Lewis Masquerier in “Working Man’s Advocate” and “Young America” (1844-1848)



  • Lewis Masquerier, “Declaration of Independence, of the Producing from the Non-Producing Class,” Working Man’s Advocate 1 no. 27 (September 28, 1844): 4.
  • L. Masquerier, “To Reformers, Tenants, Anti-Renters, Squatters, And Slaves,” Young America 2 no. 16, New Series (July 12, 1845): 1.
  • L. Masquerier, “Monopoly Of Land The Great Evil,” Young America 2 no. 17, New Series (July 19, 1845): 2.
  • L. Masquerier, “Eras of Civilization,” Young America 2 no. 24, New Series (September 6, 1845): 1.
  • L. L. Masquerier, “Hired Labor Maintains All Society,” Young America 2 no. 27, New Series (September 27, 1845) 1.
  • L. Masquerier, “Domain—Earthsurpation. Improvements—Landlordry,” Young America 2 no. 36, New Series (November 29, 1845): 1–2.
  • L. Masquerier, “Working Men!,” Young America 2 no. 47, New Series (February 14, 1846): 4.
  • L. Masquerier, “Monopoly,” Young America 2 no. 50, New Series (March 7, 1846): 2.
  • L. Lewis Masquerier, “Massive Memorial to Free the Public Lands,” Young America 3 no. 17, New Series (July 18, 1846): 2.
  • L. Masquerier, “Progress of Reform and Reformers,” Young America 3 no. 24, New Series (September 5, 1846): 1.
  • L. Masquerier, “The Thorough Principles of Political Science, or, Rights and Wrongs, Specified, Analysed, Classified, and Contrasted,” Young America 3 no. 44, New Series (January 23, 1847): 1.
  • “Proceedings of the Williamsburg National Reform Association,” Young America 4 no. 16, New Series (July 10, 1847): 3.
  • Lewis Masquerier, “The Workingman’s Political Economy,” [review] Young America 4 no. 36, New Series (November 27, 1847): 2.
  • Lewis Masquerier, “Inalienable Homestead—Most Essential in the Restoration of Every Right,” Young America 4 no. 39, New Series (December 18, 1847): 1.
  • Lewis Masquerier, “Inalienable Homestead—Most Essential in the Restoration of Every Right,” Young America 4 no. 41, New Series (January 1, 1848): 4.
  • Lewis Masquerier, “Inalienable Homestead—Most Essential in the Restoration of Every Right,” Young America 4 no. 43, New Series (January 15, 1848): 4.
  • Lewis Masquerier, “’The Workingman’s Political Economy’ and ‘Equitable Commerce’,” [reviews] Young America 5 no. 8, New Series (May 13, 1848): 1.


Of the producing from the non-producing class.


When, in the course of human events, the producers of property have been reduced to the lowest state of degradation and misery by the almost universal usurpation of all property and power by a non-producing, tyrannical, and aristocratic class, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to cease ultimately being tenants to land usurping and non-producing lords; in being journeymen to masters, shoppers, and manufacturers, to produce fabrics to which they are mostly entitled themselves, and in being electors to elevate officers of parties and cliques instead of those of their own classes.

We hold these truths to be self evident: That as the natural wants and powers of production of all men are nearly equal, all should be producers as well as consumers. That, as nothing but labor bestowed upon the natural elements and products of the earth can produce property, nothing else can give title to it; and hence every man is equally entitled, with the same exertion, to an equal share of the soil, water, air and light. That, to perpetuate an equality of property, life, liberty, knowledge and happiness, each man’s power of accumulating should be limited to his own manual and mental labor, and exchanged for that of another according to the time of production and value of material.

It is also self evident, that all the sovereign power of government resides in the whole people; that they cannot be bound by a law which has not received their consent: that they can at all times alter or abolish any law, government or alliance which has become oppressive, and substitute others; that the representative system of government does not seem to carry forward that extent of intelligence and reform which exist among the people; and that to effect this purpose, whoever can produce an undoubted credential that he has invented or discovered something, should become a member of an Areopagus, who should propose and digest all laws deemed necessary, and discussed, adopted, or rejected by a direct vote of the people in townships, or that size of district which will contain the proportionate number of agriculturalists and mechanics needful to produce an assortment of the necessaries of life.

But when a long train of legislation upon erroneous principles, has no other effect than to increase that irregularity of property which is principally produced by the monopoly of the earth; it is the right, it is the duty, of the producing class to arouse themselves in the majesty and indignation of their sense of justice, and reclaim the rights to which the God of Nature entitles them.

The history of the aristocratic class, is nothing but a continued series of usurpations of the produce of the laborers through all ages, all having the direct tendency of reducing them to the utmost degradation, want, and misery. To prove this let facts be submitted to a candid world.

The non-producers have in all ages usurped nearly all the property of the earth, and by military and manor services, feuds, rents, tythes, deodands, interest, dividends, profit, and personal slavery, compelled the producers to support them in idleness and extravagance.

The non-producers in the savage and first stage of society, in the character of chiefs, compelled their adherents to engage in cruel warfare to plunder the camps and hunting grounds of other tribes.

They then, in the next stage of society, compelled the laborer in the character of shepherd to herd their flocks.

They then, in the beginning of the next stage of civilization, reduced their dependents to the class of villeins, compelled them to cultivate the earth which they had monopolized, and to build their castles for a bare subsistence, and sold them along with the soil.

They then, as the manufacturing stage of civilization came on, made them, through the power of money, build towns, which have reduced them to a more extensive system of tenantry; and destroyed their healths, lives, and means of intelligence with too great a number of hours of labor, within the dusty wall of the factory, the suffocating smoke of the furnace, and the damp air of the coal pit.

Thus have they, in the character of land-lords and usurers, reduced the great body of the people in subsequent ages to a state of abject tenantry and vassalage. They have collected the most exorbitant rents, and lived in idle splendor while the tenant has seldom been able to raise himself from his hovel.

They have, in the form of government, levied another tax, and that upon consumption too, for the support of sinecures, that have only rivetted the fetters more strongly upon their necks.

They have, in the shape of priests, levied another enormous tax upon the industry of the producers, without giving adequate instruction of the duty of mankind to each other.

This non-producing aristocracy are still monopolizing more of the property of the country, making the difference greater between the immensely rich and the miserably poor.

They have not only monopolized the earth, but they have created estates out of annuities and stocks, thus further taxing the people with the interest upon them.

They have also monopolized the profit of labor saving machinery, which not only takes a competence from the laborer, but throws him out of employment.

Their thirst for speculation is such, that they are continually forming themselves into banking association, and becoming legalized to create millions of paper money merely with the labor of printing and signing strips of paper; and whenever a revolution of trade takes place by their expansion of the currency, they refuse to redeem them; and instead of giving relief are the first to cry out for relief.

These aristocrats, having more leisure to acquire information than the honest producer, have more power to form public opinion and control legislation in their favor.

They have erected themselves into what they consider a higher class, and treat with contempt and insolence the very class upon whom they depend for their existence as well as subsistence.

They have at length, in some countries, reduced the producers to a point beyond which they can no further go—to a state of miserable starvation, and to the infamy of the almshouse; where they are still made to labor for the coarsest food and clothing, so as to allow a revenue for government; and even their bodies add at death to the anatomist for dissection.

In every stage of these oppressions, we, the producers, have endeavored to show them the evils to which they were reducing us. But our entreaties have always been considered as an attempt to array the poor against the rich; when in truth it is the rich who are always oppressing the poor.

We have ever been warning them against their repeated one-sided legislation, by constantly granting themselves privileges that are making themselves “rich and the poor poorer.” We have continually reminded them that it is the lower classes, as they call us, who are the real honey producers of the hive of society. Yet, unlike those working bees, we have never destroyed those idle drones, though they have been deaf to the voice of justice and of common fellowship. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity which impels us to act in self defence, by establishing that system of economy in society whereby all can be placed in equal circumstances to acquire the goods of life, and hold them in the present bad economy of society, as our enemies, but in sharing in an equal portion of land and labor, friends.

We, therefore, producers and would-be producers, of the City of New York, appealing to the eternal principles of equality and justice established by Nature’s God, for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and in behalf of the pauperized producers throughout the earth, solemnly publish and declare, that the producing class shall no longer support, by the “sweat of their brow,” a haughty, unfeeling, and monopolizing class of non-producers. We further declare, that they should take measures to make all producers as well as consumers; that all division of society into high, middle, and lower classes cease; and that the most republican party should assume the name of producer and call the aristocratic non-producer. And for the support of this list of facts and Declaration of our Principles and Independence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

For Young America.


Mr. Geo. H. Evans:—I rejoice to see your plan for a New Constitution for New York State. So far from forsaking, I consider it as strengthening the grounds of our Agrarian League for making the Public Lands free to actual settlers. The freedom of the public lands, which already, according to existing law, belong to the whole people of the United States, do not show the depth of our principles, which declare, that the Monopoly of Land by Land-Lords all over the earth, is a usurpation of the inherent and inalienable right of every man to a portion of the domain.

By applying your remedy here in the heart of the evil, you excite a double action. You alarm the oppressor at the same time you rouse the torpid sensibility of the distressed. Was not the rapid progress of the working men’s movement in 1829 partly caused by applying the remedy to the institutions with which they were surrounded? If then the working man became roused upon a plan which proved to be inefficient, how much more should he be moved by the the righteous one you now propose?

I do hope the friends will rally around the standard you have raised, armed with sharp-pointed reasons, and not lag behind in doubts and fears. Let them not forget that experience has proved, that what we often imagine to be prudence, in avoiding the extremes of doctrine, is too often a want of wisdom, prescience, and radicalism. A true reformer always goes the whole length his mind can carry him. All those, therefore, who cannot embrace a new movement must be under suspicion of having their minds drawn to a too powerful focus upon their own peculiar department of reform. Men do not seem to be sufficiently aware that the species of things may be traced to a genus or family, and thus drawn to a focus that can embrace them all.

Let the philosophic reformer, then, reflect that mind consists only of an association of ideas; and that whenever he advanced to another department of reform, that it was in consequence of acquiring a fuller association or bundle of ideas upon it. This view too, will give him a distrustful humility as to the fallibility of his reason; which he should also see is nothing more than such a bundle of ideas as he may have acquired upon a particular subject; and therefore, that there is no such thing as a faculty of reason separate from ideas. Things are arranged in a certain order around us; and it is as a consequence of the retina and touch receiving the images of objects, and the other senses receiving their impressions, in the same order and proportion as they exist around us, that the mind acquires all its powers of judgment, reason and imagination. Thus the image of a female is figured on the retina with the same proportion in its parts that it as externally; and it is from the idea of this image in the brain that it compares and reasons. Reformers, do not consider this statement of the nature of the mind irrelevant to the subject. If we know more of the nature of the tools we reason with, we will become more guarded in forming our opinions. Though this view shows the fallibility of the mind when it reasons from false premises; yet it also shows the improvement it is susceptible of, through a close observation of the phenomena of nature. All our errors, all our wrongs proceed from the adherence to erroneous premises, which give shape to all the institutions around us. Correct the false premises of the mind and the world will become created anew.

The erroneous premise or principle that has given shape to the present stage of civilization, is that of the alienation of the inalienable and equal right of every man to a portion of the domain of the earth. With the loss of this right, every other inalienable right is fast becoming swept away with it ; and cannot be recovered but by regaining the land. The loss of the dominion of the earth has, throughout society, reared privileged and pyramidic institutions capped with power-kings, labor-kings, land-kings, and bank-kings. But hell is kindling at their bases and with a volcanic explosion will level them with their ruins and elevate the masses below.

Tenants of New York, of the Empire State; will you again call a Convention only to make a few contemptible amendments as before; or as was lately done in New Jersey, by only pruning a few twigs from the bohon upas of society No, no, no, I hear you cry. Then establish the principle at once in your new Constitution, that every man from the very act of existence, is entitled to a portion of the domain of the earth, to the whole produce of his labor, and that the only just title deed is that of occupancy and cultivation. Declare also, that a man’s right to commodities can only consist in his production of them by his own labor, or by an exchange for them upon equitable principles. Have these and other principles declared in a bill of rights, whether they can be reduced to practice or not. The doctrine that all men are born free and equal has been declared in several constitutions as well the Declaration of Independence, though it not been reduced to practice. But its declaration has partly led to the discovery of the inalienable right of man to the domain. With these and other declarations in a bill of rights, and the plan proposed by the Editor of “Young America” engrafted on your new Constitution, for restoring the land, you will really begin to be a free people. But do not forget that it is the township organization that will cap the climax of your rights and liberties. It is only by distributing the farmers and mechanics in that proportion which will produce an assortment of the commodities of life, also as to exchange them upon equitable principles of equal labor for labor, that the toil-worn producers of property can rid themselves of the damnable injustice of property accumulating property, instead of it being accumulated by productive labor only.

