pages 150 to 170
Typographical Union 275 published a formal protest against the treatment of its members, as did many sister typographical unions.
At a session of the Denver Typographical Union, No. 49, Sunday, October 4, the following resolutions were adopted:
"Whereas, The occupation of the various towns and cities in the Cripple Creek mining district by the Colorado state militia has resulted in the unlawful and illegal application of martial law, with all its attendant disregard for the rights, privileges and duties of American citizens, vouchsafed by the constitution of the United States. Arrests have followed freedom of speech; arrests have awaited the legal assemblage of citizens in union meetings; arrest has followed any communication by union men with strike breakers; the pomp of officers and the rattle of musketry have invaded the sacred precincts of the court (the only safe refuge of the innocent citizen); and, worst of all, arrest without warrant of law has followed newspaper expression, thus destroying the palladium of liberty, the freedom of the press, and
Whereas, The apprehension of the editor of the Victor Daily Record was followed by the arrest of members of Victor Typographical union at work on that paper, who are innocent of any wrong, or attempted wrong; therefore be it
Resolved, By Denver Typographical Union No. 49, the pioneer labor organization in Colorado, that we reaffirm our loyalty and fealty to the law of the land, knowing, as we do, that personal safety vouchsafed to the people through the application of legal processes is the net result of centuries of human struggle against the despotic rule of might. We deplore and denounce the subversion of laws by the military arm of the state government, and declare it to be wholly in the interest and at the behest of the few rich and strong, and we declare the use of such force to be against the best interests of the masses of the people of the state.
"Resolved, Further, That we urge upon the officers of the International Typographical Union to take active and immediate steps looking toward securing proper redress for the unlawful arrest and incarceration of the members of our sister Typographical union at Victor, and to that end the secretary of this union is hereby instructed to forward a copy of these resolutions to international headquarters at Indianapolis."
On the evening of September 30, the Gold Coin mine and Economic mill shut down. Both are properties of the Woods Investment company.
As the men came out of the mines they were met by Mr. Woods, who stated that while he was desirous of keeping as many of his employes as possible, it would be necessary hereafter for men working in the Gold Coin to dissolve relationship with the Western Federation of Miners. Of the men thus approached, not one would agree to drop his membership in the Federation. A committee then went to the Economic mill and the men employed there were notified of what had occurred at the mine, and were asked to quit work. The request met with prompt compliance, not one remaining in the mill. It had been expected that whatever might have been the personal inclination of the owners of the Gold Coin, sooner or later, the Mine Owners' Association would compel them to shut down or work the property with men not affiliated with the Federation. The Woods people were loth to part with the men, but were compelled, by their affiliation with the Mine Owners' Association, to do so.
MacNeil objected to the miners interfering with the men on strike at his mill, even if they did belong to the Western Federation, and the mine owners all said "sympathetic strike." But when the Woods people expressed satisfaction with their union force the Mine Owners' Association, to which they belonged, forced them to discharge the union force, the shoe was on the other foot; but did they call it a "sympathetic" lock-out? Oh, no.
"O, consistency, thou art a jewel."
Paddy Mullaney and Thomas Foster, two of the "guests" at the military bull pen at Camp Goldfield, were released from custody Sept. 30, by orders from headquarters. With the release of Mullaney and Foster followed by the giving of the Record force into the custody of Sheriff Robertson, but two civilian prisoners were left to enjoy the hospitality of the state troops. These were Chas. Kennison and W. F. Davis. Mr. Kennison, president of Miners' Union, No. 40, has many arrests and releases to his credit. On Sept. 18 he was arrested for the second time. He had gone to the Independence mine to get clothing he had left there, and after leaving the mine, was talking to some friends, when the military arrested him for carrying concealed weapons, and he was taken to the bull pen. His wife made many efforts to see him, but was repeatedly denied by the military. His last arrest caused his detention until October 2, when he and W. F. Davis were turned over to the civil authorities.
