Serial: Overland monthly and Out West magazine.
Title: The Knights of Labor on the Chinese Situation [Volume 7, Issue 39, Mar 1886; pp. 225-230]
Author: Stone, W. W.
Collection: Making of America Journal Articles
Article URL: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/moajrnl/ahj1472.2-07.039/231
THE OVERLAND MONTH LY. DEVOTED TO TILE DE VEL OPMENT OF THE CO UNTRY. VOL. VII. (SECOND SERIES.)-MARCH, i886.-No. 39. THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR ON THE CHINESE LABOR SITUATION. A SHORT time ago the writer of this, acting as a delegate from a Local Assembly of the Knights of Labor, had occasion to offer, in the District or Representative Assembly, a resolution. This resolution recited the evils consequent on the employment of Chinese labor, and suggested remedial measures. In the debate that followed, a gentleman lately from the East rather demurred to the spirit of the resolutions, urging that the Knights of Labor were a humanitarian organization. The resolutions were adopted almost unanimously, but the fact of an objection having been offered in the District Assembly, on the grounds stated, suggests a public statement of the stand taken by our Society. The fundamental principle on which our organization is based is, that the Almighty made air, earth, fire, and water for the use of man. Those who use these agencies incur an obligation which is best met by a due regard for the rights of others. We believe it to be reasonable ground to take, that, having a common interest in these great natural agencies, no one man has a right to ask or expect a fellow-being to work for the mere purpose of continuing existence. Under our system of popular government, the man and citizen has a right to expect that he will be protected from the greed of the avaricious in the hunt for subsistence for his wife and family. It does not, therefore, seem absurd to hold that the working classes have a right to expect that those in authority shall devise means by which labor shall be fostered and protected. From one thing, especially, should the laborer be shielded, and that is from the operation of the competitive system. Under the working of this industrial curse, the muscle of the human being is put up at a kind of an auction, in much the same way that the old slave was knocked off the block. The Knights of Labor Society, as a National Order, cries out against this system, and urges organization to curb its exactions. We claim the right to a living compensation for labor done. With Caucasians only to confront on this point, we enjoy a reasonably sure prospect of eventually gaining a triumph; but with a horde of people in our midst whose education from the cradle unfits them to mingle with us as equals in industrial marts, the outcome is not so encouraging. The Chinese in our midst are the natural product of VOL. VII. —15. (Copyright, I886, by OVERLAND MONTHLY CO. All Rights Reserved.)