William Dealtry.

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

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was divided among the States. The State of New York
received as its share $3,580,494, which loan commissioners
lent out for the benefit of the school fund. The State of
Connecticut sold the lands of the Western Reserve, and
for three-fourths of a century has loaned the money for the
benefit of schools. This proves a great State can become
lenders of money.

The governor of Ohio, in his message for 1857, sa . vs tne
amount of the state and county taxes were $9,000,000, and


the people of the State of Ohio on $221,000,000 pay in-
terest. The debts of the State are $16,402,095 ; cities,
counties, towns are $15,000,000; recorded mortgages are
$50,000,000 ; and railroad debts are $50,000,000." The
interest is $15,000,000. This will make the whole nation
to pay $150,000,000, interest for their debts. This will
keep many from productive labor, who could if they were
farmers find one-third of the nation in food. There are
some debts on which the State might loan.

Jay Cooke, a famous banker, has made enormous wealth ;
he has a summer house among the lakes worth $10,000.
His home cost more than $i, 000,000, and is filled with
the treasures of art, and all the creations of modern luxury.
This man has the arrogance and the insolence to tell us in
his pamplet that "a national debt is a national blessing."
This book will rank with "Taxation is not Tyranny."

Andrew Jackson, says : " The paper system being found-
ed on public confidence, and having of itself no intrinsic
value, it is liable to great and sudden fluctuations, thereby
rendering property insecure, and the wages of labor unsteady
and uncertain. The corporations which create the paper
money can not be relied on to keep the circulating medium
uniform in amount. In times of prosperity, when confi-
dence is high, they are tempted by prospects of gain, or by
the influence of those who hope to profit by it, to extend
the issues of paper beyond the bounds of discretion and the
reasonable demands of business. And when these issues
have been pushed from day to day, until public confidence
is at length shaken, then a reaction takes place, and they
immediately withdraw the credits they have given, and sud-
denly curtail their issues, and produce an unexpected and
ruinous contraction of the circulating medium, which is
felt by the whole community. The banks, by this means,


save themselves, and the mischievous consequences of their
imprudence or cupidity are visited on the public. Nor does
the evil stop here. These ebbs and flows in the currency,
and these indiscreet extensions of credit, naturally engender
a spirit of speculation injurious to the habits and character
of the people. We have already seen its effects in the wild
spirit of speculation in the public lands, and various kinds
of stock, which, within the last year or two, seized upon
such multitudes of our citizens, and threatened to pervade
all classes of society, and to withdraw their attention from
the sober pursuits of honest industry.

" It is not by encouraging this spirit that we shall best
preserve public virtue, and promote the true interest of our
country. If the currency continues as exclusively paper as
it is now, it will foster the desire to obtain wealth without
labor ; it will multiply the number of dependents on bank
favors ; the temptations to obtain money at any sacrifice
will become strong, and lead to corruption, which will find
its way into your public councils, and destroy, at no distant
day, the purity of your government. Some of the evils of this
system, press with hardship upon a class least able to bear
them. A part of this currency often becomes worthless."
This list of the evils of paper money, should warn us never
to found paper money on gold, but on houses and lands.

Harper's Magazine, April, 1858, says: "The result of
our commercial revulsion has been a wholesale confiscation
of property, and had it been done by government would have
led to civil war." Robberies are among the risks of bank




" Invent or perish." MICHELET.

|ISITING a State fair and seeing there the contri-
vances to shorten human labor should convince
the most unbelieving that the hours of toil can be
shortened. What an arena of industry is there! Who
can contemplate such a scene without emotion ? Here are
monuments to plenty, and the evidence that famine shall
no more afflict the land. Such a scene would lead us to sup-
pose that this plenty is universal. It is not so. Cowper,
when speaking of the plenty in England, makes one excep-
tion. This painful contrast is to be seen here. He says :

" From east to west, no sorrow can be found j
Or only what in cottages confined
Sighs unregarded to the winds."

