pages 45 to 66
Regarding the strike in the Cripple Creek district, it is necessary to go back nearly a year that we may understand the actual conditions and causes leading up to the main strike.
In the fall of 1902, shortly after the mill workers of Colorado City had been organized by a representative of the Western Federation of Miners, C. M. MacNeil, vice-president and general manager of the United States Reduction and Refining Company, which was operating the Standard mill at Colorado City, started the same tactics that had been used previously in breaking up a union of mill workers of Colorado City—that of discharging the union men as fast as his paid spotters reported their names. This policy on the part of Mr. MacNeil was pursued from about the middle of August, 1902, when the union was formed, until the 14th of February, 1903, when it was found that about forty-two of the most effective members had been discharged for no apparent reason other than being members of organized labor. If this policy was to be pursued by MacNeil, the union would soon be dissolved. The situation in Colorado City is fully described under the caption: "The Strike in Colorado City" which appeared in the April (1903) number of the Miners' Magazine as follows:
"THE STRIKE IN COLORADO CITY."
"On February 14, 1903, the Mill and Smeltermen's Union No. 125, of the Western Federation of Miners, was forced to strike a blow on the industrial field against the arrogance of the mill trust, whose employes were denied the right to organize for self-protection under the penalty or a forfeiture of employment. Previous to the Western Federation of Miners sending an organizer to Colorado City to establish a local of the W. F. M., the employes of the mills had maintained a local union which was disrupted and shattered through the employment of Pinkertons by the corporations. * * *
"When the Western Federation of Miners invaded the domain that was considered sacred to MacNeil, Fullerton and Peck, and organized the Mill and Smeltermen's Union, corporation coin secured the services of a Benedict Arnold in the union by the name of A. K. Crane, who, for Judas money, prostituted his manhood and betrayed his fellowmen by furnishing the corporations the names of every man who sought shelter in the membership of the "Western Federation of Miners. As rapidly as the names of members of the union were furnished by the traitor to Manager MacNeil of the mill trust, they were discharged without ceremony. The union at Colorado City bore with patience this discrimination until patience became so abused 'that it ceased to be a virtue.' The representatives of the Western Federation of Miners called upon the management of the mills, protesting against discrimination, but all efforts to bridge the gulf that lay between the union and the mill owners were fruitless, and the strike was declared on February 14, against the United States Reduction and Refining Company. It was but a short time when the Telluride mill owners joined hands with MacNeil and entered into a compact that was backed and supported by the Mine Owners' Association of Colorado, to fight to a finish any and all efforts of the Western Federation of Miners to establish the right of the mill men to organize for their mutual welfare and collective prosperity. * * *
"Secret meetings of the mill owners and representatives of the Mine Owners' Association were held, and a plot was hatched that would bring the state militia to the scene of action to assist the corporations in their infamous assault upon the right of labor to organize. The governor of the state became a willing tool to serve the interests of the corporate masters, who, in all probability, a few months before furnished the 'sinews of war' to aid him in reaching the goal of his political ambition. The reason and the cause which led to the strike can be conveyed to the readers in no more abbreviated manner than to quote the language of Secretary-Treasurer Haywood to a reporter of the Denver Post of March 4:
" 'The occasion for the strike was the absolute refusal of the mill managers at Colorado City to treat with or recognize the union. Our men were discharged because they belonged to the union; they were so informed by the managers. We then asked the operators to reinstate these men and consider a wage scale. They would do neither.
" 'We object to compulsory insurance, and claim the constitutional right to organize as do the operators, and want wages that will enable our men to move into houses and not rear their families in tents. The scale asked is lower than in any milling or mining camp in Colorado.
" 'During the bitter cold weather the wives and children of many of the men were huddled together in tents because the wages paid would not suffice to pay house rent and provide other necessities.
" 'The minimum scale paid is $1.80 per day, from which is deducted 5 cents for compulsory insurance and one per cent discount. Checks are drawn in favor of merchants with whom the men trade.'
"When the mill owners and the representatives of the Mine Owners' Association realized that the strikers were masters of the situation and their places, a picture was drawn by the corporations to present to the governor that would justify the legality of the state militia being used to break the strike. The governor, in his message to the legislature after having taken the oath of office, was emphatic in his assurance that he would uphold 'law and order.' Such words coming from the chief executive of the state were wisely interpreted by the capitalistic anarchists, who knew that the governor would never call out the state militia to prevent the employer from starving his serfs. On the third of March, at the hour of noon, the governor, who but a few months before was living on usury in the convict city of the state, issued an order that swelled the plutocratic heart with gratitude and joy.
THE GOVERNOR'S ORDER.
" 'Denver, Colorado, March 3, 1903. " 'Executive Order.
" 'Ordered—It being made to appear to me by the sheriff of El Paso county and other good and reputable citizens of the town of Colorado City and of that vicinity in said county, that there is a tumult threatened, and that a body of men acting together by force with attempt to commit felonies and to offer violence to persons and property in the said town ot Colorado City and vicinity, and by force and violence to break and resist the laws of the state, and that the sheriff of El Paso county is unable to preserve and maintain order and secure obedience to the laws and protect life and property and to secure the citizens of the state in their rights, privileges and safety under the constitution and laws of this state, in such cases made and provided.
" 'I therefore direct you, in pursuance of the power and authority vested in me by the constitution and laws of the state, to direct the brigadier general commanding the National guard of the state of Colorado to forthwith order out such troops to immediately report to the sheriff of El Paso county, as in the judgment of the brigadier general may be necessary to properly assist the sheriff of that county in the enforcement of the laws and constitution of this state and in maintaining peace and order.
" 'Given under my hand and the executive seai this third day of March, A. D. 1903.
