The Cripple Creek District

Stratton's Independence

The Portland

Victor, The City Of Mines (Poem)

The Strike of 1894

The Strike Of 1903

The Strike in Colorado City

The Governor's Order

What Would You Do, Governor

Some Advice By Request

The Strike, (Eight-Hour)

The Call

Portland Settlement

"Here's To You, Jim" (Poem)

Owers' Reply To Peabody

Executive Order

Peabody's Statement

Commissioner's Report

Sheriff Robertson's Plain Statement

Mayor French Asks for Troops

Resolution (Troops Not Wanted)

City Council Protest

Conflict of Authority

Judge Seeds Issues Writs

Preparations to Fight a Nation

Press Comments Editorially

State Federation Aroused

Strike Breakers Arrive in District

Strike Breakers Converted to Unionism

Forced From Sidewalk by Fear of Death

Repelled the Charge of Burro

Military Arrests Become Numerous

Bell Announces Superiority to Courts

Democrats Censure Military

Our Little Tin God on Wheels (Poem)

Victor Record Force Kidnapped

Somewhat Disfigured But Still in the Ring

Denver Typographical Union Condemns

Gold Coin and Economic Mill Men Out

Bull Pen Prisoners Released

"To Hell With the Constitution"

Farcial Court Martial

Woman's Auxiliaries

Organized Labor Combines Politically

Corporations Controlled

Coal Miners on Strike

Peabody Calls for Help

Death of William Dodsworth

No Respect For the Dead

Conspiracy to Implicate Union Men

The Vindicator Horror

Military Arrests Children

McKinney Taken to Canon City

More Writs of Habeas Corpus

Martial Law Declared

Coroner's Jury Serve Writs

Victor Poole Case in Supreme Court

Union Miners to be Vagged

R. E. Croskey Driven From District

First Blood in Cripple Creek War

State Federation Calls Convention

Committee Calls on Governor Peabody

Telluride Strike (By Guy E. Miller)

Mine Owners' Statement to Congress

Summary of Law and Order "Necessities"

The Independence (Mine) Horror

The Writer Receives Pleasant Surprise

Persecutions of Sherman Parker and Others

District Union Leaders on Trial

Western Federation Officers

Congress Asked to Investigate

Conclusion (Part I)


Introduction (Part II)


The Coal Strike

Expression from "Mother" Jones

Telluride Strike (Part II) by Guy E. Miller

Moyer Habeas Corpus Case

The Arrest of Pres. Moyer

Secretary Haywood attacked by Militia

Habeas Corpus Case in Supreme Court

Independence Explosion

What Investigation Revealed

Denial of the W. F. M.

Trouble Over Bodies

Rope For Sheriff

Mass Meeting and Riot

Details of Riot

Trouble at Cripple Creek

More Vandalism

Martial Law Proclaimed

The Battle of Dunnville

Verdict of Coroner's Jury

Kangaroo Court

Record Plant Destroyed

Portland Mine Closed

Blacklist Instituted

Vicious Verdeckberg

Appeal to Red Cross Society

"Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death"

Deportation Order

Bell Gives Reasons

Death of Emil Johnson

Writ of Habeas Corpus Applied For

Information Filed

Coroner's Verdict

Another Suicide

Whipped and Robbed

Death of Michael O'Connell

Mass Meeting of Citizens

District Officials Issue Proclamation

More Vandalism

Rev. Leland Arrested

"You Can't Come Back" (Citizens' Alliance Anthem)

Appeal to Federal Court

Alleged Confession of Romaine

Liberty Leagues

Liberty Leagues Adopt Political Policy

Political Conflict

Republican Convention

Democratic Convention

The Election

People's Will Overthrown

Adams Inaugurated

Jesse McDonald, Governor

Governor Adams Returns Home

Governor Adams' Statement

Summary of Contest

Resume of the Conspiracy

Political Oblivion for Peabody

Eight-hour Law

Constitutional Amendment

Smeltermen Declare Strike Off

Sheriff Bell's Troubles

Who Was Responsible

A Comparison

It Is Time (Poem)

The Power of the Ballot

The Strike Still On

Conclusion (Part II)

