Part 5 out of 5
If anything is clearly demonstrated as true, it is that both
"government" and "the state" have been evolved out of our own
necessities; neither was imposed from without, but both have been
evolved from within; both are forms of co-operation. For the time
being the "state" and "government," as well as the "church" and
all human institutions, may be modified or seemingly abolished,
but they come back to serve essentially the same purpose. The
French Revolution was an organized attempt to overturn the
foundations of society and hasten progress by moving the hands of
the clock forward a few centuries,--the net result was a despotism
the like of which the world has not known since the days of Rome.
Anarchy as a system is a bubble, the iridescent hues of which
attract, but which vanish into thin air on the slightest contact
with reality; it is the perpetual motion of sociology; the fourth
dimension of economies; the squaring of the political circle.
The apostles of anarchy are a queer lot,--Godwin in England,
Proudhon, Grave, and Saurin in France, Schmidt ("Stirner"),
Faucher, Hess, and Marr in Germany, Bakunin and Krapotkin in
Russia, Reclus in Belgium, with Most and Tucker in America, sum up
the principal lights,--with the exception of the geographer
Reclus, not a sound and sane man among them; in fact, scarcely any
two agree upon a single proposition save the broad generalization
that government is an evil which must be eliminated. Until they do
agree upon some one measure or proposition of practical
importance, the world has little to fear from their discussions
and there is no reason why any attempt should be made to suppress
the debate. If government is an evil, as so many men who are not
anarchists keep repeating, then the sooner we know it and find the
remedy the better; but if government is simply one of many human
institutions developed logically and inevitably to meet conditions
created by individual shortcomings, then government will tend to
diminish as we correct our own failings, but that it will entirely
disappear is hardly likely, since it is inconceivable that men on
this earth should ever attain such a condition of perfection that
possibility of disagreement is absolutely and forever removed.
Anarchism as a doctrine, as a theory, involves no act of violence
any more than communism or socialism.
Between the assassination of a ruler and the doctrine of anarchy
there is no necessary connection. The philosophic anarchist simply
believes anarchy is to be the final result of progress and
evolution, just as the communist believes that communism will be
the outcome; neither theorist would see the slightest advantage in
trying to hasten the slow but sure progress of events by deeds of
violence; in fact, both theorists would regret such deeds as
certain to prove reactionary and retard the march of events.
The world has nothing to fear from anarchism as a theory, and up
to thirty or forty years ago it was nothing but a theory.
The "propaganda of action" came out of Russia about forty years
ago, and is the offspring of Russian nihilism.
The "propaganda of action" is the protest of impatience against
evolution; it is the effort to hasten progress by deeds of
From the few who, like Bakunin, Brousse, and Krapotkin, have
written about the "propaganda of action" with sufficient coherence
to make themselves understood, it appears that it is not their
hope to destroy government by removing all executive heads,--even
their tortured brains recognize the impossibility of that task;
nor do they hope to so far terrify rulers as to bring about their
abdication. Not at all; but they do hope by deeds of violence to
so attract attention to the theory of anarchy as to win
followers;--in other words, murders such as those of Humbert,
Carnot, and President McKinley were mere advertisements of
anarchism. In the words of Brousse, "Deeds are talked of on all
sides; the indifferent masses inquire about their origin, and thus
pay attention to the new doctrine and discuss it. Let men once get
as far as this, and it is not hard to win over many of them."
Hence, the greater the crime the greater the advertisement; from
that point of view, the shooting of President McKinley, under
circumstances so atrocious, is so far the greatest achievement of
the "propaganda of action."
It is worth noting that the "reign of terror" which the Nihilists
sought to and did create in Russia was for a far more practical
and immediate purpose. They sought to terrify the government into
granting reforms; so far from seeking to annihilate the
government, they sought to spur it into activity for the benefit
of the masses.
The methods of the Nihilists, without the excuse of their object,
were borrowed by the more fanatical anarchists, and applied to the
advertising of their belief. Since the adoption of the "propaganda
of action" by the extremists, anarchism has undergone a great
change. It has passed from a visionary and harmless theory, as
advocated by Godwin, Proudhon, and Reclus, to a very concrete
agency of crime and destruction under the teachings of such as
Bakunin, Krapotkin, and Most; not forgetting certain women like
Louise Michel in France and Emma Goldman in this country who out-
Herod Herod;--when a woman goes to the devil she frightens him;
his Satanic majesty welcomes a man, but dreads a woman; to a woman
the downward path is a toboggan slide, to a man it is a gentle but
It is against the "propaganda of action" that legislation must be
directed, not because it is any part of anarchism, but because it
is the propaganda of crime.
Laws directed towards the suppression of anarchism might result in
more harm than good, but crime is quite another matter. It is one
thing to advocate less and less of government, to preach the final
disappearance of government and the evolution of anarchy; it is a
fundamentally different thing to advocate the destruction of life
or property as a means to hasten the end.
