“Emancipation of Labor;” its emancipation from ignorance, vice, servitude, insecurity, poverty.
This is his chosen, only
theme, whether he speaks from the platform, or writes for the Tribune.
If slavery is the subject of discourse, the Dishonor which Slavery does to Labor
is the light in which he prefers to present it. If protection—he demands it in the name and for the good of American workingmen
, that their minds may be quickened by diversified employment, their position secured by abundant employment, the farmers enriched by markets near at hand.
If Learning—he laments the unnatural divorce between Learning and Labor
, and advocates their re-union in manual-labor schools.
If “ Human Life” — he cannot refrain from reminding his hearers, that ‘the deep want of the time is, that the vast resources and capacities of Mind, the far-stretching powers of Genius and of Science, be brought to bear practically and intimately on Agriculture, the Mechanic Arts
, and all the now rude and simple processes of Day-Labor, and not merely that these, processes may be perfected and accelerated, but that the benefits of the improvement may accrue in at least equal measure to those whose accustomed means of livelihood— scanty at best—are interfered with and overturned by the change.’
If the “Formation of character” —he calls upon men who aspire to possess characters equal to the demands of the time, to ‘question with firm speech all institutions, observances, customs, that they may determine by what mischance or illusion thriftless Pretence and Knavery shall seem to batten on a brave Prosperity, while Labor vainly begs employment, Skill lacks recompense, and Worth pines for bread.’
If Popular Education—he reminds us, that ‘the narrow, dingy, squalid tenement, calculated to repel any visitor but the cold and the rain, is hardly fitted to foster lofty ideas of Life, its Duties and its Aims.
And he who is constrained to ask each morning, “Where shall I find food for the day?”
is at best unlikely often to ask, “By what good deed shall the day be signalized?”
’ Or, in a lighter strain, he tells the story of Tom and the Colonel
‘Torn,’ said a Colonel on the Rio Grande
to one of his command, ‘how can so brave and good a soldier as you are so demean himself as to get drunk at every opportunity?’—‘Colonel
’ replied the private, ‘how can you expect all ’