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GREAT NEWSPAPER ESTABLISHMENT.
said, represent a large amount of individual capital, not less than half a million. “ The carriers, although they do not make the highest wages, have been among the thriftiest of the employés, and the aggregate value of their Ledger routes would sell at the Merchants' Exchange, as readily as Government securities, for a sum not less than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.” At the same time, Mr. Mucklé, who has charge of the cash department, “referred to what he considered the great feature of the day—the assemblage of one hundred and ten newsboys, where all was joy and happiness. Here again was another evidence of Mr. Childs's kindness; and, as another striking proof of his kind disposition, he would state that during the two years of the present proprietorship he had dispensed for him more money in charity than was given during all his twenty-three years' connection with the establishment.”
These three hundred and nine employés sent to Mr. Childs a testimonial, in which they called him their honored and esteemed employer, and expressed their heartfelt thanks for his great kindness and consideration for all of them, continued without intermission since he had been proprietor of The Public Ledger;
"For your innumerable acts of generosity and courtesy, of which all of them have been the frequent and gratified recip
“For your goodness of heart, your benevolence, your enterprise, and your cardinal virtues, which not only honor you, but reflect honor upon those who labor for you ;
“For the uniform justice with which you have ruled The Public Ledger office-a justice always tempered with mercy-a mercy always anxious to pardon;
“And, above all, honored sir, your employés desire to thank you :
“For having built a palace for them to work in; a printinghouse which is unparalleled in the world; a printing-office which,
in all its departments, is the most healthy, comfortable, and spacious on the American continent.
“For all this, and more than this, that you have done for them, your employés desire, though it be in insufficient words, to convey to you their most sincere thanks.”
What this gratitude means was told by the lamented Ellis Lewis, former Chief Justice of Pennsylvania, at the dedication of the Printers' Cemetery, a gift of Mr. Childs to the Philadelphia Typographical Society. I was present on that occasion, and can never forget the effect produced by the following words of the venerable man, now in his grave:
Some men pursue military glory, and expend their time and energies in the subjugation of nations ; Cæsar and Napoleon I. may be named as types of this character. But the blood and tears which follow violence and
of history on which their glory is recorded. Others erect splendid palaces for kingly residences, and costly temples and edifices for the promotion of education and religion, in accordance with their particular views. But views of education and religion change, buildings waste away, and whole cities, like Herculaneum and Pompeii, are buried in the earth. Others, again, win public regard by the construction of means of communication for the furtherance of commerce. The canals, railroads, and telegraphs are glorious specimens of their useful exertions for the public good. But the marts of commerce change. Tyre and Sidon and Venice are no longer commercial centres. The shores of the Pacific are even now starting in a race against the great commercial emporium of our continent. But Mr. Childs has planted himself in the human heart, and he will have his habitation there while man shall live upon earth. He has laid the foundation of his monument upon universal benevolence. Its superstructure is composed of good and noble deeds. Its spire is the love of God, which ascends to heaven. Such a monument is indeed
CHIEF JUSTICE LEWIS.
“A pyramid so wide and high,
That Cheops stands in envy by.' “I have not enumerated the numerous private charities of Mr. Childs. The magnificent building which he erected for The Ledger at a cost of half a million dollars, as a newspaper establishment, is unparalleled in the world; and he could not erect this building without providing that the press-room, composingrooni, and reporters' room, and
other room where his employés are engaged, should be carefully warmed, ventilated, and lighted, so that they should be comfortable in their employment, and enjoy good health in their industry. Even the outside corners of his splendid building could not be constructed without bringing to the large heart of Mr. Childs the wants of the weary wayfarer on a hot summer day. Therefore it was that each corner is provided with a marble fountain to furnish a cup of cold water to every one who is thirsty. Mr. Childs provides for the health of his employés during life. He has introduced bathrooms into various parts of the building for the use of the workingmen, who avail themselves freely of the privilege afforded them. He secures an insurance on their lives for the benefit of their families after death, and even then he does not desert them-he provides this beautiful and magnificent burial-lot for the repose of their lifeless bodies. Such a man surely deserves the love and gratitude of his fellow-creatures on earth, and the blessings of his Creator in the world to come.”
No charity appeals to Childs in vain ; no object of patriotism; no great enterprise ; no sufferer from misfortune, whether the ex-Confederate or the stricken foreigner. He enjoys the confidence of President Grant, and yet was among the first to send a splendid subscription to the monument to Greeley. He, more than any other, pushed the subscription of over $100,000 for the family of the dead hero, George G. Meade, and yet Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, has no firmer friend. His list of unpublished and unknown benevolences would give the lie to
the poor story that he craves notoriety. When I carried ietters from him to Europe in 1867, his name was a talisman, and it was pleasant to see how noblemen like the Duke of Buckingham honored the indorsement of an American who, thirty years ago, walked the streets of Philadelphia without a friend or a dollar. He made his money himself, not by speculation or office, and got none by inheritance. He coins fortune like a magician, and spends it like a man of heart. He likes society, and lives like a gentleman. He is as temperate as Horace Greeley ever was, and yet he never denies his friends a generous glass of wine. His habits are as simple as Abraham Lincoln's, yet his residence is a gem bright with exquisite decoration, and rich in every variety of art. He gives a Christmas dinner to newsboys and bootblacks, and dines traveling dukes and earls with equal ease and familiarity. He never seems to be at work, goes every where, sees every body, helps every body, and yet his great machine moves like a clock under his constant supervision.
In a sketch like this I have no space to do more than allude to The Ledger under the management of Mr. Childs; to the palace, which cost, with the ground, over $500,000, in which he prints and publishes it, and to his circulation, running at times to 95,000 copies a day. But there is one aspect that must not be omitted as I close these anecdotes. I mean the perfect independence of the paper in regard to local and general corruptions. It does not hesitate. It strikes out bold and quick. Its rhetoric is not so trenchant as that of Russell Jarvis, when he took “the bull by the horns” twenty and twenty-five years ago, and when he stirred the sensibilities of the medical students and the pro-slavery mobs; but it is more effective, because more moderate. George W. Childs, an intimate friend of President Grant, does not fail to tell him in his Public Ledger, as he does, I hope, in his private talk, that among those who affect to support Grant in Philadelphia, there are creatures who do not care