"To hell with the constitution. We are going by the governor's orders," said Major McClelland, acting judge advocate and counsel for the military authorities, according to the statement of Attorney John M. Glover.
"I was in the office of District Attorney Trowbridge when Tom McClelland and Willis V. Elliott were preparing information against Editor Kyner for libel. Referring to the seizure of the office of the Victor Record, I said to McClelland, 'Your people apparently have not much respect for the constitution. That was a blow at the freedom of the press," to which McClelland replied: 'To h— with the constitution. We are going by the governor's orders.' To which I replied: 'We will have some of you fellows pleading for your liberty before a jury where the governor's orders don't go.' McClelland replied: 'We will take care of that when we come to it.' Elliot was present and heard this conversation."
Immediately upon the appearance of the foregoing, McClelland denied that he made the remark that he was not going by the constitution, which at once brought forth the following from Mr. Glover:
"Cripple Creek, Colo., Oct. 5, 1903. "Editor of the Daily Record, Victor, Colo.:
"Dear Sir:—The conversation reported in your issue of October 4, as having occurred between Thomas McClelland, judge advocate of the National Guard and myself, took place explicitly and exactly as stated by your correspondent. My version of the matter will be accepted by the people of this section and by any jury before which McClelland shall be tried. I repeat that this conversation took place in the immediate presence and hearing of Willis V. Elliott, also an officer of the National Guard, and I cherish the hope that Mr. Elliott has too much regard for his honor and his uniform to join in McClelland's denial.
"Very truly yours,
"JOHN M. GLOVER."
October 3 Chase was summoned to Denver to appear before the "Czar of Colorado." At once there were rumors of court martials and denials of the same. There were rumors to the effect that Chase was to be superceded, that he would return and that he would not return. Statements that there was friction between him and some of the subordinate officers, against whom, it was alleged, he made charges of irregularities. Hints of padded pay rolls were brought out, also intimations made that women were mixed up in the case, and various other matters came before the public in connection with the affair. The officers were "gagged" when asked questions, no one in camp seemed to know why Chase was called to Denver. Scandals were made public which neither the officers nor the mine owners appreciated; the officers did not relish the publicity given the scandals, while the mine owners hated to lose a subservient tool. Peabody and the mine owners, it was said, did their best to keep peace between the '' tinsel ornaments'' but failed. It was said by many that had it been possible to keep the "czar" of the "empire" of Colorado in the same mind forty-eight hours, the trouble might have been avoided. Close friends of the governor labored with him to help him to "release the tail of the bear," but to no avail. However, that may be, detailed charges and specifications were filed with Governor Peabody against practically all heads of departments of the Colorado National guard. The military court was to act as a kind of state grand jury and all charges that were made against the men and officers and all allegations that were made were to be considered by the court.
In connection with the investigation of the hospitals the charges of cruelty made by Monroe Kanouse and others who returned ill from the camp, were to be investigated. A searching inquiry was to be made into the death of the soldier who died on his way from Cripple Creek to a hospital in Colorado Springs, etc.
There was brought to light many cases of neglect and cruelty among the private soldiers.
Bell said, in an interview in regard to conditions that existed October 7:
"I have no apologies or excuses to make to the Lord or anybody else for the manner in which the campaign has been conducted. Everything has been done to the best of my ability in the effort to properly care for the men, through both the commissary and quartermaster's departments. I am responsible for my assistants, and not only they, but myself, as well as every officer and soldier in the field, have been practically on duty both night and day. I am running the adjutant general's and quartermaster's offices, as well as the commissary department, and no one else is running them for me. There have been accusations made on the one hand that the troops were not properly fed and clothed, and on the other hand, that they were extravagantly fed and unnecessarily provided for in clothing. Whatever the opinions of the public are, individually or collectively, in both instances, I want the people to hold their breath an hour or two and listen to this statement:
"I am responsible to the state and officially and personally am conducting these departments with the assistance of those who have been acting for me, and there is no one else either responsible, liable or otherwise conducting these departments in the past, in the present or the future. Therefore, others need not claim any credit for what has been done, and neither will they be held liable for conducting the campaign, so far as my responsibility goes."