Anti-Renters of New York; you who are roused to arms by the grievous conditions attending your leasehold estates. Are you spilling your blood only to force your sordid patrons go sell you freehold estates; and yet indifferent to the movement of the great principle of man’s natural right to domain? One too, that makes the land you occupy already your own, and which will keep it also from alienating from you? You ought to contend for a reform ten times more radical, if you even wish for no more than to get freeholds. A revolution hardly ever obtains all it struggles for. You should contend that the farms are yours by the act of occupation and cultivation, and that as your patroons gave their leases contrary to the inalienable rights of man, they are all null and void; and. you. should bring special actions on the case against your lords to recover damages for all the purchase monies, manor services, the wheat, the fowls, &c., that they have fraudulently received for generations. Land, it seems, in early times, was considered as worth nothing in its wild state, and was generally given to the occupant. It was, therefore, a fraudulent transaction, to sell land in such limited estates, and accompanied too, with such burthensome conditions

Settlers and Squatters of Iowa and other territories of the United States. You whose enterprise has penetrated the wilderness; you who have grubbed the roots of the forest, ploughed the turf of the prairie, and fought all the stern elements of nature; will you, too, continue to remain in ignorance of your inalienable right to the domain? Will you not begin to see that the soil should no more than your bodies be priced and sold? It is the improvement, the product of the soil and the manufacture of your hands, that are the legitimate objects of sale and exchange. Will you then continue to pay a tax of two hundred dollars per quarter, which really has no value in its uncultivated state? Do you not see that you should have a bounty for settlement in Iowa or in any other territory as well as the settlers in Oregon? The superior salubrity of the climate and other advantages in Oregon fully compensate for the greater distance and danger of going there. Whereas the harsher and more unhealthy climate this side of the Rocky Mountains compensates for the nearer distance. So that it puts the two classes of settlers upon an equal footing as to the title for the bounty for settlement. It appears from your petition for a postponement of the land sales, that there is not currency enough to enable you to pay, or that you are beginning to see the injustice of being made to purchase your homes. The fact of government forcing so much land into market, excites suspicion that they have anticipated the progress of the doctrine of the Equal Right of Man to the Soil. You settlers, then, throughout the West, have only to unanimously decline paying for your lands as unjust, and when government finds it can get no more money out of you, it will then begin to acknowledge that it sees that the lands should not be sold any more, and that they should go free to the settler throughout the West. The government very readily passed a law for the relief of the Speculators in lands in 1818 and ’19 under the credit system, and who ran the lands up to thirty dollars per acre in some places on the settler, and will it not now grant relief to the Squatters throughout their territories? This law of government, though it relieved some settlers yet it was mostly through the influence of the big speculator, who never cleared an inch of ground, that the law was passed. This represented the government as fraudulently rewarding the speculator for filling its coffers by bidding up the lands upon the settler. But government has always been, through all ages the greatest scoundrel in a nation.

It is to be devoutly hoped that Congress will not grant the rascally request of Whitney for a tract of land sixty miles broad across to Oregon to build a railroad, and that it will see that the quickest mode to get the road will be to make the lands free to settlers; who will then rush to the land as they now do to Oregon. Railroads should be built and owned by government, and the proceeds go to the revenue. Those who use them, then, pay every man for the use, and not a nabob capitalist. The rush of emigration from all the new states to Oregon will soon convince Congress that the proper policy will be to give them all bounties for settlement, drain the surplus laborers from all parts of the earth, and thus promote the era of emigration.

And you, toil-worn tenants of Europe. You too, seem to be discovering your inalienable right to land, by claiming your right to those commons which your usurping lords of the manor have enclosed into parks. Do not be content and put off with the possession only of heaths and bogs. Proclaim your inalienable right to an equal portion of the domain, to the enjoyment of every minute of your labor, and to the principle of equal exchange of labor for labor. Nothing short of these will remedy your grievances. Divide your country into towns—let the proper proportion of mechanics distribute themselves in them, and demand the products of the farmers in exchange on equitable principles. But you are buried beneath such a load of taxation, that it seems almost impossible for you to liberate yourselves unless you become volcanic, and sublimely explode your mountain weight of oppression.

African slaves; you, too, have not only an inalienable right to your bodies, but also to that domain which you have for ages cultivated for the use of your masters. You have more right to colonize your masters than they have you. You are, no doubt, the most ignominiously oppressed of all the human race; but your intelligence, it is to be hoped, will soon give you sufficient sensibility to realize it. Owing to the great proportion of torrid and tropical land on the earth, and to the superior adaptation of your constitution for its climate, you are the second race in importance upon the earth. The rapid discovery of all man’s inalienable rights will embrace the whole human race. The sun of Liberty has already risen in the horizon of humanity, darted his beams into the dark clouds of oppression, and your tyrant# are heard retiring amid the muttering thunder of their wrath.

L. Masquerier.

Greenpoint, near New York, July 4, 1845.

For “Young America”


Society may be classed into three divisions—the rich, the competent, and the poor. The very fact of the existence of the extremes of rich and poor is a proof that there is not much more than a competence for all. Man’s natural labor, when alternated with due recreation, can produce no more over what his natural wants require than what is needful to guard against emergencies. As, therefore, natural wants and powers of production are so nearly equal, it is evident that he should have an equal share of all the natural elements and enjoy the whole product of his labor. Whoever, therefore, claims more than his just proportion could not have acquired it by bis own labor, and must have usurped that of others. As nothing but labor, bestowed upon the natural elements, can produce property, nothing else can give a righteous title to it.

It is self evident, then, that the very act of man’s existence on earth entitles him with the same exertion to an equal share in all the goods of life. The earth is the common inheritance of man as tenants in common, and nothing but the occupation of as much as he can cultivate can give a separate title to it. His existence is so inseparably interwoven with an equal share of the soil that be has no more right to alienate it than he has that of his life or personal liberty. Land, therefore, should be so restricted to each that all can be freeholders. It should not be alienated any more than life and liberty. As it is only our services and skill that should be exchanged for that of another; it is only the improvements, the houses, the fields, and the orchards that should be transferred. The soil itself should never be valued in money any more than life and liberty. It is the unrestricted sale and transfer of land that has occasioned its monopoly and in its train all evils.

By putting a price upon the land as well an its improvements, the tenants are made to pay double the rent to what the improvements would come to. And the landlord even contrives, more or less, to make his tenants pay even the interest on that part of his property he occupies himself..Every price, every valuation, every profit, and every duty ultimately settles down upon the laboring class. Thus the monopoly of the land seems to give the usurpers the control of every thing else. The monopolizers of the land, in the first place, extort from the tenant that improves and cultivates it, an enormous rent—with he surplus of this they buy other lands and buildings. These are also tenanted. For the use of other money they extort an interest—the borrower buys and sells the products of the laborer at a profit, and thus the whole settles down upon upon him. There is none that he can shift the burthen upon.

It is through the ignorance of man that this enormous system of monopoly has been suffered to develop itself. But as nature could not have brought other causes into existence, it could not have been otherwise. Though evil has accumulated, yet materials for a better organization have also been amassed, and time will change the system. The face of the evil being discovered and discussed, is a proof that the change is commencing towards better institution of things.

The monopoly of land has produced such a glaring destitution among the laborers, that it would seem that the evil would be remedied forthwith and that the two-thirds of the earth yet unoccupied, except by the savage, would be occupied upon more equitable principles.

As, then, the unlimited accumulation of property has resulted from the usurpation of the soil; and by compelling others to pay rent for the use of it, there seems to be no mode so effectual to counteract as to limit each man’s power of accumulation to his own natural labor and equal share of the soil.

L. Masquerier.

For Young America


The physical and moral world being a gradual creation commencing with the most simple forms and laws, and advancing to the more complex and perfect, the great leading law must be that of progress. Nature seems to proceed by stages or eras; wherein she creates a certain system of things, which she allows to reach their acme, and wear themselves out. A new arrangement then takes place and a new set of laws sets about the creation of another stage still higher in the scale of being. Whether there will be an acme reached in these eras to which nature will go no further we cannot know. But to a great extent we know what she has done in the past, is doing in the present, and from that we can infer something of the future.

To verify these statements, we will refer to the progress of both the physical and moral world. We find they both have advanced by stages, and that they really illustrate, correspond, and prove each other. The earth has been formed by a series of strata called formations, and the moral world as surely has advanced by a series of eras of civilization. The narrow intellect, capacitated only to contemplate the particulars of knowledge, with a sneering ignorance will indispose itself to profit by these expansive views of nature’s operations. But the philosophic will appreciate them, and aid in establishing the new law that gives rise to a new.era of civilization,

We will treat of the formations of the earth and eras of the moral world along with each other; and if the sceptical cannot see that they are counterparts, they will see that they at least very strikingly illustrate each others.

The moral world is not half full of men in the barbarous or primitive state of society which corresponds to the primitive formation of the earth. Barbaric society has as few elements and is as simple in its structure as granite rock itself. The three leading sentiments of war, of the chase and the council, give shape to all the institutions of the primitive era. The childlike buoyancy, fiery passions and keen revenge of the savage may aptly be compared to the fused state of the rocks and the bubbling cauldron like the condition of the sea during the primitive formation.

But in time the savage grows tired of the depredations which he provokes, game gets scarce, and he begins to form alliances with neighboring tribes, and then a set of new laws come into existence which changes the old institutions by beginning to herd animals: and cultivate plants. The change is like that of the transition rocks—the change from the primitive to the secondary formation.

With the beginning of herding and cultivation, the division of land commenced, and new sentiments of action became added to those of the primitive era, among which that of the idea of wealth, which soon introduced that of rank. With increased wealth that of governmental power soon became superadded. Now let it be observed that at this age, it was really necessary that this should take place, so that by stimulating the most enterprising and intelligent an exaltation of character would be produced, and means given to a few to promote the progress of science. Owing to the half civilized state of man in this era, if there had been a monotonous equality of property, or if no one had taken to himself more land than he could cultivate, none would have hid extra time, means or power to build temples or palaces or machinery, so as to improve the arts, and mankind would have advanced more slowly. But nature, by suffering an era of monopoly like the one we are now in, has facilitated civilization more rapidly and at the same time ran out and prepared the way for a more perfect and just system. The very fact of a few usurping the land, of the great body submitting to became villains and dependents to lords, is a proof that no better system could have turned up at the time. As, therefore, nature had to lay a granite floor for the world first, then other strata before she could spread the beautiful superficial or skin covering of the earth, is a proof that she had no better mode of acting. Each formation or era of civilization, then, is right in itself, until its institutions become oppressive upon some forms of being, and when the time is come for a change, then is it criminal to oppose the change. As this second era of civilization has progressed, its series of stages of agriculture, manufactures and commerce, it has much resembled the series of strata composing the secondary formation. The agricultural series of the.era of monopoly is more like the carboniferous in producing the materials of vegetable wealth, the new red sandstone series is like the mechanical, and the oolite like the manufacturing. And the present commercial era in distributing wealth, in the hands of monopolists, is much like the cretaceous or chalk series of strata, in which matter the great riches of the earth depend. But the laws which have produced the present monopolizing era, will now become changed and take a new form. They have accomplished their object in creating materials and knowledge for a new era. But in creating these materials, they have not created equality—have not invested mankind with their rights. The law will now take a new form. New conditions and circumstances are brought into existence, and nothing can arrest the progress of thought, which, when it changes, matter must change also.

