Puslapio vaizdai

Senate fill sixty-six closely printed columns of the « Congressional Globe,» and those in the House seventy-eight columns. If that be «secrecy » and «stealth, what would constitute publicity?

There is abundant testimony also that the meaning of the bill was at no time concealed, or sought to be concealed. Mr. John J. Knox, who was then deputy-comptroller of the currency, prepared the bill and accompanied it with a communication, which stated distinctly three times that its provisions discontinued the coinage of the silver dollar piece. He had previously submitted the bill to boards of trade, chambers of commerce, professors in colleges, mint officials, and other experts, and persons best competent to pass judgment upon it, and the replies of these authorities were included in the communication

to Congress. Mr. Knox said subsequently, in regard to the charge of stealth,» that it has no foundation in fact, that it is not probable that any act passed by any Congress ever received more care in its preparation, or was ever submitted to the criticism of a greater number of practical and scientific experts.» Ex-Senator Edmunds, who was a member of the Senate during the three years in question, said many years later, when asked if it was generally understood at the time that the bill put the country upon the single gold standard:

Certainly. All the nations with which we did business-or the most of them-were going to the gold standard alone; and the tendency of all trade pointed

to that as the inevitable basis of values.

But the strongest evidence against the stealth charge is to be found in the speeches made in both Houses while the bill was under consideration. In January, 1872, the bill was before the House, and was debated for nearly two whole days. Congressman Kelley, of Pennsylvania, made a long speech in explanation of its provisions, giving a detailed account of the authorities to whom it had been submitted for opinion, saying that its only object was to provide for the «integrity of the coinage, and adding:

I would like to follow the example of England and make a wide difference between our gold and silver coins, and make the gold dollar uniform with the French system of weights, taking the grain as the unit. Congressman Hooper, of Massachusetts, when the bill was again before the House in February, 1872, explained the coinage and other sections of the bill in a speech which fills ten columns of the «Globe,» and in the course of which he said of the silver dollar which the bill discontinued:

The silver dollar of 4122 grains, by reason of its bullion or intrinsic value being greater than its nominal value, long since ceased to be a coin of circulation, and is melted by manufacturers of silverware.

fectly well known by those who were considering it. Speaking of the «impossibility of retaining the double standard,» he said:

The values of gold and silver continually fluctuate. You cannot determine this year what will be the relative value of gold and silver next year. Hence all excoin which shall be a legal tender for all others, and perience has shown that you must have one standard then you may promote your domestic convenience by having a subsidiary coinage of silver which shall circulate as legal tender for a limited amount, and be redeemable at its face value by the government.

The bill passed the House in May, 1872, and was sent back to the Senate, which had passed it in 1871, with certain amendments. It came up again for final passage, or concurrence in the amendments, in the Senate in January, 1873, and was passed without a division. In his speech explaining its provisions, Senator Sherman said:

The bill proposes a silver coinage exactly the same as the French and what are called the associated nations

of Europe, who have adopted the international standard of silver coinage; that is, the dollar (two half dollars) provided for in this bill is the precise equivalent of a 5-franc piece.

The final debate in the Senate on the bill filled nineteen columns of the «Globe.»

At the time the law was passed, the silver dollar was an obsolete coin. Senator Edmunds said, in a published interview from which we have quoted above:

For many years silver, save as a subsidiary currency, passed. After 1845, or thereabouts, the silver dollar had been practically unknown, when the act of 1873 was disappeared, and was an unknown quantity.

The reason was that it was worth three or four cents more than the gold dollar, and hence refused to circulate. Instead of being demonetized by the act of 1873, it had demonetized itself about 1845, or a quarter of a century earlier. Instead of the passage of that act taking half of our currency out of circulation, it actually increased the volume of it very largely. The total silver coinage for the first five years after the passage of the act was over $31,751,000 against $7,600,000 for the previous ten years. In 1873 began the enormous increase in the product of silver, which has been going on ever since. In 1870 this product was $51,575,000. It increased gradually till in 1873 it reached $81,800,000, a gain of 60 per cent. within three years. It fluctuated a little during the next few years, but at no time fell below $81,000,000, and in 1881 it reached $102,000,000. From that time it advanced several millions every year till in 1893 it exceeded $209,000,000, a gain of 145 per cent. within twenty years.