JAMES H. PEABODY, Governor. To the Adjutant General, State of Colorado.'
"The order of the governor calling out the state militia to proceed to Colorado City came upon the people of the state of Colorado 'like a peal of thunder from a cloudless sky.' Many doubted the story that was flashed from one to another, but as soon as President Moyer and Secretary Treasurer Haywood ascertained the truth of the report, the following address and appeal was drafted and furnished to the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News for publication:
" 'The chief executive of the state of Colorado has ordered the militia to Colorado City. The governor of this great commonwealth, after giving audience for several hours to Manager MacNeil and the representatives of the Mine Owners' Association, men who are pecuniarily interested in the degradation and subjugation of labor, send the armed power of the state to aid the merciless corporations in demanding their 'pound of flesh' from the bone and muscle of men who have borne the tyranny of greed until 'patience has ceased to be a virtue.'
" 'Manager MacNeil acted as a deputy of the sheriff, and handed to the governor the following letter:
" 'I hand you herewith a communication from the Portland Gold Mining Company, operating a reduction plant in Colorado City, and from the United States Reduction and Refining Company, from which I have received requests for protection. I have received like requests from the Telluride Reduction Company. It has been brought to my attention that men have been severely beaten, and there is grave danger of destruction of property. I accordingly notify you of the existence of a mob and armed bodies of men patrolling this territory, from whom there is danger of commission of felony.'
"It does not appear from the letter of the sheriff that he made a personal investigation of the conditions existing at Colorado City. The communications from the corporations to the sheriff of El Paso county actuated the sheriff in placing in the hands of Manager MacNeil, a member of the corporations, an order to Governor Peabody, and upon the strength of this letter, the armed force of the state is to be placed at the disposal of the corporations, to be used in intimidating labor to fall upon its knees in mute submission to the will of oppressors. No word came from the citizens of Colorado City to the governor, stating that there was a mob or insurrection. Depending absolutely upon the unsupported representations of the corporations and a letter from the sheriff, an official, who, from his letter, had failed to make a personal investigation, the governor of this great state has become a willing tool in the hands of corporate masters to place the armed machinery of Colorado in the hands of corporations.
"The governor listened attentively to the gory story of MacNeil, the representative of the corporations. Why did he not summon the representatives of labor, and hear their evidence, as to the conditions at Colorado City? Is there only one side to a story when the interests of corporations are to be subserved [sic] and labor humiliated?
"The Western Federation of Miners, through its executive officers, appeal to the laboring hosts of Colorado, to denounce this unpardonable infamy of the governor by pouring into the present legislature an avalanche of protests. The hour for action on the part of labor is at hand, and the voice of the producing class must be heard in thunder tones in the legislative chambers of the state, branding ihis shameless abuse of gubernatorial power, with the malediction of their resentment.
"CHARLES MOYER, President W. P. M. "WM. D. HAYWOOD, Secretary-Treasurer.
"As soon as it was learned by the citizens of Colorado City that the state militia had been called out by the governor, and ordered to Colorado City, the mayor and members of the city council held a meeting and the following protest was telegraphed to the governor:
" 'Governor Peabody—It is understood that the militia has been ordered to our town. For what purpose we do not know, as there is no disturbance here of any kind. There has been no disturbance more than a few occasional brawls since the strike began, and we respectfully protest against an army being placed in our midst. A delegation of business men will call upon you tomorrow with a formal protest of the citizens of the city. (Signed) J. F. FAULKNER, Mayor; GEORGE G. BIRDSALL, Chief of Police; JOHN M'COACH, City Attorney.'
"J. F. Faulkner, the mayor of Colorado City, made the following personal statement to a representative of the Rocky Mountain News:
" 'The only trouble we have had since the strike began was yesterday afternoon, when there were a few street fights. These disturbances were quickly quelled and the offenders were arrested. There were no gun plays. The men simply fought with their fists and probably the employes of the mills who came down town were given the worst of it.' * * *
"Chief of Police George G. Birdsall, of Colorado City, was interviewed by a reporter of the Rocky Mountain News and spoke as follows:
" 'I have talked with a number of people during the afternoon and they are all exceedingly indignant at the thought of having the militia come among us. If some trouble had arisen which we experienced difficulty in handling, then there might have been some excuse for sending soldiers over here, but nothing of the kind has taken place. I am sure the strikers do not care to employ force to win their victory.'
"In the face of the protests that came from the mayor, chief of police, city attorney and the citizens of Colorado City, the governor attempted to defend his position and his action in the following words:
" 'If I had not considered that the situation warranted the order I would not have issued it. The sheriff is an officer of the court and does not have to make an affidavit. He asked for immediate help and he got it. Those people must learn that they have got to be law-abiding citizens, the same as you and I.
" 'I will protect the property and lives of the people of this state if 1 have to call out every able-bodied man in the state.'
"This statement of the governor demonstrates that he placed more reliance on the mere assertion of the sheriff than the protests of the mayor, the city council, chief of police and city attorney, whose interests are identified with the city, in which the sheriff assumed without evidence, the threatened destruction of life and property. * * *
"The citizens of Colorado City, to the number of more than 600, signed a petition which was presented to the governor, requesting that the militia be recalled, but the governor remained as adamant to the written appeal of that citizenship. * * *
"The governor is quoted by the Rocky Mountain News in its issue of March 5 as giving expression to the following:
" 'I will not withdraw the troops until the trouble is settled. They are at Colorado City to protect the rights of the miners, as well as of the smeltermen. There are no agitators running this administration. This administration is to be run for the benefit of the people. If a man wants to work he has a perfect right to do so and the troops are there to see that everybody's rights are protected.'
