pages 382 to 395
Many different versions of the trouble at the Leland home have been told. As I have already stated in the foregoing pages that Rev. Mr. Leland was not in the least influenced from the path of right and justice by the Citizens' Alliance and the band of whitecappers that had made life uncomfortable for so many, had no terrors for him. When he was told to leave the district or he would be roughly dealt with he simply told them they would find him ready for them. They did not go until they were certain that Leland was absent, choosing Sunday evening during the hours of service at his church to make the raid on the Leland residence.
Fearing an assault from a mob and determined to resist the same, Rev. Leland had for several days been assisted in guarding by Arthur Parker and L. R. Jenks, who were glad to avail themselves of the protection of Mr. Leland's home, as they had also been threatened.
On Sunday evening, August 28, Mr. Leland was at the Methodist church conducting the evening service, Jenks and Parker, who remained to guard the house observed a number of men stealthily approaching. Believing them to be whitecappers, the inmates warned them not to come any nearer. Some one in the crowd said: "We want to see Leland."
Upon being informed that Leland was at church they wanted to know who was in the house. To this the men in the house replied: " It is none of your business.''
Upon the crowd drawing nearer, Mr. Parker recognized Sheriff Bell as one of the party. He notified Jenks and they then informed Bell that they would open the door and hear what he had to say.
Parker had a double-barrel shot-gun in his hands, cocked in anticipation of trouble; unfortunately, in lowering the hammer while opening the door the gun was discharged accidentally.
Sheriff Bell then demanded the surrender of those in the house which they immediately did. They were placed in the county jail and charged with "assault to murder." Mr. Leland was notified of what had taken place and hurried to his home where he was also arrested and placed in jail.
Rev. Leland was released within a few days, but Parker and Jenks did not regain their liberty for several months, when they were released on bonds.
The time has come when it is impossible for me to devote space to the details of other cases of the same character as the ones I have described in preceding pages. Suffice it to say that outrages as previously recorded were of daily occurrence. The district, was in complete control of a mob, intoxicated with brutal power. I realize that to portray each or even half of the cases of whitecapping and other lawless acts would fill many volumes. I, therefore, reluctantly conclude this part of this history by stating briefly that these conditions continued until after the state election of November 8, 1904.
A few days or perhaps a week, the district would be quiet and we would hope that peace had come at last, but to our disappointment another home would be raided. Some person obnoxious to the mine owners and their Klu Klux mob would appear in the district and another outbreak would follow. Many good citizens, business men, attorneys and former officers of the law in no manner whatever connected with the W. F. M., any more than that they were heard to express sympathy for the abused union miners and families, were compelled to leave the district on account of the persecution of those opposed to the W. F. M. W. J. Donnelly, a hardware merchant, at one time mayor of Victor, was a case worthy of mention. His life was threatened and finally a committee from the "law and order" brigade told him to leave the district. His home was guarded at times to protect him from whitecappers and finally he grew tired of having his life made unbearable and he announced his intention of selling out his business at a great sacrifice. The cause of Donnelly being persecuted was that he was a wealthy man and knowing the miners to be innocent of the crimes charged against them he had gone on the bond of some of the men. Frank Mannix, the clerk and recorder at that time was a case similar, only in his case, it was not because he went on bonds for the strikers but because he was a member in good standing of the Typographical union of Victor, and from the very inception of the strike to the date of this writing, he stood as firm as a stone wall against the despotism of Peabody and the lawless methods adopted in Teller county. Mr. Mannix is not the ' kind of a man that would be called an "agitator" but at the same time if you want to know on "which side of the fence" he is to be found, he will tell you—unionism. While the Citizens' Alliance failed in their efforts to force Mannix to resign, at the same time they were the direct cause of him later leaving the district. In the first place, his life was not safe there. Second, his life was made so intolerable that it would only have been a question of time when he would have to sacrifice his property and leave the district.
