Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/382

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Professor James Geikie's "Outlines of Geology," published in 1886, Similar prominence is given to the subject in De Lapparent's "Traité de Géologie," published in 1885, and in Credner's "Elemente der Geologie" which has appeared during the present year. If this be a "conspiracy of silence," where, alas! can the geological speculator seek for fame?

Yours, very truly,
John W. Judd.
October 10, 1887.
—Nineteenth Century.


THE founders of the Grange thought they were establishing an order whose aims were to be social and educational. But these were soon overshadowed by the co-operative, anti-middleman feature. This drew more into the order than all other considerations combined, at one time almost threatening to transform our farming population into a race of traders, and this was likewise the chief cause of Grange decay. Fighting middlemen, unlike fighting railroads, was a legitimate kind of activity, as it had nothing to do with politics or theology—the two subjects tabooed by Granger law. Unfortunately, the story of Grange co-operation is recorded nowhere and thoroughly known to nobody. Those who know most preserve a discreet silence, mindful of questionable transactions and failures, now generally forgotten.

No sooner had Kelley established a few Granges in Minnesota in 1869 than they set up a clamor for leasing flouring-mills and appointing agents in St. Paul and New York, in order to mill and ship their own grain. However farcical might be the position of the founders at Washington, they at least were conservative enough to disavow this action. But upon Minnesota's threat to secede they yielded, and an agent was appointed in St. Paul. His first commission chanced to be to buy a jackass for a Patron, whereupon one of the founders made comment: "This purchasing business commenced with buying asses; the prospects are that many will be sold." As soon as the National Grange fell into the hands of farmers, there was a movement to make it the head of a gigantic co-operative scheme. It was proposed to have three national purchasing-agents, stationed at New York, Chicago, and New Orleans, to buy for the Patrons of the whole country. But this was soon seen to be impracticable, owing to the diversity of interests in the order. The same was true with regard to the purchase of patent-rights. With the view of absorbing into the order the profits of manufacturing farming-implements, the National Grange had bought the right to manufacture a harvester, a mower and reaper, and various other machines. It had also tried to buy the copyright of Cushing's "Manual"—a book in great demand among