"The above proves beyond the question of a doubt the antipathy of the executive of the state against organized labor. 'Agitators' are particularly objects of his vindictiveness. He seems to forget that the 'agitator' in every age of our civilization has been the advance guard in the conflict that humanity has waged against injustice. Philips, Garrison and John Brown were the advance agents of the rebellion, whose 'agitation' against chattel slavery lifted the 'lamp of hope' to the trembling black man and made an Abraham Lincoln grasp the pen with the hand of a hero to liberate from slave pen and master's lash 4,000,000 serfs that were bound to the bench of unpaid toil.
"Christ was an 'agitator,' and we regret to say that it was the Peabodys of his day and age that put upon his brow the crown of thorns, nailed him upon a cross, plunged the spear into his side and mocked him in the agony of death. * * *
"Previous to the strike being declared, the following letter was presented to the mill managers by the Mill and Smeltermen's union of Colorado City:
" 'We respectfully present for your consideration a schedule relating to employment and wages in and about the mills. This schedule has been carefully considered by members of the Colorado City Mill and Smeltermen's union No. 125, W. F. M., and they deem it a fair and reasonable minimum scale for the services in the various lines of work, and inasmuch as throughout the immediate surrounding places a like or higher scale is in effect, it is evident that both the employer and the employes regard a scale not lower than the one presented as just and equitable. Should there be any part of the schedule, however, which appears to you as not being fair and just, we will be glad to take the matter up with you, and assure you of our willingness to look at things from the company's standpoint as well as our own, and do that which will promote harmony and justice.
" 'We are greatly aggrieved over the discharge of individuals who have been, so far as we are informed, faithful employes of the company, and the only reason for their dismissal being the fact of their membership in this union.
" 'We do not object to the company discharging men whose services as workmen are unsatisfactory. We are not now, nor do we intend to uphold incompetent men nor insist that they be either employed or retained in the employment of the company, but we must protect the men in their rights to belong to the union, even to the extent of discontinuing to work for any company which so discriminates against them.
" 'Realizing that you will require some time to consider the accompanying scale, the committee will call upon you on the 25th inst. and expect a definite answer.'
"This letter was signed by the official committee of the union, but the letter received but little courteous consideration from the managers. When all overtures of the union failed to bring about an amicable adjustment of differences, the strike was declared as a last resort for justice. The mill managers exhausted every resource to fill the places of the strikers, but their efforts were unavailing. The governor then came to the rescue by recognizing the order of the sheriff, who wears the collar of the corporations. The Denver Post contained the following in its issue of March 6:
" 'This is the telegram sent to the Colorado City mill managers by the Denver Post:
" 'Are you willing to submit to arbitration the trouble between your company and the mill workers employed by you, the arbitration board to be appointed by joint arrangement of parties involved? Please answer at our expense. THE DENVER POST.'
" 'This is the reply:
" 'There is no trouble between our company and mill workers employed by us. Our employes are now and have been perfectly satisfied with wages and treatment. Wages paid by us more and hours of labor less than ore reducing plants with whom we compete. Our employes don't ask to arbitrate. Our plants are full-handed and all our employes and plants require is protection from the violence of outsiders not employed by us. We would be pleased to have your representative visit our plants and fully investigate. C. A. MACNEIL.
" 'Vice President and General Manager United States Reduction and Refining Company.'
"In the same issue of The Post the following editorial appeared:
" 'C. M. MacNeil, stand up!
" 'Was not this telegram of yours indorsed by the other mine managers?
" 'Is it not true that it is a subterfuge?
" 'Is it not a brazen falsehood from beginning to end?
" 'Is it not a carefully worded telegram, prepared to hoodwink the people of Colorado?
" 'Is it not intended to make the people believe the mill managers are more sinned against than sinning?
" 'Are you not laughing at your own cunning and nattering yourself that you have made a master stroke and have fooled the people?
" 'Your answer to each of these questions, if you are truthful, must be:
" 'Read your own telegram, Mr. MacNeil.
" 'There is no trouble between our company and mill workers employed by us.'
" 'Is it not a fact that your employes are on a strike?
" 'You must answer 'Yes.'
" 'Our employes are now and have been perfectly satisfied with their wages and treatment.'
" 'Is it not a fact that your wages were so low that the men were hungry more than half of the time?
" 'Is it not true that your employes were forced to pay insurance and medical assessments and trade in your stores?'
" 'Is it not true that many employes were forced to live in tents because you would not pay them enough to pay for a house?
" 'To each of these questions you must answer 'Yes.'
" 'You say 'wages paid by us are more and hours of labor less than ore reducing plants with whom we compete.'
" 'You know that is a barefaced lie, don't you?
" 'Is it not a fact that the Woods Investment Company pays higher wages for less hours of work than do you?
" 'Answer 'Yes.'
" 'You say, 'our employes don't ask us to arbitrate.'
" 'Is it not a fact that they have offered to arbitrate and you refused?
" 'Is it not a fact that you say, 'there is nothing to arbitrate' to these men?
" 'Is it not a fact that you are trying to break up the union?
" 'Is it not a fact that you have refused and do refuse to recognize the rights of men to organize?
" 'Do you not know this right is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States that gives to every man the right of liberty and pursuit of happiness?
" 'Do you know that you are seeking to deprive these men of their liberty and deprive them of their happiness by grinding them down to the level of serfs?
" 'You must answer 'Yes' to these questions or tell a deliberate lie.
" 'You say, 'our plants are full-handed and all our employes and plants require is protection from the violence of outsiders not employed by us.'
" 'Do you know that lies teem in every word of that sentence?
" 'Craftily as you have couched that sentence, do you not know that it will not fool the people of Colorado?
" 'Is It not a fact that your plants are not full-handed?
