Wednesday, February 28, 2007

S. B. Brittan, "J. K. Ingalls" (1873)

Samuel Byron Brittan included this notice of his friend, Joshua King Ingalls, in Brittan’s Journal, Vol. II, No. 2, (1874) pp. 275-6.

J. K. Ingalls

This representative of the Land Reform was born in Swanzey, Mass., July 21st, 1816, and is now in his fifty-seventh year. He was the youngest of six children, and at the age of four years lost his father. His mother, being a woman of decided energy, contrived to keep her little brood together until, one after another, they were able to go out into the great world and make places for themselves. At the age of twelve years our subject had commenced to seek employment abroad during the summer season, but spent his winters at home in going to school, occupying the hours not employed in study doing whatever was most necessary about the homestead.

Subsequently the boy went to trade; but soon after completing his apprenticeship he met with Rev. William S. Balch—of the Universalist denomination—who seems to have changed the current of the young man’s life. He immediately commenced the study of theology, Mr. Balch rendering him such assistance as he was able. Mr. Ingalls’ first settlement was in 1840 at Southold, L. I., where he remained until the New York Association of Universalists—alarmed at the growing liberalism of the younger ministers—reduced the theological platform to such narrow dimensions that our friend fell off, with several of his brethren. Ecclesiastical councils have very little to do in making and unmaking such men as Ingalls, who found outside the church standing ground so broad and firm that he never troubled himself to so much as attempt the recovery of his old footing in the sectarian institution. [276]

Of late years, Mr. Ingalls has distinguished himself by his uncompromising hostility to Land Monopoly, and for the warmth, earnestness, and intelligence with which he has defended the just claims of Labor against the unrighteous exactions of Capital. In this service he has labored with uncommon zeal and great disinterestedness, and has made himself a place in the minds and hearts of many of his toiling countrymen. It will be inferred from the subjoined embodiment of his cardinal idea—expressed for this special purpose—that Mr. Ingalls looks in this particular direction for the incipient developments in the process of social regeneration.

In person Mr. Ingalls is rather below the average stature, but well organized and capable of great endurance. His temperament is nervous sanguineous; and his large front brain indicates an unusual preponderance of the reflective faculties. He is self-centered, and never disturbed by trifles; his manners are simple and free from the slightest appearance of ostentation; and his voice, which is well modulated and musical, never suggests the presence of the destructive passions. Though not especially prepossessing at first sight, Mr. Ingalls has a very transparent face—constantly illuminated by a benign expression—that never fails to inspire implicit confidence in the purity of his motives and the integrity of his nature.


“An effective limitation of the right of private property in the soil, and in the crude material gratuitously supplied by Nature—out of which all wealth is developed—must constitute the initial step in any rational solution of the social problem.”

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