The eight-hour movement (1865）
Address in Faneuil Hall, November 2, 1865.
It is twenty-nine years this month since I first stood on the platform of Faneuil Hall to address an audience of the citizens of Boston
I felt then that I was speaking for the cause of the laboring men, and if tonight I should make the last speech of my life, I would be glad that it should be in the same strain,--for laboring men and their rights.
The labor of these twenty-nine years has been in behalf of a race bought and sold.
The South did not rest their system wholly on this claim to own their laborers; but according to Chancellor Harper
, Alexander H. Stevens
, Governor Pickens
, and John C. Calhoun
, asserted that the laborer must necessarily be owned by capitalists or individuals.
That struggle for the ownership of labor is now somewhat near its end; and we fitly commence a struggle to define and to arrange the true relations of capital and labor.
To-day one of your sons is born.
He lies in his cradle as the child of a man without means, with a little education, and with less leisure.
The favored child of the capitalist is borne up by every circumstance, as on the eagle's wings.
The problem of to-day is how to make the chances of the two as equal as possible; and before this movement stops, every child born in America
must have an equal chance in life.