" 'Is it not a fact that there has been no violence?
" 'Is it not a fact that you had the troops called out to awe men who were asking only that you pay them money enough for their labor to allow them to live decently?
" 'Is it not a fact that citizens of Colorado Springs and Colorado City to the number of hundreds have signed petitions to Governor Peabody declaring that there was no violence?
" 'Do you know that these troops are costing the state of Colorado $2,000 a day and that there is absolutely no use for them in Colorado City?
" 'Is it not a fact that you have those troops there just to excite violence?
" 'You must answer 'Yes.'
" 'Is It not true that your company has $12,000,000 of watered stock and pays dividends on starvation wages?
" 'Answer 'Yes'.
" 'Don't you know that you must answer 'Yes' to these questions?
" 'This is what the Western Federation of Miners stands for:
" 'To secure compensation fully commensurate with the dangers of our employment and the right to use our earnings free from the dictation of any person whomsoever.'
" 'Do you indorse that for yourself, personally?
" 'Answer 'Yes.'
" 'Is there any reason why every man should not indorse that?
" 'You must answer 'No.'
" 'Here is another point the miners stand for:
" 'To establish as speedily as possible and so that it may be enduring, our right to receive pay for labor performed, in lawful money and to rid ourselves of the iniquitous and unfair system of spending our earnings where and how our employers or their agents or officers may designate.'
" 'Is that not right?
" 'Will you consent to anybody dictating to you how or where you will spend your salary?
"Here is another point the miners stand for:
" 'To use all honorable means to maintain and promote friendly relations between ourselves and our employers, and endeavor by arbitration and conciliation or other pacific means to settle any difficulties which may arise between us, and thus strive to make contention and strikes unnecessary.'
" 'Does this not show that our employes are ready to arbitrate?
" 'Is that not an honorable and fair stand for a man or men to take?
" 'You must answer 'Yes.'
" 'Mr. MacNeil, stand up.
" 'You are the Baer (*see footnote below) of Colorado.' * * *
"Secretary-Treasurer William D. Haywood, on March 10, expressed himself as follows:
" 'The rights of personal freedom and the liberty of speech are being violated. The strikers' pickets are being arrested on the public domain, when not attempting to encroach on the company's property. They are not permitted to speak to the men who work in the mills, although their purpose is the peaceable one of persuading the men to quit work. So many of the non-union men have left the mills that the company is getting desperate.
" 'Now, the situation is this: The miners of this state do not propose to submit to such oppression. They are advocates of law and order, and they will not long permit it to be violated even by the state's chief executive. There is grave danger in pushing oppression too far, and it is certain that the miners are now in a mood to strike back. They will preserve their liberties and retain their rights, if it is necessary to pass through the red sea of revolution in order to do, so. Colonists had less occasion to rebel against the authority of King George than have the miners of Colorado to resist the oppression of Governor Peabody.' * * *
"As soon as it became known throughout the state that the militia had been ordered to Colorado City, organized labor in every hamlet, village and city of the state, acted as a unit, in carrying out the instructions that were conveyed in the address that was issued by President Moyer and Secretary-Treasurer Haywood. The first petition that was presented to the legislature in condemnation of the governor, was laid upon the table by a vote of twenty-nine to nineteen. The members of the legislature did not seem to realize that organized labor throughout the state was thoroughly aroused, and when petition after petition came into the chambers of the law-makers, the corporation-owned lackeys of the Peabody administration felt 'a change of heart.'
"The governor for a few days played the role of the parrot to Manager MacNeil, and echoed the slogan of the corporations: 'There is nothing to arbitrate.' 'Nothing to arbitrate,' exclaimed the governor, when the state militia, at an expense of $1,500 per day are located at Colorado City, to give assistance to the mill trust in binding the shackles of a more galling bondage on the limbs of the serfs, who rebelled against czarism in Colorado. Nothing to arbitrate, wnen mill managers ride in $14,000 automobiles, and their employes live in hovels, surrounded by squalor of the most abject poverty? Nothing to arbitrate while misery is the legacy of the mill workers, and fabulous dividends, for the trust? Governor, in the language of the street, 'you are a corker.' The sentiment of the people of Colorado was expressed in the numerous petitions that poured into the state capitol, and the governor showed symptoms of receding from his former position. * * *
"Sherman Bell, the adjutant general, who was recently appointed by the governor, at the urgent request of the Mine Owners' Association, and whose salary in the capacity of adjutant general is $1,800 per year, plus $3,200, which is to be appropriated by the Mine Owners' Association, has assumed the attitude of a military autocrat. This imperial bum hero, who won a questionable reputation in the Spanish-American war, by crawling behind the breastworks of black men, who stormed San Juan hill, vomited the burning lava of his pent-up indignation in the following words to a correspondent of the Denver Post:
" 'You may say for me, in the most emphatic and unqualified terms, that while President Moyer, of the Western Federation of Miners, is in Denver carrying a white flag of truce and asking for the good offices of Governor Peabody to relieve him and his factional Coeur d'Alene followers from their present embarrassing predicament, he is acting with a double purpose here by waving a red flag under a black flag and at the same time is endeavoring to be relieved of any and all responsibility for the firing at our sentries by Moyer's assassins and forcing his ideas of arbitration. There is nothing to arbitrate with us on this matter, and everybody concerned might just as well understand it. That is all there is to that.'
"Sherman Bell is not supposed to assume the duties of adjutant general until Gardner of 'Wrath of God' and 'Snowslide Fame,' steps down and out at the expiration of his term in the month of April. But Bell is anxious to impress the mine owners with the fact that their princely donation of $3,200 per annum in conjunction with the regular salary is duly appreciated, and that no effort will be spared on his part to fully meet their expectations in serving the interests of the corporations.