List of Deported

Looking Backward (1917)


(Double page insert) Moyer, Haywood, and Pettibone


Famous Kidnapping Cases

Arrest of Orchard

Orchard's Part in the Play

The Kidnapping

St. John arrested

McParland in Evidence

Writ of Habeas Corpus Denied

Synopsis of Supreme Court's Decision

Where Idaho Wins

Harlan's Summing Up

McKenna's Dissenting Opinion

Adams' Case

The Workers Busy

Taft to the Rescue

Haywood Candidate for Governor

That Fire Fiasco

Blackmail Moyer

Kidnapping Case Before Congress

Eugene V. Debs

Mother Jones

McParland Talks

Wives Attend Trial

Prisoners' Treatment in Jail

The Haywood Trial

Court Convenes

Orchard as Witness

Other Witnesses

No Corroboration

Peabody and Goddard Witnesses

Not Guilty

Darrow Diamonds

Attorney John H. Murphy

Haywood Home Again

President Moyer Released on Bond

Pettibone Refused Bail

Pettibone Trial

Jury Completed

Moyer Case Dismissed

Haywood on Lecture Tour

General Summary

Orchard Sentenced


The Tyypographical Union

(Insert) Printers' Home

Supreme Court vs. Labor

Backward Glances

Anthracite Coal Strike 1902

Employes vs. Employers


book image

The Cripple Creek Strike:
a History of
Industrial Wars
in Colorado, 1903-4-5

By Emma Florence Langdon

pages 253 to 274


WHEN the first edition of "The Cripple Creek Strike" was bound, the work was a complete record of those dark days. At that time I felt that nothing could take place that would surpass the outrages that had been perpetrated upon the citizens of Colorado.

Since that time the corporate tool of the Mine Owners' Association and the Citizen's Alliance—Governor James H. Peabody— and henchmen, who under the brazen claim that they were acting in the interests of law and order, have committed every crime in the category from petty larceny to cold blooded murder.

Governor Peabody had then gone far in his invasion of the peoples' liberties. He had then declared that a strike, for the enjoyment of constitutional rights (which he had sworn to preserve and protect), was an "insurrection against the state," thus placing the workers outside the protection of the law. He had then gone so far that men wondered what new crime he could commit or outrage commend against workingmen. The strikers had borne oppression with such fortitude, and insult with such patience, that people wondered what new act of theirs could win a wider sympathy; what new devotion could claim the gratitude and love of all who would be free.

The governor gave an order revoking martial law in Telluride, when a vigilance committee was organized, armed with state guns and led by men who held military commissions (chief among whom was the present adjutant general of Colorado, Bulkely Wells), and allowed them to work their will not only upon the miners but their sympathizers as well; when deported from their homes, a judge issued an injunction for their protection and they prepared to return, he sent additional soldiers, again declared martial law and restored to the leader of the mob the power of the sword.

He saw a mob stirred to madness at the atrocity of a crime directed and paid for by the men whose servant he was, refused to consider the information that would probably have led to the arrest and conviction of the guilty parties, saw, practically commanded the arrest of innocent men and their incarceration in a vile prison subjected to all the indignities and insults that corporate henchmen could devise; suspended the writ of habeas corpus, and, through the prostituted action of Judges Campbell and Gabbert of the Supreme Court, prevented the exercise of the writ until Moyer's case was taken to the Federal Court. In the meantime, this modern Nero boasted of his success in subverting the Constitution until he feared a collision with the Federal Court, then ordered Moyer's release, and attempted to justify his action by statements so far removed from the truth that Annanias should no longer head the list of liars. His mendacity was only equaled by his cowardice.

The foregoing facts are but a few of his spectacular exploits in support of the corporation brand of ''law and order.''

Men have been torn from their families and exiled from the homes they had worked years to acquire; assaults innumerable have taken place; the liberty of the press has been muzzled; constitutional right of free speech denied; one man chained to a telephone pole in a bitter snow storm until nearly frozen, because he refused to work on the street by order of the military; women and children intimidated; property confiscated; the homes of union men have been dynamited; union men murdered while defending their families; in all of which the governor of the state and the lawless element behind him acquiesced.

