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B B Campbell

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B. B. CAMPBELL." The contract with the Pennsylvania which was signed by Mr. Scott agreed, in consideration of the withdrawal of the suit against the road, to the following policy : i. That it would make known to all shippers all rates of freight charged upon petroleum. [This was an abolition of secret rates.] 2. If any rates of freight were allowed one shipper as against another, on demand that rate was to be made known.

3. There should be no longer any discrimination in the allotment and distribution of cars to shippers of petroleum.

4. Any rebate allowed to a large shipper was to be reason able.* There were both humiliation and bitterness in the Council when the report was read—humiliation and bitterness that after two years of such strenuous fighting all that was achieved was a contract which sacrificed what everybody knew to be the fundamental principle, the principle which up to this point the producers had always insisted must be recognised in any negotiation—that the rebate system was wrong and must not be compromised with. Hard speeches were made, and Mr. Campbell's head was bowed more than once while big tears ran down his cheeks. He had worked long and hard. Probably most of the members of the Grand Council who were present had a consciousness that no one of them had done anywhere near what Mr. Campbell had done toward prosecuting their cause, and though they might object to the compromise, they could not blame him, knowing all the diffi culties which had been put in the way. So they accepted the report, thanking him for his fidelity and energy, but not fail ing to express their disapproval of the reservation in regard to the rebate system. They ended their meeting by a resolu tion bitterly condemning the courts, the state administration at Harrisburg, and corporations in general : "We declare that by the inefficiency and weakness of the secretary of internal affairs in the year 1878; by the interposition on more than one occasion of the attorney-gen eral in 1879, by which the taking of testimony was prevented; by the failure of the pres ent government for many months, either to grant or deny the requisition for criminals indicted for crime, within the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, fugitives to other states; and by the interference of some of the judges of the Supreme Court, by an extraordinary and, according to the best legal judgment of the land, unlawful proceed ing, by which the trial of an indictment for misdemeanour pending in a local court was delayed and prevented, the alarming and most dangerous influence of powerful cor porations has been demonstrated. While we accept the inevitable result forced upon us by these influences, we aver that the contest is not over and our objects not attained, but we all continue to advocate and maintain the subordination of all corporations to the laws, the constitution, and the will of the people, however and whenever expressed; that the system of freight discrimination by common carriers is absolutely wrong in principle, and tends to the fostering of dangerous monopolies; and that it is the duty of the government, by legislation and executive action, to protect the people from their growing and dangerous power." And with this resolution the second Petroleum Producers' Union formed to fight Mr. Rockefeller came to an end.

By the morning of February 20 the Oil Regions knew of the compromise. The news was received in sullen anger. It was due to the cowardice of the state officials, the corrupt ing influence of corporations, the oil men said. They blamed everybody but themselves, and yet if they had done their duty the suits would never have been compromised. The sim ple fact is that the mass of oil men had not stood by their leaders in the hard fight they had been making. These leaders, Mr. Campbell the president, Mr. Sherman the chief counsel, and Mr. Patterson the head of the legislative committee, had given almost their entire time for two years to the work of the Union. The offices of Mr. Campbell and Mr. Patterson were both honorary, and they had both often used their private funds in prosecuting their work. Mr. Sherman gave his ser vices for months at a time without pay. No one outside of the Council of the Union knew the stress that came upon these three men. Up to the decision to institute the conspiracy suit they had worked in harmony. But when that was decided upon

Mr. Patterson withdrew. He saw how fatal such a move must be, how completely it interfered with the real work of the Union, forcing common carriers to do their duty. He saw that the substantial steps gained were given up and that the work would all have to be done over again if their suit went on. Mr. Campbell believed in it, however, and Mr. Sherman, whether he believed in it or not, saw no way but to follow his chief. The nine months of disappointment and disillusion which followed were terrible for both men. They soon saw that the forces against them were too strong, that they would never in all probability be able to get the conspiracy suit tried, and that so long as it was on the docket the proper witnesses could not be secured for the suits against the railroads. Finally it came to be a question with them what out of the wreck of their plans and hopes could they save? And they saved what the compromise granted. If the oil producers they repre sented, a body of some 2,000 men, had stood behind them throughout 1879 as they did in 1878 the results would have been different. Their power, their means, were derived from this body, and this body for many months had been giv ing them feeble support. Scattered as they were over a great stretch of country, interested in nothing but their own oil farms, the producers could only be brought into an alliance by hope of overturning disastrous business conditions. They all felt that the monopoly the Standard had achieved was a menace to their interests, and they went willingly into the Union at the start, and supported it generously, but they were an impatient people, demanding quick results, and when they saw that the relief the Union promised could only come through lawsuits and legislation which it would take perhaps years to finish, they lost interest and refused money. At the first meeting of the Grand Council of the Union in Novem ber, 1878, there were nearly zoo delegates present—at the last one in February, 188o, scarcely forty. Many of the local lodges were entirely dead. Not even the revival in the sum mer of 1879 of the hated immediate shipment order, which had caused so much excitement the year before, but which had not been enforced long because of the uprising, brought them back to the Union. In July the order had been put in operation again in a fashion most offensive to the oil men, it being an nounced by the United Pipe Lines that thereafter oil would be bought by a system of sealed bids. Blanks were to be fur nished the producers, the formula of which ran: There was a frightful uproar in consequence. The morning after this announcement several hundred men gathered in front of the United Pipe Line's office in Bradford, and held an open-air meeting. They had a band on the ground which played "Hold the Fort"; and the following resolutions were adopted: "Resolved, That the oil producers of the Northern District in meeting assembled do maintain and declare that the present shipment order is infamous in principle and disreputable in practice, and we hereby declare that we will not sell one barrel of oil in conformity with the requirements of the said order. And we pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honour to resort to every legal means, to use every influence in our power to prevent any sales under the said order. And we also declare that the United Pipe Lines shall hereafter perform their duty as common carriers under the law." That night a battalion of some 30o masked men in robes of white marched through the streets of Bradford, groan ing those that they suspected of being in sympathy with the Standard methods, and cheering their friends. Again there appeared there, that night, all over the upper oil country, cabalistic signs, which had been seen there often the year before. The feeling was so intense, and the danger of riot so great, that twenty-four hours after the order for sealed bids was given, it was withdrawn. The outbreak aroused Mr. Campbell's hope that it might be possible at this moment to arouse the lodges, and he wrote a prominent oil man of Brad ford asking his opinion. In reply he received the following letter. It shows very well what the leaders had to contend against. It shows, too, the point of view of a very frank and intelligent oil producer: