Press enter after choosing selection

Stephen J. Field

Stephen J. Field image
Parent Issue
Day
14
Month
April
Year
1899
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

In the passing of Stepheu J. Field a nost notable character disappears from life's stage. He was appointed to the supreme oonrt beuch by President Lincoln and in the length of bis' service ne surpassed all records. He was a meruber of the conrt for 34 years and ■during that time some of the most important qnestious iu our history were passed upon. He was a man of decided convictions and never hesitated, in any capacity to adhere to thosa convictions no matter what taent there tnight be on the other side. His written ■opinons as a member of the supreme onrt are masterpieces of clear.incisive, vigorous Enghsh and strong logic. He came of revolutionray stook and vas oue of four brothers all of whom fceeame great men but he was probably the most famous. He was a man of fine conrage and practiced law in California in the days when physical courage was more essential than great knowledge of the law. Some of bis experiuces read more like fictiou than facts. He may be said to be the father f the laws of California and was at oue time chief justice of that state and his remarkable decisions are still ijnoted and admired. He resigned from the supreme bench a little more than a year ago on account of infirmities. He was fnll of years and honors. His life's work was done. His passing is therefore but he last of earth. President Angelí made a inasterful presentation of tlie claims of the uni-versity upon the bounty of the state in hifi speech before the lcgislators yesterday. It was characteristic of the man, sri-ing, clever. diplomacia He said the right things in the right way. His facts and figures were unauswerable. He streugthened the canse oí' the nuiversity with the legislators. He allmied to the cosmopohtau charaoter ■uf the university, and its position as second in point of nnniber of students in onr conntry. Yet its aunnal cost was bat $425,000 a year while Harvard's expenditures were three times as large. He declared tbat the other areat western universities with many less stndents cost the people a great deal inore money. It was a marvel to the other nmversities that Michigan ücomplished so mnch with so little. Thirty thonsand, he said, have gone from the university halls into every -walk of life and yet the state uas only -sippropriated $3,000,000 for its supporc. He repndiated the idea tnaè it is an .aristocratie institntion and declared i{. to be one of the most democratie "nni-versities on earth. The legislators onld not fail to be impressed with vvhat they saw and heard. There was every evideuce that the university has a warm place in the hearts of the pres-ent members. It is deserviug of all .they will or can do for it. The agitatiou iu the legislatura for the removal of tne mining school from Honghton to Arm Arbor aud the utilizing of the minirig school buildiug for the proposed nevv normal school for that section, appears to be au ill digested project. That the miuiug school could be conducted here gieatly to the adavntage of its stndents and that they could be transponed at state -expense lo the mines for ssch work as they are required to do under ground, rand all at a large saving to the state is nnquestionably true. But that is oiot the issne. It is located where it is. The people of that seciton want it kept there. They will fight its removal to a finish. The school was located there originally for politioal reasons. If those reasons were too stroug to be resisted bef ore the school was located, does anyone snppose they are not stronger nove? Political exegencies require upper peninsnla support uow as mnch as heretofore. Of coorse thepeople ■there desíre a normal schooJ. But they -also desire to retaiu the ruiniug -ohool. They want both iustitutions .And in the end iu spite of the strong iconomical and educational ad van - tages wbich can truthfully be advanc■ed for the removal to tbia city the same creason which led to the locating of the -chool at Honghton, will force its reiention there. There can therefore no ííood come out of the agitatioo. But léhe members from the upper península who liave hitherto been friendly, may be marie antagonistic to the -univeisity thereby. The present is prolific in the rapid developnieut of trusts. Huudreds of them have been orgauized in the past few mouths. Varions state legislatures during the winter have tried their hauds at laws forbidding irusts. But little seems to have been acuomplished. In f act most of these effort seem abortive and ill advised. Piobably tney cannot be prohibited. Bnt their inflnence f or evil can be greatly narrowed by catting off the valnable privileges given to coproratious by legislation. The powers of the great corporations should be so limited by legislatiou tliat they canuot become a inenace to the state. ïheir power to monopolize biïsiness aud crash out competitie eau m this way be coutrolled. Again trusts are fostered by tariff protection. Through the tarifl: all foreigu competitiou is practically sbnt out and this enables tue combines to control the ïomeonarket with comparatively little effort. These tarifl: favored concerns always get special rates froin railroads and other public service corporations which should be compelled to treat all patrous alike. In all these various ways the trusts are advantaged by legislation in their efforts to corner business and break down sainllfii coucerns. All the powers trusts have are conferred by legislation - henee those which are injurious should be ent off. The tariff should be reruovsd from all industries whose poducts are in trutts for the purpose of restricting the product, keeping up prices or destroying competitiou. Gor. Roosevelt favors taxation of franchises. He says that while he has uo sympatby with the outcry against corporations as such or against prosperóos business inen, it is evident that there is injustice in the üght taxation of corpora tions. Can any oue suggest a valid reason for not taking an equal tax from property invested in franchises as well as property iuvested iu houses or lands or factories? Why shoald not corporatious which derive their powers from the state niake an adequate return for privileges enjoyed? These organizations are Dot much longer to escape their propar share of the public burdeu. In maüy forigan cities a large percentag of the taxes comes from the corporations which use the public domain for traoks, poles, pipes, etc. It is in the air here also and is sure to be an aceoniplished fact of the near future. Gen. Lawton who is said to have started with an expedition of 1,500 men for the purpose of sweeping the country sonth of Manila, followiug the oíd time froutier tactics in dealiug with the Iudians is an experienced inan in this line of fighting and a man with indomitable will power and courage. It was he who pursued the ninrderous Appache Chief Gerónimo for weekss finally corneriug him. He theu stalksd iuto the camp of the hostiles alone and demanded and received their surreader. He can saftly be depended upon to accotnplish his present mission, if it can be accomplished.