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March 2t, 1886
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
191 Broadl-w^av, IST,
Our Teleplione Call Is ... .
ONE YEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J, T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
MARCH 27, 1886.
The business situation was somewhat mixed during the past
week. The stock market was depressed from a variety of causes,
and some of the " fancies " sold for very low figures. The interest
in real estate, however, shows no abatement. The Liberty street
Exchange is thronged, and bids are spirited when any good local
property is offered. There has been some diminution of general
traffic, due to the fear that the railway strikes would extend ; but,
outside of the Gould system of roads, there has been no serious
trouble up to date.- The woolen and cotton mills report large
orders, plenty of work, but complain of low prices. Were the
labor troubles definitely settled, it looks as though the spring trade
would be fairly profitable to all concerned.
The New York stock market is now an international one. When
the partial panic in prices occurred here this week foreign inves¬
tors promptly jjurchased American stocks at their reduced valua¬
tions. So large was this foreign purchasing that it lowered the
price of exchange and put a stop temporarily at least to the out¬
flow of gold. Mr. Jay Gould in working the labor troubles to make
a bear market evidently did nofc take into account the readiness of the
foreign investors to take any cheap stocks that are offered in our
markefc. This international trading has an excellent effect in
preventing serious panics, for large investors are always
ready to take advantage of these temporary depressions to
purchase cash stock and bonds, and hence it follows that foreigners
who are not influenced by local apprehensions and fears are likel>
to be fche best supporters of our market. It looks as if tliis interna¬
tional buying will in time put an end to any violent panics in our
Lawyer Roscoe Conkling's speech on the Broadway franchise
steal was a very brilliant effort, and was characterized by the ornate
imagery and aggressiveness which distinguishes the ex-Senator's
forensic efforts. But he advanced some curious views. He charged
that Sharp and his associates were perjurers; but this, he said,
could not be proved, nor they be punished. Although there are
laws against perjury, there are no means of bringing it home to
these culprits in any legal way. Having made this admission,
Mr. Conkling urged upon the Legislature to punish these perjurers,
whom he admits cannot be proved such, by taking away the prop¬
erty which they hold in common with confessedly innocent per¬
sons. With all respect for the ex-Senator, we do not believe there is
any court in Christendom which will uphold the Legislature in
destroy ing property rights in a case where there is only presump¬
tion, but no real proof of guilt. The end of all this matter wil be
a splendid harvest for the lawyers, and the chief beneficiary of the
legal entanglements will be ex-Senator Roscoe Conkling, who will
win renown as a lawyer and put much money in his purse in the
way of counsel fees.
favored the viaduct plan, vetoed the bill. Had it received his
sanction, the Arcade would long before this have been in operation
and Broadway and adjoining property would have doubled its
present value. A road on solid ground run by steam power has
long been needed to give us real rapid transit on this island. This
the Arcade plan promises to do, while it has the additional advan¬
tages of not being a mere underground tunnel.
But suppose the charter of the Broadway road should be taken
away from the present holders and the franchise is put up at
auction, will not Jake Sharp again be the purchaser ? He knows
more about the road than anybody else, and could work it to better
advantage. He might thus remain the owner, while the innocent
present holders would in the end be lef t out in the cold and be the
only persons really punished. As we have pointed out before, if the
charter should be annulled, the city might try the experiment of
operating the road. In that case there need be no immediate re¬
sale and no danger of the road falling into the dishonest hands of
The article on the Broadway Arcade Railway project, with illustra¬
tive cuts, which will be found elsewhere, is timely, in that it explains
both by text and to the eye the salient features of this proposed
improvement. Ifc is understood that the bill now before the Legis¬
lature is free from all the objections urged against the Arcade plan
in the veto messages of Governors Cleveland and Hill. This improve¬
ment has now been before the public many years. It passed both
branches of the Legislature in Governor Hoffman's time, but that
ofacial, in deference to the wishes of Tweed and Sweeney who
The Legislature seems to be making some slight progress in the
consideration of the Land Transfer Reform bills. The Assembly
Committee has reported in favor of the lot system of indexing.