It is very clear from these facts and figures that it Congressman Potter, of New York, who opposed the was not the passage of the act of 1873 which either bill, said:

This bill provides for the making of changes in the legal tender coin of the country, and for substituting as legal tender coin of only one metal, instead, as heretofore, of two.

Mr. Potter opposed the bill, not because he objected to its effect, but because, as the country had not at that time resumed specie payment, it was premature legislation. In replying to him, Mr. Kelley spoke of the bill in terms which leave no doubt that its meaning was perVOL. LII.-100.

demonetized silver or reduced it one half in value. In both cases, the moving forces have been the eternal laws of nature, and if any «crime has been committed against silver, nature is the culprit.

The Wage-earner's Interest in Improved Housing.

ONE day a wandering cynic chanced to visit a humble tenement lodging, and found the bath-tub full of coal. He did not stop to inquire what he himself would do if

he lived in quarters so restricted that there was no other means of storage, but straightway formed the opinion that improving the homes of working people was a fruitless task because of their misuse of such improvements.

Though the tale may represent reality in isolated instances, as a generalization it is absolutely untrue. Even the dullest and lowest intelligence will, in time, respond to an ameliorated environment.

This is not a mere thesis. There is plenty of evidence to sustain it. Lord Shaftsbury, who practically interested himself for more than sixty years in improving the homes of the masses, said time and again that many of the people who were in a filthy and deplorable condition had been made so by their surroundings, and that where their homes had been improved, they had been rescued from such conditions. Human nature is imitative; the force of good example is catching. Lack of opportunity to lead a more civilized existence, not the inclination to remain as they are, largely explains the situation of the poorer elements amongst city dwellers. Sir Sydney Waterlow cites the punctuality with which the rents are paid to his corporation as evidence that people having good rooms are anxious to keep them. He believes that there is a growing desire for comfortable homes.

Perhaps the most eloquent testimony to the desire of wage-earners for a decent living environment is the prosperity attending model housing enterprises wherever they have been established. An exhaustive study made by Prof. E. R. L. Gould, covering all model enterprises in existence in the larger cities of Europe and the United States, shows that eighty-eight per cent. of them are earning dividends equal to or in excess of normal commercial rates. Upwards of 160,000 people find shelter in the improved tenements of London. The owners reap solid financial returns.

Prof. Gould's experience, based on more than three years' study and investigation of this matter, has established the firm conviction that wage-earners feel a positive interest in improved housing, and will cheerfully take advantage of it whenever it is provided.

What are the wage-earner's special interests in improved housing? In the first place, this class is vitally interested in the conservation of health. Good health means earning power, and as working-men lead more or less of a hand-to-mouth existence, any loss of earning power is a serious matter. Lord Beaconsfield aptly voiced this truth in an address delivered at the opening of some new blocks of improved tenements in London. He said "the health of the people is really the foundation upon which all their happiness and their power depends.>> Few realize the loss of productive energy through sickness brought about by bad living environments. Sir James Paget, the distinguished English physician, estimates that the whole population of England between fifteen and sixty-five years old works in each year twenty millions of weeks less than they might if it were not for sickness. He puts down the loss inflicted on wage-earners at nearly fifteen millions of dollars annually. He refers simply to a purely preventable loss. Some years ago, the London health authorities instituted inquiries in certain low neighborhoods to estimate the value of labor lost in a year, not by sick

ness, but from sheer exhaustion induced by unfavorable surroundings. It was found that, upon the lowest average, every worker lost about twenty days in the year from this cause. One might go on multiplying such instances, but it is not necessary to enforce the argument by cumulative citation.

