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Full text of "The Burlington strike: its motives and methods, including the causes of the strike, remote and direct, and the relations to it, of the organizations of Locomotive engineers, Locomotive firemen, Switchmen's M. A. A., and action taken by order Brotherhood R. R. brakemen, order Railway conductors, and Knights of labor. The great dynamite conspiracy; ending with a sketch by C. H. Frisbie: forty-seven years on a locomotive .."

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OF ILLINOIS 

LIBRARY 
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THE LIBRARY 

OP THE 

UNIVERSITY 8F ILLINOIS 




C. II. SALMONS. 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE: 



ITS MOTIVES AND METHODS, 

INCLUDING 



THE CAUSES OF THE STRIKE, 

REMOTl DIRECT, 

AND 

THE RELATIONS TO IT, < >NS 

OF 
LO RS, 

LOC 
SW1 M. A. A., 

BY 

ORDER , -KE.MEN, 

ORDER RAI: iRS, 

AND KNIGH IS Ol 

The Great Dynamite Conspiracy; 

ENDING WITH 
A SKETCH BY C. II. FRISBIE; 

Forty-Seven Years on a Locomotive. 



FROM AUTHENTIC DOCUMENTS AND LIVING WITNESSES. 

\ 

Compiled by C. H. SALMONS. 



AURORA, ILL. : 
PRESS OF BUNNELL AND WARD, 

iSSg. 



ZJ 



6 






J- 



r 



UU9\f\ 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in June, iSSi, 

By C. H. Salmons, 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington , D. C 

All Rights Reserved. 



3 3I.B1 



TO 

tM (§x<ku (glen tx^oae $b#erence to (princq>fe 

INVOLVED THE POSSIBLE 

SACRIFICE OF HOME AND MEANS OF LIFE, 

IN THE LABOR CONTEST 

WITH 

THE CHICAGO, BURLINGTON & QUINCY R. R. COMPANY, 

DURING TM1. YEAR l888, 

IN DEEP SYMPATHY WITH THE FAMILIES OF THOSE 

WHO LOST THEIR LIVES 

AS A RESULT OF THE MADNESS 

OF A COMPANY WHICH BROUGHT UPON THEIR 

FAITHFUL SERVANTS 

THIS MOST INIQUITOUS CONTEST. 



Q0g ttyeix Sincere ijrienbe 

THE COMMITTEE OF PUBLICATION. 

CHAS. H. SALMONS, 

COMPILER. 






CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 
The Strike. — Peaceful Methods. — The Engineer, - 7 

CHAPTER I I. 
Why Organize. — Historical. — Practical, - - II 

CHAPTER III. 
Mutual Obligations. — Labor and Capital, ... 17 

CHAPTER IV. 
Dawning of Trouble in 1862, ------ 21 

CHAPTER V. 
Railroad Men Organize. — Engineers, 1863, - 23 

CHAPTER VI. 
Locomotive Firemen Organize, 1873, ... - 27 

CHAPTER VII. 
Switchmen's Mutual Aid Association, 1877, - 29 

CHAPTER VIII. 
Brotherhood of Brakemen, 1883, 31 

CHAPTER IX. 
Reduced Wages and Classification. — Complaints, - - 33 

CHAPTER X. 
Burlington Policy Defined. — Competition. — Cuts, 38 

CHAPTER XI. 
Strike of 1877. — Confidence in Mr. Harris, 46 

CHAPTER XII. 
Increasing Irregularities.— Mr. Harris Gone, ... 50 

CHAPTER XIII. 
Condition of Trainmen Made Worse. — Brotherhood Weak, 54 

CHAPTER XIV. 
Pursuing a Superintendent. — Opportunities for Oppression, 58 

CHAPTER XV. 
The Council of War. — Committee of 1886, - - - - 67 



CHAPTER XVI. 
Skirmishing for Position.— Messrs. Potter and Arthur, - 70 

CHAPTER XVII. 
Treaty of 1886.— Discussion.— New Rules.— New Hopes, 73 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
The New Treaty — A Rope of Sand. — Rules Violated, - - 82 

CHAPTER XIX. 
Unfairness of Classification. — Screws Tightened, - - 93 

CHAPTER XX. 
Conservatism.— Arthur's Address.— C. M. Depew.— Gov. Abbott, 101 

CHAPTER XXI. 
Meeting of Grievance Committee. — Sketch of Manager Potter, 107 

CHAPTER XXII. 
Committee at Creston.— Engineers at Chicago, - - 113 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
Concentration of Forces. — Dissatisfaction of the Men, - 122 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
Committee of 1888 and its Work, 126 

CHAPTER XXV. 
Loyalty and Honor of Engineers. 135 

CHAPTER XXVI. 
Joint Committee Seeking an Interview, ... 142 

CHAPTER XXVII. 
The Circular Letter Answered, 147 

CHAPTER XXVIII 
Thf. End of Negotiations. — C, B. & Q. Shuts the Gate, - 161 

CHAPTER XXIX. 
The Burlington Strike, ...... 174 

CHAPTER XXX. 
The Strike Along the Line. — Details, - - - 185 

CHAPTER XXXI. 
"Men of Experience and Trustworthy," ... 198 

CHAPTER XXXII. 
Who Came. — Rules of Service Suspended, .... 203 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 
Public Opinion Made to Order. — Newspapers, - - 215 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 
Usages of Other Roads. — As to Rates, - - - - 212 



CHAPTER XXXV. 
The Murder of George Watts, ..... 232 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 
The Railway Problem. — James A. Garfield's Speech, - - 242 

CHAPTER XXXVII. 
ANTAGONISM. — The Old Men and the New, ... 246 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. 
Attitude of the Knights of Labor, .... 255 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 
Negotiations for Harmony, ...... 261 

CHAPTER XL. 
Feint, for Effect. — Deluged with Reading Men, - - 268 

CHAPTER XLI. 
Rule or Ruin. — Willfulness Paid for in Engines, - . 278 

CHAPTER XLII. 
The Strike, in Congress and in Court, - 296 

CHAPTER XLIII. 
Burlington & Northern Strike, - 304 

CHAPTER XLIV. 
The Burlington in Court — The A. T. and S. F. Strike, - 311 

CHAPTER XLV. 
Another Cloud Rising. — Switchmen. — License Law, - 343 

CHAPTER XLVI. 
Railway and Warehouse Commissioners. — Evidence, - - 374 

CHAPTER XLVII. 
Destruction and Discord.— Wrecks.— Protests, - - 3S5 

CHAPTER XLVIII. 
The Strike Not Off.— Murder of II. B. Newell.— Discussion 40S 

CHAPTER XLIX. 
Dynamite. — Alarm. — Arrests. — Trials. — Results - - 435 

CHAPTER L. 
The End of the Great Strike, 452 

CHAPTER LI. 
Sketch by C. H. Frisbie, .... 463 



INDEX TO ILLUSTRATIONS. 



C. H. Salmons, ...--- i 

P. M. Arthur, Grand Chief B. of L. E., - - - - 7 

F. P. Sargent, Grand Master 15. of L. F., - - 27 

James L. Monoghan, Grand Master S. M. A. A., - 41 

S E. Wilkinson, Grand Master B. of R. B., - 57 

A. R. Cavner, S. G. A. E., B. of L. E., Chairman Committee of Nine, 73 

Geo. Watts, ------- 8g 

Herbert B. Newell, - ----- 105 

Collision — Milwaukee crossing, - - - - - 121 

An Educational Experiment, - - - - - x 37 

Creston Wreck, - ___--- 153 

J. A. Bauereisen, ------ 169 

Thomas Broderick, - *85 

Geo. Coding, ------ 201 

J. J. Kelley, 217 

•Learning the Business, - 225 

*Wreck at Western Avenue, - - » - - 241 

*Climbing a Telegraph Bole, - _ - - 257 

* Wreck and Fire at 6th & Wood Sts., Chicago, - - - 273 

*Wreck at Meagher St. and Stewart Avenue, - - 289 

*Wrerk of Fast Mail in Chicago Yard, - - - - 3™ 

*House Breaking at DeKoven St. , Chicago, - - 321 

*The House at DeKoven St., after the Wreck, - 337 

*Wreck in Chicago Yards, ----- 353 

*Wreck at Wood St., Chicago, - 

*Into a Train at Wood St., Chicago, - 

•Fireman (Joing to their Convention at Atlanta, Ga., - - 4'9 

•Explosion of Engine 92, - - - - - 449 

Chas II. Frisbie, .... 

♦Reproductions of pencil sketches by Priest, Frisbie, and other old employs, 
who were prerent to view the wrecks. 



PREFACE. 

The relations between capital and labor, along the 
Burlington system in 1888, attracted the attention of 
employers and employes in all parts of the world. 
The causes which led to dissatisfaction on the part of 
the laborers, and their ineffectual efforts to remedy not- 
able evils, ought to be as widely known. The power 
which a great company has to coerce, or to punish, 
has hardly been known in this country until the great 
Burlington strike brought it out. The labor organiza- 
tions have a right to know what kind of a foe a rail- 
road company may become, what are its aggressions 
in time of peace, and what its tactics in time of strife. 

It is not likely that any of the parties who are con- 
spicuous in the contest had any thought that they 
were making history. None of the actors in the strug- 
gle between capital and labor had any thought that 
they were speaking into a phonograph, which some 
day would reproduce their words; or that a camera 
was beside them which would some day restore in un- 
erring light the relationships and attitudes of moments 
of blinding passion. 

Strangely enough, records were preserved, letters 
were copied, telegrams were stored away, and man}' 
persons have vivid recollections of the events just 
passed. 

The world has seen a new instance of the selfishness 
and relentlessness of capital; and legislators have come 
to the new tasks of regulating internal commerce, and 
protecting labor. Laboring men have come to see 



how varied and how vital are their relations to 
the prosperity of the country. They understand 
now better than ever before that the condition, re- 
sources, and aims of the laborer have more to do with 
the progress of any nation than the achievements of its 
arms, or the successes of its diplomacy. 

An increasing number of people desires that the 
history of the greatest labor contest of all time, should 
be put in permanent form, while the witnesses 
live. Accordingly, during the last few months, a few 
men located on the line of the Burlington system, have 
undertaken to print the record of the Burlington strike. 
This may guide other corporations into 
than that one madly chosen by the Burling'. 
may throw a light upon the relationships of 
er that will make him a wiser and more po. .tor 

in defi tinies of our cor. 

The men who ha in this histr ere 

in this contest. The associati im- 

posed of J. C. Porter, Div. 32., President; J. W. Wh , 
z, Tre; . Salmons, Div. 79, Sec. and 

Div. 32; Geo. ( .;, Self- 

He' Ige No. 80; C. H. Fr and others. 

r Ordc. no 

i 

nts are tendered to P. M. G. C. E. 

B. of L. E.; to F. P. £ ;, Grand Master B. of L. 

F. • James L. Mona; Grand Master S. M. A. A.; 

I. Wilkinson, G :er B. of R. B. F. 

Grand Sec L. B.; to A. R. Cavner, S. G. 

A. E.; Geo. W. Wheatley, B. of L. E.; and to other 

and valued correspondence for material assistance. 

C. H. Salmons, Compiler. 




P. M. ARTHUR. 

GRAND CHIEF ENGINEER B. OF L E. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

On February 27th, 1888, at 4 o'clock A. M., the 
locomotive engine-men, on their own motion, terminated 
their connection with the Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincy Railroad Company. To prevent any needless 
damage to property, all the trains in transit at that 
hour went on to the nearest terminal station, but as 
nearly as possible to the stroke of the clock, the two 
thousand locomotive engineers and firemen quietly 
severed themselves from the Burlington system. It 
was not the work of a tumultuous assembly. The 
movement was well considered and cordially approved, 
and notice of intention was duly given to the company. 
As late as at 2 o'clock on the preceding day, a com- 
mittee had waited upon the authorities of the company 
to implore any concessions consistent with their obliga- 
tions to stockholders and duties to employes, that 
would avert the impending strike. 

The importance of the step which severed the 
engineers and firemen from the Burlington system 
can hardly be over-estimated. That great road ex- 
tends through the states of Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, 
Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wisconsin and Minne- 
sota. It passes through more than fifteen hundred 
cities, towns and villages, all of which are more or less 
dependent upon its facilities for freight and travel. In 
some of these states competing and intersecting lines 



8 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

of road are numerous, so that the calamity of a block- 
ade would not be everywhere disastrous. In the 
various states traversed there are hundreds of small 
stations entirely dependent on the Burlington, and 
situated from fifteen to fifty miles from any other road. 
In case of a scarcity of coal among hundreds of prairie 
villages, the effect of a suspension of railroad traffic 
would be serious. To all the stations along a railroad 
track the company offers the convenience of trans- 
portation, and agrees to take in return the favor of 
patronage. The employes cannot be a party to this 
agreement, but the company is bound to the fairness 
and the foresight which will always prevent a suspen- 
sion of its work. 

The methods pursued by the engineers were peace- 
able. With a delicate sense of honor they regarded 
the right of property in the company with which they 
could no longer agree. The fifteen hundred engineers 
surrendered their engines with not a bolt, or screw, 
or valve out of order. The matters of complaint, 
with the unquestionable facts which underlay them, 
with dates and names, and records, were .laid before 
the chief officers of the company by calm, dispassionate 
men. Timely warning of the day and hour of the 
strike, with the causes compelling it, were fairly and 
fully given. The determination reached was not that 
of a tumultuous assembly, nor of an inflammable mob. 
The principles involved had been under public dis- 
cussion for years, and their correctness in the main had 
been conceded by various of the great Railroad Com- 
panies. It could be no trifling affair that thrilled with 
a single impulse the men of the footboard along the six 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. Q 

thousand miles of the Burlington lines. It is difficult 
for any one to estimate how much it meant when so 
many intelligent and practical men left their places, 
unfitted for any other skilled labor, and with the proba- 
bility that similar doors of employment would be closed 
to them upon other roads. 

Who is the Locomotive Engineer ? 

He is a man of bone and brawn, equal to the hard- 
est work. He inherits from a robust ancestry great 
bodilv vigor, as well as clearness and accuracy of eye 
and ear. He reaches a locomotive only after prepara- 
tory years of untiring study and toil. In his probation 
he acquires a quickness to detect danger and a prompt- 
ness to avert it. He cannot be an engineer unless he 
can command his tired nerves to work on in the face 
of rain and storm, or in defiance of sleet and cold. 
Higher than commanding the obedience of muscles 
and nerves, he must know the anatomy of his engine, 
and the remedy for all its maladies. On his soul is 
the responsibility for the safety of the precious freight 
of hundreds of passengers, and of hundreds of thou- 
sands of dollars. No other calling of civil life records 
such bravery in the face of peril, or such noble sacri- 
fice of self to save others. The locomotive engineer's 
craft is the drum over which every band of the coun- 
try's business gains its speed ; it is the master-wheel of 
the world's progress. 

We lie down in our sleeper and rest as we do at 
home. And yet we know that all through the night 
the train will dash on at the rate of forty miles an 
hour, past beacon-lights, switches, side-tracks and 
bridges. Stockholders at home and passengers on 
2 



IO THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

board sleep the night through without a fear. It is 
because they believe in the engineer. 

The curtain has been drawn for a moment to let the 
light fall on the kind of men who joined issue with the 
Burlington Company. Thev were unanimous. As 
when Israel left Egypt, not a hoof was left behind. 
There was a principle involved, for which they risked 
employment and support. It must have been to them 
a matter of no small moment that could move thought- 
ful men to grapple with one of the most powerful 
companies on the face of the earth. We shall pro- 
ceed in these subsequent chapters to take up events in 
their order of time, and carefully and honestly look 
the facts in the face which occasioned, and which 
characterized, the great Burlington strike of 1888. It 
\\ as the most momentous movement of the kind that 
has ever gone upon the page of history. 



CHAPTER II. 

WHY DO LABORING MEN ORGANIZE ? 

If any one can tell when it was that man first dis- 
covered that in union there is power, it will fix the date 
when men first combined to secure to themselves 
prosperity and justice. Mechanical fraternities flour- 
ished among the Romans, in which affairs of com- 
mon interest were regulated by their own laws. 
In the eleventh century, in many cities of Italy, the 
people united against the rapacity of the lords, and ex- 
changed lordly rule for the right to labor and to trade 
as they deemed best. Merchants' combinations were 
common in all the flourishing cities of Europe in the 
twelfth century. In the same century the drapers of 
Hamburg, the shoemakers of Magdeburg, and various 
tradesmen of Milan formed unions, or brotherhoods, 
that have been closely imitated by various craftsmen 
in modern times. Guilds, as such organizations were 
called among the Saxons, were not necessarily trade 
associations, though they protected their members from 
injustice, secured their recognition and provided for 
their employment. In general they resisted arbitrary 
power as affecting the interests of their adherents. 
In England the guilds for centuries held their 
rights under royal charter, and in that century very 
many of the ordinary occupations were organized for 
mutual benefit. A great many of our associations of 
modern times can be traced to the Saxon tendency to 



12 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

organize bodies of men of similar pursuits. This is 
the origin of our corporations of every kind, as banks, 
insurance, and transportation companies. Our rail- 
road corporations, Boards of Trade, Associated Press, 
Knights of Labor, and many others, chartered and 
unchartered, all come from the same parent stock, and 
all bear the same family likeness, the main feature of 
which is combining for mutual protection and profit. 

Movements in connection with labor have assumed 
in recent times a new importance. Once they limited 
themselves simply to self-protection as to employment 
and wages. Now they study social relations and the 
reciprocal obligations of capital and labor. The lead- 
ing minds of the labor movement are by necessity 
students of political economy and of social science; 
and in their discussions and projects every calling ob- 
tains a hearing, and finds promotion. The equitable 
reward of honorable labor is the great social prol 
of our times. It is a reasonable prediction that from 
the ranks of organized labor shall come the strong 
writers, thinkers and statesmen of the future. 

But why do the employes of railroads organize ? 

Let us enumerate some of the reasons: 

i. It is the unquestioned usage of legislatures and 
of congress to grant to railroad corporations almost 
unlimited franchises, and in perpetuity, without any 
personal responsibility. On the other hand, no enact- 
ment of any importance is on any statute book to pro- 
tect railroad men, whose work upon trains imperils 
their lives with almost every dutv the}' perform. It 
is not unreasonable that trainmen should be disaffected 
wherever they are paid less than men are usually paid 



WHY DO LABORING MEN ORGANIZE ? 1 3 

for similar work on other roads, and wherever they are 
held to a company by an arrangement that compels 
them to stay where they are, or else be prevented from 
railroad work anywhere else 

2. It is to be remembered also, that the life of a 
railroad is a perpetuity; that with time its expenses 
will lessen and its business will increase. In view of 
future incomes men will take present risks. Capital 
can always do this, but labor cannot. Labor repre- 
sents women and children; it implies food, clothing, 
shelter and education; the day's work if well done 
should meet these demands at par. The two millions, 
or more, now nearly three millions, of persons in 
the families of railway employes have the first lien on 
the products of their work. When, therefore, the 
railway laborer demands reasonable pay, he has be- 
hind him a regiment of arguments to enforce his right. 
The most of the work to be done is so difficult as to 
require experienced, or skilled labor; it is largely of a 
kind to impair health and to shorten life, and it ex- 
poses the laborer to great irregularities of work, and 
to a frightful percentage of fatal accidents. When 
losses occur to a company from mismanagement they 
should not be made up by abatement of the wages of 
laborers. If the business of a year proves dull, the 
stockholder's dividends should not be kept up by cut- 
ting down the wages of the men. One man alone 
counts nothing before a powerful company; one day's 
work bears a poor proportion to the thousands of mil- 
lions of capital invested in railroads. Unless labor 
combines it cannot be heard at all. It has no resort, 
no appeal for justice if it cannot organize a moral 



14 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

force that will stand between the laborer and the 
relentless power of gold. 

3. The conditions of the trainman's life are hard. 
If he develops into a man of business, or if he becomes 
manager of great enterprises, it is in defiance of his 
surroundings. He usually enters in early life upon 
his occupation in which there is a premium on strength, 
alertness and endurance, and in which there is much 
of both physical weariness and mental dissipation. He 
is commonly exposed to allurements that tend down- 
wards. Along the line there are drinking places; if 
not in the station itself, then within a door or two. It 
is a rare thing that he finds a reading room for railway 
men, or a resting place away from tempting odors 
and sights and companions. It does not seem to be 
recognized at headquarters that what makes a better 
man makes a better workman. If there are anywhere 
in depots, reading rooms, and places of quiet rest for 
the much jolted men, it is very recent, and exceeding- 
ly rare, and even where there is considerable work of 
this kind it is rarely traceable to a railroad company. 
But almost all roads in this country have, in a verv 
effective way, testified to the capability and the charac- 
ter of the railroad employe. Almost everywhere 
men are filling the highest positions in railroad manage- 
ment who have come up from the lowest round. This 
: s very noticeable in the Pennsylvania system. Presi- 
- t Roberts, and A. J. Cassatt, formerly vice-presi- 
dent, began as rodmen in the engineers' corps. Sec- 
ond • vice-president Thompson was a machinist of 
Altoona; general manager Pugh began as a brake- 
man; general passenger agent Carpenter, and James 



WHY DO LAbuRING MEN ORGANIZE? 15 

McCrea, general manager west of Pittsburg, both 
began as messenger boys. A. M. Tucker, division 
superintendent on the Erie, was a track laborer. C. 
W. Bradley, general superintendent of the West Shore, 
was a brakeman, then conductor, on the same road. 
President Caldwell of the Nickel Plate was a clerk on 
the Pennsylvania. The engineers and firemen have 
been very prolific in this direction. One Division, No. 
34, of Columbus, Ohio, has on its roll of honor two 
railroad presidents, three master mechanics, and four 
roundhouse foremen. There can be no doubt that 
everywhere similar talent abounds among men in 
subordinate positions along all our great railway lines. 
That so many reach distinction in spite of great disad- 
vantage is an inspiring argument in favor of organization 
for mutual improvement and protection. It encourages 
honest emulation and true pride. Its result must be 
to make the men sober, industrious, frugal, faithful, 
and self-helpful. 

4. The capital invested in banks and that employed 
in insurance companies, though in large amounts, is 
vet comparatively harmless as regards labor. 
But when capital is pitted against labor; when the 
issue is Money vs. Men ; when the returns upon the 
invested capital are in proportion to the pressure upon 
the laborer, then as capital is heartless, the rights of 
the man must go under. The greatest danger is 
reached when capital succeeds in holding the laborer 
in one hand, and grasping legislation with the other. 
The money invested in railroad stocks, with the addi- 
tion of the amount of all the funded debts of the rail- 
way companies in this country, will soon reach the 



1 6 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

» 

enormous amount of ten thousand millions of dollars, 
($10,000,000,000.) A very small percentage on this 
sum will support a lobby, the third house, in every 
state capital, as well as at Washington. An assess- 
ment of one-fourth of one cent on each dollar of this 
vast sum would produce a revenue of twenty-five mil- 
lions. At present rates of increase we shall soon 
have in this country one million of railway laborers. 
A reduction of five cents per day upon that number of 
men would produce the sum of eighteen millions of 
dollars, ($18,250,000.) We do not say that anyone 
has proposed this, but we do say that similar things 
have been done. Wages have been cut down to re- 
plenish a foolishly exhausted treasury. How easy a 
thing it would be for capital to declare war on labor and 
then assess upon labor the expense of it. How easy 
to keep up dividends to stockholders by cutting down 
wages; or to cover the ruinous expense of an unwise 
policy in the management by issuing a lower rate of 
payments. 

Capital, controlling lobbies and newspapers, con- 
stitutes a trio for evil, before which, if it is left un- 
checked, the rights of the American laborer will be of 
as little value to him as to the toilers of Russia, or of 
Algiers. In Europe, when contests are on between 
money and labor, the appeal is to the bayonet; but in 
this country the appeal is to argument, to righteous- 
ness, and to the ballot. Our method of protection is 
not by violence, but by the peaceable combination of 
the endangered men, so as to make themselves felt by 
their moral force, their intelligence, and by their num- 
bers. 



CHAPTER III. 

MUTUAL OBLIGATIONS. 

We believe that there are certain great principles in 
equity in which both capital and labor ought heartily 
to agree, and beyond which the demands of either 
would be both unreasonable and unrighteous. There 
is really but one universal and unerring rule, viz : As 
ye would that men should do to you, do 3^ also to 
them. 

Most men, given to one kind of work, become skilled 
in it, and unfit themselves for other employments, but at 
the same time increase the value of their labor to their 
employer. To be discharged implies the loss of the time 
used in acquiring the skiD, and also the waste of time 
and money in seeking a new place. It may require a 
removal of hundreds of miles at great expense. If 
permanent employment is uncertain, it will prevent the 
laborer from embellishing, or even from making a home, 
and it tends to make of him an improvident, hand-to- 
mouth hanger-on upon a temporary occupation, and 
the education of his children becomes a most unlikely 
thing. He cannot identify himself with permanent in- 
terests of the community, and he sinks into a character- 
less wage-earner. It would not be strange if some times 
the fear of removal would lead men to try to keep their 
places by unbecoming and wrongful methods, or they 
may do a poor service knowing they are liable to dis- 
missal for any cause, or for none. 



l8 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

Now, a corporation might arbitrarily reduce the 
wages, or compulsorily increase the hours of labor, or 
frequently require additional hours of work for the pay 
of ten, or compel the employe to assume the risk of 
damage to property, or say to the men unfairly 
burdened, ; ' If you do not like our administration, go 
elsewhere; you are at liberty." All these methods 
have, here or there, been resorted to. It is obvious 
that they deteriorate the character of the laborer, so 
as not only to lessen the value of the labor, but also 
to abate the worth of the man as a member of the com- 
munity. Certainly no corporation has a moral right to 
do this, for it unfits the employe for honorable and 
skilled work. 

Self-interest alone would require of a corporation 
the strictest integrity and fairness, and considerate pro- 
vision for the adequate support of every deserving 
laborer. Moral obligation would require that wages 
should be adequate for a little more than actual cur- 
rent support, for the rainy day should not be a desti- 
tute one, and comforts ought to increase in every vir- 
tuous family with advancing age. The pay for a day's 
work should be the unstinted remuneration for an 
average man, and less or greater work done than the 
average should have higher or lower rates. We can 
neither buy nor sell the moral sense that makes the 
workman industrious, and studious to do his work rap- 
idly and well, and to prevent loss of material ; but that 
moral sense has a real value nevertheless, and the man 
who has this quality really earns more money than the 
man of the same strength who has it not. It is not 
enough for the corporation to pay only the rate of wa- 



MUTUAL OBLIGATIONS. 1 9 

ges that it can afford with its present rate of dividends, 
for that would require labor to guarantee both the hon- 
esty and the intelligence of capital. If wisdom and hon- 
esty are in the foundation of an enterprise, its dividends 
may be delayed for years, and then make ample com- 
pensation; but food and clothing, and comforts, cannot 
wait. The conclusion is inevitable that every corpora- 
tion employing labor is bound by the highest law 
known to man, to make contented and comfortable, 
every worthy employe it has, and to do this before it 
retires to count its profits. 

One fact is better than many theories. The Chi- 
cago Inter-Ocean of June 20, 1889, says: 

" One thing has been demonstrated by General Mc- 
Nulty, while receiver of the Wabash, that the best 
managers are not always trained railroad men. Gen- 
eral McNulty dropped his law practice to accept the 
appointment of receiver of a small railroad in southern 
Illinois, which was bankrupt. He built this road up, 
and turned it back to the stock holders as a paying- 
piece of property. When Judge Gresham appointed 
General McNulty receiver of the Wabash road, the 
property w r as in a deplorable condition, and he has 
succeeded in placing it in a better condition than ever 
before, and he has himself come to be acknowledged 
as one of the best railroad managers of the country, so 
that he has received nattering offers from roads that 
are anxious to secure his services." 

The pay of the labor of this road, while this able 
financier was building it up, was among the best that 
was paid in the United States. General McNulty 
evidently has both ability and honesty, and he has 



20 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

proven that good wages can be paid and the road 
still succeed; and that it is not the cost of labor, but bad 
management that causes the bankrupt condition of 
railroad property. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE DAWNING OF TROUBLE. 

In 1862 the engineers running between Aurora, 
thirty-seven miles west of Chicago, and Galesburg, 
one hundred and twenty-five miles farther west, were 
paid less than other engineers were paid for the same 
service on other parts of the C, B. & Q. road. They 
believed that the injustice was directly chargeable to the 
division superintendent, Mr. Hammond, and accord- 
ingly they demanded of him its correction. They ap- 
pointed a committee to wait upon Mr. Hammond, to 
ask an advance of fifty cents per day or trip, and pay 
for extra time. Mr. Hammond would not grant it, and 
the committee returned and so reported. They then 
agreed to insist on their demand and to give the super- 
intendent ten days' notice, at the end of which time they 
would stop work if the matter was not adjusted. 
This notice was given. On the day when the time 
would expire, a despatch came from Mr. Hammond 
asking the men to keep at work and he would see 
that they were satisfied. The men were not disposed 
to make a contract in so loose a way as that and de- 
clined. When this news reached Mr. Hammond by 
telegram, he called up a special train to take himself 
and party to Aurora, the seat of the difficulty, and on 
his arrival it was found that he had with him eighteen 
engineers to take the places of these men. But it was 
intensely cold, and the scabs he brought out would not, 



22 THE BURLINGTON' STRIKE. 

or could not take the engines, and superintendent 
Hammond acceded to the demand. Work was sus- 
pended only one hour. 

It is fair to the Company to state that when a sup- 
erintendent, or other high administrative officer, cor- 
rects an abuse in the administration without consulting 
his superiors, it is evident that he is the originator of 
the annoying order himself. ^The unanimity of the en- 
gineers in this matter, and the prompt adjustment of it 
by the superintendent, indicate the justness of the 
complaint. 



RAILROAD LABORERS ORGANIZE. 



CHAPTER V. 

BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS. 

On the 17th of April, 1863, at Marshall, Michigan, 
Messrs. E. Nichols, F. Avery, D. Wheeler, John Ken- 
ned}-, F. Wartsmouth, H. Higgins, B. Northrup, Geo. 
Q. Adams, and W. D. Robinson, believing that 
many evils might be remedied, and much good accom- 
plished, by an organization of practical locomotive en- 
gineers, met and instituted a society named the Broth- 
erhood of the Foot Board. The 17th and the 18th of 
the following August was agreed upon by them as the 
time for holding the first annual convention at Detroit, 
Michigan, at which convention W. D. Robinson, of De- 
troit, was duly elected to fill, for the first time in its ex- 
istence, the very important office of Grand Chief Engi- 
neer, and O. T. Johnson, of LaFayette, Indiana, was 
chosen first Grand Assistant Engineer. By a provis- 
ion of the original constitution, locomotive firemen and 
machinists were admitted to equal membership. A 
short deliberation, and experience, convinced the in- 
corporators that engineers should act separately in the 
matter of self protection. Hence it became necessary 
to call a special session of the convention, which as- 
sembled on the 22nd of February, 1864, at Detroit, at 
which time and place this objectionable clause was 



24 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

changed and the locomotive engineers were possessed 
of an organization exclusively their own. 

At the second annual convention, which was held at 
Indianapolis, Indiana, on August 17th, 1864, Charles 
Wilson, of Rochester, New York, and Robert Laugh-- 
lin, of Hornellsville, New York, were chosen to fill the 
two highest offices of the organization, and the title 
originally chosen was substituted by the title which is 
still borne by the order, viz : The Brotherhood of 
Locomotive Engineers. 

That a good thing was done in the organization of 
the order is evident from its rapid growth. This con- 
vention at Indianapolis was held at the end of its first 
vear, when sixty-seven of its subordinate divisions had 
been established, with a membership of over sixteen 
hundred. To-day the order extends through every 
part of the United states, and has a footing also in 
Canada and Mexico. The number of divisions 
has reached four hundred and twenty, and the member- 
ship exceeds twenty-five thousand. 

There is a Mutual Insurance Association connected 
with the Order and an outgrowth of it, originating 
1867. The business and the reports cover now a period 
of twenty-one years of the work of insurance with 
the most satisfactory results. There were paid out, 
during the year previous to November, 1888, one hun- 
dred claims of three thousand dollars each, making a 
total of three hundred and twenty-seven thousand 
dollars, ( $327,000. ) The entire amount paid to wid- 
ows, orphans and to disabled members, since 1867. is 
$2,572,169.61. 

During the vear ending with November, 18S8, the 



BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS. 25 

Chief Engineer was called to interpose and to adjust be- 
tween men and officers on twelve different roads, and 
in each instance he effected an honorable and amicable 
adjustment. The contest between the men and the 
officers of the Burlington System was the only one 
that has occurred in eleven years that has not yielded 
to satisfactory adjustment by friendly interposition. 
The history of the Order is made up of happy results 
upon individual character, inspiring men with emula- 
tion, and virtuous pride in their calling. By its refin- 
ing and elevating influence upon the character of its 
members it adds to the efficiency and to the actual 
wealth of every company whose engines are run by 
members of the Brotherhood. 

In the constitution of subordinate lodges of this 
Brotherhood, in article V, section II, we have these 
words : 

" Should it come to the knowledge of any member 
* * * that a brother * * * is guilty of drunkenness, 
or keeping a saloon where intoxicating liquors are 
sold, or being engaged in the traffic of intoxicating 
liquors * * it shall be his duty to bring the matter 
before the Chief Engineer of his division, in writing at 
once, who shall immediately appoint a committee of 
three to investigate the charges." 

Section IV. (After the testimony is all offered.) "The 
Chief Engineer shall order the ballot passed, and it shall 
require a majority vote of all of the members present 
to expel him, excepting those convicted of keeping a 
saloon where intoxicating liquors are sold; in which 
case it shall be the duty of the Chief to declare the 
offending brother duly expelled without a ballot." 
3 






l6 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

Section V. Should any brother neglect his duty, 
or injure the property of his employer, or endanger 
the lives of persons willfully, while under the influence 
of liquor or otherwise, it shall be included in the in- 
vestigation as laid down above, and be subject to the 
same penalty." 




F. P. SARGENT. 

GRAND MASTER, B. OF L. FIREMEN. 



CHAPTER VI. 

BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE FIREMEN. 

The locomotive firemen effected an organization, a 
Brotherhood, for mutual benefit, on December i, 
1873, at Port Jervis, New York. Eleven men met to 
devise means of mutual helpfulness, social, moral and 
intellectual, to protect the interests of firemen and to 
promote their general welfare. It has, in these six- 
teen years, permeated every part of the United States, 
extending also into Mexico and Canada. The Order 
receives reports from three hundred and ninety lodges, 
aggregating over nineteen thousand members. Its 
object at first was not beyond the mutual advantages 
that come from close affiliation of men of similar pur- 
suits; but in 1885 the Order extended its purposes and 
became distinctly a labor organization without losing 
its benevolent characteristics. The method of adjust- 
ing differences between the Order and the authorities 
of a road, is to appeal directly to the highest authority 
of the company complained of, and if that is not suc- 
cessful, then to insist upon arbitration. The organiza- 
tion tends to good order, to mutual beneficial influ- 
ences, and it is a concentration of power which may, 
at almost any time, be called upon for mutual pro- 
tection, or in some way in the defense of the interests 
of labor. There is no antagonism between the fire- 
men and any other society of railway laborers; on the 
contrary, the Order works for the advantage of the 



28 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

laborer in the interests of fair work for fair pay. 

In the constitution of the Firemen's Brotherhood 
for subordinate lodges, there are some provisions of 
general interest: 

Section 188. " Any member dealing in intoxicating 
liquors shall be expelled." 

Section 190. "Any member who shall use intoxi- 
cating liquors to excess, or shall be found guilty of 
drunkenness, or other immoral practice, or conduct un- 
becoming a member, shall be suspended for the first 
offense, if of a light character; but if of a serious na- 
ture, or for a second offense, the offender shall be ex- 
pelled." 



CHAPTER VII. 
switchmen's mutual aid association. 

The switchmen at Chicago organized a Union, for 
mutual aid, intended for only local purposes, on Au- 
gust 1 8, 1877. The society had but little progress 
until 1884, wnen it took in new blood, and various cit- 
ies began to organize similar societies. A meeting of 
delegates, for the object of forming a national organi- 
zation, was held at Chicago, February 22, 1886. The 
convention deliberated eight days over a constitution, 
which was adopted at last with enthusiastic unanimity. 
The object of the Mutual Aid Society, as declared in 
the preamble to the Constitution, is as follows : 

1st. To unite and promote the general welfare, and 
advance the interests — social, moral, and intellectual — 
of its members. 

2nd. To endeavor to establish mutual confidence, 
and create and maintain harmonious relations between 
employer and employe. 

The forms of benevolence undertaken were, " to re- 
lieve the distress of disabled brothers, to care for 
their widows and orphans, and to see to the decent 
burial of deceased members." 

The first annual meeting was held in Kansas Citv, 
Monday, September 20, 1886, having delegates from 
tw r enty-five lodges. 

The first Grand Master was James L. Monaghan, 
whose ill-health had driven him from the law business 



30 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

to the outdoor work of the switchman. He became 
a member of the Illinois legislature in 1888. From 
that time on, the Society has been fortunate in having 
for officers, good and efficient men. In 1888, Mr. 
George S. Bailey was made Grand Organizer and In- 
structor, who also left the law for outdoor railroading 
work. In 1886 he became a member of the lower 
house of the Illinois legislature, and carried through 
a bill for a State Board of Arbitration, but not in 
time to have the action of the Senate. The Order is 
a vigorous one, watching carefully the interests of 
labor. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

BROTHERHOOD OF RAILROAD BRAKEMEN. 

The epidemic of organization struck the railroad 
brakemen in the spring of 1883. A few railroad men 
of all occupations, chiefly brakemen and switchmen, 
formed, at Albany, N. Y., a society called the Capitol 
City Aid Association. The object was protection by mu- 
tual benevolence. In June following, eight brakemen 
met in a caboose at Oneonta, N. Y., and organized the 
first auxiliary branch, called No. 2. This enterprising 
offspring withdrew from Capitol City and set itself up 
as Oneonta Lodge of the Brotherhood of Railroad 
Brakemen. This occurred in July, 1883. Its mem- 
bers were all brakemen. The Order was greatly in- 
debted to Eugene V. Debs, a good man, who was emi- 
nent among the Brotherhood of Firemen. The Capi- 
tol City Aid Association, rinding itself no longer fol- 
lowed, turned about and followed the new head and 
became Capitol City Lodge, No. 3. 

The organization by the adoption of a constitution, 
bears date, Oneonta, N. Y., Sept. 12, 1883. The Or- 
der spread along the lines of iron net work with great 
rapidity, and it numbers now over ten thousand mem- 
bers. It rilled a well defined want among trainmen. 
Their position is not too well paid, and it is full of 
hardship, privation and peril. The calling is so full of 
danger that insurance men exclude brakemen from 
eligibility to insurance. The constitutional limit of 



32 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

policy of insurance is $1,000 per member, and the 
treasury is a mutual one, and it is refreshed by moder- 
ate assessments. 

The influence of the Brotherhood is very marked 
upon the mental, moral and physical improvement of 
its members. The average character of brakemen 
has much improved since the organization of the Asso- 
ciation; it has inspired ambition, and developed talent, 
and has made its members a surprise to themselves by 
the healthful and elevating influences which they have 
found within it. 

The preamble to the constitution contains these 
words : 

"To unite the railroad brakemen : to promote their 
general welfare, and advance their interests — social, 
moral and intellectual; to protect their families by the 
exercise of a systematic benevolence, very needful in a 
calling so hazardous as ours, this fraternity has been 
organized." 

Article XXII, Section I, of the constitution of sub- 
ordinate lodges, reads as follows : 

" An}- member dealing in, or in any way connected 
with the sale of intoxicating liquors, shall, unless he 
withdraws, be expelled. Any member found guilty of 
drunkenness shall be suspended for the first offense. 
A repetition shall be punished by expulsion, and under 
no circumstances, shall a member so expelled, be rein- 
stated before the lapse of six months." 



CHAPTER IX. 

REDUCED WAGES AND CLASSIFICATION. 

In 1873, the C, B. & Q. road used only a single 
track in doing the company's business between Chica- 
go and Galesburg. The volume of business was so 
great that trains met with many delays, often waiting 
for hours upon the side track, waiting for Chicago 
bound trains having the right of way. Trains bound 
•west would often be many hours more than time al- 
lotted on the time-card in making the trip, and no al- 
lowance was ever made for such service. It also had 
been the practice to allow the men to go into the re- 
pair shops with their engines when they needed re- 
pairing, and work on them. This usage had been 
discontinued and the men would sometimes have to 
wait in idleness for months, while the engine was un- 
der repairs. Being left without work, reduction of 
pay and other conditions equally unsatisfactory, induced 
the engineers to appoint a committee, which con- 
sisted of L. E. Johnson, who is at this writing super- 
intendent at Aurora, William Wilson, and J. C. Por- 
ter, who were instructed to draw up a paper to be 
submitted to the various divisions for approval, or cor- 
rection, and, if approved, to be presented to the gen- 
eral manager, Mr Harris, with the request that the 
matters complained of should be investigated and 
remedied. The committee chosen to present this 
to Mr. Harris, was Irwin Alexander, of Quincy, 



34 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

Barney Wagner, of Galesburg, and L. E. John- 
son, of Aurora. These gentlemen addressed the 
following letter to the General Manager: 

Galesburg, 111., Sept. 23, 1873. 
Robert Harris, Esq., 

General Supt, C, B. & Q. R R. 
Dear Sir 

The engineers of the C, B. & Q. R. R., 
and leased lines east of the Mississippi River, 
feeling that they are not receiving sufficient pay for 
the labor performed, have requested the undersigned 
engineers to wait upon the general officers of the road, 
for the purpose of requesting them to increase our 
pay to the standard of $4 per day, on all divisions of 
the road as they now are, also that the nine-tenths of full 
time be allowed them when not made, the same to be 
paid monthly, allowing all extra time made over and 
above. The reasons for the above are as follows: 

1. The increase of responsibility placed upon them. 

2. The increase of the number of hours on the road. 

3. The increased amount of work performed while 
on duty. 

4. That a transfer of engines and men from Aurora 
to Galesburg has largely increased their expenses, al- 
so keeping them from their homes much more than 
previous to the change. 

5. That engines running from Aurora to Chicago 
on freight, are in many instances compelled to run 
to the stock yards and then to the Chicago yards, re- 
quiring from ten to sixteen hours for one day's work. 

6. That they are required to hold themselves in 



REDUCED WAGES AND CLASSIFICATION. 35 

readiness for duty at all times, both night and day, 
frequently being called upon for certain hours, and 
after remaining in yards waiting for trains from two to 
six hours, on their engines, then being obliged to 
make their trip for the same amount of pay. 

We would also be pleased to have our firemen paid 
in the same proportion. 

The above we most respectfully lay before you for 
your consideration and favor. 

Yours Truly, 
(Signed) Barney Wagner, Galesburg, 

Irwin Alexander, Quincy, 
L. E. Johnson, Aurora. 
To Robert Harris, Esq., Chicago, 111., 

To this there came a reply as follows: 

Chicago, 111., Oct. 27, 1873. 
Messrs. B. Wagner, I. Alexander andL. E.Johnson, 

Gentlemen of the Committee: 

"It was "understood at the time you 
presented the communication about pay, September 
23, that I would look into the matter and see if. 
there appeared proper grounds for increasing it. 
This has been done, and the conclusion is not to in- 
crease the standard of compensation. I think it will 
appear, all things considered, that the engineers and 
firemen on this road are compensated as highly as else- 
where. 

Mr. Chalender is authorized to make a proper al- 
lowance, over and above the existing standard on the 
eastern division, for such engineers as run from Aurora 



36 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

to the stock yards and thence to the freight station. 
The division master mechanic will see that the diffi- 
culty of being called unnecessarily early before start- 
ing is remedied, if engineers will call his attention to 
it whenever it occurs. 

Yours Truly, 

(Signed) Robert Harris. 

The delays, of which the committee complained, 
were liable to occur every day, and cost the engineers 
an average of three hours each trip, making an aver- 
age of three hours of unpaid labor. ' The remark of 
Mr. Harris that the engineers were paid as well as 
elsewhere is true, if we consider the pav for the trip 
under favorable circumstances. The company has 
usuallv paid extreme prices on what is called the 
main line, and so they prevented the possibility of a 
united effort to correct unfavorable rates on the other 
parts of the system. This will be more clearly pre- 
sented in the work of the committee of 1886. 

The effort to set right a grievous wrong in 1873, 
had little effect, except to intensify a sense of injus- 
tice in the minds of the men, and also to confirm the 
officers of the road in their purpose to tighten their 
grip on their employes. Up to this time there was au 
apprenticeship of one year for engineers, paying $3 per 
day. and after one year, full pay, viz: $3.87 y 2 . But an 
order was issued October 1, 1876, which had some-, 
thing of the suddenness and the effect of a bombshell: 

Chicago, 111., Oct. 1, 1876. 
" On and after October 10, 1876, apprentice fire- 
men on switch engines, will receive for first year, $1.40 



REDUCED WAGES AND CLASSIFICATION. 37 

per day; second year, $1.50; third year, $1.60. Fire- 
men on the road will receive first year, $1.50; second 
year, $1.75; third year, $2.00. Engineers will receive for 
first year $2.25; second year $2.50; third year, $2.85. 
Old engineers to receive $3.48." 

This was a cut of ten per cent on former wages, 
and it included all train men. A meeting of train men 
was called at Galesburg in which all grades of work 
were well represented, and a petition was signed by 
one hundred arid thirty employes, asking that wages 
be put back to the rates prior to December, 1873. 
The officers of the road insisted upon the necessity 
and the fairness of the reduction of wages, and so it 
remained. 



CHAPTER X. 

BURLINGTON POLICY DEFINED. 

We now propose to ask what the necessity was 
which took, with one flourish of the pen, ten cents of 
every dollar of income from every train man on the C, 
B. & Q. system. Then bear in mind -that a small as- 
sessment on a very large number will produce an 
enormous sum. For example: the Union Pacific 
Road, according to its president's report in 1888, em- 
ploys 14,000 men. Their pay ranges from $1 to $4 
per day. Let the average be, say, $2 per day, 
and ten per cent on all salaries would yield an income 
of $2,800 per day, or in a year of 315 days, $882,000. 
These figures show that railway managers can play a 
great game with small factors. Employes will not 
leave for trifling reasons. To take the risk of finding- 
other work, with probable loss of time and expense of 
moving, and perhaps leaving a little property, is a se- 
rious matter, and the laborer will submit to extortion till 
endurance is no longer possible. Then the corporation 
defines the required labor and its conditions, and fixes 
the wages, and so settles at once both the buying and 
selling price of labor. The laborer, therefore, in be- 
ginning work for a railway of close calculations, as- 
sumes the risks of the company without being a sharer 
in its profits. Now the railway laborer may have to 
suffer a reduction of wages for either of two reasons: 

One way in which he may lose, is when he is com- 



BURLINGTON POLICY DEFINED. 39 

pelled to build up the position and the fortune of the 
chief officers of the road, personally. A few years 
ago, the mayor and aldermen of Toronto were inves- 
tigating the affairs of the Grand Trunk of Canada. 
In the examination, alderman Tinning asked a wit- 
ness: "Mr. Duffin, will you explain about the thirty- 
five per cent ?" 

Mr. Duffin : " It means that by whatever means the 
chief officers of the road reduce the working expenses 
of the road, they have a guarantee from the board of 
directors in the old country of thirty-five per cent on 
that account." 

Alderman Bronsted : "But who gets that ?" 

Mr. Duffin : " The heads of departments, Messrs. 
Hickson, Wallace, Blackwell, Spicer, and Roberts. 
Probably, when they see this report, they may try to 
deny it, but I am prepared to prove it. Roberts de- 
nied, but Blackwell said it was true, and that he had 
$130 over his last quarter's salary, from savings he had 
effected in his department. I told Mr. Hickson and 
Mr. Wallis that that was a grievance last year, and that 
men could not see how the officers could demean them- 
selves to try to reduce our wages in order to put 
thirtv-five per cent in their pockets." 

After all, the affairs of the Grand Trunk prove 
nothing concerning other trunks, but one thing is cer- 
tain, if a high officer anywhere, has the faculty to an- 
nually increase the gross product of his department, 
and as regularly reduce its working expenses, the com- 
pany would grapple him with hooks of silver, and he 
would be too valuable to lose. Before such a man, 
higher positions and finer salaries would open, and 



40 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

tempting offers from other roads would descend upon 
him like gentle rain on the tender grass. 

Another way in which a railway laborer may be a 
loser, is when his wages must be cut down to make up 
for losses by mismanagement at headquarters. Ev- 
ery reader of these facts will remember the cut of rates 
in 1876, in which there was a powerful combination 
against New York City. It was a universal, magnifi- 
cent strike. It was official striking official, road strik- 
ing road. Freight was carried for less than it cost. 
Passengers were almost hired to ride in the sleeping 
cars. The old rate of fifteen dollars a ton from New 
York to Chicago went down to four. So wild did the 
rivalry of rates run, that the stockholders of the Mich- 
igan Central Railway Company, four hundred and 
fiftv-four of them, employed the best legal talent in 
the land, Henry S. Bennett, 14 Wall street, New 
York, and served a notice on Hon. Samuel Sloan, 
president of that company, insisting upon it that the 
ruinous, suicidal policy of cutting rates must be at 
once abandoned. The shareholders directed their 
attorneys to say to President Sloan, " We ask you to 
restore and maintain the former rates for travel and 
freight, and to withdraw from any combination which 
has for its object any undue reduction, with a view to 
compete with other roads. If you refuse, or fail to 
comply therewith, I, and my associates, are directed 
by them, to employ such remedies as the courts will 
afford to enforce their rights, and to protect the prop- 
erty and interests of the company." The mismanage- 
ment and madness of the Michigan Central seemed to 
be epidemic among all the chief roads of the country. 




JAMES I.. MONOGHAN. 



GRAND MASTER, S. M. A. A. 



THE LIBIT 
OF THE 
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 



BURLINGTON POLICY DEFINED. 41 

The inevitable result was the exhaustion of great 
surpluses, and the depletion of treasuries. There 
was One untried source of income, — the management 
could cut down the wages of laborers on the roads. 
What did they do ? 

The New Jersey Central ordered a cut of ten per- 
cent to take effect August i, 1876. At a stockhold 
ers' meeting on February 7, Mr. Knight, president- 
of the company said : " The Central R. R., of New 
Jersey, had declared since 1866, dividends aggregat- 
ing $14,400,000. That had these been aver- 
aged at eight per cent, there would have been left in 
the treasury $3,413,666.13." This meeting was called 
to borrow, or assess the stockholders $3,000,000, the 
result of an effort to ruin other roads through a war 
of rates. This was made to appear at a meeting held 
at St. James Hotel, in New York City, on December 
16, 1876, which was attended by the presidents of the 
Erie, New York Central, Pennsylvania Central, Bal- 
timore and Ohio, and others, when an agreement was 
entered into to restore the rates, and terminate the 
discrimination against New York, as an export city. 
This was an acknowledgment of the cause of the 
financial depression of the railroad companies, whose 
unwise policy had caused the loss. The method of 
replenishing was not to assess the loss on capital, but 
on labor, and by their great power to compel the la- 
borer to make their losses good, or at least to assist 
in doing so. 

In accordance with this policy the rate of wages was 
reduced, not by common consent, nor by any pretense 
that a general financial change in the country would 
4 



42 THE BURLINGTON' STRIKE. 

enable the laborer to endure it, but by a sovereign or- 
der that on such a day, "your pay will be reduced ten 
per cent." These orders flashed across the country 
in alarming rapidity. The New Jersey Central cut 
wages on August i, 1876; the Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincv on October 10; the Cairo & St. Louis on 
November 1 ; the Grand Trunk, of Canada, on Dec- 
ember 7. Many other roads fell in line with the 
same policy. The third cut on the Pennsylvania Cen- 
tral was made on May 27, 1877, reducing engineers 
to $2.70 per day, and firemen to $1.25. 

Some railroad companies, whatever they had done 
in the war of rates, had not the excuse of poverty for 
cutting down salaries. For example: " The net 
earnings from lines operated by the Pennsylvania R. 
R., company during the year 1876 amounted to $12,- 
834,385.78, and yet retrenchment is the cry. 1 " From 
this statement it is evident that this road survived the 
war in good shape, as it shows an increase of over a 
million dollars over the year 1875. But it was a good 
time to join in effectively tying up railway labor, by 
the exercise of a right that comes not from justice, but 
from the merciless power of capital. 

We have already alluded to the fact that a petition of 
one hundred and thirty engineers was presented to 
Mr. Hitchcock without result. The engineers sent 
their committee to Galesburg, where they met on 
October 10, 11, -and 12. This committee consisted 
of S. R. Clark, of Divison 62; F. A. Chase, Division 
32: F. H.Reynolds, Division 154; J. McGuire, Divis- 
ion 134; and G. B.Webster, Division 112, who was 
chosen chairman. The committee met with Mr. Chal- 

1 Engineers' Journal, July, 1877. 



BURLINGTON POLICY DEFINED. 43 

ender, master mechanic, and Mr. Strong, division 
superintendent, and represented: 

That the pay of engineers had been reduced. 

That the plan of apprenticing engineers for six to 
ten years before getting full pay was oppression. 
That the Burlington stock yards run was reduced 
fifty cents per day and the hours were increased. 
That at Mt. Pleasant and at Chicago, switching was 
required for from two to eight hours without pay being 
allowed for it; that with overloaded trains they 
must double the hills, losing one to five hours; also that 
they shall have respectful treatment from division 
master mechanics. 

Some of the minor complaints were adjusted, and 
others were referred to the general superintendent, 
Mr. Robert Harris. That gentleman was away from 
the city, and to their telegram he replied that he could 
not return until the midlde of the next week. The 
committee then reported to their respective divisions, 
and they voted to refer the subject to the convention 
to be held in October. 

On December 8, 1876, the committee went again 
to Chicago, in company with Grand Chief Engineer, 
P. M. Arthur. Thev went to the office of the gener- 
al superintendent, Mr. Robert Harris, and found him 
in an excited state of mind, pacing the floor, stroking 
his hair with one hand, and so absorbed as to forget to 
give any civil recognition to his visitors. Mr. Arthur 
respectfully told him the occasion of the call, where- 
upon Mr. Harris said in a petulant manner, that he 
did not propose to have any pope come here to inter- 
fere with him and his engineers. Mr. Arthur told 



44 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

him he did not come here as a pope, but as a gentle- 
man, and he expected to meet one, and in the hope 
that they could together fix up the differences and have 
peace. Mr. Harris : " If that is the case, we will hear 
what you have to say," still pacing the floor. 

Mr. Arthur: "Sit down then; I cannot talk to a 
man's back." 

Mr. Arthur then went over the complaints of the 
men, some of which were so grossly unjustifiable that 
Mr. Harris said they should be remedied. The classi- 
fication system was reduced from four years to three. 

Mr. F. A. Chase, Division 32, was uncompromising 
in his censures of the company. He would yield noth- 
ing; not an iota. But for him, good terms could have 
been made, and the almost complete failure of the com- 
mittee turned on the violence of his feelings. Said he 
to Mr. Arthur, "If I should go home and tell my wife 
that I had given in to the company, she would disown 
me." He was so radical as to disable the others. No 
satisfactory agreement could be reached. No better 
conditions could, in his presence, be made. The fav- 
oring moment went by. On December 20, this com- 
mitteeman wrote a letter to his division, begging of 
them the kindest feeling they could command towards 
him, expressing great fear of their disrespect, and ask- 
ing to be allowed to withdraw from the Order. A 
few words will complete his history as a committee- 
man : After he began his duties in the committee, he 
took a ride with Mr. Chalender, the master mechanic 
of- the road, in which ride, he said afterwards, the 
grievance business was not mentioned. Then in the 
committee he was so radical as to defeat his fellow 



BURLINGTON POLICY DEFINED. 45 

members. Immediately he withdrew from the Order, 
after receiving for his time and expenses $96.87. Then 
honors and promotions began to shower upon him 
from the company. Very soon he obtained an engine 
on a passenger train, though not entitled to it from age 
in service; then he was foreman of the round house at 
Aurora, afterward master mechanic at St. Joseph. 
His conversion from Brotherhood to Burlington was 
as sudden as St. Paul's, and like that eminent martyr, 
his zeal was greater in his second consecration than in 
his first, and all that without a scrap of the material of 
which martyrs are made. The company showed great 
skill in using means to break up the committee by 
discharge or otherwise, but did not often succeed. 
The result of this appeal to the company was not re- 
ceived with good grace, and it united all concerned in 
a determination to effect a change for the better, 
which resulted in a strike and suspension of business 
in July, 1877 



CHAPTER XL 

THE STRIKE OF 1877. 

A call was made for a meeting at Burlington, to 
which all class of train men responded, and a commit- 
tee was appointed to present their requests to the Com- 
pany. Then commenced the usual maneuvers of 
officials to intimidate by threats of discharge, etc. They 
had posted a notice that unless the men came to the 
office and signed, ready to go to work, that after 
such an hour they could consider themselves dis- 
charged. 1 

Wheaton and Belknap, in their famous circular of 
1888, charge the engineers with bad faith, but the 
charge is not sustained by the documents before me, 
or by living witnesses who were participants. Both 
factions charge bad faith which was probably true of a 
few men. This is always the case in such trials of 
character. It is said that " self preservation is the first 
law of nature, " and we find this principle actuating 
men in an inverse ratio to the character they possess 
— the less of character the more of preservation. It is 
not often that a bad man performs good deeds. 

The side tracks were blocked with cars ; the Chicago 
end of the line being tied up in consequence of the spread 
of the great Pennsylvania strike of that year. A 
switch having been thrown in front of a freight train 
running into a spur track, and the whole train going 
off the rails and upon the ground, the engineer, fire- 

1 Living witnesses. 



THE STRIKE OF 1877. 47 

man, conductor and brakeman were obliged to flee for 
their lives. Women, children and men, of all kinds 
and colors, swarmed in the yards, and threw stones 
and all sorts of missiles at the men. They had no in- 
terest in the railroad, but had taken the fever and were 
ready to commit any depredations against a railroad, 
even to kill its employes. 

The Burlington Company knew this could not last 
and that they must get their own troubles over in some 
manner, so that they would have men to do business with. 
The men at Creston, Iowa, had an understanding with 
W. P. Montgomery, the committeeman at Burlington, 
that no notices would be received by them unless the in- 
itials of his name were reversed to P. W. Montgomery. 
Mr. Potter, then superintendent of the Iowa lines, 
sent telegrams to Creston telling the men that all was 
settled, and signed Mr. Montgomery's name, but not 
knowing the understanding about the signature did 
not sign it right, and the men would not believe it was 
authentic. 

Some of the conductors started for Burlington with 
a hand car and the engineers demanded an engine and 
way car to go and see the committee themselves, 
which was finally given them. Such was the condi- 
tion of doubt and mistrust all along the line. July 27, 
the following letter was written, to wit: 

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy R. R. Co. 

Office Division Superintendent. 

Burlington, Iowa, July 27, 1877. 

I am authorized to say to you that if the engineers, 
firemen, and switchmen return to work without further 



48 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

delay, that they in common with other employes 
shall not be discharged for any participation in the 
present strike. And that any grievance, either set 
forth in writing, or by word of mouth, presented to 
the manager of the road, shall receive a respectful 
hearing, and action shall be taken in the matter with- 
in a reasonable time. 

C. E. Perkins, 

Vice-President. 

It is certain that not much respect was intended in 
this letter. It was evidently addressed to the com- 
mittee representing the Burlington employes, but no 
complimentary address is either at the beginning or 
end, and the conductors are not mentioned at all. 

Mr. Perkins is autocratic, and yielded this much be- 
cause of a necessity. But this did not cure the diffi- 
culty, although it might have had a tendency to in- 
duce them to accept the promise that was made in the 
name of Robert Harris, general manager, in a dis- 
patch received at Aurora, promising that if the men 
would go to work, as soon as the panic was over 
their pay should be adjusted satisfactorily, and 
signed — Robert Harris, general manager. The 
men having great confidence in Mr Harris, accepted 
his proposition in good faith, and sent the following 
dispatch to Galesburg : a 

Aurora, July 30, 77. 
Kimball & Porter, (Grievance committeemen.) 

The Engineers, firemen and trainmen of 

1 Living witnesses. 



THE STRIKE OF 1877. 49 

Chicago Division accept Mr. Harris's communica- 
tion of July 30, received at 4:27 p. m. 1 

A. S. Darling, Engineer, 
Jno. White, Conductor, 
Harry Calkins, Fireman, 
H. Dammer, Brakeman, 
F. Reed, Switchman. 

Another dispatch was sent from Burlington to J. C. 
Porter. 

" Committee from Ottumwa just arrived here. Did 
you receive our agreement of settlement last night? 
Everything settled and quiet at this point and men all 
at work." ! 

W. Green, Chairman. 

1 Disoatch as sent. 



CHAPTER XII. 

INCREASING IRREGULARITIES. 

Everything moved off again as though there had 
been no differences existing, all feeling that the promises 
would be fulfilled, but as time passed and business re- 
sumed its former briskness, doubt began to take the 
place of confidence, and the men began to inquire into 
the cause, and they were told by those who were in a 
position to know, that Mr. Harris did not make the 
promise, but that superintendent Strong did, using Mr. 
Harris's name ; and that Mr. Harris, on being informed 
of the action taken, said he never made any promises 
he did not fulfill, and that the adjustment must be 
made. 1 In consequence of this, Mr. Harris was noti- 
fied that his resignation would be accepted, and Mr. 
Harris resigned and went to St. Louis, Rock Island & 
Chicago road, and Mr. W. B. Strong was appointed 
in his place; Arthur A. Hobart in Mr. Strong's place. 2 
This ended the promise, and the classification established 
by the order of October 10, 1876 still stood. The 
official plans were laid and carried out without regard 
to personal obligations, and with utter disregard for 
truth, but in a direct line with all their dealing with 
their employes. 

Mr. Harris was out of the way, and a policy was in- 
augurated of getting rid of — in some manner — the 
presumed leaders of any movement for the better condi- 
tion of the employe. At this time, Mr. L. E. Johnson, 

1 Statement of living witnesses. 2 Firemens' Mag., Dec, 1876. 



INCREASING IRREGULARITIES. 5 1 

who, the reader will remember, was chairman of the 
grievance committee who waited on Mr. Harris in 
1873, was made foreman at Ottumwa in the early part 
of 1S78, and Mr. Chase was provided with a passen- 
ger train, and later was made foreman at Aurora; en- 
listing these two — who had been a thorn in their side 
as representatives of the Brotherhood — on the side of 
the company. 

Mr. Johnson was expelled for non-payment of dues, 1 
and Mr. Chase demanded a withdrawal card immedi- 
ately after serving on the committee of 1876, and of 
all the official force of the Burlington, no greater dem- 
agogues were found than these two who had turned 
their back on the Brotherhood, and having got a 
place, undertook to prove to the company their sin- 
cere conversion. 

After being deceived in 1877, no further united ef- 
fort was attempted until 1881, when Division 112, sit- 
uated at Creston, asked that a committee be appointed 
from each division and to try again to cure the evil condi- 
tions of pay, but they did not succeed, as only the main 
line proper had organizations, and some of them were 
disgusted at the result of the 1877 effort. The St. 
Louis Division, from Rock Island to St. Louis, 249 
miles, was not organized. L. E. Johnson was trans- 
ferred from Ottumwa as foreman, to Beardstown as 
master mechanic of this division, and under his man- 
agement the grievances were very numerous. It was 
his delight to lay the men off for the most trivial offen- 
ses, whether accidental or careless, and the men were 
paid as best suited the local officers, without any uni- 
form standard. 2 To illustrate: from Beardstown to 

1 Engineers' Journal. -Statement of employes, St. Louis Div. 



52 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

Monmouth, seventy-two miles, the engineer was paid 
$2.55. If it took seven hours or twenty-four hours, 
the pay was the same. They would start out on a 
through Monmouth run, and on arrival at Astoria coal 
mines, would be stopped and made to switch from three 
to five hours, without pay. 

In the fall of 1881, Johnson was transferred to Au- 
rora, and A. Forsyth was appointed to the place va- 
cated at Beardstown, but this did not improve matters. 
At this time, one W. K. Hollis was appointed round- 
house foreman at Beardstown. This man Hollis had 
been a member of Division No. 38, at Baltimore; had 
served on grievance committee for that division, and 
in that capacity made demands on the company con- 
trary to his instructions, and the officers found him out 
and discharged him. This action on his part broke 
up the division, which had some $200 in its treasurv, 
and owned its furniture, and Hollis was charged with 
making way with it, for which he was expelled. This 
man being put in an official position on this division, 
did not tend to allay the irritation the men felt, but 
rather had a tendency to increase it. Yet they had no 
means of redress until after the organization of Divis- 
ion 127, at Beardstown, in 1882. There was a few 
brotherhood men there, but, anticipating dismissal 
for any aggressive move thev might make, said noth- 
ing, until in July, 1882, when a committee was appoint- 
ed to wait on master mechanic Forsvth, in regard to 
their engines being taken to East St. Louis yard, as 
had been previously done by the hostler. It took from 
thirty minutes to one hour to do this work, and the 
men wanted this time for rest, but Mr. Forsvth would 



INCREASING IRREGULARITIES. 53 

not grant the request, and no further effort was made. 
In November, 1882, the following circular was issued: 

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R. R. 
Office of the General Superintendent. 

Chicago, Nov. 9, 1882. 
W. K. Hollis, who has been roundhouse foreman at 
East St. Louis, 111., has been discharged for dishonesty, 
viz: in selling a car of company coal and appropriating 
the proceeds to his own use, also in drawing another 
man's pay and appropriating it. 

H. B. Stone, Gen'l. Supt. 

We want the reader to keep this man Hollis in 
mind, because he is found good enough to be re-em- 
ploved under the direction of H. B. Stone. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE CONDITION OF TRAINMEN MADE WORSE. 

Evils existed all along the line of the Burlington, 
but the organization was too weak to resist. They 
were of such an irritating nature that the thoughts of 
the men were always in the direction of securing some 
means by which redress could be had, and at the 
convention held in Louisville, in October, all the repre- 
sentatives from the Burlington met and adopted plans 
tor the grievance committee of 1883, which committee 
met in Burlington, March 27, and elected Chas. Fish- 
er, of Creston, Iowa, chairman. This committee, met 
Mr. T. J. Potter, general manager, and H. B. Stone, 
the .general superintendent, who refused to grant any 
concessions, and the sitting culminated in hot words be- 
tween Mr. Potter and the committeeman from Divis- 
ion 107. Great complaint was made on account of 
overwork without pay. Mr. Potter gave the men no 
satisfaction on this point, but after they were gone he 
told the officers of the Kansas City, St. Joseph & 
Council Bluffs railroad, that if the men made any more 
fuss about delayed time they could allow it, but that 
under no circumstances were they to tell them he 
said so. This Mr. Potter acknowledged to the com- 
mittee of 1886, and these men worked up to that time 
without pay for such work. In this Mr. Potter ac- 
knowledged the justice of the claim, but capital never 
loosens its grip unless it comes in contact with some 



THE CONDITION OF TRAINMEN MADE WORSE. 55 

compelling power, and Mr. Potter knew the numerical 
strength of the committee's backing. The Grand 
Chief, P. M. Arthur, met with this committee, and ad- 
vised that they go home and get all the men together, 
and let them know the indifference manifested by the 
officials, put new energy into their efforts to increase 
their number, and when two-thirds of the men were 
members, the} 7 would try again. 

To head off this effort, George Calkins was ordered 
discharged in July, and on August 5, a committee was 
appointed (by Division 32, of Aurora, of which Mr. Cal- 
kins was a member) which was instructed to wait on 
Mr. L. E. Johnson (the same man who was chairman 
of the grievance committee of 1873, now master me- 
chanic at Aurora,) and ascertain the cause of Mr. Cal- 
kins discharge. Mr. Johnson said that Mr. Calkins 
was discharged for being too earnest a worker for the 
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. On Mr. Cal- 
kins being discharged, the chairman of the general 
grievance committee, Mr. Chas. Fisher, of Creston, 
addressed a letter to all divisions along the line, asking 
them to vote on the question of whether they would 
make an effort to reinstate Mr. Calkins. For this ac- 
tive part taken by Mr. Fisher, Mr. T.J. Potter ordered 
his discharge, and in the fore part of August, votes 
were taken to sustain these men; but the fear of dis- 
missal and the realization of a lack of power to carry 
all the men with them, (only about one-half being mem- 
bers) the case was never brought to an issue. The 
convention, in October, paid to each, three months 
salary, and Mr. Calkins was paid until he obtained an- 
other situation. Mr. Fisher has never been employed 



56 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

as engineer since. 

All this time the corporation screw was being tight- 
ened. Efforts were made at local points to correct lo- 
cal affairs, but always with the same results. Times 
were dull and every division officer was trying to make 
a better showing than his neighbour on another divis- 
ion. On the St. Louis division, Mr. Forsyth in 1884, 
concluded to do away with hostlers at Monmouth and 
make the engine men clean the fires and put away 
their own engines in the roundhouse without pay. 
The local committee waited on him, and as this, like 
most other evils, emanated from some local official, he 
was induced to leave the hostler. 

They then increased the number of cars so that the 
men would have to double on the hills. Not being able 
to pull all the cars they would have to take part of them 
and go to the next station and set them on the siding, 
and come back and get the other part and then couple 
up and go on. Perhaps they would have this to do 
several times during the trip, and without any addi- 
tional pay. This is dangerous work, as many accidents 
happen going down grade after these parts, and mam- 
men have been discharged in consequence. They 
tried to cure this, but were told that they only had the 
regular number of cars. The men knew that the 
number had been increased to get this work done for 
nothing, but they could not help themselves.. 

Every act of this kind tended to increase their pow- 
er, as the men found there was no redress except in 
organized effort. 

The men all lived at Beardstown and were run from 
there whenever they needed them. They would run 




S. E. WILKINSON. 

GKAND MASTER, B. R. B. 



IH1 IRY 

of m 

UNlV£BSiTY OF ILLINGIS 



THE CONDITION OF TRAINMEN MADE WORSE. 57 

then to Monmouth, and unless they had twenty-five 
cars for Beardstown, would stop them at Bushnell and 
and send them back to Monmouth. This run is fifty- 
six miles, for which they would get $2.10, then lose 
a day, then make another of this kind of a trip and 
lose another day. Some of these men were kept 
away from home for ten days, and finally one of them 
telegraphed for a pass to go home for a change of 
clothes and was refused and he quit." Who will de- 
fend such management as this ? The men appointed 
a committee and waited on the master mechanic, and 
the conditions were so outrageous that he agreed to 
-send them home after holding them three days at Mon- 
mouth. This would limit the time away from home 
to five days. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

PURSUING A SUPERINTENDENT. 

No further effort of note was made until Feb. i, 
1885, when Division 32, situated at Aurora, made a 
call for representatives from the various divisions loca- 
ted along the system to meet in Burlington on March 
3, 1885, which was responded to by J. C. Porter, of Au- 
rora, Div. 32;Heimerof Galesburg, 62; O'Brien of Keo- 
kuk, 56; Kirch of Creston, 112; and Fowler of Burling- 
ton, 151. Divisions 79, 98, 107, 127, 164, 271 and 290 
were not represented. They made a temporary or- 
ganization, with P. O'Brien as temporary chairman, 
and Wm. Fowler as temporary secretary. Commun- 
ications were read from nearly all the other points not 
represented in person. 

The men along the line had evidently not forgotten 
what befell their predecessors for serving on commit- 
tee, and one of the letters states, in the following lan- 
guage that "It is going to be a hard matter to send a 
man from here to organize or meet with a general 
grievance committee, for the man that goes from here 
will be discharged, if found out. You may think 
this strange, but if any engineer lays off he must get a 
permit from the master mechanic if he wants to leave 
town. I write this to show you how we are fixed 
since the last time the committee met in Burlington, 
but we will get there in some shape." 1 

Realizing the situation, judging from the precedent 

1 Letter from Div. 107 to chairman Grand Grievance Committee. 



PURSUING A SUPERINTENDENT. 59 

of 1883, they arrived at the natural conclusion that very 
little could be done without a concert of action on the 
part of all interested, and they concluded to refer the 
whole matter to the delegates to the convention to be 
held at New Orleans in October. Accordincdv, the 
temporary chairman, Mr. O'Brien, of Keokuk, reported 
this meeting, with all the correspondence, to the con- 
vention at New Orleans, and this action resulted in a 
call, at that convention, for a meeting of the delegates 
of the C, B. & Q. R. R. which was held in room 282, 
of the St. Charles hotel, Oct. 24, 1885, and resulted in 
the formation of the committee of 1886, with J. C. 
Porter, of Aurora, as chairman, and L. E. Hinckley, of 
Galesburg, as secretarv. 

On Jan. 25, 1887, a call was made by the chairman for 
the committee to convene at Burlington on the 22nd day 
of February, 1886, for the transaction of such business 
as might properly come before it . On the assembling 
of the committee, it was found that nearly all had ex- 
tensive reports of local affairs, consisting of delayed 
time, which they were obliged to perform without re- 
remuneration, men laid off without cause, others dis- 
charged, and many otherwise annoyed, none of which 
they had been unable to correct with their local offi- 
cers. There were volumes of this, especially from 
the representatives of the Burlington & Missouri, but 
it was decided that they did not properly come before 
this committee, and it was advised to try and secure 
some rules, and have them signed by the general man- 
ager or president, that would take the power out of 
the hands of the local officers to manipulate conditions 
to suit their own fancy. 



60 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

The men contended for the principles enunciated in 
a circular issued in 1888 to the officers of the Pennsyl- 
vania R. R. Company which says: "The employes 
of the Pennsylvania lines are compensated sufficiently 
to make them self-respecting and reliable, and -are dis- 
ciplined to the highest standard. A powerful preven- 
tive of discord is that men filling the highest offices 
are expected to consider themselves employes as well 
as the humblest subordinates, are instructed to follow 
their orders to the letter, and pay due respect to their 
superiors; and at the same time superior officers are 
required to be considerate and just in intercourse with 
subordinates." ' Unfortunately both for the financial in- 
terest, as well as for the employes, of the Burlington, 
there were no rules that required the officers to be 
considerate and just. But an appointment to office, in 
the mind of the appointee, carried with it unlimited in- 
dividual rights, to have and to do as seemed best 
suited to the individual interests and disposition of the 
individual so appointed. 

Those who have not given this subject thought, lit- 
tle realize the contentions that emanate from the un- 
limited exercise of personal prerogative, through the 
999 grades of necessary officials of a great railroad 
corporation. A section foreman as an officer in com- 
mand of his squad, hires and discharges men. He can 
be as autocratic as a king, and there is no redress, 
except to leave the service, or to appeal to higher 
authority. 

A foreman of a roundhouse may suspend engineers 
and firemen. He may take away any rights earned 
bv years in the service and give to another. He is gen- 

1 Railway Service Gazette. 



PURSUING A SUPERINTENDENT. 6 1 

erally governed by his likes and dislikes, regardless of 
the good of the service, and an appeal to a higher 
authority becomes necessary. 

A division master mechanic may discharge, suspend, 
or assess for damage, for any infraction of rules, and 
be governed, not by principle, but by personality or 
by a grudge ; not as a direct beneficiary, but to decrease 
the expense of his division; to make a more favorable 
showing than other master mechanics of the same 
system, in order to make sure his own place or a bet- 
ter one. 

Train masters and superintendents scattered along 
the 6000 miles of the Burlington, each trying to outdo 
the other in cheapening transportation, lessening the 
cost of material by assessing the employ for damages 
to rolling stock, or for stock killed; increasing the 
number of cars in the train until they cannot be hand- 
led by the men without doubling the hills, necessita- 
ting additional work and danger without additional pay. 
The list of encroachments and unwarranted exactions 
might be strung out almost indefinitely, but so long as 
they increased the dividends they were always sanc- 
tioned by the management; and they invariably re- 
fused to cure them unless confronted with some com- 
bined effort. 

"The acquiring of gain by means of enforced levies 
upon the meager earnings of employes, for petty in- 
fractions of arbitrary rules, will hardly be accepted as 
a legitimate feature of any business. And the taking 
of the small sums from the many who have little, in 
order to inspire in them greater zeal in the service of 
their despoilers, may enforce discipline, but cannot pro- 



62 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

mote concord nor content. Attention is drawn to this 
practice in order to indicate one of the methods by 
which discontent and resentment may readily be en- 
gendered among a large number of employes. 

They see their extremities taken advantage of, and 
submit to it because their necessities do not permit 
them the luxury of revolt, but they can hardly be ex- 
pected to like it, or to congratulate themselves upon a 
commercial prosperity reared, in a measure, upon their 
own adversities." ' 

The committee composed of J. C. Porter, of Aurora, 
111., chairman; L. E. Hinckley, of Galesburg, 111., sec- 
retary: John A. Beaureisen, of Aurora, 111.; Charles 
Dean, of the C. & I., Aurora, 111. ; John Cuvkendall, of 
Burlington, Iowa; John Stockdale, of Creston, Iowa: 
H. M. Martin, of Keokuk, Iowa: Phil. Seidenstriker, 
of Plattsmouth, Neb.; George Wheatly, of Beards- 
town, 111.; C. H. Salmons; of Brookfield, Mo.: Charles 
Thomas, of St. Joseph, Mo.; O. W. Hutchinson, of 
Wymore, Neb.; S. E. Hoge, of McCook, Neb.; and 
W. T. Odell, of Chicago, 111. As this committee was 
general in its nature, their efforts were directed to- 
wards formulating rules that would apply to the 
whole system. They had provided themselves with 
the schedules and fixed conditions of all the roads 
centering at Chicago, and from them was made — -de- 
voting a whole week of earnest deliberation to the sub- 
ject, voting upon each proposition — the schedule as 
presented to the general manager. The committee ad- 
journed on Saturday to meet in Chicago on Mondav, 
March i, at 10:30 a. m., at the Grand Pacific Hotel. 
A dispatch was sent to Mr. H. B. Stone, then general 

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, 111., 1886, pg. 15. 



PURSUING A SUPERINTENDENT. 63 

superintendent, requesting an appointment, and the 
communication was answered by the chief clerk, stat- 
ing that Mr. Stone was out of town, and he was re- 
quested to forward the dispatch and obtain an answer 
if possible. An answer was received Tuesday morn- 
ing, appointing 3:00 p. m., March 3, for the confer- 
ence. The committee was admitted at the appointed 
time, and a two hour's sitting was had, in which Mr. 
Stone said he could not consider the Hannibal & St. 
Joseph; the Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs; 
or the Burlington & Missouri, and wanted the commit- 
tee to cut these lines out of the consideration, which 
they properly refused to do. The conditions most com- 
plained of were placed on these lines by the Burling- 
ton's authority, but Mr. Stone denied having the power 
to take them away. The committee then retired to 
their quarters at the Grand Pacific Hotel and sent a 
request to General Manager T. J. Potter, stating that 
they had had an audience with Mr. Stone, and that he 
had declared the leased lines out of his jurisdiction, 
and asked an audience with him at his earliest conven- 
ience. As soon as the committee made its appearance 
at headquarters, Mr. Potter arranged to leave the 
city, Mr. Stone stating that he would probably be away 
for a fortnight. 

This the committee took for a part of an understand- 
ing between the two to discourage them. But they were 
not in a temper to be discouraged. Mr. Potter went 
to St. Louis and started from there on a tour of in- 
spection of the whole line of the Burlington, for the evi- 
dent purpose of evading a meeting with this commit- 
tee, and to find out the numerical strength of the men 



64 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

represented by this committee. The telegram from 
the committee to Mr. Potter was handed to him on 
his way from St. Louis to Burlington. He answered, 
saying he was on his way to Colorado, on a business 
trip, and that it would not be convenient to meet them. 
Mr. Potter was then asked to delay his departure for 
one day, that there were fourteen of the committee and 
they had come to see the officers. Mr. Potter answered 
on the morning of March 5, stating that business en- 
gagments would make it necessary for him to go to 
Colorado, and he would appoint March 20, for a meet- 
ing in Chicago, and asked the committee to see Super- 
intendent Stone and he would furnish transportation to 
their respective homes and return on the above date. 
But this committee had not forgotten the fate of the 
committee of 1883, ' and did not propose to go home 
and have part, or the whole of the committee, dis- 
charged to break it up, as was then done, and Mr. 
Potter was answered that the committee had come to stav 
until its business was transacted, and they would await 
his return. This brought another telegram from Mr. 
Potter, saying that business of great importance and of 
previous engagements would prevent his meeting 
them until the day appointed. The committee saw 
behind this a ruse to keep out of the way, and it was 
learned that he was in Burlington long enough to 
have complied with the request, if he so desired. The 
action of the general manager made it necessary for 
the committee to remain in Chicago fifteen days. 

