The Free lance. (State College, Pa.) 1887-1904, December 01, 1890, Image 11

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    Dry evening’s fallen tears
Quick aB night disappears,
Vor soon I’ll tread
The grassy bed
Where meadow larks delight my ears.
Awake this early blrdj
’Tls Morning gives the word.
No sorrows with me rise,
Fresh beauty greets my eyes ;
Since darkness flod
I have no dread,
Of hidden dangers breeding sighs.
Ye oreatures of the earth
Bring gladness, song and mirth.
Now clearor grows the sky,
Yon hills are drawing nigh;
The blazing sun
Has now begun
To seek his midday throne on high.
Aspiring hope is mine
Whose sun oan ever shine.
In the October number of the Free Lance
there appeared an article by C. D. S. on the New
York Central strike, which requires an answer,
or rather a statement from a different point of
view, of the questions involved in that controver
sy. The article in question is mainly the assertion
of opinions without attempt to verify or enforce
them by argument; and, while I should prefer a
different course, I must here content myself with
what will be more a statement of my own views
than a formal argument, partly because my main
object will be accomplished if by presentation of
the other side the reader may be encouraged to
investigate and form an opinion for himself, and
partly because I am now unable to find many of
the reports and records of the strife and investiga
tion, from a hasty perusal of which my opinions
were formed at the time.
With C. D. S. I can have no quarrel regarding
the futility of strikes in general to accomplish any
real and lasting good to the men engaged in them,
and much less to laborers as a class. But beyond
this and the fact that the strike was finally unsuc
cessful I can find no shadow 'of “proof that “a
strike of this nature hrtd been premeditated; 1 ’£tttid
that Mr. Powderly was only waiting for a more
efficient organization and a more promising pe
riod “to effect a complete tie-up of all rail-roads
possible.” On the contrary, I have reason to be
lieve, from the private testimony of personal
friends of Mr. Powderly, as well as from the utter
ances of that gentleman himself, that no one more
fully realizes how little real good (beyond the
awakening of public sentiment and thoughtful dis
cussion) may be accomplished by strikes, and that
no one would exert his influence more vigorously
to prevent every strike he could than the Grand
Master Workman of the Knights. But this very
fact makes him all the better qualified to lead, and
carry to the most successful issue possible any strike
once entered upon contrary to his advice and in
clinations. This it may be that leads superficial
observers like C. D. S. to assume, without any
other foundation, that Mr. Powderly’s opposition
to the ordering of certain strikes has been due to
a desire to lead a more extended strike of the
forces under his control.
Let us now turn to a very important question,
carefully avoided by C, D. S., viz: the reasons
alledged by the Knights for the strike, and.the at
titude towards it of Acting Third Vice President
Webb. The Knights claimed that members of
their order, including several who held prominent
positions among them and had been spokesmen
for their fellows in various conferences over griev
ances, had been summarily discharged without
explanation and apparently with no other cause
than that they were members of the K. of L. Mr.
Webb, it is true, denied this, but loftily refused to
offer any proof, and seemed to expect the public
to beleive his uncorroborated and unsupported
statements against those of a number of the dis
charged men and of Mr. Powderly, who had
thoroughly investigated the matter. Mr. Webb,
seeming to have concluded that his sudden prom
inence before the public (due entirely to his high
handed and insolent action in this controversy)
warranted him in adding “Knights of Labor”
and “State Officials” to old ComHiodore Vandet-