The criminal action and the criminal advice must be dissociated
entirely from any political or social theory. It does not matter
what a man's ultimate purpose may be; he may be a communist or a
socialist, a Republican or a Democrat, a Presbyterian or an
Episcopalian; when he advises, commits, or condones a murder, his
conduct is not measured by his convictions,--unless, of course, he
is insane; his advice is measured by its probable and actual
consequences; his deeds speak for themselves.
A man is not to be punished or silenced for saying he believes in
anarchy, his convictions on that point are a matter of
indifference to those who believe otherwise. But a man is to be
punished for saying or doing things which result in injuring
others; and the advice, whether given in person to the individual
who commits the deed, or given generally in lecture or print, if
it moves the individual to action, is equally criminal.
On August 20, 1886, eight men were found guilty of murder in
Chicago, seven were condemned to death and one to the
penitentiary; four were afterwards hanged, one killed himself in
jail, and three were imprisoned.
These men were convicted of a crime with which, so far as the
evidence showed, they had no direct connection; but their
speeches, writings, and conduct prior to the actual commission of
the crime had been such that they were held guilty of having
incited the murder.
During the spring of 1886 there were many strikes and a great deal
of excitement growing out of the "eight-hour movement in Chicago."
There was much disorder. On the evening of May 4 a meeting was
held in what was known as Haymarket Square, at this meeting three
of the condemned made speeches. About ten o'clock a platoon of
police marched to the Square, halted a short distance from the
wagon where the speakers were, and an officer commanded the
meeting to immediately and peaceably disperse. Thereupon a bomb
was thrown from near the wagon into the ranks of the policemen,
where it exploded, killing and wounding a number.
The man who threw the bomb was never positively identified, but it
was probably one Rudolph Schnaubelt, who disappeared. At all
events, the condemned were not connected with the actual throwing;
they were convicted upon the theory that they were co-conspirators
with him by reason of their speeches, writings, and conduct which
influenced his conduct.
An even broader doctrine of liability is announced in the
following paragraph from the opinion of the Supreme Court of
"If the defendants, as a means of bringing about the social
revolution and as a part of the larger conspiracy to effect such
revolution, also conspired to excite classes of workingmen in
Chicago into sedition, tumult, and riot, and to the use of deadly
weapons and the taking of human life, and for the purpose of
producing such tumult, riot, use of weapons and taking of life,
advised and encouraged such classes by newspaper articles and
speeches to murder the authorities of the city, and a murder of a
policeman resulted from such advice and encouragement, then
defendants are responsible therefor."
It is the logical application of this proposition that will defeat
the "propaganda of action." If it be enacted that any man who
advocates the commission of any criminal act, or who afterwards
condones the crime, shall be deemed guilty of an offence equal to
that advocated or condoned and punished accordingly, the
"propaganda of action" in all branches of criminal endeavor will
be effectually stifled without the doubtful expedient of directing
legislation against any particular social or economic theory.
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN NEW YORK TO BUFFALO
UP THE HILL
It was Saturday, the 14th, at nine o'clock, when we left New York
for Albany, following the route of the Endurance Contest.
The morning was bright and warm. The roads were perfect for miles.
We passed Kings Bridge, Yonkers, Hastings, and Dobbs Ferry flying.
At Tarrytown we dropped the chain. A link had parted. Pushing the
machine under the shade of a tree, a half-hour was spent in
replacing the chain and riveting in a new link. All the pins
showed more or less wear, and a new chain should have been put on
in New York, but none that would fit was to be had.
We dined at Peekskill, and had a machinist go over the chain,
riveting the heads of the pins so none would come out again.
Nelson Hill, a mile and a half beyond Peekskill, proved all it was
said to be,--and more.
In the course of the trip we had mounted hills that were worse,
and hills that were steeper, but only in spots or for short
distances; for a steady steep climb Nelson Hill surpassed anything
we found in the entire trip. The hill seems one-half to
three-quarters of a mile long, a sharp ascent,--somewhat steeper
about half-way up than at the beginning or finish. Accurate
measurements were made for the Endurance Contest and the results
The grade was just a little too much for the machine, with our
luggage and ourselves. It was tiresome walking so far beside the
machine, and in attempting to bring it to a stop for a moment's
rest the machine got started backward, and was well on its way
down the hill, gaining speed every fraction of a second. It was a
short, sharp chase to catch the lever operating the emergency
brake,--which luckily operated by being pushed forward from the
seat,--a pull on the lever and the machine was brought to a stop
with the rear wheels hanging over the edge of a gulley** at the
side. After that experience the machine was allowed to go to the
top without any more attempts to rest.
At Fishkill Village we saved a few miles and some bad road by
continuing on to Poughkeepsie by the inland road instead of going
down to the Landing.
We inquired the way from an old man, who said, "If you want to go
to P'keepsie, follow the road just this side the post-office; you
will save a good many miles, and have a good road; if you want to
follow the other fellers, then keep straight on down to the
Landing; but why they went down there, beats me."