During the "strenuous" days in the district Mr. Mannix spent much of his time either on his ranch or in Denver. But, when the Citizens' Alliance undertook to force Mr. Mannix to resign they met defeat. He held his office to the end of his term and while out of the district placed someone in the office as his deputy. At this writing Frank Mannix has severed his connections with Colorado and now resides in Bullfrog, Nevada, where he has established the pioneer paper of the new gold camp, which he calls "The Miner." He is still a taxpayer of the state and will undoubtedly be taxed to help pay the million dollar war debt, caused by the military being sent to Teller county.
The entire front page of the Cripple Creek Times, July 12, recognized as the official organ of the Mine Owners' Association, contained the following ''garble'' set to music, with headlines in large type, printed in red ink:
"CRIPPLE CREEK'S LIBERTY ANTHEM."
One, Two, Three—Now altogether,
You can never come back—No, Never. You can never come back, no never,
We will follow your track forever.
Though you promise and plead
We will give you no heed,
For to this we're all agreed forever.
You can never come back, boys, never,
The game's all up with you forever,
We treated you square,
And the pay was fair,
And all would be yours yet,
But now you'll beware
The W. F. M. is fated,
And you'll stay there, you bet.
You had better keep away,
For here you cannot stay
With any rest.
Cripple wants you no more,
Even though you are sore,
As we are tired of this gore,
And that's no jest.
To that murderous crowd
We do swear,
In words both strong and loud,
If you return,
Well, a lesson you'll learn.
You may have a bad turn,
So, take care.
Your venom is vain.
Of it shall remain—
Stay away and keep still,
For we mean it and will
From December until
On August 23, H. N. Heinerdinger, manager of the Inter-state Mercantile Company, which had some time previously, taken the control of the union stores of the district, applied to Judge Riner and Judge Hallett of the Federal court, first for an injunction restraining any one in the Cripple Creek district from interfering with the operations of the store; second, for damages against Teller county and certain individuals for the wrecking of the store, and third, individual suits for personal damage brought by Mr. Heinerdinger and F. J. Hall, citizens of Montana, who purchased and owned the store in Cripple Creek.
The Mercantile Company applied for the aid of the Federal court because it was a corporation organized under the laws of Montana, which made it a citizen of another state than Colorado. It was the diversity of citizenship between the company and the defendants which gave the Federal court jurisdiction to act. Most of the other deported men being citizens of Colorado as well as the deporters, the Federal court could not act for them.
On September 7, the court granted the injunction prayed for and on the following day Deputy United States Marshal Francks arrived in the city of Cripple Creek to serve the temporary writ of injunction issued by Judge Marshall in the United States Circuit Court in Denver in the case of the Interstate Mercantile Company against the men alleged to be the leaders of the mob that deported the union men and their sympathizers.
The text of the writ follows:
"United States of America, District of Colorado, ss.:
"IN THE UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO.
"The President of the United States of America:
"To Ernest A. Colburn, Clarence C. Hamlin, Gail S. Hoag, Thomas E. McClelland, Albert E. Carlton, E. C. Newcomb, Edward Bell, Nelson Franklin, R. P. Russell, John Sharp, John Dalzdell, Henry P. Dahl, William N. Bainbridge, Samuel D. Crump, H. L. Shepherd, Julius Kirby, Z. E. Funk, A. B. Shilling, F. M. Reardon, W. E. Dingman, S. A. Phipps, Clarence Fitch, K. C. Sterling, Daniel McCarthy, A. T. Holman, Frank M. Woods, J. B. Cunningham, Thomas Scanlon, Frank Beagle, Charles Huggins, William Carruthers, W. E. Driscoll, Frank May, Henry Waters, H. McGarry, L. E. Smith, Harry Moore, Frank D. French, Edward Coplin, Philip De Wild, and all others associating with you, and to your attorneys, solicitors, agents, employes, and servants and to each and every one of you, Greeting:
"Whereas, It has heen represented to the Honorable, The United States Circuit Court for the District of Colorado, on the part of the Interstate Mercantile Company, complainant, in its certain bill of complaint exhibited before said judges, and filed in said court against you, the said Ernest A. Colburn and others, respondents, to be relieved, touching the matters and things therein complained of.
