Noble Words

This article from the July 23, 1877 edition of the Daily Alleganian and Times summarizes a sermon given by Rev. E. B. Raffeasperger which supported the plight of the railroad men, but denounced violence.

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Pursuant to announcement Rev. E. B. Raffeasperger preched in the First Presbyterian church last evening, on a text that leads him to discuss the present result of labor against capital. His remarks, which we regret not being able to give in full, showed the speaker remarkably well conversant with the material interests of our country and vicinity. He thought the first moving cause in the present difficulty, so far as our locality was concerned, was the mistaken system of carriers of our coal to eastern markets in competing so closely that coal was sold at prices entirely too low and incommensurate with its real value.

The result of this competition is that carriers are compelled to reduce their expenses and in so doing the first to suffer is of course the laboring man, being compelled to work at less than a living rate. His sympathies were warm for the laboring man, whom in this case he compared to the camel upon whose back the last straw has been laid. While so sympathizing, the speaker deprecated most earnestly any violent or overt act. He believed in the potency of a public opinion strong enough to compel the railroad officials to deal fairly with the laboring man; for the former was master of the situation, and must be faced by this public sentiment to do the right.

If in these heard times reduction in the running expenses of railroads must be paid, let not the laborers bear too great a share of it. It is better that the whole nation should deny itself luxuries than the laborer and his family should go without bread. The address throughout was moderate in tome and would no doubt produce great good, could its utterances come to the knowledge of all laboring men.

About this Document

  • Source: Daily Alleganian and Times
  • Date: July 23, 1877