It was six-thirty when we arrived at Poughkeepsie. As the next day
would be Sunday, we made sure of a supply of gasoline that night.
Up to this point the roads, barring Nelson Hill, and the weather
had been perfect, but conditions were about to change for the
Sunday morning was gray and drizzly. We left at eight-thirty. The
roads were soft and in places very slippery; becoming much worse
as we approached Albany, where we arrived at half-past three.
There we should have stopped. We had come seventy-five miles in
seven hours, including all stops, over bad roads, and that should
have sufficed; but it was such an effort to house the machine in
Albany and get settled in rooms, that we decided to go on at least
as far as Schenectady.
To the park it was all plain sailing on asphalt and macadam, but
from the park to the gate of the cemetery and to the turn beyond
the mud was so deep and sticky it seemed as if the machine could
not possibly get through. If we had attempted to turn about, we
would surely have been stuck; there was nothing to do but follow
the best ruts and go straight on, hoping for better things. The
dread of coming to a standstill and being obliged to get out in
that eight or ten inches of uninviting mud was a very appreciable
factor in our discomfort. Fortunately, the clutch held well and
the motor was not stalled. When we passed the corner beyond the
cemetery the road was much better, though still so soft the high
speed could be used only occasionally.
The tank showed a leak, which for some reason increased so rapidly
that a pail of water had to be added about every half-mile. At
last a pint of bran poured into the tank closed the leak in five
On reaching Latham it was apparent that Schenectady could not be
made before dark, if at all, so we turned to the right into Troy.
We had made the two long sides of a triangle over the worst of
roads; whereas, had we run from Albany direct to Troy, we could
have followed a good road all the way.
The next morning was the 16th of September, the sun was shining
brightly and the wind was fresh; the roads were drying every
moment, so we did not hurry our departure.
The express office in Albany was telephoned for a new chain that
had been ordered, and in about an hour it was delivered. The
machine was driven into a side street in front of a metal roofing
factory, the tank taken out and so thoroughly repaired it gave no
further trouble. It was noon before the work was finished, for the
new chain and a new belt to the pump had to be put on, and many
little things done which consumed time.
At two o'clock we left Troy. The road to Schenectady in good
weather is quite good, but after the rain it was heavy with
half-dried mud and deep with ruts. From Schenectady to Fonda,
where we arrived at six-thirty, the roads were very bad; however,
forty-five miles in four hours and a half was fairly good travelling
under the adverse conditions. If the machine had been equipped with
an intermediate gear, an average of twelve or fifteen miles could
have been easily made. The going was just a little too heavy for the
fast speed and altogether too easy for the low, and yet we were
obliged to travel for hours on the low gear.
From New York to Buffalo there is a succession of cities and
villages which are, for the most part, very attractive, but good
hotels are scarce, and as for wayside inns there are none. With
the exception of Albany and one or two other cities the hotels are
old, dingy, and dirty. Here and there, as in Geneva, a new hotel
is found, but to most of the cities the hotels are a disgrace.
The automobile, however, accustoms one to discomforts, and one
gets so tired and hungry at night that the shortcomings of the
village hotel are overlooked, or not fully realized until seen the
next morning by the frank light of day.
Fonda is the occasion of these remarks upon New York hotels.
It was cloudy and threatening when we left Fonda at half-past
seven the next morning, and by ten the rain began to fall so
heavily and steadily that the roads, none too dry before, were
It was slow going. At St. Johnsville we stopped to buy heavier
rubber coats. It did not seem possible we would get through the
day without coming to a stop, but, strange to relate, the machine
kept on doggedly all day, on the slow gear nearly every mile,
without a break of any kind.
It was bad enough from St. Johnsville to Herkimer, but the worst
was then to come.
When we came east from Utica to Herkimer, we followed the road on
the north side of the valley, and recalled it as hilly but very
dry and good. The Endurance Contest was out of Herkimer, through
Frankfort and along the canal on the south side of the valley. It
was a question whether to follow the road we knew was pretty good
or follow the contest route, which presumably was selected as the
A liveryman at Herkimer said, "Take my advice and keep on the
north side of the valley; the road is hilly, but sandy and drier;
if you go through Frankfort, you will find some pretty fierce
going; the road is level but cut up and deep with mud,--keep on
the north side."
We should have followed that advice, the more so since it
coincided with our own impressions; but at the store where we
stopped for gasoline, a man who said he drove an automobile
advised the road through Frankfort as the better.
It was in Frankfort that several of the contestants in the
endurance run came to grief,--right on the main street of the
village. There was no sign of pavement, macadam, or gravel, just
deep, dark, rich muck; how deep no one could tell; a road so bad
it spoke volumes for the shiftlessness and lack of enterprise
prevailing in the village.
