Some Reminiscences of Henry George

Henry Ware Allen

[Reprinted from The Freeman, December, 1940]

In the spring of 1890 when Henry George accompanied by Mrs. George made his trip around the world by way of Australia, he was greeted at many of the stations across the country by his followers who were glad of this opportunity to meet him. One of these stops was at Kansas City on a Sunday morning when I was fortunate enough to be made a committee of one by our Single Tax Club to meet him and Mrs. George at the old Union Depot, and to conduct him up to the Midland Hotel.

After breakfast we went down to Parlor S of the hotel where our Single Tax Club members and their friends were waiting. President Julian introduced Mr. George who then spoke with as much eloquence as would be in order with a large audience. Looking out of the window across the Kaw River to the Kansas side where a mist was rising Mr. George said that just as that mist was being dissipated by the sunshine, in like manner the errors of economics were being dissipated by the rays of truth. In the course of his brief remarks, Mr. George said that whenever anyone became interested in social problems, he placed himself on a greased plank which would inevitably land him in the Single Tax camp.

I later called upon Mr. George at his residence, I believe on 23rd St. near Third Avenue, where I was conducted to his study. I was impressed by the fact that he wasted no time with small talk, but that he immediately asked for a report of the work in Missouri and what was being done by J. Martin Williams and others. I left with the impression that I had been talking with a great man, one who spoke with authority. I made several calls at the office of the "Standard" in Union Square where Mr. George and Mr. Croasdale were at work at their desks. Mr. Croasdale made the quaint suggestion that we should have a single tax lexicon so that those desiring information could, for example, turn to Widow, The Poor.

I was greatly honored by being invited by Mr. George to a dinner at the Reform Club on 32nd St. He bad another guest, a gentleman from India. Mr. Croasdale was there and was the first speaker after the dinner. In humorous vein, he made a dramatic protest against the management of the club for raising the price of whisky from ten cents to fifteen, and then made an eloquent plea for honest support of free trade instead of tariff reform.