On Sunday, March 7, the local officers were 
congregated in Burlington discussing the situation and 
preparing an answer to the conductor's committee, 

1 Grievance Committee. 



PURSUING A SUPERINTENDENT. 65 

who had been asking an increase of pay, and the com- 
mittee was informed that the officers decided to make 
a reduction of the engineer's pay, and add it to that 
of the conductor's, but Mr. Potter was reported as 
saying, "We will have to advance wages ioper cent." 
On March 10, one of the committee was in Aurora 
and on his return reported that the officials were con- 
gregating at Aurora, and it was evident that the com- 
mittee of fourteen had to contend with the combined 
official talent of the Burlington system. On the 6th a 
letter was sent the Grand Chief Engineer of the 
Brotherhood of Engineers, P. M. Arthur, which was 
answered on the 8th, saying to the committee: 
"Have the men vote on the whole system, whether 
they will sustain you in whatever action you deem 
advisable. Avoid all outside discussion of your griev- 
ances. Keep your own council, and when you have 
exhausted all your efforts, and want my services, wire 
me and I will come at once." ' P. M. Arthur, Grand 
Chief Engineer. 

The grievance committee, in their preparation to 
meet the Burlington officers, appointed sub-commit- 
tees and sent them to each railroad centering in Chi- 
cago, to obtain a schedule of wages paid on road and 
in yard service, for comparison with the Burlington. 
The methods of the committee were so quiet that the 
reporters did not know they were in Chicago until 
about ten days after their arrival. Correspondence was 
kept up with the Grand Chief Engineer, and he 
advised in nis letter bearing date Cleveland, March 
12, 1886. "Your very interesting letter received and 
read with care. The time appointed to meet Mr. 

i MS. of P. M. Arthur. 



66 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

Potter is rapidly approaching, and the best advice I 
can give at this stage of the proceedings is to meet 
him in a spirit of fairness. If he does the same you 
will effect a settlement honorable to both sides. If he 
is stubborn and will not make any concessions, go at 
once to the president. If he refuses to do anything, 
send for me, and I will see what I can do. If you can- 
not obtain all you ask for in the schedule drawn up, 
then compromise on something near it. It is far better 
to do that than to resort to coercion. I have sufficient 
confidence in your committee, that they will do what is 
fair and just between the company and the men. Let 
us hope for the best, and rely upon our manhood and 
providence for our success. I have declined to go to 
Corsicana, Texas, until your case is settled. With 
kind regards to all, I remain, 

Yours Fraternally, 

P. M. Arthur, G. C. E." 

General Manager Potter went over the whole sys- 
tem to Denver, and on the way questioned the local 
officials as to the numerical strength of the brother- 
hoods, and their sentiment, and upon his arrival in 
Chicago, on March 19, knew what he had to contend 
with. But he was as well prepared as one could be, 
for defense of his side of the question. 

1 MS. of P. M. Arthur. 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE COUNCIL OF WAR. 

At the appointed time, March 20, the committee were 
invited to Mr. Potter's office, and after the usual intro- 
ductions and recognitions of old acquaintances, we 
entered upon the subject of the meeting. Mr. Potter, 
like Mr. Stone, took the ground of supply and demand, 
and asked why they did not go to some other railroad 
if the pay was not satisfactory. 1 The principle of sup- 
ply and demand in an open market is deemed a com- 
mercial balance. But labor employed by a large cor- 
poration is subject to the will of the money power, the 
same as the poor are affected by a corner on wheat. 
The scope of the control is such that there is virtually 
but one market, and if labor withdraws from the ser- 
vice of a railroad corporation six thousand miles long, 
it must go perhaps hundreds of miles to find a new 
market. 

Section men's pay is reduced to 95 cents per day by 
the order of a general manager of the Burlington, 
when common labor is worth $1.25 on the market. 
The section man having no power of redress, and be- 
ing ignorant of other business, has no alternative but 
to submit. The Jute Trust increased the price of 
manufactured jute 50 per cent, while the labor which 
produced it was at the pauper point, and received no 
benefit from the advance. The consumer looked for 
another market but found nothing but Jute trust Jute. 

1 Minutes of General Grievance Committee. 



68 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

and resorted to substitutes, and state legislatures. 
But where is labor's substitute, or legislative in- 
fluence ? It has neither, and must submit to the inev- 
itable result of combined capital. 

Mr Potter was manager of the Burlington system, 
and all its leased lines, yet he, as Mr. Stone had 
done, denied having authority to fix the pay and change 
the conditions complained of. But he would make things 
pleasant east of the Mississippi if the committee would 
drop the Burlington & Missouri and the other leased 
lines, which the committee again refused to do. Mr. 
Potter was asked if there was any official higher than 
he was that could settle with the whole system, 1 and he 
answered that he had as much authority as any one. 
He denied the right of the Chicago & Iowa railroad 
to be represented, but he was obliged to acknowledge 
that he was vice-president of that road. He argued 
that it was not fair of the men to ask a uniform pay, 
as the conditions and expense of living varied; that, 
for example, a man ought to have better pay in Ne- 
braska and Colorado than in Illinois, because it costs 
more to live there. Mr. Hoge, of McCook, asked 
why the company refused to pay as much in Nebraska 
as they do in Illinois, and Mr. Potter had to acknowl- 
edge a strong point made against him. He was not 
practicing what he preached. The committee had the 
schedule with them which they had consumed so much 
time in preparing, but they thought best not to pre- 
sent it unless Mr. Potter would consent to treat with 
all concerned. Mr. Potter asked if the plan of sched- 
ule which we had made out, contemplated the abolition 
of classification, and he was aswered by the chairman, 

1 Minutes of General Grievance Committee. 



THE COUNCIL OF WAR. 69 

Mr. Porter, that it did. Mr. Potter called it apprentice 

pay- 
it will be remembered that the committee of 1876 

asked that apprentice pay be restored, and classifica- 
tion done away with. Apprenticeship, as practiced 
by all trades, has in it the principle of equity, the con- 
ditions being fixed by common consent, while classifi- 
cation represents the power to fix conditions without 
regard to equity. 1 The committee told Mr. Potter of 
many of the evils of classification and its abuses by lo- 
cal officers, and Mr. Potter said : " Officers, a good 
many times, make mistakes and do things they had not 
ought to do." Yet he could not make that change, 
and said: "Fancy pay is the cause of so many roads 
going into the hands of a receiver." The Burlington 
company had been selling rebate tickets, from Kansas 
City to Chicago, which, after the rebate was paid, left 
the company 50 cents each. The committee asked 
Mr. Potter whether this did not conduce to more re- 
ceivers than any kind of pay. 2 Mr. Potter said: " Offi- 
cials get mad as well as any body, and do foolish things, 
which to us, is only a strike of one capital against an- 
other. They do not think that they get their propor- 
tion of the pool." Where then, was Mr. Potter's prin- 
ciple of supply and demand ? The meeting closed at 
noon to convene at 2 :30 p. m. Mr. Potter said he did 
not think he could consider classification on the leased 
lines, and closed by asking : " Now your demands are, 
an equalization of pay, and doing away with classifica- 
tion." 

1 Order of Oct. 10, 1876. - Quotation of a member of Committee. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

SKIRMISHING FOR POSITION. 

Promptly at 2:30 p. m., all parties being present, the 
discussion was continued, Mr. Potter taking positive 
ground upon the two points of his last* question at the 
adjournment of the previous meetings — equalization of 
pay, and classification. He did not try to defend the 
justice of the position, but knew the financial advan- 
tages and considered them of great importance. The 
committee contended for the justice of their position 
with pertinacity, and knowing all the evils of the law 
and the abuses by the local officers in its application, 
had Mr. Potter in deep water as far as argument went. 1 
He asked whether the committee had come with a 
positive ultimatum. The chairman answered : " We 
onlv ask justice, and where injustice can be shown in 
our proposition, concessions will be readily made." 

After a silence of considerable length Mr. Potter 
asked if the committee expected to have uniform pay 
if the Company abandons classification, and he was 
answered, "Yes." Mr. Potter said, " I only asked the 
question to see how far apart we are." He contended 
that the financial condition of the Company would not 
admit of such changes, and consequent increase in ex- 
penses. One of the Committee produced the annual 
financial statement of the Company, showing they had 
collected "$26,172,819.54, and had a net income 
over operating expenses of $1 2,845,786.43." 2 Mr. 

1 See chapter on classification. - Railroad and Warehouse Commissioners, 111. 



SKIRMISHING FOR POSITION. 7 1 

Potter knew that the Burlington was one of the best 
dividend-paying roads in the country. 

The Committee had been away from their homes 
thirty days, and were anxious to come to some kind of 
an understanding. They had discussed the matter and 
concluded to divide the difference on classification; 
the men to give one year and the company one year, 
the one year based on second year pay. Mr. Potter 
was not inclined to compromise. The pay of the fire- 
men was discussed, and Mr. Potter asked what they 
wanted. The Committee told him, 55 per cent of the 
engineer's pay, and only one year of apprentice pay. 
Mr. Potter finally concluded to take the whole matter 
home and deliberate on its merits. The schedule had 
not been given to him because he had positively re- 
fused to consider the Burlington & Missouri, and other 
leased lines. But his expressed willingness to take up 
the whole subject was what the committee wanted, and 
he was then presented with the schedule. When this 
was given him he observed that he had expected the 
papers to be presented before, but he concluded he 
would not ask for them. He then proposed they ad- 
journ until 10:30 a. m. Sunday, which was agreed to. 

At the appointed time, Mr. Potter opened the dis- 
cussion by saying that he did not want to abolish clas- 
sification, or establish a uniform rate of pay, and he 
made this proposition: To call all the local officers in 
and go over the grounds of complaint. To which the 
chairman of the committee replied : " That might 
benefit a few, but would give us no rules to control 
the future. Local officers could change the conditions 
again to suit themselves, and we should be left just 



72 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

where we started." Mr. Potter said: "You are the 
judge on one side, and I am the judge on the other. I 
cannot concede the two main points, as it is against 
my principles, which are based on the laws of supply 
and demand." 

The Committee having conceded all that was con- 
sistent with their instruction from the men they repre- 
sented, told Mr. Potter thev would have to send for 
their Grand Chief Engineer, P. M. Arthur, the chair- 
man stating that though Mr. Potter conceded one year 
of classification, we are no nearer a settlement. Your 
whole line is closed against employment for engineers, 
in consequence of this law. 1 It was evident Mr. Pot- 
ter did not want a strike on his hands — he had too much 
business sagacity for that — yet he did not propose to 
give anything he was not compelled to give to prevent 
it. He said he did not like the idea of signing any 
agreement; " That is too much like giving the road over 
to the men to run." He objected to having Mr. 
Arthur, but finally consented to meet him. Then the 
committee retired and sent for Mr. Arthur, and he 
arrived on Monday morning. 

1 Minutes of General Grievance Committee. 




A. R. CAVNER, S. G. A. E. 

CHAIRMAN COMMITTEE OF NINE. 



THfc i 
OF THE 
UNIVERSITY QF ILLINOIS 



CHAPTER XVII. 

THE TREATY OF PEACE OF l886. 

After meeting with the committee and advising 
moderation, Mr. Arthur and the chairman went to 
Mr. Potter's office, to arrange for a meeting, which 
was appointed for 2 =30 p. m. On the arrival of the 
committee at the Burlington offices, Mr. Arthur and 
the chairman again went into Mr. Potter's office. 
Whether Mr. Potter had changed his mind, or had 
adopted a new role was not known, but he had conclud- 
ed not to see the committee, saying it would do no 
good. However, he finally consented when the sched- 
ule was presented by Mr. Arthur, with the classification 
left out by the advice of the Grand Chief Engineer. 
This left only a uniform schedule of pay, and laws to 
govern subordinate officers. Still, with all the conces- 
sions that had been made by the committee, they 
seemed no nearer a settlement than at the first meet- 
ing. Mr. Potter said he would not adopt a uniform 
schedule, when Mr. Arthur said : " As you will do 
nothing, it is left with the men to say what thev will 
do. As grand chief, I cannot make them strike, but 
when my consent is given, it carries with it the consent 
of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers of the 
whole United States, Canada and Mexico." Mr. Pot- 
ter said: " Then they will strike if you give vour con- 
sent?" Mr. Arthur answered: '-Mr. Potter, you 
have had your own way so long, you think you must 
6 



74 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

have it always. Now I will sanction a strike, and if 
you can hire men to run your engines you can do so, 
but the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers can pay 
as much to hire them not to run them." Mr. Potter 
evidently did not like this picture, and said he would 
submit a proposition, but he would want ten days. 
Mr. Arthur asked each one of the committee if he 
would grant the time, and each answered "No." It 
was evident to the committee that negotiations had 
come to an end, and all, including Mr. Potter, arose, 
taking their hats, when Mr. Potter said : " I have talked 
with the stockholders, and they say we cannot accept 
your schedule, because it would allow labor to dictate 
to capital." Then said Mr. Arthur, "I will give you 
forty-eight hours to make a proposition to us, and if 
reasonable we will accept it. That "will give you a 
ladder on which you can come down from your auto- 
cratic position." Mr . Potter said he could not do it 
in that time. He would have to call in all the officers, 
as he did not know enough about each run to make a 
schedule himself. Mr. Arthur said: " If you had any 
proposition to make you could have made it long ago. 
You have kept these men waiting around here for 
twenty days, without any good reason, but to be fair 
with you we will give you until Friday." Mr. Potter 
said he could be ready on Thursday, at 2 :30 p. m. He 
had made his point of not accepting any proposed 
change as dictated by labor, but to prevent finan- 
cial disasters, which he knew would be the inevit- 
able result of a strike, he had allowed, his autocratic 
position to become badly undermined and had consent- 
ed to have changes made in both rules and pay, and 



THE TREATY OF PEACE OF 1 886. 75 

had signed them. Immediately after the close of this 
meeting, orders were sent in every direction for the 
superintendents and the master mechanics of all divis- 
ions, to come to Chicago for this conference. On their 
arrival, Mr. Potter set them at work, fixing up a prop- 
osition to present to the committee of engineers. 

At the appointed time, on Thursday, March 25, the 
committee was notified that Mr. Potter was ready to 
see them. The committeemen again wended their 
way to the manager's office, with patience and a strong- 
determination to follow the usual conservative course 
of the Brotherhood. Yet they were resolved, if pos- 
sible, to secure some kind of an agreement signed bv 
the general manager, as it would carry with it a recog- 
nition of the right of the laborer to be a voluntary party 
to any contract for work. Such an agreement would 
also be an official recognition of the Brotherhood. 

On arriving at the Burlington offices, the committee 
was invited into Mr. Potter's private office on the 
ground floor, and presented with the result of the lo- 
cal official deliberation. It had nothing in it to com- 
mend itself to the committee, and it was promptly re- 
jected by them. In Mr. Potter's trip over the system, 
he found that 95 per cent of the enginemen belonged 
to the two Orders, and he was anxious to prevent an 
issue with them. In pursuit of this policy, he asked if 
they would meet the local officers of their respective 
divisions, and take up each run and condition and see 
if they could not arrive at some conclusion. Mr. Pot- 
ter said he was astonished at the lack of ability of 
some of his local officers, and was satisfied they could 
not make a schedule. The committee consented to 



76 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

this and adjourned to meet them the next morning-. 
On Friday, March 26, the committee took the ele- 
vator at the Burlington headquarters and landed at 
the room which had been previously used as a meeting 
room, and met their respective officials. After the 
usual recognitions they proceeded to business. There 
were two officers to each grievance committee- 
man, and they divided off in squads of three, and 
took up the home work. They went over each run, 
and increased the pay very materially on many of the 
runs for both engineers and firemen, discussing delays 
and other evil conditions. The consent of the local offi- 
cials was given very reluctantly to these changes, and 
they should not, by any means, be credited to their 
liberality. Mr. Potter knew it was concessions or a 
strike, and the officials were brought in for the purpose 
of making them. The chief men delegated to their in- 
feriors the work of making the changes, but reserved 
the credit of being magnanimous. The committee 
work not being done at noon, the meeting adjourned 
until 2 :30 p. m., when time would suffice for all the 
runs to be considered. The rules were taken up and 
an agreement was finally reached. The meeting ad- 
journed until Saturday at 11 o'clock, to receive the sched- 
ules and rules which were being prepared by the Comp- 
any, and which would then be signed by its officers. 
We append here a note from Mr. Potter, accompany- 
ing the revised rules, to which were added signatures 
of the highest authority. The committeemen who 
had been away from their homes over forty days, made 
their preparations to return with pleasant anticipations. 



THE TREATY OF PEACE OF 1 886. 77 

Chicago, March 25th, 1886. 

J. C. Porter, Esq., 

Chairman Committee of Engineers, 

Chicago. 
Dear Sir: 

I hand you herewith changes in rate sched- 
ule and rules governing the pay of engineers and fire- 
men, on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; Burling- 
ton & Missouri, in Neb.; Hannibal & St. Joseph; Kan- 
sas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs; Chicago &Iowa; 
St. Louis, Kansas & North-West; and Council Bluffs 
& Kansas City roads. 

The officers of these roads have gone over the rates 
of pay, and recommend that these changes be made, 
and I approve of their recommendation. 

Yours Truly, 

(Signed,) T. J. Potter. 

CHANGE IN RATE SCHEDULE AND RULES GOVERNING THE 

PAY OF ENGINEERS AND FIREMEN, TAKING 

EFFECT APRIL I, 1 886. 

ARTICLE I. 

No engineer will be dismissed or suspended from 
the service of this Company without just cause. 

Every engineer will be entitled to a full and impar- 
tial hearing and investigation by the Superintendent 
and Master Mechanic. 

It is understood that in ordinary cases superinten- 
dents and master mechanics will not suspend engineers 
until such cases have had full investigation. 



*8 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

ARTICLE II. 

En o-ineers delayed two (2) hou* or over, in start- 
ing from or arriving at terminals, will be paid at work 
train rates per hour, for the full delay less one hour. 

The same rule will apply in case engineers have 
been called, and afterward, on account of wreck, are 
notified they are not wanted. 

When delays of over two (2) hours occur at any 
one point during a trip, on account of no orders to go 
on, engineers will be paid at work train rates per 
hour for the full delay, less one hour: but if the delay 

^ccasioned bv a wreck, washout, or other physical 
cause, then engineers will be paid at one-half T . 
work train rates per hour for the full delay, less one 
hour. 

ARTICLE III. 

Should engineers be obliged to double hills on ac- 
count of having more than established rates, they will 
receive pav for one hour's time, at work train rates. 

article rv. 

If one or more engines are coupled in with snow 
plow engines for bucking snow, the engineer of each 
engine will be paid at one and one-half work train 
rates : but in no case will the amount paid be less than 
regular freight rates for the distance run. 

In case an engineer called to buck snow is held un- 
der orders, such engineer will receive pay at work 
train rates for all time he is so held. 

article v. 
Engineers will be called a reasonable time before 



THE TREATY OF PEACE OF 1 866. 79 

leavincr time. The caller will have a book in which 
engineers must register their names and hour when 
called. 

ARTICLE VI. 

Right to regular runs when merit and ability are 
equal will be governed by seniority. Engineers hav- 
ing had regular runs prior to the date of this circular 
will not be affected by this article. 

ARTICLE VII. 

No more extra engineers will be assigned than is 
necessarv to move the traffic with promptness and dis- 
patch, and should any engineer feel himself aggrieved 
bv the assignment of extra engineers he can proceed 
as in Article i, but will receive no pay for loss of time. 

article vni. 
Engineers dead-heading on Company business, will 
be paid at the same rate as on passenger runs. 

ARTICLE IX. 

Xo fines will be assessed against engineers. 

ARTICLE X. 

Fireman's pay will be adjusted in proportion to the 
engineers. 

ARTICLE XL 

All officers will be provided with copies of this cir- 
cular, which will be kept posted in the several engine 
houses. 

Henry B. Stone. G. W. Rhodes. 

General Manager. Supt. Motive Power. 

J. D. Besler. 

General Superintendent. 



8o THE BURLINGTONSTRIKE. 

When the committee went from Burlington to Chi- 
cago, they paid their fare and took receipts from the 
conductor. Mr. Potter, of his own motion, paid the 
money back on presentation of the receipts and gave 
the men passes home. He then told the members of 
the committee that they had exceeded their leave of 
absence and that they should not repeat this. The 
company wanted to know where their men were, and 
when they wanted to come again they must notifv 
their respective officers where they were going. Mr. 
Potter was asked to make some provisions, whereby 
the men could help railroad men over the road, who 
were out of work ; men whom they knew to belong to 
either of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, or 
Locomotive Firemen, but he said he could not do that 
until he had consulted with the general managers, Hol- 
dridge, of the Burlington & Missouri; and Merrill, of the 
Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs railroad. 
All parties separated pleasantly, and the men thought 
they had accomplished very much, in getting what they 
supposed were rules under which the local officers 
would be governed. How 7 much we were disap- 
pointed will be seen in the following chapters. 

Securing recognition of the Brotherhood from the 
Burlington system, which always refused to recog- 
nize its labor as having any rights not voluntarily 
granted by the Burlington officials, was considered a 
victory. The Grand Chief, P. M. Arthur, in acknow r - 
ledging the receipt of a group picture of the griev- 
ance committee, wrote: "I prize the picture highly, 
and 1 will preserve it as a memento of one of the 



THE TREATY OF PEACE OF l886. 8l 

greatest victories achieved by the Brotherhood. Please 
accept niv heartfelt thanks." 

(Signed,) P. M. Arthur, G. C. E. 

The men all felt that to secure written laws, to in- 
sure just treatment — the first of its kind in existence 
on the Burlington — was a victory for just principles. 
" Unfortunately, injustice will always prevail this side 
of heaven, and it is the part of wise men to reduce 
that to the smallest amount possible, and the surest 
rule for its rapid diminution is, that each man should 
himself act justly toward all others. The unjust act 
of a corporation is made up of unjust acts of the mem- 
bers, or directors, or managers of that corporation, 
and it is absurd for any man to feel that he can use 
corporate power unjustly, and shirk off from the re- 
sponsibility of such a sin." ' Yet this is done with per- 
fect impunity; and officers are kept by corporations, 
who are known as aggressive violators of all laws not 
in the interest of the corporation they represent, and 
the Burlington was no exception. 

" Elliott F. Shepard. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE NEW TREATY A ROPE OF SAND. 

The members of the committee returned to their 
respective divisions and met with the local officers, 
anxious to know whether the new laws were under- 
stood and how they were liked. The men were satis- 
fied and everything moved off pleasantly. The offi- 
cials however, smarting under the restraint of the new 
rules, and no doubt remembering the undignified position 
they had been placed in at the Chicago meeting, com- 
menced immediatelv devising means of evading the 
rules and construing them to the greatest disadvantage 
of the men. Before the month of April was out 
letters began to come to the chairman, Mr. Porter, 
entering complaints of the violation of article n. Mr. 
Wheatly, of Beardstown, wrote April 30, that "mas- 
ter mechanic Forsvth said if we arrive two hours or 
more late we get nothing for it, and that the men have 
to be held two hours or over after arrival in yard be- 
fore we get anvthing for it." ' Article 11 was under- 
stood to mean two hours over schedule time by both 
the committee and most of the officers. They thor- 
oughly discussed this item and the two clauses, viz: 
Two hours before starting, and the two hours or 
more waiting. This was contended for by the commit- 
tee to prevent loss of time by unnecessary delay. At 
Council Bluffs, the engineer was obliged to take his 
train from two to three hours before leaving time, and 

' Letter of G. W. Wheatly. 



THE NEW TREATY — A ROPE OF SAM). 83 

go to the union depot, a mile away, and wait there un- 
til leaving time, without pay. Other roads have a man 
to do that work, and the men wanted pay for it, or 
have some one else do the work. There was another 
reason for the needless loss of time; it was branch runs 
that went part way on the main line and then on the branch 
road, and the trains would often be held two or three 
hours waiting for orders, at the junction point; and 
they wished to effect a cure, as this delay was unneces- 
sary. The following letter from McCook will show 
what the men had to do for nothing before the adop- 
tion of this rule : " We wait in Denver, for Denver 
and Rio Grande trains, from one to eight hours. We 
have to take the train to the depot ready to leave on 
time. Now we put in the full delay, and the time- 
keeper deducts one hour. I waited six hours and for- 
ty-five minutes for No. 2, put in claim for seven, and got 
allowed six hours. There has been no complaint here 
and all seem satisfied. 

S. E. Hoge, of the committee. 

The officers of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad 
so understood it, and on completing the arrangements, 
the time of an extra train was limited to the average 
of all freight trains on the division, and the engine crew 
was entitled to pay for all time over that schedule, less 
one hour, which was always given the company. But 
the Hannibal & St. Joseph and the McCook officials 
were exceptions, and if all had been like them, it is 
reasonable to suppose that the strike of 1888 would 
not have occured. 

It will be remembered that the committee made a 



84 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

request upon Vice-President Potter to arrange some 
plan whereby the men could render assistance to 
engineers out of work, by getting them passed over 
the road, and in answer to this request the following 
letter was received: 

Chicago, May 10, 1886. 
J. C. Porter, Esq., Engineer, 

Aurora, 111., 

Dear Sir: 

I have taken considerable pains to talk with 
our managers and superintendent, and also the mana- 
gers of the Rock Island, North-Western, and Alton 
roads, with reference to passing engineers, and it is the 
unanimous opinion that we cannot adopt any whole- 
sale plan for passing one class of our employes unless 
we do the same for the others. What we aim to do is 
to treat everybody as near alike, and as fair as we pos- 
sibly can. My notion is, while I do not say that it will 
be carried out, if an engineer in good standing makes 
a request on his superintendent for passes for a brother 
engineer, the chances are that they will be granted. 

I am sorry to have delayed answering the committee 
so long, but I have been busy and have just been able 
to get reply from the Chicago & Alton, dated the 8th 
inst. Yours Truly, 

(Signed,) T. J. Potter. 

The hint contained in this letter was not complied 
with to any extent, and finally was denied altogether, 
and tfiey would not grant a pass unless it was request- 
ed by a superintendent, under whom the beneficiary 



THE NEW TREATY A ROPE OF SAND. 85 

worked : so that an engineer out of work could not be 
passed. These courtesies between engineers are shown 
on nearly all roads, and the Burlington men on many 
divisions, were soon retaliated upon and badlv scored 
by engineers employed on other roads, for this lack of 
courtesy ; they were glad, when away from home, to 
be courteously carried themselves, but could not return 
the compliment. It was not permitted. 

The officials, in order to understand how each one 
was doing in relation to this matter, held a meeting at 
Burlington. The superintendent of one of the divis- 
ions told me ' that at one of these meetings all the offi- 
cials said they were giving no passes for this purpose. 
But he ' did give some, and gave me one at that time, 
but very reluctantly. Another object of the meeting 
was to discuss the best means of defeating the intent 
and purpose of the recently enacted rules, and thev 
succeeded remarkably, both in that, and in creating a 
deep feeling of animosity between local officials and 
the men. 

On May 19, 1886, the second letter was received 
from Beardstown, stating that Mr. Forsyth, the master 
mechanic, claims that unless the men are held two 
hours on their engines after arriving at a terminal 
point, they are not entitled to any delayed time, and the 
chairman is requested to come to Beardstown and have 
him understand it as we all do. On the 25th of May 
another letter was received which said: "I was kept 
on the road three hours and twentv minutes more than 
schedule time and Mr. Forsvth savs I am not entitled 
to any delayed time. How is this? C. H. B.", It 
was understood at the meeting that if you were de- 

I The compiler. -' The name can be given to any whom it may concern. 



86 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

layed two or more hours in starting, the company got 
the first hour without pay, and the men were to be 
paid after the first hour. If the train left on time and 
arrived two or more hours late, the company got the 
first hour and the men were paid for the balance, the 
company always getting an hour's work for nothing. 

On May 29, the chairman, J. C. Porter, received the 
following letter from the superintendent of motive 
power : 

J. C. Porter: 

I have not yet sent you any understand- 
ing in regard to Article 11, which we talked over the 
other day. In discussing the matter with some of our 
master mechanics, I am not sure but that we may both 
be mistaken in regard to Mr. Stone's construction of 
this rule ; I therefore will get Mr. Besler's approval be- 
fore I submit you anything. 

G. W. Rhodes. 

After Mr. Rhodes obtained the manager's under- 
standing of Article 11, the following letter was written 
and sent to Chairman Porter, at Aurora, and A. For- 
syth, master mechanic at Beardstown, 111. : 

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R. R. Co. 

Office Supt. Locomotive and Car Dept. 

Aurora, 111., June 9, 1886- 

A. Forsyth, Master Mechanic, 

Beardstown. 
Dear Sir: 

Replying to yours of the 4th inst., in re- 
gard to the meaning of Article 11, of rules governing 



THE NEW TREATY A ROPE OF SAND 87 

the pay of engineers and firemen. The easiest way to 
understand this rule is to interpret it as meaning just ex- 
actly what it says, i. e., in clause i, engineers delayed 
over two hours in starting from a terminal, will be paid 
for the full delay, less one hour. This is perf ectly plain . 
It does not say anything about what should be done in 
case a quick run was made afterwards, so that there 
was really no delay at all; the fact remains the same 
that there was a delay at starting, and therefore it is to 
be paid for. The same in regard to after arriving at 
a terminal. Supposing a train arrives six hours late at 
a terminal, and is taken care of. There is no delay in 
this case after arriving, and there will be no pay al- 
lowed for it. It does not matter whether a train ar- 
rives ahead of time or late ; if there is over two hours 
delay after arriving, engineers and firemen will be paid 
for the full delay, less one hour. 

The second paragraph needs no comment. The 
third paragraph is also plain in view of what has pre- 
ceded. Under this paragraph, delays are paid which 
produce delays arriving at terminals, or have any con- 
nection with those after arriving. 

(Signed) G. W. Rhodes, 

Supt. Motive Powt-r. 

It will be seen by this construction that no delays 
were paid for, unless they were held two hours or 
more in one place. It is no uncommon occurrence, for 
what is termed a local freight, to start out on time, 
when the business of the company would require thirty 
minutes to an hour and a half at each station, with 
probably .twenty stations on the run, and they arrive 



88 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

eight or ten hours late, they get nothing for the over 
time. It should be remembered, in this discussion of 
pay, that the engineers — though they must hold them- 
selves in readiness at all times, to be called when 
wanted; — receive nothing only for actual work 
performed; you must not absent yourself without 
permission, though you may not be called for a week 
or a month, and you will get nothing for the month in 
which you waited. The number of engine men on the 
rolls of a company, makes no difference with the com- 
pany's expenses. To make this plain I here quote 
from the Burlington book of rules: 

rule 185. 

" Every person employed by the Company must de- 
vote himself exclusively to its service, and must not 
connect himself directly or indirectly with any other 
trade or business, without permission from the General 
Manager." 

rule 188. 

Every employe will be liable to suspension from 
duty, and dismissal for disobedience of orders, negli- 
gence, misconduct, or incompetency, and to immediate 
dismissal without cause assigned. The pay of every 
employe suspended from duty will be stopped during 
such suspension. 

rule 189. 

No employe is allowed under any circumstances, to 
absent himself from duty without permission from the 
officer at the head of his department. In case of 




geo. watt. 

KILLED AT BKOOKFIELD, MO., MARCH .;, I !S?. 



THE NEW TREATY A ROPE OF SAND. 89 

sickness, immediate notice must be given' to his supe- 
rior officer. The pay of employes, absent on account of 
sickness, or with permission, will be stopped during 
the period of such absence, unless otherwise directed 
by competent authority. 

The report of labor statistics of Michigan, 1886, 
says: "Of 1858 men employed on twenty-four railroads, 
agents average $47.10 per month; brakemen $47.64; 
conductors $74.97; engineers $85; firemen $45; and 
laborers $32.52. After the trip is performed, which 
is paid for, the engineer is expected to go to the round- 
house, and thoroughly inspect and take care of his en- 
gine, wedges, and rods, and do packing etc. ; and the 
firemen has to go and clean his engine, which is no 
trifle, and this without remuneration. It is reasonable 
that when the company assigns men to duty, they ought 
to be willing to pay for what time is consumed in work 
ordered to be done." 

On the other hand, the management has the skill to 
keep men waiting for work, and if the business runs 
low, the loss is assessed more on labor, in proportion, 
than on capital. This need not be so, and it ought not 
to be; but it has to be so according to the Burlington 
system of economy. For example : In a time of dull 
business, a man will be out on a trip. He is paid for 
going, and when he comes back he will be paid for 
the return trip also. But he may be obliged to wait 
at the other end of the road three days, for a train to re- 
turn with, and all that time without pay and on expense, 
taking five days to make two, and all this time sub- 
ject to call and liable to dismissal if not found when 
7 



QO THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

wanted. Then again the men are sometimes worked 
beyond endurance, at so much per trip, which brings 
large salaries, and these are always quoted by the offi- 
cials, yet the average is not large. 

But the screws of capital were always tightened, 
never loosened, and the officials of the Burlington, 
seemingly forgetful of the obligation implied in the 
signature of Vice-President and General Manager, T. 
J. Potter, studied not to live up to the intent and pur- 
pose of the settlement, but entered into a strife 
among themselves to see who could outdo the other, 
in violating the most, and paying the least for delayed 
time, and most intercept other benefits to the men pro- 
vided for in the rules. Master Mechanic West, of 
Burlington, would not allow the delay unless it was 
over two hours, and would not take the engineer's 
statement, but would ask the station agent where the 
delay occurred. The conductor, after the train is 
stopped, usually does what work there is to be done 
first, before he goes to the office, perhaps fifteen or 
twenty minutes after arrival. He then goes to the 
office, and failing to get orders to proceed, waits one 
hour and fifty minutes, making two hours and ten 
minutes. But Mr. West would not allow it, because 
the conductor's report did not show it, doing both an 
injustice in not allowing the time, according to the con- 
struction of the rule, and casting a reflection upon the 
honesty of the engineer. 

A wreck occured at Riverside, twelve miles out of 
Chicago, and Geo. Minot, an engineer, left Aurora with 
a passenger train for Chicago. At Hinsdale, twenty 
miles out, he was stopped for one hour and fifty-five 



THE NEW TREATY A ROPE OF SAND. QI 

minutes. He then received orders to run to Stone Ave- 
nue, and there he waited for orders one hour and fifty 
minutes, and then he was ordered to run to Riverside, 
where the wreck occurred, and waited there for the track 
to be cleared one hour and ten minutes, making four 
hours and fifteen minutes delay. Mr. Minot made the 
claim for this time which was returned to him as not 
allowed. On meeting Mr. Johnson, the master me- 
chanic, he said: "We were a little too smart for you, 
weren't we? We have instructed the dispatchers so 
that there will be no delayed time." Mr. N. J. Para- 
dise, master mechanic of the Hannibal & St. Joseph R. 
R. was present and Mr. Minot stated the case to him, 
and he said : "Yes, you are surely entitled to all the time, 
less one hour." Mr. Johnson did not agree with Mr. 
Paradise and said, "It would not be allowed, and did 
not want any more such reports put in." This is the 
same Mr. Johnson who served on the grievance commit- 
tee in 1873, as a member of the Brotherhood of Loco- 
motive Engineers, and is said to have stated to Mr. 
Harris he would never trouble him again with any 
grievance. 

There is a long yard at Creston, Iowa, and to defeat 
the object of the delayed time rule, the officers cut the 
yard in two, making it East and West Creston, and if 
the yard was blocked so the enginemen could not get 
out of the yard, or get their engines to the roundhouse, 
the officials would move them from one end of the 
yard to the other, and then claim they were not entitled 
to delayed time because they were not in one place 
two hours or more. It was not so much the money 
the men cared about, as there is nothing so aggravat- 



92 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

ing to a railroad man as delays, and they wanted them 
cured. How were these things to be met ? To denounce 
them would not alter their condition. Denunciations nev- 
er accomplish much, and in the present case the v would 
amount to nothing. Each officer falls back behind his 
superior, when cornered, and says "It is not I," and no 
one individual can find the responsible part}'. A un- 
ion of action became necessary. A power that dared 
to measure swords, even with a railroad corporation, 
was a necessity. The laws violated as they were did not 
effect any cure and the officials' conduct incensed 
the men greatly. The good feeling caused by the 
settlement was fast disappearing, and animosity toward 
a company that would allow such practices by its offi- 
cials, took its place 



CHAPTER XIX. 

CLASSIFICATION. 

The animosity against the Burlington management 
was not confined to the Burlington employes entirely. 
It will be remembered that this road was classified by the 
order of Oct. 10, 1876,' and the gates of employment 
were, from that time on, gradually closed until 1886. 
No engineers were hired if it could possibly be helped. 
Six thousand miles of road were locked against all 
comers seeking that kind of work, and the firemen's 
places held for these men only who were of age, and 
not over 26. The Burlington was not alone in work- 
ing into this channel of creating a supply and dimin- 
ishing the demand. The enginemen throughout the 
continent saw in this classification the formation of a 
trust, or combine, that forshadowed a future which 
had in it the learning of a new business, or no occupa- 
tion and poverty. 

The Burlington is the best illustration of the evils of 
the classification system, which is practiced more 
or less throughout the country, it being the long- 
est line with its doors absolutely closed to apply- 
ing engineers. Such an immense road, traversing the 
states of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, 
and Colorado, and still stretching its lono; arms out to 
grasp more territory; and along the whole vast dis- 
tance, " No engineer need apply ! " 

The men who supply this department are first hired 

1 See page 36. 



94 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

as wipers in roundhouses, and helpers, and are event- 
ually put to firing a switch engine, at $1.40 per day, 
then to work on a road engine as third-class firemen 
at $1.65. When they have worked a year at this, their 
pay is advanced to $1.85 per day. Some of the Bur- 
lington officials made the year to include 365 days of 
actual work, if it took a year and a half to do it. 

When they have worked out the second year they 
are advanced to $2.10 per day, full first-class pay. 
They will average at least two years at this, and then, 
if found qualified, are promoted to be third-class engi- 
neers on switch engines, at $2.25 per day. If kept on 
switch engine second year, $2.50; third year, $2.75 ; on 
road engine, first year, $2.50; second year, $3.05; third 
year, $3.60; requiring from seven to nine years to be- 
come first-class engineers. They are held to a strict 
account for any violation of rules, the rules to be 
defined by the superintendent, master mechanic, fore- 
man or train dispatcher. Any one of these can, by 
complaint, exercise an influence that would make 
holding one's position almost impossible. 

None are infallible, and the best of men are liable to 
be discharged. If you should be so unfortunate as to 
have to seek work elsewhere, you start out, not for 
the Burlington, for they do not hire any. You will make 
application at many places, where } r ou will receive 
the same answer: "We do not hire any men; we make 
them." If you should meet a master mechanic who 
does want a man, you will probably be confronted with 
a blank form of application which you are to fill out 
and return to him for inspection, of which the follow- 
ing is a copy: 



CLASSIFICATION. 

PERSONAL RECORD 



95 



The Superintendent will require all persons, before entering the service of this 
Company, to answer the following interrogatories in their own handwriting. This 
blank, when filled up and signed, must be forwarded to the Superintendent, with 
any letters of recommendation such applicant may have, of which a record will be 
made, and returned. 

The applicant should fill and sign this blank in duplicate, and keep one copy 
for future reference. 

General Manager. 



To 

Division Supt Division. 

i. Age Married or Single 

2. Birthplace State 

3. Name of Parents, if living ? 

Residence , State 

4. Name and degree of nearest relative, if parents are dead? 

Residence State 

5. How many years' experience in Railroad service ? 

6. Ever injured; if so, on what road, and to what extent ? 



7. In what business before entering Railroad business ?. 

At what place State 

8. Name ALL roads on which you have been employed- 



Railroad. 


At what Sta. or Div. 


In what Capacity. 


In what Year. 



























9. If you have been employed before on any Division of this Road, or 
Branches, state which one, when and in what capacity ? 

10. On what Road last employed ? 

Cause of leaving ? 

11. Number of letters of recommendation enclosed 

12. How have you been occupied since your last employment terminated? 



This application made by 

(Sign your name in full, no initials) 



Located at. 



Witness: 



Date. 



.18 



9 6 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



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After the master mechanic has found out by this 
record whom you worked for last, he will likely tell 
you to call again and he will give you an -answer. In 
the mean time, he writes or sends a telegram to the 
officer who discharged you. If he has no objection, 
you will probably be hired when you return, if you can 
pass the examination. But if this officer written to, 
holds any grudge against you, or from any other cause 
makes an objection, the master mechanic will conclude 
he does not want any one. The Burlington's rule, No. 
182 says: "An employe discharged from any depart- 
ment shall not be employed in any other department 
without the consent of the head of the department from 
which he was discharged." This rule has been adopted 
by different systems, each one of which says: I will not 
hire a man unless he comes recommended by the officer 
who discharged him. If you go to the Atchison, To- 
peka & Santa Fe, with its 7000 miles of road, you can 
only work there by the consent of the officer on the 



CLASSIFICATION. 97 

Burlington, if you worked for the Burlington last. If 
you go to the Northern Pacific, with its great stretch of 
roads, you must meet the same obstacles. On these 
three systems, owning not less than eighteen thousand 
miles, the engineer who is unfortunate enough to have 
been discharged, must submit his future and that of 
his family, to the good will, or the ill will of one man, 
viz: the officer who discharged him. If the officer to 
whom you apply persists in saying " No," what are you 
going to do about it ? The liberties of laboring men 
are in a sad condition when the officials of a corpora- 
tion can hold within their grasp the future of the 45,- 
000 people employed by them. 

When these 45,000 people undertake to cure this 
injustice, all the Pinkerton detectives, deputy sheriffs 
and state militia, are called into requisition to suppress 
them, as violators of the law. If the rights of labor were 
as much looked after and catered to, as are the rights 
of capital, the oppressions of corporations could not ex- 
ist. The engineer expects to be rigidly examined and 
give references, but when his recommendation must 
come from one who has discharged him, his chances 
are decidedly poor. What object can these companies 
have in entering into such an agreement between each 
other, to so abridge individual liberty ? What do they 
want with this personal record ? This death warrant, 
the men call it. It would do credit to the genius of a 
detective agency. It makes every honest laboring 
man who fills one out, feel as though there was some- 
thing degrading in it, and as though he was to be 
watched like a criminal. I can see but two reasons — 
the most potent is, desire for cheap labor; the other is to 



p8 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

keep a supply in excess of the demand. When they 
cease hiring, they do not cease discharging, and the 
natural consequence is an excess of idle engineers. 

The companies assert that when they promote a 
man to be an engineer, they are taking a risk, that 
the man's ability has not been tested. This principle 
must be conceded as right, and the engineers have al- 
ways been willing to allow this test for six months or 
one year at reduced pay. The men promoted have 
been on an engine an average of four years before 
they are tried with full responsibility. In other trades 
a term of three years is considered time enough for the 
average man to learn a trade, but the company want 
him to work seven years. It will be remembered that 
the 1876 committee requested the company to annul 
classification and return to apprenticeship, which paid 
$3 for first year and then full pay. 1 Mr. Potter was 
asked, " If you are obliged to assume a risk in pro- 
moting a new man, why is it you will not hire a man 
of undoubted ability and unquestionable reference?'' 
Mr. Potter replied : " We have found we had bet- 
ter luck in making engineers than in hiring them." 
He also denied any knowledge of any intended effort 
to interfere with the engineer's future. But this is 
hardly plausible. Local officials are usually allowed 
some privileges in selecting their employes, and if there 
was not a set principle involved, why should they be 
denied the privilege of hiring their best friend in this 
department ? Why do they not practice the same rule 
with conductors ? 

It is evident there is an antagonism existing against 
the engineers' organization because it has power to 

1 See page 43. 



CLASSIFICATION. 



99 



demand fixed and equitable conditions. In the classi- 
fication system there are two motives — one to secure 
cheap engineers and firemen through the long years of 
preparatory work; the other to create a surplus of men 
by not hiring, so that these unemployed men could be used 
to break down that power. It became the definite ob- 
ject of the engineers throughout the country to change 
this odious classification system, and at the convention 
held in October, at New York City, laws were enacted 
to govern their future action in trying to do away with 
this evil. The grand chief, P. M. Arthur, when 
asked his opinion, said : " Apprenticeship is a right prin- 
ciple, but when a law is so badly abused as this, I 
know of no way only to do away with it." Engineers 
have traveled thousands of miles, and wasted the sav- 
ings of years hunting work, and at each place would 
hear the same old story, " I make all my engineers." 
The reader can better imagine than I can describe, 
the feelings of a man who has spent twelve or fifteen 
years of the best part of his life in learning a business, 
— with family responsibilities upon him, too old to 
begin learning a new business, unable to support his 
family while he tried, and not allowed to work even 
as fireman, if past the age of twenty-six; his whole fu- 
ture blasted by the system of classification. 

As theBurlington has had the reputation of having 
the most unyielding and illiberal management in the 
country, and being the leader in the aggressive work 
against organized labor, it naturally called forth like op- 
position from its men, and the strike of 1888 was not in 
its true sense, a local strike. The Brotherhood, from 
Maine to California, felt that an aggressive step was 



IOO THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

necessary to put a stop to further encroachments upon 
their individual and collective interests. 

In the year 1877, the Philadelphia & Reading rail- 
road issued a circular letter to their engineers, de- 
manding their withdrawal from the Brotherhood, and 
the engineers on that road replied : " We would do 
violence and dishonor to an intelligent manhood, were 
we to accept any thing less than the withdrawal of 
said circular." The company failing to withdraw it, 
the men stopped work in a body. 

On the 30th of July, 1888, eleven years after, Jacob 
G. Freas went to the Reading officials and obtained a 
letter recommending both his ability and character, 
but containing this : " He was in the strike on our 
lines in '77." He had, like his forefathers, rebelled 
against encroachments upon his individual liberties. 
He traveled the country over, but found none who 
would employ him because the Reading officials had 
implied their objections. His manhood was preserved ; 
his reward for its preservation — poverty; because of 
this unjust alliance of corporate officials. 



CHAPTER XX. 

CONSERVATISM. 

The conduct of the engineers had been extremely 
conservative. They had worked f aithf ully forty days, 
and spent $2,906 in an effort to secure these laws; 
had waited patiently for fifteen days for Mr. Potter to 
go over the system and rind out that 95 per cent of 
the men belonged to the Brotherhood. They were 
conservative both in their actions and teachings. A 
union meeting was held at Kansas City, on July n. 
The Kansas City "Journal, a leading daily paper which 
had fought and defeated the Typographical Union, 
and was considered an enemy to organized labor, 
printed the address and commented as follows: 

chief Arthur's address. 

" This morning we publish in full the address of Mr. 
P. M. Arthur, chief of the Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Engineers of North America, delivered at the Coates 
opera house yesterday afternoon." 

" We thought the address would be good, and we 
are not disappointed. We have no hesitation in saying 
that we have never seen a clearer and more dignified 
statement of the relations of labor to capital than is 
contained in this address. It is an honest, manly state- 
ment, in which the rights of honorable labor are as- 
serted and the obligations of capital to labor, and labor 
to capital, fairly and honorably defined." 



102 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

" If the doctrines taught by Chief Arthur are ob- 
served by the organization he represents, the standard 
of railroad management, in its relations to its engineers, 
will soon be lifted above the low plane of suspicion and 
contention, and in one respect at least the equitable re- 
lations of capital and labor will be maintained. With 
the inauguration of the sound sentiments expressed by 
Air. Arthur, we can justly commend organized labor.'' 

" The essence of the whole question lies in the ad- 
mirable motto taken by the Order of Locomotive En- 
gineers at its organization: "Sobriety, truth, justice 
and morality, " for their rule : " Do unto others as you 
would have others do unto you, and so fulfill the law." 
These are indeed rules for action which are calculated 
to soften asperities in the relations of man to man." 

"Standing for the principles of justice and right, 
offering equity for equity, asking forbearance and 
granting forbearance, demanding facts and presenting 
facts; these are the forces which, backed by intelli- 
gence, public opinion and justifiable firmness, will win 
victories for labor and compel concessions from capi- 
tal." 

"Following an insane attempt to cripple capital, to 
defy law and harass society, this calm enunciation of a 
safer and better doctrine is indeed encouraging." 

" « He must be a man of good moral character, tem- 
perate habits, be able to read and write, and have one 
year's experience as a locomotive engineer. And 
then he must behave himself after he gets in, or we 
will put him out.'" 

" Such are the simple conditions of admission to 
this body of organized laborers. There is no oath that 



CONSERVATISM. IO3 

conflicts with the laws of state or nation. There is no 
obligation that forces enmity of man to man. No rules 
for the starvation of fellowmen." 

"No wiser words were ever uttered in the labor 
world than the following: " 

" ' We claim the right, after exhausting every honor- 
able effort, to effect a settlement. If they ignore us, 
and will not grant us a hearing, we claim the right to 
quit if we want to quit, and do quit in a body. But 
having quit, my friends, we do not claim the right to 
take another man by the throat and say: "Thou shalt 
not " or, " Thou shalt." That's the great difficulty and 
the great mistake with labor organizations, and I care 
not by what name they go. When you attempt to use 
force and intimidation; when you attempt by force to 
prevent another man from earning a livelihood for him- 
self and family, you violate every law of equity and 
justice, and should be punished.' " 

" No labor organization can live that does not recog- 
nize and sustain these plain demands of justice and free- 
dom." 

"We cannot at this time allude to the many admir- 
able points in this labor organization as detailed by 
Mr. Arthur, but we commend the address to the labor- 
er and capitalist alike." 

When enemies of organized labor find nothing to 
condemn and much to commend in the Brotherhood, 
it has a right to assume that its principles are just and 
equitable. It is beyond question that a great majority 
of the members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive En- 
gineers are in heartv accord with the principles enun- 
ciated by Grand Chief Arthur, and are obedient to the 



104 THE BURLINGTON STRIDE. 

rules of their institution. That there will be found 
some unworthy and irresponsible men in every institu- 
tion is to be expected. But that the enginemen have 
been extremely free from such characters is evidenced 
by the diversity of commendation from men of high 
standing, both in and out of the railroad service. We 
add this, first because we think the enginemen deserve 
credit for conservative action ; and further it is meant 
as a timely caution to men of labor organizations not to 
be moved by the treachery of bad men from within, 
nor by the craft of enemies from without. 

These are broad principles, and indicate strongly a 
disposition to meet on common ground, and to deal 
out justice while demanding it. The convention at 
Chicago modified the classification law, so that the 
changes in this direction should be voted upon, and the 
committee was to be governed by the voice of all the 
men they represented. The Brotherhood has been 
accused of being a one-man power, but a little light 
upon their principles is convincing that each member 
is a free moral agent outside of the well-defined rules 
for his moral conduct. It is true everywhere, that 
when men have reached positions of responsibility and 
of influence, by their own individual merit, and have 
conducted themselves consistentlv with their rank and 
station, that they acquire a powerful personal influence. 
This was eminently true of George Washington and 
of Abraham Lincoln, and, in the measure of ability 
and of opportunity, it is true in every variety of life. 
It is the very essence of the Brotherhood organization 
to guard with jealous care the members' individual 
rights, and those of their associate workmen. No 




HERBERT B. NEWELL. 



KILLED AT GALESBURG, ILL., APRIL 28, 188S. 



TKt LIBRARY 

OF THE 

UNIVERSITY QF ILLINOIS 



CONSERVATISM. 



105 



Samson will ever be born within their walls, or without, 
who shall be able to carry away the gates of their 
strength, while these principles prevail. 

In October, 1886, at the New York convention, 
Chauncey M. Depew, president of the New York 
Central railroad, among other things said : " Your or- 
ganization arose when I first went into railroad work, 
twent}' r -three years ago, and I have watched it care- 
fully ever since, and one thing that impresses me 
forcibly is the change in the character of your mem- 
bers that has taken place. The old method called for 
blasphemy without stint from the engineers as a nec- 
essary accompaniment of every duty, no matter how 
trifling. That type of engineer is now either dead or 
converted. The proper thing to brace up the nerves 
for a trip was whiskey, and plenty of it. Now, your 
Order prohibits spirituous liquors, and if one of your 
members is discharged for drunkenness, no committee 
of yours asks for his reinstatement." 

Gov. Leon Abbott, of New Jersey, in an address at 
the same time and place said : " You do not rush into 
unnecessary strikes if a corporation will show some 
disposition to listen to your grievances. You believe 
in arbitration, and that there are two sides to every 
question, and that both employe and employer should 
be heard in every instance. I read the four mottoes of 
your organization: "Sobriety and truth, justice and 
morality; defense, not defiance," 1 and I say that so 
long as you are guided by these mottos, so long will 
your order receive, as it does to-day, the approval and 
hospitality of this mighty city." 

These leading men are quoted because they have 

1 "Defense, not Defiance." Added at New York City, i836. 



106 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

direct dealing with the Brotherhoods, both of en- 
gineers and of firemen, and their opinion ought to 
have some weight in fixing in the mind of the reader 
the character of the enginemen who are members of 
the Brotherhoods. 

The Grand Chief in his address, said: " We have 
no sympathy for, nor co-operation with, any class or 
set of men who base their claims upon the principle 
that might makes right, and the rich owe the poor a 
living. No man has a right to anything which does 
not come to him through the channel of honest ac- 
quirement." 



CHAPTER XXL 

MEETING OF GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE. 

The General Grievance Committee was called togeth- 
er at Aurora, Feb. 14, 1887. On assembling it was 
found that nearly all the committeemen were in an ag- 
gressive mood. Many of the officers on the various 
divisions of the system instead of being just and equita- 
ble, having stooped to absolute meanness, in order to 
give vent to their spleen and at the same time put 
more money into the treasury of the company, and so 
curry favor with it for themselves. The committee 
after some deliberation, sent its chairman, Mr. Porter, 
and secretary, J. A. Cuykendall, to Chicago, to wait on 
Mr. Potter, and see if he would not do something to 
compel the local officers to live up to the contract as 
made. The committee then adjourned to meet at 
Creston and receive the report. The committee an- 
ticipated much from this interview, because Mr. Potter 
told them when the settlement was made that " The 
officer who conducts himself in such a manner as to 
bring the grievance committee to him again, must be 
ready with good reasons." 

The chairman presented to Mr. Potter the numer- 
ours branches of the agreement, and the assumption 
of authority, to make changes, and exercise a prerog- 
ative the laws were specially made to cure. He 
promised to more fully define their duties, which he 
did in the following letters: 



108 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

Chicago, March i, 1887. 
J. C. Porter, Esq., Engineer, 

Aurora, 111. 
Dear Sir: 

I hand you herewith copy of letter that I 
have written all our general managers, in regard to the 
construction of rule No. 2. 

I have also called their attention to the complaints 
that have been made of the violation of the agreement 
entered into last April, and said to them all that the 
agreement made at that time must be adhered to by 
all. Yours Truly, 

(Signed) T. J. Potter. 

Chicago, March 1, 1887. 
Dear Sir: 

I have had some talk with a committee of en- 
gineers with reference to the way rule 2 has been inter- 
preted. I want it construed from March 1, 1887, to 
mean, that if an engineer is delayed two hours or more 
that he will be paid for the full delay less one hour, that 
is to say, if he is delayed two hours he will be paid for 
one hour at the rates prescribed by article 2. 

Yours Truly, 

(Signed) T. J. Potter. 

Mr. Potter was contemplating leaving the Burling- 
ton for the Union Pacific, and did not give it the at- 
tention he undoubtedly would, had he intended to stay. 
The Creston yard difficulty remained until in May, 1887, 
when the chairman of the Grievance Committee was 
called there to see if he could not effect a cure. Gen- 
eral Superintedent Brown, of the Iowa lines, as welt 



MEETING OF GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE. IO9 

as Division Superintendent Duggan, denied hav- 
ing the authority, claiming that it was done by their 
superiors in office, and the chairman went to Mr. Bes- 
ler, general superintendent of the Burlington, and he 
ordered the two yards to be put back into one- 
When we consider that these officers had no financial 
interest involved, other than their salary, and that they 
were themselves employes, it is a queer commentary 
upon human kindness and the integrity of man, to re- 
cord such violations of both these qualities. 

General Manager Potter was a self-made man, com- 
ing from the foot of the ladder. He was not in the least 
austere or position-proud in his deportment. With a 
remarkable memory for names and faces, and with un- 
usual readiness saying something pleasant to 
every one, he was esteemed by all classes. It-is 
reasonable to believe that if left to his own inclination, 
he would have done more to protect the laborer from 
the evil conditions imposed by local officers. Wheth- 
er the order to discharge Chairman Fisher and Com- 
mitteeman Calkins of the 1883 committee, emanated 
from Mr. Potter, or from the president of the company 
is not known. 1 Superintendent Thompson, of the 
Burlington & Missouri division, undertook to prevent 
the organization of a brakeman's lodge, and to accom- 
plish it, he commenced the wholesale discharge of the 
men. Mr. Wilkinson, Grand Master of the Brother- 
hood of Railroad Brakemen, went to Mr. Potter and 
asked his intercession, which Mr. Potter readily re- 
sponded to, and gave Mr. Thompson to understand 
that he must stop such petty tyrany, and not discrimi- 
nate against Brotherhood men. After that time they 

1 See page 55. 



IIO THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

were not annoyed by him, but a part of the settlement 
was that there should not be anything said about it. 
This does not look as though he was at all times man- 
aging in accordance with his own inclinations. Yet 
it is highly commendable in Mr. Potter, as it shows 
the right disposition. But it contains proof that he 
was not, in all things, a free agent in the management 
of the Burlington, but was controlled in his administra- 
tion by the men of the Boston idea — that labor has no 
rights not granted by the free will of the employer. 
I have been told that in a social conversation, Mr. 
Potter said the Burlington stockholders were dissatis- 
fied with his action in signing a contract and recog- 
nizing the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers in 
1886, and his position had become unpleasant in con- 
sequence, and that the Burlington was seeing its best 
days. He evidently knew the relentless disposition of 
some one in authority, and knowing it, could see the 
inevitable result. Mr. Potter appreciated the employes 
as they did him, and on May 10, 1887, he wrote a letter 
to J. C. Porter, chairman of the grievance committee 
representing the enginemen. I do not think I betray 
any confidence now, since Mr. Potter's death, to give 
it to the public. It was only intended for the eye of 
the engineers and firemen when written. The letter is 
as follows: 

Chicago, Mav 10, 1887. 
J. C. Porter, Esq., 

Aurora, 111., 
My Dear Sir: 

You were chairman of the committee 
of engineers that met me a year ago, and took 



MEETING OF GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE. Ill 

up some questions of difference between the engineers 
and firemen on the one side, and the railroad company 
on the other. My reason for addressing you this let- 
ter, is on account of my leaving the service of the C, 
B. & Q road at an early day. I desire to express 
through you, my thanks to all the engineers and fire- 
men on the C, B. & Q. and its system of roads, for 
their honest co-operation in carrying out all the agree- 
ments made at that time. I wish further to say that 
it is with regret that I part company with so many good 
men as there are on the C, B. & Q. and its system 
of roads. I want you and the engineers and firemen 
on the C, B. & Q.and its system to know that I had a 
good opinion of their ability and integrity, and of the 
interest they have taken in the company's service. 

Very Truly Yours, 

(Signed) T. J. Potter. 

Mr. Potter carried with him the regrets of the em- 
ployes of all ranks. He was rightly disposed and was 
too sagacious a manager to allow a strike if it could be 
avoided, although he defended the capitalists he repre- 
sented, and contested for every inch of ground occu- 
pied. The committee of 1886 had listened to Mr. H. 
B. Stone's cold, deliberate, calculating debates on sup- 
ply and demand, saying, "If I wanted boiler iron I 
would go out on the market and buy it where I could 
get it the cheapest, and if I wanted to employ men I 
would do the same." With Mr. Potter gone, the em- 
ployes realized that all liberality went with him. There 
was one honorary member of the Brotherhood as mas- 
ter mechanic at Brookfield, but he left about the time 



112 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

Mr. Potter did, and the ground was clear of official 
good feeling between the enginemen and the mechan- 
ical department. The master mechanics were out- 
ranked by the division superindents so that the em- 
ployes were subject to conditions imposed by both ; 
neither being very friendly because the Brotherhood had 
made an effort to compel them to obey the rule, " Do 
unto others as you would they should do unto you." 

At the time of the strike of the Knights of Labor on 
the Gould system, a notice was put up by the Burling- 
ton Company, notifying all members of the Knights 
of Labor who were in their employ, to go to the 
heads of their respective departments and get their 
time checks, or withdraw from the Knights of Labor, 
and a great many complied with this in order to hold 
their places. With Mr. Potter gone, there did not 
seem to be any room for organized labor. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

COMMITTEE AT CRESTON. ENGINEERS AT CHICAGO. 

On the receipt of Mr. Potter's letter the committee 
was convened at Creston to hear the report of the 
chairman and secretary, and it was disappointing to 
them. They had expected Mr. Potter would define 
more fully the official duties of the local officers and 
make a special effort to define conditions that would 
insure peace. A copy of Mr. Potter's letter was sent 
to the Grand Chief, P. M. Arthur, which was an- 
swered in the following letter : 

Cleveland, March 9, 1887. 

Brothers Porter and Cuykendall : 

Your letter of the 2nd is at hand and con- 
tents carefully perused. Article 11 is before me and 
have just read it. The clause Mr. Potter bases his 
order on conflicts with the first clause, but I do not 
think it would be advisable to make an issue with 
him on it as we cannot make an agreement that 
includes classification, and it would be folly to at- 
tempt to abolish this without the co-operation of the 
roads centering in Chicago. I was in hopes that the 
brothers on these roads would unite on some plan to 
abolish classification. Until they do I would advise 
the brothers to accept Mr. Potter's offer. Give it a 
fair trial, and if it does not work satisfactorily the 
chairman can again call on Mr. Potter and explain 



114 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

the injustice of the article. He will doubtless modify 
it, as I believe he is inclined to be just. The law rela- 
tive to classification is working detrimentally to the 
best interests of our Order. It virtually ties the hands 
of the committee, and the grand chief. We have had 
two cases where the company offered to abolish all but 
one year, reducing from four classes to one, and we 
could not accept it, in consequence of the law. The 
law is too autocratic, and the brothers are beginning to 
realize it. Now, my brothers, you understand the 
situation; do what you think is for the best interest of 
all concerned. 

Fraternally Yours, 

P. M. Arthur, G. C. E. 

The committee was not pleased with the situation, 
but the majority were conservative, desiring peace, 
and were willing to follow the advice of Mr. Arthur, 
and wait and see what the result of Mr. Potter's letter 
would be. The firemen were also dissatisfied, and had 
just organized what is called the adjusting committee, 
which is governed by similar rules, and has the 
same objects as the grievance committee of the 
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. The engi- 
neers' committee met with the chairman and sec- 
retary of the firemen's committee, and arranged 
that that committee's work should be suspended until 
after the engineers' convention, which was to be held 
in Chicago in October, 1887, when they expected a 
modification of the law on classification, and if they 
then felt the necessity of waiting upon the officials, 
they would go in a body, engineers and firemen, and 



COMMITTEE AT CRESTON. ENGIN EERS AT CHICAGO. 1 1 5 

make a united effort to cure the evils that were com- 
plained of by both orders. Had they followed out 
this plan, and met the Burlington officials immediately 
after the convention, as was then understood, it would 
have brought the meeting about Dec 2, in the face of 
one of our coldest winters, and success must have at- 
tended them. But they let the golden opportunity 
pass. After a protracted discussion of the situation, 
classification receiving the greatest attention, the com- 
mittee adjourned, and this ended the committee work 
until 1887. Votes were taken on the various roads 
centering in Chicago, and all voted, almost unanimous- 
ly, that it was such a menace to their future that it 
should be done away with, or something done to miti- 
gate its evils. 

The engineers' convention met in Chicago in Octo- 
ber, and at the opening an address was delivered by 
E. T. Jeffery, General Manager of the Illinois Central 
Railroad. Mr. Jeffery is a self-made man, coming 
up by force of character from the foot of the ladder to 
be general manager of one of the strongest and best man- 
aged corporations in this country. He has a thorough 
knowledge of railroad life, and possesses the confidence 
of all who serve under him. He sketched the rela- 
tions of officers and of engineers, to each other and to 
the company, and in turn the relations of the company 
to them. The following is the address as given in 
Central Music Hall, Chicago, October 19, 1887. 

Mr. Chairman, Brotherhood and Friends: "We 

are assembled here as co-laborers, with a common 
interest and a common object in view. We have a 



Il6 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

like purpose and a like aim in life. Our responsibili- 
ties, duties and anxieties are identical in kind, and dif- 
fer only in degree. We stand before our employers 
charged with a great trust, and before the public with 
the gravest duties ever committed to human hands. 
The lives of the public and the property of our employ- 
ers are committed to our care. The first is a trust of 
pre-eminent character and importance. How can we 
fit ourselves to perform these duties, execute these 
trusts, carry these responsibilities, and satisfy in full 
the public and corporate claims upon us ? " 

" The first great requisite is the high standard of 
manhood which your organization has set itself to mold 
and establish. Without this all else is futile. With- 
out manly dignities and manly virtues we lose the 
confidence of the public, the confidence of our corpor- 
ate employers, and confidence in and respect for one 
another." 

" There are many hundred thousand persons scat- 
tered throughout the civilized world whose money is 
invested in railway properties. These are they whom 
we serve. These are they whose property is intrusted 
to our care. Unknown to us individually, and we to 
them, these people confide in us, trust us, look to us 
to faithfully administer their shares, be they large or 
small, of the railways of the land. Supreme over this 
is the abiding confidence of the people in our skill, our 
watchfulness, our sobriety, our intelligence, our man- 
hood." 

" And this leads me to the thought that there must 
be mutual confidence between the railway corporations 
and their engineers. Distrust by either of the other 



COMMITTEE AT CRESTON. ENGINEERS AT CHICAGO. 1 1 7 

is the seed of discord, and discord is the growing plant 
upon which danger blossoms — danger to yourselves, 
to the millions whom you move, and to the great com- 
mercial interests of this free and progressive land in 
which we live." 

"I speak whereof I know, when I affirm that the 
managing officers of the great railway corporations 
spare no effort consistent with good discipline to create 
and foster a family feeling, a feeling of close relation- 
ship between the corporation and the men. When 
formed, such a bond of union is a strong one, and is 
transmitted from father to son. To me there is no 
pleasanter sight than to see father and son working 
upon the same road ; to see boys growing up trained 
to usefulness and manliness by the corporation which 
the father has served long and faithfully. It begets a 
community of interest which manifests itself in such 
loyal expressions as " My engine," " My station," 
" Our road," " Our company." Said an old engineer 
to me some years ago: " My love is divided between 
my engine and my wife." I hope you ladies will for- 
give me for naming his engine first." 

" Be manly, frank and just in your relations with the 
officers of the railroads which you serve. Nearly all 
these men have risen from the ranks and appreciate 
the value of human labor, be it of the muscle or of the 
brain. The little autocrats of narrow views and brief 
authority grow fewer in number year by year, and so 
do the captious, dissatisfied, fault-finding engineers." 

" For my part, after laboring in various capacities 
from boyhood, I am convinced that it is as unwise for 
the engineer to serve a corporation in which he lacks 



Il8 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

confidence, as it is for a corporation to retain in its em- 
ploy an engineer whom it cannot trust. The faith 
must be mutual, the respect be well grounded upon 
both sides. The confidence must be absolute and un- 
qualified; and right dealing, truthfulness, honesty of 
purpose, consideration by each for the rights of the 
other, form the pedestal upon which this confidence 
must rest." 

" Success in your vocation makes faith in mankind 
a necessity. You must have faith in the men who 
make the steel and iron from which the boilers, 
wheels, axles and other parts of your engines are con- 
structed; faith in the man who designs the engines; 
faith in the men who build them ; faith in the men who 
repair them ; faith in the men who make the rails they 
run on; faith in the trackmen; faith in the bridgemen; 
the switch tenders, the signal men, the conductors and 
brakemen; faith in your brother engineers who meet 
and pass and follow you on the road ; faith in the man- 
ager and his lieutenants, and, above all, faith in the 
matchless love of the tender wife whose lonely hours 
are full of anxiety, but whose face lightens with joy 
each time you return safely from a trip over the line." 

"Your labor has a market value. Your labor can 
be bought and sold; but loyalty! loyalty is priceless. 
It is founded on respect, on mutual trust and confi- 
dence, and its mainspring is duty. Duty! The watch- 
word of the engineer." 

" A man plows with his engine through snow- 
storms, moves slow, heavy freight trains, performs 
work at every station, operates his engine by day or 
by night. That is labor, and is paid for. His work is 



COMMITTEE AT CRESTON. ENGINEERS IN CHICAGO. I IO, 

sold at the market price." 

" A man stands for thirty seconds with his nerves 
like steel; one hand on the throttle, the other on the 
reverse lever; the brake set; the engine reversed; the 
sand running to make the brakes hold; a train of hu- 
man beings behind him; he stands for them between 
life and death! He saves them! That is duty! The 
wages of a lifetime would not buy that thirty seconds 
of nerve and strain." 

" Loyalty and duty are not for sale. Money can 
not purchase them. Wealth, position, power and 
other considerations bribe ambitious men into the sem- 
blance of loyalty and the semblance of unselfish devo- 
tion to duty ; but tear aside the veil that hides the in- 
ner man, and it is seen that the motives are ignoble 
and the apparent loyalty and duty are hollow shams." 

" Your labor and your skill, not your moral qualities, 
are what you sell. Your labor and your skill are made 
more valuable by your moral qualities. Sobriety, 
truth, justice, morality, loyalty, duty, thrift, industry 
and intelligence may not add materially to your 
physical powers, to the skill of your hand, to the 
quickness of your eye, or to }^our bodily activity ; but 
they make you noble men, worthy citizens of a great 
nation, and respected and reliable representatives of 
the greatest instrument of commerce which the civil- 
ized world has produced." 

" In his address one year ago, your Grand Chief 
used these words : " We have taken, upon the adoption 
of our motto, Sobriety, Truth, Justice and Morality, a 
strong stand for right. Right alone for itself, and in 
itself considered, stands upon a broad basis, and is the 






120 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

only lasting foundation upon which a man can build. ? " 
"No truer words were ever spoken by mortal tongue, 
and with them for your guide, the legitimate objects 
of your organization must be attained. And these ob- 
jects are worthy ones: Greater intelligence; a higher 
moral and intellectual standard; greater mechanical 
knowledge and increased skill in your work; closer re- 
lations with your employers; a sturdy loyalty to the 
corporations you work for; freedom from alliances 
with questionable organizations. But you know these 
better than I do, and I will not name them all. They 
are objects which must call forth your most earnest 
efforts as men and as locomotive engineers. The 
great principle which glorifies your labor is the eleva- 
tion of yourselves and your associates in the scale of 
true manhood. Your aspirations give greater dignity to 
honest toil and illustrate the identity in interest of em- 
ployer and employe who rise and fall upon the same 
tide." 

" The mind of the world is broadening. Our mental 
vision widens; the heart of the world throbs stronger; 
our lives are more closely interwoven. The ignorance 
and prejudice of yesterday pale in the light of the ed- 
ucation and intelligence of to-day. Here and now 
work is honorable and idleness a disgrace. We all 
know, as we know the alphabet or the multiplication 
table, that the value of all that there is on this great, 
round earth is the result of labor of brain and muscle. 
This building wherein we are assembled, this city of 
matchless enterprise, derive value only from human la- 
bor. The stone, brick, iron, wood and land, in their 
virgin states, were of no value whatever. And so, too, 



o 






o 

P3 




COMMITTEE AT CRESTON. ENGINEERS AT CHICAGO. 121 

of the rights and liberties which we as citizens of this 
great Republic enjoy. Human labor has carved them 
out. Human muscle and brains have achieved them 
for us. Human hands made the weapons to fight, and 
the pens to write, for human liberty." 






9 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

CONCENTRATION OF FORCES. 

Mr. Potter was gone. The official force of the Bur- 
lington was so changed as to leave none that felt in 
any way lenient towards the men of strength and dar- 
ing, whose toil brings the money to the treasury. The 
men in office in 1888 were vain of their good standing 
with the* company. The ambition of each one was to 
stand first in the esteem of the directors as making the 
least outlay for repairs and for wages, and as bringing 
in the largest returns for work. Egotists in their line, 
self-applauding, lordly men they were; their hearts 
without a window open towards labor, the general 
manager was — Stone. Superintendent Thompson, as 
we have seen, tried to prevent the brakemen from 
organizing; officers and conductors combined to defeat 
the switchmen at St. Louis, in 1886; and in the same 
year Mr. Stone had shown himself relentless in his 
methods in the freight handlers' strike in Chicago. 
The officials seemed eager for the fray. Preparations 
were made for a contest with any labor movement 
that should present itself. The shops were enclosed 
with high, tight .board fences, made to be easily guard- 
ed. Advertisements were published in the newspapers 
of England in November, 1887, calling for railway 
men as if the officials, like the Arabian charger, 
smelled the battle afar off. George Cuff, an engineer 
of Paddington, London, stated that the advertisemen. 



CONCENTRATION OF FORCES. 1 23 



» 



called for from 500 to 1000 first-class engineers for the 
service of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy com- 
pany. They were wanted to open a new road 1200 
miles long, and special inducements accompanied this 
notice. 1 Taking all official conduct into account, we 
can arrive at only one conclusion — that the Burlington 
officials, Messrs. Perkins and Stone, backed by the 
Boston stockholders, were courting a fight with their 
employes, and so managed that a contest became in- 
evitable. 

Local officers were quick to take the cue. A cor- 
respondent at Lincoln, Nebraska, in a letter said: I am 
directed to inform all the divisions on the Burlington 
system, that we are in a worse situation here in 
regard to grievances, than we were before the settle- 
ment. Men are being laid off for little offenses of no 
importance whatever. Master Mechanic Hawksworth 
of Plattsmouth, on November 11, 1887, ordered Engi- 
neer Bosley laid off for ten days for refusing to go on 
an extra train without his breakfast. This engineer 
had waited for this train four hours without pay. 
Breakfast was ready as the train arrived and the engi- 
neer says he consumed fifteen minutes eating, and was 
laid off ten days because he did not go hungry. The 
train not showing any delav, Master Mechanic West, 
of Burlington, told Committeeman J. A. Cuyken- 
dall that there was no delayed time to be allowed on 
local runs. This is where the most work is done for 
nothing. 

In February, Engineer W. H. Wilder went to Mr. 
West to get errors in his time corrected, he not being 
paid according to his age as an engineer, and during 

'Statement of English Engineer, Denver Republican, July 17, iS^S. 



124 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

his stay was roundly cursed, the oaths being repeated 
several times. The men at Burlington had waited on 
the superintendent and entered complaint of the treat- 
ment by the master mechanic, and had received assur- 
ance that it should be stopped. When this occurred 
they were much incensed, and asked the grievance 
committee to try and have Mr. West removed, or se- 
cure an assurance that they should have respectful 
treatment in the future. Serious complaint was made 
by the men on the St. Louis division, against the mas- 
ter mechanic and the roundhouse foreman, for violation 
of the rules which were made in 1886. We call at- 
tention to a few of these complaints to show the ne- 
cessity of laws to govern and hold in subjection, officials 
assuming authority that did not belong to their posi- 
tion 

The companies have an unquestionable right to fix 
conditions and to manage their own affairs ; to appoint 
agents and to delegate to them authority to hire and 
discharge and transact the business of the company. 
But their duty does not stop here. These companies 
have reached such magnitude that they control the la- 
bor market, and the laboring man has virtually no op- 
tion but to accept the conditions so fixed by the pow- 
erful corporations. It is simple justice to say that 
they are under moral obligations to form and to exe- 
cute equitable rules for the guidance of the employe of 
whatever grade, whether officer or laborer. 

It is the usual policy of railway administration to 
give individual privileges to hundreds of middle men, 
local officers, to do what they please ; to fix evil con- 
ditions, to suspend or discharge according to his whims 



CONCENTRATION OF FORCES. 1 25 

or animosities. This is the grossest injustice. Labor 
has the right to protect itself just the same as capital 
has and it has a right to employ the same methods, 
i. e. to concentrate its force, — moral, social or political — 
and to express it through its own chosen representa- 
tives. Moreover, the rules made in 1886, after so 
much effort by the engineers, having been practically 
annulled by the local officers, the men who felt them- 
selves aggrieved and injured, resolved to seek redress 
by all legal and honorable means. Naturally, the 
grievances accumulated in the hands of the grievance 
committee, and the necessity grew upon them of hold- 
ing a meeting and devising some definite remedial 
measures. That meeting and its measures shall re- 
ceive our attention next. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

COMMITTEE OF 1 888 AND ITS WORK. 

The chairman of the grievance committee, Mr. J. 
C.Porter, at the earnest solicitation of men all along the 
line, convened the committee at Burlington on January 
23, 1888. In the meantime Mr. Porter had written the 
Grand Chief, P. M. Arthur, that he contemplated re- 
signing from the committee, and he received the fol- 
lowing letter, which was read to the committee : 

Cleveland, Ohio, January 24, 1888. 
Dear Brother Porter: 

Your letter received and noted. If the brothers 
are united upon the system and ready to sacrifice their 
situations if necessary to accomplish what they want, 
I think they will succeed. On the contrary, if they 
are actuated by a spirit of selfishness and jealousy, 
no good will come from their meeting. I do not blame 
you for wanting to resign as chairman, yet I do not 
think it would be wise to do so unless the committee 
require it, as we want conservative men in such posi- 
tions. If the committee claim the company has viola- 
ted the agreement they must be prepared to prove it. 
Do not make assertions unless you can substantiate 
them by positive proof. Please keep me informed of 

your progress. 

Yours Fraternally, 

(Signed,) P. M. Arthur, G. C. E. 



COMMITTEE OF 1 888 AND ITS WORK. 1 27 

It would appear that the men .had abiding faith in 
the justice of their position. Mr. Arthur pictures the 
possible results, advises conservative action, and ends 
by saying, "You must make no assertion you cannot 
positively prove ;" and yet after this dismal picture pur- 
posely giving the dark side, the work is continued. 
Mr. Porter tendered his resignation as he had intend- 
ed to do and was presented with a fine meerschaum 
pipe by the committee, and S. E. Hoge, of McCook, 
Nebraska, was elected to fill the place of chairman. 
It will be remembered that the firemen, feeling the 
same necessity for decided action, had organized their 
adjusting committee and had, like the engineers, for- 
mulated grievances and desired rules enacted to govern 
their affairs as well. The firemen recognized that 
whatever was injurious to them, or to the engineers, 
would be detrimental to the future of the firemen as 
they naturally expected to become engineers. Their 
committee was called at the same time and place, but 
they met in separate bodies. Each of these bodies 
deliberated Monday and Tuesday, discussing the va- 
rious* questions, and on Wednesday January 25, both of 
these committees met together as a joint committee. 
This committee was composed of fourteen engineers 
and fourteen firemen. 

COMMITTEE OF ENGINEERS. 

J. A. Bauereisen, Charles Thomas, 

Aurora, 111. St. Joseph, Mo. 

R. Martin, Chas. Dean, 

Galesburg, 111. Chicago & Iowa, R. R. 



128 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



G. W. Wheatly, 

Beardstown, 111. 
H. M. Martin, 

Keokuk, Iowa. 
John Eckerson, 

Burlington, Iowa. 
Geo. Fisher, 

Creston, Iowa 
Wm. McClain, 

Brookfield, Mo. 



E. B. Wadworth, 

Wymore, Neb. 
Wm. Fowler, 

McCook, Neb. 
Mat. Conners, 

Chicago, 111. 
C. H. Sanborn, 

Lincoln, Neb. 
S. E. Hoge, Chairman, 

McCook, Neb. 



COMMITTEE OF FIREMEN. 



C. Pardieu, 

Aurora, 111. 
R. H. Lacy, 

Galesburg, 111. 

D. A. Sherman, 

Beardstown, 111. 
J. H. Snoddy, 

Brookfield, Mo. 

E. J. Ebersol, 

McCook, Neb. 
S. A. Eads, 

Burlington, Iowa. 
J. F. Bryan, 

Creston, Iowa. 