A little beyond Frankfort there is about a mile of State road,
laid evidently to furnish inhabitants an object lesson,--and laid
A little farther on the black muck road leads between the canal
and towpath high up on the left, and a high board fence protecting
the railroad tracks on the right; in other words, the highway was
the low ground between two elevations. The rains of the week
before and the rains of the last two days had converted the road
into a vast ditch. We made our way slowly into it, and then
seizing an opening ran up on to the towpath, which was of sticky
clay and bad enough, but not quite so discouraging as the road. We
felt our way along carefully, for the machine threatened every
moment to slide either into the canal on the left or down the bank
into the road on the right.
Soon we were obliged to turn back to the road and take our chances
on a long steady pull on the slow gear. Again and again it seemed
as if the motor would stop; several times it was necessary to
throw out the clutch, let the motor race, and then throw in the
clutch to get the benefit of both the motor and the momentum of
the two-hundred pound fly-wheel; it was a strain on the chain and
gears, but they held, and the machine would be carried forward ten
or twelve feet by the impetus; in that way the worst spots were
Towards Utica the roads were better, though we nearly came to
grief in a low place just outside the city.
It required all Wednesday morning to clean and overhaul the
machine. Every crevice was filled with mud, and grit had worked
into the chain and every exposed part. There was also some lost
motion to be taken up to stop a disagreeable pounding. The strain
on the new chain had stretched it so a link had to be taken out.
It was two o'clock before we left Utica. A little beyond the
outskirts of the city the road forks, the right is the road to
Syracuse, and it is gravelled most of the way. Unfortunately, we
took the left fork, and for seven miles ploughed through red clay,
so sticky that several times we just escaped being stalled. It was
not until we reached Clinton that we discovered our mistake and
turned cross country to the right road. The cross-road led through
a low boggy meadow that was covered with water, and there we
nearly foundered. When the hard gravel of the turnpike was
reached, it was with a feeling of irritation that we looked back
upon the time wasted in the horrible roads we need not have taken.
The day was bright, and every hour of sun and wind improved the
roads, so that by the time we were passing Oneida Castle the going
was good. It was dark when we passed through Fayetteville; a
little beyond our reserve gallon of gasoline was put in the tank
and the run was made over the toll-road to Syracuse on "short
A well-kept toll-road is a boon in bad weather, but to the driver
of an automobile the stations are a great nuisance; one is
scarcely passed before another is in sight; it is stop, stop,
stop. There are so many old toll-roads upon which toll is no
longer collected that one is apt to get in the habit of whizzing
through the gates so fast that the keepers, if there be any, have
no time to come out, much less to collect the rates.
It was cold the next morning when we started from Syracuse, and it
waxed colder and colder all day long.
The Endurance Contest followed the direct road to Rochester, going
by way of Port Byron, Lyons, Palmyra, and Pittsford. That road is
neither interesting nor good. Even if one is going to Rochester,
the roads are better to the south; but as we had no intention of
visiting the city again, we took Genesee Street and intended to
follow it into Buffalo.
The old turnpike leads to the north of Auburn and Seneca Falls,
but we turned into the Falls for dinner. In trying to find and
follow the turnpike we missed it, and ran so far to the north that
we were within seven or eight miles of Rochester, so near, in
fact, that at the village of Victor the inhabitants debated
whether it would not be better to run into Rochester and thence to
Batavia by Bergen rather than southwest through Avon and
Having started out with the intention of passing Rochester, we
were just obstinate enough to keep to the south. The result was
that for nearly the entire day the machine was laboring over the
indifferent roads that usually lie just between two main travelled
highways. It was not until dusk that the gravelled turnpike
leading into Avon was found, and it was after seven when we drew
up in front of the small St. George Hotel.
The glory of Avon has departed. Once it was a great resort, with
hotels in size almost equal to those now at Saratoga. The Springs
were famous and people came from all parts of the country. The
hotels are gone, some burned, some destroyed, but old registers
are preserved, and they bear the signatures of Webster, Clay, and
many noted men of that generation.
The Springs are a mile or two away; the water is supposed to
possess rare medicinal virtues, and invalids still come to test
its potency, but there is no life, no gayety; the Springs and the
village are quite forlorn.
At the St. George we found good rooms and a most excellent supper.
In the office after supper, with chairs tipped back and legs
crossed, the older residents told many a tale of the palmy days of
Avon when carriages filled the Square and the streets were gay
with people in search of pleasure rather than health.
It was a quick run the next morning through Caledonia to Le Roy
over roads hard and smooth as a floor.
Just out of Le Roy we met a woman, with a basket of eggs, driving
a horse that seemed sobriety itself. We drew off to one side and
stopped the machine to let her pass. The horse stopped, and
unfortunately she gave a "yank" on one of the reins, turning the
horse to one side; then a pull on the other rein, turning the
horse sharply to the other side. This was too much for the animal,
and he kept on around, overturning the light buck-board and
upsetting the woman, eggs, and all into the road. The horse then
kicked himself free and trotted off home.
