pages 239 to 253
Mr. Edward Boyce, who was president of the Western Federation for six years and a member of the first executive committee, is a man loved and honored, not only by his brothers of the unions, but commands the respect of every man who has ever had the pleasure of his acquaintance. He was president so long and (as a member expressed it), fathered the Western Federation so long that when he was forced by ill health to resign, the members felt as though no one could ever take the place and fill satisfactorily the position held by Mr. Boyce. He has always used his wonderful personality for the benefit of the W. F. M., his fellowman and humanity in general. Mr. Boyce at this writing is in Florida for his health, but while absent in person, his goodwill and influence which will always remain is ever present.
Mr. Maher is another of whom nothing but the best can be said. What more could the writer say of either Messrs. Boyce and Maher than to repeat the language of a prominent man, when showing me pictures of them: '' These men are the makers of the Western Federation."
Mr. Charles H. Moyer was elected president to fill the place Mr. Boyce had filled so ably for six years. I have the honor of knowing Mr. Moyer personally and can do no more than say that the Western Federation has found that they have another man that has proved himself capable of handling their affairs successfully. Mr. Moyer thinks deeply, considers well, weighs all matters fairly, and when he takes a step it is always forward and never backward—at the same time he is not a man that would tolerate a proposition to retract an action once taken. A member of the executive board in speaking of Mr. Moyer said in part: "When Mr. Boyce had to resign on account of ill health, I wondered who, in the Federation, was big enough to take his place: I could think of no one that I believed capable. But Mr. Moyer has proven big enough and in every way a revelation to us."
Mr. Wm. D. Haywood, as secretary-treasurer has filled a position that few men could fill so well. There are not many men that could and would feel the same personal interest in every member's own personal welfare that Mr. Haywood does. He is at all times ready to sacrifice his own pleasures, not to speak of time (he never has any) for the members and friends of organized labor—I say sacrifice his pleasure—but it appears that his pleasure is to please and serve his fellowmen. With Mr. Chas H. Moyer as president; Mr. William-D. Haywood as secretary-treasurer; Mr. John M. O 'Neill as editor of the Miners' Magazine, and the executive board now serving, at the helm of the Western Federation of Miners, the organization could not be less than it is—the grandest organization of the Mighty West."
I fail here. I may possibly be able to explain to the reader conditions and occurrences in the Cripple Creek district in a way to be understood; I may be able to describe scenes to which I have been an. eye-witness; I may do these things in a way; but to attempt to explain or picture to the reader the many good qualities of the Western Federation of Miners is too much for me—I am not capable. Mr. Moyer, as president, and Mr. Haywood, secretary-treasurer, have urged at all times, to all members the necessity of "keeping cool" and not to be hasty; at all times to observe the law and not to lose patience. The reader will well understand by this time that there were times when it appeared that "patience had ceased to be a virtue." The leaders, however, being conscientious, intelligent and capable men in the proper place, set the example, and the others, having confidence and respect for the brothers they had elected to these positions, followed that example. The mine owners, or one prominent member of the association, in talking to the writer, referred to the prominent members of the W. F. M. as "red-handed leaders," and yet, with all their efforts for the past six months, not to speak of the half million the taxpayers are supposed to pay out in the future—have failed to show anyone now a member of the Federation was even within a mile of the place where a crime was committed! I have felt many times as though it was almost cowardly for us to calmly submit to the insult we have without resistance. I say us because I would as soon be stabbed in the back myself, as to stand idly by and see a coward stab a brother in the back, and they are brothers, because I am a member of Typographical Union No. 275; they are not members of my one particular union, but the only reason we are not members of the same union is that I use a printer's "stick" and they a miner's "pick" and I have an editor for a "boss" and the brother miner a superintendent. We are both subjected to the same conditions He is on strike today, I may be tomorrow. We both stand for the same—unionism.
The people of this nation for a century and a quarter have celebrated the anniversary of that great epoch in American history, and dedicated with parade and speech the memorable Fourth day of July, in commemoration of the notes of liberty that rang from the old casting suspended in the tower of Faneuil hall, signalizing the birth of a republic whose people had groaned beneath the yoke of king-rule. Each succeeding year the people have gathered in city, town and hamlet and boasted of the justice and freedom contained in the Declaration of Independence.
