Peto's Travels in the United States.


IEALTH or fame is not the author's motive for
writing this book ; it is to encourage the working-
man to persevere in his efforts to shorten the
hours of labor and ameliorate his condition. The la-
borer who does so much for the happiness of mankind
who accomplishes such mighty works ought to have
the greatest reward; he deserves it.

It has been said, if the laborers were educated, none
would be found to black the boots or curry the horses
of those who were above the laborer. Learning will, in
time, level all inequalities of life. In boyhood, the writ-
er read one of the American Tract Society's reprints,
called the "Shepherd of Salisbury Plain." A gentleman on
horseback entered into a conversation about the weather.
Said he, " Do you live where I see yonder smoke ?" Said
the shepherd, "No, I have not much firing, and some-
times nothing to eat" This narration moved the writer to
tears, to think that there was one in this world so destitute.
The writer's reflections on reading this were, the earth was
full of abundance, and it needed labor to bring it out.
This gentleman had a habit of taking a walk " to con-


template the goodness of God." It occurred to the mind
of the writer, if this man would contemplate the goodness of
God on the plow handles, it would be better for mankind.
It is idleness on the part of others, and robbery caused by
governments, that caused the shepherd's misery. This em-
ployment could not be any better. This shepherd would
not drink ale with the gentleman. He was very industrious.
His earnings were a shilling a day. He had a wife and six
children ; their food was mostly potatoes. This gentle-
man paid the family a visit, and overheard one of the chil-
dren say, having salt to their food, they should be contented.
Religion is not given us to make us contented with misery.
This gentleman gave to the family blankets, which, perhaps,
had been taken from a starved tenantry, in the shape of rent
or profits on the labor of others. This shepherd was made
a parson's clerk. On Sunday he wore a white robe and said
"Amen" to the Church of England's prayers. The scanty
pittance he got for this from the congregation only lessened
their comforts of life.

This tract led to this reflection, if all the kings, nobles,
priests, soldiers, lawyers, custom-house officers, and many
others would do something of utility, there would be no
poverty in the world. Hannah More wrote books to cure
French infidelity. They got the name of" Village Chips."
France was so full of philosophers, priests, nobles, kings, and
courtiers, that the common people had not a sufficiency of
food; this led to their destruction.

Miss More by her village chips and other writings, gain-


ed $150,000. This amount was left to build a church as
a monument. If Miss More had not been a Christian, she
would have left this money at interest, it would have given
$9,000; this sum would have kept in idleness 960 persons,
or 1 20 families on potatoes. This interest at the time of
this lady's death, [1833] would keep in idleness thirty me-
chanics' families in comfort and happiness.

It is the duty of every one to resolve to work at useful,
laborious toil. It is the duty of every one who labors thus
to keep himself only. The misery of the world arises from
one man's keeping another doing nothing, and whose claim
for support is not founded on nature. That rich men should
leave their families to be clothed and fed, by the industri-
ous, by interest, life insurance or otherwise, is absurd, and
a more enlightened age will sweep them away.

The apology for intruding this book upon the laborers'
notice, is that the writer has had access to large, and costly
libraries, and his reading has been of that nature, so that he
may set his own class to reasoning correctly on political
subjects. The facts in this book have been acquired when
the day's labor was done, most of them during the last two-
years. This book has its literary faults. The writer quit
school at ten years of age.

The writer can get no one to print this book. He has
purchased type and sets them up. He is a cabinet-maker,
not a printer ; and this will account for typographical faults.

It is a pleasing thought this book can be printed without
asking permission. Greater changes are to be made in


men's condition. The thunders of the Vatican have tried
to strike out of the hands of men, the writings of WicklifF,
Huss, and Luther. At Rome a body of literary despots
make out a catalogue of books, that are forbidden to be read.
In Spain a book goes through half a dozen courts before it
is published. Queen Elizabeth punished an author for an
offending book. King James compelled books to be exam-
ined "and purged of offensive matter." Milton's Paradise
Lost was altered, after a few years it was printed as written.
Sir Mathew Hale did not want his books printed after his
death, he was afraid the " Licensers of the Press " might
change them.