The woman, fortunately, was not injured, but the eggs were, and
she mournfully remarked they were not hers, and that she was
taking them to market for a neighbor. The wagon was slightly
damaged. Relieved to find the woman unhurt, the damage to wagon
and eggs was more than made good; then we took the woman home in
the automobile,--her first ride.
It does not matter how little to blame one may be for a runaway;
the fact remains that were it not for the presence of the
automobile on the road the particular accident would not have
occurred. The fault may be altogether on the side of the
inexperienced or careless driver, but none the less the driver of
the automobile feels in a certain sense that he has been the
immediate cause, and it is impossible to describe the feeling of
relief one experiences when it turns out that no one is injured.
A machine could seldom meet a worse combination than a fairly
spirited horse, a nervous woman, and a large basket of eggs. With
housewifely instincts, the woman was sure to think first of the
We stopped at Batavia for dinner, and made the run into Buffalo in
exactly two hours, arriving at four o'clock.
We ran the machine to the same station, and found unoccupied the
same rooms we had left four weeks and two days before. It seemed
an age since that Wednesday, August 24, when we started out, so
much had transpired, every hour had been so eventful. Measured by
the new things we had seen and the strange things that had
happened, the interval was months not weeks.
A man need not go beyond his doorstep to find a new world; his own
country, however small, is a universe that can never be fully
explored. And yet such is the perversity of human nature that we
know all countries better than our own; we travel everywhere
except at home. The denizens of the earth in their wanderings
cross each other en route like letters; all Europe longs to see
Niagara, all America to see Mont Blanc, and yet whoever sees the
one sees the other, for the grandeur of both is the same. It does
not matter whether a vast volume of water is pouring over the
sharp edge of a cliff, or a huge pile of scarred and serrated rock
rises to the heavens, the grandeur is the same; it is not the
outward form we stand breathless before, but the forces of nature
which produce every visible and invisible effect. The child of
nature worships the god within the mountains and the spirit behind
the waters; whereas we in our great haste observe only the outward
form, see only the falling waters and the towering peaks.
It is good for every man to come at least once in his life in
contact with some overpowering work of nature; it is better for
most men to never see but one; let the memory linger, let not the
impression be too soon effaced, rather let it sink deep into the
heart until it becomes a part of life.
Steam has impaired the imagination. Such is the facility of modern
transportation that we ride on the ocean to-day and sit at the
feet of the mountains to-morrow.
Nowadays we see just so much of nature as the camera sees and no
more; our vision is but surface deep, our eyes are but two clear,
bright lenses with nothing behind, not even a dry plate to record
the impressions. It is a physiological fact that the cells of the
brain which first receive impressions from the outward organs of
sense may be reduced to a condition of comparative inactivity by
too rapid succession of sights, sounds, and other sensations. We
see so much that we see nothing. To really see is to fully
comprehend, therefore our capacity for seeing is limited. No man
has really seen Niagara, no man has ever really seen Mont Blanc;
for that matter, no man has even fully comprehended so much as a
grain of sand; therefore the universe is at one's doorstep.
Nature is a unit; it is not a whole made up of many diverse parts,
but is a whole which is inherent in every part. No two persons see
the same things in a blossoming flower; to the botanist it is one
thing, to the poet another, to the painter another, to the child a
bit of bright color, to the maiden an emblem of love, to the
heart-broken woman a cluster of memories; to no two is it
precisely the same.
The longer we look at anything, however simple, the deeper it
penetrates into our being until it becomes a part of us. In time
we learn to know the tree that shades our porch, but years elapse
before we are on friendly terms, and a lifetime is spent before
the gnarled giant admits us to intimate companionship. Trees are
filled with reserve; when denuded of their neighbors, they stand
in melancholy solitude until the leaves fall for the last time,
until their branches wither, and their trunks ring hollow with
And if we never really see or know or understand the nature which
is about us, how is it possible that we should ever comprehend the
people we meet? What is the use of trying to know an Englishman or
a Frenchman when we do not know an American? What is the use of
struggling with the obstacle of a foreign tongue, when our own
will not suffice for the communication of thoughts? The only light
that we have is at home; travellers are men groping in the dark;
they fancy they see much, but for the most part they see nothing.
No great teacher has ever been a great traveller. Buddha,
Confucius, and Mahomet never left the confines of their respective
countries. Plato lived in Athens; Shakespeare travelled between
London and Stratford; these great souls found it quite sufficient
to know themselves and the vast universe as reflected from the
eyes of those about them. But then they are the exceptions.
For most men--including geniuses--travel and deliberate
observation are good, since most men will not observe at home.
Such is the singularity of our nature that we ignore the
interesting at home to study the commonplace abroad. We never
notice a narrow and crooked street in Boston or lower New York,
whereas a narrow and crooked street in London fills us with an
ecstasy of delight. We never visit the Metropolitan Art Museum,
but we cross Europe to visit galleries of lesser interest. We
choose a night boat down the majestic Hudson, and we suffer untold
discomforts by day on crowded little boats paddling down the
comparatively insignificant Rhine.
