Puslapio vaizdai

carrying freight between points served by links in the chain of causation which finally the Canal. Thus, in 1832, one road was gave to one man a greater income in one chartered, completed in 1837; in 1833, day than the majority have in ten years. another road was chartered, completed in The case is plain as day at high noon. 1836; another in 1834, completed in 1843; The conditions are not at all the same as they another in 1836, completed in 1842; three would have been had the Erie Canal never others chartered in the same year were com been built by the State - built with the inpleted in 1839, 1842, and 1843; in the next spired wisdom of legislators, just on the eve year a road was chartered that was not of the discovery and introduction of a supecompleted till 1853. Then came a lull rior mode of transportation. Had the origuntil 1851, when a road was chartered that inal application for the charter of a road was never completed, which was also the from Albany to Buffalo been granted, as it fate of another chartered in 1853 ; while would have been but for the Canal, it is one chartered in 1852 was completed after perfectly evident that the fate of the enterthe consolidation. At least one (and, my prise would have been entirely different, and impression is, several of these roads was the name of Vanderbilt might never have inhibited from competing with the Erie been heard in connection with a railroad. Canal in carrying freight. They all be But by refusing to permit the construction longed to different companies, were there of the one road at the right time, the stock of fore managed incoherently and expensively. the many roads which were afterwards buit

Finally the crash came. Crash in the stock was artificially depressed. That is to say, of the railroads? Let the Vanderbilt for that the prevailing industrial conditions tune answer. The crash that came was in already favorable in 1831 became such that the State Legislature, when, in 1853, the the earning capacity of a continuous railroad chartered in 1837 was completed, and road from the lakes to the Hudson would the last charter for the roads now forming have been very much greater than was the agthe New York Central property had been gregate earning capacity of the uncombined granted. Then, this Legislature, whose roads. So it is entirely proper to say that unwise, and, probably also, corrupt, prede the stock of the several roads was artificially cessor of twenty-two years ‘before bad depressed. The depression was cumularefused to permit the building of one road tive. Year by year tlle value of the stock between Albany and Buffalo, proceeded to of these roads ought to have been going up, reverse that policy, and passed the act up, steadily, but gradually. permitting the consolidation of all these This is what would have taken place had local roads.

the roads been united, had they, in short, Now, when we inquire into the origin of been one from the beginning. the Vanderbilt fortune, the consideration of the increase of population, the developwhich I have no manner of doubt has turned ment of industry, and the opening up of the the scale in the shallow mind of more than West would have acted gradually on the one person besitating whether to lend his value of the railroad. But all these forces attention to the fiery orators of socialism, were artificially prevented from producing I think we should not be at a loss what their legitimate effect throughout twentyview to take. It is not the Legislature of two years, during which the population of 1853 which is responsible for this vast ac the country had more than doubled, and cumulation : the consolidation of those rail. the population affected by these roads vastly roads was inevitable; but the Legislature more than doubled, for it was precisely that of 1831, which tried to protect the Erie section of the country that grew most Canal, and the previous Legislatures, which rapidly at that time. So great was the debuilt the Canal by taxation, are necessary velopment, that, in spite of the artificially

In that case,

producer depression in their values, the the New York Central Railroad would never stock of nearly all these roads was selling have been owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt in above par, and nearly all were paying good 1853. If the suggestion occurs to any one dividends. But their aggregate value in

