To the Editor of the Voice, and Ourself
The chair Editorial is vacant. The Voice of its editor is silent. A late number contained his adieu for the present. No longer will the dusty labor field, or the dingy work shop, be cheered by his weekly presence. Devolving, as does his task hereafter, upon the weaker sex, much of patience, much of charity, much of allowance, must be made, for the discrepancy, in interesting matter that shall find its way to the columns of the Voice, under the Editorial control of a common schooled New England female factory operative. In one thing however we pledge ourselves, to our numerous readers on the start: what we lack in Editorial ability, in rhetorick, or historical research, be assured we will make up in heart. Our heart, yea, our whole soul, is wrapped up in the cause of the oppressed—of the down trodden millions throughout the world—We ourselves, long, long, even now, a sufferer among the unwieldy yet mighty mass.
The task we have undertaken, is one of great responsibility. Long a contributor to the columns of the Voice, of course it is needless almost, to say its principles and general policy will be the same. Yet new minds will find new modes of expression, to obtain the same end. Our end, aim, and soul's wish, is the improvement of the condition of the laboring masses. The division of labor consequent upon the introduction of machinery, while it has enhanced the general stock of human production, and thereby benefited the general weal, has at the same time entailed terrible calamity—unutterable woe. Famishing want, among large classes of operatives, starving Ire-land, oppressed Leeds, Manchester, and Liverpool, the cries of the oppressed from every other land, and the murder of the Chartists, shot down in cold blood, by order of a woman, - the millions at the same time appropriated for the support of Prince Albert's wet nurses, and Lord Chamberlains, wrung from the brow of labor, all come as a warning voice, terrible as the thunder of Almighty God, that we too, are in danger.
As occasion shall offer, to the best of our ability will we point out in detail, our dangers, and the remedy. Of one thing friends, rest assured, on ourselves alone rests the great responsibility of reforming or permitting errors in a system, to fasten themselves upon us. a be The great evil that accrues from the introduction of machinery, and the division of labor, is the caste it gives to society.—Two great principles must be introduced as a basis for the organization of the factory system in this country, or the same results are to flow in here , that have caused such crying anguish in the old world. Capital must not be permitted to demand so much of labor. Education of the mass, must be made to possess an individual certainty, past escape. To our mind these two are the fundamental principles to be inculcated and established, to avoid the maelstrom already in motion, with a moral certainty to engulf us.
Operatives, friends! to effect the great objectives we have in view, we will require your active vigilant unceasing aid. We must all begin o by being good ourselves. "Cast the beam first from our own eye.”—And purify ourselves from wrong or unjust complaint. Thus we hope to make our start. In our course we shall perhaps be somewhat more plain, more direct to the point, and personal in its application than we have heretofore been. Truth shall be our guide; we will do no wrong—tell no falsehood knowingly.
But oppression however slight, abuse of trust however trivial, insolence from whatever source, and whether from the agent, the overseer or petty tender, in the capacity of under clerk, from the Bank managers, men in authority of the city government, or gentlemen of the professions, whether Doctor, Lawyer, or Priest, we will punish as it merits, without stint or reserve; as for example: an agent in Lowell, the last week, called a up one of the young ladies employed under him, and reprimanded her for employing her leisure hours in assisting in the organization o of our "Labor Reform Association"—notified her she must desist,or suffer the consequence. "For all past offences we say a truce; but a repetition in any form, we will punish." What! deprive us after working thirteen hours, the poor privilege of finding fault—of saying our lot is a hard one. Intentionally turn away a girl unjustly—persecute her as men have been persecuted, to our knowledge, for free expression of honest political opinions! We will make the name of him who dares the act, stink with every wind, from all points of the compass. His name shall be a byword among all laboring men, and he shall be hissed in the streets, and in all the cities in this wide- spread republic; for our name is legion though our oppression be great. Our sympathies are for the sailor and soldier, as well as the citizen. We war with oppression in every form—with rank, save that which merit gives.
