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About The Alliance-independent. (Lincoln, Nebraska) 1892-1894 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 1, 1892)
THE ALLIANCE - INDEPENDENT
th: farmer and the mortgage.
The followirg letter was received not
long since by tue editor of The Rural New
Yorker, a leading and conservative agri
"There is near here a young farmer who has
been trying to pay interest on a $0K) mortgage
and accumulate enough to pay the principal.
The interest rate was 11 per cent payable semi
annually. The debt was incurred to pay for the
land a quarter section and to buy a team,
plows, etc. It was for Ave years. The time ex
pires this spring. The years 1S89 and 1891 were
the only good crop years of the five. This man
now owes sidO interest, some taxes ana all or the
principal. He has not personal property
jphough to pay the debt; neither would the land
fclone, if sold at a forced sale, bring the amount
due. During the boom when the debt was in
curred, the land, then raw prairie, was ap
praised at $1,600. There are now 50 acres in
cultivation. It being impossible to pay the
debt and have anyting left to start anew with,
the farmer has made the holder of his mortgage
this proposition : To give a deed to his creditor
for the land, and to p.ut 125 seres in cultivation;
, he, the farmer, to have three years' rent or
use of the land, and to have the privilege of
purchasing the land at the end of that time for
$1,200. The average rent here is one-fourth of
the crop, in the bin.
"The owner of the mortgage, through his
agent, refused this proposition, and will probab
ly foreclose the mortgage, get the land and a
uugnient ior me aenctency. iiere is wmi i
wl h to know: Was the farmer's offer unusual.
ufiiair or unuusiness-ntev noma it not be
better for the creditor to accept such a proposi
tion? Le could not lose anytning. What doas
The Rurnl think of it?" W. V.Jackson.
"Comanche County, Kan."
This lftttpr. with thp follnwlrso' nnps.
(tions, was submitted to officers of farm
ers' organizations, politicians and others:
1. Was the proposition made by this farmer
a fair one?
2. Should not such a farmer have the legal
opportunity of settling his debt in some such
manner so as not to lose his farm? In other
. words, would it not be wise to empower our
courts to judge the fairness of Buch a proposi
tion, and to compel the holder of a mortgage to
accept a manifestly just offer?
3. Kindly favor us with any opinion as to the
best way to relieve mortgaged farmers.
Commenting upon the way these ques
tions were received, the editor said:
mortgage were iferred to the leaders of the
Grange. Alliance, Farmers' League, and to
prominent Republican and Democratic states
men who profess to ignore the demands of the
various farmers' organizations. It was also
sent to officers of some of the Kansas mortgage
campanies. The Republicans, Democrats and
mortgage people have not seen fit to prepare a
statement which they are willing t-hould be
printed. The discussion is therefore limited to
the views of Grange, Alliance rnd League offi
cials. , The number of men who are
rtis-j.lt ifirt 1 with the issue hetween thA twn nlii
parties is log on. Why cannot one of the old
parlies be brave and strong enough to face man
tully the real Issues of the day? If they will not
, one of them will be ripped in two and made
over to suit the people's needs."
The letter and the questions were sub
mitted to the Lecturer of the National
Grange and, a3 briefly as possible, he
gave the views so generally held and
advocated by members of the Grange
upon this subject, as follows:
Question 1. ''Was the proposition made by
this farmer a fair ot;e?"
"Without hesitation, yes; and a few
holders of such a mortgage would pro
bably accept such an offer, but as a rule,
'Shjlock' demands the pound of flesh, as
nnminoto! in tlio 1irrrl ' oml Vint ia fia
wUy some rich people get richer, and
tase irom tneir neighbors the usury
forbidden in the bible."
Question 2. "Should not such a farmer have
the legal opportunity of settling his debt in
t some such manner so as not to lose his farm? In
ther words. would"it not be wise to emnower
. position and to compel the holder of a mortgage
to accept a manifestly just offer?"
XVKcllll, ICS, ilUU US UCDICCll 111 U II iUlU
man, in accordance with the golden rule,
and as an act of justice and humanity, it
should be done: but. alas! many of us
have to admit the sad fact that is growing
more and more apparent, that 'the law
grinds the poor, and rich men rule the
JLfk! If we should attempt to get any
such equitable law as that here pro
posed passed in any one State, at once
r capital would defeat it by threatening
to withdraw all its investments In that
1 A 1 i A J
Diaie. J ear agu just wmier in nve
different State Legislatures (New York
State was one), the farmers, as one
means orreuei irom me depressed prices
and high rates of interest, tried to get
the legal rates of interest redueed, and
in every instance were defeated by the
above threat. If such a law as TheR.