As a climax, through the corrupting influence of the same element responsible for these outrages, over sixty per cent of the citizens who voted in the last state election, November 8, 1904, were disfranchised by reason of the man whom they had elected governor being unseated by vote of a legislature under their control.

The author, for over three months traveled over the state of Colorado, spoke to the people of a hundred towns and cities, in the interest of a political movement to oust from the gubernatorial chair the tyrant, Peabody. This movement was launched by those who had been on the "firing line of progress," in the battle for industrial freedom and the right to organize.

I sought opinions from all classes—laborers, farmers, merchants, professional men, men in public life and men in the privacy of their homes. Everywhere I met a strong feeling of resentment to corporation methods, and was urged to complete this record of the industrial conflict in Colorado. Personally, I felt it should be done. It was due to the men and the women who had struggled so bravely, that their deeds of sacrifice, suffering and martyrdom should be chronicled to serve as an inspiration and a warning for the future.

The age is pregnant with mighty changes. The deeds of these days demand an historian. If right shall ever rule it will be largely because strong men stood for the right to organize, stood for their self-respect and independence as men, and remained firm as the granite hills for their liberties. If the present invasion of constitutional rights continues, if these aggressions but mark the coming despotism of the dollar, it will be left to the workers of some future time to renew the conflict in the spirit with which their brothers have battled and continue it until "no man shall be master and no man slave."

"Freedom's battle bequeathed from sire to son.
Though ever lost, is ever won."


WHEN I closed the first edition of this work, which forms Part I, it looked as if the industrial conflict might continue for weeks, months or even years, without either side obtaining a victory or anything happening other than recorded in Part I. However, important events have occurred causing me to again use pen, paper and scissors for the purpose of recording events to the close of the gubernatorial contest.

I closed the first edition on May 1, 1904. I have kept in close touch with conditions and happenings since that date. Nothing worthy of recording occurred in the state up to June 6, with the exception of the famous Moyer habeas corpus case, some matters in connection with the coal strike and incidents taking place at Telluride, the latter being ably covered by Guy E. Miller, president of the miner's union of Telluride, who was one of the first deported. All of the foregoing will be treated in specific articles, in this, Part II.

The conditions in the Cripple Creek district greatly resembled that of two hostile armies before a battle.

The union miners and mine owners were engaged in strengthening their forces and maneuvering for position. A dead calm had settled over the camp, which in itself was ominious [sic], owing to the intense strain under which both sides of the controversy were laboring. One could feel that almost anything was possible, and that it was only the "calm before a storm" and this, unfortunately, was verified.

The golden rays of the rising sun of June 6, 1904, with mocking brightness, brought to light the site of one of the most cowardly crimes ever perpetrated in this, or any other, country—the blowing up of the Independence depot platform with its human occupants, the conception and execution of which it is hard to believe that a human being could be guilty.

This occurrence in the great gold camp marked a new era in connection with the strike. Up to that time we had hoped to see the "Star Spangled Banner" again waving its protective folds over the district, guaranteeing to all the inhabitants the protection it implies. Many people, who like to look on the bright side of things, still maintained that Colorado was in America.

Before giving full details of the explosion and events resulting therefrom, I will first report some incidents in connection with the coal miner's strike, Telluride strike, and a history of the famous Moyer habeas corpus case, these events having taken place prior to the Independence Explosion.

In Part I, I have made no attempt to enter into details of the coal strike. At that time I knew very litle of the causes leading up to the controversy. The strike had not been in progress long when I wrote the brief article, although even at that date the strike in the "Northern fields" had been settled. I shall not at this time offer the following as a complete history of the coal strike, but knowing something of the heroic struggle made by the rank and file of the coal miners, I feel this work would be incomplete if a few pages were not devoted to the coal strike.


November 9, 1903, the strike of the coal miners of District No. 15, United Mine Workers of America, comprising the states of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico, was called and was not declared off until early in 1905.

Officers and members of the organization for months before the crisis used every means to avert the anticipated trouble. But all operators except those of the northern district of Colorado refused the union representatives a hearing.