It is singular how efficiency an author may write, and think he has disclosed all the democratic doctrine that there can be to disclose; yet a quarter century will that he only took a step. Mr. Paine wrote powerfully against hereditary and monarchical government and in favor of representative republics—thinking he had nearly proposed the ultimatum. But time has disclosed already, that as his doctrine, was founded on the principles that have given form to the monopolizing era of civilization, that, though they have led to the discovery of the true principles of reform, yet they have not reached the whole cause of oar evils, which are rooted in the very structure of society. All reforms, that left the sovereign power to be exercised by delegation, no matter if it was delegated by universal suffrage, fell equally short of the true remedy. So that, it is to be seen, that all legislation or reform, that only went to making the working of the monopolizing system more tolerable, fell far short of the true remedy. The secondary series of rocks could never have been laid until the laws which formed the primitive formation ceased and gave way to new laws. The great law of heat which kept the materials of the granite rocks in motion ceased and let the vapors condense before an ocean could be formed and there was a sufficiently calm floor to the earth for the stratified rocks to be deposited. So it was the same with the carboniferous and cretaceous formations, which, by solidifying the carbonic acid of the atmosphere, left it of a more proper combination for the higher species of the vegetable and animal kingdoms, and prepared the way for tertiary formations. So you see here, the change in the composition of the elements, causes a new law to take place and a new formation. So it is exactly the case in the moral world. ‘The change from wandering savages, living in the air, to the practice of fixed habitations and-divisions of the earth, was a new law of action, but owing to the ignorance of the men who did not see that occupation and cultivation was the true title fo the earth, and the principle too that would have limited the quantity to each, it has had a more stimulating power than an equal division; for as the ownership of land did not and could not start upon the principle of its inalienableness, let it go as often in the hands of the less provident and enterprising as it might, it would never stay in their hands—they would be constantly getting in debt, and the more crafty and grasping would obtain possession. It is sufficiently clear that no patching up of the present system in any way whatever, can introduce equality among mankind. Nothing short of the equal and inalienable right to land, universal tabor and equal exchange of their products, can introduce justice among men. It is utterly impossible while the inalienable rights are monopolized.

Thus, a change from one era to another, as it consists of the operation of new laws and sentiments, it must render every thing except history, poetry and excellent specimens of the fine arts obsolete. All statesmen, politicians and philosophers who predicated their doctrines upon the principle of the alienation of natural rights must become more or less oblivious. The pride of knowledge and fame, will therefore rouse every advocate for the present era of monopoly against the introduction of the new era. But the producers of property being the great majority, they have only to will it and it will be. But oh their ignorance keeps them like asses under the saddle of the aristocracy. They have been broke to the saddle through so many ages—they are so habituated to drudge for them, that it is hard to quicken their sensibilities short of the starvation point; and when they are, then they will raise tail and mane, and set off with the snort of the wild horse upon the new plateau of Liberty.

L. Masquerier.

For Young America.


While ever a man has any thing that he is not compelled to dispose of to supply his immediate wants, he has it in his power to keep its price to some extent. But when the laboring man has nothing but his daily labor to supply his wants, he cannot have the same power to keep up its price. When his labor, besides, becomes of all things, the greatest glut in the market, and hunger gnawing, he is compelled to accept whatever wages are offered.

Thus a direct tax upon real estate is sure to be added to the rent; but the tenant, who has nothing but his labor to dispose of, has no power of adding it to his wages and raise them in proportion to the increased rent.

So, also, an indirect tax, a duty or tariff upon imported articles, is added to the cost and the consumer pays the whole. But as the merchant is not compelled to sell, to meet immediate necessities, he can hold onto his price; and such of the consumers, who have also something to sell, or estates to let, can shift off this tariff upon some other; who, if be has also property to let or money to loan, can again shift it to the shoulders of another; and if he be a laborer and has nothing but his labor to sell, and that a glut, it naturally has the effect of reducing his wages.

Thus, a rent for the use of lands and tenements, if, paid by one who has leased them for the purpose of letting again in small apartments, becomes sometimes doubled upon the sub-tenants. And if they are shoppers the whole amount can be put upon the hireling consumer. If lands are leased to farm, the rent can be paid out of the reduced wages of the laborer, and yet the farmer will have no other than the unproductive labor of superintending.

If tenements are mortgaged for capital to trade with, not only the interest for the use of it, but all the profit arising from speculation in buying and selling commodities, is shifted from the whole series of speculators and consumers until it settles upon the producing laborer.

If banks are established and ten dollar paper promises to pay are issued under the pretense of having five in vault, but really not one; here is a legerdemain practised by a monster of many heads, that takes from labor by raising the amount of profit on articles of consumption, by raising the rent, and interest on real estate, often by failing to redeem their depreciated promises which mostly fall dead in the hands of those who are compelled to be too busy at labor to watch the rates of exchange.

Thus all wealth is produced and every expense is paid ultimately by the laborer. All taxes, salaries, rents, interest and profit, like quicksilver, run down through all the grades of non-producers until they consume the wages of the productive laborer.

It is singular how persons of wealth and office through agents and deputies, elevate themselves above the mass of he people from whom they reap their subsistence. The man of great estates will not contaminate himself with leasing and collecting rents from the poorer class of tenants—he lets out to one who sometimes grinds a hundred percent profit from his subs. Thus he suspends himself so high between heaven and earth that he cannot ken the tears and hear the groans of his poverty-stricken, worn-out tenants in the terraqueous hell below. But the National Reformers will some day wake these gentry lolling on their sofas and dreaming over novels to a sense of the rights of all humanity, by putting their veto upon the supplies.

L. Masquerier.

For Young America.

Extract from a forthcoming work, entitled “Politicology;” a new development of Rights and Wrongs, &c., &c..



The sixth genus of the order of inalienable rights, is that of domain; which is man’s equal title to as much of the earth in its natural state as he can use in his business—to as much land as he can cultivate, mineral as he can mine, water-privilege for manufacture, or land and water highway as he may need in transportation. Earthsurpation, its opposing wrong, is the violation of any of these species, either by buying or selling them, or acquiring more than an equal share of them.

But by improving the soil of the earth in its wild state, into farms, its minerals into mines, and rocks, trees, and other materials into houses, additional states of improvements are created, and may be alienated by sale or exchange, so as not to violate the right of locomotion or emigration.

The products accruing from improvements of a moveable nature, and all manufactures, constitute what is here classed as commodities, and are also of an alienable nature, and may be exchanged for each other according to the time of production. Thus, under the institutions of the era of equality, the right to external things will be carved into the three generic estates of domain, improvements, and commodity; every man possessing a sufficiently equal portion of each, varying only in the quality of the domain he may select, or in superior skill and industry.

While, therefore, every man upon the very principle of existence, inherits an estate of domain, which can never be alienated or lost, those of improvements and commodity, can only be created by his labor and lost by his idleness and improvidence.

The right of domain being inalienable, it should never have been priced, bought, or sold, any more than life, body, or freedom. But, by sufferance of this evil principle of alienation, it has been wrested from the great mass of mankind during the whole of the past and present eras of civilization. Then, shall the damnific principle still be suffered to forge its chains around the earth? Shall the remaining half of the earth’s land still continue to be wrested from the aboriginal inhabitants, and the homeless producers of wealth in miscalled civilized countries by the avaricious land-speculating cormorant? No! Justice forbid it. See what is now the usurping of governments. As soon as a new island or continent is discovered, they make it a new instrument to rob the laborer. They compel the settler, who endangers his life, to pay two or three hundred dollars for a domain already deeded to him by nature’s God; or they grant it to incorporated land companies, who speculate with a still greater oppression upon the necessities of the suffering settler. Instead, therefore, of governments furnishing homes for the destitute, they look only for new objects of taxation to pay the enormous salaries of officers. Even in the boasted republic of the United States, forty-five quarter sections are sold for an embassador’s outfit, thus depriving an equal number of homeless producers of their domain.


The first genus of the second order of right termed alienable or exchangeable, is that.of improvements, and its great opposing wrong, is that of landlordry. This man-created estate, consisting of the improvements upon the domain, such as farms, manufactories and dwellings, though of an immoveable nature; yet, as it is the creation of man’s labor, it decidedly classes as the first among the alienable rights.

This estate, then, can only be created by improving the domain. Its first species is that of farms, the second that of manufactory, embracing mines, and the third that of dwelling, including lot and and shop.

In a sale or exchange, the whole valuation should be upon the improvements, the domain passing with it as they cannot be separated. If exchanged, both parties get others; but if sold, the seller is immediately entitled to another domain wherever he can find one unoccupied; and then, with the price of his former improvement, he can reinstate himself in another. But, as he must improve with his own labor under some deprivations, exchanges of improvements will be preferred.

This doctrine will require new forms of conveyance. The following are for a deed of domain and improvements:

THIS DEED OF DOMAIN, certifies that James K. Polk, in consideration of his inalienable right of Domain, and in presence of the people in Township Assembly, has chosen the unoccupied North East Quarter of Section one, in Northeast township, of Wuwushe County, and Nebrashavil State, for the purpose of occupation and cultivation.

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the above described domain for his own use by occupation and cultivation; but with no right to lease it or give it to another, so as to draw him from the enjoyment of a similar right or to live upon his labor.

And the people of said Township hereby FOREVER WARRANT and DEFEND his right to the said domain against the claims of all other persons.

In testimony of which, the said Township Assembly has, this 4th day of July, 1846, and int he first year of the beginning of the era of equality, ordered the chairman and secretary to sign their names, affix the seal of the said Township, and to record it in the archives of the Township Hall.

George H. Evans, Chairman.

John Windt, Secretary.

Where an estate of improvements is conveyed the form will vary thus:

THIS DEED OF IMPROVEMENTS certifies that J. K. P., in consideration of the sum of $3000 has sold and conveyed unto T. H. Benton, his estate of improvements in the N. E. Q., &c., or exchanged improvements as the case may be, &c., &c.

For Young America


You must adopt measures to regain the freehold, entire use and exercise in your own proper persons of your inalienable right to your Domain, Person, Labor, Life, and Sovereignty before you can be redeemed from the fivefold damnation of the non-producing, earth-usurping, leasing and rent-extorting landlords; of the non-producing, body-selling, whip-driving, and labor-robbing masters and bosses; of the non-producing, hired labor-forcing, wages-reducing and profit-mongering capitalists; of the non-producing, tax-consuming, capital-punishing and war-aggressing governments, and of the non-producing, reform-ignorant, corrupt, office-hunting legislating hunkers for the non-productive class: who, together, by means of rents, interest, banking, profits, reduced wages, speculation, direct and indirect taxes, fees, salaries and exclusive privileges, monopolize nearly all the product of Labor without any productive employment, in the face of the astounding fact, that nothing but labor produce property and give title to it, or cultivation give a right to the use of the earth; and thus divide society into the two great classes of a non-producing, haughty and unfeeling aristocracy, and and an all property-producing, toil-worn and destitute democracy.

Cease, then, to waste your energies through a series of generations in quarter, half or one-idea fragmentary reforms, such as abolition of capital punishment or slavery, but embrace all reform with the five inalienable right or five-idea Reformers; and these are the National Reformers, who have heard the cry of the starving millions for bread in Europe, where, by means of the monopoly of even labor by labor-saving machinery, they have, after the most reduced wages, even all employment taken away from them, and now warn the property producers of America from the infernal progress of this monopolizing aristocracy, by beginning with pledging electors and candidates to their measures, demanding the right of the landless to a home on the public lands, of limiting the lands hereafter bought and sold by present owners to a certain quantity, and ultimately to organize into townships of 160 acre farmers and artizans upon central village lots. large enough for family garden as well as manufacturing purposes, proportioned to each other, so as to produce an equitable exchange assortment of products without the intervention of the middle-man or shopper; while at the same tine every man can meet in Township Hall, and by direct speech and vote, declare his consent to a brief statement of all the laws proposed, and send it round to all the other Townships, so that a committee meeting at the capital may digest these briefs of laws, enacted by a majority of the townships in a State, into a well written form and send it back to the people to be confirmed, amended, or rejected. Thus honest legislation, for the first time in the history of man, will be done by the people themselves. The delegation of sovereignty alienates it as muck from the balance of the people, and the supposed representative exercises the freehold of it as much for the benefit of himself and the non-productive class to which he belongs, us the landlord wields the freehold of the domain for his own use, benefit and behoof, or as the capitalist holds the freehold of labor or the master that of the body of his slave for their own uses.


For Young America.


Man has undoubtedly a natural right to tho soil and ought to have it restored. Nature has not been so improvident as to endow him with the inalienable right of life or body without providing means of subsistence, or capacitated him with that of labor without furnishing the materials of production; nor fired him with appetites and want without the means of their gratification. She has provided him with an ample store in the womb-like external world; she has surrounded him with an abundant atmosphere with which he is connected by his organs of respiration; she shines down upon him an all-enlivening sun with which he is connected by his organs of sight and feeling, and she has spread out a fruitful earth beneath his feet, which, improved by labor, provides him with abundant food, clothing, and shelter. But notwithstanding this abundant superfluity for all; this inseparable connection of man with the earth and its appurtenances, air and light; though he is endowed with equal wants and powers of production, and consequently with equal rights; yet the useful and property-producing portion of mankind are so ignorant of their inalienable right to the soil us to suffer an earth-usurping few to cut the cord which connects them with the laboratory of their existence, the external world, by the monopoly of the land.

