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The Southern States did not offer inducements for as large a practice as Mr. Shorter desired, and he therefore removed to New York in 1870, and taking up his residence in Brooklyn, he entered into active practice there, and for over twenty years has been a prominent figure at the Bar, and has built up a good practice, manifesting especial ability and knowledge in criminal jurisprudence. In 1883 he was called to his present office that of 1st Assistant District Attorney of Kings County, and so successful has he been in the prosecution of cases under his office that he has made a lasting and enviable reputation as a jurist and public officer, ranking among the first
members of the Bar of New York State.
Mr. Shorter has always been a Democrat, and he has always bent his energies, and in other and material ways aided in promoting the interests. of his party, and not only as a lawyer, a public officer, and a politician has he distinguished himself, but in refined and cultivated circles he is always welcome as a social addition. In manner genial and approachable, the first impression of those who meet him is only an introduction to the opinion which is sure to be formed on closer acquaintance.
GEO. WILLIAMS TRAVERS.
REMINISCENCES OF THE THIRTY-SIXTH AND THIRTY-SEVENTH
BY HON. JOHN HUTCHINS, A MEMBER OF THE THEN TWENTIETH OHIO DISTRICT.
THE second session of the thirtyseventh Congress assembled Decem ber 2, 1861. The message of President Lincoln was a thoughtful and able document, from which the following extracts are taken: "The disloyal citi zens of the United States who have offered the ruin of our country, in return for the aid and comfort which they have invoked abroad, have received less patronage and encouragement than they probably expected. If it were just to suppose, as the insurgents have
seemed to assume, that foreign nations, in this case, discarding all moral, social and treaty obligations, would act solely and selfishly for the speedy restoration of commerce, including especially the acquisition of cotton, those nations appear as yet not to have seen their way to their object more directly or clearly through the destruction than through the preservation of the Union. If we could dare to believe that foreign nations are actuated by no higher principle than this, I am quite sure a sound
argument could be made to show them that they reach their aim more readily and easily by aiding to crush this rebellion than by giving encouragement to it.
"The principal lever relied on by those insurgents for exciting foreign nations to hostility against us, as already intimated, is the embarrassment of commerce. Those nations, however, not improbably, saw from the first that it was the Union which made as well our foreign as our domestic commerce. They can scarcely have failed to perceive that the effort for disunion produces the existing difficulty, and that one strong nation promises more durable peace and a more extensive, valuable and reliable commerce, than can the same nation broken into hostile fragments.
"It is not my purpose to review our discussions with foreign States; because whatever might be their wishes or dispositions, the integrity of our country, and the stability of our goverment mainly depend not upon them, but on the loyalty, virtue, patriotism and intelligence of the American people. The correspondence itself, with the usual reservation, is herewith submitted."
On the subject of construction of a certain railroad by the government, the President in his message uses the following language: "I deem it of importance that the loyal regions of East Tennessee and western North Carolina should be connected with Kentucky and other faithful parts of
the Union by railroad. I therefore recommend as a military measure,, that Congress provide for the construction of such road as speedily as possible. Kentucky, no doubt will co-operate, and through her Legislature make the most judicious selection of a line. The northern terminus must connect with some existing railroad; and whether the route shall be from Lexington or Nicholasville to Cumberland Gap; or from Lebanon to the Tennessee line in the direction of Knoxville; or on some still different line, can easily be determined. Kentucky and the General Government co-operating, the work can be completed in a very short time; and when done, it will be not only of vast present usefulness, but also a valuable permanent improvement, worth its cost in all the future."
The President alludes to the commencement of the war of the Rebellion, "in thoughts that breathe and words that burn," as follows: "The last ray of hope for preserving the Union peacefully expired at the assault upon Fort Sumter; and a general review of what has occurred since may not be unprofitable. What was painfully uncertain then, is much better defined and more distinct now; and the progress of events is plainly in the right direction. The insurgents confidently claimed a strong support from north of Mason and Dixon's line, and the friends of the Union were not free from apprehension on the point. This, however, was soon settled definitely and on the right side. South of the
line, noble little Delaware led right off from the first. Maryland was made to seem against the Union. Our soldiers were assaulted, bridges were burned, and railroads torn up within her limits, and we were many days, at one time, without the ability to bring a single regiment over her soil to the capital. Now her bridges and railroads are repaired and open to the government; she already gives seven regiments to the cause of the Union and none to the enemy, and her people at a regular election, have sustained the Union by a larger majority and a larger aggregate vote than they ever before gave to any candidate or any question. Kentucky, too, for some time in doubt, is now decidedly, and I think unchangeably, ranged on the side of the Union. Missouri is comparatively quiet, and I believe cannot again be overrun by the insurrectionists. These three States of Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, neither of which would promise a single soldier at first, have now an aggregate of not less than forty thousand in the field for the Union; while of their citizens not more than a third of that number, and they of doubtful whereabouts and doubtful existence, are in arms against it. After a somewhat bloody struggle of months, winter closes on the Union people of western Virginia, leaving them masters of their own country.
