Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

sas.

town.'” Or, again,
Or, again, “So and so, that's trary.

The result of the argument was colored."

Boley. Just at that time a number of I learned upon inquiry that there were other town sites were being laid out a considerable number of communities along the railway which connects Guththroughout the Territory where an effort rie, Oklahoma, with Fort Smith, Arkanhad been made to exclude negro settlers. It was, it is said, to put the capaTo this the negroes had replied by start- bility of the negro for self-government ing other communities in which no white to the test that in August, 1903, seventyman was allowed to live. For instance, two miles east of Guthrie, the site of the the thriving little city of Wilitka, I was new negro town was established. It informed, was a white man's town until was called Boley, after the man who it got the oil mills. Then they needed built that section of the railway. A laborers, and brought in the negroes. negro town-site agent, T. M. Haynes, There are a number of other little com who is at present connected with the munities—Clairview, Wildcat, Grayson, Farmers' and Merchants' Bank, was and Taft—which were sometimes re made Town-site Agent, and the purpose ferred to as “colored towns,” but I to establish a town which should be learned that in their cases the expres- exclusively controlled by negroes was sion meant merely that these towns had widely advertised all over the Southstarted as negro communities or that west. there were large numbers of negroes Boley, although built on the railway, there, and that negro immigrants were is still on the edge of civilization. You wanted. But among these various com can still hear on summer nights, I am munities there was one of which I heard told, the wild notes of the Indian drums more than the others. This was the and the shrill cries of the Indian dancers town of Boley, where, it is said, no white among the hills beyond the settlement. man has ever let the sun go down upon The outlaws that formerly infested the him.

country have not wholly disappeared. In 1905, when I visited Indian Terri. Dick Shafer, the first Town Marshal of tory, Boley was little more than a name. Boley, was killed in a duel with a horse It was started in 1903. At the present thief, whom he in turn shot and killed, time it is a thriving town of two thou- after falling, mortally wounded, from his sand five hundred inhabitants, with two horse. The horse thief was a white banks, two cotton-gins, a newspaper, a hotel, and a “college,” the Creek-Semi There is no liquor sold in Boley, or nole College and Agricultural Institute. any part of the Territory, but the

There is a story told in regard to the tives go down to Prague, across the way in which the town of Boley was Oklahoma border, ten miles away, and started, which, even if it is not wholly then come back and occasionally “shoot true as to the details, is at least charac up” the town. That was a favorite teristic, and illustrates the temper of the pastime, a few years ago, among the people in that region.

"natives” around Boley. The first case One spring day, four years ago, a that came up before the Mayor for trial number of gentlemen were discussing was that of a young “native charged at Wilitka, the race question. The point with “shooting up' a meeting in a at issue was the capability of the negro church. But, on the whole, order in the for self-government. One of the gentle community has been maintained. It is men, who happened to be connected said that during the past two years not with the Fort Smith Railway, maintained a single arrest has been made among the that if the negroes were given a fair citizens. The reason is that the majorchance they would prove themselves as ity of these negro settlers have come capable of self-government as any other there with the definite intention of getpeople of the same degree of culture ting a home and building up a commuand education. He asserted that they nity where they can, as they say, be had never had a fair chance. The other “free.” What this expression means gentlemen naturally asserted the con- is pretty well shown by the case of

[ocr errors]

man,

na

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

C. W. Perry, who came from Marshall, married an Indian girl and in that way Texas. Perry had learned the trade of got a section of land. Mr. Turner a machinist and had worked in the rail. remembers the days when every one way machine shops until the white in this section of the Territory lived machinists struck and made it so uncom a half-savage life ; cultivating a little fortable that the negro machinists went corn, and killing a wild hog or a beef out. Then he went on the railway as when they wanted meat. And he has brakeman, where he worked for fifteen seen the rapid change, not only in the years. He owned his own home and country, but in the people, since the tide was well respected, so much so that of immigration turned this way. The when it became known that he intended negro immigration from the South, he to leave, several of the County Commis- says, has been a particularly helpful insioners called on him. “Why are you Auence upon the “native " negroes, who going away?" they asked ; " you have are beginning now to cultivate their lands your home here among us. We know in a way which they never thought of you and you know us. We are behind doing a few years ago. you and will protect you."