It is this necessary connection of man with the surrounding world upon which is founded his natural right to the soil. As all men are in the same scale of being, endowed with the same wants, it proves that all their rights are equal and inalienable, and that all should exist in equal circumstances to provide for their wants. But such are the erroneous principles and institutions of the present form of society that a privileged few not only usurp the earth, but make goods and chattels of man’s personal qualities and rights of sovereignty, life, labor and person.

What an all-grasping power of extortion does this reduction of land and the other rights to goods and chattels give the monopolize For the valuation of lands and tenements being only limited by the last cent that can be extorted from labor, the landlord actually extorts about one-third or half of the product of labor of the tenants, and receives the full amount of his premises every eight or ten years. When we consider that every article of food and clothing is about doubled in price by the various profit-mongers through whom it passes, it would seem that the one dollar wages per day is really reduced to twenty-five cents.

Now if the wages and fees of all occupations were averaged, it would perhaps give each four dollars per day; and again, were the other half of society to perform their proportion of labor, all would receive the four dollars for each five hours or half day’s labor. But nothing short of the township organization will give this result. This would give five hours for labor, seven for sleep, and twelve for political, moral, religious, and scientific instruction and amusement.

To think that the unfortunate laboring millions should be so ignorant as to suffer such a state of things, and the non-producers, too, so corrupted by the system, as to see a very little more of its injustice, is enough to rouse a ten thousand horse power indignation in him who really sees it, though in charity he may find no one to blame—as all nature is only progressive, and doing the best she can to effect her ultimate result—a landed, laboring, and sovereign democracy.

L. Masquerier.

For Young America


“Mr. G. H. Evans—One of our friends suggests that a Memorial to Congress, liberating the Public Lands from the grasping cupidity of land-jobbers and government itself, should be got up by the people of the United States; and it strikes me that it would be a capital plan to advance our cause.

There are thousands of all parties who would sign a memorial when brought to them, who have not the inclination, or would lose their business, to attend our meeting, to read our papers, of to vote our tickets.

Let us then get up the second great two million mammoth petition to that of the Chartist, which kicked under the table by their misrepresentatives, and make one more great trial whether the voice of the people is the voice of God as our office hunters tell us, or whether government will refuse to establish a Landed Democracy as the British did that of Universal Suffrage.

It is a most humiliating condition that the sovereign people, from whom sovereignty is said never to depart, should be compelled to petition what are called their representatives, agents, or servants, instead of demanding them to restore their inalienable right to the land; but, as it is the universal practise for the sovereign people to petition their servants, let us once more try if there is any virtue in it.

Let, then, our National Reform Central Committee provide a petition with the following proposed for their consideration.

To the Congress of the United States.

We, whose names are annexed, desirous of restoring to man his natural right to land, do solemnly instruct and request our Representatives, Senators, and President, to enact a law to prevent all further traffic in the public lands of the United States, and to cause them to be laid out into farms and mechanic village lots as near the centre of each township as possible, for the free and exclusive use of actual settlers, with a limitation of the quantity, their exemption from any future debt or mortgage; and to a limitation of the time of daily labor to ten hours on the United States works.

Then let us set the ball a rolling, and never cease till we get a petition like that of the property-producers of Britain, that can be barely rolled through the door of the Capitol.

Lewis Masquerier.

July 9, 1846.

For Young America


It is encouraging to the friends of humanity to reflect that it is only a century ago that the storm clouds of despotism culminated over the meridian of oppression, that the sun of Liberty began to rise and cheer the hopes of man. It is now interesting to trace the progress of the principles of reform—to see by what rapid degrees they.grow from vague and indefinite propositions through a series of minds, till they become the clear, definite, and well-defined items of liberty—to see how that man has at length attained to a knowledge of his rights in the opposite principles to those which produced his wrongs. Reformers have now so reversed the doctrine of landlordry, that, instead of the domain being monopolized by kings, landlords, and speculators, they declare it to belong to the whole human race, as equal, individual, and inalienable homesteads—that instead of the product of labor being monopolized by an employer, through the principle of hire and wages, all should be self-employed upon their own domain and materials, and become producers us well as consumers—that instead of sovereignty being welded by kings, lords, and representatives, it should be exercised only by every man in his proper person; as it is also an equal, individual, and inalienable right of every one of the human race; who can neither delegate it to, or receive it from, each other.

It is interesting to contemplate that greatness of heart and tenacity of sentiment, with which a heroic few pioneer the principles of reform amidst the selfish mass of humanity—that among the host of literary aristocrats, there are a continued series of philanthropic reformers, who side with the valuable and oppressed portion of mankind, notwithstanding their salvation is won at the expense of defamation and sometimes martyrdom. Yet they anticipate that this persecution will greatly excite the sympathies of mankind when they come to appreciate and to enjoy the fruits of their doctrine. It is a severe ordinance of nature the saviors of posterity must be first damned by their contemporary fellow man, to be blessed posthumously. The first great originator of the true principles of modern reform, was

Jean Jacques Rousseau, who boldly declared man’s inalienable right to equality, liberty, safety, and property, at the time when the doctrine of the divine right of kings, passive, obedience, and non-resistance; was committing the grossest outrages upon humanity. His “Contrat Social” struck like a thunder clap upon the corrupt consciences of aristocrats, who first trembling, hence raised the howl, and with open mouth chased him back to the mountains of Switzerland.

He is entitled to the great credit of being the first who gave the full meaning to the inalienableness of the right of sovereignty, that it should not be delegated in the form of representative government. Yet, it is remarkable that this doctrine should be slowly embraced by successive reformers that the principle is now actually applied to the right of domain—that it should not be leased; while apparently not aware that upon the same principle, sovereignty shall not be delegated, nor life and labor hired.

But that portion of doctrine, declaring the inconsistency of the particular with the general interest, and that sovereignty was indivisible as well inalienable, as tended, perhaps, more to the sentiment of the community than to the individuality of rights—that labor and property are also indivisible, and should be held in common. The next bold advocate of the rights of all mankind was

Gracchus Babeuf, who conceived the grand idea of organizing all France into one national community of goods, in which all should share equally in labor, property, and enjoyment. The State was to assign every man his employment according to his inclination, and to provide for each one’s necessities. But as he and his coadjutors were about to rise in insurrection to re-establish the constitution of 1793, and to reduce this plan eventually to practice, they were betrayed by one who insinuated himself among them. They defended themselves by justifying their intentions with the most eloquent appeals to the tyrannical government. Their enthusiastic confidence, their spirited singing of the Marseilles hymn in coming from the tribunal, struck terror into the hearts of judge and jury, who found them guilty, when Babeuf and Darthe stabbed themselves in their presence. This: plan, so heroically defended, has been modified by

Robert Owen, who proposes self-established and supporting communities of about two thousand persons of the proper proportions to produce the necessities of life—all laboring and eating in common, bit living in separate families and apartments, and availing themselves of the profits of labor saving machinery. The economy of this plan is great; but it is feared that such a community of interests will create dissension, abridge liberty, and remove the stimulus to exertion and duty, the very opposite which its philanthropic advocate anticipates. He has, however, contributed greatly to the strength of the doctrine of circumstances—of the great power which improved institutions have in regenerating the character. But, adopting moral action only, without political, his measures are but feebly sustained; but it has shown that the true mode of agitation is to disturb the immediate interests of the monopolizers of rights. The next great contributor to the common stock of reform knowledge, is

James Bronterre O’Brien, who conceived that community, if true, could only be the ultimatum, proposes that equality must first be attained under the present isolated family system—that the Chartists must first, obtain universal suffrage, and then that the soil should be held by the State for the equal use of every human being, each contributing a tax for the support of government. But this still savors a little of the present system of the alienation of rights—it makes a kind of landlordry and tenure, and supposes a government separate from the people, consisting of a separate interest and a class of non-producers.

He contributed by the power of his writings to arouse the Chartist movement for universal suffrage, and for removing the stamp duty upon knowledge, upon the liberty of speech, and the two million mammoth petition, which was kicked under the table by a rascally set of class legislators. He has suffered greatly from several imprisonments by government, panic struck by the denunciation of his writings in showing up its corruption.

Josiah Warren, who, though he has not yet attained much notoriety, still the quantity of knowledge he has originated in social science and universal typography, will give him a prominent place in the annals of reform.

Having participated in the community experiment at New Harmony, Ia., he conceived that the remedy of the evils of society was to be found in the individuality instead of the community interest. His system, then, is the very opposite of that of Mr. Owen, and he has pushed the principle of the individual in opposition to the united interest to the extent, that every person should be the sovereign of his own person, property, labor, and responsibilities. He conceives that if all are put in possession of their fall rights, there will scarcely will be any necessity for government to protect those rights.

As all must distribute as well as produce equally, he has originated the equitable commerce or labor exchange principle, which will be a powerful auxiliary to the equal, individual, and inalienable homestead principle. But while the producer remains in a state of tenure, all that he may save from the profits of the shopper by the equal labor exchange can be added to his rents; thus proving that nothing short of the limitation of the quantity of land and its inalienableness can secure and perpetuate all the rights of man. Thus the limitation of the price of commodities to the cost of their production cannot be sustained while tenure exists. And this shows that there is no adequate remedy in any principle that falls short of an inalienable homestead. The most prominent originator and advocate of this great and radical change, is

George Henry Evans, who, having participated in the equal rights party movement and witnessed its failure, saw that Thomas Skidmore’s plan of agrarianism—of making an inventory, auction and division of property, and then abolishing wills and giving each adult an equal amount of property on coming of age, would be erroneous in principle if not insurrectionary in practice; that he had prescribed the evil for the remedy; that instead of selling the land to keep it equalized, the public lands should be free and private lands sold in limited quantities to the landless only. The great merit, too, of his reform is that he devises sliding measures with the thorough principle, combined with political action. He has conceived that the true mode of agitation is to address and disturb the immediate interests of men and parties. He conceives that moral force or exhortation alone will go unheeded, unless combined with political force, by changing the majorities of parties, and through them to force the party press to approve or condemn—to discuss and disseminate the principles.

Fully appreciating this great principle, never losing sight of it, and desirous to convince all mankind, be has sought out and published every opinion, tending to corroborate it, in the “Sentinel,” “Man,” “Radical,” “People’s Rights,” “Working Man’s “Advocate,” and now “Young America.”

Having reached to the thorough principle of an inalienable farming or mechanical village lot, there seems nothing more left to complete the declaration of rights than the generalization of the principle of inalienableness from his application of it to the domain, to that of life, labor, and sovereignty. For if the land should never be separated from each man in the form of sale or lease, so neither should life be alienated in the form of hired soldiery; so neither should labor be extorted in the form of slavery to a master, nor in that of hire to an employer, and so neither should sovereignty be delegated in the form of a representative or other officer; as universal suffrage is really the alienation of the inalienable right of sovereignty. There should, then, be no such thing as landlord and tenant, a hired soldiery, a master and slave, an employer and a hireling, nor a representative and constituent. For if society is rightly organized into townships of the proper proportion of farmers and mechanics, all can become their own landlords, all can become their own soldiers, and it will be the duty of those at the locality invaded to repel invasion in self-defence while continually reinforced, and. not, as now, be ordered a thousand miles off to substitute their lives for the cowardly nabobs who should defend themselves; so can all become their owners and employers, and distribute their products through the medium of equitable exchange, marts, and notes; and so also can all become their own legislators by meeting in township hall, and in proper person participate in prescribing their rule of action. Thus all can be made producers as well as consumers. Non-producing landlords, employers, capitalists, officers, and non-fighting aristocrats will be annihilated.

Though the acquisition of any one of these inalienable rights will lead to the rest, yet the abolitionist, abolisher of capital punishment, &c., by advocating a particular right only shows that he has a fuller association of ideas upon the one than the other. The right to life, labor, and sovereignty are distinct, and very different from each other, and from that of domain. These rights can more effectually prop and protect each other, when established upon the principle of their inalienableness. It is perhaps most difficult for man to see how officers can be dispensed with. But let them observe that men can only represent their own prejudices and interests and they will see that an officer is as dangerous a kind of non-producer as landlord or capitalist, and that there should be no such thing as an officer, except where there is no time for the mass to act, as in battle or ship in storm; and in the slight form of committees to carry out the express will of the body, and arbitrators selected by the parties concerned.