This book will show what others have suffered for to
ameliorate the condition of those who toil. Sir Thomas
More lost his head on the block ; his Utopia would offend
many. Fenelon was banished from the French court.
In prison Voltaire wrote his " Henriade " and " Toleration;"
Cobbett his "Paper against Gold;" and Montgomery some
of his poems. Brissot De Warville, after his visit to this
country, with thirteen others suffered on the guillotine. By-
ron only went three times to the House of Lords ; he told
them they were robbers of the people. Bulwer says the
writings of the social philosophers of last century are not
generally known. If this collection of opinions and histor-
ical facts shall teach the young, to think, and save them
from unpaid toil ; the writer's labor has not been in vain.






lJMAN Society is Full of Misery There is a Complete Remedy The
Hours of Toil can be Shortened Opinions of Good Men I



LAVERY in Greece and Rome In Northern Africa In America
Slavery is Necessary to Improve the Condition of Men Slavery not
Neecessary when Nations are Improved 25



OCTET Y after the Conquest Traffic in Slaves Influence of Christian-
ity Increase of Towns and Manufactures Corporate Immunities
Absurd Legislation- Occupations and Wages of the People 49



ATRIARCHAL Government The Origin of Monarchies Their
Jf Corruptions and Changes William the Norman His advent into
England Feudalism Its Origin and Necessity to Improve Men 73



p ARLIAMENTS a Result of Conquest The disputes of Kings and
Nobles a cause of Parliaments Origin of the House of Commons
An Assembly of Men to save Themselves from being Plundered 97



EUDALISM the Cause of the Growth of Cities A Place for Es-
caping Slaves Cities are necessary to Improve Mankind Hanseatic
Towns North American Review on Cities Suffering in Cities izi



OMMERCE, its origin Mankind needed Commerce to Improve
3j their Condition Its Evils and Remedy Franklin's Opinions of

Commerce Rev. Sidney Smith's Opinions on Commerce 145



/r ONEY had its Origin in the Love of Ornament A Means of keep-

jyL ing the People Poor What Money costs Society The Causes of

Metal Money The History of Paper Money 169



'ANT a Motive for Invention Universal Riches will Prevent In-
*' vention Arkwright's Invention and Poverty Watts' Improve-
ment on the Steam Engine Morse's Telegraph 193





ERCHANTS are the Founders of Cities A Cause of the Overthrow
of Slavery Merchants are too Numerous The Causes why Law-
yers Exist They are too numerous An injury to Society 217



>HN WESLEY'S Remedies for Sickness Opinions of the Demo-
jvJ cratic Review Jefferson Priessnitz Bulwer Havelock Volney

The Early Christians St. Chrysostom Tertullian The Moravians.241



fHE Farmer's Burdens are too Heavy It is his duty to mak them
Lighter How to Educate his Children To Fertilize the Soil How
the Mechanic may Shorten his Labor How to Obtain a Home 265



fHE American Government has not Ameliorated the Condition of the
Working People It Should be Changed It Benefits the Rich, not
the Poor Opinions of Brissot de Warville Marquis de Chastellux...289



fTS Causes, Cruelties, and Benefits A Contest between Nobles and
People The Number of its Victims The Edict of Nantes The
Profligacy of the Kings of France Death of Louis the Fourteenth...^ 13




f KETCHES of Washington Livingston Morris Hamilton Sedg-
wick Ames Wollcott Burr Adams Jefferson Opinions of
the Economists Potter More Smith Malthus Say Paley 337



PINIONS of Volney Franklin Fenelon Carey Fourier Har-
riet Martineau Joseph Kay Dr. Price Jacques Turgot Fortes-
que William Godwin John Wesley 361



. PALEY on Society A Presidential Candidate's Home Cost of
Intemperance The Fool's Pence Theory of Governments What
we Pay for Being Governed John Adams on the Constitutions. ...38 5



t WASHINGTON letter The Pacific Railroad a Means of acquir-
L ing Territory without War How the King of Prussia obtained Rev-
enue from a Canal General Dearborn's Testimony on Merchants..4O9


AGE twenty-four, line nineteen, and page two-hundred and ninety, line

two, the writer quotes from memory. The proper books can not at this
time be obtained.