"President Moyer, in the same issue of the Denver Post, which quoted the belligerent verbosity of Bell, had the following to say to a Post correspondent:
" 'The Mill and Smeltermen's union agreed to submit their differences to a board of arbitration, and were willing to abide by the decision of such a board. The terms submitted for arbitration by the Federation are as follows:
" 'First—That eight hours shall constitute a day's work in and around the mills.
" 'Second—That all men now on strike or who shall have been discharged by the different milling companies for no reason other than that they were members of Colorado City Mill and Smeltermen's union, be reinstated.
" 'Third—That members of organized labor be not discriminated against, but be privileged to affiliate with a labor organization, and that they be not discharged for said affiliation.
" 'Fourth—That the scale of wages, as set forth in the demands of the Mill and Smeltermen's union be paid.
" 'Fifth—The Colorado City Mill and Smeltermen's union is willing to submit the above demands to a board of arbitration, selected as follows: The first member of the board to be selected by the governor or the mill managers; the second member to be selected by the Western Federation of Miners, and the third to be selected by the two; and the Colorado City Mill and Smeltermen's Union No. 125, agrees to abide by the decision of the said board, providing that pending their deliberations, the state militia, armed guards, strike breakers and all pickets be withdrawn from in and around the above mentioned mills.
" 'CHARLES MOYER, " 'Representing Mill and Smeltermen's Union No. 125.'
"The Post in its issue of March 13, said editorially:
" 'WHAT WOULD YOU DO, GOVERNOR, WERE YOU A MILL HAND?
" 'Governor Peabody, do you wish to learn the difference between the men working in the strikers' places at Colorado City and the strikers? You did not see the strikers when you visited the military camp there. You talked with the men at work in the mills.
" 'Governor, there is a profound difference between those—and that difference represents the truth. * * *
" 'You talked with the men at work in the guarded mill, governor, and they told you that they had no complaints to make.
" 'At that moment a woman, sent by The Post, was doing a natural and practical thing. She was at the homes of the strikers talking with their wives.
" 'They were very poor, governor, so poor that the check you pay in a fashionable cafe for one meal would mean the very affluence of food for a striker's family for one week.
" 'And yet the men had worked very, very hard, governor. They had given every muscle and all the endurance they possessed to the mill— every bit of it—and yet their children would have shouted for joy and their wives wept over the sum of a restaurant check carried by a bowing waiter to the proud cashier of a fashionable cafe. * * *
" 'And then this woman, who writes for The Post, went to the homes of the 'scabs' and saw their wives and children and the men when they returned gloomily home—the men who told you, governor, that they had no complaints to make. * * *
" 'Theirs are the homes, governor, where, after the credit at the store is cut off in the middle of the month, the women live on crusts of bread so that the men may have an egg or a bit of meat to keep up their strength to work for the mill until next pay day, when credit is restored and they can have enough to eat for another half month.
" 'But the men are working—they have no complaint to make.
" 'Governor Peabody, imagine that you were shorn of your power, your fortune, your home—imagine that you had nothing wherewith to support your family, save a chance to earn enough to keep them half alive.
" 'And suppose, governor, that you might lose that chance by a complaint. /What would you do? Possibly you would cling to it; possibly you would try to smile through the cold sweat in your face and say:
" 'I have no complaint to make. Let me alone!' * * *
" 'Or perhaps, Governor Peabody, if you found that there were beside you good and true comrades, brave men, who would stand by you, you might throw down your tools and say to your employers:
" 'You must pay us living wages—By God, you must!' * * *
" 'That is the difference, governor, between the men who are striking and those who have no complaint.
" 'Read Dora Desmond's story in The Post today, the story written in the laborers' poor homes, written in the pure light of the sacrifice of their wives, written on the very heart of unrequited toil.
" 'Nothing to arbitrate!'
" 'Why, Governor Peabody, don't you know that if you and the rest of the men who sit in their artistic homes with one hand fondly caressing sweet, sunny-haired children and the other holding up the newspaper wherein they read the news of the strike, don't you know what you and they would do were the conditions reversed?
" 'What would the so-called 'ruling classes' do if they found themselves giving their lives for one-half of a right to live? * * *
" 'How long would 'the great conservative, intelligent citizenship' stand it? How long would the mill owners toil in weary silence? How long would you endure slavery?
" 'Did it ever occur to you what the men would do who demand that union labor shall be crushed were they the toilers?
" 'Did it ever occur to you, governor that they might say:
" 'We can't arbitrate poverty and suffering.'
" 'But union labor offers to arbitrate, governor.'
"The Rocky Mountain News had the following editorial in its issue of March 14, 1903:
"'SOME ADVICE BY REQUEST.'
" 'Governor Peabody said yesterday that the News had been criticising him so freely that he would like that paper to tell him what it thought he should do to bring about arbitration of the Colorado City strike.
" 'Whether the governor's expressed wish was an outburst of petulance or was caused by a real desire to receive a suggestion, the News does not know, but it will try to give the best advice it can.
" 'The first thing the governor should do to bring about arbitration is to believe that there ought to be arbitration, and then to act as if he believed it. So far as the press and public have been able to discover from the governor's words and actions, he has never given any intimation to the mill owners that he thought they should recognize the union and arbitrate tne differences. Never has he made any declaration to the public that he thinks there should be arbitration.
" 'As a first step toward facilitating arbitration, let him make the public statement that he thinks the mill owners should accept the proposal of the Western Federation of Miners and that they will deserve to be condemned if they fail to accept it.
" 'The governor should understand that the people of this state, almost without exception, look on him as a partisan of the mill owners and think that the mill owners would have agreed to arbitration long ago were it not that they expect to have his full support whether they be right or wrong. This belief in the minds of the people may do the governor an injustice, but if it does he is responsible for it, and he only can remove it.
