Page images

Iowa, Michigan and Virginia were well set-; Census, estimates that the increase of valuatled farming States in 1880, and the density of tion due thereto was 20 per cent. With these population in those States for that year is allowances the value of property in the State given as 29.3, 28.5 and 37.7, respectively, to shows on the whole a decided increase. the square mile.

c. Manufactures have also increased steadily Vermont has shown a steady increase in her in Vermont. The value of manufactured prodpopulation since 1830, while in the States of ucts in Vermont for the years 1850, 1860, N Hampshire and Maine a decrease took 1870 and 1880, is as follows: place from 1860 to 1870; in New Hampshire a 1850

$ 8,570,920 decrease of 2.3 per cent, and in Maine a de 1860

14,637,807 crease of 0.2 per cent.


32,184,606 ($27,356,909.) 6. The value in property in Vermont has 1880

31,554,366 also shown an increase since 1850. The as. sessed and true value of property in the State in 1870 on account of the state of the currency

Allowing 15 per cent as the extra increase from 1850 to 1870 is shown by the following in that year, the figures for that year would figures: Assessed Value. True Value.

stand $27,356,909, showing an increase of

nearly 75 per cent between 1850 and 1860, of 1850

$ 76,364,289 $ 92,205,049 nearly 100 per cent between 1860 and 1870, 1860

84,758,619 122,477,170 and of about 15 per cent between 1870 and 1870 149,732,929

235,349,553 1880. For the year 1880 only the assessed value is d. The condition of agriculture in Vermont given by ihe United States Census Reports, also shows a marked improvement since 1850. and this was $86,806,775. The apparent de The number of farms, the number of acres of crease from 1870, as well as the extraordinary improved land, the value of farm lands and increase in 1870 from 1860, was partly due to the value of improvements and machinery the inflated prices current in 1870. Gold was used thereon for the years 1850, 1860, 1870 at an average premium of 25.3 per cent, and and 1880, is shown by the following table: Superintendent Walker, of the United States

Number of Acres of Im

Value of Value of Imp. and Year.

proved Land.

Farm Lands. Mach. Used. 1850 29,763 2,601,409

63,367,227 $ 2,739,282 1860


3,655,955 1870 33,827 3,073,257


5,250,279 1880 35,522 3,286,461


4,879,285 Making the same allowance for the state of The average size of the farms in six States the money market in 1870 as bas been made in 1880 was as follows: above, a marked and almost steady increase is Vermont, 137 acres; New Hampshire, 116; shown.

Maine, 102; New York, 99; Michigan, 90; The number of persons engaged in agricult. Iowa, 134. ure in Vermont in 1880 was as follows:

The productiveness of Vermont farms comTotal persons engaged, 55,251; males, 55,- pares favorably with that of the farms of other 037; females, 214.

States. Following is given the number of acres Ages: 10 to 15—male, 1,670; female, 10; 16 of improved land in 1879, in the States of Ver. to 59—male, 44,356; female, 160; 60 and over mont, New Hampshire, Maine and Iowa; the -male, 24, 249; female, 883.

value of the farm products of each of these (The membership of the Vermont State States in the same year, and the average value Grange is about 2,000, composed of both male of products per acre: and female members.)

Number of Acres of Value of Farm Value per

Improved Land. Products 1879. Acre 1879. Vermont


$ 22,082,656 New Hampshire


5.84 Maine


6.30 Iowa




Since 1850 the amount of agricultural prod- the production of butter, milch cows, horses, ucts annually raised in Vermont has in. live stock, bay and barley. The amount procreased. There has been an increase in the duced of tbe last six named articles for the number of swine, oats, buckwheat and cattle years 1849, 1859, 1869 and 1879 is given as folannually produced; also a marked increase in "lows:

Butter, Ibs.

