shuttles fly, where toilers earn their bread in the sweat of their faces, and exclaim, "Labor Omnia Vincit," and you will be laughed to scorn.
Why is it that labor does not conquer anything? Why does it not assert its mighty power? Why does it not rule in congress, in legislatures and in courts? I answer because it is factionized, because it will not unify, because, for some inscrutable reason, it prefers division, weakness and slavery, rather than unity, strength and victory.
Will it always be thus unmindful of its power and prerogatives? I do not think so. Will it always tamely submit to degradation? I protest that it will not. Labor has the ballot. It has redeeming power. I write from behind prison bars, the victim of a petty tyrant. My crime was that I sought to rescue Pullman slaves from the grasp of a monster of greed and rapacity.
I think a day is coming when "Labor Omnia Vincit" will change conditions. I hear the slogan of the clans of organized labor. It cheers me. I believe with the poet that
A Labor Day is coming when our starry flag shall wave,
Above a land where famine no longer digs a grave.
Where money is not master, nor the workingman a slave--
For the right is marching on.
EUGENE V. DEBS.
McHenry County Jail, Woodstock, Ill., August 5, 1895.
Manifestly the spirit of '76 still survives. The fires of liberty and noble aspirations are not yet extinguished. I greet you tonight as lovers of liberty and as despisers of despotism. I comprehend the significance of this demonstration and appreciate the honor that makes it possible for me to be your guest on such an occasion. The vindication and glorification of American principles of government, as proclaimed to the world in the Declaration of Independence, is the high purpose of this convocation.
Speaking for myself personally, I am not certain whether this is an occasion for rejoicing or lamentation. I confess to a serious doubt as to whether this day marks my deliverance from bondage to freedom or my doom from freedom to bondage. Certain it is, in the light____________________