F. P. McDonald, 

St. Joseph, Mo. 
W. Sphor, 

Lincoln, Neb. 
W. F. Hackett, 

Wymore, Neb. 
J. D. McCarty, 

Chicago, 111. 
H. F. Zinn, 

Plattsmouth, Neb. 
M. L. Bixler, 

Chariton, Iowa. 

J. H. Murphy, Chairman, 

Chariton, Iowa. 



The union of these two committees was not a new 
departure. Engineers and firemen had met jointly 
from ten different roads, from Feb. 1887 to Feb. 1888, 
abolished classification on three roads and reduced one to 
one year, had effected many improvements, and 



COMMITTEE OF l888 AND ITS WORK. 1 29 

reinstated men discharged without cause and in viola- 
tion of contract. "It is the natural instinct of man to 
protect himself, and the limits of that protection are 
bounded by the golden rule. The ancient civiliza- 
tion neglected this; the personality of the citizen was 
lost; the individual was made an unlimited slave to an 
unlimited sovereignty, as it is now under some corpo- 
rations of modern times. Man was reduced to slavery, 
and he, and all his interests, subordinated to state des- 
potism. This is what man succeeded in reaching by 
losing the idea of our great Brotherhood under one 
common Fatherhood." 1 The belief in the justice of 
one's position lends courage, and these men composing 
these committees, although Mr. Arthur had shown 
them their difficulties and dangers, had the courage, and 
were convinced of the justice, of their position. 

J. A. Cuykendall, an engineer on the C, B. & Q. 
road was discharged on January 20, 1888. His of- 
fense primarily was his being a member of the General 
Grievance Committee of 1886, and he was still acting 
as such at the date of his discharge. All the facts 
were laid before the Grievance Committee, just formed. 
It seems Mr. Cuykendall had a pendent set watch. 
As every one knows, in order to set the hands the 
stem winding pin must be pulled out to change the 
gear from mainspring to hands. Time was compared, 
according to rule, before starting, and was found to be 
right, but by some means while on the trip his watch 
became eight or nine minutes slow, supposed to be 
caused by a too easily working stem set. As he knew 
nothing about the derangement of the time it was 
reasonable to suppose that in taking the watch from 

t 'F.xtract from speech of Rev. Chas. O'Reilly, D. D. 



13O THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

his pocket, the pin was pulled out enough to catch the 
hands, and move them slightly — a very little makes 
several minutes. On his nearing West Burlington, 
where he expected to meet passenger No. 3, he was 
astonished to find the train was already there, when 
according to the time by his watch he should have been 
there first. He asked his fireman for the time and 
discovered to his astonishment, that his watch was 
wrong. Mr. Cuykendall, according to the rules, 
should have stopped and sent a flagman ahead, but by 
the time he was fully convinced that his time was 
wrong he was so near, — the trains being in clear sight 
of each other, — he concluded to pull in and so delay 
the passenger the least possible. His watch was then 
compared with the conductor's, and with others, and 
found wrong. There was no forgetfulness or careless- 
ness claimed. Mr. Cuvkendall and the conductor 
were both discharged — the conductor because he did 
not give better attention and see that the engineer did 
not commit such an error. 

The Grievance Committee being satisfied that the 
penalty was too severe, took up the matter and asked 
an audience with Superintendent Brown, to see if they 
could not have it modified. The request was granted, 
and Mr. Brown appointed 10:00 a. m., Thursday, Jan- 
uary 26, for the meeting. On January 25, the engi- 
neers and firemen met in joint session, and resolved to 
merge into one set of rules, the conditions desired by 
both Orders, and, as a joint body, present them to the 
officials of the company. Each article was then dis- 
cussed pro and con, and decided by a joint vote. The 
committee at the appointed time, met Superintendent. 



COMMITTEE OF l888 AND ITS WORK. 131 

Brown, in behalf of their discharged brother, Mr. 
Cuykendall. Mr. Brown said they must make 
an example; that it would not do to establish a prece- 
dent by reinstating Mr. Cuykendall. The extenua- 
ting circumstances counted nothing. The committee 
believed Master Mechanic West was the influence that 
prevented a rehearing of the case. 

The work of the committee was -nearly completed, 
and they desired to go to Chicago to meet the general 
officers. The chairman, Mr. S. E. Hoge, requested 
Superintendent Brown to furnish transportation, which 
he readily assented to, with the acception of Mr. Cuy- 
kendall, and he would try and get a pass for him, and 
would have all ready by 2 :oo p. m. Passes were giv- 
en, for all, Mr. Cuykendall included. It is against the 
company's rule to give transportation to any employe 
suspended or discharged. To employes who are in 
good standing, the Burlington Company has always 
been fairly liberal. Some officers were more liberal 
than others, yet no fault could be found with the com- 
pany in relation to transportation for their own em- 
ployes. The article in the new rules as presented, 
was merely a request that they be privileged to show 
courtesy to traveling brothers who were known mem- 
bers, and worthy of their confidence and favor. 

The committee believed that the general managers 
could not make a settlement without the consent of 
higher authority, and made their plans to obviate the 
long delay experienced in 1886. Accordingly they 
sent a message to President Perkins, before leaving 
Burlington, notifving him of their desire to meet him 
in Chicago, on Monday, January 30, 1888. They then 



132 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

adjourned to meet in Chicago. 

The committee met at the appointed time in the 
parlor of the National hotel. S. E. Hoge, chairman 
of the engineer's committee, was made chairman of 
the joint committee, and J. H. Murphy, chairman of 
the firemen's committee, secretary. On Tuesday, 
January 31, a message was received from Mr. Perkins 
stating that he would be in Boston soon and would 
meet the committee in Boston the next week, if they 
so desired; but suggested that the committee meet 
the general managers and said he did not intend to 
come west very soon, as he had just come from 
there. The committee knowing it was useless to see the 
general manager, without his presence, or author- 
ity delegated by him to the managers, sent another 
message saying: "The General Grievance Committee 
of the w r hole system is here. Cannot make settle- 
ment with the general manager. Will you come ?" 

S. E. Hoge. 

On February 7> a message was received from Pres- 
ident Perkins, saying that he had written a letter to 
the committee from Boston, which was received by 
the chairman on the 2nd, in which Mr. Perkins re- 
quested that they meet with the general managers of 
the several roads composing the Burlington system. 
In compliance with this, an effort was made to obtain 
the desired interview. General Manager Stone was 
supposed to be in Washington, and on February 3, a 
message was sent to him asking an audience. On 
Saturday, February 4, agreeable to appointment with 
Superintendent Besler, the committee went to his of- 



COMMITTEE OE 1 888 AND ITS WORK. 1 33 

rice to make another effort in Mr. Cuykendall's be- 
half. They found Mr. Besler accompanied by Mr. 
Steward, assistant superintendent at Burlington, who 
read a long statement, going to show that Mr. Cuy- 
kendall had been careless on the whole trip. It was 
evident they were anxious to be rid of a member of 
the committee who tried to make the officers comply 
with the law. Mr. Besler was finally asked to say 
positively what he would do, whether he would rein- 
state him or not, and he answered, " No, I will not." 
The matter was referred to Mr. Stone, later. 

Some of the engineers' committee of 1888 had been 
also of the committee of 1886. The long siege then, 
through the absence of the leading officials, and their 
inability at this time to secure a meeting, did not por- 
tend an easy solution of their difficulties. To have all 
the men along the line understand the situation, they 
reported progress, and requested that all members of 
the order should assemble and vote to sustain, or not, 
the action of their committee. Accordingly a letter 
was addressed to all points along the line, asking that 
all members of both engineers', and the firemen's 
Brotherhood should vote as to whether they would 
sustain the General Grievance Committee in demand- 
ing the enactment of such rules as seemed to them just 
and necessary. 1st, To sustain the committee, yes or 
no. 2nd, For total abolition of classification, yes or no. 
For one year classification, yes or no. Each brother 
to sign his own name. Each of the Brotherhoods of 
engineers and firemen has been called a one-man pow- 
er, yet they have selected a man to represent their 
grievances, by ballot ; they have voted upon the sub- 



134 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



stance of the instructions to that representative, and 
they voted to sustain him in pressing for the conces- 
sions asked from the company; and they gave a sep- 
arate and independent vote upon the all important sub- 
ject of classification. The vote was almost unanimous 
on the first two propositions, " Yes." A few votes 
only were cast for one year of reduced pay. 




THE BURLINGTON SYSTEM. 

SHOWING SCOPE OF TERRITORY OCCUPIED BY IT. 

The above map is given to show the reader the 
immense territory covered, and the labor market con- 
trolled by this powerful corporation — the Burlington. 
The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific; Chicago and 
North- Western; and Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, 
control nearly all the roads shown above the south line 
of the Burlington. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

LOYALTY OF ENGINEERS AND FIREMEN. 

The engineers of the Burlington were men of up- 
right and unselfish character. They were of an inde- 
pendent cast of thought; they were generous and 
broad minded men. These qualities are clearly 
brought out at the close of the last chapter, but they 
are still better represented in the history of the ./Han- 
nibal & St. Joseph railroad before it came into the pos- 
session of the Burlington. When Col. R. S. Stevens 
was general manager of this road — then a separate 
property, — the road was in a very bad financial con- 
dition. Mr. Stevens looked around for some means 
of retrenchment, by which he could tide over the de- 
pression. In pursuit of a method he addressed a letter 
to the engineers, stating the necessities that beset his 
management, and asked them whether they could not 
help him until such time as business should improve. 
To this appeal these men responded by immediately ap- 
pointing a committee, who went to Hannibal, the head- 
quarters of this road, and the members of the commit- 
tee from Brookfield, Mo., joined those of the committee 
who lived in Hannibal, and with such interest as men feel 
over their own affairs, they consulted as to how much 
they could spare from their daily pay to help the gen- 
eral manager past his difficulties. They settled upon 
an amount of temporary reduction, met with Mr. Ste- 
vens at his office and gave him the result. Mr. Ste- 



1 36 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



vens was highly pleased, and gave them a letter of 
thanks, and a written promise to restore the pay when- 
ever business would justify it. In this he accom- 
plished, by gentlemanly methods, and a due considera- 
tion of the second party, what he could not do arbitra- 
rilv, or bv force. 

In 1877, one G. B. Simonds became general master 
mechanic, who removed the division master mechanic 
at Brookfield, and put in one of his own kind, and a 
system of prosecution was inaugurated that culminated 
in an effort to secure the removal of this tyrant. 
Division 29, then located at Brookfield, appointed a 
committee who went to New York city to see the di- 
rectors and have a stop put to the wholesale discharge, 
and the gross misuse of the men. This would have 
succeeded had it not been for a Benedict Arnold, in 
the person of George Jennings, who, on the promise of 
a place as division master mechanic, started a counter 
petition, and, securing a few names, succeeded in 
breaking up the harmony of the Order. Through this 
petition, G. B. Simonds held his place for the time be- 
ing; and the consequence was that every Brotherhood 
man, not already discharged, was sent away with rea- 
son, or without. This tyrant was allowed full sway. 
The old and tried men were exchanged for any men 
not members of the Brotherhood. There were some 
-good men among the new, but the average was ex- 
tremely bad. The members of the division being dis- 
charged, their charter was surrendered and the organ- 
ization ceased to exist at that point. Wreck and disas- 
ter followed. The company, through its petted and 
protected officer, had sown the wind and was about 



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Tift LIBRARY 

OF THfc 

UNIVERSITY Of ILLINOIS 



LOYALTY OF ENGINEERS AND FIREMEN. I 37 

to reap the whirlwind, as the natural outcome of its 
violence against justice and fair treatment. The com- 
pany becoming convinced of the unprofitableness of 
this course, removed the master mechanic, and T. G. 
Gorman was appointed, who adopted a different pol- 
icy. The Simonds bum element was weeded out, and 
many of the old men came back and took their places. 
Peace and good order returned. Some who had 
been members of Division 29, which had been broken 
up by Simonds, organized what is now known as Di- 
vision 79. In all this time, this company had forgot- 
ten that these men had reduced their own pay, on a 
written promise that it should be restored, and during 
the unorganized condition of the men, the company 
had ordered and executed another reduction. In 1883 
the road was under the management of Mr. John B. 
Carson, a gentleman and a thorough business man. 
The traffic, under his management, had increased to 
the full capacity of the motive power of the company. 
The men were being paid less than were any of their 
neighbors. A committer was appointed by Division 
79, to wait on Mr. Carson, and they took with them 
the written promise of the company, given by General 
Manager Stevens, and proceeded to Hannibal, Mo., 
the headquarters of the road. On their arrival they 
found General Manager Carson was in New York 
city, and they awaited his return, with entire confi- 
dence in his honor and integrity. On his arrival, he 
met the committee, and a settlement was made; classi- 
ification was done away with, and they were paid the 
same rate as their neighbors, as will be seen in the fol- 
lowing letter: 
10 



138 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Company. 
Office of Superintendent. 

Hannibal, Mo., April 27, 1883. 
Messrs. Burch, Leaphart, Rhodes and Smith, 

Committee. 
Gentlemen : 

It has this day been decided, that from and 
after May 1, 1883, the wages of engineers shall be as 
follows : Engineers of passenger trains, 3^c. per mile. 
Engineers of freight trains, 4c. per mile on all classes 
of engines. Engineers of construction trains $3.50 
per day- Engineers of switch engines, $2.50 per day, 
or $80 per month, a da}''s work to be twelve hours. 

Engineers dela}-ed over two hours shall receive 35c. 
per hour, after the expiration of the first two hours. 
The pay for short runs to be fixed by the undersigned 
on a mileage basis, the extra work, switching, etc., to 
be considered. The firemen's pay to be increased 
proportionately the same as engineers, taking as a ba- 
sis, the pay as it was before the reduction by Mr. Car- 
son. Yours Respectfully, 

(Signed) W. R. Woodard, Supt. 
(Signed) James Long, Supt. M. P. & M. 

The best of feeling prevailed, as will be seen by the 
following correspondence: 

John B. Carson, Esq., 

General Manager of Hannibal & St. Joseph R. R. 

Dear Sir: 

Appreciating the kindness shown us at our 
meeting with you, and feeling that you have placed us 



LOYALTY OF ENGINEERS AND FIREMEN. 1 39 

on an equality with other men of like calling, we wish 
to express our sincere thanks to you. We wiU en- 
deavor by strict attention to your interests, — and 
through that the company's — to make restitution, at 
least in part, and we hope the friendly relations so 
long existing, and your able management of the road, 
may continue as long as it is your pleasure to remain 
with us. Again thanking you, 

We remain respectfully yours, 

(For the committee.) H. L. Burch. 

Mr. Carson replied in the following : 

Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Company. 
Office of General Manager. 

Hannibal, Mo., July 5, 1883. 

Mr. H. L. Burch, Engineer H. &St.Jo.R.R. 
Brookfield, Mo. 

Dear Sir. 

I beg to acknowledge receipt of letter from 
yourself and associates of the 30th ult. Permit me to 
thank you for you friendly expressions, and to assure 
you that they are fully reciprocated on my part, not 
only to yourselves, but to every employe of this com- 
pany who has so thoroughly and faithfully performed 
his duties during the period of my management. 
Without such able and manly assistance as I have re- 
ceived on the part of the gentlemen associated with 
me in all capacities, I could not have succeeded in the 
creditable manner, so pleasantly referred to by you. 

If you will kindly bear in mind that it is in your pow- 
ei to make a saving to the company by the economi- 
cal performance of your duties, equal to the additional 



149 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

compensation you receive, we will come out even in 
the end, and I have confidence in believing you will all 
try to accomplish this. 
With best wishes I am 

Yours Very Respectfully, 

John B. Carson, General Manager. 

Here is an instance of friendly intercourse, of mu- 
tual interest, which naturally comes of a considerate 
management. These relations continued pleasant dur- 
ing Mr. Carson's stay; but the Chicago, Burlington 
& Quincy Co. reached out its strong arms and secured 
the control of the Hannibal & St. Joseph railroad. Mr. 
Carson went to the Louisville, New Albany & Chica- 
go railroad, and the Hannibal & St. Joseph railroad was 
placed under Burlington rules. A notice was posted 
that on and after November i, 1885, all men promot- 
ed in the engine department would be classified, and 
the doors were suddenly closed upon the employment of 
engineers from other roads. This was a startling ex- 
ercise of power. It was a widening of the domain of 
classification, which drove away contentment and har- 
mony wherever it went. Their pay on the mileage 
plan was not disturbed. The General Grievance Com- 
mittee was asking the Burlington to adopt the same 
standard of three and a half cents on passenger, and four 
cents per mile on freight : yet they were so much im- 
pressed with the evil of classification, that when they 
were asked to vote to sustain the General Grievance 
Committee, and vote on the abolition of classification, 
they voted unanimously to do away with a rule that 
had in it such an evil tendency. Their social relations 



LOYALTY OF ENGINEERS AND FIREMEN. I4I 

with the officers were pleasant. Their pay was sat- 
isfactory to those who were past the year of probation. 
They deserve the credit of an unselfish devotion to 
principle, in lending their assistance, and risking their 
future by enlisting in a common cause, for a common 
good. Had the right principle of apprenticeship been 
adopted, these men could not have been so completely 
united as they were. Apprenticeship has always had 
defenders; it has yet. There is no question that 
the engineers and firemen would willingly accept a re- 
duction of wages, equal to the difference between a 
tried man and an untried one. The Baltimore & Ohio 
road pays ten per cent less than first-class for one 
year, then full pay. Here are just principles. But on 
the Burlington, under classification, a difference of 33 
per cent is demanded first year, and 16 per cent for the 
second year, then full pay; and employ no one who 
cannot be used at these reductions, consequently no 
engineers were hired. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

JOINT COMMITTEE SEEKING AN INTERVIEW. 

On Monday, February 6, having heard nothing 
from Mr. Stone, another message was sent him asking 
an answer by 1:00 p. m. Not receiving any answer, 
the committee concluded they did not intend to grant 
a hearing. They concluded to send another dispatch 
to Mr. Perkins, and tell him they had sent two mes- 
sages to Mr. Stone and had received no answer, and 
that they would wait three days for him to come and 
meet the committee, and that if he did not come, then 
they would put the matter in the hands of the two 
grand officers, Messrs. Arthur and Sargent. To this 
Mr. Perkins answered on Wednesday, February 7: 
"S. E. Hoge: Message received. Mr. Stone probably 
did not get your message; he is on his way from 
Washington and will be in New York to-day, and I 
will talk with him." ' The first dispatch sent to Mr. 
Stone might not have found him, the second one did. 
The Knights of Labor had a strike in Pennsylvania, 
on December 24, 1887. It was not a railroad strike, 
but it involved railroad men who were members of 
that Order. From subsequent developments it is 
reasonable to suppose that Mr. Stone did not desire to 
answer until he knew the purport of the dissatisfaction, 
and whether it could be made useful. A message was 
finally received from him and read to the committee 
on the 8th, and Mr. Perkins was so notified, and that 

1 Minutes of member General Grievance Committee. 



JOINT COMMITTEE SEEKING AN INTERVIEW. I43 

they would confer with him later. Mr. Holdridge was 
then heard from, and the chairman asked for an audi- 
ence, and he was answered that they could not grant 
it until the next Wednesday. Five days more of wait- 
ing was no small item to this committee of twenty- 
eight men, yet the delay was accepted with good 
grace. 

The committee believed the adverse railroad legis- 
lation in the state of Iowa was extreme, and that it 
would be detrimental to both the railroads and the 
common good of the state. They drafted a me- 
morial to be presented to that legislature against 
the adoption of the two cent per mile rate. They then 
appointed a committee composed of F. P. McDonald, 
of St Joseph, Mo., George W. Wheatly, of Beards- 
town, 111., and Wm. Fowler, of McCook, Neb., who 
were instructed to present the memorial. This would 
indicate that while they were trying to secure equity 
of a railroad company, they were not unmindful of the 
interests of railroads. 

On Monday, February 13, a committee was ap- 
pointed to present the subject of the dismissal of their 
brother, J. A. Cuykendall, to Mr. Stone on the next 
day, and see if he would not reverse or modify the de- 
cision of Superintendents Brown and Besler. On 
Wednesday, February 15, this committee called and 
presented the matter, and Mr. Stone wanted to see the 
watch that had caused the discharge. In his decision, 
Mr. Stone said he could not reverse the decision of 
Mr. Brown on general principles. Not because the 
watch stopped and started again, losing eight or nine 
minutes, causing him to get on a passenger train's 



144 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

time, but he must sustain the decision because the 
engineer did not flag when he saw the train, and that 
he did n'ot protect himself according to the rules. 
The committee believed that had Mr. Cuykendall 
never served on a committee, he would not have been 
discharged. Mr. Stone's decision is what every en- 
gineer expects for violation of rules. We only 
cite this case to show the liability of the engineer, 
and the extremely narrow path he must walk to keep 
his position. It will also serve for contrast in the fu- 
ture conduct of this company, in violating every prin- 
ciple enunciated in this decision. Mr. Cuykendall was 
still a member of the General Grievance Committee, 
and on receiving Mr. Stone's decision, he resigned. 
The committee asked Mr. Stone to give him a letter, 
which he readily did, stating cause of dismissal, and 
requesting whom it may concern to write to him for 
reference, as to character and ability, and he also gave 
him a pass over the Burlington. If his membership 
on the Grievance Committee did not influence the de- 
cision, and was in line with the Burlington's strict dis- 
cipline only, Mr. Stone's action was more than usually 
considerate. The Burlington rule, as has been stated 
before, is that passes are not to be given to suspended 
or discharged employes; and usually when the dis- 
charged employe asks for a letter, he is told by the of- 
ficial, " You can refer to me when you find a place." 
Mr. Cuykendall went to the general manager of the 
Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, and received a letter 
from Mr. St. John, which secured him a place without 
much delay. The extenuating circumstances in this 
case, no doubt influenced Mr. Stone to give the letter 



JOINT COMMITTEE SEEKING AN INTERVIEW. 1 45 

and pass, and perhaps secured a place for Mr. Cuy- 
kendall with the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific; still 
it would seem that if he was a good man for Mr. St. 
John, he ought to be for Mr. Stone. 

Mr. Merrill, general manager of the Kansas City, 
St. Joseph & Council Bluff, and Hannibal & St. Jo- 
seph Divisions, and Mr. Besler, general superintend- 
ent of the Illinois lines, were present at this meeting, 
and the subject matter which had convened the com- 
mittee was taken up. Complaint was made of the 
violation of the rules of 1886 by the local officers. 
After considerable discussion upon the subject, Mr. 
Stone said he was glad the committee had come, that 
he was going to make some changes in the divisions of 
the road, and he would run the engines from Gales- 
burg to Hawthorne, the freight yard in the suburb of 
Chicago. He said he expected it would make some 
dissatisfaction among the men and they could settle the 
whole thing at once. The reason he expected dissatis- 
faction was: The men lived in Aurora, and to run 
through Aurora to Hawthorne would oblige them to 
move to Galesburg, unless thev would allow the crews 
to change at Aurora and the same engine go through. 
A protest was entered, not against the engines run- 
ning from Galesburg to Chicago, but against being 
compelled to move away from Aurora. In discussing 
the schedule presented, the chairman, Mr. Hoge, told 
Mr. Stone that they wanted the pay fixed on the mile- 
age basis. Mr. Stone answered that he did not have 
authority to make a full settlement for the whole sys- 
tem, until he could hear from Mr. Perkins. He then 
asked if the committee would grant him two days to 



IjJ.6 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

look over the schedule and confer with his subordi- 
nates. This was granted. Mr. Hoge asked Mr. Stone 
if he would meet the grand officers, and he said he 
would. The business arrangements being completed, 
the committee retired. Mr. Stone, and the official 
force at hand, immediately set to work preparing the 
printed circular letter so widely circulated later. They 
succeeded admirably in showing up their side of the 
question; but one very grave oversight in the business of 
the committee, which future developments proved, was 
not preparing themselves with counter proof showing 
the justice of their position. While we are waiting 
for Mr. Stone to secure the authority he lacked, let us 
look at this letter with the light let in on both sides of 
the controversy. We shall see that this letter, prepar- 
ed with such care and in such elegance, was not intend- 
ed for the eye of the engineers and firemen only. It 
is evident it was intended for the use to which it was 
put. It was an appeal to the public. It was full of 
half truths well put and plausibly argued. It was evident 
that they did not dream of concessions to these protest- 
ing employes. The pamphlet contained twenty-four 
pages purporting to be a candid appeal to these dis- 
affected men. It was filled with statements that were 
grossly unjust to the men and misleading to the public. 
We invite the reader to take a walk through it with' a 
lantern in his hand. Its title page was a bold one. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

THE CIRCULAR LETTER ANSWERED. 

It will be remembered that the strike did not occur 
until February 27, and considerable time must have 
been consumed in the preparation of this document. 
It gives a statement of wages paid first, second and 
third year, on 166 different runs and conditions; four 
pages of this elaborate document are given to discus- 
sion of the company's side of the question, and giving 
a highly colored representation of wages paid, stating 
what men were paid without telling how much work 
was done for it. Below is a copy of the title page. 

LETTER 

TO 

Engineers and Firemen 

EMPLOYED ON THE 

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, 

Burlington & Missouri River Railroad in Nebraska, 

Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, 

Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs Railroad, 

Chicago & Iowa Railroad. 



Chicago, February 22, 1888. 



It is evident they had two objects in view. One to 
dishearten any of the old men who might be weak, and 



I48 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

to induce them to stay with the company. But the main 
object was to bias public opinion, and there is no doubt 
that it did very powerfully and erroneously affect the 
general reader. It was evidently intended for the 
newspapers, and to them it went, and thousands 
read it and formed opinions that to this day have re- 
mained unchanged. We propose to pay our respects 
to this document, and we shall leave the reader to 
characterize it after he shall have seen it dissected. 

This document starts out by saying : A committee 
of your number presented, on February 15, 1888, for- 
our consideration, a schedule, marked " A," attached 
hereto, providing for a new basis and rate of pay for 
enginemen. The schedule marked "B," also at- 
tached, gives rules of April 1, 1886, governing the pay 
of engineers and firemen in force upon all lines, and also 
the schedule of wages for the C, B. & Q. proper. 
The important changes which your committee sug- 
gests are as follows : 

" ' 1st. Pay to be governed solely by the miles run, 
without regard to other conditions or circumstances," 

" ' 2nd. A large average increase in existing rates of 
pay.'" 

" ' 3rd. The abolition of any classification based upon 
length of service, age, or experience."' 

You are requested to carefully consider the , follow- 
ing objections to these suggestions: 

" 1 st. That our present basis is in force upon many 
important railroads in this country, and is preferred 
because it is the best one to fairly provide for differ- 
ences in the amount of labor, time and responsibility re- 
quired of enginemen upon different runs and divisions." 



THE CIRCULAR LETTER ANSWERED. 1 49 

" A branch passenger engine hauling two or three 
cars where there are two trains each way daily, is 
more easily handled than an important main line pas- 
senger engine where there are twenty or more trains 
each way." 

" A branch freight engine hauling eight or ten cars, 
with easy and regular hours, and by daylight, de- 
mands less labor from enginemen than an engine on 
the main line with a heavy freight train, although the 
mileage may be the same." 

"The trip basis, in view of all the varying condi- 
tions, covers value received. An arbitrary mileage 
basis disregards the value of the service rendered, and 
in the long run, we fear, would be unsatisfactory to 
the men and to the company." For example: 

" On the Galesburg Division of the C, B. & Q. 
railroad, an engineer on a light passenger run of two 
cars between Buda and Vermont, under the present 
schedule earns in twenty-six (26) days, $123.50, and 
the fireman $74.10; under the schedule which you 
propose the engineer would receive $171.08, and the 
fireman $102.64." 

One hundred miles constitutes a day's work on all 
roads, and the run being 188 miles, the enginemen run 
4888 miles in the twenty-six days, and consequentlv 
work 48 and 2-5 days to earn $123.50, and the tire- 
men $74.10. Had this letter been for the purpose of 
discussing the issue with the enginemen, the question 
of miles would certainly have entered into the discus- 
sion. Again they say: 

" Upon the first division of the Cheyenne branch on 
the Burlington & Missouri River railroad, a passenger 



150 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

train of three cars, requiring six hours and ten minutes 
daily, is paying under the existing schedule, to engin- 
eers, $144.00 per month. Upon your schedule it 
would pay $189.00 per month." 

Here again is 188 miles to run every day for thirty 
days in the month to get this $144.00, fifty-four days' 
work at $2.66 per day. We now come to the 
"Villisca branch: 

" On the Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluff's 
railroad, on the run from Villisca to St Joseph and 
return, under the present schedule the engineer earns 
for .a month of twenty-six (26) days, $143.00, and the 
firemen $72.80. Upon the schedule which you pro- 
pose the engineer would receive $199.29 and the fire- 
man $119.60. This is a three-car run, the engineer 
and fireman returning home every night; it is also a 
daylight run." 

To earn this money, the enginemen run 219 miles 
each day, twenty-six days in the month, 5694 miles, 
nearly fifty-seven (57) days' work! Was the distance 
omitted to fool the engineers and firemen to whom it 
was addressed, or to mislead the public? This letter 
then quotes: 

" On the Chicago & Iowa railroad, a light passenger 
run between Rockford and Aurora, which occupies 
four hours and fifty minutes in making the round trip, 
which leaves the engineer at home every night and 
every Sunday, and gives him the greater part of each 
day to himself, pays the engineer at present $104.00 
per month. Under the schedule which you propose 
this run would pay $134.68 per month, which is out 
of all proportion." 



THE CIRCULAR LETTER ANSWERED. 151 

Here is one hundred and forty-eight (148) miles to 
run every day, and instead of four hours and fifty min- 
utes, the train leaves at 6:55 a. m., and returns at 8:35 
p. m., thirteen hours and a half; 3848 miles in the 
twenty-six days, or thirty-eight and one-half day's 
work. This letter to the engineers and firemen closes 
these astounding statements with the remarks that: 

" The above examples illustrate that some light runs 
are paid high at present in proportion to the heavy 
runs, where most of the men are employed. Other 
similar cases can be given to show that your schedule 
would create high paid runs, and that it disregards 
what is reasonable to the company, and fair to the 



men." 



I have before me a book containing the schedules 
of over sixty railroads, of which forty-six Contain a 
clause which says: " One. hundred miles, or less, con- 
stitutes a day. All over one hundred miles will be 
paid for at regular rate per mile." Three of the 
other fourteen which pay by the trip, namely: the 
Southern Pacific, the Denver & Rio Grande, and the 
St. Louis & San Francisco, base their pay per trip, on 
the number of miles at three and one-half and four cents 
per mile, the Southern Pacific paying as high as $7-25 
a trip. The Denver and Rio Grande for two hundred 
and seven (207) miles paying $7.90 on passen- 
ger train. There is no condition in any of these 
which specifies three cars or six, as requring less pay 
or more. We find better prices paid by the trip on 
the New York and the New England railway — a Bos- 
ton road — than Mr. Stone was willing to concede, viz: 
one hundred and eleven miles run. Hartford and 



1^2 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

Fishkill, on Hudson, $3.75 also; Hartford, Manchester 
& Fishkill, one hundred and twenty (120) miles, $4.00. 
Putnam to Hartford and return, one hundred and 
twelve (112) miles, $3.75. The first two are through 
trains, the last a local. 

Let us compare some runs on other roads with 
Mr. Stone's main line fast mail, which is second to 
none in importance, as they are liable to $500 forfeit if 
the connections are missed. He pays from Aurora to 
Galesburg, one hundred and twenty-five (125) miles, 
$3.75, while if he paid the New York and the New 
England rate, he would pay $4.22. The local turn- 
around run of one hundred and twelve (112) miles, 
New York and New England, pays $3.75. The Bur- 
lington pays from Aurora to Streator and return, one 
hundred and twenty (120) miles, $3.65. If Mr. Stone 
paid the same rate as the New York and the New 
England, this run would bring $4.00. On the Nor- 
folk and Western railroad, the pay of passenger engi- 
neers is based on three cents per mile, and at this rate 
Mr. Stone's Vallisca branch, quoted as paying $143.00 
per month, would pay $170.82. I find the pay for 
passenger service from three cents per mile up to four 
cents, the country over, with a very few roads with 
such rates as the Burlington, and there are no roads 
in the west that could afford to pay better than it 
could before the strike. 

The Burlington officials pick out the best month in 
the year to show the public what the men are earning. 
Below is their statement of earnings per month, of en- 
ginemen on the C, B. & Q., who worked during the 
whole month, taken from the rolls of November, 1887 : 



< 
- 
w 
n 

> 
H 

n 

50 

P> 



> 



00 

oo 

oo 

o 
> 

7) 

PI 

D 



p! 

21 

o 
w 

> 
2 





G 

r 



X 
w 





f 


I'll 


H fe" 




4 




HP 




1 






11 
1 






Hi'j 




1PI$l»-» 




Is 








■< i 


£*?«-* 




! 

'ji 


i 




fflw'M 

■•HI 



liiiilli 



JJ 



THE CIRCULAR LETTER ANSWERED. 1 53 

ENGINEERS. FIREMEN. 

NO. MEN. AV.RATE. NO. MEN. AV. RATE. 



Chicago Division, 


77 


$105.10 


94 


$55-95 


Galesburg " 


68 


113-56 


77 


63-34 


St. Louis " 


3i 


115.29 


37 


60.63 


East Iowa " 


26 


110.69 


33 


58.22 


Middle Iowa " 


36 


126.43 


23 


76.37 


West Iowa " 


5o 


128.76 


53 


72-5i 



Now, if we analyze this statement, we find that the 
firemen get in proportion to engineers' pay: 

On Chicago Division, 65 per cent. 

" Galesburg " 67 

" St. Louis " 63 

" E. Iowa " 68 

" M. Iowa " 38^ 

" W. Iowa " 59^ 

On the Middle Iowa Division the engineers must 
have fired for themselves part of the time, as there 
were fewer firemen by thirteen, and the total earned 
by them was only 38^ per cent of the engineers' 
earnings. We must conclude without further discus- 
sion, that this list was made up for effect; the schedule 
all through, on the average, showing the firemens' pay 
at fifty-eight per cent of the engineers'. 

The third paragraph of this circular letter says : "At 
present we have one rate of pay for engineers just 
promoted from firemen, which continues one year. 
In the second year of service as engineer an advance 
in pay is given. On the expiration of the second 
year a further advance to full pay is given. The 
schedule proposed by the engineers' committee does 
away with this classification and insists upon full pav 

11^ 



154 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

for every man as soon as he runs an engine." No, Sir! 
Not full pay for every man as soon as he runs an 
engine, but full pay as soon as the Burlington com- 
pany puts him forward as a capable and safe man to 
be entrusted with a train valuable in property and life. 
If fully trusted to do the most difficult work, why not 
full pay ? That is a question often asked, but never 
yet answered. If an answer had been within the ho- 
rizon when this circular was indited, the powerful im- 
agination of its authors would have brought it in. Ca- 
pable and safe, means perfect, and if he is that, why de- 
grade him in his pay ? 

"The classification arranging for lower pay for be- 
ginners is in force in other branches of service. There 
is no complaint about this system from any of the C, 
B. & Q. employes, except engineers. There seems to 
be no explanation offered that the classification of 
which you complain is not as applicable to the en- 
ginemen as to other employes." 

The fact that brakemen and conductors work for 
their first six months at less than full rate, is not prop- 
erly classification ; it is an apprenticeship to which no 
class of laborers would object for a moment. To com- 
pare the probationary work of the engineers with that 
of brakemen and conductors and call them similar, as 
does the circular letter, is not only ridiculous to those 
who know better, but it is misleading to those who do 
not. It shows the want of candor in the writer, and 
of equity in their cause. It is a mode of attempting to 
make public sentiment, for which its authors must have 
felt ashamed in the dark for having committed treason 
against justice and logic. It makes the false issue that 



THE CIRCULAR LETTER ANSWERED. 1 55 

while engineers complain of classification for them- 
selves, they do not complain of it as to brakemen and 
conductors, while the fact is that classification as it has 
been forced upon engineers, has never been applied to 
brakemen and conductors and the authors of this cir- 
cular knew it. 

" To mass all engineers into one common body and 
pay all alike, taking no account of superior abil- 
ity or intelligence, seems to us unjust and unfair, and 
in direct opposition to the spirit of the times we live 
in, which tends to assure to each man whatever re- 
wards are due to his own abilities and skill, and not to 
produce caste, all members of which are on the same 

level." 

Let me quote from the Burlington schedule of pay, 
and show who creates caste, and whether ability is 
recognized and rewarded: "A passenger train be- 
tween Aurora and Galesburg, one hundred and twen- 
ty-five miles, pays : 

FIRST YEAR. SECOND YEAR. THIRD YEAR. 

Engineers, $2.75 $3.25 $3.75 

Firemen, 1.85 2.00 2.15 

Is it caste to say that one man doing an equal 
amount of work shall do it for one dollar less than an- 
other ? Is it rewarding ability ? Does he have the 
ability ? If not, why should the schedule quote a third- 
class man in first-class service ? The position is posi- 
tively inconsistent. If they are not equal to the ser- 
vice, they have no business in it; yet the schedule 
shows they are, and we know they are. The reason 
why there are not more third-class men running pas- 
senger engines is because the engineers have demanded 



156 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

that the oldest in the service shall have the prefer- 
ence of runs. 

This letter says, "The spirit of the times we live in 
tends to assure to each man whatever rewards are 
due to his own ability and skill." Let us follow a pas- 
senger train from Chicago to Quincy. 







MILES. 


1ST VR. 


2ND YR. 


3RD YR. 


"IKST-CLASS. 


Aurora to Chicago 


Engineers 
Firemen 


77 


2-35 
I.50 


2.85 
I.70 


3-25 
1.8S 


4J2C per mile 


Aurora to Galesburg. . 


Engineers 
Firemen 


125 


2-75 

1.85 


3-=S 
2.00 


3-75 
2.15 


3c per mile 


Galesburg to Quincy . . 


Engineers 
Firemen 


100 


2-45 

1.70 


}.O0 

1.85 


3-50 

2.00 


Trains 101, 
102, 103. 104. 
3J^c per mile 


Galesburg to Quincy. . 


Engineers 
Firemen 


ICO 


2. 4O 

1.6S 


2.90 
1 -75 


3-37/4 
1.90 


Trains 105, 
106. $3-37^ 



The last trains specified, 105 and 106, are local be- 
tween Galesburg and Quincy, and make twenty-six 
(26) stops, making an average speed greater than 
either numbers 103 or 104. Mr. Stone says it is be- 
cause they do not pull so many cars, consequently 
there is not so much profit, so he must take twelve and 
one-half cents from the engineer and ten cents from 
the fireman ; not because he lacks ability, nor because 
the risk is any less or the work either, but that he 
may be made to share the loss or the difference be- 
tween these two trains — one five or six cars, the other 
eight or nine cars. When we state from their own 
report of 1886, that the locomotive service east of the 
Missouri river only costs one and nine tenths of one 
per cent of the expense account, it looks ver)^ small. 
It looks still more niggardly when we look at their re- 
port for 1866 which says: "Excess of income over 
operating expenses and taxes, $12,016,452.56 for the 



THE CIRCULAR LETTER ANSWERED. 1 57 

whole line operated east and west of the Missouri riv- 



er." 



The next clause in this letter is very valuable, as it 
outlines what the Burlington considers their rights 
and what the public demands. It says: "The com- 
pany must reserve absolutely the right to ascertain, by 
whatever examinations it may think advisable, wheth- 
er its employes of all classes are capable of fulfilling 
the duties they undertake, and the public also demand 
that the railroad company shall take every precaution 
to employ only those men who can safely perform the 
work entrusted to them." This is right unless the ex- 
amination is only meant to arrest and discharge old em- 
ployes, as was done in the color-blind test. In that 
matter, as all know who know anything about it, the 
men were tested with all the various and delicate 
shades of color so that an expert in colors would hard- 
ly pass. Our engineers of the first and second years 
held in regular work, but with inferior pay, have re- 
quested any, reasonable examination, but could not 
obtain it. The best of work was required for two 
years at degraded rates of pay, while steadily refusing 
a fair examination as to ability and skill with reference 
to promotion, and this by a company that is laboring 
to prevent others from creating caste. Now read the 
evidence taken before the Illinois and Iowa railroad 
commissioners concerning the kind of men which later 
took charge of the company's property, and its pat- 
rons' lives, without a particle of either qualification or 
examination, and the authors of this circular are "hoisted 
on their own petard." This letter closes with these 
words: "In conclusion, we would say that, while we 



I58 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

cannot see our way to accepting your committee's pro- 
posals, we expect to pay as much as our neighbors for 
similar services, and we are ready at any time to take 
up the question of wages and adjust any inequalities 
in our schedule that may be shown to exist. We can- 
not, however, attempt to adopt a basis which says 
that one 100-mile run should be paid the same as an- 
other 100-mile run, regardless of the effort and ability 
required and the difficulties to be overcome on each- 
Believing as we do, that these are matters of great im- 
portance, we will print for distribution copies of this 
communication, so that these questions may be fully 
considered by all concerned." 
Yours Truly, 

Henry B. Stone, 

General Manager, C, B. & Q. R. R. 

H. S. HOLDRIGE, 

General Manager, B. & M. R. R. R. in Neb. 
W. F. Merrill, 
General Manager, H. & St. J. R. R. and K. C, St. J. 
& C. B. R. R. 

H. D. Judson, 
General Superintendent, C. & I. R. R. 

" We expect to pay as much as our neighbors for 
similar services." I will quote some of their neigh- 
bors: 

Chicago & Alton. — Passenger service, three and one- 
half cents per mile. One hundred miles or less to con- 
stitute a day's work. Classification is abolished from 
March 1, 1888. 

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. — No classification : 



THE CIRCULAR LETTER ANSWERED. 159 

three and one-half cents on passenger, and four cents 
per mile on freight. One hundred miles or less make 
a day's work. 

Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul. — On all runs of less 
than ninety miles, $3. 50 will be allow r ed. In case actual 
mileage on such runs exceeds one hundred miles per 
day, actual mileage will be allowed at the rate of 
$3.70, three and seven-tenths cents per mile. 

Louisville, New Albany & Chicago. — Passenger 3^ 
cents per mile. Freight, eight (8) wheel engines, 4 
cents per mile, and six (6) wheel with connected en- 
gines, 4 2-10 cents per mile. No classification. 

Union Pacific. — $3.85, both freight and passenger, 
and one hundred miles a day's work. 

Wisconsin Central. — $3. 70 per one hundred miles, 
freight and passenger. One hundred miles a day's 
work. 

Minnesota & North Western. — same as Wisconsin 
Central. No classification. 

Wabash. — 3^ cents, passenger; 4 cents, freight. 
One hundred miles a day's work. No classification. 

Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha. — $3.70, 
freight and passenger. 

Northern Pacific— 4 cents, freight and passenger. 
One hundred miles or less a day's work. No classi- 
fication. 

Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific. — Engineers, passen- 
ger, $3.60 per hundred miles; firemen, passenger, 
$2.15 per hundred miles. On freight, for one hundred 
miles, $4.15, and firemen in proportion. 

The engineers on fast mail, Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincy, 125 miles per day, receive $97.50 for 26 days' 



l6o THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

time. The engineers on the Chicago & North Western 
railroad, for the same service, receive $120.00. No 
proof is necessary to show that men are not rewarded in 
accordance with merit and ability, which Mr. Stone says 
the spirit of the times demands. It is never ability on 
the Burlington, but time, that advances the engineer's 
pay. If the engineer just promoted has the ability, 
why should he be kept at reduced pay if it is ability 
that is to be rewarded ? And if the older engineers 
have ability equal to the North Western engineers, 
why should not this ability be recognized, and be paid 
as much ? 

These quotations prove that the Burlington pays 
less than its neighbors, and yet it is the best able to 
pay — or was at that time. It is easy to see that there was 
no intention to make a settlement. The officers had 
made up their minds to fight it out and win laurels for 
great generalship, not considering the interests of the 
" 10,000 stockholders in Illinois alone." 1 The Lon- 
don advertisement, in November, with its false repre- 
sentations, and the advertisements in New York, 
Pittsburg and Philadelphia, as early as the 26th of 
February, are ample proof of what was intended, 
so that all the negotiations were only a means of mak- 
ing time for the Burlington officials to be better pre- 
pared. Here is an event of the day before the strike : 
"Reading, Pa., February 26, 1888. It is learned here 
to-night that an agent of the Burlington has been in 
this vicinity for several days, recruiting striking engi- 
neers and firemen from the Reading road, whose 
places were taken by Brotherhood men." 2 

1 Railroad Commissioners' report. 2 Kansas City Journal, Associated Press 

report. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

THE END OF NEGOTIATIONS. 

Grand Chief, P. M. Arthur, and Grand Master, F. 
P. Sargent, with a joint committee of engineers and 
firemen, were in Chicago on February 15, to meet an 
engagement with the officials of the Chicago & Alton 
railroad, on Friday, the 17th of February, 1888. 
This committee had presented a joint schedule, sim- 
ilar to that formulated by the Burlington committee, 
asking for the abolition of classification and the adop- 
tion of the mileage basis of pay. After two half days 
of consultation, their schedule was accepted and 
signed. It is rather strange that the Chicago & Alton 
found so little that was objectionable in this, and the 
Burlington found so much. While Messrs. Arthur 
and Sargent were in Chicago on this business, the 
Burlington committee advised with them in relation to 
their committee work, and were instructed by the two 
grand officers how to proceed, and were told, if they 
failed to come to an understanding that they should 
send for them and they would add their efforts to 
those of the committee, 

On the 17th, Chairman Hoge received a letter from 
General Manager Stone, appointing 10:00 a. m., Sat- 
urday, February 18, for a meeting with the committee 
at the Burlington General Office. The committee 
had been in Chicago twenty days. The first seven- 
teen were consumed in an effort to procure an audi- 



1 62 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

ence, and the next three they were waiting for the 
Burlington officials to prepare their famous letter. 
On arriving at headquarters they met General Man- 
ager Stone, of the Illinois lines, General Manager 
Holdridge, of the Burlington & Missouri, and General 
Manager Merrill, of the Kansas City, St. Joseph & ■ 
Council Bluffs, and Hannibal & St. Joseph roads, and 
General Superintendent Besler. The only business of 
importance at this meeting was the presenting to the 
committee the carefully prepared document containing 
the schedules and rules of 1886 and 1888, as shown 
in chapter xxvn. They were asked to look it over 
and consider it. There was great skill in the prepa- 
ration of this document, and no doubt the officials 
would have been highly pleased if it had created a 
division in the ranks of the committee, for which no 
doubt they hoped. The committee accepted the cir- 
cular letter, and adjourned to meet at their own quar- 
ters, not that they expected to find anything in it to 
change their minds, but they could hardly do other- 
wise with reasonable civility. They saw in it time — 
the dragging along of the issue without meeting it. 
There is not much doubt that this document was in- 
tended to do demoralizing work in the committee, and 
if it should fail in this, then to use it, as they did use 
it, to bias public opinion. There was no evidence of a 
disposition to meet the men and discuss the points at 
issue; but every move by Mr. Stone called for time. 
Each day of delay brought a warmer sun, and drove 
jack frost — the known enemy of ignorant engineers, — 
farther away. The committee were becoming disgusted 
with procrastinating evasions, and after considering 



THE END OF NEGOTIATIONS. 1 63 

the circular letter, and seeing no point in it where the 
company proposed any reform, they concluded to no- 
tify President Perkins that unless an audience was 
given the committee in three days, the men would stop 
work. A message was received from Mr. Stone at 
6: 00 p. m. saying he would meet the committee on the 
following Monday, February 20, at 3 : 00 p. m. 

On Monday the two chairmen, Messrs. Hoge and 
Murphy, were sent by the committee to see Mr. Stone 
and tell him they would limit the time to three days in 
which to sfive them due consideration. Chairman 
Hoge said Mr. Stone became very indignant, but told 
them he could not settle until he heard from Mr. Per- 
kins. 

On Tuesday, February 21, Mr. Stone sent word to 
the committee saying he would meet them, but that 
he had not heard from Mr. Perkins. Mr. Stone final- 
ly obtained the authority, and the committee met him 
on Wednesday, February 22, at 11:00 A. m. After 
the usual courtesy Mr. Stone opened the subject by 
making objections to some of the articles in the pro- 
posed rules. Mr. Stone did not seem to understand 
them as they were intended, and the chairman ex- 
nlained them. Mr. Stone said that if the committee 
had considered the matter and could see any certain 
article in the schedule in any different light he was 
ready to listen. The committee readily understood 
the import of this remark from w r ord and manner, and 
the chairman told Mr. Stone they were of the same 
mind as when they last met. Mr. Stone then said, "If 
that is the case we cannot make a settlement, as there 
are things in the schedule which I could not allow." 



164 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

No effort was made to discuss them separately, in an 
effort to come to an understanding, and the committee 
retired and sent for Messrs. Arthur and Sargent to 
come immediately, saying that they had done all in 
their power to come to some understanding and with- 
out result. These gentlemen arrived on an early 
morning train, February 23, met with joint committee 
and found that they had, in anticipation of the neces- 
sity, obtained the vote of the whole system on the 
subject of the controversy, and as the vote had been 
so unanimous for the committee to stand their ground 
until they had obtained some substantial concessions, 
nothing was left them but to proceed with the effort. 
At 10:00 a. m. the committee, headed by the lead- 
ing men of their respective orders, proceeded to the 
Burlington headquarters. On entering they found 
assembled Vice-President Peasly, General Manager 
Holdridge, General Manager Merrill, together with a 
large number of superintendents and master mechan- 
ics. After various introductions all were seated. Mr. 
Stone had not yet arrived. It must have been an 
auspicious moment to the mind of Mr. Stone. To 
have the superior authority of a great railroad, repre- 
senting as it does, "property aggregating over $192,- 
000,000; the interests of eleven thousand six hun- 
dred and sixty-eight stockholders," l and the employes 
of this vast holding; to have in his hands this vast 
power to be used for good or evil, was indeed a mo- 
mentous epoch in a man's life. The magnitude of 
this responsibility in the mind of a conscientious man 
must weigh heavily. But Mr. Stone weilded a power 
emanating from a Boston directory. "When slavery 

1 Railroad Commissioners of 111., 1888. 



THE END OF NEGOTIATIONS. 1 65 

still wielded its lash, the merchants of Boston mobbed 
William Lloyd Garrison, and hissed Wendell Phillips, 
because they cared more for their trade with the 
south than for the poor slave." 1 Again, in this case, 
they cared more for money than for justice. 

A few moments after the committee were seated, 
Mr. Stone entered. An eye witness says: "His greet- 
ing was cordial, yet his every act showed that he was 
determined to make an obstinate fight, and that his 
answer would be, now, the same he had given to the 
committee at their previous meeting: "I give nothing." 
A few preliminary remarks were made by both Mr. 
Arthur and Mr. Sargent and the work was taken up 
for which they had assembled. Article i was read. 
This article was discussed for nearly two hours; prop- 
osition after proposition was made in an effort to meet 
Mr. Stone's objections, but he was not in a mood to be 
suited, and it was finally passed. The second article 
was taken up. This, like the first, did not suit Mr. 
Stone. Substitutes were offered, but, like the first 
one, no proposition met with his approval, and it also 
was passed. Then the meeting adjourned for dinner 
to meet at 2 :oo p. m. The two rules, which by no 
possible means could be made to suit Mr. Stone, are 
in force on nearly all the trunk lines in the country, 
and it was evident he did not wish to be suited. 

Promptly at 2 :oo p. m. the work was again taken up. 
Section 2 of Article 1 1 was read. This, like the other 
propositions, did not suit Mr. Stone. Mr. Arthur read 
rule after rule which had been adopted by other com- 
panies, but none suited. Finally, Mr. Stone made one 
himself. Mr. Arthur said, " We will accept that Mr. 

1 Rev. C O. Brown, in Labor Troubles. 



l66 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

Stone." He replied, " I did not mean that to be ac- 
cepted; I want to consult with my associates." Gen- 
eral Managers Holdridge and Merrill recommended 
that it be accepted by the company; but Mr. Stone 
did not want his own proposition after he had made it, 
and it was finally passed without agreement or action. 
The real intention of Mr. Stone was evident in what 
followed. 

Section i of Article hi was read, which calls for the 
mileage basis for engineers, 3% cents on passenger 
and 4 cents per mile on freight trains, and Mr. Arthur 
said, "What do you say to that, Mr. Stone?" "I say, 
No, Sir, I will never concede it." Mr. Arthur said: 
" That is frank of you, Mr. Stone ; when a man says 
1 No, Sir, never,' some one will have to yield or there 
will be no settlement." Concessions were again 
attempted on Mr. Arthur's part, and rates were quoted 
from other roads. Mr. Arthur proceeded to show the 
number of roads that were paying the rates asked 
for by the committee. He showed where the Rock 
Island and Northwestern, running through the same 
region as that of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
railroad, was paying more than was asked by the 
committee, and more than 90 per cent of the roads 
were paying what was asked. He read a clipping 
from a newspaper which stated that the Chicago, Bur- 
lington & Quincy had over a million dollars surplus on 
hand, and then asked Mr. Stone whether the Burling- 
ton was not able to pay as much as its neighbors ? 
Mr. Stone hesitated a moment, and answered, " That 
they might be able to do so, but that the basis on 
which thev paid their engineers and firemen was 



THE END OF NEGOTIATIONS. 1 67 

working satisfactorily to them, and they did not pro- 
pose to make any change." 

Mr. Arthur, having exhausted all known resources, 
and seeing that it was useless to waste more time with 
him, then said: "Very well, Mr. Stone, if you will 
not consider that proposition, if your men decide to 
quit work, I will sanction a strike on your road." The 
sanction of Messrs. Arthur and Sargent carried with it 
the support of all members of the Brotherhood of Lo- 
comotive Engineers and the Brotherhood of Locomo- 
tive Firemen. Neither could order, but they could 
advise and consent, and in the position of this joint 
committee, it meant a strike. It was evident from 
Mr. Stone's demeanor that he was prepared for the 
conflict, as he evinced no surprise when Mr. Arthur 
informed him what he might expect. The committee 
withdrew, and on their way to the hotel Messrs. Ar- 
thur and Sargent revolved in their minds what further 
could be done to obviate the disaster of a strike. 
They knew that Mr. Stone had been delegated full 
power to do as he pleased, but Mr. Arthur thought 
that if President Perkins, who was still in the east, 
knew the situation, he might intervene. Accordingly, 
Messrs. Arthur and Sargent formulated, and sent the 
following message: 

To President Perkins : 

"Unable to settle the grievances of your engineers 
and firemen with General Manager Stone, men are 
determined to strike. We want to prevent it. Will 
accept the same terms as made with the Chicago & 
Alton, and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe; three and 
one-half cents per mile on passenger, four cents per 



1 68 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

mile freight service, sixty per cent for the firemen. 
Answer quick! " 

No reply was made to this until Friday afternoon, 
February 24; then a message was received from 
President Perkins, stating that " he had given the au- 
thority to Mr. Stone to settle with the men. He said he 
was not familiar enough with the case to form an opin- 
ion, but he hoped the men would do nothing rash; that he 
would be in Chicago some time the next week." The 
coldness and the indifference embodied in the wording 
of this message, considering the importance of the oc- 
casion, is most un-American, and could only emanate 
from an autocrat in disposition. It showed utter indif- 
ference towards the men employed upon the Burling- 
ton system. The committee, together with their 
grand officers, had done all in their power to avoid a 
conhct, and there was nothing left them but a digni- 
fied m \intenance of their position, or to withdraw and 
leave th^ir future to the tender mercies of a power that 
had discharged the committee in 1883, and had de- 
manded of its employes a withdrawal from the 
Knights of Labor in 1886. 

Grand Chief Arthur reviewed the situation, and 
placed a strike before them in its worst possible form, 
showing what the result might be. Grand Master 
Sargent also pictured the possible future, telling them 
that " no sooner would the news go forth that there 
was a strike inaugurated than men would come by the 
score to take their places; that even men bearing the 
badges of their Order would come to take the places 
they would make vacant; that the company would use 
every means in their power to defeat them; that men 




J. A. BAUEREISEN. 



THE END OF NEGOTIATIONS. 169 

who had become incensed at the Brotherhood of Lo- 
comotive Engineers at something said or done, would 
take this opportunity to get revenge." ' This had no 
effect upon their determination to receive considera- 
tion from the company, or take the consequences, 
whatever they might be. Nothing was said by the 
grand officers to induce the men to strike, but they 
each told the committee that if they concluded to do 
so, the men w r ould be paid as their respective constitu- 
tions provided — $40 per month for three months, if the 
strike was not successful. If it was, they would get 
nothing; and that money would be raised to buv or 
hire, if possible, such men as were worthy. After 
mature deliberation they concluded to stop work, and 
the time was set for fouro'clock a. M.,Februarv 27. and 
the committee were instructed to go home and inform 
the men, and make all preparation for what seemed 
inevitable — a strike. Grand Chief Arthur's instruc- 
tions w r ere, unless otherwise notified: "When the ap- 
pointed time arrives, those who are at terminal points 
will quit, and those who are on the road with a train, 
will run the engines to the end of their trip, leave them 
in good order, go home and remain away from the 
company's property, and commit no lawlessness or 
overt act.'* 1 " If," he said, " we cannot win this strike 
honorably, we will acknowledge defeat." This ended 
the conference. Chairmen Hoge and Murphy re- 
mained in Chicago, and the rest of the committee de- 
parted to carry out their instructions. 

One more effort was made by Chairmen Hoge and 
Murphy for peace, but Mr. Stone was as relentless as 
ever, and they then told him the men would quit in a 

1 Living Witness. 



I70 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

body, at 4:00 a. m., Februaiy 27. Mr. Stone said: 
"Forty per cent of the old men will stay with the com- 
pany." ' This estimate I have been credibly informed, 
came from the local officials' estimate of the men at 
each point along the line. It is hardly to be doubted 
that Mr. Stone was deceived, or misled by erroneous 
information, and had he known the true character 
of the situation, that instead of having forty per cent he 
would have none, that he must depend upon strange 
faces and unknown characters for success; he would 
not probably have felt such assurance, nor would he 
have given at this last meeting the answer he did. 
Had Mr. Stone shown any disposition, the conditions 
asked for could have been modified, peace would have 
been preserved and millions — not of Mr. Stone's 
money — but of the stockholders, saved. His disposition 
and intentions are very manifest in the following in- 
terrogation by a reporter: 

February 26. — "The spacious rooms occupied bv 
the general officers of the Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincy railroad company are generally vacated Sun- 
days. Yesterday was an exception to this rule. The 
leading officers of the company were at work at their 
desks, and hard at work. Several consultations were 
held during the day between General Manager H. B. 
Stone; Vice-President J. C. Peasly: General Freight 
Agent, E. P. Ripley; General Passenger Agent, Paul 
Morton ; General Superintendent, J. D. Besler; and Divi- 
sion Superintendent, Howland. Hundreds of telegrams 
were sent out to the various points liable to be directly 
affected by the strike; a half-dozen stenographers 
were kept busy with important correspondence." 

1 Chairman. 



THE END OF NEGOTIATIONS. 17I 

■"General Manager Stone was closeted about 1 1 :3o 
o'clock with S. E. Hoge, of the engineers, and J. H. 
Murphy of the firemen. The conference lasted about 
ten minutes, and when questioned upon what trans- 
pired Mr. Stone said: These men called upon me this 
morning and gave me the first official notification that 
there would be a strike. They asked me if the Bur- 
lington was willing to meet them in conference upon 
the points discussed at the last meeting, and I told 
them most emphatically, No. I informed them that we 
were willing to consider the question of wages, but 
did not care to talk about abolishing the system of 
classification. They then said that every engineer and 
fireman belonging to their respective organizations 
would strike at 4 o'clock tomorrow morning. That 
ended the interview" ' (It will be remembered by the 
reader that the mileage basis was what broke off the 
negotiations, and not classification.) "Did not Chief 
Arthur inform you Thursday that the men would 
strike unless their request was complied with!" "No, 
he did not; he said that he would give his consent to a 
strike. All the information we have had since then 
up to this forenoon was derived from the papers." 
"Is there any chance now of averting the strike?" 
"None whatever unless the men recede from their de- 
clared intention. We are making every preparation in 
our power to prepare for the worst." " 

When Messrs. Hoge and Murphy met Mr. Stone, 
and received his answer, "Most emphatically, No," the 
last act was performed, and the answer severed all dip- 
lomatic relations between these two powerful factors. 
The engineers and firemen, representing as they did a 

1 5 Chicago Tribune, February 27, 1S88. 



%ij2 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

body of 50,000 men, when they received the sanction 
of their grand officers, could not, with any dignity, re- 
cede without having any of their requests granted, 
when so many roads were giving all and even more 
than they were asking. It was left to be seen after 
the ultimatum had been given, whether radical meas- 
ures would bring about what peaceful negotiations had 
failed to effect. 

Mr. Arthur said: "It is the first instance where I 
have failed to effect a peaceable settlement of the griev- 
ances of our men with a railroad company. Mr. 
Stone absolutely refused to meet us on the mileage 
basis; he would not touch the wages question at all. 
I was willing to make all honorable concessions, and 
had already made some when he abruptly told me 
that he would listen to no proposition to treat on the 
mileage basis. This of course ended the negotiations. 
Why the Burlington people decline to entertain it, they 
alone can explain." In answer to the question of why 
they selected so early an hour, Mr. Arthur said: "We 
selected that hour because there are fewer trains on 
the road at that time, and we do not wish the travel- 
ing public to be inconvenienced any more than we can 
possibly help. Remember that this affair is none of 
our seeking and I regret exceedingly that Mr. Stone 
has forced us into it. It has always been our policy 
to avoid strife, and particularly strikes. What we ask 
is that we are entitled to the same consideration by the 
Burlington road that we have received from other 
roads." Grand Master Sargent said : "The die is cast 
and the public should understand that it is not a move 
of our own choice. We have engaged in this contest 



THE END OF NEGOTIATIONS. 1 73 

fully prepared. There will be no intimidation, but we 
shall claim the right to buy any locomotive engineer 
that we please. We ma}'- decide to go to a locomotive 
engineer and hire him ourselves; no one can question 
us that privilege." "Mr. Stone admitted that few men 
could be pressed into the service from Chicago and 
based his hopes upon the smaller towns and cities 
along the road. He said an attempt will be made to 
press into the service the older and more experienced 
machine shop men. The company also expected con- 
siderable help from the firemen. There are hundreds 
of firemen, it is claimed, who are competent to run a 
locomotive engine, who would jump at the chance to 
secure a good job." ' 

The Burlington management had said in their circu- 
lar letter that the public demanded that the railroad 
company should take every precaution to employ only 
those men who can safely perform the work entrusted 
to them. What a sudden change! They refused to 
modify the tests for fear they would employ some one 
not up to their standard. Then within a week, we find 
them groping in the dark, with a bid for all comers, 
without regard to kind or character, giving a glad 
welcome to the refuse from all other railroads, as well 
as from their own. Local committees were appointed 
by the general grievance committee men, at each 
point along the whole line, and they were instructed 
to enter the field on the principle enunciated by Mr. 
Stone in 1886 — "supply and demand;" and to per- 
suade, if possible, or hire if necessary. That honor- 
able warfare was confined to the side of the striking men 
the following pages must convince the most sceptical. 

1 Interview with Tribune reporter, February 26, 1888 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

The difference between the Burlington managers 
and the engineers and firemen employed on the system 
was chiefly in this: that the enginemen asked for a 
change of the basis of wages from the trip to the mile- 
age ,plan, and the managers refused to make any 
change. 

The ultimatum was given on Feb. 22, 1888, leav- 
ing the Brotherhood the alternative of retreating from 
its position, or of endeavoring to enforce its request 
by a strike. The latter alternative was adopted by the 
two orders of engineers and firemen. The men of the 
grievance committee were instructed to return to their 
respective constituents along the line, and notify them 
that unless the managers had consented to treat with 
them before 4 o'clock a. m., Feb. 27, every man should 
leave his engine on arriving at its terminal point. 
Meanwhile the managers were making preparations 
for the coming conflict. The enginemen hearing noth- 
ing from them at the appointed time vacated their pla- 
ces over the whole Burlington system, six thousand 
miles of road. Manager Stone said, "Only one man 
of the whole 2000 remained." 

The company was unusually active on Saturday 
and Sunday clearing the tracks and getting everything 
passible to its destination. The men were as obedient 
to order, and as careful of the company's interests as 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 175 

though they expected to continue in its service. At 
four o'clock all engines at terminal points were run in- 
to their roundhouses and housed with the usual care. 
All trains on the road were run to the end of the divi- 
sion and left in good order. In fact the deportment of 
the old employes was unexceptionable. Evidently the 
men believed that their places could not be rilled. 
They did not dream that the great Chicago, Burling- 
ton & Quincy road, proud of its efficiency in every 
department, demanding high intellectual and moral 
qualifications of its employes, would disregard its own 
rule, held to be inflexible, under which no novice 
could run an engine. 

The officers of the road were astonished at the una- 
nimity of sentiment which they perceived in the men. 
So entire was it, that not half a dozen engineers and 
firemen were left in as many states and territories to 
serve the company. Two thousand men scattered 
over several thousand miles, united in giving up their 
honest and reputable employment, their good pros- 
pects, their certainty of home and friends, for princi- 
ple. They began the strike, not alone to secure better 
terms for themselves, but to give laboring men every- 
where a better chance, — a just share in the proceeds 
of capital. Their loyalty became a sublime spectacle 
when it was seen to be the trait of men vowed to 
practice, " Sobriety, truth, justice and morality." 
They believed that the contest on which they had en- 
tered would be no trifle, but they did not believe their 
opponents would be willing to destroy millions of oth- 
er people's property to gain a point. 

At four o'clock on the morning of Febuary 27, the 



176 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

officials of the road who had been in their offices all 
night, called in each man as his engine came in and urged 
him to stay with the company, but without success. 

All business came to a standstill. The few passen- 
ger trains on the road were abandoned by the men as 
soon as they came to the terminal point, where the 
engines were changed. It became necessary for super- 
intendents, master mechanics, road masters, fore- 
men in shops, machinists, anyone who could start and 
stop an engine to be ready to fill the vacated places. 
Danger to the property of stockholders or patrons did 
not deter the officials from entrusting such persons 
with the trains. 

At Chicago a few moments before four o'clock, the 
C, B. & Q. yards at Canal and Sixteenth street pre- 
sented their usual appearance. The early morning train 
had left on time, and the switch engineers were at 
work as usual. Just before four o'clock Train Master 
Pope issued an order that no trains should be moved 
west of Chicago. This was taken by the few train- 
men in the yards to mean that the company had se- 
cured no men worth mentioning, and that the road 
would be in a few moments practically tied up. Ex- 
actly at that moment the switch engineers stopped 
work and run their engines into the roundhouse and 
the strike was on. 

The first surburban train to come in was manned by 
Master Mechanic Smith with Superintendent Howland 
acting as fireman. 

The through passenger trains that were on the road 
were stopped at division points, and there being no 
engineers to man the engines, the passenger trains 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 1 77 

from the west were left at Galesburg, and those from 
the Illinois Central managed to get to Aurora. "The 
fast mail being for the benefit of Uncle Sam, was not 
interfered with, and went as usual. No. 18, leaving 
Aurora at 6: 10 a. m. was taken to Chicago by T. S. 
Pope, the train master of Chicago. No. 20, at 7:15 
a. m., was taken in by F. M. Paris, master mechanic 
at Streator. No. 33, at 7:20 a. m., the milk train, by 
G. W. Rhodes, superintendent of motive power at 
Aurora. The Mendota passenger train was run by 
Dick Nixon, master mechanic, at Mendota." ' The 
Brotherhood's blow fell with paralyzing effect. At 
the Western avenue round house the most profound 
quiet prevailed. The round house was full of engines 
without steam. At 7 o'clock only one engine had left, 
and that was for the stock yards which was not in- 
volved in the strike. 

The Burlington sent out the following circular: 
"It will probably be a week or more before this 
company will be able to receive freight from you, and 
it will therefore be advisable, and for the public inter- 
est, for you to deliver all freight consigned to us and 
destined to competitive points, to such other roads 
as in your judgment can most promptly take it to its 
destination. We shall also be obliged for a few davs 
to decline to receive freight for local points. But as 
soon as we are able you will be advised of our ability 
to handle freight." 

At noon six hundred freight handlers were laid off, 
and every freight office in the city belonging to the 
Burlington was shut down. "The great freight house, 
fronting on Canal street and south of Harrison, was 

1 Aurora, (111.,) Express, February 27, 1888. 



178 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

deserted. There was no trace of the hundreds of trucks 
with their immense loads of outgoing freight, and each 
of the twenty receiving doors was adorned with the 
following sign : ' No freight will be received to-dav. 
Lot. Brown, Agent.' " ' 

Out of fifty-four suburban trains run daily by the 
Burlington, only four were run, and on a canvas of the 
opinion of the patrons on one of these trains, it was 
found that nearly all were in sympathy with the engine- 
men, and were willing to put up with the inconvenience. 
They all seemed to think that the Burlington could pay 
by the mile as well as other roads. 2 The train that should 
have left Chicago at 10:15 a. m., did not get started 
until 3 : 00 p. m. At an evening visit to the Union depot 
in Chicago at night, as far as the Burlington was con- 
cerned, passenger traffic was decidedly blocked and 
solemn. Not a train left after six o'clock p. m. Pas- 
sengers holding tickets over that road were obliged to 
sit in the depot all night on the hard benches. A 
throng of applicants was at the company's office for 
the places vacated by the outgoing men, and fifty- 
three were reported as examined by eleven o'clock. 
The examination must have been very limited. Mr. 
Stone said when interrogated, " You see there are 
plenty of men ready for the places." When he was 
asked who they were, and where they came from ? 
he answered: "I don't know." 3 

At Aurora the shut down was complete, all opera- 
tions ceased by the hour set. Several trains came in 
just before the time, and each was quietly abandoned 
by the men. Nothing was stirring, and the com- 
pany's premises were silent and gloomy in the gray 

1 Chicago Tribune. 2 Chicago Times. 3 Associated Press. 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 1 79 

light of early dawn. Later in the morning could be 
seen a motley crowd about the company's grounds, 
made up of curious citizens, old employes, and the of- 
ficials of the road, the latter trying to grapple with the 
difficulties of the situation. The officials were appeal- 
ing to every man they thought could be induced to 
come up and fill the vacant places, and the old em- 
ployes were as watchful and persistent in trying to 
keep them away. The engine for the Chicago & 
Iowa, called the Chicago & Dubuque train, was run 
out of the roundhouse about 11:40 a. m., and Master 
Mechanic Morris was making a desperate effort to 
find some one to run the engine. The officers were 
just beginning to learn that the men were in earnest. 
The men told Mr. Morris and the train master that 
they could obtain an engineer and fireman upon appli- 
cation to the engineers' committee, but they spurned 
this offer, saying they would like to know who was 
running the Chicago & Iowa road — the Brotherhoods 
or the officers ? Failing to get any one to go, they 
finally sought the committee, who readily assigned an 
engineer and fireman, but they were enjoined not to 
take anything but mail cars. That seemed to be sat- 
isfactory, and the men went on the engine and started 
up. Seeing all the cars were still attached, the engi- 
neer stopped and told them they must cut off the 
coaches. This they made a show to do, and again 
gave a signal to go, and the engineer finding they had 
not cut them off, stopped again. At this the fireman 
got off and told Mr. Morris to fire the engine himself. 
They then gave a signal to back up into the } f ard, with 
another demonstration of cutting them off, and when 



I So THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

the engineer saw this he got off the engine, leaving 
them with no alternative but for Master Mechanic 
Morris to go himself, which he did. ' The next train 
was number 2, due in Aurora at 6:45 a. m.. which 
arrived at 2 : 00 p. m., with A. O. Taylor in charge of 
engine. The engines were changed, and engine 403, 
manned by Mr. Fred Geyer, foreman of the machine 
shop, who had never handled an engine in his life, and 
Seth Parsons, a farmer from Piano, Illinois, acting as 
fireman. When Foreman Geyer backed the engine 
up to couple on the train, he could not control it, and 
ran into the train so hard that it ran back a car length, 
and it was composed of eleven cars. Geyer remarked 
then that he could build an engine better than he could 
run one. They finally got started with the train, and 
when seven or eight miles from Aurora, they got out 
of steam, caused by the farmer fireman filling the fire 
box with green coal. Geyer said he thought to run 
up and down the track would help make up steam, so 
they ran away from the train about half a mile east of 
the train, partly up grade, and in coming back Geyer 
lost control of the engine, which was going at a rapid 
rate and struck the train, telescoping the mail car, the 
whole tank and part of the engine going into it. Ex- 
pert Geyer was taken out of the side door of the mail 
car, cut, bleeding, nose broken, and badly injured 
otherwise. Farmer Parsons, the fireman, had his leg 
and collar bone broken, and is a cripple for life. One 
of the mail clerks was very badly injured and has 
never worked since. Geyer was confined to his 
house, and Farmer Parsons was at the city hospital 
for several weeks. The evidence in this case before 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. l8l 

the Illinois railroad and warehouse commisioners will 
be given later. 

A collision occurred at the Chicago, Milwaukee & 
St. Paul crossing. William H. Pierce, assistant engi- 
neer of tests in the C, B. & Q. shops at Aurora, upon 
learning of the strike, with several other young men, 
signed a letter to Mr. Rhodes, superintendent of mo- 
tive power, offering to go out in any position the com- 
pany should deem advisable, and Mr Pierce w r as de- 
tailed by the master mechanic at Aurora to go to Men- 
dota, 111., and take a train to Fulton, as engineer. 
Mr. Pierce had never run an engine ; never was exam- 
ined for one; was obliged to wear glasses to see and 
was quite deaf. However, regardless of all interests, 
and with an eye single to the defeat of the striking en- 
gineers, this man was assigned to pull a passenger 
train. 

He started at Mendota and things went fairly well 
until he arrived at the crossing of the Chicago, Mil- 
waukee & St. Paul railroad. Unfortunately, there 
was a train on that road just crossing the Burlington 
track, and this novice failed to stop as he should, and 
ran into them, going at the rate of forty-five miles per 
hour, striking the back trucks of the Milwaukee en- 
gine tender, throwing it and the Milwaukee mail car 
into the ditch. The Burlington engine and mail car 
were also thrown in the ditch, as shown in cut, injur- 
ing Mail Clerks Wilhelm and Brown, Express Mes- 
senger Morrison of the Milwaukee, and Mr. Pierce, the 
new engineer, Road Master Seegers, and the con- 
ductor of the Burlington train. 

In the evidence before the Illinois rail^ad commis- 






l82 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

sioners appears the following evidence, Superintendent 
of Motive Power, G. W. Rhodes, being asked : 

"Do you know Mr. Pierce?" 

"Yes, Sir." 

" What is his business ? " 

" Mr. Pierce is assistant engineer of tests in our labo- 
ratory at Aurora." 

"Is he an engineer in the employ of the Burlington 
road now ? " 

" He is not an engineer." 

" Was he ever at any time an engineer in the employ 
of the Burlington road ? " 

" He was never examined as an engineer for the 
Burlington." 

'•'You say he was not ?" 

"No, Sir. He was not." 

" Did Mr. Pierce ever run a locomotive engine be- 
fore ?" 

"Mr. Pierce had handled a locomotive engine. 
Yes, Sir." 

"The question was, did he ever run a locomotive 
engine before. Please answer that." 

" I am not able to say whether he did or not." 

" Are you in the habit, when exercising your best 
judgment to select engineers, to put a man on the 
road to run a locomotive engine when you do not 
know whether he has ever run one before or not ? '' 

" In a case like this when our trains were " 

" In any case ? " 

" We do so. I would do so again." 

" When the lives of the public are in peril you will 
take a man without knowing whether he has ever 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 183 

run an engine before or not, and put him in charge of 
an engine ? " 

•• No, Sir; Mr. Pierce's education and training jus- 
tified me in believing that he could handle the train 
properly." 

" Do you believe any technical education in the 
shop without practical experience fits a man to be 
placed in charge of an engine to which is attached a 
passenger train ?" 

" Properly guided by a pilot and conductor, I say 
so, decidedly." 

"You would do so at any time; if there had 
been no strike, you would select a man of that experi- 
ence, would you ? " 

" I would do that under the circumstances we 
were " 

" Only under emergencies! " 

"Yes', Sir." 

"You would not say, generally, it is a wise thing 
for a railroad to do, would you ? " 

" I would say under circumstances such as we were 
left in, it was a wise thing for us to do." 

What does the public think of this manifest indif- 
ference to any thing but " our " interest. The public in- 
terest must be subordinated to that of railroads, is the 
motto. 

At Galesburg, similar conditions could be seen. 
The passenger trains from the west stopped accord- 
ing to agreement. The engines were vacated by 
the men, and there were no enginemen ready, 
in spite of the strenuous efforts of the officers. 
The passenger waited seven hours, and finally got 



184 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

started with Conductor Dewey at the throttle. The 
next train following this was also a passenger train, 
pulled by mogul engine No. 135, manned by one 
Chapman, who had been delivering engines for the 
Baldwin locomotive works. When he got about two 
and a half miles east of Galesburg, he stopped and 
stood there for about an hour and a half, when 
Master Mechanic Colville took the switch engine and 
went to see what was the matter, and got him started 
again and they reached Buda about 4:30 p. m., using 
more than six hours in making a distance of forty-five 
miles. Here he gave up the train and put the engine 
in the round house where it remained for three days, 
said to have been burned. ' Zeb. Sammis was put on an 
engine pulling a passenger train between Galesburg 
and Quincy, so drunk he had to be helped on the en- 
gine. His son, W. C. Sammis, tried to persuade him 
not to go, and the officers of the company, Master Me- 
chanic Colville and James Lindsey, road master, 
laughed at him and called Marshall Ennis, who told 
the son to go away or he would run him in. 

1 See evidence before 111. Railroad Com. 




THOMAS RRODKRICK.. 



THE rSRARY 
OF THE 



UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 



CHAPTER XXX. 

THE STRIKE ALONG THE LINE. 

At Beardstown as early as February 24, before the 
committee got home, the master mechanic and super- 
intendent called the engineers all in to the master me- 
chanic's office and asked them what they intended to 
do. The men being still in ignorance of what had 
happened in Chicago, they asked the superintendent 
what he meant, and he answered : "Don't you know that 
we are on the eve of a big strike ? " and then pro- 
duced the famous circular letter and tried its influence 
on them, but their only answer was, " We have no- 
thing to say. We sent a man to Chicago to attend to 
our business, and whatever he did, we propose to 
stand by." This effort evidently did not prove very 
satisfactory, yet it furnishes further proof of the com- 
pany's intentions. Business moved on as usual until 
Sunday, February 26, when Master Mechanic Wallis 
sent for the committee representing the engineers and 
firemen, Messrs. Wheatley and Sherman, and he 
wanted to know if they would furnish an engineer and 
firemen for the mail trains, and he was answered : " Cer- 
tainly, if a government officer requests it; but will only 
pull mail cars, no coaches." Then Master Mechanic 
Wallis and Superintendent L. E. Johnson sent for the 
chief engineer of Division 127, P. J. Murrin. These 
officers told him they would appoint him traveling en- 
gineer, creating the office for that purpose, and it soon 
13 



1 86 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

became evident that the officers thought by capturing 
the presumed leader they would break up the solidity 
of the men, but they were mistaken. When the hour 
came all business ceased, and on the morning of the 
27th, they called every engineer and fireman to go, 
but all refused, and about 7 :30 o'clock a. m., they got 
a machinist to run the engine, with the new traveling 
engineer to pilot and to educate. This train was for 
Rock Island. In their dire necessity, they took into 
their family one W. K Hollis. This man was in the 
employ of the company before at East St. Louis, as 
foreman, and General Manager Stone declared in 1886 
that he was a thief, and that he stole coal by the car- 
load and forged time checks. What a fall was there 
in a day, when the great C, B. & Q. takes back into 
its service the false, the disreputable and dishonest, 
recently branded as thief and drunkard ! 

At Beardstown, as elsewhere, all officers were 
brought into service. The shop foremen at Rock 
Island, East St. Louis, Monmouth, and other plac- 
es, taking a new role with a bound. At East St. Louis, 
about forty engineers and firemen notified the officers 
that thev would not resume their places on the en- 
gines of the C, B. & Q., at the same time telling 
them that no opposition would be made to men filling 
their places, nor would there be any obstacles to the 
movement of trains. However, the company secured 
Sergeant Langley with three policemen, to guard their 
property. The men on duty in the yard at East St. 
Louis began at midnight to make preparations to 
abandon their engines, and as there was little doing, 
several of the engines that ought to have been in the 



THE STRIKE ALONG THE LINE. 1 87 

yard, were run into the roundhouse and deserted, and 
at four o'clock the shut down was complete. At Keo- 
kuk not a pound of freight was handled, and every 
engineer and fireman quit his post, and the St. Louis, 
Keokuk & Northwestern was tied up, with the ex- 
ception of a passenger train which started from St. 
Peters, with a fireman named Burns, as engineer. 

