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double to Gallatin and Bowling Green what they did to Nashville. Start a car exactly the same way from Atlanta to Murfreesboro, and another to Nashville; the man at Nashville pays $15 less than the man at Murfreesboro. Start one to Memphis and Brownsville; the rates to Brownsville were nearly double those to Memphis. My little town of McMinnville is discriminated against. You have to pay more than at Sparta, 26 miles further on. They run wagons between them. I am in favor of railroad regulation, and strict regulation. Every citizen in the State is regulated by law. We create railroads by law, and should control them by law. I approve that document, and it should be published and read by every citizen in the State, and we will have regulation. This idea of competition has gotten to be an impossibility. Where combination is possible, competition will not be in existence.
Tully Brown. I want to say that I approve the paper read by my friend Pitts. It would have paid me to come here to hear that paper. I want to say another thing in the presence of my distinguished friend, Colonel Savage, somewhat in the nature of a confession. In my humble way, and by my vote, I opposed the establishment of a railroad commission in Tennessee. I look back at that as the one big fool act of my life. In all the great public questions before and after that time in which I was a participant, I look back at my course with approval—from 1861 to this day. I feel about those great questions as I felt then. But why I should have opposed this movement, which was one of the greatest that has ever been brought before this public, I am not able to tell, and I honestly confess that I am thoroughly ashamed of my course, and it brings a blush to my face when I think of it. I am heartily in favor of a commission. I think the time came sometime since when we ought to have taken action. We who lead the thought of the State on these questions should take bold action and publish that paper everywhere that we can. It ought to be read all over the State, and I think it is a document worthy of going into the archives of any society. I am for the paper. I thoroughly indorse it, and am glad to see it. I am glad that so bold and able a paper has emanated from the Bar Association of Tennessee.
J. J. Turner.-I expected, before the Association met, to have the time and privilege of discussing this question. I do not rise to-day for the purpose of discussing the paper, and am somewhat like my friend Brown over there. At the time the commission was up I was in favor of the idea; but thought then, as I think now, that the commission should have been national, and that when that was established we could create a State commission to meet the special wants of the State. I thought it was an experiment in advance of a national commission, and I was of the opinion that we had better wait. I am thoroughly satisfied that it is to the interests of the people of Tennessee, and would be to the interest of the railroads who wish to do an honest and just business, to have a commission. I heartily and thoroughly approve of all that has been said so ably and thoroughly by my friend Pitts.
Flournoy Rivers.- Mr. President: Inasmuch as you disclosed to this body yesterday that I was a member of the Forty-seventh General Assembly, I will venture to say a few words in reference to a statement in the paper, with every sentiment of which I heartily concur. I deem it an honor to have introduced into the Senate of that Assembly, a railroad commission bill, providing a mandatory commission. That bill was drawn by a member of this Association, and one of the most eminent lawyers in Tennessee. These moneyed corporations, as Mr. Pitts said, dictate their terms, and the people have to bow their shoulders to the burden and have to become servants under tribute. There existed, during the last session of the General Assembly at Nashville, the most brazen, ably conducted, and shameless lobby that I suppose ever dominated any General Assembly. I say the lobby was open; it was ably conducted, and absolutely shameless. I have seen a man, selected I suppose to represent the honor and dignity, and the intelligence and the sovereignty, of the people of a senatorial district, dance hat in hand in the corridors of the Maxwell Ilouse in attendance upon the mandates of a railroad lobbyist. I say to you men as Tennesseans, I say to you men as freemen, that things do smell to heaven in Tennessee when men elected to legislative position and preferment do engage in drunken orgies in the room of the vice-president of a railroad corporation. These are strong words, and it was well understood during the General Assembly by the little minority that I had the honor to associate with, it was understood by the undercurrent of opinion, that there sat under the speakers in both houses, men who never voted upon any railroad question that they did not report their action to the leader of the lobbyists. It has come to this, you men who pride yourselves that you are the descendants of the men who fought at King's Mountain, that pride yourselves that you are the descendants of men who stood at New Orleans; it has come to the pass that a senator sitting in your State Senate Chamber has been known to apologize to a railroad lobbyist for his