Wage-earners are vitally interested in the passage and enforcement of wise sanitary laws. Bad sanitation entails proportionally worse economic consequences to them than to the more highly favored. They are also more often the victims of sickness and epidemics, fostered by insanitary neighborhoods. The workingman has a positive interest in using whatever political power he possesses to secure legal remedies against uninhabitable houses through expropriation laws such as those current in England, and the measure recently put into operation by the Board of Health of New York City under the Tenement House law of 1895. Who, if not wage-earners, are interested in the obliteration of rookeries where the death rate equals seventy-three in a thousand? Whatever promotes better living conditions, no matter whether it comes from legal enactment or private effort, will find support from wage-earners who appreciate their true interests.

Important as are the physical and economic aspects of this question, they are not the sole, perhaps they are not even the chief, considerations. Ethical issues have greater ultimate significance. Many of our moral and social ills are more nearly connected with bad housing than appears upon the surface. Take for example drunkenness. How absurd to suppose that immoderate liquor-drinking can be suppressed so long as people are left to live in houses where lack of elementary sanitation saps vitality, while noisomeness and unattractiveness impel a search for outside relief. It is entirely unjust to suppose that only a low impulse to debauch or a reckless disregard of family duties leads wage-earners to contract the «saloon habit.» The utter dullness, the lack of individuality in tenement-house existence, often lie back of the fatal temptation.

Promiscuity in human bee-hives, rendering independence and isolation impossible to the family, is a serious drawback. What may we legitimately expect from such conditions? Not only can there be no development of domestic life, which in the words of Cardinal Manning «creates a nation,» but every member from earliest childhood is a prey to those forces which drag down, -a stranger to those which uplift. Unwholesome sights and sounds fix themselves in the memories of children ere infancy is really past. The exuberance of youth, finding no possibility of expression inside the home, is poisoned by the philosophy of the streets. Boys, while yet of tender age, are introduced to viciousness and petty crime. Young girls from their earliest teens engage in a struggle for moral preservation. Mothers, instead of finding wifehood and motherhood the sweetest of all human relations, are oppressed to hopelessness, soured into ill-feeling or brutalized into a state of callous indifference. There is everywhere a distinct lowering, if not an entire loss, of moral tone.

With prospects of this sort, varying of course in degree according to circumstances, can one say that wage-earners, even of the lowest class, regard the out

come with equanimity? Are these fathers and mothers so entirely different from the heads of more fortunately circumstanced homes?

It is a most gratifying fact that along with the destruction of the worst tenements in New York by the opening of the new small parks, and by the condemnation proceedings above referred to, an extensive movement has been started looking to the building of model tenements. Under the new tenement-house laws every new tenement must be better built than formerly,— with more light and air and safety from fire, but the building on the voluntary principle (and not as in England by the local government) of additional model tene


ments will help to make a new and better city; better, we believe, both in health, morals, and the enjoyment of life. The principal agency now at work in this direction is the City and Suburban Homes Company, of which Prof. Gould, of Johns Hopkins, is the President, and Mr. A. W. Milbury the Secretary, Mr. R. Fulton Cutting being the Chairman of the Board of Builders. This Company proposes to accomplish its philanthropy in a businesslike way, which is, we believe, the best way for the permanent success - the permanent good influence - of the enterprise. The example will surely be followed not only in New York, but in other crowded cities of America.


Training Schools for Domestic Servants.

An ordinary dwelling-house might be utilized for the school. The basement, which should be well lighted,

IT is too late in the day to discuss the need of better could be fitted up as a laundry, capable of accommodat

domestic service in the United States. It is the one crying evil that besets society, and makes life a series of makeshifts from the effects of which even the rich are not exempt, while at some time or other, and in most families continually, every man, woman and child suffers more or less. Some day the American people will realize what an intimate bearing this question has upon the national character as well as upon domestic happiness. Systematic study of the subject will follow, and some of the vast energy that now goes into remedial charities will be directed to the solution of this fundamental problem. For the present there seems to be only one remedy for the general situation, the Training School for Domestic Servants. It is the purpose of this article to make suggestions as to its range and character.