To one more subject, fair readers, let me call your particular attention. The standard of virtue in Lowell, is far above that of any other city of its size in the Union; pray God it may so remain. How can I find language to warn all my sisters, of the sacredness, the high charge devolving upon us in this respect? With us and us alone, rests the great responsibility of the standard of female virtue in Lowell. This must be preserved at all and every hazard, or all of our labors are as sounding brass. Never, never, in the name of heaven, permit Lowell to boast her "nymphs of the pave." At the dance, upon the street, at the social gathering, in church, or by your own fireside shrink as from the abyss of infamy, from the steady gaze or stealthy touch of the fiend in human form, who for a paltry momentary job, would rob you of bliss for life, and destroy a lone girl's happiness, away from friends and home. Give us the name of all such, even making the attempt, and the scorching memory of their crimes shall follow them. Not Lowell only, but the dark walls of the prison-house, shall find for him no companion; for even there, the lone girl in Lowell, driven by poverty or misfortune, from her mother's home, to seek shelter under the task master's rod, will find sympathy, even in his stony heart.
Voice of Industry, May 15, 1846
In entering upon our duties, as editor of the “Voice of Industry,” a word by way of instruction to its friends, relative to the course which we shall pursue, will not be inappropriate. Let me premise that I feel deeply the responsibility of the situation, and my incapacity to fill the position, and to bear the trust which it imposes upon me. The paper has been ably conducted heretofore, and much is expected of it for the future. It is at once the creator and creature of the spirit that sustains it.
The working men’s movement commenced in this country, not by announcing at the commencement of any generally received philosophy of Reform, nor by proposing any specific and universal remedies for the evils and universal remedies for the evils complained of. Its voice was first heard in our factory villages, shrieking from the depths of its agonized and crushed spirit, for a reasonable limit of the hours of labor, and for more ample pay for its ceaseless, life-draining toil; [n] elites, it asked for a guarantee against the cannibal spirit of free competition – which was cutting down lower and lower the price of wages in the market, and making the laborer but the plundered victim of commercial Bedoins; - in the country, it was the alarm of the hard handed husbandman, at seeing his farm slide out from under him into the office of the black-leg speculator; - among the inventors of machinery, it was the chagrin, at seeing their splendid discoveries, clutched up by the capitalist, exchanging places in their workshops with themselves, or their brethren, turning hundreds and thousands out of employment, breaking down single handed enterprise and throwing, weary, worn-out labor into unequal competition with muscles of iron and brass; - everywhere, it was the cry of indignation against the giant strides of monopoly and corporate privilege, which seeks to grasp earth, air, and ocean, and has but too well succeeded in its fiendish purpose, - against the cheater, the frauds and overreaching of commerce – against the hypocrisy and cant of pap-fed politicians, - against the instigators of a perfect hell of social evils, that were increasing upon every hand.
Numerous papers, like the “Awl,” the “Offering,” the “Operative,” the “Laborer,” “Social Reformer,” “Mechanic,” &c., were thrown to the breeze – each looking upon the question of Industrial Reform from a different stand-point, and proposing the greatest variety of remedies. All saw the evils to which we were exposed, and agreed upon the necessity of Reform. These various papers lived longer than they had the means of support, accomplished their mission, and ceased to be.
A new paper, the “Voice of Industry,” has taken their place, and thus far it has been as universal as its name, combining the good that was evolved by all the others. It has trumpeted the cry of oppression and outrage that has come up from all classes of sufferers, in city, village and country. It has been the mouth-piece of labor every where, in the east and the west, the north and the south, on the sea and on the land.
From time to time, in the progress of the movement, new principles of Reform have been announced, and new remedies proposed. An efficient lien law, to give mechanics a hold upon their productions till they have been paid for their labor; the limitation of the hours of toil on all public works and in privileged monopolies, to ten; the guarantee of the right to labor – or, in other words, the freedom of the public lands to actual settlers; the inalienable homestead, despite of mortgages and bills of credit; the limitation of landed monopoly in the States; the right to the use of machinery, and to an equal share in the inheritance of the past; the Protective Union among different classes of laborers, by which they dispense with the sharks of commerce, establish a direct exchange of commodities between the different branches of industry, and guarantee to each other at the same time support in misfortune, sickness until old age.
