WHAT I KNOW
If the play written and staged by these Financial Cannibals can be carried out act by act, you will be confronted with a great and needless loss. You will suffer, not only the loss of your investment, but also the great profit which would accrue to you if Mr. Dickinson and I could finish this road. And I can assure you that if I could still remain at the head of the road and secure twenty to twenty-five millions to complete it, your profits soon after its completion would be equal to all the gold mined in the United States in one year. These people oppressing us know this, otherwise they would not for years have hounded and thwarted Mr. Dickinson and me as they have. Either they fear that if this road were finished it would take from existing roads great earnings, and thus enrich you; or they fear the two men who finish this road would be too powerful in western and national financial life, and this they desire to prevent.
If it is a group of men interested in transcontinental railroads who are doing this, I do not believe that J. P. Morgan or James J. Hill have anything to do with it, as I do not think either of these men would stoop to such methods. Mr. Allison told me the Standard Oil group was going to ruin me, and from the daily disclosures in the papers it cannot be difficult for anyone to believe that they are part of the group. When you think of the principles of these men, when you think that men with these principles are directors in leading banks in New York when you think that men who, in panic, destroyed a number of solvent banks, as Samuel Untermeyer says the Money Trust did, who wreck enterprises, who rob the government by false scales, by under-valuation of coffee, etc., and yet have remained on boards of great New York financial institutions, you can understand what a power for evil we have had to contend with. Had I wished to write this book two weeks ago it would have been impossible; now the nation seems to be crying for freedom from these unjust conditions. Had I written this book two week ago and told you then what I am able to tell you now (thanks to Mr. Hearst and his great papers), you never would have believed it. I could not have told you then that Mr. Archbold was a "respectable scoundrel" but now I will herewith quote from the American the substantial proof.
How often have the words of this article been voiced by me! It is what for years I have thought of these Financial Cannibals; what for years I have said; what for years my friends have cautioned me against saying! But my day has come. The law of Retributive Justice never fails. Read what the American editorial says:
And there is no doubt in my mind that the section of the Money Trust that has been dealing with me, destroying my standing and credit, are all in this class with Archbold.
What an honor to have such men for enemies! Thank God my methods are repulsive to them!
But let me assure my readers that the day of Righteousness---Rightness---is near at hand. Soon the people will rise up. They will see to what extent the nation has been corrupted with money. They will see that out of each pay envelope tribute has gone to these men the American calls "respectable scoundrels." Then watch the cleansing process! New York State and other states will have governors who will aid the government in uncovering conspiracies and the work of the Money Trust. New York banks will not be able to hold their deposits and keep "respectable scoundrels" on their boards. Clubs will renovate their membership, and honest men like Stuyvesan Fish and others who occupy important positions at the head of railroads will be able to retain their positions.
I herewith give you the scathing editorial from the American, of August 28,1912, which by its exposes will, I know, change the history of the United States:
Some day the poor offender alone will not occupy the jails. Some day debauching the nation will be a penitentiary offense. Some day crushing and ruining stockholders of great enterprises will be a penitentiary offense. Some day, in its indignation, the nation, thwarted so long by the Standard Oil and other powerful interests in getting needed legislation, will enact such great inheritance taxes that families who breed "respectable scoundrels" will have less money to hand down to the "third and fourth generations" to perpetuate these evil methods.
I long to see the day when in Wall Street "respectable scoundrels" have no power. I long to see the day when the honest men of Wall Street now doing a small business will have freedom and power, and they will not be told, as Mr. Lounsberry was when he attempted to help us, that if he did in any way help us he would be ruined.
O for the day when this word ruin will not echo and re-echo in the banks of New York and our land!
For you to confront loss, my stockholders, in your investment, is not an unheard of thing. I can give you any number of instances of losses in other railroads, railroads that have not had what we have had to contend with, railroads these Financial Cannibals did not wish to devour, railroads that have not fought three years of drought, railroads that have not had Mexican insurrections to deal with. The loss in market value of Chicago & Alton, a Harriman enterprise, in the last five years, is nine million, five hundred thousand dollars. The loss in market value of Chicago and Great Western, a Morgan road, in the last two years, is seventeen million, four hundred thousand dollars. The loss the market value of the Denver & Rio Grande, a Gould road, in five years is twenty-two million dollars. So you see others besides the Orient Railroad have suffered loss. But their losses were, in a way, from natural conditions. Your losses in the Orient Road are from unnatural causes.
But I wish to qualify what I say above concerning natural causes. They are, more or less, unnatural causes. As the radical legislation of some of the Western states regarding railroads is due more or less to the legislators of these states thus attempting to hit the investments of these "respectable scoundrels" whom they know by their corrupt methods have debauched business and increased the price of living so that they might wallow in a trough filled with gold, and while wallowing, now and then kick out some of their surplus to fall into the hands of a university, hospital, or ice fund, to draw attention for the time being from their swinish traits.
The first act in the play "How we grab others' word"---the receivership---has been acted. The years of persecution was the overture. It was a long overture, and I will admit it had many funereal strains which often got on my nerves. The second act, a committee formed without me on it to help fight the battles, is also over. The third act is to separate our faithful General Manager from the property. These people think the stage is now set for this act. With no shepherd to guard the sheep, these financial wolves can then have full sway, and the curtain will be rung down on the last act. Then, as in the Southern names only too well known will come into the directory, the road will be divided up among existing roads or finished for the profit of these Financial Cannibals, and from afar the stockholders will be allowed to watch the Belshazzar feast. But "God is a consuming fire," and I can read the handwriting on the wall. The third act may not come off as written and staged. And if this book could have the circulation it would have could I use the ordinary channels, channels now closed to me by the Money Trust, it would arouse enough righteous indignation to thwart these "respectable scoundrels," and enable us to finish the road by popular subscription.