The chances are if brought to a vote it will pass through the Assem¬
bly, but there is a good deal of doubt as to the action of the Senate.
On the sixth of April the matter will come up before the Bar
Association, when there will be a field-day between those who
advocate the lot and block system of indexing. Another contribu¬
tion to this interesting discussion will be found in this week's issue
of The Record and Guide.
Jay Gould and the Strikers.
Mr. Jay Gould makes no secret of the fact that he is responsible
for the continuance of the strike on the railroads of his system in
the Southwest. Th§ matter could have been settled two weeks
ago had he been willing. On every railroad centre in the country
where strikes were threatened—at Kansas City, Chicago and on the
line of the Burlington and Rock Island roads—there has been no
difficulty in coming to a settlement. It is now admitted by the
leaders of the Knights of Labor that the strike on the Missouri
Pacific was a blunder. The local organizatton violated their under¬
standing with the national organization in going on a strike with¬
out consulting their chiefs. Mr. Powderly, one of the heads of the
organization, repaired to the scene of strife to settle matters, and
would have done so at once, but Superintendant Hoxie, under
instructions from Jay Gould, declined to treat with him and would
listen to no terms but an unconditional surrender. This announce¬
ment was made over a week ago in the face of the following
announcement by Mr. Powderly:
Candidly, I do nofc see the uecessifcy for this strike or for its continuance.
In fact, the day of strikes is past. I never ordered one in my life, and,
wifch two exceptions, never failed in an endeavor to meet employers for
settlement of differences with employes.
But Mr. Gould has had his own purposes to serve, particularly
in the stock market, and he has succeeded in bringing about a very
bitter feeling between employers and their workmen. Mr. Gould
has succeeded for a time in making himself the champion of the
empioying dnsses. Everyone realizes that the strike was unjusti¬
fiable on the part of the employes of the Missouri Pacific, and this
has led all who are interested in large properties to side with Mr.
Gould, instead of bringing a pressure to bear upon him to meefc Mr.
Powderly half way and have fche matter settled at once. But is
there not danger in continuing this stri;e on a mere matter of
etiquette between employers and employes ? So far the working
people have refrained from polifcical acfcion. The polifcicians have
been unable fco coax or drive them into taking sides in any political
contest. May not this dispute result in forcing the Knights of
Labor into politics? The votes on the various pension bills show
how rampant is the spirit of demagogism in our national Legisla¬
ture. The hope of catching the soldier vote induces Congressmen
to pass the most monstrous and unjustifiable appropriations on
behalf of the old soldiers and their families. If ifc was known that
a million of voters were desirous of certain action against the cor¬
porations of the country it would be indorsed by an overwhelming
majority in the House of Representatives, no matter how objection¬
able the measure might be, on the grounds of public policy. Al¬
though the Texas Knights of Labor have confessedly made a mis¬
fcake, their wiser leaders in other parts of the country cannot desert
them any more than a general could sacrifice a division of his army
which had got into trouble by disobeying orders.
But Mr. Jay Gould proposes, it seems, to punish the men
engaged in the strike. Among other things he says, in a pub¬
lished interview :
We purpose to recover damages from every member of the association
who has any property. A great many employes of the Missom-i Pacific,
especially machinists and engineers, have homes which they have bought
out of their savings. Some of the men are worth §15,000 or $20,000 apiece.
They are I'esponsible to us for the losses we have suffered, if they belong to
the Knights of Labor. We will show them tbat we intend to enforce all
our legal rights.
How unwise any such threats as these are. Suppose Mr. Gould
was serious, and several thousand suits were instituted to deprive
these working people of their homes and impoverish them, what
would the effect be ? No matter what the right or the wrong of the
case might be, would not the mass of the working people cry
shame on this great millionaire using his wealth to deprive these
people of their homes. Can Mr. Gould afford to face the feeling
I such action would create ? Does he remember the mob which was
I looking him up on Fifth avenue affcer the last Presidential election?