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Beecher's Theory and Practice
H.W.B. "The Man who can't Live on Bread and Water is not fit to Live!"
Puck Magazine Cover
Vol. 1 No. 22, August 8, 1877
9 "w x 12 1/2 "h
During the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, workers across the U.S. protested starvation-level wage reductions imposed by railroad conglomerates. When strikers attacked railroad property, state and federal troops were dispatched to protect the railways. More than 100 people died.

This caricature depicts reknowned clergyman and public speaker Henry Ward Beecher who condemned the strikers and said that one dollar a day was not enough to support a family if a man "would insist on smoking and drinking beer." He went on to add, "the man who cannot live on bread and water is not fit to live."

Beecher was attacked in the press which contrasted his insensitive words with his annual earnings of $40,000 (equivalent to more than $750,000 today).

Beecher was also accused of having an adulterous affair with Elizabeth Tilton a member of this congregation. For years the scandal fascinated the press and the American public. A church committee exonerated Beecher but he was subsequently sued by the woman's husband.
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  JOSEPH KEPPLER: 1877   

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