On the morning of February 27, the bulletin board 
at Creston, Iowa, contained the following: "Owing to 
the strike of the engineers and firemen, and consequent 
abandonment of all freight trains, this company will 
refuse to receive freight of any kind until further no- 
tice." The official energy on the whole Burlington 
system was centered on the effort to man the passen- 
ger trains. The first train to move was passenger 
No. 15, which went west, piloted by Traveling Engi- 
neer George Brown, engine No. 295, with Ernest 
Fritse, engineer, and Ernest Higgins, fireman, with 
two extra men in reserve. Train No. 61, south bound 
passenger, which should have gone out at 4:20 A. M., 
pulled out at 9: 00, with ex-fireman J. C. Shoemaker 
as engineer, and Brown as fireman. No obstacles 
were placed in the w r ay of any man who desired to 
work, and the enginemen said no force would be used 
or countenanced. All honorable means were employed 
to persuade the new men to stand with the Brother- 
hood, and they were empowered to hire them so to 
do. Passenger No. 8 was abandoned, and passenger 
No. 4 came in about 2 : 50 p. m. with only the mail 
cars, and the Brotherhood furnished Wm. Vangent to 
take them to Ottumwa. The coaches which should 
have been attached to No. 4, were brought in a second 



1 88 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

section and arrived at 4:30 p. m., with the engine 
manned by Conductor A. K. Stone, and Ed. Sheridan 
firing. Train No. 7 came in at 5 : 00 with only the 
mail cars, with Will and Chas. Flint as engineer and 
fireman, both Brotherhood men furnished on account 
of the mail. At the rear of No. 7 was attached Sup- 
erintendent Brown's special car No. 50. On arrival 
at the station, Superintendent Brown entered the cab 
of the engine that was to pull No. 4, which had been 
deserted by the Brotherhood men, his car being 
placed in the rear of No. 4. A great crowd had 
gathered at the depot, and as Superintendent Brown 
pulled the throttle out, the condensed water from the 
cylinders and dry pipe went out through the stack, 
carrying with it all the soot and dirt and splashed over 
the bystanders, and the pounding and sputtering of the 
engine was great fun for the boys. Train No. 7 
which arrived at five o'clock, did not get started until 6 
p. m., when it left with Conductor Lon Stroud at the 
throttle. The next passenger came in about 8:20 p. 
m., with Mike Johnson, an ex-bartender of Ottumwa, as 
engineer. This train stood in the yard for two hours 
and finally was pulled out by Conductor Will Patten, 
with engine 210. No. 5 passenger came in on the 
morning of the 28th, with an ex-brakeman named 
Burnham running the engine, and two middle division 
conductors, Frank and Cloyd, firing for him. The 
effect of the strike at Quincy was disastrous to its 
business interests, it being practically cut off from 
railroad travel and traffic, except by the Wabash, and 
the Quincy Missouri and Pacific, which was through 
the northern countries of Missouri, and these roads 



THE STRIKE ALONG THE LINE. 189 

■were seriously affected, because the switching at this 
point was done by the Burlington engines. The sys- 
tem there embraced the main line, viz : Galesburo- to 
Chicago, the Hannibal & St. Joseph, the Carthage 
branch, the St. Louis, Keokuk & Northwestern, and 
the Louisiana line. A desperate effort was made by 
the officers to get passenger trains through, the freight 
business, as at other points, receiving no attention. 
At Brookfield, the headquarters of the Hannibal & St. 
Joseph railroad, the superintendent's office was kept 
open all night, and each crew of engineer and fireman 
as they arrived, were called into the office and asked 
whether they would stay with the company, and all 
but one gave the same answer, whether they were 
members of either organization or not. One lone 
man, Win. Hannum, had evidently entered into some 
contract, and on the morning of the 27th, he, with 
some other firemen, came into the hall occupied by 
the engineers and firemen and said: " He hoped God 
would paralyze his right arm if he ran an engine in 
the strike. The men did not believe him to be sin- 
cere, and they followed him to the depot and he ac- 
knowledged he was going, giving as a reason that he 
was in debt. The firemen offered to pay his debts, 
but to no purpose ; he was willing to perjure himself 
before God and forsake his friends for the sake of 
getting an engine to run. He was a fireman, but not 
a member of that organization. He was the only man 
thev obtained and he went out as engineer on the next 
fast passenger train. Superintendent Crance and 
Master Mechanic Wilber, of Brookfield, General Mas- 
ter Mechanic Paradise: and Traveling Engineer John- 



I9O THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

son of Hannibal, and Foreman Thompsdrt 4 - of ""Kansas 
City, did the work of engineers in the passenger train 
service. All officers, station agents, and some of the 
conductors, were searching in every direction for men ; 
men who had been discharged, no matter what for, or 
what their character was. The road master was even 
looking among his section men for capable men to be 
put on the locomotives. 

They agreed to give them protection and board 
them at some good hotel at the company's expense, 
during the strike. The officers, having watched the 
situation all night, and then during the day having to 
go on the engines themselves, were getting tired out 
and began to feel that they had got about to the end of 
their rope. About all the engineers and firemen on 
that road were located at Brookfield, and the officers 
found it a pretty hard matter to get an engineer or 
fireman to go out, for as fast as a new man would ap- 
pear the men would induce him to go up to their room 
and he was not likely to withstand the appeals of the 
strikers. The officers ran in about thirty section men 
of all sorts and paid them for coming, in an effort 
to tire out the vigilance of the old men, but they did 
not succeed in this, as the old men put them through 
an examination which few could stand without some 
knowledge of the business, and they would soon give 
themselves away. Master Mechanic Wilber went out 
on No. 15 and met engine No. 4 manned by Foreman 
Thompson from Kansas City, when they changed; 
Thompson going back to Kansas City and Wilber 
back to Brookfield. General Master Mechanic 
Paradise ran from Hannibal to Quincy, and Travel- 



THE STRIKE ALONG THE LINE. I9I 

ing Engineer, Horace Johnson, ran from Palmyra Junc- 
tion to Bucklin, where he met Superintendent S. E. 
Crance on No. 4, when they changed; Crance going 
back to Brookfield, and Johnson back to Palmyra 
Junction. No. 3 was without an engineer and there 
being no other road at Brookfield, the chances of hir- 
ing men at that point were very poor, owing to the 
incessant work of the old men to keep them away- 
On account of their inability to obtain men, their fast 
train had to be abandoned, and the officers finally con. 
eluded to run the engines through from Quincy to 
Kansas City, with two firemen and one engineer — 
226 miles. ■ In this way they thought they could keep 
the strikers from getting a chance to talk to them. 
Trains No. 5 and 6 — Cameron to Kansas City — were 
abandoned, and also Nos. 61, 62 and 64 — Cameron 
to Atchison. Foreman Frank Johnson at Atchison, 
a carpenter by trade, was urged to take the engine on 
No. 63, but refused. He had never been fireman or 
engineer, and knew nothing about one. No. 64 was 
finally got off with a switch engineer from the East 
Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia railroad, Mr. Shetla. 
At Kansas City, all the men quit at the appointed 
time and put their engines in the roundhouse in first- 
class order; the hostlers quit also. The first attempt 
to run was passenger train No. 4, with Foreman 
Thompson acting as engineer, who knew nothing 
whatever about running an engine. The regular fire- 
man refused to go, and a man was secured to go 
whom they called Cow Boy. He was dressed in cow 
boy style, with broad brimmed hat and belt. They final- 
ly pulled out after much chafing and delay, and on 



I92 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

arriving at Brookfield the cow boy was treated to 
some Sam Jones argument and the company lost his 
services. The first train into Kansas City came on the 
Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs road, with 
the engine manned by one Dudley. A squad of police 
immediately surrounded the engineer, but there was 
a large crowd gathered, and Dudlev was greeted with: 
"Show your face!" "You will be afraid to face 
your own family !" etc., but no violence was offered. 
The Burlington advertised in the Kansas City papers : ' 
" Wanted. — Competent engineers and firemen will be 
given permanent employment upon the lines of the 
Burlington system. Men entering our service will be 
paid full pay as per our schedule. We will give full 
protection and guarantee employment as long as they 
fulfill our requirements and prove competent. G. E. 
Fish, assistant superintendent of Hannibal, St. Joseph 
& Council Bluffs railroad." Mr. Fish evidently forgot 
that their company required three years' service to 
obtain these conditions of their old men, and Mr. Fish 
offers in this advertisement just what the men asked 
of the C, B. & Q. company; three and one-half cents 
per mile on passenger, and four cents per mile on 
freight. The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific stopped 
the freight business of their road, which runs over the 
Burlington to Cameron Junction, because the latter was 
trying to get this freight handled by the Chicago, Rock 
Island & Pacific engines, by putting the cars in their 
trains. The Chicago, Kansas & Nebraska, also apart of 
the C, R. I. & P. system, when the men were asked 
not to run into a yard where scabs worked, tied up their 
road for about four hours. Finally the following dis- 

1 Kansas City Journal. 



THE STRIKE ALONG THE LINE. 1 93 

patch was received from P. M. Arthur: " Do not in- 
terfere with the Rock Island engineers and trains, so 
long as they maintain neutrality." l "Train No. 6, pas- 
senger, backed down to Union depot at five o'clock, 
an hour late, with an unknown man at the throttle, 
and the officials of the company said they did not 
know who he was. When it came to a stand-still, not 
less than three hundred people gathered around the 
engine, of all ages and classes. Several attempted to 
get into the cab but were driven back by the officers. 
Then they indulged in remarks at the expense of the 
engineer, a bearded old man who sat in the cab with 
the fortitude of a martyr. " What does he look 
like ? " shouted one. " Does his mother know he's 
out ? " " Look at his whiskers ! " said another. 
" Come down and show yourself, pap ! " " Let me 
have your photograph," etc. These and many similar 
remarks were made, and even the police had to laugh 
at the puns and good nature of the crowd." ! The Eli 
train was abandoned, and the Eli and No. 2 passenger 
were made one train, not having any one to run the 
engine for the fast train. The same motlev crowd of 
three hundred or mure were there to see the fun. 
The official report of this occurrence is as follows : 
"No. 2 delayed at Kansas City, caused by about three 
hundred men around engine before train was due to 
leave, putting links in guides of engine 18, blocking 
wheels, throwing rocks at engine cab and coaches; 
train will be delayed here a short time doing work on 
engine. All pressure possible should be brought to 
bear on city authorities, in getting them to furnish of- 
ficers to protect the company, and prevent strikers 

1 Kansas City Journal. 



94 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



from hurting men who are willing to work." This is 
hardly just to the strikers, as there are none but 
switch engineers live in Kansas City, and there were 
but few road engineers there ; yet it is in direct line 
with the following from Superintendent Fish who 
says : " In fact, many men have been turned away. 
No engineers have been hired who have not had charge 
of an engine at least one year, and the same rule was 
adopted for firemen. This rule was adopted by the 
company to prevent its trains from being intrusted to 
incompetent men, and to insure the customary safety 
to the passengers." l It is a notorious fact that Mr. 
Fish was taking whoever offered themselves, as did the 
officers at all other points. At St. Joseph City at the 
appointed hour, every engineer and fireman quit their 
post — about two hundred. The Burlington has several 
lines here; Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs; 
Hopkins branch; Villisca branch, etc. It looked like 
Sunday at the Union depot and around the freight 
yards. The B'. & M. Cannon Ball arrived on time, 
but was deserted by the engineer and fireman, and it 
was delayed two hours or more before it pulled out 
for Kansas City. No more trains arrived until 3:35 
p. m., when No. 2 pulled in from Omaha, with Master 
Mechanic Bridenstein, of Council Bluffs, on the engine. 
When No. 2 pulled in, a striker stepped forward to 
speak with Master Mechanic Bridenstein, but was 
promptly pushed aside by Joseph Hanson, superinten- 
dent of the Union depot. When Chief of Police 
Broaden said : " The man had a perfect right to speak 
to the engineer on business," and allowed him to do 
so. He wanted to pursuade Bridenstein to leave the 

1 Kansas City Journal, Feb. 28, 18SS. 



THE STRIKE ALONG THE LINE. 195 

engine. There was no loud talking among the strik- 
ers, but they were determined, and said that no vio- 
lence would be used in the matter, and if they could 
not win in a peaceable manner, they did not want to 
win at all. General Manager Merrill stated that the 
company would not give an inch, as the demands of 
the strikers were unjust. " Morning of February 28: 
the report says of the previous day : passenger train 
due at 7:00 a. m., arrived at 2:00 p. m., with a Rose- 
dale section foreman as engineer." ' This train was 
from Creston, and the engine was manned with Shoe- 
maker and Brown. 2 Conductor Lowridge said they 
reneged on him and the trip was continued with a 
section foreman from Rosedale as engineer, and brake- 
man Omer as fireman. Hannibal & St. Joseph No. 3 
came in with Shetla, Atchison dummy line engineer 
in charge, who was induced to leave the engine. Kan- 
sas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluff's train came in 
four hours late, with Pat. Brown, a fireman, as engi- 
neer. No. 1 went north with Master Mechanic Stei- 
ger, of the St Joseph & St. Louis road as engineer. 
No. 1 1 came in nearly on time, and the engineer and 
fireman were induced to leave the engine, and they 
joined the strikers; then the hostler of the roundhouse 
was sent for and took the train out, two hours late. 3 
" Joseph Hay ward, road master, got his brother, Ben 
Hayward, out of the calaboose, and they put him on a 
passenger engine. 3 Men were put on engines at this point 
who never drew a cent of salary from any company 
as enginemen in any capacity; yet Superintendent 
Fish says : " No man is hired who has not had charge 
of an engine at least one year." 4 The officers em- 

1 Associated Press report. - Creston Advertiser. 3 Statement of citizens. 
4 Kansas City Journal. 



I96 THE BLTJUJNGTON STRIKE. 

ployed by the Burlington railroad put forth all their 
energies to save that company from defeat, and the 
company ought to be at least satisfied with their ser- 
vices. Their statements for the public were manufac- 
tured to suit the occasion, regardless of facts. "At 
Lincoln, about eighty trains, freight and passenger, 
depart daily over the Burlington system from this 
place. There are two hundred Burlington engineers 
and firemen who reside here." 1 "All these men quit, 
and the tie-up was complete from Chicago to Denver. 
The latter part of the day some trains were running, 
manned by conductors, train masters, dispatchers, 
master mechanics, and others who could be pressed 
into service, regardless of their fitness. One train, 
was got out of Nebraska City, the engine being in 
charge of Road Master Filbrick. No trains arrived. 
The Kansas City passsenger train got as far as Pacific 
Junction, and the engineer and fireman refused to go 
farther. They were using mule teams instead of 
switch engines to switch with. A desperate effort 
was made to run all passenger trains except the Eli. 
which was abandoned." 2 

" At Denver, Colorado, February 26, the officers 
were notified that the strike would take place at 4:00 
a. m. the 27th, and they made special effort to move 
eastward all the loaded coal cars for distribution 
along the line, in order that the people who depend 
upon the road for their fuel supply, might not suffer. 
No through passenger was sent out on the evening of 
the 26th, and the officers of the company questioned 
every passenger, and when they held through tickets 
over the Burlington, these were taken up and Union 

Chicago Tribune. 2 Kansas City Journal. 



THE STRIKE ALONG THE LINE. 1 97 

Paciric tickets were given in place of them. Way 
passengers had no alternative, and had to take their 
chances. The Narrow Gauge, Denver, Utah and Pa- 
ciric road, a branch of the Burlington, was also tied 
up. One train was finally got off from Denver, with 
a man named Dickerson as engineer, who consented 
to take it as far as McCook." ' 

1 Kansas City Journal. 



CHAPTER XXXI. 



" MEN OF EXPERIENCE AND TRUSTWORTHY. 

We have considered the conditions now at most of 
the important points from Chicago to Denver. The sur- 
vey shows that the Burlington has succeeded, to some 
extent, in handling its passenger business, by putting 
into harness any man who would lend himself to help 
crush labor. Let us return as far as Creston, and see 
how much this company digressed from its own rules 
of highest practical requirements. In considering this 
question, we should remember that the C, B. & Q. 
company has required of their men from three to five 
years as firemen, and three years as engineers, to ob- 
tain that proficiency demanded by the Burlington sys- 
tem. At their general office at Chicago, a meeting of 
President Perkins, General Manager Stone, Paul 
Morton, and Chester M. Dawes of the legal depart- 
ment, decided toiencLout the following bulletin notice 
along the whole Burlington system: "Post immedi- 
i ately upon your bulletin boards, and in all conspicuous 
places, in and out of all depots in your division, the 
following notice : ' All engineers and firemen recently 
in the employ of this company, who do not apply for 
positions by noon of Wednesday, February 29, will 
be considered out of the company's service. Every 
man who has not applied by the above hour, can get 
all pay due him upon application to the master me- 
chanic of his division.' " This notice had no effect 



"MEN OF EXPERIENCE AND TRUSTWORTHY." I99 

whatever upon the men at any point, unless it was to 
strengthen them in their determination to stand fast. 
In speaking of this, the Creston Advertiser said: 
" There was no undue commotion here, and it is hoped 
there will be none. The Brotherhoods realize that 
any rashness or violence on their part would be in a 
measure, fatal to their cause, and any inclination on 
the part of hot-heads or impulsive members, will be 
promptly suppressed by the thoughtful and conserva- 
tive men who are largely in the majority." Instead of 
going to any extremes, or doing anything unseeming- 
lv, they realized they were being introduced to a 
surprising kind of violence by the officers; violence 
against the rules under which they had been made to 
live, and that the officers were assigning any one to be 
engineer who would go. They then appointed a com- 
mittee to go to Des Moines and wait on Governor 
Larrabee, and lay the subject before him, and ask that 
none but competent men be allowed on passenger en- 
gines. 1 To meet this, Superintendent W. C. Brown, 
of the Iowa division, telegraphed the following in- 
structions to the general solicitor of the Burlington, 
who was then at the capital, watching the course of 
adverse railroad legislation : 

Burlington, Iowa, February 28, 1888. 

J. W. Blythe, Des Moines. 

" I understand that a committee of engineers from 
Creston have gone to Des Moines to petition the gov- 
ernor not to allow incompetent and irresponsible men 
on passenger engines. You may say to Governor 
Larrabee if you think best, that our passenger engines 

1 Creston Advertiser. 



200 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

are being run by men of experience, perfectly trust- 
worthy and competent, and can give him a full assur- 
ance that no man will be put on passenger engines, or 
any other engine, except those possessing these quali- 
fications. We think we are better calculated to judge 
in regard to the character and ability of men we em- 
ploy, than the striking engineers, and we have cer- 
tainly a great deal more at stake." 

(Signed) W. C. Brown. 

The facts obtained from personal acquaintance of 
the men assigned, and from the evidence before the 
Iowa railroad commissioners, do not bear Mr. Brown 
out in this statement, but on the contrary, they place 
his statement in a very bad light. We will describe 
briefly here, the men referred to as being unqualified : 
" First comes A. K. Stone, who has been employed on 
the West Iowa division for several years as conductor. 
He has never had any experience whatever as a loco- 
motive engineer, and has acknowledged that he knew 
nothing of running an engine. L. H. Stroud, another 
conductor, has been pulling passenger trains, never 
having had any experience as an engineer. George 
Loughridge, C. A. Drake, Dempsey Ethridge, Dick 
Allen, John Erbert, Dan Hackett, and William Patten, 
all conductors of the Burlington, have been pulling 
passenger trains, and all of them have admitted that 
they know nothing of running a locomotive, and they 
are not reliable or efficient engineers. Mike Johnson, 
in charge of a passenger engine, was a bar tender at 
Ottumwa, and his experience consisted of a few months 
braking. Frank Mertz, a farmer, had been emploved 




S*; 







GEORGE GODING. 



"MEN OF EXPERIENCE AND TRUSTWORTHY." 201 

about six weeks as fireman; was given a passenger 
engine to run. Ed. Sheridan, also from a farm, was 
employed only a few weeks as fireman; was placed in 
charge of an engine on passenger trains, and is one of 
those efficient men of Mr. Brown's. Chas. McClel- 
land, a brakeman, had some experience as fireman, but 
was discharged two years before by the Burlington for 
incompetency, but has been considered equal to the oc- 
casion as an engineer. E.J. Sperry was a fireman for 
this company but was discharged for color blindness, but 
the officers having modified their conditions, he is ac- 
cepted as a competent engineer. Richard Price, whose 
only experience as a railroad man was a few months as 
brakeman, and with no other experience, owing to the 
scarcity of competent men, he passed muster. Chas. 
Connet, whose only experience was as a baggageman, 
was given a passenger engine, with the promise of a 
life job. Ed. Young, a yard master at Pacific Junction, 
run the yard engine and succeeded in getting it on the 
Kansas City railroad crossing, and not knowing how 
to handle air, could not get off from it, and the Kansas 
City passenger train came along, with Master Me- 
chanic Bridenstein at the throttle, and not stopping as 
he should for the crossing, ran into it, smashing up 
both engines. Bridenstein was arrested, but when 
trial came, by some magic, no one appeared against 
him and the case was dismissed." ! And now, what 
does the reader think of Superintendent Brown's let- 
ter, wherein he says : " You can tell Governor Larra- 
bee that our passenger engines are being run by men 
of experience, perfectly competent and trustworthy." 
The reader will remember, that up to three days 

1 Creston Advertiser. 



202 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

before this, the Burlington required from three to five 
years as fireman, and then three years as an engineer 
before he became perfectly competent and reliable. 
They made the possession of this experience so impor- 
tant that no engineer's knowledge could be taken on 
testimony, but all men were required to go through 
these years of experience on the Burlington system. 
But now, if a man is willing to become the tool of this 
corporation, — one laboring man to grab at the throat 
of another — he is promised first-class place, regardless 
of his qualifications. He is even promised for the 
work of engineer, $4.00 per day and board, and for 
fireman, $2.25 per day and board, and Pinkerton pro- 
tection thrown in. This is a sudden change. It 
guarantees pay, and certifies as to qualification, both 
in advance. No further evidence is needed that classi- 
fication is not necessary, and is, as our men claim, 
wrong in principle. Every effort possible was made 
by the officials of the Burlington to bias public opinion, 
and the liberties taken with the truth were marvelous. 
"From Lincoln, no trains moving west of McCook. 
Superintendent Calvert said he had men, but he was 
unwilling to send them out unprotected, because he 
had reason to fear violence on the western division, 
and he also said the trains would soon be running as 
usual, if the people would show the company the 
sympathy they really felt." ' The reader will see later 
how much sympathy there was for the Burlington in 
Nebraska. 

1 Kansas City Journal- 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

WHO CAME. 

To return to Aurora: Division Master Mechanic 
Forsyth sent the following telegram to General Man- 
ager Stone: "The firemen and engineers have boycot- 
ted stores from selling our men provisions; can't get 
anything to eat. Have dining car sent. Can't you 
make arrangements to get us provisions from Chicago?" 

From the Aurora Express: "A big lie some- 
where, let us look for it. — An Express repre- 
sentative called on all the Main street provision stores, 
and showed them the above, and they said there was 
not a word of truth in it as far as they knew, and said 
it was an outrage to publish such a thing. He showed 
it to the leading members of the Brotherhood who 
said they had never thought of such a thing and did 
not believe Forsyth had sent it. 

Mr. Forsyth himself was next seen and when shown 
the dispatch said it was correct. A reporter, in fur- 
ther tracing the facts, discovered that the only foun- 
dation for the story is that Grampp, who keeps a sa- 
loon and hotel near the depot, had told two of the new 
men that he thought it was not to his interest to keep 
them." A concerted effort was made along the whole 
line to make it appear that an armed force was neces- 
sary to prevent the destruction of. property and loss of 
life, and thereby turn the tide of public opinion against 
the old men The local papers along the whole line 



204 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

evidence the fact that the conduct of the old men was 
beyond reproach and whatever hoodlum element there 
was afloat was brought in by the Burlington. The 
Chicago JVezvs ! said : "At the General offices this morn- 
ing the rush of applicants for positions was even great- 
er than yesterday. Not less than a hundred men 
crowded and hustled each other outside G. W. 
Rhodes' office. The crowd was of the same motley 
character as that of yesterday. Some of the men 
were respectable looking, well dressed fellows. Others 
were men of gray beards and venerable mein, whose 
only commendable qualities would appear to be that 
they were veterans at the business, if they were ever in it 
at all. There was another class, whose bearing, dress, 
and general deportment bespoke the genus Bum." 

"The false and sensational reports from Aurora, 
published in the Chicago daily papers, deserve the most 
severe denunciation. The strikers have been peace- 
able and orderly; have made no attempt to interfere 
violently with railroad traffic, and are numbered among 
our best citizens. But, while they enjoy the esteem of 
the public, there is on the other hand, no ground for 
the report that the people of Aurora are hostile to the 
Burlington road. Aurora deplores the strike because 
of its injurious effect upon the business of the city. 
We should be glad to see the difficulty speedily adjust- 
ed on the basis of mutual concessions and compromise 
to prevent further losses, not only to the community 
directly, but indirectly through losses suffered by the 
road, and the enginemen who are residents here." 2 

This is a fair sample of public opinion all along the 
line outside of Chicago, and it furnishes proof that the 

1 February 28, 188S. 2 Aurbra, (111.) Beacon. 



WHO CAME. 205 

desire for selfish leadership characterizes the officials 
to a greater degree than the strikers. The utter dis- 
regard of gentlemanly dealing, and the violation of 
the rules of their own making, by the officials, became 
an aggravation to the men. The Burlington men 
passed from the strictest enforcement of discipline to 
an utter disregard of their own laws, so as to be able 
on one hand to take on unqualified and disreputable 
men, and on the other to make it impossible for their 
former employes to return. Their motto seemed to 
be : " We stoop to conquer." 

The engineers and firemen kept their halls open day 
and night. Every strange face that appeared on the 
scene secured their attention. If he was inclined to 
work for the Burlington, his manliness was appealed 
to, and if that appeal did not succeed he was hired if 
possible, and most of those who came first, came under 
a misconception of the situation and could be easily 
persuaded to go away and leave the battle to be fought 
by the interested parties. Many of these were given 
something for expenses, while others were void of prin- 
ciple and put a selling price on themselves, ranging 
from $10 to $50. Hundreds were in various ways 
persuaded to leave. 

The picture was filled with all phases of humanity, 
from the appearance of high respectability to the level 
of the gutter; Knight Templar, Knight of Pythias, 
Odd Fellow, B. of L. E., B. of L. F., G. A. R., K. of 
L., and the man of every known order, who had sworn 
allegiance to his fellow man, converted into a lie his 
solemn oath, taken before God and man, and took the 
place of those whom he had sworn to protect. 



2o6 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

It was an astounding picture of human depravity. 
The legal and moral right of unobligated men to take 
the places made vacant was not questioned, yet when 
men had taken an obligation, solemn as a marriage 
vow, no man could take his brother's place, and retain 
his character. An occasional grain of gold however, 
was mixed with the dross. A letter was received at 
Brookfield, and enclosed was the following message : 

Brookfield, Mo., Feb. 28, 1888. 

William Fulton, Chapin, 111. 

Do you want to take position on the Hannibal 
& St. Joseph R. R, on regular engine? If so, answer 
and say if you will report here or at Quincy, at once. 

S. E. Crance, Supt. 

The following is Mr. Fulton's letter: 

Chapin, III., March 20, 1888. 
Mr. C. H. Salmons, 

Dear Sir: — I hope you will excuse me for taking 
the liberty of writing you. I wish to send you a dispatch 
I received from Superintendent Crance, February 28. 
I do not know where he got my name, neither do I 
care. I have been out of work six months, but Mr. 
Crance knows now that he addressed the wrong man 
for a scab. I would rather have the good will of my 
fellow man than the great monopoly — C, B. & Q. 
road. I am not a member of any labor order, and 
whether my action is appreciated or not, I shall feel 
that I have done as I would be done by. Wishing you 
success, I remain, Yours Truly, 

Wm. Fulton. 



WHO CAME. 207 

It was a pleasant relief from the nauseating duty of 
appeal to honor, arid from the purchase of the souls 
and the bodies of men, to realize that hundreds who 
received offers of places from the company had, never- 
theless, sufficient integrity to practice the grand truth 
uttered by the Italian patriot, Mazzini : " It is around 
the standard of duty, rather than the standard of self- 
interest, that men must rally to win the rights of 
men." 

"Thousands of years ago, monarchs were everything, 
and the masses were nothing. Millions of men could 
be herded to fight the battles of a king, or to pile the 
pyramids which should be his tomb ; the lash was over 
them ; they could only obey. They might wail, it was 
nothing; they might die, there were other millions to 
take their places beneath the burdens and the lash." ' 
And so it seemed then, as though the educational 
forces of the age had been inverted, and the bettering 
of the conditions of labor, through Mazzini's principles, 
was to be destroyed by the very element which cre- 
ated it. The striking enginemen were astonished at 
the number of persons who, blinded by greed and self- 
ishness, were willing to lend themselves to the Bur- 
lington monopoly, to violate all principles, and accept 
a place that was made possible only by the sacrifice of 
others. 

Many said they had come for bread, others for 
revenge. Every one had an excuse. I never met one 
who defended his action, because he thought the 
Burlington was in the right. The vigilance of the 
strikers, their presevering appeals, their money and 
their friends, made the situation anything but agreeable 

1 Rev. C. O. Brown. 



208 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

for the officers of the company. They were tired out 
trying to get the passenger trains over the road them- 
selves. They were hunting in every direction for 
some one who would lend their assistance. Letters 
and messages were sent to old employes who had 
been discharged for drunkenness; men were accepted 
without experience, from prison, from the gutter; yet 
the market was open on Mr. Stone's principle of sup- 
ply and demand. The persuasion of the strikers, and 
their money, were always diminishing the supplv. The 
officers said: "As fast as we get them, the gang 
(meaning the strikers) gets hold of them, and they are 
gone." There came a corner on the market of supply 
and demand. 

The company gained control of state and municipal 
authority to accomplish their purpose. Officers along 
the Burlington were notified by the managers, to see 
the sheriff, have shop men, carpenters, and others that 
could be used, sworn in as deputies, and to keep the 
strikers away, and to post notices of warning in all 
conspicuous places. Sheriffs, without regard to the 
necessity, readily responded. At Brookfield, one 
hundred and forty-seven men were sworn in as depu- 
ties Their character and fitness were not known by 
the sheriff, who is responsible for their acts. They 
were taken from a list of names furnished by the Bur- 
lington company. Not the slightest disturbance had 
occurred to create a necessity. The city marshal had 
not even been spoken to on the subject, and none 
existed so far as the public was aware. But the com- 
pany wanted a demonstration, for two reasons: " ist, 
to keep the strikers away, so they could not entice or 



WHO CAME. 209 

hire their new men. 2nd, a demonstration to make 
people believe violence was threatened." Kansas 
City, St. Joseph and all the cities along the line, were 
appealed to to furnish a police force to guard the com- 
pany's property. 

The officers did not make any direct charge that 
the strikers were trying to destroy their property; yet 
whatever demonstration was made by them which had 
the appearance of guarding against violence, naturally 
reflected upon the old enginemen, in the minds of the 
public. Accordingly, the greater the demonstration 
the better for the company. " At Chicago a subur- 
ban train which stopped at the C. C. and I. C. cross- 
ing, was reported as having been boarded by four men, 
who got on the engine, said a few words to the engi- 
neer, and got off, and this crew reported that a coup- 
ling pin was put in the engine's guides for the purpose 
of breaking it down. There was no proof that it was 
the strikers. An old conductor who had been with 
the company for years, was on the engine, and knew 
none of them." " At 9: 30 a. M., as the preliminaries 
of starting were being arranged, half a dozen police 
officers kept jealous watch over the engine. No one 
was allowed to approach it except those in charge. 
The causei of this extra vigilance was due, it was 
claimed, to the attempt on the suburban train. How- 
ever, the half dozen or so who witnessed the depart- 
ure of the train, did not seem inclined to destroy 
things, and kept a respectful distance without the per- 
suasions of either fists or batons." ' 

At 12:01 p. m. another train was started. " The 
engine was guarded by a squad of police as before, 

1 Chicago Evening News. 



2IO THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



and no one was allowed within three yards of the en- 
gine. A small crowd witnessed the departure of the 
train, but no attempt was made to interfere with it in 
any way." " The crowd of applicants, so far, had 
been in no way interfered with or molested by the 
strikers, the latter having been, in fact, conspicuous 
by their absence from the precincts of the offices and 
depot ever since the strike was inaugurated," yet every 
demonstration of this character carried with it a 
supposition in the minds of the public that the neces- 
sity existed, and it was naturally laid at the doors of the 
strikers, and the greater the demonstration, the great- 
er the reflection. The laws of both engineers and 
firemen prohibit the molestation of property under 
penalty of expulsion. The weeding out process, the 
effect of their rules, would naturally leave men of 
character, and they were greatly annoyed to have it 
traduced by such demonstrations which later became 
monotonous, both in number and kind. 

We have said before, that whatever of the radical 
was found among the strikers later, was an outgrowth 
of the feeling that their character was being unjustlv 
traduced. The war of the rebellion produced a Booth; 
politics produced a Guiteau. It is simply impossible 
to have a strike like the Burlington, with one side all 
honor, every man living up to the standard of equity 
and good deportment, and every man on the other 
side a miserable fraud — the motto of one side : " Do as 
you would be done by;" the other: "Might makes 
right." It is a known fact that the two orders of 
engineers and firemen deprecated all acts in violation 
of the true principles of good citizenship. No degree 



WHO CAME. 211 

of vigilance, however, can dissever every evil element. 
The act of an individual, in violation of the principles 
of the institution of which he is a member, should 
not be charged as emanating from that institution, but 
he should be tried as an individual offender, and when 
convicted, if the society of which he is a member does 
not purge itself by expulsion or punishment, it can 
reasonably be charged as an accessory. But the Bur- 
lington's deputy sheriffs, Pinkerton bullies, with their 
repeating rifles and their court proceedings, menacing 
the interests of the public and usurping its powers, were 
meekly submitted to without protest. The public 
hardly seemed to notice the ready submission of sher- 
iffs, police, and courts to the will of a corporation. 

Nor was the public mind at all shocked at the viola- 
tion of moral principle in the Burlington's defence of 
its bums and drunkards, which had been gathered up 
to man their engines. Even reputable newspapers, 
which ought to be the channels of truthful information, 
and by means of which the public mind is educated, 
seemed to be as indifferent as a railroad official to 
either justice or truth. They were closed to the dis- 
cussion of the points at issue. I have been credibly 
informed that a leading newspaper charged as high as 
forty-five cents per line for space for the defense of the 
much assailed men. Some newspapers, just at the 
first, discussed the question of rights and the relation 
and duties of railroads to the public, but very soon 
something closed their pages against anything not 
emanating from a Burlington official, directlv or indi- 
rectly. As an effort to buy silence, we append the 
following sample of letter sent to the newspapers along 



212 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

the Burlington system to control the public press: 

Creston, Iowa, April 6, 1888. 
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, 

Mr. E. J. Sidey, editor Commonwealth: 

Dear Sir : — If in unison with your views, give 
the company some nice editorials commenting on the 
strike. It occurs to me our citizens ought to shield 
the company as far as possible, as their interests 
are identical with our people. While our people 
give the company considerable cash in return, the 
company, through their different avenues, keep a vol- 
ume of money flowing through the arteries of Creston 
industries. In return will endeavor to get you value 
received, but do not turn the flag of truce on me in 
return." ' Very Truly, 

(Signed) G. W. Fogg. 

The allurements of such bate, so nice and tempting, 
no doubt led many editors to believe that the Burling- 
ton was in a bad way, and needed defending. Yet 
for all the influence used, there were some editors 
who stood for justice and discussed the question fear- 
lessly. It is a notable fact that most of these editors 
were personally acquainted with the striking engine- 
men and the circumstances surrounding them. The 
editor of the St. Joseph, Mo., Gazette was true to his 
convictions, as were also the editors of the Railway 
News Reporter \ Omaha, Neb.; Wymore Democrat, 
Neb.; News, Atchison, Kans.; Railway Service Ga- 
zette, Toledo, Ohio.; National Car and Locomotive 
Builder, Chicago; Railroad and Engineering Journal^ 

1 Chicago World, May 20, 1S88. 



WHO CAME. 213 

New York City ; Elmira, New York, Telegram ; the 
Creston, Iowa, Advertiser; Chicago World; and St. 
Joseph, Mo., Patriot ; also a few labor papers. But 
the great majority of the papers were on the side of 
monopoly regardless of public interest. This placed 
the strikers, not by direct charges, but by implications 
in a very unfavorable light, going so far as to say 
that "If chief Arthur, or Chief Powderly, or chief 
anybody else, inveighs against interference or violence, 
he is guilty of willful hypocrisy." 

Such inferences carry with them in the mind of the 
reader — unacquainted with the character of the men 
alluded to — the idea of socialism, and other issues that 
are abhorrent to the honest laborer, and more so than 
to any other class. What class would do what the 
laborer did at Cleveland? "In the great parade on 
labor day at Cleveland a few anarchists scorning the 
flag of the union, hoisted the hated emblem of anar- 
chy. This insult to the glorious flag of the republic 
fired the loyal hearts of the patriotic sons of toil, and 
as a result the anarchists were most unceremoniously 
fired from the grounds with broken heads and bloody 
noses." Some of these papers seemed to express sur- 
prise that these laboring men should have been so 
prompt to resent an insult to the public. More loyal 
and patriotic hearts do not beat in America than those 
beneath the broad chests of the men whose strong 
arms have made the republic what it is, and who in 
the machine shops, upon her railroads and in her fer- 
tile fields, are still clearing her pathway to greater 
future glory. In the late war between the north and 
south, was it the representatives of capital alone that 



214 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

offered their blood for the cause they believed to be 
just?" 1 The Burlington strikers were as honest in 
their convictions, and were as ready with their sacrifices 
to maintain them, as were the men of 1861 to 1865. 

But the weight of all this pressure bore heavily upon 
these men, and as we look at it now, after the smoke 
of battle has cleared away, we wonder at the unanimi- 
ty with which they stood the test, and held steadfast. 
Very few were affected sufficiently to turn back to 
the company, which was no doubt greatly desired. 
I am reminded of one man — James Johnson, of Gales- 
burg, 111., — who said " He did not expect to live long 
enough to live down the disgrace of being a C, B. & 
Q. striker." Such men as this have lived in all ages, 
and in all countries. They are the enemies of prog- 
ress. They are, however, always ready to accept 
the benefits earned by others, and this man no doubt, 
influenced partly by the newspapers, more by his in- 
ane greed, forgetful that his vote and voice had been 
joined with his brothers, turned his back upon them 
and honor, and joined that company better suited to 
his nature — " the scabs." To more fully show the one- 
sided character of the controversy as presented in the 
leading newspapers, we give in the next chapter, quo- 
tations from the Chicago Journals. 

1 Railway Service Gazette, 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

PUBLIC OPINION MADE TO ORDER. 

The famous Creston letter is made the foundation 
for the following editorials on March 3: 

The Chicago Mail said: "The fact must not be 
overlooked that the striking engineers have assumed 
a grave responsibility, and that among those who will 
suffer, are thousands not interested in the fight be- 
tween the railroads and its employes. It is a serious 
thing to cripple business, to interfere with the move- 
ments of the traveling community, and possibly, in the 
end, to have caused violence and bloodshed. If the 
strike now on becomes otherwise than peaceable in 
any of its features, the public will not be tolerant. It 
requires a great deal of patience on the part of the 
community at any time to endure a strike where the 
crippled employer is a public servant, £or the first evil 
effects in such a case are felt by the people at large. 
The present strike is of the sort referred to. It hurts 
the public at once, and seriously. The public will not 
submit to it if the fight is greatly prolonged. If, as in 
the great strike of 1877, there is violence from any 
source the sentiment of chafing endurance will change 
at once to one of earnest aggressiveness and some- 
body will be punished. It is well that those conduct- 
ing the warfare should bear the attitude of the peo- 
ple in mind." 

The Chicago Evening Journal said : " The un- 



2l6 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

biased and disinterested person who examines the exist- 
ing controversy between the Chicago, Burlington and 
Quincy railroad and its striking engineers and fire- 
men, will find it difficult to reach a conclusion justify- 
ing some of the demands of the strikers. Their re- 
quests are in some respects extraordinary and indefen- 
sible. How much the general public may be disposed 
to sympathize with the engineers, who as a class are 
intelligent, courageous, and self-sacrificing men, yet 
they cannot reasonably expect public support in un- 
reasonable demands. The sooner this entire contro- 
versy shall be submitted to intelligent arbitration, and 
adjusted upon a basis of reason and justice, the better 
for all concerned. Even if the demands of the engi- 
neers are worthy of favorable consideration, and the 
object of arbitration should be to ascertain and pass 
on the actual merits of the case, no time should be lost 
by either side to bring the unfortunate contest to a 
speedy termination by all rational and practical means 
in their power." 

The Chicago Tribune said in an editorial article: 
"Taken in connection with the vital and fundamental 
demand for a leveling up of wages and leveling down 
of general efficiency, individual merit and the incen- 
tive to personal effort and ordinary ambition on the 
part of the employes of the road, we should say, with- 
out further light upon the subject than we now pos- 
sess, that the Brotherhood have crowded the company 
to the extreme limit of endurance. It may be that 
there is some supplement to this correspondence that 
has not been given to the public and that the Brother- 
hood has offered to recede from some part of the orig- 




V VV».V AAV VliV.V'SIBS « V\'\V v\ N 

VVft'AVftV V ■'-v> '. 



J. J. KKLLEY. 

THE IN FORM EK. 



Hit tiBIWM 

Uf THfe 

UHIVEHSIIY OF ILUMIS 






PUBLIC OPINION MADE TO ORDER. 2 I 7 

inal programme ; as the reply of the railroad company, 
however, is dated only last Wednesday, this does not 
seem to be probable. If there has been no modifica- 
tion since Wednesday, we risk nothing in saying to 
the representatives of the Brotherhood, that whatever 
the issue of the strike may be they will not be sus- 
tained as to the justice of their course by public opin- 
ion. It will be said everywhere that they have attempt- 
ed to impose the intolerable despotism of an outside 
labor council upon the manager of this great property, 
going so far as to suggest interference with them in 
the discharge of legitimate and necessary duties. If 
the case is susceptible of no further explanation, the 
managers will be upheld by impartial men in resisting, 
by every means and all the resources at their com- 
mand, such a proposed invasion of their rights." 

The Chicago Daily News: "There can be no 
question that the system which recognizies a difference in 
ability of men and in the kind of service required of 
them is right, and that the demand which classes all 
members of the Brotherhood as of equal ability, and 
all kinds of service of equal value is wrong. In its 
application of its system to individual cases the com- 
pany may possibly be seriously at fault. In principle, 
however the system itself is fair and right. In view 
of its long and honorable career, it is a suprise and a 
disappointment to all true friends of organized labor to 
find the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers taking 
a position so inconsistent with all the prevailing con- 
ceptions of American manhood. It must abandon so 
untenable a position or lose not only the present 
fight, but more important still, the respect and confi- 

15 



2 1 8 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

dence of the American people." 

The Chicago Inter Ocean and Herald were conser- 
vative and just, but the Chicago Times said: "The 
last general strike of the Locomotive engineers in- 
flamed the nation to the verge of revolution. Scores 
of lives were wantonly sacrificed. The people were 
appalled by the sight of blood and fire, and Pittsburg 
paid an indemnification bill of $13,000,000 and even 
then was not fitly punished for the demagogical coun- 
tenance it lent to the lawless. The Brotherhood has 
"lived down" the responsibility for the calamity of ten 
vears ago. Chief Arthur has been commended for 
his sterling sense. The past has been forgotten and 
forgiven, and the heroic duties performed by the engi- 
neers have elicited, from all classes, unstinted admi- 
ration." 

"No great strike, after what has taken place, can 
bring anything but defeat, unless it shall invoke a uni- 
versal spirit of revolution, and the American people 
have given their final verdict against revolution and 
rebellion. Mr. Arthur says they have a right to 
stop work, and that they have no intention of interfer- 
ing with persons employed to take their places. He 
knows that the object of the strike would be negatived 
bv orderly withdrawal and non-resistance. . Such 
action would be equivalent to resignation. A strike 
means but one thing; to refuse to work and to make 
sure that nobody else is permitted to work in your 
place, and when Chief Arthur, or Chief Powderly, or 
chief anybody, inveighs against interference or vio- 
lence, or aids to the cause, he is guilty of willful hy- 
pocrisy. Chief Arthur has called this strike. If it 



PUBLIC OPINION MADE TO ORDER. 2IQ. 

shall prove harmful to commerce, and shall invite dis- 
order and loss of life, the public will hold him and his 
co-adjutors to a strict accountability." 

The opinions of the Mail, Journal, and Tribune are 
no doubt the result of the seed sown by the Burlington 
circular letter. But that of the Times is a wonderful 
exhibition of bigotry and untruth, and if it was not 
written by some official of the Burlington, the writer 
must have had some inducement other than that of a 
desire to guide public opinion to the truth. The 
charge that the engineers were responsible for the 
Pittsburg strike and its consequences, and the allusion 
to the people of Pittsburg, was adding insult to un- 
truth. These lines from the Times betray an under- 
lving baseness and disregard for truth and fairness that 
is astounding, and after reading them, nothing in or 
about the paper should surprise us. The Chicago 
Herald, of July 24, 1889, had a column and a half of 
discussion of the character of the editor of the Times, 
J. J. West, not even sparing accusations of obtaining 
money by false representations and of bribe giving, 
and it is no wonder, if there is any foundation for such 
charges, that articles vituperative and malicious, writ- 
ten either for him or by him, should appear in his 
paper. Yet they were read, and exercised a power- 
ful influence in forming public opinion. They created 
difficulties, if not dissensions, among men in the inter- 
est of organized labor, weakening conservative men, 
and abating that heroic defence of their principles 
which is so essential to success. 

It is greatly to be regretted that the engineer's side 
of the question was not before the people as well. 



2 20 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

It is a sad reflection upon the public educators of a 
great country, as our newspapers undoubtedly are for 
good or for evil, that they should become such violent 
partisans on one side, when the facts in the case were 
so easily obtainable, and were so contradictory to the 
statements which they made. It is not unreasonable 
to believe that the literary ability employed in writing 
the famous circular letter, to which we have given 
respectful notice, was quite equal to the writing of any 
of the editorials which are honored with quotation in 
this chapter. 



CHAPTER*XXXIV. 

THE USAGES OF OTHER ROADS. 

It is very curious that the requests upon the Burling- 
ton should call forth such vehement denunciation of the 
conditions asked, when so many companies had ac- 
knowledged their justness with their signature! We 
append portions of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe 
schedule, with like conditions which the Burlington 
objected to, and were so roundly condemned by these 
editors. 

ATCHISON, TOPEKA & SANTA FE RAILROAD COMPANY. 

SOUTHERN KANSAS RAILWAY COMPANY. 

MECHANICAL DEPARTMENT. 

" The following schedule of rates, rules and regula- 
tions, are hereby agreed upon on behalf of the above 
specified companies and the engineers and firemen 
employed thereby." 

Article i. — " No engineer or fireman shall be 
suspended or discharged upon any charge whatever, 
without first having a fair and impartial hearing and 
his guilt shall be established, with the exception of ag- 
gravated cases, such as serious collisions or intoxica- 
tion." 

" There shall be a board of inquiry, composed of the 
division superintendent, division master mechanic, 
and one disinterested engineer from the division on 
which complaint may arise, whose duty it shall be to 
investigate all charges of misconduct on the part of the 



222 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

engineers and firemen. The right to appeal from 
local to general officers, as also the right of the engi- 
neers or firemen to act as a committee on conference, 
will be duly recognized, and leave of absence from 
duty will be granted for that purpose." 

Article ii. « Engineers entering the service of 
the company for the first time shall be employed by 
the superintendent or assistant superintendent of 
machinery." 

Article in. "All firemen who are to be promot- 
ed to the position of engineer will be examined by the 
superintendent or assistant superintendent of machin- 
ery. The division master mechanic may recom- 
mend for examination and promotion such firemen on 
their respective divisions as they believe will make 
good engineers, always giving the oldest firemen the 
preference." 

Article iv. " It being important to the company 
that every engine in service shall be worked to its 
fullest capacity, and in order that there may be no 
misunderstanding between the transportation and me- 
chanical departments as to what is the working capac- 
ity of an engine in service, the rating as to the average 
load to be hauled will be fixed from time to time, as 
necessities may require, by the general superintend- 
ent and superintendent of machinery, who will jointly 
furnish the division officers all necessary instructions 
pertaining thereto." 

Article v. " The compensation of engineers and 
firemen in passenger service shall be as follows: En- 
gineers — On all classes of locomotives, $3.50 per 100 
miles, or less, per day; all over 100 miles, three and 



Till; USAGES OF OTHER ROADS. 223 

one-half (3j4) cents per mile; except on engines haul- 
ing passenger trains over the mountains, which shall 
be three and three-fourths (3 3 A) cents per mile. 
Firemen — On four-wheel coupled engines, fifty-three 
(53) percent of the engineer's pay, and on other than 
four-wheel coupled engines, fifty-five (55) per cent of 
the engineer's paw Eight hours shall constitute a 
day's work for engineers and firemen in passenger 
service, and no overtime will be allowed until those 
hours are exceeded. When the schedule for any 
train exceeds eight hours, all delays of more than one 
hour beyond the schedule will be paid for at the rate 
of eighteen (18) cents per half hour for engineers, 
and ten (10) cents per half hour for firemen." 

Article vi. " The compensation of engineers 
and firemen in freight service shall be as follows: 
Engineers — On all classes of locomotives, $4.00 per 
100 miles, or less, per day: all over 100 miles, four 
(4) cents per mile: except on engines hauling freight 
trains over the mountains, which shall be four and one- 
third (4/^) cents per mile. Firemen — On all four- 
wheel coupled engines, fifty-five (55) P er cent °^ tne 
engineer's pay: and on other than four-wheel coupled 
engines, fifty-eight (58) per cent of the engineer's 
pay." 

Article x. " Ten hours shall constitute a day's 
work for engineers and firemen in freight service, and 
no overtime will be allowed until those hours are ex- 
ceeded. When the schedule for any train exceeds ten 
hours, all delays of more than one hour beyond the 
schedule will be paid for at the rate of eighteen (18) 
cents per half hour for engineers, and ten (10) cents 



224 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

per half hour for firemen. Ten miles per hour shall be 
considered the running time of extra or irregular 
trains and all scheduled trains that do not reach ten 
miles per hour. A delay of fourteen minutes over the 
hour shall not be counted: a delay of fifteen minutes 
over the hour shall be considered a half hour." 

Article xiii. " When an engine is ordered out 
and not used on account of train being abandoned, or 
other cause, the engineer of such engine shall be 
allowed one-third of a day's pa}- for the division and 
class of engine, and stand first out on the board." 

Article xv. " Engineers and firemen shall not 
be required to go out when they need rest, and are 
expected to judge for themselves whether they need 
rest. When engineers or firemen feel that they re- 
quire rest, and will be unable to go out, they must 
report same to roundhouse foreman when they regis- 
ter their arrival. Eight hours shall be considered 
sufficient for rest." 

Article xvi. " Engineers and firemen shall be 
promoted according to seniority and ability on their 
respective divisions, unless incapacity is established. 
Engineers having engines and runs thev are not enti- 
tled to according to the terms of the agreement made 
between the company and engineers July i, 1886, shall 
be removed, and said engines and runs given to the 
men according to seniority on their respective divis- 
ions. The foregoing to apply to all roads covered by 
said agreement. In case of a dispute between the 
company and the engineers as regards seniority, the 
engineers shall furnish a list, which shall be accepted 
unless proven to be in error. Seniority of engineers 



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THE USAGES OF OTHER ROADS. 225 

shall be reckoned from the time of entering road ser- 
vice on their respective divisions.'' 

Article xvii. "Engines will be run c first in first 
out,' except when the superintendent of machinery 
finds it necessary to assign engines to certain fast 
runs, which will be done only when absolutely neces- 
sary." 

Article xx. " Engineers' and firemen's time will 
commence at time of the departure of train, as 
designated in caller's book, and trip tickets will be dated 
accordingly. In cases where the roundhouse register 
and train sheets conflict as to arrivals, the matter will 
be investigated, and, if proper, the time of engineers 
and firemen taken from the roundhouse register." 

Article xxiii. " Hostlers shall be provided at 
all terminal stations, whose duty it is to take engines 
on arrival. Engineers or firemen shall not be required 
to put away engines, clean fires, or blow out fronts at 
terminal stations." 

Article xxiv. " Engineers and firemen, after 
being permanently located on a division, who shall be 
transferred at the request of the company, shall have 
the privilege of returning to their respective divisions 
before any others are hired or promoted on the divis- 
ions from which they were transferred." 

Article xxv. " The company on its part, and 
the engineers and firemen on their part, agree that 
they will perform the several duties and stipulations as 
.provided for in this agreement until thirty days' notice 
has been given by either party to the other requesting 
a change in the same." 

Article xxvi. " In case a difference of opinion 



2 26 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

as to the construction of this agreement shall arise be- 
tween the engineers or firemen and division officers, 
a written state of the questions at issue must be sub- 
mitted by the engineers or firemen, as the case may- 
be, to the general manager, through the division officers, 
and superintendent of machinery, for his construction. 
Grievances, to be considered, must be presented with- 
in sixty da} r s after their occurrence*." 

Article xxvii. " On the adoption of the fore- 
going schedule, rules and regulations, all previous 
schedules, rules and regulations shall become void. 
This agreement shall be in affect from and after Feb- 
ruary ist, 1888." 

For Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Co., 
Geo. Hackney, Supt. of Machinery. 

For Southern Kansas Railway Company. 

Geo. Hackney. 
For Locomotive Engineers and Firemen on A. T. & 
S. F. R. R. and So. Kas. Ry. 

I. Conroe, Wm, M. Hamilton, 

Chairman. Secretary. 

This is a Boston company, and the president, Mr. 
W. B. Strong, said in an address to the. stockholders : 
"Wise leaders, honest and intelligent counselors, 
working with and for the welfare of the workers 
in any branch of industry, can accomplish much for 
the advancement of its members, but a demagogue is 
as bad in one place as in another; wherever he is, he 
does harm, but in my judgment the interests of the 
engineers and of whom they serve, as well, also, of 
the public, who are primarily most concerned, have 
been, and will be promoted, by maintaining the organ- 



THE USAGES OF OTHER ROADS. 227 

ization and following the just, fair, and conservative 
policy, which has generally characterized the Order." 
This high compliment was paid the engineers and 
firemen, after they had shown such loyalty to their 
Orders as to stop work in sympathy with the Bur- 
lington men, who were so severely condemned by the 
Chicago papers. 

The request for changed and better terms, as made 
in the schedule presented to the Burlington authorities, 
was not new in railroad usages. It was only the rate 
generally in vogue which was demanded. Here is a 
short list that could be extended for pages, of lead- 
ing trunk lines with the dates affixed at which they 
made distinct and formal orders covering the same 
contract rates of pay, demanded by the engineers of 
the C, B. & Q. road. 

Union Pacific, April i, 1887. 

Chicago Milwaukee & St. Paul, Dec. 16, 1887. 

San Antonio & Arkansas Pass, Jan. 1, 1888. 

Southern Pacific, Jan. 15, 1888. 

Fort Scott & Gulf, Mar. 1, 1888, 

Chicago & Alton, Feb. 1, 1888. 

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, Feb. 1, 1888. 

Southern Kansas R. R. Co., Feb. 1, 1888. 

Necessity has compelled combined action in rail- 
road service, and the increase of magnitude of the 
corporate holding has increased the necessity. 

I have before me a pamphlet emanating from sev- 
enty-five engineers of the Michigan Southern rail- 
road, bearing date, January 13, 1886. It is a protest 
to the directors and stockholders of the road, It 
says: "Our trouble dates from a few weeks after the 



228 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

appointment to the road of a new officer, that of Gen- 
eral Master Mechanic, Mr. Segley, who had not been 
here long before he decided that the engineers — to use 
his own language — " know to much." He seemed to 
think it very necessary for the interest of the com- 
pany to employ men who know less; and in order to 
bring this about, he commenced a system of petty 
annoyances. Mr. Segley, without giving any notice 
that the rules had been changed, under which the engi- 
neers and firemen of your road had been paid for 
years, made a new departure as to extra time. By 
the rules of the road, extra time was allowed in all 
cases, after a man had run over one hundred and thir- 
ty miles in twenty-four hours. An engineer on the 
western division ran his engine one hundred and 
eight}- miles within twenty-four hours, and Mr. Segley 
told the time-keeper not to allow the usual extra. 
W e had always been allowed live engines, to runs 
number i, 2, 3 and 8- on the western division. Mr. 
Segley decided that they must be run with four en- 
gines, and no pay for Sunday work. The men, on 
drawing their pay, found the time from four to six 
days short of the time that should have been allowed 
according to their agreement with the company. On 
the Air Line, engineers have had to run their engines 
thirteen times over the road — the distance is one hun- 
dred and twenty-three miles — within seven da}-s. 

The collision on the Air Line at Millersburg, be- 
tween passenger train No. 9, and a freight engine, in 
which engineer Charles Dunewell was killed, was one 
of the results of forcing tired Out men to go be}-ond 
endurance. If a man refused to go out, on account 



THE USAGES OF OTHER ROADS. 229 

of being completely used up, he would have to lose 
the time. We tried to have an interview with Mr. 
Segley but he would not listen to any "committee," or 
that he would not be questioned, and we found it 
impossible to induce him to give us a hearing. He 
would say, "If you do not like it, leave." Mr. Segley 
discharged four men from the service on the western 
division without giving any reason for it except that 
they were not wanted. No fault was found with them, 
neither was it pretended that any duty had been neg- 
lected, but that the falling off of business necessitated 
a reduction of staff. At the same time Mr. Rice of 
Chicago was, by the instructions of Mr. Segley, hiring 
men to till the places of these old and tried servants of 
the company. One of our engineers obtained a leave 
of absence for one day. It came to the ears of the 
master mechanic that he was doing it in order to try 
and lay our grievances before the higher officers of the 
road. His leave was recalled, and he was ordered to 
go out, which he refused to do, and he was discharged. 
Another engineer came into La Porte completely tired 
out. His engine had to go on through, and he was 
ordered to go on with her. He told the officer that he 
had fallen asleep twice before arriving at La Porte, 
although he had taken all the precaution possible to 
prevent it, not even allowing himself to sit down. It 
was still insisted that he should go. He said that he 
would not endanger the lives of the passengers, by 
running an engine while asleep, for the whole southern 
road, and positively refused to go out again until he 
had some sleep. He was immediately discharged. 
These facts were testified to by seventy-five men, and 



23O THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

when these facts were presented, the president, Mr 
Phillips, answered: "I decline to interfere with any 
action taken by my subordinates." S. H. Egerlv. 
the Michigan Central railroad, in 1877 and 1878, 
another startling instance of this personal managem 
of browbeating, of arrogant assumption, demanc 
even the manhood of the men under him, while 
higher officers looked on complacently, and decline 
interfere with any action taken by their subordin: 
This kind of men can be found in every brand, 
railroad service, and probably always will be fc. 
and the smaller the official position the greater 
aggravation. If these editors cannot defend such 1 
as Messrs. Segley and Egerly, who are id. 
with nothing but themselves and their salary: tl 
these great deprecators of organized labor, and 
fenders of corporations, must acknowledge that 
ized labor conducted upon right principles, has I 
necessity, and has affected a cure, at least in a 
measure, by securing laws to govern the avarice 
personalitv that enter so largely into corporate auth 
ity. The counterparts of Mr. Segley live to-da-. 
are in place along the line of the C, B. & Q. railr 
President Perkins, like President Phillips, refused 
intervene. The officials are privileged to squander 
millions of other people's money in an attempt to foster 
a wrong, and the Chicago papers are helping by 
publishing one side of a contest that involves the 
rights of thousands ; while many of the newspapers, in 
their editorials, are defending corporations and mak- 
ing incisive allusions to the engineers and firemen, 
giving them to understand that violence will not be 



THE USAGES OF OTHER ROADS. 2} I 

tolerated. And that, if the strike shall prove harmful 
to commerce, and shall invite loss of life, Chief Arthur 
and his co-adjutors shall be held to a strict accounta- 
bility. But while they gave so much space to con- 
demn and advise the enginemen, no word was spoken 
against the usurpation of state and municipal authority 
by the Burlington officials, with their deputy sheriffs 
and armed force of Pinkertons and scabs, — the direct 
cause of the Brookfield tragedy, given in the succeed- 
ing chapter; which touched the hearts of all fair 
minded people. 



6 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

THE MURDER OF GEORGE WATTS. 

George Watts, one of the striking- men, was the 
first engineer who fell directly by a murderous hand. 
There were too many irresponsible men suddenly 
raised to positions of influence, to little pinnacles of 
petty power, to make life safe about the depots and 
roundhouses. Accordingly the instructions from 
headquarters were, always to keep away from crowds, 
and from all assemblies of idle men. The words of 
Grand Chief Arthur were well remembered: "If we 
cannot win honorably let us submit to defeat." If 
violent partisans in a contest are clothed with the 
authority of policemen or deputy sheriffs, the public 
danger is not abated but increased. There are men 
who love the distinction of striking a fatal blow when 
they have a shadow of authority to hide behind. 
When such men, becoming murderers, are protected 
from punishment by citizens, or shielded by the courts, 
there is great cause for alarm as to the safety of both 
property and life. On the morning of Saturday, March 
3, 1SS8, just before daylight, the passenger train from 
Quincv, 111., pulled in to the depot at Brookfield, Mo. 
Granger was the name of the engineer and he was atr 
tended by a deputy sheriff named' George H. Bostick, 
who had been sworn in as stated in last chapter. George 
Watts was at the depot at that early hour to take the 
train for St. Joseph, where his mother resided. It 



THE MURDER OF GEORGE WATTS. 233 

was the custom with the striking engineers every- 
where, to induce other engineers on the same system, 
to join them. This had been done all along the line, 
and it had not been called in question anywhere, nor 
was it then. Young Watts stepped on the engine as 
it stopped at the platform, and entered into conversa- 
tion with the engineer. While he was thus occupied, 
the engine was uncoupled and driven some distance 
away from the train and platform. When the engine 
stopped, young Watts was driven off by the deputy 
sheriff, Bostick, and he started at once, with a quick 
step, back towards the platform, with his back to the 
engine and to those upon it. He had hardly taken a 
rapid step or two away, till Bostick called out to him 
to throw up his hands. Evidently, he could hardly 
believe his own ears that such words were uttered, 
but without stopping his walk he looked around, as if 
to see the cause of such an order, and with his 
right hand up he reached the attitude at which the 
fatal shot was fired, striking him in the right temple. 
He must have looked along the deliberately drawn 
pistol barrel, for at the moment of looking, the brave 
deputy fired, the ball cutting the right front of the hat 
band and piercing the brain. The employes present 
carried the bod}' into the baggage room. 

The news of the frightful tragedy spread rapidly. 
The chairman of the engineers and firemen at that 
point, went at once to the scene of the murder. Im- 
mediate preparation was made for an inquest, and for 
appropriate expression of the pent-up feelings of all 
who knew the facts. 

George had lived in St. Joseph, Mo., from his youth 



234 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

up. His mother was a widow, and from his boyhood, 
she had depended on George for her living. Nobly 
did he respond to her faith in him. From the time, 
when a little boy he blacked boots at the depot, he 
always carried his earnings to his mother. He did the 
same when he became a wiper in the roundhouse in 
St. Joseph. His mother was not his treasurer, but he 
earned money only for her, after scantily providing for 
his food and clothing. x\t an early age he became 
fireman on a switch engine, then he was the attentive 
fireman on a road engine with the writer of these lines 
for eighteen months, working in all weather and in all 
hours, when he was promoted to be engineer in Nov- 
ember, 1885, at the age of nineteen years. He was 
a cheerful, hopeful, happy spirited boy, loved most by 
those who knew him best, but chiefly by his mother, 
for whom he lived, and in whose smile he was the 
happiest. 

Why should a murderous weapon be turned on such 
a boy? No one who knew him will ever believe that 
any word, or look, or thought of his, warranted vio- 
lence in return. There are in the world great, strong, 
brutal men, who never lift a hand against an equal, but 
who will whip their wives and beat their children ; not 
for any ill-doing of the helpless ones, nor for any 
counterfeit manliness of their own, but to gratify the 
devil that is in them. And this they try to do in a way 
that will not expose them to the deserved punishment 
in return. They trust to the very gentleness which 
they outrage to escape prosecution. Once in a while 
such a man discounts his manliness enough to say that 
the woman or the child assaulted him, and that he com- 



THE MURDER OE "GEORGE WATTS. 235 

mitted a homicide in self-defense! 

Messages were sent in various directions, and among 
others, one to a friend in St. Joseph, to go to the house 
of George Watts' mother and tell her the terrible news. 
The resident, striking engineers carried the body of 
the murdered youth to the city hall, where a coroner's 
jury was impaneled to investigate the cause of his death. 
While these preparatory steps were being taken the 
following notice was printed and circulated in the city: 

To the Public: 

" The unfortunate shooting of George Watts 
need give the public no uneasiness, as far as the engi- 
neers are concerned. Vigilance, not violence, is our 

watchword." 

C. H. Salmons. 

Brookfield, Marcn 3, 1888. J. H. Snoddy. 

Committee. 

A meeting was called in the strikers' hall at ten 
o'clock, to which the acting mayor of the city, Hon. 
John Ford, was invited. He evidently expected to 
hear revengeful expressions, but he heard nothing but 
words of inexpressible grief, as when brothers speak of 
a brother untimely stricken down. Of the hundred or 
more brothers present, there were no threats or 
thought of revenge. Without exception, they were law 
abiding men, and whether wisely or not, they trusted 
that the law of impartial justice would be vindicated. 

A newspaper printed at Linneus, the county seat, 
to which the slayer of George had been taken, printed 
the following under date of March 3 : 

"The sheriff brought George H. Bostictc, who shot 



236 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

George Watts at Brookfield, to this place for safe 
keeping. A force of forty armed deputies has been 
sent from here to Brookheld to assist in preserving 
peace. The excitement there is high, and lynch law 
is talked of. The strikers and sympathizers are de- 
termined, and they feel outraged at this useless 
attack." 

No grosser injustice was ever done the good name 
of the city and the people who compose it, including 
the strikers. That they felt the shooting to be an out- 
rage, there is no question, but that 'lynch law was 
thought of, is a positive untruth, and none knew it 
better than the mayor of the city. This piece of news 
was widely circulated, and it cast such an unjust re- 
flection on the city that the mayor was urgently 
requested to deny it officially. This he w r ould not, 
and did not do. So potent is the interest of a great 
corporation to retard justice ! So readily does the 
highest municipal office lower its dignity, and offend 
its own law abiding citizens rather than risk offending 
a great railroad corporation ! 

When the coroner's jury assembled at the citv hall, 
the railroad superintendent and the company's attorney 
met with them. The strikers, not seeing the necessity 
of this, then secured also a legal advisor. Immedi- 
ately strenuous objections were made to the presence 
of lawyers. A member of the jury, instead of limiting 
himself to finding the cause of death, and instead of 
listening to the evidence, argued the case as if he 
was Leviticus himself. The verdict of the jury accord- 
ed with the facts and requested the holding of George 
H. Bostick to the grand jury. 



THE MURDER OF GEORGE WATTS. 237 

Preparations were then made bv the strikers for the 
last act of good will and brotherly love for their unfor- 
tunate comrade, George Watts. Superintendent S. E. 
Crance evidently felt the shooting to be a most unfor- 
tunate occurrence. He was kind and cordial in his 
offers of service. He tendered the free use of a coach 
for the bearers, including the relatives, to attend the 
funeral at St. Joseph. He also asked for and paid the 
undertaker's bill of upwards of $40. Mr. Crance had 
always, and deservedly, stood well with the men. On 
Sunday, March -4, the friends and the members of di- 
vision 79, of Brookrield, joined bv members of division 
107 and lodge 43 of St. Joseph, buried their friend and 
brother with affecting ceremonies. About one hun- 
dred engineers and firemen were in line, in regalia, led 
by Pryor's military band. The Ladies' Auxiliary 
Society attended in open carriages, presenting many 
beautiful floral emblems. A fine burial lot was pre- 
sented to the family. The entire community was pro- 
foundly moved. 

At the preliminary trial of Deputy Sheriff Bostick, 
before the justice, he testified in part: 

" I told him to put up his hands. He raised his right 
hand a little way, not higher than his shoulder, with 
his fingers partly shut, with 'his other hand in his over- 
coat pocket. I says, 'Put up the other one;' told him 
to do it twice. He still had his back on me. Just then 
I heard a noise to my left and back of me; turned my 
eyes that way; seen a man; heard a click to the south 
of me and back of me; turned my face a little bit that 
way; seen a man with a pistol in his hand, not more than 
eight or ten feet away from me. Just at that instant 



238 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

I felt somebody catch me by the right hand, which was 
down about my waist. Jerked it upward; as it went 
up the pistol went off. He (Watts) hung by my 
waist a second or two and then fell with his head to- 
ward the north, with his feet outside the rail, 
and towards the rail. As soon as I could see — for 
the flash blinded me a second — I looked for the man 
on the right of me and behind me. They were both 
running toward some box cars in a south-westerly 
direction. I stood for half a minute, then I starts and 
walks south in the shadow of some cars. Dewitt Boyd 
came to me; I gave myself up to him. We started 
towards the roundhouse, but I wanted him to take my 
pistol. He said he would rather not, or something to 
that way. We had not gone far when we met Bee- 
ler. (Mr. Beeler is chief train dispatcher.) He says 
who is this, or something that way. I says, is this 
you, Beeler ? He says yes. I says, there, take my 
pistol. I guess I have killed one of those little engi- 
neers. He says how ? I says, I was crowded, and 
had to do it in self-defense. He takes my pistol, and 
Bovd and I goes to the roundhouse. Boyd did not go 
all the way to the roundhouse with me. He told me 
to go and get on one of those engines, — No. 51, I be- 
lieve. He goes back some place, and gets the sheriff 
and brings him up, and turns me over to him. I be- 
lieve that is all, except what has been told. Here are 
the marks on my wrist where he caught me, (showing 
some scratches on his right wrist where the head of 
the radius makes a protuberance.) 

(Signed) George H. Bostick. 
The reader will notice that he claims to Mr. Beeler 



THE MURDER OF GEORGE WATTS. 239 

that he did the shooting in self defense; when he had 
before described it as an accident. But it is not our 
business to try this case, but to show what was done to 
prevent the trial, and evidently done to prevent the 
conviction. The evidence above quoted was presented 
to the grand jury, and an indictment was found for 
murder in the first degree. Judge Burgess be- 
ing called away, had assigned an ex-judge to the 
bench in his absence, a man who was at this 
time attorney for the railroad company, and for 
the accused as well as being his bondsman, vet the 
verdict of the grand jury indicting his client was 
presented to him, or rather he accepted a position 
where he knew he must receive that verdict, as 
a judge, and decide the question as to admitting 
to bail, and then fix the amount. We do not cite 
this to cast any reflections, yet to the average 
person not familiar with the ways of the world, these 
evasions of trial predict acquittal of the prisoner, if not 
actual discharge; unwhipt of justice. The idea that 
men have of a judge is taken from the idea of impartial- 
ity and rectitude of the Supreme Being, who is just, 
and true, and righteous altogether. For a thousand 
years it has been the custom of courts, where the 
judge is at all a party or partisan, that he shall come 
down from the bench, and wash his hands of all de- 
cision for himself or for his client. It would seem 
hardly possible for one so encumbered to follow a di- 
rect line of justice, and it brings to mind with startling 
emphasis the "impartial" conditions demanded of 
a juror, and the conditions permissible in a judge. 
The bail was fixed at»$3,ooo for appearance at court, to 



24O THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

answer tne indictment. The prisoner, out on bail, 
went back to the Hannibal division of the Burlington, 
and took his place as an employe of the Burlington 
system. The case was docketed for a special term, 
then put off to the December term, when the Burling- 
ton's legal advisers came into court and said " not 
ready." The case was then continued to the June 
term of 1889, at the company's cost. At the June 
term, the first day of court, the case was called, and both 
sides answered " ready." The judge then continued 
the case for one week in order to give time to summon 
a special jury. 

When the trial day arrived it was found that three 
of the most important witnesses for the state 
were absent. Among them was Granger, the scab 
engineer, with whom George Watts was talking when 
driven off the engine. This man had said that Watts 
conducted himself like a gentleman, and if there ever 
was a murder committed that was one. Granger had 
been discharged but had not yet left Brookfield at the 
beginning of the term of court, but at trial day he was 
gone. It is said he was given transportation to Cali- 
fornia by the Burlington company; at all events he 
was missing when wanted, as were the other two who 
were employed by the company. But the superintend- 
ent, road master, chief train dispatcher, etc., of the Bur- 
lington were on hand ready for the trial. This neces- 
sitated the state calling for a continuance on account 
of absence of main witnesses. Then the trial was post- 
poned again to the December term, 1889. If the man 
is innocent why not let the law take its course, and free 
him from the stain of murder ? If he is guilty, why 



y, 

> 



v. 

c 



- 

> 




THE MURDER OF GEORGE WATTS. 24 1 

does the Burlington Company resort to every means 
to defeat justice ? If the Burlington Company does 
not assume the responsibility for the act of this man, 
what is the incentive for his defense by them r 

The great philanthropist, John Howard, said that it 
was his own personal experience and observation that 
kindled his compassion for those of his fellow men 
who had no one to stand between them and the arbi- 
trary will of unwatched officials. The world has pro- 
duced no duplicate of John Howard in the benevolent 
work of prison reform; yet his powerful and persistent 
talents often stood appalled at the evils that emanated 
from the courts and kings of the old world. It is just 
as necessary that both court and king, in these times, 
shall have on them the restraints of responsibility and 
of public opinion, as it was when John Howard, unex- 
pectedly to them, turned upon them the light of noon- 
da v. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

THE RAILWAY PROBLEM. 

When the power of wealth takes the place of fidel- 
ity to principle it is an unhappy omen for the majesty 
of the law, and the rights of the people. In the year 
1874, in a speech in the lower house of Congress, in 
discussing the railway problem, the lamented Presi- 
dent James A. Garfield said, in part: 

'•We are so inyolyed in the eyents and moyements 
of society, that we do not stop to realize what is un- 
deniably true, that, during the last forty years, all mod- 
ern societies haye entered upon a period of change, 
more marked, more peryading, more radical, than any 
that has occurred during the last three hundred years. 
In saying this I do not forget our own political and 
military history, nor the French Reyolution of 1793. 
The changes now taking place haye been wrought, 
and are being wrought, mainly, almost wholly, by a 
single mechanical contriyance, the steam locomotive. 
Under the name of private corporations, organiza- 
tions have grown up, not for the perpetuation of a great 
charity, like a college or hospital; not to enable a com- 
pany of citizens more conveniently to carry on private 
industry; but a class of corporations, unknown to the 
early law writers, has arisen and to them have been 
committed the great power of the railroad and the 
telegraph, the great instruments by which modern com- 
munities live and have their beinof. Since the dawn 



THE RAILWAY PROBLEM. 243 

of history the great thoroughfares have belonged to 
the people,' have been known as the King's highways, 
or the public highway, and have been open to the free 
use of all on payment of a small uniform tax or toll to 
keep them in repair. But now the most perfect, and 
bv far the most important roads known to mankind, 
are owned and managed as private property bv a com- 
paratively small number of private citizens. 

'•In all its uses the railroad is the most public of all 
our roads, and in all the objects to which its work re- 
lates, the railway corporation, is as public as any or- 
ganization can be. But in the start it was labelled a 
private corporation, and, as far as its legal status is 
concerned, it is now grouped, with eleemosvnarv insti- 
tutions and private charities, and enjoys similar im- 
munities and exemptions. It remains to be seen how 
long the community will suffer itself to be the victim 
of an abstract definition." 

"It will be readily conceded that a corporation is 
strictly and really private, when it is authorized to 
carry on such a business as a private citizen may carry 
on. But when the state has delegated to a corpor- 
ation the sovereign right of eminent domain, the right 
to take from the private citizen, without his consent, 
a portion of his real estate, to build its structures 
across farms, gardens and lawns, into and through, 
over or under, the blocks, squares, streets, churches, 
and dwellings of incorporated cities and towns, across 
navigable rivers, and over and along public highways, 
it requires a stretch of the common imagination, and 
much refinement and subtility of the law, to maintain 
the old fiction that such an organization is not a public 



244 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

corporation." 

"In view of the facts already set forth, the question 
returns, what is likely to be the effect of railways and 
other similar combinations upon our community and 
our political institutions? Is it true, as asserted by the 
British writer, that the state must soon recapture and 
control the railroads or be captured and subjugated by 
them? Or do the phenomena we are witnessing in- 
dicate the general breaking up of the social and polit- 
ical order of modern nations so confidently predicted 
by a class of philosophers whose opinions have hither- 
to made but little impression on the public mind? The 
analogv between the industrial conditions of society at 
the present time and the feudalism of the middle ages 
is both striking and instructive. In the darkness and 
chaos of that period the feudal system was the first 
important step towards the organization of modern 
times. Powerful chiefs and barons entrenched them- 
selves in castles, and in return for submission and ser- 
vice gave to their vassals rude protection and ruder 
laws. But as the feudal chiefs grew in power and 
wealth the}^ became the oppression of their people, 
taxed and robbed them at will, and finally in their ar- 
rogance defied the kings and emperors of the med- 
ieval states. From their castles planted on the great 
thoroughfares, they practiced the most capricious ex- 
tortions on commerce and travel, and thus gave to 
modern language the phrase, to levy black mail. 

"The consolidation of our great industrial and com- 
mercial companies, the power they wield and the rela- 
tions the)' sustain to the state and to the industry of 
the people, do not fall far short of Fourier's definition 



-THE RAILWAY PROBLEM. 245 

of commercial or industrial feudalism. The modern 
barons, more powerful than their military prototypes, 
own our greatest highways and levy tribute at will up- 
on all our vast industries, and as the old feudalism was 
finally controlled and subordinated only by the com- 
bined effort of the kings and the people of the free 
cities and towns, so our modern feudalism can be sub- 
ordinated to the public good, only by the great body 
of the people, acting through the goverment by wise 
and just laws. 

"I shall not now enter upon the discussion of meth- 
ods by which this grand work of adjustment may be 
accomplished. But I refuse to believe that the genius 
and energy which have developed these tremendous 
forces, will fail to make them not the masters, but the 
faithful servants of society." ' Fourteen years have been 
added to intensify the picture, as seen by the mind of 
one of our greatest thinkers, and who shall say that 
the evils pictured bv him have been mitigated? The 
inter-state commerce law has done something for com- 
merce, but where are the laws to mitigate the evils of 
necessary "submission and service?" Who have under- 
taken to amend the "rude protection and ruder laws"* 
for their servants? And has not state, and even na- 
tional legislation, at least in a great measure, been sub- 
jugated to the aggressive greed of private corpora- 
tions ? 

1 Life of Garfield. 



17 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

ANTAGONISM. 

The Burlington people were beginning to under- 
stand that none of the old men worth mentioning 
would return to work, instead of having thirty-five or 
forty per cent stay with them. Mr. Stone, realizing the 
value of their services, made an effort through the 
local officials to regain them, and his instructions 
were complied with, as thoroughly as it was possible. 
The wives of one class of emploves were sent to the 
wives of strikers to get them to induce their husbands 
to return to the company, but the wives were as loyal 
as their husbands, and in many instances, they were 
the very power that held them. The letter is as fol- 
lows: 

Chicago, February 28, 188S. 

*' Dear Sir : — The time is not far off when our men 
must necessarily decide whether they wish to perma- 
nently sever their connection with the company or not. 
We have purposely proceeded somewhat slowly in 
emploving new men in any great numbers, in order to 
give the men who have been in our service, time for 
reflection; but a considerable number of men from the 
Reading district and other parts of the east, will be 
here within a day or two and will go to work, and 
any new men employed, who are competent, and of 
good character, will not be discharged in order that 
we may take back the men who have left the service. 



