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Jo Labadie and His Gift to Michigan

A Legacy for the Masses

Henry George (1839-1897)
and the Single Tax Movement




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  Birth and Early Life
  Marriage and Family
  Intellectual Development
  John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)
  Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)
  Darwin and Evolution
  Socialism and Karl Marx
arrow Henry George (1839-1897) and the Single Tax Movement
  Knights of Labor
  Judson Grenell (1847-1930)
  Benjamin Ricketson Tucker (1854-1939)
  The Haymarket Affair

Later Relations to Labor Organizations

  Leon Czolgosz (1873-1901)

The Water Board Incident

  Bubbling Waters
  The Labadie Print Shop
  Later Years
  Agnes Inglis (1870-1952)
  Further Reading

Special Collections Library
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor


Born in 1839 in Philadelphia, Henry George led a life very similar to Jo Labadie"s. Though the two didn"t become acquainted until Labadie sent George a fan letter in 1881, their lives paralleled each other. Both were born poor and left home at early ages to learn the printing trade, and both were self taught and opinionated, with analogous ideas about government. Labadie was highly influenced by George's best-selling Progress and Poverty(1879), which asserted that private ownership of land caused an unequal distribution of wealth. His solution was to place a single tax on the value of land, making it possible to eliminate all other taxes. There are many "Single Tax Movements" and schools around the world, including one founded in New York City in 1932 and still in existence, with affiliated schools ( 43, 44) around the country.

Labadie and George corresponded until George's untimely death in 1897. An estimated 100,000 people marched at his funeral, and the New York Times venerated George in an obituary, stating, "his life closed in the noblest services to his ideals."



"On the land we are born, from it we live, to it we return again--children of the soil as truly as is the blade of grass or the flower of the field. Take away from man all that belongs to land, and he is but a disembodied spirit."

Henry George