" The history of the past is to enlighten men." - SwiFT.

|HE minds of the good and benevolent are continu-
ally pained by the sight of human sorrow, caused
by want. This comes from man's ignorance ;
from one man oppressing another, and blinding his reason.
The Creator of the Universe has done his part well ; noth-
ing is lacking to complete man's happiness. If a poor
man spends his time sculpturing a stone, and calls it Apollo
or Diana, he will want bread. If the man parts with his
statue, some one else suffers want. The peasant of Ire-
land, for the use of the soil, which ought to be his own, is
compelled to give three-fourths of his food to another. If
the landlord gives this food to painters and sculptors, their


concentrated labor is at the expense of the peasant's com-
forts. How abject and mean are the inhabitants of Bava-
ria. Its ruler is guilty of the madness of impoverishing
his subjects. He has built two large and costly temples-, of
the finest style of architecture. These temples are filled
with paintings and statuary. The Bavarians are poor; if
the labor on these temples, statues, and paintings had been
put on the homes of the Bavarians, they would be happy.
"The introduction of the fine arts into America may be re-
garded as a national calamity."*

Men work on luxuries, and want necessaries. Men work
on stone carvings for a mansion front, and go to a home
destitute of comfort, or even ornament. f Nature designed
that men should work more for themselves and less for
others. The poverty of many of the Americans arises from
keeping many doing nothing. Their Legislators, in trying to
put down evil, do a great deal of wrong ; while doing it they
consume large quantites of labor.

If the laborers lived in the palaces they build and adorn,
it would be more rational. History is silent how those who
built the Pyramids lived; their labor made them wretched:
much of modern labor does the same. We need earnest-
hearted men to turn labor into other channels. It is the
duty of the good to do something for those who suffer.
These cases call for a reform.

The "Methodist Book Concern" has a book called
"Aunt Effie." Her husband was killed while making a fine
cornice ; the scaffold fell. Her nice home passed away.
At No. 6 Court street she put out this sign : "Washing done

* BRISSOT DE WARVILLE'S Travels in North America, in 1787.

j- The writer knows a good, temperate, marble cutter, who sleeps in an al-
ley. Others work on tombstones worth forty thousand dollars, they have no
homes. These men do themselves and society an injustice. It is a wrong.


here :" none came to give her work, and she was reduced
to her last crust. After trying to beg she returned to her
home to die ! Her thoughts were that she would fill a pau-
per's grave. She was thirty-six hours without food. Some
benevolent ladies, at last, found her out, when ready to faint
with hunger.

Near Louisville two women lived in a hollow tree ; their
bed was corn shucks, which they sold in the market ; they
did washing. They were found by a hunter, who saw
their tracks in the snow. The Cincinnati Commercial tells
us of Stewart, the New York merchant, living in a man-
sion worth $2,000,000, and of news boys sleeping in boxes
and barrels. It also tells us of a steam plow, that plow-
ed in England four hundred acres of land. Another para-
graph, by way of contrast, tells us of a dozen persons found
frozen in the streets of London ; besides those who were fro-
zen in their dens.

Monarchy and Republicanism are the same. They both
divide into two classes ; one to create labor, the other to
destroy ; into rich idlers and poor workers, one part possess-
ing all, the other nothing. A life of toil and labor is bind-
ing on us all ; from it there is no escape. If a man escapes
toil, it is at the expense of some one else. When a man
will not work, he does an injustice to those who will work.
It is the duty of those who work to throw off this burden.

There have in every age and clime of the world, appear-
ed men who could see clearly into the social ills of life.
The ancient philosophers, as soon as symbolical writing
had passed away, and letters were used, then taught that
agriculture and pastoral pursuits, were for the happiness of
men. Among the greatest who have tried to banish po-
verty, is Jesus. He would not allow his followers to possess
riches. His command was sell all that thou hast, and give


it to the poor. Excessive riches are made by speculation.
Many will buy a piece of ground, suitable for a home, for
$100 and sell it for $200. Does not this seller do an injus-
tice to the buyer? If the seller makes many such sales,
he lives without laboring. He is guilty of a breach of this
command, "Thou shalt not covet or desire other men's
goods." Jesus saw that riches gave birth to idleness, and
that they impoverished the industrious and increased their
toils. Even Paul said "If any man will not work neither
shall he eat." He was a true reformer, and a rule for us
all. For three centuries the early Christians despised
riches and lived together doing good.

St. Basil, who died A. P. 378, perceiving that many
Christians were in trouble from the wars, advised them to
unite in colleges. He taught them that the Scriptural
doctrines led to the reformation of life, and men had some-
thing to practice. St. Basil had seen religious societies in
Egypt. He built a house large enough for his friends,
to share his retirement. The place had near it a river,
that rolled over a rock, and it was full of fish, the woods
contained deer and wild goats. They were constantly
employed at such labors, as gave them occupation without
anxiety. Those arts were preferred which combined cheap-
ness and simplicity, not requiring costly materials, or min-
istering to vanity. Their pursuits were building, weaving,
and shoe making. Others attended the flocks and soil.
Their house was a school for orphans, whom they clothed
and fed. Pious people have not always lived this natural
life, a life of labor and self denial.

