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Thus, in Maryland the number is given as 191, of which 158 are in Baltimore, - not 500, as stated by Mr. Rosenthal. The Maryland law of incorporation was passed in 1843; and the first society was formed " in the old Baptist church on Charles Street" March 22, 1846. This was called the Baltimore Building and Loan Association. In Wisconsin, 42 associations are reported, the oldest dating from April, 1884. Mr. Rosenthal believes that there are 125 in Kentucky, one-third of them being near Cincinnati.
I. THE GROWTH AND PURPOSES OF BUREAUS
OF STATISTICS OF LABOR.
OPENING ADDRESS BEFORE THE AMERICAN SOCIAL SCIENCE
ASSOCIATION AT SARATOGA, SEPT. 3, 1888.
BY CARROLL D. WRIGHT,
THE PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION.
THERE is in the United States of America a class of offices, State and Federal, devoted to the collection of statistics relating to labor in all its aspects, and to the social, moral, and educational welfare of the people. These offices have different names, but similar duties. Their work is closely allied to that of this association. The topics discussed, and the men who discuss them, indicate this close alliance. Their origin may be said, in some respects, to have found its stimulus in the American Social Science Association. The evolution of the idea underlying these bureaus was rapid, while their extension has been somewhat surprising.
The first bureau was established in the State of Massachusetts in the year 1869, and its history and the motives which led to its creation become interesting. The agitation for labor legislation may be said to have commenced in the State of Massachusetts about 1845. There had been some desultory attempts to secure labor legislation as far back as 1833, but such attempts related mostly to acts for the incorporation of mechanical and agricultural institutions and matters not entirely affecting labor. There had been conventions and meetings held — notably in 1832 — of delegates from farmers, mechanics, and workingmen of New England. They discussed their grievances; and resolutions and an address were adopted, setting forth the burdens under which the laboring classes were suffering from excessive hours, imprisonment for debt, the lack of a lien law, onerous militia service, and other
Such affairs took place at times for several years. In 1845, petitions were presented to the legislature of Massachusetts, praying for the regulation of the hours of labor in corporations, eleven hours being the time desired. No action was taken, however, beyond consideration. The subject came up again in 1850, but legislation was again postponed. In 1852, an attempt was made to have ten hours constitute the legal day; but no action followed. All these attempts, which were similar in their character, induced Major John W. Mahan, an old soldier, a gallant man, a member of the House of Representatives from Boston, and a man whose heart was ever warm for the workingman, to offer, on March 8, 1865, and entirely on his own responsibility, the following order :
Ordered, That the Judiciary Committee consider the expediency of regulat. ing and limiting the number of hours constituting a day's labor, and of making it a penal offence for any employer to require an employee to labor beyond such number of hours as may be prescribed by law.
This order and several petitions for labor legislation were referred to a joint special committee, of which Mr. Edward H. Rogers, of Chelsea, was chairman on the part of the House. This committee reported a resolve asking for the appointment of an unpaid commission of five to investigate the subject of the hours of labor, which was passed and approved by Governor Andrew. The commission selected under the resolve consisted of William P. Tilden, Henry I. Bowditch, F. B. Sanborn, Elizur Wright, and George H. Snelling. This commission, which was instructed in the resolve creating it “to collect information and statistics in regard to the hours of labor and the conditions and prospects of the industrial classes," gave the matter thorough consideration, and made a report Feb. 7, 1866, recommending, among other things, " That provision be made for the annual collection of reliable statistics in regard to the condition, prospects, and wants of the industrial classes.” This commission may be said to have originated the idea of the establishment of the Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics of Labor; for it gave the first clear and positive announcement of the necessity of making a systematic collection of industrial statistics. This particular recommendation was, I have no doubt, the suggestion of our distinguished Secretary, who held a place upon the commission, and who drew its report. He had, in 1865, aided in the organization of this Association ; in fact, he issued the call which resulted in its creation. He was one of its executive committee. He knew the necessity of clearly defined statistical information in the working of the association. He knew that social science was the science of the age,—the science which was to attract the attention of men of benevolence, of broad charity, and of philanthropic motives,men and women who were willing to aid in the cause of humanity for the sake of humanity. We have a right, then, to say that the American Social Science Association furnished the stimulating thought which ultimately developed its official ally,— the Bureau of Statistics of Labor. In the same year in which this report to which I have referred was made (1866), by the commission named, the legislature of Massachusetts passed another resolve looking to the collection of information on industrial matters. This resolve reads as follows:
Resolved, That a commission of three persons be appointed by the governor, with power to send for persons and papers, to investigate the subject of the hours of labor, especially in its relation to the social, educational, and sanitary condition of the industrial classes, and to the permanent prosperity of the productive interest of the State.
The commission appointed under this resolve consisted of Amasa Walker, the father of President Francis A. Walker, William Hyde, and Edward H. Rogers. The first two members of the commission made a majority report, and Mr. Rogers submitted a minority report. The reports were presented Jan. 1, 1867 ; but all concurred in recommending “that a bureau of statistics be established for the purpose of collecting and making available all facts relating to the industrial and social interests of the Commonwealth.”
These movements which I have named were all that can be distinctly classed as official prior to the actual creation of the Bureau of Statistics of Labor in Massachusetts. It is probably futile to try to explain fully the immediate reasons which led to the establishment of the bureau at the time it was created, in June, 1869. The two commissions, as we have seen, had recommended such a bureau ; but, after their recommendation, the matter had lain dormant for two years. It is difficult to connect the various labor movements, as such, with the actual creation of the bureau. Prior to it, the General Court had shown little regard for labor legislation. Many petitions had been presented in favor of eight hours; and, in this particular year (1869), two petitions had been filed with the legislature for a ten-hour law, but they had been indefinitely postponed. A very important petition, however, was presented, which may have been the immediate turning point for the estab