Such a school should be well organized and equipped for the thorough training of servants in all branches of household work. In the first place it should have facilities for teaching pupils how to bathe properly, to care for their own bodies and for their own clothes. It should have different departments of training, one for laundresses, another for chambermaids, another for waitresses, another for cooks, and another for general housework servants, the last, of course, requiring a special condensed course. On entrance, young women or girls should be classified as far as possible, according to their general intelligence and ability as well as the employment for which they wish to be fitted. The first work given should be the washing of the kitchenware, the sweeping of the kitchen, and the scrubbing of the floor and tables-in short, every pupil should be taught the work of a kitchen-maid. After that, even though she intends to fit herself for a special department, she should be taught to sweep and dust carpeted rooms, and next to do plain washing and ironing, these being among the things which every domestic should know how to do well.

ing a large number of women, to be classified as they advance in skill in the department. There must be a head laundress to look after those under her, and inspectors to decide when a woman is capable of promotion. In a city of 5000 inhabitants, such a laundry might easily be made self-supporting.

The first floor of the Training School could be devoted to the cooking department. It should have several kitchens where the women in different stages of advancement could work, under an expert leader. The different departments in cookery could be made selfsupporting by having lunch-counters where men could go in with their dinner pails and have served to them from the kitchens of the less skilled pupils hot soup, tea, coffee, and other plain food, while a restaurant of a better class might be sustained from the work of those who were more thoroughly trained. Another source of income might be secured by filling orders for special dishes, or for whole meals. Setting a table, waiting, washing fine china and glass, and polishing silver, could be taught in connection with the restaurant.

The upper floors should consist of a parlor, and various apartments, where servants could be trained in cleaning, dusting, window-washing, care of lamps, and all kinds of second work. From this department servants could be sent out by the hour or day to sweep, dust, or act as housemaids.

With the training given in this way a thoroughly competent laundress, if she were a fairly industrious and intelligent worker, should be graduated in perhaps six months. After the first month she might be paid a small sum for her services. The cooks might also begin to have small wages after the first month. At least two years would probably be required for a cook to be thoroughly trained in every branch of her work, from caring for her range to doing fine cookery. Those who show special capacity should be trained to take the whole responsibility of planning and cooking elabo

rate luncheons and dinners, as well as in the mastery of economical and healthful cookery for every-day life. Wages should increase with gain in skill. The cook would find compensation for the longer course in the high wages which her certificate would enable her to demand. The time required for training in any department would depend upon intelligence and adaptability. The certificates given by the Training School should be proof of skill, competence, and integrity; they should state exactly what the servant is fitted to do, and they should be so conscientiously given that a housekeeper might rest assured that she knew exactly the capabilities of the servant. Throughout the course earnest effort should be made to impress upon the pupils the idea of moral obligation. Servants should be made to realize the dignity of their work, and the important part its faithful performance plays in the happiness and health of the home, and so of the nation. They should be taught that their work is as essential to the moral and physical well-being of humanity as that of the teacher, the doctor, or the minister, and that it demands just as much unselfishness and conscientious


In this connection it might be well to establish a training school for mistresses and other members of the family, that the idea of moral obligation might not be all on one side.

The cooking schools and classes have done a great deal of good, but they do not seem to have reached the root of the trouble. They have not perceptibly improved servants as a class. We need not simply schools of cookery, but schools where everything a servant ought to know is taught.