Every country possesses its own peculiar advantages and beauties.
There is no desert so barren, no mountains so bleak, no woods so
wild that to those who dwell therein their home is not beautiful.
The Esquimau would not exchange his blinding waste of snow and
dark fields of water for the luxuriance of tropic vegetation. Why
should we exchange the glories of the land we live in for the
footworn and sight-worn, the thumbed and fingered beauties of
other lands? If we desire novelty and adventure, seek it in the
unexplored regions of the great Northwest; if we crave grandeur,
visit the Yellowstone and the fastnesses of the Rockies; if we
wish the sublime, gaze in the mighty chasm of the Canon of the
Colorado, where strong men weep as they look down; if we seek
desolation, traverse the alkali plains of Arizona where the trails
are marked by bones of men and beasts; but if the heart yearns for
beauty more serene, go forth among the habitations of men where
fields are green and sheltering woods offer refuge from the
noonday sun, where rivers ripple with laughter, and the great
lakes smile in soft content.
Unhappy the man who does not believe his country the best on earth
and his people the chosen of men.
The promise of automobiling is knowledge of one's own land. The
confines of a city are stifling to the sport; the machine snorts
with impatience on dusty pavements filled with traffic, and seeks
the freedom of country roads. Within a short time every hill and
valley within a radius of a hundred miles is a familiar spot; the
very houses become known, and farmers shout friendly greetings as
the machine flies by, or lend helping hands when it is in
Within a season or two it will be an every-day sight to see people
journeying leisurely from city to city; abandoned taverns will be
reopened, new ones built, and the highways, long since deserted by
pleasure, will once more be gay with life.
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN THROUGH CANADA HOME
We left Buffalo, Saturday the 20th, at four o'clock for St.
Catharines. At the Bridge we were delayed a short time by
In going out of the States it is necessary to enter the machine
for export and return, otherwise on coming in again the officials
on our side will collect duty on its full value.
On crossing to the Canadian side, it is necessary to enter the
machine and pay the duty of thirty per cent. on its valuation. The
machine is entered for temporary use in Canada, under a law
providing for the use of bicycles, hunting and fishing outfits,
and sporting implements generally, and the port at which you
intend to go out is named; a receipt for the duty deposited is
given and the money is either refunded at the port of exit or the
machine is simply identified by the officials, and remittance made
upon returning the receipt to the port of entry.
It is something of a bother to deposit thirty per cent. upon the
valuation of an automobile, but the Canadian officials are
obliging; and where it is clearly apparent that there is no
intention of selling the machine in the province, they are not
exacting as to the valuation; a two-thousand-dollar machine may be
valued pretty low as second-hand. If, however, anything should
occur which would make it desirable to leave or sell the machine
in Canada, a re-entry at full market valuation should be made
immediately, otherwise the machine is--very properly--subject to
Parties running across the river from Buffalo for a day's run are
not bothered at all. The officials on both sides let the machines
pass, but any one crossing Canada would better comply with all
regulations and save trouble.
It was six o'clock when we arrived at St. Catharines. The Wendell
Hotel happens to be a mineral water resort with baths for
invalids, and therefore much better as a hotel than most Canadian
houses; in fact, it may be said once for all, that Canadian
hotels, with the exception of two or three, are very poor; they
are as indifferent in the cities as in the smaller towns, being
for the most part dingy and dirty.
But what Canada lacks in hotels she more than makes up in roads.
Miles upon miles of well-made and well-kept gravel roads cross the
province of Ontario in every direction. The people seem to
appreciate the economy of good hard highways over which teams can
draw big loads without undue fatigue.
We left St. Catharines at nine o'clock Sunday morning, taking the
old Dundas road; this was a mistake, the direct road to Hamilton
being the better. Off the main travelled roads we found a good
deal of sand; but that was our fault, for it was needless to take
these little travelled by-ways. Again, out of Hamilton to London
we did not follow the direct and better road; this was due to
error in directions given us at the drug store where we stopped
Gasoline is not so easily obtained in Canada as in the States; it
is not to be had at all in many of the small villages, and in the
cities it is not generally kept in any quantity. One drug store in
Hamilton had half-a-dozen six-ounce bottles neatly put up and
labelled "Gasoline: Handle with Care;" another had two gallons,
which we purchased. The price was high, but the price of gasoline
is the very least of the concerns of automobiling.
On the way to London a forward spring collapsed entirely. Binding
the broken leaves together with wire we managed to get in all
right, but the next morning we were delayed an hour while a
wheelwright made a more permanent repair.
Monday, the 22d, was one of the record days. Leaving London at
half-past nine we took the Old Sarnia Gravel for Sarnia, some
seventy miles away. With scarcely a pause, we flew over the superb
road, hard gravel every inch of it, and into Sarnia at one o'clock
Over an hour was spent in lunching, ferrying across the river, and
getting through the two custom-houses.