Hay, tons. Barley, bushels. Horses, No. 1849




61,057 1859




69,071 1869



65,015 1879




Live Stock, Milch Cows, bound to see that justice is done. So much

Value, Number. for that, which I will again say was quite un. 1849

$12,643,228 146,128 necessary for my clients. 1859 16,241,989 174,667

Scope of the Interstate Commerce Act. 1869

23,888,835 180,285 1879 16,586,195 217,033

Let us see where we are. This Act in its The amount of Indian corn produced in in language that is very plain to the unsophis

first and second sections seems to be couched 1879 is about the same as that produced in ticated mind. It appears to be intended to 1849. The only leading agricultural products of which the annual

production has decreased regulate and control, according to good methare rye, hops, wheat, cheese, sheep and wool. of interstate commerce by railways and water

ods, and consistent with justice, the operations The decrease in the case of many of the last named articles, and especially in the case of communications connected with them. So far sheep and wool, is to be attributed to circum. as it was possible for Congress, within its constances other than the influence of railroads. stitutional power, to reach every agency en

(See Compendiums vf the 9th and 10th United gaged in those transactions, it was to be exertStates Census.)

ed. The object was beneficent and the nature

of the Law was intended to reach, and, so far ARGUMENT OF HON. GEORGE F. EDMUNDS as language can go, I think does reach every FOR THE VERMONT STATE GRANGE.* operation of interstate commerce that is car.

ried on by no matter how many agents or con. I shall, if it please Your Honors, occupy oply necting local lines, so that they are engaged in a very few moments of your time in discussing a continuous transmission of men or things by this matter. First and principally, because I any “arrangement,” as the Law says, between do not believe it necessary to you, or to the them in relation thereto. There can be no es. just disposition of this case; secondly, because cape from the provisions of the Law by any I do believe it necessary that my honorable op- railroad in the United States, unless it is reponents and I should get the train and go stricted by its charter and operations to purely home this evening.

local state business. Every road that provides The Grangers.

facilities for the business of connecting roads,

and engages in the taking of goods out of its First, then, as to the grangers, my clients, in own State on to a railroad in another State, by respect to whom my Brother Fifield and the any sort of communication or arrangement, gentlemen on the other side have, from time to or combination, or understanding, by what. time, made observations altogether uncompli- ever contrivance or form it is reached, comes mentary, as to their being "mythical," "non within the scope of the operation of this Law. existent persons,” and so forth. All I have to When the States have undertaken to interfere say in reply to that is, that the farmers need with the abuses and wrongs that have been no defense from me. They are a good deal committed all through the country, the sumore numerous than any other part of the preme court, much against its wishes and will, people of the United States. I happened to I believe, was obliged to decide that it was see in a newspaper this morning an account of within the purview of Congress alone. So that a meeting of 45,000 of them in Pennsylvania, I insist the language of this Act shall be given the other day. There are a good many of the most liberal and benign construction, in them everywhere, though they do not all be order to work the good effects it was intended long to organized granges, for the grangers' to accomplish. It is not to be construed like associations do not embrace all the farmers of a criminal statute, but every interpretation and the country, any more than the law associa construction that can aid and reach the great tions embrace all the lawyers. There are a object Congress had in view should be given great many persons who have been admitted to it. Enough for that, because I am confident to the bar who do not belong to any law asso. Your Honors will all agree with me. I do not ciation; still we are supposed to be entitled to need to resort to any strained interpretation to the same rights and privileges as those who are apply it to this case. I only make these ob. members of a law association. And the farm servations to state my views of its general purers of this country, and of this State, therefore, pose and effect. bave the same rights, whether members of the The Defendant Roads Within the Power and grange or not. They have the right to associ. ate and defend their interests, the same as the

Provisions of the Act. Tailroads, the clergymen, the manufacturers,

In this case we find certain facts sworn to the Knights of Labor, or any other members by Mr. Porteous, although he seems to know of the community, so that I need not take up a good deal less when he is on the witness any time in vindicating them as standing bestand than he does when he is off from it—as fore you and asking justice at your hands un careful men sometimes do—and his superior der the law for the classes of industry that they officer, Governor Smith, seems to be affected represent. You are here as a public tribunal with the same malady, unlike Mr. Mellen, who of investigators, before whom any citizen, or spoke fully and frankly, as did Mr. Mills, and any set of citizens, having a well founded these other gentlemen. As I said, we have ground of complaint, may come and state their the facts sworn to by Mr. Porteous, as you grievances. They are entitled to be heard, and will see when you read over the reporter's if a wrong is being done to them, you are notes, that in respect to the transmission of

business between the places on the line of the *From stenograpbic notes of John H. Mimms, Boston & Lowell Road (and by that I will in. Esq., St. Albans, Vt.