ANTAGONISM. 247 

We are extremely anxious that such of our old men as 
are competent, sober, and industrious, should come 
back to the service. We know perfectly that many 
of them, probably a majority, have entered into this 
strike at the instigation of hot-heads and agitators, and 
that it is impossible that they should sincerely and 
seriously desire to leave the service where they know, 
as well as we do, that they have always been well paid 
and well treated." 

" In a strike of this kind, and in the excitement of the 
moment, men are led to act hastily, and with a vague 
impression that they are going to force the company to 
yield to their demands. The time is at hand therefore, 
if it lias not arrived now, when a great deal can be done 
by personal talk to induce good men to return to the 
service, and give up what must inevitably be a con- 
test full of disaster to them if it is proceeded in. Many 
of our men have grown up in the service, and their 
homes are on the line of our road; their property, if 
thev have accumulated any, is here with us, and our 
interests are identical. Aside from the interests which 
the company has as a matter of business in having 
these men returned to the service in preference to 
getting new men, we very much desire to save the 
men themselves from the consequences of righting this 
matter to the end, and forcing the company to man 
the road with new hands." 

"We realize fully the situation ; we know the difficul- 
ty of filling the places of good men who know the 
road, and we know the losses to the road of a pro- 
longed conflict." 

" All this has been fully considered and is taken into 




248 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

account, but you can see, and any man who will stop 
to think can see, that it is simply impossible for the 
company to yield to the demands which have been 
made. We must, as a matter of self preservation, 
fight it out, no matter at what expenditure of time and 
money. I hope, therefore, that you and others hold- 
ing positions in the service which enable them to do 
so, will use the utmost exertion to convince our men 
by personal persuasion, by pointing out to them the 
inevitable consequences of a continued contest, to in- 
duce the men to come back into the service, satisfied 
to let the company and its officers manage their own 
property. It is obvious that men who are receiving 
$4 and $5 a day cannot expect public sympathy in anv 
demand for more, which is carried to the extent of a 
strike." 

"This contest can have but one end, and that end is 
just as easy to see now as it will be perhaps when it 
will be too late to do the old men any good. I hope 
you will do every thing in 3-our power to make them 
appreciate the Situation by talking to them singlv. and 
impressing on their minds the truth of what I have 
said above." ' (Signed) Henry B. Stone. 

Mr. Stone says: "Many, probably a majority of the 
old men, have entered into this strike at the instigation 
of hot-heads." It would hardly seem probable that a 
few hot-heads could hold, against their will, nearly 
every man, not only for a day but for months. From 
mv own knowledge, the men who did go back, were 
the " hot-heads, " in nearly every case. The men who 
were most ready with vituperation at the beginning of 
the strike, were the hardest to keep in a line of gentle- 

' Chicago Daily News, March i. 18S8. 



ANTAGONISM. 249 

manlv deportment after the strike was fairly on; were 
first sought after by the Burlington, and first to secure 
a place. They remind me that in the war for the 
Union, a pugilist would always hunt a safe place out 
of range of danger. It was the every day thinking 
man. in office and out, who held all in line. But Mr. 
Stone said they were " holding off to give the old men 
a chance to come back, but that a considerable num- 
ber of men were coming from the Reading district and 
other parts of the east." Let us see if we can ana- 
lyze the nature of this demonstration from the east, of 
which Mr. Stone speaks. How did he know so soon 
that these men were coming ? 

Who were all these men who so readily loaned 
themselves to the Burlington company? Where did 
they come from, and what was the incentive? What 
was their character? "More men went in and out of 
the offices of the company, at Chicago in one day, at 
the beginning of the strike, than probably any time 
since they were built. The great majority of them 
claimed to be engineers or firemen. They had heard 
the rumbling and threatening of war; it had come; so 
had they. The passage way leading to the general 
superintendent's office was crowded from early morn- 
ing until sunset. In answer to questions put to a num- 
ber of these applicants they all represented that they 
had more or less of experience as either engineers or 
firemen. Some appeared to be quite intelligent, while 
others were either reticent or ignorant. A few 
among them belonged to the Knights of Labor, but 
none of them, as far as could be ascertained, belonged 
to the Brotherhoods. One of the Knights said, 'I 



25O THE BURLINGTON STRIKn.. 

went out with the southwestern strike of engineers. 
One of the Brothers took my place. I have not been 
able to get any work since and I am trying now to get 
a Brother's place. When a man has been slapped on 
the face it is not unreasonable that he should return 
the blow." 1 There had been no strike of engineers in 
the southwest. The stories that the motley multitude 
told were stereotyped. The men who were hired or 
bought, or appealed to by the strikers, all told very 
much the same story, and there was one feature that 
strongly marked almost every narrative, the story had 
stamped on the face of it, "lie." I do not say they all 
did this : many of them came to the Burlington appar- 
entlv indifferent as to anyone's opinion of their con- 
duct, and had no need to lie to preserve their reputa- 
tion. Some of this kind had been in the business of 
scab before. "Most of these applicants were respect- 
ablv dressed, although here and there, the marks of 
having been out of work were plainly visible ; there 
were nearly 200 of them." ' 

The examination as to their fitness was entrusted to 
G. W. Rhodes, superintendent of motive power, and 
Mr. ]. V. Murray, traveling engineer on the Chicago 
division of the road. These officers were occupied 
the whole day, and, at the conclusion of their labors, 
the following men were among the thirty who had 
been selected after they had satisfied their interrogators 
as to their competency: Engineers, Charles Riggs, 
H. Botham. M. Jenks, H. C. Cass, Geo. Graham. 
"Doc"' Merriam. Firemen: Martin Lane. Chas. A. 
Phurow, Robert Hoey, O. D. Skiff, W. D. Smith. 
Louis Eott, A. G. Patten, W. McDennot, Albert 

1 Chicago Tribune. Feb. 2S, 1888. 



ANTAGONISM. 2>\ 

Fitch, H. C. Lefont, John Hogan." The last named 
engineer, "Doc" Merriam, is known by hundreds of 
railroad men. He was discharged from the Burling- 
ton as a worthless drunkard, and washed spittoons in 
Aurora to get drinks. The traveling engineer, J. V. 
Murray, who assisted in the examination of these men, 
was a member, (at that time) of Division 127, of 
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Beardstown, 
111., and for the sake of a place entered into this work 
for the company with great zest, and he was expelled 
by his divison for violation of obligation. 

From all the reports circulated about the Reading 
railroad men, and others from Pennsylvania, it would 
look as though hajf of the population of that state 
were engineers and firemen, and all out of work, and 
had a personal grudge against the Burlington engi- 
neers and firemen. The onlv instance within our 
knowledge of official interference, is in the following : 

"Reading, Penn., Feb. 26, 1888. Capt. Geo. L. East- 
man, national organizer of the Knights of Labor, is au- 
thority for the statement that the executive committee 
of the Reading railroad strikers have notified General 
Manager Stone, of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincv, 
that in the event of a strike on his road, and a failure of 
Chief Arthur to withdraw the Brotherhood engineers 
who took their places on the Reading road, they will 
send him three hundred engineers tomorrow morning." 2 

■It will be remembered that a strike of the Knights 
of Labor occurred on December 24, 1887. The 
Reading engineers being members of the Knights of 
Labor, were ordered out, to assist in coercing 
the Reading company. It is a known fact that 

1 Chicago Tribune, Feb. 28, 1S8S' 2 Associated Press Report, Feb. 27, i-v<3. 



2 52 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

the miners and coal handlers of that company, which 
controls the greater part of the coal fields of Pennsyl- 
vania, are, and have been for years, steadily ground 
down until the condition has become un-American 
and indecent. It could only exist under such a com- 
bination as the Reading railroad made with the coal 
and iron interest. A committee of Congress investi- 
gated this matter in 1887 and 1888, and showed up 
the manner in which the mine owner, the railroad 
officials, the Pinkerton coal and iron police, and the 
officials of the commonwealth, combined to defraud 
labor of its just reward, to force the public to bin' coal 
at a factitious price, and to gamble away the rights of 
the people. 

Harper's Weekly of June 16, 1888, in describing 
the coal mines of Pennsylvania, has this to sav of the 
wages and life of miners : 

" Wages are very low in the coal regions. Labor- 
ers receive from sixty to eighty cents a day. Year in 
and year out, for the last ten years, during which time 
the cheap foreigners have been coming to this coun- 
try in great numbers, the average daily wages for a 
common laborer has probablv not been more than 
seventy cents a day. With the stopping of work very 
few laborers make more than $12 a month the year 
round, and a third of this must go as rent for the 
shanty. Eight dollars a month is very little in the ex- 
pensive coal regions for food, clothes and medicine." 

"There is many a miner who goes without dinner 
day after day, and who tightens his belt when noon 
comes." 

"A piece of fresh meat is a luxury for holidays, and 



ANTAGONISM. 253 

two orthree cold potatoes are the usual contents of 
the dinner pail. There is no allowance made by the 
employers for accident or illness. When the doctor is 
needed, each visit must be paid for when it is made. 
When the rent day comes, the rent is taken from the 
month's earnings, and if the head of the family can 
work no more, the family is turned out with all the bit- 

J 

ter cruelty of business."' 

Wholesale evictions take place in Pennsylvania, as 

in Ireland, and scenes of brutal indifference to human 
suffering, may be seen in the one country, as in the 
other." 

It is not surprising that those men were aggravated 
to think that any other class of labor should refuse to 
assist in bettering these conditions, instead of, ( as 
they claim, i tilling the vacated places, and thereby 
breaking down the only power they possessed to 
make the conditions better. Yet it is not reason- 
able to charge any labor organization, as such, with 
the responsibility of the acts of individuals beyond 
their control. Thev might be members, and be com- 
manded as P. M. Arthur commanded in 1886: "Keep 
your hands off! Do nothing which belongs to another 
to do, — in fact, mind your own business!" It was 
the position occupied by the Brotherhood of engineers 
in 1886, and it was all they asked at the beginning of 
the strike in 1888. They did not ask any help from 
any other Orders. The engineers and firemen were 
willing to go it alone, and only asked, hands off. 

The conductors and brakemen were told to keep at 
work, but to not do anything that did not belong to 
them to do. Was that not consistent with the position 



254 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

they took as an institution in the southwestern striker 
That individuals violated this principle of non-inter- 
ference, there was never a better illustration than in 
the Burlington strike. Messrs. Arthur and Sargent 
both deny that they had any knowledge of members of 
their respective Orders taking the Knight's places. 
That there was much feeling against the engineers, 
there can be no question, and it evidently emanated 
from the isolated position they have always occupied 
of "no amalgamation." The}' have been patted on 
the back from year to year, for occupying this posi- 
tion, by the leading representatives of capital. In fact, 
capital usually has one class of labor to use as a club 
to break down the power of some other organization 
whose members are trying to better their condition. 
It appeared to be the Knight's turn to have their backs 
patted. The Burlington had, in 1886, ordered the 
Knights of Labor off their premises, but in 18S8 they 
were gladly welcomed and many came, but not with 
the sanction of the Knights of Labor as an institution, 
as the following chapter will show. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

ATTITUDE OF THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR. 

Richard Griffiths, the grand worthy foreman of the 
Order said : " There is absolutely no foundation in the 
report that our Order will interfere with the striking- 
Brotherhood, nor will any attempt be made bv the 
Order to supply the Burlington people with engineers 
to enable them to defeat these men. The best of 
feeling exists between Mr. Powderlv and Chief Ar- 
thur, and the Order, as an Order, has no grievance 
whatever against the Brotherhood. Of course, there 
may be individual cases where men have griefs. If 
they go to the Burlington road and apply for work, 
they will do so as individuals, and not otherwise." "It 
is true." said Mr. Griffiths, " that in the strike of the 
Missouri Pacific, Chief Arthur asked his men to leave 
our Order, but that did not create any bad feeling. 
You may state authoritatively that, not only will the 
Knights of Labor Order not assist the Burlington 
road, but that its sympathies are with the Brother- 
hood first and last." ' 

" T. B. Barn r , a member of the general executive 
board of the Knights of Labor said: " I don't think 
any of the engineers from the east, now en route to 
Chicago, are members of the Knights of Labor. Our 
Order will not send any men to take positions there, 
or advise them to go, but there is such an intense 
feeling against the Brotherhood of engineers, that 

1 Chicago Tribune. Feb. 29, 1888. 



256 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

some of our engineers cannot be restrained from 
going." ' 

The following was adopted at Chicago on Feb. 
ary 28 : " To the members of the D. A. 24, Knights of 
Labor; Greeting: During the last twenty-four hours 
the public press has been lumbered down with reports 
of the strike of the Brotherhoods of engineers and fire- 
men of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincv railroad. 
In connection with this, many rumors have been set 
afloat, that this monopoly of a corporate power would 
be aided in their contest against their company, by 
members of the Knights of Labor, who are reported as 
being anxious to take their places, actuated by feel- 
ings of retaliation for bad conduct the Brotherhood is 
claimed to have been guilty of towards our Order 
during similar contests in the past. Without going 
into an examination as to whether this charge against 
the Brotherhood is false or true, the executive board 
of D. A. 24, Knights of Labor, unqualifiedly protests 
against any of its members taking the places of these 
striking workers." 

We call on the members of our Order everywhere, 
to refuse under any and all circumstances, to become 
the tools of this corporation in their hour of trouble. 
If the members of the Brotherhood have been guiltv 
of any wrong towards our Order, this wrong cannot 
be righted by committing another. By the exhibition 
on our part, of a higher and nobler manhood in the 
cause of struggling labor, we may prove to them our 
worth as Knights, thereby sowing the seed of that 
higher fraternity that should exist among all bodies of 
organized labor. Let no Knight fire an engine or 

1 Chicago Tribune, Feb. 20, i^S8. 



ATTITUDE OF THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR. 257 

pull a throttle on the C, B. & Q. 

The Executive Board, D. A. 24, Knights of Labor, 
George Schilling, Chairman, 
William Turnbull, Secretary. 

District Assembly 79, which includes the state of 
Minnesota, issued an order on February 28, advising 
against interference : " To the Order in District as- 
semblv 79, Knights of Labor: Greeting: The District 
Executive Board fully endorse the sentiments in the 
manifesto of District Assembly 24, of Chicago, advis- 
ing all knights to refrain from taking the places of the 
striking engineers and firemen on the Chicago, Bur- 
lington & Quincy railroad. By taking this position, 
the board believes that it will show to those who seek 
to sow discord between the different labor organiza- 
tions, that we are above the low spirit of revenge that 
has so often thwarted the efforts of organizations in 
the past. While the Brotherhood, may, in the past, 
have taken a stand in opposition to our efforts, yet by 
retaliating on them in their hour of trouble, nothing 
will be gained, and the antagonism will become more 
bitter. It is by showing our manhood under such 
circumstances, that we will ultimately bring about the 
complete realization of our object, viz: to bring to- 
gether in one organization, and bind by one fraternal 
tie, every man and woman who toils for a living." ' 

On the 29th of February, twenty-five men, said to 
have been Reading engineers, were quartered at the 
Briggs house, Chicago. One of them, on being in- 
terrogated bv a reporter, said: "We are the advance 
guard of a small army of engineers who will fill the 

1 Chicago Tribune, Feb. 29, 188S. 



258 THE BURLINGTON" STRIKE. 

places of the Burlington strikers. We were not 
selected by any agent of the Burlington road, but are 
some of the men who were made the victims of the 
Reading strike. I am not empowered to speak for 
the others, but I intend to go to work to-morrow morn- 
ing." 1 

" What is the general feeling of the Knights of 
Labor throughout the east in relation to this strike ? " 
They desire the defeat of the Brotherhood. I am 
not here as a Knight of Labor, but as a first-class 
mechanic, out of work. A Brotherhood man is 
now running my machine, and if I pass examination 
to-morrow, I expect to return the compliment. In do- 
ing so I shall not consider mvself • a scab,' but shall 
hold that I am fulfilling; my duty to mvself and to my 
family. The Brotherhood started this light and must 
stand the responsibility." • When asked if there were 
more from the Reading road who felt as he did, he 
said: " You bet your life, there are ! The Reading 
engineers went on a strike in company with forty- 
thousand miners, who were the only support of thou- 
sands of families. When the result was trembling in 
the balance, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engfi- 
neers came forward and rilled our plac< They 

claim that it was done as individuals. Perhaps it was. 
We are here as individuals. You have not heard that 
the Knights of Labor have declared against the strik- 
ers, have your I feel sorry for the striking engineers 
of the Burlington as fellow craftsmen, but I have no 
use for their organization." ' 

This man does not consider himself a scab. Some 
one, he claims, has done him an injury in Pennsvlva- 

' Associated Press dispatch. 



ATTITUDE OF THE KNIGHTS OF LABOR. 259 

nia, and he comes to Illinois to get even with the man 
in Pennsylvania, by doing what he acknowledges was 
a mean thing for the other man to do. While he is 
doing this, he is rilled with sympathy for the men 
whom he comes — for the sake of vengeance — to harm. 
"Two wrongs never made right," and as it has been 
said before, nearly all of these men had an elaborate 
excuse to offer for coming. When a man says he comes 
filled with sympathy for his intended victims, that man 
should join the socialists, and no labor organization 
should be held accountable for his acts. If he had 
said " I hold I am fulfilling my duty to myself and 
family," and stopped there, he would not have exposed 
the fact that he came to the Burlington to do what he 
condemned as an outrage on the Reading. 

General Master Workman Powderly, of the Knights 
of Labor, defines very forcibly what he thinks of 
such a man as the above, no matter what he belongs 
to. He said : " I have been asked what my opinion 
is concerning the strike of the engineers on the Bur- 
lington system. An expression of opinion is request- 
ed as to whether I favor Knights of Labor taking the 
places of Brotherhood men. I do not know the par- 
ticulars of the strike question, but if true men are 
making an effort to do away with the European cus- 
tom of grading men up and down, regardless of merit, 
they are right for making a light for equality. My 
opinion is, that the man who takes the place of another 
struggling for his rights, deserves the contempt and 
scorn of everv man who loves justice. The man who 
takes the place of another when that other engages in 
a struggle with a corporation, is a " scab," whether he 

18 



260 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

is a member of the Knights of Labor, or the Brother- 
hood of Engineers. Knights of Labor, if you take 
my advice, 3-011 will stand back and allow this strusrsrle 
to go on. 

Let the Brotherhood demonstrate its power to stand 
alone, 'without entangling alliances with other trades.' 
The spectacle presented by men of labor, who belong 
to different organizations, rushing at each others' 
throats when strikes occur, must be a gratifying spec- 
tacle for. employers of labor. Knights of Labor, from 
Maine to California, stand back ! Keep hands off! 
Let the law of retaliation be disregarded and let the 
men of the Burlington road run this strike if they 
can ! Samuel Gampers, president of the American 

Federation of labor said: " The Brotherhood of Loco- 
motive Engineers is an excellent organization, although 
it has done wrong in isolating itself on labor matters. 
In the present strike, the Trades' Unions are with 
them." 

1 Associated Press Report. 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

NEGOTIATIONS FOR HARMONY. 

For all these strong expressions from the chief men 
of the Knights and kindred orders, there seemed to be 
a concordant movement on the part of the ex-Reading 
employes, to come to the Burlington. The press of 
the country took it up, and with great energy magni- 
fied not only the numbers, but the presumed grievan- 
ces of the Knights against the Brotherhood of Engi- 
neers and Brotherhood of Firemen. They quoted 
sayings of Grand Chief Arthur, and doings of individ- 
uals, in order to help to widen the breach. All the 
antipathy so created was in the direct interest 
of monopoly. All the vast railroad interests were 
interested in making this the wedge to divide the 
power of organized labor. The more they magnified 
the picture of wrongs done, the wider the breach, and 
the better for the Burlington. 

It is evident from Mr. Stone's letter in a preceding 
chapter, that he had been notified of their coming. 
When they began to arrive they were met by the 
strikers' committee. Thev were reminded that they 
came to injure men who had in no way injured them, 
and who could not be held accountable for the acts of 
some individuals in Pennsylvania. A few were found 
who had a spark of manliness left, and the earnest ap- 
peals of the committees would sometimes help them 
to see how much thev were violating the princi] 



262 THE BURLINGTON" STRIKE. 

that should actuate one laboring man towards another. 
How generous and considerate, and how chivalric do 
all men believe a knight, a true knight to be. If 
they were true knights, why did they come ? 

By such appeals a few were induced to agree to re- 
turn if transportation was furnished, and many did 
return, or at least went elsewhere. Many of them 
were no doubt impostors. But such things cannot be 
avoided in such times. When excitement is at boiling 
heat the scum is sure to come to the surface. The 
human vultures, like the other kind, are always ready 
to take whatever falls in their way, whether the means 
to be used are false or fair. The strikers had expect- 
ed men would present themselves for the places vacat- 
ed, in some numbers, but they did not think any 
members of labor organizations would come, and it 
was evident something must be done to check, if pos- 
sible, this movement. 

At this time there appeared upon the scene, one 
who claimed to be the leader of this army of Reading 
men. 

"Joseph Cahill, secretary of the executive board 
of the Reading employes, brought Chief Arthur and 
Grand Master Sargent official information that 150 
members of their Order had taken the places of the 
Knights of Labor on the Reading road." 

" Both Chief Arthur and Mr. Sargent have denied 
repeatedly that the}' knew that these men had taken 
the places of the Reading striking employes. They 
assured Mr. Cahill that they had no knowledge other 
than newspaper reports that this thing had occurred. 
Both gentlemen expressed a willingness to play fair 



NEGOTIATIONS FOR HARMONY. 263 

with the knights, and an agreement was entered into 
by which Mr. Arthur and Mr. Sargent agreed to re- 
quest their men to quit the Reading road's employ- 
ment." 

" In return for this Mr. Cahill agreed to keep the 
150 to 200 Reading engineers and firemen in the city 
from taking places on the Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincy road. These men will be held here twenty- 
four hours. If the Brotherhood men obey the request 
of their chiefs and quit the Reading road the Knights 
of Labor men here will return to Reading and other 
points along the Reading lines whence they came. 
Mr. Cahill telegraphed other contingents of Reading 
nun to remain where the}- were. He estimated the 
number of engineers out of employment along the 
Reading lines at six to eight hundred." 

" Chief Arthur, about five o'clock, on the evening 
of February 2, sent the following telegram to Mr. 
Edward Kent, chairman of the executive board of the 
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers of the Philadel- 
phia & Reading railroad company:" 

" ' Go to Philadelphia and use all your influence to 
have the members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Engineers on the Phildelphia & Reading road who 
have taken the places of the men who went out 
December 27, 1887, to leave the service of the com- 
pany, furnishing them with the financial support of the 
Brotherhood. The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
company is striving to use Reading strikers to defeat 
us in this conflict. We must use all honorable means 
to checkmate it."' 

" Mr. Kent was at Sparkhill, Rockland county, N. Y. 



264 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

He at once telegraphed Mr. Arthur that he would go 
to Philadelphia immediately." 

" Grand Master Sargent sent a similar dispatch to 
Harry Walton, chairman of the executive board of 
firemen at Philadelphia. 

Chicago, March 3, 1888. 

Harry Walton: 

" See all members of the Brotherhood on the 
Philadelphia & Reading railroad that have taken the 
places of the men that went out December 27, 1887, 
and request them to sever their connection with the 
company, and I will pay them untill they can find em- 
ployment elsewhere, and allow the men now out to 
return to work. By doing this, the ill-feeling now 
existing will be obliterated, and will assist us to win 
our struggle with the Burlington." 

(Signed) F. P. Sargent. 

Mr. Sargent promised the men support until they 
could find employment elsewhere. Mr. Walton re- 
sponded by telegraph that he would at once issue the 
necessary orders. Messrs. Arthur and Sargent 
thought these men would obey their requests, as they 
both thought the men were in the wrong in taking the 
places of the organized workmen. In order to insure 
greater success in this movement it was thought best 
to secure the services of some one who belonged to the 
Knights of Labor and was directly interested in the 
strike on the Burlington. Mr. J. J. Delanev, who was 
a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen 
and also a member of the Knights of Labor, was se- 
cured, who proceeded to Philadelphia to co-operate 
with the others. 



NEGOTIATION'S FOR HARMONY. 265 

It is said, George E. Detwiler of Chicago, a mem- 
ber of the Knights of Labor, and editor of a labor 
paper, rendered valuable assistance in this effort to 
dissuade the knights. While these negotiations were 
pending, nearly one hundred new arrivals reached the 
city of Chicago, and were quartered at the Briggs 
house. They claimed that thev were all Reading- 
men. The Brotherhood's committees, ever watchful, 
were on hand, and " knots of excited men gathered 
around the leaders and the war of words waged thick 
and fast. The Reading men openly accused Chief 
Arthur of causing the troubles on that road, but de- 
spite all the gesticulating and loud talk many were in 
favor of a settlement. The Brotherhood delegates 
told the new-comers of the settlement between Arthur 
and Powderly. ' We won't go back unless we are 
recalled by Corbin himself,' shouted several of the 
Reading men. ' If Chief Arthur calls the Brother- 
hood men off the Reading road will you go back and 
fight your own battles?' A few said thev would. 
The committees were aided materially by two Knights 
of Labor from Reading, said to represent Mr. Pow- 
derly. They knew the men and placed a chalk mark 
on every good man." " A number of the Reading men 
were not skilled engineers. A large percentage of 
them were firemen, and a great number were incom- 
petent men who were given free transportation to 
Chicago. The Brotherhood's committees were after 
the competent men and hired about half of the entire 
number." ' These were furnished free transportation, 
and they returned to Pennsylvania. At the Brother- 
hood's headquarters at the Grand Pacific hotel, there 

1 Chicago Evening News. 



266 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



was a scene of exciting activity. Men were there of 
all kinds, nationalities and interests, scores of them. 
The deceived, some were deceivers, and others were 
repentant. Said one of these men: "I came here on 
mv own responsibility. I do not belong to the Broth- 
erhood, neither am I a Knight of Labor. I was out of 
.vork and came from Reading here. I didn't want to 
go farther west than Chicago. Thev wanted me to 
go to Nebraska, though I have a contract for work 
here. Five others came with me and we want to get 
transportation back home. I don't like the looks of 
the situation." 

The committee sent to the Reading road by Messrs. 
Arthur and Sargent, had a meeting with the Reading 
strikers, who repudiated Mr. CahilPs authority- to speak 
for them, and insisted upon the ordering out of every 
Brotherhood man on the Reading road. This meant 
another strike on the Reading, which the grand offi- 
cers of the two Brotherhoods had no power to effect. 
Their constitutions onlv gave them power to sanction 
a strike when the men had voted it. The Reading 
road has 800 engines, and at the time of this strike it 
is said there were not more than twenty Brotherhood 
men employed on that road. 

Nearly all those who had taken the places of the 
striking knights, were not members of any organiza- 
tion. Many of them were said to be the dissipated 
refuse of other railroads and of the Brotherhoods. 
Some of them were the men who struck against Presi- 
dent Gowan's order to withdraw from the Brother- 
hood, or from the service of that company in 1877. 
When that strike came, their places were filled, and 

1 Chicago Evening News. 



NEGOTAITIOXS FOR HARMONY. 267 

by some of these same men who struck in 1887 as 
Knights of Labor. These men, many of whom were 
still in Pennsylvania, and had not run an engine since 
1877, and being bound by no labor ties, went back 
to the Reading company. This committee, which was 
sent to negotiate peace with these knights, only found 
eleven engineers and seven firemen who belonged to 
these Orders, at work on the Reading road. It must 
now be evident to the reader that when the Reading 
men claimed that the Brotherhood as an Order, had 
rilled their places in 1887, they were entirely mistaken. 
It is also plain that they used this pretext for an excuse 
for doing what thev evidently felt was as mean in 
themselves to do as it had been in those who, it was 
said, took their places. Everything was done by the 
officers of the Knights of Labor to prevent any mem- 
bers of their Order coming to the Burlington, and 
they should in no way be held responsible for the acts 
of these men as individuals. The good will of the 
Order was shown on ever}' hand and in the west they 
made the Burlington feel their power in a depleted 
business and encouraging words to the strikers. 



CHAPTER XL. 

FEINT, FOR EFFECT. 

It is evident that the Reading men were grossly 
misrepresented. Where there was one Knight of 
Labor who did come, there were one hundred who 
claimed to be Knights who never had seen the Read- 
ing road. The officers of the Burlington road were 
glad to call everything that came in the shape of 
an engineman, "direct from Reading." On March i, 
Master Mechanic J. W. Rhodes, from his headquar- 
ters in Chicago, sent out the following: 

"To all Master Mechanics: 

We have a large number of engineers just from 
the Reading road; can furnish you any number of en- 
gineers you want. Let me know as soon as possible 
how many you want.'" ' J. W. Rhodes. 

Here is another sample : 

St. Joseph, Mo., March, 2 1888. 
A. C. Dawes. Kansas City. 

••I have a message from Chicago saying that re- 
ported arrangements between P. M. Arthur and the 
Knights of Labor to take Brotherhood men off the 
Reading and send Reading men back, have no effect 
whatever upon those who have come to us from the 
Reading road. They seem to be more anxious to 
rind out how the}' can get their families west than to 
talk about going back to Pennsylvania. They say 

1 Creston (Iowa) Advertiser. 



FEINT, FOR EFFECT. 269 

thev will have nothing to do with the Brotherhood of 
Locomotive Engineers and are well satisfied with 
their prospects. One hundred and fifty odd went to 
Nebraska, and one hundred and fifty more than we 
expected arrived this morning." ' 

W. F. Merrill, 

General Manager. 

Much of this talk was no doubt intended to frighten 
the strikers, and create a stampede among them. The 
Burlington officials were too wise not to want the old 
men back if they could get them without receding 
from their position. The notice to apply on or before 
Wednesday noon of February 29, had done no good; if 
anything it had increased the strikers' determination to 
fight it out; thev would not accept their salary, and 
did not go for it until the pay car come out at its reg- 
ular time. The great news dispenser for the Burling- 
ton, during the strike, was Mr. Paul Morton, general 
ticket agent, who was formerly a reporter on a news- 
paper in Nebraska. Having been educated in the 
newspaper business, he knew how to work the ma- 
chine for all it was worth. He was a terse, forcible writ- 
er, and was always ready to dish up news in any 
quantitv to whomsoever might come, and he never 
forgot the coloring. 

"Mr. Morton said 250 competent engineers and fire- 
men had been accepted by the company, and had 
been sent out to man engines on various divisions of 
the road. These men were principally ex-employes 
of the Reading, whose places had been filled with 
Brotherhood men. Mr. Morton said that several oth- 
er large bodies of competent man were on the way to 

1 Kansas City Journal, March .5, 1888. 



270 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



Chicago from the east, and he read dispatches from 
several points, announcing that delegations were on 
the way to Chicago. He said that the company. would 
not discharge its new men to make room for the men 
who had quit work in case the latter wanted to come 
back. "The position" said he, "on this question is ex- 
actly similar to that of Mr. Corbin in regard to the 






Reading strikers, 
which is fairly illus- 
trated by the follow- 
ing extract from the 
proceedings of the 
Reading investiga- 
ting committee be- 
fore the House at 
Washington: Mr. 
Corbin said— 'If there 
is no more coal mined 
from the Schuyl- 
kill until we are 
compelled to mine it 
bv discharging men 
who have come to us 
in our trouble, and 
stood by us, to make 
way for the strikers, 
no more will ever be mined while I have influence to 
prevent it.' " 

"Do you mean to say, and go on record as saying, 
that for that and that only, you will not take them 
back." 

"Yes, emphaticallv, I want that to go on record. 




PAUL MORTON AND THE REPORTER. 



FEINT, FOR EFFECT. 27 1 

They left me, and I gave them notice. It will be a 
pretty cold day when I discharge men who stood by 
me when I needed help, for men who concerted and 
attempted to ruin me." 

1 lere are three hundred and fifty more ex-Reading 
men, all within twenty-four hours ! 

"Great excitement was occasioned at the Union de- 
pot on the evening of March i, upon the departure of 
the 5:35 p. m. train, known as the Denver express. 
The engine of this train was manned by a Reading 
engineer and fireman, who had an old brakeman, for 
a pilot, in the cab with them, and all were armed with 
revolvers. The train was composed of a mail car. 
three baggage cars, four day coaches, two chair cars 
and two sleepers. There were but three passengers 
in the chair cars, and none in the sleepers. A great 
crowd had collected in the vicinity, for the train was 
unusually long. About 5 :30 Lieutenant Fitzpatrick, 
with a detail of eight men, and Lieutenant Ross, of 
the Desplaines street station, came down leading a 
procession of over 200 men. They were Reading 
engineers and firemen who had come to help out the 
road in its difficulty. With them was a large posse 
of Pinkerton men under the command of Lieutenant 
Lane, and every one of the large body was armed 
with a 44 caliber revolver, readv for any emergency 
which might arise on the way The 200 men were 
placed in the four day coaches, each in charge of four 
Pinkerton men. The crowds thronged about the en- 
gine in the depot, but four stalwart policemen drove 
them away from the locomotive. General Manager 
Stone, Superintendent Howland, and Superintendent 



272 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

of Motive Power Rhodes, were all on hand to see the 
orowd, and even Freddy Gebhard was attracted to the 
spot by the excitement. He was especially conspic- 
uous on the platform, with the bunch of blue violets in 
the left lapel of his coat, and his exceedingly small 
derby hat on his very large head, until somebody 
yelled, "Get onto the bloke!" when he vanished. 
The train started off very slowly, and there was a 
good deal of feeling shown by the crowd as it passed 
under the Van Buren street viaduct, but no person at- 
tempted or offered to do any violence." 1 And this is 
not all. On the same day one hundred more new ar- 
rivals of "fine looking fellows" were heralded, far and 
wid . 

Air. Morton said: "We first heard from the Read- 
ing men through committees appointed by them, and 
that they were ready to take the places of our strik- 
ing engineers. The storv that they were misinformed 
and supposed they were to work on new lines, is un- 
true. Our agents were instructed to inform them 
just what they were coming for." 2 It will be seen by 
the following that the number was greatly exaggerated. 

"One hundred more of the Reading engineers and 
firemen arrived last evening. Of these fifty-eight 
came on from the East over the Pennsylvania lines 
and arrived at 6:45 o'clock, and the remaining forty- 
two came in at 9:30. This body of men is by far the 
best looking, from a respectable standpoint, that has 
yet arrived. There were no guards with these men, 
as they insisted that they needed none, because they 
were able to take care of themselves. The first batch 
lingered about the Union Depot for a half hour, and 

1 Chicago Tribune. 2 Chicago News, March 2, 18S8. 



FEINT, FOR EFFECT. 273 

were then taken to the Briggs house. The othi -a 
also came in later, and found no one to meet them ex- 
cept a delegation of brotherhood engineers who en- 
deavored to proselyte them. This work was in vain.™ 

"We would not have come here to take these plao 
said one of the men, "but we are forced to it. There 
is no place for us in Pennsylvania. We have been 
driven out by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engi- 
neers. That is true, every word of it. Our men who 
were working in blast-furnaces at $i a day, were driv- 
en away like vagabonds to wander over the earth be- 
cause they were strikers. Yes, we are Knights of 
Labor, but we are men and we can stand up and 
fend ourselves. We leave starving families. Three 
of our party leave at home dying wives to earn for 
them the very necessities of life of which they stand in 
need. If the Brotherhood engineers had not inter- 
fered with us we would not have been here to-day. 
But they displaced us; now we displace them. 
There is no room for argument here. The facts are 
there, and we will abide by them." 

"This morning at seven o'clock, March 2, 150 more 
Reading men will arrive at the Union Depot by the 
Fort Wayne road." 

" Twenty of the new men who were sent out on the 
5 :35 train last evening deserted after going out a short 
distance and returned to the city at 6:40 last eveni 
They said that they had had all they wanted of rail- 
roading. They only wanted a chance to see Chicag 
and had taken advantage of the opportunity offered 
by the strike." ' 

Philadelphia, March 2. — General Superintendent 
19 

\ Chicago News. 



274 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

Swigert of the Reading railroad company, said : "The 
entire number of locomotive engineers who left the 
service of the Philadelphia and Reading companv dur- 
ing the recent labor disturbance was 109." ' 

The nineteen Brotherhood men who took places on 
the Reading must have been a power indeed to have 
displaced fort)' thousand miners, and blast furnace 
men, beside all this-army of men who call themselves 
Reading Knights, who are coming for vengeance. To 
the reading public who found the newspapers filled 
with this astonishing exodus from Pennsylvania, and 
the wholesale charges of our labor organization 
against another, it must have brought vividly to 
mind the Irish, traditional duel: 

There was once two cats in Kilkenny, 

And each thought there was one cat to many; 

So they quarrelled and fit, 

And they gouged and they bit, 

Till, excepting their nails, 

And the tips of their tails, 

Instead of two cats there wasn't any. 

The grand officers of the twin Brotherhoods, as 
they were very appropriately called, from their infor- 
mation, did not believe these stories, and they sent 
out the following to all points along the line: 

Grand Pacific Hotel, March 1, 1888. 

To Engineers and Firemen. 
Dear Sirs and Brothers : 

"We are informed that a number of men are being 
distributed by the company, on the system, with a 
view to demoralize the ranks of our men along the 

1 Associated Press report. 



FEINT, FOR EFFECT. 275 

line and give the appearance that a sufficient number 
of engineers and firemen Have been secured to resume 
operations. Pay no attention to such reports or to 
outward appearances. The outlook is better than ever 
before. Success is practically in sight. Do not, under 
any possible circumstances, allow yourselves to be 
misled as to the situation. Stand firm, and do not lose 
courage. We have no hesitancy in saying that our 
cause will triumph." 

Yours Fraternally, P. M.Arthur, 

F. P. Sargent. 

At the time this was written negotiations were 
pending with President Perkins which possibly lent 
some strength to Messrs. Arthur and Sargent's assur- 
ance. This meeting was brought about by Mr. Geo. 
E. Detwiler and Judge Parker, who thought that if a 
meeting could be arranged between the belligerent 
parties that some understanding might be reached. 
The meeting finally took place in President Perkins' 
room in the Grand Pacific hotel. There were two of 
the board of directors present, Mr. Detwiler and 
Messrs. Arthur and Sargent. A long discussion of the 
points at issue was had, and the grand officers ap- 
pealed to Mr. Perkins to grant the requests of the 
men, but to no purpose. The only proposition from 
Mr. Perkins was, " If you will declare the strike off, 
I will take back seventy-five per cent of the 
men, and the balance I will re-employ as soon as pos- 
sible." To this Mr. Arthur replied: "Mr. Perkins, 
before I will <jro to the men and ask them to declare 
the strike off on such terms, I will sever my right arm 



276 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



from my body.*' ' This left them as far apart as ever. 
This meeting, of such grave importance to the partici- 
pants, as illustrated by the press, 8 was serious, malic- 
ious, and comical. The earnest effort to secure peace 




TRIANGULAR POWWOW OF THE CHIEFS. 



between labor and capital was illustrated in the trian- 
gular powwow, the three interested leaders, Messrs. 
Perkins, Powderly and Arthur, smoking the pipe of 



A participant. - Chicago News. 



FEINT, FOR EFFECT. 277 

peace, while the Burlington scabs were smashing the 
property, and the traveling public were going on foot 
rather than take the chances behind such men. The 
meeting caused the circulation of stories of a settle- 
ment, which did not please the management, and Mr. 
Stone sent the following to all superintendents and 
master mechanics: "The reports which I understand 
have been sent out to our old engineers and others to 
the effect that the company intends to yield the posi- 
tion it has taken is positively without foundation." 
Press Agent Morton lost nothing of his importance 
as these things were transpiring. While he passed 
round the cigars, he fairly beamed with information. 
To a running rire of questions, he summed up the 
situation in this way; " The situation, so far as to the 
relations between the strikers and the railroad, is un- 
changed. The conference last night was not sought 
by the company, and nothing was accomplished by it. 
We don't consider that any terms of compromise were 
offered or suggested. We consider it a great misfor- 
tune that our old engineers have been induced to give 
up their places, and it is with painful reluctance that 
we see their places being rapidly filled by strangers." ' 
There is plenty of evidence that only a small percen- 
tage of the strangers were Knights of Labor. But 
men came, and in astonishing numbers. Mr. Arthur 
said : ; ' From all statistics in my possession there can- 
not be three hundred competent engineers in the 
country out of employment." 

i Chicago News. 



CHAPTER XLI. 



RULE OR RUIN. 

Messrs. Arthur and Sargent, and the strikers along 
the line who had been brought up under Burlington 
rules, could not believe that the Burlington officials 
would grab at anything in the shape of a man to fill 
their places, regardless of character or fitness. But 
thev were soon made to realize that such was a fact. 
The Chicago Daily News had the following cut and 
comment: 

" A long line of 
men — labor-looking 
people, stood in line 
waiting an opportu- 
nity to go before G. 
W. Rhodes, superin- 
tendent of motive 
power, and A. For- 
syth, master mechan- 
ic, who were detailed 
to examine applicants 
as to their competen- 
cy. After entering 
Superintendent 
Howland's room 
they gave their names, and then were sent with a card 
to the examining-room. A stationarv engineer was 
soon made aware of the fact that he could not run a 




SAMPLE APPLICANTS FOR WORK. 



RULE OR RUIN. 279 

locomotive. And, too, the engineer who used to 
jangle a bell on a State street grip car was hastily in- 
formed that he was not wanted." 

There must have been some of the stationary engi- 
neers, and street car bell janglers, that were sharp 
enough to fool the examiners if it was necessary to 
fool them, for it is certain they got many of that kind, 
and men who had their character and their watches — 
to use a slang phrase — in soak. 

" A number of the engineers examined and accept- 
ed by the Burlington company had no watches. An 
engineer without a watch is like a ship without a sail; 
a fork without a knife. The company gave these men 
watches. Half a dozen of them took their time-pieces 
to pawn-shops, and before the sun set had painted 
the town a purple hue. 

"The first train to leave the city went out at 12:01 
o'clock. W. H. Chapin, an imported engineer, was 
placed in charge of the lever, and a young man who 
answered to the name of Rankin and claimed to have 
hailed from Iowa, piled in the fuel. There was an 
impression abroad that Chapin was a Reading man, 
but he denied the charge. A funny thing happened 
just before the train started which afforded consider- 
able amusement for the crowd. The new engineer 
was somewhat abashed at the conspicuousness of the 
position which he occupied, and seemed to be unable 
to tell one end of the engine from another. He oiled 
the headlight and smokestack instead of the piston, 
and grabbed the fireman's arm instead of the lever. 
Finally, having familiarized himself with the various 
parts of the machine, he was about to pull out when 



28o THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

the fireman suddenly exclaimed: 'Say, pard, you've 
i irgot your ticker.' " 

" By Jove, I haven't got one," was the reply. 

" You blamed fool, you can't run an engine without 
a watch, kin your " 

" I kin run it, but I can't run it on time." 

" Guess you fellers must a been workin down south 
where thev hev lots o' time, piped in a striking engi- 
neer who had been enjoying his discomfiture." 

" Shet your trap,"' shouted the fireman, and the po- 
lice stepped in to prevent bloodshed, while a gateman 
presented the eastern man with a ticker." 

" About four o'clock Superintendent Rowland was 
seen meandering down the track closely followed by a 
Jot of seedy-looking individuals who were at once 
recognized as importations." 

•• Where did you get your men? Superintendent 
Rowland was asked."' 

" From all over. I've got fifty to-day, and more are 
coming all the time. We will have all of ourtrainsby 
to-morrow. We are going to win this fight." 

" Considerable difficulty was experienced in select- 
ing a tit man from the squad, but one was finally found 
and placed in charge of engine 206 and it drove out 
for Aurora at 4:45. Another train was sent out at 
5 15. and the last one left the depot at 6: 30." 

• The incoming trains did not seem to materialize. 
The bulletin-board announced in big letters that sever- 
al of the trains were on time, but the bulletin prevari- 
cated. The depot master said that certain engines 
ild steam in at certain times, but the depot master 
was talking over his left shoulder. The 6:20 train 



RULE OR RUIN. 28l 

was not right on hand, and eleven hours later a tall 
man in a wolfskin overcoat solemnlv affirmed that he 
had watched for that train since daylight." 

•• Some experiences of the companv with its new 
engineers were amusing to the strikers but essentially 
exasperating to the officials of the road. A train 
sta: - ted from Galesburg with a new man, who said he 
knew his engine as well as if he had made it. Mis en- 
gine pawed and snorted like a race-horse at the start- 
ing stretch. It wanted to get away at the minute 
scratch and skim along the track like a bird. He got 
the word; the engineer ' gave her sand.' Away she 
sped for five miles. Then she balked; did not like 
her new rider. The injector belonged to the Brother- 
hood and the engineer did not. Before he knew what 
was up the injector had pumped the boiler full of cold 
water. The stop-cocks froze up and so did the engi- 
neer's gavetv. He sadly walked to the nearest station 
and telegraphed for an engine to pull him back. 
His engine was dead." 

" Four engines were reported to be ' burned out,' 
or dead, between Chicago and Galesburg. Two were 
said to be burned out on the Kansas City branch. A 
'burned-out engine' may cost $50 or $1,000 for re- 
pairs, according to the size of the burn."' ' 

As an illustration of the danger to property and life 
daily occurring, we take this one instance from the 
Chicago Jlcrahi of March 2, 1888: " The 12 :oi train 
which left the city on Wednesdav came very near 
meeting with a serious accident, about 4:30 o'clock in 
the afternoon, 108 miles west of this city. The engi- 
neer of the locomotive was J. W. Chapman, an eastern 

1 Chirag > News. 



282 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE 

man, it is claimed, of considerable experience. With 
him was General Superintendent Besler, who acted as 
pilot along the road. The train was the heaviest that 
had left this city since the strike was inaugurated, and 
consisted of three coaches, two sleepers, two postal, 
and an express and baggage cars. The point men- 
tioned is about four miles west of Princeton, and 
three miles east of Wyanet. At this part of the road 
there is a bridge across a creek, the trestle upon 
which it is erected being ninety-six feet high. Up to 
near the bridge and east of it the road is double- 
tracked, but there is only a single track across the 
bridge. In order, however to prevent collisions, the 
road has laid automatic switches at each approach, so 
that if trains come in opposite directions, the one at 
the east approach will be thrown from the main track 
and on to a short spur, which at this point, runs a 
short distance into a dense piece of woods. When the 
train was approaching this bridge, it w r as running at 
the rate of forty-five miles an hour. Suddenlv the lo- 
comotive gave a lurch and the clerks in the postal cars 
were thrown on their faces by the jar caused by the 
rapid and sudden turning from the main line on the 
spur. The bank of the creek is very high, and a 
calamity was threatened bv the train being thrown 
over the precipice, as the cars rocked heavily from 
side to side. General Superintendent Besler seized 
the lever, whistled down brakes and reversed the en- 
gine. There was no train coming in an opposite 
direction at the time, but it was by only a miracle that 
a fearful calamity was averted. The postal clerks in- 
sist that the accident was due to the incompetency of 



RULE OR RUIN. 283 

the engineer, who had no business to run at such fear- 
ful speed when approaching the bridge, and had he 
been running at the ordinary rate of speed — twenty 
miles an hour — the train would not have left the 
track." 1 

" At Council Bluffs, Iowa, a petition signed by all 
the mail clerks on the Iowa division of the Burlington 
will be sent to Washington to-morrow, asking F. E. 
Nash, general superintendent of railway mail service, 
to have the government compel the road to put com- 
petent engineers on the mail trains." '-' 

Yet, regardless of all risk to patrons, employes and 
propertv, Press Agent Morton said: "The Iowa divis- 
ional superintendent telegraphs that twenty freight 
trains are running there to-day, and a few freights are 
running on most of the other divisions. Two freight 
trains loaded with coal left Streator this morning for 
local points. Everything along the system is quiet, 
and the companv's property is well protected." 

" How much will the strike cost the Burlington 
company? " 

"The company doesn't know and doesn't care." - 

Neither did they care what kind of men the}' em- 
ployed, and as hundreds of men presented themselves, 
Messrs. Arthur and Sargent concluded that some other 
steps must be taken beyond an effort to keep these 
men away. Thousands of dollars had been paid out 
all along the line in this effort, and the more men they 
induced to leave the more came to rind work, or to sell 
themselves to the strikers. The situation looked seri- 
ous and perplexing. Other companies were evidently 
helping the Burlington. The men who came to take 

1 Chicago Tribune. - Chicago News. 



284 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

the strikers' places said they came on passes furnished 
by the Burlington agents. Burlington tickets were 
said to have been honored by other roads, because of 
the Burlington's inability to transport the passengers 
after selling the tickets: and direct charges were made 
that the Burlington freight business was being hand- 
led by other roads. The grievance committees from 
the various systems centering in Chicago, were asking 
for advice about transfers, and they were told by 
Messrs. Arthur and Sargent, " Do not handle Burling- 
ton cars." 

The order created much uneasiness among general 
managers of other roads. It brought many of them 
to the Grand Pacific to consult with the Brotherhood 
leaders. There were so many parties seeking advice 
as to duties, that it was deemed best to call in the 
grievance committees, and on March 2. 1888, the fol- 
lowing order was issued to the chairman of the gen- 
eral grievance committee of the Brotherhood of Loco- 
motive Engineers and Firemen on the railroads center- 
ing in Chicago. 

To chairman General Grievance Committee, B. of 
L. E. and F. — Dear Sir and Brother: You are 
hereby authorized and ordered to come to the city of 
Chicago at once and report at the headquarters. 
There are many important matters to consider in con- 
nection with the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy 
strike, and your immediate presence is imperative. 
Be prepared to convene your committee from here at 
a moment's notice. Fraternally, 

P. M. Arthur, G. C. E. 

F. P. Sargent, G. C. F. 



RULE OR RUIN. 255 

This order was sent to the chairman of the commit- 
tees on the following roads: 

Chicago & Alton; Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific; 
Missouri Pacific; Wabash; Burlington, Cedar Rapids 
& Northern; Union Pacific; Wisconsin Central; Chica- 
go, Milwaukee & St. Paul; Baltimore & Ohio; Chica- 
go, Burlington & Northern; Louisville, New Albany 
& Chicago: Illinois Central; New York, Chicago & 
St. Louis: Chicago, Burlington & Quincy; Atchison, 
Topeka & Santa Fe; Chicago & North-Western ; 
Minnesota & North-Western; Chicago & Eastern Illi- 
nois; Chicago & Atlantic; St. Paul, Minneapolis & 
Manitoba; and Chicago & Grand Trunk. 

In the meantime large union meetings were held 
throughout the country. At New York city strong 
resolutions were passed against other railroads assisting 
the Burlington, and also strongly approving of the 
strike and offering Financial support. At St. Paul, two 
hundred and fifty members of divisions 150 and 369, 
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, passed resolu- 
tions in hearty sympathy with the strike, and guaran- 
teed their financial assistance, and ordered one thou- 
sand dollars sent to Chicago. At LaFayette, Indiana^ 
the following resolution was adopted and sent to P. M. 
Arthur, Grand Chief Engineer: : ' Our sympathies 
are with you and the enginemen of the Burlington. 
Fight it out to the bitter end. We send you one 
thousand dollars." In Indianapolis, March 4, at a 
meeting of Division No. 11, representing the engi- 
neers employed on the sixteen railroads centering 
there, the strike on the Burlington was approved, and 
a telegram sent to Chief Arthur urging the strikers to 



286 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

stand firm, that the members of that division were 
ready to meet any demands that might be made upon 
them. From all over the country came assurances of 
loyalty to the Brotherhoods and liberality in furnishing 
money that was astonishing. There were many in- 
stances of members tendering their whole month's sal- 
ary, and many men, who were not members of either 
organization, gave their money freely, vacating their 
places as readily as the members. It was the prevail- 
ing opinion among laboring men, that the Burlington 
had been chosen as the battle field between capital 
and labor, and that companies other than the Burling- 
ton were equally interested in the outcome. And al- 
most a unit was secured of the responsible, thinking 
laborers, in working for a common cause regardless 
of personal pique. With this vast army, loyal to the 
common interests of labor, sending heart-cheering 
words and money, good fellowship and good wishes, 
the way seemed clear, and the time auspicious, for a 
test of whether labor, numbering thousands, should 
have a voice equal to one in fixing the price of its pro- 
duct. Under these circumstances the committees 
which had been called bv the order of March 2, bv 
the grand officers, arrived in Chicago on March 5, 
1888, and held the most important meeting of the 
year. They held within their grasp greater possi- 
bilities than any other. They had the power and 
voted to use it, which no other meeting within my 
knowledge had. 

This meeting was held in secret session, or was so 
intended by the participants. But there must have 
been a black-sheep among them, moved by some 



RULE OR RUIN. 287 

other motive than the good of the order, who gave to 
the Chicago Tribune a verbatim report of the reso- 
lutions passed which were as follows: "Resolved: 
That the chairman of each system here represented, 
go home, convene his local committee, call on the offi- 
cers and notify them that the engineers and firemen 
will not handle Burlington cars or traffic of any kind." 
"Also that the men are to be instructed by the chair- 
man of the grievance committee of each road, that 
if a Burlington car, or any freight, shall be put upon 
them they will refuse to handle it, and if they are 
compelled by the company to do so, they will still re- 
fuse, and if they are discharged, then the engineers 
and firemen on the system will strike." Messrs. 
Arthur and Sargent were asked if they would sanction 
a strike under such circumstances and the answer was, 
"In war times we must adopt war measures. We 
will give our sanction." 

Here was a power that was almost unlimited, but it 
was a negative force, so far as the officers were con- 
cerned and was not available, only so far as the men 
themselves would vote to adopt the measures suggest- 
ed by their chairman. These measures might be sanc- 
tioned, but could not be ordered by the grand officers, 
so that upon the union of sentiment depended all this 
power. When the resolution to boycott Burlington 
cars was adopted, the seed of discord was sown. In 
war, there is a vast difference between supporting the 
line of battle and being in the line of battle itself. It 
was so in the Burlington fight; it was found there is a 
vast difference between passing resolutions to sustain 
the Burlington strikers, and voting themselves into a 



288 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

position that might plunge them into a strike them- 
selves. 

These committeemen left for their homes to follow 
out the instructions contained in the resolutions. Up- 
on one road there was found a minority, who, when 
put to the test, were found on the safe side. They went 
to the general manager and told him they would hand- 
le Burlington cars. This general manager had said 
that he would not try to handle Burlington cars as long 
as the other roads did not. In taking this action, and 
notifying the managers what they would do if they 
compelled the enginemen to handle Burlington busi- 
ness, they only wished to go to that extent that the doors 
of their respective roads would be closed against Bur- 
lington business. This could not be done without tak- 
ing the chances of rinding some general manager who 
would demand that the men choose between handling 
any business offered them, and quitting. It was a 
critical test, yet it was the only means by which they 
could expect to succeed in boycotting the Burlington. 
It left the general managers to decide whether they 
would have a strike or not. If the men on all the lines 
had shown a positive determination not to handle Bur- 
lington cars, and if there had been no weakness shown 
at any point, it is reasonable to suppose that none of 
the managers would have made the demand which 
would have closed their road by a strike. The grand 
officers, and other leaders of the Brotherhoods, believed 
this move would have a powerful influence on the Bur- 
lington, and they were willing to await developments, 
believing the men, without an exception, would prove 
loyal. From this move nearly every road in the whole 



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RULE OR RUIN. 289 

circle of the Burlington's connecting lines was closed. 
While the leaders of the strike are waiting for develop- 
ments, let us look at the situation along the line of the 
Burlington. . . 

The Burlington officials were giving the public to 
understand that they were getting all the men they 
wanted, and that the quality was equal to the old men, 
but from certain letters received at the strikers' head- 
quarters it would appear that the Burlington company 
was not having things all its own way securing engi- 
neers. The following letter sent by Master Mechanic 
R. W. Colville, of Galesburg, 111., to one of its former 
engineers, discharged five years ago for alleged in- 
competency, is self-explanatory. The name is pur- 
posely suppressed, but the engineer's present address is 
Racine, Wis. : 

Dear Sir : You are, of course, aware ere this of the 
situation on the 'Q' system, brought about by the de- 
mands of the engineers' and firemen's brotherhoods. 
Are you willing to come back to Galesburg at once 
and aid the company during this temporary trouble by 
service as a locomotive engineer? I will give you my 
positive assurance that if you do come, all of tl'e past 
will be overlooked by the company, and your action 
in rendering assistance at this time will be remembered 
by the management. Furthermore, your position here 
after the end of this trouble will be a permanant one, 
and one which will give you no cause or reason to re- 
gret leaving your present one. Please wire me at 
once on receipt of this if you will come, and if so, 
come by the first train bv anv route bv which vou can 
get here the quickest, and whatever expense you incur 



29O THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

.'. be made good to you 

Engines were being burned, the company's property 

.roved, and the public greatly inconvenienced. 

•• No. 4. the fast mail, due in Chicago at 6:53 a. m. 

arrived at the Union depot at 11:03. At Naperville 

5 :o o'clock, this train passed No. S. a through 

train, which should have arrived in this city at 6: 20 a. 

m. This train was helpless, because the engineer, a 

and incompetent man, had burned out his rlre-box 

and was unable to make steam. The passengers, and 

ir baggage, were tran- .1 to the fast mail, and 

brought into the citv." 

m 

••At Ottumwa, Iowa, the company put several 
brakemen on passsenger engine 

At Quinev, 111., March 1, u The first freight sent 
out s ke began, went out this afternoon on 

the Carthage branch to Burlington, with Follct. a sub- 
marine diver, as engine Passenger trains on the 

L . Keokuk v.v Northwestern had been aban- 
doned, because the Wabash engineers refused to take 
trains over the Wabash to St. Peters, the Bur- 
ton having no track from St. Peters to St. Louis. 
The S Louis bridge engineers refused to trar. 
Burlington cars.'" 

A telegram to the Chicago JVews from Omaha, 
raska, March 1, said: u A Burlington official said 
- lay: • The road, by working steadily, has now se- 
cured a man for engine, and to-morrow even the 
- :tch engines will be running 

The same report said: •• Xot a pound of freight has 

n moved by the Burlington and Missouri river 

road since the strike began. Passenger trains are 



RULE OR RUIN. 29 1 

_ inning to arrive more frequently, although most of 
them are from one to three hours behind hand. 
Twentv-eight Pinkerton men arrived and went < 
from here lasfnight. . were armed with Winches- 

ter rifu 

•• Creston, Iowa. March 2. The situation shows a 
turn to-day favoring the Brotherhoods, so far as the 
west Iowa division is concerned. State Commission- 
er Peter A. Day. has held an investigation here to- 
day at the direction of Governor Larabee. examining 
engine- s _arding their fitness. Nine acting engi- 
neers were on the witness - ;nd. and nearlv all t 
tied that they were inexperienced, and did not consider 
themselves competent engines :>me acknowl- 

: _.d they were now running engines for the first 
time, and were pulling passenger trains." 

Lincoln. Nebraska. March 2. Pinkerton men 
were added to the militarv displav at the Burlington 
grounds to-dav, and from the fact that not a disturb- 
ance of anv kind had occurred or anv arrest been made, 
or anv interference whatever offered by the striking 

_ . the citizens look with no favor on the 1. 

importation." ' 

• Denver. March 2. One of the two men who had 
been secured bv the Burlinjjton road to handle its 
aes. has come to grief. He has been conduc _ 
a photograph outfit on wheels. This probably inspired 
him with the idea that he could run an engine. He 
took a train out vesterdav morning, but when he 
reached Brush station the encfine was so badlv burned 
that it was unfit for further service ." 

" Kansas City, Missouri. March 2. Engine 75. 

Associated Press report. 



292 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

in charge of Engineer Grange, was burned out near 
Harlem this morning." ' 

"Brookfield, Missouri, March 2. The usual 
day passenger trains have gone through, carrying pas- 
sengers and express and mail, though somewhat out 
of time. The efforts of the strikers are mainly put 
forth to induce the men who come to take their places, 
to quit. In this they have partially succeeded, buying 
off some, and scaring off others, but careful surveillance 
is kept by the officials, and thus far no train has been 
delayed here. Last evening one freight was sent 
west. None went out to-day. The public confidence 
in the ability of the company to master the situation is 
somewhat strengthened by the movements of trains, 
but the resumption of business is far from an accom- 
plished fact. The inexperienced character of the new 
men is shown in the disabling of several engines, and 
inability to make time. There was a rumor of acts 
of petty lawlessness by which it was sought to 
endanger travel, but none have occurred here, and it 
is the constant assertion of the resident strikers that 
they will not countenance or allow any act of trespass 
upon company property."' 

' ; Lincoln, Nebraska, March 4. Sixty new engi- 
neers arrived in the night from the east, and have been 
put to work here and distributed among the different 
divisions in the state. The company expresses itself 
as able now to handle all business, but the trains do not 
depart in numbers sufficient to warrant the statement. 
No through business of any character is attempted, 
but the company has a force of engineers who are yet 
untried, though in numbers sufficient to handle local 

1 Chicago News. 



RULE OR RUIN. 



293 



business. Travel is very light, and the other roads 
centering here are reaping a harvest. The Brother- 
hoods have been diligently at work on the new men 
making converts. A number of them were in the 
Brotherhood's hall and announced their intention of 
returning home. They said they were promised $4 a 
day to come, but they found that the company would 
put them on their graded rates which only pay $2.25 
a day. The same class of work they declared paid 
$3.10 a day on eastern roads. A Reading Knight of 
Labor, engineer, made a speech in the hall, and said 
that their coming west was a mistake. He thought 
the railroads were using both the Brotherhoods and 
the Knights of Labor to destrov each other." 

" Hastings, Nebraska, March 4. Practicallv, there 
is no change here since the beginning of the strike. 
Two mail trains run irregularly each way on the main 
line every twentv-four hours, and fragments of freight 
trains, carrying coal principally, are occasionally sent 
out to supply the demands along the branch lines where 
no other service is had. Fuel is becoming scarce on 
the Burlington lines in this state. The Burlington is 
losing its hold on the mercantile trade of the city 
which is being transferred to its competitors." 

"Clinton, Iowa, March 4. .V Burlington freight 
train pulled into the yard yesterday. It was the first 
since the strike. On the engine were two strangers, 
who were at once beset by the Brotherhood men who 
begged them to leave the engine. At length the en- 
gineer asked for $80 for himself and his fireman, 
which was handed him. He then said he would pull 
his engine back to the Mendota end of his division 



294 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

and leave the employ of the comparry. He pulled out 
for the roundhouse and had not gone but a short dis- 
tance when the fireman jumped off the engine and 
went back to the Brotherhood men, who greeted him 
with a cheer. He was given some money and then 
he went back east.*" ' 

Denver, Colorado, March 6. In addition to the 
single passenger train, in and out to da)-, the Bur- 
lington sent two freight trains east, and one freight 
train is expected to arrive. Freight is being received 
for local points, but shippers invariably send by other 
routes anything destined for common points. The 
mayor has taken offense at the presence of deputy 
sheriffs who are doing police duty about the Burling- 
ton yards. He declares that the city police are equal 
to all demands. The strikers are conducting them- 
selves in the same orderly manner as they have done 
from the outset." 1 

The Burlington had great appearance of success in 
manning their engines: they had gathered a large 
number of engineers such as they were, and they 
were putting the best face possible on their side of the 
story. They were indifferent as to the cost or the 
destruction of property; the road was lined with dep- 
uty sheriffs and Pinkerton detectives, evidently with- 
out consent or pre-arrangement of local authorities. 
While their facilities were improving, their business 
was going to other companies: their losses and in- 
creased expenses were enormous. Even the great 
military display did not deter the strikers from solic- 
iting their new men. The company built places for 
the new men for dining and sleeping, and commanded 

i Chicago News. 



RUXE OR RUIN. 295 

them to stay within their walls, yet man}- of them 
would violate this rule — their appetite demanded it. 
In Brookfield, even a prohibition hotel keeper was seen 
w r ending his way on Sunday with a basket rilled with 
the sparkling "elixir," so necessary to the wants of 
these men. On all sides the road was closed to 
through traffic. The railroad commissioners of Iowa 
had investigated the character of engineers employed 
in Iowa, and had pronounced them incompetent. 



CHAPTER XLII. 

THE STRIKE, IN CONGRESS AND IN COURT. 

In Congress March 5, 1888, representative White, 
of Indiana, had offered the following: 

"Whereas: There has been inaugurated a great 
strike on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
railroad, which, if not speedily checked, will end in 
wide spread disaster and suffering, not only to those 
immediately engaged in it, but to others who are not 
directly connected therewith, yet nevertheless, are 
greatly affected by the prolongation of said strike; 
Resolved: That a special committee of five be ap- 
pointed by the speaker, to proceed at once to Chicago 
and there investigate the conditions, and that they be 
empowered and requested to act as mediators between 
the Burlington and Chief Arthur, and bring about a 
settlement of the pending trouble and difference which 
will be amicable and agreeable to both parties, so that 
the strike will terminate. Referred to committee on 
commerce." 

The Burlington had, before the strike, reduced rates 
for freight below reason, to compel other lines to do 
their bidding. Reductions in the freight tariff began 
to occur for other reasons. On March 2, Chairman 
Midgeley was notified of a tariff reduction on packing 
house products from Missouri river points to Chicago, 
to ten cents per one hundred pounds, to hold its 
business. Yet Press Agent Morton said, when asked 



THE STRIKE, IN CONGRESS AND IN COURT. 297 

about the situation, " We are running forty-seven 
passenger trains and one hundred and one freight 
trains on the Iowa division, and on the Illinois division 
we are running more trains than in Iowa. All around 
we are doing quite well. Everything is lovely and 
the goose hangs high." ' 

It will not be questioned that the Burlington's news 
dispenser was equal to his task. While he is giving 
such a charming picture of the situation, the Chicago 
Tribune of the same date, March 7, had a review of 
affairs, of a contrasted hue : 

" The boycott on the Burlington is almost complete, 
so far as the western roads are concerned. At all 
junctions along the line of the Burlington may be 
found long rows of cars, delivered by the company to 
roads that will not move them from the place where 
thev have been left by the non-brotherhood crews. 
The Chicago & North-Western had hundreds of cars 
lying in its various yards consigned to points on the 
Burlington, while the Burlington has hundreds of cars 
that the Chicago & North- Western will not accept and 
forward to points of destination. The same is true of 
the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul: the Chicago & 
Alton; the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific; the Santa 
Fe; the Eastern Illinois; the Illinois Central: and the 
Wabash. The officials of the Alton, Rock Island, 
Northwestern, Wabash, and other roads, admit that 
thev had agreed to refuse to handle Burlington traffic. 
Thev said they could not afford to do otherwise, as the 
loss to them from stoppage of their business would be 
immense. One of them said he could not see why his 
road should allow itself to become involved in the 

1 Chicago Tribune, March 6, 1SS8. 



298 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

strike, simply to help out the Burlington. When the 
western roads lately tried to restore rates to a paying 
basis, the Burlington objected. It paid no considera- 
tion to the desires of its competitors then, and there is 
no reason why the latter should show any consideration 
to the Burlington now. ' Self-preservation,' he said, 
'was the first duty of his road, and he meant to act up- 
on that principal.'" 

While it was evidently the desire of all the other 
managers to keep out of the fight, the Burlington 
management was bound to bring them into it. They 
have never been very considerate of anv one's inter- 
est but their own. A writer in the Aurora Daily 
Express says : " When the Burlington gets on the 
defensive, and is weak in the knees, it piously turns to 
the law. When the Burlington has anv scheme to 
carry out in utter defiance of law, then, the law be " 

They were hemmed in on all sides at this time, and 
at once instituted legal proceedings to compel compli- 
ance with the inter-state commerce law. They chose 
the Wabash, as that was in the hands of the United 
States court under General McNulta. Assistant Gen- 
eral Passenger Agent Wakely said: "The fight be- 
tween the Burlington and the strikers is over. We 
have won the battle and can now take a rest and look 
on, while Chief Arthur and his hosts tackle the other 
fellows. We have stood the brunt of the shock, and 
set the pace for our competitors to follow. I see that 
some of them hesitate about showing fight, and seem 
to lack that amount of sand necessary for a good sol 
dier. I am of the opinion that the strikers are playing 
a bold game of bluff, and that they will stop all of this 



THE STRIKE, IN CONGRESS AND IN COURT. 299 

foolishness when the railroad companies take the 
decided stand they must assume sooner or later.'" : 
The smile of assurance that accompanied this declara- 
tion would no doubt have faded, had he been able to 
see further into the future. The Burlington had an 
opportunity to make the declaration that " the strike 
was off," many times before it really was, and contin- 
ued to feel the power of the "bluff" many months. 

The Grand Pacific hotel, of Chicago, is the official 
centerof all roads entering Chicago, and in the build- 
ing was located the strikers' headquarters. Messrs. 
Arthur and Sargent were both there and also 
Messrs. Hoge and Murphy, the chairmen of the engi- 
neer's and firemen's committee. In the immense 
rotunda could be seen the greatest activity. Men were 
hurrying through the crowd, type writers with nimble 
fingers were weaving the thread of information, or 
instruction, and the electric current was kept busv with 
messages, in and out. It had the appearance of a 
great national caucus. The strikers' headquarters 
were no less active. Men representing roads in all 
parts of the country, came for advice, eager to lend a 
helping hand; proffers of money, votes of confidence, 
and gratuitous advice came on wings. 

While the Burlington had only their own road to 
watch, Arthur and Sargent must watch and direct all 
roads, and at this time, March 6, nothing but united, 
unselfish devotion to the cause of the two Brother- 
hoods could be expected to win the battle. The Bur- 
lington were finding substitutes. So the boycott had 
been decided on as the most powerful weapon, but to 
use this successfully the most absolute loyalty was 

1 Chicago Tribune. 



300 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

necessary. Realizing this, every indication of a break 
far or near, in the solidity of the line of boycott which 
surrounded the Burlington, brought with it an unpleas- 
ant realization that the chief and grand master of the 
two Brotherhoods lacked the power to order and 
compel. They must depend for obedience upon that 
slender thread in human nature — honor. 

With this feeling uppermost in their minds, the fol- 
lowing telegram was received from Kansas City, 
nearly 500 miles away: "Grand Chief P. M. Arthur: 
Complications may arise at anv time, making the 
counsel and presence of Grand Organizer S. M. Ste- 
vens necessary. Answer quick. J. C. Murray."' 

This request was complied with, and Mr Stevens 
assigned to duty. Shortly another one was received 
addressed to the Grand Chief: " Kansas City, Mis- 
souri : Roads centering here are violating pledges not 
to handle Burlington business. The men feel that the 
time has come to act.' J. C. M 

The fear of hasty action added to other combina- 
tions, m ade the situation anything but pleasant at head- 
quarters, and Kansas City being the terminal point of 
some twenty-five thousand miles of railroad, they 
would naturally experience much anxiety. This was 
naturally increased by the receipt of another telegram 
from Kansas City, Missouri, March 6, at 3:00 p. m., 
addressed to Messrs. Arthur and Sargent: " All the 
roads centering here have broken agreement with our 
comm ittee of engineers and firemen. Are waiting 
your answer. Local Committee." 

To this the grand chief answered: "Send your 
committee here at once." 



THE STRIKE, IN CONGRESS AND IN COURT. 3OI 

Union meetings were being held in Kansas City, 
composed of men from the Union Pacific ; Fort Scott 
& Gulf; Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe; Chicago, 
Rock Island & Pacific; Southern Kansas; Wabash; 
Western & Missouri Pacific and others. Many of the 
chairmen of these lines were there, yet it was hard to 
tell what might happen, and from that time on the ex- 
citement among the men, who visited headquarters, 
ran high. 

Beside these complications, the grand officers had 
been warned by their legal counsel, Mr. Alexander 
Sullivan, of the conspiracy law of Illinois. Under that 
law it was supposed that the liberty of the leaders 
would be endangered if they should give instructions 
for any combined action. 

This law reads as follows: 

"If any two or more persons conspire or agree to- 
gether, or the officers or executive committee of any 
society or corporation shall issue or utter any circulars 
or edict, as to the action of, or instructions to its mem- 
bers, or any other persons, society, organization, or 
corporation, for the purpose of establishing a so-called 
boycott, or black list, or shall post or distribute any 
written or printed notice with malicious intent to 
wrongfully or wickedly injure the person, character, 
business, employment or property of another, or to ob- 
tain money or other property b} r false pretenses, or to 
do any illegal act injurious to the public trade, health, 
morals, polic}*, or administration of public justice, or to 
prevent competition in the letting of any contract by 
the state, or the authorities of any county, city, 
town or village, or to induce any person not to enter 



302 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

into such competition, or to commit felony, they shall 
be deemed guilty of a conspiracy, and every such of- 
fender, whether as individual, or as officer, of any 
society or organization, and every person convicted of 
conspiracy at common law, shall be imprisoned in the 
penitentiary not exceeding five years, or fined not ex- 
ceeding $2,000, or both. 

"if two or more persons conspire to overthrow the 
existing order of society, by force or violence, or to 
bring about local revolutions by force, or to destroy, 
or resist, or overcome the local authorities, all such 
persons shall be guilty of conspiracy, and be punished 
accordingly notwithstanding the time and place for 
bringing about such revolution or overthrowing of 
public order, or the destruction, or overcoming of such 
authority, had not been definitely agreed upon by such 
conspirators, but was left to the exigencies of the time, 
or the judgment of co-conspirators, or some one or 
more of them. 

"Hereafter, it shall not be necessary in order to es- 
tablish a conspiracy, as aforesaid, to prove that the 
parties charged ever came together and entered into 
any agreement, combination or arrangement, to ac- 
complish a criminal or unlawful purpose, but it shall 
be sufficient if it appears that the parties charged^ were 
actually pursuing, in concert, the unlawful purpose, 
whether acting separately or together, at the same or 
different times, by the same or different means, pro- 
viding that the acts of each were knowingly tending 
to the same unlawful result." ' 

Under the restrictions of this law no instructions 
could be given from their present headquarters within 

1 Statutes of Illinois. 



THE STRIKE, IN CONGRESS AND IN COURT. 



303 



the state of Illinois, and to obviate this difficulty, it was 
necessary to call the men in and have an understand- 

ing of what course 
the}- desired to pursue 
within their own states. 
Immediately following" 
this came the problem 
of the Chicago, Bur- 
lington & Northern, 
astonishing the incred- 
ulous public. T h e 
picture of loyalty and 
unselfishness manifest 
in this move by these 
men was a new and 
startling vision of the 
power of organiza- 
tions and their read- 
iness to use it in be- 
half of their fellow man with orderly methods. 




THE INCREDULOUS. 



21 



CHAPTER XLIII. 

BURLINGTON & NORTHERN STRIKE. 

The Chicago, Burlington & Northern railroad was 
built in 1886 in the interest of the Burlington road. 
This road connects with the Burlington system proper 
at Oregon, 111., and runs to St. Paul, a distance of 232 
miles. It was, however, managed as a separate hold- 
ing, but as a feeder for the Burlington. The men em- 
ployed upon it felt that they were jeopardizing the 
interests of their striking Burlington brothers, by 
handling business directly in the interest of the Bur- 
lington road. They were urged to stop this traffic. 
In this effort the committee called on the officers, on 
Sunday, March 4, and demanded that it be stopped or 
they would strike at seven o'clock the following even- 
ing. But it is evident that there was a want of agree- 
ment among the men as to the necessity of such a 
step, and they afterwards informed the officers that 
they would remain at work. But the next day, the 
meeting in Chicago of all the chairmen of grievance 
committees having passed the resolution to boycott, 
the)- made an effort again with more unanimity. The 
engineers and firemen located at La Crosse, on the 
Chicago, Burlington & Northern road, presented their 
ultimatum in the following letter: 

La Crosse, Wis., March 6, 1888. 

To General Superintendent Barr, 

Chicago, Burlington & Northern railroad. 



burlington & northern strike. 305 

"Dear Sir: 

The engineers and firemen of your railroad com- 
pany respectfully request that after 10 o'clock a. m., 
Wednesday, March 7, you do not ask them to handle 
any business, either passenger or freight, or any con- 
signment in the interest of the Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincy railroad. Such a step will not be consistent 
with the present good will which exists between your 
company and its engineers and firemen.'' An answer 
was expected to this by seven o'clock the next morn- 
ing. 1 

On receiving this document, Mr. Barr immediately 
transmitted it to General Manager Harris, of the 
Chicago, Burlington & Northern, who answered at 
once, saying: "It is useless to propose that the Chica- 
go, Burlington & Northern road surrender the con- 
trol of its affairs, or that it be subjected to the dicta- 
tion of its employes. If any of the engineers or fire- 
men do not like the company's method of doing busi- 
ness, give them their time checks, and post such 
notices as you may deem proper for the direction of 
the employes." ' 

A strike was not what these men wanted. Their 
pay was satisfactory and they only wished to boycott 
the Burlington, but when they hesitated the second 
time, pressure was brought to bear on them from the 
leaders in Chicago, and at 10:00 a. m., on the 8th, 
the engines were abandoned, except those which 
were on the road. These were run to the end of 
their divisions, as had been done a week before on the 
Burlington. - In this move there was an evident lack 
of generalship. It is known that the enginemen in 

1 Chicago Tribune. 



306 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

the vicinity of this line in their eagerness to cripple the 
Burlington had clamored for this movement, yet the 
leaders should have been ready with definite plans 
educed from mature deliberation as to the importance 
of this line to the Burlington. 

This road belonged in part to the Burlington and 
had no outlet to the south except the Burlington, while 
the north end was hedged in by the boycott, so that 
they could not have had much business at best. The 
Burlington was its recruiting ground for men to take 
their places and when the old men stepped down the 
new stepped up. It was a grand spectacle of loyalty; 
no doubt the leaders believed it was necessary, and all 
were readv with all the power they possessed, and by 
any sacrifice, to help the cause. But the result was 
more disastrous than beneficial, because every step of 
this kind, which did not carry with it success, weak- 
ened hundreds of other men whose loyalty and co-op- 
eration were essential to success. General Manager 
Harris had stated his position; that the only result of a 
demand to boycott would be that the men would 
lose their places. A boycott to the Chicago, Burling- 
ton & Northern meant the suspension of business en- 
tirely, and there was consequently no choice for Mr. 
Harris. 

The wisdom of making the demand, in view of that 
road's surroundings, is at this distance very doubtful 
and can onlv be measured bv the result. Every fail- 
ure of success, in whatever method or direction made, 
was far-reaching in its effect. When we remember 
that there was no power to compel, but every man 
was his own master, and that each voted to do, or not 



BURLINGTON & NORTHERN STRIKE. 307 

to do, we can appreciate the damage done by the 
weakening influence it exercised on those already- 
weak, and the effect upon other lines in producing 
that lack of harmony so essential to success. 

The movement in the direction of a general boycott 
called forth unpleasant criticism in the newspapers, 
and caused the following circular letter to be sent out 
from the strikers' headquarters. 

"To the public: Owing to the reports that are be- 
ing circulated in regard to the attitude of the locomo- 
tive engineers in the present strike, and there being a 
tendency on the part of the press to endorse the stand 
taken by the railroad company, we deem it necessary 
in our own behalf to state that the two organizations 
which are engaged in the present trouble are com- 
posed of conservative men, and they are ready and 
willing now, and have ever been, to meet the officers 
of the Burlington railroad and arbitrate the questions 
in dispute. The Brotherhoods are not only willing to do 
this through their executive officers, but are also will- 
ing to place the whole matter in the hands of three 
railroad managers and abide by their decision. 

"Now, in all candor, we would ask any honest, 
thinking citizen, whether the organizations mentioned 
can do more and maintain their constitutional privi- 
leges? If this trouble shall continue, and the public at 
large shall suffer on account of the same, the blame 
must rest where it belongs, and that is upon the par- 
ties who refuse to arbitrate." 

(Signed) The Brotherhoods. 