"In which said bill it is stated, among other things, that you are combining and confederating with others to injure the complainant touching the matters set forth in said bill, and that your actions and doings in the premises are contrary to equity and good conscience.
"In consideration thereof, and of the particular matters in said bill set forth, you are hereby strictly commanded that you, the said persons before mentioned, and each and every one of you, do absolutely desist and refrain from in any wise or manner interfering with the said The Interstate Mercantile Company, complainant aforesaid, or with its employes or agents, in and about their prosecution of its business affairs in taking possession of its said premises and of its said goods, wares and merchandise or in or about the purchase of other supplies and the delivery to it thereof in or about the sale and disposition thereof, and wholly to desist and refrain from in any wise or manner banishing or deporting from the said county any of the employes of said complainant or from in any wise or manner apprehending, arresting, or imprisoning or proceeding against its or any of its said employes or agents, save by due process of law, as provided and required by the statutes and the constitution, and wholly to desist and refrain from denying it the equal protection of the laws of the land. And also to wholly desist and refrain from seizing, interfering with, injuring, destroying or taking the property, goods, wares and merchandise of said complainant, The Interstate Mercantile Company, or from preventing its carrying on and conducting its business in said county and state, until this Honorable Court, in Chancery sitting, or a judge thereof at Chambers, shall make other order to the contrary: Hereof fail not under penalty of what the law directs.
"To the Marshal of said District, to execute and return in due form of law.
"Witness, the Honorable Melville W. Fuller, chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America, and the seal of the said United States Circuit Court, at the city of Denver, in said district, this seventh day of September, A. D. 1904, and of the Independence of the United States the 129th year. A true copy.
(Seal U. S. Circuit Court.) "ROBERT BAILEY, Clerk..
"Attested: ROBERT BAILEY, Clerk."
The injunction granted by the court put a stop to further interference with the union store. The mob did not dare to disobey the court's order as it would have meant the sending of Federal troops to enforce the court's order. The powers in control in the district knew full well that they would find the Federal troops quite a different proposition from Peabody's "warriors."
While the state was much disturbed over the many outrages being perpetrated on citizens in Cripple Creek during the month of August, after martial law had been suspended and it appeared that the citizens of other parts of the state would likely take "strenuous" steps to put a stop to mob rule, the governor, in order to make it appear that he would make an effort to maintain law, sent the following communication to Sheriff Bell, of Teller county:
"State of Colorado, Executive Chamber,
"Denver, Colo., Aug. 27, 1904.
"Hon. Edward Bell, Sheriff of Teller County, Cripple Creek, Colorado:
"Sir—Upon Saturday, the 21st inst., there was assembled in Teller county a disorderly mob of men. This mob destroyed private property and maltreated and drove from the county a number of citizens and other persons.
"Teller county has been a source of much anxiety to my administration. Order has been restored there at great expense to the state, and the militia, after a protracted service, rendered with the single purpose of making life and property secure, had only recently been withdrawn.
"Your county had been freed, as I hoped, from criminal disturbers of the peace; the civil offices of your county are now filled, as I am informed, by incumbents who desire to extend to all citizens the full protection of the law. I recalled the troops because I believed and was informed that your community was once more safe in the hands of such officers. If I am right in so believing, there should be no occasion for lawless outbursts such as that of Saturday last.
"I am recently informed that a similar mob of men have in contemplation another and still further outrage. I am convinced that you, as sheriff, having the full sympathy and support of the civil authorities, can and should maintain peace and lawful order. I therefore desire to say that should you not be able, with the means at your disposal, to successfully cope with the situation and maintain law and order in Teller county, I am ready to again place at your disposal the militia of this state.
"Our paramount duty at this and at all times is to uphold the law and its safeguards, without distinction of interests or of individuals.
"I will thank you for an early reply, and am, respectfully yours,
"JAMES H. PEABODY. Governor."