large proportion of the settlers of Well," he replied, “I have always Boley are farmers from Texas, Arkansas, had an ambition to do something for and Mississippi. But the desire for myself. I don't want always to be led. Western lands has drawn into the comI want to do a little leading."

munity not only farmers, but doctors, Other immigrants, like Mr. T. R. Ringe, lawyers, and craftsmen of all kinds. the Mayor, who was born a slave in The fame of the town has also brought, Kentucky, and Mr. E. L. Lugrande, one no doubt, a certain proportion of the of the principal stockholders in the new drifting population. But behind all other bank, came out in the new country, like attractions of the new colony is the belief so many of the white settlers, merely to that here negroes would find greater get land. Mr. Lugrande came from opportunities and more freedom of action Denton County, Texas, where he had than they have been able to find in the 418 acres of land. He had purchased older communities North or South. this land some years ago for four and Boley, like the other negro towns that five dollars the acre. He sold it for have sprung up in other parts of the fifty dollars an acre, and, coming to country, represents a dawning race conBoley, he purchased a tract of land just sciousness, a wholesome desire to do outside the town and began selling town something to make the race respected; lots. Now a large part of his acreage something which shall demonstrate the is in the center of the town.

right of the negro, not merely as an inMr. D. J. Turner, who owns a drug. dividual, but as a race, to have a worthy store and has an interest in the Farmers' and permanent place in the civilization and Merchants' Bank, came to Indian that the American people are creating. Territory as a boy, and has grown up In short, Boley is another chapter in among the Indians, to whom he is in a the long struggle of the negro for moral, certain way related, since his brother industrial, and political freedom.

[graphic]

INDUSTRIAL PEACE

BY O. D. SKELTON

[ocr errors]

T shall be unlawful for any em- pute by a conciliator or board of con-
ployer to declare or cause a lock- ciliation appointed by the Minister of

out, or for any employee to go on Labor. Owing to the energy of the strike, on account of any dispute prior to Department officials rather than to the or during a reference of such dispute to amplitude of their powers, this law has a Board of Conciliation and Investiga met with more than the average success tion."

attaching to such voluntary measures Such is the fiat of the exasperated A stubbornly contested strike of trackCanadian public, weary of the anarchy men on the Canadian Pacific, stretching of industrial warfare. We on this con- from the Atlantic to the Pacific, soon re. tinent have been slow to realize that we vealed the law's limitations. In 1902 Sir were more than spectators in the gladia. William Mulock, then Minister of Labor, torial contests of capital and labor, priv. and one of the most progressive men in ileged at most to cheer on one of the Canadian public life, suggested a further contestants, or to hold thumbs up when step. He submitted to Parliament a bull the weaker was sorely pressed. The providing for compulsory arbitration in realization of an interest more direct has railway disputes. The bill was given come at last. It is a commonplace of only a first reading, as it was avowedly thinking to-day that, whichever side wins put out as a feeler. The general public in an industrial struggle, that tertium proved sympathetic but skeptical. The quid, the public, always loses. But that railway authorities did not make themrealization has rarely crystallized into selves publicly audible. But the labor action. The shibboleth of individual unions would have none of it. The liberty has stayed our hand. We might Trades and Labor Congress passed resoadvise, persuade, even provide voluntary lutions to the effect that the proposed boards of conciliation, but hesitated to measure would “rob the railway emcommand. It needs the suffering from ployees of their constitutional rights, a coal strike or a railway tie-up to social- destroy their organizations, and place ize our thinking, to convince us that the them absolutely in the hands of railway hazardous interdependence of the mod companies. at the same time depriving ern industrial organism carries with it an them of that citizenship which is so obligation on all those assigned to the dearly prized and is the inherent right pivotal posts not to desert for private of all freeborn British subjects." ends. Adam Smith might look to his The bill was dropped at the following famous “invisible hand” to keep strag: session, and in its stead was passed the glers in line, but we “who are now our Railway Disputes Act of 1903. The own Providence ”must utilize the rudely essential feature of this measure tangible and visible hand of social legis. compulsory investigation. The Minister lation.

