The 17 July 1845 issue of the Voice of Industry (Vol. 1 No. 8).
The following from the pen...
The following from the pen of Miss S. G. Bagley, and published in the Lowell Advertiser, was called forth in reply to a statement of Miss Farley's, editress of the Lowell Offering, which appeared in the Courier, reflecting somewhat upon Miss Bagley's remarks at Woburn on the fourth. We had the pleasure of listening to Miss Bagley's remarks at Woburn, and can testify that she spoke in kind and courteous terms of the present editress—brought no charge whatever against the Offering, further than it was controlled by corporation influences—stated that she had written articles for the Offering, which were rejected because they spoke of factory-girls wrongs—but by whom rejected she did not inform us—nor was it the least consequence whether by Miss Farley or some of her predecessors, as it was the general character of the Offering that she wished to illustrate.
We hold the literary merits of the Offering in high esteem—it reflects much honor upon its talented conductors—but still we were pleased to hear this exposition in relation to its true character and standing. It is, and always has been under the fostering care of the Lowell Corporations, as a literary repository for the mental gems of those operatives who have ability, time and inclination to write—and the tendency of it ever has been to varnish over the evils, wrongs, and privations of [...] factory life. This is undeniable, and we wish to have the Offering stand upon its own bottom, instead of going out as the united voice of the Lowell Operatives, while it wears the Corporation lock and their apologizers hold the keys.
In looking over the Courier of Wednesday last, we found our name in connection with the Lowell Offering saying that we had never presented an article that had been refused since Miss Farley had been its editress. Well, as we did not say that we had we do not see any chance for controversy. But we did say (and we hold ourselves responsible) that we have written articles for the Offering that have been rejected because they would make the Offering "controversial" and would change its "original design," which was that there is "mind among the spindles."
If any one will take the trouble to look at No. 2, specimen copy, that was published previous to the commencement of Vol. 1, they will find that controversy has not always been studiously avoided, and that the defence made was against O. A. Brownson and not corporation rules, which would change the propriety of "controversy" very materially. We preferred no charge against Miss Farley, but spoke respectfully of her, and should not have spoken of her or the Offering, had not Mr. Mellen, of Boston, made an attack upon the operatives of our city, and as an argument in favor of our excellent rules, stated that we had the Offering under our control, and had never made one word of complaint through its columns.
We were called upon to state the original design of the Offering; and gave it in nearly the same language in which it was expressed in a note by the editor in the No. referred to.
We stated that it had never been an organ through which the abuses of oppressive rules or unreasonable hours might be complained of; but that both exist cannot be denied by the editress—and stranger still it has been admitted by the editor of the Courier. We stated that the number of subscribers to the Offering among the operatives was very limited; we were authorized to make such an assertion in conversation with Miss Farley a few months ago; and we would not charge her with telling an untruth either directly or indirectly, lest we should be deemed unlady-like.
We asked the question what kind of an organ of defence would the operatives find with Mr. Schouler1 for a proprietor and publisher? We repeat that question, and if any one should look for an article in the publisher's columns, they would find something like the following:
"Lowell is the Garden of Eden (except the serpent) the gates thereof are fine gold. The tree of knowledge of good is there, but the evil is avoided through the judicious management of the superintendents. Females may work nineteen years without fear of injuring their health, or impairing their intellectual and moral powers. They may accumulate large fortunes, marry and educate children, build houses, and buy farms, and all the while be operatives ." Thus would the Offering under such a control, and those who are as stupid as Mr. Mellen made himself, would believe it. We have not written this article to evince that there is "mind among the spindles," but to show that the minds here are not all spindles.
- Sarah G. Bagley
To the Working People and Their Friends of New England.
To the working people and their friends of New England.—We ask your attention for the last time, at present, to the pecuniary concerns of our paper, hoping that our call will not fall upon indifferent ears, or be read with neglect and forgetfulness.
As we stated in our introductory address, our object in bringing into existence and continuing the Voice of Industry, never was prompted by any desire of personal aggrandizement, or self-emolument; but a sincere regard for the best possible good of the class whose true interests it advocates, and a heart-felt wish to promote the great principles of universal love, charity, good-will, [and] just, equal and productive industry among mankind. As we approximate towards such a state of society, will our country and world be blest, our race enjoy the happiness their natures crave, and the fruits of our labor yield rational pleasure and a Christian satisfaction? To bring about so desirable a state of things, we must use means—means adapted to the object we wish to accomplish—and what is more potent and effectual in all great warfares than the press?
The press is the great engine which moves the mental, political and religious world. It has scattered abroad destruction, blight and mildew, and it has borne the balm "for the healing of the people." There is no way by which mind will act upon mind and community with so great facility and power as through the medium of the press. Politicians, sectarians and the various agitators and reformers of the day, are well aware of this fact, and consequently the press is their favorite resort, through which they can reach and elicit the attention of the people. Therefore we call upon the working people to rally around the press—not because we are publishing a workingman's paper, but because it is the most efficient means within your power to protect your rights, throw off the incubus of unjust servitude which is fast weighing you down, and of elevating your condition, as moral, physical and intellectual beings—through the press let your voices be heard, throughout the land on all questions, which affect your well-being, and in this way exert the influence which your stations demand, instead of remaining silent sinecures, while avarice and unholy power are doing their deeds of darkness, or using you as dupes to accomplish their favorite ends.
