This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
From L. E. Chittenden, N. Y. There are few classes in the community more interested in good honest treatment from railroad corporations that the horticultural. At present they are in a general way treated outrageously, and the thought is uppermost in the minds of members of horticultural conventions, and whenever there may be a few horticulturists gathered together, - What shall be done to remedy this crying evil? It seems to us, however, that there is little good judgment shown in the manner in which the subject of a remedy is treated by those who have so much cause to complain. When the gate closes unexpectedly and pinches ones' fingers, it is only the very small and very weak boy, who proceeds to kick the gate and batter it to pieces. It requires cool heads and calm judgment to decide just how to arrange the machine. so that it shall not pinch us in that way again. Somehow the documents before us do not leave on the reader an impression of logical strength. There is a story about a criminal having learned his tricks from studying the life of a railroad president. It seems as if one would choose Judas Iscariot as an examplar of the teachings of Christ. Reasonable people look for something better than this.
If we look for stronger points we find among the agents proposed to reform our railroad troubles "the election of two good men as Senators from New York." But we have been through all this sort of thing before, and believe, though two angels from heaven be elected " Senators from New York," horticulturists will still have a heap of trouble from railroads to groan under.
The only suggestion in all this " A. B. C. of the question " that seems worthy of any intelligent consideration, is the following:
"That the time has come when the public must consider whether or not all works of a public nature, i. e., railroads and telegraphs, should be constructed on contract by public tender under the supervision of the State Engineer or other public officer. Unless these necessities of modern commerce are constructed by the people themselves through the machinery of Government, some law of this kind must be enacted; for such gross abuses as have been tolerated in the past cannot be suffered to go on forever."
Is it possible that we are really reduced to these two alternatives? If so we must groan on under our burdens, and try to be happy in our misery. The people themselves through the machinery of government are supposed to control these works now, The people through their legislatures grant the charters, and say under what conditions public works shall be made. As for working by the States, this has been tried in many cases, as in Pennsylvania with her canals, and everybody knows it was worse than the worst is now. We have not time or space to enter into this subject here, - all we have room for is to say of these books on our "Review table" that they show there is yet plenty of room for something better on this important topic.