This great principle of the inalienableness of sovereignty is declared by Rousseau, and is the leading sentiment in his “Contrat Social”; and it was so far carried out in the democratic French Constitution of 1793, that the enactments of the representatives were required to be investigated and confirmed by the primary assemblies of the people. Brougham unmasks his ignorance of the nature of an inalienable right, when he asserts Rousseau unfit for political investigation, for declaring that the right of sovereignty is destroyed as much by the representative as any other form of government.

Thomas Ainge Devyr is also entitled to the credit of having conceived this great principle of man’s natural right to the soil. Living in Ireland, amidst landlordism in its most revolting form—robbing the tenant of the product of his labor up to the starving point, and then turning him into the highways to make room for larger farms and herds; it stirred his patriotism, he espoused and advocated this sublime principle. Residing in a remote village, with no facilities to reach the apprehension of his countrymen, he sought to serve them upon the theatre of London. There he contributed to the development of the Chartist principles and movement, till forced to fly from the fangs of the British government to America. He continues to advocate the anti-land monopoly principle in this State; being ever equally ready to support the rights of any portion of oppressed humanity, deeming all upon earth as brethren and natives.

There are other prominent advocates of anti-land monopoly reform, such as Feargus O’Connor, Albert Brisbane, William H. Channing, Louis A. Ryckman, John Commerford,. Mike Walsh, Michael Thomas O’Connor, Herman Kriege, and Charles Douglas., These reformers excel the before-mentioned as orators, with the exception of T. A. Devyr. Their originality is expended more upon the illustration than upon the development of great ideas. Nature, like a true democrat, does not endow any one man with a monopoly of qualities.

In tracing the development of principles through a series of minds, it is remarkable to see how little of each one’s doctrine is left when modified, corrected and improved by each other. Is it not a caution to us all to humble our pride of knowledge, so as to be more disposed to be learned, as well as to learn each other. We should always in the first place find out what is each one’s particular forte, and to trust each other in it only; and then, by selecting the truths of each one, we will advance more towards the true system. But, instead, see with what an undoubting confidence each one of us is apt to prescribe his peculiar ideas as the panacea of all evil. And yet, just as one is about to leave the stage, a fresh mind turns up a principle apparently annulling the darling doctrines and labors of a whole life. Fourier, in full faith, prescribes Joint Stock Associations, Groups and Series, Attractive Industry, &c. ; but he is scarcely off the stage, when Owen enters, and shows, that instead of products being equally divided between labor, talent, and capital, that labor and capital should be united in each person, but held in common: And now, J. Warren, and his able coadjutors, Thomas and Maria Varney, prescribe the opposite principle, individual sovereignty and association without community, as the true remedy which, as it is essentially the same as the National Reform Inalienable Homestead and Township organization; it is ardently hoped will turn out to be the true system.

It must here be seen how reformers have split off from Rousseau, and still remain at issue whether the individuality or community interest is the proper principle. There seems to be a tendency now towards a happy medium—of a security of individual rights, of preserving a stimulus to duty, in connection with the association of the proper proportion of each employment for the production, distribution, and consumption of the necessaries of life, through the medium of the equitable labor exchange, principle in township organizations.

There is another point upon which reformers are at issue. It is whether political action or associations on the thorough principle is the best mode of agitation? Political action, to force office-loves and the party press to embrace reform doctrines, as urged by O’Brien and Evans, by disturbing their selfishness, is, no doubt, the true philosophy of revolution; while some mode of addressing the immediate interest of the suffering laborer, such as getting the mechanical portion of society upon inalienable village lot homesteads in every township, would arouse their attention as powerfully, as the little vassal officers now are, by being appointed by the big ones, and who make up their audiences at their party meetings.

There is still another point on which reformers differ, as to the mild or harsh mode of attacking error. Now both modes are effective, and those who prefer the one or the other mode only describe themselves..Where a reformer’s forte is the argumentative, as in case of Owen, Greeley, and Brisbane, he naturally thinks the mild mode best. But where they combine satire with reasoning, such as O’Brien, Walsh, and Devyr, they as naturally prefer bombarding the fortification of aristocracy with the red hot shot of ridicule, although so much more dangerous.

But I cannot conclude this article without the mention of other meritorious reformers—of the modest pretensions, the original point of John Windt, James Maxwell, and Orson S. Murray; and the persevering, talented, and learned H. H. Van Amringe, Parke Godwin, John Ferral, Horace Seaver, Alvan E. Bovay, and Julian C. Harney; of the practical knowledge of the real distresses of their fellow man, of Ransom Smith, Egbert S. Manning, Benjamin Timms, Gerrit Smith, James A. Pyne, Henry Beeny, Joseph Gregory, and James M’Clatchy.

And now it only remains to cap this pyramid of reformers with the names of Douglas Jerold, Horace Greeley, Eugene Sue. These are remarkable for combining application, learning, versatility and talent with originality: of conception. With their philanthropic impulses, knowledge of human nature, and ready appreciation of science, they are destined to give new wings to the freedom of discussion, and to promote every great reform of the age.

L. Masquerier.

For Young America




Showing the Cause of Good, of Evil, and its Remedy.

To facilitate the progress of knowledge in political science, it is here attempted to reduce it to a more systematic form. The thorough principles and causes of rights and wrongs, are yet but crudely developed in the works of modern one-idea reformers, and require a more specific nomenclature, with an analysis, classification, and contrast, before they can be made to stand out in a sufficiently bold relief to strike the apprehension of ignorant and suffering humanity! Owing to the parts of the same or of closely connected:sciences being scattered in voluminous works, men get such a limited association of ideas that it causes them to seize upon one or part of a principle, to work it into a system and prescribe it as a panacea for every wrong, and thus society is yet torn by one-idea reformers, parties, and sects!!

Although a party for each right and wrong of single principle is far preferable to none, yet, when we reflect, that, as the principles of every right are the same, it will take but little more thought with a few more names of rights, and the conjunction and to link them together, to agitate for every right, it is to be regretted that there should be so much wear and tear of brain upon a one, instead of the five-idea reform of the National Reformers!!!

Then why should the rights of mankind, so intimately connected in their bodies, be discussed in such an isolated manner and have so many revolutions exhausted upon them???

☞ Rights are a man’s title to his personal properties and a share of the womb-like surrounding elements; laws are the uniform rules by which they are protected, and liberty is the exercise and enjoyment of every right in proper person, while wrongs are a deprivation of title, anarchy, a want of law, and oppression the practical destruction of liberty.


☞ A thorough, complete, and perfect right is composed of the three essential and constituent elements or principles of EQUALITY, INDIVIDUALITY, and INALIENABLENESS; while a wrong is compounded of the three opposite properties of Inequality, Combination, and Alienation!!!

☞ That Equality is one of the necessary elements of Rights, the palpable fact, that each man’s natural wants and powers of production are so nearly the same, is conclusive evidence that his rights are also equal, and that the opposite principle of inequality is so destructive to equal rights. The fact, too, that the God of Nature has only apportioned a sufficiency of natural products when improved by healthy labor for an easy competence, is also an additional proof that rights must be equal, and that a monopoly by a portion of mankind is the destitution of the rest.

☞ That Individuality is also a necessary ingredient of a perfect right, the obvious fact of the identity of each man’s person, wants, and emotions, and of his less intimate connection with the bodies of others than with the surrounding elements, is adequate proof that his rights must be individual, and cannot be mixed, combined or agglutinated with those of others as in a community of property. An association of persons as individual sovereignties in the proportionate numbers for the mutual supply of each other’s wants with their peculiar and surplus productions, is the true principle; but a combination of persons, rights and property in common, is but an element of evil; while a strictly isolated state of mine and thine tends to preserve efficiently the individuality of rights!

☞ That Inalienableness is the other most indispensible ingredient of a complete right, the glaring fact of the inseparable connection of the organs of man’s body and their properties, such as life, motion, sensation, and thought with each other and with the earth, air and light of the external world, is incontestible proof that his rights must be inalienable, and that the opposite evil principle of Alienation is fraught with so much damnation of one portion of the human race by the other.

The same reason that proves the inalienableness of a right from its inseparable connection with the means of existence, also proves the necessity of its individuality and separation from that of others, and also that of its equality. Every combination of rights, titles, labors, and enjoyments in community, instead of individual associations of them, is destructive to the nature of a perfect right. Equalness—Oneness—Inalienableness—are the triune deific principles of man’s redemption!


Rights first naturally class into the two orders of Personality and Property, and Wrongs into those of Slavery and Monopoly.


Man’s rights and wrongs to His Personality or properties of his body, divide according to its triple division by the nervous, vascular and muscular system into three genuses, and these again subdivide into species.

Mind, depending on the nervous system, constitutes the foundation and distinction of the equal, individual, and inalienable right of sovereignty or will, and of its opposing wrong of officery!

Vitality, temperature, and sustenance, the properties elaborated by the vascular organs, become the source of the equal, individual, and inalienable right of life and of its opposite, violence.

Motion, the property of the muscular and osseous system, is the basis of the equal, individual, and inalienable right of labor or production, and of its most prominent wrong of servitude or non-production.

Thus, this triune system of the body, is not only the origin, but the natural demarkation, not only for the classification of organs and diseases, but also of the rights and wrongs of man to the properties of his personality.

Man’s rights and wrongs to property, divide according to the most obvious division of the external world into the soil, constituting the right of Domain, and into its man-improved productions founding the right of products.

Land, in its God-created, wild and uncultivated state, or with an-made improvements, is the foundation and distinction of the equal, individual and inalienable right of Domain, and of its prominent wrongs of landlordry, tenure, and monopoly.

Commodities, the detachable und moveable productions of the earth, improved by the labor of man, are the basis for the distinction of his equal, individual, and inalienable right of product, and the opposing wrong of profitmongery.

Let application now be made of these principles to the reform of the present institutions of society.


☞ As Equality is constituent of sovereignty, every man’s right to it must be equal, and no one can acquire more than his share of it, so as to become an officer, (except in the very slight form of arbitrators, committee, &c.) any more than he can claim more land than he can use so as to become a landlord!! All sane and guiltless adults wherever resident are equally qualified for the exercise of sovereignty! How absurd to presume that the destitution of any right—that the want rather than the superfluity of property should disqualify for the exercise of the erroneous principle of delegating sovereignty!!

☞ As Individuality is also an ingredient of sovereignty, it can only be properly exercised by [each man in] his own proper person as an individual sovereign! A union of wills in the form of parties, sects, majorities or cliques, destroys more or less that of the balance of society and even that of a portion of themselves. For the body of individual of all associations only help the aspirants for office to alienate their sovereignties and to tax the product of their labor. The only just principle is, for every one to exercise his sovereignty in his own individual capacity, and the where there will be no salaried or class legislation ranting itself exclusive privileges. When a law shall be needed, which will be very seldom when men are in possession of their rights, it will be such a one as will be, with rare exceptions, unanimously enacted. In this way all would be self-governed in the strictest sense of the term, and the distinction of society into governors and governed would be annihilated.

☞ But the right to sovereignty is not only equal and individual, but also inalienable! For it is as impossible for officers to represent or exercise sovereignty, or the wills, wants, and interests of their constituents, as it is for landlords to hold more than their share of the of the domain for the benefit of landless tenants! The inseparable connection of each man’s will, wants and sensations with each other and the surrounding elements, proves that sovereignty cannot be alienated or delegated; but that it must be exercised by each man in his own proper person, and not by agent or representative. Universal suffrage then, is only the universal alienation of sovereignty as much as universal tenure would be that of the domain. The common-place and demagogue doctrine, therefore, that sovereignty never departs from the people by what is called a delegation of it, defrauds the understanding by its speciousness; and is equally absurd as to suppose that life is not alienated by homicide, labor by servitude, or the domain by tenure. The sovereignty of the people is as much alienated by a representative government as by a usurped of hereditary one. The only difference is, that in the former, it is alienated and re-alienated at certain periods, and in the latter, in perpetuity. ☞ The deeply-rooted evil of all present governments, is not wholly in the want of universal suffrage, that all officers should be elected, or in the mercenary seeking for office instead of principle; but it is in the existence of such a thing as ☞ office or officery ☜ itself, ☜ the great opposing evil of sovereignty; which should be exercised as an equal, individual, and inalienable right, by every man in his own proper person. This can be most practically done by the whole nation organizing into townships in the” proper proportions to produce, distribute, and consume the necessaries of life, and to meet in a central village Hall, where all can discuss and vote their wills, the majority of which, when collected over the state, will become the law; so that there may be no delegation of sovereignty, but in the slight form of a committee of a few philanthropic citizens, who can meet at the capitol to perform the few idle ceremonies of state.


