In 1861, even as seceding states tore the United States apart, a Philadelphiantailor wrote a friend in New York of a dream that occupied his thoughts.‘‘I do not claim to be gifted with the power of prophesy’’, he began, "But I can see ahead of me an organization that will cover the globe. It willinclude men and women of every craft, creed and color: It will cover every raceworth saving. It will come in my time, I hope. Its groundwork will be secrecy,its rule obedience, and its guiding star mutual assistance. It will make laborhonourable and profitable and lessen its burdens; it will make idleness a crime,render wars impossible, and obliterate national lines."
The dreamer was Uriah Stephens, first founding father the Nobleand Holy Order of the Knights of Labor.