The news-herald. (Plattsmouth, Neb.) 1909-1911, September 16, 1909, Image 3
v TIME TiiAr Doo OTI I I I 1 f 1 II VI 1 VU'N Vti pur D N-r.RiT , i s .,1 I -gy" DANIEL Editor's Note. Daniel J. Sully, the author of this article depict ing the possibilities of cotton, the pitiful vassalage of the planter and the destiny awaiting the United States and the cotton grower, when we take advantage of our opportunity, has had a remarkable career In the record and romance cf cotton. It was his unparalleled market campaign that caused cotton to rise to 17 cents a pound in 1903, the highest point reached since the civil war. During this actual reign of" cotton, when Sully was its premier, $450,000,030 in gold was brought to this country and formed the substructure of the enormous bull market which culminated in the spring of 1907. Then the south and the whole nation realized for the first time that the success of cotton and the advancement of civilization go hand in hand. MER1CAX cotton-piam- ..Hn..j,tML fit' Ihn I greatest gold-producing I staple In the world, are I rmnr Thnv :ire In prac tical servitude. It Is a tragedy of contemporary life that they who pro duce for the world the commodity without which modern civiliza tion and industrial life could not proceed are themselves absolutely subservient aud the noorest nald toilers in he United States. Intellectually the :otton-growers are surrounded and toereed by factors which have no other urpose than to keep them In this be lighted vassalage. From this condition nfluences of a new American spirit oust liberate them. We smile at the Celestial shivering in :he midst of coal-fields larger than tho itate of Pennsylvania. America's attl .ii de toward cotton is almost equally rrotesque. On the southern rim of the United States, within an area of prac ically 14 states, is grown SO per cent. f the world's supply of cotton. The re naining 20 per cent., grown in South America, India, and the far east, Is of an nferior quality and cannot compete with the cotton grown In the United States. Notwithstanding this enormous idvantage, the fact still remains that :hls heaven-sent boon, paradoxical .hough it may seem, does not enrich, But rather Impoverishes, tho southland. This is a tale of commercial inepti tude. Our greatest asset is our greatest Humiliation. Cotton is king, but it is a badly served monarch. Other nations, by farEighted policy, intense activity, and commercial alertness, have over come the tremendous advantage we have, and by beating down the price of the raw product, and with cheap labor on looms and machinery for the manufacture of the fin ished product, now control the markets of the world. In the Orient, where we once had our share of trade, the market, to say the least, is slipping from us. It seems almost a travesty on American business methods that Kngllsb and German manufacturers tun go on tho docks at Galveston and take our raw cotton, carry it to Kurope la subsidized ships, weave it with cheap labor, retransport it to the Uni ted States, pay the customs duty, and under sell our home manufacturers. There is some thing wrong here, isn't there? Cotton Is tho clothing of the uncounted mul titudes, and even those born to tho purple de pend upon cotton for much of their apparel ing. King Cotton's dominion is mankind. America, therefore, producing, practically alone, a commodity vital to civilized life and progress, has in that harvest the secret of incomparable wealth and power. It Is not steel or lumber, kerosene or corn, that Insures enduring leadership for the United States. Vast capital and dynamic genius have gono into tho development of steel, yet this is transitory. The scepter of steel must ultimately slip from our grasp. Tho iron-ore beds of the Lake Su perior region are doomed. Experts have num bered their years as less than a generation. Lumber cannot furnish a permanent founda tion for our industrial pre-eminence. Tho for ests are fast vanishing. Oil has contributed one of tho leading items to our export trade, and has multiplied incredibly the fortunes of its managers; but the oil-wells cannot disgorge their illumlnant forever. Uesides the Ilaku fields ore ready to compete. Our corn and wheat before the end of many decades will be consumed at home. Argentina, central Eu rope and Manchuria produce these cereals in prodigal abundance. Even if our corn and wheat were tho world'B sole sufficient