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August 31, 1889
Record and Guide.
eX . ■* ESTABUSHED ^WARPH 211^"'
Dev&je) to i^ EsrwE. BuiLDif/G ATi,ciiiTECTui\E .HouseHold DEQOI^noi*.
BUsitJESs mId Themes of Ce^efv^I 1;Jtei\esi
PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturday.
TELEPHONE, - - - JOHN 370.
Comnmnlcattons should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
A T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
AUGUST 31, 18S9.
No frost and the dissipation of tbe fears of tight money have put
up the stock market this week from one to four points. Should the
nest ten days pass without a cool wave there will be ready for
harvest the most bountiful crop of all kinds of cereals that this
country has ever gathered. Wall street bas had such a prolonged
period of dullness that should a combination of good things come
along, SUCH as are likely to occur, we shall witness a wild and
reckless speculation which will not end until the fires are put out
by the inevitable disaster which always accompanies such periods.
In this connection it will be well for our readers to recall the fore¬
cast of Samuel Benner, published in The Record and Guide of
January 13 : "I predict that there will be a wonderful advance in
in-icea for iron, stocks, and alt products and commoditiefi in
the year 1890 ; all business will be prosperous ; it will be a year
of good crops, and the boom year in this period of activity.
In the beginning of the year 1891 speculation will be at its height
—a great business inflation—pig-iron fifty dollars per ton in the
markets of our country." ****!(; will be remem¬
bered that Mr. Benner predicted, thirteen years ago, the business
depression of the yearl888,and at tbe same time the prediction was
also made that the tide would turn giving us an era of business
activity during the years 1889, 1890 and 1891. England for
three years past has enjoyed greafc business prosperity, and theturn
of the wheel should now bring aome of it to our shores.
Facts are not wanting to show that already the business pros¬
perity which Mr. Benner has predicted is being felt. An increase
in our foreign imports of 17 per cent, in July and 25 per cent, hi
the first three weeks in August over the corresponding periods last
year are significant. This, together with a phenomenally large
amount of money in circulation, au increment of 9 per cent, in rail¬
way earnings thus far in August, and unusually large bank clear¬
ings in the interior cities are sufficient indications of the present
and coming expansion in our industries. Neither are special exem¬
plifications of this fact lacking. When wages are rising it means
that production has justified tbe increase. Consequently, when we
see the Missouri Pacific Railroad increasing spontaneously tbe
wages of its employes 10 per cent., we may be sure that the situa¬
tion warrants the increase. Mr. Gould is one of the shrewdest
financiers in the country, and knows very well bow to sail with the
wind. Similar increases elsewhere are likely to follow.
Almost a year ago an appeal waa made to the people concerning
the policy which Mr. Cleveland was pursuing. The people declared
themselves not satisfied with Mr. Cleveland's policy. They
declared, or about one-half of them declared, that in their opinion
some other policy was needed to maintain the prosperity of the
country and increase it. Yet a year, or nearly a year has elapsed
and not only has nothing been done to make a change in tbo
national policy but no attempt has been made to do so. An extra
session should have been called last spring, and whatever changes
the Repubhcans intended to make in the tariff and the inland
revenue system as well as efforts to rehabilitate our merchant navy
and dispose of the surplus in the Treasury, in conf oi-mity with their
declarations in Chicago, could have been well under way by tbis
time. Instead, nothing has been done. We are exactly where we
were last fall. There has been nothing but a repetition of the old
disgraceful scramble for offices. We have a new administration,
but it has administered nothing but the offices. At least another
year will go by before Congress haa done bickering and talking-
about what it is going to do and an-ived at any decision, and
another year will elapse before any decision arrived at is carried
As wehavedeterminedto have an Exposition it is, perhaps, inevit¬
able that we sbould hear a good deal about it, but the immense
amount of random dlecussion tbat there bas been as to the site and
probable cost reminds one iu some of its features of the hot words
that once passed between a worthy couple as to what should be the
name of an expected child, the sex of which had not yet been
determined. It would naturally be thought that before the ques¬
tions of site and cost could be intelligently discussed, a very definite
conception of the size and character of the proposed Exposition
would be arrived afc. But no effort has been made to do anything
of the kind. The Site Committee and the Finance Committee have
been set to work with nothing before tbem but images of pasfc
Expositions and the Fair at present opeu in tbe Champ de Mars.