August 30, Sheriff Bell replied to the governor's letter as follows:
"To His Excellency, the Governor of Colorado, James H. Peabody, Denver, Colorado.—Honorable Sir: Your kind communication of recent date at hand, and contents carefully noted. I have felt at all times perfectly competent to handle the situation here, and I believe that most of the disturbances occurring recently in this district have been occasioned by the united efforts of the Western Federation to create an impression of alarm regarding life and property in this locality and bring disrepute and odium on my administration of the sheriff's office. I find that many of the reports as to the possible deportation of this or that person living within this district are entirely without foundation, and are without any standing in fact. On tracing down the origin of these reports I find that they emanate directly from an organization known as the Woman's Auxiliary, which is an adjunct of the Western Federation, and as an evidence of how far these people will go, the attempted assassination of myself and deputies Sunday night is in itself of sufficient evidence to substantiate all the facts of the case.
"I therefore must decline your kind proffer of troops, believing that the best interests of this county and state will be subserved through the determination of the sheriff's office and the will of the best people of this district. You can rest assured that no stone will be left unturned, no risk will be considered too great, nor any clew too trivial for me to follow with the best energies of my office."
The foregoing correspondence was simply intended as a "grand stand play" and was so understood by the public. The reader will notice the inconsistency of Sheriff Bell in stating that he was competent to handle the situation, when every day flagrant violations of the law were taking place under his very nose, which, if he was capable of controlling, he certainly did not make good. It is evident that the beating and robbing of union men or sympathizers was not considered a violation of law by the good (?) sheriff of Teller county.
As to his statement in his communication to the governor, of the attempted assassination of himself and deputies, this referred to the incident at the home of Rev. Leland.
On September 9, much interest was awakened over the news that came from Topeka, Kansas, of an alleged confession of one B. F. Slagel, alias, Robert Romaine, then a prisoner in Shawnee county jail, of complicity in the explosion at Independence. Romaine's confession was made before the county attorney and sheriff and sworn to before a notary public. The confession was lengthy, giving full details of how the plot was carried out, the explosive procured, etc., and implicated a number of prominent union leaders in the district.
There was talk of bringing Romaine to Colorado to stand trial. General Bell said that Romaine was one of the men wanted. Romaine was never brought to Colorado. Many people wondered why the mine owners and authorities of Teller county, who seemingly were so desirous of capturing and punishing the perpetrators of this most fiendish crime, were so lax in the matter. However, it later developed that the Romaine confession was planned and paid for by agents of the Mine Owners' Association in order to have an excuse for holding in "durance vile" members of the miners' union. Evidently they feared exposure if Romaine's confession was tested in the courts.
The following letter was received by John I. Tierney, staff correspondent for the Denver Times, who had interviewed Romaine, shortly after his confession had been made public in Topeka. Romaine in that interview had promised Mr. Tierney that he would write him a letter at some future time concerning his confession. He kept his promise. Following is a portion of the letter:
"Sheafer came to me and made the proposition of making up the big fake. He said there was money and freedom in it for me if I would do as he said. He furnished me with all necessary dates and names, and told me to weave as good a story out of it as I could. He also gave me $5 and the promise of more, which, I regret very much to say, I did not get. I am sorry that I had anything at all to do with it, as I only got hurt myself by doing so and no one else. I am reaping the fruits of my follies here in the coal mines at three and three-quarter cents a day—truly a magnificent sum compared to what I could have been making in the Creek.
The Sheafer, spoken of in the letter, was Frank Sheafer, a deputy sheriff of Cripple Creek.
The reader can judge from the foregoing to what desperate straits the agents of the Mine Owners' Association were driven and to what length they were willing to go in order to fasten this terrible crime upon people whom they must have known were innocent.