Doubtless it would take several years for such a school to become self-supporting, but there is no doubt it would be so in time. This may perhaps seem a visionary scheme, but the Training Schools for Nurses were regarded in the same light. The wages of these nurses are from twelve to twenty-five dollars a week, and yet the demand is steadily increasing, and the result is that intelligent girls are constantly fitting themselves for this profession. Shall we not have trained servants when their work demands a like degree of excellence, and they are offered the same inducements? The prevalent opinion is that the work of trained nurses and of trained servants is not to be compared, but the more one thinks about the matter, the more it is seen that there is but little, if any, difference in their importance. There is no doubt, if more attention were paid to the proper preparation of our food, there would be less need of doctors and drugs. Of course with these higher wages many could not afford to employ trained servants, but neither can they afford trained nurses or dressmakers, yet this is never used as an argument against the training of nurses and dressmakers. When the era of the trained servant arrives, a great advantage will be gained for people who cannot afford to pay even the wages now demanded, because untrained servants will have to work more cheaply when they find that a certificate from a Domestic Training School is necessary to procure high wages. The increase of wages will probably not greatly add to the expense of living, as the intelligence of the trained servant will teach her economy of materials and labor, and in many cases one well-trained domestic will be able to do the

work of two who are untrained. It is doubtful whether middle-aged women, with their fixed habits, could be made into trained servants. We must depend upon the younger girls, and even they will probably respond slowly to the demand, so that it will be the rising generation that will reap the benefit of the purposed Training School.

One of the greatest difficulties in this matter is created by the great mass of raw material which is daily dumped upon our shores. Each one of these ignorant, stupid women expects to find a place with good wages. To meet this difficulty the cooperation of mistresses is absolutely necessary; they must combine and positively refuse to pay high wages to ignorant servants. If these girls cannot afford to fit themselves for service in the Training School, they should not receive wages for at least three months, or possibly the slight remuneration of one dollar a week might be offered. Housekeepers must make these untrained ignorant women understand that they are receiving a favor in thus being taught. The line should be as closely drawn in domestic service as in other departments of skilled labor. Until mistresses have such a sense of moral obligation as will make them refuse recommendations to undeserving and untrained servants there will be difficulty in carrying out this system. In short, this business of hiring servants must be managed like any other business, and the scale of prices must be arranged according to merit. In this result the Training School will be an important factor.

In one other important particular mistresses must mend their ways before a system of trained servants can be made successful. Every woman should inform herself sufficiently to be able to know when every kind of housework is properly done, and then she should insist that it shall be properly done. It may be suggested that this training, education, and granting of certificates, would make a class already difficult to deal with still more difficult, and that servants would assume such airs that the house would not contain them. Even if this were true, would a disagreeable trained servant be any harder to contend with than a disagreeable untrained servant? A writer who has given the matter a great deal of thought says that the effect would be just the reverse. A sensible and liberal education would teach women not only what is due to themselves, but what is due to others, and the feeling of independence which the thorough knowledge of her business gives to every worker in every craft would make servants invaluable. When we show the daughters of the less favored American families that brains are required in the kitchen, that ability in that department will be as well rewarded as in the positions of stenographer, bookkeeper, or trained nurse, and that, in short, servants will be as much respected for excellence as those who excel in other departments we shall find that the Domestic Servant Problem will solve itself.

Carrie Niles Whitcomb.

United States History in Secondary Schools.

A COMMENT in the January number of THE CENTURY, to the effect that «a Yale or Harvard freshman may know

the history of Greece superficially, but he knows it better than the history of England or the United States,» leads me to believe that the decided revolution in the relative position of English and United States history to Greek and Roman history is not appreciated by the large majority of people. In the last ten years the history of the United States has changed its place in the curricula of colleges and secondary schools. It occupied formerly an unimportant position, while such studies as Greek and Roman history, algebra, geometry, etc., held undisputed sway. But now these studies no longer exclude English and American history from their proper place. Somehow the interest, unity, inspiration, and economic teachings of United States history have been recognized. The vast field of economic and historic problems and solutions depicted in the career of this country has not appealed in vain to teachers. Even in the graded schools more attention has been given to the subject than ever before. So that, taken all in all, the young man or woman who enters our colleges in the next five years will know something about the history of this country, and know it well..