In an interview with a Tribune reporter, Mr. Ar- 
thur said: ' ; We will meet Mr. Perkins or Mr. Stone 



308 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

half way," and when asked what he would consider a 
fair arbitration committee, said, " Any three general 
managers of the roads running out of Chicago. I 
mention railroad men because they understand the 
situation better than any one else, and I agree, on be- 
half of the Brotherhood, to abide by the decision of 
such an arbitration committee." ' 

On this subject Mr. Paul Morton, for the Burlington 
said: "There is considerable talk about arbitration, 
but it all comes from men outside of our employ, who 
evidently desire to go to work again. These men 
can return to work when they accede to our terms." ' 
The extent of the strike, che feeling and activity 
displayed by the strikers and all those in sympathy, 
portended insurmountable difficulties to railroads and 
to commerce, and they called forth many articles on 
arbitration. The Aurora Daily Ex-press said: "The 
present condition of things cannot last long in this 
country. The public, through whose consent such 
corporations are organized and permitted to exist, have 
rights which must be respected. The railroads should 
be, by law, compelled to arbitrate when honest differ- 
ences arise between them and their employes. This 
can be done quietly and without a suspension of busi- 
ness. The great body of working men in this country, 
thanks to the best government under the sun, are very 
intelligent and law abiding, and would accept such de- 
cision. The railroad companies, if they want the 
candid judgment of the public, must learn to respect 
the rights of the people, and to obey the law. The*se 
are things to which they pay very little attention 
where they affect their interests unfavorably." ' 

1 Chicago Tribune. 



BURLINGTON & NORTHERN STRIKE. 309 

The Creston Advertiser believes that "In the main 
the principles for which the Brotherhoods are striving 
are just and equitable, and hopes that by concessions 
or compromise on conditions of les r importance, they 
gain the abolishment of the classification system, which 
is the cause of so many evils and so much injustice in 
the service, and that the mileage system may be estab- 
lished as the most equitable manner of compensation. 
If the mileage asked for is too high, surely there should 
be no trouble in coming to a compromise basis by ar- 
bitration. The side that refuses to submit to this 
means of settlement for the benefit of the public, should 
be visited by the merited condemnation of the 
people/' 

The strike and kindred topics were fruitful and 
frequent subjects of discussion in all the leading periodi- 
cals of the country, but the Burlington, regardless of 
any interest or of public opinion, bent upon gratifying 
their own magnified official powers and rights, worked 
under the motto: - ; Rule or ruin;"' and, to drive other 
roads into the right, went into court. Mr. Morton's 
assistant, Mr. Wakely, said: " The Burlington will at 
once institute legal proceedings to force other roads to 
receive and forward freight. It is claimed upon good 
authority that several of the roads now hesitating about 
handling Burlington freight, are only waiting for an 
order from the court compelling them to do so. Such 
an order would give them an excuse which the strikers 
could hardly afford to ignore. In the event of a gen- 
eral strike following this enforced acceptance of the 
Burlington freight by the competing roads, that corn- 
pan v would have far the best of it. A general strike 



3IO THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

would completely paralyze the through freight traffic, 
but this would cut little figure with the Burlington. It 
is now in a position to handle an immense amount of 
business and is waiting for that business. A general 
strike would mass upon this road the entire local freight 
of six states. 

* 

"It would be impossible for any of the great roads, 
like the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, Rock Island 
& Pacific, or the Wabash, to fill all the places of their 
engineers for weeks, perhaps for months to come. 
During all this time the Burlington would be in do- 
er, and would regain all that it had lost. This is why 
the Burlington officials, from President Perkins down, 
smile, when told that a general strike is possible." 

Mr. Paul Morton was asked: "In case of a general 
strike being ordered, would any influence brought to 
bear upon their road by these companies crippled by 
such a strike, have the effect of forcing you to concede 
to the demands of the strikers, or cause you to accept 
a compromise?" He replied; "No, Sir: most em- 
phatically, no." ' 

1 Chicago Tribune. 



n 

> 

7. 




CHAPTER XLIV. 

THE BURLINGTON IN COURT. 

To enforce the policy which the Burlington had 
adopted towards other roads, action was brought 
against the Wabash, St. Louis ,& Pacific, in Judge 
Gresham's court to which General John NcNulta as re- 
ceiver of the Wabash, owes his authority. "Interven- 
ing petitions were tiled in the names of Charles 11. 
Beers, the lumberman, etal.,and D. E. Richardson the 
grain man, who has an elevator at the intersection of 
the Burlington tracks and Western avenue. Specific 
incidents are mentioned in each, but the relief sought 
by both is identical. Judge Gresham was asked to re- 
quire Receiver McNulta to handle the freight of the 
Burlington, and if it be found that his failure to do so 
thus far has been the result of an improper influence 
by Chief Arthur of the Brotherhood of Engineers, 
that he be ordered to show cause why he should not 
be punished for contempt of court, in interfering with 
the management and operation of the railroad in the 
control of the United States court. General Manager 
Stone made the allegations on behalf of the petitioners 
through Mr. Wirt Dexter, solicitor of the Burlington 
company. Then follows a long recitation of the com- 
plaint. The fifth paragraph of the petition says, that 
"the refusal of the agent was due to the direct orders 
of the receiver, and that when the receiver was called 
upon for a reason for his action, he said it was because 



^12 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 







his men had threatened to strike if asked to haul 
Burlington cars. This refusal of the receiver to 
handle Burlington freight is described as an unusual 
discrimination, and Chief Arthur as the head of the 
Brotherhood, is alleged to have brought about the 
receiver's action by duress. Under the prevailing cir- 
cumstances it is alleged that the Wabash road is de- 
prived of a large source of revenue, and its employes 
made liable to line and imprisonment for wanton and 
malicious discrimination against the property of the 
petitioners. Judge Gresham looked over the 
papers and thereupon made an order as follows: 
' Come now the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy rail- 
road company, and D. E. Richardson by their solici- 
tors, and present their petition to the court, praying for 
an order of the court, requiring the receiver of the 
court appointed herein, and his agents, officers, and 
employes, to perform his duties as a public carrier, as 
respects traffic with such petitioner, and also for an 
order, restraining the association commonly called the 
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and its officers, 
and agents, and especially one P. M. Arthur, its chief 
executive officer, as charged in said petition, from, in 
any way, giving any orders to the engineers in the em- 
ploy of the receiver for them to refuse to haul loaded 
cars coming to, or going from, the railroad in charge 
of said receiver in usual business interchange with the 
said petition's corporation, and also praying for an 
order to punish the said Arthur for contempt of court, 
in unlawfully interfering with the administration of the 
property in the custody of the court in this cause.' ' 
The case was set for March 9, at 2 p. m. 

cago Tribune. 



THE BURLINGTON IN COURT. 313 

This action was in reality an action against the 
Brotherhood, but not being a chartered institution, it 
could not be held accountable only as individuals. The 
action against the Wabash was for the restraining of 
the association, commonly called the Brotherhood of 
Locomotive Engineers, its officers and agents, and 
especially one P. M. Arthur. When the time set for 
trial came, Judge Gresham's court room was crowded 
long before the designated time, by railroad presidents, 
lawyers, engineers, firemen, and others anxious to 
hear what was to be done on this double-barreled 
application of the Burlington to compel the receiver of 
the Wabash to handle Burlington cars, and punish 
Chief Arthur for alleged orders to engineers not to 
handle them. The only way the Burlington could get 
an effective legal fulcrum against the strikers, was to 
get into court on some railroad case. Other managers 
were watching the case closely to see what bearing it 
would have on their interests. The sentiment of a 
large number of those present, including lawyers, 
seemed to be in favor of the strikers. At 2 o'clock 
Judge Gresham entered the court room, followed by 
the attorneys, and after taking his seat said: 

" The motion which was to be argued this afternoon, 
will be postponed until Monday at 2 o'clock p. m." 

The suddenness and brevity of the announcement 
took every one by surprise, and for several moments 
no one realized that the case which had been put off 
was the matter of the great Burlington strike. 

The crowd remained in the hall for an hour or 
more discussing the situation, and it was noticeable 
that the adherents of the Burlington road were few- 



314 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

The complaints were filed under the national inter- 
state commerce law and the United States court could 
hardly fail to sustain it. Judge Gresham, in his decis- 
ion on Monday, said : " Although the property of the 
Wabash company is in the custody of the court, it is 
operated by the receiver as a common carrier. His 
rights and duties are those of a carrier. He is bound 
to afford to all railroad companies whose lines connect 
with his road, equal facilities for the exchangeof traffic. 
It is his duty to receive from, and deliver to other con- 
necting roads both loaded and empty cars. He cannot 
discriminate against one road by maintaining a policy 
of non-intercourse with it. More need not be said on 
this question as the receiver has wisely rescinded the 
instructions which discriminate against the petitioner, 
and he has no purpose or desire to deny the petitioner 
any of his legal rights. Although the petitioner has 
accomplished his chief purpose in invoking the aid of 
the court, it is urged by the counsel that persons 
belonging to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engi- 
neers, and especially one P. M. Arthur, its chief offi- 
cer, have interfered with the receiver, and his subordi- 
nates, in the management of the Wabash property, 
and that they should be punished for their illegal and 
contumacious conduct. The receiver and his counsel 
make no such complaint, on the contrary, the receiver 
declares that there has been no such interference with 
him. 

"For the present it is sufficient to say that the court 
will protect the property of the Wabash company, in 
its custody. The employes of the receiver cannot be 
obliged to remain in the service against their will, but 



THE BURLINGTON IN COURT. 315 

neither they, nor others, will be permitted to interfere 
with or disturb the receiver or his subordinates in the 
possession and operation of the property in his custo- 
dy. Lawless interference with the receiver and his 
employes in the discharge of their duty will not be 
tolerated." 

" It is proper to state, however, in justice to the 
Wabash engineers, that they do not desire to maintain 
an attitude of defiance to the law, and that thev are 
willing to aid the receiver in the lawful and successful 
administration of his trust. The receiver's answer 
renders it unnecessary for the court to do more than 
direct that the petition remain on file for future action 
should there be occasion." 1 The Burlington company 
was not well satisfied with the scope of 'this decision. 
They wanted to get some one into jail or into other 
trouble. The Burlington's solicitor, Wirt Dexter, said: 
" Its all right. The Wabash has resumed traffic 
with us. The court has placed the petition on file 
which leaves it open for us to come in again in case of 
any future trouble." 

Alexander Sullivan, for the Brotherhood, said: "Its 
the only decision the court could have rendered. The 
court's declaration against lawless interference or inter- 
vention is in harmony with the doctrines of the 
Brotherhood, and will meet with their approval. 
There had been no such interference and there would 
be none by the Brotherhood. The court .properly 
lays down the doctrine that no man can be compelled 
to work for less wages than he is willing to accept. It 
is on a line with the Illinois statute, and, what is greater, 
the constitutional amendment abolishing slavery." ' 

1 Chicago Tribune. 



3l6 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

This line of action was followed up closely by the 
Burlington, and, in a similar case against the Belt 
Line, of Chicago, it made the charges more specific 
against the enginemen, charging "that the Brother- 
hood of Locomotive Engineers, or their officers, have 
secretly resolved to carry out a boycott against com- 
plainant for the illegal purpose of injuring the Bur- 
lington's business. It charges them with unlawful 
conspiracy, and asks for an injunction against the un- 
known members of the Brotherhood whose names are 
to be inserted when discovered." 

The Burlington was feeling somewhat elated over 
this new move which they expected would do so 
much for them. Many of the officials of other roads 
thought that if a decision was rendered by Judge 
Gresham, favoring the Burlington, the engineers 
would not dare ignore its condition on any other road 
'and that the strike would be ended in a week. But 
it will be seen that these officers, as well as those of 
the Burlington, were greatly mistaken. General 
Manager Stone was made to realize that coercion 
would not work with all men, and that some of the 
others managers thought they had interests that 
should not be subordinated to the Burlington. 

The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific, having 
refused to take Burlington traffic, Mr. Stone, in order 
to get a basis for legal proceedings against that road 
wrote the following letter: 

Chicago, March 8, 1888. 

Mr. E. St. John, General Manager Chicago, Rock 
Island & Pacific railroad. 



the burlington in court. 317 

Dear Sir- 

I enclose copy of telegram which has been re- 
ceived here from Rock Island, saving that both the 
Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, and the Peoria and 
Rock Island roads decline to do business with us. I 
cannot suppose that this is by any authority from 
headquarters, and I write to ask you to tell me the 
facts, and the reasons if there are any, for the alleged 
refusal. If the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy has 
done anything to justify such an attitude of non-inter- 
course, I shall be glad to know what it is. 1 

Yours Truly, 

H. B. Stone." 

The answer to this from Mr. St. John, must have 
made Mr. Stone feel in some doubt about the sweep- 
ing success anticipated in their appeal to the court — 
to save us if you kill all the rest. Mr. St. John had, on 
the 6th inst., made answer to a like communication in 
the following: 

Chicago, March 6, 1888. 

H. B. Stone, General Manager, Chicago, Burlington 
Quincy railroad companv. 

Dear Sir: 

" I have your favor of March 6, and must state in 
reply, that I am surprised that your company in the 
present condition of things, should insist or even sug- 
gest, that the Rock Island, or any of its adjuncts, 
should receive freight from, or deliver freight to your 
company until a better condition of things exists. To 
do so would jeopardize our entire interest, and 
this at this moment we are not willing to do. Our 

lChicMj;o 'Tribune. 



3l8 THE BURLINGTON" STRIKE. 

position is not different from that occupied by other 
Chicago lines, and you should have, I think, no feeling 
concerning such action on your part, which is only one 
of self protection. You may be assured that the 
Rock Island is always glad to aid the Chicago, Bur- 
lington & Quincy when it can do so without getting 
itself into serious trouble. Our past action is proof of 
this as you well know. We believe it to be equally 
in your interest as well as ours, that the position 
we and others assume, should, for the present at 
least, be maintained.*' 

Respectfully. 

E. St. John, General Manager. 

On receipt of Mr. Stone's second letter of the 8th, 
Mr. St. John, in his answer savs: " That there may be 
no misunderstanding as to the position of the Chicago, 
Rock Island & Pacific company in regard to exchange 
of traffic with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
railroad company, I desire to- add to my hastily 
written note of the 6th inst.. the following: 

" This company is willing to perform all duties im- 
posed upon it by law as common carriers, and will do 
so when able. It will not refuse to perform such 
ies to all because it is rendered, by circumstances 
for which it is not responsible, unable to perform them 
as to one. It will not suspend the operation as to its 
entire line, and inflict incalculable injury upon the com- 
munities dependent upon itfor transportation, because 
circumstances render it impossible for it to exchange 
traffic with another railroad company. The engineers 
and firemen positively refuse to handle freight received 
from, or delivered to your road. We have done 



THE BURLINGTON IN COURT. 319 

nothing to induce this resolution. To discharge them 
would not enable us to exchange with you, while it 
would render it impossible to carry for anybody 
else."' 

"We occupy no attitude of non-intercourse, but do 
refuse to injure all of our patrons because we cannot 
help you. I cannot see how bringing about a general 
suspension of the operations of railways in the west, 
can aid you in your present struggle, while I can see 
that it would work great injury to the country. We 
are not willing to attempt the impossible, with the 
knowledge that the attempt will injure many and bene- 
fit none." 1 Respectfully Yours, 

E. St. John. 

For once, Mr. Morton, the Burlington's news dis- 
penser, was obliged to hold himself in. Upon being 
respectfully touched by the pencil of a reporter, 
"Comment upon such a document is unnecessary," said 
Mr. Morton, " and it is hardly right for me to express 
an opinion upon the sentiments contained in that let- 
ter. I will say that under no circumstances would 
such a letter have emanated from this office." But 
their harrowed feelings found great solace in the re- 
straining order of one Judge Dundy, of Nebraska, on 
March 9. 

The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad by 
its solicitors, C. G. Green and T. M. Marquette, coun- 
sel, filed in the United States court, and immediately 
had submitted to Judge Dundy, a bill in equity 
against the Union Pacific, its officers and employes, 
praying for an injunction restraining them from refus- 
ing to handle the traffic of the Burlington on the Un- 

1 Chicago Tribune. 



320 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

ion Pacific lines, also restraining the engineers of the 
Union Pacific from striking, or confederating to or- 
ganize a strike, to force the Burlington to accede to 
the demands of the strikers, and from discharging the 
men now employed. In Judge Dundy they found a 
man who came very near doing what they wanted 
him to do. We extract from Judge Dundy's restrain- 
ing order the following passages: 

"That you each and everyone of you, do absolutely 
desist and refrain from striking, combining, or confed- 
erating, for the purpose of organizing or assisting a 
strike, and from doing any other act or thing, and 
from refusing to perform any other act or thing in 
carrying out your unlawful, unjust and wicked purpose, 
through your unlawful, unjust and wicked combina- 
tion, connivance, and conspiracy, either as individuals 
or as members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Engineers."' ' 

The Burlington officials mixed this morsel of good 
cheer with their utter contempt for managers who had 
refused to jeopardize their own interest to help the 
Burlington. Yet regardless of this order, "the Union 
Pacific; x\tchison, Topeka & Santa Fe; Denver & 
Rio Crande and Midland railroads were not handling 
Burlington business, and it was intimated that they did 
not intend to." l The strikers and the Union Pacific 
enginemen were somewhat concerned about this order, 
but the Union Pacific men said the court could not 
force them to touch the Burlington cars, and if it was 
demanded they would quit. 

The Union Pacific men employed General Cowin 
as their legal adviser, and at the trial in behalf of his 

1 Chicago Daily News. 



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THE BURLINGTON" IN COURT. 32 1 

clients, the engineers, General Cowin contended 
" that the bill was tiled against them bv the Burling- 
ton and Missouri railroad, as a part and parcel of a 
plan to compel them to work in direct opposition to 
their wishes for the purpose of aiding them, the com- 
plainants, in their fight with the Brotherhood of Loco- 
motive Engineers. As a naked proposition of law, 
he submitted as a question of common sense, that 
there is no law to compel men to work when they 
desire to quit, and that alone seems to be the object 
of the bill." 

Then said the court, " If that be the sole object, this 
case has no business here. I shall never order a man 
to work against his will by injunction." 

During General Cowin's argument, the word strike 
was used several times as it had been in the bill, which 
provoked the following comment from the court: 
"This word strike is of modern origin; the question is 
regarding its legal definition and on that this case may 
turn. If it means, and it can be shown that its mean- 
ing in this case is, a project to kick up the devil gen- 
erally, derail cars and ditch trains, then this court can 
order a writ of injunction to restrain the injury con- 
templated as a measure of contemplative justice, and 
the charge of conspiracy is well taken. If, on the 
other hand, the word in this case is synonvmous with 
an intention of quitting work, and quietly walking out, 
I don't see how this court is going to restrain this 
action." l 

J. M. Thurston, for the Union Pacific road, averred 
in part, " that the greatest rivalry had always existed 
between the two roads. Much of their revenue was 

1 Chicago Tribune. 



322 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

derived from the same sources, and the Burlington 
road had never lost an opportunity in competition, to 
further its interest at the expense of the Union Pacific; 
that the Union Pacific recognized its obligations under 
the law, and had ordered its men to handle the traffic 
of the Burlington, and when the men refused such 
orders, they were taken suddenly ill with an epidemic 
which, for want of a better name, was known as the 
" Q colic, " and refused to obey the orders. If the 
company persist in the demand under the law and the 
men quit the great corporation, the Union Pacific 
would have to cease operations because of its inability 
to supply their places." 2 The Burlington contended, 
" that where the common action of a bod}- of men 
tended to produce the same result by the same com- 
mon means, controlled by the same power, and the 
object was to damage and injure any single individual, 
or corporation, it was the duty of the court to restrain 
such action." ' 

judge Dundy gave as his decision that " the engi- 
neers on the Union Pacific have the right to quit work 
when they please, but they have not the right to enter 
into a conspiracy, and by concerted action suddenly 
leave the Union Pacific road without engineers, 
when the purpose of the conspiracy is to prevent the 
Union Pacific road from exchanging freight with the 
Burlington as by inter-state commerce law it is re- 
quired to do. Against such action the court will en- 
join. Neither have the engineers the right to refuse 
to pull Burlington cars, and such refusal would subject 
them to imprisonment. The Union Pacific is the 
creation of congress. It bears the national birth 

' Chicago Daily News. * 



THE BURLINGTON IN COURT. 323 

marks upon it. Congress has distinctly enacted that 
its officers, agents and operatives, must at all times ex- 
change with, and handle freight of certain intersecting 
lines, among them the Burlington & Missouri, and has 
made refusal a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of 
not less than $1,000, and imprisonment not less than 
six months on conviction. '" 

Regardless of this decision, which appeared to be 
so full of danger to the liberties of the Union Pacific 
men, under the guidance of their chairman, G. W. 
Vroman they continued to have "Q" colic and were the 
last in the whole circle of the boycott to get well, and 
the Burlington officials were made to realize that the 
" bold bluff game" woukteot down bv the decision of 
Judge Dundy. 

To add to all these combinations and difficulties that 
beset the leaders of the strike in Chicago, there came 
—in addition to a great multitude from all parts of the 
country, who were eager to learn something, or advise 
or assist as the case might be — a faction who organ- 
ized themselves into an advisory board, something not 
warranted by the laws of the engineers and evidently 
not desired by the grand officers. However it is 
reasonable to suppose they were actuated by the best 
of motives, yet with mature deliberation these men 
must have seen that an advisory board, whether legal- 
ly constituted or not, must have some influence, pre- 
sumed or real, with other men, and unless they were 
guided in their every act by the grand officers, whom 
their name implied that they represented, they must 
do much harm. The newspapers said some of them 
were there under the pay of the companies for whom 

1 Chicago TriTmne. 



324 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE* 

they worked. 1 

From the best information obtainable this board 
held meetings and adopted plans for their own guid- 
ance, exercised an influence over the grand officers, 
meeting with them and doing divers things. They 
were not, like the staff of a general, responsible to 
him, and subject to his final decision, but as individ- 
uals, representing fractional interests, in the interest of 
one road instead of the whole. In forming this body 
these men laid themselves liable to grave suspicion of 
looking after their own interest, instead of the com- 
mon good. However good their intentions might 
ha\ e been, it is certain the influence exercised by 
them as a whole, was harmful. 

No man can serve faithfully one interest, and be paid 
by another. He may honestly think his interest and 
the common interest of the engineers and firemen are 
identical with the company whom they serve. This 
is the right principal in peace, but not in war, and 
much of the lack of harmony among all, emanated 
from a lack of harmony of opinion among the advisory 
board, as they termed it. Many things were laid at 
their door, perhaps unjustly, yet their assumed position 
made them a target for charges made later, of a grave 
nature. 

The Burlington management issued the following 
bulletin order to conductors: " As we are going to 
open up our business, and will discontinue the running 
of pilots, we will expect you or one of your brakemen 
to show the new engineer the road when necessary." 
This obliged the brakemen to pilot and assist the new 
men. The grand officers of the strikers, having been 

1 Chicago Tribune. 



THE BURLINGTON IN COURT. 325 

assured of Mr. Wilkinson's good will, that gentleman 
was invited to headquarters, to which he immediately 
responded, and after consultation he was requested to 
go over the road and instruct all concerned that no 
member of the brakemen's order would be allowed to 
do anything but his legitimate business and to do no 
piloting. He visited all the terminal points on the 
Burlington system, and did all he could to prevent any 
special services being rendered to the company out- 
side of their regular duties. The Burlington had 
manned every engine with a pilot to keep their new 
men out of trouble, but it was expensive, and they 
thought to do away with it by having the conductor or 
brakeman ride on the engine and still keep them out 
of trouble. The Burlington officials evidently expect- 
ed much from the conductors in piloting, and compet- 
ing the brakemen to do the same. They no doubt, 
based their assurance upon an understanding with 
Messrs. Belknap and Cross, employes of the Burling- 
ton, who issued a circular March 10, which was 
sanctioned by the chief officer of that order, Grand 
Chief Conductor, C. S. Wheaton. An extract from 
the circular reads as folio ws : 

"The railroad officials commenced Sunday afternoon, 
February 26, to clean up the line, and Sunday night 
saw all freights abandoned as fast as engineers and 
firemen refused to go out. Loyal employes stepped 
on their engines, and the result was that passenger 
trains continued to run from that day to this. Con- 
ductors and brakemen, with scarcely an exception along 
the whole line, tendered their services in any capacity 
where they could be most useful. They ran engines, 



326 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

fired engines, acted as pilots, and performed police 
dnty. All, whether members of an}- society or not, 
seemed to vie with each other in showing their loyalty 
in this time of trouble, and tendering their services in 
any capacity where needed. This full expression of 
loyalty on the part of the trainmen was far bevond the 
most sanguine expectation of any of our officers. 
While they counted on some remaining firm, they were 
not prepared to see the loyalty so universal, and as 
train after train was taken from its starting to destina- 
tion in safety and nearly on time, by faithful men, they 
could not find words to express their approval of our 
acts, and we are satisfied that they will express their 
feelings in a very substantial way when the proper 
time comes." There is much more to this circular, 
but this extract embodies the essence of it. This 
brought a reply from the Brakemen's Journal, which 
places the circular in its right light: 

"The above statement is a lie out of a whole cloth, 
so far as it pertains to the brakemen, and no one 
knows it better than Messrs. Belknap, Cross and 
Wheaton. The brakemen preserved a strict neutrali- 
ty, and took no part in this strike. They performed 
their usual duties promptly and faithfully, but did not 
take the place of the strikers, as stated in the circular. 

"The action of the brakemen on the Burlington is 
endorsed by our Brotherhood everywhere, by the Lo- 
comotive Brotherhoods, and by the Burlington offic- 
ials. They adopted a manly course and behaved like 
men, and not like the fawning sycophants who, lost to 
all sense of manhood and honor, tried to currv favor 
by offering their services in any capacity, mauy of 



THE BURLINGTON IN COURT. 327 

them giving up good positions on other roads thous- 
ands of miles away, to come and defeat the engineers 
and firemen on the Burlington." 

The pilots were mostly conductors who knew the 
road, and smash-ups had been few owing to this pre- 
caution. But the engines had suffered. Many of 
their engines had been very badly burned, although 
the officials denied thai such was the fact. I am per- 
sonally knowing to a case where the flue sheet was 
pulled away from the crown sheet until your hand 
would go into the space. It was stated on good 
authority, that a large number suffered from this 
cause: but the Burlington seemed to care nothing for 
cost. They were not, however, opening up their 
interchange of business, as they had hoped would be 
the case. From the legal proceedings, nearly all the 
lines held their doors closed against the Burlington. 

Meetings were being held in Kansas City, attended 
by men from all roads centering there, watching the 
situation. At East St. Louis, March n, Division 49 
held a meeting attended by some 200, and it was de- 
cided not to handle Burlington cars. The Missouri 
and Pacific men had the "colic" at the sight of a Bur- 
lington car as bad as did the men of the Union Pacific. 
In fact, at any time from March 1 to March 15, from 
all indications of the temper of the enginemen through- 
out the country, almost every western roa& could 
have been stopped at the word of command. Had the 
leaders of the brotherhoods adopted the same course 
as that chosen by the Burlington, i. e., " rule or ruin," 
and had similarly violated their own laws, and been 
equally indifferent to public weal or woe, there would 



328 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

have been one of the greatest strikes in the annals 
of history. The strike on the Burlington system, as 
it was conducted, would have been but a drop in the 
wave of business disaster. 

But instead of crowding the issue, destroying prop- 
ertv, and violating their own laws, as it was so freely 
charged they would do, they followed a conservative 
policy that prevented general disaster, preserved 
their self respect and forestalled defeat. When the 
grievance men came to Chicago and passed resolu- 
tions to boycott, in order to carry out the conditions, 
they must go home to their respective roads, call 
their committee together, vote to sustain or not sus- 
tain its conditions; if sustained by the home vote, they 
must wait on the home officers, and ask them to com- 
ply with the boycott and so prevent trouble. This 
considerate method was carried out in every case. 

If the strikers had been indifferent to the public 
good, and had used such means as were at their com- 
mand on March 6, it is reasonable to say that they 
could have stopped every connecting line west and 
south of the Burlington, and a majority of those run- 
ning east. But they commenced the strike b}*' leaving 
the Burlington engines at terminal points, in good or 
der:they persuaded, hired, and bought awa}- the new 
men. It had failed to keep the Burlington from fi- 
nally, in some manner, manning their engines. The 
next best means, and the least injurious to the public, 
was the boycott. The power of the boycott was 
killed, so far as compelling a settlement was con- 
cerned, by conservatism in the use of that power. 
The resort to a boycott can be successful onlv when 



THE BURLINGTON IN COURT. 329 

it is entered upon with unanimity, and pursued vigor- 
ously and regardless of consequences. There was 
evidently a lack of harmony in the opinion of the men 
as to the necessities of the situation. Thomas Jeffer- 
son said : " Every difference of opinion is not a differ- 
ence of principle." They were united in defending 
their principles, but differed as to the means. One 
policy should have been adopted and adhered to with 
the firmness of the signers of the declaration of inde- 
pendence. Said one of the members, " We must all 
hang together in this business." " Yes," said Benjamin 
Franklin, " we must all hang together or most assured- 
ly we will all hang singly." 

The decision of Judge Gresham on March 12 had 
opened the Wabash to the Burlington. The judge 
said: " The Wabash engineers do not desire to main- 
tain an attitude of defiance to the law, that they 
are willing to aid the receiver in the lawful and sue- 
cessful administration of his trust." In war, a break 
in the line could be closed up, but in this case it must 
stand so long as the men themselves would not form 
the line. This had two results: first, a tendency to 
weaken others, who by this time had time to weigh in 
the balance their own interests with the common 
interest, and with man}-, self-interest is found to out- 
weigh the other, and such as these held up the deci- 
sion of Judge Gresham, and withdrew active support. 
Second, the vivid impression of the conspiracy law 
and the specified effort to find some means by which 
the grand officers could be held accountable under 
legal process, caused them to transfer the active con- 
trol of the strike to the local committees, the direct 



33° T1IE BURLINGTON" STRIKE. 

result of which was the strike of the Atchison, Tope- 
ka & Santa Fe, on March 15. 

A committee of engineers and firemen of the Atchi- 
son, Topeka & Santa Fe had waited on the managers 
of that road on March 8 and 9. The object was to 
solicit them not to handle Burlington freight, assur- 
ing them that the best of feeling existed between the 
company and the employes, but that they wished 
to assist their friends, the strikers on the Burlington, 
and that they should refuse to handle Burlington bus- 
iness after Sunday morning, March 11. It was not 
their intention to strike, but each man would act for 
himself. "The officers assured the grievance commit- 
tee that they could not expect that the company would 
act in violation of the laws of the United States, that 
they would lay their notice before the board of direct- 
ors for their consideration, pending which it was pre- 
sumed that no action would be taken by the engi- 
neers. The officers of the road said further that from 
that time on, in no instance was any engineer, 
against his wishes, asked to handle anv train contain- 
ing Chicago, Burlington & Quincy cars." ' While the 
engineers and firemen, on the contrary, claimed they 
were trying to aid the Burlington. 

There seemed to be a combination of circumstances 
at Kansas City that caused feeling to run high, and 
the moderation so prevalent elsewhere was wanting at 
this point. The Burlington owns the ground and yard 
surrounding the Union depot, where the trains of near- 
ly all the roads centering at Kansas City come in and 
go out of one depot. This brought together men 
from the Union Pacific: Missouri Pacific: Atchison, 

1 Chicago Daily News. 



THE BURLINGTON IN COURT. 331 

Topeka & Santa Fe; Wabash; Fort Scott & Gulf: 
Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, and man)- other lines 
of less importance, to meet with the strikers. 

The direct connection of freight traffic of all tin :se 
roads with the Burlington yard kept the men busy 
watching all the^ outlets. Every encroachment upon 
the boycott was magnified by one after another of the 
men congregated there, who were not committee men, 
and consequently not held responsible for the influence 
they exercised. It was unavoidable that the mature 
deliberation, so necessary to unity of action, became 
impossible; besides, the Fort Scott & Gulf and the 
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe were both Boston 
interests, and holders of stock in these roads were 
stockholders in the Burlington, which created an an- 
tipathy against them, the men believing — from the 
known pecuniary interest of these roads — that they 
were making special effort to help out the Burlington. 
The Union Pacific is another Boston interest, but a 
Burlington car made thirty engineers suddenly sick on 
the morning of the fourteenth at Omaha. At Council 
Bluffs the " colic ; " was raging, because there were 
Burlington cars in the trains as made up. Judge 
Dundy's restraining order had no terror for them. 
The heat of the battle seemed for the time to be trans- 
ferred from Chicago to the south and west. 

An Associated Press reporter went over the Bur- 
lington line from Chicago to Kansas City, visiting 
Aurora, Mendota, Galesburg, Burlington, Chariton, 
Creston and Kansas City. The object being to ascer- 
tain the true state of affairs on the Burlington system. 
Not only were the meetings of the brotherhood men 
23 



332 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

visited by him, but at each point the railroad officials 
were seen. As nearly as one could judge from the 
evidence of both sides, "the Burlington system was do- 
ing from 40 to 50 per cent of the business which it did 
before the strike. At every point mentioned passen- 
ger trains were from one to six hours-late. In regard 
to the freight business each division superintendent 
that was seen frankly stated that the road was doing 
much less business than before the strike. They said 
that there were no cattle carried over the road, except 
where the company had bought the cattle in the pens. 
Freight trains, where they were formerly made up of 
about thirty cars, were then composed of from nine to 
twenty. In some instances engines drawing way cars 
were sent out and counted as trains. While they did 
not express themselves in sympathy with the strikers, 
they did say they wished that the old hands were back 
at the throttle. " ! 

The brotherhood men were making strenuous efforts 
to decrease even this small showing. The progress 
of the Burlington, added to the court proceedings, made 
many fear for the future of the brotherhoods, if the 
battle wa's lost. The railroad officials no doubt hoped, 
and the brotherhoods feared, that failure would be a 
Waterloo to these institutions, that a retrograde move- 
ment would be demanded by other companies. This 
feelino- created a radical sentiment, especially among 
the western men. 

It was charged that freight was being transferred 
at Kansas City, from Burlington cars into Atchison, 
Topeka & Santa Fe cars, by teams drawing it some- 
distance. This was taken for bad faith on the Dart of 

1 Associated Press report. 



THE BURLINGTON IN COURT. 333 

the company, and no doubt caused the following: 

Kansas City, Mo., March 15, 1888. 
"J. F. Goddard, general manager, Atchison, Tope- 
ka & Santa Fe. 

Topeka, Kansas,: 

• Engineers and firemen of the Santa Fe system 
will quit at 4 o'clock p. m. 

J. Conroe, Chairman." ' 

On receipt of this, Manager Goddard sent the fol- 
lowing: 

J. Conroe, chairman grievance committee, Atchi- 
son, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway. 

Kansas City: 

At 3 : 50 this afternoon I received your telegram, 
notifying me that the engineers and firemen whom you 
represent would quit at 4 o'clock to-day. As we have 
faithfully kept every written and verbal agreement 
made with }-our organization, your action is a surprise, 
and I would be glad to know on what it is taken. 
Also, do you intend that it shall cover passenger train 
service as well as freight? ' 

Mr. Conroe sent to Grand Chief Arthur a telegram 

stating, " Engineers and firemen are satisfied that the 

Santa Fe did not remain neutral, and sav they were 

justified in this move." Answer 

J. Conroe. 

No one expected this move, and the strike of the 
engineers and firemen on the Atchison, Topeka & 
Santa Fe road was the exciting topic at the strikers' 
headquarters. From all the reports received it was 
ascertained that this strike carried out about 1,300 

1 Associated Press report. 



334 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

engineers and a corresponding number of firemen. 
The Santa Fe men appeared to be determined to stand 
out, although no specific cause of grievance could be 
discovered. Chief Arthur was completely taken by- 
surprise at the announcement of the strike, and sent a 
telegram to the chairman, Mr. Conroe, to come to 
Chicago immediately. 

Mr. Arthur was inclined to think that some subor- 
dinate officer had attempted to compel the men to 
handle Burlington freight and had thus precipitated a 
strike which he had -been most anxious to avoid. And 
he said that if the men have struck without cause they 
have done wrong. 

Interviews with a number of the striking engineers 
of the Santa Fe road, developed the fact that they had 
examined the list of stockholders on the Chicago, Bur- 
lington & Quincy, and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa 
Fe, and found that a considerable number of the Santa 
Fe stockholders are also largely interested in the 
. Burlington. The Fort Scott & Gulf stockholders 
were also interested in the Burlington. The engine- 
men had no grievance with the Santa Fe, but they 
would rest until the Burlington road should come to 
terms with its employes. 

Much having been said by the press about the men 
giving the Santa Fe only thirty minutes notice, 
one of the old engineers said: " Now, that's all wrong. 
Our committee had been urging the company every 
day, since we found that they were smuggling Bur- 
lington freight into the cars, to stop it. The com- 
mittee called on Mr. Goddard no less than three times 
and told him the company was handling Burlington 



THE BURLINGTON IN COURT. 335 

freight and that the men would not stand it. He gave 
us no satisfaction. The Santa Fe has not acted fairly 
with us." ' 

The extent of the Santa Fe road and its branches is 
nearly 7000 miles, on which were employed seven 
hundred engineers and a like number of firemen, and 
2.800 trainmen. It is said there was standing along 
the line 1,200 cars of merchandise. Many officials 
who had been watching this great sympathy strike at 
Chicago, were transferred to Kansas City, with noth- 
ing to do but watch developments. The grievance 
committeemen from all the roads were there, and 
everything had the appearance of a general strike of 
all southwestern roads. The men of the Fort Scott 
and Gulf had contemplated going out on the same 
day. or soon after the Santa Fe, but the men on that 
line were apparently not a unit. Without the sanc- 
tion of their grand officers, the chairman of that sys- 
tem had gone to Chicago to see the grand chief and 
enter his complaints, and this prevented any extension 
of the strike. 

Although the Santa Fe strike was ill advised, it 
was one of the most astonishing exhibitions of good 
will towards their fellow men that the world has ever 
seen, when we remember that they take no obligation 
that compels obedience to command, and that a strike 
of this kind could not be inaugurated only by the indiv- 
idual consent of each one, and in this case they were 
spread out over 7,000 miles of territory, and as one 
met the other and told the news, their places were in- 
stantly vacated, all alike, actuated by the same senti- 
ment. It is our brother in trouble; let us do whatever 

1 Chicago Daily News. 



33^ THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

we can to help him out of it. What a picture of un- 
selfish devotion! and what a comparison between these 
men who forgot self in their anxiety for their brothers, 
and that mass of selfishness, incompetency and drunk- 
enness, that had with in the last two weeks been poured 
into the vacancies of the Burlington. 

" On the morning of the 16th of March, at Kansas 
City, not a wheel was turning except a few switch 
engines. The engineers and firemen persisted in sav- 
ing they had received no orders to strike; they were 
simply tired and wanted rest. The Union depot pre- 
sented a regular castle garden appearance, as though 
hundreds of emigrants had been brought in whose 
destination was somewhere on the Santa Fe. Two 
hundred of them were crowded into the emigrant 
room, and there were new accessions hourly." ! 

At 11 :20 a. m., the foreman of the Santa Fe round- 
house, at Argentine, backed an engine up to the Union 
depot and coupled on to train No. 3, which was the 
through California express. Ben Horton, who had 
been an engineer on the Santa Fe road for ten years, 
mounted the engine. He was not a Brotherhood man, 
having been expelled from that organization during the 
strike of i877- He afterwards applied for re-admis- 
sion, but was rejected. 

"A sensation was created in the crowd that surround- 
ed the engine, by the appearance of Horton's wife, 
who pushed her way through and was assisted to a 
seat by her husband, when she declared her intention 
of acting as fireman on the trip. She covered her 
clothing with a rubber ulster while a fireman's cap set 
jauntily on her black hair." 2 Before starting, the 

1 Kansas City Journal. 'Associated Press report. 



THE BURLINGTON IN COURT. 337 

enginemen made an effort to induce Horton not to go, 
offering him money, but the wife, the would-be fire- 
man, is said to have been armed with a revolver, and 
compelled, her liege lord to stay at his post. This 
woman who went out as fireman was formerly Hattie 
Reed, of Kewanee, 111. During the strike of 1877 s ^ ie 
acted as fireman for her husband from Galesbursr to 
Burlington. The news gatherers gave her consider- 
able notoriety, but the reader will probably make his 
own estimate ot this exception to the timiditv of the 
gentler sex. 

Callers were kept busy hunting the city over for 
engineers and firemen, but they kept out of the way. 
The Kansas City Journal said: 

" Two weeks ago a traveling printer was dropped 
from the "fournal sub-list. To-night he showed up 
at the office with two revolvers strapped on his person, 
and with an engineer's book, etc., showing him to 
be a full fledged Burlington engineer. His experience 
is two years in a machine shop. He was loaned to the 
Santa Fe and goes out to-night for one week's work. 
He has had two accidents.'' , This young man is one 
of those ' competent men ' of whom Officer A. C. 
Dawes, of the Kansas City, St, Joseph & Council 
Bluffs road said: " In no instance has there been a 
high grade engineer displaced to make room for a low 
grade," yet this man or boy, was pulling passenger 
trains on that road when Mr. Dawes gave this inform- 
ation to the public. " The Santa Fe did not seem 
anxious to make use of such material, and preferred 
to wait before adding the evils which follow the em- 
ployment of scabs to those which already beset them. 



33§ THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

' The general superintendent received many applica- 
tions for situations as engineers, but no new men were 
engaged.' " ] 

The situation was hourly becoming more complica- 
ted; the lack of concerted action was apparent. 
Leaders were wanting who could command a view of 
the whole situation, with power to guide, and formu- 
late plans for the action of this great army of engine- 
men. The}- were like a ship at sea without a rudder. 
The laws of the Brotherhoods had not been made 
with powers centered in the leaders. They could 
only advise and consent, and with the grand officers 
located within the scope of the Illinois conspiracy law, 
that advice must be of a peaceful nature. The Santa Fe 
was out. The Fort Scott & Gulf was on the balance, 
and were to have -followed the Santa Fe at four 
o'clock the same dav, but the chairmen of the griev- 
ance committee of that system requested that positive 
action be deferred. The general manager expected it 
to go at any moment. 

At Marshalltown, Iowa, the Central Iowa enginemen 
notified Receiver Dudley that they would not handle 
Burlington cars. " The receiver said that his duty 
under the law was plain, and that he should insist on 
its enforcement. He therefore declined to allow any 
cars delivered to him to be set out of trains, and at 5 
o'clock he ordered the machine shops closed, and all 
employes in the shops, roundhouses, offices, and all 
along the road, laid off, except enough to look after 
the passenger service." 2 This virtually tied up the 
Central of Iowa. Like notices were sent to the rail- 
road officials at Jeffersonville, Indiana, and to Chatta- 

1 Kansas City Journal. ? Chicago Tribune. 



THE BURLINGTON IN COURT. 339 

nooga, Tenn. ; at the same time the Ohio and Mississipi 
w as making an effort to have the Burlington business 
boycotted. 

While these efforts were being made by separate 
systems guided by their own feelings, the Fort 
Scott road, situated by the side of the Santa Fe, "made 
no secret of the fact that it handled all the freight sent 
to it by the Burlington.'" ' In an interview with Vice- 
President C. W. Smith of the Santa Fe, "he ad- 
mitted that several of the stockholders of the Burling- 
ton, including Malcom B. Forbes, and President Per- 
kins of the Burlington, were large holders of the stock 
in the Santa Fe, but he did not consider that fact suffi- 
cient grounds for a strike on the Santa Fe.'' Yet that 
knowledge was without doubt what actuated the San- 
ta Fe men in pursuing the radical course they did. It 
was a combined action of individuals, each actuated by 
one sentiment, to help their brothers of the Burling- 
ton. Mr. Conroe, chairman of the grievance commit- 
tee, was called to Topeka by Governor Martin where 
he met with the Governor and railroad commissioners 
of the state of Kansas. "Governor Martin asked Mr. 
Conroe to state the case of the engineers. He said 
they had no grievance against the Santa Fe, but the 
Burlington men could not hope to win so long as the 
Santa Fe hauled Burlington freight, which he claimed 
the road had been doing." 2 

At the request of the Governor, Mr. Conroe and 
the board of commissioners, held a conference with 
general manager Goddard, of the Santa Fe, in the 
hope that an understanding might be reached but the 
conference resulted in nothing. Mr. Conroe denied 

' Chicago Journal. * Kansas City Journal. 



340 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

having ordered the strike and said it was the individ- 
ual action of the men. They had considered the mat- 
ter carefully at their lodges and had decided to strike, 
therefore neither he nor Mr. Arthur could order it off, 
until the strikers gained their point. He was not an- 
tagonizing Mr. Arthur but things were in such shape 
that he could not comply with Mr. Arthur's directions. 
Governor Martin, speaking of Mr. Conroe, said: " My 
interview with him leads' me to believe that he is a 
conservative, level headed, intelligent man. He talks 
sensibly upon the situation, and believes he is acting 
with the best interests of the men he represents. I 
would take him to be a man well informed upon gen- 
eral business affairs, and not a man who desires to 
gain notoriety as an agitator." ! 

Mr. Conroe and the Santa Fe men held their ground 
manfully. It was purely a sympathy strike and their 
position was a trying one. Manager Goddard had 
issued a circular letter on the 17th, covering the ground 
of complaint and stated that the company had decided 
to retain the services of all the old men, and would 
give them until the next Thursday to resume work. 
The fairness and generosity of this proposition to men 
who had no personal feeling against the officers, and 
the failure of the Fort Scott men to carry out their 
part of the presumed program, caused the men to feel 
that the strike was ill advised. Much has been said 
against Grand Chief Arthur for requesting the Santa 
Fe men to return to work, yet it was the only wise 
course to pursue. The men could not have main- 
tained their position, standing alone as they were. 
There must have been a break, and Mr. Conroe's 

' Kansas City Journal. 



THE m'RLINGTOX IN COURT. 



34r 



official notice, issued at 6 p. m., 18th of March, was 
timely and judicious. 

Kansas City, March 18, 1888. 

To the engineers and firemen of the Santa Fe system: 
" I am advised by our grand chief to request of you 
to return to your respective positions at once. Furth- 
er that I am to repair to Chicago and adjust all misunder- 
standings." ' 

I. CONROE, 

Chairman, General Grievance Committee. 

Mr. George Royal, a prominent member of the 
Brotherhood, was sent to Kansas City by Grand Chief 
Arthur to assist in bringing about this result which 
ended the strike on the Santa Fe. This strike was a 
mistake. Had they adopted the Union Pacific plan, 
and had taken the "Q colic," it is not likely that they 
would have been discharged, and yet the doors would 
have been closed against the Burlington, and the chief 
object would have been attained. Its redeeming qual- 
ities were that there was no viciousness, no disorder, 
no hatred of the Santa Fe officials, but an unselfish 
devotion to their brothers on the Burlington that out- 
weighed all other considerations — misconceived, but 
grand in good fellowship. 

The Santa Fe strike was over and the Kansas City 
lines began to open to the Burlington business. This 
caused the greatest dissatisfaction in the south and 
west, where the men were all loyal and walling to boy- 
cott, regardless of consequences to themselves, but 
they only saw a portion of the field. They could 
maintain their ground without sacrificing many of their 

1 Kansas City Journal. 



342 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE.. 

positions, but the situation was not as propitious else- 
where. 

We find the Central Iowa road still in trouble. The 
engineers out on this road only numbered sixty-five, 
and a like number of firemen, but this number suspt 
ed operations for nine hundred other employes, and 
the receiver on the 19th, issued the following notice: 
" All engineers and firemen who fail to report for 
duty at 8:00 a. m., Tuesday, March 20, reach and 
willing to haul any and all cars that may be put on 
trains, will be discharged from the service." ' The 
machine shops, car shops, roundhouses, and prrt of 
the general offices had been closed in pursuance of his 
previous order. It was not easy to dissuade men who 
had taken a voluntary stand in the process of the bov- 
cott, but on the 20th this strike was brought to a close 
through a five hour conference between Receiver 
Dudley, a member of the court, and six representatives 
of the Brotherhood. The Burlington, Cedar Rapids, 
& Northern was pushed into line bv a decision in Judge 
Love's court, under the inter- state law. and the strike 
was again closed on the Burlington, and the attention 
again turned towards Chicago. 

1 Chicago Dailv News. 



CHAPTER XLV. 

ANOTHER CLOUD RISING. 

Owing to the many and grave complications that 
were continually arising, that were absolutely beyond 
the control of the grand officers, located, as they were, 
within the limits of the conspiracy law of Illinois, it 
is evident they lost faith in the power to compel a 
settlement upon the original conditions asked, and at 
their suggestion Chairmen Hoge and Murphy made 
another effort, on March 10. They left their pride 
behind and waited upon President Perkins and Gen- 
eral Manager Stone, when it was proposed that the men 
be allow r ed to go back to work on the old terms, with 
the question of increase to be decided upon by amica- 
ble agreement thereafter, but they did not arrive at 
any satisfactory conclusion. The Burlington officials 
declined to negotiate with them upon an)- terms but 
absolute surrender. 

When the embargo was raised on the Santa Fe 
there was great indignation expressed by members of 
the Brotherhood, against the grand officers, for being 
instrumental in accomplishing it. Thomas Jefferson 
said, "When right, I shall often be thought wrong by 
those whose positions will not command a view of the 
whole ground;" so in this case, could all have seen the 
situation as it really was the strike would not have 
lasted another day, but they could not, and the Bur- 
lington strikers along the line were holding their 



344 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

ground as tenaciously as on the first day. Letters 
were being received from all over the country encour- 
aging them to stand firm. Every local point along 
the line had a correspondence committee, and more 
than fifty letters were received and as many sent out. 
It was a mode of feeling the pulse of all the men 
along the line, and the social and encouraging nature 
of the letters kept up the animation and good feeling, 
and furnished the panacea that kept away ennui and 
disgust. 

Laboring men of all creeds, seeing the two most 
powerful organizations extant roughly handled by 
centralized capital, began to see the danger to them- 
selves, and buried much of the feeling that was so 
patent at the beginning of the strike, which had been 
engendered mostly by the engineers' policy of "no en- 
tangling alliances." Amalgamation among diversified 
labor brings as many difficulties as do entangling alli- 
ances among nations. But an alliance which contem- 
plates federated good fellowship, has become essential 
to the welfare of labor, and the strike so far had 
brought vividly to the minds of laboring men gener- 
ally, the necessity of some concerted action that would 
equalize their, power, and make them able to success- 
fully maintain their right, endangered by corporate 
power. The following is the result of this feeling, 
adopted by the Union Pacific employes: 

ARTICLES OF FEDERATION. 

BETWEEN THE BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS, BROTHER- 
HOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE FIREMEN, AND THE KNIGHTS OF 
LABOR, EMPLOYES OF THE UNION PACIFIC RAILWAY. 

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the 



ANOTHER CLOUD RISING. 345 

Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen employed by the 
Union Pacific Railway, and the Knights of Labor em- 
ployes on the Union Pacific Railway, of the organiza- 
tion known as District Assembly No. 82, do mutually 
agree to the following Articles of Federation, to 
govern our relations to the Union Pacific Railway 
Company and ourselves : 

First. — Each organization shall retain fully its indi- 
viduality and govern fully its own internal affairs as 
heretofore; each to have its Executive or Grievance 
Committee settle all disputes between themselves and 
the Union Pacific Railway Company if possible. 

Second. — There shall be a Federation Board e<>n- 
sisting of representatives of each Executive or Griev- 
ance Committee of each organization, on the basis of 
equal representation to the Brotherhoods and the 
Knights of Labor. 

Third. — In case of the Executive or Grievance Com- 
mittee of either organization failing to effect a settle- 
ment satisfactory to them, they shall comply with the 
laws of their organization regarding grievances and 
strikes, and if their action in the matter receives the 
endorsement of their organization, said grievance shall 
be submitted to the Federal Board for final action. 

Fourth. —Should the Federal Boards agree on the 
justness of the alleged grievance they shall at once 
proceed to adjust the same. 

Fifth. — The Federal Board failing to satisfactorily 
adjust the difficulty they shall take final action thereon, 
and if thought best may submit the same back to their 
various organizations. 

Sixth. — The organizations represented in this agree- 
24 



346 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

ment mutually agree to do all in their power to build 
up and strengthen each other by influencing all persons 
to become members of the organizations representing 
their trade or calling. 

Seventh. — An expelled member of either organiza- 
zation shall be ineligible to membership in any of the 
other organizations unless by the consent of the organ- 
zation from which he was expelled. 

Eighth. — Any local misunderstanding between the 
organizations represented in this agreement shall be 
adjusted by a joint committee representing each of the 
local organizations. 

Ninth. — Any differences arising between members 
of either of the organizations regarding alleged en- 
croachments on each others rights, either party to the 
alleged difference can call through the local committee 
of his organization, for a conference of the joint local 
committee to settle the same. 

Tenth. — Any difficult}- that may arise affecting the 
members of either organization in their just rights as 
employes of the Union Pacific Railway Company, shall 
be considered as comprising all matters to be submitted 
to the Federated Boards. Just rights to be understood 
as meaning the questions of wages, hours of labor 
or mileage, the unjust discharge or discrimination 
against members, rules or regulations of the Company 
affecting the duties, interests or liabilities of an indi- 
vidual member or of all emploves, or any division, 
trade or calling. 

We, the undersigned members of a committee rep- 
resenting the organizations herein mentioned, mutually 
agree to these articles of federation, for our organiza- 



A.NOTHER CLOUD RISIX<;. 3_J_7 

tions on the Union Pacific Railway system, subject to the 
approval of the Chiefs of our several organizations. 

This was signed by eighteen representative men of 
the K. of L., B. of L. E., and B. of L. F. 

In an interview with a reporter, Mr. Powderly said: 
" Any differences which might have been between the 
Brotherhood and myself are at an end. I have no 
right with any labor organization. I would rather 
take a blow from a labor organization than give one. 
Last Saturday I signed articles of agreement between 
members of the Brotherhoods of Engineers and Fire- 
men, and Knights of Labor, employed on the Union 
Pacific railroad. They will work together, and any- 
thing concerning their interests on the road will be 
carefully considered by both sides, and all troubles 
will be settled without strikes if possible." ' 

The same disposition had begun to manifest itself 
among the switchmen. They, as a class, never had 
any love for a scab, and it must have been a trying 
ordeal for them to work with them as long as they 
did. An effort had been made at the beginning of the 
strike to secure the co-operation of the switchmen and 
brakemen. "Grand Master Wilkinson, and Grand 
Secretary and Treasurer Oshea of the brakemen, and 
Grand Master Monoghan had expressed sympathy and 
a wish that they could enter the contest, but the past 
policy of the engineers of "going it alone" prevented 
any coalition. But after the boycott had practically 
failed, another effort was made and Grand Masters 
Monoghan and Wilkinson expressed a willingness to 
make an effort. All they required was a pledge from 
Grand Chief Arthur that in case of trouble with the 

1 Chicago Tribune. 



348 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

switchmen, or brakemen, that the engineers would 
stand by them. Mr. Arthur could not do this, but 
promised to use his influence to bring about co-oper- 
ation at the convention. This effort, like its prede- 
cessor, failed from the same cause — lack of fraternal 
feeling between the engineers and the other orders. 
Later on, however, a better feeling was brought 
about at a meeting of the switchmen attended by 
chairman Hoge and other committeemen. It is rea- 
sonable to suppose that some pledges were made at 
that.meeting which changed the attitude of the switch- 
men. At a meeting held at Turner Hall, composed of 
engineers, firemen and switchmen, plans were ma- 
tured for future action. Paul Morton had said on 
March 20: c; It*s three strikes and out. Next Saturdav 
we shall start our fast trains No. 1 and 15, and then 
our road will be in exactly the same circumstances 
that it was before the men struck." On Friday, 
March 23, appeared the following: 

"The Great Strike Is Over." — "The Burling- 
ton road continues to run. It has surmounted its diffi- 
culties. Its trains are running on time. The manage- 
ment of the road remains in the hands of its officers. 
The public need have no fear. The responsibility for 
its care and comfort is fully assumed by the company. 
The Burlington takes the lead. It was in advance of 
all other lines in establishing dining-car service on its 
through trains. It was in advance of all other lines in 
giving the people of the West their fast mail service. 
It was in advance of all other lines in reducing the 
time of passenger trains between Chicago and Mis- 
souri River points from 20^ to 15^ hours. It has 



ANOTHER CLOUD RISING. 349 

been progressive in the past. It will lead in the fu- 
ture. If vou admire an institution that has the cour- 
age of its convictions give it your patronage. Com- 
mencing Sunday, March 25th, ' the Burlington's 
Number One' fast train will leave Chicago daily at 
one o'clock p. m." 

These trains had been discontinued since the incep- 
tion of the strike, and they were still destined to dis- 
appoint those who wished quick transit over the Bur- 
lington, as well as the officials who so loudly pro- 
claimed the strike was off. They were evidently not 
prepared for the storm already brewing. The with- 
drawal of the Burlington switchmen the next day, 
March 24, caused the Burlington to announce, "Ow- 
ing to further complications we will not be able to start 
the fast trains as advertised." Business was again 
stopped. The Burlington was obliged to inform its 
connecting roads that they could not receive business 
from them. 

The switchmen were notified that they must return 
to work on Monday, 26th, — Monday was blue Monday 
for the Burlington; it recalled the first days of the 
engineers' strike. No attempt was made in the morn- 
ing to handle freight, the company ostensibly hoping 
that wiser counsels would prevail and that the switch- 
men would return to work before being locked out. 
The limit given by the company, one o'clock, passed 
without a sign from the men. The key was turned in 
the lock, and the company began to hustle around for 
new men to fill the places of those left vacant," ' 

Then commenced the scraping up of whatever kind 
of man could be found" no examination was needed. 

1 Chicago Daily News. 



350 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

Seven, such as they were, were found, and "seven 
freight conductors came to the front, to do by the 
switchmen as many of them had done by the enginemen. 
The conductors seemed to be extremely obedient to 
their laws, as non-combatants." " Three freight trains 
were finally made up and dispatched to the west." 
This was a great falling off from the previous week's 
business of from fifteen to twenty-five freight trains 
daily, and, as a consequence, goods waiting shipment 
were piled up in great quantities. The company de- 
clined to receive more freight for points which could 
be reached by other lines, and confined its efforts to 
reaching points covered only by its own system. It 
also refused perishable freight to and from the points 
on its own lines. 

The switchmen followed suit all along the line of 
the Burlington where there was any large force em- 
ployed. " The calling out of all the switchmen in 
Chicago was talked about; the walk out of the Bur- 
lington was slowly but surely spreading. The men at 
Plattsmouth, Lincoln and East St. Louis went out with 
Chicago on the 24. Aurora, 111., followed, with Coun- 
cil Bluffs, Iowa; Omaha, Nebraska; and Galesburg, 
111., following, on the 25th and 26th, and St. Joseph, 
Missouri, April 1, leaving the Burlington with scarce- 
ly any men with which to do business. 

The Burlington officials believed it was Mr. Mono- 
ghan's plan to have all switchmen go out and that he 
would carry it out to the letter. But they said they 
would fight this new trouble, cost what it might. 
President Perkins received an endorsement of his 
conduct of the business affairs of the Burlington com- 



ANOTHER CLOUD RISING. ^5 r 

pany, from the directors in Boston; on March 27, in 
the following resolutions: "The board of directors 
unanimously approve of the President's course during 
the late strike, and consider that it is their duty to 
offer a steady resistance, regardless of consequences, 
to any attempt to take the management of the road 
from the hands of its owners. 

J. M. Forbes, Chairman. 

When directors, after their experience and im- 
mense loss, are as indifferent to cost and consequences 
as this indicates, the result of the action of the switch- 
men at that late day must, of necessity, have but 
one end— the loss of place. Had the brakemen and 
switchmen joined issue with the engineers and firemen 
in the start, the Burlington would have been confron- 
ted with almost an impossibility. A knowledge of the 
road bed, its ups and downs, and peculiarities, are as 
essential as the knowledge of the locomotive, and to 
have all green men, must have caused even the Bur- 
lington officials, with all their indifference, to be 
more considerate at least, of the capital they represen- 
ted. 

There is a lesson in the conduct of the Burlington 
strike, that with a little wisdom, might be used to 
greatly benefit railroad labor in the future. The Bur- 
lington officials, with vast resources at their command, 
Pinkerton detectives and police, and the experience 
of a month, were well equipped for this strike. The 
scabs already with them, knowing that the switchmen's 
strike implied their abhorrence of them, rendered all 
assistance possible in rinding others of their kind to 
come to the Burlington, and at "five o'clock, Tuesday 



352 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

afternoon, fortv-live switchmen had been engaged, and 
information received that many more were on their 
way to Chicago from the Reading road. The Bur- 
lington had only hired one hundred and thirty so far, 
and if it needed more there were still four hundred 
idle switchmen in the Reading region ready to respond 
at anv time.'' ' Had Reading men been as plentiful 
from 1861 to 1865 as they were in 1888, the forces of 
' Lee, ' instead of surrendering to the silent captain, 
would have lowered their colors to a Reading mob, and 
Appomattox would not have found a place in his- 
torv. " 

The Burlington officials expected trouble with the 
switchmen; they seldom do things by halves, and a 
characteristic episode in a switchmen's strike occurred 
Tuesday afternoon at the Stewart avenue station. 
General Superintendent Besler, Assistant Passenger 
Agent Wakely, Train Master Pope, Pay Master Sturg- 
es, Master Mechanic Smith, Superintendent Upham, of 
the Illinois lines, and many other officials, took a trip 
down in the yards to see how the strike was progress- 
ing. They also made preparations to quarter and feed 
the new switchmen and Pinkerton men. The entire 
partv, and a number of reporters, were standing 
around the Stewart avenue station waiting for the 
west bound train for Western avenue. A dozen or 
more of the striking engineers and switchmen stood a 
short distance away. From the earnest conversation 
and gestures, it was evident that the officials were 
recognized. 

A heavy loaded freight train of forty-five cars came 
down the track just ahead of the passenger train. 

1 Chicago Daily News. 2 Letter of S^ M.Stevens. 



ANOTHER CLOUD RISING. 353 

The foot board in front of the engine was guarded by- 
four armed Pinkerton men ; there were Pinkerton men 
in the cab, upon the tender; they clung to the brake 
wheels of the freight cars, in fact the train was well 
protected. Superintendent Besler's face wore a satis- 
fied smile as the long train of cars rattled over the 
switches at an eight mile gait. The group of railroad 
men had vanished or separated. The half dozen 
policemen were lost in the contemplation of the small 
army of Pinkerton men. 

As the last few cars were passing the station, the 
rear car faltered a moment and fell behind. The pin 
had been pulled. Superintendent Besler's smile froze 
upon his face, and he made a remark not mentioned 
here. Train Master Pope confirmed his statement. 
A chorus of yells and laughter arose from the railroad 
men and the crowd of loafers. There was a wild 
frantic rush of Pinkerton men, policemen and railroad 
officials for the daring man who had pulled the pin; 
he had vanished into the air. The train was checked 
about three quarters of a mile west, and slowly and 
sadly backed up. 

The action of the switchmen of the Burlington was 
as individuals. At Creston twenty of the thirty-one 
went out. At Quincy seventeen of the twenty-two, 
leaving five, the master of the Union there remaining 
at Galesburg; two remained with the company. "At 
Lincoln twelve switchmen quit on Monday. Seven 
claimed to have quit to attend as delegates a meeting 
of the striking firemen; two gave sickness as an ex- 
cuse, while three admitted they were on a strike. At 
St. Joseph, Mo., a switchman was killed by one of the 



354 THE BURLINGTON STRIKfc. 

scabs and they quit. The fever was contagious, and 
rumors that the Burlington would be boycotted by 
enginemen and switchmen of other roads was heard 
on every hand. Chicago was kept in a condition of 
excited expectation, while the feeling among railroad 
officials in regard to the attitude of their employes 
was one of great nervousness. They had little to say but 
agreed that they had no assurance that their men 
would not walk out at any time. 

There was an atmosphere of decided uncertain ity 
about the Lake shore yards at Forty-third street on 
Thursday afternoon. Everyone expected trouble for 
the reason that there was a belief that a train of Bur- 
lington cars was to be delivered to the Lake shore 
road. A veteran policeman on duty shook his head 
gloomily at the prospect, and said that never before 
had he seen so many idle men ready to take a hand 
in anything that might come along as there were then 
in the district 

From the inception of the Burlington strike, a flood 
of all sorts of men flocked into Chicago, from men 
driven by necessity to the lowest bum element, such 
as always follow in the wake of excitement, and the 
opportunity for this element was offered in the Mil- 
waukee & St. Paul yards when a Burlington engine 
was sent to the Milwaukee yards at Western avenue 
and' Kinzie street to transfer a train of cars just turned 
out of the manufactory. A mob of about two hun- 
dred "made an attack on the engine and drove from 
the cab the Pinkerton officers stationed there to pro- 
tect the scabs. The officers, though well armed, re- 
frained from firing on the crowd, and for their len- 



ANOTHER CLOUD RISING. 355 

iency, were rewarded by having their revolvers taken 
away from them and used to beat them over the head. 
Superintendent Besler, of the Burlington, was attacked 
and seriously beaten. The mob was dispersed 
by the arrival of a platoon of city police, and a switch- 
man who had attacked Mr. Besler was taken to the 
station. This was a signal for the St. Paul switch- 
men to quit work. They went in a body to the sta- 
tion and when bail was refused they went out on a 
strike, being joined by the switch engineers and fire- 
men. Later in the day the man was admitted to the 
bail and all was quiet in the yard, but the outlook was 
far from being peaceful." 

On March 29, Grand Chief Arthur left Chi- 
cago for his home in Cleveland. This gave rise to 
all sorts of comments from the press, and much condem- 
nation from members of the Brotherhood. " In rail- 
road circles it was agreed that the departure of Mr. 
Arthur meant one of three things : that he had to go 
to Cleveland owing to the expiration of his. lease 
of the house in which his family lived, or it was as the 
radicals hinted, the beginning of his retirement; or to 
get out of the jurisdiction of the courts in the west. 
The air was filled with all sorts of rumors. Mr. 
Arthur was conservative and believed in orderly 
methods. He was in a position to surve} - the whole 
situation and had made up his mind that the Burling- 
ton men were defeated, and had told them so, but they 
would not have it that way. It is said, "One who 
doubts is already defeated," and it is presumed he 
thought he had accomplished all he could by remain- 
ing. "The advisory committee of the Brotherhood, 



356 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

consisting of A. G. Dunn, W. B. Husky, A. W. Lo- 
gan, and W.'R. Hanby, adopted resolutions expressing 
their confidence in Mr. Arthur and their implicit faith 
in his judgment, and indorsed his action throughout. 
This left the headquarters of the Burlington strike with 
Messrs. Hoge and Murphy; Grand Master Sargent 
remaining as an advisor. 

"On Saturday, at the headquarters of the striking 
switchmen at Fourteenth and Jefferson streets, the room 
was filled with striking engineers, firemen, and switch- 
men, all day, and the prevailing sentiment was opposed 
to the violence of the day before. They said it was not 
their purpose to interfere in any manner with the com- 
pany, and they would not countenance any act of vio- 
lence by their men. But the yard men were full of 
strike all over the city. Committees were there from 
the Fort Wayne, Pan Handle, and North- Western, and 
announced their intention of emphatically refusing to 
handle Burlington cars, and to quit work if the com- 
panies required them to do so." 

The Burlington having obtained a sufficient number 
of switchmen to begin business again, determined to 
push the issue, and to call upon the Pittsburg and 
Fort Wayne, the Lake shore and Michigan southern, 
the Rock Island, the Illinois Central, and Alton roads 
for assistance to raise the blockade in its yards. There 
seemed to be an understanding on nearly all the roads 
that they would strike before they would handle Bur- 
lington freight. The Burlington directors in Boston had 
made up their minds to wreck the property of the 
Burlington and bankrupt themselves, rather than 
yield, and the situation had anything but a pleasant 



ANOTHER CLOUD RISING. 357 

aspect. Burlington cars had been standing i n the 
yards for days and that company was now bound to 
push the other companies into a light or into court, 
under the inter-state commerce law. There seemed 
to be no escape for the other companies, the Rock 
Island being the only one to take a positive stand 
against the Burlington. 

The St. Paul strike was confined to the Chicago 
yards; the officials, having gathered up men along the 
line, on Saturday had eight switch engines at work, 
manned by conductors, machinists and railroad police 
who had been engineers or firemen. " About nine 
o'clock a. m., the first switch engine was brought out. 
Two St. Paul special police officers were on each end, 
and two more took care of the cab. It steamed slow- 
ly down to the coal bins and got coal. The new hand 
was not very brisk at the throttle and called out main- 
comments from the strikers, but no attempt was made 
to interfere. They coupled on to a few cars and 
steamed away at a funeral pace." ' 

Fifty men who were regular freight and passenger 
conductors on the Council Bluffs division, arrived at 
the roundhouse in the morning. They were brought 
by the St. Paul people to fill the places of the strik- 
ing engineers, firemen and switchmen, and all seemed 
anxious to pull the throttle or throw a switch. Jerry 
Doherty, one of the leaders of the switch engineers, 
went to the roundhouse and talked with the men and 
gained their sympathy, and they declared they had 
never scabbed a day in their lives, and never would. 
Doherty was ordered away by one of the blue coats, 
but Mr. Doherty told him he wanted to get his time 

1 Chicago Journal. 



;:- THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

check, and he was allowed to remain. The new men 
were not so anxious to do switching as they had been. 
The climax e when one of their number came up 

and said, ■ Come ahead, bo; They want us down 

• 7 don't get us 

down tl ' was the reply that came from the call. 

The men fi go down ar what - 

wanted of them, and on the way a captain was appoint- 
ed, and the men fell into line with a Council Bluff's 
conduct id. They had o tie down 

the track about two hundred feet, when one of them 
--.ed that if the St. Paul officials wanted them 
thev would have to come down and make their pro- 
posals. The men all agreed and marched back to the 
roundl the officials had not come to 

negotiate with them. They said they would act as 
conduc ut would not throw switches. 

One hundred were on the way from other di- 

ns of the road and would arrive at 2:15 p. M., the 
officials savin s (Monday everything would be run- 
mng. 

The readiness with which men all along the roads 
in trouble, came to the rescue of the officials, and 
broke clown all efforts of the yard men, must, as Air. 
Powderlv said, have been a gratifying spectacle to the 
officials. The Burlington, in following out its plan of 
pushing the issue with other companies, on Saturday, 
"at 10: 15 a. M., took a train to the Pittsburg and 1 
Wayne road. Soon after this a crew of th 
Wayne switch engines was ordered to take charg- I 
it. The crew refused to handle the train and was 
immediatelv discharged. Six crews, one afte 



- 

1 Chicago Mail. 



AX0T1IKR CLOUD RISING. 



3:9 



were ordered to take theBurlington train, but each 
refused to obev the order and was in turn discharged. 
Finding that the company was in earnest, the remain- 
ing crews in the yard ran their engines into the round- 
house and quit work. One hundred and seventy-rive 
men were employed in the Fort Wayne yard. Soon 
after a crew was found and the objectional train moved 
without opposition from the strikers. 

An attempt was made by the strikers to draw the 
passenger engineers and firemen into the strike. The 
first crew leaving at 2 : 20 p. m. would not join them. 
At 3:30 however a crew refused to take the train 
out, but another crew was immediately found, and the 
train left after a delay of about fifteen minutes, 
this exception there was no disposition shown bv the 
passenger men to strike."' "A train was also taken to 
the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, Saturday after- 
noon. The cars were received, but were immediately 
run upon a side track, and the yard men refused to 
haul them out."' 

"At one o'clock, Sunday morning, the switchmen on 
the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe went out in a bodv. 
They were followed by the Chicago & Alton switch- 
men on Sunday evening at six o'clock p. m., when 
they quit work and housed their engines." ' 

Meetings were held Sunday evening in Chicago, 
and a majority of the switchmen were in favor of the 
boycott. --The switchmen employed in the Milwaukee 
& St. Paul yards at Milwaukee, held a meeting in the 
evening and formulated a demand that no Burlington 
cars be handled. If not complied with they would quit 
at 11:00 a. m. on [Monday. The boycott fever among 

1 Chicago Tribune. 



360 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

the switchmen also reached Kansas City, and the 
officials of roads running into that city were notified 
not to handle Burlington cars." ' It looked as though 
there would be no limit to the extent of this move- 
ment 

"A mixed train of twenty cars from the Sixteenth 
street yards of the Burlington, arrived at the Michigan 
Central yards at Randolph street at 10: 30 a. m., Mon- 
day, and was delivered without trouble to that com- 
pany. It was followed around by a large crowd of 
idlers who expected to see fun, but they were disap- 
pointed, for there was not the slightest interference 
offered the train at any point along the route between 
the two yards. As soon as the train approached the 
Michigan Central yards the engineers on the Illinois 
Central road opened their whistles and made a most 
unearthly noise, but this was the onlv demonstration. 
The train was placed on a side track, and no attempt 
was made to take it out." 2 

All this excitement had brought an opportunity for 
the hoodlum element, and on several occasions thev 
had created disturbances which cast serious reflection 
upon the Burlington strikers, on the supposition that 
they were bringing this state of things about. Grand 
Master Monoghan, of the switchmen's union, was 
much incensed that such things should happen, to cast 
reflections upon the orders whose members were en- 
gaged in it, but such things always follow exciting 
demonstrations and probably always will. The griev- 
ance committeemen of the engineers and firemen ex- 
pressed much feeling to have the orderly non-interfer- 
ence of a month overbalanced in a day 

1 Chicago Tribune. 2 Chicago Journal. 



ANOTHER CLOUD RISING. 361 

The officials of the Michigan Central gave the men 
notice and had limited the time for them to decide 
whether they would handle Burlington cars or not, 
and at a meeting Sunday night the men voted to go 
out at 7 o'clock Monday morning. 

In the morning the forty engineers, firemen, and 
switchmen in the yards of the Michigan Central, at 
the foot of Lake street, with the exception of two 
non-brotherhood engineers, refused to handle the Bur- 
lington cars sent in the day previous. The men went 
to work at seven o'clock as usual, but upon a notice 
being sent them a half hour later that "Q" cars must 
be handled they all quit with the exception of the two 
non-brotherhood men, and in ten minutes the entire 
business of the yards was suspended. The next work 
the strikers started in to accomplish was to subdue the 
two engineers who had declined to be counted in as 
strikers. There was a disposition on the part of sev- 
eral switchmen to exercise their pugilistic powers on 
these two, but the better sentiment prevailed, and the 
striking forces marched away to hold a conference at 
Randolph street and Michigan avenue. 

In the meantime the company was not idle and in 
response to Superintendent Brown's dispatches seven- 
ty-five engineers, firemen and brakemen from Jack- 
son and Detroit, Mich., came in at once. There were 
various and conflicting rumors regarding the attitude 
of these men toward the company, but Superintendent 
Brown said that if the old men did not return to work 
in an hour the new men would take their places. 
This was emphatically denied by the Michigan train- 
men who said thev had come to Chicago without 



362 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

knowing what disposition was to be made of them. 

At any rate both sides seemed desirous of avoiding 
trouble, and at 9 o'clock Superintendent Brown sent 
a message to the strikers to the effect that the Detroit 
and Jackson men were desirous of holding a joint 
meeting, to arrive, if possible, at some definite conclu- 
sion. Before the communication was. sent, however, 
Miles McHugh, the leader of the party from Michigan, 
told Mr. Brown that his delegation was not in Chica- 
go for the purpose of taking the places of any of the 
strikers, and that they were as much opposed to 
handling " Q ,: freight as the regular men were. 
These preliminaries over, however, the conference 
was entered into, and for three hours both sides were 
behind closed doors in the superintendent's office. 
While this meeting was in progress, word was re- 
received from Kensington, where the south branch 
yards of the company are situated, that the live en- 
gines there had ceased transferring freight, and that 
the twenty-four men there, five engineers and firemen 
and fourteen yardmen, had gone out as soon as the 
news of the strike at the north end of the line was 
received. 

At nine o'clock Freight Agent Nichols issued the 
following, which was sent to all the roads: 

"Until further advised we cannot receive any more 
freight or cars from you. Will let you know as soon 
as we are ready to receive again. 

F. P. Nichols, Freight Agent." 

The strikers, after a conference of several hours' 
duration, decided at one o'clock to go back to work. 



ANOTHER CLOUD RISING. 363 

This ended one strike, but the day was an eventful 
one. 

"General Manager Miller, of the St. Paul road, 
issued orders to reduce the forces on that line, and to 
lay off every employe whose services were not abso- 
lutely necessary to cany on the business of the road. 
This affected nearly 7,000 men, "and in addition to this, 
an order was issued to reduce the salary of every man 
in the employ of the company, including the general 
manager. Such an order was unexpected and caused 
at consternation among the employes." ' 

Judge Gresham issued an order to Milton Knox and 
"William Briggs, two Belt Line engineers, restraining 
them from refusing to promptly haul Burlington cars. 
A ease was brought against the Rock Island road by 
the Burlington in Judge Gresham's court. The Rock 
Island, however, had its switches locked and spiked 
against Burlington business. The union and non-un- 
ion switchmen of the Lake Shore road were at outs, 
because of a threat by one of the union men. The 
switchmen were out, or ready to go out, at the slight- 
est provocation, on nearly all the roads entering Chi- 
cago. The Michigan Central strike had been only of 
a few hours duration, and amid all this confusion and 
turmoil, it was discovered that some one, or more men, 
had issued a circular and sent it to the train men out 
along the road in the following: "We advise you to 
handle all cars regardless of who makes up the trains 
in the yards." It was openly charged that this ema- 
nated from the advisory board of engineers, but 
whether so or not, it was like a bomb shell in the 
camp. The Milwaukee had got tired of waiting, and 

1 Chicago Daily News. 



364 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

had concluded to discharge the old men and take on 
new, and the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago 
men were not much better off. Men who had ev- 
idently helped by their promises and encouragement 
to get the switchmen out, when it came their turn to 
make a sacrifice were found wanting. 

The fruit of discord, " demoralization," began to be 
apparent. It was evident to the leaders that some- 
thing must be done or this single handed, headless 
contest, would sacrifice the positions of half the good 
men in Chicago. Grand Master Sargent and Grand 
Master Monoghan, and the two chairmen of the Bur- 
lington strikers, Messrs. Hoge and Murphy, held a 
conference and resolved to make an effort to put a 
stop to this if possible, and get the men all back to 
work. This was no trifle, as many of them were in 
an ugly mood. But it was election day and the Bur- 
lington concluded it would not be politic to force 
the issue as the police were nearly all on duty at the 
polls, and business was wofully stagnated by the strike, 
so that a majority of the men could attend the meet- 
ing which was held in Turner hall, in the afternoon. 
The two Grand Masters, bent upon sparing no effort 
to bring order out of chaos, attended this meeting, 
accompanied by General Manager Jeffery, the man- 
ager of all managers, who had the most influence 
with the laboring men. Stirring addresses from these 
three men brought the desired result, and the men 
were ready to go back to work, but all was not yet 
done: they must have the consent of the officials of 
these roads before they could go back. This work 
was immediately taken up. General Manager Jeffery, 



ANOTHER CLOUD RISING. 365 

Chairman Hoge, and C. Nay lor, master of Lodge 244, 
of Chicago, waited on General Manager McCray, of 
the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne & Chicago, and finally 
secured consent for the men to go to work in the 
morning. x\ll cars were to be handled, and the same 
relations were to exist as before the strike. The 
Michigan Central men were already back. But the 
Milwaukee road was in a bad condition; the road had 
suffered considerable loss. General Manager Miller 
had tried hard to keep the road out of trouble, and he 
felt that he had been badly treated. He was in no 
humor to be approached with a proposition to the 
affect that the men would go to work if he should 
reinstate them all to their former positions. These 
gentlemen finally succeeded. The men went to work 
at seven o'clock, April 4, and the boycott in Chicago 
was raised, and the strike confined -to the Burlington. 
The St. Paul employes who had been ordered sus- 
pended, were also ordered back at their old wages, 
and the wheels of traffic were again set in motion. 
The raising of the boycott caused much feeling, among 
those who could not see the difficulties of the situation. 
The effort was made by the switchmen with honest 
and good intentions, but they w r ere too late to be useful 
to those in whose interest they were made, and Grand 
Masters Sargent and Monoghan are deserving, not of 
condemnation, but great praise, for putting a stop to 
this futile effort, saving the men's plaees. and ending 
the opportunity it offered to criminals and desperadoes 
with no interest in the strife or its results, " who re- 
garded human life as a cheap offering on the altar of 
discord." fn the midst of all the difficulties which 



366 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

beset men of labor, there appeared in the Chicago 
Mail, of April 2, a long circular letter which the Marl 
said. " was intended for railroad managers only, but in 
view of the complications in railroad circles, the Mail 
deemed it proper to make public: " 

"The advance sheets from the report of the grand 
secretary of the Order of Railway Conductors have 
been sent out to the managers of the various rail- 
roads." 