" 'The conviction that the governor stands with the mill owners took deep root when he called out the National guard and rushed it to Colorado Springs. Manager MacNeil of the mill trust came to Denver, carrying in his pocket the request of Sheriff Gilbert for troops. Nobody had any idea that troops were to be asked for. There had been no disorder to warrant their entry on the scene. The sheriff of El Paso county had made no effort to employ the peace force of the county, the municipal authorities of Colorado City were prepared, alone, to keep order.
" 'But the governor and Manager MacNeil went into private conference and when they came out the order to the troops came with them. The governor did not go to Colorado City himself, he did not send anybody to investigate, he took the ex parte statements of the manager of the mill trust and the request of an incompetent sheriff as his warrant for sending a small army to Colorado City at an expense of over $1,500 a day to the state.
" 'Then the governor pushed aside the recognized officers of the National guard and gave some kind of a personal commission to Sherman Bell and James H. Brown, both of whom have conducted themselves in exactly the right way to provoke trouble. The appointment of Sherman Bell to be adjutant general of the state troops, beginning in April, is in itself an indication of the most extraordinary ignorance or recklessness on the part of the governor. A hair-brained adventurer like Bell is about the last man in the state who should be placed in a position so responsible as that of adjutant general.
" 'The public conviction as to the governor's mental attitude was fixed by his recent trip to the scene of the strike. He talked with the men working in the mills, but refused to go to a meeting ol the strikers to which he was invited. Instead of spending the evening talking with the strikers and learning their opinions he chose to hold a social function in the Antlers hotel. At another time a public reception in the Antlers would have been in good taste. Under the circumstances which took the governor to Colorado Springs it was in the worst possible taste, and no man with an ounce of good judgment in public affairs ever could have been led into such an indiscretion.
" 'If the governor has any wish to invite public confidence in himself and his administration, he will recall Bell and Brown from Colorado City, revoke Bell's appointment as adjutant general and require Brown to confine himself strictly to the duties of his proper rank in the guard.
" 'The proposition of the union is that the mill owners shall select one arbitrator, the Western Federation of Miners the second and those two the third, the finding of the board to be binding on both sides.
" 'If the governor believes that proposition to be fair, let him say so.
" 'Then let the governor notify the mill owners that if they will not accept that proposition at the meeting this afternoon he will withdraw the National guard from Colorado City and will issue a statement to the public saying that the mill owners are not disposed to be fair.
" 'If the governor will take that attitude an agreement to arbitrate will be reached before today's sun goes down. If he says there must be arbitration there will be arbitration.'
"The governor could no longer maintain his position that 'there was nothing to arbitrate.' Public sentiment became so strong that he was forced to use his office in bringing together both parties to the controversy. The governor requested the mill managers and the representatives of the Federation to meet at his office on the afternoon of March 14, for the purpose of obtaining further personal information. The Federation was represented by President Moyer and Secretary-Treasurer Haywood, who secured the temporary services of an attorney. The mill owners were represented by their managers and attorneys. The conference lasted from 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon until 3 o'clock Sunday morning, with the following result:
"Terms of the Portland mill:
"First—that eight hours shall constitute a day's work, in and around the mills, with the exception of the sampling department, which may extend to ten hours per day.
"Second—That in the employment of men by this company there shall be no discrimination between union and non-union labor, and that no person shall be discharged for reason of membership in any labor organization.
"Third—That all men now on strike shall be reinstated within twenty days from Monday, the 16th day of March, A. D. 1903, who shall have made application for work within five days from said date.
"Fourth—That the management of the Portland Gold Mining Company will receive and confer with any committee of the Colorado City Mill and Smeltermen's Union No. 125 at any time within said twenty days upon the subject of a scale of wages.
"Dated at Denver, Colorado, this 14th uay of March, A. D. 1903.
"FRANK C. PECK,
"For the Portland Gold Mining Company.
"For Mill and Smeltermen's Union.
"Terms of the Telluride mill:
"First—That eight hours a day shall constitute a day's work in and around the mills, with the exception of the sampling department, which may be extended to ten hours per day.
"Second—That in the employment of men by this company there shall be no discrimination between union and non-union labor, and that no person shall be discharged for reason of membership in any labor organization.
"Third—That all men formerly employed by the Telluride Reduction Company shall be reinstated in the same positions which they occupied in the mill at the time it closed down, it being understood that in the new mill now under construction by the Telluride Company that there will be certain positions in the new mill which did not exist in the mill as formerly operated, and that the agreement of the Telluride Company to the reinstatement of men shall apply to the positions in the new mill which were in existence in the old mill.
"Fourth—That the management of the Telluride Reduction Company will receive and confer with any committee of the Colorado City Mill and Smeltermen's Union No. 125, within any time after thirty days from the date upon which the mill is placed in operation to consider a wage scale.
"Fifth—The Telluride Reduction Company furtner agrees that during the period of construction of this mill that it will employ as many of its old employes as it finds practicable so to do.
"Manager MacNeil, of the Standard mill, who has at all times maintained a stubborn attitude, practically forced himself out of the conference with the Portland and Telluride mill managers. President Moyer and Secretary-Treasurer Haywood, at the request of the governor, accepted an invitation to meet the manager of the Standard mill on Sunday, March 15, at 11 o'clock. The meeting took place at the governor's office, but all efforts on the part of the Federation representatives to bridge the gulf were unavailing. Manager MacNeil refused to reinstate the strikers, made no mention of the wages he would concede to his employes, nor would he consent to a recognition of the union.