that some other man

say, one of those citi1853 was nothing like what the value would zens of Rochester or of Buffalo-might have have been in the same year, had the roads owned this stock and become the possessor been operated from the start under natural of the colossal fortune, if this suggestion conditions. The prevailing artificial con occurs to any one, I hope he will reflect that dition may be represented by a figure. The this has nothing whatever to do with the earning capacity of the local railroads be- question, which is, not the hypothetical tween Buffalo and Albany, and therefore, origin of a hypothetical fortune, but the real the market value of their stock, was de origin of the Vanderbilt fortune. pressed as by a weight, - just as when a One cause of this real fortune is the Erie steel spring is compressed by the super- Canal, stupidly conceived and stupidly position of weights. Moreover, as I have built by the Legislature of New York - by said, the effect was cumulative. To con taxation. In other words, all other cirtinue the illustration, the steel spring - the cumstances might have been as they are earning capacity of a railroad from Buffalo and have been — the discovery of America to Albany – increased year by year in (to go no further back), the discovery of strength. Yet, by the picayune policy of steam, etc., etc., and the sagacity of Vanderchartering local roads instead of one trunk bilt — still the Vanderbilt fortune would not line, the tendency of the spring to expand bave been but for the stupidity of the New was artificially resisted. The value of local York Legislature. Of course, stupidity is roads increased, no doubt, but a large part here a relative term ; a comment suggested of the increase in the value of the property rather by what may be seen from our point was prevented from showing itself in the of view than from the point of view of carly market value of the stock. Suddenly, the New York Legislatures. That is to say, weight is removed ; one might alpiost say the comment applies more justly to the that the spring had become too powerful; present Legislature of New York than to the advantages of consolidation had become its predecessor of 1831 and still earlier too obvious. The restraint yields, after days. For the present Legislature does not twenty-two years, and, before one knows see, and if it did see, would not be guided what is happening, Vanderbilt is found in by, the experience of the near past as to possession of the stock whose value has so the tendency of governmental interference long been artificially depressed; for all with trade. The effect in the case of the the world as though the New York Legisla- New York Central Railroad was to produce ture of 1831 had consciously and deliberately a set of conditions under which a vast forplanned the little scheme for his benefit, tune became aggregated in the hands of one waiting for him to accumulate a snug for family, which, but for this interference, tune in steamships, to be easily converted would not have been aggregated in the into railroad stock. The natural condition hands of this family, and might have been would have been for those citizens of Roch distributed among a thousand families. ester and Buffalo to have obtained their So much for the Erie Canal. Another charter in 1831 without restrictions of pay cause of the Vanderbilt fortune is the coni: g

toll to the Erie Canal. If this through struction by the Federal Government of road, reaping all the advantages of consol Western railroads. It needs no amplificaidated management and unrestricted opera tion to show that, great as is the fortune tion, had been built then, it is perfectly represented by the New York Central evident that the majority of the stock of alone, it is not so great as that represented

by the whole group of roads called the “Van Northwest. But I am not aware of any derbilt system.” The value of this entire general necessity or special providence why property, including the Central, eviilently the Vanderbilt family should be in posdepends very largely upon the freights to session of the Vanderbilt system, when that and from the West, especially the North

time came. It is notorious, as a matter of west, including, under this description, fact, that in 1882 or 1883 the control of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, the New York Central was sold by the Kansas, and all the intervening States and second Vanderbilt president of the road. Territories to the Pacific Coast.

It is more

Suppose that, instead of nearly all the than twenty-five years since the Federal important routes in the Northwest having Government commenced the construction of been completed in 1876, they were just railroads throughout this territory by guar being surveyed then, and were only now in anteeing the bonded debt and making enor course of completion. Then it is obvious mous grants of land to corporations com that when the second Vanderbilt died, a posed, generally, of two or three persons. few years ago, lie would not have left a At any rate, twenty-five years would carry fortune of one hundred and fifty millions or us back to 1865, and Vanderbilt became more to his heirs. And this is the point president of the New York Central & under consideration. Not wbat some other Hudson River Railroad in 1866, I believe. fortune might have been, not what the This, you observe, is a coincidence, - but Vanderbilt fortune might have become at one of the terms of the coincidence is the some future time, but what it has already action of the Government. The object, and become, or rather, why it has become it may truly be said, the accomplishment of what it is. And the considerations sugour wise Congress, was to stimulate the gested in the foregoing seem to show satisopening of the West, to accelerate the factorily that governmental interference, movement of population in that direction, first of the New York Legislature, then of Loto develop the resources of the coun the Federal Congress, is a necessary link try,” as they call it. Of course, if they in the chain of causation which has prohappened to “develop” the Vanderbilt

duced this particular fortune. bank account, they are not to be blamed, It ought to be unnecessary to add that for their intention was merely to 6

there are here no criticisms of the Vanderthe people"! Now the Vanderbilts are an bilts, who seem to have acted only as eminently respectable, and, I think, praise- ninety-nine and nine tenths out of every Worthy family; nevertheless, it must be hundred Americans would have acted under admitted that they are not the people. So the same circumstances, if they had the I call attention to the fact that the first

