People are too prone to look only on the surface of things. Especially is this the case when looking at the subject of the evils of the factory system as now progressing in New England. Many are ready to say, there is as much intelligence among the operatives in our manufacturing towns, as there is among any other class, as a whole; and there they stop—not even doubting but what they have over- turned one of the main pillars of Labor Reform.
Let us see! Grant there is intelligence among the spindles; how came it there? Was it acquired by bending in unnatural positions thirteen hours per day over machinery, whose clatter is sufficient to confuse the clearest head, and cause the whole intellectual machinery to run out of gear? No, far from this! They gathered their intellectual treasures among the green hills and fertile vales, of their own loved mountain homes, where the pure air of heaven, gave life and animation to the whole being—where earth's variegated beauties and harmonies, all combined to fill the soul with rapture and peace!
But this is merely talk—it does not enter deep into the soulless, heartless System, of which we are speaking.
The great question is, can a factory population, such as will ere long grow up here in America, like Jonah's gourd, become an educated, intelligent people, a people worthy that country which stands pre-eminent among all the Nations of the earth?
That is the question to be solved, more anon.
Voice of Industry, September 25, 1846