The eloquent tongue and the poetic pen have paid tributes to our liberty and made us feel that here in this country where Columbus planted the cross, the emblem of Christianity, men were kings and women were queens, armored and shielded with a panoply of sovereignty that proclaimed defiance to every species of despotism. Hearts that beat for a broader liberty In the kingdoms and monarchies of the old world longed to leave the crumbling dynasties of regal oppression and tyranny, and cross the trackless deep and build homes upon the bosom of a nation whose constitution was built upon the shattered ruins of deposed imperialism. The scourged and downtrodden of bayonet-bristling Europe, as they trod the decks of ocean ships mounting wave after wave bearing them nearer and nearer to the land of promise felt and believed that here in a new world where royal domination was strangled to death, manhood would develop, and citizenship would be forever fortressed by the inalienable right of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The great mass, upon whose shoulders rests the stability of this nation, has been lulled to sleep and while they slept in the belief that human liberty was safe, a silken thread was woven which today has become a mighty cable which the power of a Hercules or a Sampson cannot break. On the soil of boasted freedom has risen an oligarchy of wealth that knows no law, that recognizes no liberty save the unbridled licenses of the mercenary brigand. The charter of '76 is as lifeless as the dust of the patriots that sleep in the voiceless tomb, and that document which called to arms the patriots who consecrated its every word in a baptism of blood has been torn from the hands of the subjugated slaves in the isles of the Pacific and stamped with the brand of sedition and treason. The sacred souvenirs of American liberty have been desecrated by the polluted and sacrilegious hand of lawless monopoly, and individual liberty, clad in the shoddy fabric of wage slavery, has been sentenced to death. For more than half a century the domain of human rights has been contracting under the arrogant and untrammeled sway of corporate might, and pirates of the sea of commercialism, drunk upon the wine of opulence, have a vision of the flecks of foam that can be seen upon the rising billows of hungry desperation, threatening to engulf a world in an ocean of blood. We have thrown wide the gates of this republic and beckoned to the millions of European brawn and brain, who were chanting requeims over the grave of buried liberty, to come to our shores and dwell in this paradise where humanity has been taught that "all men are equal,'' but now in the morning light of an infant century, liberty is a corpse, assassinated by the dagger of military anarchy.
Upon the industrial battlefield for a quarter of a century in this country has been heard the dying wails and groans of labor. The pistol of the hired corporate murderer and the rifle of the uniformed soldier have poured their missiles of death into the ranks of labor, and moneyed nobility has applauded with cheers the wanton slaughter. The soil of every state in the union has been wet with the blood of labor's martyrs, to appease the thirst of soulless greed. The commandment,'' Thou shalt not kill,'' has found no place in the lexicon of commercial avarice. The "government of the people, by the people and for the people," has become the government of trusts and corporations, and citizenship without property has no protection under the constitution of state or nation!
The labor history of Pittsburg, Homestead, Lattimer, Chicago, Couer d'Alenes and the usurpation of civil liberty in the Cripple Creek and Telluride districts of Colorado proclaims beyond the question of a doubt that the reign of justice has passed away and that corporate wealth, backed and supported by all the awe and intimidation concentrated in the machinery of military power are to be used in crushing the rebellion of organized labor against the invasion of solidified commercialism. The Dick military bill, which was written upon the Federal statutes appropriating to the president of the United States far more power than was ever enjoyed by a Russian czar, might well cause the people to ponder and ask themselves, "whither is the republic drifting?" A civilization that demands the implements of war to protect it is doomed, and the great mass whom plutocracy has destined to bear the brunt of conflict will not be carried off its feet by a patriotism that establishes commercial supremacy at the expense of human life. That a nation is only strong whose yeomanry basks in the sunlight of a liberty that is free from the noxious effluvia of an atmosphere that breeds in the human heart the germs of murder. Wrong was never righted by the bullet or sword. The savage and barbarian who use the club and spear have as high a conception of justice as so-called civilized society, that slakes its thirst for blood through the polished steel of Gatling gun and cannon. Wrong maintained and perpetuated by all the modern machinery of war may have a temporary triumph, and right may be put in prison, but the spirit of justice that will be as eternal as humanity itself, shall repeat its demands until the thundering voice of the mighty millions shall shake the pillars of a system that has moulded and invented the machines of blood and carnage! The poverty of the world born in greed shall weld together the links of a chain that shall circle the globe, and the plebian disinherited mass shall come together in a fraternity, whose brotherhood shall sweep from the face of our planet the last vestige of that tinseled pageantry that marked the era of war, bloodshed and murder!