The followers of John Huss became Moravians, Tun-
kers, and Mennonists. Count Zinzendorf helped the Mo-
ravians to lands, which they worked with ingenuity, indus-
try, and economy. The Tunkers and Mennonists were


sects of Christians, who settled in Pennsylvania last cen-
tury, having sprung from the Hussites; their principles
were not to go to law, fight, or take interest for the loan
of their money. They subsisted by attending lands, flour,
oil, and paper mills, and other useful pursuits.

John Wesley paid a visit to Hernhutt, and Count Zin-
zendorf set him to work in his garden.* He did not like
this, though he inculcated a life of plainness to his follow-
ers, and forbid ornaments in dress, houses, or equipages.
His mind saw that luxury deprived some of the comforts of
life. It may not appear very clear to some, as it does to
Christians, how luxury is productive of evil ; take this ex-
ample : three girls in England each worked sixteen weeks
on a scarf, for Queen Victoria ; it was flowers worked on
thin cloth with a needle. These girls ought to have been
making flannels and stockings for themselves. There is
no difficulty in proving, that those who do this work are
poor. The pay of these girls was taken from others, by
taxation. Nature designed that queens and ladies should
make their own scarfs.

Archbishop Fenelon, in his Telemachus, plainly shews
the causes of human misery, and the virtues of useful in-
dustry. Sir Thomas More, in his Utopia, where he de-
scribes the happy islanders, gives us plain, good advice, and
how useful labors make men happy. The satires of these
men on human society are very keen.

Lord Bolingbroke, in the time of Queen Anne, said, if
every man would work one year, it would maintain him
twenty years. Franklin tells us " If every one would labor
four hours a day, at something useful, poverty and want
would be unknown." Robert Owen spun the first bale of

* Chambers' Miscellany The Moravians.


Sea Island cotton that was sent to England, into thread
of very fine, even, and smooth texture. His earnings at
nineteen were three thousand dollars a year. At twenty
seven he purchased a factory worth $400,000. He saw a
boy of sixteen years in chains, to be sent to a penal colony
for his faults. This scene led Owen to reflect that, if
other circumstances had been thrown around this boy, he
would have been a better member of society. It led him
to devote his wealth to improve his fellow-men. His
workmen rented his cottages at the lowest price. He got
for them the necessaries of life at first cost; and distributed
them for the same. He introduced infant schools among
the working people.

Robert Dale Owen says, in his writings: "My father
had access to documents that others had not. His exten-
sive experience as a manufacturer convinced him that Eng-
land's labor-saving machinery, was equal to 400,000,000
of working men. Nineteen-twentieths of this power has
been created in the last century. In the making of cotton
goods, 3,000,000 of persons do the labor of 36,000,000.
The labor-saving machinery of Great Britain, is the same
as if every workman had forty slaves working for him, from
morn to night without food or clothing. One-fortieth part
of the present wealth of England, formerly afforded her pop-
ulation subsistence and comfort. A great number of these
laborers, have not at this moment sufficient to subsist on in
comfort. Great Britain has learned to produce wealth,
and she does produce it most abundantly ; but she has not
learned to distribute it, to help her present distress. Now
it is self-evident that if every person produced for himself
every article of wealth that he required, no possible injus-
tice could happen in its distribution; for each producer
would retain and consume his own produce. It is also


evident that if such a state of things could exist, labor-sav-
ing machinery must necessarily increase man's comforts,
or diminish the hours of labor ; for instance, if a man's pow-
ers of production increased forty-fold, and he was still con-
tent with the same quantity of wealth that satisfied his wants
before the increase, he would only have to labor eighteen
minutes a day instead of twelve hours, or he ought to have
forty times as much wealth. *'

Lord Brougham has, in his writings on the nature of la-
bor-saving machinery, declared : u That after the most
careful investigation of the subject in England, with its
present advantages in labor-saving machinery, but twenty
minutes daily toil, by each individual would be required to
furnish all with abundance. "

Richard Cobden, in his political writings, says: "The
effects of labor-saving machinery must ultimately reduce the
hours of labor, as it already has mitigated its severity.
The work of day will be crowded into a smaller space, so
soon as our good people can learn that gold is not the
highest good, and that man is something better than a beast

Online LibraryWilliam DealtryThe laborer; a remedy for his wrongs; or, A disquisition on the usages of society → online text (page 1 of 33)