of Labor was empowered, when a strike Canadian law-making in this field has or lockout seemed imminent, to constitute gone through an interesting evolution. on his own motion a board of concilia. In 1900 the Dominion Government was tion, consisting of one member chosen led by the growth of industry and of by the employees, one by the railway, industrial strife to create a Department and a third co-opted or appointed by the of Labor and pass a Conciliation Act. Department. Failing in their efforts to This measure was basea on the mild bring the disputants together, they were British act of 1896, and contained the to be reconstituted as a board of arbiusual provisions for intervention on the tration, to conduct an'investigation with request of one of the parties to a dis- full court powers, and issue a report.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

was

1

1

or.

as

seems

more

a

was

No attempt was made to prohibit strikes The Dominion is not blest with that or lockouts The force of public opinion curiously cumbrous and unbusinesslike it was hoped guided and focused by system of checks and balances that impartial investigation would suffice to organized anarchy of senate versus house bring the morally weaker side to terms versus executive fastened on the United before serious damage had been indicted States by constitutional fathers who shiea Whether because of the restraining influ at democracy. Convince a single mapence of this Act

for Sir Wilfred Laurier is to-day the probable, because of the yielding temper Liberal party. and the Liberal party con prosperity has made possible to the trols Parliament two to one-convince railways there has been since 1903 only him that any measure is expedient and one serious railway dispute, up to this is demanded by public opinion and a year

In that case-a conflict between single session will suffice to translate the Grand Trunk and its telegraph oper that public sentiment into law. So in ators—the Act was invoked and, after a the present instance The Minister of somewhat dilatory investigation, marked Labor, the Hon. Rodolphe Lemieux. in. by an overscrupulous adherence to legal troduced a bill along the lines recomformalities settlement was finally mended, and, with some extensions and effected without a days stoppage of curtailments, it became law in March. work

Surprisingly little opposition The next advance was also the out. offered in Parliament Whatever division come of concrete difficulties rather than of opinion exists in Canada on social of any abstract aspiration for well. questions cuts ath wart party lines rather rounded legislation. A nine months' than along them. Liberal and Conserv. strike in the coal mines at Lethbridge. ative are phrases out of which all.color Alberta the chief source of fuel for the has been washed-mere respectable syn. western prairie country, brought on wide onyms for the Ins and the Outs. A dry. spread hardship last winter, intensified rot of indifference. a lack of broad issues by the unusual severity of the weather more paralyzing than open corruption, and the frequent blockading of railways. has pervaded Canadian politics ever The West is not so content as Ontario since the present dominant party stole or Nova Scotia to suffer meekly, and its opponents' clothes, although signs of Ottawa was bombarded with telegrams a healthy revival are now multiplying insisting on immediate action. Mr. Mr. Borden, leader of the Opposition . Mackenzie King, the Deputy Minister of and perhaps the most earnest and studi Labor. was despatched to the scene of ous of Canadian politicians not only conflict, and by his tactful energy brought welcomed the bill but urged that the both sides to a realization of the gravity Government should go the whole road to of the situation, and finally to agreement compulsory arbitration. On his return to Ottawa he recommended The scope of the Industrial Disputes that the provisions of the Railway Dis- Investigation Act, or the Lémieux Act putes Act be extended to cover coal as it is more popularly known, is wider mines, with the further important proviso than first contemplated. It applies to all that strikes and lockouts should be pro mines, railways, telegraphs and telehibited pending investigation.

phones, and public service utilities The In the United States such a report constitution and powers of the board of would have been hopelessly pigeonholed. conciliation are the same as under the or if formulated in a bill, silently Railway Disputes Act. Failing an agree . smothered in committee year after year. ment, the board must issue a report, to But in Canada the path from public which the Department gives widest pub opinion to legislation is a smoother one. licity, setting forth specific recommenda Power is more centralized in the Federal tions for a just settlement Employers Government. The courts have never or employees must give at least thirty been allowed to usurp an impeding dom days' notice of proposed changes in hours inance. Cabinet government concen. or wages.