clude all from Boston to White River Junction, without naming the concerns that compose it), bans, etc.; and the reason it did not combine whether from Boston or any place between was that it had no interest in that matter. If that point and White River Junction, on busi- you take the proposition, in the reverse, the ness going into the State of Vermont, that the Boston & Lowell would have no interest whattwo roads have arranged and agreed upod a ever and could have nothing to do and would basis upon which that business shall be done have nothing to do with the question of rates. and the prices which shall be paid for it; an on freight from Toronto or Detroit to Montarrangement and understanding was arrived pelier, although that would have come from a at and consummated between the agent of the foreign country to the United States. The corporation of the Central Vermont Railroad only way, on that theory of the Law, that you Company, on the one hand, and the agent of could have the fourth section operate at all the corporation of the Boston & Lowell Rail. would be between two roads in adjoining road Company, on the other, and perhaps some States who made an interchange, each agreeing of the other roads in the route, but mainly be that it would charge as a common carrier, so tween the two I have named. That arrange- much into the other State, and would collect ment was made in advance as to what rates the carriage money and pay it over. This should be charged for that joint business, and would bring them within the operation of the the division that was to be made from the Law, I think you will be satisfied, as I certainly collection of those rates, as shown by the di. am. Take the Boston & Lowell, where Mr. vision list put in evidence. If this is not a Mellen swears they got once and a half or joint arrangement (which is more than the Law twice as much for carrying a car load of chairs requires), if it is not an "arrangement,” to use from Boston to White River Junction, for use the very language of the Law, for the carriage there, as they would if the chairs were going of goods from one State into another over a to Montreal or beyond. They are hauling the common line, then there is no language that same goods over the same line in the same can be taken out of our English tongue that direction, and the same distance in one case, can accomplish it. And I leave that. That is for less than half what they get in the other. all I wish to say about that.

Putting such a construction upon the business The National Despatch Line.

as is urged here, there is not a single road in

the world, not even between two Siates, that Now, as to this National Despatch Line. would be under the provision of section 4, and That is just the same only it is done in a dif- could not be. But this is the position they ferent form. We have learned from the evi. take. It is the philosophy and dialectics of dence in this case what this National Despatch pbistry that people who feel the hand of the Line is. As some of the witnesses stated, it is i law and are conscious of doing injustice, reonly a name, or a trademark. But the public sort to—as is fair for counsel if they can perbave never known what it really is. A well suade any body to believe it—to escape from & known man in this town, who is a large ship- plain responsibility. per, said to me that he had sent millions of dol. The same is true in the reverse order. The lars of freight out of this town by the National Central Vermont will not be liable under that Despatch Line, supposing it to be a regularly claim, because they have nothing to do with organized corporation, having a body and cap- what the Lowell Road gets the moment you ital and officers, and somebody to look to if cross into New Hampshire, and the Lowell there was any loss or damage to be made good. nothing to do with what the Central gets the He was much amused to find that the National moment the line of Vermont is crossed the Despatch Line was in reality a good deal bet. other way. Neither is responsible. It is only ter and stronger than he supposed it was in necessary to state such a proposition to see that respect, for it had turned out to be com. the fallacy of it, and make an end of it. Conposed of the Boston & Lowell Railroad Com gress bas not any power over interstate company, with all its goods, assets and effects; the merce, if that proposition be correct. Central Vermont, with all its goods, assets and But, if there being any arrangement to do effects; the Grand Trunk Railway and all its that thing brings them within the jurisdiction belongings, and a good deal better. But we and power of Congress, then the doing of it find that this National Despatch Line is simply must be within its remedial power of prohibi. a name by which these three operating railroads tion. And they do it. I will call your attentransact ihrough business together; by which tion to the case where the Boston & Lowell, they convey freight from Boston to the West, within its own State and its own corporate and to Montreal and East, from those places to boundary, makes the rates you have heard in Boston and eastern points. That brings these the evidence. It does not charge any more roads within the Act, I assume. The question, for carrying goods to Manchester than it does then, is simply whether, in order to bring any to carry them to White River Junction, if it is one of them or all of them within the fourth going to stop there. Mr. Mellen tells you section of this Act, it is necessary that they with entire frankness: I get twice as much for should all combine in the charging of a greater doing that thing to White River Junction as I rate for a shorter distance than for the