Another statement of Bell's on the same subject would really do credit to a sane man, and was as follows:
"I offer the following moral to the Citizen's Alliance, the Mine Owners' Association, the Western Federation of Miners, and all other organizations: Moral—"Attend to your own business affairs and don't in any manner or way interfere or mix in the military operations and conduct of the troops, and, incidentally, with the management and operation of the military affairs in the Cripple Creek district."
Bell said those organizations could pin that moral in their hats.
On October 10, Governor Peabody appointed a general court martial to convene at the capitol building at 10:00 a. m., October 19, 1903, or as soon thereafter as practicable, for the trial of such persons as might properly be brought before it.
October 19 the court martial began to grind and it continued until October 31. It is useless to waste space to go into detail in regard to that ridiculous farce played by the officers of the National guard, with Peabody, Bell and Chase in the leading roles. It was a very exhilarating performance in which the governor acted as director. Bell aspired to the role of heavy villain and Chase the martyr (?). The majority of the officers in the field including the "parlor" colonels were all given minor parts. The only points brought out in the trial, which lasted twelve days, was that there were certain jealousies existing between the officers in Camp Goldfield. That Bell disliked Chase from his hat to his shoes, although he had publicly stated what a "warm" friendship existed between him and Chase. At the court martial it developed that they had had trouble in regard to which was superior from the very first. The public became aware of this fact when Bell charged Chase with perjury. There were many disgraceful acts that had taken place at Camp Goldfield brought to light that otherwise would not have become public property, had not Bell and the other officers tried to give Chase the worst of it. He (Chase) refused to resign, and was acquitted of the charge of perjury.
Then came the other charges of disobedience and many other allegations.
It was believed that the court would find a verdict of guilty on the specifications, but not the charge of disobeying orders. In other words, he was technically guilty, but not willfully so.
While the trial for other charges than perjury was being continued, Bell left no stone unturned to convict General Chase, and in his attempt to do so, a few little things much like the following were charged against Bell by the press of the state:
That General Bell violated his oath of office and the orders of Governor Peabody in going to the Cripple Creek district. That he issued executive orders without the sanction or knowledge of the governor. That he exceeded his authority by issuing commands to the brigade of General Chase.
That he issued orders direct to officers without sending them through brigade headquarters. That he forged the name of General Chase to passes through the lines. That he removed Colonel Louis Barnum from the court martial because he would not agree to vote for a conviction of General Chase. That he coerced and rewarded witnesses in the case of General Chase. That he approached members of the court martial to influence them to vote against Chase.
That he destroyed important records that would have vindicated Chase and substituted incorrect copies to be introduced as evidence.
After spending the entire day of November 2 in secret session, reviewing the evidence in the charge of disobedience of orders of the governor, the court martial announced that General Chase had been found guilty of disobedience by a vote of four to six. The punishment was not fixed.
The arguments still went on for several days. There were many scenes during the trial, blows being threatened, and many times the court room was cleared to avoid the crisis being reached. The lie was passed by the gold lace followers of Bell. Men were called scoundrels and curs and other names for which men used to kill. Finally, after the trial had absorbed the public attention for nearly thirty days, the verdict was announced and turned over to Governor Peabody to fix sentence. General Bell and his followers used every power possible to influence Peabody to give Chase a dishonorable discharge. Public sentiment was with Chase, for the reason that it was plain to be seen that the whole affair was a matter of jealousy and supposed to be a plot to dispose of Chase. Prejudice predominated in the court martial and public sentiment naturally grew in favor of Chase. Attorney Elliot worked very hard for Chase, and more than once held Bell up to ridicule. Once, in the heat of argument, he called Bell a cowardly cur. He was ever ready to correct and defy the opposition to Chase.