Canada is an anachronism. Within the lifetime of men now living,
the Dominion will become a part of the United States; this is fate
not politics, evolution not revolution, destiny not design. How it
will come about no man can tell; that it will come about is as
certain as fate.
With an area almost exactly that of the United States, Canada has
a population of but five millions, or about one-fifteenth the
population of this country. Between 1891 and 1901 the population
of the Dominion increased only five hundred thousand, or about ten
per cent., as against an increase of fourteen millions, or
twenty-one per cent., in this country.
For a new country in a new world Canada stagnates. In the decade
referred to Chicago alone gained more in population than the
entire Dominion. The fertile province of Ontario gained but
fifty-four thousand in the ten years, while the States of Michigan,
Indiana, and Ohio, which are near by, gained each nearly ten times
as much; and the gain of New York, lying just across the St.
Lawrence, was over twelve hundred thousand. The total area of
these four States is about four-fifths that of Ontario, and yet
their increase of population in ten years more than equals the
entire population of the province.
In population, wealth, industries, and resources Ontario is the
Dominion's gem; yet in a decade she could attract and hold but
fifty-odd thousand persons,--not quite all the children born
within her borders.
All political divisions aside, there is no reason in the world why
population should be dense on the west bank of the Detroit River
and sparse on the east; why people should teem to suffocation to
the south of the St. Lawrence and not to the north.
These conditions are not normal, and sooner or later must change.
It is not in the nature of things that this North American
continent should be arbitrarily divided in its most fertile midst
by political lines, and by and by it will be impossible to keep
the multiplying millions south of the imaginary line from surging
across into the rich vacant territory to the north. The outcome is
inevitable; neither diplomacy nor statecraft can prevent it.
When the population of this country is a hundred or a hundred and
fifty millions the line will have disappeared. There may be a
struggle of some kind over some real or fancied grievance, but,
struggle or no struggle, it is not for man to oppose for long
inevitable tendencies. In the long run, population, like water,
seeks its level; in adjacent territories, the natural advantages
and attractions of which are alike, the population tends strongly
to become equally dense; political conditions and differences in
race and language may for a time hold this tendency in check, but
where race and language are the same, political barriers must soon
All that has preserved Canada from absorption up to this time is
the existence of those mighty natural barriers, the St. Lawrence
and the great lakes. As population increases in the Northwest,
where the dividing line is known only to surveyors, the situation
will become critical. Already the rush to the Klondike has
produced trouble in Alaska. The aggressive miners from this side,
who constitute almost the entire population, submit with ill-grace
to Canadian authority. They do not like it, and Dawson or some
near point may yet become a second Johannesburg.
In all controversies so far, Canada has been as belligerent as
England has been conciliatory. With rare tact and diplomacy
England has avoided all serious differences with this country over
Canadian matters without at the same time offending the pride of
the Dominion; just how long this can be kept up no man can tell;
but not for more than a generation to come, if so long.
So far as the people of Canada are concerned, practically all
would be opposed to any form of annexation. The great majority of
the people are Englishmen at heart and very English in thought,
habit, speech, and accent; they are much more closely allied to
the mother country than to this; and they are exceedingly
They do not like us because they rather fear us,--not physically,
not as man against man,--but overwhelming size and increasing
importance, fear for the future, fear what down deep in their
hearts many of them know must come. Their own increasing
independence has taught them the sentimental and unsubstantial
character of the ties binding them to England, and yet they know
full well that with those ties severed their independence would
Michigan roads are all bad, but some are worse than others.
About Port Huron is sand. Out of the city there is a rough stone
road made of coarse limestone; it did not lead in the direction we
wished to go, but by taking it we were able to get away from the
river and the lake and into a country somewhat less sandy.
Towards evening, while trying to follow the most direct road into
Lapeer, and which an old lady said was good "excepting one hill,
which isn't very steep," we came to a hill which was not steep,
but sand, deep, bottomless, yellow sand. Again and again the
machine tried to scale that hill; it was impossible. There was
nothing to do but turn about and find a better road. An old
farmer, who had been leaning on the fence watching our efforts,
"I was afeard your nag would balk on that thar hill; it is little
but the worst rise anywhere's about here, and most of us know
better'n to attempt it; but I guess you're a stranger."
We dined at Lapeer, and by dark made the run of eighteen miles
into Flint, where we arrived at eight-thirty. We had covered one
hundred and forty miles in twelve hours, including all stops,
delays, and difficulties.
It was the Old Sarnia Gravel which helped us on our journey that
At Flint another new chain was put on, and also a rear sprocket
with new differential gears. The old sprocket was badly worn and
the teeth of the gears showed traces of hard usage. A new spring
was substituted for the broken, and the machine was ready for the
last lap of the long run.
