Philadelphia: George W. Mentz & Son, 1835. First edition. Original printed blue wrappers, 8.38 x 5.25 inches, 20 pages. Some light chipping from the edges of the wrappers; small closed tear to one leaf (no loss); a trifle soiled; a very good copy. Item #19851
“The same tendency [to riot] is seen in what are technically termed STRIKES, when combinations are formed by men who refuse to labour, and a parade of physical force is made to intimidate their fellow workmen and their employers, that the price of labour may be enhanced. These measures can rarely be carried out without violence, either against dissenting workmen, or those who employ them, as we see in the frequent fights, and incendiarisms, which accompany them. It is also vain to attempt any lasting alteration by such means. It is a senseless opposition to the unchangeable and resistless laws of profit and loss.” Delivered in the wake of the Philadelphia General Strike of 1835, a conservative Fourth of July oration from the Reform clergyman (and angling enthusiast), who here defends property and temperance and religious liberty (within certain levels of conformity); Bethune’s extensive analysis of capital and labor suggests the tensions that led up to the unrest: “For, if to be rich is expose a man to the oppression of the laboring classes, (who constitute the governing majority) the motives to become rich are taken away, the sinews of enterprise are cut, and the rewards of the labourer must cease, while capital will be exported to some safer place of use and deposit.”.