Senator Patterson introduced a resolution in the United States senate demanding an investigation in the Cripple Creek district that will always be remembered, not only by the friends of labor, but by the opposition as well. At once the Citizens' Alliance sent up a wail that could be heard from coast to coast.
Why this agitation? Is it possible that the Citizens' Alliance, who claim to be the only law-abiding people in the district, were afraid to have an investigation? Is it not a fact that they knew they would be shown up in their true light? It seems that they have a very guilty conscience and a "guilty conscience makes cowards of us all.''
The Western Federation wants it understood that they stand for law and order and courted a thorough investigation. They had nothing to fear. Only the guilty need fear. They were willing to let the public be the judge.
Senator Patterson knew the conditions and was true to his fellowmen; true to his state; true to his principles of manhood, and true to the constitution when he asked for an investigation of conditions in the district. The Western Federation courted and demanded an investigation. The mine owners, Citizens' Alliance and their followers dared not permit the investigation—they also knew the true conditions.
One last appeal to the voters! Working men and women wake up to the necessity of casting a ballot in your own behalf! The ballot is the only remedy for those who toil and delve. Meet me at the ballot box in November—I will be there—and east your ballot for your own and your brother's interest, not only then, but forever hereafter. It is the only salvation of the laboring people.
Press reports on the strike were not what they should have been in most cases. The Associated Press reports went out from military headquarters and not from officials of the city or county. Had the press reports been fair or just, this book would never have been written.
Before making my closing remarks I wish to call the attention of the governor of this state to a statement in the Declaration of Independence. It says, with reference to King George: "He has affected to render the military independent of, and superior to, the civil power.'' It would be well for Governor Peabody and his subordinates to carefully read the Declaration of Independence, the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Colorado.
The time has come when I must close. I do so with reluctance. Much more could be written and every page, as are these few, confined to truth.
I have a few apologies to offer—not for anything I have said, far from it. But for the appearance of this work. It is the work of one woman—only an apprentice on the linotype. I have compiled the work, set the type, read the proofs, made the pictures from which many of the illustrations are made, folded the pages and while getting out the work have taken care of my work as usual, doing my own sewing, baking, washing and ironing and other work that falls to the lot of woman. Outside of that I have worked at my trade sufficient to pay the greater part of the expense of halftones and press work. I attended the trials of my union brothers and fulfilled my duties as secretary to orders and membership on committees. I have in all my work on the book searched diligently for facts. I have been handicapped by getting the work out iu a small office and entirely alone, and more especially by a lack of finance—a very necessary perquisite. I have not slept the full number of hours necessary for rest, I will admit. Therefore I say to you reader, be charitable in criticism of the mechanical part, typographical errors, mis-spelling, etc., but as to the facts, I would not unsay one word or one phrase recorded on these pages.
To the management of the Cripple Creek Times, Mr. Griffith, I owe a vote of thanks for several favors extended me by the gratuitous loan of material, also to his foreman, Mr. Foster, for. courtesies extended.
Mr. Steele, the greatest cartoonist of the West, on the Denver Post, is entitled to my best wishes for the courtesy extended in permitting me to reproduce the cartoons drawn by him, which you find in these pages.
My story is ended—the strike still goes on. Reader you have the facts. Weigh them well and be yourself the judge and you may answer from your heart—the right will and must predominate in our glorious state. Therefore the Western Federation of Miners, representing Education, Organization and Independence will win the victory.