November 7 the controversy came to an end, so far as the public was concerned. The news of the acquittal of General Chase of the charges preferred against him, for which he was tried, rather amused the citizens of this district. The people were eagerly waiting to see what the governor would do with the proposition passed up to him by the military board. They heard from him and noted that he made a bold straddle of the proposition. Public opinion was too strong to "fire" Chase from the National Guard, so the governor, in order to pacify Bell, approved of the verdict but did not discharge Chase from the guard.
Governor Peabody's decision was typewritten, covering some four pages. He agreed with the court that General Chase had disobeyed executive orders, but, "in view of the fact of his long and honorable service, in the militia of both Colorado and Michigan, the verdict of the court was set aside.''
The ruling of the governor was in every way a vindication for General Chase. His handling of the court's verdict was done in complete detail, every point raised by the defense and prosecution being covered.
The verdict amounted to this: ''Mr. Chase, you disobeyed an executive order. My dear sir, never let this occur again. You will remain in command, because I have confidence in you."
Apparently, it appears that the governor refused to be dictated to by Adjutant General Sherman Bell.
The governor did not make up his mind as to what the verdict would be until November 7. He spent the evening in going over the evidence and conferring with friends of both factions.
"I am going to return this verdict in accordance with the law and facts, no matter who it hits," said the governor.
Early in the morning he was at his office in the capitol building, and, calling his stenographer into his room, started the task of dictating his opinion as to the finding of the court. The governor called attention to the law and commented to some length on all points. In closing, his decision, which was signed "James H. Peabody, governor and commander in chief," set forth the different charges.
"The charge of perjury. Charge, not guilty. Specifications, not guilty."
"Charge No. 2.—Disobedience of orders. Charge, guilty. Sentence, dismissal. The sentence is set aside."
And the governor wound it up with a comment on the bravery of General John C. Chase.
So, after nearly thirty days consumed by the court martial, the result (aside from the amusement it furnished the public, which by the way will cost the taxpayers dear, as shown by one item alone, which I hereafter cite), nothing was really accomplished.
The striking miners, however, were benefited as it gave them temporary respite from military persecution as General Bell's attention was given to trying to convict General Chase in the hope that he would be dismissed from the service. There was much conjecture as to what was the real cause for the enmity of Bell against Chase. Some claimed it was jealousy, because Bell recognized Chase's superiority as a commanding officer, and therefore wanted him out of the way as Bell himself desired to be the "whole thing." My personal opinion for the cause of the court martial is that General Bell, being desirous that in his war (mimic), which he considered of even greater importance than the war for Independence, and himself the Washington, desired that nothing be overlooked that usually goes with real war, consequently deemed a court martial a necessity. Trust General Bell not to overlook anything in connection with military affairs.
The court martial was a thirty days' picnic for those participating, the amount of champagne and high-priced cigars consumed, at the expense of the state, not to mention luncheons, was something astonishing. Here is the amount of one voucher alone, being bill presented by the Brown Palace Hotel Co. for luxuries furnished members of the court martial: "Voucher No. 4,987, $1,930.60."
The press of Colorado contained daily comment and amusing criticism upon the court martial. The foregoing cut is one of the many cartoons portraying the situation.
These conditions the miners enjoyed. They made the best of them as a means of amusement, and the question of moment each day was inquiring for the last sensation among the soldiers. The miners cared little about going to work while they could enjoy such high-class entertainment without cost.
During the month of October the women relatives of the union men of Cripple Creek district combined and formed what was known as Women's Auxiliaries to Organized Labor. These auxiliaries were organized, one each in Cripple Creek, Victor and' Anaconda. They were chartered by the Colorado State Federation of Labor.
The women were organized but a short time when they made themselves felt. They refused to patronize business men connected with the Citizens' Alliance, and it was not long before many communications were received by the auxiliaries from store keepers notifying the women that they had either no connection with the Citizens' Alliance or had severed their connection therewith. The women were very active in furnishing relief to sick and needy women and children of the strikers. In fact, so active did the women become through their organization, that several months later, General Bell was heard to say that the members of auxiliaries had caused him more trouble than all the 3,000 striking miners.
