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*note: Standard Oil is now known as Lincoln BP

A Case of Highway Robbery: Indiana Democrat 3/16/1898

Highways of the Republic

"In 1878, Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Law, and created an Inter-State Commerce Commission. The Commission decided that the rates that railroads charged on coal for outside shippers was unjust and unreasonable, and ordered them to be reduced.

The most heroic fight that man ever made for the right to do business in this free land has been made by Mr. George Rice of Marietta, O. The history of this struggle is a history of the highways of the Republic being used in the interests of The Standard Oil Company, and to the detriment of all the people. The railways continually raised the rate of freight to Rice until he could make no money, and sometimes absolutely refused to ship for him at all.

Why all these efforts of the highways of the Republic to destroy every shipper except the Standard Oil Company? Because the men who control the highways are in league with The Standard Oil Company: because they are in the conspiracy to take from the producers the wealth they produce, for the benefit of The Standard Oil Company, and from the Standard Oil Company, through Standard Trust Stock, they get their rewards in the dividends thus wrung from the people. Hundreds of millions have been taken from the men who have produced this wealth, and transferred to the pockets of these great conspirators.

The Sugar Trust, by raising the price of sugar one-half cent per pound are able to tax the American people $50,000,000 annually. Within the last three years, they have gradually increased the price of sugar by about two cents per pound, and by this move they have been able to take from the people $200,000,000 a year of illegitimate profit, absorbing the wealth produced by the people, and the government is organized to force people to submit.

Today, the producer of petroleum is forced to take sixty-five cents a barrel for his production. The producer is being impoverished, crushed, pauperized and bankrupted, in order that a forty-cent dividend may be declared on this Standard Trust Stock; that the wealth being produced by the people, may be transferred into the pockets of the favored classes. Who is in these United States of America that have created classes? Who is it that has driven the coal miners into revolt and then ordered the deputies and sheriffs and soldiers to shoot them down like dogs? Who is it that destroyed the great right of equality upon which the foundation stones of the Republic were builded? And the answer is: the men who control the highways of the Republic. Aye, my fellow citizens and just as long as the corporations control these highways, just so long will they be used for the benefit of the few, and against the best interests of the masses. Under this system, one set of men are built up, and all other men put down. There is no longer an equal show in the contest for wealth. With the highways closed against you on equal terms, you are forced back into obscurity. You are helpless. You are chained to the rock with this vulture of injustice feeding upon your vitals. This great wrong is undermining and destroying the strength of the Republic. The rumblings of discontent are heard upon every hand. The soldiers under the flag, marching to force the people to submit to some unjust demand of the monopolists makes that dear old flag look like an emblem of oppression, and yet, if you make any protest against this condition of things you are ostracized as an anarchist.

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