☞ The right to life is also equal, individual, and inalienable. As it is equal, no man can claim a greater enjoyment or protection of it than another; as it is individual, no portion of mankind can combine into an army or any corporate body, except in defensive war; and as it is inalienable, it cannot be destroyed by capital punishment, or in any way whatever, except in self-defence. No man can make a chattel slave of another, occasion his death by murder or offensive war without becoming the arch-criminal of the earth!.

A hired soldiery is another form of the alienation of the right of life as a substitute for that of others. Therefore, it is the duty of the whole people of a nation, to organize as a standing army, so that it will be the right and duty of those in the locality invaded to repel the invaders, while rapidly reinforced from neighboring regions. Thus man would destroy life only in self-defence at their homesteads, and soon terminate a war with the least expense.


☞ Labor or production is also an equal, individual, and inalienable right and duty. As nature has created all with the same wants and hands, and surrounded them with a sufficiency of raw material, all should labor equally for a subsistence. As nothing but labor can turn the crude products of nature into the necessaries of life, all who subsist by any other means than labor must live upon that of others. It is a most outrageous system of injustice that now prevails among mankind, that they who amass nearly all the product of labor without performing any productive labor, should not be considered far more criminal than the toil-worn laborer who steals a loaf of bread to save his life!

But it is not incumbent only on every man to labor equally, but also individually. For men will avoid labor in a community of labor and property as well as by substituting their illy accumulated property in its stead. As the combination of labor destroys this identity, as well as that of property and the stimulus to duty, each man should labor in an isolated and individual capacity. There is a natural tendency to a division of labor, which also requires a division of capital and materials. There is no more advantage in the combination of labor by the capital of others or of the laborers themselves, than there is in the combination of sovereignty in parties or of the domain as common property.

Let each producer, with his own individual homestead, capital, tools, materials, and labor, perform a certain art and the series of dependent arts and wants will propel him to do his part or else all will [missing line] checks and dependents upon each other. The advantage also of a common motive power to propel machines of different arts can be obtained under the individual with more certainty than under the community system. In community each man’s duty will be too much prescribed by the wills of others. But in co-operation without combination the demand for each man’s fabrics or products will command him to do his duty. But should the electric or other motive power be as cheap on a small scale as large scale there will be no use in the concentration of so much machinery in one establishment, so injurious to health, with perhaps a few exceptions.

As the right to labor is inalienable, it is violated by involuntary servitude, hire or wages, or profitmongery. Both labor and its product are alienated as much by slavery or hire, as sovereignty is by suffrage, or life is by soldiery. It would seem that there could be no more outrageous act, than that of one portion of mankind usurping the whole of the surrounding elements and of extorting a tribute from the balance for the use of them; but to force them also to perform all labor, and to make even chattels of the bodies of their fellow creatures, completes the climax of tyranny and crime. The inhuman treatment of slaves, soldiers, sailors, journeymen, and all the evils of slavery, hired labor and hirelings, declare the wisdom of God in giving man dominion only over the “beasts of the field and fowls of the air,” but not over each other. As the right to labor is also equal, individual, and inalienable, mankind must organize into townships in the proportionate numbers with an equal share of the soil, so that they can become their own landlords and employers, producers and distributors.


☞ But of all their rights, there is none in which mankind should be more strict in the application of the principles of equality, individuality, and inalienableness, than in that of their right to Domain. For the evil effects of the monopoly of the soil is not so palpable to the senses, although it is the foundation of the monopoly of all their other rights, and so much so, that until landless producers can see it, landlords will ever command their rights of life, sovereignty and labor. Man’s equal wants and powers of production most forcibly declare that each one is entitled to an equal share of as much of the earth as he can use; that he should hold it too, not of government, but by act of existence and the gift of God, who has granted and conveyed it to him only on the condition that he shall improve it and carry forward his creations. He should bold it too, in an isolated and individual proprietorship, and not as undivided interest as in a community of property. For, with a few exceptions, man cannot labor and and consume so equally in partnership as in isolated families without dissention, and rendering their rights imperfect. Neither should there ever be any alienation or transfer.of each man’s share of domain, except in an equitable exchange or sale to landless man. It is only necessary that each man should ever possess a share of the domain, no matter how often he may exchange it; for thereby he can ever be free to change his locality; so that emigration may even be more facilitated under this system than under the present monopoly of the land. The right to domain will be much preserved by a universal survey of the earth by the cardinal points, into the quantity each of the human race is now entitled, with provision for its gradual division down to the minimum quantity, and the order in which the members of a family shall possess it, if they do not choose to emigrate where they can get a larger proportion.


☞ But every reason that enforces the necessity of the strict application of the equal, individual and inalienable property of a right to sovereignty, life, labor, and domain, applies with equal force to the right of man to the products of his labor. The capacity of all to produce equally in some art, determines the right to Products to be also equal; and all the reasoning for the individuality of labor proves the same for the product of labor. As man mingles his labor with his improvements and products, he should be equally tenacious of his right to them as of the soil. As each man’s skill is more limited than his wants, the mutual exchange according to cost of his surplus products, is no alienation of them any more than an exchange of farms; but it is the unequal exchange constituting profitmongery which is the great evil that violates this right.


☞ Thus, the remedy for the evils of society, consists in the establishment of rights upon the true principles of their equality, individuality, and inalienableness. As the right of sovereignty or will is founded upon the mind, it is the first right that should be established upon these principles. But as the masses are still ignorant, intermediate or sliding measures of reform must be taken by the intelligent few. Such are now actually agitated by the National Reformers, by pledging to vote for none but those who will support their measures; and thus by holding the balance between parties, compel the press and government to disseminate them. Though it is wrong to delegate sovereignty; yet, as the intelligent few can decide the balance, there is much power in the ballot, as office is sought for on account of the salary as well as the principle. But mankind will soon learn that legislation should be exercised by each man in proper PERSON, and will organize into townships and constitutionally establish themselves in their equal, individual, and inalienable rights to sovereignty, life, labor, domain and products; partake in prescribing their rule of [missing half-line] perpetuate each other in their homesteads, and secure each [missing half-line] of the products of their labor. Thus every man will become his own legislator, landlord, and employer. Every right will truly be made free—Sovereignty, free—Life, free—Labor, free—and Products, free.

Present state of Political Science.

In comparing these views of the nature of rights, wrongs, and remedies with Blackstone’s Commentaries, as the most faithful reflection of the principles upon which the present era of monopoly is founded, there is a striking contrast. His whole doctrine is founded upon the evil principles of inequality, combination, and inalienableness[?], as exhibited in a graduated scale of classes, corporations, officers, professions, and employments. Instead of representing sovereignty as exercisable only by each man in person, he contends that it is vested in kings, lords, and certain constitutional acts, and that the people have only a “residuary right” in connection with the degrading privilege of petition and prayers.

There are, however, a series of pioneer writers continually advancing upon each other in a truer knowledge of political science. In our own Declaration of Independence, there is an advance by the expression “man is endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;” although the two latter of these terms are too indefinite for specific names of rights, as well as “equality, liberty, safety, and property” used in the French constitution of 1798. Equality as here shown is a sufficiently definite term for one of the properties of a right, but not for a right. The term liberty should be used to designate the exercise and enjoyment of every right. Safety is too vague, and property should only be applied to inanimate things, and not to the personal qualities of man by sacrilegiously reducing them to chattels.

Thus two of the great properties of a right, equality and inalienableness, have been gradually, but vaguely developed by such as Rosseau and Jefferson.

But it is George H. Evans who has developed them in definite and bold relief, and applied them to the well-defined right of Domain, which leads to all the other rights. The remaining property of a right, individuality, the writer of this essay has developed; but had been anticipated by Josiah Warren, supported by Thomas and Maria L. Varney. But he claims the application of them as the three constituent elements of a right, to all the rights, with this improved classification, &c., of rights and wrongs upon Blackstone’s.

If this is the true nature of rights, Robert Owen has erroneously assumed that individuality of rights or private property is the great evil, and by contrast that a community of rights and property is the great remedy.

The Editors of the Evening Post, Globe, Subterranean, True Sun, Herald and Express, of New York; the Ledger, Man, and Keystone, of Philad.; Union, of W. C.; Northampton Dem., Phalanx of Brookfarm ; the Boston Chron., and Inv.; Albany Patriot; Pittsburgh Dispatch; the Northern Star, People’s Journal, and Jerrold’s Magazine, of London; National Reformer, Isle of Man; Phalanx and Reforme of Paris, are requested to publish this article in whole or in part.

Lewis Masquerier.

The Working Man’s Political Economy, founded upon the principles of Immutable Justice and the Inalienable Rights of Man; designed for the promotion of National Reform; by John Pickering. Cincinnati; stereotyped in Warren’s new patent method, by Thomas Varney, 1847; 208 pp. 8vo.—For sale at Young America office.

This work seems to be the first product of the National Reform movement in book form, and presents as well as extends its principles with the most pungent arguments. It is most admirably calculated to instruct the working man in the true nature of the wrongs by which be is oppressed and in the rights to which be has mover yet attained. It should circulate in the garb of every language throughout the world. Would to God it could be shot by the universal electric medium into the minds of every tenamt and landlord, slave and master, hireling and employer, consumer sad profitmonger, voter and legislator upon earth. All parties would then see, that while luxurious monopoly on the one hand decimates millions of producers by destitution, it destroys on the other the race of non-producers by superabundance. They would see that superfluity destroys the monopolizers themselves as well as the destitute, by the tribute which they extort, and that it is the interest of all mankind to mutually protect each other in their rights.

The author does not rely wholly upon his own reasoning to convince; bat also upon the apt quotation of the opinions of aristocrats as well as democratic authors. Never has a writer made so effective a use of the evidence of parties against themselves. His introduction of established truisms in their familiar phraseology, already connected with accompanying associations of ideas in the common mind and the quotation of the opinions of notorious politicians, are well calculated to excite attention by their personality as well as to convince by the circumstances under which they were promulgated.

In what a clear and succinct style dove he show that labor only can reduce the natural elements into the form of property, and how deplorable are the consequences of the separation of labor and capital, or of man’s organs from the equal use of the soil and appurtenant elements, by becoming the mere tools and slaves of monopolizers. He most forcibly urges the adoption of the National Reform measures—of man’s thorough right to an Inalienable Homestead as the true remedy—that will promote equivalent exchanges of each man’s surplus products—that gold and silver should only be a more common medium of barter than any other two products according to the cost of labor in their production. Things can not represent or be exchanged for each other unless they possess some intrinsic value. The substitution therefore of bank paper, warrants, labor notes or any other form of bills of credit for specie or other property, only enable the non-producing idle to live upon the products of others’ labor. Let a system be established whereby each man shall present the product of his own labor at once in exchange for that of another; for all modes of credit are but exclusive privileges and were all credited, there would be but little or no production.

Let Mr, Warren and other advocates for a labor note currency then, consider Mr. Pickering’s and other’s plans for universal weights and a gold and silver currency for all countries, and they will see perhaps that even a certificate for deposit of products in town mart circulating as a currency, will tend to an improper and unsafe accumulation of surplus products, which foreign commerce may demand; but that it may be safer to barter directly at once or sell for the universal specie currency.

Lewis Masquerier.

For Young America.


Addressed to fractional-idead Reformers.

No right can be secured unless all are and particularly that to the soil. They are so intimately and inseparably connected with each other, that they cannot be restored if the chain of their connection is broken. They are as closely connected, as man’s organs are with each other and with the surrounding elements upon which they are founded.

The endowment of man with a right to life and person, would have been a perfect deception without arming him with the means of their preservation, consisting of instruments and materials. Now of what use would the instrument of the right to the will, mind or sovereignty (founded upon the nervous system ramified into the organs of sensation) be, unless it is connected with that of motion or labor (founded upon the muscular, ramified into limbs and hands) for the purpose of converting the raw materials of the surrounding elements into food, clothing and shelter? And would it not be an equal deception to endow man with these rights to the instruments of the thoughts and hands without providing him with the mates iso of the surrounding elements—of the earth appurtenances, to be elaborated by the vascular system ramified into the lungs and stomach for distributing oxygen, carbon, &c.?