One of the greatest victories scored by organized labor in the Cripple Creek district, was on November 3, at the general election, when P. J. Devault was elected to the office of county assessor.
Through inability to "get together" on some of the candidates, Mr. Devault, a union musician and ex-secretary of the Colorado State Federation of Labor, was placed on an Independent Citizen's ticket by the organized labor element of the district as their recognized candidate, and although both the Democratic and Republican conventions had placed in the field strong tickets and worked hard for them, Mr. Devault was elected by an astounding majority, being supported by the unions of the entire district.
Organized labor joined forces and put their shoulder to the wheel to elect a union man, regardless of party politics.
The union men were jubilant over this victory, as they claimed that it demonstrated clearly that they were not dead and that they still have fight in them.
The auxiliaries of the district worked faithfully and enthusiastically for Mr. Devault, who gave the ladies much praise.
To the writer's mind, labor's victory awaits them at the ballot box. Let us formulate a plan—a plan whereby labor will receive its fair wage, whereby capital will receive its due—and justice will be given to all. Then let organized and unorganized labor stand shoulder to shoulder and not be divided on election day by the honeyed words of the professional politician, nor the lamentations of the professional office holder.
A great many working men object to taking their politics into their unions and lodges. But what will be the end of those who toil if they do not meet at the ballot box as a unit and vote for the interests of their class? Aye, politics has placed the state of Colorado where it "politically" stands in regard to organized —yes, and unorganized—labor, and it is labor's duty, and they will make it their business, to be a "political" unit as well as a "laboring" unit.
Both the Democratic and Republican parties, in the state campaign of 1903 advocated and pledged their candidates, their leaders and their beneficiaries of public favor, to an eight-hour law, if the people of the state amended the constitution of the state authorizing its passage.
The people did so—urged by the "politicians" of both parties, who said it was good and wise.
But the legislature, elected under that pledge, refused to pass the law.
The part played by corrupt politics was that, to carry an election, it had no conscience, but seized any and all campaign material, regardless of the consequences to the people.
And when the legislature disobeyed the will of the people and the promises of both parties, and obeyed the corporations who did not want an eight-hour law, "politics" skulked and did nothing.
The legacy of trouble drawn up by "politics," and signed, sealed and delivered by the legislature, has already cost millions and millions.
What the subsidiary and connecting losses amount to nobody knows, or ever will know.
More loss of production, more loss of wages; high prices for coal—all in the legacy left by "politics" and its agent, the legislature.
And politics skulks and the members of the legislature are able to pay for drinks with money that should scorch their fingers, and the people of Colorado hold the legacy that is not riches, but is ruin.
Should labor, organized or unorganized, throttle "politics?" Should we take politics into our halls and lodges, strip it of its heinous power, and force it to act, as it has promised, for the good of all? I say yes.
From November 8, through the entire month, the strike of the coal miners in the southern and northern fields of Colorado held the attention of the public. November 9 found the tie up of the coal mines almost complete. At Trinidad, when the whistle blew, there were but an inconsiderable few who responded, and the tie-up in Las Animas county was declared complete.
November 11 found ninety per cent of the miners out on strike and that per cent had been previously organized and were strictly union.
Thousands of coal miners were out before the governor realized what had taken place. Arrangements were made at once by the officers directing the strike to send many of the men away—over 1,000 departing at one time—500 of whom were sent to Thurber, Texas, and many others to the Iowa coal fields. At both places the conditions, wages and hours of work were vastly superior to those of the southern fields.
A coal strike with such capitalists as the men that control the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company and the Victor Coal Company on one side and the United Mine Workers, led by John Mitchell, on the other, is one, the effect of which can hardly be estimated.
A settlement of the difficulties in the northern fields was soon made, whereby the miners received all and more than they asked for, and work was renewed under far more favorable conditions.