supply, ns In the case of our cotton, tho oversea na tions could dispense with theso staples, as some of them now do. Millions upon millions of Mongolians have not yet developed an ap petite for anything save rice. Hut all of them nre clad in cotton goods. An additional inch on the shirts worn by tho Mongolians would mean one million bales of cotton, and this is the market that is slipping from us. Makes America Supreme - Nations. Thus it is cotton, and cotton alone, that can make America permanently unique and su premo among tho nations. This fact makes grotesquo the record of our unsuccess in Bell ing finished cotton products across the sea. The only foreign customer that counted nt all importantly in the totals of our export trade was China, and our market there has pitiably declined. England, Germany, and Japan aro forcing our ships from the I'aclilc, Just as they crowded them off the paths of tho Atlantic. We should be carrying cargoes of cotton goods to all the ports of the earth. Instead of that the nations Bend here for 80 per cent, of their raw supply, manufacture It into all forms of commodities, outsell us in all the world's mar kets, and even successfully ship the manufac- 'gr cotton; when you dio Pses: es&rrr& Throughout life cotton ft'-' '? -w. """" "i- ! -.ii n p, , jj, must constantly 4JL f- with man. It Is bis IfeM . mj. iwi, fl W-i' ftV'l day and keeps hlni 'Hito comfortable at night. &f: Cotton is spread upon ot Cotton 1. " - - - " tured goods back to tho Americans who produce tho raw supply. Switzerland, for example, which grows no cotton, whoso mountains yield no coal for its fac tories, a country that has not an inch of seacoast or a plank afloat, sends to us, In the ships of other nations, more finished cotton goods than we export to all the countries of continental Eu rope combined. America's future, when she realizes her heritage and opportunity In cotton, will eclipse anything that has beeu foretold for this republic. It is only within tho last hundred years that cotton has conquered the world. The career of this plant has scarcely begun. The remarkable pace in its progress to power is re vealed by the quulnt fact that in -17S4 eight bags or American cotton were seized by tho customs au thorities at Liverpool, the sage British verdict being that tho importation was fraudulent, as so much cot (on could not possi bly be produced in one year in America! In Napoleon's campaigns thousnnds of the wound ed could have been saved had there been an adequate supply of cotton for bandages. llefore Ell Whitney's time It took a man in his home two years to separato ono bale of cotton from the seed. The yield of cotton thus handicapped on its way to the wearer was un important. There hnd been cotton from re mote antiquity. The mummies of Peru were wrapped In it. The ancient Hindus wove it, and by. some forgotten urt the weaving was 5,000 times liner than is to b found in any of the fabrlcB of modern times. Cotton was a sacred thread among the llrahmans, and the theft of it a serious crime. In the gardens of Chineso temples at the present day a special variety of cotton plant Is found which is no where else grown. From its yield tho vest ments of the Confucian priests aro made. fifcat llrltnln has mado nn organized and scientific effort to raise a supply that would make her independent of America, for the statesmen of that empire foreseo the possibili ties of Iho day when America, rising to a recognition of her right, will manufacture her own cotton and sell It to tho world. Hut Great Hritain, with her grip upon all available areas, after many years of unsuccessful effort, ha had to and must come continually to America for her supply. The Standard Oil Company baa mado it pos sible to iliumlno millions of homes that other wise would bo in darkness, but this has been mado practicable only through the cotton wick. When you are born they wrap you la COTTOA-S3JLJL. upholstering of bis chairs. If he takes a ride on the Flying Limited it Is cotton waste in the wheel-boxes, through which lubricating oil is' fed to the runnlnggear, that insures av continu ous trip. This is an elec trical age, but without cotton Insulation on the wires the might of elec tricity would be a menace. In mind, that cotton ioih, tho cloth of the civilized mashes, wiliiout which they would become barbari ans, is the product of a plant. Cloth grown from the Mill! If by some