As early as August, 1903, efforts were made by committees of the organization to have the differences adjusted and grievances complained of considered. The committees went so far as to invoke the aid of the governor and labor commissioner, both of whom responded, and, September 8, sent the operators and superintendents of mines an official communication requesting a conference. In response to the invitation, many of the operators from the northern district were in attendance and-waited for representatives from the other districts of Colorado, but as they did not attend, the meeting adjourned to meet one week later—hoping that influence could be brought to bear to induce the managers of the larger southern companies to send representatives to the conference.

The second meeting had in attendance a very conservative committee from the miner's unions of the north and the representatives from the principal mines of that district, in addition to the governor and labor commissioner. After much discussion, the conference adjourned without result. The governor and commissioner promising to do all in their power to bring about a meeting of the operators of the southern fields and labor committee; but were unable to do so.

Later, however, a representative of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company and the Victor Fuel Company, with legal representatives, with labor commissioner held a meeting in the governor's office. At this meeting it was asserted that the companies had nothing to arbitrate and would not treat with a committee from the United Mine Workers, neither would the companies recognize the organization in any manner.

Affairs, practically, were the same as stated when the executive board of the United Mine Workers of America held a meeting in Indianapolis, Ind. The matter was brought before the board. The deputy labor commissioner appeared before the board with a written report and endeavored to show the members that a strike at that time was inauspicious and would be erroneous. The result of this was that the matter was referred to the executive officers of the organization, Messrs. Mitchell, Lewis and Wilson.

Before the above meeting there had been a convention of delegates, elected by the locals of District 15, held in Pueblo, September 23-26, at which sentiment was strongly in favor of calling a strike in the southern fields. The delegates believed that a strike would be the only way in which the miners could be reached for organization, and that four-fifths of the miners would respond to a call for a strike that had the endorsement of the National board.

The substance of the demand of the miners was as follows:

An increased scale of wages of 20 per cent, as paid by other districts.

An eight-hour day.

No discrimination against members of the United Mine Workers of America.

A bi-monthly pay day.

A fair system of weights.

April 27, Unions of Superior, Erie, Marshall, Louisville and Lafayette, of the northern fields, made a demand for the eighthour day. The demand was not granted at that time but the operators informed the unions that other operators were to be consulted and their refusal was not to be taken as final.

Those who opposed the strike and believed that it would prove a failure appealed to President John Mitchell to come to Colorado to use his influence to prevent the strike. It was said that after the adjournment of the National Civic Federation convention, which he was attending, business of importance kept him from visiting Colorado for some time. "Mother" Jones and other representatives came to the state and made efforts to bring about a settlement if possible, but regardless of all efforts, it seemed utterly impossible to gain recognition or have a conference.

At the time the strike was called Wm. Howels was president of District 15, and was notified that the national executive board had carefully considered the advisability of calling the strike and had decided upon the only alternative—to call the strike. The official communication pledged the national organization to render all possible assistance and was signed by President Mitchell, Vice President T. L. Lewis, and Secretary-Treasurer W. B. Wilson.

The call affected about 22,000 persons in the district. I may mention here that the entire membership of District 15, voted to strike or not to strike and the result of the vote was practically unanimously in favor of calling the strike.

October 31, 1903, the miners of the northern fields requested a conference with the operators to take place at Lafayette, November 3. Both sides were well represented. At this meeting a scale of prices was presented for all classes of work performed about the mines, which was discussed. While not agreed to, it was specifically understood, that the question of an eight-hour day was to be dropped for awhile without definite agreement. The meeting adjourned to meet November 5, at the office of the Northern Coal and Coke Company, in Denver, the operators to pay expense of the delegation to that city and a large attendance was guaranteed.

In accordance with the foregoing the meeting was held and the operators were well represented. Attorney Blood, their representative, explained the position of the operators in reference to a request that had been made by the union at Lafayette. Mr. Struby read a reply of the operators, explaining same and attempted to show why it was impossible for the operators to grant the demand made by the miners. The meeting adjourned. When the committee reconvened much discussion was indulged in but nothing definite was arrived at.