"An insurgent force of about fifteen hundred for months dominating the narrow peninsula region constituting the countries of Accomac and North
ampton, and known as eastern shore of Virginia, together with some contiguous parts of Maryland, have laid down their arms; and the people there have renewed their allegiance to, and accepted the protection of, the old flag. This leaves no armed insurrectionist north of the Potomac or east of the Chesapeake."
The President closes his message with apt words upon the tendency of the insurrection, and the relations of labor and capital to it, as follows: "It continues to develop that the insurrection is largely, if not exclusively, a war upon the first principle of popular government-the right of the people. Conclusive evidence of this is found in the most grave and maturely considered public documents, as well as in the general tone of the insurgents. In those documents we find the abridgment of the existing right of suffrage, and the denial of the people of all right to participate in the selection of public offices, except the legislative, boldly advocated, with labored arguments to prove that large control of the people in government is the source of all political evil. Monarchy itself is sometimes hinted at as a possible refuge from the power of the people.
"In my present position, I could scarcely be justified were I to omit raising a warning voice against the approach of returning despotism.
"It is not needed, non-fitting here, that a general argument should be made in favor of popular institutions;
but there is one point, with its connections, not so hackneyed as most others, to which I ask brief attention. It is the effort to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above labor, in the structure of government. It is assumed that labor is available only in connection with capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else, owning capital, somehow by the use of it induces him to labor. This as sumed, it is next considered whether it is best that capital shall hire laborers, and thus induce them to work by their own consent, or buy them, and drive them to it without their consent. Having proceeded so far, it is naturally concluded that all laborers are either hired laborers, or what we call slaves. And further, it is assumed that whoever is once a hired laborer, is fixed in that condition for life. Now, there is no such relations between capital and labor as assumed; nor is there any such thing as a free man being fixed for life in the condition of a hired laborer. Both these assumptions are false, and all inferences from them are groundless.
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation. between labor and capital, producing mutual
benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of community. exists within that relation. A few men own capital, and that few avoid labor themselves, and with their capital hire or buy another few to labor for them A large majority belong to neither class-neither work for others, nor have others working for them. In most of the southern states a majority of the whole people of all colors are neither slaves nor masters, while in the northern states, a large majority are neither hirers nor hired. Men with their families-wives, sons, and daughters-work for themselves, on their farms, in their homes, and in their shops, taking the whole product to themselves, and asking no favors of capital on the one hand, nor of hired laborers or slaves on the other. It is not forgotten that a considerable number of persons mingle their own labor with capital-that is, they labor with their own hands, and also buy or hire others to labor for them; but this is only a mixed, and not a distinct class. No principle stated is disturbed by this mixed class.
"Again as has already been said, there is not, of necessity, any such thing as free hired labor being fixed to that condition for life. Many independent men everywhere in these states, a few years back in their lives were hired laborers. The prudent, penniless beginner in the world labors for wages a while, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself; then labors on his own ac
count another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This is the just and generous and prosperous system, which opens the way to all, gives hope to all, and consequent energy and progress and improvements of condition to all. No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty-none less inclined to take or touch aught which they have not honestly earned. Let those beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which, if surrendered, will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they, and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them till all of liberty shall be lost.
"From the first taking of our national census to the last are seventy years; and we find our population at the end of the period eight times as great as it was at the beginning. The increase of those other things which men deem desirable has even been greater. We thus have, at our view, what the popular principle applied to government, through the machinery of the States and the Union, has produced in a given time; and also what, if firmly maintained, it promises for the future. There are already among us those who, if the Union be preserved, will live to see it contain two hundred and fifty millions. The struggle of to-day is not altogether for to-day-it is for a vast future also. With a reliance on Providence, all the more firm and earnest, let us proceed in the great
task which events have devolved upon us." Dated December 3, 1861.
The President was describing the system of labor which the states in rebellion had adopted as the cornerstone of the Confederacy, but plainly intimated that slavery must be abolished to make our government permanently republican. The white laborers, unable to own slaves, would not perform the labors of slaves, and consequently, as a general thing had little influence in the legislation of the slaveholding states. President Lincoln, in the foregoing thoughtful words, expressed the true relations between capital and labor, and which also applies to the state of things at the present time in this country and throughout the civilized world on the subject he was discussing.
In the great debate with Senator Douglas in the state of Illinois in June, 1858, Mr. Lincoln used the following language in speaking of slavery: "A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot permanently endure half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved-I do not expect the house to fall-but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind. shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the