Mr. John G. Brooks.
Mr. John G. Brooks, who lectured here last Monday at the invitation of the Finance Club, graduated from the Harvard Divinity School in 1875. He was not, however, a graduate of the College. As pastor of a church in Roxbury, he came in contact with the working classes, and devoted himself actively to bettering their condition. After some time he went abroad, and studied ethics and political economy for several years. On his return he accepted a call from a church in Brockton, where he is now settled. A large number of shoe factories are situated in Brockton, and the population is almost entirely composed of workingmen. Mr. Brooks is making vigorous efforts to educate the laborers so that they may be less blind to the labor problems of the day. With this end in view, he has rented a hall near the place where the workingmen live, and holds free discussions there every Thursday evening on such subjects as the tariff, trade-unions, convict and Chinese labor, the eight hour system, and strikes. These meetings are well attended, the men show considerable intelligence, and after a little while are able to argue very well. He has, besides, regular classes in political economy, where he reads and talks to those who are interested enough to come. The men in these classes study simple books such as "Fawcets' Manual," and also have access to the library, which contains a number of well selected books. It is his ambition to have this library self-supporting, and to make it an educational centre for the workingmen. His labors have been very successful, as the men listen attentively and think the questions over. Mr. Brooks has found that his men have acquired considerable influence among their fellows, and that they always tend toward moderation. The work which he is doing is valuable in a high degree in producing friendly relations between the laborers and employers, and in giving the men a better understanding of the questions upon which they are called to decide for themselves.