November 6, the committee for the unions decided to re-submit their proposition in reference to price per ton to be paid according to thickness of vein, waiving the twenty per cent advance asked for on yardage and machine work. The union, however, still insisted on the eight-hour day and a check-off system.

The operators replied that they would not grant an eight-hour day at that time and that when the state went on an eight-hour basis, they would grant the same. They claimed that it would mean financial ruin to them and the shutting-down of their properties.

Many meetings were held and finally, the operators submitted a written proposition to the union committee which included an eight-hour day, the eight hours to commence and end at the time best suited to the operators, the following was the section in agreement referring to hours:

"That except as hereinbefore qualified the present scale at all of the mines in the entire Northern lignite field, including the Erie district shall remain and continue as it now is.

"That while the eight-hour day is in effect, as hereinbefore stated, there shall be no reduction in pay of the day men by reason of the reduction in hours, and that they shall receive the same pay for eight hours' work that they have heretofore received for ten hours' work.

"The eight-hour day above referred to, so far as the Northern Coal and Coke Company is concerned, shall, for the present, consist of the following hours: From 7:00 o'clock a. m. to 11:00 o'clock a. m., when work shall cease thirty minutes for lunch, and from 11:30 o'clock a. m. to 3:30 o'clock p. m.

"If. however, said company shall find the hour of commencement of work is too early for the successful operation of its mines, then the said eight-hour day shall, if mutually agreed upon after conference, commence at 7:30 o'clock a. m. and continue until 11:30 o'clock a. m., at which time work shall cease half an hour for lunch, and then from 12:00 m. until 4:00 o'clock p. 111.

Many meetings of the miners and operators were held in November but no definite action was taken until November 21, when the miners voted 228 to 165 not to return to work. The presence of brilliant and forcible orators, who used their gift of eloquence against returning to work were given the credit for the foregoing vote. The result of the vote was surprising to the more conservative members as the action was taken after receiving a written request from John Mitchell, national president, to accept the terms offered by the operators and return to work. The conservative members claimed they had been granted all and more than they had asked. Members in favor of returning to work felt that another meeting would bring results more satisfactory and efforts were made to arrange another meeting with the end that November 28, the miners met and again cast their ballot, this time the result being 483 to 130 in favor of going to work. This vote put to work 1,270 men, who produced 7,000 tons of coal a day, which helped to avert the threatened coal famine.

This settled the strike in the Northern fields. So far as I am informed, the eight-hour day has been observed; the scale as adopted paid. Arbitration was the means by which the Northern strike was settled and had the operators in the Southern fields shown the same disposition to confer with their workmen, the strike could have been averted and the state saved millions in loss of production, not to mention the misery and suffering that resulted.

As previously stated, the Southern operators refused in any manner to recognize the miners and all efforts to adjust matters proved futile.

When the men responded to the call they practically suspended every mine in the Southern fields. The operators were dumbfounded at the success of the union in closing the mines.

After they recovered from the shock they sent out agents all over the country, enlisting new men, deputy sheriffs were employed by hundreds. Notwithstanding all this, the strike progressed without any lawlessness, which proved a surprise to many who had predicted all kinds of trouble in the '' South.'' The companies became desperate at their failure to secure men to work their mines. Deputies and thugs were employed to beat and intimidate the striking miners. Men were offered as high as $100 of a bonus to go to work, but refused; the union miners were offered big wages to break the ranks of the union, but stood as one man for the terms asked when the strike was called.

Then it was that the imported tools of the corporations resorted to the beating system, law was not taken into consideration and force was established by the companies. ' Men appealed to the courts in order to retain their homes and in many cases where the courts ruled in favor of the party taking such action, regardless of the decision of the court, the coal companies would throw the men with families out of their homes. Union men were forbidden to drive over public roads.

November 19, C. Demolli and William Price, organizers, were going to Scofield, Utah; when a short distance from the town a mob, composed of members of the Citizens' Alliance boarded the train armed, and forced the train crew to take them back. December 6, 1903, Luciano De Santos and Joseph Vilano were killed by deputy sheriffs at Segundo. William Maher and Henry Mitchell were badly beaten at Engleville, Colo., January 24, 1904, by the deputies, for having gone to the town on union business.