That ideas on the subject vary slightly may be inferred from the
fact that one writer on the subject speaks of 1,500 acres, " at least,"
as necessary for the buildings and suitable sun-oundiugs, while
another meekly suggests as a proper site St. Ma;ry's Park, in which
there are just .25 acres. Morningside and Riverside Parks,[120 acres
in extent, have many advocates; while others are positive that any
site less extensive than Van Courtlandt Park, which has an area of
1,070 acres, or Pelham Bay Park of 1,748 acres, would be entirely
Now, the sooner we get rid of the idea that tlie Exposition cannot
be a success unless it covers a greater number of square acres than
any other show on earth the better. That is the P. T. Barnum
ideal of an Exposition. Nothing is to be gained by erecting huge
edifices, and causing the visitors to wander in weariness among
soda-water fountains, ice-cream makers and a chaotic display of
merchandise, exhibited solely with a view to the advertisement
gained thereby. What is needed is quality of exhibits and not '
quantity; and, to obtain this, a very strict selection should be exer¬
cised. With an Exposition of limited area this selectiou is more
likely to he carefully made.
The Exposition of 1893 is to commemorate a historic event, and
no better plan could be adopted than to make the exhibits historic—
that is, to have them show ihe development that has occurred in
the arts and manufactures during the 'past 400 years, especially
with reference to this country. As Mr. Atkmson has pointed out
in his letters to the Chamber of Commerce, there is abundance of
material for such an Exposition here and abroad. It would be a
good thing to limit the exhibitors in many lines of manufacture to
say five, and to let it be known that space would be allotted to the
five that sent in the best exhibit showing the development of their
trade from the earliest times. A plan of this kind carried out even
moderately well would give us an Exposition that few would like
to see scatteretJ. It would educate thousands of people and mark
out a new course for future world's fairs. The old Exposition plan
of a vast display of merchandise and a scramble for medals, which
in most cases, are of no more value than the metal they contain, is,
in the vulgar phrase, "played out." Something new is needed.
Those in charge of the matter have a great opportunity. Will they
be strong enough to seize it ?
" Our Impartial Observer," this week, has a few uncomplimentary
words to say about the law. It is lamentable that most of what he
says and a great deal of what he implies is beyond contradiction.
It is all within the common knowledge of every man who knows
anything of what is going on around him. It has often been shown
that our courts have been corrupt, and that our judges
administer a gi-eat deal of " poUtics" with their justice, the uncer¬
tainty and delays of the law have got beyond the reacli of exagger¬
ation, and every lawyer, not too innocent for the profession, knows
that the door to success with him has to be opened with an inside
"pull." In oneof the best known and most highly respected law
firms in this city, a firm with a very long and high-sounding name,
the junior member is innocent of all legal knowledge, having gradu¬
ated in life as the starter on a race track. But then he knows
several judges and a great deal about " politics."
No wonder that, as Christopher Walton points out, the business
in lawyers' offices is falling off, and litigants endeavor by subter¬
fuge to get their cases into Federal courts where the judges are not
so much under the debasing influence of politics, and thus have
not to prostitute justice to gain tbeir living. But ■' Our Impartial
Observer" fails to point out the very important part that lawyers
play in discrediting the law. They are quite as responsible as
" politics" in the court and on the bench for the preseut state of
things wherein people prefer to suffer injustice, or to "compromise,'*
or "arbitrate," rather than go to law; and why large commercial
institutions like the Chamber of Commerce perform for themselves
the most vital function the State has to discharge. We have only
to remember how completely large estates have heen wrecked iu
disputed will cases to realize what an impediment to justice the
delays and expenses of law must be with people of moderate
means. The reform of tho law is the great reform which
the hour demands, and the danger is that while we are all
crying loudly for the preservation of our forests, tho rehabihta-
tion of our navy, the purification of our civil service, as
matters essential to the happiness and greatness of the country,
no one thinks of raising a voice for the preservation of
justice, the purification of our courts and the rehabilitation of our