''Mother Jones'' played a very commendable part in the labor troubles in the coal districts and needs no introduction to the laboring classes by the writer.
Governor Peabody made a statement November 11, in an interview on the coal strike, which read in part, as follows:
"I hold that every man has a right to work, whether he is union or non-union. When a man is ready and willing to work and is interfered with, I will furnish him the protection that he, as an American citizen, is entitled to.
"Up to the present time I have received no request for troops. Regardless of the statements that have been made, I have not been approached by the Victor Fuel company, nor by the Denver Tramway company for troops to go to Leyden Junction, or elsewhere. I wish my attitude to be understood. I have no objection to unions. Every man has a right to join unions if he wants to, the same as he may join a church, a lodge or any organization, civil or religious, so long as union members do not interfere individually or collectively with the action of other men, they are all right. I have always maintained that when a man wants to work that that is his privilege, and no one shall stop him. On the other hand, a man cannot be compelled to work unless he wants to. There must be no coercion either way.
"When I receive assurance that a body of men want to work, union or non-union, I shall extend to them that protection that is in my power. This is my position in this matter."
Will the reader take note that Governor Peabody says the principles that caused him to take the actions he has are that law and order shall be maintained in this state and that men shall have the right to work or not as they see fit.
Will Governor Peabody be honest and tell the public why he has allowed the militia, with his connivance, to openly violate the laws of this state, by arresting innocent men without warrant or due process of law, and against whom no charges have been brought.
Will Governor Peabody explain why he allows printers who are at work and want to work, to be dragged with insult and degradation from their labors and thrown into a vile "bull pen" and subjected to mental and physical torture, not excelled by the finished product of the Spanish inquisition?
Will Governor Peabody explain why he permits his "law preserving" military to desecrate funeral services and with the assistance of an ex-convict drag a citizen from his brotherly duty to the dead and confine him with no due process of his much upheld law?
Will Governor Peabody explain why he permits his "law preserving" military to shoot at a man with apparent intent to kill, because he refuses to work because he has been lied to in order to secure his services?
Will Governor Peabody explain why he permits his "law preserving" military to desecrate the home of a grief stricken widow of two days and threaten to drag from her side her ten year old son, frantic with woe by the loss of a dear and loving father, to be frightened and terrorized by a martial display, the reason for which his young and tortured mind can not fathom?
Will Governor Peabody explain why he permits his "law protecting" military to enter the home of a woman, drag her therefrom, tear her clothing from her body, and with brute force, oaths and villiflcation force her to walk over rough granite roads between two cities because she has incurred their displeasure by resenting their intrusion of the sanctity of her home?
Will Governor Peabody tell the public why so many of the strikers were kept in the bull pen and only liberated when he dare hold them no longer without coming into conflict with the courts and perhaps the federal authorities? Will the governor tell the public why the strikers have not as much right to life and liberty as have the "scabs?"
You say, governor, that labor has the right to organize, yet you know, and every person in this community knows that you did all in your power to deny them that right.
Governor Peabody, you stand condemned at the bar of public opinion as a corporate vassal who is ever ready to sacrifice the liberty of the people of this state at the behests of your masters, and the public want no canting hypocracies [sic] or platitudes from you. The least said about law and order after the exhibition of it, as seen in the Cripple Creek district, the better the public will be pleased.
Back, back, Governor Peabody, back to that dear Canon City, back to the more fitting occupation of your nature. Back, I say, to the clipping of coupons, the hoarding of the yellow boys; back to where your brain may shrivel and your sense become dumb to all but its natural sphere; back to the bars of your protected bank; back to the place where your fingers may develop unrestricted into the yellow and gnarled tallons [sic] of the pictured money monger, the accursed of Christ. Desert you the misoccupied chair of justice arbitrator, the position that should be occupied by honor and contaminate not the air of heaven with the name of liberty, freedom and justice befouled by your construction.