During the months of June, July and August the State Ways and Means committee, that had been created by the mass convention of organized labor, held in Denver in January, 1904, in order to carry into effect resolutions adopted at said convention, to prevent the re-election of Governor Peabody, sent out over the state organizers for the purpose of organizing anti-Peabody political clubs. The political organization was incorporated under the name of "The Colorado Liberty League." One hundred and thirty local leagues covering all parts of the state were organized and chartered by the State Ways and Means committee within a few weeks.
Meanwhile, the Ways and Means committee had been greatly strengthened by the appointment of sub-committeemen. Sub-committeemen were appointed in all the principal cities, towns and camps, care being taken to appoint only such persons as were known to be capable and in thorough sympathy with the movement.
The author volunteered her services to organize Liberty Leagues, and although having had no previous experience in this line, is proud of the success made, having been successful in organizing a League in every town and camp visited.
During my experience in organizing Liberty Leagues, I was impressed, on account of the number of people outside the ranks of organized labor, who enrolled themselves as members. These embraced people from all walks of life, lawyers, doctors, business men and farmers. Numerous persons at my meetings arose and stated that they had been life-long Republicans, had never voted any other than Republican ticket, but for once in their lives they would vote against their party in order to defeat Peabody.
It was clearly evident that in the state election, party lines would be eliminated, and that the issue would be Peabodyism and anti-Peabodyism.
That the formation of the "Colorado Liberty League" was not in vain is evidenced from the overwhelming defeat of Peabody, at the election of November 8, the League being no small factor in bringing about this result.
It is to the everlasting disgrace of Colorado and an object lesson of what little avail is the will of the people, when the corporations desire otherwise, that the choice of the people for governor, the Honorable Alva Adams, was unseated after having been elected by over 10,000 plurality. But more of this anon.
Having created the Liberty Leagues, the question arose as to what would be the best policy to pursue in order to carry out the purpose of the League—the defeat of Peabody.
Some favored forming an independent party, others thought the surest means of success would be to support the Democratic candidiates. In order to best learn the desires of the Leagues on this important matter, they were requested to get an expression from the members and send in their recommendations to the state committee.
July 2-4, a meeting of the State Ways and Means committee was held to take final action on policy to pursue. After several days' deliberations the committee adopted a preamble and platform and decided to submit same to the State Central Committee of the Democratic party, and, providing they approved the platform and would make it a part of the Democratic platform the Liberty League would support the Democratic state ticket.
A committee was appointed to confer with the Democratic State Central Committee in regard to the proposition, which was as follows:
"1. An eight-hour law must be passed in accordance with the constitutional mandate of the people expressed by fifty thousand majority in the free exericse of the right of franchise.
"2. A direct legislation measure must make it possible for the people to pass directly upon the laws and policies of government, thus forever precluding the lawless overthrow of democratic government, which for two years has made Colorado a hissing and a stench among the sisterhood of states.
"3. That our demands may not be misunderstood and our responsibility absolute, we hereby pledge our honor and the good faith of the labor party of Colorado to the following specific purposes:
"(a) The Republican party has proved unworthy of the support of fair minded men; therefore, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY MUST BE OVERTHROWN.
"(b) A certain and specific eight-hour law and direct legislation bill are herewith submitted and no man shall receive our suffrage who does not unequivocally pledge to support these measures intact without modification or amendment.
"A bill for an act to regulate the hours of employment in underground mines and workings, smelters, chlorination or cyanide ore reduction works and blast furnaces, and to provide penalties for the violation thereof * * *
Then followed the eight-hour bill.
"DIRECT LEGISLATION BILL.
"A bill for an act to submit to the qualified voters of the state of Colorado amedments to Article V of the Constitution of the state of Colorado establishing the principle of direct legislation by the people. * * *
The direct legislation bill was lengthy so I only produce the enactment clause.
"(c) We demand that a constitutional amendment be submitted to the people of Colorado, taking from the governor the more than despotic power lodged in his hands by the decision of the Supreme Court in the Moyer case. Such an amendment should in specific terms absolutely forbid the suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus, except by a three-fourths vote of the general assembly in regular or special session; also that the existence of a state of insurrection shall be made a question of fact, to be decided by the courts in the orderly discharge of their functions, and not left to the judgment or imagination of a chief executive too apt to be swayed by partisan prejudice, and a stranger to judicial impartiality.