longer do if it is going to Montpelier. But if it is one. If it is necessary that they should all going to be a purely local, intrastate traffic, combine, then it is clear to my mind, as my then I do not charge any more for carrying a learned friend Strout says, that the Grand thing to Manchester than to White River JuncTrunk Railway Company has not had any. tion; but if it is going to be interstate traffic, thing to do in respect of the charges that are then I fly directly in the face of the Law. Al to be made between Boston and West Lebanon, though it does not appear on my tables, yet or White River Junction, or between Boston as a matter of fact I make an arrangement by and White River Junction, Montpelier, St. Al. I which I get twice as much for my short diš.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

tance as I do for the longer distance of which the master (as every man has a right to receive I form a component and arranging" part. profit from his labor which he can sell at any Ercusing Circumstances and Conditions.

price he chooses to take, or pot), will be regu

lated according to the value of the services Now, then, we come to the only question in performed and not according to the particular this case, that is under section 4, as to whether circumstances of the person or the corporation it is made out that the circumstances and con- who has to perform it. What right has a millditions are such that you are bound to find, er, for illustration, to charge me ten cents a or ought to find fairly and justly, that these bushel for grinding wheat because there is a companies ought to be relieved from this duty. mortgage on his mill? What right has a rail. I will say something later upon the question road company, like one out in Ohio, managed under the other part of the statute. The first by Ives, to put its rates up double because reason they urge as an excusing circumstance double the amount of its stock has been fraudis the length of their line. I respectfully sub. ulently issued, into innocent hands, I will asmit that the length of line over the same line sume; and, therefore, to pay a profit the rates over which the freight goes any short distance must be raised, and the public made to pay it? and long distance is no different as to these What right has a railroad to put up its rates roads than it can be on any other line in the above a fair value for the service performed, country. So that length of line only enters as because the management has been extravagant one element in the matter of competition at or unfortunate, and got itself into debt? I some distant point of the system, and in no deny the proposition. And I say that in less other respect whatever.

than ten years, unless the people of the United Then you come to the difficulty of weather States have lost their reason, this matter will and climate. Is that an element that makes a be dealt with by Congress, as far as they have special circumstance and condition over the the power, and you will not be troubled with same line? If I live in the tropics, where any question about considerations as to comthere is no snow at all, is it to be said that be. petition. You will only be troubled with the cause it is hotter at one place on the line than question of what is reasonable according to the it is at another point on the same line, there is value of the service performed, because that a reason for making a difference in the rates stands, and can only stand upon principles that to those respective points? Of course not. If are beyond the reach of any contrivances that I live in the Arctics, as we do here in the win. men may make. ler, does it cost a railroad any more to haul a But we will take it as is. I say on the short distance through the snow and get its construction of this Law itself, fairly and justcars out of the snow banks than it does to haul ly, on the special circumstances and condiit a longer distance over the mountains in the tions, that the fact that there is competition, winter? It must costs less, under the cir- although it is the strongest that there is, is yet cumstances, for the shorter distance. The the very smallest of elements that should enter idea, therefore, that the snow or the grades into the considertion of this question. The claim has anything to do with this question of object and purpose of Congress in making use charging more for a short distance than for of that phrase was to guard against some ex. a longer one over the same line, is preposter- treme and possible circumstances that could ous, with all respect to the honored gentlemen not be foreseen. It was intended that those on the other side.

special circumstances and conditions related to Troo Sides to the Question.

the work and the service to be done, and the

relations of the parties between whom and by There are two sides to the subject of money whom it was to be done, and not the relations making and profits, it might be added. These either of the shippers to the business, or the railroads appeal to you to allow them to make railroad to its competitors, its enemies or its & fair profii, as much as they fairly and reason- friends. ably can.