These are some of the principles and measures that have been suggested, at different times and generally incorporated in the theoretical and practical creed of the Industrial Reformers. And it is for the application of these remedies to the life, to government and society that we are now laboring.
A paper whose object should be more limited in its views than this, would not be the “Voice of Industry.” Or, in other words, the Organ of the laboring classes must be the Organ of the laboring classes must be the exponent of the broadest principles, the defender of the largest liberty, and the advocate of the widest philanthropy. It must be a free paper; free as the ocean waves, and the mountain winds; free as human thought, benevolent as the christian love, and faithful as the [starriest] conscience.
While, therefore, it will be the main object of the Voice of Industry, to give expression to such principles, and to propose such remedies as have been referred to above, it will be free, as it ever has been, to advance any new thought which this prophetic age may reveal, and echo the voice of Constructive Reform, by whomsoever spoken.
It will endeavour to remove the causes of evil, rather than quarrel with their effects. It will not, therefore, deal in low personalities, in private abuse, in condemnation of individuals, nor in indiscriminate warfare upon classes. Its words may sometimes sound harsh – they may appear severe, even; but it shall be the harshness of truth, and the severity of love. Our work is indeed no child’s play, no scheme of idle amusement, no game of human selfishness. We are in earnest. In the holy name of God, in the deepest spirit of christian sacrifice, having measured well our words, and counted well the cost of our enterprise, do we utter the cry for Reform.
With this feeling, we throw ourselves upon the progressive spirit of the age, upon the stream of human destiny, and replying for aid, upon the strength of the Omnipotent Father, we give ourselves to the work before us. Our position, therefore, cannot be defined – it is not definable, it is constantly changing; we are in motion, “excelsior” forever.
We can only pledge the friends of industrial reform, the assurance of our devotion to their cause, and of our best efforts for its success.
We are happy in being able to assure our readers, that Mr. Young, the former editor of the “Voice,” will continue his contributions in the paper; and that Miss Bagley, Juliana, Mary, and other able writers will continue their favors as heretofore, as our rich columns this week will testify.
Other correspondents, are also solicited to give us their best thoughts upon the enterprise in which we are engaged.
Hoping that the “Voice of Industry” will be as loud and clear as ever, that it may continue to repeat the cry of the oppressed, to echo the wail of poverty and wrong, and to herald the glorious future, when labor shall be redeemed from its lowly estate, honored and rewarded in proportion to its merits, and freedom, wealth, education and social happiness be universal.
M. Eastman as Editress
At the present juncture of affairs we have thought the following, among a multitude of notices our humble but devoted sheet has received from out brethren of the Press, might not be devoid of interest to our realities and friends, which we insert indiscriminately. – The following is from that infallible sheet The Lowell Courier, which is a conspicuous article from a conspicuous paper edited by a conspicuous man, and is entitled to a conspicuous place in our list.
The Voice of Industry appears this week with a new head, and printed very much better than usual. Miss Mehitable Eastman has become one of the editors. If she will use her influence to keep the paper free from the scurrility and black guardianism which have characterized it ever since its establishment in this city, we think she will succeed. In such case, the paper has our good wishes for its prosperity.
In contrast with the preceding, are the following manly remarks from the manly pen of Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune, a man and a paper above our praise. To say that we differ in some respects, is but to acknowledge that we belong to the human species, subject to human errors and frailties, but when those differences arise from honest minds, laboring for honest purposes, they will ever be entertained by the true hearted friend to society with charity and respect. We shall endeavor to be “belligerent in spirit” only with wrong and at peace only with right.
“Hearts may agree, though heads differ.”
The Voice of Industry at Lowell, organ of the “New England Labor Reform League,” has passed under the Editorial charge of Wm.F. Young and Miss M. Eastman, and still will be published weekly at $1.25 per annum or five copies for $5 in advance. It is among the most able and earnest advocates of a Reform in the Hours and Conditions of Labor and at the same time a staunch champion of Land Reform, Temperance, Peace and general Morality. It is a little too belligerent in spirit, and especially inclined to war on Corporations and on Capital, though its conductors realize in their cooler moments that the evils they would conquer do not inhere to any class, but in false principles pervading all. The “Voice”, although widely taken, is poorly supported, and makes an earnest appeal for more subscribers and better pay. If the Hard-handed Many are not unfaithful to themselves it will receive it.