"By way of preface the grand secretary says: I 
am directed by the executive committee of the Order 
of Railway Conductors to send advance sheets of a 
portion of my ninth annual report to the general offi- 
cers of the principal railways in the United States, in 
order that the position of our association in regard to 
labor troubles and strikers in general, and the strikes 
of engineers in particular, shall be fully understood by 
them. In taking this position we make no claim to a 
philanthropic feeling toward, or love for, railway com- 
panies. The conductors feel, and with good reason in 
many cases, that they do not receive justice from the 
companies, that the lovaltv toward their employers 
in times of trouble in the past has not been apprecia- 
ted; but they recognize the fact that to assist the en- 
gineers or any other class of employes in procuring 
more than justice is to assist in placing it beyond the 
power of railway officers to give to the conductor the 
recognition and remuneration that they believe he is 
entitled to." 

"The love of the engineer for the conductor so 
loudly professed has been plainly illustrated on more 
than one occasion within the last few years. Reflect 



ANOTHER CLOUD FUSING. 367 

upon the treatment accorded your representatives at 

Chicago, when by the direction of the grand division, 
a communication was addressed to them on the mat- 
ter of license. To this respectful communication not 
the slightest reply has ever been made. They come 
to you holding out the right hand of friendship, but in 
their left hand they held the dagger to stab you at the 
first opportunity." 

"It has been asserted in th^ Railway Conductor's 
Monthly that a large majority of the conductors of the 
United States are capable of successfully running loco- 
motives and the assertion is made here, without fear 
of successful contradiction, that if it were not for the 
unreasonable prejudice existing in regard to taking 
another's place and the false sympathy in regard to 
'taking the bread out of a brother's mouth' the place 
of every member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Engineers in the country could be suceessfullv rilled 
within thirty days, and the engineers as a class would 
be more intelligent men than they are at present." 

"It is time for the conductors to teach railway offi- 
cers what the engineers themselves already well 
know and are anxious to conceal — that nine-tenths of 
the conductors of the United States are capable and 
trustworthy engineers. The conductors on the Chica- 
go, Burlington & Quincy have already demonstrated 
this, and they are ready to do it on other roads. I 
hope sincerely that the time is close at hand when 
they will not only be ready but willing to do so all 
over the United States." 

We only give extracts of this document, which is 
too long to admit of space in this work. All the evi- 



J 



68 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



dence goes to show that the animus contained in this 
did not emanate from the conductors' order, but from 
the individual, the Grand Chief Conductor. It is true 
he was sustained at the convention held in Toronto, 
Canada, but there are always men at the conventions 
that follow the leader rather than their own convictions. 
Strong speeches were made in opposition to the Grand 
Chief Conductor's position. Delegate Ransom said 
among other things. " These organizations have ad- 
vanced the interests of the laboring man. The Grand 
Chief Conductor has said that where his report was 
written all was turmoil and unquiet, and it was written 
in an atmosphere different from what he found in 
Canada, admitting that had he been in peaceful Can- 
ada that the objectional portion of the report would 
never have been written. I beg the members to de- 
cide upon the subject matter of the report, and to con- 
sider the grand chief upon the same basis that he 
would place any other member, when he had so con- 
siderately stepped down from the chair to defend him- 
self, thereby admitting that his course needs defense; 
do not permit the fact that it is the report of the grand 
officer to deter you from condemning any language 
calculated to array this body against any other organ- 
ization whatever; and do not take any action calculated 
to cause trouble where there is now peace and har- 
mony." ' 

The report was sustained, but the harm of it did not 
remain within the walls of the convention. When 
printed it created immense feeling among labor organ- 
izations, and secured open condemnation from some of 
the divisions of the conductors' order. It brought dis- 

1 B. of L. E. Jcurn.il. June. 1888. 



ANOTHER CLOUD FUSING. 369 

cord where before had been harmony; incisive remarks 
made by those actuated by passion, as was Chief 
Wheaton, widened the breach. The seed sown was 
reaped in the formation of a new order of conductors 
called the Conductors' Brotherhood, and its growth 
has been astonishing. 

The real cause of the feeling on the part of Messrs. 
Wheaton and Daniels, was their effort to have passed 
a license law. Circulars had been sent to all divisions 
of the Brotherhood, asking their support, but the con- 
ditions contained in the bill were such that the}' did not 
consider it to their interest to do so. The same was 
presented to the engineers' convention at Chicago, 
where Mr. Wheaton claims he did not receive the re- 
spect he deserved. There are twenty-eight sections 
in this bill. The first section prohibits any railroad 
company employing any but licensed conductors and 
engineers. Sections two to nine inclusive, relate to an 
army of examiners, who, under this bill, would become 
United States officers. 

Sec. 10. Every railway conductor, and every loco- 
motive engineer, who receives a license hereunder, 
shall, before entering upon the discharge of his duties, 
make and subscribe an oath before one of the examin- 
ers herein provided for, that he will faithfully and hon- 
estly, according to his best skill, judgment and ability, 
perform all the duties required of him by law. 

Sec. 11. Every railway conductor and every loco- 
motive engineer who shall receive a license as herein 
provided for, when employed upon any railway, shall 
keep such license, and shall upon request of any passen- 
ger upon his railway train, exhibit such license. And 



3/0 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

for every neglect to comply with this provision by any 
such railway conductor or locomotive engineer, he 
shall be subject to a fine of one hundred dollars, or to 
the revocation of his license. 

Sections twelve to twenty-one relate to examiners. 

Sec 22. If any licensed officer shall, to the hin- 
drance of commerce, wrongfully or unreasonably re- 
fuse to serve in his official capacity on any railway, as 
authorized by the terms of his certificate of license, or 
shall fail to deliver to the applicant for such service, at 
the time of such refusal, if the same shall be demand- 
ed, a statement in writing, assigning good and suffici- 
ent reasons therefor, his license shall be revoked, up- 
on the same proceedings as are provided in other 
cases of revocation of such license. 

Sections twenty-three to twenty-eight, inclusive, fix 
salaries of examiners, etc. The whole bill looks more 
like an effort to make room for office, than to benefit 
the railroad employes. It only adds complications to 
those that already beset railroad men and offers 
nothing to better their condition. It was so peculiarly 
useless and unfitting in its application, that it called out 
the following from the fertile brain of Bill Nye, in the 
Louis Post Dispatch, of which we give extracts: 
" Some anxiety is being shown on the part of the 
people relative to the condition of a certain bill, intro- 
duced in congress, January 10 of the present year. 

Conductors, under the provisions of this bill, are 
required to submit to a rigid examination under the 
e ye of the chief examiner, appointed by the president, 
and who shall receive $3,500 per year, and mileage at 
the rate of 10 cents per mile, together with reasonable 



ANOTHER CLOUD RISING, 37 1 

traveling expenses. The chief examiner will delegate 
his power as an examiner to twenty supervising exam- 
iners, retaining only the bitter anguish and enervating 
toil incident to the life of one who looks out at the car 
window all day and patiently accumulates mileage." 

"The chief examiner, and supervising examiner shall 
constitute a national board of examiners, who shall 
meet at Washington, D. C, every little while, to think 
it over and then go away. The national board of 
examiners shall divide our unhappy countrv into twen- 
ty districts, each of which shall be cheered by the 
presence of two districts examiners, and the}' shall be 
men of good moral character, who can ask difficult 
questions and be willing to work on a salarv. They 
shall receive a salary of $2,000 a year, mileage, sta- 
tionery, and press notices. The duties of district ex- 
aminers as prescribed are optional, but the salary is 
compulsory. Assistant district examiners may be ap- 
pointed at a salary of $1,500, and clerks, when neces- 
sary, may be employed to do the work at $1,200 per 
year." 

"The chief examiner, supervising examiner, district 
examiners and assistant district examiner, shall be at 
all times guarded by a cloud of mileage by day and a 
pillar of salary by night." 

"The board may revoke the license of any conductor 
at any time upon the commission of certain acts, and 
he will then be arrested under the provisions of the 
United States statutes, if he undertakes to run a train, 
even though the railroad ma}- desire to retain him. 
This gives the conductor the chance to work for the 
railway companies and the United States of America, 



372 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

providing he behaves himself, and at one salary. In 
other words, he buys a license for the privilege of 
doubling his responsibilities without increase of pa}-. 
Upon passing a satisfactory examination the conductor 
will be permitted and required to wear a large tin 
badge, bearing the remark "Conductor"' upon it, also 
the number of his license, the number of the district in 
which the license was issued, the number of his resi- 
dence, his post office address, and any other informa- 
tion desired by a morbidly curious public. He may 
also be required to wear a muzzle during dog days. 
Conductors on receiving their license will be required 
to subscribe to an oath in substance as follows:" 

"The schedule of examination has not yet been fixed, 
but it must be so prepared that it shall cover the phy- 
sical and mental conditions of the applicant, and will 
no doubt run something as follows: " 

"State your age, weight, height, sex, complexion, 
where born, and who, if any one besides yourself was 
present at the time." 

"I, A. B., having been duly sworn, upon my 

oath, do remark, set forth and state, that I am years 

of age, that I reside in the county and state aforesaid, 
that, feeling the loneliness of a man who is employed bv 
a railroad, and the isolation of one who is responsible 
only to the President, board of directors, receiver, 
general superintendent, general traffic manager, gen- 
eral passenger and ticket agent, claim agent, road 
master, and division superintendent, I desire to be 
thrown in contact with the United States Goverment, 
and to become responsible to the civil and military 
authorities, in order that I may be duly examined and 



ANOTHER CLOUD RISING. 373 

overhauled by congress; I also do further swear, and 
set forth, that I will be a good, fathful conductor to the 
best of my ability, and that I will wear such badges as 
my health will permit, providing my bosom is wide 
enough, and that I will report promptly to Washington 
every day, what is said on my train that might be of 
political interest, and that I will assist in defraying 
campaign expenses, be kind and courteous at all times 
to chief examiner, district examiner, acting examiners, 
assistant examiners or breath testers, who may be en- 
route, and that I will love, honor and obey them as 
long as we both shall live. (Signed) A. B. I only 
ask, on behalf of several anxious friends, what has be- 
come of this bill, and whether it is, or is not now a 
law, and if not, why not. Bill Nye." 

The hits of Nye upon the conditions asked for in 
this bill are forcible, and under his ridicule there is 
reason. No class of laboring men should quarrel 
because some individual was not supported in an 
effort to pass a law, in order to furnish official places. 
State license has enough politics in it, but would be a 
benefit to both engineers and conductors, and add 
safety to the public, but a license recognizing your 
knowledge and ability need not imply the abrogation 
of individual liberty. The Burlington strikers had a 
heavy load to carry — all their own troubles, and the 
slurs of every one who had a grudge against any indi- 
vidual who belonged to the 30,000 who composed the 
Brotherhood — but they stood their ground; and as the 
strike had been confined to the Burlington road, let us 
look along the line. 



26 



CHAPTER XLVI. 

RAILWAY AND WAREHOUSE COMMISSIONERS. 

" A complaint signed by fifty-two citizens and 
"business firms of Aurora had been filed with the Rail- 
road and Warehouse Commission in which the com- 
plainants say : ' We are informed and belive that nu- 
merous engineers and firemen now in the employ of 
the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Company, and en- 
gaged in running trains through this city, are unfit and 
incompetent to perform the duties of their respective 
positions, and that thereby the lives and property of 
people patronizing said railroad are daily endangered. 
We therefore respectfully request that you will imme- 
diately cause an examination to be made into the 
truthfulness of the above matter, and take such action 
as may be by law required.' Among the signatures 
are those of Charles Wilson. John J. Davis, O. C. 
Pease, Titus, Marshall & Co., H. Knapp, Andrew 
Welch, J. M. Kennedy, C. Abel, Hall and Ballard, and 
James Shaw." ' 

The first case before the commissioners was that of 
W. H. Pierce, which has been given on page 181. 

The next was Hosea DeWitt. " Hecter H. Hall 
testified he had known him ei^ht vears, that he was 
an habitual drunkard, and that his (De Witt's) wife 
had been to all saloons, forbidding them to sell him 
anything." x The evidence of his habits was corrob- 
orated by Stewart H. Haddock and John B. Clark. 

1 Chicago World. 



RAILWAY AM) WAREHOUSE COMMISSIONERS. 37$ 

De Witt was discharged from the Burlington for hav- 
ing a collision prior to the strike. The next case was 
G. Grav, of Streator, who had been discharged for a 
collision in the yard at Streator, by the Burlington 
before the strike. The testimony also showed him a 
drunkard. Witnesses, John Bexon, Nicholas Plain. 
" Next came George Rogers, who had been dis- 
charged from the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western, 
for general unreliability and drinking. Witness, Cor- 
nelius Sullivan." " Next, Harry Smith, discharged 
from the Mary net, Houghton & Ontonagon railroad 
for drunkenness." Then the next case was that of Zeb 
Sammis, alluded to on page 184. 

George W. Wheatley, on behalf of the complainants, 
was examined bv Mr. Sullivan, as follows : 

Q. What is your name ? A. George W. Wheat- 
ley. 

Where do you reside, Mr. Wheatley r Beardstown, 
Illinois. 

What is your occupation ? Engineer. 

Locomotive engineer ? Locomotive engineer, sir. 

How long have you been a locomotive engineer ? 
Fifteen years. 

In what companies' employ have you been ? I have 
been the last eight years — seven years — with the C 
B. &Q. 

When did you last see Frank Hamilton ? I saw 
Hamilton last Saturday morning. 

Where was he ? At Beardstown, on engine 341, if 
\ am not mistaken. 

On what road ? C, B. & Q., St. Louis division. 

Is that a passenger or freight train ? Freight train. 



376 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

When did you last see Frank Horn, and where ? 
I haven't seen him in a couple of months, I guess it is, 
until lately. 

Do you know what his occupation now is ? He is 
running an engine. 

Where ? On the C, B. & Q., from Rock Island to 
Sterling, without he has been taken off in the last week. 

Do you know Joseph Roach's occupation ? Yes, 
sir. 

What is it ? He has been running an engine. They 
took him off there, and put him in the shop to learn to 
oil around. 

When ? A week ago. 

For what company had he been running an engine 
up to a week ago ? Running an engine for the C, 
B. & Q. 

In what place has he been placed ? The C, B. & 
Q. shop. 

Do you know J. Lobstein ? Yes, sir. 

What has he been doing ? He is in the shop learn- 
ing the trade, and, with the other fellow, learning to 
oil an engine around in the different parts, and so forth. 

Do you know Harry Zimmerman ? Yes, sir. 

Before Lobstein was put in that shop to get" that 
information, what was he doing ? He was running an 
engine. 

Between what points ? Between Beardstown and 
Rock Island, and Beardstown and St. Louis, or East 
St. Louis. 

On the Burlington & Quincy ? Yes, sir. 

On passenger or freight ? Freight. 

You said you knew Zimmerman ? Yes, sir. 



RAILWAY AND WAREHOUSE COMMISSIONERS. 377 

What was he doing ? He was running an engine. 

Between what points ? He ran a switch engine in 
the yard. 

In what place ? At Beardstown, and he is on the 
road now running an engine. 

Between what points ? Between the Rock Island 
and different points, change around from Beardstown 
to Rock Island and St. Louis — East St. Louis. 

Passenger or freight ? Freight. 

Do you know William Patterson ? Yes, sir. 

What has been his position recently ? He is run- 
ning a switch engine at Beardstown. 

At Beardstown ? Yes, sir. 

For the C, B. & Q. ? Yes, sir. 

Were any of those men occupied as engineers prior 
to the 27th of February ? No, sir 

Is Frank Hamilton a locomotive engineer ? No, sir. 

What was his position prior to that time ? Con- 
ductor. 

On what road ? C, B. & Q. 

How long have you known him ? Since 1881. 

Did you ever know him to run an engine ? No, sir. 

How long have you known Frank Horn ? Since 
about 1882, I guess. Somewhere along there. 

What was his position from the time you first knew 
him, beginning from 1882 up to the 27th of February ? 
He first started in as brakeman for freight, and then 
went braking on a passenger, and then baggageman. 

Braking first on freight, and then passenger, and 
then a baggageman ? Yes, sir. 

Was he running as baggageman up to the 27th of 
February ? He was running a passenger train as 



378 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

conductor. He was made a freight conductor and 
from that to a passenger. 

Then he was a passenger conductor at this time, the 
27th of February? Yes, sir. 

Had he ever run an engine before that time ? No, 
sir. 

What was Joseph Roach's occupation prior to the 
27th of February ? He was a freight conductor. 

Braking prior to that ? Yes, sir. 

When did he come on the C, B. & Q.? About 
three years ago. 

Since the time you first formed his acquaintance in 
1876 or 1878 up to the 27th of February, was he ever 
employed as an engineer ? No, sir. 

Was he ever employed as a fireman ? No, sir. 

How long have you known Lobstein ? I have 
known him about four or five years. 

What was Roach's employment immediately before 
he was put on the engine ? Conductor of freight. 

What was Lobstein's occupation prior to the 27th 
of February ? Freight conductor. 

For the C, B. & Q. road ? Yes, sir. 

Had he any experience as a locomotive engineer ? 
No, sir. 

Do you know an}- other occupation that he ever fol- 
lowed but that of conductor ? He was brakeman. 

Braking prior to that ? Yes, sir. 

Was he ever a fireman ? No, sir. 

How long have you known Hany Zimmerman ? I 
have known him about the same length of time; four 
or five years. 

What was his occupation prior to the 27th of Feb- 



RAILWAY AND WAREHOUSE COMMISSIONERS. 379 

ruary, this year ? He was freight brakeman and pas- 
passenger brak eman and running baggage on the train, 
and then he was put on running as a freight conductor. 

Conducting a freight train ? Yes, sir. 

During all that time was lie ever employed as a 
locomotive engineer or fireman ? No, sir. 
• How long have vou known William Patterson ? I 
have known him since along in 1870 I believe it was. 

What has been his occupation during that time ? 
He had been braking on the Wabash when I first knew 
him. 

And after that ? After that he came on to what 
used to be called the old Rock Island & St. Louis rail- 
road, and broke there awhile, and then there was a 
lapse of a year that I dropped sight of him. When I 
came back since 1881 he was on the C, B. & Q. 

In what capacity has he been on the C, B. & Q. ? 
Switching. Run a train a while as switchman and 
then run a train on the road. 

In what capacity did he run a train ? Conductor. 

Freight or passenger ? Freight. 

Did he ever serve during that time as an engineer 
or fireman ? No, sir. 

Evidence corroborated by W. A. Ennison, engineer 
in employ of the C, B. & Q. railway, who testified on 
cross-examination : 

John E. Dooley, a clerk in the mail postoffice car, 
related that he was in the collision near Naperville, 
February 27; that he was injured in the shoulder and 
side, and laid up three weeks; that W. F. Stinson, a 
postoffice clerk, and a railroad clerk named Clark, fix- 
ing at Princeton, and a man named Durkee, a mail 



380 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

clerk in the same car, were all seriously injured. 

Fred Geyer, foreman of the Burlington locomotive 
department at Aurora, testified that he was in charge 
of engine 403 on the 27th of February, that was 
wrecked near Naperville ; that there were three men 
on the engine besides himself, and that a young man 
bv the name of Foster opened the throttle and snatched 
the brake out of his hand, and that he (Foster) was 
trying to help him; that he himself was injured, and 
that the fireman Parsons was a new man, and not a 
good fireman. 

When did you ever run an engine before on a main 
track ? I never did. 

Never in your life ? No, sir. 

Was this a passenger train ? A passenger engine. 

How many passengers were attached to it ? If I 
remember right there was ten or eleven. 

Where was your run — from what place ? From 
Aurora to Chicago. 

Commissioner Marsh: There is the air guage, is 
there not ? A. There is an air guage. 

Let me ask you, is it the duty of an engineer to 
watch the air guage as well as watch his steam guage? 
I should think he ought to. 

Why didn't you do it ? Well, I don't really know 
why I didn't. The time is so short. 

Was it because you were not accustomed to running 
an engine ? Well, that may have been the case. 

If you had been accustomed to running an engine — 
a locomotive — do you think you would have noticed 
that air guage ? I would have been more apt to. 

When you reversed your engine and was approach- 



RAILWAY AND WAREHOUSE COMMISSIONERS. 38 1 

ing your train ? I would have been more apt to if I 
had the practice every day. 

J. A. Murray, locomotive engineer of thirteen years' 
service, residing at Rock Island, testified that Frank 
Hamilton, Frank Horn, Joseph Roach, J. Lobstein, 
Harry Zimmerman, and William Patterson, running 
engines on the C, B. & Q railroad, were brakemen, 
conductors, and baggagemen, respectively; that he was 
acquainted with them all for eight to ten years, and 
that they were inexperienced as engineers or firemen. 

Frank Hamilton, witness on behalf of the C, B. & 
Q. railroad company, testified: Q. Give your full 
name ? A. Frank Hamilton. 

What is your business ? Formerly conductor until 
the 10th of last month; now I am running an engine. 

Conductor on the C, B. & Q.? Yes, sir: St. Louis 
division. 

How long have you been a railroad man ? For the 
C, B. & Q. company, running a train since November, 
1880, with the exception of five months, up until the 
10th of last month. 

Have you been examined as to the manipulation of 
an engine ? To a certain extent. 

Bv whom ? Mr. Wallace. 

Is Mr. Wallace here ? Mr. Wallace is here. 

Cross-examination by Mr. Sullivan : 

Q. You never got any technical instruction as to 
the running of an engine in your life, did you ? A. 
Explain that word, please. 

You never got any instruction in the shop from 
those who manufacture engines and are familiar with 
their detail ? No, sir. 



382 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

You don't understand the meaning of the word 
technical yourself ? I do, yes, sir. 

Why do you want me to explain it? Because I want 
to understand. 

Witness testified that he had been handling engines 
off and on ever since he had been on the road. 

Q. What you mean is you jumped on, would go 
on when the regular engineer in charge was there ? 
A. Yes, sir. 

And the fireman in charge wa3 there ? I run the 
engine a certain distance. 

You were allowed to handle it in their presence 
just as many others are allowed ? Yes, sir. 

Do you mean to tell this commission on your oath 
that in that way you acquired sufficient knowledge to 
make you a competent engineer ? That is the way 
from what I understand, to learn to be an engineer. 
The way they all get to be engineers. 

Where were you examined ? The principal place 
was in the building where the general officers are. 

How long after that was it before you were put in 
charge of an engine since you got this instruction ? I 
took an engine on the 10th of last month, and I run up 
to yesterday. 

When was your examination ? To-day. 

You were examined to-day ? Yes, sir. 

Was this the first examination that took place ? 
This is the first. 

You were not examined before you were put in 
charge of an engine ? No, sir. 

As an engineer or fireman ? I did not. 

Did you ever perform the duties of an engineer or 



RAILWAY AND WAREHOUSE COMMISSIONERS. 383 

firemen at any time in your life, before this date on 
any road ? That is to draw pay for it ? 

To draw pay for it and perform its duties regularly ? 
No, sir. 

It was stated repeatedly by the officials that "no 
men were taken without thorough examination" and 
some said, "none were taken who had not had at 
least a year's experience as locomotive engineers." 

Something had to be said to quiet the fears of the 
public and the Burlington officials did their full duty 
in doing whatever was necessary to defeat the Broth- 
erhood. Had they followed their rules, which were in 
use prior to Feb. 27, they could not possibly have 
tilled their places. The Brotherhood felt that the tight' 
was unfair, and they secured an investigation both in 
Illinois and Iowa, by the railroad commissioners, to 
show what kmd of men they were taking so that the 
public might know how much one side was adhering 
to their principles and the other violating them. The 
report of the railroad commissioners of Iowa was 
made to Governor Larrabee which induced the Gover- 
nor to write the following letter: 

Des Moines, Iowa, March 10, 1S88. 

C. E. Perkins, President C, B. & Q. R. R. 

'•Frequent complaints have of late been made 
to me concerning the interruption, caused by the strike 
of the engineers and firemen on your road, as well as 
the danger arising from the employment of incompe- 
tent substitutes for such employes. The inconven- 
ience and disappointment which the present state of 
affairs causes to the traveling public, and the loss 
which commerce, in divers ways sustains, are such 



384 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

that further delay, in adjustment of the difficulties ex- 
isting between the management of the C, B. & Q. 
road and its striking employes, would be a manifest in- 
justice to the people of our state. In the territory 
controlled by your road, traffic is deranged and travel 
inconvenienced to such an extent as to demand a 
speedy solution of the difficulty. I therefore appeal to 
you in behalf of the people of Iowa, to make every 
effort possible to come to an understanding with the 
strikers. It appears to me that even self-interest 
should dictate such a course to you, and especially as 
your company can be held responsible for damages 
caused by failure to furnish reasonable facilities tor the 
transaction of business on your lines of road; allow me 
to suggest, that unless you soon succeed in some way 
to secure a settlement, you submit the case to arbitra- 
tion." ' Yours Respectfully, * 

William Larrabee. 
The Burlington officials were not inclined to arbi- 
tration. They were going to fight it out regardless of 
damage or inconvenience. 

1 Creston Advertiser. 



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CHAPTER XLVII. 

DESTRUCTION AND DISCORD. 

"At Aurora, 111., March 27, at 8:15 p. m., the whis- 
tle at the Burlington shops was blown as a tire alarm, 
and in a few seconds a lurid flame shot up into the sky, 
and it was easy to be seen that one of the large 
buildings of the Burlington shops was on tire. It 
proved to be the coach paint department structure, 
which was entirely destroyed inside of an hour. The 
firemen worked hard and did noble service in prevent- 
ing the blaze from spreading to the surrounding 
buildings, many of which were afire a dozen times or 
more. The demolished shop was only built a year or 
so before, was 90 x 330 feet, and one half of it 
had been partitioned off for hotel purposes by the 
company for the accommodation of the new engineers 
recently employed." 

"Berths were provided for 216 men, and more than 
half that number were in the building, when the fire 
started. They were forced to jump from their beds 
and get out the best they could. A new pay car just 
completed at a cost of $4,000, and six coaches, were 
destroyed, as were the tools of the men. The loss 
was fully $50,000. The fire was caused by the ex- 
plosion of a kerosene lamp. According to the report of 
one of the night watchmen, when the lamp exploded in 
the varnish room, used as lamp room, it was at once dis- 
covered by night watchman John Lowe, and special 



$86 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

policeman Quackenbush, who in attempting to wipe 
out the fire with a pair of overalls scattered it so 
much that the room was all ablaze in a few seconds. 
The inflammable froods which were stored there caused 
a conflagration that was absolutely uncontrollable, and 
only prompt action confined the destruction to the 
building in which the fire originated." 1 In speaking of 
this fire, Mr. Morton said: "We have not the least 
doubt that this thing was the work of the Aurora 
strikers. Perhaps they wanted to damage the com- 
pany, but I think their main object was to burn out 
the new men who were housed there." 2 This was 
enough from which to manufacture a specific charge 
that the strikers burned the paint shop. It being im- 
possible to give the same notorietv to the facts, as had 
been given to the first report, that charge is still in the 
minds of many, and is still doing injustice to those 
men, as I heard the charge repeated in July, 1889. "A 
committee was appointed by the mayor of Aurora to 
investigate the cause and they found that the evidence 
all proved that the fire started in the corner of the 
room where the lamps were trimmed; that there was 
no evidence that a combustible was, or could have 
been, thrown into that part of the building; that there 
was no evidence of assaults or riotous conduct during 
the fire, and that the fire was undoubtedly of an acci- 
dental origin. R. W. Gates. John F. Thorwarth, 
committee." 

In the excitement of the time it was natural, to 
charge everything to the strikers, and such charges 
were easier made and believed than the truth was, 
when found out. 

1 Aurora (111.) Express. 2 Chicage Tribune. 



DESTRUCTION AND DISCORD. 387 

The Burlington had built a temporary boarding 
house in Chicago for the new men. Mr. Morton said: 
"We have found it necessary to put up temporary 
barracks for these men and place them under prote< - 
tidn.'" But we would rather mistrust that the real 
difficulty was shown in the following: 

A THREE CORNERED FIGHT. 

[■HE NEW SWITCHMEN, the PINKERTON FORCES, AND THE CITY 
POLICE DO NOT PULL TOGETHER. 

" There is at present a great deal of ill feeling 
among the non-union switchmen, the city police, and 
thePinkerton men at the Western avenue yards of the 
' Q' road. The feud arose some time ago when the 
Pinkerton men showed signs of dissatisfaction when 
they were put in too close contact with the new 
switchmen, who were classed as being ' a set of tramps * 
by the tony deputies. As soon as the switchmen found 
out that their company was not desired by the Pinker- 
tons, they immediately took the part of aggressors and 
seemed anxious that a crisis should be reached. The 
deputies learned that the switchmen were not in a 
very healthy sanitary condition and did not associate 
with them at all. Even on the trips over the road the 
deputies would try to keep a couple of car-lengths 
away from those occupied by the switchmen. At meal 
times a Pinkerton man and a ' Q ' switchman can 
never be found sitting at the same table. When all 
the seats are taken, except one near the deputies, a 
switchman will never take it, but wait until some 
other seat is vacated so that he will not sit near pne of 
his guardians."" 

" The matter reached a most bitter state when the 

J ' 1 Chicago Tribune. 



388 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

city police became involved in it. They not only re- 
fused to associate with the deputies but with the 
switchmen also. They set up a general protest when 
they learned that the switchmen were infested by a 
tribe of vermin, which proved to be very irritating 
after a few day's sojourn in camp." ' 

It is possible boarding houses might not want such 
company. The crowding process of the Burlington 
officials under the inter-state commerce law created 
much feeling between the Burlington officials and those 
of other roads. A case was brought against the Chi- 
cago, Rock Island & Pacific, to compel them to handle 
Burlington cars. " The Rock Island's attorney, Rob- 
ert Lincoln, made answer charging the Burlington 
with cutting rates to compel the formation of a trust in 
violation of the inter-state law. 

"Attorney Withrow said they could also prove the Bur- 
lington refused concessions to its men allowed by other 
roads, merely to bring about a general strike, and put 
competing roads in a mood to submit to the Burling- 
ton. If we have made any wrong charges, he said, it 
is the power of this company to put us in confusion 
before the whole world by going before a master. 
The Burlington makes a pet aversion of the Brother- 
hood of Engineers. Now we may get indignant as 
much as we please at the so called despotism of these 
organizations, but we have been living under the des- 
potism of coal combinations and cotton combinations, 
and the like; now this combination of the engineers is 
alegalone. They have the right to quit work. After 
six weeks scouring, if the Burlington can't get compe- 
tent engineers, what prospect is there for us, or for 

1 Chicago Mail, April 3, 1888. 



DESTRUCTION AM) DISCORD. 389 

another road, if we provoke a quarrel with our men? 
Continuing, he said, the Burlington had so much of the 
Boston flavor about it, that it fancied all other roads 
were run for its convenience, and it would not do 
what it wanted others to do. The Rock Island was 
solvent and might better pay for the cars than stop its 
whole system and injure thousands of people." ' 

"At the conclusion Judge Gresham said, even if the 
allegations made by the Rock Island were true, it did 
not relieve that road from its duty as a common carri- 
er. Again, he did not think the Rock Island had re- 
fused to do its duty. The ' Q ' did not need protection 
from this, its strongest competitor. As there was no 
danger of injury accruing to the ' Q ' road, no injunc- 
tion would be issued just now. The future develop- 
ments, he said, might alter this. 

The unpleasantness of the strike penetrated high 
quarters. Everybody was in a mental state to make 
strong statements. With the boycott raised, the case 
was dropped by mutual consent. The strike was off on 
all otner lines, and the Burlington had given notice there 
would be no more pilots. Business was expected to be 
good on the Burlington, as the gates were once more 
opened. The men employed by the Burlington were 
charged with incompetency by the Brotherhood, which 
was strenuously denied by the Burlington. There is 
an old saying that the workman is known by his chips. 
We have already recorded several mishaps. ■ We shall 
try to give only important ones, so that the readers 
may judge for themselves, whether incompetent labor 
is profitable in railroad service. We have said before 
that wrecks were avoided in a very great measure by 

1 Report of Chicago Times. 



39° 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



the presence of pilots, who were old trainmen, and 
many engines were kept from being burned by the 
same assistance, but engines were burned and plenty 
of them. More grates were burned in one week, 
than before the strike in one year. On the Hannibal 
cSr St. Joseph division, first week, engine No. 20 was 
run through the roundhouse at Kansas City, knock- 
ing down wall and landing in the street. Engine 29, 
burned very badly; flues had to be reset. Engine 66 
on passenger train, after going five miles, could go no 
farther; could not work injector; master mechanic took 
switch engine and went after him to show him how. In 
March, engine 67, had injector pipes frozen up, bursted, 
engine towed back to Brookfield, dead. Engine 39, 
passenger train No. 3, Engineer Reed, Conductor 
Fitzgerald, was lost to dispatcher between Round 
Grove and Macon. After* a long time waiting engine 
came into Macon without train, could just get on to 
side track, another engine was sent for and the 39 
remained on siding for a week before it was taken away. 
Query. What could have been the matter with it ? 

Engine 34. Cooked at Utica, Mo.; engine was 
tried after thirty to forty days' work was put on 
boiler, but could not use engine and had it to be sent to 
general shops. 

Engine 54. Engineer Jones smashed up tank while 
doubling New Cambria Hill, by running into train. 

Engine 78, light engine, Engineer Phillips, Pilot 
Gahagan, ran into hind end of No. 11 standing at sta- 
tion at Meadville, Mo., smashing front end of engine 
and disabling way car. 

Engine 33. Engineer Sharritt, Conductor Flaharty, 



DESTRUCTION AND DISCORD. 39 1 

ran into Rock Island train No 17, at Prairie Tank, Mo., 
losing- front end head light and stack, besides damage 
to Rock Island train. No one discharged. 

March 27, at 12:45 a. m., Charles Poole, a switch- 
man, was killed in Brookfield yard, Farley engineer. 
Poole was jerked off car and run over. Coroner was 
not notified, and body was' shipped to his relations in 
Illinois without inquest. Poole lived fifty-two hours; 
was nursed by Martin Culleton. 

April — Engine 34, Engineer Simpson, Conductor 
Garrity. ran into rear of train No. 9, breaking up front 
end of engine, and causing such damage as naturally 
accompanies such accidents. 

Engine 37, Engineer Wood, Conductor Birdsall, 
engine broke down at Breckenridge. Wood, in trying 
to disconnect, cut off bolt heads in strap and tried to 
drive the bolts down through. Every engineer will 
appreciate his difficulties in this effort with a tapered 
bolt, but he did not propose to be behind the times, so 
he took a chisel and drove under strap and pried it 
up, and straightened it to get it off. 

Engines 1 and 48 collided in Brookfield yard: loss, 
two cylinders. Engine 43 was run into turn table pit 
at Winthrop, Mo. Engine 65, off switch at Cameron, 
lost pilot. Engine 67 lost pilot in yard at St. Joseph, 
Mo. Engine 61 broke spring hanger at Osborn, de- 
laved train two hours and twenty minutes. If we add 
to this, a large list of grates burned, eccentrics cut, 
guides cut, brasses burned out, incompetent disconnect- 
and blocking of guides, that did more damage 
than the original break, you may form some idea of 
what was being done in the way of expense. I men- 



3£>2 THE BURLINGTON STRIKI.. 

tion the Hannibal & St. Joseph because of my own 
knowledge and belief that every allegation is true. I 
have left out many minor accidents, and all that appear 
of a natural occurrence, and not chargeable to incom- 
pete%v. 

April — Engine 27, Engineer Clift, Conductor Wilder, 
passenger train No. 2, came into yard at Brookfield, 
ran past the station, engineer and fireman both very 
drunk. Hostler was sent to take care of engine. 

Collision two and one-half miles east of Brookfield, 
between engines 55, Engineer Woodlief, and engine 69, 
Engineer Toppin, Conductor Baily. Toppin and Baily 
had orders to meet No. 13 at Brookfield, a train pulled 
in which they took for No. 13 and they pulled out and 
made a meeting point for themselves. They \\ ere laid 
off, I think, thirty days; with the old men it would have 
been thirty years. The report along the line shows: 

At Monroe, Thursday, April 5, engines 22 and 49 
engaged in a bumping match, and both will be in the 
shops many days. In both these wrecks the competent 
men jumped and saved their lives. 

At Bristol, Friday, April 6, engine 175 ran into a local 
freight and demolished fourteen box cars. 

Galesburg reports a little $2,000 collision between 
engines 55 and 162.*' ' 

The following is from a paper printed in New Cam- 
bria, Mo., where the accident happened April 4. 

LAST NIGHT'S WRECK. 

TWO MEN SERIOUSLY, IF NOT FATALLY, INJURED. 

A disastrous wreck occurred at this place at 12 
o'clock last night. The first section of freight train 
No. 10 was standing on the main track waiting for 

1 St. Joseph Oazette. 



DESTRUCTION AND DISCORD. 393 

orders when the second section ran into them. The 
engine completely telescoped the caboose of the first 
train, and smashed up twelve freight cars. A stock- 
man by the name of Robt. C. Auld, from Pinkney, 
Mich., was in the caboose asleep. His hands, face 
and parts of his body were badly scalded by the es- 
caping steam, and he barely escaped being burned to 
death as the wreck took fire immediately. Engineer 
Markham, who was pulling the second section with 
engine 20, stood at his post and escaped uninjured. 
His fireman, E. S. Robbins, of Denver, Colorado, 
jumped and was struck in the back by a box car. He 
is seriously, but it is thought not fatally injured. The 
two injured men are being cared for at the Wallace 
house, by Dr. T. H. Hughes. Brakeman Theihoff was 
on the caboose but jumped off just in time to save his 
life. Brakeman Sevy, whose home is in Clarence, 
was thrown from the top of the train but escaped with 
only a few scratches. The caboose, an empty box- 
car and two cars of corn were totally destroyed by 
fire, and the engine is a complete wreck. The wreck- 
ing train arrived from Brookfield at 2:30, and at 6 
o'clock the side track was cleared so as to let the 
night passengers by. The signal lights on the ca- 
boose could be seen for at least three fourths of a 
mile, and if the engineer had called for brakes when 
he first saw the lights the train might easily have been 
stopped. 

A bad accident occurred at Pacific Junction at 3 
o'clock this morning (12th inst.) The Burlington & 
Missouri train did not stop for the Kansas City, St. 
Joseph & Council Bluffs crossing. Engine 353 was 



394 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



standing on the other side of the crossing, and was 
struck by the B. & M. engine between the tank and 
engine, and smashed the tank: engine 353 broke from 
her tank, as the throttle was wide open, and went 
"wild" down the track, without an engineer or fire- 
man, and went into some cars in her way up to her 
home. The engine is a complete wreck. 

Creston, Ia., April 15. — The fast mail train on 
the Burlington road collided with a freight about one 
mile west of here early this morning, on a curve just 
beyond a bridge, and the engineer of the passenger train 
had only time to apply the air brakes before jumping. 
C. A. Shoot, fireman of the freight train was instantly 
killed and the engineer, J. M. Osborne, was slightly 
injured. Brakeman Henry Gibbons had a leg crushed 
and L. J. Miller was internally injured. Both en- 
gines were totallv wrecked. Two mail cars were 
thrown down an embankment and burned, together 
with the bridge. The mail clerks were rescued unin- 
jured. 

The coroner's jury in this case rendered a verdict as 
follow's: "Said jurors upon their oath do say, after 
having heard the evidence, and examined the said 
body: We find that the deceased came to his death on 
the 15th day of April A. D., 1888, by a collision abouj 
4:30 o'clock a. m. between freight train No. 12 go- 
ing east, and passenger train No. 5 going west, at a 
point about one and one-half miles west of Creston depot, 
deceased being employed as fireman on said freight 
train, and we further find that the collision was caused 
by the negligence of Conductor Seymour Armstrong, 
and by gross negligence and incompetencv of engineer 



DESTRUCTION AND DISCORD. 395 

J. M. Osborne. The negligence of conductor Ann- 
strong consists in his falling asleep while on duty, but 
from the evidence we find that he had been kept on 
duty continuously for about fifty-four hours, which in 
the minds of the jury would unfit him for the respon- 
sibilities; and we further find Engineer Osborne was 
grossly negligent in running his engine without time, 
his watch having run down at 2:55 a. m., two minutes 
before leaving Corning station, as shown by the train 
record. We further find him incompetent as an engi- 
neer, from his lack of knowledge to construe the time 

as-shown by the time card. " 

( J. R. Powers, 

Jurors. \ W. N. Kellv, 

( A. Wilson." 

The verdict fixed the blame chiefly upon the scab 
engineer, J. M. Osborne, who was pronounced grossly 
negligent and incompetent. Regarding the latter qual- 
ity the following facts were brought out: 

"He had run on west division since March 17, but 
did not yet know the names of all stations without 
schedule or distance between stations. Named five 
stations between Council Bluffs and Creston: could 
not say whether Cromwell was registering station or 
not; run through Cromwell because he was signaled 
to go ahead, he thought, by the operator." 

He looked at his watch and time card at Cromwell, 
and it was 2:55 exactly. He had two hours to make 
Creston from Nodaway, twenty miles. He was pos- 
itive of the time at Cromwell. He was more careful 
this trip than any that he had ever made before, be- 
cause he had had such bad luck. Had only made two 



396 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

trips without a pilot; run an engine on Lehigh Valley 
about the year of Centennial and had run no loco- 
motive since. Run stationary engine at Homer, N. Y., 
before. Did not know what time he was due at 
Cromwell. He arrived there at 2:55. He was pret- 
ty well acquainted with the road and grades on the 
west end. 

"St. Joe., Mo., April 18. — Engineers at this point 
are very scarce. The Burlington is having a great 
many accidents. Train No. 17 and train No. 20 
collided and damaged both engines badly. Eight or 
ten box cars were thrown in the ditch." 

"Beatrice, Neb., April 19. — Burlington business 
at this point is very light. Engines Nos. 4 and 33 
collided in the yards this morning, and both engines 
are total wrecks. The engineer on 33 was running 
about thirty miles an hour through the yards. 

"Galesburg, III,., April 20. — Bad wreck in yard 
to-night. Engine 367 and passenger engine 33 col- 
lided, and both engines are total wrecks." 

"Creston, Ia., April 20. — The following engines 
are burnt at this point: Engines 35, 392, 422, 248. 
Engine 248 was on the fast mail and played out near 
Pacific Transfer. A switch engine had to pull the fast 
mail in." 

"Quincy, III., April 20. — Passenger No. 1 and 
freight collided here; both engines total wrecks; also 
engine 45 came in on one side." 1 

On the 26 a special, with Burlington officials aboard, 
drawn by engine 139, ran through a switch at West 
Quincy, and all turned over in the ditch, the occupants 
were badly shaken up, the fireman was badly injured. 

« Chicago World. 



DESTRUCTION AND DISCORD. 39J 

There were hundreds of minor mishaps that were 
chargeable to incompetency. We only give the more 
expensive and dangerous for the sake of comparison, 
so the reader may judge which is the cheaper, good 
wages and competent labor, or incompetent labor, 
and the disaster that accompanies it for the sake of sav- 
ing, "We run our own business and allow no dictation 
or arbitration." In Harpers Weekly of April 21, appears 
an article from Mr. W. D. Howells, a writer known and 
read from one end of the Union to the other. lie 
writes from the standpoint of a stockholder in the C, 
B. & Q. railroad, takes decided grounds in favor of 
arbitration, and is not flattering to that management, in 
the last paragraph, which persists in looking upon a 
railroad's affairs as private affairs. His article is as 
follows : 

" With grief that I think must be shared by a good 
many other holders of Chicago, Burlington & Quincy 
stock, I saw that stock go down from 129 to 112 
under the effect of the private war waged between the 
railroad and its engineers and switchmen. I am told 
by the press that the loss was through the fault of 
these employes of the road, and that its officers illus- 
trated a beneficent principle in standing firm against 
them and refusing their demands. The principle was 
that the road had a right to manage its private affairs 
in its own way." 

" But here, I think, is an error. A railroad has, 
strictly speaking, no private affairs. It is a corpora- 
tion which in return for certain franchises has assumed 
certain obligations, and before all corporate rights it 
has these public duties. It ought to consider these 



398 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

alwavs, and from the beginning; but it is said that 
when early in the war the opposite faction offered to 
submit its claims to arbitration, the officers of the C, 
I). & Q. replied that there was nothing to arbitrate. 
If this was true, it is a great pit)-, and I believe a great 
mistake. There is no question here of the road's 
treatment of its employes, but if these thought them- 
selves underpaid, and the road thought they paid them 
enough, it was the very moment for arbitration." 

" That truly christian device for averting public war 
has now been successfully tried, and it seems to me it 
would have been well to use it in the danger of the 
private war which has embarassed travel and com- 
merce on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, and 
spread loss far and wide. It is in qualitv of a timid 
capitalist that I write; and I wish to say that I have no 
particular affection for the Brotherhood of Engineers; 
it has before now shown itself short-sighted and selfish, 
and in its betrayal by the Knights of Labor it is said 
to be paying the penalty of a treason of its own. But 
however this may be, it is unquestionably a power 
lawfully organized for defense and offense, and it was 
the part of policy for the opposing force to recognize 
its strength. It was also a duty to do this in view of 
its obligations to the public, which neither of the 
belligerents in the case has considered. The road was 
bound to come to any tolerable accommodation with 
its employes, so that the public might not suffer. The 
quarrel, so far as it concerned the engineers, was 
between them and the road; but as concerned the 
road, it did not end there; the community was an im- 
mediate sufferer from its impolicy — -the community 



DESTRUCTION AND DISCORD. 



399 



which had a sovereign claim upon its service." 

"When the strike began, I suppose that nearly 
every humane person said to himself, ' Well between 
men who want to make a better living and a corpo- 
ration that wants to make more money I can have no 
choice.' I said something like this myself, not re- 
membering my C, B. & Q. stock in my magnanimity. 
But of course when the strike came, as strikes must, 
to involve violence, the general sentiment changed, 
and many lectures have been read to the engineers on 
their misbehavior, but. to the road none. That is my 
reason for attempting to read it a little one now, to 
remind it that it is the creature of public favor, with 
duties to the public which it had no right to fail in 
through any mistaken sense of its corporate dignity or 
interest. I dare say that the engineers' strike against 
it will end, as all strikes have hitherto ended, in disas- 
ter to the strikers. But I am sure that strikes will 
not always end so. It is only a question of time, and 
of a very little time, till the union of labor shall be so 
perfect that nothing can defeat it. We may say this 
will be a very good time or a very bad time; all the 
same it is coming. Then the question will come with 
it: Shall the railroads fulfill their public obligations by 
agreement with their employes, or shall the govern- 
ment take possession of them and operate them ? It 
is folly to talk of the withdrawal of capital, and the 
consequent ruin of the country. The country belongs 
to the people, and they are not going to let it be ruined. 
Their possession of the railroad would involve much 
trouble and anxiety, but the railroad receiver, who is 
an agent of theirs, is not unknown, and his manage- 



400 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



ment of roads is good; so that the puhlic may take 
heart of hope if the worst ever comes to the worst." 

" But let us understand that it is not engineers or 
switchmen or brakemen who can bring it to the worst; 
it is only directors, and managers, and presidents who 
refuse to arbitrate, and w r ho forget their public duties 
so far as to talk of a railroad's affairs as private 
affairs." W . D. Howells. 

Owing to the natural sympathies of the people in 
the cities along the line where they were best acquaint- 
ed with the strikers, the company threatened to move 
shops away or close them up, in order to drive them 
into line, and compel them to furnish special police and 
stop any demonstration in the strikers' favor. " Gen- 
eral Superintendent Brown, at Creston, received orders 
to close the machine shops and prepare to run trains 
through the city, if the authorities did not take imme- 
diate steps to protect the company's employes." 1 

The strikers had some of the new employes arrested 
for carrying concealed weapons, and the Creston 
Advertiser of April 3, said; "Superintendent Duggan 
has been furnishing security for thugs and bullies con- 
victed of carrying concealed weapons. The signifi- 
cance of his remarks to an Advertiser man, that there 
would be blood spilled over this yet, is beginning to be 
more fully understood, and we are now convinced 
that he was better posted on the claret market than 
the press representative. Thanks to the vigilance of 
the police, his braggart employes have, as yet, failed 
to carry out the prophecy of their superior." This threat 
to boycott the cities was made all along the line. At 
Brookfield, Mo., a threat was made to move the shops 

1 Ch cago Evening News, April 2, 1S88. 



DESTRUCTION AND DISCORD. 



4OI 



to Chillicothe, Mo. This scare worked on the minds 
of the people so that at the municipal election, prohi- 
bitionists voted the free whiskey ticket, because the 
prohibition candidate was an honorary member of the 
Brotherhood. 

Because one out of more than a hundred strikers 
at Brookfield had committed an unmanly and unlawful 
act in striking a scab with his walking stick, a law 
and order meeting was called "April 20, 1888, at 2 
o'clock p. m., for the purpose of taking such action as 
is necessary to uphold the civil authorities of our city 
and country in the enforcement of law, and the sup- 
pression of vicious, violent idlers in our midst." ' This 
wholesale condemnation of these men who had been 
citizens, some of them for twenty-five years, created 
much feeling. • As it was a call for citizens, the strik- 
ers attended in a body, and were there promptly at 
the appointed time, and occupied the reserved seats. 

An effort had been made to get as good an attend- 
ance as possible by those issuing the call; the men em- 
ployed in the company's shops were invited, and a 
special effort was made to have the new men there to 
hear the good things to be said to them and the bad 
things said of the strikers. When thev came and 
found the strikers present — and no one questioned 
their right there — it was a great drawback to their 
liberties of speech. It is much easier to say hard 
things of one absent, than present. The strikers 
went as listeners only, with an understanding that they 
should neither vote, nor talk ; they were not there to 
disturb, or overawe anyone: they were there to find out 
howbadthey were. The meeting was called to order, a 

; Copy of call. 



402 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



chairman elected, and a resolution read by an attorney 
— who was retained by the company as its legal 
advisor — condemning lawlessness and the strikers by 
implication, offering taffy to the railroad officials and a 
hearty welcome to the new men. After the resolu- 
tion was read and passed, the strikers not voting, the 
chair asked if there was any further business. No 
speakers responding from the other side, the strikers 
called for a speaker, who responded in, a short speech 
questioning the justice or propriety of calling a meet- 
ing to condemn such men as he saw before him 
among the strikers, who had been with the city and 
helped build it from its infancy. This speech pleased 
the strikers, and put a wet blanket on the promoters 
of the meeting. But the next speaker put them to 
route with ridicule, and a motion was made to adjourn. 
The new men present did not like the outcome, and 
after the meeting adjourned one of them, named Mur- 
ray, who had been welcomed to the city by the reso- 
lution of the meeting, ran two brakemen off the streets 
with his revolver; complaint was made and this nice 
new comer was taken in by the Marshal, and put 
under $100 bond to appear the next morning. He 
appeared the next morning and was given a dose of 
whitewash and let go — no cause of action. The strik- 
ers, after such a wholesale condemnation by the law 
and order meeting, did not like this one-sided way of 
doing ; all they asked was that the law should take its 
course no matter what it hit. And they sent for the 
assistant prosecuting attorney. He, finding the evi- 
dence abundant, caused Murray's arrest on a state 
warrant. The same lawyer who read the resolution 



DESTRUCTION AM) DISCORD. 403 

of welcome at the meeting conducted the defense. 
Trial came, a change of venue was taken and the case 
was postponed two days, with the prisoner out on bail. 
In the meantime the new engineer got drunk, raised 
such a row that he had to be clubbed and put in the 
jail for safe keeping. Trial came again, so did the 
evidence, so the company's attorney wanted to avoid 
trial and the strikers were asked to say upon what 
conditions they would withdraw the prosecution, their 
only object being to show the one-sided legal proceed- 
ings. If the new man would make an acknowledge- 
ment, pay all cost, and agree to leave the city, they 
would be satisfied. They wanted law and order; the 
law was being perverted and used to the detriment 
of the strikers, and the protection of the scabs. The 
police judge had found nothing against this man and 
liberated him, but the state's attorney had found too 
much evidence and the prisoner was glad to choose 
between leaving, and working for the state. Was the 
meeting called for law and order or was it called in 
fear of a great corporation? At Aurora, 111., April 14, 
1888, at ameeting held in the city council room, resolu- 
tions were passed and committees appointed to circulate 
the petition on both sides of the river which the com- 
mittee says under the date of April 24. "I can assure 
vou was thoroughly done. I give you below the 
names of those who were 'men' enough to sign it." 1 
This petition asked the mayor to put on 30 to 100 
special policemen at the city's expense. To many 
business men, the necessity did not seem to exist, 
and they refused to sign it. The Burlington officials 
had this petition and the list of names printed for dis- 

1 Quotation from the document. 



4°4 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



tribution to their scabs, and on a slip was written 
with a type writer twenty-five names of business men 
who would not sign the petition, and one of these was 
handed into each house to be boycotted so they would 
be sure to know it. I have both documents obtained 
from one of the new men. A bulldozing policy was 
practiced in court and out, all along the line, and the 
influence that controls legislatures was never more ap- 
parent than in the Burlington strike. . Fear on one 
hand, and money where that would not do, secured 
power along the line, not warranted by any considera- 
tion of justice. 

The aggressive policy of the Burlington was bring- 
ing organized labor nearer together each day. Meet- 
ings were being held in all parts of the country. " At 
New York, April 8. — Members of the Brotherhood 
of Locomotive Engineers and Locomotive Firemen to 
the number of 1,500 met at Tammany Hall 
J. J. Hanahan, Vice-Grand Master of the locomotive 
firemen, and Joseph Porter of the engineers of the C, 
B. & Q. system, addressed the meeting and told what 
they had seen and heard on a recent trip over the C, 
B. & Q. system from Chicago to Denver. Mr. Porter 
declared the losses already amounted to a million of 
dollars. Among other things he declared that already 
157 engines had been disabled through incapability of 
the ' scab engineers.' Remarks were also made by 
leading members of eastern divisions of the Brother- 
hood of Engineers and Firemen. The meeting unan- 
imously adopted these resolutions: " 

" Resolved: First. That the action of the Chicago 
strikers — acts of violence excepted — are herebv en- 



DESTRUCTION AND DISCORD 405 

dorsed and approved. " 

•• Second. That our pledge of financial and moral 
support to our striking brothers of the C, B. & Q. 
railroad is hereby renewed and will be continued as 
long as necessary." 

Like meetings were held in all large business centers, 
and similar resolutions passed. An appeal had been 
sent out over the Burlington system, which was signed 
by thousands of business men asking " the Inter-State 
Commerce Commission to take action on the ' Q ' 
strike in reference to the mismanagement of the Bur- 
lington and the interference with the traffic of the 
country. Judge Cooley, chairman of the commission, 
has consented to an investigation. Mr. Alexander 
Sullivan, the attorney for the Brotherhood of Locomo- 
tive Engineers, was preparing the evidence to be sub- 
mitted." 

As a further evidence that the two Brotherhoods 
were not disheartened, the following is significant : 

"St. Louis, Mo., April 14. — The grievance com- 
mittee of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers 
and Firemen on the St. Louis & San Francisco rail- 
road, made a settlement this morning on the basis of 
three and one-half cents per mile on passenger, and four 
cents per mile on freight trains, with the abolishment 
of all classification." 

" The terms of this settlement are exactly what the 
"striking engineers and firemen on the Burlington asked 
for. The Brotherhood men are to be congratulated 
upon having won a substantial victory, and St. Louis 
& San Francisco management upon their display of 
fairness and great good sense." 



406 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

" Grand Master Sargent arrived at headquarters in 
the Grand Pacific from St. Louis Thursday morning. 
In respect to the concessions made by the St. Louis & 
San Francisco road, he said; ' One strike has been 
averted; twelve hundred engineers and firemen con- 
tinue to work with their condition bettered, and the 
' Frisco line running out of St. Louis, over 1,446 miles 
of western territory, is no worse for the conference it 
gave a committee of employes, and the subsequent 
settlement which it magnanimously agreed to. The 
enginemen on the ' Frisco line had submitted to the 
officials of that road a set of resolutions almost exactly 
the same as were laid before the Burlington manage- 
ment. Within five days from the date of which the 
paper was received by him, General Manager Mor- 
rill expressly desired to settle with the men themselves, 
and for that reason there was no need of myself nor 
Mr. Arthur being present. His conduct is deserving 
of much praise." 

When interviewed, Mr. Sargent said: " Don't forget 
to say that the same request was made that caused the 
strike on the ' Q.' That was the abolishing of classifi- 
cation and the adoption of a mileage system as a basis 
for wages. . This point was agreed to at once." 

" When Paul Morton, of the Burlington road, was 
asked why his company could not have settled the 
Burlington difficulty the same way, and thus avoided 
a strike, he turned to his desk and wrote the following 
reply : " 

" I am glad to hear that the ' Frisco strike is settled 
peaceably. The probability is that if our men had 
presented modified demands before striking we would 



DESTRUCTION AM) DISCORD. 4O7 

have had no trouble. Our strike is settled, too, but in 
another way, and it has clearly demonstrated the old 
adage that it takes two to make a bargain." 

" There ! 'That's my answer 1 , said he, handing 
over the paper." 

In this answer Mr. Morton forgot that the Burling- 
ton would allow no second party to the contract, and a 
strike resulted. 

" On the 19th, J. J. Hanahan, Vice-Grand Master of 
the Brotherhood of Firemen, returned from a trip 
through the principal cities and terminal points of the 
east, where he held joint meetings and found a warm 
welcome, and on every hand the greatest enthusiasm 
and warm commendation of the course of the officers 
of the Brotherhood. The members pledged any sup- 
port, financial or moral, that might be necessary, and 
Mr. Hanahan bt ought back the equivalent of $250,- 
000 in cash. Mr. J. Porter, of Aurora, accompanied 
Mr. Hanahan. They were followed on the trip by 
Burlington detectives, and evaded them at several 
points, only to be overtaken again. 

Mr. Morton again declares the strike off: 

Chicago, 111., April 13, 1888. 

Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Co., 

Passenger Dept. 
.To Ticket Agents. 

Gentlemen: — Commencing Saturday, April 14, 
the Burlington fast train will be resumed. The strike 
is over. Our engineers are thoroughly competent. 
These trains will be run on time as heretofore. 
Paul Morton, 

General Passenger and Ticket Agent. 



CHAPTER XLVI1I. 

THE STRIKE NOT OFF. 

Paul Morton had said the strike was off and every- 
thing was running smoothly as before the strike. 
But the statement of Messrs. Hoge and Murphy, the 
spilling of blood, and public opinion, would indicate 
that it was still on. 

At Galesburg, 111., on the 28th of April occurred the 
killing of H. B. Newell, one of the striking* engineers, 
by sfun shot wounds from a revolver in the hands of 
William Albert Hedburg, a Burlington scab fireman. 
At the coroner's inquest, as was the case always where 
the Burlington was interested, and contrary to common 
usage, lawyers employed by the company were on 
hand necessitating the presence of other lawyers, and 
at this inquest " a confab arose as to who Mr. Brown, 
who was conducting the examination, represented. 
The coroner then demanded who all the attorneys 
represented. Mr. Brown said that he represented the 
people at the request of friends; Mr. Lawrence said 
that he and Mr. Williams represented Mr. Hedburg; 
Mr. Carney said that he represented the city of Gales- 
burg; Mr. Welch said that he was there at the request 
of parties interested and proposed to stay. The 
squire then said that there had been considerable criti- 
cism on allowing attorneys present and their asking 
questions. He had admitted it so that the examina- 
tion might be thorough and searching. Mr. Cooke 



THE STRIKE NOT OFF. 4O9 

offered to withdraw, if there was any objection to his 
representing the State. The matter was finally 
smoothed over and the inquest proceeded. " 

The inquest lasted three days. State's Attorney 
Cooke remarked that the inquest seemed to have been 
run by the defense. The jury brought in a verdict 
that the shooting was done in self-defense. A war- 
rant was immediately sworn out by a brother, A. 15. 
Newell, charging Hedburg with murder, and the pris- 
oner was held to the grand jury. 

The Funeral of Herbert B. Newell. 

" The funeral service over the remains of Herbert 
B. Newell was held at the house on East Main street 
at ten o'clock this forenoon. It was probablv one of 
the largest funerals ever held in Galesburcr. The 
house, yard, and walk were thronged with people. It 
is estimated that not less than one thousand persons 
were on the grounds." 

"There were several tine floral offerings, perhaps the 
most prominent being the one representing the drive- 
wheel of a locomotive, with one of the spokes broken, 
and the initials, « B. of L. E.' and ' Div. No. 62', 
worked in flowers. This emblem was very suggest- 
ive and stood at the head of the coffin. There was 
also a harp made largely of calla lilies and roses at the 
head of the coffin. At the foot there were two beauti- 
ful pillows of white flowers. In one, in immortelles, 
was the word ' Herb,' and in the other one ' Newell.' 
The services were opened by a quartette consisting of 
Messrs. Manning, Fleharty, Fairbank, and L. H. Jelliff, 
singing, ' Asleep in Jesus.' Rev. J. W. Bradshaw 



410 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



then read several selections from the scriptures, after 
which the quartette sang c Last Good Night.' Rev. 
Bradshaw then, without taking any text, made a short 
address. The following is a synopsis of the first part 
of his remarks : ' 

" ' We are gathered under the shadow of a great and 
shocking calamity — a calamity which has cast its 
gloom not upon us alone who are assembled here, but 
upon the whole community. One of those appalling 
occurrences which shock our deepest emotions, which 
kindle excited feeling; which tend to unsettle the 
judgment of the calmest and most judicious. At 
such a time it behooves all right-minded men and wo- 
men to summon into exercise their utmost self-control; 
to quiet excited emotion; to suppress every trace of 
passionate feeling, to give calm judgment full sway; 
to let their words be few and cautious, and their ac- 
tions most discreet. He who should act otherwise 
would, by so doing, make himself the enemy of the 
best and most sacred interests of society. Of the cir- 
cumstances attending this sad occurrence, this is nei- 
ther the time nor the place to speak. Not till by lapse 
of time excited feeling has been stilled; not till, view- 
ing these events from a distance, we are able more 
accurately to perceive the true relations of things; not 
till, by passage of time, calm judgment is restored 
and truth fully brought to light, can anyone wisely 
speak of these sad circumstances or venture to pass 
judgment upon them.' " 

" In closing Mr. Bradshaw spoke comforting words 
to the bereaved and urged the necessity of preparing 
for death while we still have health and opportunity." 



THE STRIKE NOT OFF. 4II 

" After Rev. Bradshaw's address the quartette sang 
'Beautiful Land.' The house was then cleared and 
the family and relatives of deceased took their last 
look. The remains were then brought out and 
placed on the sidewalk and all given a chance to view 
them. The Brotherhoods marched two abreast and 
as they came to the coffin they clasped hands and 
passed each side of the remains. Over 300 thus filed 
past the coffin. There were visitors here from Bur- 
lington Div. No. 151, Marshalltown Div. No. 146, St. 
Paul Div. No. 150, Aurora Div. No. 32, and Beards- 
town Div. No. 127." 

" The procession down Main street was a solemn, 
magnificent and imposing one. The streets were 
lined with spectators, and the utmost silence prevailed. 
It was shortly before 12 o'clock when the line of 
march reached the business center. At the front was 
the Galesburg Marine band, playing a beautiful funer- 
al march very smoothly and impressively. The mar- 
shals of the line preceded them, and were Mr. Robert 
Barnhill and Mr. Thomas McGann. Then was seen 
the crimson banner of the Switchmen's lodge. There 
were in line some 60 of these, including the delegation 
from Burlington and other points. Each wore around 
his sleeve a piece of crape. On their hands were 
white gloves. The next banner was the elegant one 
of the B. of L. F., and of those marching behind the 
banner proclaiming "Benevolence, Sobriety and Indus- 
try'' there could not have been less than one hundred 
and fifty, including the visiting brethren. Each, as 
were also the switchmen, was adorned with the rega- 
lia of the fraternity as well as the symbols of sorrow. 



412 



THE Bl'KLINGTON STRIKE. 



The long line of engineers came next, and they were 
the center of all eyes. The beautiful, brotherhood 
banner at their head was gracefully adorned with fes- 
toons of crape. Each wore an elegant badge of 
mourning. The appearance of these one hundred and 
thirty or forty fine looking men, the face of each wear- 
ing an expression of sadness, was impressive and 
touching. The sincerity of the demonstration was ap- 
parent to all. Then followed the carriage containing 
the crippled members of the Brotherhood. Following 
this were the hearse, the lovely floral wheel discernible 
through the rear windows, and the pall-bearers, Geo. 
Best, Frank Reynolds, E. Updike, A. H. Vanwormer, 
Geo. Stofft and G. McDowell, walking on each side of 
the hearse. Next were the carriages. It is estimated 
that the procession was a mile in length. In addition 
to those in the line, many sympathizing friends passed 
along the sidewalks on each side." 

"Arriving at the grave the Brotherhood formed in a 
circle around it and the impressive service of laving 
awav a brother was performed by Chief Engineer Thos. 
Hill, assisted by Chaplain John Saddler, after which 
the quartette sang a beautiful song, and the benedic- 
tion was pronounced by Rev. Bradshaw." ' 

Paul Morton came out in the Associated Press 
dispatches, May i, and declared the strike off on the 
C, B. & Q. This was the third time that Paul Mor- 
ton had declared the strike off since the 27th of 
February. 

• : Xo doubt the Burlington officials would have been 
glad to have it declared off, because they were being 
scored most unmercifully by western newspapers. 

1 Galesburg Republican Register. 



THE STRIKE NOT OFF 



4*3 



The St. Joseph, Mo., Gazette, of May 7th, says, "We 
have a few more items of interest to present for the 
edification of the Burlington managers and the instruc- 
tion of the traveling and shipping public. The strike- 
is over, it is said, but somehow things do not seem to 
get the proper hitch in their trousers." 

"B. & M. engine No. 128, and K. C. engine No. 1.. 
met on a single track a mile north of Nodaway sta- 
tion, thirteen miles from St. Joseph, yesterday morn- 
ing. The meeting was more forcible than profitable, 
and the locomotives will have to be almost rebuilt be- 
fore they will be of any special service to the com- 
pany." 

"The accident occurred in this manner: Both trains 
had orders to meet "and pass at Nodaway, but the K. 
C. engineer, a new man named Jones, forgot his orders. 
Conductor Harrington was not attending to business 
and the train ran gaily by the station and into the B. 
& M. train. A dozen cars, about half of which were 
oaded, were converted into kindling wood and the en- 
gines were total wrecks. They were towed into St. 
Joseph in the afternoon and taken to the shops. The 
rainmen jumped when they saw a collision was in- 
evitable. Some of them received severe bruises but 
fortunately no one, so far as can be learned, was 
killed. All trains were delayed three or four hours. 
Damage $ 20,000." 

During the first week of May occurred the Rope 
Creek disaster, near Alma, Nebraska. In 1887 an 
immense amount of money was spent by the Burling- 
ton in replacing wooden structures with iron, and other 
bridge work. But in 1888 retrenchment was neces- 



4.I4 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

sary, and the comments upon this wreck from the 
press of the west, could not have been very consoling 
in the face of a declaration that the strike was over 
and their men were competent. The St. Joseph Mo., 
Gazette had an article headed " B. & M. Butcheries," 
and illustrations were shown from photographs taken 
on the spot. Mr. Morton said all these stories of 
wrecks were fakes, and we give a few extracts. The 
Gazette says: 

" That the B. & M. railroad in Nebraska is in a 
fearful condition; that travel over it is extremely dan- 
gerous; that those who are compelled to buy its ser- 
vices take their lives in their hands there is no need 
denying, and not an official will seek to deny. Trav- 
eling men feel a sense of perfect insecurity, and 
breathe with more ease when at last, after numerous 
unwarranted and inexcusable delays, their destination 
is reached. Dead engines, wrecked freight cars, 
damaged coaches, splintered sleepers, and generally 
demoralized rolling stock fill half the sidings and all 
the repair shops along the line. Wreck after wreck 
has been reported, all coupled with loss of life, maim- 
ing of limbs, and injuries to a greater or less extent. 
Trains meet on the iron highway, at all hours, day 
and night, and often fatal accidents are only averted 
by the interposition of providence on behalf of those 
who are compelled to travel over the B. & M., and 
therefore are not responsible. The once famous ' cannon 
ball ' is a cannon ball no longer, except that acting in 
the capacity of a loaded van it is armed, thanks to in- 
competent men with double the death-dealing qualities 
of the missle from which it takes its name. It would 



THE STRIKE NOT OFF. 415 

be a greater means of destruction but for the fact that 
its passengers are to and from local points only. 
Through passengers are an unknown quantity. In spite 
of the vigorous and earnest, would they were honest, 
protests of managers, superintendents, passenger 
agents, and hired organs, all, or nearly all of the once 
handsome through business enjoyed by the road has 
gone; vanished like the tramp's dream of wealth; and 
it will not soon be regained. Imagine the famous B. 
& M., the once great through route to Denver, run- 
ning solid day and night trains of never less than three 
cars each for the accommodation of never more than 
twenty passengers. No. 40 has made the run from 
Denver to St. Joseph within the last week, carrying 
but eight passengers, and No. 39 has done the same 
thing. Day coaches and smokers are well nigh de- 
serted and the few passengers ride in the sleepers, be- 
cause in ca?e of one of the many accidents they may 
be enabled to at least escape with their lives." 

"In sustaining this position the management has at- 
tempted to belittle any and all reports of wrecks, and 
this refers not only to the B. & M., but to all parts of 
the Burlington system. Hired organs, instead of 
sending representatives to scenes of accidents, have 
rushed them into the company's headquarters that an 
' official report ' might be secured ! Damages amount- 
ing to thousands of dollars have been scaled down to 
hundreds; collisions have been averted by passengers 
and road men, and the incompetents now manning 
engines, have been excused on the plea that they do 
not know the road. The only thing that has prevent- 
ed a succession of Chatsworth disasters, is that travel 



/j.l6 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

has been light and traffic has been diverted to other 
lines. The wrecks which have occurred are seventy 
per cent greater in number, since February 26, and 
200 per cent greater in loss of life and property than 
ever occurred on the Burlington system in the same 
period before. And thev are multiplying, not decreas- 
ing. A case in point is the recent wreck at Alma, 
Neb. In violation of orders the trainmen rushed on 
a rotten culvert at a tremendous rate of speed, and 
in an instant five souls had been sent into eternitv. 
Two bodies were found two days after the accident, 
and two are known to be missing. Officials at once 
began to lie about the cause and fatalities, and every ef- 
fort was made to cover the matter, that the already poor 
traffic might not be entirely lost. The Nebraska press 
was flooded with padded and untruthful accounts of the 
efforts of the officials to care for the wounded and find 
the dead. They did little or nothing: chieflv the lat- 
ter; and when the coroner's juries had taken testimo- 
ny every effort was made to belittle and suppress it." 

" Then the company telegraphed it broadcast that 
every effort had been make bv it to recover the miss- 
ing bodies." 

" Not only is every statement that the B. & M. 
officials or employes either assisted in the search for 
bodies or took any care of them when found, most 
maliciously false, but exactly the opposite is true, as 
can be established by the testimony of hundreds of the 
best people of both Alma and Orleans. Not onlv 
have eighteen of the best business men of Alma, com- 
posing the three coroners' juries impaneled to hold 
inquests on the bodies taken from the wreck, found 



THE STRIKE NOT OFF. 417 

the 1). & M. company guilty of criminal negligence iti 
connection with the Rope creek disaster; not only 
have two of these juries especially censured the crim- 
inal negligence of Eugene White, the section boss; 
not only has it been proved by the contradictory- 
statements of this man White, but by the testimony of 
other witnesses as well, that White has lied in regard 
to important incidents o,f the wreck and its causes, but 
from the day of the wreck until the present time not 
one of the officers or employes of the B. & M. rail- 
road company have ever lifted a hand to assist in the 
search for the missing bodies, and for this neglect the 
company has been censured by two juries.'" 

" Not only has the negligence of the company and 
its employes, in allowing the wreck to occur, been fully 
established, but their utter neglect and refusal to 
search for bodies is known to all people. Sheriff Al- 
len and the people of Alma are entitled to the credit 
for finding these missing bodies, as they have never 
for a moment relaxed their vigilance in the matter, and 
the B. & M. is entitled to nothing." 

" Hardly had the last victims of the wreck been 
found when the employes and the hirelings of the B. 
& M. railroad company began to swarm in from all 
directions. Knowing all the circumstances of the 
disaster, and knowing that the first coroner's jury had 
found them guilty of criminal negligence, none of 
them ever lifted a hand to search for the bodies of the 
missing victims, or to render the slightest assistance 
to our people in doing so; but now, like buzzards to a 
feast, they came singly and in droves, and when Sher- 
iff Allen, acting as coroner, had empaneled a jury to 



4 i8 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



learn the cause of the accident, they were on hand 
ready to meddle and dictate in a matter which before 
had given them no concern. They had lawyers and 
stenographers, and bruisers, and shoulder-strikers, 
and witnesses to swear to whatever they were told, and 
were quite anxious, so long as they could not cover up 
the evidences of their negligence and brutality, to 
swear away the honest testimony that, by revealing 
the facts, would damage their testimony. It was not 
because the company cared a straw for the dead and 
wounded or their sorrowing relatives, but because 
they hoped to evade the payment of just and reason- 
able damages. The conductor swore to receiving 
slow orders for that bridge on the morning of the 
wreck, and yet neither he nor the engineer took the 
trouble to stop before going upon the bridge." 

" The views of the wreck published herewith are 
from photographs taken by L. D. Willits, of Alma. 
They are kindly furnished the Ga- 
zette, to further its efforts to show 
the B.& M. managers and officials in 
the true, but unsavory, position 
which thev have taken in this matter. 
There is also room for some hired 
organ which considers the strike over 
and objects to its ad finitum continu- 
ance to begin to tell" the truth and 
publish a few items of news con- 
cerning the real condition of the Bur- 
lington." 

" The strike hits hard in many 
places. The holder of stock is a sensitive plant 




A FALL IN STOCK. 



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THE LIBRARY 

OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 



THE STRIKE NOT OFF. 



419 



breath of a western strike makes a coupon shiver. 
Stocks and bonds fall before the lightest frost. But a 
railroad strike or war is roast jack-snipe on toast, 
mashed pomme de terre with apple sauce on the side, 
for the broker. He keeps one eye bearing n the 
naked facts while his judgment is on the rack. ' Buy 
or sell ? that's the question.'*' ' 

"Chicago, 111., May ro. — The financial report of the 
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy road for the month of 
March, covering the period of the strike, was made 
public to-day, and, as was expected, showed a remark- 
able decrease in earnings, compared with March, 
1887. The gross earnings were $1,211,188; operating- 
expenses, $1,357,608, leaving a deficit for the month 
of $146,415." 

; < The foregoing telegram, published in the daily 
papers of the country, yesterday, needs little comment. 
It were time wasted to go into nice calculations, show- 
ing how far this immense sum of money would have 
gone in meeting the demands made upon the C, B. 
& Q. road by its employes— demands which were 
spurned without reason or argument. The stockhold- 
ers are doubtless pondering this problem, and it is 
barely possible that even that high and mighty poten- 
tate, General Manager Stone, as well as managers of 
hsser degree, look ruefully upon these figures and 
begin to question the efficiency of pig-headedness as 
the ruling principle of railroad management. What- 
ever may be the final outcome, the great strike on the 
C, B. & Q. system will not prove valueless. It has 
served to call the attention of the public most forcibly 
to the fact that corporations have no conscience, and 

1 Chicago News. 



420 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

that sometimes the managers of American corporations 
have but one maxim : ' Might makes right ' — -a brutal 
maxim, the utterance of rapacity, — an echo from the 
depths of human selfishness. A maxim embodying 
a menace to the weak, its very word is freighted with 
malevolence." 

" But if it be true that corporations are conscience- 
less, it is also true that stockholders have pockets, and 
that while all other appeals may fail, an argument 
which addresses itself to the instincts of Boston shop- 
keepers and money changers is very apt to receive 
most careful consideration. Under existing conditions 
little improvement in the business ot the C, B. & Q. 
can be expected. Travelers will not submit their 
lives to unnecessary dangers. Shippers will prefer 
roads unembarassed by the complications which now 
render the train service of the C, B. & Q. roads en- 
tirely unsatisfactory as well as unsafe. By common 
consent the C, B. & Q. system has been boycotted, 
not altogether because of its injustice to its employes, 
but because of its inability to discharge the duties of a 
common carrier. Public confidence can only be re- 
stored by manning its trains with sober and competent 
men. The pretense so volubly put forth that < the 
strike is over,' that ' all trains are running on time,' 
that ' the Q. has its full complement of engineers and 
firemen,' etc., etc., has deceived nobody. The acci- 
dents and calamities occurring on all parts of the sys- 
tem tell another story. The plain and apparent fact 
is, that notwithstanding the great reduction in the vol- 
ume of its business, the C, B. & Q. road is unable 
to do justice to the few patrons it retains, and 



THE STRIKE NOT OFF. 42 1 

that under existing circumstances it could not handle 
the enormous traffic it formerly enjoyed, even were 
public confidence restored. It has raked the slums of 
the nation for substitutes for the striking engineers. 
The lame, the halt and the blind have been drafted in- 
to its service. Drunkards, convicts, men who before 
the strike would never have even dreamed of applving 
to it for employment now have charge of its engines, 
and to their doubtful keeping are committed the 
lives and property of its patrons. To say that many, 
or even amajoritv of its engineers, are competent, is no 
answer to this charge. It is enough to know that many 
of them are incompetent, and of this abundant proof 
is not wanting. With all possible safeguards against 
accidents, travel bv rail is sufficiently hazardous, and 
the road which willfully omits the least of these safe- 
guards is undeserving of public patronage. The con- 
duct of the C, B. & Q road in taking into its employ- 
ment the class of men now running its engines was an 
act of criminal desperation. Its stubborn refusal to 
recognize as anything better than serfs, men who had 
served it faithfully for so many years, was a brutal ex- 
hibition of arrogance, and its subsequent indifference 
to the rights of the public and the safety of life and 
property, a crime." 

" If the contents of the foregoing telegram do not 
brino- the C, B. & Q. stockholders to their senses, 
similar ones which are sure to follow will probably do 
so. 

The Burlington directors' meeting was called to 
meet in Chicago on May 16, and it was deemed best 
bv the leaders of the strike to call in all the grievance 

1 St. Joseph (Mo.) Gazette. 



42 2 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

committeemen of the Burlington, look over the situa- 
tion and make some provisions for future action. If 
was thought by many that at the meeting of the 
stockholders, the immense losses already sustained, 
and the depreciation of the stock, would induce the 
directors to modify their position and be willing to 
arbitrate and get the strike declared off. But the 
Forbes interests were there with proxies sufficient to 
bar out any effort to change their policy, and they 
voted confidence in President Perkins and the official 
management of the strike. This convinced Grand 
Chief Arthur and Grand Master Sargent that further 
effort to effect any settlement was useless, and con- 
cluded to advise the committee there assembled to 
declare the strike off — Grand Chief Arthur coming 
from Cleveland for that purpose. But the committee 
voted unanimously to continue the strike, and a vote 
was taken along the line and forwarded to the two 
chairmen, Hoge and Murphy. The vote stood 155S 
to continue the strike and nineteen to declare it off. 
So the grand officers went to their respective head- 
quarters as there was nothing to their mind they 
could do but see that the men were supported finan- 
cially. The strike was as vigorously prosecuted as it 
was in the power of the Burlington strikers. Speak- 
ers were sent over the country, the interest kept in a 
lively state, and the Brotherhood men and Knights 
of Labor vied with each other in diverting business 
from the Burlinoton." 

" Wreck and disaster followed the trail of the scabs, 
regardless of Mr. Morton's statement that everything 
was running smoothly. The fast mail train running 



THE STRIKE NOT OEF. 423 

through a Chicago & Iowa freight, at South Aurora, on 
May 23. and the following from the Aurora Express-. 

" A Burlington special police lost his star and club 
yesterday. Fred Long, who has charge of twenty- 
six night and twelve day special policemen in the em- 
ploy of the Burlington, learned that one of the night 
officers was drunk in 'the cut,' yesterday. He went 
to investigate and found not a night man, but one of 
the day specials and one of the new switchmen lying 
side by side, drunk together." 

With the good will expressed in the answer to the 
following, ought to be strong reminders that the strike 
was not off: 

C, B. & Q. Railroad Company. 