There has been a marked advance in the method of study and manner of presentation. History, especially that of the United States, used to be presented as a series of wars, with periodical elections of presidents; but now it is regarded as the development of a society, not as a mere political organization, but as an advancing industrial organization, the social pressure of which demands constantly increasing discipline and more and more limitations of liberty. It is, in fact, the history of a people developing in a way never known before; not, as in Europe, from non-liberty to greater freedom and democracy, but from liberty to greater and greater limitations on that liberty.

This change of view in regard to the presentation and importance of the subject is due chiefly to the influence of a few of the colleges in this country. Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, and a few others offer courses in United States history which go to the bottom of the material. On the results of their investigation new views of our history have made themselves manifest. At the present time the undergraduate at Yale is drilled in Bryce's American Commonwealth » and the history of the United States. In the graduate department of the same university a two years' course in United States history is offered. The subject-matter is taken from the original sources, so that a student pursuing it gets a thorough knowledge of the subject. Many students in the universities doing this kind of work have gone out to schools and colleges as instructors and professors.

The candidates for admission to the various colleges and universities in the near future will be prepared to take up in an appreciative spirit the economic studies now offered. The ultimate meaning is better citizenship.

[blocks in formation]

overnight at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. They were Miss Libbie Cunningham of Cleveland, Ohio, Miss Mary Shelton (now Mrs. Huston) of Burlington, Iowa, and the writer of this note. We were on our way from the hospitals in Nashville, Tennessee, to Wilmington, North Carolina, in answer to a call for volunteers who were willing to take their lives in their hands, and, braving the perils of swamp fevers, help to care for the Andersonville prisoners who had been, or were about to be, transferred to that place.

We had taken a train that stopped at Harrisburg rather than the through train, so that we might cross the mountains in the day-time. The train for Washington passed through Harrisburg at three o'clock in the morning. A few minutes before that hour we entered 'the hotel parlor and were greeted in a most excited manner by a lady who had traveled in the same car with us the day before. She had not taken a room, but, with her little boy, had remained in the parlor all night.

<< I have had a frightful night!» she whispered. «There is a crazy man lying on the sofa behind the door, and he has acted so strangely and talked so wildly that I have been in terror!»

Our inquiries brought out the fact that in the early part of the night he had kept running to the telegraph office every few minutes, saying that he expected great news. Finally he had come in, saying that it had come. Lincoln and all his cabinet had been assassinated, and he was rejoiced. Observing that the man was awake and looked sane enough, we inquired of him concerning the shocking report he had made to our fellow-traveler, << Yes, it is all true! Lincoln and his cabinet have been assassinated, and I am glad of it!» he replied.

Unspeakably shocked at the man's insanity or depravity, yet entirely unbelieving, we all left the hotel at the same time. We observed that he climbed upon the platform of the coach in the rear of the one which we entered. The cars were very much crowded, but our Christian Commission badges secured for us everywhere courteous recognition. We made inquiry as to whether any hint of the great calamity had been communicated to the people on the train at any station on the road. Not a word of such import had met them anywhere, and we were laughingly told not to be frightened, that such absurd rumors could not possibly be true.

Lest we might have some lingering fears, one of the gentlemen kindly proposed to make inquiries at the telegraph office in York, Pennsylvania. His ghastly face and tearful eyes told a part at least of his dreadful story before his trembling lips could utter a word. Passengers gathered about us in the wildest excitement. Every car was searched in vain for the man who had been waiting impatiently in Harrisburg for news of the tragedy which he evidently knew was to be enacted in Washington.

Whether he had stepped again from the car at Harrisburg or had left at some other point we shall never know; but after the lapse of thirty years the remembrance of his fierce joy at the sad tidings, and the glad ring of his voice as he gave to us the first information of that which proved to be the nation's sorrow, are as clear as though it took place only last year.

Mrs. S. F. Stewart,

« AnkstesnisTęsti »