The Iron Puddler
by James J. Davis
THE IRON PUDDLER
MY LIFE IN THE ROLLING MILLS AND
WHAT CAME OF IT
by JAMES J. DAVIS
JOSEPH G. CANNON
The man whose life story is here presented between book covers
is at the time of writing only forty-eight years old. When I
met him many years ago he was a young man full of enthusiasm.
I remember saying to him then, "With your enthusiasm and the
sparkle which you have in your eyes I am sure you will make good."
Why should so young a man, one so recently elevated to official
prominence, write his memoirs? That question will occur to those
who do not know Jim Davis. His elevation to a Cabinet post marks
not the beginning of his career, but rather is the curtain-rise
on the second act of one of those dramatic lives with which
America has so often astounded the world. Bruised and bleeding in
a southern, peon camp, where he and other hungry men had been
trapped by a brutal slave driver, he drank the bitter cup of
unrequited toil. And from this utter depth, in less than thirty
years, he rose to the office of secretary of labor. There is
drama enough for one life if his career should end to-day. And
while this man fought his way upward, he carried others with him,
founding by his efforts and their cooperation, the great school
called Mooseheart. More than a thousand students of both sexes,
ranging from one to eighteen years, are there receiving their
preparation for life. The system of education observed there is
probably the best ever devised to meet the needs of all humanity.
The brain of James J. Davis fathered this educational system.
It is his contribution to the world, and the world has accepted
it. The good it promised is already being realized, its fruits
are being gathered. Its blessings are falling on a thousand young
Americans, and its influence like a widening ripple is extending
farther every day. It promises to reach and benefit every child
in America. And to hasten the growth of this new education, James
J. Davis has here written the complete story. I have known Mr.
Davis many years and am one of the thousands who believe in him
and have helped further his work.
The author of this autobiography is indeed a remarkable man. He
is sometimes called the Napoleon of Fraternity. Love of his
fellows is his ruling passion. He can call more than ten thousand
men by their first names. His father taught him this motto: "No
man is greater than his friends. All the good that comes into
your life will come from your friends. If you lose your friends
your enemies will destroy you." Davis has stood by his friends.
As a labor leader and a fraternal organizer, he has proved his
ability. Thousands think he is unequaled as an orator, thinker
and entertainer. His zeal is all for humanity and he knows man's
needs. He has dedicated his life to the cause of better education
for the workers of this land. His cause deserves a hearing.
J G Cannon
WASHINGTON, D. C.,
"Where were you previous to the eighth and immediately
subsequent thereto?" asked the city attorney.
The prisoner looked sheepish and made no answer. A box car had
been robbed on the eighth and this man had been arrested in the
freight yards. He claimed to be a steel worker and had shown the
judge his calloused hands. He had answered several questions
about his trade, his age and where he was when the policeman
arrested him. But when they asked him what he had been doing
previous to and immediately subsequent thereto, he hung his head
as if at a loss for an alibi.