"The governor agreed that he would withdraw tne state militia, providing the Western Federation of Miners would withdraw the suits that were entered against officers of the Colorado National Guard. If the representatives of the Federation had refused to accede to the demands made by the governor, the people of Colorado would have the inestimable privilege of continuing to donate $1,500 per day as an expense account for soldiers on dress parade. The people of the state have sized up the present executive, and have concluded that he is smaller mentally than he is physically. In the words of a prominent mining man, 'He is a Reuben from the country who shies at an electric light.' He has lived so long in the rural districts of Colorado that bunches of alfalfa have grown on the gray matter in his think dome, and the war horses of the G. O. P. are endeavoring to disclaim responsibility for the political accident that nominated and elected the present apology as governor of the state.
"After it became known that the Telluride and Portland mill managers and the representatives of the Federation had arrived at a satisfactory settlement, there was a general rejoicing, but amidst the jubilation there could be heard strong words of condemnation for Manager MacNeil of the Standard, who repudiated with haughty arrogance the reasonable demands of the Federation representatives.
"The Cripple Creek Press, the official organ of organized labor of the Cripple Creek district, (since suspended) had the following to say in its editorial columns of March 15: (1903.)
" 'The announcement of a settlement of the differences between the Mill and Smeltermen's Union No. 125, of Colorado City, and the managers of the Portland and Telluride mills is pleasing to the people of this district, but the failure of the United States Reduction and Refining Company to enter into the agreement made by the other mills means something which is not pleasing. It means that unless the mines shipping to the Standard mill accede to the demands made upon them by the executive board of the Western Federation of Miners, that they quit shipping their ores to the said United States Reduction and Refining Company on Monday, that the miners employed by them will be called out by the Federation. It means that when these men are called out in support of their brothers on strike against the Standard mill, they will go out and tie up those mines so tight that Manager MacNeil will have a difficult time in getting material to keep his pet scabs at Colorado City employed. The Western Federation has done everything in its power to bring about an amicable settlement, and when Manager MacNiel refuses to accept the terms made by the managers of the other mills he places himself behind the pale of public consideration and the only thing now left for the mine managers who are shipping to his mill will be to whip him into line or submit to a strike of miners employed by them. There is no middle ground with the miners on this question. They will be compelled to insist upon the demands made by them being complied with or walk out.'
"The governor failed to keep his promise that he would immediately withdraw the troops, and the delay of the governor in issuing his order recalling the state militia caused the following to be issued from the headquarters of the Western Federation of Miners on March 17:
" 'The representatives of the Western Federation of Miners, since the strike was declared at Colorado City, have at all times held themselves in readiness to confer with the mill managers for the purpose of bringing about an amicable adjustment of differences. For months previous to the strike, the officers of the Federation labored early and late to bring about an honorable settlement, which would prevent any open rupture between the mill managers and their employes. The officers of the Federation have given a respectful hearing to representatives in all departments of business, and at all times have shown a disposition to submit their grievances to a board of arbitration. Had the mill managers manifested as earnest a desire to pour oil upon the troubled waters as the Western Federation of Miners, the people of the state of Colorado would never have been compelled to forward protests against the executive of the state for his loyalty to corporate interests.
" 'Had the mill managers exhibited even the slightest disposition to act in a spirit of justice to their employes the strike would have been averted and the treasury of the state would not have become a graft for military officials who are 'bug house' when clothed with the uniform of blue. The militia of the state has been used for the purpose of inciting riot, but with all the infamous schemes concocted by Bell and Brown, the strikers have remained unruffled, and have shown to the people of Colorado that they are law-abiding, and that even uniformed ruffians could not goad them to acts of violence. The sheriff of El Paso county has demonstrated that he has been a willing auxiliary in the hands of the mill managers to exaggerate the conditions of the situation at Colorado City so that corporations which refuse to arbitrate could secure the militia to perform picket duty at the expense of the state. * * *
" 'The governor, toward the close of the interview Sunday morning, admitted without any solicitation, that the representatives of the Western Federation of Miners had gone more than three-fourths of the way and had been more than fair in bringing about a settlement and that he would at once issue an order to withdraw the troops. The governor admitted, after his personal investigation of affairs at Colorado City, that he was unable to connect the strikers with any violation of the law. In the interview that was held Sunday at the governor's office to arbitrate with Manager MacNeil, the governor receded from his former agreement to withdraw the troops. He asked the representatives of the Western Federation of Miners for a further concession, namely, that he would immediately withdraw the troops providing that the Federation would withdraw all suits against the officers of the state militia. The representatives of the Federation were again magnanimous and accepted the proposition of the governor.
" 'The governor and attorney general asked that these suits be withdrawn as a personal request, owing to the fact that the office of the attorney general was crowded with business and that no funds were available for engaging special attorneys to defend the military officials. The governor and the attorney general remembered the opinion that was rendered by Rogers, Riddle and Helm during the Leadville strike of 1896, and knew that the legal opinion rendered by this trio of constitutional lawyers would have far-reaching effect on some of the brainless nonentities that are now connected with Colorado's National guard. The governor has violated every syllable and letter of his agreement by sending his private secretary to Colorado City to make a personal investigation and report. The private secretary to the governor, when reaching Colorado Springs, placed himself under the supervision of Bell and Brown, so that his report to the governor would be of such a character as would enable militia grafters to live a little longer on 'easy street' at the expense of the state.
" 'The action of the governor has shown him to be weak and vacillating, and that he is a man who has no conception of the dignity of his office. The Western Federation of Miners, through its representatives, have used every honorable effort to bridge every chasm, notwithstanding the fact that the Mine Owners' Association, the mill managers, the state militia and even the governor himself have been arrayed against them.