There is evidence in this fair that the inequalities of life
will some day or other cease. The changes in the people's
amusements indicate this. The Romans could find pleas-
ure in their gladiatorial shows, which were scenes of cruel-
ty. The Middle Ages had their mock battles and single
combats, called jousts and tournaments. Henry the VIII



paid a visit to the French king. Beneath a canopy of gold
cloth the two sovereigns met. The gay pageantry displayed
on that occasion has obtained for the place of meeting the
name of " The Field of the Cloth of Gold." The time of
Elizabeth had its field sports, bull and bear baiting, which
consisted in setting dogs on these poor animals. We have
cause for congratulation that these scenes have passed away,
and are superseded by something more ennobling, the sight
of which is calculated to provoke a spirit that will do some
good to ourselves and others.

The youth of this land have the story of "Aladdin and
his Wonderful Lamp." The story says that Aladdin had
only to rub his lamp, when, whatever he wished for would
appear, be it a beautiful mansion, a mine of gold or jewels,
or a garden full of enchanting scenery. The scenes in the
State fair are a reality no conjuration is there. The crea-
tions of the brains of men are wonderful.

Franklin said he would like to see the time come when a
person could twist more than one thread at a time. He lived
to see one hundred spun by a single person. At the pres-
ent time a man and two boys can tend 300 spindles, going
with three times the speed of a hand-spindle. Since 1760,
a community of workers each have received machinery to
assist them to be equivalent to forty persons.

A State fair is a wonderful display of man's skill. In one
part of this arena of industry may be seen the stationary
engine, doing the labor of ten, perhaps a hundred horses.
How quietly it performs its work ; it never murmurs or tires.
It is the inanimate slave of man. A few years ago wheat
was beaten out of the straw by tying two sticks together,
and then throwing up the wheat in the air and letting the
wind blow away the chaff. In this manner a person could
thrash and clean twelve bushels in a day. A thrashing ma-


machine attended by seven persons will thrash and clean
700 bushels of wheat in a day. In a State fair it is not un-
common to see attached to the pulleys, which are moved
by the engine, three thrashing machines, mills to grind
sugar-canes, wheat into flour, clay for bricks, and draining
tiles. In addition to all this, the engine makes shingles, saws
logs, and splits wood.

In another part of this arena of industry may be seen ma-
chines, whose moving power is horses. A machine is to
be seen that rakes hay, and lifts it into the wagon. A
load is gathered in five minutes. Another contrivance lifts
with a horse, rope, and tackle the load into the barn. The
machinery that has been invented during the last twenty
years for saving hay, cuts off two-thirds of the labor in the
hot part of the year. In the fair is exhibited a huge saw
six feet in diameter; the teeth are six inches wide. With
this a strong man and horse can saw or trench in the soil
100 rods in a day. This saves the labor of ten persons.
The arches or tiles to put in this drain, are made by ma-
chinery in a rapid manner.

Seed drilling machines are very numerous and get in the
seed at the proper period. A person having these has eight
laborers to work for him. Numerous mowing machines are
to be seen beautifully polished. One of these can cut down
more wheat or grass than ten men. Gang plows have been
invented on which men can ride, and do twice or three times
as much as with a common plow. Steam plows have been
invented, one of which has plowed 400 acres of land in a
season. Corn cultivators have been invented. With the
aid of these a single man can cultivate sixty acres of corn.
These implements were unknown a century ago. Time
would fail to tell the wonders seen in a State fair. It is a
scene which the nations of antiquity, the Saxons and Nor-



mans never saw. This scene is an invention of modern
times. The fruits and vegetables displayed there were un-
known four centuries ago, and have been collected by en-
terprising navigators, who have given us a more pleasing
variety of food.

If Franklin could say in his time "Want and misery
would be unknown if all would work at something useful,"
what would he say now ? The time has now come, when
the laborer should work for himself only and it will result
in the non-workers going to work, who will make such an
abundance, that men will not torture their brains making
labor-saving machines.