Voice of Industry. – This paper, the publication of which was suspended of which was suspended a short time since, has been revived. It now makes its appearance in a new dress, and looks neat as a pin. It is under the editorial charge of Mr. W.F. Young, who makes a far better paper than his predecessor. As the organ of the “Industrial Reform League,” we commend it to the attention of those who feel an interest in the welfare of the laboring classes.
Voice of Industry. – We are glad to learn that this spirited advocate of the Rights of Labor, is placed upon a footing which will secure its continuance at least for one year. – It has done a brave work in contending for better organization of industry, and we trust it will never weary or languish in spreading light before the people. We notice that some of our contemporaries are disposed to read a lesson of good manners to the ‘Voice’; but its sins, if any, are rather offences of taste than of temper, and should be pardoned to the excitement produced by the advocacy of a noble but neglected cause. At any rate, our political organs are not quite immaculate enough in this respect, to authorize them to throw stones at the “Voice.”
This impure “taste” may be the effects of the crab-apples which present society compels her children to feed upon.
The Voice of Industry. – This valuable weekly paper is the organ of the New England Labor Reform League. It is a faithful exponent of the wrongs and suffering of the factory workers, devoted to the elevation and improvement of the industrial classes, and the final and permanent emancipation of labor from its present suicidal, competing and depressive tendencies. It has to hear up against the tremendous power and influence of the organized and corporation wealth of New England. The difficulties it has to contend with are therefore immense, and requires for its assistance and support, the contributions and assistance of the friends of Humanity throughout the Union.
The devoted and self-sacrificing labors of W.F. Young, commend the paper to the support of the toiling masses in the east, especially those engaged in the factories. Now is the time to subscribe for its support and continuance. An interesting discussion is going on in its column between a Speculator and an Operative.
Voice of Industry. – This spirited and independent advocate in the cause of progressive improvement of the laboring classes, printed at Lowell, which has for some time past been published by the New England Labor Reform League has been transferred to WM. F. Young and Miss M. Eastman, who will continue its publication. Mr. Young has been one of the former editors of this paper, and has done good service, in the cause of the toiling millions. The paper appears also with a new head, illustrative of the principles which it advocates.
—Ohio State Tribune
To the Northanston Democrat, Young America and Harbinger who copied our Prospectus, in part or entire, we feel especially indebted. Also to the Chronotype Farnier & Ledger, who have added a word of encouragement and hope.
Our best endeavors shall be, to prove ourselves worthy of the numerous favors we have revived by our fidelity to the universal cause of human good.
D.H. Jacques as Editor
To the Readers of the Voice
With the present number, our connection as publishers of this paper ceases. The ill health of the editor, with other circumstances, not necessary here to detail, render such a step advisable. We are happy, on refitting, in being able to state to our friends and the public, that THE VOICE OF INDUSTRY is in a more prosperous condition, than at any period of its existence, and that the growing interest in its behalf and the righteous cause it advocates, warrants us in the belief, that it is permanently established. We also congratulate the friends of Labor Reform on being able to announce the name of Mr. D. H. JAQUES—a man of strong devotion to human progress and elevation, and of acknowledged ability as our successor. In this change we feel quite sure our patrons will sustain no loss and we bespeak for Mr. Jaques a continuation of their aid and sympathy, believing they will be rewarded an hundred fold. To our friends— those who have generously aided us in our arduous and sacrificing labors, we return many thanks. To our enemies, or the enemies of our cause, we would entertain that degree of charity, which becomes beings liable to human frailty. With these brief remarks we take leave of our readers and the public.
