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The craftsman
Vol. VII, No. 5 (February 1905)

Crosby, Ernest
Golden-Rule Jones, the late mayor of Toledo,   pp. 530-547 PDF (5.7 MB)

Page 530

N the evening before he sailed for France I had the good
fortune to listen to a lecture by Charles Wagner of
Simple Life fame,-the only lecture which he delivered
in his native French tongue in this country,-and I was
impressed from his first appearance upon the stage by
1,:" . . . .9,. . .    1  . . . T . . .. l' ,.l
            s11 iesembiance to thUle IaLe Ivlvayor JoneIs Uo  I oUco,
Ohio. A larger, taller, heavier man, the Frenchman was in feature,
build and coloring very like the American, and when he spoke, at
home once again in his own language and before an audience of his
compatriots, there was the same frankness and earnestness, the same
friendly relation with his hearers, the same effect of thinking aloud,
which I had so often noted in Mayor Jones, and, finally, when he said,
"I have always continued to be something of a peasant" (Je suis
jours reste' un peu paysan"), I could almost fancy that it was the
Mayor who was talking. I understood then for the first time the
secret of M. Wagner's influence. His message, too, was not alto-
gether dissimilar from that of Mayor Jones. Both of them preached
the simple life as they respectively saw it, but here the resemblance
ends, for while the Simple Life of Wagner means a gentle smoothing
and retouching of things as they are, that of Mayor Jones involves
little less than a revolution. M. Wagner does not insist upon any pro-
found change in the externals of life, while Mayor Jones never felt
comfortable in what seemed to him the unbrotherly relations involved
in our existing social system. Nothing less than a new world, the full
flower of love to neighbor carried to its logical limit, could satisfy
   It was in Chicago in the winter of i895-6 that I made the acquaint-
ance of Samuel Milton Jones. We had both been invited to some
kind of a conference and were entertained at one of the "settlements"
of the city. His fame had not reached me at that time, for he had not
yet entered politics and the reports of his strange doings in the field of
business had not traveled as far as New York, but I was attracted at
once by the open and childlike way in which he expressed his extreme
democratic views to everyone. There was in the house in which we
stayed, a crippled man of unprepossessing appearance who looked
after the furnace and did other odd jobs in the cellar. He was, if I

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