That want leads to invention may be proved by Richard
Arkwright, who was the youngest of thirteen children of
ignorance and poverty. He never was at school. He was
a barber and rented a basement, and put out this as a sign,


A barber on the opposite side of the street put out this sign,


Men are selfish and avaricious. They try to get each other's
work away, which is not right when we consider how
much land there is unoccupied. Arkwright was forced to
quit the business and go to the country and collect hair for
the wig-maker. His mind seems to have been drawn out


to schemes for the abridgment of labor by machinery, from
which no change of time or place could divert him from
making plans or models of what his brain conceived. This
sometimes interfered with his business, and his wife, con-
vinced that he would starve his family by scheming, when
he ought to be shaving, in a fit of anger destroyed his
models, and annihilated his prospects for wealth and fame.
It is said he never forgave the ruthless deed, but separated
from her at once, and nothing would induce him to live
with her again.

His thoughts had often been drawn to mechanical inven-
tions. This led him to abandon his hair speculations, and
give his mind to the construction of a machine for spinning
cotton by rollers. His model was patented in 1796. At
fifty, he applied himself to the study of grammar, and to
improvement in writing and spelling. He amassed a large
fortune, and the order of knighthood was conferred on him
by George III.

Arkwright substituted rollers in place of human fingers.
Before he made his machinery 50,000 people obtained their
bread by working by hand ; after his invention, 2,000,000 of
persons got their bread from cotton. This must include the
families of the cotton-workers. The importation of cotton
before the invention was annually 2,000,000 Ibs. now it is
500,000,000 Ibs. There was 50,000 hand-spindles, now
12,000,000 machine spindles. The annual value of cotton
goods ninety years ago was .200,000. The value now is
.34,000,000. This invention has made cotton cloth five-
pence a yard. It was ten times this sum. The people use
now twenty-six yards where one was used. The annual con-
sumption is 700,000,000 yards. The quantity sent abroad
is 560,000,000 yards. In 1825, the spinning machinery of

Lancashire was computed to be equal to 21,320,000 of


hand-spinners. India is the home of cotton and cotton
cloth, and was obtained from there before its introduction
into England and America. It has been among us one
hundred years.

In 1540, Bernhard Palissey, of France, spent sixteen
years trying to make enameled pottery. His motive was "to
provide a handsome support for his wife and children." He
was ambitious to be the prince of potters. He succeeded,
after years of sorrow, difficulty, and trial. To procure
chemicals his family suffered for the comforts of life. To
feed his furnaces, he burnt the palings surrounding his house,
and even its doors. He endured the ridicule of his friends,
the reproaches of his wife, and the persecutions of his king,
whose minister put him to death for his Protestant religion.
The king, to save him, wanted him to change his religion.
Said Palissey, " I can die."

Charles Goodyear the inventor of India-rubber cloth, or
enameled cloth, and many other things of this material, for
many years suffered the bitterness of poverty while invent-
ing. His wife used to often say : " Charles, you must pro-
vide better for me or I will go home." His answer was, U A
little while longer and we shall have splendid wealth." It
came ; he triumphed.

James Watt is another example of the impelling power
of poverty, and the desire to attain those pleasures that the
rich gather around them. He was a mathematical instru-
ment-maker. He removed to Edinburgh. He was not al-
lowed to start a shop there, for the reason that he had not
learned his trade in that city. He was allowed a room in
the college, where he was called to repair a Savery steam-
engine. While doing this work he thought he could make
an improvement which he did, and it brought the engine
into varied and extensive uses. Previous to this time the


engine was used for pumping out mines. Had Watt been
rich he would have had no motive to make the improve-
ments he did. There is such an abundance in the world,
and the productive powers of man is so great, that riches,
some time or other will be universal. Riches will be uni-
versal when universal labor prevails.

Says a writer, in Harper's u History of Inventions : "
u The power of steam far surpasses all the fabulous wonders
which imaginative genius have attributed to the genii of the
East, or the invisible fairies who are made to perform such
marvels in old English legends. The very elements are
conquered by this mighty agency ; both wind and tide may
oppose, but still the vessel plunges onward in spite of all
opposition, paddling against breeze and billow, like some
extinct monster of the early world, armed with those sweep-
ing fins that fill the mind of the geologist with wonder.
This new-born giant thrusteth his iron arm into the bow-
els of the earth, and throws up its treasures by thousands
of tons, emptying the dark mine of its wealth, then leaping
on the surface, melting with its hot breath the weighty
metal, and rolling and beating it into massive bars. As if
struck by the wand of a magician, the iron vessel springs
out of the shapeless mass of ore, by the power of steam is
launched upon the deep, and stands, as if in mockery, be-
side its oak-built rival, every rib of which was the growth
of a long century. The very leaves that rustle in our hands
while we read were formed by it, and every letter in the
large sheet of daily news bears the imprint of its majestic

