“The labor of the world is the foundation of the world. If you don’t stand for your rights today your rights tomorrow will be fewer still. The human stomach cannot fight a bank vault. The stomach will get empty, but the bank vault holds its own. Keep on pulling and working together and labor will be rewarded. Place men in your legislative halls who have the nerve and the brain to stand up for the rights of labor. Then money will not mould nine-tenths of the legislation of this country as it does now. I want you to feel that my soul is with you if my mouth does not do you much good.”
Excerpt from a talk given by J. L. Dryden to an open meeting of the San Diego Carpenters Union No. 182 on May 2, 1890 at a hall downtown. Reported in the San Diego Union, May 3, 1890.
Dryden was a lawyer active in civic affairs in San Diego County in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Among other things, he was one of the original trustees for the San Diego Normal School, which would eventually become San Diego State University. Dryden was also a candidate for the state senate and assembly for the county Populist party during the 1890s.
Sources for this post included historic San Diego and Poway newspapers and the book, City of San Diego and San Diego County: The Birthplace of California, by Clarence Alan McGrew, published in 1922.
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Hi Vince: Happy Labor Day to you and Peggy too. Hopefully not laboring. WOW — this is so powerful. Great find!!
I am passing this one along. I had passed the Bernardo one to my docents buds at Sikes and got back three responses of how much they liked.
Thank you, Alexa for the comment. Yes, I was impressed by Dryden’s comments and by some of the other progressive things he did. Glad also to hear about positive comments from others.