FOR two years past the author has awaited the auspicious moment for presenting to the public his views upon the oppressions and abuses practiced by corporations and combinations of men who are apparently getting a controlling influence over the commerce, finances, and government of the country. Recent action on the part of the people has convinced him that his opportunity has come, and he embraces it. He has aimed to present a true history of the operations of the different monopolies.
Since he began the preparation of his work, some events have taken place not noticed by him. Oakes Ames and James Brooks, two prominent characters among railroad men, and whom he has had occasion to name, have died. Some changes in the laws of congress have been made affecting the interests of corporations. The law requiring the secretary of the treasury to retain but one-half of the earnings from the government of the Pacific roads to apply on the interest due to government on subsidy bonds, has been repealed, and he may now retain and apply the whole amount. Suit has also been brought against the Union Pacific company because of its dishonest practices.
On the whole, however, combinations of corporations, and other rings and organizations, at war with the best interests of the people, have acquired new strength and more power within the last few months.
The reader will notice the fact, that while the author has quoted liberally from the statutes and resolves of congress to show the great privileges and powers conferred upon railroad companies, and familiarized the reader with their financial and other transactions for a clear understanding of their manner of doing business, he has not pretended to give a full history; satisfying himself with such chapters as would place before the public the true character of these monopolies.
The author has sought to present truthful statements of matters in connection with the various interests now so hostile to the rights of the people, and he believes he has embodied the facts as they exist. D.C.C. MUSCATINE, IOWA, July 28, 1873.