"Even printing, the grandest of all human inventions, was
but in comparison the slow copying of the clerk, beside this
ready-writer, which now throws off its thousands of perfect
impressions within the brief space of a single hour. It


grinds the bread we eat, and gives all the variety and beauty
to the garments we wear. It stamps the wreath of flowers
upon the flimsy foundation of cotton. And yet the whole
of this moving power can be stopped by a child."

Dr. Lardner says : "A pint of water may be evaporated
by two ounces of coal, into two hundred and sixteen gallons
of steam, which will lift thirty-seven tons a foot high. A
pound of coke (charred coal), burned in a locomotive, will
evaporate five pints of water, and draw two tons on a rail-
road one mile in two minutes.

"A train of cars, weighing eighty tons, and containing
240 passengers, drawn by an engine, have gone from Liver-
pool to Birmingham, a distance of ninety-five miles, in four
hours and a quarter, consuming two tons of coke, the cost
of which is two and a half pounds ($i2j). To carry these,
twenty stage coaches would be required. It would take
600 horses to accomplish this journey in twelve hours.

14 In the draining of the Cornish mines the economy of
fuel is attended too, and coal is there made to do more
work than elsewhere. A bushel of coal raises usually
40,000 tons of water a foot high."

Nations that have no machinery have no coal fires. The
mines require constant pumping to prevent them from fill-
ing with water. The same engine that pumps out the mines
lifts up the coal to the pit's mouth. The railroads take
coal to every part of England. A single blast of pow-
der will detach more coal than a laborer can loosen in a
week. Captain Thomas Savery devised, in '1698, a ma-
chine for drawing water from the mines.

The French assert that the Marquis of Worcester took
the idea of the steam engine from Solomon De Caus, who
published a book at Frankfort, in 1615, on steam as a
power. A letter teaches us he went to Cardinal Richelieu


who dismissed him as a madman without hearing him. He
still importuned the Cardinal, who ordered him to prison.
He had been there three years and a half, when the Marquis
saw him. De Caus said, " I am not mad ! I have made a
discovery that will enrich any country that puts it in opera-
tion.'* His lordship returned, sad and thoughtful, and said :
" He is indeed mad , misfortune and captivity have destroy-
ed forever his reason. You have made him mad ; when
you cast him into this dungeon you cast there the greatest
genius of his time, and, in my country, instead of being im-
prisoned, he would have been loaded with riches."

The Marquis of Worcester, living during the civil wars
of Charles I and his parliament, took sides with the king,
and lost his fortune, and was imprisoned in Ireland. He
managed to escape to France. He became a secret agent
afterward in England for the king ; he was detected and put
in the Tower. When cooking his dinner there, he ob-
served that the steam forced upward the lid of his pot. It
occurred to him that this power might be applied to, useful
purposes. When he got his liberty he went to work and
made a machine, which he described in his book.

The steam-engine is a succession of improvements from
the time of De Caus to the time of Watt. Those who
have made changes on the engine are the Marquis of Wor-
cester, Savery, Papin, Newcomen, Brindley, and Smeaton.
Their contrivances seem to have been how to get the pis-
ton-rod back again after the steam had lifted it up. This
was done by a boy who opened valves or cocks. To give
the reader an idea how the engine of these men wonted,
take an iron barrel and partially fill it with water, under the
bottom of the barrel kindle a fire, and you make steam; on
the top open a valve and the steam escapes. To get serv-
ice from this escaping steam construct another iron barrel,