—W. F. Young, M. Eastman
We publish the following late notices of the Voice, to show our readers that the time has arrived when papers of as high a character as any in the country, do not hesitate to “make honorable mention” of a humble advocate of Industrial and Social Reform, (which is what the Voice professes to be,) and to commend it to the patronage of the People. This is one of the “Signs of the Times,” and betokens Progress. A few years ago a paper like the Voice would have received few notices, not coupled with some sneering remark, in regard to the ‘unpopular' doctrines it advocates.
We thank our Brethren of the Editorial Fraternity, for their kind wishes, and words of commendation, of which we are personally the subject. We hope never, by any misconduct of ours, to forfeit their respect and good will. We will try to deserve a continuance of both.
The Voice of Industry. This spirited and faithful advocate of the rights of Labor, the organ of the “New England Labor Reform League,” published every Friday morning at Lowell, has just passed into new editoria hands. Mr. D. H. Jaques, who has been for some time past an active contributor, the author of the “Letters from Boston,” from this time forward assumes the entire editorial management of it. We heartily welcome him to the post. He is the right man to keep up the character which the “Voice” has always sustained, of advocating the cause of Labor boldly, firmly, frankly, and yet discreetly without exaggerations, without appeals to popular prejudice, with a catholic regard to the rights and interests of all parties.
Mr. Jaques is an Associationist, one whose convictions are thorough on that subject, and who labors warmly and wisely to convince others. The “Voice” has always been friendly to our movement; we may now anticipate important aid from it.
Mr. J. In his editorial “Salutory” thus states his views:
“We shall try to give you an Independent Paper, devoted without fear or favor to the cause of the People, to the amelioration of the Masses, the elevation of Labor and the final emancipation of all Classes of Society from the false and antagonistical relations, which they now sustain in almost all departments of life. In addition to this we shall try to give an interesting Miscellany of Tales, Poetry, Science, History, Biography, Anecdotes, News et cetera - in a word to make the Voice an interesting as well as useful paper.”
The Voice of Industry, Lowell, has passed into the hands of D.H. Jaques whereby it will lose nothing of its efficiency in the cause of Human Progress and the Social Elevation of the Toiling Millions. Mr. J. Not only feels deeply the evils which now bear down the great mass of the Poor, but he sees clearly the means of overcoming them and will urge their adoption in a spirit of love and charity to all. He says:
We shall try to give an Independent paper devoted without fear or favor to the cause of the People, to the amelioration of the Masses, the elevation of Labor, and the final emancipation of all Classes of Society from the false an antagonistical relations which they now sustain in almost all departments of life.”
The “Voice” is issued weekly at $1.25 per annum or five copies for $5, and we think the advocates of Labor Reform in this vicinity will serve the cause and gratify themselves by taking it.
—New York Tribune
The “Voice of Industry,” recently passed into the hands of our old friend, D.H. Jaques, who possesses the ability to make a good paper. We give him a professional welcome, and hope to enjoy the reading of his ideas upon labor reform and other kindred matters for many years to come. The “Voice” is about the size of the Messenger - is published at Lowell weekly, and deserves the support of the workingmen, whose interests it especially advocates. Address “D.H. Jaques.”
The Lowell Voice of Industry has passed into the hands of D.H. Jaques. The new editor’s salutatory remarks sound like the voice of a true man. May it never be hushed for the want of a true echo. Brother workies, let us make literature, at last, good for something. We can think and work too, and as thinking has hitherto gathered all the fruit of working, by and by; if we continue to think, we shall get the fruit of our own work. -
The Voice of Industry is now edited and published by Mr. D.H. Jaques, a gentleman of talent, who is zealously and honestly laboring to promote the interests of the working classes.
That the influence of the Voice may be such as to elevate and improve the condition of those to whose well being it is devoted, and that Mr. Jaques will receive that support which he merits, we sincerely hope.
The Voice of Industry is hereafter to be published and edited by Mr. D.H. Jaques, Mr. Young and Miss Eastman retiring from the concern. Mr. Jaques is a man of talent, who we believe is honestly striving to serve the interests of the laboring classes through, who we believe is honestly arriving to serve the interests of the laboring classes, though he does not, in our opinion, always go the right way to work the effect his object. Personally we wish him much success.