December 17, the houses of five union miners were blown up at New Castle, Colo. One of the homes dynamited was that of W. G. Isaac. The night his home was blown up he was in Glenwood Springs, about twelve miles from New Castle and did not return to his home until summoned on account of the explosion. Had Mr. Isaac been at home, the two children would have been killed. The children slept in the front room, but on account of the absence of their father, they slept with their mother and, before the family retired, the mother moved the bed from the wall and called the old watch dog in. Some time in the night the explosion occurred, the dynamite set the house on fire and Mrs. Isaac saved the children and herself from being burned to death by crawling through the broken window and taking with her the two children. Next morning the watch dog was found, his nose between his front paws, dead, as if he had never moved, beside the couch on which the children slept when Mr. Isaac was at home.

And yet, reader, can you believe me, when I state that the coal companies had the callousness to declare that Mr. Isaac and others whose homes were dynamited were the guilty parties?

How easy for a corporation to point a finger of suspicion at a Working man and accuse him of attempting to murder his beloved wife and little ones.

How easy for the masses to accept their decree. It appears that the great coal barons can not understand that W. G. Isaac could have the same feeling of affection for his frail little wife, that proved herself an heroine, and climbed out a broken window and walked with bleeding feet and carried the little ones in her arms to a neighbor's, for assistance, that the owner of the coal mine felt for the, perhaps, helpless wife of his own, that no doubt in the face of a-similar case would succumb to circumstances; that the little ones were just as dear; that the humble home was as much home to them as Osgood's mansion to him.

If the truth were to be told, the answer from the employer would be like the verse in the song:

"You are not supposed to have a heart."

I believe the hirelings of the corporations dynamited the homes of the five union coal miners.

In February, Organizer Wardjon was attacked by three deputies. A striker of Sophris was beat up by Deputy McPherson. February 14, 1904, William Farley and James Mooney, national organizers, were caught by seven of the Reno gang, one mile east of Trinidad, and badly beaten. A union miner was killed by a deputy at Dawson, New Mexico.

March 14, an Italian striker was shot at Pryor, Colo. He was driven from his home and when attempting to run away was shot in the back. Shortly after, John Faletti was beat up at Glenwood Springs by a gang of Reno's men. R. L. Martell, chief secret service man for Reno, figured in the deal. Faletti was district organizer.

There were many cases like the foregoing, men taken from trains and severely beaten; shot in the back; homes dynamited; thrown in jail and all kinds of outrages that could be conceived in the fertile brain of a demon. All unchronicled by the Associated Press.

March 23, the militia was sent to Trinidad and martial law proclaimed and the work of confiscating firearms commenced. Midnight searches for weapons was common; men, women and children were dragged from their beds at all hours of the night and taken to the barren prairie to be threatened and in some cases tortured, to try and force them to disclose where guns were hidden.

A. Bartoli, an Italian typesetter of District 15, was arrested March 25, 1904. The following day the Italian paper was suppressed. The same day "Mother" Jones, national organizer, William Wardjon, Joe Poggiani and A. Bartoli were deported from the county and with much abuse they were told never to return.

"Mother" Jones was given five minutes to dress and get her clothing packed and taken to the depot by a rough squad, who forgot they owed their existence to a mother.

"Mother" Jones was quarantined in Utah, April 16. The following day she made her escape, going away with the strikers.

April 19, eleven strikers were arrested at Brodhead. They were deported to New Mexico. April 11, John Simpson, secretary District 15, visited Segunda, and was taken up by the militia and sent out of town on the first train. While there M. Simpson saw ten strikers doing scavenger work under guard.

April 27, fifteen strikers were arrested and deported to New Mexico. All of the deported were presidents, secretaries or commissary committees.

J. D. Ritchie was arrested the same day for returning to the county without a permit from the military. Don't overlook the fact that Mr. Ritchie's home, wife and children were in this county. John Lawson was shot by a mine owner, P. Coryell, at New Castle.