That is proper enough. But they But we will suppose it is not so. We will owe the same duty to their customers, and you suppose that competition is an element to be owe the same duty to their customers. The considered. Where would you find yourselves, weather is no colder for the railroads in Ver- then, upon any such competition as exists mont than it is for the farmer. It is no colder here? Here is this line, and here are the other in Vermont in the winter for the railroad, than lines in New England competing for this trafit is for the manufacturer, or the passenger, or fic; the lines from Boston to the West crossing anybody else. They are all under precisely the State of New York, or from Baltimore to the same conditions on the same line, as of to the West, from Savannah to the West and course they must be. Therefore, all those con- East and North and South. Every road can siderations fail, entering for what they are say the same thing and be excused from comworth merely into the consideration of com. pliance with the requirements of the Law. As petition at a distant point.

an illustration of my idea, take the Passumpsic Now, then, I submit with great respect, and line, if that be an independent one. It will I think it will turn out to be so in the next ten form a good basis for example because it is a Fears, not upon any supposed construction of parallel line to the Central Vermont in this this Law that you may make, or upon any too same north country, and a competitor with the extended a construction of it, but as a fact in Central Vermont. If a charge were brought the social economics of this country, resting against the Passumpsic, that road would say: upon justice which gives to every man his due I am in competition. You must not touch me. and fair play to all, that every service that a I must charge more for the shorter than for railroad or any body else does for another un. the longer distance, because there is such & der public regulations, and of which he is not strong competition to contend against. The

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

13:1 j it is

ffic £ $

fic, ell rei



bany could say: We are in compeIf there is a profit in carrying a car load of he Fitchburg. Or the Erie could corn from Detroit, or a car load of hay or any in competition with the New York other commodity from the Canada line to the nd so every one of these corpora line of New Hampshire, or to Boston, or vice et the other one out by the shuffling versa, at & rate of less than 30 cents per 100 . It would be somewhat after the pounds, or whatever it may be, I do not pred some time ago by the banks in tend to get the fractions, but an enormously y which the specie used to be cir- less rate than is charged for the short distance, en the bank examiner came around then the profits for doing that same kind of vould present its specie to the ex- work, over the same line at the same time of o would count it and certify that it year, at once and a half or double the charge, t, and the specie would at once be must be enormously and unreasonably large. to the next bank to be presented This is demonstrable, when you look at these iner as its specie, and so on until statements made here as to the rates and take all the rounds.

the elements of the cost and the profit on the ilroad competes with each other; car service. When you find the same kind of act of competition is to be an ele- work being done over the same line under the is to control this question, there is same circumstances, at half the rate and pay. road in the United States which ing the road a profit, I insist upon it, it is made of its own State (that is probably out as fully as it ever can be made out in such a statement) but there are not ten cases as this at any time. ne country that reach out of their When it is demonstrated that there is a profit

So that they could get out one in the lower rate-the through rate--it is demer, and all make great prices for onstrated that the greater rate for the lesser nces and small prices for longer dis distance is grossly unjust. And even if the the expense of the shippers of freight, short haul rate should be brought down to the blic. This honorable body will see longer haul rate it would still be grossly unjust f that, and you are not going to let in proportion to the expense of doing the busiorations, whom you were created to ness. It is not to be wondered at that the some sense of justice and fairness profits of the farmer in Vermont, Ohio, Illin in this country, manage to evade nois, or anywhere else, are small.' It is not to

playing off against each other and be wondered at that they make no profits at all; yond the control of this Act in that their profits are apparently somewhere else. So s not a special and peculiar circum- I say that the short haul rates should at least I condition; it is a universal circum- be brought down to the basis of charge for the

condition in all these long haul longer haul. That is what I insisted upon last therefore it is not one of the ideas night, and I should have been willing, as I

have been in the minds of the law. stated at that time, in the hope of finishing this hen they said that in peculiar and matter up for the time being, to have had this cumstances and conditions you might matter stand upon the rates being brought lled to relieve a railway for a limited down to that basis and let the matter stop there, ed time from the operation of sec. with liberty, after a reasonable trial, to apply

to the Commission for relief. But we could ul Rates for Short Distances Grossly fore having to go through the whole case, I in:

not make any arrangement about it and there Unjust.

