from The Standard, January 22, 1887:
Ingersoll on the Land Question
Robert G. Ingersoll before Secular Union.
No man should be allowed to own any land that he does not use. Every body knows that — I do not care whether he has thousands or millions. I have owned a great deal of land, but I know just as well as I know I am living that I should not be allowed to have it unless I use it. And why? Don’t you know that if people could bottle the air they would? Don’t you know that there would be an American air bottling association? And don’t you know that they would allow thousands and millions to die for want of breath if they could not pay for air. I am not blaming any body. I am just telling how it is. Now, the land belongs to the children of nature. Nature invites every babe that is born into this world. And what would you think of me, for instance, tonight, if I had invited you here — nobody had charged you anything. but you had been invited — and when you got here you had found one man pretending to occupy a hundred seats, another fifty, and another seventy-five, and thereupon you were compelled to stand up — what would you think of the invitation?