Prior to or pending inquiry trates both authority and responsibility. all strikes or lockouts are forbidden.

under penalties ranging from one hun- ploy of the Grand Trunk road applied dred to one thousand dollars a day in for a board of conciliation. The disthe case of employers, ten to fifty for pute was a particularly complex one, employees, and fifty to one thousand for comprising differences as to hours, any one inciting to strike or lockout. The

wages, shop rules, and reinstatement of Government does not assume the duty a portion of the men who had been on of punishing violations of the Act, but strike or locked out over a year. A legal machinery is provided which any board was at once constituted, consistaggrieved party may set in motion. ing of Wallace Nesbitt, K.C., a leading

The essence of the measure, it will be Toronto lawyer, representing the railway; seen, is compulsory suspension of hos- J. G. O'Donoghue, solicitor of the Trades tilities pending investigation. Concilia- and Labor Congress, nominated by the tion is tenfold more difficult after hos- machinists; and Professor Adam Shortt, tilities have openly broken out; passions of Queen's University, selected by the are inflamed, positions have been taken Minister of Labor as Chairman. Three from which pride forbids retreat; the sessions spent in investigation enabled original cause of the dispute is forgotten the board to allay the irritation felt by in the new grievances which friction de- both parties to the dispute, and to bring velops. Yet altogether to forbid recourse each to a sympathetic understanding to the ultimate weapon of strike or lock- of the other's position. The resulting out is scarcely possible in fluid, individ- agreement was a compromise, though, as ual, complex America; from compulsory the Chairman notes in his report, “no arbitration the road leads steep and slip- attempt was made to settle difficulties pery to government regulation of wages, on the easy but demoralizing principle assizes of bread, and actions against of splitting the difference ; every attenforestallers, engrossers, regraters, and ye tion was given to deciding each matter other troublers of the common weal. on its merits.” Mr. C. M. Hays, GenThe Canadian compromise protects the eral Manager of the Grand Trunk, and public without doing violence to “the other leading officials of the road, who natural rights of free-born British sub- had at first been opposed to the board's jects.” It insists first on exhausting all intervention, attended all the sessions, possibilities of settlement. Then, if con and expressed themselves at the close of ciliation fails, either party is at liberty the proceedings as thoroughly convinced to reject the solution proposed and of the practicability of the new law. strike or lock out to heart's content. In Practical evidence of their satisfaction nine cases out of ten the public disap was afforded when shortly afterwards proval of the side which rejects a fair the Grand Trunk took the initiative in compromise can be relied on for speedy referring to conciliation a dispute with settlement. The tenth may be offered the locomotive engineers of the company up on the altar of individual freedom. which had been the subject of almost

The Act has been in force eight months, daily but fruitless conferences for over too short a period to provide a final test, two months. Here again the deliberabut sufficient to permit some tentative tions of the board, consisting of Proconclusions. It has been invoked in a fessor Shortt, Mr. Nesbitt, and Mr. Carscore of disputes, reaching from Nova dell, were crowned with success. An Scotia to British Columbia, and involv- agreement on all rules and rates was ing a wide range of issues. And in the drawn up for three years. light of this experience the consensus of A more difficult problem was presentopinion is that its success, while noted by a dispute between the Canadian unqualified, is undeniable. Whatever Pacific and its telegraph operators. future industrial legislation is passed in Rumblings of a strike that would tie up Canada will start from this new level. the whole system had been heard all

The most marked success achieved by summer. The men were strongly organthe measure has been in the railway ized and officered, and demanded very field. Within less than a month after substantial concessions, including a its enactment the machinists in the em- twenty five per cent increase in wages.

« AnteriorContinuar »