A dispatch from Washington, November 19, made known the fact that President Roosevelt had received a dispatch from Governor Peabody, asking that General Baldwin, commanding the department of Colorado, be instructed to supply such troops as may be necessary to preserve order in the Telluride district.
After a consultation between the President and secretary of war, Governor Peabody was advised that it did not appear that the resources of the state had been exhausted, and therefore, the request for troops was denied.
Upon the appearance of the foregoing, it leaked out that Governor Peabody and General Bell—beg pardon Sherman—I mean Adjutant General Brigadier General Sherman M. Bell of Colorado had offered the state militia, 2,000 strong, to fight the battles of the United States in Panama. The letter follows:
"Denver, Colo., November 9, 1903.
"Theodore Roosevelt, President:
"Commending your action in the Panama question, and having in mind the possibility of military service, I desire to tender you the services of the National Guard of Colorado, 2,000 strong, now fully armed and equipped and organized under the provision of the Dick bill, who can be ready on twenty-four hours' notice.
"JAMES H. PEABODY, Governor and Commander-in-Chief,
"SHERMAN M. BELL, Adjutant General,
"J. Q. MACDONALD, Military Secretary."
The secretary of war answered in the most polite manner possible which ended as follows:
"I beg to express the appreciation of the government of the United States for the patriotic spirit which prompted your offer. Fortunately there is at present no reason to anticipate the calling out of any part of the militia of the United States, but should the occasion arise at any time the readiness of the militia of the State of Colorado to serve their country will not pass without notice. Very truly yours,
"ELIHU ROOT, Sec'y of War."
Governor Peabody in a mild way had made for himself the butt for gibes and jokes in the war department. From the foregoing correspondence it will be seen that he and Sherman Bell tendered the state militia, 2,000 strong, armed and ready to set sail for Panama on twenty-four hours notice; while in the next breath the governor demanded federal troops, declaring that this same state militia was wholly inadequate to cope with the "lawless" element of Colorado.
In addition to this, Secretary Root modestly reads the governor a lecture on his ignorance of law, and showed that he had not commenced to make out such a condition as the law requires to permit the President to order federal troops to interfere.
This little farce comedy on the part of Sherman Bell and the governor was apparently an effort to saddle the expense of the "war of Colorado" (guarding the property of the mine owners against imaginary depredations), upon the United States; said war having already cost the state of Colorado in the vicinity of $500,000 (if we should permit the legislature to pay the mine owners' bills), and no blood shed in combat but that of a poor little burro.
Some have been so cruel as to hint that if Bell and Peabody could volunteer the services of 2,000 armed militiamen (the entire fighting force of the state of Colorado), to go to far distant Panama, there could surely be no necessity for them in the state of Colorado.
A very sad death must be recorded in these pages as subsequent proceedings in connection with it are almost beyond belief.
On November 20, the highly honored and ever-respected president of Victor Miners' Union No. 32, William Dodsworth, was almost instantly killed in the Delmonico shaft, one of the Stratton properties. He, in company with David Reed, were engaged in mending a steam pipe which was connected with some machinery which he had installed at the Delmonico mine. The men were standing on a plank which was balanced on two cross scantlings when Dodsworth stepped out near the end of the board, which broke, precipitating him to the bottom of the shaft. When picked up and taken to the surface, he was in an unconscious condition, from which he did not recover, until death came as he was being carried into his home at Goldfield.
Mr. Dodsworth was universally respected, and for the greater part of his life had been identified with trades unionism.
While the last sad rites were being paid to the dead at Miners' Union hall, Victor, Sunday afternoon, November 22, the military interrupted the ceremonies. While the services were being conducted over the remains of the beloved president of Miners' Union No. 32, where the unions and auxiliaries of the entire district had gathered to pay their last respects to the dead, a squad of cavalry, including several officers, galloped up to Miners' Union hall and laughingly dismounted. The notorious ex-convict, Frank Vannick, headed the file of officers, and with him as a leader they proceeded up the stairway to the hall of the sacred dead.