botanical in croiuancy we could grow Mulshed garments in the lliils. ami it' these garments could be produced in like quantities in no other part of the earth, every man would instantly realize that America possessed n monopoly which would make all other na tions our petitioners. Yet we have that monopoly us assured as It would be if we harvested clothing ready to wear, for if we ourselves produced tho garments that we by our toil in the south enable Europe and Japan to manu fucluro, we would possess almost nn exclusive supply of the cloth and clothing already need ed by at least one-half of the human race. Men cannot, if they would, again depend fo( their clothing upon the skins of wild animals. These beasts have practically vanished. Nor Is there enough wilderness on the globe to furnish a range for the rearing of sullkient animals to provide garments of skins for man kind. The world of men and wom en Is clothed to-day us never be fore. It Is only within the last cen tury, with cotton within tho reach of the multitude, that the majority have been adequately clothed. Tho heroes of the revolution were half clad and thtit half was rags. And It Is ono of the Interesting ironies of history that during that period, when the problem of clothes was supreme, both in America and abroad, Richard Arkwrlght, who invented the spinning frame, and James llargreaves, who invented the spinning-Jenny, crentlons which were to chango tho history of tho race, had their machines destroyed by the enraged and half clad popu lace, who feared the competition of these labor-saving devices. Wo smile nt the short-lighted fol ly of that day, and yet the prog ress In the use and manufacture of cotton will bo as tremendous In the coming years as in the past. There is an actual kingship for cotton. not only commercially but political ly; and this sovereignty of cotton in America 1 believe to bo at hand. We shall awake to our new destiny as a world power and trading nation when we re alize fully that the southern section of our republic is virtually the exclusive source of a commodity absolutely indispensable to the myriads of mankind from New York to Shang hai, from Nome to Montevideo, from Iondon to the Cape. Less than one nnd a quarter rail lion Americans, in 14 states of this union, hold In their hands the comfort, tho luxury, the des tiny of mankind. An enormous profit is made somewhere In y 1 Ui 1'.' lJK,f'- m . I Cot rr kj , . 1 ifCi THE. MVATOAU O- THE, Cot TO v GrS Among Cotton has within Itself, under the guiding hand of the country which produces It, the power to bring about ultimate world peuce. The United States, by prohibiting tho exporta tion of raw cotton cargoes to Knglaiu, Ger many, France, Italy and Switzerland, could In flict hopeless industrial paralysis nnd financial panic upon those lat ds. Tho balance of power is in our hands to a most remarkable degree, but we treat it with indifference. Ono word from America that it would with hold supplies of cotton would bring all Eu rope to terms of comity. In the meantime, and until we reach tho re alization of tho potency of cotton, if nations coutlnue to waste their substance (and their purchasing power), In war, cotton will con tinue to be found indispensable in conflict. It is guncotton that hurls destruction through tho ranks, and it Is co ton that binds up tho wounds of the fallen. The Japanese In their recent war, through an unrlvuled system of surgery nnd hospiul service, reduced the death-rate of the wounded to an unprecedent ed minimum. Without cotton that would have been impossible. And It Is in cotton khaki that tho armies march. And they make their bivouacs under cot 'on tents. Cotton is indeed lirst in war, as it is tlrst In peace! Now we are entering a new age, the age of aerial flight, ond the neroplnne is a cotton chariot! On thesr wings of cotton we have be gun to fly through the heavens at :iu and 40 miles an hour, nnd the end Is not yet. It is easy to forget, or at least to fall to keep the progress of cotton to the consumer. Every year cotton goods to the value or nearly six billion dollars nre turned out from the 12.',00U, 000 spindles in the world, ltut the poor farm er In the cotton-fields sees but a pitiful part of the multiplying fortunes attending tho mi gration of cotton goods around the earth. Tho southerner sells raw cotton to Japan, and tho mills at Osaka turn out products that outsell our