Single Tax Artists: George Inness and James Whitcomb Riley

Our thanks to Josh Vincent for finding a fascinating article* by Leo G. Mazow on the single-tax roots of George Inness, an artist of the Hudson River School, which appeared in American Art, Spring 2004. The article offers a scholarly treatment of the ways in which Inness worked to express Georgist ideals in his work. It also mentioned the single-tax inspired work of the poet James Whitcomb Riley, particularly his lovely poem “The Poet of the Future,” which is reproduced here. — L.D. Continue reading

Progress and Poverty

by Emma Lazarus

Oh splendid age when Science lights her lamp
At the brief lightning’s momentary flame.
Fixing it steadfast as a star, man’s name
Upon the very brow of heaven to stamp,
Launched on a ship whose iron-cuirassed sides
Mock storm and wave. Humanity sails free;
Gayly upon a vast untraveled sea,
O’er pathless wastes, to ports undreamed she rides.
Richer than Cleopatra’s barge of gold,
This vessel, manned by demi-gods, with freight
Of priceless marvels. But where yawns the hold
In that deep, reeking hell, what slaves be they
Who feed the ravenous monster, pant and sweat,
Nor know if overhead reign night or day?

Published in the New York Times, October 2, 1881

Omitted from the Spoon River Anthology

by Luke North

Luke North was the pseudonym of James H. Griffes, the prolific Single Tax activist, editor and poet of the first three decades of the 20th century. Spoon River Anthology (1915) by Edgar Lee Masters, is the celebrated collection of short poems in the form of epitaphs of the members of a small midwestern town, delivered by the dead themselves. Continue reading