The officers, with covered heads and clanging sabres boistrously [sic] entered the hall where every head was bowed in deepest sorrow. After this display of military rule in the glorious "land of the free,'' Vannick advanced nearer the grief-stricken mourners and pointed out C. G. Kennison, president of No. 40. Whereupon Kennison was at once taken from the hall where he was paying his last duty to a deceased brother, and marched to the bull pen.
Men present simply turned white with rage, and God alone knows how they restrained themselves. And yet the miners are lawless, vicious criminals. Verily, were they not martyrs to abide by such an insult, not only to the living, but to their respected dead.
Mr. Kennison could not have left the building without being. captured had they cause for arresting him. He had no intention of leaving the district and could have been taken at any other time.
After a lull in military circles for several weeks, and the citizens having begun to recover from the effects of past military operations, the military again scented crime and again got busy.
November 17 there was much activity displayed in the ''gold lace" circles.
A rail on the F. & C. C. railroad, just out from Anaconda, and on a high embankment, was released from the ties by someone removing the spikes. This was done sometime on the night of November 16, before the 3 o 'clock suburban, carrying about forty union and non-union miners came along.
The engineer, Wm. Rush, claimed that he had a "tip" that the rail had been removed, and for that reason he stopped his train before he reached the spot and got down to make an. investigation, finding the rail loose and all the spikes removed. He called a number of the passengers and the train crew to make an examination for their own satisfaction, and they verified his statement. The matter was reported to the military and General Bell detailed about thirty of his men in citizen's clothing to search the district for information regarding the matter. About noon November 17, twenty cavalry and twenty infantry, under the command of Majors McClelland and Naylor went to the house of Charles McKinney and placed him under arrest. He was taken to the Independence guard house and left surrounded by soldiers. The detachment then started for Altman and met P. H. Mullaney on the road and placed him under arrest. Mullaney was then taken to Camp Goldfleld and placed in the bull pen, and McKinney was brought down from the Independence guard house. While the troops were in Altman they went to the home of Thomas Foster and Mrs. Foster refused them admission. They then broke down the door, but Foster could not be found. A search was made throughout the district for him, but to no avail.
Foster, when he found that the military were searching for him, it was stated, went to the sheriff's office and turned himself over to the sheriff and asked protection from the military and the bull pen.
The military authorities made the claim that a like attempt was made to wreck an electric car near the Economic mill; that in this case the rail had also been loosened, and chat it was discovered just in time to avoid a wreck.
General Bell talked freely on the subject and among other things said:
"The prisoners will be protected, though even every man in the Cripple Creek district made an attempt to secure custody of them, and every man who makes an attempt to get to the prisoners will be promptly shot. None will escape should a forcible attempt be made to secure possession of the prisoners. The men are not only under a heavy infantry guard, but there is a double cavalry patrol, and the men are absolutely safe from any violence. The lives of every member of the National Guard in Camp Goldfleld will be sacrificed to protect the two prisoners."
Protected from whom? Not their brother union miners, the writer' hopes; and as the military claimed that the miners were the only lawless element in the district, who else could have harmed the prisoners? Surely the mine owners would not have committed such a lawless act; and the Citizens' Alliance was never accused of being lawless by the military—then who could have harmed the prisoners?
There was not a person in the district who was not in favor of seeing the guilty punished, no matter who it happened to be.
No one in the district was more anxious to see the guilty punished than the members of the W. F. of M. The unions, however, grew very tired of the contemptible insinuations continually hurled at them—they were crucified at the behest and in the interest of the mine owners until it grew absolutely unbearable. Some people suggested that it was done by someone having a grudge against the railroad and they took advantage of this opportunity to get revenge when they would be least suspected. Others claimed that it was a scheme on the part of the military or mine owners to cast suspicion on the unions, and to create the impression in the mind of the general public that it was necessary for the military to remain in the district to prevent wholesale murder and crime.