Were I to undertake to enumerate the many tragic events in the coal strike it would make a volume larger than this entire work. Miners were driven from homes they had built on company ground and non-union men and negroes were allowed to confiscate these homes under protection of the military while the builders were living in tents; some were deported and in these cases the militia herded them in droves like cattle and they were driven over the prairie, and if thirsty forced to drink from troughs provided for horses by the roadside, similar to Siberian chain gangs exiled by order of the Czar of all the Russias. I have been told of cases where the miner on foot, growing tired, lagged behind and was pricked by the military bayonet and thus forced to keep pace with the guard on horseback.

Remember, reader, Governor Peabody said that he was not opposed to unions, "all men had a right to belong to unions if they wished, the same as a church; it was no one's business"; also, that he was not fighting unions, "only the Western Federation of Miners and Socialists.''

Why, do you suppose, did he allow the United Mine Workers of Colorado, who were neither W. F. M. men nor Socialists, to be subjected to such as I have described? I do not need to answer; you know; yes, and he knows—they were union men; they would not go to work without their demands being granted and the corporations wanted to dispose of them, and they knew the banker from Canon City—James Peabody—would do their bidding.

As time went on, many conventions were held at which the advisability1 of continuing the strike was discussed. In every case, when the vote was taken it was in favor of continuing the strike. When the strike became, apparently, hopelessly lost, the national organization withdrew financial support. This action was severely criticised by many. The author not being posted in all the details of the financial matters will not attempt to discuss the merits or demerits of the action of the National in withdrawing financial support.

District 15 held a convention in Pueblo, September, 1904, and the writer had the pleasure of attending the convention. Before the convention adjourned I was honored by being made an honorary member of District 15, U. M. W. of A.

No badge of honor on the shoulder of a brave knight ever conferred greater pleasure than this recognition of services rendered the cause of unionism by men who had themselves battled bravely in defense of their homes and constitutional rights.

June 6, 1904, martial law was revoked in Las Animas county. The strike was not officially declared off until early in this year, 1905.

It is to be regretted that the strike of the coal miners was not successful, in obtaining for the strikers the improved conditions they had struggled for. Surely the fight and sacrifices they made, and the suffering they underwent without a murmur was worthy of victory. The writer knows personally of families who subsisted cheerfully on macaroni and water rather than to surrender.

Too much praise cannot be given the Italian miners for their loyalty in the cause of unionism. I am convinced that the rank and file of the strikers would have held out indefinitely on a fare of bread and water, but, when even that meager fare was withheld for want of funds and by military confiscation, there was no alternative but to surrender.

During the strike the Ways and Means Committee contributed considerable financial support. In some instances supplied the families of the strikers with shoes and clothing. No discrimination was made by the committee in issuing relief as between the striking metalliferous and coal miners, the committee endeavoring to distribute the money at its command to those who were most in need of immediate assistance.

After the strike of the coal miners was declared off, there was much suffering among the miners and their families, especially among those who had been most active during the strike, for the reason that they were blacklisted by the coal operators. To some extent to relieve this situation, the national organization arranged to transport as many of the blacklisted miners for whom work could be procured, to other states.

Although temporarily defeated, the sentiment, at this writing is that the coal miners of District 15 will yet be victorious in procuring the conditions for which they went on strike, for it was clearly demonstrated that there existed great dissatisfaction among the miners with present conditions; from the fact that fully seventy-five per cent of the miners responded to the call when the strike was declared, although less than fifty per cent of them were organized. Steps have been taken to fortify the ranks of the miners for a renewal of this contest in the future.

The result of this strike should demonstrate how impotent are the efforts of organized labor in gaining better conditions when relying solely upon the strike in a contest with organized capital in control of the state government. It should teach the wage earners the necessity of not alone depending upon organization upon the industrial field but of active participation in the political field, so as to, themselves, control the state government or at least, through legislation, make it impossible for the corporations to use the power of the government to further their private interests.

"Truth forever on the scaffold,
Wrong forever on the throne,
But that scaffold sways the future

And behind the dim unknown
Standeth God within the shadow,
Keeping watch above his own."—Lowell.

Men who have brains to think for themselves and eyes to see into the future feel that there is an invisible power which stands on the side of right and finally carries it forward to success. The enemies of human liberty may seem to succeed for a time, but when they meet this power they are swept aside as autumn leaves before the storm.

