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The Knights Of Labor

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Ed. Courier: - There seems to be a great deal of misapprehenslon in tbc public niiiiil in reference to the aiins and objects of tlie organization known as tlie Knihts of Labor, anti f you will allow me, Mr. Editor, the use of :i little space in tlie Courier tliis week, I will endeavor to make plain the position of tlie men who have uanded tliemíulves together iiuder the above litle. In the first place, thls organization is almost a spontanesus coming together of laboring men, of all trades aiiü calllagt, for mutual proUction. They propose to deend them-elves agninstthe ugressions of capital, but do not desire to wage a war against capital. Tliere is no cl.iss of human bt-iugs tuat more fully realize the necessity for capital and labor to work together hand in hand, amieably, tlinn does the 1,, boring man, but he also flnds tliat capital in the hands of soulless corpnrations and hard-lieaited, close listed men is used to oppiess and enclave him and his childreo) he otten flnds that avaricious, graspinj; men take thelr money, start u btuineu enterprlSQ, and in thelr greed to amasa a fortune grind down the laboier to the vt-ry verge of starvation. It b against this greed that the Knights of Labor airay themselves and propose to stand like a stone wall for tlieir own interests, their families and their homes. The object of tliis organizatiou is not ;o interfere with any man or any lirm's ausiness, or dictate to any person or corporation how they shall run their business. But it is its object to light against the oppression and tyramiy of individuáis or Corporation?, and the grinding down of compensalion to starvation prices. They do not gay that a man must be employed because he belongs to tliis organization, but they will use all the iower they possess to prevent a man béng discharged for uo other reason than simply because he is a Kniglit of Labor. They use the boycott as a weapou of defense. If a flrm or coporatlon Iniists apon dunllng unjustly wltli lts employé?, nd refuses to listen to the appeals oí ts laborera, then the Knights claim the Klit to use such meHsures as they may hul the most effwtive to carry their loillta. This orjtaniatiou asks uothliig Uiat is lot lair and just, but It proposes to raake a stubborn fightfor tliat which is just. and riRht. There are employers wlio are always tist and kind, and even liberal to their employés. The writer has in mind one who while living was the very soul of gencrosity and honor in bis deallngs with ihoM nnder hls employ. I refer to the late Hice A. lieal, who is held in kind remembrance by many a laborer. Such employere should be the warmest supporters of the Knights of Labor, for the object of the Knlglits is to secure like treatment trom all employers. For instance, if one man is engaged in business requiring a number of hands, and his humanity will not allow him to grind tbe compensation of tliose hands down to the very last ditch, as does anotber, engiiged in the same line of business, be bas an unjust and unfair competition. Hight liere the Knights of Labor step in and compel sucb coinpetitor to deal jiistly by his hands, and pay living prices. The compensalion of labor is fixed by the law of supply and demand, is an old maxim. Tliat may be true, to a certain extcnt. But that is no reason why a greedy, avaricious man should deal unjustly with tbose unfortunate cnough to depend upon his biro for their daily bread. Arain, the Knights of Labor are not lighting an aggresilve battle but a defensive one. They are not opposed to capital but are capital's best friendo. They do not propose to díctate to capital, but refuse to be cnslaved by it. All they ask is justice. They seek no light, but will battle stubbornly when attacked. The justice ot their orase, the honorable and upright cliaractcr of their organizatiou, is making them more powcrful tvery day. Herein Ann Arbor, the organi.atiou is growing rapidly, and lts membcrship is composed of the very best laboring men in the eommunity. There are no agitators or hummels in lts ranks, but respectable, honest, earnest men, who fully understand their wants, and will stand by their principies and society to the last. They will tight for the right, oppose the wrong, help the oppressed, relieve the alllicted as f ar as lays in their power; all of which they obligate themselves to. do when tiuv t:ike their oatli. In a few places, perhaps, the organi.ation has been unfortunate in choosing for leaders a class of hot-heads, who have not used rood judgment in all their acts; but sucli instance are rare. When it is consldered how little accustomed the rank and lite of the laboring classes are to taking the lead, their uniform success is truly amazing, and proves beyond question the justice of their cause. If they have encd soinetimes it is not at all vvoudeiful. Others have erred, also. None are perfect. But their cause is a just one and they deserve the support of all fair minded men. With an apology for occupyinff so much of your space, I am, very truly yours,


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News