Leaving Flint on Friday morning, the 26th, a round-about run was
made to Albion for the night. The intention was to follow the line
of the Grand Trunk through Lansing, Battle Creek, and Owosso, but,
over-persuaded by some wiseacres, a turn was made to Jackson,
striking there the old State road.
The roads through Lansing and Battle Creek can be no worse than
the sandy and hilly turnpike. Now and then a piece of gravel is
found, but only for a short distance, ending usually in sand.
On Saturday the run was made from Albion to South Bend. As far as
Kalamazoo and for some distance beyond the roads were hilly and
for the most part sandy,--a disgrace to so rich and prosperous a
Through Paw Paw and Dowagiac some good stretches of gravel were
found and good time was made. It was dark when we reached the
Oliver House in South Bend, a remarkably fine hotel for a place of
The run into Chicago next day was marked by no incident worthy of
note. As already stated, the roads of Indiana are generally good,
and fifteen miles an hour can be averaged with ease.
It was four o'clock, Sunday, September 28, when the machine pulled
into the stable whence it departed nearly two months before. The
electricity was turned off, with a few expiring gasps the motor
Taking into consideration the portions of the route covered twice,
the side trips, and making some allowance for lost roads, the
distance covered was over twenty-six hundred miles; a journey, the
hardships and annoyances of which were more, far more, than
counterbalanced by the delights.
No one who has not travelled through America on foot, horseback,
or awheel knows anything about the variety and charm of this great
country. We traversed but a small section, and yet it seemed as if
we had spent weeks and months in a strange land. The sensations
from day to day are indescribable. It is not alone the novel
sport, but the country and the people along the way seemed so
strange, possibly because automobiling has its own point of view,
and certainly people have their own and widely varying views of
automobiling. In the presence of the machine people everywhere
become for the time-being childlike and naive, curious and
enthusiastic; they lose the veneer of sophistication, and are as
approachable and companionable as children. Automobiling is
therefore doubly delightful in these early days of the sport. By
and by, when the people become accustomed to the machine, they
will resume their habit of indifference, and we shall see as
little of them as if we were riding or driving.
With some exceptions every one we met treated the machine with a
consideration it did not deserve. Even those who were put to no
little inconvenience with their horses seldom showed the
resentment which might have been expected under the circumstances.
On the contrary, they seemed to recognize the right of the strange
car to the joint use of the highway, and to blame their horses for
not behaving better. Verily, forbearance is an American virtue.
The machine itself stood the journey well, all things considered.
It lacked power and was too light for such a severe and prolonged
test; but, when taken apart to be restored to perfect condition,
it was astonishing how few parts showed wear. The bearings had to
be adjusted and one or two new ones put in. A number of little
things were done, but the mechanic spent only forty hours' time
all told in making the machine quite as good as new. A coat of
paint and varnish removed all outward signs of rough usage.
However, one must not infer that automobiling is an inexpensive
way of touring, but measured by the pleasure derived, the expense
is as nothing; at the same time look out for the man who says "My
machine has not cost me a cent for repairs in six months."
It is singular how reticent owners of automobiles are concerning
the shortcomings and eccentricities of their machines; they seem
leagued together to deceive one another and the public. The
literal truth can be found only in letters of complaint written to
the manufacturers. The man who one moment says his machine is a
paragon of perfection, sits down the next and writes the factory a
letter which would be debarred the mails if left unsealed. Open
confession is good for the soul, and owners of automobiles must
cultivate frankness of speech, for deep in our innermost hearts we
all know that a machine would have so tried the patience of Job
that even Bildad the Shuhite would have been silenced.
In the year 1735 a worthy Puritan divine, pastor over a little
flock in the town of Malden, made the following entries in his
"January 31.--Bought a shay for L27 10s. The Lord grant it may be
a comfort and a blessing to my family.
"March, 1735.--Had a safe and comfortable journey to York.
"April 24.--Shay overturned, with my wife and I in it; yet neither
of us much hurt. Blessed be our generous Preserver! Part of the
shay, as it lay upon one side, went over my wife, and yet she was
scarcely anything hurt. How wonderful the preservation.
"May 5.--Went to the Beach with three of the children. The beast
being frighted, when we were all out of the shay, overturned and
broke it. I desire it (I hope I desire it) that the Lord would
teach me suitably to repent this Providence, and make suitable
remarks on it, and to be suitably affected with it. Have I done
well to get me a shay? Have I not been proud or too fond of this
convenience? Do I exercise the faith in the divine care and
protection which I ought to do? Should I not be more in my study
and less fond of diversion? Do I not withhold more than is meet
from pious and charitable uses?
"May 15.--Shay brought home; mending cost thirty shillings.
Favored in this beyond expectation.
"May 16.--My wife and I rode to Rumney Marsh. The beast frighted
"June 4.--Disposed of my shay to Rev. Mr. White."
Moral.--Under conditions of like adversity, let every chauffeur
cultivate the same spirit of humility,--and look for a Deacon