The persons reflected on are the Vanderbilt to become president of the New New York Legislatures from 1815 to 1853, York Central took tbat office in 1866. and the Federal Congresses from 1861 to That is a coincidence ; let it go for what the present day, and the people at large for it is worth, and no more; but also for no three generations, for their ignorance and less.

unwisdom. It is more probable than not that most of the important railroads built in the West

A QUESTION OF PRISON ETHICS. by the general Government would have

The revolt in the Massachusetts prison, at been built by this time even without the

Charlestown, has called attention to the quesGovernment. So the Vanderbilt system

tion as to what is the best way of treating was bound, when the time came, to reap

convicts. Most of the newspapers which have the great advantages of exchange of spoken on the subject take the disturbance as freights and travel between the East and an indication that mild treatment is a failure



in many cases, and draw the inference that not be justified, unless it can be shown that more severity should be employed. The evi severity would work for their reformation. dence of this particular case is not very valu This is what editorials upon the Massachuable, because it is plain that the trouble was setts outbreak freely assume. But it does not expected by the officers of the prison, and no follow that because mild measures fail to measures were taken to prevent it. Certainly effect a reform of character, severe measures there is no incompatibility between a mild would succeed. The question could easily be treatment of convicts and taking precautions determined by the facts at our disposal if only to avoid insurrections. The suspicion is not the right interpretation could be found. Severe wanting that the prison officials deliberately and cruel treatment has been extensively tried permitted this insurrection to occur, merely in the past, and crime is less frequent in most making sure that it should be unsuccessful. civilized nations now than it was formerly. If Whether it is justifiable to give prisoners a any one holds that the decrease of crime has chance to revolt, and then to torture them for been due to the severity of punishment, he so doing, is a question that will be answered may consistently hold that a return should in different ways by different persons. The be made to former severity. But probably word “torture” is none too strong to describe not many are satisfied with so simple an interthe treatment accorded to some of these pretation as this, and many plain facts make Massachusetts prisoners. True, no racks, or against it. In England prisoners are more thumb-screws, or even whips, were employed; kindly treated, on the whole, than in this but the essential feature of torture is the in- country; but crime is increasing here and fliction of severe pain; and there can be no diminishing there. doubt that to shut up seven or eight persons There is not any more ethical warrant, using in a cell seven feet by nine, ventilated only the words in their ordinary sense, for deprivby an aperture the size of a brick in the ceil. ing men of liberty or life than for torturing ing, with the thermometer ranging in the them; but the latter is more repugnant to our nineties, becomes in a few hours as real tor sentiments, and the evidence is by no means ture as that inflicted by more ingenious con conclusive that torture is really effective. trivances.

Certainly there are very few individual cases It is probably not at all desirable that pris in which reformation has been effected by ons should be pleasant places of abode; the this means. Crime is due largely to inherState could not afford to make them such, and itance and disease, and it is an anachronism to do so would be putting a premium upon to advocate the savage method of expelling crime. But there is little danger in this direc. an evil spirit from a man's body by physical tion. That convicts feel keenly the loss of methods. The disease, certainly, is not often liberty, which is inevitably implied by impris so violent that the prospect of imprisonment onment, is testified by the value they set upon will not modify its development, and in those being allowed “the liberty of the yard.” To cases in which it is uncontrollable by the treat criminals with much greater severity individual aflicted there is no occasion for than simply depriving them of their personal anything more than preventing him, by confreedom, with the attendant discomforts, can finement, from doing harm.

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This is not intended to be a guide-book or a history of the town, but a richly illustrated and daintily bound remembrancer” of Wellesley, and something that the residents, and all who are interested in the town or college, will want. It contains illustrations of all the college buildings and points of interest on the grounds, and also engravings of the principal buildings in the town, and valuable reading matter, making it a desirable hand-book as well as a pleasing souvenir. – Publishers' Circular.

“Wellesley is a pretty set of leaflets tied into a cover of white and gold by a ribbon of the college blue, and describing the institution with gentle enthusiasm, and giving an interesting sketch of the town. · The College Beautiful” and a College Song" by Miss Katharine Lee Bates, are also included in the book. - Boston Herald.


TO-DAY, 3 Beacon St., Boston.

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