Interview with Frank T. Stirlith, 1960 January 12, 1960 January 14 [audio](part 3)

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  • Campaigning in favor of a single tax; Watching William Jennings Bryan read his Cross of Gold Speech
    Partial Transcript: "He'd pick up anybody, drive them into town, and he'd want to talk single tax..."
    Synopsis: Stirlith talks about campaigning in favor of a single tax in the 1890s. He says that this campaigning bought him into contact with many members of the du Pont family, especially Bidermann du Pont. He talks about other single tax advocates operating in Wilmington during the 1890s. He says that William Jennings Bryan came to Wilmington to campaign during his 1896 presidential campaign. He says that he saw him give his "Cross of Gold" speech. He talks about Bryan's speaking style, comparing Bryan's oratory skills to those of the social reformer, Edward McGlynn. He talks about what single tax meetings were like when they did not have renowned orators in attendance. He sees that single taxers campaigned on street corners.
    Keywords: Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925; Cross of Gold Speech; Du Pont, Bidermann, 1837-1923; Greenville (Del.); McGlynn, Edward, 1837-1900; populism; Single Tax
  • Single taxers imprisoned in Dover, Del; Interest in the Single Tax
    Partial Transcript: "There was speaking on the streets, and they didn't want people to speak..." "I was interested in better government for people..."
    Synopsis: Stirlith talks about Single Taxers being arrested in Dover, Del. because the city claimed they were blocking the streets. He says that Single Taxers dealt with some harassment in Wilmington, but were never imprisoned. Stirlith says that he was interested in the Single Tax because he thought it was good government, given that he had no property holdings of his own at the time he was most active in the movement. He credits the propaganda machine set up by the Philadelphia soap maker, Joseph Fels, with getting the labor party into power in the United Kingdom. He says that, while the Single Tax movement has faded into obscurity, he has not given up hope in it.
    Keywords: Dover (Del.); Fels, Joseph, 1853-1914; Politics; Single Tax; Wilmington (Del.)
  • Other jobs in Wilmington, Del.; Interactions with E. Paul du Pont; Views on the Single Tax; du Pont family patents
    Partial Transcript: "He invented this Vogel hopper which drains the whole thing out..." "I worked for the brick company at one time..."
    Synopsis: Stirlith talks about some of his other jobs in and around the city of Wilmington, Del. He talks about working with a plumbing company and removing top soil for a brick company. He talks about the inner workings of a brickyard and making bricks. He talks more about working with E. Paul du Pont and his interests in interest and Single Tax activism. He talks about how he believes taxes should be based solely on land values. In explaining some of his views, he says that renters should pay the taxes for the land they're using. He talks more about members of the du Pont family he knew.
    Keywords: Du Pont, A. Felix (Alexis Felix), 1879-1948; Du Pont, Alfred I. (Alfred Irenee), 1864-1935; Du Pont, E. Paul (Eleuthere Paul), 1887-1950; Du Pont, Francis I. (Francis Irenee), 1873-1942; Single Tax; Vogel Hopper Works; Wilmington (Del.)