" 'The governor is now intimating that we promised there would be no strike in the Cripple Creek district. We never made any such promise. It would have been an impossibility for us to make a promise of that character while MacNeil, the 'Baer of Colorado,' refused to recognize the Western Federation of Miners. We gave the governor to understand that we would fight MacNeil to a finish, and under no circumstances could he construe our meaning that a strike would not be declared upon the mines that would ship ore to unfair mills. We have been willing and are now willing to arbitrate with Manager MacNeil. He has refused to arbitrate with us as an organization, and he alone is responsible for the situation that confronts the people of the Cripple Creek district. We have been more than fair, and have gone three-fourths of the way, according to the governor, and we are now willing to place the justice of our cause in the hands of the whole people of the state, and let them be the jury to bring in the verdict.
(Signed) " 'CHARLES MOYER, President W. F. M.
" 'WILLIAM D. HAYWOOD, Sec-Treas. W. F. M.'
"Charles Moyer took his departure for the Cripple Creek district on the afternoon of March 16, to hold a conference with the members of District Union No. 1, as to future action in reference to the Standard mill, whose manager absolutely refused to recognize the Western Federation of Miners or their representatives in the settlement of the strike.
"President Moyer, after arriving in the Cripple Creek district, immediately went into conference with the district members, and it was agreed at said conference that the mines that were shipping ore to unfair mills should be requested to refrain from so doing, or that the men on such mines would be called out. The conclusion arrived at by the meeting was not put into execution until 4 o'clock in the afternoon of March 17, at the request of a committee of business men who labored with MacNeil for a settlement of the strike. The committee of business men failed to induce MacNeil to accept the terms proposed by the representatives of the Federation, and the ultimatum of District Union No. 1 went into effect. * * *
"The governor, after receiving telephone communication from his private secretary, whom he had dispatched to Colorado City to report on the situation, issued the following order at 7 p. m. March 17:
" 'Denver, March 17, 1903
" 'Colorado City, Colo.,
" 'Sir—You will immediately recall the troops under your command, now at Colorado City, to their company stations, together with all quartermaster, ordnance and commissary stores, the property of this state, and report to the adjutant general. JAMES H. PEABODY,
" 'Governor and Commander-in-Chief.'
"Sherman Bell, the adjutant general-elect, whom Governor Peabody has slated, has been unanimously condemned, not only by members of organized labor, but men in every department of business have covered the hair-brained, strutting, burlesque on a soldier with the odium of their contempt. The delegates in the Republican convention that was held recently in Cripple Creek denounced the utterances of Sherman Bell as 'idiotic, revolutionary and un-Republican.' Resolutions have been passed and forwarded to the state senate demanding that his appointment shall not be confirmed by that body. Blow-hard Bell is a Republican and a resident of the Cripple Creek district and this repudiation by men who know him best should cause the governor to hesitate in placing the state militia in the hands of a man who has proved himself an irresponsible wind bag with nothing to him but 'hot air' and feathers.
"During the strike at Colorado City, while the commanding officers of the state militia were ignoring the rights and liberties of citizenship, Judge F. W. Owers threw a bomb in the shape of a judicial opinion, that caused the state administration to clip the wings of the verdant captains and colonels whose heads were expanded through self-importance. The legal opinion that was written by Judge Owers and published in the Denver papers, defining military and civil authority, was unanswerable, and the minions who craved to serve their masters were put up against a stone wall. F. W. Owers commands the respect of every laboring man in the state, who recognizes [sic] in him one of the highest types of that incorruptible manhood whose unswerving loyalty to justice gives dignity and honor to the judiciary.
"March 1, at 9 o'clock in the morning, Camp Peabody passed into history, and the 'boys in blue' returned to their homes to discard the uniform and become peaceable and law-abiding citizens"—Miners Magazine, April, 1903.
On March 31, in order that Manager MacNeil might be placed on trial before the people of the state to see if he would keep his word to the governor's commission, President Charles Moyer, of the Western Federation of Miners, acting for the union declared an armistice until May 18. The news of this armistice was received in the Cripple Creek district with unalloyed enthusiasm by the entire population. Bells were rung, mine whistles were blown, bands of music paraded the streets to the accompaniment of plenty of red fire and fire crackers. The terms of agreement, as stated in the public press, were that the union should be recognized and those who had been discharged reinstated by May 18, an eight-hour clause was also added, but we are all familiar with the terms on which MacNeil agreed to settle at that time.
But as soon as the strike was declared off and the miners of the Cripple Creek district began breaking ore to supply the plants of the United States Reduction and Refining Company, Mr. MacNeil apparently forgot he ever made any promises to the governor's commission, for he failed to keep the promises he made on March 30, when the armistice was declared and the strike raised. The minimum wage of $2 for outside and $2.65 for inside work had been established in the Portland and Telluride mills, but at the Standard mill the wages were only $1.75 per day. Early in August, District Union No. 1 again took up the case with the United States Reduction and Refining Company, and endeavored to adjust the differences. They sent a committee to Colorado City and held a conference with Mr. MacNeil, and tried to induce him to pay the same wages as prevailed at the Portland and Telluride mills, and to stop discrimination against members of the union. While Mr. MacNeil received the committee and freely discussed conditions, and even admitted that $1.75 a day was not enough for any man to raise a family on, he positively refused to grant the request of District Union No. 1. After MacNeil's answer was received it was decided to call a strike on all mines in the Cripple Creek district that were shipping ore either direct or indirect to any of the plants of the United States Reduction and Refining Company.
*Webmaster's note: "Baer of Colorado" refers to George Frederick Baer, President of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad who infamously wrote, ""The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for — not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men of property to whom God has given control of the property rights of the country, and upon the successful management of which so much depends.""