sist that on the evidence in this case what I ord more and I am done. Upon the have said and claimed as to the intrinsic un. as it stands in this case, even if these reasonableness of these rates is true, and that l rates were put down to the long they would still be unreasonable, even if res, then the short haul rates would brought down to the long haul minimum. rossly unreasonable in fact. I say it

The Proposition. to be so by the testimony. All the

are put in evidence here, as to how I think that is all it is desirable to say for rations are carried on and what they the merits of this case. I only wish to say in he work they do,

tend to establish the closing, that we thank you, as the other gentlethe statement. Governor Smith told men have done, for your patience in bearing cost of carrying freight per ton per with our somewhat desultory management of on an average, four mills per ton per the case, and with what I and my colleague r the line complained of, taking the have said; I say "colleague." as we have no slow trains together. He has told you official relations

with the distinguished gentle e car service, what that is and how man who represents the Boston & Albany Raile it is to the company owning the cars. road Company. In bringing this application ck of the company whose cars carry we are not actuated by any spirit of hostility

freight, and have carried it for fifteen to these roads or any others. Quite the reverse. ays dividends from ten down to four The railway service of the United States is just t and on a watered capital at that. as important to its welfare and prosperity as or Smith also tells you that they make any other one of its social enterprises and inn this long haul business, and I pre stilutions. But the fact that it is a very neces. has told, as everybody should, all ihat sary element of our prosperity, and ought to be of benefit to his case, although he has encouraged, furnisbes no ground for its being you how much they in fact make out granted unlimited and unjust license to oppress usiness.

anybody else. That is the proposition.


Thereafter, on September 20, 1887, the Commission rendered its decision, with the following report and opinion (the head notes 4. Jeding by the Editor) 1. Where, in a proceeding against sev. eral connecting railroad companies for charging more for a short than for the long haul, one of the companies claims that its only participation in the alleged offense consisted in its

5. sharing in the low charges on the long haul, which were not in themselves alleged to be illegal, the complaint should not be dismissed as against such company, where its interest and the liability of the low rates on long haul traffic to be affected by changes made in the higher rates on short haul traffic is so great that in case such company had not been made a party, and should ask to be made a party, it would be proper to so order. 2. Where, in a proceeding by one rail. road company (here, the Boston & Albany R. Ř. Co.) against other companies, for charging more for a short than for the long

haul, it appears that the rates alleged to be illegal are local rates; that the petitioner does not pay of participate in paying thein; that they are not competitive rates to those) 7. imposed on the petitioner's road; and

Sole. Following is the letter referred to on page! w
But line 20, 22 column, as in evidence:

New York, April 27, 1876.
m. Vanderbüt, President.
I. Vanderbilt, Esq., Vice Pres't.

N.Y.C. & H. R. R. R.
believing that the existing difficulties in regard th
Dhe transportation of east bound traffic are not on
Herstood as thoroughly as they should be, and co
but these diferences should be adjusted on a basis th
fupity to all interests, we have, through teleon
Trepale correspondence, requested Mr. Hickson of or

Grand Trunk Line, and Gov. Smith of the
Catral, to meet us in New York and talk the sub-ba
Storer, to see whether we could not arrive at du

e satisfactory basis of adjustment.
We believe that your shorter line between the te
Tak and New England ought to make a reasonable ot
Fossion to the Grand Trunk route, which em- ur

was that line, the Vt. Central, and other connec- be
SA, owing to its location and climate, and other re
bytes incident to it as a through route.

order to protect and promote the interests of se parlous roads of the country as well as the best gi Senesta of the public, We trust you may find it to W

ser Interest to agree, if it can be arranged, toca
Say the Grand Trunk route the following scale of sb
dermagas on erst bound traffic to competitive ad
wiata in New England, which are much less than m

beretofore existing, and which we deem un-ay
Se the circunstances to be reasonable,
Ta lire stock ie; on cut meats and perishable
way on first and second class, of which there
The Grand Trunk to carry third and fourth class,

« PreviousContinue »