This intimate dependence then of all the rights upon each other, shows how partial all reforms have been and must be, that only agitate for the establishment of but one right or part of a right at a time, and how much more efficient a reform would be, that could strike for every right and for the thorough principles upon which they are founded at once. Now the rights can be sufficiently enumerated under the definite terms of Life, Body, Sovereignty, Labor, Homestead and Chattels, and their properties under those of Equality, Individuality and Inalienableness. As the organs, natural wants and powers of production of all are so nearly equal, the necessity for an equal connection with the surrounding world must be the same and therefore proves that the rights of all must be equal—the identity and isolation of each man’s body and wants from those of others, prove that they must be enjoyed in an insulated state, and that tHe rights of all must be individual—their inseparable connection with the surrounding elements, proves them to be inalienable, and the same equal, individual and inalienable connection of man’s organs, sensations and wants with the external world, is the real foundation of rights.

If this then is the true nature of rights, no one right can be perfectly established without the knowledge and establishment of every right, and that too upon the thorough principle of their equality, individuality and inalienableness. This can be shown by referring to the partial modern reforms under the head of each separate right, by which, it will appear, from the ignorance of the nature of rights and what they are, no one has yet been agitated upon its thorough principles. All reforms as yet, have only been a change in the form of servitude, tyranny and monopoly, caused, by the progress of the physical sciences and arts. It has only been a change from a more to a less degraded form of slavery; as from feudatories to hired soldiers, from chattel-slaves to hireling labor-slaves, from serfs to tenants and from subjects to party-led voters.

By tracing the partial reforms of the fractional part of single right or principle only, it must seem that while they gradually cleared the way, yet the attempt to carry out one or even all of the personal rights thoroughly, will still be inefficient without that of terra firm equal, individual and inalienable homestead, is superadded.

Thus the right to life was so frequently violate under the feudal system at the command of ambitious conquerors in harassing wars, that a revolution took place and the tenure of the military service for the use of the soil was changed to that of a money or rent service. But this change only lets the more privileged wealthy vassal escape; for as destitution increased, men were driven into the modern system of volunteering and enlistment for wages; so that warfare since has been waged almost to the same extent by means of a hired soldiery as by the ancient feudatories.

There is now a reform party agitating against all aggressive war, and one also against capital punishment; but were even both abolished, and the principle of self-defence and defensive war carried out to its thorough extent of requiring every man to arm in proper person, and that those of the locality invaded should repel the invaders in self-defence, there is still more potent causes for the destruction of life in man’s loss of his right to the soil and of the means of employment by their monopoly by which the millions may still be decimated as lately and still shown by the famine of Ireland. Thus then these attempts at the partial reform of but one species of wrong at a time, while it preserves life in one form, leave it to be destroyed in another. But this is no reason against the agitation of fractional reforms when ignorance will not admit of more thorough ones; for evil in one form at least is sometimes remedied by them.

Let it next be enquired how far the right to person, to self-ownership, can be restored without that to the outside body or womb consisting of the surrounding world. The abolition of chattel slavery would certainly destroy all property in the mere flesh and blood of man, but it would give the capitalist a more profitable property—in his labor. Without the soil for self-employment, he must ask leave to toil from a more relentless master of his labor than that of the body. Man’s outside body must be freed in connection with the inside one, or in other words the case in which the body is enclosed must be emancipated along with it. There is no other umbilical cord than that of the surrounding elements connecting the lungs and stomach with the earth through which he can draw his subsistence. It would therefore be an awfully dangerous measure to cut loose from their slight hold on their master’s soil three millions of slaves amid an equal number of whites with a glut of labor in the market, without liberating their native soil at the same time. The short-sighted abolitionists will thereby only change the form of servitude, unless they urge the abolishment of the monopoly of the soil as well as that of chattel slavery. Behold the effects of the rascally British emancipation in the West India Islands, where they have tariffed consumption so greatly, that it was more profitable to receive £20,000,000 for their slaves out of the product of the labor of white slaves at home, and then to hire the labor, instead of owning, buying or rearing slaves. By this pretended emancipation of the body without that of the soil, they have only turned slaves into starving ‘vagrants.’ And will abolitionists with this hundred million dollar cost experience, emancipate slaves merely to starve? Will they not urge that the slaves are the true owners of the soil upon which they have toiled for generations and given it so much of its value? Chattel slavery then can only be abolished by restoring self-ownership with that of the soil. Let every colored family then be established in their right to a forty acre equal and inalienable homestead, on which they can self-employ themselves, and exercise their inalienable right of sovereignty as well as those who have been their masters. No power on earth can expatriate any man from his natal country. Slaves have the same right to their country and to a home of their own as their masters. The colonization of so many millions is impracticable as well as unjust.

Let the abolitionist, then, strike for the emancipation of hired as well as chattel slavery, by urging the restoration of man’s right to the soil and to the product of his labor. Though chattel slavery is its most degraded form, yet let them remember that mere life may be more secure under it, than under wages slavery, with no security for employment, and left to starve as the landless and wages slaves of Ireland, England and every nation upon earth.

Having thus shown the futility of restoring man’s right to life and body without that to the soil, will now be shown how ineffectual also will be the attempt to restore his right to his mind and will or to sovereignty without the knowledge and possession of an inalienable homestead.

Lewis Masquerier.

To be continued.

For Young America.


Addressed to those advocating only the fractional part of a Principle.

The first form of revelation where all sovereignty is concentrated in an autocracy, is most probably by an enterprizing peerage, who, dividing the sovereign power with the autocrat, become an assembly of hereditary peers. As intelligence grows more rapidly in cities, the burghers also contend for a share in the exercise of sovereignty, revolutionize, and in turn divide the powers of government with the king and peers, and become a house of burgesses, commons or representatives. Then see a further reform, where these three estates assemble in one house, or become all elective by universal suffrage and elegibility, as in the representative republics of the United States. See how, that notwithstanding this supposed exercise of sovereignty by the people, not a single law is ever enacted that directly favors the suffering and property-producing masses, but on the contrary all their enactments only operate as general deeds of conveyance, conveying all rights from the many to the few. But even though the last stage was taken, to restore the right to sovereignty, upon the thorough principle of exercising it in proper person by township assemblies; yet, while the relation of landlord and tenant, employer and hireling, creditor and debtor, exist, the dependent classes could have no freedom of will in the exercise of sovereignty. Here then, again, may be seen the necessity of striking for every right at once, and particularly for an equal and inalienable right to the soil, to labor and its products—that nothing short can thoroughly restore any right. But possible that the knowledge of man’s right to self-ownership, to self-defence and to self-legislation should exist without suggesting also the equal, individual, and inalienable ownership of the soil.

It will be shown how futile also have been all the reformatory attempts to secure the right to labor and its product without striking for that to the soil. When the knight-service was changed to a rent for the use of the soil, the base-service of those who labored on the lord’s manor without wages, was still extorted from them, although made to pay rent in addition. This oppression in time was revolutionized by the system of hire and wages, and workingmen thought they had made a great advance towards the restoration of the rights of labor. They little foresaw that the modern progress of the monopoly of land and machinery would not only take away the whole product of labor, but even employment itself. Thus it is seen that rights are eternally encroached upon when they are held under others. No man should be compelled to apply to another for the use of the soil, or for employment, but should have no other commercial intercourse than that of an exchange of his surplus products for those of others. It is now seen how much more effectively the laborer may be rendered destitute, by taking away his ownership to the soil than to his body. The abundance of hired labor makes it much cheaper than chattel-labor, where the body has to be reared and preserved from sickness and death. So great, then, has been the evil under the modern system of hire and wages slavery, that various modes of agitation have been resorted to, to prevent the reduction of wages. There have been strikes resorted to by particular trades, and then there have been unions attempted of all trades; but they have all resulted in those out of employment taking the place of those who struck. They are now resorting to benefit associations, which provide temporary relief of extreme cases of distress only, by taxing themselves against their oppressors. Protective unions are now also trying, but those who have only their labor to sell, cannot avail themselves of wholesale prices.

Fourier joint stock associations are proposed as a remedy for all the evils of society. But they retain the unjust principle of giving a portion of the product of labor to capital, instead of thoroughly and equally uniting the capitalist and producer in the same person. Providing for some economy in the production, distribution and consumption of products, yet they violate the three constituent principles of a perfect right—equality, individuality, and inalienableness. Its members cannot be equal, where some live upon the labor of the rest, by substituting their capital—their rights cannot be individual, where they are all merged in each other—and they cannot be inalienable where a portion of the product of labor is alienated in the form of interest, upon capital. The advocates of this scheme not having attained to the knowledge that a perfect right must be exercised by each man in proper person, as equal, isolated, and inalienable, do not see that it is an insult to humanity for a phalanx to presume to give constant and attractive employment when God has already given a vastly more permanent and attractive one upon equal, individual, and inalienable homesteads, with proportionate occupations in townships; where each man armed with the sublime liberty of his individual sovereignty, shall labor with his own hands and not those of slaves or hirelings; equitably exchange his surplus products in town mart without the intervention of profit mongers; meet in town hall throughout the state, assisted by a state press, and in proper person partake in prescribing the very few laws which will then be necessary during each age.

The Owen communion of common labor and property, by directly destroying the individuality of the right of them, also indirectly destroys their equality and inalienableness. Nature abhors a mixture of each man’s rights, wants and propensities in the enjoyment of the same identical objects, and all her labors tend to preserve the identity or at least the individuality of things. In erroneously predicating exclusive property as an evil, common property by contrast has been mistaken for the remedy. But the evil is not in the sentiment of what is mine and thine—of what are my and thy rights or wants, but in that of their monopoly or alienation. Reformers are therefore divided upon what are the causes of the evils of society. The several varieties of communists contend, that it must be founded in the competition and exclusive interest in property and other rights; while individualists, such as the National Reform, Liberty League, Land Allotment, and Tenant League Associations, are discovering that it is founded in the alienation and monopoly of property and other rights. But to see that competition in the acquisition of private property is not the source of the evil, only observe the condition of each individual of mankind, when restored to his equal, individual, and inalienable right to his homestead, his labor, and his sovereignty; where, exercising his will and labor in proper person only, with his own ideas and hands, he can no longer alienate or monopolize the rights of his fellow-man, and then the principle of competition will become sublimated into a virtuous emulation. As then all forms of common property associations seem to be founded upon an erroneous principle, they never can restore man’s self-directed right to labor any more than Phalansteries, Trade Unions; or Benefit Societies. How can man’s equal and inalienable right to self-employment be restored, when leave to toil must be directed by community employers? A common property society as a body politic becomes a master, while each member, as an individual, is but a slave. God intends that each man shall be his own employer, and deeds to each as much of the earth and its appurtenant elements, as he can use, and records it by the fact of his existence, which neither society nor government can take away; but which they have through all time, and still continue to alienate from the masses. Here, then, again is seen the inefficiency of all associations in restoring the right to labor by communizing personal and property rights, instead of first establishing by political action, man’s inalienable right to the soil.

As then the right of labor or self-employment cannot be restored without that of the soil, which can only furnish it with materials, surely it must be very absurd to suppose that the products of labor of landless men can be restored by any form of trade or exchange. How short-idead must they be, who imagine that either free or restricted trade, extorting more than one hundred per cent profit on an average, instead of carriage only, or that even an equitable exchange, according to the time of labor in production, can restore the product of the labor of the hireling landless producer. The immense profits of free trade and the additional tax imposed by tariffs, are all shifted by the several classes of non-producers, until the whole bill of profits as well as costs is paid out of the product of hired labor. Free trade, although it distributes the products of the different climes of the earth, yet it is at the expense of an immense monopoly of the value of labor in their production, while restricted trade lays an additional tax on consumption, and benefits the manufacturing capitalists of one country to the injury of those of another. But equitable commerce or equitable exchange trade, though it would secure the whole product of the laborer were he upon his inalienable homestead, and had commodities to exchange, yet under the present monopoly of the soil by landlordry, the tenant and hireling having nothing but their labor in market; have nothing to exchange, and even if they had, all the profit they would save from the shopper, would be added by their landlords to their rents. The most improved form, then, that commerce could assume under the present monopoly of the soil, cannot secure the producer in the product of his labor. The landless masses without the soil, can acquire no control by any mode in the distribution of commodities, whereby they can secure the product of their labor. The most-improved universal weights and specie currency used as a medium of exchange, though far preferable to bank rags, labor notes, or any other form of bills of credit, can do but little in restoring the producer to the product of his labor, unless he is reinstated in his right to the soil.