The ranks of organized labor contains no more ardent, faithful, self-sacrificing and unselfish worker than "Mother" Jones. No more appropriate name could have been given her than that of "Mother." She considers all working people her children and would gladly, at any sacrifice to herself, take them all under her sheltering wing.

In her denunciation of the oppressors of labor she is merciless. The enemies of organized labor fear her. The union men and women love her. Would there were many more like Mother Jones.

Julien Hawthorne paid the following tribute to Mother Jones, which appeared in the Philadelphia North American:

"I met today Mother Jones. She is a woman of the people, fearlessly fighting the battle of the class she believes to be wronged. She is the strong pedestal of industrial politics. While she lives America can count among her fair daughters one who will ever defend liberty, right and justice. She will be found on the side of the weak and crushed."

With her usual goodness of heart, Mother Jones has kindly contributed the following on the Colorado coal strike:


"The coal strike of 1904, in Southern Colorado, with all the brutal methods used by public officials, professional and business men to subjugate these poor slaves of the caves has passed into industrial history. The generations yet unborn will read with horror of the crimes committed by the mine owners of Colorado, with their hired blood hounds aching to spill the blood of their slaves. In the home of religion and civilization they held up the God-cursed dollar and saw on its face the words: 'In God we trust.' The big henchman of capitalism said so when he sent out the guns to kill these wretches. Then he yelled "law and order" to the teamsters of Chicago. Yes, his law and order—the law and order of thieves. Roosevelt went out to hunt four-legged bears, but when the two-legged bears were driving men, women and children from their homes, he had nothing to say. Defeated? No, you cannot defeat such brave men and women as entered into that frightful struggle. They have just retreated. They will unfurl their banner to the breezes of industrial liberty in the near future. The commercial pirates of the Colorado Fuel and Iron, the Victor Fuel Company, with all their degraded curs will go down before an outraged people in disgrace. They will yet call on the mountains to cover them from the indignation of the people.

''You will ask why the miners did not win. First the generals in charge of the field of battle were not accustomed to deal with great industrial conflicts. Their mental ability was not trained in that line. Some of them could tell you about benevolent feudalism, all about Herbert Spencer, but they had no grasp of the weak points of the enemy. In fact, they remained in their rooms and were not out in the field watching the pirates.

''The men, themselves, were unorganized. It was a new move on their side. They had not learned to do their own thinking. The railroads were in close quarters for coal; in fact, they were stealing cars of coal from each other wherever they could grab one. The coal famine was taking place in the state; industries had to be closed; the people were squealing for coal, when a shrewd, cold-blooded corporation lawyer made a move to settle the strike in the Northern field. That was the first blow the strikers received. I felt then, and have not yet changed my mind, those who were instrumental in settling the strike in the Northern fields were responsible for the defeat of the miners in the Southern fields.

"Working men, regardless of who their generals are, must learn solidarity. They must learn to move as a body. Not one portion to furnish the robber with the leash to whip him and his craft. True, they could get coal from Kansas; but, bear in mind, by the time it reached Colorado it would have cost the consumer a nice price. For the information of future generations, I wish to state that as a body there could not be found move loyal men and women than the Mexicans and Italians were; they deserve the support of every man and woman in labor's ranks. The world will never know the wrongs those brave men and women bore for a cause they loved. Every depraved cur that the sheriff could muster into service had no more regard for the life of one of these poor wretches than he had for a dog. In fact, he was a sanctified cannibal.

photo of "Mother" Jones


"Before I close I wish to refer to two of the district officers.

''During the five months that I spent in the state, I was in close touch with both those men. I observed their actions, while I realized the conflict was more than they were able to intelligently deal with, yet I know that both John Simpson, as secretary-treasurer, and William Howells, president, are conscientious, honest men. These men will live in history when the savage beast—Peabody and his dog of war Bell will be no more. The sanctified pirate knows no remorse. Brown said, 'Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.'

''O, God, that flesh and blood should be so cheap!''

NEXT: Telluride Strike (Part II) by Guy E. Miller