The Voice of Industry has now reached its eighth number and its reception has been all we could expect, for a workingman's paper. We have no high sounding boasts to make or visionary anticipations to cherish, but to all who have seen the Voice, it will speak for itself; and to all others interested for its prosperity, and the success of the cause in which we are engaged—we say earnestly and hopefully, give us your aid, promising that it shall be what it has been, (so long as it remains in our charge), open, frank and fearless, and if it should receive that support which a workingman's paper ought to receive—which we confidently believe it will—it shall be made all its readers can ask for or require.
The great mission of the Voice upon the sea of public existence, is to oppose the many grievous evils which afflict the working classes and to do battle with the great flood of error, which is overwhelming our land and the world, swallowing up the happiness of our people and reducing a large portion of workingmen and women to slaves, serfs and drudges, while a few rule and roll in unsatisfying degrading luxury. We shall also give our readers a variety of miscellaneous matter, news items, statistical and such other information as will interest, inform and be of value to our working friends in all conditions or circumstances, always evading that which tends to corrupt and vitiate the public mind. We also contemplate as soon as sufficient encouragement is given of devoting a portion of our paper to scientific information respecting the various arts and trades, their rise, progress and numerous improvements—the best means of sustaining and protecting them, which cannot fail to elicit the attention of the mechanic, artisan, farmer and all other sons and daughters of industry. Now when it is recollected that we are all workingmen, who earn our substance by our daily toil; the importance of our receiving the aid and support of our brother workingmen and all interested in the just distribution of earth's blessings becomes very apparent. If the workingmen of New England expect to accomplish anything in the work which they have begun, they must sustain papers, devoted to their cause—papers that can and will speak out freely, fearlessly, and untrammeled—papers devoted from noble principle to justice and the good of man. To this subject, we seriously call your attention—as you value your rights, and as you regard the good of your fellows and posterity so may you act. If the Voice of Industry is what you want, give it your cheerful and hearty support; if not, will you enable us to make it so? We ask the attention of the Christian and philanthropist to our enterprise. Can you expect to improve the moral and religious condition of the world and elevate mankind, while a large portion are grovelling in poverty and dependence, their physical and temporal rights disregarded and trampled upon and their natures violated and degraded? Can men become Christians and moralists, while their insatiable love of power and wealth overrules and stifles all their regard for the laws of God and their neighbors? We ask the statesman if he can expect to see a happy, virtuous, republican and an intelligent nation, where men are slaves to wealth and factional usurpations? Where money buys power, office, respectability and servile obedience, and honest poverty is scorned and loaded with contempt? If so let us go on with our system of plunder and at the present rate, our nation will soon be a republican paradise, and our people fit subjects for heavenly rest; but if otherwise, let us stop and consider our condition and future destiny. To the workingmen who have thus far stood by us (among whom are some generous souls), we tender our heartfelt thanks, hoping they will continue firm and stout-hearted in the great battle for equal and just rights, and if consistent with their circumstances, give us further aid and support. And to all our patrons, without distinction of party, condition, sex, or color, we render due acknowledgements for their favors, and ask a continuation of the same, trusting their influence will be exerted in circulating their paper (the Voice) throughout the New England states, that it may prove an able champion of the workingmen's rights, unawed by the fear of proscription and independent of the powers that would gladly seek its destruction.
Mechanics, Laborers, and Useful Persons.
The following spirited call for a workingman's meeting in New York City, will be read with interest.
Mechanics, Laborers, and Useful Persons.
These things are fact. In this city of New York are 65,000 paupers, that is one-seventh of the entire population; in the state one in 17 is a pauper, and ratios, in city and county, are increasing year by year. The compensation for labor is steadily sinking, until thousands are now reduced to the starvation point. Labor and laborer—it is useless to deny it—are, in this republican country even, subject to a subtle, indirect slavery, rarely acknowledged, but everywhere felt. And in this respect the white laborer of the north is in a worse state than [the] slave of the south, for while the condition of the slave remains pretty much the same from year to year, that of the supposed free man is growing constantly worse. Is there under heaven any help for this? Who dares to doubt it?
Therefore we, a committee appointed at the General Meeting of the Trades and Useful Classes, held at National Hall on the evening of the 6th of June, do invite all persons of whatever description, but especially all workingmen, to assemble at Croton Hall, head of Chatham Square, on Wednesday evening next July 16, at half-past seven o'clock, when and where we propose to report to them the result of our labors.
Ira B. Davis, carpenter; G. H. Evans, printer; A. E. Bovay, teacher; Wm. Wilson, saddler; John Gould, cigar maker; T. A. Devyr, editor; Henry Beeny, shoemaker; Ransom Smith, clockmaker; J. D. Pearson, cabinet maker; J. Spencer, tailor; John Commerford, chair maker; Robert Beatty, bookbinder; Albert G. Rudolph, cooper; Dr. Newberry, physician; Jesse Ferguson, blacksmith; Samuel Janes, granite cutter; James Steward, locksmith; John Cann, silversmith; John Sherlock, iron rail maker; Charles Holden, piano forte maker; Henry Hughes, bricklayer; George Oaks, painter; John R. Smith, scene painter; James Maxwell, machinist.
Remember, rents are going up, and wages are going down: we believe we have discovered the cause and cure. Come.
Expenses of Monarchy.
Expenses of Monarchy.—The half-pay of the civil and military establishment of Great Britain is $24,000,000 annually. The royal family receive whole pay for whole idleness—amounting to $7,000,000.
Note: spelling and punctuation have been slightly modified.
- 1Editor of the Courier.