As then no equivalent exchanges of commodities can be effected under the present system of the monopoly of the soil, it must first be restored, and then an equitable exchange will restore and perpetuate the products of labor to the producer. The principle must be established, that the right to products, as well as the soil, is inalienable, and that they should not be sold to profit mongers, extorting immense profits, but should only be exchanged like homesteads for each other at the cost of carriage and risk only. As a free soil means its equal exchange and security from the grasp of the landlord and jobber, so must free trade in its products, mean their equitable exchange also at the cost of production and distribution only, and their protection against the monopoly of the profit monger.

Lewis Masquerier.

To be continued.

For Young America.


Addressed to those advocating only the fractional part of a Principle.


Having shown in two essays that among all the progressive revolutions of mankind, neither that from feudatories to a hired soldiery, from the abolition of judicial murder or capital punishment to the penitentiary, nor from warfare to peace, can thoroughly secure the right to life; neither can the change from chattel to hire and wages slavery secure that of self-ownership; nor can the change from a monarchy to a peerage, or to an elective aristocracy as in a representative republic, or even to a democracy of the people assembling in proper person, thoroughly secure the right to sovereignty; nor can the change from the competition of labor with capital and machinery, from benefit and trade unions, to joint stock and common property associations, thoroughly secure the inalienable right to labor and employment; nor can the change from restricted to free trade, to universal coins and weight, to protective unions or equivalent exchanges, secure the right to the product of labor; so that neither the one nor the whole of these together, can be thoroughly secured without man’s right to the soil is superadded;—it will now be shown that even the soil itself can only be thoroughly gained and secured by the triune principle of the equality, individuality and inalienableness of every right.

The first partial advance towards the title to the soil (as well as sovereignty) is the abolition of the law of primogeniture and entailment, and the divi- sion of the estate among all the heirs as in the States, and some other countries. But the abolition of the law of primogeniture by the revolution in France, shows, that when the soil becomes divided down by an increase of descendants below the minimum that it can support, it will become monopolized by a crediting and trafficking capitalist. Coparcenary homestead, or the mere equal division of the soil then, among the heirs, without its minimum as well as maximum limitation, and above all, without the establishment of the inalenableness of men’s title to it, has not secured it from liability to alienation.

The instruments of monopoly are so numerous, that the mere equal division of property among all the heirs with no restriction upon its sale, only gives greater facilities to a more enterprising number of capitalists to accumulate the product of the producing laborer. The unlimited descent too of property to remaining heirs, the banking privilege alternately expanding and contracting the currency several times its natural amount, the monopoly of machinery performing many hundred times the natural labor of a:country, the monopoly of the trade of the world, and the unlimited purchase of the choice new lands of the earth by non-improving speculators, reaping the rise of many hundred percentage in value of the labor of actual improvers, are progressing at such an overwhelming ratio, that if not checked, whole nations will become enslaved by a few landlords and bankers. This then is the equality resulting from the mere equal division of estates among heirs, without limiting the ownership to the soil.

The next advance towards securing the right to the soil, is that of chattel and homestead exemptions. Public sentiment, that only advances by fractional parts of a principle, is now beginning to generalize from chattel exemption to that of homestead; but after its establishment, it will next see that it only protects against liability to the land monopolist or other person, and not from the improvidence of the occupant himself, as it does not reach the principle, declaring the natural right of the landless to an unoccupied tract. Homestead exemption then, which is inconsistent, if it does not embrace that of chattel also, by leaving the possessor free to alienate without recourse to an unoccupied tract, and subjecting all over the exempted portion to an unlimited monopoly, falls far short of creating a complete title to the soil.

But limited homestead or land limitation, is also proposed as a great advance upon homestead exemption. But this measure, while it determines the equalness of the quality each may possess, and though in its operation it makes the right somewhat inalienable, yet, it does not declare it so positively, as provided by the measure of inalienable homestead; which, by declaring man’s natural and inseparable right to it, makes his title perfect. Land limitation then, determines what each may retain and acquire, by securing all under the limit and by dividing down large estates and selling the overplus to the landless, thus destroying monopoly. But still many under this measure may be found without a home, as it only indirectly secures from liability. For while the limit will make land cheap and easy to get, yet it will be more easily taken away by the landless profit-monger. This measure then, though very appropriate for agitation, yet it but too vaguely declares the inalienableness of the right to the soil, and requires the support of that of inalienable homestead, as well as individual homestead, which is another element in the perfection of every right, and which is destroyed by the opposite principle of communitising them. For a community of common property rights is so merged into each other, that their exemption, equality and inalienableness are destroyed. It is a mere fiction of law and doctrine to declare that God has given the earth to man in common, when the identity of each person and wants declares that it is given to him in individuality or isolation; so that he is entitled to as much as he can cultivate of any unoccupied tract on which he may locate, without the absurdity of procuring the consent of the rest of mankind, which the doctrine of community or tenants in common to the soil would require.

But still divided, exempted, limited and isolated homestead all combined, falls short of containing the thorough principle of man’s natural right to the soil, without the addition of inalienable homestead. Exemption attempts to secure a small quantity from liability to others—land limitation fixes the quantity and makes it to some extent inalienable—individual homestead gives the thorough use, but inalienable homestead secures each man’s right to the soil, even against the improvidence of himself as well as others. The right to the soil cannot be perfect if it can in any way become alienated. Neither a man’s own act or that of others can destroy it. He can no more destroy his right to a share of the soil, than he can his body or life. He cannot even for crime forfeit any other right than that of reputation in a right state of society. It is absurd then to contend that the right to the soil is not equally inalienable as that of life, as it is the superstructure of every other right.

If the measure of inalienable homestead allows it to be alienated by the owner’s consent, it amounts to no more than home exemption, if it does not entitle him to some unoccupied tract. But the principle of an inalienable right to the soil does not require that the same identical homestead must ever be attached to the same person like the tortoise’s shell. For this would violate one of the inalienable personal rights—that of locomotion or emigration, by a kind of imprisonment. The principle then must permit of an equitable exchange of homesteads, of the sale of their improvements, entitling the seller to an unoccupied tract, of their descent or bequest to landless heirs, or in default of both, to escheat to the township in trust for the first landless settler. Thus equivalent exchanges, &c. of homesteads is as necessary as that of commodities. It is only required that each man must be entitled to a homestead somewhere, and therefore the disposal of one in any way for another, does not come within the meaning of the alienation of the right, any more than an equivalent exchange of commodities.

Nor can the establishment of the right to the soil upon even its thorough principle, any more than personal rights, be thoroughly exercised and enjoyed without an organization into farming and mechanical homestead townships, with proportionate employments, producing an assortment of commodities for equivalent exchange. For without an organization, whereby the producer can have a market at home for equivalent exchanges, without paying profits to a middleman, he could not be drawn from cities to where he could be almost pauperized upon his homestead. Besides the township is of a size to enable all to meet in proper person to exercise sovereignty, without its alienation to supposed representatives. Thus without organization, through labor would not be taken in the form of rent, yet it would in that of profit by the trafficking extortioner. To sum up all, then, it seems that there can be no such thing as a perfect right until they are all possessed, exercised and enjoyed by each man in proper person.

Lewis Masquerier.

The Working Man’s Political Economy, &c.; designed for the promotion of National Reform. By John Pickering. Cincinnati, 200 pages 8 vo. 1848.

Equitable Commerce; proposed as elements of New Society. By Josiah Warren. New Harmony, Ia., 90 pages. 8 vo. 1848.

The Working Man’s Political Economy is written with great perspicuity and argumentative power. It supports our National Reform measures with additional coinciding views. It is a real God-send to our movement, and the National Reform and every other Press should extract largely from its pages and recommend its universal perusal. The 2d, 3d, 6th, 7th, Sth, 12h, 13th, 18th, and concluding chapters contain instruction for all parties; but all is so equally excellent, none can be copied amiss.

With the most happy combination of original perception, talent and learning, he expresses the thorough principle of man’s natural and inalienable right to the soil and to the whole product of his labor. He urges the political action of the ballot box as the most efficient means of freeing the public lands to actual settlers, and eventually to establish land limitation and the inalienable homestead. He shows that the right to the whole soil, must be aided by equivalent exchanges of equal times of labor through the medium of barter, a universal specie currency and standard weights. He shows that a proper currency should have an intrinsic value as well as other useful products—that gold and silver have such a value; but that bank and labor have no such value. I once thought a labor note issued at the township mart for products actually deposited, would constitute a good currency; but Mr. Pickering’s reasons in favor of a currency produced like other useful property by a certain quantity of labor, have convinced me that no form of bill of credit can be a proper representative of labor or property, which can only be represented by itself, and that all credits or promises to pay, are nothing but exclusive privileges, enabling a non-producer to live upon the labor of the producer.

It is the happy combination of fundamental principles and of practicable views in Mr. Pickering’s work that is particularly adapted to produce conviction. His arguments always well pointed to the subject are, besides sharpened with the most cutting sarcasm. He overhauls the dogmatic premises of the present political economists and contrasts them with their occasional confessions of the truths. And thus after keenly criticising the systems of others, he challenges discussion upon his own in his work and through the press. He seems to have attained to that sublime pitch of sentiment, (rarer than even genius itself,) that can doubt its fallibility and submit to correction.

Thus, he takes a very different view of the efficacy of discussion to that of Mr. Warren, who publishes his work, entitled “Equitable Commerce, &c.;” then declines all controversy—declares the “imbecility” of all attempts to refute it, and again repeats it in Young America against Mr. Pickering for criticising his plan. In a correspondence with him before he had published his book, I urged him to take in our National Reform measures as a part of his system at least, to embrace political action, to make “cost the limit of price” and equivalent changes of products as auxiliary to the inalienable homestead. But he still insists that by buying and selling the land and its products at the cost of labor, he can equalize the property of a nation; and establish a principle without the action of government. But where are the land owners to be found, that sell at cost contrary to their interest and without compulsory law? But there are the laboring millions who will find it for their interest to vote the freedom of the public lands and the limitation of the private as they are sold, when they come to understand it. How can equivalent exchanges of products reach the great mass of tenants and hirelings, who have nothing to exchange, and even if they had, all they may save from the profits of the shopper, could be added to their rents, leaving nothing to purchase land, even if monopolists were to offer it at cost.

His position of the individual sovereignty of each main in his rights, interests and property, as the opposite of community, I believe is the true principle. But instead of extending the exercise of sovereignty to the temperate extent of each man representing himself in proper person only in township primary assembly in prescribing law, he declares that there should be no constitution, law or government; but that each man should be a law unto himself only. He seems to librate to the opposite extreme of individuality or isolation, as Mr. Owen does to that of community of rights. The one; true to his one-idea, is making a little experiment of his system at Utopia; the other is proposing plans to parliament to relieve the Irish by establishing communities of laborers upon the railroads. They seem to think that man is to gain his rights by a kind of stratagem or stealth upon the erroneous institutions of society, and not by a bold establishment of rights through the action of revolutionary government. Neither of them seem to trace the origin of man’s right to the inseparable connection of his organs, sensations and wants with the surrounding elements, and that therefore, each man must be entitled to as much soil and the appurtenant elements as he can use. Can Mr. Warren be endued with the deep principle of the inalienableness of a right when he proposes to buy the inalienable right to the soil? Or can Mr. Owen be said to have attained to the idea, when he remarked that as the land had “always been sold, it should still be bought and sold.”

But when we find so much to criticize in such sincere friends of humanity, is it not a caution to us all to be careful in the examination of all our positions? When so many great minds assume erroneous premises, does it not seem to be a mere chance who can be so fortunate as to hit upon the most correct ones? When the history of the progress of science, shows how little each improver has added to his predecessor, it should humble us all from being too confident of the truth of all we assert, and remind us that our successors may advance upon us as we have upon our predecessors.

Mr. Warren certainly writes with a brevity and force that indicates a high order of intellect. But he proves himself another instance that the most exuberant genius, exudes the greatest excresences along with its developments. He has given proofs of original conception by his inventions of a printing press, a universal typography, and by discovering substitute for type metal, plaster, and a new process of stereotyping, in addition to his developments in social science. It is to be hoped, that he will yet see the efficacy of National Reform—that the ballot can only restore the soil and establish townships of proportionate farmers and mechanics, wherein he can reduce to practice the main good point in his plan, that of equivalent exchanges of products according to the cost of production.

Let us not however be too certain, but that after man’s rights are restored by political action, that then there may be, much truth in Mr. Warren’s position, that there will be but little necessity for government beyond the local business of the townships. As the conflicting opinions of reformers prove that no complete political science is yet developed, I would recommend that all should be candidly investigated, and that Mr. Warren’s work should also be read and reviewed with choice extracts from it.

Lewis Masquerier.


About Shawn P. Wilbur 2703 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.