Tag Archive: Western Federation of Miners

Jun 12 2014

Hellraisers Journal: Deported Union Miners Dumped at Bleak Alkali Sand Dunes Without Food or Water

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.

-Mother Jones

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Sunday June 12, 1904

Cripple Creek District, Colorado – Deported Miners Dumped Near Kansas Border

Cripple Creek Deportations June 1914

The miners who were herded down the street on Friday by militiamen and Citizens’ Alliance “deputies” and then loaded into railroad cars and deported from the Cripple Creek strike zone, were found near the Kansas border yesterday. The following report comes to us from today’s San Francisco Call:

EXILED MINERS, HUNGRY AND WEARY,

CAMP ON THE COLORADO BORDER

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Deported Men Are Taken to the Kansas Line by Troops.

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Left on a Bleak Prairie Without Food or Water Supply.

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SYRACUSE, Kansas, June 11.-The deported Colorado miners camped at Holly to-night, just across the Colorado line. They were notified to-night that a special train would be sent to take them all to Denver.

HOLLY, Colo., June 11. – With a parting volley of rifle bullets, fired over their heads by the militia and deputies to, warn them to “hike” eastward as fast as their legs could carry them and never again set foot on Colorado soil, ninety-one union miners from the Cripple Creek district were unloaded from a special Santa Fe train on the prairie this morning, one half mile from the Colorado-Kansas State line, and left to shift for themselves. The exiles were disembarked in haste and without ceremony. The guards and deputies were tired out and in ill humor from their long, tedious trip from the Teller County gold camp and were in no mood to extend any special courtesies or kindness to their unfortunate charges.

“Hurry up there, you fellows,” cried Lieutenant Cole, when the train stopped in the midst of the alkali sand dunes that dot the prairie in the vicinity of the eastern part of Powers County near the Kansas line. “We haven’t got any time to waste out here.”

WITHOUT FOOD OR WATER.

And no time was wasted. The special, which consisted of an engine, a combination baggage car and smoker and two day coaches, had no sooner come to a standstill than the car doors were unlocked and thrown open and the order given by Lieutenant Cole for the exiles to leave the train.

“Step lively, you fellows, step lively,” admonished Deputy Benton, who was in command of the civil forces of the expedition, and in less time than it takes to tell it the three cars were emptied of their passengers and the train was started on its way back to La Junta.

The men were dumped out on the cheerless prairie without food or water, for the soldiers and deputies, in their haste to get home, had forgotten to unload the small stock of commissary supplies the train carried when it left Victor yesterday afternoon.

SPIRIT OF MEN BREAKS

The exiles were a cheerless lot, indeed. Without even a light and miles from the nearest habitation, they huddled together in groups on either side of’ the Santa Fe track and discussed their plight. Warned to move eastward, on pain of being rearrested  and severely handled, and notified by the Kansas authorities that they would not be allowed to seek refuge in that State, the spirit of the men broke. Many of them walked  back westward on the railroad to Holly, the Salvation Army colony in Colorado, where the charitable inhabitants provided breakfast for them. Some of them later started to walk to Lamar, Colo.

Sheriff Jack Brady and forty deputies of Hamilton County were at the State line to prevent the deported men entering Kansas.

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CLAIMS TO HAVE MURDERERS.

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Bell Declares Independence Dynamiters Are In Bullpen.

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CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo., June 11.-General Sherman M. Bell to-day made the following statement for publication:

“I have indisputable evidence in my possession which will lead to the conviction of  union men for the murder of non-union miners who were killed in the Independence explosion. We have between thirty-five and forty men in the bullpen who will swing for this crime. We are only waiting to capture three or four men before we tell what our evidence Is.”

SOURCE

The San Francisco Call.

(San Francisco California)

-of June 12, 1904

Ahttp://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1904-06-12/ed-1/seq-22

Image

Miners Being Deported from Cripple Creek District

http://www.rebelgraphics.org/w…

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Dec 22 2013

Anti-Capitalist Meet-Up: Annie Clemenc and the Italian Hall Massacre by JayRaye

Annie Takes Up Her Flag

Ana K Clemenc

Ana K Clemenc

On July 23, 1913, 9,000 copper miners of the Keweenaw laid down their tools and walked off the job. The were led by the great Western Federation of Miners, and they had voted by a good majority for a strike: 9,000 out of 13,000 The main issue were hours, the miners wanted an eight hour day, wages, and safety. The miners hated the new one-man drill which they called the “widow-maker.” They claimed this drill made an already dangerous job more dangerous.

The mining companies had steadfastly refused to recognize the Western Federation of Miners in anyway. They would continue to refuse all efforts at negotiation or arbitration, even those plans for arbitration which did not include the union, and this despite the best efforts of Governor Ferris, and the U. S. Department of Labor. James MacNaughton, general manger of Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, famously stated that grass would grow in the streets and that he would teach the miners to eat potato parings before he would negotiate in any way with the striking miners.

The Keweenaw Peninsula was a cold, windy place, jutting out into Lake Superior from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This area was known as the Copper Country of Michigan and included Calumet Township of Houghton County, with the twin towns of Hancock and Houghton ten miles to the south. Calumet Township included the villages of Red Jacket and Laurium.

It was here in Red Jacket, on the third day of the strike that Annie Clemenc, miner’s daughter and miner’s wife took up a massive America flag and led an early morning parade of 400 striking miners and their families. Annie Clemenc was six feet tall, and some claimed she was taller than that by two inches. The flag she carried was so massive that it required a staff two inches thick and ten feet tall. The miners and their supporters marched out of the Italian Hall and through the streets of the Red Jacket to the Blue Jacket and Yellow Jacket mines. They marched silently, without a band, lined up three and four abreast. These early morning marches, with Annie and her flag in the lead, were to become a feature of the strike.