The second number of the Quarterly Journal of Economics made its appearance yesterday. The first article is "An Historical Sketch of the Knights of Labor," by Carroll D. Wright. The account is a detailed one, confessedly containing little philosophy, but well stored with facts and annals which are interesting and valuable. We believe that the story of the foundation of the order, has never before been made public. The sketch is written with an enthusiasm which, leading the reader to a plane of idealism, appeals to the sympathetic nature, arousing it to a better appreciation of the ills of the "working men." The article should be read by all who have any desire to express themselves on the History of the Knights of Labor. Mr. Wright should be congratulated in producing something that is of worth to the student, when so much nowadays is apt to contain no data, only reflections. In showing how sincere and earnest the Knights are, an attitude of ardor and benevolence is created by Mr. Wright, but the details of the strike on the Missouri Pacific last spring, as told by Professor Taussig, show only too clearly the difference between theoretical and practical labor movements. Professor Taussig's account is straightforward and scholarly. The reader is not burdened here by remarks resulting from preconceived notions. The evidence is put before him clearly and he is left to make his own estimate, which seems, necessarily, that the Knights were hardly justified in causing the distress they did by the stoppage of traffic on the Southwestern system. These two articles on the labor question are complementary to each other and would produce in almost anyone, ideas that are sound and unprejudiced.
Dr. Hart adds a brief and interesting sketch on the history of the Public Lands of the United States, although many may not believe in the conclusions that are drawn in regard to the course of the government in its disposal of the public domain and in the culpability of Congress in not remedying the evils of the present system; yet no one can say that Dr. Hart has not put the case fairly before the mind and has not clearly shown that the great resources contained in the lands, have been dissipated by the framus of the laws. The article contains an appendix with valuable statistics on the acquirement and disposition of the territory in the possession of the government. The number contains, in addition, short references to the ultimate redemption of the greenbacks in this country; to the actual weight of the English gold coin compared to its standard weight; and to the government lottery in Italy.
Professor Laughlin discusses Mr. Marshall's "Economics of Industry," as far as it concerns "expenses of production," and Richard Aldrich concludes the "Notes and Memoranda," with a cogent and thoughtful essay on "profit-sharing." The number ends with the text of Article 19 of the Constitution of the Canton de Vaud in Switzerland. This law is of especial interest to the students in Political Economy 7, since it explains the "progressive" property tax in Switzerland. The magazine as a whole, is a valuable on and keeps up the high reputation scored by its predecessor.