goods in Shanghai nnd Canton; and the Japanese cotton-manufacturer, traveling in state to America, may wonder wherein the half-fed southern farmer a vassal tenant fol lowing his one mule in tho furrow, has ad vanced in civilization over tho only recently awakened pagan of the east. The ordinary grower of cotton cultivates 20 acres, producing one-half a bale to the acre. Unfortunately, In too great a majority of cases he Is a tenant fanner. Of his ten bales, the result of his year's toll, five must go to tho owner of the land. The working farmer, for his product, gets, we will say, ten cents a pound or $!j0 a bale, his 12 months of effort and expense bringing him In a gross revenuo of $2.r.0. This is an insignlilcant tutu for the man who among others produces tho commod ity thnt controls the world. Out of that $:'j0 he must provide for his fam ily, himself and bis mule, and make provision for tho ensuing times of planting and cultivat ing. Fully GO per cent, of America's cotton is produced by this struggling method. Up to 190, when tho grout movement In cotton prices blessed the southern Industry with tho transforming gleam of prosperity, 90 per cent, of our cotton crop was harvested in this same hopeless way. lip '" If I pi Tt.it .li'tf hln, it wl1 Snipers no Ami wiwyler: Imit-tikH tlooiii.li tfi" il:i', YctiM tuive to ft'! tlio liriit,, tn know Tli" f iiI evirrsiit(in on IIS f.l'f. It :iim IhmI.'.i- hh, little i L.i.r : l ' I tl limii"' Its tllll ii u:a i i t t ttii llimr ll'it I;" i ii"ViT nittluK th-r-; lilt ilou r.in't 11-nl him ;i:iy rner Tlie ilei; peers through tl't; window ptino Anil li.oks In short, rxr'trll CIlIK Or tmiM u trait that liml.H in vain rpstiilrN .'fid tlnwn- Hlalrs through tho li.illn, Ami out of liner unit to tho rlroct Ami there the ilK will Htop mill h tit ml And li-iten for the It'tlo f.N-t Or w'.lmpT for tho h't!'.' hnnil. Tl.e iloi; rn i (is to the little l),'.l Tlnil nil litirnmpli'il Is lo-il.iy And iini' s at the ll')W-rr,-il HlirriHl, Thin whiinpers ii turns away; It funis Hoini' hill ' t.iit ri d toy And lirlnnH It In Its innilth with (fire And wiihh Us t:ill In ti''w-foiinil Jny And looks nil iU"t lontna ill me. It rests its hc.id upon Its puws ' And thliikH. uml t'.iinks-iind does not heed J The hone on which It never Kiaws Then rhien with ce.ltiil Feel And rin'is to oonie piny ciMit; then '(irni'S Inn It nnd whines und whimpers -es. , And doi-s th minin Dilnijs onen utfiln As thoiiKti u dog could feel dlstrenn! ' Thnt ring o' lits-lt ejirno to me Aliout a bulf ho'ir iko And put one front puw on ench kneo And looked Alt ttinnKh I might to know. As thoimh I-Ah, how siid It la! We two Who loved the. hid no well I'm dumb ns Is thnt dot; of his It r.innot link; 1 ejinnot tf II. mm 1 Old Man Giddles A man will al ways contrive In some way to let you know that be has on a new suit. Tho bigger the salary the louder the call of duty to the politician. Ell TImm'B daughter thinks sbo has a great voice, and his son believes he is cut out for a diplomat. Ell says it would cost him just as much to raise them, anyway. The successful man is the one who doesn't let others learn of his mistakes. Long hair doesn't make a football player; it's tho sand to take the bumps. What will they do in tho next world to the man who figures out how to make this? imitation pumpkin pies in The Dull Man. "I can't Imagine what is wrong with our gas supply," says tho beautiful young thing when George hns been! seated in the parlor. "Wo don't seem' able to get more than ono-fourthr enough for light." Sure enough, the gas Is burning dim ly so dimly, indeed, tbut Georgo can. barely seo her where ehe sits across; tho room. Recognizing an opportunity to dem onstrate his ability to tojH with any set of circumstances, Georgo volun teers to find tho trnublu. He goes to the basement, and after lnRoctlng the gas meter returns und says: "Oddest thing I ever saw. Tbo cap controlling the gas supply was almost entirely shut off." The -gas Is now blading merrily, but the fair young thing twists a hand kerchief about her bruised hand anil soon feigns a headache of sufficient strength to make George cut short his call. The Toiling- Author. "No doubt," wo say to the author of the best seller, "you have to work over and over your stories." "Yes," he responds, wearily. "After tho publishers havo accepted them I have to re write them to make them lit the illustrations."