N.-Y proposes could be made national,
.allying to all States at one time, then
the above threat would not avail, and
the people, not capital, would rule. The
Government now does what is proposed
in the case of sales for delinquent taxes.
by giving a certain time for the former
yfwner to redeem hit property sold for
mem. oume omtea nave, iu Limes vi
great depression, passed 'stay laws,'
preventiug the hardships of forced sales,
and giving the debtor a chance with
better crops, better prices, and better
times, to save his home.
Question 3. 4 'Kindly favor us with any opin
ion as to the best way to reUeve mortgaged
"The results of study and observation
for leng years (21 in close contact with
farmers in every State in the Union, in
good times and bad), have brought me to
believe (as briefly as I can state them),
that the following provisions would be
of great advantage" :
1. "A circulating medium of at least
$50 per capita, accessible to the people
upon good security (real estate of ene
fourth of its value included), without
too many middlemen in the way oi
banks with high interest charges."
2. "A national usury law fixing the
maximum rate of interest in all the
States and Territories of the United
States at not over three per cent per
"The increased amount of money per
capita would raise the price of all pro
ducts, farms, labor, etc., and give the
farmer the means (received from the
sale of his crops) to pay off his mort
gage." "Statistics show us that for a long
scries of years capital and labor both to
gether in all the industries manufactur
ing, farming, mining, etc. only earn an
average of about three per cent per
annum, and yet capital without labor earns
on the average six per cent, and on that
mortgaged Kansas farm it earns 11 per
centum per annum. The result is that
the whole country, the United States
Government, the States, counties, cities,
towns, railroads, farms, are bonded to
pay to capital an average interest of six
per cent, while all the industries with
their own capital and labor only earn
three per cent."
"This difference between the three per
cent earned by capital and labor in the
productive industries,, and the six per
cent earned by capital without labor, will,
in time, absorb the entire industries and
wealth of the country, and it is doing it
very rapidly now as proven by plenty of
good, reliable statistics.
"These are vital questions, the great
heart questions now being considered by
our people, and millions of homes depend
upon the final issue. If the American
farmer's home goes down (and the cen
sus shows a rapid increase of tenant
farmers), then the basis of our Republic is
Solid Shots from Heavy Guns.
"Ancient India left specimens of art
and records of developement in science
not reached by people of to-day, so it
was with Greece and Rome, great centers
of civilization and of progress yet the
historian wrote their downfall. And
what was the cause? You can read it
in the history of their finances. Untold
wealth in possession of a few and they
became oppressors and seekers after
power, until they robbed the masses of
their homes, their ambition and their
love of liberty, and they became the
vassals of the rich." Ex-Qov. Luce, of
"The South is the agricultural garden
spot of the world. Nature invites. Na
ture gives her richest rewards for the
smallest labor expended. When agri
culture fails in such a home there is
something radically wrong with the fun
damental constitution of society itself.
"Let our wise men see to it. The fail
ure of agriculture under such con
ditions is the beginning of judgment day
for your present social system. The
city cannot live when the country fails
to give supply. Let our politicians see
to it. The country is ripe for a political
revolution. The people are restless, dis
contented in many cases despairing.
And they have good cause for discontent
and despair. These are the parents of
politicaland social convulsions. The
traditional party that denies these issues
or avoids them is doomed to certain and
speedy death. It is a problem for every
Christian to take to heart." Rev. Thoma
Couldn't Be More Natural.
Dobbins Didn't you say that
Sneaker was lynched?
"And yet you have just written his
wife that he died a natural death."
Why not? I tell you, my friend,
you don't know those Texans. There's
nothing comes more natural to them
than to lynch a horse thief." Yonk
J. XT. CASTOR. Pres. W. B. LIN'CH, Secy.
J. P. ROUSE, Vice-Pres. f . f . 077, ST A TE AGENT. A. G REEXAM VRE, Trow.
FARMERS HUTUAL INSURANCE CO.
IN6URES ONLY FARM PROPERTY
r feFIKB, LIGHTNING Oil TOHNADO,-57
Don't renew your insurance with the old line companies and pay three times what It la worth
when you can write with the Farmers Mutual and get Letter Insurance at cost.
rsrwrite for Circular.
lloom 407 Brace Building.
THE GREAT ACTUAL BUSINESS
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C. W. MOSHER,
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Banks, Bankers and Merchants.
CORNER THIRTEENTH AND M STREETS, LINCOLN, NEB.
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