vote. Things do, I tell you, smell to heaven in Tennessee, when, during the session of the Fortyseventh General Assembly, the newspaper that is commonly accepted as the organ of the party was silent, and the brilliant and impetuous young man who edits it was silent. We all knew then, and we know now, that the paper was then dominated by an influence that was adverse to railroad legislation, that a majority of the stock in that paper was owned by men whose interests and inclinations were otherwise. But a change has come over the spirit of his dream. I read, not many days since, an editorial in which the editor used this expression, “ We do now doubt the entire wisdom of our position then." I thought myself it took a brave man and an honest man to make a public confession of that kind. Such an unrest is going over this country. The Farmers' Alliance movement, misdirected and misguided in some things, is one result of this unrest, which has not been equaled since the days when Attila the Hun led our forefathers over the Italian mountains. What does it mean? What is its object and purpose? We are told by a man whose name and achievements stand as a beacon-light to illumine the centuries, that he saw a vision; that in the deep sleep of the night he saw a man stand on a foreign shore, and with outstretched hands cry, “Come over into Macedonia and help us!” and that movement in its incipiency is but the uprising of the people who cry out to the legislative bodies of the country, “ Come over into Macedonia and help us!” All the way from the last mile-stone that divides us from the British possessions to where the stars and stripes float over Fort Jefferson, that unrest does obtain; and, gathering force as it rolls, gathering anger as the tide rises, will, unless in some sense, in some way, the representatives of the people will heed the mutterings of this discontent, bring about in our history such a time that, beside it the horrors of the French revolution, will pale into insignificant nothingnessthe uprising of the people against the iron-clad greed of corporate power. It is commonly known and accepted in the profession that the decision in the Dartmouth College case was obtained and put in law-books by the overweening influence in the mind of Justice Story by Webster, and I believe that doctrine has been to the people of this country the spring of woes unnumbered. I believe it has been the cause of more evil, of more oppression, of more outrages in the direction which this discussion has taken this morning than any other doctrine written in any law-book. Mr. Pitts was right in one expression he used, “The baleful influence of associated corporate wealth.”
J. M. Greer.—I take it that the ability of the paper which has just been read is so great and has been so well directed that there can be but one view after listening to it; and in order that that view may be put in form, I move that this Association extend its hearty thanks to Mr. Pitts, and express its cordial approval of the recommendation contained in his paper.
The motion was unanimously carried.
M. M. Neil.—I move that five thousand copies of Mr. Pitts’ address be published in pamphlet form for distribution.
J. W. Bonner.-I want to say a word of warning. I am satisfied that the treasury of the Association cannot stand that drain.
The motion was carried.
THE PRESIDENT.-The motion carries with it the proviso that the funds of the Association will permit.
J. M. Head.—If the paper is to be published in the minutes, with the type already set, you could arrange so that only the press-work and paper would cost any thing in printing additional copies.
The Association adjourned until 2:30 P.M.
The Association was called to order at 2:30 by the President.
The Secretary.—The report of the special committee on taxation has been submitted, as follows:
REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON TAXATION.
Mr. President and Gentlemen of the State Bar Association:
At your last meeting the report of the Committee on Taxation was discussed. That discussion brought to light some glaring defects in the proposed equalization law. The result was that the Association referred the report to the same committee, “ with instructions to revise it and print it with such annotations as may be made by the committee, and that said committee be required to report at the next meeting of the Association.” In compliance with this resolution, your committee have the honor to report that your efficient Secretary had five hundred copies of the committee's report printed. A copy accompanies this report. After the sixth page you will find inserted a note by the chairman of this committee embodying, it is hoped, a solution of the difficulties so justly urged against the report by members of the Association.
Your committee beg leave to say that this subject of taxation is of such vital importance, and reforms in relation thereto of such urgent necessity, that the Bar Association should keep it under consideration until it has wrought out a practical, just, and efficient system of taxation. Not only should the system be formulated by the Association, but its passage.secured by the Legislature. The latter can only be effected by the members of the Association from the various counties of the State working for and procuring better material to represent us in