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B B Campbell

suits, producers, fear, whom, people, council and prosecution

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" B. B. CAMPBELL, Parnassus, Pennsylvania.

Dear Sir—Your despatch of yesterday from 0. C. has only just reached me. As I cannot say what I want to over the wires I reply by mail.

You ask if the high-sounding wording of the declaration of rights of the producers made at their mass-meeting, held here on Monday, in which they pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honours, means liberal subscriptions to the Council funds. I reply with sorrow and humiliation—I fear not. All this high-flown talk is buncombe of the worst kind. The producers are willing to meet in a mass-meeting held out of doors where it costs nothing even for rent of a hall, and pass any kind of a resolution that is offered. It costs nothing to do this, but when asked to contribute a dollar to the legal prosecution of these plunderers, robbers, and fugitives from justice, whom they are denouncing in their resolution, they either positively refuse, say that the Council is + doing nothing, that the suits are interminable and will never end, that there is no justice to be obtained in the courts of Pennsylvania, etc., etc., or else plead poverty and say they have contributed all that they are able to.

True, the producers are poor and the suits and legal proceedings are slow, and there is much to discourage them, but I tell you, my honoured chief, that the true inwardness of this state of affairs is, that the people of the Oil Regions have by slow degrees and easy stages been brought into a condition of bondage and serfdom by the monopoly, until now, when they have been aroused to a realisation of their con dition, they have not the courage and manhood left to enable them to strike a blow for liberty. And these are the people for whom you and your few faithful followers in the Council are labouring, spending (I fear wasting) your substance—neglecting your own interest to advance theirs, and all for what good—"cui bono"? I fear you will say that I am discouraged. No, not discouraged, but disgusted with the poor, spiritless, and faint-hearted people whom you are labouring so hard to liberate from bondage. As to the prospects of raising funds for the prosecution of the suits by subscription or assessments on the Unions, I am sorry to say that I fear it is impossible—at least it is impossible for me to make any collections—and right here let me make a suggestion. I often feel that the fault may not be with the people, but

with the writer. I would therefore suggest that you select from among the members of the Council any good man whom you think has the power of convincing these people that their only hope of relief lies in sustaining you in the prosecution of the suits, and therefore they must contribute to the fund. If you will do this, I will promise you that he will be hospitably received and favourably introduced by the writer. But as for depending on the unaided efforts of myself to raise funds, I fear it would be useless.

I do not write this, my friend, with a view of throwing any discouragement in your path, which, God knows, is rugged and thorny enough, but I must give vent to my righteous indignation in some way, and ask you are the producers as a class (nothing but a d—d cowardly, disorganised mob as they are) worth the efforts you are putting forth to save them ? As for myself, a single individual (and I can speak for no others), I am determined to stand with you until the end, with my best strength and my last dollar." Now, what was this loose and easily discouraged organisa tion opposing? A compact body of a few able, cold-blooded men—men to whom anything was right that they could get, men knowing exactly what they wanted, men who loved the game they played because of the reward at the goal, and, above all, men who knew how to hold their tongues and wait. "To Mr. Rockefeller," they say in the Oil Regions, "a day is as a year and a year as a day. He can wait, but he never gives up." Mr. Rockefeller knew the producers, knew how feeble their staying qualities in anything but the putting down of oil wells, and he may have said confidently, at the begin ning of their suits against him, as it was reported he did say, that they would never be finished. They had not been finished from any lack of material. If the suits had been pushed but one result was possible, and that was the conviction of both the Standard and the railroads ; they had been left unfinished because of the impatience and instability of the prosecuting body and the compactness, resolution and watchfulness of the defendants.

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