closed at one end and a rim on the other, smooth and turn-
ed straight within. In this barrel you want a movable,
flat, edge-turned piece of metal. If you let in steam at one
end its expansibility lifts up the sliding plate, till it is stop-
ped by the rim. A contrivance is used to cut off the supply
of steam. If water is thrown on the outside of the barrel
containing steam, the steam will become condensed, or be-
come water again ; this leaves a vacuum and causes the flat
piece of metal to fall down ; by the pressure of the atmos-
phere. That the atmosphere has power is evident, when
set in motion it throws down trees and houses, and moves
great ships. When in a state of rest the atmospheric weight
is fifteen pounds to the square inch. To reduce this prin-
ciple to utility, you must put a rod in this moving piece of
iron and fasten it to a pump-handle; steam will force up
the handle, atmospheric pressure bring it down. This en-
gine required a boy to open cocks, and force water into
the cylinder to condense the steam.

" Humphrey Potter, a mere lad, who was occupied in at-
tending to the cocks of an atmospheric engine, becoming
anxious to escape from the monotonous drudgery imposed
upon him, ingeniously contrived the adjustment of a number
of strings, which, being attached to the beam of the engine,
opened and closed the cocks with the most perfect regu-
larity and certainty, thus rendering the machine totally in-
dependent of manual superintendence. The contrivance
of Potter was soon improved upon. The whole apparatus
was subsequently, about the year 1718, brought into com-
plete working order by an engineer named Beighton.

"Watt's first improvement was an alteration of the mode
of condensing the steam. Instead of using the method de-
scribed, he had a condenser attached to the cylinder, and
he still further improved upon it by surrounding it with a


tank of cold water, which was drawn from an adjoining re-
servoir by the pump of the engine. An improvement ef-
fected in the steam-engine, was the custom adopted by
Watt, of closing the top of the cylinder, the piston being
made to work through a neck called a stuffing-box, which
was rendered steam-tight by being lined with tow saturated
with grease, which rubbed and greased the rod and made it
move easily.

" By this alteration the elastic force of steam was used,
as it is now, to impel the piston downward as well as up-
ward. The machine hence became a steam-engine instead
of an atmospheric one, with that continuous action from
which so much benefit has been enjoyed by this simple

" Notwithstanding these important advantages, Watt and
Boulton were compelled to make large sacrifices to bring
their engines into use, as will be seen by the proposition
of Mr. Boulton to the Carron Company: 'We contract to
direct the making of an engine. ***** We do not
aim at profits in engine-building, but shall take out our pro-
fits in the saving of fuel; so that if we save nothing, we
shall take nothing. We will guarantee that the engine so
constructed shall raise at least 20,000 cubic feet of water
twenty-four feet high, with each hundred weight of coal

Those who obtained these engines commuted the saving
of the coal, which Watt's engine ^saved over the others, to
an annual rent. The lessees of the Chacewater mine paid
an annual rent-charge for three engines $12,000. This
inventor had a splendid rural home, and spent the last years
of his life in literary pursuits. In Handsworth Church he
is represented sitting in a chair, with compass and paper, in
the act of drawing. His fame will be as enduring as the


the marble in which his effigy is chiseled. He has given
his name to the steam-engine that may never be laid aside.
We can form some conception of the magnitude of his
gift to man, if we will try and raise coal by hand. An
opening is made in the earth, it soon fills up with water ; a
windlass when turned with human strength, will some time
or other draw out all the water; then the digging is re-
sumed, after much lifting of mud and water the coal-vein is
reached. The future labor is now to lift up the coal and
water, -it may be done with horse-power, it takes much hu-
man labor to procure food for the horses. Without steam-
power the bushel of coal will be equal or worth a day's labor.
Now a day's work of a common laborer will get twenty
bushels of coal.

The fame of the inventions and experiments that had
been made in France and Scotland, in navigating with steam,
induced Fulton to cross the ocean to get these inventions
on our long rivers. In 1775, John Fitch made a steam-boat,
with which he made eleven voyages from Philadelphia to
a town distant eleven miles. Washington and his compan-
ions were invited to ride in the boat. The maker of this
boat was poor, his machinery was badly made, and he was
unable to repair his boat.

Fulton got Watt and Boulton to make his machinery,

Online LibraryWilliam DealtryThe laborer; a remedy for his wrongs; or, A disquisition on the usages of society → online text (page 16 of 33)