"(d) We uncompromisingly oppose the effort of the corporate interests of Colorado, to saddle upon the already overburdened taxpayers, the million-dollar campaign graft of the Peabody-Mine Owners' tinsel war, illegally contracted in the service of criminal individuals and corporations, these same beneficiaries of a prostituted militia service, should not be allowed to foist upon the entire state the private tribute of enormous bills, incurred by and therefore justly due from private and corporate interests.
"(e) We demand the legal exemption from taxation, of personal property to the extent of two hundred dollars ($200.00).
"With a firm reliance upon the righteousness and reasonableness of each and all of the above demands, we submit our contentions to the people of Colorado. We are content to be tried before the tribunal of the whole people, confident that the state, to whose material and social greatness we have so generously poured out our labor, our love and our lives, will not be deaf to our plea for justice and liberty. Let the real men and women who have hearts and consciences take back into their own clean hands, the economic and political power yielded in one cataclysmic moment, to the industrial scavenger and political mountebank, and we will cheerfully abide their decision.
(Signed) "J. C. SULLIVAN,
"Chairman State Ways and Means Committee.
(Attest) "H. B. WATERS,
"Secretary-Treasurer Ways and Means Committee."
The Democratic State Central Committee and other prominent leaders of that party who were consulted, practically agreed to the platform with the exception of plank "c" repudiating the Peabody war debt. They substituted the following in lieu thereof, which was agreed to by the committee representing the Liberty League:
"That no repudiation plank be put into the platform, and that our opposition take the following course:
"First—That the platform charge illegality in the method of contracting said indebtedness.
"Second—That we charge irregularity and dishonesty in the disbursement of state funds.
"Third—That the demand be made for a legislative commission to thoroughly investigate the military expenditures and to shift the grafting from the bona fide accounts.
"Fourth—That we secure through deals in senatorial and legislative districts a general assembly that will refuse to expend the money of the taxpayers in paying any illegally acquired indebtedness."
The committee further reported as follows:
"It was also agreed that the platform shall be in effect and essence an absolute repudiation of Peabody and Peabodyism.
"The candidates for governor and lieutenant-governor shall be acceptable to the labor people.
"The labor people are to go into the primaries and conventions of the democratic party and lend practical aid in carrying this agreement into effect.
"Your conference committee believes that the above agreements have been made in good faith by both parties and we recommend to the ways and means committee that immediate and energetic steps be taken to carry them into effect."
The next matter of interest was to procure the nomination of a candidate on the Democratic ticket who would be acceptable to organized labor and one who would have the confidence of the masses.
The Democratic state convention, held September 21-22, made a happy choice in nominating by acclamation the Honorable Alva Adams, a man who had twice before been honored by being elected governor, a business man of great integrity, who, as governor, had served the people with honor to them and credit to himself. The most radical Citizens' Alliance man could recall nothing to the discredit of Mr. Adams other than he was emphatically opposed to the unconstitutional and tyrannical methods of Peabody in dealing with labor unions. Mr. Adams did not desire the nomination as he had arranged to retire from active life for the remainder of his days and enjoy a well-earned and deserved rest. It was only through long and earnest persuasion of his friends and prominent citizens, who were convinced that he was the man to bring credit back to the state, that had been disgraced by the Peabody administration, that he finally agreed to sacrifice a life of ease to one of duty. Proof that Mr. Adams thought more of the welfare of the state than of the honor of holding the high office of governor, is in the fact, that although great pressure was brought to bear upon him, to resist the unjust decision of the corporation-corrupted legislature to unseat him, he decided to peacefully retire, rather than to bring on a conflict which would undoubtedly have lead to bloodshed and still further disgraced suffering Colorado.
May Colorado and the nation be blessed with many men like Governor Adams, then would justice reign and peace prevail.