Mr. E. A. Barnes, Principal Webster School: 

"Dear Sir: I wish to see you regarding the 
teachers' trip to California in July next. Kindly ad- 
vise me when it will be most convenient for you to 
have me call, and oblige." 

Respectfully Yours, Geo. R. Dunne. 

Chicago, 111., May— 1888. 
Mr. George R. Dunne: 

" Dear Sir: So far as I know, the sympathies of 
the public teachers are with the Brotherhood and de- 
cidedly against the C, B. & Q. So long as there are 
other routes of travel we shall never board a Q. pas- 
senger train." Respectfully, E. A. Barnes, 

During the month of June laboring people through- 
out the west were keeping an eye on all patrons of 
the Burlington during the period of conventions. Ap- 
peals were made to the various political factions not 



424 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

to patronize the Burlington and no doubt it had a 
powerful influence. Immense meetings were held, 
and the road was placed before the public by speak- 
ers in a manner that must have been anything but 
pleasant for the managers. On June 11, an immense 
meeting was held at Lincoln, Nebraska. We give a 
few extracts from the speeches, as they have a direct 
bearing upon the subject before us, as showing the 
magnitude of the power with which the Brother- 
hoods were contending. Hon. Ex-Governor But- 
ler said: 

"Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen: — I must 
say that I am somewhat disappointed from the fact I had 
no expectation of meeting so large an audience as I 
find here to-night, and if I fail to come up to 3-our ex- 
pectations, why, be a little charitable." 

"Gentlemen, I am here to-night to talk for a few 
moments on the question of labor which governs the 
people from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the 
lakes to the gulf. This question is not confined to this 
continent. Go into any of the states of Europe and 
you will find the same question being agitated there. " 

"There never has been on earth, never, no living 
man that ever honestly accumulated five millions of dol- 
lars; he never did that on earth; there never was such 
a thing; he doesn't need it in the first place, he can't 
use it, he can't appreciate it, and he never made it hon- 
estly — there never was such a thing on earth.*' 

As an illustration he said: "Suppose that Adam 
had laid up a dollar a day from the day of his birth to 
the present time, how much do you suppose he would 
have been worth? $1,000,000. His overcoat would 



THE STRIKE NOT OFF. 



4 2 5 



not have made Vanderbilt a vest, would it? There he 
had worked five thousand years. We had a class of 
scientists sometime since that claimed they had discov- 
ered a pre-historic man; thev went on to say that he 
had lived live hundred thousand years before Adam; 
suppose they had found this man to be five hundred 
thousand years older than Adam, suppose he had been 
a Knight of Labor and had worked from that day to 
the present, every day, Sunday not excepted, no 
rainy day excepted, how much do you suppose that 
gentleman would have had? He would have made 
$182,000,000. Vanderbilt could have bought him 
out and had $43,000,000 to put into Lincoln street 
railway stock. (Laughter) How did Vanderbilt ac- 
cumulate that vast wealth? He accumulated it bv 
regulating- commerce among the states. Don't you 
remember of reading of parties in the medieval ages 
taking refuge in the mountains and forming themselves 
into bands and tribes, and when people would be pass- 
ing over the King's highway, these thieves would 
come out and rob the people and take all they had; 
thev said they took what the traffic would bear; that 
is what Vanderbilt and his associates have been doing; 
they have taken the place of congress and stood on 
the King's highway and robbed the people from here 
to New York, and from New York to the old coun- 
try. How shall we remedy this? Some will say, 'You 
can't doit.' 'Can't?' Is that possible? I think from the 
looks of the faces here to-night that a number of these 
wrongs could be rectified and I think they will be. 
There are three classes of men I don't like. There is 
the man that thinks he knows everything. I don't 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

the man that has the idea that everybody that 
■s with him do >w anything. Whenever I 

i who is truly s d with things is they 

no change, wants no advancement, 

: him as He did good old Elijah — take 
en, he is no use on earth." 
The Burlington having lined its road with Pinker- 
id: 

• I ~ as en anything like labor disturbances in 
country : N . Have you seen any farmers or- 
gan Eor the purpose of destroying property or 
violating the la Have vou seen anv of the rail- 

- 

road men through this countrv proposing to destrov 

property in any way. I have heard nothing of it. 

not an extraordinary speech that the governor 

should :he other day in Omaha when he told the 

to be on guard — to be watchful. I will 

d injustice because 1 have a good deal of re- 

iovernor Tl. ::>ut I thought it was a re- 

ech indeed, for them to be inreadines;. or 

_ of that kind, that if these labor troubles 

continued thev might be called into active service. 

at did he mean bv that I wonder ? Had there 

a anv threatenings around here bv laboring men 

that would suggest the proposition that they must be 

in readiness to fight. Was there anything of that 

kinc 

• I want to say to the governor if he has a companv 
nilitia that he let the golden opportunity slip bv. 

There was a time that he might have used that militia 

not only with credit to himself, but credit to the state 

raska. When the news flashed across the 

feb.) Review. 



THE STRIKE NOT OFF. 

:om Chicago that 250 thugs from the 
Chicago hai. a the train with Winches 

and were coming over here into the 
to preserve peace, if Governor Thay< 1 to 

- the 1. 

e met those men at the Missouri nd ne 

hem come into t) Lo°g and loud ap; 

But I don't want to say a harsh thing to the _ nor, 
because I have aiv a a personal fri 

but whenever the governor of any stc. 
and let the rights of the people be trampled upon by a 
lot of thugs from Chicago I think it is time t _ that 
governor warning. I do i: And 

I will tell vou one thing, had I been governor of 
state tho^ - have crossed 1 

souri river. 1 understand that they are marching on 
the platforms of the depots in this state yet. unlawfully 
here, intruders, and the governor should - 
are not here. I am ashamed of it. They are n 
but thug.- shims of C 

Thev arc not lit to watch a hen roos 

L. W. R gers paid 
He said in part: 

" In the war c : " G . Britain proposed 

and America proposed to have a right to 
if a heavier bu: ould be imposed upon them, 

and w": their money think they 

had th _ . to deny that England had the pc 
what -hould be levied, and I 

at if she hac this right s 

had t ght of dictator c 

<he had 



428 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

levy and impose taxes and burdens upon the people in 
this country, and take that money and spend it as she 
chose: and in this struggle to-day England has an ex- 
act parallel in this country, and that is the C, B. & Q. 
railway corporation. [Applause.] There was a party 
of the second part. They were the patriots of the 
American colonies. They were the men who said, we 
will resist this tyranny. They were the men who 
said, you can rob us to a certain extent, but you cannot 
trample upon our manhood. They were the men who 
demanded justice. They were the men who said, we 
will resist until death, and said they were willing to 
die that the cause of liberty should live. They were 
the men who were made out of the same stuff that 
Patrick Henry was, who said: 'Give -me liberty or 
give me death,' and that party has an exact parallel in 
this struggle to-dav, and it is the C, B. & Q. strikers. 
And there was another party — a party of the third 
part — and they were called the tories. They were 
men who were born and bred upon the American soil. 
Thev were the men who were raised under the same 
influence that gave birth to freedom. They were the 
men who were raised by the side of these same patriots 
that went out to fight fearlessly for liberty, and yet 
these men raised under these influences turned against 
the country. They said, we will defend tyranny. We 
will arise in the defense of slavery. We will stamp 
down the spirit of liberty. We will destroy all good 
and noble principles, while such men as John Adams 
was saying: 'For the spirit of this declaration we mu- 
tually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and 
oui sacred honors,' and that party to-day has an exact 



THE STRIKE NOT OFF. 429 

parallel in the struggle, and these are the scabs." ' 

This is only a sample of what was being done in all 
directions; the. sympathy engendered by these meet- 
ings and the incompetency of the men employed by the 
Burlington produced in a great measure the following- 
result : 

The gross earnings for June show a decrease of 
only $186,899 compared with the previous year, but 
the operating expenses increased $320,047, which 
brings the total net decrease for the month up to one 
half a million dollars. The decrease in net earnings 
from Jan. 1 to July 1 amounts to nearly $5,000,000. 
With this report, it would seem unnecessary to men- 
tion any wrecks; it contains all the evidence necessary 
as to the Burlington's condition. 

On the 5th of July was sprung the Pinkerton de- 
tective sensation, astonishing the public, and aston- 
ishing the two Brotherhoods fully as much. The 
two chairmen of the grievance committee were ar- 
rested; but it did not create a stampede among the 
strikers, a result that was very much desired and ex- 
pected. Violence was contrary to their habits and 
their principles. They refused to believe that any of 
their number were guilty, and they kept on their way 
as though it had not happened. On the 10th the 
Burlington reduced their force of switchmen at Kan- 
sas City, -Mo. The switchmen claimed that the com- 
pany agreed to keep them all at work, if they would 
stay when the engineers and firemen struck until the 
strike was declared off. Six of them were discharged 
however, and they all walked out. The switchmen 
in the yards of the other roads, through sympathy 

1 Li.icoln (Neb.) Review. 



43° THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

with these, again put the boycott on the Burlington. 
The officials of all the roads were convened in 
Kansas City, but by the advice of the grand master 
of their order, Mr. Monoghan, the strike was declared 
off. and scab switchmen were employed in their 
places. 

At the suggestion of a Wabash official, two engi- 
neers of that road waited upon Mr. Stone, in an effort 
to get a settlement, and secured an interview, and by 
common consent a meeting was agreed upon when 
Messrs. Arthur and Sargent could be present. On 
July 14 these gentlemen were requested by the Brother- 
hood's legal advisor, Mr. Sullivan, to come to Chicago 
on the 16th. The meeting was appointed for that day 
at 2 o'clock p. m. The leading officials and their 
attorneys of both sides, were present. Mr. Perkins 
wanted the strike declared off, but the inducements 
were not very great. After a long conference, the 
following propositions were made: 

1st. Mr. Perkins would take back such of the men 
as he wanted to fill the positions then vacant, and as he 
needed more engineers and firemen he would give the 
old men the preference, rather than hire men coming 
from other roads 

2nd. That the order issued by General Superin- 
tendent Besler — that the switchmen could never 
work for the Burlington again, or to that effect — be 
rescinded, and they would be treated the same as the 
engineers and firemen." 

3d. That a letter of recommendation would be 
given those that desired to get employment on other 
roads, providing they had a good record previous to 



THE STRIKE NOT OFF. 43 1 

engaging in the strike. 

These propositions had to be submitted to the men, 
for they had voted the strike on, and must vote it off, 
two grand officers having no power to decide the 
matter. With the approval of Messrs. Arthur and 
Sargent, the two chairmen Hoge and Murphy, were 
ed to go over the line, explain the situation and 
ask the men not to allow pride, or sentiment to pre- 
vent them from taking the course which the two 
nd officers were convinced was the wise one. 
was an unpleasant duty to perform, the 
ler can judge by the vote which stood 742 
inst, to 9 in favor. While the two chairmen were 
d in taking the vote, a joint meeting of the 
ingineers, firemen, switchmen and brake- 
>n vened at Tootles Opera House, St. Joseph, 
ruesday, July 24, to consider the Burlington 

About seven hundred delegates were present, 
representing lodges of the United States, Canada, and 
Mexico. Great care was taken to keep the proceed- 
ings as quiet as possible. Mr. Frank P. McDonald, 
chairman of the grievance committee of the local 
therhood, called the meeting to order. A commit- 
tee was appointed to search the opera house for spies, 
with a lantern. Finally a pair of shoes was found 
on the stairway leading up into the attic, above the 
celling of the gallery. This excited suspicion, and the 
stage-carpenter, whose name is Moore, was asked 
about the shoes. He said that they belonged to him, 
and when asked to describe them made a mistake. A 
search was make for the owner of the shoes, who was 



432 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

found secreted in the chandelier supports, without 
clothes on except a honey-comb undershirt and a pair 
of overalls. His name was David Replogel, a short- 
hand writer in the employ of Lancaster, Thomas & 
Dawes, attorneys, at 318 Francis court." 

"Replogel was found by a member of the local 
Brakemen's Brotherhood. He was escorted down the 
ladder amid the yells of the Brotherhood members, 
who believed that Replogel was a Pinkerton employe. 
Replogel stated that he had been hired by Jake W. 
Spencer, formerly publisher of the Evening News, but 
now proprietor of the Journal of Commerce, to take the 
proceedings of the convention in short hand for his 
paper. He said that he was to be paid $25 for the 
work, and admitted that the stage carpenter had 
shown him the hiding place. A large crowd gathered 
around him when he was brought down on the stage, 
and but for the interference of cooler heads, Replogel 
would have been roughly handled." 

" He had taken lunch and a bottle of water up to 
his hiding place and was prepared to remain there all 
clay." 

"He was marched to police headquarters through 
the streets in his bare feet, undershirt and overalls; 
bare headed, and looked more like a chimney sweep 
than a stenographer." 

" Great excitement prevailed while Replogel was 
being taken from the opera house, and cries of ' Pink- 
erton spy ' and ' scab ' were made by the delegates." 

" After the excitement subsided the convention pro- 
ceeded to business, and elected Frank P. McDonald 
permanent chairman. The forenoon was spent in 



THE STRIKE NOT OFF. 



433 



speech making by Frank P. Sargent of Terre Haute, 
Indiana, grand master of the Brotherhood of Locomo- 
tive Firemen, R. Powers, master of the local Brake- 
men Brotherhood, and Mr. Ilitchins, general chairman 
of the grievance committee of the Kansas City, Fort 
Scott & Gulf road. M. W. Sullivan, Charles Porter' 
and R. Morris, all of St Joe, Were elected secretaries.', 

This meeting tended greatly towards harmonizing 
the various interests of railroad employes, it being com- 
posed of engineers, firemen, switchmen, and brakemen. 
It was agreed that federation was in the interest of all, 
and that each order should, at its coming convention, 
pass such laws as were necessary to put it in practical 
operation. This meeting heartily approved the action 
taken by the Burlington strikers, in refusing to accept the 
terms offered by that company and declare the strike off. 

"Inasmuch as it was at Stone's request that the 
chairmen of the Q. grievance committee took their 
unnecessary trip over the system, they felt that it 
was incumbent upon them, as a matter of courtesy, to 
wait on Mr. Stone upon their return and announce 
the result of their pacific mission." 

"Mr. Stone received them pleasantry, but without 
any overwhelming demonstration of warmth. When 
told that the men had rejected the proposition, Mr. 
Stone only said that he was sorry, and that he thought 
they had made a mistake." 1 

It was anticipated by the delegates comprising the 
St. Joseph meeting, that, at the meeting which had 
been called by Grand Chief Arthur, at the earnest 
solicitation of the western grievance committeemen, 
to meet at St. Louis, Mo., August 9, that it would be 

'Chicago World. 



434 THE EURLIXGTOX STRIKE. 

opened to the four orders above mentioned, and that 
the federation should be further discussed. But that 
meeting was very exclusive, none but grievance com- 
mitteemen being admitted. Mr Arthur stated at this 
meeting that he would not object to federation — each 
order retaining its individuality — with a board com- 
posed of members of all the orders to which problems 
should be submitted which the separate orders had 
been unable to solve. The St. Louis meeting was 
decidedly unproductive, and it clearly proved that con- 
servatism was daily becoming stronger. 
' At the convention of the firemen, held at Atlanta, 
Ga., a federation law was passed, and a committee was 
appointed to present it to the switchmen's convention 
then being held in St. Louis. That bodv approved of 
a modified form, and the brakemen's convention fol- 
lowed without taking decided action, but left their 
doors open for future decision. The engineers' con- 
vention followed, at Richmond, Va., when it was 
thought the engineers would surely fall in line, and pass 
some law on federation. But the earnest believers in 
the benefits of such a law, were doomed to disappoint- 
ment. Mr. Arthur, from some cause, had changed 
his mind, and the plan was defeated by a small ma- 
jority. At this convention a resolution was carried, that 
a committee of men be appointed to settle the strike 
on the Burlington and declare it off, and the Grand 
Chief appointed A. R. Cavner, S. G. A. E., of Cali- 
fornia, chairman; A. W. Logan, Ohio: Thomas Hum- 
phry, Ohio; E. Kent, N. J.; A. L.E.May. Wis.: Thos. 
Holinrake, Ontario, Can.; T. P. Bellows. Miss.; A. 
W. Perlev. Oregon: Win, C. Hays, Minneso? 



CHAPTER XLIX. 

DYNAMITE. 

The Associated Press of July 5, heralded the great 
sensational arrest of " Thomas Broderick and James 
Bowles, members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Engineers, and another man named Wilson, on a Chi- 
cago, Burlington & Quincy train this afternoon, 
brought to Chicago, and locked in the county jail, 
under bonds of $5,000 each, charged with conspiring 
to destroy the railroad company's property. They 
had a considerable quantity of dynamite in their pos- 
session when arrested." 

" It is stated that the Burlington company has had a 
large force of detectives engaged for a long time in 
watching the movements of the strikers. Several so- 
called ' agitators,' whose movements corresponded 
with some of the past attempts upon the company's 
property, were put under special surveillance. ' It was 
discovered that dynamite was used in several unsuc- 
cessful attempts to wreck trains within the past few 
months. The principal suspects were not allowed to 
make a move, day or night, without being under the 
watchful eye of the officers. It was impossible at first 
to locate the dynamite, but the officials of the 'Q.' as- 
sert to-night that positive information was finally re- 
ceived to-day that this was the day chosen for a grand 
attack upon the company's property. The officials are 
very reticent regarding their source of information, 



436 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

but the plot is known to them, and they admit that be- 
sides a definite plan to blow up trains upon the tracks by 
means of dynamite cartridges, that it included the pos- 
sibility of an attack upon the depot property and mag- 
nificent office buildings here." 

" The officials say that if the danger had not been 
so imminent they would have allowed the conspirators 
to go on and further criminate themselves, but the 
plot had reached a stage where it was necessary to 
take decisive steps to prevent great destruction of 
property, not to say loss of human life." 

"Superintendent of Motive Power, G. W. Rhodes, 
swore out a warrant to-dav, and deputy Marshal Bur- 
chard proceeded with it to Aurora, in company with 
detectives. Their men were located and shadowed to 
the 2:1c; afternoon train for Chicago. Thomas Brod- 
erick and James Bowles, two ex-Brotherhood engineers 
of the ' Q.,' were seen to board the train in company 
with a man not known to the officers. A fourth man 
they were looking for was not identified. The strange 
man. who proved to be John Q. Wilson, took a. double 
seat beside Broderick, while Bowles sat just across the 
aisle. The train had barely started when the officers 
tapped the men on the shoulders and made them 
prisoners. The men had taken off their coats and 
under the two coats lying between Broderick and 
Wilson upon the seat was an innocent looking pack- 
age wrapped in a newspaper. When he had captured 
this Detective McGintv's look of triumph quickly fad- 
ed as he realized the possible danger of its contents. 
While they were putting the bracelets on the prisoners, 
Broderick quick!}- snatched a letter from his pocket 



DYNAMITE. 



437 



and threw it out of the window/' 

" McGinty sprang to the bell rope and stopped the 
train. Running back along the track he found the 
letter. It is now in the possession of District Attorney 
Ewing. He refuses to reveal its contents, but Gener- 
al Manager Stone intimated that its contents gave im- 
portant information regarding the plot." 

" The officers reached the city with their prisoner 
without incident. Broderick and Wilson being stoically 
indifferent to everything, while Bowles was profuse in 
his explanations of ' mistakes.' " 

" A valise was taken from Bowles and several let- 
ters and papers. These were taken to the district at- 
torney's office with the newspaper package, and 
was then, for the first time, examined and found to 
contain four dynamite cartridges, each about ten inches 
long, and an inch and a quarter square. These were 
fitted with a small fuse to each, and Mr. Rhodes estimat- 
ed that they each contained about a pound of dyna- 
mite. In Broderick's pocket in a purse, were found 
several small dynamite fulminating caps." 

" The prisoners were taken before United States 
Commissioner Hoyne on their arrival here. Bowles 
asked for Chairman Hoge, of the old Burlington 
grievance committee, and also for Attorney Sullivan. 
These gentlemen were sent for and while waiting 
Bowles talked quite freely. He claimed that he knew 
nothing about the dynamite, He worked on the Atch- 
ison road until March, when he was discharged for 
putting a fireman off his cab. During the strike he 
went to work on the Burlington and remained thirteen 
days, when his brother, a Brotherhood engineer, in- 



438 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

duced him to leave the company's employ. Since that 
time the Brotherhood has paid his wages and he has 
been traveling about. He went to Creston a few 
days ago, as he says, to brace the strikers up as they 
were becoming weak, but he claims he never counseled 
them to do anything wrong. He claimed not to know 
the men who were arrested with him." 

" When Chairman Hoge, learned the full gravity of 
the charge, he offered Bowles but cold consolation. 
The district attorney arrainged the defendants under 
section 5,353 of the United States revised statutes, and 
Commissioner Hoyne held them under $5,000 bonds 
each for examination on the 13th inst." 

" ' I cannot get you any bail to-night,' said Hoge 
coldly to Bowles in response to the latter's fervent 
appeal to be kept out of jail. Then he promised that 
an attorney would be secured at once and that an 
effort would be made to get them bail to-morrow. 
All of the men denied positively that they knew any- 
thing about the dynamite and disclaimed ownership of 
the bundle found on the seat between them." 

" General Manager Stone was seen by a reporter, 
and told substantially the same story as related above. 
He would not say anything more to-night regarding 
the nature of the information in the company's posses- 
sion, but added that he believed that high officers in 
the Brotherhood are connected with the conspiracy to 
use dynamite." ' 

The Brotherhoods were as much astonished, if not 
more than the public. The strikers did not believe it, 
and voted in the face of it, to continue the strike, be- 
lieving it was the work of the Pinkerton agency. 

1 Kansas City Journal. 



DYNAMITE. 439 

The Pinkerton men had been strung over the length 
of the Burlington system, and it was in their interest 
to show the proficiency of that force by some startling 
developments. They had used up an immense amount 
of money without being practically useful. They 
must redeem their calling. The men also believed 
the Burlington would use whatever clue was given 
them, and use it to its utmost, and there was nothing 
in the after developments that changed that belief. 
Following July 5, came in quick succession, the arrests 
of J. A. Bauereisen, chief engineer of Div. 32, 
George Goding a member of both engineers and 
firemen's order, Alexander Smith of the firemen's order, 
and A. Koegal of the engineers, at Aurora. Then 
came the arrest of the two chairmen, Hoge and Mur- 
phy, on a charge of conspiracy, at Chicago. Then 
followed the arrest of George Clark and George D. 
Meiley, of Galesburg. A joint indictment being made 
against J. A. Bauereisen in each case until there were 
16 charges, requiring $37,500 bail, all of which was 
immediately furnished. If this was not for persecu- 
tion, the indications were very deceiving. All along 
the line was heralded the finding of dynamite, in an 
apparent effort to fasten disgrace upon the Brother- 
hoods. These stories may have originated wholly in 
the fervid brain of the reporter, but the public found 
the following food for mental bias in the newspapers: 

ANOTHER PLOT AGAINST THE ".Q." 

Nebraska City, Neb., July 16 — Officials of the 
Burlington road here claim to have unearthed a plot 
to blow up the new bridge on the Missouri river with 
dvnamite, shipped here for that purpose, it is claimed, 



44° 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



by striking engineers. The dynamite, it is asserted, 
has been located, and the parties in possession of it 
are under detective surveillance, and will be arrested 
when sufficient evidence is secured. The officers also 
claim that dynamite was shipped to Plattsmouth and 
Rulo for a similiar purpose. Startling developments 
are looked for." ' 

It is unnecessary to say that these startling devel- 
opments never materalized, but on the other hand 
it produced what every aggressive move that is 
pushed to extremes by capital always does — solidified 
the very element the aggression is intended to dis- 
rupt. The following extracts from the master work- 
man of Nebraska, is significent of this fact. He says, 
" I have not forgotten the sufferings of many of our 
own brethren at the hands of these Pinkerton free- 
booters. I distinctly remember, and it is within the 
recollection of other members of a few years ago, 
when a prominent Knight of Labor of Michigan was 
arrested and imprisoned by this same gang of mercen- 
aries. He was arrested without cause. He was 
plunged into a dungeon. He was a man of clean pri- 
vate life and honest public record. But so skillful was 
the conspirator's net that the Pinkertons had woven 
about him — so clearly did the crime that was their do- 
ing, cling to him, that it seemed impossible to prove 
his innocence. Guiltless he was, but it cost the 
Knights of Labor $15,000 to successfully carry his 
case through the courts. These same miscreants 
under the guise of decency, have become members of 
the Knights of Labor Assemblies, and of the engi- 
neers, have organized conspiracies, have procured the 

l Wymore (Neb.) Democrat. 



DYNAMITE. 44 1 

arrest of Knights without cause." 

"In the city of Beatrice there are about 700 Knights 
of Labor in good and bad standing. Of other labor 
organizations there is membership enough to swell 
the number beyond 1,000. Suppose this number of 
men should absolutely refuse to buy a penny's worth 
of goods thai was shipped over the Burlington road. 
Suppose that they should, as one man, boycott the 
merchant who ships his goods over the Burlington 
road! How long would that merchant be able to 
sustain himself in business? Indeed, how many weeks 
would it be before not a pound of freight arrived or 
departed from the B. & M. depot of Beatrice? Re- 
member in this connection that these 1,000 men stand- 
ing together, would have an influence that would lead 
more than double their number, or six times their 
number to boycott the road and the men who dared 
patronize it. This shows the power and resources of 
organized labor, and monopoly understands its capac- 
itv far better than do its members. No directions are 
necessary; every brother will understand for himself his 
duties in these premises. 

"If the Brotherhoods fail, it makes doubly certain that 
we shall follow in their footsteps in w r hatever struggles 
of our own we may have. In a word, the hopes of 
corporations are in the disorganization of labor. 
Their wealth, and skill, and secret detective work, are 
all directed to that end. Knights of Labor ought to 
have sufficient experience from the past; and should 
need no warning. N. D. Hubbard. 

State Master Workman K. of L., in Nebraska. 

All through the dynamite plot and trial, Pinkerton- 



44 2 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

ism was ever present. On the statement of John 
Kelley, charging them with conspiracy, Messrs. S. E. 
Hoge, chairman of the general grievance committee 
of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and J. 
H. Murphy, chairman of the firemen's committee, 
were arrested by Inspector Bonfield, of the Chicago 
Detective force, on warrants sworn out by General 
Manager Stone, of the Burlington. 

The names of John J. Kelley and John H. McGillvary 
were also on this list for arrest, both clerks for Hoge 
and Murphy. Messrs. Hoge and Murphy were taken 
to the police court and placed in separate cells. Frank 
Collier, attorney for the Burlington was there, and so 
was Inspector Bonfield. A moment later Alexander 
Sullivan entered, he being Hoge and Murphy's attor- 
ney and advisor in civil cases. 

" < This case,' said Mr. Collier, ' grows out of the 
circular sent out to the Brotherhood lodges asking that 
Brotheroood men be sent on to take places on the 'Q,' 
and suggesting that they bring a good supply of sal 
soda and emery with them. The sending of these 
circulars is deemed prima facie evidence of a share in 
a concerted conspiracy, and we have a sure case 
against the prisoners." 

" We are going to show enough to prove a clear 
case against them — a sure case. If you want to know 
anything more, ask Bonfield. He has had charge of 
the case all the time." 

Ex-Judge Barnum was retained in the criminal case. 
Hoge and Murphy were arrested in the morning, and 
Inspector Bonfield says, "Kelley and McGillvary were 
arrested in the afternoon. When arrested they sent 



DYNAMITE. 443 

for me and I went to see them at the armory." ! 
Then follows what appears to be an astonishing revel- 
ation. 

" Where are these men now ? " 

" They are not in jail, but have gone into voluntary 
retirement, answered the inspector. " 

Inspector Bonfield gave to the public the idea that 
he knew nothing of Kelley prior to this arrest, but the 
evidence is conclusive that Kelley had furnished infor- 
mation to the detective agency, " and acknowledges 
in court that he had received pay from a friend while 
he was in the employ of Chairman Hoge,"* and 
there is no doubt that the arrest of the two chairmen 
was made on the statement of Kelley, and that Kelley 
furnished the detectives a copy of the sal soda and 
emery circular, represented to have been sent out 
signed by the two chairmen. Squealer Kelley, as he 
was called, was a switch engineer in the Chicago 
yards for the Burlington, and was taken into the 
Brotherhood of Engineers after the strike began. He 
had sailed under an alias, as Charles Cordell. He fig- 
ured conspicuously as a ' defamer ' in the case of Sophia 
Havelich vs. the Chicago Hansom Cab Co. This 
lady was injured by the carelessness of a cab driver, 
and Kelly was employed by the agent of the Cab Co. 
to rent a room of the lady's mother for the express 
purpose of acting as a spy. He applied for a room 
and was told they had none furnished. Kelley report- 
ed to the agent, and was instructed to rent the room 
and it would be furnished, which was done." 2 In the 
Chicago Tribune of December 22, 1888, appears the 
following: "Judge Altgeld waxed wroth yesterday, 

1 St. Louis Globe Democrat. - Court record of evidence, Dec. 19. 



444 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



over the evident disposition of a witness in his court, 
to wriggle out of a tight box. J. J. Kelley wa.- the 
name of the witness, and he has been conspicuous in 
the C, B. & Q. dynamite proceedings against Beau- 
reisen at Aurora. Sophia Havelich is sueing the Chi- 
cago Hansom Cab Co. for being run over by a cab, 
and part of the defense is, that she has attended thea- 
ters and other places of amusement, when she claimed 
to have been sick. Kelley testified that he saw her 
go to the theater, and on cross examination by attor- 
neysjohn Gibbons andTreffy, they attempted to make 
him admit that he was a paid spy. Kelley found that 
the value of his evidence would be greatly impaired if 
he admitted that, and he began to prevaricate, in order 
to free himself. Evasions were so patent, that judge 
Altgeld's temper arose, and he promptly ordered him 
from the witness stand, and said he had a great mind 
to send him to jail for contempt. The jury returned 
a verdict for $3,500, in favor of Miss Havelich. the 
evidence showing that it was through the drunkenness 
of the driver that she w r as run over." 1 This specimen 
of human depravity who loaned himself for this despic- 
able work against a woman, was one of the main wit- 
nesses in the dynamite case. 

J. A. Bowles, who was arrested on the train on July 
5, went to work on the Burlington as a scab. His 
brother, who is a member af the Brotherhood, hearing 
of it, went to Aurora and induced him to quit. He 
was taken to the engineers' and firemen's hall. 
"Bowles expressed deep contrition, shedding great 
tears of remorse, but shortly after he wanted to head 
a mob, go out and do violence to the scabs and the 

1 Statement of persons present. 



DYNAMITE 



445 



company.'" 1 lie wanted to do something desperate 
in order to show that he was really converted. He 
was taken inlo the Brotherhood April 22. Before this, 
dynamite had never been thought of. Bowles testified 
before the examining magistrate at Aurora Jutv 25, 
that at a regular meeting two weeks after he was in- 
Mated, and in the presence of all there assembled, that 
"John A. Beaureisen made a statement that the com- 
pany was getting the best of them, and that there had 
to be something done, and advised the use of dvna- 
mile and talked it so that all could hear it. While 
every man present at that meeting swore that no such 
statement was ever made," s and from my own knowl- 
edge of the men, and the Brotherhood, no such lan- 
guage could have been used without bringing a storm 
of indignation. Men of undoubted integrity were 
present. That the statement was a lie needs no proof. 
Bowles testified on page 34. Q. by Mr. Donahue. 
What was it that he (meaning Beaureisen) said to 
you ? A. I made mention to him that I — oh, you are 
the one that began the conversation, was it after the 
meeting was over ? A. Yes, sir. It would seem 
from this that Bowles instead of Beaureisen was work- 
ing the dynamite plot. At the preliminary examination 
in Chicago, Bowles is taken with another spasm of 
contrition, and goes over to the side of the prosecution. 
••Under cross examination bv Mr. Donahue, Bowles 
admitted he had told both attorneys for the defense 
while in the county jail, that he was an innocent man; 
that he did not know anything of the use of dynamite, 
and that he had lied repeatedly to them and others as 
to his innocence, and about other matters. "But," he 

1 Chicago Tribune. '-' From evidence in dynamite case. 



446 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

added naively, "I was not on oath then." ' 

When arrested, Bowles had a satchel with him hav- 
ing all the damaging evidence possible, conveniently- 
stored in it, for his own conviction, and to compromise 
others. This acknowledged liar is main witness No. 
2. Bowles had retained attorneys Donahue and 
David, but instead of consulting with them, he had 
consulted with the attorneys for the prosecution, and 
by their advice waived examination. This brought 
such a scathing rebuke of the court and the attorneys 
for the prosecution from Messrs. Donahue and David 
that the court ordered Mr. David removed. The 
prosecution asked for a continuance, and Mr. Don- 
ahue opposed it. The court said, "If the furtherance 
demands it, it will have to be granted." 

Bowles arose from his chair and took a few steps 
toward the court. With his head turned toward the 
judge and half averted from the gaze of the specta- 
tors, with his right hand outstretched in the attitude 
of appeal, and in a voice that seemed to tremble in its 
tones, he said: "It is tor the interest of justice, your 
honor. This will be for the good of the public. AH 
that I will say here will only be for the sake of jus- 
tice, and to prove that I am an innocent man." ' 

Alexander Smith, a fireman who was arrested as a 
co-conspirator with Bowles, testified that Bowles 
worked him into the conspiracv, and induced him to 
go to Eola where Bowles put the dynamite on the 
track. Bowles also left dynamite in the room occu- 
pied by A. Koegal, which caused Koegal's arrest as 
an accomplice. It seemed to be his business to rub 
the stuff against as many as possible in Aurora, in 

1 Chicago World. 



DYNAMITE. 447 

Creston and in Galesburg. On page 117 of the 
court record Bowles is asked. "Are you an innocent 
man?" And he answered," of course I cannot be consi- 
dered an innocent man, but I have been led into this 
by mean and unprincipled men." 

The warrant upon which the men were arrested on 
the train, July 5, was sworn out in Chicago in the 
morning and the arrest was made in the afternoon; 
this arrest included J. A. Bowles, Thomas Broderick 
and J. Q. Wilson. A fourth man was with them but 
the Pinkerton agent said he got away. 

In the preliminary trial it was developed that Wil- 
son was not an engineer, not a Brotherhood man, and 
not even Wilson. His name was John Mulligan, and 
he was a Pinkerton detective, and not only this was the 
case, but it appears he has had the confidence of all 
the prisoners and their attorneys. 

The expose was brought about by lawyer Donahue 
too closelv pressing the cross examination of Superin- 
tendent McGinn of the Pinkerton agency, who was 
on the witness stand. The superintendent had the 
alternative of an awkward refusal to answer pertinent 
questions concerning Wilson, or cause the latter to 
show up in his true colors. McGinn chose the latter. 
Wilson or Mulligan obeyed a signal, went across the 
room to the side of the persecution. 

It was developed latter, that the fourth man was also 
a Pinkerton man named Ray. Mulligan alias Wilson, 
had been in the employ of the Burlington since Feb. 
29. Mulligan and Ray made the acquaintance of 
Broderick, they say. at Creston, Iowa, and a very pe- 
culiar feature of the detective work done by them 



448 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

from their own evidence, is that they we're companions 
of Broderick, they were not shadowing him, but with 
him, drinking his whisky, and doing divers things of 
a social nature. There is no evidence given by them, 
that they never entered into any of these violations of 
law, but they went to St. Joseph, Mo., with him, to 
Kansas Citv with him, to Chicago with him, and 
to Aurora with him, always with clean hands, 
but always around when Broderick got so full 
of dynamite, and violations of law that he could 
not hold it anv longer, he would have some one 
handy to tell it to. It hardly seems probable, that 
Broderick or any sensible man, would pick up a tramp 
cooper, and a gambler and give them all of his con- 
fidence and they do nothing, but be attentive listen- 
ers. If they did not enter into this conspiracy, how did 
they know that Bowles and Broderick were going to 
board the train at Aurora in the afternoon having 
dynamite in their possession and have a warrant sworn 
out at 8 o'clock a. m. to arrest men who were to com- 
mit a crime at 2 :i5 p. m.? The weight of this great trial 
fell upon John A. Bauereisen; his good character was 
proven bv witness after witness to have been of the 
very best. 

The evidence on the side of the prosecution was 
informer Kelley, who acted as a Pinkerton spy, while 
in chairman Hoge's emplove. and as a liar for the 
Hansom Cab compan}^. Bowles, whose testimony 
was impeached by his own statements, and by men 
who swore they would not believe him under oath. 
Smith testifies that Bowles worked him into the 
business. The two detectives and the letters Bowles 




•«ra5\3 



DYNAMITIC. 449 

had conveniently stored in his satchel when arrested, 
which Henry L. Tolman, an expert who had made a 
special study of handwriting for eight years by means 
of the microscope, somewhat startled the prosecution 
when upon the stand he testified that the letters pur- 
porting to come from Bauereisen had been written by 
two and possibly three persons. 

When the case was closed and ready for the jury, 
the Aurora Express of Dec. 20, located at the home of 
J. A. Bauereisen, with a personal acquaintance with 
witnesses, and the surrounding circumstances, said: 
"The dark clouds which have hung over the head of J. 
A. Bauereisen for the past six months are beginning 
to grow brighter, and gradually to be dispelled. 
There is an old saying that you can't tell what a jury 
will do, and although it applies to this case, it seems 
very probable that the jury will not convict. They 
may disagree, but probably will acquit the prisoner. 
When the prosecution were presenting such an array 
of black testimony against Bauereisen, it looked to 
some as if nothing could save him, but the defense are 
clearing up matters wonderfully. When it comes to a 
question of veracity between such men as El wood 
Tucker, George Minott, Joseph Porter and others, 
and the self-confessed villian Bowles, none in Aurora 
will have any difficulty in knowing whom to believe." 

In his address to the jury Mr. Mills denounced the 
perjury that he said had been exposed in the case. 

"There has been outrageous perjury-" he said; 
"perjury so palpable as to need no exposing; perjury 
so outrageous as to damn the perjurers; perjury so 
marvelous as to stamp the perjurers as worse than 
31 



450 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

fiends and fit only for the blackest depths of infernal 
punishment. Akin to perjury is the motive for it, and 
we shall see without much of an effort the reason for 
the horrible perjury which has made dark, one page 
of the history of this court room. The vitality, the 
strength of this prosecution is in two men, John Alex- 
ander Bowles and Alexander Smith." Mr. Mills re- 
viewed every statement they had uttered, contrasted 
the overwhelming evidence on the other, and piled to 
their charge perjury after perjury. 

Messrs. Donahue, David and Mills, of Chicago, 
Alshuler of Aurora, and Irwin of Elgin, were the prin- 
cipal attorneys for the defense. With only the influence 
of an individual and his personal friends and well wishers 
on the side of the defense, it was an unequal contest pit- 
ted against a prosecution representing the great Bur- 
lington corporation, wanting to break the power of the 
Brotherhood, and thePinkerton agency unscrupulous in 
practice, and whose future in such work for corpora- 
tions depended upon conviction. 

The eloquent Mr. Mills in closing his address said: 

Gentlemen of the Jury: — You will be govern- 
ed by the truthful testimony you have heard and the 
obligations of your oath. You will therefore, I know 
certainly do, as I have the assurance and hope that 
you will, give to this defendant the justice he de- 
mands and the vindication which is his right. 

The audience, which had been held spellbound, 
burst into loud cheering, but were sternly called to or- 
der by the judge, who expressed his disapproval of such 
demonstration. The Chicago Herald of Dec. 22, illus- 
trates in part this intelligent jury who were qualified 



DYNAMITE. 



451 




to serve because 
they had formed 
no opinion upon 
a subject upper- 
most in the minds 
of the whole com- 
munity. After fif- 
teen hours they 
rendered a verdict 
that astonished 
those who were 
best a c qua in ted 
with J. A. Bauerei- 
sen, his character 
and the surround- 
ing circumstances. 
Bauereisen, Brod- 
Bauereisen was sentenced 
for two years, Broderick for one year, Goding a line 
of $500, which was reduced to $100. The bene- 
fit of a doubt could not have been given, and 
while those, who were not, in the minds of the people, 
proven guilty, were made to suffer a penalty, those 
who confessed their crime, and that they tried to invol- 
ved others in it, and despicable in character, Bowles, 
Smith, Kelly and company, go free because they 
could be used to weave a chain around the necks of 
others. J. A. Bauereisen is denied the freedom of 
the world and is out of the Brotherhood, but is not out 
of the mind of his friends, and is not looked upon as 
a criminal, but as a creature of circumstances, and de- 
serves sympathy rather than condemnation. 



SAMPLES OF THE JURY. 

erickand Godinef were tried. 



CHAPTER L. 

THE END OF THE GREAT STRIKE. 

The committee of nine, named in Chapter xlvii, 
held their first meeting in Chicago, Dec. 27, 18SS. 
The chairman of this committee, Mr. A. R. Cavner, 
in order to carry as much weight as possible with the 

mmittee he represented, called to Chicago the gen- 
eral grievance committee men within a given radius, to 
confer with them, and find how much of a unit in s< - 
timent remained that could be used as a power to 
compel concessions on the part of the Burlington. 
The Union meetings at St. Joseph, Mo., in July, had 
demonstrated almost a unit on the boycott, but the 
Kansas City meeting was conservative, the St. L01 - 
meeting was still more so, and the action of the con- 
vention in refusing to pass a federation law. put the 
possibility still farther away, and the Chicago meeting 
proved conclusively the impossibility of an aggressive 
move, the vote on the boycott standing 22 for, to 43 
against. Mr. Cavner had been over the line of the 
Burlington, and had found the men holding their 
ground, and doing whatever it was possible for them 
to do, with their influence, to boycott the road. The 
Brotherhood throughout the country were doing the 
same, to a more or less extent, and this power was 
greatly felt in the west, where the Knights of Labor 
through their good will for the strikers, refused to ride 
on the Burlington, or buy goods that were shipped over 



THE END OF THE GREAT STRIKE. 453 

it. Mr. Cavner visited each point where the men 
were located, and delivered an address to them, which 
was very, encouraging. Mr. Cavner no doubt, ad- 
duced from the many promises, easily given, and the 
power he believed lay dormant, which would only 
need a little spirited discussion to bring into new life, 
that much might be accomplished for the strikers in 
this last act, by the committee appointed at the engi- 
neers' convention for the express purpose of settling 
the strike. But he counted without his host, and the 
anticipated power did not materialize. A difference 
in opinion is not a difference in principle. The men 
were all anxious to do something for the striking en<ri- 
neers, but ten months after the inception of the strike, 

- too late a day to vote to do what would, in all 
probability, have endangered other men's places, with- 
out any assurance that it it would benefit those in whose 
interest the effort was to be made. The vote upon an 
vessive move should not have been taken. Men 
will talk, and the very influence that was anticipated 
from the presence of these leading committeemen was 
killed, with the positive knowledge of their strength 
in that direction, divulged by the vote, presumption 
was worth more than fact, as it would leave the offi- 
cials in doubt, while the vote assured them that noth- 
could be done more than was being done by per- 
sonal, sympathetic boycotting, and the desire on the 
part of the Burlington officials to get rid of this bov- 
cott and ill feeling, which had been engendered to- 
wards that company, was the only apparent incentive 
for any settlement at all. 

With the strike settled bv mutual agreement, a part 



454 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

of the conditions on the part of the Brotherhoods 
must be, that, so far as it was in their power, the em- 
bargo should be raised, and the company left without 
hindrance, to regain its old customers if it could. The 
committee of nine, as a whole, were extremely conser- 
vative, and it is a very reasonable supposition that 
they were known to be so when appointed. This 
committee being all engineers, and the firemen being 
equally interested, Mr. Cavner requested Grand Mas- 
ter Sargent to appoint a committee to act with them. 
Mr. Sargent, feeling that he had been slighted in this 
matter, reluctantly appointed L. Mooney, of St. Joseph, 
Mo., and L. W. Dixon, of Barraboo, Wis., to repre- 
sent the firemen. 

An audience with the Burlington officials was solicit- 
ed and granted. The ground was gone over in a 
lengthy discussion, and finally President Perkins was 
telegraphed at Boston to define the position, which 
was done in the following dispatch : 

"Boston, Jan. 3, 1889. 

To Henry B. Stone, Vice-President C, B. & Q. 
Railroad, Chicago. 
"I am authorized and instructed by the executive 
committee now in session, to send you the following : 
The company will not follow up, black list, or in any 
manner attempt to proscribe those who were con- 
cerned in the strike, but on the contrary, will cheer- 
fully give, to all who have not been guilty of violence, 
or other improper conduct, letters of introduction, 
showing their record in our service, and will in all 
proper ways, assist them in finding employment. 
The first duty of the management, is to those who are 



THE END OF THE GREAT STRIKE. 455 

in the company's employ, and we must remember and 
protect their interests, by promotion, and by every 
other means in our power. Beyond this if it should 
become necessary to go outside of the service for men 
in any capacity, it is our intention to select the best 
men available, and in making selections, not to exclude 
those who engaged in the strike of February 27, if they 
are the best men available, provided they have not since 
been guilty of violence and other improper conduct." 

(Signed) C. E. Perkins. 

On receipf'of this document Mr. Stone was asked to 
define the word available, and the following is his eva- 
sive reply: 

" It is important that no question should arise as to 
the good faith of the company, and it is our desire and 
intention that there should be no opportunity for such 
question." 

" As to the meaning of the word available, I desire 
to say that when it becomes necessary to employ men 
outside of those now in our service, care must be taken 
to consider all of the qualifications that go to make up 
availability, including experience and familiarity with 
our surroundings and rules. In short, that the very 
best men are to be selected, regardless of personal re- 
lations or prejudices for or against any man or class 
of men." 

"While men who have been guilty of improper con- 
duct during the late strike, cannot be re-employed, and 
while we cannot give letters to them, no officer or em- 
ploye, should continue the animosities of the conflict 
after it is over, or interfere to prevent the employment 
of such men elsewhere." Henry B. Stone. 



45^ THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

The company also agreed they would re-em- 
ploy what men they needed from the ranks of their 
former employes, 'iand all striking engineers, firemen, 
switchmen, and brakemen were instructed to file their 
applications at their respective division headquarters 
if they desired re-employment, on or before Febru- 
ary, 1SS9. This advice was given at the request of 
the officials of the company. " The conditions were 
accepted by Mr. Cavner's committee, and the strike 
declared off. The men along the line complied with 
the instructions and sent in a list of names of'those who de- 
sired re-employment. The list was accepted by the com- 
pany's officials, but they required that each one should 
make personal application, which most of them did. 

A committee was appointed by the chairman of the 
committee of nine, consisting of A. W. Perley, and H. 
C. Hayes with S. W. Dixon for the firemen, who 
were instructed to go over the system and explain the 
conditions. The strikers were generallv indignant, 
and the reception of these gentlemen was anvthing but 
a pleasant one. An undue buoyancy of mind had been 
engendered by what Mr. Cavner had said he expected 
to accomplish, and their own imagination of what the 
committee of nine could do, with the reality as present- 
ed by these gentlemen, was a grievous disappointment; 
not that they expected a surrender on the part of the 
Burlington, but they expected more than was given, 
or nothing. 

They had manfully battled against all odds for elev- 
en months; hundreds of them had refused places on 
other roads at the instance of Brotherhood men at 
large, on the ground that a battle could not be fought 



THE END OF THE GREAT STRIKE. 457 

without an army. They had given their sacrifices un- 
stintinglv for the common cause, and the settlement 
embodied in Mr. Perkin's dispatch, without other 
written conditions, meant practically " You stop boy- 
cotting us, and we will not boycott you." The 
other conditions, "selecting men from the old employes 
as they needed men," has not been lived up to on any 
part of the line except the Hannibal and St. Joseph, 
and there the engineers are asked to go to work as lire- 
men. The letters, with few exceptions, were 
simply statements, the substance of which was : "John 
Smith commenced work for the C, B. & Q., as a tire- 
man January, 1880, was promoted to engineer in 1884, 
and quit the service on account of strike, February 27, 
188S." Some of them said lie gave satisfaction, while 
a very few were real recommendations, the best letters 
coming from Mr- Stone himself, but Mr. Stone's own 
letter giving the. very best of a recomendation, has, to 
my knowledge, failed to secure place on the Burling- 
ton, because of the animosity of the local officials. 
Mr. Stone had said the animosities should not continue 
after the conflict was over, but it is apparently as 
rancorous to-day as ever, with some of the officials. 
Mr. Stone has lived up to his own declarations. 
Transportation has been furnished, good letters bear- 
ing his signature have been given to some of the old 
men, and favors of whatever nature that have been 
extended to the old men since the strike was declared 
off, are from the man who said " I never will con- 
cede it." But that ever present element of discord in 
corporation authority, unrestricted official prerogative, 
is a positive barrier against any good- will policy, and 



45§ THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

what few old men are left along the line should seek 
new fields, and leave the Burlington to enjoy its new 
company. 

The Burlington strike, the most vigorously fought 
on both sides of any strike in the history of our coun- 
try, causing an immense loss of wealth, the sacrifice 
of place, the separation of friends, and the creator of 
enmities, ought to have in it, a lesson that would be as 
lasting as the pyramids of Egypt, but until corporate 
autocracy is changed to autonomy, that cannot be ex- 
pected. The Brotherhood lost the fight because it 
did not have the machinery to concentrate the power 
it possessed, and 'No alliances,' like the drunkard's 
whisky, created the vipers that sting it. 

The firemen and engineers made a grand fight. I 
put the firemen first, because they were just as stead- 
fast, with less at stake than the engineers. They 
stood together like brothers, through thick and thin to 
the end, and the Burlington strikers should feel no 
disgrace at defeat; they believed they were right 
when they struck, they still believe they were right. 
The preservation of the Brotherhoods in their present 
standing is due to the tenacity with which they stood 
their ground. Had the strike been declared off in the first 
week of March as was advised, the Atchison, Topeka & 
Santa Fe would not. have asked for a. loan from their 
enginemen, they would have taken it to have and to keep, 
wages would have been reduced and the Brotherhood's 
power to resist would have been gone. They voted to 
stand their ground against all advisors, and by so doing 
they formed the nucleus, around which, gathered and 
solidified the shocked vitality of the Brotherhoods 



THE END OF THE GREAT STRIKE. 459 

and gave opportunity to realize the danger to their 
future and convert indifference into energetic help. 

The current of good will became wonderful, mon- 
ey flowed like water from the National camp of the 
Brotherhoods, all labor came closer together, the 
Burlington strikers being the magnet of centralization, 
and at the close of the strike the Brotherhoods stood 
with vitality and numbers unimpaired; the strikers 
themselves were great losers, but there must be mar- 
tyrs in any cause, and this is no exception. The 
younger men will find place and regain lost ground. 
But there are some men past the age for' new fields, 
whose sacrifice, in the interest of their fellowmen, em- 
bodied their whole future. They must wait patiently 
for that last trip, over the river, and make their last 
report to the great master mechanic, their Redeemer, 
who shall estimate this sacrifice. It is hoped none of 
them will be permitted to make an intermediate trip, 
"over the hill to the poor house." 

Wi*.h this exception the effect of the strike to the 
Brotherhoods is entirely eliminated; the lesson it 
taught remains. How is it with their opponents, the 
Burlington management? 

The Union Pacific, a parallel line, reports January 5, 
1889. Earnings for eleven months to November 30, 
1888, $26,880,398; increase, $566,504; expenses, 
$16,444,955; increase, $1,307,842; surplus, $10,435,- 
443; decrease, $741,338. 

C, B. & Q. STATEMENT. 

Chicago, III., January 5, 1888. For the eleven 
months to Nov. 30, 1SS8, the gross earnings and expen- 
ses wore respectively $21,621,483 and $16,259,124, 



460 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

and for the corresponding period the year before $25,- 
412, 699 and $13, 885,936. 

The Union Pacific keeping up all its departments is 
short for 1887, $731,338, while the Burlington with the 
greatest possible retrenchment in even' department, 
shows a loss of $6,164,385. Following this comes 
the March statement of the Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincy. In connection with statements previously made 
it showed that during the first quarter of 1889 the 
road did not even pay its interest charges, being sever- 
al hundred thousand dollars short. The total net 
earnings for the three months ending March 31 were, 
for the Burlington proper and the Burlington & Mis- 
souri River roads, $1,579,941. The interest charges 
alone are approximately $550,000 per month. In ad- 
dition to the interest charges, which have not been 
earned, the Burlington company is paying dividends 
at the rate of 1 per cent quarterly, which still further 
swells the expenditures above the net earnings. 

While financial disaster follows the Burlington, the 
Union Pacific which pays better wages than was asked 
of the Burlington, shows a net increase for January of 
$172,000, over 1888. The Burlington system has 
deteriorated since the strike of its old employes, from 
the best dividend paying road in the west, to one that 
cannot earn its interest, and from one of the best 
manned roads in its engine department to the poorest, 
as their expense account shows. The following from the 
Aurora News of July 16. 1889, is significant: "Engine 
339 of the main line was burned out at Mendota, Satur- 
day, through the carelessness of the engineer and was 
immediately taken to Galesburg for necessary repairs." 



THE END OF THE GREAT STRIKE. 46 1 

Retrenchment is apparent in the following: "A large 
amount of work continues to accumulate at the differ- 
ent departments of the car shops, especially in the car 
department and repair shops, where worn-out coaches 
and bad order cars of all kinds are rapidly increasing. 
Several tracks in the yards are also crowded with such 
disabled rolling stock." 

When we look at the great depreciation in Burling- 
ton stock, and the immense direct lost the company 
has sustained, and from a surplus of two millions, to a 
borrower of ten, we wonder if the reader will think 
the Burlington, in defeating the Brotherhood, won the 
battle. They have run their own business, or rather, 
they have run other peoples', to suit themselves. They 
cornered the labor market in a vast territory, and then 
went on the principle that "Providence had sent a few 
men into the world, ready booted and spurred to ride, 
and thousands ready saddled and bridled to be 
ridden." The Burlington strike should be the last of 
its kind, but until railway managers realize their 
responsibilities to all shareholders, to the public, and 
the rights of the labor they control, we cannot expect 
such a blessing, labor will not meekly give up its rights 
and liberties, and until corporations shall "have dared to 
come up to the spirit of the pilgrim covenant of 1620 
and shall declare that all men shall be consulted in re- 
gard to the disposition of their lives, liberties and 
property, strikes will remain possibilities. The Pil- 
grim fathers proceeded on the doctrine, that everv man 
was supposed to know what he wanted, and had the 
right to a voice in the disposition of himself." 

As these conditions have not materialized, the use- 



462 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

fulness of organized labor is not over. Avoiding 
strikes should be one of their cardinal principles. 
Arbitration, the recognized mediator, and balance of 
justice, another. But the Burlington strike has dem- 
onstrated the fact that power is necessary to compel 
the use of these peaceful means. The Brotherhood 
should not forget, that evils which accrue to other 
laboring men, bear as heavily upon one as the other. 
In writing this book I have been actuated by a desire 
to soften asperity, and remove the causes of discord 
and doubt, that organized labor might come nearer to- 
gether and practice the golden rule — " Do unto others 
as you would they should do unto you." Washing- 
ton said " To prepare for war was one of the most ef- 
fectual means of preserving the peace." As long as 
trusts and corporations exist, so long will legal or moral 
restraint be necessary. As there are no legal restraints, 
organized labor must protect itself. A part of the 
province of this work has been to show the conditions 
that have made the organization of labor necessary, 
but it has not been done with any malice or attempt 
to injure any party, and if the reader shall find any- 
thing commendable within these pages and the work 
shall tend to greater harmony among laboring men, 
and lead to more pacific relations between labor and 
capital, the compiler will feel that his first and only ef- 
fort has not been without good results. 

C. II. Salmons. 



SKETCH OF THE LIFE AND EXPERIENCE 

OF 

CHARLES H. FRISBIE, 

FOR 
FORTY-SEVEN YEARS A LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER. 



The author and writer of this short life-story first 
saw the light in Cortland county, New York, 
in 1822. My father was a farmer and a hotel- 
keeper. It was an old-time kind of a hotel, with a 
swinging sign, ample grounds, and a house that grew 
by additions. There was nothing small at an old 
style hotel but the prices. The customers were not 
the loafers of the town but were private travelers in 
their own carriages or on horseback, or movers, or 
drovers, or stage coach loads of passengers. There 
were no railroads then and farm wagons carried down 
to the city the products of the farm: or light teams 
of two horses, with light loads for short journeys, 
made the roads lively. The roads were for months 
impassable till a turnpike company elevated and lev- 
eled the road, put on gates, and charged toll of all 
travelers. Droves of fat cattle and sheep and hogs 
from western New York, walked to their fate in the 
city, two or three hundred miles away. Drivers 
were hired for a song, and the lazy herds would walk 
four or five miles a day, and would increase in weight 



464 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

on the journey, enough to pay the traveling expenses. 

These country inns were usually five ' to six miles 
apart, and afforded a local market for hay and corn, 
but at what we should now call give away rates. 
Now, you can load a car with stock thousands of 
miles w r est and get to market quicker than you could 
then from western New York. People grew tired of 
the slow work and began to think of a more rapid 
transit. Then came the Erie canal from Buffalo to 
Albany with its 363 miles in length which cost nearly 
eight millions of dollars, built by the state, and a mon- 
ument of the genius of Governor DeWitt Clinton, 
completed in 1825. When the ground was broken 
for that canal, on July 4th, 181 7, my father often said 
he never expected that he or any of his children 
would live to see it completed. Yet they all did live 
to see it and many long years after. The writer of 
these lines lived to see it and, up to this writing, sixty- 
four years more. Many of us remember similar talk of 
the Union and Central Pacific railways. But no improve- 
ments in this country gave such a powerful stimulant 
to enterprise as the Erie canal. The immediate im- 
migration to the state was immmense, new cities 
sprang up, and wealth poured in upon the people from 
every source. The lake crafts carried grain to Buf- 
falo, and the canal boats took it to the sea coast, and 
the lowered expense of transportation lined the pock- 
ets of the farmer, and quickened trade of every 
kind. 

Now, gentle reader, you have followed me along 
the uphill to boyhood. It is now 1837 and I am 15, 
and now let us strike a faster gait. Let us leave the 



FORTY-SEVEN YEARS AN ENGINEER. 465 

creeping canal boat and go by steam. A horse rail- 
road was finished at Quincy, Mass., about the same 
time that the Erie canal was completed, and, for the 
next fifteen years, a powerful head of steam in favor 
of railroads left canals far behind. About that time 
the New York Central was built from Albany by 
Schenectady and Syracuse to Buffalo. We did not 
build railroads then as we do now. Let us walk out 
along the track and see how they did it. The grad- 
ing was done, then much as now. Now comes the 
track. Teams of two or four horses would draw 
from the sawmill, beams eight inches thick, and as 
wide as the tree would allow, and as near as may be 
to forty feet long. This was the foundation or mud- 
sill. It was sunk even with the surface of the ground. 
These sills w r ere laid along continuously, one on each 
side. Then come the cross-ties, split out of white 
oak with cavities to fit an eight inch wooden rail, 
then comes a three by two inch wooden ribbon 
and then on top of that an iron bar, one-inch thick by 
two and a half inches wade. Now on this cobble house 
you may bring on the cars, one by one, slowly, but, 
alas for the engineers and the firemen ! the engines 
were mules, one, tw r o, or three; according to grades, 
or length of train. That was my first engineering! I 
held the throttle of those four-footed engines for 
about a year. We thought the railroads would revo- 
lutionize the commerce of the world, and so they did 
but not till after the mules were sent to grass. 

The first steam engine run in this country was 
built by Foster, Rastrick & Co., at Stourbridge, Eng., 
and was put on the Delaware & Hudson canal com- 
32 



^66 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

pany's railroad in 1829. Mr. Peter Cooper built in 
Baltimore the first engine ever built and run by the 
same man, in America. This was on the Baltimore & 
Ohio in 1830. The supply of American built engines 
was slow, and many were brought from England. 
The three principal makers in this country were Rog- 
ers, Maqueen and Baldwin. Now, reader, you will 
see that I have got far ahead of the mules, and I will 
call a halt. 

Step this way and look at my new engine, the Phoe- 
nix. George Howard of the Utica road is engineer. 
Then comes the Varrum, with Perk Howard at the 
throttle. The next was the Wyoming, built in the 
Auburn state prison. On board of her I had the honor 
to be extra fireman. Melank Mason was master me- 
chanic, and Milt Alcott worked in the roundhouse. 
He was the man who built the first head light in the 
United States. The reflector was made of a kind of 
habbitt metal with sixteen silver dollars melted in it. 
It was about half as big as our present lamp. The 
first head light I ever saw was made of wood and re- 
sembled the shape of my mother's sun bonnet, only it 
had one glass in front. The back and sides were 
lined with tin, and the light was about a two candle 
power. A bright full moon would make it look sickly. 

Now, reader, if you intend to stay by me, you will 
have to pull up your stakes and come along. We set 
out now from Auburn, on the New York Central, and 
at Albany take the steamer Alida for New York City, 
on which the fare — thanks to competition — is twenty- 
five cents. Let us take the Cortland St. ferry for 
Jersey City, and find the engine Phocion hitched to the 



FORTY-SEVEN YEARS AN ENGINEER. 467 

Philadelphia train, Howell Roe, engineer, Charley 
McCleary, fireman. I soon met with the old sweeper 

at the depot and learned that there was a fireman 
wanted for that train, and that Tim Smith was the 
boss. I found him. and in three minutes I had the 
first regular job I ever had on a railroad. Now, my 
overalls take their place, and I am assistant fireman on 
the engine Jersey City. All engines had names then, 
not numbers as now, and 1 was happy as a lark. The 
engineer got fifty dollars a month, first fireman twen- 
ty-five, and myself, the assistant twenty. Board was 
one dollar fifty a week, and cigars two for one cent. 

The kind of engines used on the New Jersey Cen- 
tral road was the Baldwin make and the Rogers, both 
kinds from American shops. These ran between Jer- 
sey city and New Brunswick. From New Bruns- 
wick to Trenton they used English engines. 

New Brunswick was the meeting place of the two 
different kinds or make of engine. It so happened 
that the Uncle Sam from the New Jersey road stood 
over night side by side with the John Bull from the 
Camden and Amboy road. 

None of the engines, then, had whistles. In or- 
der to give a signal to apply the brakes, the engineer 
had to raise the safety valve, which made a noise sim- 
ilar to one you would make in driving a snooping cat 
out of mischief, and not much louder. 

Every night after we had put our train away, we 
had to go on a side track to get water. Not a drop 
was there outside of the well, consequently it had to 
be pumped. In order to do the pumping we had to 
run the engine on a track over the well, and on a set 



468 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

of wheels, about the size of the driving wheels, which 
were connected with the pump. Then we would 
start the engine slowly, and that would turn the 
wheels connected with the pump, and we would wait 
until the tank was full. That was not very long for 
the tank was small and would run three cars about 
ten miles. After that we backed the engine over the 
Raritan river to the engine house, run the engine on 
the turn table, disconnect the tender from the engine, 
run the engine off the table, push the tender over up- 
on a short side track, run the engine back over the 
table, push the tender upon the table, turn it the rest 
of the way around and push it into the house, then 
turn the engine and back her up to the tank, then fill 
the tank with wood, which was the best of Norway 
pine. That was the best wood I ever saw for gener- 
ating steam, and was had in abundance at one dollar 
and a half a cord. 

Now, after going through with all this process the 
night before, we went down in the morning and got 
the engine out and the train hitched on, ready for 
Jersey City. The engineer takes his seat on the right, 
the first fireman on the left, the second fireman, or 
wood passer, between the engine and the tank, stand- 
ing of course, for there is only room for two on the 
engine. The brakeman always stood on the platform 
on the first car to give signal for brakes. 

Now, it might be interesting to you, patient reader, 
to know what kind of coaches were used at *hat time. 
Well, many of them were four-wheeled, hung on what 
was called thorough braces. I will try and tell vou 
A long time ago when stage coaches were young, the 



FORTY-SEVEN YEARS AN ENGINEER. 469 

coach body swung on thorough braces. The thorough 
brace was made of several layers of strong harness 
leather, six or seven inches wide, and fastened to the 
back and forward bolster, one on each side. Then 
the body of the coach was set on these, and it hung 
in the middle. These strong straps served as springs 
and gave to the coach body an easy movement up or 
down, back or forward. When the coach went rapid- 
ly and suddenly over something either high or low, 
the passengers were often unseated, hit the ceiling with 
their heads, silently exchanged seats, or introduced to 
each other for the fortieth time, in a mode more speedy 
than polite, each one saying nothing but "Oh!" 
These coaches would hold only ten or twelve persons. 
They had to be hauled with horses part of the way 
over Bergen hill, a few miles west of Jersey City, a hill 
that has been tunnelled several times. When Bergen 
hill was passed so that engines could be used instead 
of horses, they used larger cars. Every seat was 
numbered and every car lettered, and your ticket 
called for a seat in a certain letter and number. The 
end doors were locked and the passengers entered a 
side door in the center. 

The principal production of New Jersey, then, 1849, 
was Jersey lightning and buckwheat cakes. Jersey 
lightning was cider brandy, and the buckwheat cakes 
began soon after the first frost, and they never slacked 
up until the shad came in the spring. If you never 
had fresh shad for breakfast you have missed a good 
thing that never can be made up to you. The meal 
that working people made the most of was dinner, and 
it was an important matter, but they licked their plates 



470 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

for supper. I hope the New Jersey schools are better 
now than fifty years ago, for then, most of the fellows, 
in signing their receipts, made their mark when they 
receipted for their pay. 

Our trains to New Brunswick were light, only two 
or three cars, all coaches, with but one freight train 
on the road. The engines were only fourteen by 
twenty inch cylinder; single driver. The two Phila- 
delphia trains had larger engines, as they had five or 
six cars. Two of their best engines were built by 
Roger's, monsters for those days, six feet double driv- 
ers, cylinder thirteen inch bore, twenty-two inch 
stroke; the smaller engines had ten inch bore by 
twenty inch stroke. One of these large engines went 
with the train from Jersey city to New Brunswick, 
and on nearing the Passaic river the engineer saw 
that the draw was off, but he did not see the danger 
till he was within a fourth of a mile of it. It was too 
late to hold the train and down he went with the en- 
gine and baggage car. There was in the baggage 
car a deadhead who had left New Brunswick that 
very morning, getting on board a steamer in New 
York bay just in time to see the steamer take fire. 
He leaped overboard and was rescued by his swim- 
ming to an island. He was picked up, and took that 
train for home and went down with the engineer. 
There were three draw bridges on that route, over 
the rivers Raritan, Passaic and Hackensack. I have 
known a fog from the ocean to last for three days, so 
dense that you could not see a signal fifty feet ahead. 

After firing about three years I got to be extra en- 
gineer. Then I wanted to go home and make a visit 



FORTY-SEVEN YEARS AN ENGINEER. 47 1 

and talk over the news. Now, friendly reader, pack 
3 r our grip and come along, for I may stay some time. 
Now, we take the ferry for New York, the steamer 
for Albany, the cars for Auburn. There we found the 
cars running farther west, and hundreds of horses had 
left the stage coaches for eastern markets. 

About this time there arose a great excitement 
about the Michigan Central railroad, ?.nd everybody 
with his dog was o-oino- there. This road belonged 
to a Boston company at that time, and was built to 
Kalamazoo, having a track of strap iron. 

We now take a steamer for Detroit. There are 
three steamers in one line, London, Canada, and At- 
lantic ; the last named is now at the bottom of the lake. 
She left Buffalo one night with one thousand persons 
on board, but she went down, -and all on board per- 
ished, except two boys by the name of Becker, who 
floated off on a piece of the .wreck. I met these bovs 
more than forty years afterwards. 

The same company afterwards built a floating pal- 
ace, called the May Flower. She was magnificent, 
but she went to the bottom of Lake Erie three times 
and then staid there. About the last time that the 
May Flower went down I was given an engine on the 
Michigan Central, called May Flower, the very engine 
that gave name to the steamer, and she tumbled 
me all over the fields. That was the only engine in 
which I was ever hurt in forty-seven years of engi- 
neering. What's in a name ? Nothing at all, per- 
haps, but all railroads have an engine on which bad 
luck rides oftener than on any other. I was going over 
the switch at Dexter, Michigan, when the bar that 



47 



THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 



holds the rails in place, broke and let the May Flower 
down on the frozen ground and ice. She began to 
slew and started up street, and at about fifty feet from 
the track she turned up side down, and where was I ? 
Under her, of course, caught by my left foot with 
steam blowing on it. But my foot was on the ice and 
the steam thawed it loose, when I crawled out with a 
scalded foot and all my bones unbroken. 

Another time I started with the same May Flower 
engine, and when three miles out from Marshall, 
Michigan, I ran over an ox and threw the engine and 
train, every wheel, from the track. The engine rolled 
over twice and a half and lay on her back, fifty feet 
from the track, headed the opposite way. I looked 
around and found myself, and set up my underpinning, 
and on taking an inventory, I found one arm dis- 
abled, m}- face and hands scalded, and my shoulder 
and collarbone were broken. The fireman, poor fel- 
low, fared much worse, and died in a few days. Now, 
teli me what's in a name ? You may laugh, but I left 
the fated May Flower then and forever. 

What did the company do about it ? They paid my 
doctor's bill, they paid my full wages for the full year 
I was laid up. I never entirely gained the use of my 
right arm. 

Now, reader, let me introduce you to officers of the 
Michigan Central. J. W. Brook, general superintend- 
ent; R. N. Rice, assistant superintendent; C. H. Hurd, 
general freight agent; three finer men never lived. 
Now let us go to the roundhouse to find S.T. Newhall, 
master mechanic, another of nature's noble men. All 
these men have now passed away. The death of S. 



FORTY-SEVEN YEARS AN ENGINEER. 473 

T. Newhall hastened the organization of the Brother- 
hood of Engineers. The man who took Mr. New- 
hall's place was an overbearing tyrant. To resist him, 
and to secure justice, the engineers organized what 
was then called the Brotherhood of the Foot Board. 
They hoped to have him removed but failed in this, 
but out of this society grew that noble institution, the 
Brotherhood of Engineers. 

About the year 1850 my work called me to run 
through a region infested with hundreds of desperate 
conspirators. At that time the Michigan Central was 
not fenced, the country was sparsely settled, and stock 
running wild in the woods would often get on the 
track and get killed, and the company would not pay 
the damage. After much bickering without result, 
the settlers along a stretch of about twenty miles unit- 
ed to commit depredations on the company's men and 
property. They would burn timber on the track, and 
throw stones at engines and trains, and would fire guns 
at passing engines, so that we sometimes had to lie 
down behind the driving wheel guards to keep from 
being shot. In the night they would run a hand car 
just before us for miles, to delay us. They burnt a 
freight house eight hundred feet long in Detroit, the 
upper part of which was for storing grain. After a 
year or so, the company sent men to join them, as 
spies, and to give information. A conspiracy was 
hatched to burn a very large elevator belonging to the 
company, at Niles. One of the spies, on being initiated, 
was ordered to burn that elevator and a railroad 
bridge. The damage was averted by the information 
gained. 



474 TIIE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

The company was about two years preparing for 
its first trial in the courts, and then they arrested 
about forty men all in one day. They were men who 
professed to be our best friends; they had ridden free 
on our engines, times without number. Some of 
them were in the employ of the company; one of 
them was a fireman on one of our engines. Thev 
took a change of venue for obvious reasons, and ten 
of them went together to the state prison, which broke 
up the conspiracy. The attorneys who did a good 
work for the company, and for morals, were Mess. 
Van Annan and Darius Clark; both eminent in their 
profession. 

The Michigan Central was built from Detroit to 
Kalamazoo without any eastern outlet except the lake 
Erie. When navigation on the lake closed, in the 
fall, commerce was closed on the railroad. The en- 
gines were all laid up except enough to run two pas- 
senger and two freight trains. In my first winter I 
ran a freight, the next I ran a passenger train. Then 
the road was extended eastward through Canada to 
Niagara Falls, and there connected with the New 
York Central. I finally drifted west to the Burling- 
ton. That being a prairie road, there was but little 
wood along its line, but coal was abundant; the only 
trouble was that no one knew how to burn it, at least 
the method was very little known. 

At the Burlington shops in Aurora, was a man by 
the name of C. F. Jauriet, master mechanic of that 
road. I Ie was experimenting with coal burners, and 
he succeeded in making as nearly perfect a coal burn- 
er as there is in the United States to-day. He had the 



FORTY-SEVEN YEARS W ENGINEER. 475 

reputation of being the best machinist in the country. 
His firebox to-day is the most economical of any 
that I know of. At his time they had to use copper 
for fireboxes, for they found that steel would crack, 
though at this writing steel is used. His box would 
last ten and twelve years. He could hold his engines 
on the road three to five years. He well deserved 
the title of master mechanic, yet he never had credit 
from his employers for his skill or his success, but he 
was severely criticized and censured as being expensive, 
and ignorance or willfulness in high places allowed 
him to resign. How much the company lost by allow- 
ing such a genius to leave their service can never be 
known. 

About this time coal was discovered on the line of 
the Michigan Central road near Jackson, Mich. It 
was pronounced unlit for use by Allen Sweet, master 
mechanic of that road. It so happened that while I 
was on a visit to Detroit, I saw Assistant Superintend- 
ent C. II. Ilurd, of the Michigan Central, and I asked 
him how he got along with his coal burners.* He said 
they were a failure, that the coal was no good. I 
then told Mr. Ilurd, that I had used some of the coal 
on the Burlington road, and found it superior instead 
of inferior as Mr. Sweet had stated. Superintendent 
Rice was informed of what I had said, and in a con- 
versation with him I suggested to him that he might 
exchange engines with the Burlington and get one of 
Mr. Jauriet's engines, which would very soon prove 
that I was right, that the fault was in the engines 
and not the coal. There had been a coal miners' 
strike in Illinois and the Burlington had from necessity 



476 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

got some of the Michigan coal, so I knew from ex- 
perience that it was good, but Mr. Sweet had agreed 
to run the road for less money than his predecessor, 
and he could not do so and change his engines into 
good coal burners, and he did everything he could to 
prevent the success of the demonstation. Shortly after 
my return home, I was sent for by Mr. Jauriet, as 
Superintendent Hammond of the Burlington had in- 
structed him to send one of his best coal burners to 
test some coal that they could not burn. Master 
Mechanic Sweet heard of this move and came to Au- 
rora to see Mr. Jauriet and try to exchange engines 
without having the engine manned by a Burlington crew, 
probably thinking he could defeat the test, but Mr. 
Jauriet would not allow his engines to be condemned 
that way, and engine 34, with engineer and fireman 
John Smith and Henry Twist was sent; as neither of 
them knew the road I was sent to show them, when 
I was to return. At Chicago they gave us twenty- 
five double deck cars of stock, and they run us to 
Marshall, Mich., nearly two hundred miles, then we 
took another train to Detroit, then commenced Mr. 
Sweet's effort to defeat the test. He had the engine 
sent to the dock, and the tank filled with dirty 
slacked coal, not a piece in it as large as a hickory 
nut. Engineer Smith naturally refused to go with 
such coal, as good coal was to be furnished. This refus- 
al brought Mr. Sweet who said: That's the same 
coal that I burn in my engines, and if you cannot 
burn the same you had better take your engine back 
home. I said, Mr. Sweet do you pretend to say that 
your engines will burn that coalr "Yes sir, I do." 



FORTY-SEVEN YEARS AN ENGINEER. 477 

"I do not believe you can get steam enough with that 
coal to take your engine out of this yard." Mr. 
Sweet got very indignant, and said:" I want you to 
understand, you cannot come here and dictate to me 
what I shall burn in my engines. I will send you back 
home." He telegraphed to Chicago to have me re- 
called but they mistrusted what was the matter. An 
answer came to me, telling me to stay until further 
orders, and I staid until they were all satisfied the coal 
was good, which demonstrated the fact that Mr. 
Sweet, like many other officials, was working for him- 
self more than for the company. 

On my return to Aurora Mr. Jauriet sent me to 
Chicago to take charge of the engine house on Halsted 
street. I only staid there a short time. I longed for 
the free air of the prairies again, and on application 
for a change Floyd Cooly was sent to take my place 
and I went back on the road again. 

I would like in my story to mention the names of a 
few prominent railroad officials with whom I have had 
more or less business. Some of them are yet living at 
the time of this writing, September, 1889, and a good 
many are not. 

Edward H. Williams, once general manager ot the 
Chicago & Galena Union. He was familiarly known 
as Doctor Williams. He was a man with whom it is 
an honor to have been acquainted. 

John C. Gavitt w r as another, not only a gentleman, 
but a successful railroad manager. 

E. T. Jeffery, who was born, not with a silver spoon 
in his mouth, but w r ith a blackening brush in his hand. 
He is a skillful business man and a good judge of 



478 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

men. As a railroad manager he has no superior, and 
an v where he is a perfect gentleman. 

Thomas. J. Potter was another self-made man, of 
good judgment and of untiring industry. When he 
found that he could not agree with the general aims of 
a company, and could not change their plans, he would 
quietly and honorably retire with the good wishes and 
confidence of all parties. 

Godfrey W. Rhodes was superintendent of ma- 
chinery on the Burlington, a good business man, and 
in my opinion, a gentleman. 

Henry B. Stone, the undeviating promoter of the 
Burlington interest in the office of general manager, 
was always with me attentiye, polite, and cordial. I 
sincerely belieye that if he had been allowed to choose 
his own policy rather than be obliged to follow the 
dictates of the directors, the C, B. & Q. railroad would 
have a treasury richer, by millions, than it is to-day. 

Now, my clever reader, we have been friends to- 
gether for many a trip, and I mean to take you into 
my confidence and introduce you to my wife, Mrs. C 
M. Frisbie. As the age of a woman is always a secret 
I cannot tell you hers; but at this writing I am sixty- 
seven and it will take her ten years to get to the same 
point, but I'll never tell her age. I can tell a true story 
about my own little circle. One bright morning, 
thirty-nine years ago, a nice looking little youngster 
that had no age at all, came to my house and intro- 
duced himself as William W. Frisbie, the first of a 
series. He was very communicative, had a good deal 
of self-importance, but we took care of him, and at an 
early age we put him in charge of his father to become 



FORTY-SEVEN YEARS AN ENGINEER. 479 

an engineer. I took this youngster with me to lire 
when he was yet a lad, and we worked on the same 
truck for seven years. He is at this writing, running 
a passenger train from Topeka to Newton on the 
Santa Fe railroad, and he is still at his post. I al- 
ways taught him to shun saloons as he would vipers 
or scabs. I brought him up in the way he should go, 
and he went. 

Now, if we stop and look about us a little, we shall 
see wonderful changes since 1837, when you lust 
found me a boy of fifteen years. In that time, Queen 
Victoria reached the throne and has reigned during 
one half the period of the history of the United States. 
I was born in the administration of the fifth president 
of the United States, and of all our twenty-four presi- 
dents I have lived under twenty of them. In these 
forty-seven years of my engineering I never had a 
collision, but the engine of the general government 
has passed through fearful perils and met many an 
accident. We have had suspension of specie pay- 
ments; sudden deaths in high places; infamous assassi- 
nations; marvelous discoveries of gold and silver: vast 
out-puts of petroleum; great extension of domain ; many 
visits from impecunious princes of the earth, not 
omitting Kossuth with his $100,000 loan; brutal 
assaults within the federal buildings; the Dred Scott 
decision and Uncle Tom's Cabin, and the war that 
followed; the struggle between capital and labor; the 
nation embarrassed by its treasury surplus, and strikes 
without a parallel in their extent or in the intelligence 
with which emploves have demanded what they saw 
to be their rights. 



480 THE BURLINGTON STRIKE. 

And now we come to the great railroad strikes 
that since 1877 have made inter-state commerce so 
uncertain, and which, during 1888, threatened all 
railroad systems, and actually unsettled one of the 
largest of them. This is not properly the discussion 
of a biographer, but it requires the broader sweep of 
the pen of the historian. That is the subject of all 
this book. Here the individual is lost sight of and the 
subject of the general good commands the attention 
of all. 

Now, reader, come and see me; you will find my 
engine in the roundhouse, Aurora, Illinois, but the 
door is locked and the key is lost and I have plenty 
of time to talk. Bring your wife, or if vou have none, 
bring your best girl, and let us spin the past over 
again, and map out the future. But don't all come at 
once. And here I conclude my biography as David 
Crockett closed his: "Dear reader, I bid you farewell 
and, as the fox said to the coon, we will meet again at 
the hatters.*'.